OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
Intent: Codify a unit that played a prominent role in rp. The Vanguard served as a NPC enemy for Firemane in a thread. This submission is intended to expand the lore and develop it further.
Image Credit: Here.
Role: Force Warriors.
Unit Name: The Ever Loyal Vanguard
- Force Imbued Jedi Armour. Armour has a helmet that provides protection against chemicals, has a voice modulator, HUD and other standard systems.
- Force Imbued Battle Shield.
- Enforcer pistol
- Submachine Gun
- Verpine Shattergun
- Hammer slugthrower pistol
- Blade Launcher
- Flame projector
- A99 breather
- Grappling Spike Launcher
- Jedi Utility Belt
- Force Focusing Visor
Description: There are those who maintain that the path of the Light is defined by peace and compromise. That followers of the Light should be mediators and can only use the Force in defence, even when Darkness reigns on the other side of the border. That aggression is the very antithesis of what the Light Side of the Force should be about. The members of the Ever Loyal Vanguard disagree. The Light needs warriors who are willing to take the fight to the enemy. Who will not rest until the Darkness has been extinquished and those who prostrate themselves before it have been redeemed or eradicated. For there is only the brightest light and the darkest abyss. Those who claim there is a middle ground and that one can control both sides have succumbed to hubris and already taken the first step into Darkness. There is no grey side of the Force.
The Vanguard is Sword and Shield of the Dominion of Light. Its members are warrior-priests, who have dedicated their lives to defending the bastion of the Light against its manifold enemies. To the loyal citizens of the Dominion, they are implacable paladins who inspire the soldiers of the Light any time they appear on the battlefield. When the need is high, when the enemies of the Light gain ground, the Vanguard is deployed to smite them. In such situations there is no room for compromise or debate. Only for the burning sword of purity and righteousness.
The Vanguard is one of the martial bodies of the Windian Jedi Order. The Dominion's Jedi are a heavily militarised force of crusaders. It is they who command the Grand Army of Light and are charged with prosecuting the war against the Disciples of the Vader, the Republican Guard, warlords and any other forces that threaten the Dominion. The Vanguard is an exclusive unit that only accepts veteran Jedi who have proved themselves in the Great War. To join this sacred covenant, a Windian Jedi must have fought in several campaigns, displayed valour, obedience, discipline and faith in the Light. Any potential recruit is thoroughly vetted. Training is gruelling, for only those who have proved they can resist temptation are accepted. The Vanguards must always be vigilant against the darkness within and without, for the dark side is always trying to cause pure souls to fall.
Due to its elite nature, the Vanguard is reserved for the most critical engagements. When deployed into battle, they conduct themselves as a military unit, combining Jedi powers with military tactics. Their training stresses teamwork and unit discipline. The Vanguards are an inspiration for common soldiers and regular Jedi. They are known for the fervour they display against enemies of the Light. The members of the Vanguard are stalwart and loyal to the Dominion - to the point of fanaticism. As the saying goes, the Vanguard may die, but it does not surrender. Those who betray their sacred oath will be hunted down without mercy, for they have betrayed the Light, the Order and their family. The members of the Vanguard are a tight-knit lot.
Their bond is a fierce and all-encompassing one. The Force binds them together. The same applies to the suffering that has been inflicted upon them by the Dark Side and the revulsion they feel for it. The many battles they have fought has moulded them into experienced soldiers. The Dominion is a nation at war, after all. The members of the Vanguard are very experienced in combating Dark Side Force-Users, Sithspawn and Yuuzhan Vong. The Disciples of the Vader are a Sith cult who, aside from Stormtroopers and hordes of militia, rely heavily on Sith warriors and sorcerers as well as Sithspawn. By contrast, the Republican Guard has no Force-Users of its own, but its elite forces consist of Yuuzhan Vong, soldiers who have been turned Force Dead through artificial means and, to a lesser extent, Vong creatures. Both groups are the primary enemy of the Dominion, so the Vanguard has acquired a lot of experience in fighting both.
"There is no emotion, there is calm.
There is no ignorance, there is obedience.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is order.
There is no death, there is the Light."
This is the Code that is taught to members of the Windian Jedi Order - and to Dominion citizens as a whole. Unsurprisingly, the Vanguard are quite fervent in their application of it. For the most part, the Vanguard is composed of Force clones. The Dominion believes that the miracle of life should take place in a medically sanctioned way in a laboratory. Not only is this process far cleaner, it also means that citizens do not succumb to lust, which is a path to the Dark Side. The Dominion is particularly eager to clone unusually accomplished individuals, such as great warriors. As a result, a notable number of Vanguards belong to long lines of clones that have fought, bled and died for the Dominion for decades if not centuries. The Dominion does not have conventional family units, but these clones are raised with stories of the deeds of their 'ancestors' and to taught to regard the Order as their family.
The Vanguards are given extensive training with ranged and melee weapons. Meditation exercises are accompanied by rigorous combat drills, training duels, forced marches and an intense battery of mental attacks to steel their minds against dark manipulation. It is accompanied by periods of fasting and time spent meditating on the will of the Light. Lightsabres are extremely rare on Tephrike because the planet has been isolated for centuries. However, although the planet regressed during the Four Hundred Year Darkness, the knowledge of how to imbue items with the Force was not lost. Thus the Vanguard utilises Force imbued weapons that are comparable in capabilty and function to those utilised by the ancient Je'daii millennia ago.
This is standard for the Windian Jedi Order. They are also taught how to use guns, explosives and so on, having dispensed with the idea that these weapons are 'crude and uncivilised'. Tephrike's perennial conflict does not allow for such scruples. They are also trained in Teräs Käsi and other martial arts disciplines. Lightbows are also available and commonly used by Vanguards who specialise in ranged combat, who are paired with more melee orientated comrades. They also wear battle armour in combat. It is based on the battle worn by Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars and thus resembles modified clone trooper designs. However, the Vanguards imbue it to enhance its resilience.
The group is led by Jedi Dione, a Jedi paladin with a reputation as a formidable, tenacious warrior. It was she founded the Vanguard to respond to the calamities the Netherworld Event had inflicted upon the Dominion. In doing she brought together a force of crack Force warriors. Dione is a commanding presence, preferring the battlefield to the intrigues of the Council. However, recently she has suffered a personal blow, for one of her clone sisters died in battle against Firemane, and another has seemingly defected to the enemy. She tries to hide it behind a stoic facade, but these losses have affected her. It is kept concealed from the public, who know her as a war hero. Diona has pledged her support to the Dominion's new régime and is now focused on fighting - and winning - a war to the knife. True to the mind set of the Vanguard, she has a militaristic view on the Jedi Code and its tenets, advocating decisive action. Dione held a grudge against the Grand Inquisitor for framing one of her clone sisters. While she was unable to defy orders from high-up to face Firemane in battle and regarded them as invaders, this made it easy for her to go along with Mahtara's coup.
Unit Size: Medium
Unit Availability: Unique
Unit Experience: Elite.
Combat Function: The Ever Loyal Vanguard is an elite unit of warriors who combine strength in the Force with physical prowess, discipline and military tactics. They are brave, stalwart, skilled and zealous. Their Force skill set focuses on Telekinesis, Force Meld, Force Weapon, Force Blind, Battlemind, physical enhancement and Emerald Lightning. They are a disciplined infantry force that fights as a team and has been bloodied in many conflicts. They are particularly skilled in using the Force to buff themselves.
The Vanguard can use telekinetic barriers and physical shields to protect themselves against attacks. Obviously a battle shield can also be used as a weapon to bash or rim strike an opponent. If need be, they can form a shield wall. While the front rank contains melee fighters equipped with long bladed swords or halberds, ranged weapon fighters take their place in the rear, bombarding enemies with projectiles or Force powers. Lightbows are particularly popular for ranged combat. In battle the Vanguards commonly operate on the basis of a buddy system, whereby two Vanguards with a complementing skill set are paired with one another. Lone wolf tactics and daredevil actions are heavily frowned upon. This makes them a very disciplined force. The Vanguard can be deployed independently, but will usually act in concert with other Dominion Jedi, clone troopers or militia units.
However, the Vanguard are warriors of the Force. While they train extensively with conventional weapons, ysalamiri, voidstone and similar things will reduce their effectiveness and create a disadvantageous situation for them. They would fight on, but it would weaken them significantly. Moreover, they are an infantry force. One will not find them flying starfighters or bombers, operating heavy artillery, commanding tanks and so on. They also forego heavy weapons. They are elite Force warriors, but nothing more, nothing less. As a result, they will require support forces in larger engagements. Being infantry they are vulnerable to long range bombardment such as air or artillery strikes.
- Elite soldiers.
- Force warriors.
- Lack support forces.
- Largely forego heavy weapons.
When the Gulag Virus ravaged the Galaxy, Tephrike descended into chaos. Isolated from the rest of the Galaxy, the planet regressed technologically and socially. When the virus reached the planet, millions perished. The death toll was further increased by infighting between rival factions. Tephrike's fragile, multispecies democracy unravelled. A coalition government proved unable to restore order, contain the plague or provide shelter, food and protection to millions of displaced fleeing the fighting.
The Jedi were called upon to assume a protective stance. After government soldiers shot protesters who had come to parliament to deliver a petition, the Jedi decided that it was their duty to intervene and take control. The radical Duros Jedi Master Zaras Dant was the ringleader of the coup. With the support of renegade elements in the army, they took control of the capital Palmyra, arrested Tephrike's prime minister and disbanded parliament. However, they soon faced opposition from rebel forces, such as the Alliance of Democratic Forces. What was supposed to be a provisional emergency junta turned into a dictatorship without end. Racial tensions between Tephrike's people triggered pogroms and the Jedi came under fire when they tried to put an end to the violence. Faced with enemies on all sides, the Jedi had to militarise. They became soldiers and generals like during the Clone Wars. Except this time they were also control of the government.
Their authoritarian tendencies were intensified by betrayal within their ranks, Tephrike's economic and social collapse as well as the rise of the anti-Force-User Republican Guard and the human supremacist, Dark Side worshipping Disciples of the Vader. In place of the failed federation, they created a totalitarian theocracy. But the wars did not come to an end. The Jedi came to believe that power could only be entrusted to those who could hear the will of the Force and that they alone could save Tephrike from chaos. The Dominion of Light was born. It produced a heavily militarised Windian Jedi Order. Many Jedi fell to the Dark Side, while staunchly believing that they still served the Light and that their actions were justified by the greater good. They grew used to power that even surpassed the authority the Jedi Lords had wielded before the Ruusan Reformation. Tephrike was engulfed by perennial conflict. Low-intensity warfare continued through the centuries, interrupted by intense flare-ups of violence and protracted battles. However, the Dominion was the dominant power after the nuclear destruction of Palmyra and the defeat of Darth Menace, in spite of the paroxysms of the Cultural Revolution.
The Netherworld Event brought it to the brink. This cataclysmic event touched practically every world in the Galaxy. On Tephrike, the mass disappearances were treated as an apocalyptic calamity. The same applied to the realisation that the Force had been thrown out of balance. Unrest and revolts broke out in the Dominion. The Sith schismed and had a civil war. The Republican Guard smelt blood and launched a full-scale invasion of the Dominion, which the Sith later joined after a new management emerged. It was an unprecedented crisis that forced the Dominion to mobilise all its resources in order to weather the storm.
It was in this hour that the Vanguard was founded. Many loyalists had been raptured and the remaining Jedi could only call upon the Force with great difficulty. Some of them betrayed their oath. Republican Guard partisans and regular troops managed to strike deeply into Dominion territory. The Vanguard started as an ad hoc response to this crisis. Jedi Dione, a Force clone, gathered a war band of Jedi to deal with the unprecedented crisis of the Netherworld.
She brought together a group of crack Jedi and some Padawans whose masters had been raptured and who had been left without direction. They rallied disparate Dominion forces, providing guidance and inspiration to those who had lost hope in the cause, and acted as a first strike force. Their zeal and dedication made them respected - and feared. Dione was a devout Jedi who saw the rapture through the prism of millennarianism. Hence she rallied her warriors for what she perceived to be a struggle between good and evil. The group soon became known for its valour in combat, taking on Sithspawn abominations, Vong monsters and Dark Force-Users. They also rescued captured Jedi and loyalists from enemy prison camps. Dione is said to have personally slain a Fire Breather and defeated a Sith Lord.
Less known is their role implementing Battlemaster Mahtara's scorched earth policy and running down deserters. This is something the Vanguard does not deny, but also not really advertise, as it is less glamorous than thrilling duels with infidels. At the behest of the Battlemaster, Dominion troops destroyed anything that could be of use to the enemy while it was withdrawing. It was large enough to be able to pull off a defence in depth - and ruthless enough to brush aside any humanitarian scruples.
The Vanguard fought at the First Battle of Purity. Purity was a key fortress on the road to Nexus City, and hence the target of a Republican Guard offensive. It was a Vanguard-led counterattack that broke through the lines of the Republican Guard force. The Dominion shattered their lines, forcing the Guard on a long retreat. Some Republican Guard troops stubbornly held on to their gains, others vanished into the wilderness and became partisans. The Vanguard participated in ruthless counterinsurgency campaigns to flush them out. They also did battle against the Sith, who had been marauding across Dominion border provinces. There could be no mercy for the insurgent, the traitor or the heretic. They spearheaded several counterattacks that enabled the Dominion to reconquer territory occupied by the Sith or the Republican Guard. But the victory caused the leading figures of the Dominion to intrigue against each other. Different factions sought to control the puppet Grandmaster. The Battlemaster's authority was resented by many, causing a coalition to be formed against her.
This had grave repercussions when the Firemane exploration corps discovered Tephrike. While the Battlemaster promoted diplomatic negotiations, a faction led by Grand Inquisitor Antonius opposed accommodation. The latter received the support of the Grandmaster. A Firemane delegation was ambushed by extremists and war broke out. First Firemane responded with bombing runs and orbital strikes, then it dispatched ground troops. Once again Fortress Purity became a battleground. Having formed an uneasy coalition, Firemane and Republican Guard troops marched on the fortress.
The Dominion used a weather control machine to negate Firemane's aerial superiority. They made use of hordes of militia, suicide bombers and large numbers of Force-Users. The battle was a bloodbath, as many Dominion units fought fanatically. The Ever Loyal Vanguard was thrown into the battle when the allied forces began to break through the Dominion lines. Jedi Commander Diane led them into battle, defending the ground the Vanguard had fought on only a few years ago. Dominion soldiers and militia took heart when the Vanguard appeared on the battlefield, assaulting the invaders with renewed vigour. Once more, the Vanguard charged into the breach. They put the enemy soldiers under fire with volleys of arrows from their Lightbows and other projectiles, while using Force-based barriers and shields to protect themselves.
Up on a hill, they clashed with the Cataphracts of the Ascending Phoenix, a Qadiri unit of power-armoured soldier-fanatics. Zealot fought against zealot. The Qadiri had power armour and were trained to fight Force-Users, but the Vanguards were able to use the Force to significantly boost their strength and resilience. The Jed also faced the Silencers, Firemane operatives who skilled in stealth and Force suppression, and a Resistance squad. The fighting was vicious. The Vanguard received support from Jedi sharpshooters, who used the Force to guide their heavy slug rounds and hit the enemy with unerring accuracy. Firemane troops and the Republican Guard suffered high casualties and were forced to yield ground. Both the Jedi and the Cataphracts fought fanatically. Fierce fighting also ensued in a tunnel that had been discovered by Republican Guard partisans and Firemane operatives. No quarter was given and no prisoners were taken.
However, utimately the Vanguard met its match. Jedi Commander Diane, who had been boosting her comrades and directing them through telepathy, was ambushed by Sergeant Hikari Saito, a Firemane operator who specialised in negating the abilities of other Force adepts. The two clashed in a fierce duel, though ultimately Diane was killed with a holdout bolter. Her death weakened the Vanguard, but even without being boosted by her they fought on, determined to make the invaders bleed for any ground they gained. The Vanguard sustained heavy losses during the fight. The Dominion high command deployed a brigade of Younglings to cover its retreat, sending them on a suicidal death charge, while General Kennobi took his own life. The Vanguard declared its fallen members to be martyrs. The battle was lost, but the Dominion had not been beaten. Indeed, in the aftermath of the loss of Fortress Purity, it evolved into something more dangerous.
The Grandmaster was assassinated and a military coup brought a junta headed by Mahtara to power. The madmen and hangers on were purged, leaving a core of hardliners prepared to fight a war to the knife. The Vanguard licked its wounds and was reorganised. The Dominion faced a serious threat to its existence. What the war did was focus the theocracy, compelling it to shift its focus from repression and controlling the masses to survival. It needed to conserve its forces and place greater emphasis on military effectiveness and less on blind zealotry, though religion was still used to rally and inspire the population. Dione became one of the key commanders of the new régime. However, it was a cause of shame for her to learn that a clone from her line, Jedi Inquisitor Diona, had defected to the enemy and helped the captured Elpsis escape from an Inquisition black site.
Edited by Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori, 08 April 2019 - 04:38 PM.