Protectorate of Zegon

“The Kingdom our faith is mine to guard.
Her soil our home is mine to guard.
Her King our sovereign is mine to guard.
Her people our kinsmen are mine to guard.
My life, my charge.”
- Protectorate Oath 

Origins and Roles.

The Protectorate of Zegon was established in 3 AFZ. The predecessor of the Protectorate is a company of unique infrantry led by Hulzek, son of Harlek. The soldiers in the company were all trained in the use of the shield. Their unique sword-and-shield formation helped Xath won many pivotal battles during the Unification War. By the end of the War, Hulzek's company have grown into a battalion. After the War, Hulzek was appointed the General of the Infantry. Hulzek and the suvivors from his original company was supposed to be anointed along with the rest, but they chose to put duty before honour and refused to be anointed and remained in the Army as simple soldiers.

When Xath began to form an elite force to defend Zegon during the Insurgence, Harlek recommended Hulzek and his Protectors for their passion and strong sense of duty.

Hulzek was appointed as High Commander of the Protectorate of Zegon, and given the title of Sentinel at the Protectorate Commendation Ceremony. Hulzek's Protectors were also given the titles of Defenders and Guardians. The appointment of High Commander and the new titles signify that the Protectorate is an autonomous branch of the Army, and that the Protectors share the same prestige and social standing as the Anointed. The Dawn of Zegon, Zegon's most symbolic artifact, was also presented to Hulzek at the ceremony.

The Protectorate were formed in the beginning with the quelling of the Insurgence in mind. Since then, the Protectorate has evolved into Zegon's law enforcement agency and the keeper of order. It has also became the Army's branch for planning and strategy and the king's personal guards.

Despite the Protectorate's elevated standing, protectors never forgotten their tradition. They continued to fight beside the common soldiers in the sword-and-shield formation. Protectors are also sought after for commander positions in the Grand Army of Zegon.

Structure of the Protectorate.

The High Commander must always be a Sentinel. He is assisted by the Truimvirate, a group of three Protectors known as the Triumvirs, each of whom are in charge of a different office in the Protectorate. The Triumvirs must be Sentinels. The three offices are; the Head of Divisions, the Branch of Army Strategy and Training, and the Royal Guard.

The Royal Guard is the king's personal guard. They are responsible for the safety of the king and the Palace. The Royal Guard is a mixed unit of knights and protectors under the direct command of the High Commander of the Protectorate and assisted by the Triumvir. At the peak of the Royal Guard, 300 knights and protectors guard the palace. On the king's travels and hunting trips, he is accompanied by the Triumvir, 20 First Knights and Guardians, and 30 Knights and Defenders.

The Branch of Army Strategy and Training (BAST) is the brain of the Grand Army of Zegon. It is responsible for training soldiers in combat tactics and formations, and commanders in leadership, combat strategy, and troops management and deployment. Guardians and Sentinels in BAST also serve as strategists on the battlefield and support the Army in planning and decision-making. Defenders in BAST serve only as instructors and associates of the strategists.

The Head of Divisions is responsible for the 9 Divisions garrisoned in the 9 regions of Zegon where there are significant clusters of population. These Divisions serve as the law enforcer for the region. They are responsible for quelling internal strife, solving crimes, and setlling civil disputes. Each Division is under the command of a Division Commander who will regularly report to the Triumvir. The Division Commander can either be a Guardian or a Sentinel. Depending on the strength of the Protectorate, there can be 40 to 100 Defenders and Guardians in each Division at any point of time, divided into Sections of 20 protectors and under the command of a Section Commander. The Section Commander can be either a Defender or a Guardian.

Titles of the Protectorate.

There are 4 titles of the Protectorate; Defender, Guardian, Sentinel, and Omni.

Before a person can be accepted into the Protectorate, she must pass three assessments. Only soldiers who are highly recommended by their commanders can become a squire. Squires will shadow their mentors and learn from them while their mentors assess them based on certain criteria. If their mentors are not satisfied with their performance or if they fail any of the assessment, the squires will be sent back to the Army and cannot be recommended again. The squires will be attached to Guardians who are currently serving their duties in the Divisions for their first round of assessment. If the squires passed their first assessment, they will be sent to BAST where they will be attached to Guardians or Sentinels currently serving as strategists for the Army for their second assessment. Once they passed their second assessment, they will be sent back to the Protectorate for their final assessment. The final assessment is a series of trials held in conjunction with the assessment of the Anointed to test the squires on what they have learnt in their first two assessments. Squires of the Protectorate have only one chance to pass the assessment. Once the squires passed their final assessment, they will become Defender-in-waiting until the next annual Commendation Ceremony where the High Commander of the Protectorate will give them the title of Defender. New Defenders will always be deployed to the Divisions first upon their commendation.