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Midland Guard

by Carteeg Struve & Joe Mashuga


Name of Organization: The Midland Guard (or 'The Midguard')
Area of Influence: The Midlands
Base of Operations: FyxZharar
Type of Members: Bodyguards, scouts, soldiers, and warriors
Number of Members: 2571 (as of 421 AD)
Races: Human (60%), Dwarves (27%), Gildanesti (10%), Others (3%)
Alignment: LG, LN, LE
Leader: Jermon Cavlin (384 AD – 420 AD), Noragaen Veliya (420 AD – present)
Year Founded: 384 AD
Symbol: An upright sword on a field of stars (as they were before the Days of Darkness)

The core of the Midlands' bravest and most loyal subjects, the Midland Guard consists of those men and women who have devoted themselves to the security of the Midland Nations and to the order provided by the Great Sovereign Lord.

History

Jermon Cavlin, a friend of Montegron whose life was saved by the future Sovereign, formed the Midland Guard shortly after the Days of Darkness brought about by the Adlar. With Montegron's consent, Jermon gathered those who believed that civilization would best be served by having a strong rule of law and order unifying the separate nations that were so heavily damaged by the Creatures of Chaos. Jermon also believed that Montegron was destined to hold the Midlands together in safety and security. With the Midland Nations still in turmoil having lost many of their own militaries in the recent war, the surviving leaders began to accept the aid of this newfound organization. Soon, even those who were loyal to their own nation began to swear allegiance to Lord Montegron, believing that he was their societies' best hope for normalcy in the future. Those who proved their 'Loyalty to Land and Lord' beyond all doubt were taken into the Guard.

Most of the Midland Guard is made up of humans and dwarves, though there is a sizable minority of half-elves. There have also been several cases in which immigrants and members of other races proved their excellence and dedication to the security of the Midlands. Indeed, some of these defenders went above and beyond the duties of the Guardsmen themselves. In these extreme cases, the Guard allowed these heroes to join in spite of normal procedures. In recent years, Montegron has been doing what he can to put a stop to these non-traditional guardsmen. Since Jermon's death in 420 AD, Second Protector Noragaen Veliya has upheld her Sovereign's wishes and only allowed humans and dwarves of Midlander origin into the Guard.

Goals/Motivations

The Guards' primary concerns are the security of the Midlands and of the Great Sovereign Lord, hence their motto of 'Loyalty to Land and Lord'. In their mind, the Great Sovereign Lord's reign is what secures the Midlands, thus both duties are one and the same.

Headquarters/Areas of Influence

The Midland Guard is situated in the Midland capital of FyxZharar. The greatest concentration of the Guard is in and around FyxZharar and along the Midland borders. The Guard has representatives in each of the Midland Nations' capitals to act as bodyguards to national leaders, and to report any noteworthy activities back to FyxZharar.

Leadership/Organization

Although the Great Sovereign Lord is not part of the Guard, its leader reports directly to him. Jermon Cavlin even chose the title of 'Second Protector' to prove his obedience to Montegron's will. Montegron has been known to send members of the Guard on assignment without the Second Protector's knowledge. Jermon took no offense, feeling that loyalty to the Midlands and to the Sovereign is all. If Second Protector Veliya has been made aware of these activities, they have thus far been ignored.

Allies

The Midland Guard is officially allied with all of the Midland nations. There have been a few occasions in which friction developed between a nation and the Sovereignty, but as far as the Guard is concerned, this is expected from time to time. So long as relations return to normal – and they always do – the security of the Midlands is preserved.

Enemies

The Elder Dragons and the Great Sovereign Lord are at odds with each other, thus the Midland Guard is as well. For the last few decades, a small circle of the Guard has been secretly searching for information on the Volumes of the Prophet. The Great Sovereign Lord wishes to possess the Volumes in order to get an advantage against the Elder Dragons in the coming war. Those in the Guard who know about this are seeking to assist in any way possible so that they may eventually put the threat of the Elder Dragons to rest.

Membership

High-ranking members of the Guard act as the Great Sovereign Lord's personal bodyguards in FyxZharar, and other members do the same for many of the Kings and Queens of the Midlands. Scouting parties patrol the northern border, keeping watch for minotaur and ogre incursions, while others are stationed near Mauritand to protect the Midlands from the bakali and cat-people of the Vacant Lands. Smaller troops or individual Midguards travel the Midlands' major cities to keep their presence known to the public and to inspire confidence and faith in the Great Sovereign Lord's rule.

From time to time, noteworthy guards will be charged with special assignments. These assignments may sometimes be public, and other times they may be done in the greatest of secrecy, possibly in foreign lands.

Joining the Organization

An aspiring guard member must have proven himself in battle on multiple occasions. Most members are from the border nations due to the number of incursions made by those from the north and south, as hostilities breed experience. More often than not, an applicant's name is submitted by a member of the Guard without that person's knowledge. In this case, the applicant must be accepted by the highest ranks within the Guard before he is invited to join. However, there have been cases in which people made their own requests and were accepted through the records of their valor and patriotism.

Costs and Benefits of Membership

Upon being inducted, the new member can expect to receive quality weapons and armor as well as the support of the Midlands' populace. A Guardsman who has sufficiently proven himself receives a dragonmetal-forged weapon, armor, or shield as a symbol of status. Some members aspire to use only dragonmetal equipment, but the relative rarity of the metal, combined with the cost to create dragonmetal items, makes this prohibitively expensive to most guards.

The leaders of the Guard choose the assignments and missions that a guardsman will perform. More importantly, a Midland Guard is considered to be on-duty at all times. No matter what he or she does, it always reflects on the Guard and the Midlands. Therefore, one's superior officers must always have an idea of where their subordinates are and what duties they are undertaking, unless someone of higher rank sends that person on a mission without the immediate superior's knowledge.

Prestige Class: Midland Guard (MdG)

The Midland Guard prestige class represents the Guard's most skilled bodyguards and personal defenders. While the Guard employs a variety of troops, these individuals prove their worth to the Midland Nations and to the Great Sovereign Lord time and time again.

Hit Die: d10

Entry Requirements

Race: Coin dwarf or Midlander human.
Alignment: Any lawful.
Base Attack Bonus: +5.
Skills: Sense Motive 4 ranks, Spot 4 ranks.
Feats: Armor Proficiency (heavy), Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Honor-bound, Shield Proficiency.

Midland Guard
Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Able defender, favor +1
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Uncanny dodge
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Bonus feat, dragonmetal sanction
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 In the line of fire, favor +2
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Improved uncanny dodge, keep a wary eye

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level): Craft, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spot.

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You gain proficiency in all simple and martial weapons, all types of armor, and shields (including tower shields).

Able Defender (Ex): Whenever you are using Combat Expertise, or performing the fighting defensively or total defense actions, you may give the AC bonus to an adjacent ally while retaining the bonus yourself.

Favor (Ex): You are able to call upon the considerable resources of the Midland Guard and the Midlands as a whole. This ability functions like the noble class ability (see the Dragonlance Campaign Setting). If you already possess this ability from another class, you may add your Midland Guard class level to the level of the class(es) that grant the favor ability.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, you can react to danger before your senses would normally allow you to do so. This ability functions like the rogue ability of the same name. If you already possess uncanny dodge from a different source (such as barbarian or rogue levels), you instead gain improved uncanny dodge (see below).

Bonus Feat (Ex): At 3rd level, you gain a bonus feat, which must be selected from the list of fighter bonus feats.

Dragonmetal Sanction (Ex): Also at 3rd level, you receive a dragonmetal melee weapon, dragonmetal shield, or dragonmetal armor of your choice. The dragonmetal item is attuned to you and grants you a +2 bonus on Charisma-based skill checks to people of the Midlands when displayed proudly. If the item is traded or given to someone who is not of the Midland Guard, you must buy another dragonmetal item to regain the bonus to Charisma-based skill checks.

In the Line of Fire (Ex): At 4th level, you can protect your charge under all but the most unusual circumstances. Whenever you are flat-footed, you may (as an immediate action) give up an attack of opportunity to give either your armor bonus to AC, or your shield bonus to AC, to an adjacent ally. This bonus lasts until the beginning of your next turn. You may perform this action multiple times in a round as long as you have an attack of opportunity to give up (i.e. if you are out of attacks of opportunity, you cannot perform this action).

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level, you can react to opponents on either side of you as easily as you react to a single attacker. This ability functions like the rogue ability of the same name. If you already possess improved uncanny dodge, you may add your Midland Guard class level to the levels of the class(es) that grant improved uncanny dodge to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank you.

Keep a Wary Eye (Ex): Also at 5th level, you are constantly on your toes and looking for danger. You gain a +4 competence bonus on all Listen, Search, Sense Motive and Spot checks, and you can take 10 on these skills even if distractions or stress would normally prevent you from doing so.