Nebgardeist

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Nebgardeist is the Scheli-dren name of the darkrunner Kyrolid queen's royal guard. Literally translated, it means "Living Armor," so-called for their distinctive heavy armor and steadfast protection of their charge in the face of danger. They have long served the Reinfell family for generations, many of them born into apprenticehood and eventual knighthood within the guard. Presently, they serve Queen Merkrauer Reinfell, the Queen of Kyrol. Though not all of them are necessarily paladins or similar disciplines, the vast majority of them are, especially in the higher echelons of their ranks. Nebgardeist's members are distinguished by their highly decorated uniforms; in particular, their helmets "augment" their crests with additional rows of prominent feathers, particularly feathers that bear similarity to the crest of the current queen.

Treicher Skalraut, captain of the Nebgardeist until her death in 4338.

Following the their perceived failure to protect Queen Eine Reinfell from assassins, the Nebgardeist came under public scrutiny as Merkrauer Reinfell and King Jeraak Zaltorst worked to unify Kyrol despite the racial feuds throughout the country. Proponents of the traditional guard balked at the idea of non-darkrunners joining the guard, as it is traditional for members of the guard to have some ancestral connection to the guards of old. Under this definition, a member of any other race would be ineligible to be part of the guard. In addition, the general public criticized the guard for having to also defend the ligvoel king, calling it "insensitive" to the years of bloodshed and how the queen's guard, in the past, had to defend against the ligvoel monarchy's own assassins. Queen Merkrauer Reinfell herself declined to comment on if Nebgardeist would change at all in the future -- thought to be not only because altering such an iconic part of darkrunner heritage and history will result in violent revolts and public opinion turning against her, but also because openly refusing to change Nebgardeist in some way will draw divides within a country struggling to unify. All the same, for years, Merkrauer Reinfell rarely interacted with the Nebgardeist, often openly refusing their presence in both traditional and dangerous contexts with the statement that she could protect herself better than they ever could.

In the year 4338, the Nebgardeist's divisions within their own order became pronounced to the point where much of the public assumed that the Nebgardeist would soon fade away into a distant memory; not only did the queen not respect the Nebgardeist, but they appeared to be less of a knightly order and more of a worn-out tradition. Altogether abruptly when the Nebgardeist's reputation was at their lowest point, several of the knights were killed, including the Nebgardeist captain Treicher Skalraut. Though the public was never given the reason for the sudden deaths of these knights, the knights were honored all the same with proper funerary rites and burials in the royal graveyard where past monarchs are entombed -- a high honor only given to the most loyal and esteemed of the Nebgardeist. Following this event, the Nebgardeist became more prominent in Kyrol's political affairs, both as a guiding presence to the queen and even as advocates themselves. As of 4339, a new captain has yet to be named, but those close to the Nebgardeist suggest that it will be either Vurl Ijzervuist or Lorenz Ermantraut, potentially with either of them advised by the ever-loyal knights Irenei Aukseil and Rembrandt Vogel.

Oath of the Nebgardeist

Upon my crest, I dedicate my life to my queen; to her reign; to her land; to her people. Should I fall in defense of these things, I will rejoice, for I am the stone upon which the people trod, promising stability, safety, and guidance. I go where I am told; where I am needed; where I am bound by oath to protect. Alone, I am but one stone, but together, the others of my oath create a bridge over troubled rivers; troubled times; and troubled souls.
Upon my armor, I consecrate my deeds to the queen; to her reign; to her land; to her people. Should I defile these things in my actions, I will take my own life, for I have disgraced my oath; my kin; my very world. My heart beats with that of Kyrol, and to forsake Kyrol is to damn my soul. Death will not take me if I break my oath; let my spirit roam, lost, as a warning to all, beyond even the queen's forgiveness.
Upon my soul, I inscribe my duty to the queen; to her reign; to her land; to her people. I am a knight of the Nebgardeist, unwavering, undaunted, unbroken. So long as the queen guides me, I am never lost. So long as her reign commands me, I am never without purpose. So long as her land lives, I have a home. So long as her people need me, I will live and die by my oath. 
Siseich Reinfell! Long live the queen!