The Imperial Guard is a defensive and regulative order which occupies it's duty within the Empire. The current House in power determines which word occurs before "Guard"; currently, they are known as the Phoenix Guard. It is not to be confused with the Iorich Guard, which is an independent entity (it is not known, however, what position the Iorich Guard occupies during the reign of an Iorich; do they remain as a distinct unit or do they reform themselves into the existing Imperial Guard?). The bulk of their force is traditionaly made of Dragons since it is considered part of their duty within the House to perform millitary service. It is also true that the particular combative elements (at least) of the ruling House reflect on the Guard's fighting technique, but it is not known whether this is a direct or indirect order from the Emperor's policies or a simply a manifestation of the Cycle's power, or both at the same time.
The Imperial Guard act as the traditional defensive structure within the Imperial Palace, so it is within their duty to ensure the safety of the Emperor himself. The Guards act as the Imperial law enforcement system and are set of urban and rural patrols to report and address certain public behaviour; they are therefore the standard response for most kinds of civil disturbances (for example, a tavern fight or a revolution).
At the beginning of the last Phoenix Reign, the Guards were divided into two battalions: Captain G'aereth's battalion was a small one which usually patrolled the streets, and Captain Lanmarea's larger battalion which usually guarded the Emperor. Once G'aereth was made Brigadier, he reversed these roles, and carefully restructured the Guard into these two separated battalions. His Red Boot Company became the elite palace guard and the White Sash Battalion was designated into public law enforcement.
Of those characters that Paarfi has written about, we know of at least two whose careers spanned more than one reign. G'aereth began his career in the Athyra Guard, and died as Brigadier of the Phoenix Guard, and Khaavren began in the Phoenix Guard, and when we last see reference to him, still holds the rank of Brigadier in the Dragon Guard.
As with all military and quasi-military forces of the Dragaeran Empire, the Imperial Guard has its headquarters in the Dragon Wing. The highest-ranking officers in the Imperial Guard theoretically report to the Warlord, although this subordination may be diminished if the officer has special influence with the Emperor directly.
Ranks in the Imperial GuardEdit
Note that not all of the ranks need be filled. A Captain with a relatively small number of troops may do without a Lieutenant, for example. When there are only a few Captains, the rank of Brigadier might not be filled, and a single captain might be promoted to Brigadier without having any captains as subordinates.
- Brigadier or Brigadier-General, commanding up to six Captains
- Captain responsible for a battalion, and commanding up to six Lieutenants
Notable Imperial GuardsEdit