Apollonian Guards of the Western Imperium
The Apollonian Guards of the Western Imperium (Praeta: ïe Saznan Apollonseï ) is an armoured infantry force, attached to the Palatini Corps, tasked primarily with the defence of the Imperial County and City of Shirekeep. It is considered to be the inheritor of the traditions of the Apollonian Guard which had previously guarded the Kaiser until it was replaced by Kaiser Aiomide in that function by the Order of the Sentinels, following the events of the Cabbage Crisis.
- ïe Saznan Apollonseï
- Headquarters (Prefectica, Shirekeep)
- 1a Sazn Apollonseï (Mechanised Infantry)
- 2a Sazn Apollonseï (Mechanised Infantry)
- 3a Sazn Apollonseï (Mechanised Infantry)
- 4a Sazn Apollonseï (Mechanised Infantry)
- 5a Sazn Apollonseï (Mechanised Infantry)
- 6a Sazn Apollonseï (Mechanised Infantry)
- 7a Sazn Apollonseï (Mechanised Infantry)
- 8a Sazn Apollonseï (Mechanised Infantry)
- Sazn Apollonseï Brunïakeï (Cuirassier)
- Sazn Apollonseï Droþakeï (Lancer)
- Sazn Apollonseï Holïurseï (Artillery)
- 1574–1598 - The Kaisers
- 1598–1602 - Balârak Âlaion
- 1607–1644 - various tribunes
- 1644–1672 - Prefect of Shirekeep
- 1574–1598 & 1602–1617 - The Ministers of Military Affairs
- 1658–1672 - Imperial Legate Fritigern Henlein
1574 AN Founded as Personal Bodyguard to Gaelen IV;
1598 AN Expanded to a full division under the Martial Code;
1602 AN Replaced by Order of Sentinels under Imperial Decree Nº 612;
1607 AN Reduced to a Regiment within Apollonian Legion of the Kaiser's Life-Guard Division;
1635 AN Retrained as armoured infantry.
The Apollonian Guard came into existence in 1574 during the reign of Gaelen IV. In the past, the soldiers who were protecting the Kaisers and Raynor's Keep had often showed a total lack of loyalty towards their Kaiser and also showed a lack of discipline. There are examples which date back to the reign of Kaiser Raynor X, where strangers could simply walk into his palace or disturb meetings and field training .
More recently in history was the murder of Leto III by Malarbor I. The soldiers had allowed Malarbor into the castle and, according to some historical sources, even brought him to the Throne room and placed him on the throne, where he could just wait until Leto walked in.
With this in mind, Gaelen decided to create a new bodyguard which was placed under direct jurisdiction of the Kaiser himself. A rather small group of guards, 1,000 in total, would be responsible for protecting the Kaiser and guarding important buildings in the capital. He chose to name it the Apollonian Guard as he himself was born in Apollo City and raised with an Apollonian and Kildarian upbringing. His soldiers worn the traditional Apollonian clothes (spear, tunic, armor, helmet, shield and a hidden gun) and were trained as Kildarian soldiers.
When the Kaiser received complaints of the Kildarian influences at the court, he quickly changed his policy towards the Guard: it was opened for all other people from the Empire, not just for only Audentes. At the height of the unit's reputation and prowess, strict conditions on membership were observed - applicants had to have already served in the Imperial Forces, with distinction, on at least four previous campaigns and had to be in peak physical condition and of unimpeachable loyalty to the Crown.
Notionally the Guard was placed outside of the military chain of command, reporting to the Prefect of Shirekeep and the Kaiser directly, by-passing the Minister of Military Affairs. This was something of an anomaly and only the relative weakness of the Ministry of Military Affairs prevented this situation from being revisited. Something that would change once a more active and able minister was finally appointed to the role.
The Minister of Military Affairs, Balârak Âlaion, in 1598 prevailed upon the Landsraad to accept his defence reforms known as the martial code which sought to replace the Aurangzeb-Alexander system of Defence Directorates and Operational Commands with three separate branches of the armed forces. The Apollonian Guard was expanded to a full division under this Martial Code to become the land component of the new tri-service configuration.
In 1602, as the loyalty of Balârak Âlaion became suspect and the Capital itself collapsed into anarchy the Guard found itself replaced, in its original capacity of bodyguard to the Kaiser, by the Order of Sentinels under Imperial Decree Nº 612 which was promulgated by Kaiser(ess) Aiomide during his period of exile on the Skyla Isles. The Apollonian Guard, or at least those portions of it which did not surrender, render oaths of fealty or desert, were militarily crushed by a coalition of Elwynn, Goldshire and Imperial Volunteers led by the Kaiser who retook Shirekeep in 1606 and purged it of the last traces of contagion, to which many surviving guardsmen had already regrettably succumbed.
In 1607 the formerly elite unit was reduced to a regiment of regular infantry within the Apollonian Legion of the Kaiser's Life-Guard Division under the reforms of Lord Marshal Laqi Hyrrion which saw the Directorates restored. The regiment was not entirely inactive during the period of its disgrace - it is credited with foiling a suicide attempt by the notoriously melancholic Kaiser Sehml.
At some point in 1617 during the secession crisis of Kildare, deserters from the Apollonian Guard were led by the Mordechai Kraut in defecting to the Eastern Empire. This schism led to the formation of a second Apollonian Guard in the Empire of Jingdao.
The disloyalty and operational failures of the Apollonian Guard during the Brassican Wars subsequently resulted in the unit being supplanted in its role as Bodyguard to the Kaiser and finally being reduced down to a regiment of regular infantry within the Kaiser's Life-Guard Division of the Palatini Corps.
The regimental remnant of the guard was fated to be quartered in the abandoned stables of Raynor's Keep and tasked with responsibility for the security and upkeep of nearby communal latrines until the decline in relations with the Empire of Jingdao prompted the reformation of the Imperial Forces.
With the reorganisation of the Palatini Corps into eight scholae legions in the aftermath of the Oustfest Massacre the newly restored Scholae Apollonae was finally restored to a measure of honour and trust.