|“|| Rise, Red as the dawn.
The Scarlet Guard is a militant resistance group of Red rebels, who stand for the freedom and equality of all people living in Silver kingdoms, starting with Reds. It's banner is of a bronze badge, in the shape of a torn-apart sun, on a red flag.
The Guard itself originally operates as a network of undercover operatives and teams of soldiers scattered across several Silver kingdoms, however it's alliance with The Free Republic of Montfort has greatly expanded its membership to thousands of soldiers, operating with vehicles and aircraft, and allowing it to wage open war. Silver nobles consider the Guard larger than anyone anticipated, better organized and more determined than any previous insurrection.
It's leadership is known as "Command"; a group of anonymous Red generals who coordinate the Guard's activities from a classified location, as well as serving in the field on various tasks to further the Guard's objectives.
The members of the Guard are outlaws and rebels to Silver authority; the general impression Reds of Norta have of the Guard are freedom fighters, but Silver nobles consider them a terrorist group and "Red devils". Maven furthered this by using Mare to slander the Guard as genocidal revolutionaries; aiming to kill all Ardents and Silvers.
Originally the Scarlet Guard was "the pipe dream of hunters and farmers and empty soldiers" in The Lakelands, but an organisation ultimately formed to rise against the rule of Orrec Cygnet, the king of the Lakelands. Initially a "rabble", the Guard became more organized, a real threat rather than an inconvenience to Silvers.
One of the Guard's operatives was captured and, under torture, gave up the name of a small, overlooked and unimportant village where the Guard was operating. King Orrec personally raised the waters of a nearby bay; the Hud, and drowned the entire village as a show of power and end the rebellion. Among the casualties of the Drowning of the Northlands were the wife and youngest daughter of senior Guard officer Colonel Willis Farley.
Instead of ending the rebellion, Reds across the country were inflamed by King Orrec's atrocity. The Colonel told the story up and down the lakes, in countless villages and towns, and the Guard flourished.
The Guard failed in its attempt to take control of the Lakelands' capital; Detraon, as it was found to have formidable defences and the Guard lacked the intelligence and support to infiltrate it. However, the Guard succeeded with its other objective to take control of the central passages of three lakes, each one key to the inner Lakelands.
Afterwards, Captain Diana Farley, the Colonel's surviving estranged daughter, was assigned her own operation by Command to travel to the neighbouring kingdom of Norta and establish a network for intelligence gathering and operations against Norta's ruler; King Tiberias Calore VI, as well as a safe haven for Red rebels and their families.
Farley succeeded in establishing links with the Whistles and Mariners smuggling operations, and a sanctuary was formed in Naercey; a ruined city near Norta's capital; Archeon - the Silver detectors reporting lethal levels of radiation from the ruins were sabotaged by Guard operatives in Norta's tech towns to detect lethal levels of radiation from the ruins. Further, the Colonel established a mobile base for the Guard on Tuck Island.
Farley also focused on developing Nortan army contacts at its central military fortress; Corvium (at one point disobeying orders, forcing the Colonel to intervene). One of them was an officer's aide, Shade Barrow, who joins the Guard (and eventually becomes Farley's lover). During an engagement with Security forces, Shade revealed that he was a Red with a Silver-like ability to teleport - this is the Guard's first recorded encounter with an Ardent.
Farley's team begins it's campaign to overthrow Norta with bombings of several government buildings in West Archeon. A recorded video of a disguised Farley announced the Guard's existence to the kingdom publicly. While King Tiberias attempts to be dismissive and downplay the Guard's actions, his concerns drive him to subsequently make use of Mare Barrow, a newly-appointed Red servant at the Hall of the Sun and Shade's sister. Like Shade, Mare has a Silver ability to manipulate electricity, and this was discovered publicly during Queenstrial. King Tiberias has her disguised as Silver lady "Mareena Titanos" and betrothes her to his younger son Prince Maven Calore, to placate a potential Red uprising.
Farley's team later stole planes and military vehicles from Delphie. Mare, after learning of Shade's alleged execution, joins the Guard to avenge him. Maven, claiming misgivings against his father's rule, also joins the Guard.
They subsequently coordinate and perform the Sun Shooting; where 4 prominent Silvers in King Tiberias' court are targeted and shot by Farley's soldiers to disrupt his government. A bomb, secretly placed by Maven and Queen Elara Merandus, then detonated and killed 8 others and injured dozens. In the chaotic aftermath, Security and Sentinels commanded by King Tiberias's favoured elder son and heir; Prince Tiberias Calore "Cal" VII capture Farley and Guard operatives Tristan Boreeve, Ann Walsh and Mare's best friend Kilorn Warren. Tristan is killed by an outraged Ptolemus Samos, the commander of Archeon's City Security who was the only Guard target to survive and be healed, before being rendered unconscious by Mare.
King Tiberias declared the Guard a terrorist group for their actions. Farley and the others were rescued with the intervention of Mare's tutor and ally; Julian Jacos, however he subsequently has to flee Archeon during the subsequent investigation. Before leaving, Julian provides a list of hundreds of Ardents across Norta, all secretly possessing abilities and all of whom could become an army against Silvers.
Tiberias and Elara have Mare publicly announce the lowering of Norta's national conscription age, forcing thousands of underage children into service against the Lakelands. In the aftermath, Farley has Maven and Mare brought to Naercey - after providing the list to Farley, a plan is developed to take control of Norta by isolating West Archeon and capturing the king and his government. As Farley's team numbers is no match for the 5000 Silver soldiers of the Shadow Legion; Farley approves the plan at Maven's urging, with it hinging on Mare convincing Cal, the general commanding the Legion, to support the Guard, using his desire to improve living conditions for Norta's Red populace, as well as his own growing affections for her, to convince him.
The night of the raid on Archeon, Mare underestimates Cal's loyalty to his father and he commands his Legion to ambush and kill the Guardsmen. Most of Farley's team is killed, and Cal has Mare and Maven brought to the king for judgment. When Tiberias rules they be punished, it provokes Elara to turn on Tiberias - she uses her ability to telepathically restrain and control Tiberias and Cal, and Mare's ability is silenced by her loyalist, Rane Arven.
Elara and Maven had been plotting for years to kill Tiberias in revenge for Elara's loveless marriage and his apathetic view of Maven, who wished to be king in Cal's place. Maven reveals to Mare he had been secretly supporting his mother all along, and used her to infiltrate the Guard and used them to remove political enemies, discredit the Guard and ultimately end the threat they posed to his kingdom.
Elara assassinates the king by telepathically forcing Cal to behead Tiberias, and the scene is staged on hidden cameras to look like Cal genuinely murdered his father. Despite an escape attempt, Cal and Mare are arrested by the Legion. Maven becomes the new King of Norta, and tells an imprisoned Mare he will hunt down and kill every Ardent in Norta.
Mare and Cal are sent to the Bowl of Bones to be executed in a televised battle against Ptolemus, Cal's betrothed Evangeline Samos, Stralian Haven, Ryker Rhambos and Lord General Osanos - Maven publicly exposes Mare's true identity and her place as a Guard operative. After a short battle, Rane, who continues to silence Mare's ability from the sidelines, was accidentally killed, allowing Mare's ability to be unleashed and turn the tide - Stralian, Ryker and Osanos are killed, and the Samos' retreat. Before they are killed by arriving Security and soldiers at Maven's command, Farley's surviving operatives, including Shade, stage a rescue and then flee in the Undertrain to Naercey.
Arriving at the sanctuary, the team hurries to a Guard Mersive hidden under the ruins - Naercey itself had been emptied on Farley's orders, with it's refugees evacuated to Tuck after the failed raid on Archeon. King Maven and an army of Silver warriors arrived, protected by a barrier of chained Reds, with Snapdragon airjets bombing the ruins, and his army surrounding the city. Mare and Cal used their abilities to hold off the advancing Nortan military long enough to escape with the Guard. Afterwards, Maven declared Cal and Mare fugitives wanted by the Crown for terrorism, treason and murder.
Arriving at Tuck, Farley's team found the island garrisoned by the Colonel and a team of Lakelander soldiers, who are busy provisioning the Guard with supplies, equipment and weapons sent from allies in Piedmont; the Colonel himself came to Tuck in the wake of Farley's failure, aiming to sort things out - he proceeds to immediately imprison Cal, and subsequently dismisses Mare's proposal to locate and recruit Norta's Ardents, fearing it's a Silver deception and a waste of Guard resources. He also strips Farley of her command as punishment for being manipulated by Maven and the fact 26 out of her 100 soldiers survived.
When Mare tries to reach Cal's underwater cell, Kilorn apparently betrays her and she is detained with him.
The Colonel has his operatives send word to Maven that Cal was in Guard custody. Maven put forth a bargain - in exchange for his brother, who he still planned to execute, he agreed to reinstate the traditional age of conscription. While Farley, Cal and Mare knew Maven would never honour such a trade, the deal was agreed to by the Colonel as it was too good a chance to save thousands of underage Reds from the war front.
Before this can occur, Kilorn, Farley and Shade are able to stage a prison break. They then proceed to steal the Colonel's Blackrun transport and back to Norta, to continue the Guard's efforts on their own.
Effectively rogue, the group begins searching for Ardents and recruiting them into the Guard. One of the first locations visited is Harbor Bay; initially using Farley's contacts with the Mariners, they find the Mariners have turned on the Guard - King Maven, wanting Mare returned to him, had been pressuring every smuggling ring and thief company known to search for her and capture the "lightning girl" in exchange the threats and intimidation criminal gangs are suffering by the Crown will cease. They are able to survive the ambush when one of their own turns against them.
The group proceeds to the Security centre near Ocean Hill to obtain addresses and personal details of the Ardents on Julian's list. They succeed, but are almost captured. A short time later they suffer an ambush by King Maven and soldiers under Ptolemus' command, although Mare's violent reaction to a sounder device used on her allow them to escape.
Despite pursuit by Maven's forces, the group establishes a hidden countryside base; The Notch, and rescue and recruit dozens of Ardents, and begin to train them in using their abilities properly. Despite this, a number of Ardents are killed by Silver hunters, and hundreds of others disappear entirely. Other refugees are sent on to Tuck, who are then taken in by the Colonel. Despite Farley's loss of rank, Command orders the Guard to provide access and use of it's network of safe houses and informants to the group, implicitly disagreeing with the Colonel's earlier decision.
The group ultimately learns from Jon, an Ardent from outside Norta who can accurately see the future, that the missing Ardents are located at Corros Prison, along with Julian, his love interest Sara Skonos and hundreds of Silvers who oppose Maven's rule. After a reluctant Cameron Cole provides details of the prison's layout, Mare and Cal and a team of Ardents infiltrated and attacked the prison. At the end, hundreds of Silvers and Ardents escape to captured military transports, but dozens of others are killed, including Shade who is fatally stabbed by Ptolemus - Mare's explosive reaction to this kills Queen Elara.
Returning with Elara's corpse to Tuck, Mare has her body presented to the Colonel, who agrees with Mare's plan to publicly announce the death of the queen, Maven's imprisonment of his fellow Silvers, and the existence of Ardents to Norta's populace on video. The rescued Silvers are granted asylum on the island, Farley is reinstated, Julian becomes an adviser to the Colonel and Sara becomes a Guard healer.
Mare and Cal and a team journeyed to The Choke to intercept and liberate the Dagger Legion (a legion of underage and poorly trained soldiers who are essentially being sent to certain death by King Maven), with the intention of marching on Archeon with the Colonel's forces in the Lakelands. However, Maven is tipped off by Jon to their route and stages a successful ambush; Snapdragon fighters shoot them down. Completely at his mercy and facing certain execution, Mare surrenders to Maven and offers her life and return to his captivity in exchange her friends would be spared. Agreeing to the deal, a chained and humbled Mare is brought to Archeon.
Tuck Island is immediately evacuated on the Colonel's orders, and the Guard forces on the island move to Irabelle in the Lakelands; using the facility as its new mobile base. The Silver refugees separate from them and are released onto Norta's coast.
In the months following Mare's capture, Montfort increases it's involvement with the Guard; providing funding, supplies and other resources to support it's infiltration of Corvium; whose garrison begins to rebel against their Silver officers.
Cal's standing and involvement with the Guard increases - Montfort and Command want him with the rebel army "at almost any cost", and wish to use him as a "poster boy" like Mare; with Mare in Maven's custody, Cal becomes the Guard's most well known and legitimate operative. Despite his reluctance to engage his own people, Cal gradually comes to take a leadership role against Maven and his loyalists and commands the successful takeover of Corvium.
The Guard uses the capture of the fortress city as an official declaration of war against Norta. Montfort increases it's involvement in the Guard's organization and insurrection against Maven's rule - previously Montfort and the Guard did not communicate openly and did not share operations. After Maven's alliance with the Lakelands against the Guard, Montfort made its own alliance with Guard public, and started supplying soldiers as well as equipment and weapons.
Wanting to rescue Mare from captivity, Montfort and Guard forces, commanded by Cal, stage a raid on Archeon during Maven's wedding to Princess Iris Cygnet. Mare and other forcibly conscripted Ardents are rescued, and a large amount of the Nortan Treasury is also raided to finance the war effort. Afterwards, the Guard's forces at Irabelle and other locations move to Piedmont's Lowcountry, occupying a Piedmont royal fleet base under Montfort's control.
Premier Davidson personally comes to the base along with six of his generals, and attends Mare's debriefing; making a point of trust, he enters with Julian, recognizing him as a smart man for his discovery of Ardents in Norta, and later has his generals be very accommodating where he is concerned; giving him access to the base archives, a laboratory, and all the time he wants to continue his Ardent studies.
As explained by a gracious and respectful Davidson, Montfort concentrated their efforts on Piedmont due to its precarious structure - they were able to make the current High Prince of Piedmont; Bracken, work for Montfort and the Guard's interests and cede the base - the grandest of the three military fortresses in his possession - to their personal use after his children, Prince Michael and Princess Charlotta were kidnapped to ensure his cooperation. While Davidson personally hated such tactics, he supported them as doing so gave Montfort and the Guard control of coastal Piedmont and all of it's resources against Maven.
When House Samos rebels against Maven, declares independence from Norta and forms its own Kingdom of the Rift, Montfort and Command maintain channels of communication with a begrudging King Volo Samos; initially King Volo wishes to unite the other rebelling High Houses against Maven to expand the Rift's territory in Norta, but is instead convinced by Cal's grandmother, Queen Anabel Lerolan, to support Cal instead as Norta's rightful king. Anabel was also in contact with Montfort and Command, and found them eager to ally themselves with Cal as a Silver king, and would support a war of restoration of Norta in the name of Tiberias VII, allied with Royal Silvers from Norta led by Queen Anabel and the Rift by King Volo. In return, Volo would keep rulership of the Rift and House Samos would retain it's independence after Maven is removed.
The first battle of the new alliance takes place at Corvium, against Maven's counterattack. The battle is won, Maven and the Lakelander forces are routed and King Orrec is killed.
The alliance leadership meets in Corvium's administrative tower. Lord Salin Iral is dismissed from his position in disgrace by King Volo, as punishment for failing to kill Maven, and instead killing King Orrec without his permission, an act which Volo fears will invite brutal retaliation from the ruling queen of the Lakelands.
The alliance almost breaks apart when Evangeline provokes Farley's anger and causes different members of their groups to argue heatedly. However, Cal intervenes and gives an impressive speech, uniting them to change the existing social order between Reds and Silvers in Norta, and defeat his psychotic brother. Davidson then personally addresses King Volo, thanking him for his aid in the defense of Corvium, and has him publicly confirm they are allied in a common cause against Maven and ending mistreatment of Reds.
When Anabel and Volo publicly reveal their intentions to restore Cal to Norta's throne, Davidson publicly pledges Montfort to back the instalment of Cal as it's king. The alliance between the Rift and Cal would then be solidified by his marriage to Evangeline; Cal reluctantly agrees to the terms. Anabel declares Cal as the new King of Norta; King Tiberias VII.
After the meeting, Davidson confirms with Mare that Cal's instalment is part of his policy to "divide and conquer" - Montfort and the Scarlet Guard would never truly support a Silver king; not without other motives in play. Montfort has it's own plan in motion and Mare suspects they will allow the Silvers of the Rift, Norta and the Lakelands to kill each other.
- Code Name: Drummer
- Code Name: Crimson
- Code Name: Palace
- Code Name: Horizon
- Code Name: Southern
- Code Name: Sentry
- Code Name: Swan
- Diana Farley/Code Name: Lamb
- Townsend (deceased)
- Colonel Willis Farley, aka "The Colonel"/Code Name: Ram
- Captain R. Indy/Code Name: Holiday (deceased)
- Captain Saraline/Code Name: Mercy (WIA)
- Ada Wallace
- Code Name: Whipper
- Code Name: Optic
- D. Ferron (deceased)
- T. Mills (deceased)
- M. Percher (deceased)
- Code Name: Swifty
- Code Name: Wishbone
- N. Cawrall (deceased)
- T. Trealler (deceased)
- E. Keyne (deceased)
- Tristan Boreeve/Code Name: Bones (deceased)
- Cara Elson (deceased)
- G. Tye (deceased)
- Rasha Binli
- W. Tarry (deceased)
- R. Shore (deceased)
- H. “Big Coop” Cooper (deceased)
- Cristobel Martenson
- "Little Coop" Cooper
- Officer's Aide Shade Barrow/Code Name: Shadow (deceased)
- Corporal Eastree
- Will Whistle
- Ann Walsh/Code Name: Maiden (deceased)
- Holland/Code Name: Steward
- Mare Barrow, aka "Lightning Girl/Red Queen"/Code Name: Lightning
- Kilorn Warren
- Prince/King Maven Calore (formerly; double-agent)
- Prince/King Tiberias Calore "Cal" VII (unwilling)
- Bree Barrow
- Tramy Barrow
- Nix Marsten (deceased)
- Nanny (deceased)
- Ketha (deceased)
- Ellie Whistle
- Gareth Baument (deceased)
- Cameron Cole
- Clara Farley I (deceased)
- Madeleine Farley (deceased)
- Daniel Barrow
- Ruth Barrow
- Gisa Barrow
- Luther Carver
- Morrey Cole
- Clara Farley II
- Jon (loyalty uncertain)
- Lord Julian Jacos
- Sara Skonos
- Queen Anabel Lerolan
- Lord Jerald Haven
- Elane Haven
- Mariella Haven (deceased)
- Lady Ara Iral, aka "The Panther" (deceased)
- Lord Salin Iral (stripped of position)
- Sonya Iral
- Lord General Laris
- Oliver Laris
- Premier Dane Davidson
- General Torkins
- General Salida
- General Akkadi