Exemplars of the Vigilant Stride Military Formation in Aerith | World Anvil
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Exemplars of the Vigilant Stride

The Exemplars of the Vigilant Stride are a pro-active, heavily-funded fighting force, dedicated to eradicating evil, not just within the walls of Essillion, but in the wide world. They are known to travel far and wide, searching for evil to defeat. The members of this order seek glory, not for its own sake but to help rid the world of threatening and dangerous things. Glorious deeds just serve to highlight the efforts of its members, with a hope to spur others on to great things.



There are less than 200 members of the Exemplars, but that number sometimes dips and swells, depending on the success and failure of their members.


Members of the Vigilant Stride, along with their counterparts in the Watchful Eye are heavily supported monetarily by Essillion’s coffers. In addition to the funds they receive to keep the Exemplar’s Lodge maintained and in good repair, they also receive weapons, armour, steeds, and stipends for their journeys. The support of the king is also extremely helpful to the members of the Vigilant Stride as he was once a member in his youth. He still travels with them on his annual pilgrimage, as well as some various times throughout the year. The king has a close relationship with Justin Whitearm, which benefits the order often.   Exemplars are free to use whichever weapons and armour they choose, but the majority of them use chainmail, shield, and sword.  More elaborate and protective armour is sought after but not at the expense of effectiveness.


Field Marshals, Lieutenant Generals, and Field Commanders all have the use of battle steeds, while the majority of the Knights go on foot, unless required in the carrying out of their duties.


Field Marshal: The Field Marshal is the highest rank and the head of the Exemplars of the Vigilant Stride in Essillion. Historically this position works closely with the Lord Protector of the Guardian of the Watchful Eye, but lately these two positions have some strained relations. The current Field Marshal is Justin Whitearm, a proud man and friend of the king. He is doing very little to curb the division between the two organizations of Curceon’s church, and many of the younger members follow his lead.   Lieutenant General: Direct ranks under the Field Marshal, there are three Lieutenant Generals in Essillion. Across the continent there are a total of seven, with one in each corner of the land. Those outside of Essillion oversee a large area, but their numbers are fewer than those in Essillion. One can find a Lieutenant General in Stonebridge.   Field Commander/Commander: This rank is held by those who lead smaller forces, and many don’t command the same units every time. Those who command their own specific units consistently take the title of Field Commander, but it does not technically hold a higher rank. There is greater glory though in the title of Field Commander, and most Commanders seek to be named Field Commander eventually.   Knight Exemplar: The majority of the Vigilant Stride are Knight Exemplars. The major fighting force of the order seeks to quest, fight for justice, or glory, or root out evil. Any warrior accepted into the order must be knighted before taking this rank.



There are many not included in the 200 members that assist in the running of the Exemplars.  These include weaponsmiths, armourers, stablers, groomsmen, tailors, cooks, and all manner of workers.  The knights of Essillion put great value in the behind the scenes work of these people that allow them to go out and fight the greater evils in the world.


In order to qualify to become an Exemplar of the Vigilant Stride, a candidate must be a devout worshiper of Curceon, have gone through the standard military training of becoming a knight of Essillion, and undergo years of being a squire under an existing Exemplar.  Most do not qualify, and the standards are very high, but those select few who succeed make a name for themselves in the outside world, and within the walls of Essillion are afforded great respect.


The story of Erik and Arven is a very popular story told in Essillion, and throughout Lutien's Vale, even as far north as the Northguard Plains. At its heart, it tells of the nobility and loyalty of family, the sacred adherence to duty, and the perseverance to prevail.   Two brothers of Essillion, orphans at an early age, held true to their noble beliefs, even in the midst of hardship and danger. They stuck with each other, and their newfound lord Curceon, being made squires under the new god. One fateful day they were separated with disparate, but equally important tasks, and Erik was chosen to stay behind and guard Essillion, and most importantly, Curceon’s wife Pristell. Arven, was chosen to accompany their lord to fight the evil sorcerer Findel.   Through hardship, endurance, and force of will, the two brothers were victorious in their appointed tasks, and were reunited back in Essillion. They vowed to stay true to their calling, and were declared the head of two new arms of Curceon’s faith; The Guardians of the Watchful Eye, and The Exemplars of the Vigilant Stride. Pledging to support, rely, and cherish each other, these two organizations would empower and embolden Curceon’s faith, and the protection of Essillion from within or without.   It is now a long time removed from that pledge, and the leadership of Arven. While the two orders remain civil, a schism has started to form, and the brotherhood and friendship has turned from friendly rivalry to light skepticism and contention. The Exemplars continue to go abroad, righting wrongs and fighting those who oppose nobility and honour.

Historical loyalties

Ultimately the Exemplars are loyal to Curceon above all else, and Essillion second.  They have a great love and respect for their founder Arven, and that loyalty mostly extends to the Field Marshall in charge of the order.  While there have been some Field Marshalls that did not engender true love and loyalty, for the most part those that have risen to the rank of Field Marshall have deserved it and have proven themselves to the order and the knights that serve under them.
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Dec 19, 2023 14:22 by Marc Zipper

Cool unit and very interesting history

Let's have fun creating the impossible, building new worlds, and all types of possibilities. Valcin
Jan 24, 2024 19:37

Thanks so much. They are one of my favourites in the world my son and I have created. Glad you like them.