DescriptionThe Voidguard, protectors of the new world. It was founded by Marisha Veilbreaker’s closest friend, the Tiefling Shadar Khuravi, just a few weeks after Ashandri’s creation. Shadar recognized the dangers of an unknown new dimension, and invested a lot of his personal wealth into organizing armed troops to protect their new home. In an extremely short time, the efficient tiefling created a military force with several thousand members - and himself as the leader. The organization views itself as both the personal army of Marisha Veilbreaker, and defenders of Ashandri as a whole. But the fact they do not report to the champion directly gives the Voidguard more flexibility. Opposite to Marisha, the Voidguard cares a lot for politics, and if they can fight evil while protecting the world, then why not? When the legions of Va’Laeth attacked Ashandri for the first time, it was the Voidguard fighting the very first battles. The newly founded army was, of course, outmatched, both in numbers and training. But they were still able to help many people survive. As the Ashandrians were driven back more and more, the Voidguard kept growing - despite all losses. Many people wanted to join the fight against the Ravager Elves and their allies, and became soldiers of the young organization. When the Laethian forces were finally defeated, the Voidguard were celebrated as heroes throughout the entire world. This, of course, led to another surge in numbers. Today, Shadar’s army is the strongest military force in the world, with fortresses and outposts all over the world.
GoalsThe Voidguard’s main objectives are to protect the world of Ashandri and its champion, Marisha Veilbreaker, against any and all threats - whether from inside the world or from the outside. But to them, this task is not only limited to pure survival. They want a world that’s worth living in. Voidguard troops patrol border regions, ready to interfere if any kind of conflict comes up. There’s a legion in Shamrua trying to bring down the Horde, and smaller groups take on villains of any kind. The organization’s leaders also take part in many political negotiations, trying to keep the peace and bring as much freedom and prosperity as possible to all inhabitants of the world. The Voidguard is often criticized for being too political for a group that’s supposed to only defend the world. But to them, protecting and helping those who can’t do it themselves is part of the job.
Rules and LawsEvery Voidguard soldier knows the first three laws of their organization by heart: Protect the world of Ashandri. Protect the champion of the world. Protect the innocents. While this is the core of it all, actual Voidguard law books are pretty complex. Their rules are either necessary to support the first three laws, or they are important to keep the military organization efficient and harmonious. Many of the laws are common sense for most people, like not being allowed to steal from other Voidguard members (or anyone else that’s not considered an enemy). But the law books also detail how members are dealt with when they break the rules, as well as if and how they can redeem themselves. With so many different races and cultures working together, the seemingly excessive laws have shown to be important over and over again. Aside from these rules, the law books also detail the ranks within the organization, how equipment is handled, and so on. Despite the complexity, all this has ensured the Voidguard stays highly efficient.
Organization structureThe Voidguard have a strict hierarchy, divided into three branches. Each branch incorporates all ranks, with only the generals being allowed to give commands to lower-ranking members of a different branch. The first branch is that of the Troops - the typical soldiers, ranging from sword-wielding warriors to spellcasters and clerics. The troops are the ones on the front lines, fighting the big battles. The second division is called the Operatives. These are small groups of agents sent out to accomplish specific missions, like finding an enemy agent or killing a specific monstrous creature. There’s a subsection of this branch called the Infiltrators - or, as most members simply call them, the organization’s spies. The smallest division of the group is that of the Kindred. They are soldiers who have powerful creatures as mounts and companions: Dragons, gargantuan sharks and the like. This branch has only about a hundred humanoid members, but with the power of their “kindred spirits”, as the mounts are called, they are still a formidable force. A single Kindred and their companion can usually take out an entire enemy legion all by themselves. Creatures that are sentient are usually official members of the Voidguard, and in some cases have higher ranks than their riders.
RelationshipsThe Voidguard’s closest ally is, of course, Marisha Veilbreaker herself. The soldiers support the champion wherever they can, and regularly take on missions from the Halfling. When Marisha Veilbreaker calls, the Voidguard comes. The organization is almost as close with the Chainguards. The protectors of the World-Chains don’t always share the moral views of the Voidguard, but so far, all problematic situations could be solved peacefully. They work together closely and on a regular basis, especially during missions and patrols on the World-Chains. The ffrds often send chainwalkers to support the Voidguard, making them invaluable allies. The Voidguard sees The Holy Purge as dire adversaries, a villainous organization that needs to be destroyed. The Purge still seeks to kill Shadar Khuravi, the Voidguard’s leader. As there have been several assassination attempts in the last years, taking down this enemy organization is one of the most important missions for the Voidguard. The Arcanists are the Voidguard’s most powerful allies. They helped Marisha Veilbreaker kill the first Perishing, provide the army with information and magic, and members of the two groups often go on missions together. The Voidguard are still a bit skeptical, as the Arcanists are sometimes a bit too passionate about acquiring knowledge. Despite their differences, they are important allies, and there's probably not a single force in Ashandri matching their combined power.
Important locationsEven though it doesn’t belong to them, The Void Fortress is something like a secondary headquarter of the organization. A stronghold about ten miles south of it was their original central command, as they called it. But the place was burned down by the Ravager Elves during the first invasion. They tried to rebuild it, but powerful agents from Va’Laeth kept attacking them. Ever since then, the Voidguard’s headquarters shift every few months. Any of the larger fortifications they own can be turned into the new central command within days. The army’s leaders use teleportation magic to get to their next destination. This strategy has not only prevented further attacks from Laethian agents, it also ensures that the leadership stays in touch even with far-out bases of the Voidguard. The Dire Cage is a location in the Ember Wastelands. Few people know its exact position, but it’s rumoured to be close to the city of Heartforge. Of course, it’s entirely possible the Voidguard themselves have spread this rumour to mislead their enemies. The Cage is an underground prison protected from divination (and many other types of) magic, holding some of the organization’s most dangerous prisoners. It’s said the Voidguard has imprisoned several liches here, and even some powerful demons and devils. According to leadership, it’s impossible to break out of the Dire Cage. The local residents can only hope that they’re right.
Important membersShadar Khuravi is not only the founder of the Voidguard. The tiefling was part of the adventuring group of Marisha Veilbreaker that tried to stop the apocalypse. The third companion of the group, the Human wizard Charryn, was killed by Zathruax. Shadar is considered to be a genius, both sorcerer and capable warrior, as well as strategic mastermind. He’s also very down to earth, and is often seen talking with common soldiers or even joining their training - if his limited time allows it. Syorinne Deepheart is a Slumberpool Halfling that decided to travel the new world after Ashandri’s creation. She ended up in the Ocean Heart, where she encountered Vaathos - a unique, shark-like creature more than a hundred yards long, and highly intelligent. The two first became friends, and then companions. As they roamed the ocean, they witnessed a fleet under control of Ravager Elves battling a Voidguard fleet. Syorinne quickly understood what was happening, and she and Vaathos destroyed the ships of the Laethian forces. The next day, she became a member of the Voidguard. In the following years, the halfling has risen to the rank of general, and often supports the army’s marine forces. Zai is a Carapace Gnome who managed to extend the mechanical and arcane elements of his body. Some call him the “living artifact”, and he’s among the most infamous spies working for the Voidguard. It’s said he can break into every location and hide in any surrounding. Rumours are he even ventured into the world of Va’Laeth undetected, gathering information for future missions. Aside from his direct superiors, nobody knows what he looks like or how to contact him. Most people also think that Zai is not his real name - and some even believe the gnome is nothing but a myth, invented to scare the enemies of the Voidguard.
Rumours and news
- General Berisha of the Operatives division keeps organizing expeditions into Delvaroth’s subterranean world. The Shadowblood Half-Elf is looking for a hidden Shadowblood city, searching for what she calls “a key to find Laethian agents in Ashandri”. If she's right - and successful -, this could be extremely valuable for the Voidguard (and most of Ashandri).
- The Voidguard are working together with the Chainguards to bring down a criminal organization called the Blemished Hearts. The group is considered to be extremely ruthless, responsible not only for countless murders and robberies, but also for several mining operations on the World-Chains. It’s little surprise that they are located in Hag’s Rest. For some reason, their leaders are convinced that Marisha Veilbreaker didn’t save the world, but was actually responsible for its destruction. The Blemished Hearts want to “break free” of her “tyranny”, but many believe this is just an excuse for their vile acts. There are even rumours of fiendish creatures in the higher ranks of the criminal organization.
The Chainguards and the Voidguard are strong allies. Individual members might have differences, but the organizations regularly work together. Voidguard patrols on the chains are often accompanied by Chainwalkers, and if the Chainguard needs backup, the Voidguard are ready to help.
The Voidguard and the Arcanists have been allies from the start. But as the Voidguard completely focusses on the defense of Ashandri, the Arcanists also seek knowledge and power for its own sake. In some cases, this has led to conflicts between the two organizations. So far, when this happened, they managed to "agree to disagree". But the different priorities of the two groups might lead to problems in the future.
The two groups oppose each other. But while the Voidguard clearly sees the Hole Purge as enemies, the Purge considers the Voidguard to have great potential - if only they weren't infiltrated by "tainted" people.
The members of the Shadow Sanctuary are fully aware of the important role the Voidguard plays in Ashandri. But aside from the desire to protect their home world, the two organizations have little in common. Conflicts between the two come up whenever they have the same goal, for example the retrieval of an artifact. Diplomacy rarely works between the two, and everyone just tries to beat the rival to the goal.