The Blackguard are an dwarven guard force based in Starrengeld Hall. Dwarves chose from a young age if they wish to become a member of the Blackguard, however, admission is not a given. Members of the Blackguard are distinguished by their special armor. They wear black platemail, made by master smiths of the city. This armor is unique in that it isn't reflective and instead seems to absorb light, making it harder to see in darkness. This armor is also lighter than standard platemail, making it ideal for wearing over long periods of time. A dwarf must decide if they wish to join the Blackguard by the age of 35. At this point, they begin their training, which takes another 10 years of combat and survival training. The first few years are spent with fairly standard weapons training. Following this, a trainee must spend time learning how to survive out in the wild. All of this is done with members already within the Blackguard, usually on an individual basis. After their first 5 years of training, the trainee moves on to their next stage. They are sent off on their own for another 5 years. They are expected to travel the continent, doing good where possible and seeking to further their training and studies. Once their 5 years on their own are finished, they can return to Starrengeld Hall, where they will demonstrate everything they have learned throughout the entirety of their training. The final assessment for joining the Blackguard is a survival test in the mines beneath Starrengeld Hall. The trainee must venture into the cave system, alone, and survive for one month. If they come back alive, they are now a fledgling member of the Blackguard and can join their ranks in the barracks.