The Adjarii - Wardens of the Prophets
"The Adjarii Guard, Wardens of the Prophets, those that have sworn their lives and the lives of their progeny to the sole purpose of protecting their ruler. Now, until the end of their days."
The Wardens of the Prophets, also locally known as the Adjarii, are a noble class of elite guards tasked with protecting the ruling family of Baïzair. This group has been protecting the ruling families of Baïzair for countless generations, ever since the territories united and came together under one banner. The Adjarii are comprised of two families, the Del'jo and Kur'da, these two families have protected rulers and their kin since the inception of the Adjarii guard. The Del'jo and Kur'da have an even longer history both as rivals and as contemporaries. The two families battled against each other for supremacy for a hundred years, fighting back and forth to prove just to prove who was strongest amongst them. Until one day they suddenly found themselves with a common goal in which they could unite together to fight for. Legend says that the first ruler of Baïzair convinced the two families to unit and to fight alongside him and unite the impoverished and warring territories. And for the first time, these two rival families agreed and fought side by side under the banner of the future king of Baïzair. And when the war was won and Baïzair was united, the Del'jo and the Kur'da pledged their eternal allegiance to their new ruler. The ruler believed in the strength and honour of the Del'jo and Kur'da families and asked them to swear that from then until the end of their times that their two families would work together to protect the ruling families no matter the cost. They agreed, and since then have done exactly that. Through the next few generations, they would become known as The Adjarii Guard, Wardens of the Prophets. The Adjarii have now guarded the royals for generations, with the Del'jo and Kur'da family lines still working tirelessly to protect their charges. Despite their unification, the rivalry between the Kur'da and the Del'jo rages on to this day, with each family trying to impress their charges and be deemed the best.
The sole duty of the Adjarii is to protect the noble that they have been assigned to. The Adjarii follow their charge everywhere they go, they look after them while they are out, they test their food before they eat, they guard their room whilst they sleep, and much more. Depending on the current political or economic climate this can be a rather simple, mundane and stress-free duty. But, the Adjarii are trained to spot danger, and at the slightest hint of a threat, they will intervene and reduce the threat to nothingness. Often, this does not occur, as most know well enough to stay away. But, during times of turmoil, war, and upheaval, the Adjarii's training is truly put to the test. As they will put their lives on the line to protect their charges no matter the cost. The Adjarii are the Wardens of the Prophets, protectors of the ruling family of Bazair, including the king himself. Each royal family member is assigned two Adjarii, these two guards will protect and serve them until they die or until their service has ended, as the Adjarii only serves for as long as they are in peak physical condition. With most Adjarii 'retiring' in their early forties to teach the younger generation of Adjarii. When an Adjarii retires from their role as an active guard, they are immediately replaced with a younger replacement, who will serve the same noble just the same as their predecessor. The only time the Adjarii guard can cease their protection of the ruling family is if the ruling family is overthrown with a new ruler, and a new ruling family, stepping into their place. This is a rare occurrence, despite the throne being constantly fought over it rarely changes hands, due in part to the efficiency of the Adjarii. But, if the ruling family does fall, any Adjarii who currently have a charge must take one of two options. Be exiled, along with their charge, being stripped of the status of the Adjarii, and being labelled as Da'kair - Dishonoured One. Or, leave their charges and submit themselves to the new Adjarii guard being assembled for the new ruling family. After giving themselves up the former Adjarii are given honoured last rites by their Adjarii family and slain one by one. A brutal act, but one seen as honourable by most of the Adjarii guard as the slain Adjarii did not break their oath by harming their former charges, nor did they insult or disobey their new ruler.
Very few may call themselves Adjarii, as only those guards that are active in their roles as wardens and protectors of the royal family may adopt the title. All those that are still in training or have retired from service cannot call themselves Adjarii. Those that work to become or support the Adjarii in their duty have their own titles and responsibilities. The Adjarii, are Wardens of The Prophets and are tasked with the protection of their charge at all times. This title comes with a great deal of respect and is a high honour, but it comes with a heavy burden. There are usually less than fifty active Adjarii guards at any point, as they only protect the royal family members and the ruler of Baïzair himself. As such, it is a coveted position that is highly sought after once one becomes available. The I'jib, are the initiatives, the trainees that work for a lifetime for an opportunity at becoming Adjarii and being granted the privilege of serving. The I'jib are taught from a young age to respect their elders, and that they must follow the command of their superiors and any active royal they may come into contact with. They must work tirelessly to earn the respect of their peers and their teachers if they have any chance at becoming Adjarii. The Sabilia, are the educators of the I'jib, former Adjarii that are granted leave from service after their bodies have weakened from age. They are tasked with teaching the young, raising them into capable and intelligent warriors and tacticians. The Sabilia are greatly respected as they bring their years of knowledge from service as Adjarii to the new generation of warriors. The Hak'ji, elders from the two families, former Adjarii and Sabilia, this is a rare title given only to those who are personally requested by the ruler to act as advisors to members of the royal family. They often work alongside the Adjarii and their charge to guide them through difficult and tense times.
Before they step into their roles as wardens they are called I'jib, initiates and trainees working under the Sabilia to learn the ways of the Adjarii. They are trained from the time they turn six and are taught a vast wealth of knowledge and combat abilities. The Adjarii believe that a strong mind and spirit is just as important as a strong body, and are taught how to read and write in various languages, as well as teachings on philosophy, meditation, religion, politics, and magic. This works side by side with an often gruelling regimen of strength and combat training. The I'jib are trained until the age of 18, at which point they may become eligible for service as an Adjarii, though they will likely still have to wait years for an opportunity. The only time an I'jib may get a chance at becoming an Adjarii is when an active guard retires from their service when this happens all I'jib of eligible age will compete in a lengthy competition to decide who will take over the position. If multiple new Adjarii are required then separate competitions will be held for each open position, with the winner of each being granted the title of Adjarii.
Eternal RivalsThis Kur'da and Del'jo families have made up the roster of Adjarii since its formations. Despite having worked together to project the royals for generations they are eternal rivals that are constantly trying to one-up each other. This battle for supremacy has passed down through the generations, with each new crop of warriors continuing the fuel the flames of competition. Tensions have always run deep despite the long-lasting partnership, but both sides are patient enough to keep the peace as long as they have a common goal.
RetiredThe Adjarii are forced to retire when their bodies begin to slow and weaken, this usually occurs retire sometime in their early to mid-forties. A healthy Adjarii guard could likely serve much longer, but to ensure the protection of the royal family, Adjarii are required to be in peak physical condition at all times so at the first signs of diminished strength they are replaced with a younger guard.