The imperial guards Military Formation in Imperial Soulmates | World Anvil

The imperial guards

Welcome to Imperial Soulmates! In a gigantic and futuristic fantasy empire filled with solarpunk magitechs, Hélène is hiding that she's one of the emperor's soulmates. However, to lift the legal curse on her best friend, she will have to blackmail the emperor himself... Come read about her plans, and the world in which she lives!
Introduction to the story | Hélène | Soulmates | Novel upcoming

Table of Contents

Imperial guards are not only the most elite fighters in the country but also elite politicians. Always around the emperor and his soulmates, they are at the heart of power in the empire and do not refrain from influencing it.    
Who are the guards
The imperial guards recruits 2 kinds of people:
  • the absolute best duellers in the country;
  • the son and daughters of the local elites in each region of the empire, as a mix of rewards for their family and a hostage situation to prevent them from rebelling.
  •   Recruitment: When a place in the guards opens, the emperor decides from which group the recruitment will be done and a tournament is organised between the best candidates. The tournaments are not always pure duelling matches but can also consist of tasks highlighting useful skills, such as having to protect a target, having to infiltrate a crowd... This gives the emperor and the captain of the guard ample leeway to cheat and help their favourite candidate wins, which is often essential to appease important local families.   Tensions: There is a tension between guards depending on whether they were recruited thanks to their duelling skills or political contacts, with both groups looking down on the other and trying to show they off in their respective areas of competence. The captain of the imperial guard has to watch over everyone very carefully to make sure this does not escalate and endanger their duty to the emperor and does not spill in the open and humiliate the guard.   Retirement: Once recruited, a guard will serve in general a minimum of a decade, but many do many more years. Once they retire from the guards, they will use their experience and contacts to either gain a high officer post in the army or to dominate politics in the capital or back in their own region.
  • Protect the emperor and his soulmates (even if the tournament to select an emperor ensures he is the most powerful and skilled mage in the country
  • Filter access to the emperor and his soulmates;
  • Advise the emperor and his soulmates thanks to their political savviness and contacts.

  • Where: The emperor and his soulmates each have a specific team of guards assigned, and within each team 3 guards always stay around at all time—3 being the most powerful magical number. Over time, guards and guardees become very closed and form tight bonds. The guards all reside in the imperial palace but avoid entering the imperial soulmated group's quarters. Instead, they are assigned a big quarters "nearby" since distance mean nothing inside adjustable houses.   How: Beyond following their guardees around everywhere, imperial guards have the obligation to train to maintain their skills. They also have to study reports to keep abreast of potential dangers and tension in the empire and in the palace.
    Hélène frowned as she saw the bright blue uniform of the imperial guards. And in far bigger numbers than usual.   Of course, with the emperor having been kidnapped, it made sense that they would all be ignoring usual protocol and rush to the Sannian border. Not that there presence would be all that useful, given the wards preventing crossing without bilateral authorisation.   But it was all politics; the guards could not appear to do nothing in the circumstances. The backlash from their home region had to be atrocious as it was, and they all had to be panicking about their chances of political retirement evaporating before their eyes.   At least, none of the emperor's soulmates—her own soulmates—were around. The risk of them finding out she was one of them would be too high...   Still, national crisis or not, she had to find a way to get out of the country and get to Sanne's capital and in the presence of the emperor. And that, before the Sannian decided to execute him. She would not lose her chance to blackmail him!
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    Cover image: Emperor selection tournament by AmélieIS


    Please Login in order to comment!
    Dec 8, 2023 08:58 by Annie Stein

    our girl has her priorities straight! cant lose out on that blackmail potential!

    Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
    Dec 10, 2023 19:56 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Exactly! What use is it to be the soulmate of someone famous and powerful if he goes up and die before you can even take advantage of the situation?   Thanks for the comment!

    Dec 8, 2023 15:22 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

    I like the fact there's tension between those that earnt their place and those who got hired to appease their families.

    Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
    Dec 10, 2023 19:58 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Thanks <3 I imagine things can get very tense between them, with a deep sense of unfairness/jealousy and entitlement about how easy some people had in getting in the guard and that also impact their zeal in performing their duty. Lots of potential for drama in the story!

    Jan 11, 2024 23:19 by Myth Magic

    I really enjoyed this. I like the idea that three is a special number and that they work in teams of three as guards.

    Jan 27, 2024 15:24 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Thanks <3 I figured that since numbers have actually a magical influence, people would use them in every day life regardless of whether this has an impact or not, just to be cool XD

    Jan 26, 2024 17:22 by Mikey Stevens

    I really enjoyed reading this, and now need to know even more! Like what shady games do the elite families play, and to what extent, to ensure their sons and daughters are not only best, but have less competition (like do they try to assassinate their rivals' kids? Do they marry them off as distractions?) Also, do you think the tension is because the political appointments are genuinely worse fighters, or can they hold their own but it's just that they didn't have to prove it?

    Jan 27, 2024 15:30 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Thanks! The political appointments are still good fighters, to keep up appearances a minimum, but they're not among the best within the guards. So yes, that's what's causing a lot of tension. But their superior attitude probably doesn't help XD   I didn't consider what type of plots noble families would use to get onto the guards, so thanks for bringing this up! I don't think they would go so far as to assassinate anyone, as that would be very bad taste. My empire sees itself as modern and enlightened, so they like to keep up appearances at least.   Having an in with the emperor or members of the government would be the best way to get in the guard, because both are going to want to appease powerful family to make alliances. But I also like the idea of some families being desperate to climb the social ladder and so having recourse to terrible plots against their rivals XD Flirting with rivals to distract them during the selection competition would be a classic of course!   Thanks for your comment <3

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