A man in uniform can be quite appealing, especially when it's that of the Gartian. It's something about those feathers that get mine all ruffled.Gartians (Gar-Tee-An) are the hired guardsmen of cities outfitted and salaried by private entities be it noble house or merchant enterprise. They are easily identifiable by their famous feathered helms and ornate cloaks emblazoned with the mark of the beneficiary. Being a member of the Gartian is considered a great privilege and as such candidates are chosen carefully as to not reflect badly on the sponsor. Additionally all members of a city's Gartian are required to sign a Tyenic Contract to ensure that they both serve the city and their sponsor as per the tradition of the role.
It should be noted however that Gartians do not work alone in the city instead they work alongside the state funded guards, with the Gartians focusing on internal issues between businesses and the protection of said businesses while the Guards Imortin focus on maintaining peace and handling criminals the Gartian apprehend.
To become a Gartian one must do two things and two things only. Firstly a sponsor must be found who is not only willing to have you represent them in the local Gartian, but will also be able to finance your salary and equipment. Secondly you must sign a Tyenic Contract which binds you to serving both your sponsor and your local city, with stipulations that if your sponsor becomes antagonistic to the will of the city that you allegiance be with the city.
Certain sponsors have their own requirements in order for an individual to be considered for a position among their personal Gartians. For example the Noble house of Warwood requires all their Gartian applicant to have served time with a knightly order for a period of at least 5 years on top of not having had any stains on their legal history. While the South Straits trading company requires all of its Gartians to have served on a seafaring vessel for at least 2 years and have completed the trans Alvania route at least once.
AppointmentOriginally a Gartian would simply be given their equipment after signing the Tyenic Contract. However over the years the ceremony for individual sponsors became more elaborate with, the ceremony itself reflecting the supposed quality of the Gartian and thus the prestige and power of their sponsor.
Noble RitualCommon amongst the noble sponsors is the ritual of Cowling. In this ritual the prospective Gartian is striped down and made to bath in a bath filled with a mixture of holy water, incense and in some cases gold flakes. This is meant to cleanse the body of the Gartian before they receive their iconic equipment. The Gartian is then wrapped in silks and blessed by a cleric of Tyen, along with any other cleric the sponsor desires. Finally the Gartian will equip their full gear and to finish off the ritual a small ceremonial blade is used to cut the hand of both the sponsor and Gartian and then the blood from these wounds are soaked into the silk that was around the Garitan's head during the earlier part of the ritual.
Merchant RitualMuch less decadent than the nobles the merchants often present their Gartian with a number of items in which to tie them closer to the organisation that sponsor them. Along with this there is often a celebration held to congratulate the new batch of Gartians who have been sworn in by the sponsor. Often these parties will be grand as to show of the wealth of the company not only in being able to sponsor a number of Gartians but also being able to shower said Gartians with festivities.
Removal or DissmissalSomeone can stop being a Gartian under 3 conditions: abandonment, expulsion or retirement
Abandonmentif a sponsor cannot afford their Gartian anymore they can abandon them, effectively ending the Gartians employment. However this reflects poorly on the sponsor, and has dramatic effect on their social standing.
ExpulsionIf a Gartian is seen to break his contract in anyway then the magics of said contract will brand him for life, at this point he will be stripped of his title and the benefits that came with it. On top of this a Gartian is likely to be exiled from the city for the disgrace he caused. In some cases a Gartian will be executed by their sponsor before this happens in order to save face.
RetirementA Gartian can willingly end his service as a Gartian, this is often done when one reaches old age or decides to spend more time with their family. While a sponsor has to agree to a retirement they are not obligated to support the Gartian anymore. However is the Gartian was loyal and served the sponsor well it is convention for the sponsor to continue paying the retired Gartian, if at a reduced rate.
Becoming a Gartian gives an individual a number of benefits. Primarily is the social and economic benefits that the role gives. Gartians are incredibly well paid and will have most of their basic needs paid for by their sponsor, this is due to the social benefit a sponsor gets from being able to show that they are able to afford the costs associated with Gartians. On top of the pay a Gartian receives they are also seen very favourably by locals due to their glamour and good manners. For many Gartians they will be tended to first when going to taverns or shop, or will receive discounts from shopkeepers. Gartians who have particularly noted histories are comparable to minor nobles in their own right, getting all the benefits and responsibilities that come with it.
Another notable benefit of being a Gartian is that they are the only individuals allowed to be fully geared within a cities walls, for other citizens this is not allowed with the exception of nobles who are allowed to carry around a small weapon in order to protect themselves. This means Gartians if forced into conflict will often have a great advantage against their opponent.
A Gartians primary job is to protect the interests of his sponsor, with the local government coming second unless of course these two entities were to come into conflict in which case the Gartian would be forced to side against their sponsor as per the Tyenic Contracts conditions. A Gartian will often be seen guarding the property of their Sponsor along with acting as representatives for said sponsor accompanying them to events as to help increase the sponsors social standing. Along with these more mundane tasks Gartians are also used to settle disputes between different sponsors, be it through negotiation or in rare cases duels of honour.
Gartians may also pick up additional responsibilities as well depending on the needs of their sponsor. For example, merchant Gertians may end up working books for their sponsor if they show an aptitude for it, while another may be asked to captain a ship if his previous experience warrants it. As for noble Gartians it is known that they are used as messengers, tutors, and even in some cases advisors.
All Gartian are given a basic set of equipment with some of being purchased from the local government's suppliers while others need to be supplied directly by the sponsor. On top of this an sponsor may give their Gartian additional equipment to help them perform a specific role more easily or in some cases to further increase the glamour of the Gartian to increase the sponsor's social standing.
Standard EquipmentAll Gartians are given three pieces of equipment by default. These are: their helmet, Cloak and side arm all of which hold some cultural significance to the position and help to identify an individual as a Gartian
HelmThe helmet of a Gartian is a simple brass helmet which covers most of the head with additional coverage for the ears. What makes the helmet noteable is the 4 feathers on each side of the helmet. These feather are made of silver and gold alloys and resemble peacock feather hence the nickname often given to Gartians. These helmets are produced solely in Grey Harbour and must be purchased by the sponsor for their Gartian.
CloakA Gartian's cloak is provided by the sponsor alone and as such vary from sponsor to sponsor. Often times the cloak is made of furs for colder regions and silks and other fabrics in warmer ones. The cloak is designed to show of not only who the sponsor of the given Gartian is but also their wealth. With more elaborate cloaks being reserved for only the Gartians of the wealthiest sponsors.
Side armGartians are also given a large dagger which is engraved with the the symbol of the city they were sworn to along with the symbol of Tyen and their sponsor. This dagger is to be carried at all times and represents the connection between the Gartian, their sponsor and the city they are meant to serve.
Other equipmentAll other equipment is provided by the sponsor, this includes armour, additional weapons and any other trinkets the sponsor desires the Gartian to have. You can often tell the particular role of a Gartian by the additional equipment they possess. Those gartians used to show the sponsor's wealth will be given fine clothes to wear while those given guard duty will be given heavy armour and polearms. A given Gartian will be expected to dress and equip anything their sponsor gives them.
DutiesOne of the most important duties of a Gartian is to ensure they act in a way as to not decrease the social standing of their sponsor. This means behaving properly in public area, ensuring that they do not act out of place in formal settings and that they appearance does not appear lacking. Due to the nature of a Gartians cloak having their sponsor enblazened on it mean if a Gartian is seen to be acting improper it reflects on their sponsor.
HistoryThe Gartians were first formed when the city of Gulmire created its Charters of Privileges. Which outlined what the various different entities within the city state would be able to do. Importantly the Noble Charter gave individuals the right the sponsor additional guards to protect their interest as long as said interests did not conflict with the interest of the local government. This worked well for both parties as nobles and merchants could hire loyal guards who could operate with large degrees of autonomy from the law, while the local government had a reduced need to patrol areas of their governance and could call upon these Gold Guards if needs arose.Soon other cities outside of Gulmire began to introduce Gartian into their own law enforcement, quickly bringing the renown of the position from a local status symbol to a culturally significant role across the colonies of Alvania
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