Thursday, July 10, 2014

Inspiring Illustrations - Fantasy - #26 - The Guardsmen of Ptolemides

26) The Guardsmen of Ptolemides

The lost and ancient city of Ptolemides sits on the coast of an ocean that has no name beneath strange stars which sing eerily in the darkness for those who have the fate to hear them. Long ago, it is said, the Hellenic fleet that came upon this land, discovered a vast ruined city on whose foundation they built temples and homes, but others say that Ptolemides has always been as it is now, taken complete to the last stone from their homeland, but all agree that the shifting skies and mist shrouded land, the cold waters of the ocean, are not and will never be 'home'.

Those who guard the gates and walls of the city, those who walk the streets or stand against the peoples and creatures which approach the environs of Ptolemides bear the arms and armor of the Hellenes from long ago, but over the years, how many is not known as time flows strangely in the land around Ptolemides, they have become a mixed group of Hellene and wanderer, conquered or barbarian outsiders.

The traditional arms of Ptolemides guardians is a full helm with cheek and noseguard; a breastplate of steel and shield of embossed wood and leather with a bronze edge. An armored skirt is worn and greaves that protect from ankle to knee. The ancient short-spear suitable for thrusting or throwing and a short-sword are the normal armaments for a Ptolemides guardsman. Some short-bows are still in use but the crossbow was introduced to the city in past years and the guardsmen took to its use immediately, both light and heavy cross bows are used,.

The basic patrol group is a 'Hand' of five guardsmen. One experienced guard in charge with one veteran and a mix of three green recruits or city reserves. The green recruits gain experience in the city and once they become veterans join the patrols that march or ride outside the walls if needed. Reserve guardsmen serve for several weeks a year as their work permits but a good excuse is needed if they don't answer a summons to duty.

Green recruits are chosen at the age of 16 (men and women) and may serve as guardsmen all their useful lives. Those who are trained as reserves also begin their training and selection at age 16 but are generally not called upon past the age 40. Both male and female Hellenes serve in the guard and are trained as reserves.

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