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message 1: by Maggie (last edited May 31, 2012 12:04PM) (new)

Maggie (maggie-swift) | 48 comments Mod

GUILD QUEEN: Almara Ha’Shana* (NEVER addressed as anything but Guild Queen or Allmother or High Mother)
GUILDMOTHERS: (title: Guildmother or Mother) Rania Ha’Yara, Sanu Ha’Ula, Hara Ha’Ula, and Jaelyn Ha’Jael.

*Women’s names are their first name followed by “’Ha,” meaning ‘daughter of’, and then their mother’s first name.

In many eyes, the Dragonfly Guild is just a myth, something from a legend thousands of years past. But this secret group of skilled women is very real. The Dragonfly Guild is a group of assassins, commanded by the Guild Queen, who are called on in Hydraria’s darkest hour. Made up entirely of women, it is the elite stealth force in the kingdom, and none are its equal. From an early age (seven or eight), girls across the kingdom are scouted—in secret, of course. If they are found eligible for training, the Guild Queen sends a Guild Sister to collect that child when she turns ten years of age. There is no refusal. The family is told their daughter is requested by the King himself and will live the rest of her life in the palace, and that they have a day to pack and say their goodbyes. Very little is told, and the girls will likely never see their families again. Some accept their fate and relish their newfound knowledge and position in the world. Some do not, but allow themselves to become a Guild Sister anyway. The ones that refuse… well, those are not spoken of. Ever.

None are dismissed from the Guild, and none leave. Retirement requires older Guild Sisters to remain with the Guild as instructors or advisors, but they may not leave. The Guild is elite and hierarchical. The Guild Queen’s right-hand women are known as the Dragonfly Council, or Guildmothers. Below them are Full Sisters and Sister Novices. The Sister Novices are still going through training, and the Full Sisters are the active operatives of the Guild.

Novice training is brutal, and those that fail are stuck with a life of drudgery, caring for the Sisters and cleaning the Guildhall, located in a high mountain pass (where winters are long, summers short, and living harsh) near Monera, the capital city. Seven years of book learning and physical and mental training prepare the Sister Novices for the Ceremony, a final test of initiation into the Sisterhood. None may speak of what the Ceremony entails, for it is different for every Sister. Once a Sister Novice has reached the age of seventeen and has passed all the yearly Exams of Competence (rigorous end-of-the-year tests), then she may come forward to the Guildmothers and complete her ceremony. After completing the mandatory Two Months' Silence, of course, in which the Novice must not utter a single word for (you guessed it!) two months. A failed Ceremony requires another Year of Silence, and a second failure Two Months' Solitary. After that, well...we'll just say no one has dared to fail a third time. Or if they have, no one remembers it.

The training for Sister Novices includes all forms of poisoning, stealth, tracking, swordsmanship, knifework, archery, and horsemanship. Each Novice is also taught equally to be a court lady and a lowly peasant, a merchant’s wife or a captain’s daughter. This way, they will be able to blend in anywhere. Manners and etiquette are just as important to a Guild Sister as the art of killing.

message 2: by Maggie (last edited May 30, 2012 01:51PM) (new)

Maggie (maggie-swift) | 48 comments Mod

General Lee Ro’Kairo* (High General, General, High Swordmaster, Sir)
SWORDMASTER COUNCILMEN: (title: Master or Swordmaster) Hai Ro’Hiro, Jara Ro’Jara, Kil Ro’Gon, and Heyto Ro’Shon

* Men’s names are their first name followed by “’Ro,” meaning ‘son of’, and then their father’s first name.

The great Swordsmasters of Hydraria are renowned throughout many neighboring lands, and feared in all. Only boys are enrolled in Warrior Training, and it is open for any young man to join—though the weeding out of recruits only takes a year. Those who are not fit for the service (about 70%) return to their families and are barred from entering again. Swordmastership is for skilled and physically exceptional men only.

Swordmasters are also ranked. The Swordmaster General has the most authority in the kingdom besides the King (though the Guild Queen holds considerable political influence over those who know of her existence). The Swordmaster Council is a group of five or so elder Swordmasters, followed by the initiated Swordmasters and the Swordmasters-in-Training.

Swordmaster training takes place in the eastern quarter of Monera, sectioned off for those of which the kingdom is most proud. The Barracks, as the area is colloquially called, consists of barracks for the young men to sleep in, a training yard, a school center for battle history and tactics training, a dining hall, and a quartered-off section for the instructors. This training also takes seven years to complete, and a boy is eligible at age twelve.

message 3: by Maggie (last edited May 31, 2012 12:16PM) (new)

Maggie (maggie-swift) | 48 comments Mod
Backhistory on the Dragonfly Guild:

Excerpted from Hydraria: History of Time.

"For ages past, the great Kingdom of Hydraria has stood tall and proud, Our fierce Swordmasters protecting Us from all Invaders. Those who would challenge the mighty Army would be struck down..."

[At this point, some of the text has faded beyond recognition, but it can be assumed, from what has remained, that it is a long description of the glories of the Swordmasters. The text continues a page further:]

"...The legendary Dragonfly Guild has its Origins in before the Turmoil.* There were only the Swordmasters in the beginning, and no Guild. Raisha Ha'Larien, daughter of King Meric II's cousin, Gregoro, chafed at the fact that the Swordmasters refused to admit women into their ranks. Known for her temper and fiery passion, Raisha Ha'Larien created an elite fighting force of her own. The Dragonfly Guild was founded shortly after, in the years following. The Guild has been known to have had dealings in the Second Foer war, as well as both Wars of the Sun. In recent centuries, however, the Dragonfly Guild has slowly faded from the public eye, and some say they left long ago, to seek greater knowledge and skill in faraway lands, only leaving their legend to keep remembrance of their deadly presence..."

[End excerpt]

*The Turmoil was a period of political upheaval about fifty years after the kingdom of Hydraria was established, in which both of King Meric II's sons, Prince Foer and the later King Meric III, waged war over who would inherit their father's title. The subsequent Foer war, twenty years later, was an extension of the Turmoil, though separated from each other in name for reasons unknown.

message 4: by Maggie (new)

Maggie (maggie-swift) | 48 comments Mod
Also, I should add here: There is no magic in this world. None. No exceptions.

message 5: by Maggie (last edited Jun 03, 2012 07:55AM) (new)

Maggie (maggie-swift) | 48 comments Mod

Here's a map of Hydraria.
As you can see, Infernia is down south, near the desert. That "barren wasteland" is where the invaders came in--no one from Hydraria bothers with the desert, seen as inhospitable. That was a fatal mistake. This assumption allowed the Kalceans to land in the barren wasteland from across the Karouji Sea and creep up the western shore to take over numerous villages before they were noticed.

The Dragonfly Guild is located high in the Tolemni Mountains, on Mount Tamma.

Monera is the capital.

The little houses are villages; the ones with a letter "K" inside have been taken by the Kalceans.

Thank you, Sarah, for creating this wonderful map! :D

message 6: by Kiwi's Hero is Sydney Davies ❤, "As you wish..." (new)

Kiwi's Hero is Sydney Davies ❤ (sarahkiwi) | 22 comments Mod
:) You're welcome!

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