The Vanguard Infantry is the front line. Each and every member is ready to give their life for their kin, their land, and their honor. However, what separates bear from cub? The Infantry Division will put those trying through the most rigorous of physical hunts; they must overcome the wilderness and its fiercest. The mettle of the many qualities inherent of the elite will be tried. With each trial, another trait proven, setting lads and lasses apart from their peers. This is “The Great Struggle”, the Infantry Division Trial of Progression. (To be completed in the order listed.)
Dragoon To Warbrand:
Salamander; the essence of Adaptivity. These creatures are known primarily for their situational awareness. While not the largest, or most dangerous creature one could come across, their ability to adapt to the world and situations around them make them a formidable hunt.
The Trial: The aspirant will approach their Captain, explaining that they believe they are ready for the trial. Captain will then assign the aspirant with the traversing and surviving a given hostile environment, in attempts to locate their Captain somewhere within; the aspirant will have restricted (limited) resources in doing so, and will do so alone. If successful in proving themselves over the harsh environment, they will reach their Captain, completing the objective.
The aspirant then must best a Salamander, and retrieve a bone for their Captain. Adaptiveness is key in assessing the ever-changing tides of a battle, especially when on the front lines. Infantry members are in the thick of each and every fight; leading the charge, carving the way, breaking enemy lines, and guarding the banners of our lands. They must be ready for anything, and respond appropriately.
Fox; the essence of Cunning. There is arguably no slier a beast than the fox. Their cunning allows them to outsmart, evade, deceive, and calculate their enemies. Masters of their surroundings, a fox and its lay of the land are half of the battle to overcome.
The Trial: The aspirant will approach their Captain, asking for the trial. If approved, the Captain will assign the aspirant with the lone espionage of an enemy establishment or encampment, in aims of gathering information, an object, killing a specific target, or the like. The aspirant must complete the objective undetected by the enemy, at risk of not only getting themselves captured or killed, but putting the intelligence of the Vanguard at risk due to capture, so on.
If successful in the objective, the aspirant will then best a fox in combat, and return a femur to their Captain. Cunning is key in war. Consciousness of surroundings, weaknesses, strengths, and the like will allow one to overcome their enemy both physically and mentally. Often, cunning and quick thinking can spare the lives of men, resources, and still effectively combat your foe.
Snow Leopard; the essence of Ferocity. These masters of the tundra are the embodiment of ferocity. Through unforgiving environment, scarce hunting, and similar adversities, the Snow Leopard will relentlessly search, hunt, and kill. War knows many fronts. One can not allow adversities as such to overstep their prowess in battle.
The Trial: The aspirant will seek approval from their Captain to begin the trial. If approved, Captain and aspirant will travel to the Twilight Highlands, and ultimately the Ring of Blood. Weaponless, the aspirant must best 3 opponents with nothing but the fury and fire they carry with them into the ring. This is to be done under the watch of the Captain. If successful, they will proceed to the hunt.
The aspirant will then bring the bone of a Snow Leopard to their Captain upon besting it. No matter the place or situation, one must learn to channel savage, brutal, and even bloodthirsty urges into pure ferocity. This trait is critical to the progression of any Infantry member.
Warbrand to Ironguard
Stag; the essence of Leadership. While not the most ferocious or savage of beasts in the wilderness, a Stag’s strength comes from those it surrounds itself with. When challenged, a Stag will bring with it numbers of its herd, overcoming its challenger not only with noticeable strength of its own, but the strength of those it leads.
The Trial: Aspirant will approach Captain for approval in taking up this trial. Once approved, Captain will assign the aspirant a small unit to command, and an objective to complete. Responsible for not only their own well-being, but the well-being of their men, the aspirant must use the strengths of each member to complete the objective, while making the decisions that will ultimately bring them all home safely. When the objective is completed, the aspirant will return, with squad, to Captain.
The aspirant faces two challenges with the Stag: Besting its strength, and drawing it away from its herd. There can be serious repercussions to challenging this beast, as its herd could very much turn on the aspirant as well. Leadership needs little explanation. As much as it is the ability to lead others, it is the ability to identify allies, foes, make crucial decisions, and set the standard for those following. The aspirant, upon besting the stag, will return the thick of an antler to their Captain.
Boar; the essence of Honor. Boars are strong, and organized. Fierce in combat, wise, and honourable. Sounders of boars thrive when alphas are established, and that recognition is honored within. Honor and pride are the fuel of morale and drive on the field of war. Against imposing numbers, weapons, and all odds, one’s honor can fuel even the most adverse of objectives.
The Trial: Aspirant will approach Captain seeking approval to undertake trial. This trial is a Gwyarbrawden between the Captain and the aspirant. Armored and equipped, they will engage in honorable combat. The aspirant will seek to best the Captain in combat; they must do so honorably. (Roll Fight) Even if the aspirant fails to best the Captain, the Captain can weigh the performance of the individual and find them honorable in their efforts. The Captain and aspirant will swear the Gwyarbrawden between them, the ultimate and highest honor.
Stalwart in build, as much fast and strong, the boar is a formidable hunt. The aspirant will then seek to best a boar, and return a tusk to their Captain.
Wolf; the essence of Loyalty. A wolf without a pack is hardly a wolf at all. Savage, resourceful beasts, a wolf’s strength comes from its inherent loyalty towards its pack. Wolf packs move together, hunt together, kill together, all with astonishing proficiency. Loyalty to those one serves beside is crucial to a unified and strong division.
The Trial: The aspirant will approach Captain for approval. Once approved for the trial, the Captain will assign aspirant with an individual task, but this task reaches into a morally grey area. To prove loyalty to the Captain, and ultimately the Vanguard itself, the aspirant must follow through without hesitation. Moral conflict is to be expected.
Similar to the stag, managing to get a wolf alone is half the trial. Carelessness can result in taking on a full wolf pack. This incredibly difficult trial will allow for a Warbrand to advance to Ironguard. Upon then besting a wolf after the trial, the aspirant will present a bone to their Captain.
Ironguard to Mountain Guard
Bear; the protector. Whether it is a mother protecting her cubs, or a hunter’s loyal companion and guardian, Bears are the epitome of nature’s aegis. A bear is adaptive, cunning, ferocious, honorable, loyal, and takes charge of its surroundings. To its very last breath, a bear will defend itself, and that which it cares for. In the Vanguard, we live and die together as kin. Regardless of clan, family, or the like, we rally to the call of war, carrying on the fury of our forefathers, defending our honor, and those we serve beside. In the Infantry, your fellow soldiers are your brothers and sisters. They would each die for you as much as they expect you to do the same. The final trial will prove this.
The Trial: The aspirant will approach their Captain for the final trial. If approved, the aspirant will be sent alone to liberate a town or settlement. Like the bear, the aspirant must prove the combination of the qualities tried thus far, and overcome immense odds to protect, serve, and triumph. Alone, this is the most trying of all the progression. The aspirant will be granted what they see necessary to complete the task, and will complete the objective under the watch of the Captain (by sky, etc).
The aspirant, if successful in their final trial, must then best nature’s titan in combat. Upon doing so, they will return to their Captain with a bone, for the crafting of their final bone ring.[/quote]