LoyalStanchion Wide.jpg
The ties that bind a banner of yeomen together can also be used to tether them to the world of the living.

Description

Usually hanging from a stout oaken shaft, a Loyal Stanchion allows the banner bearer to renew the fighting spirit of their allies and stave off death for another day. They are particularly popular among both the yeomen of Marcher households the cataphracts of Highguard, and the warriors of the Imperial Orcs for their ability to allow a soldier in full harness to provide much needed healing and support to their allies. The banners themselves are usually woven of sturdy wool strengthened with beggars lye and ambergelt, with a straightforward sigil enhanced with vibrant dyes. The oaken banner pole will be reinforced with green iron and ambergelt varnish, and decorated with dragonbone embellishments.

The banner bearer can draw on the standard to keep their allies on their feet. There have been several notable Loyal Stanchions in Imperial history - for example, during the reign of Empress Teleri the Marcher assembly gifted the Cardinal of Loyalty was an artefact standard hallowed with true liao. Named Duty, for over a century the Cardinal would bestow custodianship of the standard on a banner possessed of exemplary integrity and loyalty. Unfortunately, Duty is believed to now lie at the bottom of the Bay of Catazar, lost along with the then-Cardinal Jocelyn Rosewood when the Barabbine Fleet was destroyed.

Several armies have made good use of Loyal Stanchions. Both the heavily armoured Golden Sun of Dawn, and the adaptable Golden Axe of Varushka have been known to equip core contingents with these banners, for example, but they are also popular with the Jotun and Imperial orcs. As with many such regimental standards, the magical stanchions are reforged over and over, with each successive artisan adding a new embellishment, or replacing an element that has worn out. These Loyal Stanchions technically contain no element of the original banners at all - but nobody who has ever borne one into battle is left in any doubt as to the power that courses through them, reinforced by decades or centuries of holding the spirit of the warrior band.

Bearers of a Loyal Stanchion, particularly one that has been reforged multiple times, often hear a supportive voice encouraging them. This voice is especially strong when they are afraid, or uncertain. Many bearers report that the voice reminds them of that of a trusted family member or close friend, especially one that is long departed. Others believe that the voice is that of the banner itself - that its magic somehow senses when the bearer is faltering and needs a word of support or validation. A few Imperial Orcs have claimed that the Loyal Stanchion talks to them in the voice of an ancestor, although it is not clear whether this is down to the standard or the orc themselves.

Rules

  • Form: Magical standard. The phys-rep requirements for a magical standard are more stringent than those of similar items. You must be bearing this banner aloft to use its magical properties.
  • Effect: Five times per day you may use get it together as if you know it without spending any hero points.
  • Roleplaying Effect: Each time you take hold of this banner you are reminded of home and family. While wielding it you sometimes hear a supportive voice encouraging you.
  • Materials: Crafting a Loyal Stanchion requires seven ingots of orichalcum, thirteen ingots of green iron, nine measures of ambergelt, fifteen measures of dragonbone, seven measures of beggar's lye and seven measures of iridescent gloaming. It takes one month to make one of these items.
"I, Franz Schweinsteiger von Holberg, being true in Virtue and strong of heart, do on this day voluntarily enlist myself as a soldier in the Company of the Bright Plume, in its service and that of the Empire. I swear my oath to defend the city of Holberg and the territory which it rightfully controls.

"I will bring low my enemies, wherever and whenever I find them. With my bow and my sword I will lay them low.

"I submit myself to the articles of service of the said Company. I accept the rate of its pay. I accept without reservation the conditions of its service for the five years of my pledge.

"I take my oath beneath the banner which has made us great. I bond myself to it of my own free will. I understand its power and the responsibilities that follow. I will not flee from battle, nor submit to weakness in my hour of need. I will stand and fight until I am dead or victorious.

"With my brothers and sisters in battle I make my oath. Beneath the standard we stand as one. We will be reliable, unquestionable, unbreakable and unbroken.

"With Virtue and magic we make our bond. So let it be!"