- 1 Overview
- 2 Bastion Chapters
- 3 Casinea Chapters
- 4 Necropolis Chapters
- 5 Reikos Chapters
- 6 Prominent Chapters in Play
- 7 Other Chapters
There are many chapters in Highguard, but only a small number are involved in the affairs of the Empire and send representatives to seasonal summits at Anvil. Prominent chapters may have significant involvement in Imperial affairs, but that is not always a reflection of their influence within the nation itself.
This list was compiled by Ahzrukhal of the Suns of Couros after the Summer Solstice 381YE (Updated by Magdalena of The Cenotaph after Summer Solstice 383YE). Original text provided by Robert Leigh
Chapter colours: Red, white and black
Chapter symbol: White tower on a red field
Chapter Virtues: Loyalty
The founding of Reumah’s Redoubt occurred during the Patrician War. Reumah, daughter of Atunama, was a notable patrician who chapter history tells sided with Permion instead of the Council. When the killers came for Permion and his family Reumah offered sanctuary but only one of Permion’s children made it to the home of Reumah. The rest of the Council besieged the home in order to take the child and Reumah by force – fortunately the response of the chapters was swift and during the battles for Pharos an escape was effected to a more fortified position near what is now Bastion and affectionately known as the Redoubt. From here Reumah, her family and friends, fought against the Patrician’s Council alongside the chapters, notably providing weapons and armour for those in need, until she fell in battle herself during the destruction of Pharos. Her cousin, Abarrane, formally founded the chapter with oaths said in front of the other exarchs present “To provide for the war”. Since then that is all the chapter has striven for, to provide for the nation and chapters. Sometimes members of the chapter have asked whether the oath has been fulfilled already – often the question is dismissed as being caused by a lack of understanding of the histories.
The Cohort Of The Winter Bear
Chapter colours: Blue and black.
Chapter symbol: The outline of a bear's head, in profile, marked with the rune Ophis on its cheek.
The Cohort is a military unit dedicated to the defence of the Empire. Citizens join from all over Highguard, leaving their chapters and families for a life of war with the cohort. They have no settlement to call their own with the exception of Bear's Hold in which is the chapterhouse in which they are officially based. This is a crumbling ruin of an old fortress built into the wall of the White City itself, granted to the Cohort for their service in times past.
The Cohort was formed in the early days of The Way - before the founding of the Empire - when Bastion first began to draw pilgrims from across the land. A group of cataphracts who had come to Bastion swore to remain and defend the pilgrim routes around the city. Since then the area has long become safe but the Cohort has remained, instead defending the Empire itself as the home of The Way.
Scions of Ravensfell
Chapter colours: Green, White and Black
Chapter symbol: Black shield with a white raven on a quartered green and white background
Chapter Virtues: Courage, Vigilance and Loyalty
Ravensfell is situated north of the city of Bastion near the Reikos border, on a rocky outcrop overlooking the river Couros.
The chapter takes its name from the battle of Ravens Fell. Shortly before the Patrician War, Balthazar, a young cataphract commander was sent on a suicide mission to take a barbarian stronghold known as the Raven's Crest. The crest had repeatedly held out against the Highborn due to its steep slopes, rocky outcrops, and deep ravines, which had prevented the cataphracts' war horses from being effective. Balthazar ordered his troops to dismount and fight on foot and although the brutal tactics of the orcs inflicted a high price, the Highborn were ultimately victorious.
Five and half centuries on, the Scions of Ravensfell chapter house stands on the ridge that was once thought impossible to tame, extending its protection across north-western Bastion. Its white granite hall and imposing battlements glimmer in the sunlight and shelter a vigilant martial community founded by the survivors, bound together in an unbending approach and a resolve in the salvation of the Virtues.
In recent years Ravensfell has been on the front line of the defence of the Empire, serving as a refuge for Highborn driven from Reikos and preventing Druj incursions down the river Couros to Bastion city. The chapter now operates a wayhouse for Imperial citizens on pilgrimages to Bastion and is working with Tabernacle Traders to re-establish trade routes with Reikos.
Chapter colours: Maroon and Black
Chapter symbol: Stylised torch enclosed in an octagon
Chapter Virtues: Ambition
Forged among the chaotic conflict of the reconquest of Reikos, Jachin's Legacy are a young chapter dedicated to Ambition and based in the White City of Bastion itself. They take in the unfortunate and ill-equipped, and inspire them with the Ambition to go on to achieve greatness. This is the core tenet of the oath of Jachin's Legacy - to help others help themselves to achieve their Ambitions (although naturally as pilgrims themselves they each have their own Ambitions to pursue as well).
Though the founding members came from all walks of Highborn life, these days the Legacy are more focused towards providing a band of unconquered, as well as supporting magic with Spring rituals on the battlefield, tactics learned from fighting against the Druj for so long.
In Anvil, they are, unsurprisingly, most dedicated to preaching the virtue of Ambition in the Synod, although there are members with interests in almost every aspect of the Anvil summits.
Chapter Colours: Purple and Gold
Chapter Symbol: A Golden vine on a Purple field
Chapter Virtue: Prosperity
Balthazar began his adult life as a poor coastal trader, trading in the wares of the common person. Though his existence was less-than-affluent, he saved enough to move away from the coast and buy a plot of land on the edge of the Elmwood Forests of Bastion. Noting the lack of capital generated by trading in the wares of the common person, Balthazar used his land to plant a vineyard. During his time trading in the shadows of the wealthy, he had noticed that money rarely changed hands without a glass of wine being present at the table. Therefore, in order to seek fortune in providing what the rich desired, Balthazar used his land to plant a vineyard.
For unknown reasons, Balthazar's vineyard thrived in its new setting, and it was not long before the affluent members of Highguard's society were jovially referring to him as the 'Lord Vintner of Bastion'. Whilst his competitors claimed foul-play, and blamed his meteoric success on contracts signed with Autumn eternals, his customers did not care and continued to purchase his produce by the wagon-load. However, as with all mortals, Balthazar's prosperous life could not go on forever.
Having no heir to pass his fortune on to, Balthazar contacted four of his most trusted associates and instructed them to use his legacy to establish and construct a chapter on his land that would continue his devotion to the virtue of Prosperity and benefit the Empire for generations to come. Giving them the titles of Lord Magister, Lord Benefactor, Lord Craftsman, and Lord Vintner, Balthazar made these four friends the collective leaders of the chapter, and trusted them to guide it forward for in the name of Prosperity, Ambition, and acceptance of all virtuous citizens of the Empire.
Chapter Colours: Grey, White, Black
Chapter Symbol: White antlers on a field of grey
Hailing from Casinea’s great woods, the Woodwych Harts are a fairly reclusive chapter with a hazy history. There are few large towns in Woodwych (most people live in self-sufficient homesteads) and no great cathedrals (worship tends to be based around family shrines or modest chapels). The members of the chapter tend to the lightly-armoured unconquered, true to their forest roots, and are from the lower end of Highguard civility. They have a reputation of being reserved, yet are friendly when approached, and tend to focus on the job in front of them rather than concern themselves with grand philosophical questions of the Empire.
Their current exarch was once a fierce fighter but a serious injury curtailed his military career. Resentful about his own perceived lack of use to the Empire if he cannot contribute on the battlefield he withdrew from Anvil summits and has only recently been convinced to send envoys back to engage with the Empire as a whole.
Chapter colours: Black and gold
Chapter symbol: Golden crossed keys
Chapter Virtues: Wisdom and Vigilance
The chapter was founded a generation ago by Felix (once Felix Yagoda of Varushka) and Shelomit, daughter of Obadiah, with a focus on protecting the Empire from internal threats. Felix was not comfortable with the 'compromises' (as he saw it) that were necessary to survive in Varushka and came to Highguard to live. Shelomit was a wealthy and charismatic woman from Bastion who brought with her several years of senatorial experience, as well as an ancient relic, the skull of the horse Susa.
The chapter house was built high up on Mount Uphaz, utilising the isolation of altitude while remaining close to the heart of the Empire. The buildings cling to the edge of the mountain, surrounded by deep crevasses and precipitous drops to the plains below.
Within a short time, the chapter also became a hostel for those who require guidance according to the chapter's particular take on virtue and life in general. A 'probationer' system was put into place to allow people to join the chapter for a temporary period, combining hard work with an opportunity to study. This then expanded to offer some probationers the option of joining the chapter permanently.
Felix's Watch is politically active and, since the death of Britta, have been regulars visitors to Anvil. Militarily, the chapter is small but focussed on emulating the 'cavalry' of years long gone, waiting for an opportunity, striking hard and then withdrawing in good order to repeat the process.
Since coming to Anvil, the chapter has become more involved with magic and the Conclave, working hard to protect the Empire from dangerous behaviour within the Hall of Worlds and trying to encourage greater Wisdom and Vigilance in dealings with eternals.
Chapter colours: Red and White
Chapter symbol: A white horse rearing on a red background
Chapter Virtues: Loyalty, Courage and Pride
Cantiarch's Hold took their name during the Patrician War, before then they were The Greys and can trace their heritage back to coming over on the boats.
The red colour scheme comes from Magister Cantiarch's sacrifice for his chapter, where he brought down a rock fall in the hills to protect the rest of the chapter from the patrician army, losing his life in the process - reminding the chapter of his loyalty, courage, and pride.
The main chapterhouse is still south west of Anvil in the hills of Casinea.
Chapter Colours: Blue with silver/white trim
Chapter Symbol: A white/silver wave on a blue shield
Chapter Virtues: Pride and Loyalty
Adina's Charge was founded by the defection of a cavalry regiment during the Patrician War. It has long remembered this proud history, and retains many of the traditions of the old regiment.
Today it has a large contingent of historians and archivists, declaring that to build a proper future, one must do so on the foundations of the past. "We shall build our future in stone."
The chapter suffered a major military defeat in 374YE, in which the majority of her forces perished holding a ford in Reikos, many from drowning.
They have been rebuilding ever since, and the survivors of the Daintree have banded together with a sort of fierce Pride and Loyalty to one another.
Chapter colours: Burgundy and black with some white
Chapter symbol: A hand holding a red lightning bolt which splits into four bolts
Chapter Virtues: Loyalty
The chapter that would become Storm's Fury came into existence around the same time as many of the original chapters who left the city of Pharos. They initially built their stronghold in Syrwatch but the resulting events after the assassination of Permion the Lawmaker led to one of the high-ranking chapter members attempting a coup, as they planned to side with the patrician forces against the chapters.
The other high ranking members of the chapter, including the exarch, killed the one responsible for the coup and the chapter members who sided with him. Any chapter members that were tricked or forced into helping the coup were allowed to rejoin the ranks. That stormy battle was when Storm’s Fury was born: the shouts of the chapter loyalists could be heard over the sound of the roaring thunder, and their armour shining brightly in the lightning.
As a result of the coup the chapter’s name, beliefs, structure, and doctrine were changed, and Loyalty became the most important virtue to the chapter. Even to this day potential initiates are judged on their views on Loyalty. When the majority of the eastern regions were controlled by the patrician forces after the assassination of the Lawmaker the chapter abandoned their home and headed for Greatwood to join with other chapters. The choice was motivated by loyalty to the chapters of Highguard after the attempted coup. Details regarding the chapter which Storm’s Fury originated from have for the majority been deliberately lost (including the chapter name) in an attempt to forget who they were before becoming strengthened by lightning.
The chapter now resides in Casinea. They attend the Anvil summits as often as possible; members sometimes take on extra roles and responsibilities if some members cannot make the summits.
The chapter welcomes anyone who is interested in becoming a chapter initiate as long as they show that they hold Loyalty as an important ideal.
Chapter colours: Blue and White
Chapter symbol: Mausoleum with a black keyhole in the centre
The Cenotaph is based within the city of Necropolis itself and is primarily a chapter of stewards of the dead. The chapter was originally founded after the death of Emperor Barabbas, whose body was never found, and was dedicated to finding him and recording his story. The Cenotaph’s remit has now widened to collecting the stories of those worthy of being counted heroes as well as helping the unquiet dead move on to the Labyrinth. Many members of the Cenotaph are skilled in priestly skills such as exorcism or investigation magic.
The chapter is more outgoing than most based in the Necropolis and as such is often first port of call when someone at Anvil wants a loved one to be buried in the Necropolis.
The more military minded members of the chapter tend toward following the unconquered style of fighting and most of the chapter do their military service in the Seventh Wave as scouts, combat exorcists, and magisters.
Chantry of the Silver Skull
Chapter colours: Blue and silver
Symbol: Stylised silver skull surrounded by wheat
Chapter Virtues: Prosperity
The Chantry is an old chapter, established shortly after the burning of Pharos. Dedicated to Prosperity, the priests of the Chantry act as stewards of the dead, providing lavish funerals and interments to those who merit it. The chapter also displays marble tombs, preserved remains, and related grave goods to inspire the many visitors to Necropolis. The Chantry is notable for taking in orphaned or abandoned children, including lineaged, tutoring them in the ways of Virtue. It is home to an original Virtue Theatre, and maintains a strong musical tradition.
While the chapter itself remains immaculate, the ancient tombs and catacombs are now so sprawling that it is nigh impossible to keep track of all their contents. There is a fair population around the Chantry, most of whom are connected to either funeral services or maintaining the chapter itself. The local traditions are extremely Prosperity-based, and outsiders can sometimes find this a little unnerving as residents will both give and expect generosity as a matter of course.
At one time the Chantry was quite a powerful chapter, but over time it became more insular and began to withdraw from political affairs. Upon the recent death of Exarch Agatha the Chantry Council moved to begin attending Anvil again for the first time in a generation.
Chapter Colours: Blue and yellow
Symbol: Stylised beacon with radiating beams of light
Chapter Virtues: Vigilance and Wisdom
The chapterhouse of the The Dauntless Light stands on the coast of Necropolis, just south of Sanctuary. The focal point of the chapterhouse is the lighthouse at the top of the cliff but there is a small town and docks at the bottom, where the majority of the chapter live. The lighthouse itself is one of the first structures built when the Highborn arrived in the Bay of Catazar. Traditionally, the lighthouse was surmounted with a a fire brazier, but fifty years ago this was replaced with an immense Urizeni lightstone and cunning mithril mirrors.
The founders of the chapter remained somewhat neutral during the Highguard civil war, providing aid to those who had lost their homes and livelihoods rather than focusing on the war with the patricians. This focus on the wellbeing of the innocent made them natural custodians of the lighthouse, and today the main purpose of the chapter is to keep the lighthouse running to guide ships around the rocky waters at the coast of Necropolis. They also provide ship burials to the rare few Highborn who wish to be interred at sea rather than in a tomb. The modern chapter is made up of a mixture of stewards of the dead and fleet captains but anyone is welcome to join. They attract a lot of followers of Vigilance, but there has been a recent push to include more devotees of Wisdom in an attempt to mitigate a problem with over-zealous members who see threats at every corner.
They pride themselves on having a number of friends across the Empire. In particular, they have good relations with the Eternal Family in Navarr, who are regular visitors to the docks below the lighthouse.
Chapter colours: Purple, black and white
Chapter symbol: A white raven's skull with the flame of Ambition on its forehead on a divided circle of purple and black
Chapter Virtues: Ambition
An old chapter based in Sanctuary Sands in a chapterhouse atop the cliffs, Raven's Watch is a chapter dedicated to Ambition.
The chapter had been in decline for many years until it was recently revitalised by new blood: assorted refugees from settlements in Reikos joined up with the Raven's Watch, making a new start for themselves and the chapter.
Raven's Watch specialises in Winter realm magic, offering rituals to the local area and to others in Anvil.
Their warriors support the groups of other Highborn chapterhouses on the field and their priests and traders do what they can to assist the Highborn and the Empire politically and economically.
The Silent Tide
Chapter colours: Blue and White
Chapter symbol: The Drowned Man and/or Sea-Horse
Chapter Virtues: Loyalty
The Silent Tower (the chapterhouse of the Silent Tide) stands on a remote rocky island at the mouth of the River Couros.
Their chapter enshrines Loyalty as their focus, and holds a number of key tenets as being paramount - the idea of redemption through ordeal, and enlightenment through suffering. Those that fall from the way, say the Silent Tide, can be brought to the Tower and return to the Way of virtue.
Their chapter oath - "Loyalty, Steel, Judgement, Death; Drowned man's oath my final breath" is considered a little grim by some but encapsulates their focus and their esoteric teachings.
The Widow's Vigil
Chapter colours:Teal, red, black and white
Chapter symbol: A stylised eye shedding a tear of blood.
Chapter Virtues: Loyalty and Vigilance
The Widow’s Vigil are a relatively new chapter which has existed for a few decades, but only recently emerged from obscurity. Little is known about this chapter other than their religious zeal, their penchant for asking uncomfortable questions, and their idolisation of Ruth of the Seven Stars. The location of their chapterhouse, if one exists, is kept secret, though it is known they are based somewhere in the region of Necropolis.
The Widow's Vigil are a flexible group, seeking to have a hand in - or keep an eye on - everything going on in the Empire, though for now the chapter has shifted its focus outside of Anvil.
The Suns of Couros
Chapter colours: Black and White
Chapter symbol: A black sun and a white moon rising behind a black tower
Chapter Virtues: Vigilance and Loyalty
The Suns of Couros were for centuries an institution and safe haven for draughir, so that those who were given up, cast out or unwanted could find refuge with others like them and pursue virtue in meditation and isolation from the world that rejected them. Under non-lineage leadership for most of its history, it was a secluded chapter situated in Haros at the northern end of the Couros river, only really known to some informed magisters as having an extensive library of Winter magic and several crystal mana sites nearby.
When Reikos was first invaded by the Druj in 367YE the chapter endured countless raids and sieges, with many of the original soldiers and leaders falling in its defence. In the crucible of war a new generation of leaders arose, many of them the formerly meditative draughir. The chapter now is made of up of the surviving original residents and those Reikos refugees who decided to not abandon their territory any further, bound together through years of hardship and taciturn determination.
With Reikos reclaimed, the chapter is once again a sanctuary for lineaged but also for any outcast or dispossessed residents of Highguard. Still based in Haros, the chapter is noted for its focus in Winter magic, its pursuit of Vigilance and Loyalty, and the ruthlessness with which it opposes the Druj and any other enemies of the Empire.
Chapter colours: Black with red highlights
Chapter symbol: Triple tower on fire above a full sun
Chapter Virtues: Pride
The Unbound chapter was formed in 377YE from a group of disparate Highborn who banded together for survival after escaping the Druj's conquest and destruction of Reikos. The Unbound sought temporary accommodation in Casinea where they worked tirelessly for the liberation of Reikos.
After the liberation of High Chalcis, the Unbound relocated to Tabernacle in Riverwatch where they settled as a permanent chapter and started the reconstruction efforts including the Hall of Lost Chapters commemorating all the chapters destroyed by the Druj.
The Shattered Tower
Chapter colours: Black and Green.
Chapter symbol: Three white towers surmounted by green halo
Chapter Virtues: Vigilance and Loyalty
The Sentinel Towers, a chapter of High Chalcis which traced its formation back to the Revelation, were virtually wiped out during the fall of Reikos in 367YE. A handful of refugees and chapter members who were not present at the destruction of the chapterhouse came together at the chapter's hostel in Bastion. There, they swore a new oath, under the leadership of Exarch Ishmael, to retake Reikos; to prevent it falling again; to root out the corruption that led to the fall. They named themselves the Shattered Tower.
For over a decade, the chapter operated out of Bastion, before reclaiming a ‘changed’ chapterhouse, the so-called ‘Shining Towers’ as their home, when Reikos was retaken.
Unlike Highborn traditionalists, the chapter frowns upon the practice of unveiling, instead relying on an obscure principle called bonding to help its lineaged achieve a truly virtuous life.
In Anvil, the chapter is politically active and has a presence in all bodies of state.
The chapter espouses a martial bent, fielding a significant force of cataphracts (dubbed 'The White Death') supported by various auxiliary unconquered & battle magisters. The heroes of the chapter who pass through the Sentinel Gate to fight for the Empire are renowned for their successes… and their high body count.
Grey Watchers of Peytaht
Chapter colours: Black and white
Chapter symbol: A white tower on a black field with a white flame above it
Chapter Virtues: Vigilance
The Grey Watchers of Peytaht are descended from some of the first Highborn scouts to drive out into the east searching for land to claim in Highguard's name. Formed when the borders of Highguard were wild and untamed, they have long patrolled the Eastern borders of Highguard, pressing into the Great Forest of Peytaht between Brocéliande and Therunin. Their chapterhouse, Beacons Rock, stood at the very northernmost tip of Reikos, further north even than Exile. Atop the tallest spire was a beacon light, erected to warn the Empire of the very direst dangers from the east.
When the Druj came through the Great Forest, they caught everyone unprepared, even the defenders of Beacons Rock. It has always been the way of the Grey Watchers to stand fast and defend with Vigilance and Valour but there was no Wisdom in throwing hundreds of lives away to defend a losing position. Beacons Rock was ruined, and it was with great sadness that the remaining Grey Watchers were forced to abandon their post and fight a retreat into the darkness. This was a matter of great shame to the remaining Watchers and they vowed that whilst the Druj remain in Reikos they would not rest until they have reclaimed every mile taken by the barbarians.
The Pilgrims’ Guard
Chapter colours: Purple on white
Chapter symbol;A warhammer before a candle in a ring of chain
Chapter virtues; Courage, Vigilance, and Loyalty
The Chapter of the Pilgrims’ Guard formed very recently with the call for Highguard to walk the trods on a great pilgrimage and in response to the need for those who can protect the pilgrims who have dedicated themselves to it. The Pilgrims’ Guard was founded by a Chapter who were building a Chapterhouse near Tamarbode to guard against the eternal that dwells there. Enormous effort and treasure had gone into the construction, but when word reached the Chapter of the great pilgrimage they decided to devote themselves to the protection of the pilgrims.
Construction of the Chapterhouse was completed, the fine furnishings installed, and then the Pilgrims’ Guard sealed all the doors with stone and swore to only open the building again once the pilgrimage is complete. The Chapter’s old name was erased from all their lore and they formally adopted the name of the Pilgrims’ Guard. Since that ceremony they have been recruiting any who will devote themselves to the pilgrimage and defending their fellow pilgrims.
Prominent Chapters in Play
This list is by no means exhaustive; efforts are made to keep it up to date but due to the sheer amount of work involved the onus lies with the Highguard players to ensure the information is correct and current.
The chapters listed here represent player-character chapters. It should go without saying that you should not create a character who is part of one of these chapters, or has personal history with one of these chapters, without first clearing it with the appropriate players. You should also check before including other players' chapters in your background. The background team are unlikely to approve a background that significantly impacts or involves another player character chapter without their permission.