Campaign of the Month: June 2012
Stelets refer to the long daggers (similar to stilletos) that are the signature weapon of this organization. The Stelets also carry the standard weaponry of a legionnaire.
The Stelets are the highest-ranking military arm in the Phthyan Empire. To be accepted into their ranks one must display even greater strength and resolution than normal for a legionnaire. All Stelets are expected to enforce the Emperor’s laws throughout the Empire and administer the will of the gods. Any free person who would harm another without just cause calls down the wrath of the Stelets. Even those from outside her borders are not safe; foreigners bearing arms against the legionnaires or the Emperor often disappear without notice.
Stelets serve as personal guards to the Senators and in many cases travel to other lands to perform acts to which most of the legionnaires cannot be privy. Assassinations, misinformation, and open intimidation are some of their tools and it is this responsibility and authority that has become the weight of their station. The Stelets keep the nobles’ hands clean of deception and subterfuge and some give up their lives in foreign places, never to see their beloved homeland again. There is a common proclamation among the Stelets, “I am the hand of my father, hidden forever behind his back, so that none can see that he is as much a nurturer as he is a killer. I am that hand and I would do nothing to show this strength to his allies or those who could exploit him.”
On a smaller scale, the Stelets have two very distinct roles. Those who serve the Senators directly, either as personal guard and escorts, are sometimes called the convocos (convoyers). They attend high-class functions, wear dress uniforms, and maintain a high profile to deter would be assassins, guerrillas, or dissidents. A Stelet in this service uses skills gained as a swordsman or personal champion, although he must be alert at all times even as he does when in the outlands.
Often a Stelet may be ordered to deliver a message, escort an important dignitary, or stand guard over one of many historical landmarks, statues, shrines, and tombs throughout the Empire where members of the Imperial family and other nobles are buried.
The bodyguard arm of the Stelets is almost dichotomous to the peregrinus (wanderers) who serve in rural areas. The peregrinus hunt poachers, quell dissension, ferret out cults and secret societies, and keep the borders safe from harm. They do not stand in watchtowers or travel the wood with hundreds of days of rations; instead, they are expected to make their way, sometimes for months at a time, living off of what the Gods offer them and their own strength of will. Many come back from their tours having lost weight due to the deprivations endured during the assignment.
Peregrinus Stelets often form small patrol groups to hunt poachers and those hiding from the law, but they also perform humanitarian acts for those in need of their aid. The veteran peregrinus live brutal lives in the vast Phthyan territories, ever watchful for peasants who have lost everything or who are on the verge of starvation. A peregrinus will give up her rations to save a starving beggar, secure in the knowledge that the gods will reward her sacrifice.
Stelets who are gone for months at a time must sometimes resort to unpleasant methods to achieve their ends.