The Compass Guard is the moniker for Cardinal's modernized, power-enabled military. They were once nameless and largely consistent of mortal soldiers and ineffective mortal-grade equipment except for their singular power wielder division (the Ranger Guard). The Directional Council voted to drastically increase their military budget, permitting for much more powerful equipment as well as a more intelligent and extensive assignment of power wielders.
For technical information and rules on playing a Compass Guard character, GO HERE.
- 1 Branches
- 1.1 The Legion
- 1.2 The Armada
- 1.3 The Network
The establishment of the Compass Guard is split into three major branches. Each branch specializes in a particular modus operandi, but each also have many sub-branches that protrude into the conventional territory of the other branches, so as to be more self-sufficient. Ultimately, all of the branches coordinate and work together on a large scale, but mostly operate within their own ranks in individual affairs. Unlike the former state of the military, all branches employ both power wielders and mortals, in various proportions.
The Legion are the branch of the Compass Guard that represent Cardinal's direct fighting force, and so it has the highest ratio of power wielders to mortals. They are often the first ones to the fight, and are usually the ones to end it. In their considerable numbers, they manage both the quick, tactical strikes and the sustained wars with trained expertise. They have a higher proportion of power wielders than any other branch, due both to the necessity of powered capacity in direct military conflicts and because of the injection of artificially empowered Degrees (see below). Mortals serving in the Legion usually merely do maintenance or office work, or handle mortal-level military issues.
Though much of the Legion consists of raw manpower, they are also in command of impressive, usually ground-based machinery such as tanks, mechs, and artillery. They are responsible for defending all permanent planetary establishments, which often comes with an array of mounted weaponry and supportive technology.
Degrees and Radians
Degrees are mortals who have no natural powered talent, but have elected to undergo radical cybernetic implantation and genetic therapy to enable them to fight at powered levels. This level of technology has been seen in individuals for some time now, but only recently has it become sufficiently cheap to implement on a broad scale. There are tens of thousands of Degrees either undergoing initiation or already in active duty. They are highly capable soldiers, who act as powered backup to their more numerous mortal allies. They hold the front lines in war, man battle equipment, and perform other tasks that require super-powered capacities to accomplish.
Most Degrees are only implanted and treated once, rendering them able to fight at a somewhat low but still respectable fighting capacity, but they are generally unable to grow beyond that state until technology advances further. A special few, however, have shown remarkable compatibility with the developing technology, and have been selected for both more advanced training and are generally subject to multiple upgrades in their treatments and implants. These special warriors are grouped into their own task force called the Radians, where they act more independently than their squad-based brethren, and can often act on par with their more naturally endowed power wielder comrades.
Radians are used in special situations where only a small force can be deployed but a large amount of power is required. They jetpack behind enemy lines, they operate the Legion's more cutting-edge personnel equipment, and they do the dirty work that nobody else can or will do. They often specialize in a focused role, such as handling heavy weaponry, subverting hostile computer systems, infiltration, and others.
Many power wielders who have earned their powers themselves or were born with them enlist as Rangers. Mostly equivalent to the Ranger Guard division of the past, their primary focus is on defending Cardinal from domestic and foreign threats, and are usually among the first on the scene when trouble erupts in a public area. Unlike their previous incarnation, however, the Rangers are also deployed in foreign theatres during times of war, and are used to directly assault high-profile threats, since they are often the strongest fighters on a battlefield.
The following are characters who are known to be members of the Rangers:
- Command Sergeant Major Onikara Shinto
- Master Sergeant Patricia Sanchez (NPC Instructor)
- Staff Sergeant Mary Stalwart
- Staff Sergeant Matthew Archer (NPC Instructor)
- Corporal Meralda Cuore
- Private Sirius Riassicurano
- Private Jacquline Bauer
- Private Koshou
- Private Pike Jamison
- Private Hachirou
- Private Charles Unides
The Radiant Fist
Picked from the most elite of the Radians and the Rangers, the Radiant Fist is the pinnacle of the Legion's power. When the rest of the world looks to measure Cardinal's military power, they often gauge themselves by the strength of the Fist. Though only extraordinary fighting ability is required to be a part of the Fist, only those who are capable of taking on the greatest fighters in the entire world are accepted into their ranks. Every member has earned distinction from the upper echelons of the Compass. When the final showdowns dawn between Cardinal and its enemies, the Fist will be there to ensure victory. When the impossible needs doing, the brass turn to the Fist to get it done.
The Armada embody Cardinal's armored and mechanized corps. Everything from its budding but powerful space fleet to the advanced squadrons of corvettes patrolling Cardinal's skies and bombing its foes, to all the things that float, swim, fight, and protect in its waters belongs to the Armada. Though the great buildings and outposts in Cardinal and on Earth belong to the Legion, the orbital station ARCHIE belongs to Cardinal, as well its other floating military establishments in space, air, and water.
Of course, these machines and vessels don't simply operate themselves (well, mostly they don't), and so the Armada is staffed with the people who take care of every aspect of creating, commanding, and maintaining the broad assortment of mobile assets at Cardinal's disposal. Its personnel are more mortal-heavy than the other branches, because in many instances, powered perceptions and abilities are unneeded. Nonetheless, power wielders are still a healthy portion of the Armada's complement, manning battle stations during inter-vessel skirmishes, piloting power-wielder-powered fighters, and defending assets from invasion. Many power wielders in the Armada are talented engineers and mechanics who shine at creating and perfecting powered-level machines.
Entirely formed of power wielders, the Roughnecks are the Armada's heavily armored and spiked fist. Made of the grittiest and most fearless warriors, they specialize in weathering the brunt of the enemy's attack while crushing them back to repel boarders, to establish a beachhead, or to conquer a strategic location. Though part of the Armada, they are not confined to being a complement of a vessel, and may be called upon by other branches to contest heavily fortified positions, or to reinforce a battered front line. They excel at defensive formations, and are often backed up by mechanized infantry with the heaviest infantry ordinance at their disposal, for taking out stubborn and tough targets.
- Staff Sergeant Greg Binnit
H. E. I. R.
Providing digital support to every branch of the military, the Heuristic Electronic Intelligence Regiment, or H.E.I.R., largely consist of artificial intelligences and persons who have undergone sufficient cerebral implantation or other adaptation to make their brains fully interfaceable with computer networks. Though many of these entities are power wielders, such is their general processing ability that for most of their tasks, they do not need to take possession of powered-level weaponry and physical shells in order to perceive things at powered speeds. There are also a smaller number of unmodified mortals who have made their names in the world of artificial intelligence and neural interfacing. H.E.I.R. is dedicated to all things digitalized, primarily including communication but also regarding unknown high-speed computer cores. Though somewhat behind the curve of more private companies when it comes to the advancement of their A.I.s, the enormous budget behind their operation allows for many more resources for their intelligences, allowing for a far greater pooled processing ability than nearly any known nation.
H.E.I.R. use their enormous collective computational power to counter attempts to hack into military systems, gather information for the Network, and neutralize the efforts of hostile artificial intelligences. During the restructuring of the military, the Network and the Armada argued over whom should gain jurisdiction over this new department, as it is an enormous resource to either department, and its information is highly secretive. Ultimately, the Armada were permitted to keep it as part of their branch, as the ability to seamlessly flow between digital networks, humanoid shells, and military vessels proved to be an unignorable benefit for the A.I.s. The Network, however, constantly keeps their own cybernetically enhanced personnel on hand at H.E.I.R. facilities to ensure that sensitive data they collect is not leaked. As a result, H.E.I.R. operatives are as likely to receive orders from their own branch as they are from the Network.
If there was a word to describe the Compass Guard's Network, it would be "meta". They shirk the direct confrontations and banner-flying of the Legion and Armada in favor of internal policing, information gathering, and discreet combat operations. They create and dissolve mystery, and explore options of action that might offend the sensibilities or the honors of more traditional patriots in the Guard. They revel in knowledge and accumulate as much of it as they can from everywhere they can, while maintaining a close watch on the responsible use of that knowledge. It is their job to ensure that the Compass Guard are surprised as rarely as possible.
Unlike other branches of the Guard, a person does not simply enlist in the Network. Instead, the Network's many specialized divisions recruit independently, sometimes from within other branches, and sometimes from the general public. They are often mocked because of their general aversion to a direct confrontation and reliance on other branches for brute strength, but without the Network's services, the rest of the military would be a bumbling, ineffective, self-conflicted mess.
Information Services and PsiCorps
Information Services or "Eyes" as they're dubiously known, are the largest division of the Network, and are often considered the "main" or "central" division that reigns over the others, though this is mostly a misconception. They act as an intelligence agency, collecting information on anything that could be of significant benefit or a significant threat to Cardinal or Earth. Though they would never admit so publicly, everyone mostly assumes that they have spies operating in nearly every government they have contact with, friendly or otherwise. They monitor communications throughout the world. They analyze enemies and discover their weaknesses, while they remain ever vigilant for their own weaknesses, including rooting out spies and information leaks.
Most of IS is mortal, as they operate in relative peace, though if spies exist, they likely have some manner of natural or technological method of staying concealed and extracting information from their sources. A subdivision of Information Services called the PsiCorps exists that consists entirely of highly trained psions who specialize in one or more facets of their parent division's operations. Some simply use their extraordinary and deeply developed senses to act as an intelligent sensor bank for an Armada ship, while others may do their best work prying into the minds of those they suspect to be foreign spies. Yet others make very capable internal investigators.
Though many power wielders are familiar with mages and magic, usually only the mages themselves have any real understanding of the background of their art, and even then, the tale often greatly differs depending on the sort of mage you talk to. The Mysterium is the Compass Guard's approach to making use of its magically inclined members, be they wizards, sorcerors, powered clergy, or otherwise. Though most of its members are capable of powered combat, mages inherently hone their abilities through meticulous gathering and memorizing of knowledge about things that can never be truly and fully known. Thus, it falls to the Mysterium to be the military's informed ear about all things magical. Only a fraction of them regularly find combat in support of infantry, such as the Rangers; the remainder are constantly researching and cautiously experimenting to expand Cardinal's magical prowess, or enacting and maintaining enormous rituals that keep the country's citizens safe and its powered criminals and enemies at bay. They are called upon when something magical and potentially dangerous needs to be contained and studied. As some of the most powerful sealing forces in existence belong to arcane forces, it often falls to these workers of mana to keep watch over objects of great power that are too dangerous to use, but cannot be simply destroyed or banished.
Unlike most of the rest of the military, the ranks of the Mysterium are loose, allowing individual magic wielders considerable personal freedom, so long as they do their duty when it comes to contributing to the division's ritual and research opus. Combined with how porous the Network is with the rest of the military, this allows a mage to assist with nearly any aspect of military operations, given they have the proper clearance. They can be found anywhere from assisting Rangers subdue criminals, to reinforcing the shielding and reactors on Armada vessels, to helping the Research division test new equipment with magical energies. On the semi-rare occurrence that their superiors should need them, however, they are expected to report immediately.
- Novice Seiji Maruyama
Department of Inquiry
This office is split into two parts; the larger office of Criminal Investigation and the smaller but more powerful Office of the Court-Martial. The former, as its name implies, concerns itself with the less combat-oriented (though often still dangerous) side of countering powered crime. They pull from a broad spectrum of resources across the military's branches to discover evidence, working closely with the Rangers to help them capture and then convict elusive powered menaces. The latter investigate reports of serious potential military misconduct for use in a court-martial, and are allowed access to exceptionally high-clearance information to accomplish this task. There are some things which even they are barred from knowing, however.
- Detective Villas Lite, Criminal Investigation
To the entire remainder of the world, the rest of their own military included, the Tau Division does not exist. In reality, they are the powered combat experts who are the very, very best at doing the dirty work without leaving any trace of their passing. Assassinations, sabotage, double agency, and other morally dim activities fill the plates of Tau's agents. So damning are the things they do that they are not permitted to wear any logos or symbols of identity, and only know one another by number. They are no mercenaries, however, and are patriotic to the point that they would sooner die or face terrible torture than give up their origins.