The Iron Lances; A Summary When the Iron Lances were first created by the First Iron Prophet, no one knew how they would do. The Faith’s former militias and military orders had been disbanded when the Faith had finally arrived in the Promised Lands, and had settled down in the central city that they deemed the new holy city until Sarkov could be returned to. In that time, with the Iron Prophet rising up in the city and becoming the biggest and the most powerful man within the Faith itself, the Iron Lances were born from the Iron Prophet’s words and his calls for a powerful force of the gods to rise up, take up the lance, and march forth into the night to deal out justice to those who would say that the Faith is bloodthirsty, and those who do not and shall not listen to the holy word as it has been set forth by the ancient prophets, and those who wrote the original Codex. But on the subject of the Iron Lances themselves… there are multiple offshoots, color corresponded to the color of the Faith that the members of the Iron Lances adhere to. Grey Lances are typically the more militant and more powerful ones, who are more vicious and ready for combat, while the Violet Lances are in support roles, and in officer positions to lead the men along with the Grey Lance commanders. Not only is that, but the Faith offshoots like the Martyr’s Faith in the Lances as well, so that they can seek holy death and destruction in battle that they seek. The Iron Lances do not go directly into combat, and are still primarily within the Faith itself as far as the militant wing goes, but the Iron Lances have replaced the Red Faith guards that were once so common back in the ancient homelands. The training of the Iron Lances is much similar to that of an Unsullied, but different in many aspects. At the age of five, children that go into the Iron Lances are trained up from the standard Adept level, to the Adherent, to the Lance holder, and up to the Elite level when they are older and they have had combat experience or have been promoted by the Iron Prophet or the head of the Faith. At the age of eight, the trainee receives an honorary scar, typically on their back, of a lark or a songbird, and when they become Lance holders, they receive a scar on their chest of a star with as many points as there are gods in the Faith’s pantheon. After that, upon the entrance into the Elite ranks, several other scars are engraved into the flesh of the Iron Lancers. Typically, these sigils are on the neck, and are of a raven, as well as runic symbols on either hand that read “Forever Strong, Unbent and Unbowed”. From the age of eight onwards, the Iron Lancers are given much combat training and lessons in the Faith to the point of becoming fanatical members of the Faith, bordering on the Fanatics of old who once flung themselves into the spear walls of the enemies on the difficult and trying March north. They are trained in the use of their Lance, which is actually a spear of eighteen feet long, made out of ash or oak wood, as well as training with dual wielding swords, knives and bows. Occasionally, Royal Guard soldiers are brought in to help train the new members of the Iron Lances, as well as the fact that the Royal Guard and the Iron Lances spar with each other on orders from both the King and the reigning Iron Prophet. Many Royal Guard and Iron Lances soldiers have received training and combat time with both sides and in many cases have served with the other unit before joining their current unit. For the officers of the Faith, they receive a higher education than the standard member in the Iron Lances, typically exceeding that of most middle class people as well. They are trained in the use of tactics, strategic and battlefield analysis, as well as the management of logistics and working with the logistical backbone of that of the army on the march. This is primarily to ensure that there is not a repeat in the army like there was during the Second Winter War, in which the Red Faith was born from ash and fire. Not only that, but each person in the officer corps is instructed to write and read poetry, books, scrolls, and other paper materials as well as literature and Faith Doctrine, as well as materials taken from the ruins of other civilizations in the old homelands. This is to ensure that the Iron Lances know their enemies, and know them well enough for the future prophecy to be fulfilled. Healers and medics within the Iron Lances have a primary job in peace time of coming up with new healing methods and materials so that in war time, all can be well. This stocking up on valuable medical material and on materials to make sure that the wounded can fight again if they are able is the largest of its kind, and it comes about after the disastrous southern campaigns during the First and Second Winter Wars, in which the Faith and the soldiers that were serving with them at the time were pushed back continuously time and time again, due to the lack of fighting soldiers that were not wounded to the extreme. The Faith would rather not see an event like that, which indirectly led to the founding of the Red Faith when they fed upon the flesh of the dead, happen once more. Iron Lances are typically grouped in groups of about fifty or so, of which there are ten in a unit, known as a Lancer brigade. Made up of five hundred Lancers, the Iron Lances are split into pairs inside of their groups, and they are supposed to guard their partners to the end, as necessary, and recover the bodies, tokens, swords, and the Lances themselves, as well as the standard flags and the banners, if the unit is an elite group. The Lances and the swords, as well as the bodies are very important in the teachings of the Iron Lances, which include the veneration of the dead, and the recovery of the Lances, which are to be passed down the line to new recruits and new trainees so that they can know that the Lance that they wield was held by people who gave their lives for the Faith. The standard of the Iron Lances is a white star, with as many points as there are gods in the Faith pantheon, with two Iron Lances behind, crossed together. This standard is wielded by the commanders on the battlefield, and by the Standard Holders on the battlefield. Standard Holders are in the elite units, and are essentially the morale boosters of the units and the leaders, and it is their job to keep the battle standard in good shape, and to make sure that it is well kept and make sure that it stays intact. A unit that cannot keep the standard and loses it has shame put on them all, and the unit is then disbanded, and the men are sent to training once again, for another decade. Many men would rather die than go back into the Iron Lance’s training program; so many units will toss themselves at the enemy in order to recover the battle standard, no matter what. Since the Iron Lances replaced the Red Faith guards, they guard the leader of the Faith himself, as well as the current Iron Prophet and the commanders and officers in both the Iron Lances and the army of the nation itself, to make sure that assassination attempts cannot occur. This was indeed a massive problem during the Winter Wars, when enemies would send assassins to slay the high commanders of both the Faith and the military, which ended with plenty of generals, commanders, and officers in the military’s dead, which was quite a hassle to work with, since a war was happening at that time.