Agema Scholai

An ancient Parthan title that translates to "the Chosen Learned Ones".

The title was coined for the warriors who served the Priests of the Order during the battles to free Parthus from Kamora. It reflected, and still does, the fact that the Agema Scholai had been selected not just for courage and prowess, but for their dedication to the ways of Memnos. Neither priests nor truly holy warriors, they were an elite force, driven by ideology; those who have faced them on the battlefield over the centuries have learned to respect their fearlessness and tactical acumen - but have noted their mercilessness as well.

In the early days after their formation, the Agema Scholai were appointed bodyguards of the first Primi, to ensure that no Parthan would raise arms against them or undermine the authority the Order had bestowed upon them. As time passed, their ranks expanded and, like many other bodyguard units throughout Verosia, were posted in the most crucial spots on the field of battle. They earned for themselves fearsome reputations in every conflict they fought in, internal or external, and each of their formations was bestowed a monicker to make them distinct from the Agema Scholai of other Citadels. Thus, today the Agema Scholai of Sartha are known as the Hundred-Handed Ones, those of Tarantreia are known as the Black Pegasi, and so on.

Most of the Agema Scholai are recruited from amongst the most proven veterans of a Citadel's armies. These men, already driven and religiously dedicated, go on to attend the Priests of the Order for no less than a year, during which time their spirit and moral caliber is further judged. The priests look for men with a hard essence, possessed of a strict code of honor, but also capable of severe, unforgiving and pitiless actions when directed by the Primi and the Order. Those found worthy are given to the Agema, where they undertake brutal, grueling training. Typically, none who fail to meet the Priests' standards survive - such men are considered a moral threat and are disposed of. Failing the subsequent physical training tends to reduce candidates to cripples and invalids.

The true core of the Agema Scholai are inducted through a far more trying process, though. Orphans of decorated Parthan heroes who have no other family are adopted into the household of the Primus as Wards of the Citadel. Their entire youth and adolescence is devoted to military, religious, and ideological indoctrination aimed at honing in them into superior warriors. These young men either die in the process or are found worthy of becoming one of the Agema Scholai by their eighteenth year. Unlike the rest of their brethren, they remain a part of the Primus' household for life, and often become his immediate bodyguards, champions and confidants.

Agema Scholai arrive on the battlefield clad in the finest arms and armor their station can afford them. They rarely fight as part of the Citadel's Phalanx, though, but serve instead as part of the decisive effort or as the Primus' bodyguards.

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