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A Guardsman's Duty and Code of Conduct
Duty, Pay, Benefits, and Terms of Service
Guard Property
Uniform Regulations
Intimacy Between Guardsmen
Leaving the Imperial Guard
Unit Organization
Discipline Within the Imperial Guard

Imperial Guard Handbook

(v4, 02/05/07) – Updated by Lieutenant Merow Ghurak, 8th Imperial Regiment
(v3, 09/05/03) – Penned by Lieutenant Vurlak Kordatar, 8th Imperial Regiment

The Imperial Guard serves as both law enforcement and standing army within the provinces of the Kivian Imperium. Here we will discuss the Guardsman's duties, his Code of Conduct, benefits, organizational structure of the Imperial Guard, regulations, and other minutiae.


Within this document, the term "Guard" refers to the Imperial Guard as an organization. Individual members are referred to as "Guardsmen" or "Imperial Guardsmen." This document concerns the infantry aspect of the Imperial Guard, though regulations will likely be similar within cavalry or mage units. For ease of reference, male pronouns are used exclusively, and this in no way designates the Imperial Guard as an all-male organization.

A Guardsman's Duty and Code of Conduct

The Guardsman's Code of Conduct clearly defines his duties and obligations to the Imperium, to his people, and to himself. By taking a solemn oath to uphold the Imperium and all it stands for, and by swearing to perform his duty, a Guardsman is honor-bound to his Code in all things for so long as he remains a member of the Imperial Guard. Any deviation from this code constitutes a punishable violation of his oath.

A Guardsman must:

...serve and protect the Kivian Imperium, safeguarding the lives and property of its citizens.

...uphold the laws of the Kivian Imperium, hounding criminals ruthlessly and without compromise.

...be forthright and true in both spirit and flesh, lending an example in both his private life and official duties.

...be an example for all by strictly observing his Code of Conduct and the laws of the Kivian Imperium.

...develop and hone his discipline and self-restraint, remaining calm even when in perilous danger.

...never allow his decisions to be influenced by his personal feelings.

...never accept gratuities which may inadvertently sway his allegiance.

...follow orders to the best of his ability, without question or hesitation.

Duty, Pay, Benefits, and Terms of Service

Pay within the Guard is based on rank. With increased rank comes increased responsibility, and this should be reflected in increased compensation for time spent in the pursuit of duty. Time spent on duty is strictly regimented, and is generally equal to three hundred hours of service per month. Guardsmen are paid once every thirty days, generally on the first or last day of the month.

Enlisted Ranks

Junior Guardsman (Trainee/Recruit): 5000 sovereigns per month
Guardsman (Private): 6000 sovereigns per month
Senior Guardsman (Lance Corporal): 7000 sovereigns per month
Corporal: 8500 sovereigns per month
Sergeant (or Senior Sergeant): 12000 sovereigns per month
Staff Sergeant: 13000 sovereigns per month
First Sergeant: 14000 sovereigns per month
Master Sergeant: 15000 sovereigns per month
Sergeant Major: 17000 sovereigns per month

Officer Ranks

Lieutenant: 14000 sovereigns per month
Captain: 16000 sovereigns per month
Major: 18000 sovereigns per month
Lieutenant Colonel: 20000 sovereigns per month
Colonel: 22000 sovereigns per month
General: 24000 sovereigns per month
Marshall: 26000 sovereigns per month
Grand Marshall: 28,000 sovereigns per month

Aside from payment for his service to the Imperium, a Guardsman is privy to several benefits, including (but not limited to) the following:

Free room and board in the Imperial Keep.

The basic essentials required to perform his duty, including uniforms, weaponry, armor, and shields. Depending on the Imperial economic situation, this can constitute either a Guard discount on items bought from local retailers, or items assigned to the Guardsman by the Imperial Keep for which he is responsible.

Free medical attention from empaths of the Imperial Guard (assigned to the Imperial Keep).

A pension, redeemable upon retirement, the value of which is based on time served, rank achieved, and lasting injuries suffered in the service of the Imperium.

A term of service in the Imperial Guard is usually for a period of ten to twenty years. This term is based on a sacred oath of fealty that each Guardsman takes upon joining the Guard, and is not negotiable once established. All potential Guardsmen must be citizens of the Imperium, in good standing with no criminal record, and must meet a minimum age requirement of 15 years.


Presently, the Imperial Guard recruits new Guardsmen from the local population. Only those who apply through the proper channels are permitted to join. A potential Guardsman must be a citizen of the Kivian Imperium, at least fifteen years of age (or the racial equivalent, in the case of non-humans), in good physical health, with no criminal record. Once an application has been submitted, it may take some time for the application to be processed.

Each applicant must undergo an interview, wherein he is evaluated by one or more non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Once the interview has been completed, the NCO must submit a detailed report to Command. This report will list whether or not the application has been accepted, and if not, the interviewer's reasons for not feeling that the applicant in question is fit for duty. If accepted, each new Guardsman must take an oath of fealty and be sworn in as a Junior Guardsman. He will be assigned a backpack containing essential Guard gear, and is expected to train in Guard tactics and skills. The new Junior Guardsman is typically assigned to an NCO, who trains with the new recruit and supervises his behavior.

The applicant must prove himself worthy over the next thirty days, and his conduct will be closely monitored by his superiors and fellow Guardsmen. After thirty days have passed, a tribunal of the commanding NCOs either approves or rejects the applicant. In either case, a report must be made to Command that gives reasons (behavior, accrued demerits, etc.). If approved, the new Guardsman must take his oath before his fellows, and is promoted to the rank of Guardsman.

The oath each Guardsman must swear to is as follows:

"My life is my brothers and sisters, and my word my bond. Death before dishonor."

Current Guard policy only allows for a maximum of five Junior Guardsmen in training at any one time in any one platoon. This is to facilitate a controlled growth within the Guard ranks in outlying provinces, and to prevent the number of Guardsmen from reaching unmanageable levels.

Guard Property

All items of official issue by the Imperial Guard are considered to be Guard property, and include (but are not limited to) the following items:

Uniforms, including tunics, breeches, boots, cloaks, and headgear, as well as Guard-issued weaponry and armor.

Containers, including backpacks, dagger cases, and scabbards.

Miscellaneous equipment, including keys, sealing rings, nets, tents, bedrolls, canteens, handcuffs, shackles, and other items.

Badges of rank, such as epaulets, insignia, unit flashes, as well as official medals and decorations.

Mechanical equipment, including explosives, launchers, ammunitions, and equipment marked by suppliers to the Imperial Guard as belonging to same.

Official paperwork, such as proclamations, arrest orders, search warrants, or Guard correspondence.

Possession or use of this equipment by non-Guardsmen is a serious offense, and all Guard property in the hands of non-Guardsmen must be confiscated immediately. Uncooperative civilians in possession of Guard property may be subject to fines, arrest, and imprisonment at the arresting Guardman's discretion.

Guardsmen who resign their position or are otherwise discharged must turn in all Imperial property to their commanding officer. Exception is made in relation to any official medals or decorations earned, and these may be kept by the former Guardsman.

Uniform Regulations

A Guardsman must remain in uniform at all times when on duty. Standard uniform includes boots, beret (only worn out-of-doors), breeches, tunic, and cloak. These items are property of the Imperium, and are to remain unsullied and unaltered at all times.

Any jewelry or affectations worn by a Guardsman must be tasteful and safe.

In the pursuit of his duty, a Guardsman is free to employ any weapons or armor with which he is proficient, within reason. Use of weapons, armor, or other equipment which is typically identified with enemy units (Orcish weapons or armors, for example) is strongly discouraged.

A Guardsman is also required to be mentally and physically fit for duty at all times. This means that the Guardsman must be free of all debilitating wounds, and ready for action at a moment's notice. If it is convenient for a wounded Guardsman to seek treatment, he must do so at the earliest opportunity. Under combat conditions, wounds must be tolerated until such time as it is safe for a Guardsman to seek healing.

Intimacy Between Guardsmen

Intimacy between members of the Imperial Guard is generally discouraged, though not actively prohibited. As long as such a relationship is shared by Guardsmen of the same grade (officer or enlisted), it will be tolerated. While on duty, Guardsmen are to retain a professional demeanor. Acts of public affection between Guardsmen are forbidden. If a relationship between two Guardsmen becomes troublesome, interferes with official duties, or causes undue strife within a unit, all involved parties may be subject to disciplinary action. Marriage between Guardsmen is permitted, but only with the blessing of their commanding officer(s).


Promotion occurs when a Guardsman's rank is increased to the next highest level. This can be done for any number of reasons, and generally brings about increased benefits and responsibilities. Promotions can be gained as a reward for exemplary service, above and beyond the call of duty. If a Guardsman performs well and exceeds expectations, it follows that he is more than likely capable of accepting the additional responsibility that a promotion entails. The benefits of promotion, namely increased authority and pay, are generally viewed as a proper reward for excellent service. In addition to the promotion itself, other decorations may be granted to the recipient to recognize his service.

Promotions can also be gained if a superior officer or NCO makes a recommendation. Any NCO or Officer can recommend a lower-ranking Guardsman within his unit for promotion. This recommendation must be approved by a tribunal. The Guardsman's past history and record are often scrutinized. Once authorized, the promotion goes into effect immediately.

One final way to gain a promotion is by making a request. Any Guardsman can request a promotion by filing the proper forms with his superior officer or NCO. Like promotions awarded through a request by a superior officer, this type of promotion consists of a review of the Guardsman's record, and must be approved by a tribunal. A Guardsman cannot request more than one promotion within a sixty day period.

Though uncommon, it is possible for a Guardsman to reject his own promotion and remain at his current rank. While there are no consequences for such an action, a Guardsman who rejects three promotions in a row is more likely to be overlooked when future promotions are called for.

In some cases, such as in under-strength units during wartime, promotions can be imposed upon Guardsmen regardless of their personal feelings or sense of self-worth. A promotion of this kind is known as a "promotion by decree." Any Guardsman who is the target of such a promotion is required to assume his new responsibilities immediately. Guardsmen who are caught wearing epaulets of a lower rank will be considered out of uniform and subject to the appropriate disciplinary actions.


Decorations are awarded to Guardsmen in recognition of their deeds, dedication, and perseverance in the face of the enemy. Each is unique, and awarded under specific conditions. Most often, a superior officer will recommend one or more of his troops for recognition. In some cases, such as with the Order of the Damsel's Mercy, the award is granted automatically.

Although there are hundreds of individual decorations in use by the Imperial Guard (in addition to decorations in use by individual regiments and companies), an exhaustive list is beyond the scope of this document. Instead, the most well-known awards are detailed below in order to provide some idea of the decorations that are available. Such medals are only worn under parade circumstances, though Guardsmen are permitted to paint diminutive representations of their commendations upon their shields.

Gold Griffin

The highest award for valiant accomplishments and steadfast dedication to the crown against overwhelming odds. Generally awarded posthumously, it is rarely awarded to living soldiers. This award, which is worn around the neck, consists of a purple ribbon from which hangs a gold medallion. The obverse depicts a griffin's head with eyes of sparkling amethyst, while the reverse side is engraved with the words, "Virtue, Dedication, Sacrifice."

Steel Griffin with Bom Leaves

Given for chivalry and depth of spirit in the face of certain death. Guardsmen who receive the Steel Griffin with Bom Leaves are the very epitome of what a Guardsman should be, and are honored as such. Similar in appearance to the Steel Griffin (see below), the Steel Griffin with Bom Leaves is worn on the breast, mounted on a crimson silk ribbon. The medallion, cast from high steel and inlaid with silver, is shaped like a griffin with several bom boughs clutched in its feet. The reverse side of the medal is engraved with the Guardsman's name.

Steel Griffin

Awarded for acts of bravery that result in significant accomplishments. Most often, the Steel Griffin is given to Guardsmen whose actions make the difference between victory and defeat during a combat action. It consists of a blood red ribbon worn on the breast, from which hangs a high-steel medallion in the shape of a griffin. The reverse side of the medal is engraved with the name of the Guardsman to whom it is awarded, as well as the deeds that earned him this honor.

Iron Griffin

This is the most common decoration awarded for courage in action. It consists of a blue ribbon worn on the breast, from which hangs an iron medallion. The medallion features the Imperial crest on the obverse side, and the face of the current emperor on the reverse.

Vorun's Seal

Vorun's seal is awarded to Guardsmen for good conduct, and indicates a flawless career within the Imperial Guard. To be eligible, a Guardsman must have a clean record for at least two years, with no demerits accrued, nor any disciplinary actions taken against him. Vorun's Seal can be awarded more than once, and each award past the first adds a small four-pointed star to the obverse side. The medal is worn on the breast in standard fashion, and consists of a dark green ribbon hung with a crescent-shaped bronze medallion. The obverse side starts out blank, and additional stars are added from left to right. The reverse of the medallion is inscribed with the words, "For Exceptional Conduct." While it may be seen as a trivial award, it is routinely taken into account favorably during trials and disciplinary hearings.

Order of the Damsel's Mercy

This medal is awarded to any Guardsmen who suffers a serious wound in combat. Like Vorun's Seal, it can be awarded multiple times. The medal is composed of a dark blue ribbon with a white horizontal stripe for every instance that it has been awarded. Hanging from the ribbon is the medallion itself, which is round and cast from bronze. The obverse is engraved with the image of a wounded griffin, while the reverse is marked with the words, "For You, She Weeps" ("She" being Eyssa).

Order of the Grim Legion

This award, like the Order of the Damsel's Mercy, is granted for wounds received in combat. The difference between the two, however, is important: the Order of the Grim Legion is awarded to Guardsmen who have died in the line of duty, but who were later resurrected or otherwise returned to life. Unlike the Order of the Damsel's Mercy, the Order of the Grim Legion is only awarded to a Guardsman once. The medal is worn on the chest, with a blackened steel medallion in the shape of a skull attached to a black silk ribbon. The medal's reverse side features the words, "For the Ultimate Sacrifice."

Campaign Service Medals

These are awards given to any soldier who served in a particular campaign, and each varies in style. As many hundreds of these medals are awarded, they are not manufactured from precious stones or metals and are usually simplistic in design. For example, the Order of Pethyl was a medal awarded to any Guardsman who served in the Kant Uprising, and it consists of a gray ribbon hung with a steel medallion in the shape of an inverted teardrop. The obverse side of the medallion is smooth, while the reverse is inscribed with the words, "Never Forget."

Debt of the Sovereign

This is an unusual award which is only given to those who are personally responsible for saving the life of the Emperor or members of his immediate family. Always awarded personally by the Emperor himself, this decoration is rare indeed. Any Guardsman that earns this decoration can, at his prerogative, offer it to the Emperor in exchange for a personal favor (such as a pardon, a better posting, or any number of favors, as long as they are within the Emperor's power to grant). Not surprisingly, these debts are rarely called in. Like the Gold Griffin, the Debt of the Sovereign is worn around the neck, attached to a gold ribbon. The round medallion is struck from the finest gold, etched by hand, and inset with several small rubies and sapphires. The obverse depicts the Imperial Palace in Penthras, while the reverse reads, "With His Majesty's Undying Gratitude."

Leaving the Imperial Guard

Service in the Imperial Guard can be terminated under any of the following circumstances:

Honorable Discharge

An honorable discharge is granted to any Guardsman who has served his entire term of service, and who does not wish to re-enlist. Guardsman who are honorably discharged receive a pension based on time served, rank achieved, and any lasting injuries they may have suffered.

Medical Discharge

If a Guardsman suffers injuries which prevent him from performing his duties, he is eligible for a Medical Discharge. A Medical Discharge is in all other ways similar to an Honorable Discharge. Any Guardsman mustering out on a Medical Discharge is entitled to his full pension, as determined by his agreed-upon term of service.

Dishonorable Discharge

Any Guardsman convicted of violating his duty or Code of Conduct, if not directly jailed or executed, may also be Dishonorably Discharged. Anyone discharged in this fashion automatically forfeits all Guard benefits and immediately ceases to be a Guardsman. From this point forward, the former Guardsman may never again join the Imperial Guard, and he is forbidden from holding any position of authority within the Imperium (though he may advance himself in local and provincial politics if the stigma of his dishonor does not keep local authorities from associating with him).

Voluntary Discharge

Any Guardsman may file for a Voluntary Discharge in time of peace. If approved, the Guardsman is discharged and immediately loses any accumulated Guard benefits. If so desired, a former Guardsman who was the subject of a Voluntary Discharge may re-enlist in the Imperial Guard. In the event that he is accepted, he must start over in the chain of command, and may never achieve Officer ranks.

Unit Organization

The Imperial Guard is broken up into units of varying size, the basics of which are listed below:


The army is the largest unit recognized in the Imperial Guard, consisting of between 12,000 and 18,000 men. Armies are not generally fielded all at once, as the cost and logistics of such activity is prohibitive. Instead, the divisions that make up an army are used separately. Each army is commanded by a General.


There are three divisions per army. Divisions are generally assigned to large geographic locations. A division is commanded by a Colonel, and each division consists of between 4,000 and 6,000 men.


There are ten regiments per division. A regiment consists of between 480 and 600 men, and each regiment is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel and a Sergeant Major. Regiments are most often assigned to an individual province.


There are six battalions per regiment, each consisting of 80 to 100 men. Battalions are generally assigned to specific cities, and are commanded by a Major and a Master Sergeant.


There are two companies per battalion. Companies consist of between 40 and 50 men. Each company is commanded by a Captain and a First Sergeant.


There are two platoons per company, and each platoon consists of between 20 and 25 men. Each platoon is commanded by a Lieutenant and a Staff Sergeant.


There are five squads per platoon, with each squad consisting of 4 to 5 men. Each squad is commanded by either a Sergeant or a Corporal.


There are two teams per squad, with each squad consisting of between 2 and 3 men. Each squad is commanded by the most senior NCO that is present.

A typical Imperial Guard Platoon at full-strength consists of the following members:

1 Lieutenant
1 Staff Sergeant
2 Sergeants
4 Corporals
17 Guardsman (includes Senior and Junior Guardsmen)

Discipline Within the Imperial Guard

Any violation of a Guardsman's duty and/or Code of Conduct must be dealt with and punished swiftly and accordingly, depending on the severity of the infraction. Guard justice is a private matter between agents of the Imperium, and should be meted out within the Imperial Keep, never to be discussed with civilians and non-Guardsmen.

Depending on the severity of a crime, the following punishments may apply:

Restriction to Quarters

A Guardsman who is restricted to quarters is not allowed to leave the Imperial Keep, except on matters of duty or assignment. Fraternization with other Guardsman and civilian companions while restricted to quarters is strictly forbidden. Restriction to quarters is usually accompanied by menial tasks, such as cleaning the Keep, polishing armor and weapons, and performing the ever-dreaded Kitchen Patrol (K.P.).


Censure is an official verbal reprimand, usually combined with a fine and sometimes with administrative punishment. The Guardsman being censured is made to verbally recite his crimes in front of his fellow Guardsmen, and the censure is marked down in his permanent record.


A fine might be imposed on a Guardsman for most minor infractions. Often, these fines are deducted from the Guardsman's monthly pay. In the case of large or excessive fines, they may be deducted piecemeal over a series of months, or subtracted from a Guardsman's pension.

Administrative Discipline

This is the highest form of punishment allowed against a Guardsman without first performing a court martial. Administrative discipline includes physical punishment, such as whipping and walking the "gauntlet." Normally, administrative discipline is reserved for severe infractions that do not warrant either demotion or discharge from service, generally at the ranking officer's discretion. Such punishment is usually carried out in the bailey of the Imperial Keep, and all available Guardsmen are expected to attend.


Guardsmen who have perpetrated severe infractions can be demoted. Demotion, due to its long-lasting impact on a Guardsman's career, can only be meted out at an official court martial. One or more ranks can be stripped, and a Guardsman so demoted is reduced to the appropriate pay scale.


Any Guardsman found guilty by court martial of severe infractions can be dishonorably discharged. This is in addition to any other punishment meted out by the court.

Military Prison

Guardsmen are rarely sent to a military prison for minor infractions. Usually, military prison is reserved for Guardsmen who have perpetrated crimes against the Imperium, but these crimes aren't usually serious enough to carry a stiffer penalty (ie, exile or execution). A military prison sentence is most often accompanied by a dishonorable discharge. Prison terms vary widely, depending on the severity of the crime, and can last for several months up to several decades.


The punishment of exile is reserved for Guardsmen who are found guilty of serious crimes against the Imperium that do not generally involve loss of life or territory. The Guardsman in question faces any other disciplinary action that his sentence dictates, and it then taken to the furthest reaches of the Imperium and released, never to return. To return to the Imperium or any of its provinces means that he will be executed without a trial if he is caught.


Execution is reserved for the most heinous and unforgivable crimes against the Imperium and the Imperial Guard. The standard method of execution, once a Guardsman has been convicted, is decapitation.


Demerits are given and accrued when a Guardsman steps out of line, breaks his code of conduct, or performs some minor offense which is contrary to the well-being and morale of the Imperial Guard. They are less severe than other forms of punishment, and are not generally given under harsher circumstances. Demerits accumulate as they are earned, and accumulating too many generally results in punishments of increasing severity. A demerit is given at an officer or NCO's discretion.

First Demerit: Restriction to Quarters
Second Demerit: Censure
Third Demerit: Fine
Fourth Demerit: Administrative Discipline
Fifth Demerit: Demotion

For details on the listed punishments, see "Discipline Within the Imperial Guard," above.

When five demerits have been accrued, the Guardsman's total demerits "rolls over" to zero, and he automatically loses rank. This is the only way a Guardsman can lose rank without facing a court martial. If a Guardsman is reduced below the rank of Junior Guardsman, he is dishonorably discharged from service. As a matter of course, a discharge as a result of demerits is accompanied by a formal hearing similar to a court martial.