|The Watchers of Darkhaven|
To fight as a watcher is to be a master of the bow and a wraith in the dark. We are the Watchers of Darkhaven, and we die as we live - our vigil is a life long pact.
Lady Idrya Haven
Formerly Aneani Burche, Deceased - Position Empty
The Watchers of Darkhaven are an order founded by the late Mariuanna Darkwater before Idrya Haven was given her Barony of the Dusk Thicket. Found to be in poor equipment, and untrained outside of shooting an average shot with a bow and arrow, Idrya personally disbanded the Watchers of Darkhaven and re-established the order from scratch.
It's not entirely clear on when the Watchers of Darkhaven were founded. It's only known that it occurred between the time Mariuanna Darkwater re-claimed the Darkwater's ancestral lands, and before her death at the hands of Blood-Wrought inspired riots. After Mari's death, and Idrya was given the Dusk Thicket barony, the order was disbanded and re-established from scratch upon learning the deplorable state of the small order. The Order is exclusive to women.
The Watcher's OathEdit
Idrya Haven, inspired by the concept of the McCallan's Equine Guard Code, adopted the Code concept for her Watchers and put in place an oath that every Watcher is to swear by, and have inked into their skin.
We are the Watchers of Darkhaven. We will only be seen when we allow ourselves to be seen. Our mission is to deter trouble from the Dusk Thicket, and the Range when called upon. It is our duty to see to the preservation of the Dusk Thicket, and to the Lord or Lady who leads from Darkhaven. If we fail in our duties, it is because we allowed ourselves to fail. Our ability to move unseen, and to strike from the shadows is unmatched. Our bow is our reach, our arrows are our will and our dual-blades are our tenacity. To fight as a Watcher is to be a master of the bow and a wraith in the dark. We are the Watchers of Darkhaven, and we will die as we live - Our vigil is a life long pact.
Tests and TrialsEdit
Test of Archery: Every aspiring Watcher is required to pass the Test of Archery without flaw. They are not permitted to move to the next test if they miss their target by more than a few meters. Every shot matters, and it should be shot to kill. This test promotes a mastery of Archery and is usually overseen by Lady Idrya Haven herself, and occasionally by the Sentinel of the Watchers.
Test of Melee: The Test of Melee is the next step needed to be completed without fault in order to pass onto the next stage to joining the Watchers. This test drills the aspiring Watcher in wielding a pair of dual-blades in the case of melee combat. The recruit is required to last a full sparring session of an hour with the designated trainer without being struck more than three times. Without exception, Lady Idrya Haven personally sees to every one of these tests.
Test of Subtlety: The Test of Subtlety is the third stage of a Watcher's training. Here is where the aspirant learns to move without being seen, attack without drawing attention and observe without being detected. It is among the most difficult concepts to grasp due to the nature of the test and as important to becoming a Watcher as is the Test of Archery and the Test of Melee. The test is overseen by both Lady Idrya Haven and the Sentinel along with three other experienced Watchers. To pass the test, the initiate must move about without being detected over the course of a week. This test is usually held once a month given the time invested in the test itself, and that is only when there is multiple aspirants ready for the test.
Test of Speed: This is the final test to becoming a Watcher of Darkhaven. The initiates go through the three previous tests but train to do everything they do at a faster pace. The aspirants are given an undisclosed time period to complete the first two tests. The Test of Speed is gauged differently. For the aspirants to pass the subtlety portion of this Trial of Speed, they are assigned an intelligence gathering mission and pit against one another in the vast forestry of the Dusk Thicket. They have twenty-four hours to report back with information to Lady Idrya Haven and this is where they are told if they made the cut, or if they had to go back to stage one.
Weapons and ArmoryEdit
The Watchers of Darkhaven are equipped with a longbow crafted from the wood found in the Dusk Thicket. So as to not cut down the trees, every Watcher is to report to one of the druids that reside in the Dusk Thicket and seek their assistance in obtaining the wood to craft their bow.
The arrows provided to the Watchers are simple in design. The arrows themselves are designed with goose feathers and the arrowheads are barbed and dipped in a paralyzing poison.
Each Watcher is equipped with a pair of dual-blades in the event of melee combat. Typically, the blades themselves are sword swords, daggers or rapiers in the rare occasion.
Every Watcher of Darkhaven is required to move silently. As such, they wear light armor. The armor is designed out of leather and wool with a large cowl and a mask. The armor itself is dyed to blend well with the forests of the Dusk Thicket for the ultimate camoflague.
1. Commander- The Commander can only be held by one woman, and this rank is exclusive to the Baroness of the Dusk Thicket.
2. Sentinel- The Sentinel is the second-in-command of the Watchers. They take charge of the Watchers when the Commander is unavailable. This rank can only be held by one woman, and is only achievable by being selected by the Commander of the Watchers of Darkhaven.
3. Wraith- The Wraith rank is only achieved by the elite of the elite of the Watchers. The granting of this rank is given to a Watcher by the Commander and Sentinel after recognizing their skill in and out of combat. At all times, there are only five Wraiths and they are sent to Gregor's Crossing to aid in the protection of the current Lord his descendants.
4. Watcher- The Watchers are those that have passed their trials and tests and are ready to take on their duty to protect and serve the House of Haven and their heirs, as well as the Dusk Thicket and the Range when called upon. It is undetermined how many Watchers there are, but the ranks are steadily growing. They are the main force of the Watchers of Darkhaven and are always ready to act.
6. Aspirant- The aspirant is not a member of the Watchers. They are recruits who signed on with the Watchers for training with the intent to join the ranks. They are required to go through extensive training and tests before being judged worthy of the Watcher rank.
Notable Members and Figures Edit
Commander Idrya Haven Edit
Lady Idrya Haven is the Baroness of the Dusk Thicket. After being granted the Barony of the Dusk Thicket, she found Mariuanna's Watchers to be inept in their duties and disbanded the order and later re-established it as the Watchers of Darkhaven, or the Watchers for short.
First Sentinel Clidna Haven Edit
Clidna Haven was the Second-in-Command of the Watchers of Darkhaven. She is also the mother and mentor of Idrya Haven. Clidna had reconnected with the Haven sisters and had been assisting Idrya with the training of new Watchers. Her skills in the fields pertaining to the Watcher's ideology was legendary.
Second Sentinel Aneani Burche Edit
Aneani Burche is the current Sentinel of the Watchers of Darkhaven. She succeeded Clidna Haven upon the First Sentinel's death and has quickly proven to be an able leader and mentor to the young and aspiring Watchers. When the Commander is unavailable, Aneani has acted in her stead without pause and taken over the majority of training new Watchers.