At dawn on Friday, October 13, 1307, scores of French Templars were simultaneously arrested by agents of King Philip, later to be tortured into admitting heresy and other sacrilegious offences in the Order. Then they were put to death. Throughout the trial there was never any physical evidence of wrongdoing, and no independent witnesses; the only "proof" was obtained through confessions induced by torture. The Templars reached out to the Pope for assistance, and Pope Clement did write letters to King Philip questioning the arrests, but took no further action. This was the end of the Knights Templar or so it was believed. The earliest masonic texts date back as far as 1390, well over eighty years after the persecution of the Knights Templar. Throughout history fragile links have been established between the Masons and the Templars but none of these theories have ever held water. In truth they did maintain after their victimization but so feared were they of the church and the king that they made every effort possible to conceal their existence — and they had succeeded. In 2010, when the Nevus appeared in the heavens they knew the time had come to step out of the shadows.
THE SECRET SOCIETY
So secretive were the Knights Templar that not even the Masonic Society in which they existed ever knew about them. They were literally a mystery wrapped in an enigma. In time, they would penetrate the Illuminati and remain unknown. They called themselves The Vanguard of Humanity and dedicated their lives to thwarting the corruption of the church and society in general. They were the bane of the 'secret societies' attacking them from within destroying the best laid plans of some of the most powerful figures throughout history.
The Vanguard were everywhere and nowhere. They survived through centuries due to the fact that their numbers remained small and each generation was carefully prepared to succeed their fathers, and mothers.
Founded by the ‘Original Twelve’, the Vanguard which began with one hundred and seventeen members would over time grow into the thousands. A hidden society speckled across the globe, hidden within the obscurity of the Masons and Illuminati.
WE ARE LEGION
The Vanguard of Humanity made themselves known shortly after the ‘Event’ and were warmly received and supported as a force against the zombies, veil crossers and all other manner of monstrosity.
During that first apocalyptic year, their numbers greatly increased, as they absorbed the personnel and much of the resources of the failed military. People followed strength and embraced their philosophy so long as they received protection. It was only as order was restored that many citizens of the Eastern American Alliance and Federation of Western America began to consciously consider their policies and reject them. Only the majority of the South Coalition remained staunch supporters of their campaign and to this day remain so.
The command center of the Vanguard is located in Atlanta, Georgia, known as the FIRST LEGION. They are the heart of the Coalition and the driving force behind it. Many of the laws and policies of this new government has been set and enforced by the Vanguard, but this is not to say that they do not exist elsewhere. The Vanguard exist across the Eastern Alliance and the Federation but those citizens are not as excepting of their methods of dealing with those ‘Altered Humans’ who do not meet their standards.
The Vanguard were first brought together for their hatred of sovereign rulers and their betrayal by the church. A deep seeded loathing that would not be satisfied by the sharp edge of a blade nor even the slow painful demise of an iron maiden. No, nothing was more important to these high ranking officials than money, reputation and legacy. They would spend their entire lives ensuring that those directly and indirectly responsible for the torturous deaths of their brothers lived out their lives in pain and utter distress. It proved a difficult and arduous task but they had faith. Faith that were they did not succeed their successors would continue and it is this mental fortitude that best defines the Vanguard.
They stand for what is best for man-kind, but what is best is not always what’s desired. They never, ever, spurned the bible, just it’s interpretation by those corrupt members of the church.
They had long been awaiting a sign. A sign that would let them know that it was time to rise up and take their place in society and that time came with the Resonance. At first sign of the effects of the Nevus Event, the Vanguard’s mission evolved in defence of the Humans of this new world.
The Vanguard believe that the overuse and abuse of magic will lay waste to the world. Beings from the ‘Other Realms’ and those lacking the semblance of Humanity only threaten to irritate the ‘black scar’ of the Resonance and bring about the destruction of the solar system. In order to prevent this, they are forced to retire these beings and through their death send them back through Nevus so that it may completely heal and seal forever.
Lycanthropes are some of their main concerns. These parasitic and maniacal monstrosities are at the top of their purge list and are a major part of their campaign to 'RE-HUMANIZE' the world.
THE CREED OF HUMAN-KIND
When the Vanguard revealed themselves a new church arose with them. The Church of Human-kind. It embraces all of Christianity, Judaism and Muslim faiths. It is really only a transplanted belief allowing their creed to be spoken within the hallowed halls of these other religions, a simple creed that outlaws all that are not ‘Human’.
THE CREED OF HUMAN-KIND also known as the DOCTRINE OF TEMPLAR begins like this:
UNITED BY OUR BLOOD AND OUR BELIEF IN THE SOLIDARITY OF HUMAN-KIND,
WE PLEDGE TO PROTECT OUR BROTHERS AND OUR SISTERS.
IT IS RIGHT AND JUST.
WE RECOGNIZE OUR BROTHER BY THE HUMANITY IN HIS HEART.
HE IS RIGHT AND JUST.
WE HEAR OUR SISTER BY THE HUMANITY IN HER WORDS.
SHE IS RIGHT AND JUST.
WE REJECT THE BLACK SCAR OF THE RESONANCE AND THE HORRORS IT HAS BROUGHT TO OUR WORLD.
WE ARE RIGHT AND JUST.
EMPOWERED PEOPLE IN THE VANGUARD?
If you're asking why an person who received amazing abilities chooses to side with the VANGUARD then you clearly do not belong in the South or the organization. Someone questioning their allegiance would not understand the loyalty they have for their home, their friends and to what they were. They did not ask to change, they do not want to change. Those altered individuals who embrace the mission of the Vanguard are seeking security not only from being persecuted but also from their own kind.
Those empowered persons who choose to stand side by side with Humans, share the same desire to restore the nation to what it was. They believe that their 'abilities' if not controlled and concealed will in time be the downfall of Human society. For the most part they seek only to maintain the dominance of Humanity because they trust it. They are patriots and people who do not embrace the change of the Resonance but fear it. They fear the magic and what it will do to their world and will do anything and everything to drive it back into the shadows.
DEFINING HUMANITY — ENEMIES
Before one can defend Humanity one must first define it. The Vanguard considers all who ‘appear’ Human and ‘behave’ Human to be the ‘chosen’ but of course there are many creatures able to pass as Human, such as Lycanthropes and Demons. These are the ‘Deceivers’ and it they who are more actively sought out and purged from this world.
Truly it is the ‘life-style’ and ‘beliefs’ of a Humanoid that define it. The Vanguard does not discriminate against subtle ‘in-human’ traits such as ear shape, eye, or skin colour. They are beyond such trivial differences. The major trait that makes a 'non-human' an enemy is the use of their powers. For those who are possessed on any extra-abilities they must exercise caution at all times and strive not to ever abuse them. The are to be used only in dire need, and even then, with restraint. It is an almost impossible requirement for an Altered Human to uphold and yet many try. Many 'altered humans' DO NOT embrace the change or see their abilities as gifts. To some, especially those in the South, they are seen as 'curses'. These 'Altered Humans' that maintain what they believe to be a ‘Human’ lifestyle and control their 'curses' are welcome among them but those who are monstrous beware.
Vanguard will ALWAYS see Lycanthropes as MONSTERS. There are no shades of gray here, it is simple black and white. The Vanguard and Weres are enemies. Period.
STRUCTURE & POLITICS
The Vanguard is an extensive organization comprised of ‘corporate administration’, ’military force’ and ‘religion’. Faith and Spirituality rest at it’s core, empowering them to slay the ‘deceivers’ with impunity.
Essentially hidden away for centuries they have many secret structures throughout the world which they utilize in their battle against the ‘Unacceptable Altered’, those from other realms and the ‘deceivers’ such as Lycanthropes.
THE VANGUARD IS PRIMARILY A LAW ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATION. While they possess a strategic military task force the bulk of the organization is perceived as 'Law Enforcement Personnel' not unlike police officers and state troopers. They wear uniforms and generally patrol the streets in white and gunmetal grey cars with their distinctive emerald green flashing lights (in our current society we might perceive them as a private security force).
They disdain the New World Defense Division. Even more they despise the Order of Light and ARMA. No Magus are accepted into the Vanguard due to the fact that they 'overuse' magic. While they may have dealings with Rogue Magus they or the Coalition will not tolerate their kind.
Not all members of the Vanguard are going to embrace all their beliefs but for many their ultimate goal of reclaiming the world is worth fighting for. Some know no other way — soldiers and law enforcers lost and searching for a cause, any cause, to fight for.
PUBLIC PERCEPTION — The Portrayal of your Vanguard Character
Public image means everything to the Vanguard. Their very presence in the Eastern Alliance relies on people viewing them as a safe and secure alternative to ARMA and the Order of Light. Confrontation between them and the Order can be disastrous so it is avoided as much as possible, especially when there is reasonable doubt of them not appearing to be in the right.
Patrolling troopers try to be as helpful as possible to the local police but they will not ever trade their beliefs and breath of their oath for public relations. Assistance will always be refused where those who do not meet their standards are concerned. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE PRONE TO INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE. The Vanguard, above all, will always try and promote good relations between themselves and standard law enforcement. It is NOT UNCOMMON at all for local police to accept the assistance of the Vanguard. Since they tend to patrol those areas they are unable to, the two organizations tend to pool their resources and work together.
Portraying a member of the Vanguard in any other part of the world other than the South is all about keeping up appearances. Everywhere else they are the minority and realize that they are often perceived as fanatics and devout fundamentalists, even described by some as a cult rather than an organization. All members of the Vanguard realize that brute force alone will not help their cause, especially in the Alliance where they would be going up against superior forces in the form of local police combined with ARMA and their allies. There are some, however, who desire the prospect of a civil war and thus taunt opposing forces in order to provoke them. The majority of the Vanguard do not condone the actions of these few but at the same time do not fear it. Never make the mistake of assuming the Vanguard to be accommodating, where the Order of Light and ARMA are concerned they are only as compromising as necessary because their presence in the East is reliant upon their tolerance and the backing of the civilians. Their support could easily sway the other way if the population ever learned of their many schemes to improve their image and darken the Light of the Order and tarnish the image of ARMA.
Behind the assertive and orderly facade of the Vanguard is a scheming beast hiding it's claws, lurking in the shadows, ever plotting. This is the reality but it is not known to all members nor do all believe that Magus in general are truly as bad as they are told. The bottom line is that if you're a member of the Vanguard you do not fraternize with any 'Altered or Otherworldly Individuals' unless they meet the requirements of 'Humanity'.
APPEARANCE — Uniforms
Distinction is very important to the Vanguard. Their uniforms, their vehicles and offices are all designed to stand out and intimidate.
Their philosophy is such that no member of the Vanguard is above the requirement of a uniform. All employees, especially corporate executives must wear gun-metal gray. With the exception of black foot wear their attire must be this specific color, and at all times they must wear a symbol of the Vanguard in the form of a lapel pin, brooch or ring.
Gunmetal Gray is their color. Everything reflects this look with the exception of their vehicles, some of which will be flat black.
One of the most distinct characteristics of their vehicles are their warning lights which are neither red nor blue, but green. The ominous emerald glow of the Vanguard lights stands out in the night and is well known.
Outside of the Southern Coalition the power of the Vanguard varies. It is only by corporate and public support that they exist in the Alliance.
In the public eye they police alongside local law enforcement and even ARMA and the Order of Light. They add their fire power to theirs and defend civilians from criminals in any shape or form. Naturally, however, their policies differ and this is where conflicts occur. The clashes are actually quite common but for the good of both parties involved they are kept out of the media.
It is only because of the nation's fragile government structure that factions like the Vanguard and even the Order of Light can exist in their current capacity. At this time in history, they are needed, but some would rather the Vanguard not be on the streets just like others would rather see them in the place of the Order.
When it comes down to it, the Vanguard hold jurisdiction over a few areas in New York where lack of funding has forced the closure of local precincts. These holes, allow the Vanguard to slip in and set up shop. They gain the support of the community and pretty soon they are a permanent fixture. They call these ex-precincts, BASTIONS. There are several 'bastions' throughout the city speckling the light of the Order and ARMA with gun metal grey.
If ever arguments arise between regular police and government agencies the policy of the Vanguard is to simply step back. Where ever there is a LEGION there is generally support in the local police force and it is the desire of the Vanguard to get along with standard law enforcement personnel.
TRAINING / TACTICS
Vanguard troopers are no slouches when it comes to combat. They are highly trained, being the equivalent of specialized teams like S.W.A.T. units. When a character comes up against these NPC's in-story it is the writer's responsibility not to make them out to be weak or incompetent. The Vanguard and normal police officers for that matter are not fools when it comes to law enforcement (contrary to the stereotypical portrayl of them in TV shows). They may make poor choices but when it comes to enforcing the law they're formidable foes.