In the ancient history of Dalmir, the two powers Tylan and Dos came to a great war that ended with both powers decending into civil war. The fighting in Dos was brutal and bloody - none more so than the fighting in the province of Dehrait. The fighting was so bloody, that with the weak fabric of time and space on Dalmir, the first RIFTS formed there, unleashing a black scaled serpent with night black wings, claws of jet, and eyes red as a Calam tree's needles. This was Dalmir's first ever dragon.
For 75 years this dragon corrupted the minds of the Dehraitians and made them truly believe that he was in fact a God called Calmanshequatesa. In the end he led the Dehraitian people in a massive campaign of expansion that brought half the known world under the banners of Dehrait. Thast is until a lone knight of Tylan, a rogue, took it upon himself to seek out and destroy the Dragon of Dehrait. This man's name was Talnas Shaquela - ancestor to none other than Mahelian Shaquela. This began the tradition of the Dragonguard.
When first created as a title, one essentially had to be a a Tylanian Knight, who had gone rogue to abandon any hope for life or self indulgence, with the goal of simply slaying a dragon or dragons as it later turned out to be. All for the porpose of protecting the people of Dalmir from the tyranny of those dragons who would enslave them, confuse them, and lead them astray. Once Talnas had established a Kingdom for himself, cutting a small niche from the eastern edge of Tylan he called Capos, he began to cultivate and encourage such selfless acts among his men and women at arms. From them, eventually, dozens would rise to the occasion, but only six others would step forth and undertake the quest to slay one of the dark and vile dragons of Dehrait and return victorious. Seven Dragonguards in total there then were, and from them was born a new knight's order, the order of the Dragonguard. This new order was founded on the time honoured principles of the Tylanian knights, following many of the same training techniques these would, but would also involve training to instill the same selflessness that brought about the original Dragonguard. These Dragonguards would be fanatically loyal to the Royal family, the Shaquela, with only slightly lesser dedication to the the noble families of Zacúlea, the Eutunea, the Oroónoa, the Zetomaea, the Torumasas, the Tetetoma, and finally with a deep sense of loyalty to the Kingdom of Capos. Later the grandson heir of Talnas, Colosnian, would introduce the Dalmirian fighting form of Lieu-Ta to the training of the Dragonguard.
Nearly two millenia would pass before the fifth generation successor to Talnas, Etonas, would be crowned High King of Dalmir. Under his rule the Dragonguard evolved into an elite branch of the Dalmirian Empire's military, but it's traditions have remained as a solid foundation to this elite order in the several millenia that followed this. When the plane shift occurred that severed contact between Dalmir and Earth, about 60 Dragonguards were stranded on Earth, along with Queen Mahelian Shaquela, high Queen of Dalmir, and Queen of Desert Star. Of those sixty individuals - only two are decended from the original seven Dragonguard, Queen Mahelian Shaquela herself is the 10th generation successor to Talnas Shaquela, and a Captain in the N.O.M.A.D. Military named Taka Zacúlea is decended of the second of the original Dragonguards.
Please note that Dragonguards are NOT dragon-haters. At the time of the original Dragonguards very few dragons had arrived on Dalmir, and of those, most were particularly wicked and vile. Centuries later a small handful of dragons, apparently rivals of those who were assisting Dehrait, arrived and made themselves quite useful to the Tylanians and Caposnians. The Dragonguard beliefs basically indicate that one should be unselfish, and drop all of the worldly cares of a normal individual, to perform a seemingly insurmountable task for the betterment of all. That is the epitomy of Dragonguard philosophy. It just so happened that these first insurmountable tasks happened to be the slaying of dragons.
Alignment Restrictions: Good; Those who are not typically are jaded individuals who have given up their traditions.
Racial Restrictions: Tradition indicates that only Dalmirians may become Dragonguards. In Desert Star this tradition MAY be broken - IF the individual is truly of a heroic background, and bears the proper mindset to be a Dragonguard.
Attribute Requirements: IQ: 12, ME: 12, PS: 14, PP: 17 & PE: 10.
O.C.C. Bonuses: See the Hand to Hand Lieu-Ta description below.
Language & Literacy Dalmirian 98%
Two Languages of Choice (+20%)
Literacy Skill of Choice (+20%)
Basic Math (+10%)
Pilot: Two of Choice (+5%)
Weapon Proficiencies: Four of Choice
Hand to Hand: Lieu-Ta
O.C.C. Related Skills: Select 9 other skills to indicate the official training received by the Dragonguard, but of these at least two must be selected from the physical category. Plus one more skill may be selected at levels 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15.
Domestic: Any (-5%)
Espionage: Any (+5%)
Medical: First Aid Only
Physical: Any (+10% where applicable)
Pilot: Any (+5%)
Pilot Related: Any (+5%)
Science: Math only
Wilderness: Land Navigation or Survival Only.
Secondary Skills: Select 6 additional skills representing unofficial training, skills picked up along the way, or hobby interests the character enjoys. Plus the character may select an additional skill at levels 2, 4, 8, and 12.
Standard Equipment: 2 Gauvon Water Mugs (Gauvon=1.2 pints), lower waist pack, multi-optics monacle, ambient light collection lighter (uses ambient light such as starlight, firelight, artificial light, collects it, converts it to electricity and thereby excites the coil, creating heat enough to start fires), first aid kit, communicator headset (Dalmirian varieties have a 20 mile broadcast range with a 1 mile range laser communications device built in.), 3 weeks condensed rations, and a pocket holographic map display. Clothing of a Dragonguard is typically non-revealing, against their cultural tradition of being exceptionally revealing. Uniforms are white over all, with gold bands around the collar, wrists, ankles, and a gold stripe up the outside of the leg. On the collar and sleeve stripe is a single black circular pin, and in the middle of the chest is a 4" circular shaped pin displaying a golden dragon battling a black dragon. (The gold embroidered into the uniforms, as well as the chest pin, are real gold.) Dragonguard armor on Dalmir was invariably Tylanian Infantry Armor with chest and back braces added for battle. This armor was laquered white over all with gold highlights, with the helmet looking like a golden dragon's head with the face of the Dragonguard obscured by a golden face plate in the shape of Talnas Shaquela's face, within the dragon's jaws. On Earth, what few suits of Tylanian Infantry Armor are remaining, are reserved for Dragonguard assigned to protect the Queen. Dragonguard weaponry on Dalmir consisted of a finely crafted sword and knife, produced by the famed Tylanian Swordsmiths, capable of inflicting 4D6 M.D.C. and 2D6 M.D.C. respectively, as well as either a Dragonguard Energy Halberd or a Capos Ion Blaster. On Earth Dragonguard weaponry varies from place to place, origin to origin. Those assigned to the protection of the Queen are issued the traditional Dalmirian weaponry or are issued the S-Mart HPL-7B, in place of the energy halberd or Capos Ion Blaster. Those Dragonguard found wandering may still carry their traditional equipment or may have opted to attain less conspicuous attire and weaponry.
Money: Typically a Dragonguard keeps very little money. Much of their money is donated to the Church of Thoth, or other various good causes. When traveling, however, a Dragonguard may have up to 1D4x1000 credits.
Cybernetics: None, their bodies simply are not compatable with human equivalent systems. Even if some were developed, while some Dalmirians may opt to accept them, Dragonguard prefer their own bodies over augmentation.
Leiu-Ta - The Fluttering Way
Developed two generations after Talnas slew Calmanshequatesa, Lieu-Ta was adopted as the primary combat training of the Dragonguard. In practice Lieu-Ta almost looks like a dance with a great deal of whirling, high kicks, and sharp fast snap movements of the arms and legs. All of these traits also are combined with the natural ability and flexibility of the Dalmirian Race. Non-Dalmirians CAN, in theory, learn Leiu-Ta, but it is nowhere near as effective due to the rigid bone structure in other races.
Costume: Traditionally Tylanian Infantry Armor, but can be adapted to N.O.M.A.D. Environmental Combat Armor, Crusader Body Armor, or other similar types that allow for extreme flexibility.
Stance: Feet, shoulders width apart, body slightly crouched, and with arms held shoulder high fist clenched. It's highly mobile, with feet constantly being moved around and arms wavering lazily as though in a breeze in a side to side motion about ten degrees in either direction.
Martial Art Bonuses: +4 to P.S., P.P. & P.E. - in addition to +40 S.D.C., +1 attack, +2 initiative, & +5 damage. Non-Dalmirians performing Lieu-Ta gain quite a bit less from this hand to hand, since they do not have many of the dynamic features of a Dalmirian body. They gain +2 to P.P. +1 to P.S. and P.E., and +40 S.D.C.
Attacks Per Melee: 2. (Not including the base amount for any player character of 2, plus the Martial Art Bonuses.)
Escape Moves: Roll w/Punch, Backflip, Maintain Balance.
Basic Defense Moves: Dodge, Parry, Auto-Parry, Entangle.
Advanced Defenses: Multiple Dodge, Circular Parry, Auto-Dodge, & Auto-Entangle (Special!).
Hand Attacks: Snap-Punch (Special!), Backhand, Punch, Extension Punch (Special!), Spinning Backhand.
Foot Attacks: Snap-Kick (Special!), Extension Kick (Special!), Crescent Kick, Backward Sweep, Reverse Turning Kick.
Special Attacks Clarification: Auto-Entangle; Wrapping a weapon or limb up with an arm using natural flexibility - works automatically as a parry! Snap-Punches and Kicks are a quick snap of the arm or leg striking with the upper side of the knuckles/foot works like a normal punch or kick, inflicting the same damage, but because of the speed of the attack it is difficult to deflect (+2 to strike!). Extension Punch or Kick is the equivalent of a Dalmirian Power Punch or Kick, consuming the usual two attacks. It involves the contraction of the limb in question to about half it's normal length, and letting it out in a lightning strike against an adversary. Damage for the Extension Punch is 3D4 S.D.C. and the Extension Kick inflicts 4D6 S.D.C. other races without the natural pliability of Dalmirians cannot perform any of these special features attacks.
Modifiers to Attack: Pull Punch, Knock-Out Stun, and Critical Strike.
Level Advancement Bonuses:
Level 1: +2 roll with punch, fall, or impact, +2 to pull punch, +2 to entangle.
Level 2: +2 to strike, parry, & dodge. +10% Backflip.
Level 3: +10% Maintain Balance. +2 to damage.
Level 4: +1 attack, +2 initiative
Level 5: +1 parry and dodge, Critical Strike on a natural roll of 19 or 20.
Level 6: +1 to strike
Level 7: Knock-Out on a natural roll of 19 or 20.
Level 8: +1 to roll with punch, fall, or impact, +1 to pull punch.
Level 9: +1 attack, Critical Strike on a natural roll of 18, 19, or 20.
Level 10: Auto-Dodge
Level 11: +2 initiative, +1 to strike, parry, and dodge.
Level 12: +1 to entangle, +1 attack.
Level 13: Knock-Out on a natural roll of 18, 19, or 20.
Level 14: Extension Punch & Kicks require only ONE attack.
Level 15: +1 attack, +2 to parry and dodge.
NOTE: For details on many of these combat maneuvers please refer to the Ninjas & Superspies book.