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- For other Bestiary entries see the index.
Phoenix Guards are the hieratic Asur guardians of the Shrine of Asuryan, the great pyramid temple on an isle in the Sea of Dreams. Inside the shrine it is said there lies the Chamber of Days, and that the histories of Phoenix Kings past, present and future, are written on the ancient walls of the shrine in words of fire upon stone. Any who look upon that wall will know both the future and the past, and will forever be cursed with knowledge of their own death.
The Phoenix Guards do not utter a word, for it is forbidden for anyone who has seen the secrets of time to speak of them, and all who do so take a magical vow of silence from which they can never be released. Viewed by many as a curse, this magical covenant with Asuryan offers them a measure of protection from their foes, and fills them with a sense of purpose bordering on the divine.
When their Lord orders them to war, the Phoenix Guard are grim and resolute, clad in ornate armour, and armed with tall ceremonial halberds. While their stony quiet is unnerving to foes, the aura of fear that surrounds them is far more horrifying. Their eyes blaze with a fiery intensity borne of unshakeable faith in the Creator god of the Elves, and the air around a regiment of Phoenix Guard literally throbs with the raw power of Asuryan. Any who would stand in their way are assailed by an overwhelming sense of dread. On the battlefield Phoenix Guard are always found where the fighting is at the most fierce for they know their destiny – whether they shall live, or the exact moment and manner of their death – and so battle holds no fear for them.
The most famous duty of the Phoenix Guard comes about when a new Phoenix King is elected. It is the role of the Phoenix Guard to accompany the newly chosen Phoenix candidate, and attend him as he enters the flame eternal, which marks his rebirth as the Phoenix King. When the Phoenix King dies, the Phoenix Guard appear without warning and carry the Phoenix King's body to the White Ship that will convey the King to his final resting place.
From ancient times, before Aenarion and the war against the Daemons, the legion of the Phoenix Guard always numbered ten thousand, and even now their number is the same. This has given rise to legends that the Phoenix Guard are immortal, or at least able to return from the dead. On this subject, like all others, the Phoenix Guard remain silent.