Highland Guard

Highland Guard sergeant,
sporting traditional kilt.

The Highland Guard

The Highlanders of the Victorian Domains hail from a cluster of worlds to the galactic north of the empire’s core regions. Existing at the very edge of the Orion-Cygnus Spur, with only trackless, empty space beyond it, the so-called Clan Worlds are rugged and sparsely populated planets. Each is semi-autonomous, though all swear fealty to the Princesses-Stellar of the Victorian Domains. The peoples of these worlds, long known as ‘highlanders’ for the ancient cultural mores of old Earth they retain, are independent and proud, fighting one another even as they defy any outsider who would oppress them.

The Highlanders fight in the armies of the Victorian Domains, and are considered amongst the toughest warriors the Militarchs can call upon, especially when operating in wild and untamed environments. They maintain a fearsome rivalry with the regiments of the Victorian Core Worlds and fight with a rugged honour for which they are known in a dozen enemy armies. They harbour a bitter resentment of regiments raised from the Borderworlds of the Victorian Domains, for most of these have at some time in their long history rebelled against their mistresses. The Highlanders however are proud to display a list of battle honours predating the creation of many of their rivals, and have never once turned against the Domains.

Each of the Victorian Highland regiments is raised from a single Clan World, the population of which are tightly knit and governed with an iron hand by their hereditary leaders. The clans have a long and complex history of in fighting and are notorious for harbouring grudges against one another from one generation to the next. It is far from uncommon for these rivalries to escalate into full-blown hostilities, though such conflicts are generally short and sharp and not allowed to interfere with the clans’ duties to the Victorian Domains.

Highland Moss Guard trooper, equipped for toxic environments.

Uniforms and equipment

The Victorian Highlanders are armed and equipped in the same manner as their compatriots amongst the armies of the Princesses-Stellar, but retain a number of traditional and highly individual uniform details. They proudly sport their traditional kilts, the pattern of which proclaims which of the Clan-Worlds the regiment in question hails from. When conditions make the wearing of a regiment’s kilts untenable, they are likely to be replaced with rugged breeches made from the same tartan material.

In addition, several regiments sport unique traditional headgear such as the distinctive ‘balmoral caps’, but these are often replaced by standard issue helmets or gas masks when battlefield conditions make it necessary. Perhaps most distinctive of all are the pipers that often accompany the Highlanders to war. While the majority of the armies of the Victorian Domains go to war to the sound to bugles, the Highlanders are fired to acts of outstanding bravery by the sound of the pipes. Many an enemy of the Victorian Domains has heard the sound of the Highlanders’ skirling pipes and fled rather than face the wrath of the wild, rugged soldiers.

The Borderworld Uprisings

The Borderworlds represent a string of systems between the outmost of the Victorian Core Worlds and the bulk of the Clan Worlds. Few of these planets harbour any useful resources, and the settlers that colonised them countless centuries ago never attained much in the way of culture or industry. Lacking their own resources, the peoples of the Borderworlds became little more than bandits and pirates, often paying homage to the Princesses-Stellar while simultaneously plundering their outlying holdings. It was against these fractious worlds that the Highland Guard were first sent to war, and there have been countless so-called Borderworld Uprisings ever since.

ART BY VICTORIA LAMB

Most of the time, the Borderworlds exist in a state of lawlessness and ill discipline, yet every generation this state erupts into outright rebellion. Some brigand demagogue rises to a position of power over his compatriots and declares his intention to the throw off the yoke of the Victorian Domains. If not contained, such uprisings threaten to destabilise the entire region, but worse yet is the potential for other stellar empires taking advantage of the lawlessness to advance their own ambitions.

When the First Borderworld Uprising took place, seventeen Clan-Worlds were ordered by the Princesses-Stellar to quell the rebellion before it got out of hand. This they did with brutal efficiency, earning the eternal and bitter hatred of their foes in the process. It was in the aftermath of the suppressions however that the true scope of the conflict became evident. The Orlean Republic, a rival stellar empire of the Victorian Domains, had planned an invasion of the Victorian Core Worlds, conspiring with the uprising’s leaders to attack when the bulk of the Domain’s regiments were committed in the Borderworlds. As it transpired, it was only the fact that the Highlanders defeated the uprising quickly and without the need to deploy the regiments of the Victorian Guard that saved the Core Worlds from what might have been a devastating invasion. In the aftermath of the First Borderworld Uprising, the Orlean Republic was itself invaded by the Tannenburg Empire, a war which saw its capital besieged for over a decade and changed the map of the Orion-Cygnus Spur for several centuries to come.


Highland Guard sergeant,
sporting traditional kilt.

The Highland Guard

The Highlanders of the Victorian Domains hail from a cluster of worlds to the galactic north of the empire’s core regions. Existing at the very edge of the Orion-Cygnus Spur, with only trackless, empty space beyond it, the so-called Clan Worlds are rugged and sparsely populated planets. Each is semi-autonomous, though all swear fealty to the Princesses-Stellar of the Victorian Domains. The peoples of these worlds, long known as ‘highlanders’ for the ancient cultural mores of old Earth they retain, are independent and proud, fighting one another even as they defy any outsider who would oppress them.

The Highlanders fight in the armies of the Victorian Domains, and are considered amongst the toughest warriors the Militarchs can call upon, especially when operating in wild and untamed environments. They maintain a fearsome rivalry with the regiments of the Victorian Core Worlds and fight with a rugged honour for which they are known in a dozen enemy armies. They harbour a bitter resentment of regiments raised from the Borderworlds of the Victorian Domains, for most of these have at some time in their long history rebelled against their mistresses. The Highlanders however are proud to display a list of battle honours predating the creation of many of their rivals, and have never once turned against the Domains.

Each of the Victorian Highland regiments is raised from a single Clan World, the population of which are tightly knit and governed with an iron hand by their hereditary leaders. The clans have a long and complex history of in fighting and are notorious for harbouring grudges against one another from one generation to the next. It is far from uncommon for these rivalries to escalate into full-blown hostilities, though such conflicts are generally short and sharp and not allowed to interfere with the clans’ duties to the Victorian Domains.

Highland Moss Guard trooper, equipped for toxic environments.

Uniforms and equipment

The Victorian Highlanders are armed and equipped in the same manner as their compatriots amongst the armies of the Princesses-Stellar, but retain a number of traditional and highly individual uniform details. They proudly sport their traditional kilts, the pattern of which proclaims which of the Clan-Worlds the regiment in question hails from. When conditions make the wearing of a regiment’s kilts untenable, they are likely to be replaced with rugged breeches made from the same tartan material.

In addition, several regiments sport unique traditional headgear such as the distinctive ‘balmoral caps’, but these are often replaced by standard issue helmets or gas masks when battlefield conditions make it necessary. Perhaps most distinctive of all are the pipers that often accompany the Highlanders to war. While the majority of the armies of the Victorian Domains go to war to the sound to bugles, the Highlanders are fired to acts of outstanding bravery by the sound of the pipes. Many an enemy of the Victorian Domains has heard the sound of the Highlanders’ skirling pipes and fled rather than face the wrath of the wild, rugged soldiers.

The Borderworld Uprisings

The Borderworlds represent a string of systems between the outmost of the Victorian Core Worlds and the bulk of the Clan Worlds. Few of these planets harbour any useful resources, and the settlers that colonised them countless centuries ago never attained much in the way of culture or industry. Lacking their own resources, the peoples of the Borderworlds became little more than bandits and pirates, often paying homage to the Princesses-Stellar while simultaneously plundering their outlying holdings. It was against these fractious worlds that the Highland Guard were first sent to war, and there have been countless so-called Borderworld Uprisings ever since.

ART BY VICTORIA LAMB

Most of the time, the Borderworlds exist in a state of lawlessness and ill discipline, yet every generation this state erupts into outright rebellion. Some brigand demagogue rises to a position of power over his compatriots and declares his intention to the throw off the yoke of the Victorian Domains. If not contained, such uprisings threaten to destabilise the entire region, but worse yet is the potential for other stellar empires taking advantage of the lawlessness to advance their own ambitions.

When the First Borderworld Uprising took place, seventeen Clan-Worlds were ordered by the Princesses-Stellar to quell the rebellion before it got out of hand. This they did with brutal efficiency, earning the eternal and bitter hatred of their foes in the process. It was in the aftermath of the suppressions however that the true scope of the conflict became evident. The Orlean Republic, a rival stellar empire of the Victorian Domains, had planned an invasion of the Victorian Core Worlds, conspiring with the uprising’s leaders to attack when the bulk of the Domain’s regiments were committed in the Borderworlds. As it transpired, it was only the fact that the Highlanders defeated the uprising quickly and without the need to deploy the regiments of the Victorian Guard that saved the Core Worlds from what might have been a devastating invasion. In the aftermath of the First Borderworld Uprising, the Orlean Republic was itself invaded by the Tannenburg Empire, a war which saw its capital besieged for over a decade and changed the map of the Orion-Cygnus Spur for several centuries to come.