I've started assembling a Winter Guard force. To keep me inspired as I paint them, I've decided to give them a background in the fiction. This is the beginning of it, future posts will update my painting progress and flesh out the history of the unit and its place in the world.
The 111th Infantry Battalion is a storied force, with roots stretching back over 300 years. Many young recruits, starting their mandatory term of military service, strive to be posted to the 111th in the hopes of earning glory serving under its famous commander, Kovnik Gregorovitch. The high casualty rate during the fierce fighting at Northguard and then through the Thornwood means that many get their chance.
Among these men and women, the 77th Kompany stands out. Grey streaks almost every head. By longstanding tradition, no one may join the 77th unless they have a son or grandson, to carry on the tradition of service to the Motherland. Some in the unit are 30-year men who can't imagine a life outside the ranks. Others have re-enlisted after their children have grown and their spouses died, preferring the hazards of battle and the comraderie of the mess tent to the security and solitude of retirement.
The Kompany is not known as "The Immortals" because of their longevity, but because after the Kompany fought to the last man covering the Khadoran evactuation after the Battle of Dragon's Tongue the High Kommand dictated their insignia and Kompany number were to be kept perpetually in service. That tradition of sacrifice continues into the present; after the failure of the first siege of Northguard, the 77th held the outer earthworks to prevent harassing sallies as the main body of troops pulled out. The men say that just before their positions were overrun, the few remaining soldiers turned back and saluted the treeline where they knew the snipers waited. Not one was captured alive.