No man can make a full accounting of the Wastes. So great is its size, and so barren, that it remains an untamed wilderness where few can tread with impunity. With so many miles between that place and civilization, even small evils can cast very long shadows. Bands of thieves and slavers, clans of goblins and orcs, secreted lairs of powerful men plotting foul deeds. All of these exist in the Wastes in quantity.
Yet even in the midst of this wickedness, innocence still lives. Scraping a clever, submarginal living from the arid rocks and stagnant waters there are still honest men and women who call the Wastes home. Though they are surrounded by danger, they steadfastly remain in the land of their birth, for their will is toughened with the hardship of many years.
Vinehaeven set down its roots in the Wastes in the hopes of aiding these people, of giving them a chance at a better life. We laid the strong foundation of our town, stone and mortar, honor and pride, all things that people could rely on. And the township grew as people came to a place where they come feel some small security in their hard lives.
This growth we expected, but there was something else that came as a surprise. Men and women started coming to us not simply for refuge, but for training. There were those who had had enough of being afraid. There were those who wanted to help make their homeland a place worth living in. Far be it from us to refuse a request with so much purpose behind it, so we took them into our fold.
We taught them the arts of swordplay, the science of tactics, and finally, the necessity of discipline as we organized them into their own military unit. Thus the Oaken Guard was born.
Made up of these brave souls from the Wastes, or from further parts unknown, the Oaken Guard has learned to add their own strength to the endless realms-born quests to bring good into the world. At their nearby bastion, Fort Oakenbrook, the Guard continues a regiment of strict training. No oath binds them to that place but their own will to live a life of heroism, and we predict that many will go on to do great deeds, either having remained a part of the Guard, or gone forth to lend their skills to other groups of heroes.
The lives we men and woman lead, be we farmer or swordsman, are ones of choice and circumstance. We made the choice to place foundations here in this shadowed land. They made the choice that a life of action was greater than a life of simply being. And circumstance brought us together, perhaps with the aim that we could accomplish something important.
In that duty, we shall not fail.
Lord Sir Aeston Stromgate
Patriarch of the Oaken Guard
September 30th, Y.L. 2006
The following is a list of notable members of the Oaken Guard, from the birth of the organization to present, organized by season that they came into our kinship.
Listed as well is the date that previous members graduated on to join the ranks of the glorius nations of the Realms.
- Kahlenar (Nate Soule) - Graduated to Ivory in '08
- Kyntela Gwyn (Alysha Metcalf) - Graduated to Rhiassa in '08
- Taliea Aelise Gathalion (Heather Magnoli) - Graduated to Rhiassa in '10
- Lumia (Allison Hopkins)
- Saxton (John Gouthro) - Graduated to Ivory in '08
- Morgana (Christine Poulin) - Graduated to Rhiassa in '09
- Feorana Amytheron [Captain of the Guard] (Angie Ruzzo) - Graduated to Rhiassa in '08
- Marduke Laboh (Adam Ruzzo) - Graduated to Rhiassa in '08
- Stripes Lightstride (Alex Elwood) - Graduated to Ivory in '07
- Locke (Carlos Silva)
- Zev Coyne (Rob Luppi) - Graduated to the Southern Wates in '10
- Toth (Nick Hoffman)
- Carina Celeste (Charlotte Smith)
- Gwen (Lani Jones) - Graduated to Rhiassa in '08
- Xavan (Cavan Kalonia) - Graduated to Ivory in '08
- Silth Felagund (Billy Lake)
- Styrkar (David Caldon) - Graduated to the Southern Wastes in '10
- Sigfried (Ryan Vallieres)
- Brutella (Chelsea Walsh)
- Kayjerine (Kay Zoeller)
- Orado (Tim Shaffer) - Graduated to Ivory in '10
- Spanky (Derek Marotta)
- Laurieel (Rebecca Kogan)
- Lynnora (Melanie Kazmercyk) - Graduated to Rhiassa in '13
- Raynor Skyline (Nick Quadrini) - Graduated to Ashenmark in '11
- Caleal Deiard (Michael Preato) - Graduated to Ashenmark in '11
- Umbra (Alyssa Lee) - Graduated to Ashenmark in '12
- Pardus (Benje Ding)
- Aria (Kim Cerullo)
- Giselle D'Ombre (April Kenney)
- Vulpenard [Captain of the Guard] (Trevor King)
- Kayle Amers (Matthew Wise)
- Jaegar (Tyler Sharnick) - Graduated to the Southern Wastes in '12
- Unctious (Tomas Massari)
- Magdalene (Jade Amber)
- Charolette (Katie Skeggs) - Graduated to Rhiassa in '13
- Kyro (Ben Hamilton) - Graduated to Rhiassa in '13
- Elouan Maichin (Alex Groom) - Graduated to Rhiassa in '13
- Coran/Darvan (Daniel Wohlmuth) - Graduated to Mayerling in '15
- Vanduke (Ted Vecchitto) - Graduated to Mayerling in '15
- Lorne (Jeffrey Winecki) - Graduated to Mayerling in '14
- Shader (Nataliya Kostenko) - Graduated to Ashenmark in '14
- Moriah (Masha Rozman) - Graduated to Ashenmark in '14
- Lyanna (Siena Biales) - Graduated to Ashenmark in '14
- Luke John (Joseph/Kai Yang) - Graduated to Ashenmark in '14
- Kite Manja [Captain of the Guard] (Alexa Lecko)
- Thorne (William Pawelcyzk)
- Katya Wojsenka (Rachael DeRosa)
- Kanye the Giant (Cato Laurencin)
- Eoin (Noah Greenleaf) - Graduated to Mayerling in '16
- Scipio Marium (James Jordan)
The Original Members of the Oaken Guard, Winter 2007
As successful an institution as The Oaken Guard can only exist through the tireless efforts of many dedicated people. As Patriarch of that militia, I have done my best to give the members of The Oaken Guard the training and opportunities needed to succeed in the larger scope of the Realms. Those efforts, however, are humble compared to the combined work of the others who find their way to Fort Oakenbrook each week and help mentor these young adventurers.
Some of those people were, themselves, once Oaken Guard members. They reciprocate their own learning experiences many times over; paying them forward to their successors. Others, however, have selflessly taken it upon themselves to bring their wisdom and experience to the training fields each week. Without those men and women, people who have never owed any debt to the Guard save the self-imposed duty to teach, the grand venture that is the Oaken Guard would surely have failed.
There is no enterprise in this world more noble than that of teaching others. There is no adequate way to thank a person who has invested their own time and passion into another soul, with no hope or reward other than watching that person grow. Yet that greatness of spirit should at least be recognized when it shows itself. To that end, I have publicly named the following men and women Patrons of the Oaken Guard.
Lord Sir Aeston Stromgate
Patriarch of the Oaken Guard
October 26th, Y.L. 2013
- Ranger (Abe Passardi) - '13. From the earliest years of the Oaken Guard, Ranger has taught others his personal tactical style, loaned equipment to the new recruits, and instructed those interested in the practiced and expert use of the bow and arrow.
- Graham Ellsby (Jay Bonci) - '13. The earliest members of the Oaken Guard looked to Graham for their inspiration on what growing into a top-tier fighter could mean. He instilled within them a desire to improve rapidly and dedicate themselves fully to their training.
- Nighthawk (Jeremy Grayson) - '13. Over the years, Nighthawk has helped to rear some very competitive new fighters due to the individualized attention he gives to people while they are training. Many new fighters learned to refine their art through his advice.
- Shandar Silverstorm (Josh Learned) - '13. Shandar has been one of the most prolific tutors on the combat field, giving many new warriors a wealth of one-on-one combat training. Beyond that, he freely shares his expertise in weapon crafting in our yearly workshop.
- Kiira (Diana LaPierre) - '13. For many years, Kirra has lent her considerable assistance to weapon crafting workshops. She has acted as an inspiration and role model to the female recruits, showing them that gender is irrelevant in their training to be better combatants.
- Jayne Wrath (Mike Doherty) - '14. Wrath has been one of the most consistant, motivated, and engaged people to ever lend their aid in the training of the Oaken Guard. Quick to make friends, and fiercly loyal, he has set a positive example for several generations of recruits.
- Charwindle (Carol Eddy) - '15. Charwindle came to us in the very early days of Vinehaeven's existance, before the Oaken Guard was even an idea, and then left to make her way in the world. Years later she found us again, and since then has dedicated everything to helping train new blood.
- Vuel (Mike Durocher) - '16. Year after year, Vuel has been a regular attendee at Oaken Guard practices. In recent years, in particular, he has commited himself to overseeing the training of the newest individuals, teaching them early competence with the blade.
- Lakomasoi Nuntiak (Josh Fitzgerald) - '16. Lako works his hardest to give every member of the Oaken Guard as much attention as he can, either as individuals or in instructing a group. During every training practice he never ceases to look for ways he can advise and coach anyone who needs his help.