Lictors are an order of bodyguards, sworn to protect the magistrates and officials of Hyftun. Higher ranking magistrates are attended by more Lictors than their subordinates, symbolizing greater power and authority. Thus, Lictors serve not only as protection, but as a physical reminder of the power of the magistrates and the Republic. The primary role of the Lictors is to escort officials during their travels, and to keep them safe while in urban environments. Hyftuni magistrates are never seen without their Lictors, unless they are visiting a higher magistrate. In this case the Lictors stand guard outside and await their official’s return.
In addition to protecting the government officers, the Lictors also attend other important officials in the Republic. Important military commanders are sometimes assigned five Lictors, especially during negotiations or other matters requiring a commander to enter a large city. As a rule, Lictors excel in urban fighting and personal protection, but they are not used as battlefield troops. Each Archmage on the Magi Council is protected by six Lictors, equal to those that attend a Praetor. Although the Lictors are part of the Republican Government and therefore not officially affiliated with any deity, ten Lictors are symbolically granted as protection to the Pontifex. As the Pontifex is elected by the diverse membership of the Pantheic Council, the Republic offers its Lictors as a gesture of protection granted to all deities and beliefs.
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*Non-governmental officials granted Lictor protection
Appearance and training
Lictors are selected from the ranks of Hyftun’s military. Soldiers who have proven themselves exceptionally brave and loyal may be recruited as a member of the Lictors. Due to the physical requirements of the order, only medium-sized humanoids are permitted, and most recruits are Humans or Elves. These individuals are sent to the Academy Lictoris in Sunnen, where they undergo the specialized training needed for their futures as official bodyguards. Clad in their traditional scarlet red cloaks and expertly wielding the fearsome halberds that symbolize their order, Lictors are an imposing sight to behold. They are both feared and admired, as they represent the power and order of the Republic. Few dare to assault Hyftun’s leaders and provoke the Lictors to action; even fewer live to tell the tale.
Historically, Lictors served as both protectors and executioners. In modern Hyftun, government magistrates may no longer order the summary execution of a citizen; the death penalty may only be delivered after a trial before a Praetor. However, Lictors may still respond with deadly force if they deem that they or the official under their charge is in mortal danger. As one of their primary duties is escorting officials through densely populated areas, Lictors excel in crowd control and defensive fighting.
For centuries, the Lictors have taken the halberd as both their weapon of choice and the chief symbol of their order. With their blend of battlefield experience and elite training in the capital, Lictors are fearsome warriors. Indeed, their prowess with the halberd is known around the world, and the “Halberds of Hyftun” are featured in many legends and tales.