They have highly different tasks, duties and roles from Garden Knights, while sharing a similar appearance. They both fall under the same umbrella term "The Knights of Golden Ring".
History, Roles and Duties
Garden Knights perform religious and ceremonial duties as a symbol of the Central area of Gold Ring, and their members are strictly limited by physical and racial criteria. In contrast, the Road Guards are composed of much more various kinds of people with rather few limitations compared to Garden Knights, centered on the common purpose of defense of the national interests of Gold Ring and Gold Ring Law.
Even though they are also scattered amongst the city of Gold Ring and trade routes around the city, they mainly protect the Salt Roads which serve the role of Gold Ring's few connections to the outskirts of the country; as a result, the Knights of Golden Ring nation has gained a reputation in those parts. Unlike the Garden Knights which are a rather new culture, the Road Guard profession has a weighty and long history behind it. Their origin can be traced back to far older times before Gold Ring law was even set in stone.
The Knights of Golden Ring are known as a familiar and friendly existence by foreign countries and their people, dating back to long ago. Road Guards have gained a high reputation because they eagerly work to provide various and wide services which include guarding, guiding, and other miscellaneous work in order to help people, regardless of whether within or outside of the nation, be it night or day. In the modern era, Garden Knights have come to be widely known due to their beautiful and shiny impression. Because of this, Road Guards and Garden Knights are often misunderstood and confused by people who live in far distant regions.
Unlike Garden Knights where they take members in strictly limited circumstances according to physical characteristics and race, the Road Guards are open to all members of the Eltus races to apply. Still, one must have no problem with a health examination and pass through certain training in order to become a Road Guard. Their training also highly weighs on practical work. Unlike Garden Knights, they won't be required to have legal or moral expertise, or understanding of historical studies. While knowledge within a range of compulsory education is enough, those who possess Red Gardener qualifications, or licensed expertise with deserts, markets, etc will be given priority and preferential treatment. Due to this, most of the people who work as commanders to lead Road Guards are qualified personnel of their respective fields.
Towards the outer, end areas of Salt Roads heading towards Gold Ring, there are some checking and quarantine stations situated in order to prevent biological threats and illegal trades. There, Road Guards will enact inspection of cargo and merchants identification, under the coaching of Red Gardeners who have official license to professionally handle Talyxian organisms. Not all Road Guards have the same license as Red Gardeners, but the ones who do will be more qualified due to this fact. On the Salt Roads, desert traffic always presents a danger of sinkage and collapse incurred by a desert creature called a "Sand Pillow" (larger individual also called "Zabuton") which have a strange and annoying ecology. Road Guards will be tasked with dealing with these disasters and even carry out repair work.
They protect the trade market from threats and sometimes enact quarantine measures. Due to Reono's Talyxian fauna being akin to a [[box]] effect, the number of parasites and such sneaking in could cause serious pandemics. Not even Nevrean thieves would know how to handle these types of situations, therefore, the Road Knights try to cover this aspect as best as they can, even though there are experts which are trained specifically to watch for any illegal contraband or possible outbreaks.
In Episode 3 of the manga, we can see some Road Guards protect the arena and transportation cage of Talyxian animals, as well as the market. They were also responsible for protecting the people of Vetla and their musicians to guide them for safe travel across the desert.
Armor and Equipment
All armors which are employed by The Knights of Golden Ring are made of metal and generally characterized by yellowish tones, and all the designs are derived from the same origin. Road Guards' armors share a lightweight and agile half-plate design, with a practical weight. This contrasts and opposes the Garden Knights' armor which has a totally unified and aesthetically beautiful design for ceremonial purposes. As Road Guards have a long history along with the development and innovation of Gold Ring, their armors can be seen to vary in design depending on area and era. All of them wear the badge for Road Guards issued by the GR nation on their chest. This badge helps foreigners to distinguish them, Road Guard or Garden Knight. In the modern era, most of the Road Guards wear lightweight equipment because situations which they are often faced with generally need agility and flexible motions. While they still may cover their body parts, especially the upper body, with metal armor, they often adopt flexible equipment which is made from Talyxian animals for movable parts such as elbows and shoulders. Most of the materials are the skin of Pigs and Cows, sometimes even Horses. Legs are highly important body parts for Sergals. And with regard to Agudners, arms have the same level of importance to them. Due to this, equipment corresponding especially to those body parts of each race require equal parts flexibility and toughness. There is also a devised variant which can immediately turn into lighter work clothes by easy removal of its metal plate parts.
The badge worn on the chest by Road Guards depicts elements such as a series of stones, sea, sun, a halo and mirror.
The stones are arranged in a circle, akin to a decorative boulder stone. Behind the stones, the sea which embodies Salt Lake ColVilous is shown as a backdrop. The Sun, Vilous, appears at the top part and its halo surrounds it. The figure of Vilous which is reflected on the water surface appears at the bottom part of the badge and thus, the lake ColVilous is made to resemble a mirror for Vilous itself.
To the Gold Ring nation, the symbology behind the stones has strong traditional connotations; they embody the Law, metal and written words, which are all important elements for Gold Ring. As Gold Ring aristocracies are called “Bloodstones”, stones themselves are symbolically important to Gold Ring. They also represent buildings in Gold Ring and stone plates.
Stone plates are a major traditional material used to engrave letters and record important matters such as names and general history. Gold Ring’s law is rooted in the symbolic elements of stone, such as firmness and steadiness.
It can be said that a set of stones and sea expresses the Gold Ring nation.
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