- "The Talons aren't predictable; if you genuinely believe that, you're already about to get embarrassed by them."
Among foreign powers, the Talons are viewed in two lights: those foreign to the Tael Alliance and those who hail from it. Outside of their homeland, the Talons are infamous for their assassin work and infiltration skills; they mix magic and blade, allowing them to strike out and deep into the heart of foreign countries.
But to the taeleer and their history, Taelia's Talons are a heroic legacy. In the times of their people's slavery beneath Belhar, the Talons acted as a resistance group that freed countless taeleer that formed one half of the Tael Alliance's culture. Ever since those ancient days, their relationship has changed from hopefuls with passion into an elite backbone shock troop. Their iconic sabers were refined from a design of Belharan iron and adjusted for fighting and execution. Bearing the title of a Talon is considered by many taeleer to be an honor above any other.
However becoming one is far from easy. Foreign attempts to infiltrate the organization — particularly those of the Belhar elites — has left them with strict codes and recruitment requirements. Every member must be proficient in combat magic and martial weapons, have strong control over their libido, and must be a member of the taeleer species. This trio of requirements largely keeps the pool of recruits short, yet their hefty trial period pairs members bearing the rank of Master to oversee personal recruits. These recruits are investigated, tested, and pushed to the limit in every facet imaginable by these masters to see whether or not they maintain the same persona. It's in this early stage of peer-training that many foreigners are ousted from subtle questions of their home life, their parents, or even something as simple as a discrepancy in their origins.
Upon passing this period, all of the recruits are tested in a battle against their Master: they are required to land at least one blow on them to become full-fledged members. These battles are often lightning fast or drawn-out battles of endurance; the prior is often those who pass, striking the iron and catching them off-guard with their stronger reflexes. There is no ceremony after this point but an immediate proceeding into the ranks of the Sabers: the body of the organization.
Although the specific work of Talons can vary, they often work alone or in pairs. Many Masters and their recruits will continue working together post-graduation but more often they go their separate ways and form new teams. Divisions and orders exist within the Talons, yet little to no knowledge is known about these organizations outside of the group. However, it is believed that the crest and hilts of a saber depict their current rank as well as any of these inner-groups.
Only one of the conditions below must be met to unlock the Taelia's Talons Codex entry:
- Talking to Quintillus about Taelia's Talons