The Rods of Custody Dominion, also known as the Ascendants, or more colloquially “the Nine”.
You are the pillars in the fortress of Custody strength: Protectors and Guardians. You will sweep across the world like a divine wind, vanquishers of evil. Where you go, you will restore the light, but remember, the dawn is brightest only following the depths of night.
The Rods of Dominion participate in military operations at the behest of the Ascendancy. They are directly commanded by Michael Vellas, who provides singular direction, orders and punishment at his discretion. The 9 receive their overall orders from the Ascendancy, however, but it otherwise lacks a ranking system, with no singular member subservient to another. Additionally, they are not formal members of the military branches, and operate more or less under the direct authority of the Ascendancy. Therefore, they are likewise not subservient to any other military agency.
Michael Vellas, Commander – he is the strongest in the one power over all the 9 Rods of Dominion. He is also the most experienced of them all, particularly in combat. He has established himself as the commander and leader of the 9 and frequently utilizes Karim to be his second in command. He has the respect (or fear) of all the members and thus far none have attempted to cross him.
- Karim al’Shaidis – unofficial leader of the Nine. He is diligent and modest: one of the strongest of the group. (An smooth-shaved Iranian)
- Im Seung Jun – He is the strongest of the Nine (apart from Michael). (Korean – the meticulous former surgeon)
- Allan Rykovi – He is naturally talented and one of the stronger men of the group. ( a British born Russian with a small smile)
- Anthony Petrovic – He developed powers effortlessly, but has a blase attitude that irritates the others, laid back. ( Bosnian IT expert – hate Michael)
- Julian Monserre – extremely arrogant, but has been put in his place for now by Michael. He has formed an alliance/friendship with Dominik. (French accent – A pale-faced man with hard eyes spoke up, his back stiff and gaze straight. A soldier.)
- Dominik Taichechski – He is the youngest, and has a temper, hungry, pushes boundaries. He irritates Michael but respects Karim. He has formed a friendship/alliance with Julian. (his young Russian eyes burned bright with hunger – hate Michael)
- Sanjay Ramanujan – observant, gets along with everyone and purposefully stays out of politicking. However, he has been recruited by Marcus to be the point-man in the Custody of Channelers. (a soft-spoken Indian.)
- Samuel Leweski – he is slowest learner of the 9, but is by no means weak. He has formed a friendship/alliance with Jay. (another Russian younger still.)
- Jay Carpenter – he is the newest member of the 9. He has demonstrated to be one of the fastest learners but is currently one of the weakest members of the group. (peak potential will place him ultimately at middling-strength of the 9). He has formed a friendship/alliance with Sam.
Base of operations
Known to the general Kremlin as simply, “the Facility,” it is also part of an underground fortress system that connects with military research operations, channeler subjects, and training bunkers. The Facility is accessible through a central elevator that connects with the surface, some 40-stories above. It is completely impenetrable from the surface for that reason. For instance, it would be immune from a direct nuclear strike. The Facility is completely independent from all surface operations, with its own power, air, water, and utilities sources that could be self-sustaining for many years if necessary.
Navigating the Facility is a matter of clearance. The 9 Rods of Dominion, with the exception of Commander Vellas, lack clearance to enter the research-wings and must otherwise be escorted. Also, departure from the Facility requires pre-authorization from the Ascendancy.
Internet, news, and entertainment exists within the bunker system of the Facility, but it otherwise operates as any military base of operations would. Such luxuries are restricted and monitored. Typically, Jay is usually too tired to do much except sleep in his down time.
In addition to training bunkers for the 9, there are showers, bunks, food-hall and a gym.
This uniform is unlike any other to exist in the world. It is elegant and masterful, and integrates elements of history, symbolism, style and function. At first glance, it is distinct, yet not overtly military. One of the 9 could walk the streets of Moscow in it, and while be recognized for their membership in this elite group of channelers for one in the know, it would not be completely out of place in civilian life. Yet among the aristocracy and ranks of upper government, commands respect, albeit a hint of fear.
Standard dress uniform
The standard dress uniform is designed to distinguish the 9 from any other special operators in the Custody, yet homogenize the group into a cohesive unit.
For these reasons, historical nods, symbolic elements, and modern fashion design were all considered for the design of this uniform. Ultimately, it is extremely identifiable as Custody, but crosses enough cultural elements to not be identified as any singular ‘country.’
Each member wears a black frock coat, black pants and black combat boots. More specifically, the coat consists of multiple textures and shades of black for visual interest. Subtle embroideries are at the discretion of the individual, but must remain of dark or silver thread for ranking purposes. Commander Vellas may integrate the use of orange into his uniform, either in embroidery, lining or piping.
Asymmetrical lapel folds across the chest of the frock coat. The double line of buttons are a powder-coated, pewter silver. The coat lays open at the neck, although the collar itself is standing and stiff. It also lays open at the waist and falls to mid-thigh. The interior lining of the coat can barely be viewed when walking, and is itself another shade of iridescent silvery threads that when caught in the light reflects shades of green, purple or blue.
A metallic, silver chain drapes from one shoulder to the highest button row. The clasp of the chain connects to the pin created by the Ascendancy’s power, which is situated on the upper right chest. Commander Vellas’ bears a golden chain in distinction.
The cuffs bear embroidery of silver threading in intricate, ornate designs. Upon closer scrutiny, within the design can be found the symbols of Custody Dominance flags from whence the wearer originated. In the case of Jay Carpenter, who is American, his design is that of DI.
Across the back shoulders and down the spine of the coat is a design of multiple shades of black, gray and silver that mimicks the design that would be worn on the men’s body armor in the same location for their combat uniforms. It is an abstracted shape of the winged skeleton-knight patch on their patches (see below). Similarly, the dress uniforms lack protective armor on the forearms, shoulders and flanks, but in their place are cuts of the cloth otherwise representative of the protection.
Over the right deltoid is a silver patch of an ornate, winged skeleton adorned in the shoulder pauldrons and helmet of a knight of old and holding a down-ward pointed sword. From its bony wings dangle eight short-swords, four on each side. The total being 9, one for the individual wearer, and 8 for his brethren.
The standard combat uniform consists of every facet of modern-technology available. The frock coat is lighter, but made of thermosensitive threading that insulates or radiates heat as the elements demand. The remainder of the design of the uniform is the same of the standard dress uniform, but with the addition of body armor as described previously. Some men may choose to customize the addition or lack thereof of the components to their body armor to fit their fighting styles as necessary.
See Uniforms of the CCD armed forces for more information.
Modern body-armor technologies are woven into the combat uniform in similar form and function of other Custody special operators.
See description of body armor technologies for CCD armed forces for more information.
The ascendants carry few weapons on their person, as they themselves are the weapon. However, they are permitted a sidearm or short-bladed weapon of their choosing for any with the appropriate training. For this reason, the necessary belts and holders may be added to the waist or thigh.
Inspiration for uniform design
Image of the uniform inspiration.
See the following images for additional angles of uniform inspiration.