The Swan Guard is the elite armed guard dedicated to protecting Dire Island and the Goddess Flora. They play a major role in the events of the eleventh Dark Parables game, Swan Princess and the Dire Tree.
Their motto is, "Swan Guard, Sworn to protect the Goddess Flora at all times and at any cost."
It is unknown at present exactly when the Swan Guard was formed. What is known, however, is that the Guard was formed by the Goddess Flora in order to serve as protectors for the Swan Kingdom and the Dire Tree, the first tree ever created, as well as for herself during her time of rejuvenation. The highest rank attainable by a Swan Guard is the rank of Swan Princess (presumably, if the candidate is male, he is given the title of Swan Prince); the Princess both governs the Kingdom and controls the Guard.
The Swan Princesses are interred upon death within a special tomb. There are five Swan Princesses interred at the time of the Swan Princess, but we only know the names of two of them: Ethel is the Princess on the far right holding a musical instrument, while Priscilla, "the fairest Princess", is quite likely the one in the center. Odette, the deceased wife of Prince James, is not interred within this tomb as she was exiled from the Swan Kingdom.
Historically, the Swan Guard have clashed often with the Harpies, winged creatures also created by Flora at around the same time as the Guard. Not much is known about this feud, but events came to a head when the Harpies killed many of the Guard, including their reigning Swan Princess. It was after this that the Guard tracked the Harpies to their hidden lair beyond the Enchanted Forest. They ambushed the Harpies, and have held them captive within their wind prisons ever since.
The Swan Guard take their duty very seriously, almost to extremes. Each member swears an oath upon induction; "I pledge my life to the Goddess. I promise to protect her and the Dire Tree until my final hour. I solemnly swear I will have no other family but the Swan Guard. From this moment on my heart shall be free of emotion. If I break this oath, let it be my last day on Dire Island."
To break this oath incurs very harsh punishments; Princess Odette fell in love with the Frog Prince James, and the Swan Guard sentenced her to death for high treason. Only Flora's intervention on her behalf saved her life, though she was exiled as punishment and thus became a Black Swan. She only lived a few years after leaving the island, though they were some of the happiest of her life. (See the bonus game A Fable of Two Hearts to see how their meeting came about.)
At the time of The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree, Elise is the reigning Swan Princess. She declares Odile a traitor before the start of the game for stealing the Magic Seed, thus creating a new Black Swan. However, part way through the game, we learn that the enemy is not Odile as we at first believed, but Elise herself. When the Fairytale Detective returns the Magic Seed, Elise murders the Goddess Flora during the ritual, seeking to become a Goddess herself. It is only through the aid of Odile and Ross Red that the Fairytale Detective manages to right this wrong and restore Flora to her full glory.
Following Elise's death, Flora crowns Odile as the new Swan Princess.
The Swan Guard's Oath Edit
I pledge my life to the Goddess. I promise to protect her and the Dire Tree until my final hour.
I solemnly swear I will have no other family but the Swan Guard.
From this moment on, my heart shall be free of emotion.
If I break this oath, let it be my last day on Dire Island.
Relevant Parables Edit
Uprise of the Swan (from Swan Princess and the Dire Tree)
Once upon a time, a child named Elise lived on the Dire Island. Her childhood was peaceful and happy, her days spent in wanderings under the great canopy of the Dire Tree. However, the harmony was broken in a heartbeat. The gates of the Kingdom opened and the Swan Guard rushed in. They carried the bodies of Elise's parents... Their armor and flesh battered by vicious claws... their life - expunged. In one stroke, fate left Elise an orphan. Sorrow almost drove the child to madness... Yet, she was not lost. By kinship, Elise is one of the Guard and they offered solace and companionship. With time - the Guard became her new family. Elise found new purpose in the Guard. She excelled in all of their disciplines - from combat to lore - and became the exemplar of service and duty. Thus, she was exalted to the highest rank - the Swan Princess. As a loving mother, she presided over the Guard. Yet, every soldier lost in defense of Flora brought sadness and opened old wounds. As they perished in the service of their dispassionate Goddess - Elise knew... Something had to be done.
Forbidden Idol (from The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree)
At one time long ago children's laughter could be heard throughout Dire Island, much more so than today. Their favorite game to play was one where each child would pretend to be their favorite Swan Princess. "I'll be Priscilla," said one girl, "because she was the fairest of them all." Another girl chimed in "I choose Ethel, because her music still echoes throughout the land." After the other children had named their favorite Princesses, one raven-haired girl spoke softly but with conviction: "I want to be like Odette, pure and true to myself." The children stared at her in shock, as even the mention of the exiled Princess was forbidden. The girl was called Odile, and she grew up to become a member of the Swan Guard, in spite of her problems with authority. She was known for doing things her way, and getting away with it. In time, a rumor spread throughout the kingdom that a man had been imprisoned by the Swan Princess. Any contact with the prisoner was strictly forbidden but Odile's curiosity got the better of her. She quickly befriended the prisoner and from him she found out that Flora was in grave danger. Odile decided to steal the Magic Seed and stop the plot against the Goddess. In response the Swan Princess declared her an enemy of the kingdom, and Odile was transformed into a Black Swan, just like Odette before her.
Notable Members Edit
- Silver Swan - the first Swan Guard (unknown)
- Princess Odette - former Swan Princess turned Black Swan (deceased)
- Traitor of the Guard - former member of the Swan Guard
- Princess Priscilla - former Swan Princess (deceased)
- Princess Ethel - former Swan Princess (deceased)
- Princess Elise - former Swan Princess (unknown)
- Princess Odile - formerly a Black Swan, currently the Swan Princess
- It is interesting to note that Odile and Odette have moved in opposite directions; Odette was a Swan Princess, but was exiled and became a Black Swan, while Odile was a Black Swan who became a Swan Princess.
- Each member of the Swan Guard possesses a Talisman that is unique to that individual.
- The Swan Guard has a stricter code of conduct compared to that of the Red Riding Hood Sisters; while Emma was welcomed back to the order after she initially left for a life with Jack, Odette was threatened with execution for her intention to marry James.
- It's possible that the Swan Guard itself might of been inspired by the story of the Swan Knight.