The Felsaad Vanguard, or the Vanguard, is a Black Operative organization that is led by its founder, Kodlak Nikulson.
In 4E 230, Kodlak wanted to have his own group of archers as good as he was. He wanted to collect the sneaks and rangers and rogues of finest quality and have them operate as a splinter from the Kaldtfrelsers. He first went back to Solstheim and tracked down the rogue frelser dagger-master by the name of Geralt Loktivson. Kodlak managed to recruit him. This was the technical founding of the Vanguard, although it became an actual group later on.
The Vanguard has a system that, in a sense, can be related to the Dark Brotherhood. Instead of performing the Black Sacrement, the contractor instead has to write up a paper/warrant type item, along with a signature from whoever wants them dead. This allows the Vanguard to confirm who wants them dead, a person to collect from, and making sure the contracter isn't someone else. In the various frelser settlements and locations, there are Vanguard reception offices, which a member occasionally comes by to collect from. The assignments are then brought to Vanguard HQ and pinned up on a board, and members come by to take an assignment whenever they please.
Kodlak is the son of Tate Nikulson, the founder of the Vanguard, and now the king of the frelsers. He is the first member of the Vanguard.
Geralt was once a nord rogue that left the frelser. He became a complete master with knives, both throwing and hand-to-hand. Geralt is usually used as the cutthroat assassin, for close range jobs. He has a lot of simple throwing knives, but he has one main knife. He is the second in command and second member of the Vanguard.
Terlov is a breton master crossbowman, and is used as the extreme long range assassin, using his special crossbow. He was recruited by Kodlak and Geralt after he was broken out of a Cyrodiilic jail by the two. Soon after he joined them, he made his own crossbow out of dwemer scraps, and eventually came up with his own, the Richlosivic Special. He is the third member of the Vanguard.
Reliknar is the breton technician and inventor of the Vanguard. He has invented most of the unique equipment used by the Vanguard. He was recruited by Terlov for his great mind and adventurous spirit. He does everything he can technologically to help the Vanguard. He's the fourth member that was recruited.
Ynrig is a nord rogue, who specializes in multiple different areas. He is decent with a bow, and great with sneaking and the use of a dagger. He usually has a couple throwing knives at the ready. He was the first member of the Vanguard to actually apply for the position, instead of being hand-picked by Kodlak, Geralt or Terlov. He is the eighth member to join the Vanguard.
Syrica is a breton spy, and is best trained in the methods of sneaking and camouflage. She can completely disappear in most environments within moments, leaving no trace. She knew Terlov, and he came to her asking if she wanted to join. She eventually agreed, and was inducted into the Vanguard. She is the tenth person to join the Vanguard.
Rivnar is Bretonic/Nord rogue. He is extremely skilled in both archery and illusion, and is a master sneak. He uses various illusion spells. He was a thief that plagued Windhelm and Solstheim, stowing away on ships to get back and forth between cities, when he was caught by the Frelsers. Recognizing his skill in the arts of the rogue, Kodlak asked him to join the Vanguard, in exchange he'd be free. He disliked being a captive, so he agreed. Rivnar is the fourteenth addition to the Vanguard.
Mattias is a bretonic member of the Vanguard. He is skilled in many skills, not all of them having to do with the Vanguard's work. He has been alive since the First Era, the reason for this being the twisted form of Corpus that gave the Neravarine immortality. He was only considered as a potential member originally because Talion Avryil asked Kodlak to consider him. After a brief duel, Kodlak let Mattias in, even though Kodlak won. Mattias is the fifteenth member.
Various members have brought their own creations to the arsenal of the Vanguard. These are innovations used by mutiple members, and not single items like the Richlosivic Special. Most of them were invented by Reliknar.
- Vanguard Powder Bombs: These are sulfuric bombs that target the orifices, burning them, making people temporarily go blind, and often providing a quick escape. Lit by a fuse, they are quick to detonate.
- Hidden Crossbow: A crossbow that is attached to the wrist for an unnoticed shot.