The Bokha Palace in the City of Kislev is guarded by three hundred of Tzarina Katarin's most loyal and heavily-armed Kossars. These soldiers, the Bokha Palace Guard, Kreml Guard or Tzar Guard, play a vital part in the Ice Queen's plans to expand the standing army with cavalry, and to gradually phase out Ungol law in Kislev.[1a]
The post of Palace Guard was created during the reign of the paranoid Tzar Igor the Terrible, feeling that he needed to be kept safe night and day from possible assailants. Through the years the Guards were used to guard not only the royal family of Kislev, but also the greatest amongst the military commanders at times of war.
Wielding the mighty 'berdiche', a large two-handed heavy-bladed axe, these heavily-armoured warriors strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. Kreml Guards receive plenty of training to wield their fearsome two-handed axes and are armoured appropriately with armour from mail up to heavy brigandine. Many Kislev generals use these men as shock troops softening up enemy formations.
The Kreml Guard are veterans of hundreds of battles against the northern tribes, having faced and vanquished not only Marauder Chieftains but also the occasionally encountered Warriors of Chaos and monsters from the wilderness. They are hand picked from the ranks of Kislev's foot soldiers in a similar way to the selection of the members of the Gryphon Legion.
The Palace Guard conducts weekly parades through the city. Recent parades have featured small units of mercenary cavalry from the Empire and Tilea marching alongside the Kossars. Katarin hopes these cavalrymen will come to be accepted as part of the Palace Guard and will eventually be replaced by Winged Lancers. If one rota of Winged Lancers accepts the honour of serving in the Palace Guard, then others will surely follow.[1a]
The Palace Guard is also a recruitment pool for Katarin's secret police, the Chekist. Ungols who serve in the Palace Guard are watched closely. The most trusted are enticed with rewards to train with the Chekists and return to their home villages as "legal advisors". Their mission usually involves persuading village elders to "modernise" outdated Ungol laws. Gospodar Chekist are occasionally recruited from the Palace Guard as well, but not as frequently, or deliberately, as Ungols.[1a]