The Northern Perimeter Reconnaissance Unit (NPRU) is a specialised branch of the Ancelstierran Army. Unofficially known as the “Crossing Point Scouts” or simply “the Scouts”, they are responsible for guarding and controlling the Crossing Point on the Ancelstierran side of the Wall.
As the only soldiers on the Perimeter that bear the Charter Mark, the Scouts are the garrison’s main defence against Dead or Free Magic incursions from across the Wall. They are well trained in swordplay and archery, invaluable skills when northerly winds blow from the Old Kingdom, causing guns and modern technology to fail. Crossing Point Scouts can be identified by NPRU metal epaulette tags on their uniform.
In the years of anarchy before King Touchstone’s restoration, the NPRU conducted regular patrols about 10 miles from the Crossing Point. It is likely that regular Perimeter soldiers joined these patrols, since Colonel Horyse stated that twelve Charter Mages was “half of the full complement of the Scouts”, meaning that there were only 24 members of the NPRU in Sabriel. However, it is possible that there were non-mage members as well.
Opinions outside the Perimeter Edit
Charter Magic is not officially recognised by the Army, so most scouts are self-taught Charter Mages. In Sabriel, Colonel Horyse says that Army HQ is “loath” to promote Charter Mark bearers to higher ranks. Even Department 13, or at least one of their top researchers, believes that the Charter does not exist. The researcher, Professor Lackridge, comments that the Charter Mark is simply a “forehead brand of that cult”, describing its presence in the NPRU as “regrettable”.
Notable members Edit
- Colonel Horyse; NPRU commander in Sabriel. He dies fighting the Dead at Wyverley College.
- Captain Francis Tindall; a highly respected and able soldier, the son of General Tindall.
- Major Greene; a soldier who once served a long time with the Scouts, though by the time of Abhorsen, it appears he has left.
Hedge was reportedly once a member of the Scouts.