In the Four Horsemen Universe (4HU), VOWS are the Voluntary Off-World Assessment Exams, a battery of tests
that determined whether a human is suitable to serve in one of the mercenary companies. In the books, the tests
consist of five mental and four physical categories.
In The Mercenary Guild, we have incorporated VOWS into our online Mercenary Guild Academy, along with the Peacemakers assessments. Peacemakers are the enforcement guild in the 4HU, resolving disputes and enforcing Galactic Union law, and sometimes keeping mercenary units in line. This is the place where you can learn about the Four Horsemen Universe and The Mercenary Guild that celebrates it.
The Academy is broken into two different schools: Voluntary Off-World Assessments (VOWS) and Peacemakers Assessments. VOWS is broken up into four different tracks: MST, LST, TST, and GHT while Peacemakers currently has a single track: PST
It all starts with MST, which stands for Mercenary Service Track. According to Major Evelyn Taylor, former First Sergeant of the Golden Horde, "MST is your pathway to fame, fortune, and a brighter future for all humanity." Here in TMG, it is your pathway to learning all about the inner workings of The Mercenary Guild: The Four Horsemen Universe Fan Association and our policies on promotions, awards, and contracts. Following the MST, there are multiple paths an inspired mercenary can take…
Many of our mercenaries will want to move on to the LST - the Leadership Service Track. These courses will test your knowledge of basic military strategy and tactics, as applied to the 4HU. Using the books as the reference manuals, the mercenary will delve into the principles of war, the rules and guidelines that represent truths in the practice of war and military operations. Using principles listed in the course instructions, you'll examine and discuss what principle was observed and how it was applied by a human mercenary unit.
TST, our Technical Skills Track, covers survivability while completing contracts. This includes courses on knowing how to survive certain situations, the fundamentals of flight, successfully leading an Infantry Weapons Company. Having this knowledge can be half the battle to successfully completing a contract.
The GHT - Guild History Track - gives the mercenary a real opportunity to not only learn more about the Four Horsemen Universe but to share that knowledge, as well. This track starts with the two 4HU General Knowledge courses. Here, you learn basic knowledge of the Four Horsemen Universe and the Mercenary Guild, originally created by authors Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy. Following those courses are the GALNET Research Projects. These projects task the merc with notating important people, places, and things found within the 4HU books. The information gathered here will be passed on to the GALNET team and assist them in creating a much more robust Wiki, with that information made available to everyone through the Wiki interface. The GHT will also allow the mercs to take a deeper dive into the 4HU books, with courses over each of the Four Horsemen and many other Merc Races and stories.
Finally, the PST - Peacemakers Service Track, provides courses for potential or serving Peacemakers, and also courses about Peacemaker novels in the 4HU.
The Academy is a living, breathing creation and will continue to add content for all the mercs to partake of and enjoy. To access the Mercenary Guild Academy, navigate to this website: vows.themercenaryguild.org. You'll need to know your Guild Member Name before you do, since this is your login name. Example: tmg-24-00945.