|“||It doesn't matter how I feel. They come first.||”|
—Dimitri Belikov, Vampire Academy
Given the traits dhapmirs have inherited from their moroi and human parents, dhampirs make the ultimate "bodyguards". Since Moroi are the only ones with whom dhampirs can reproduce with to continue the dhampir kind, it is in their interest to stay close to and protect them. Dhampirs have had a long history of serving as guardians for Moroi. Years before, Moroi fought alongside their guardians against the Strigoi. Eventually though, it began to get too dangerous for the Moroi and the authorities have decided to leave the fighting to their guardians.
Morois are assigned guardians at a certain age, while royal Moroi have them earlier than others and even have more than one. Non-royals are assigned their guardians through a "lottery system" controlled by the Guardian Council.
Beginning as novices, they are trained at academies like St. Vladimir's Academy. Dhampirs mingled with Moroi as a part of the guardian system. Along with their shared classes with Moroi, they have their exclusive classes for their fighting techniques and strength training.
In their junior year, novices are required to pass their Qualifiers—an exam, like an interview, administered by "high-up guardians" who visit the Academy to assess novice guardians of their character and dedication. Some dhampirs are deemed unfit to continue down the guardian path. In Rose Hathaway's case, her Qualifier took place on her senior year because she was not present for her junior year, and she had to go off-campus to meet her evaluator.
In their senior year, novices get six weeks of field-experience training where they are assigned to a Moroi student whom they are required to protect twenty-four hours a day, six days a week. During that time, they are no longer obligated to take classes and are instead regularly "attacked" by adult guardians to test what they've learned while at the Academy.
Upon graduation, dhampirs receive their promise mark, a tattoo placed on the base of their necks in the form of a twisting line, "sort of like a snake." This tattoo upholds their promise to their guardianship to the Moroi and their most sacred saying: "They Come First."
Each Novice during there training goes through what is called "Moon Patterns". There are four training levels; One-Quarter, One Half, New Moon and Full Moon. The Four Guardian grades are; White Moon, Blue Moon, Red Moon and Black Moon. Once a Guardian has reached a Black Moon (Full Moon), they then begin their training levels of Blast Master sequences. The highest level of all training and levels in the Blood Master Level 7. Dimitri Belikov currently holds a Blood Master Level 7.
- White Moon (One-Quarter/ One-Half/ New Moon/ Full Moon)
- Blue Moon (One-Quarter/ One Half/ New Moon/ Full Moon)
- Red Moon (One-Quarter/ One-Half/ New Moon/ Full Moon)
- Black Moon (One-Quarter/ One Half/ New Moon/ Full Moon)
- Blast Master (Levels 1-7)
- Blood Master (Levels 1-7)
Most dhampir who are raised and trained to be guardians are very serious and committed to their task of protecting their Moroi charges and destroying Strigoi. As a result, some devoted dhampir women who fall in love or have children choose to stay with their charge instead of staying with their lovers or children.
Most female dhampir, however, choose to abandon their charge and stay with their family, and sometimes even choose to be a sort of breeder who continues to have sexual affairs with Moroi to have more dhampir children. In rare cases, men dhampirs also run away with their lovers, resulting in the dwindling number of guardians.
Dhampir who still kill Strigoi without completing training, and therefore has no promise mark, are deemed "unpromised". They do not answer to anyone and are usually freelance hired bodyguards or vigilant Strigoi hunters.
Guardians who have killed Strigoi receive tattoos to commemorate how many they have successfully killed. They have a Molnija mark, placed below their promise mark, for every one Strigoi they have killed, and a Zvezda mark, next to the Molnija marks, when they have killed too many Strigoi to count.
Known Guardians Edit
- Rosemarie Hathaway
- Dimitri Belikov
- Janine Hathaway
- Eddie Castile
- Alberta Petrov
- Hans Croft
- Yeva Belikova
- Stan Alto
- Ethan Moore
- Guardian Chase
- Guardian Steele
- Guardian Stone
- Mikhail Tanner
- Theo Marx
- Neil Raymond
- Arthur Schoenberg †
- James Wilket †
- Celeste †
- Galina †
- Grant †
- Anna †
- Yuri †