Ignored and often resented, High Clone Executors provide a critical role that not even the most arrogant of the Lineage Highborn can deny: direct battlefield experience and a core of professional officers to lead the troops. While Biomancers and Pheromancers might turn the soldiers into ravening automata and Lineage Highborn might be unstoppable on the field, it is the High Clone Executors who time and again deliver victories across a hundred different battlefields.
To achieve the rank of Executor, a clone must have advanced through the ranks of the Vanguard Infantry and Infiltrators. This hard-earned battlefield experience grants them deep tactical and strategic insight that is seldom found within a Spire’s forces. Competition for recognition and advancement among the high clones is fierce and its expressions are not only physical and violent. These are broadly tolerated, if not encouraged, by their overseers, to enhance these desired traits and cull those lacking them.
Those that survive and excel in the Infiltrator teams earn the right to don the powerful Pteraphon suits. It is a testament to the seductive nature of the raw physical power this suit provides (and the highly addictive cocktail of drugs and pheromones it secretes) that only a tiny fraction of those who survive long enough elect to abandon these suits and demand their selfhood be recognized.
It is a curious aspect of Spire social structure that the concept of nation or state does not exist in that one is either acknowledged as a sentient being or is not. Once sentience is established, then all social standing and value is derived from one’s Lineage and personal achievement. And yet, while their individuality is recognized, High Clones are stigmatized with the ‘Clone’ moniker despite having proven their value to the Spire through grueling and dangerous service in order to secure their right to selfhood.
This leaves the newly recognized High Clones with but one of two choices for advancement: join the Arenas or seek the patronage of a Lineage. Of the two paths, it is often remarked that joining a Lineage is by far the most hazardous; in the Arena, the saying goes, you at least know who your adversaries are. Nothing, on the other hand, has prepared a High Clone for the machinations and power plays of Lineage politics.
Lacking the refined education of their Spire betters, veteran High Clones possess only those skills they have earned on the battlefield. Tactically knowledgeable as infantry men and strategically acute as infiltrators and Pteraphon riders, High Clones excel at what they do but not always at the society they live in. A fraction of them have managed to adapt and employ their training in politics, rising above their intended station. Most often than not, they are given a modest stipend and employed as ceremonial guards, (since the real bodyguard roles for the truly exalted amongst their society are reserved for those creatures whose loyalty and combat capacity are compelled by Biomantic means). Those who are not content with these limited roles must vie to be recognized as Executors, officers in one of the Sovereign Lineages’ armies.
In order to advance through the ranks, Executors must have proven and keep proving their ability time and again, both on the field of battle and without. They must secure chances at proving their capacity, provide victory on the battlefield and be able to claim credit for that victory, always vying against backstabbing colleagues, jealous superiors and ruthlessly demanding masters. The result is that should one encounter a High Clone Executor leading an enemy force, he should know he is facing a ruthlessly competent individual who has no compunctions or limitations on the pursuit of victory.