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Frank Beddor
By: 
Frank Beddor
November 5, 2022

Wonderland’s Warriors: The Chessmen

The Chessmen often cooperate with the other security agencies such as the Guardsmen and the Deck. Alongside the Guardsmen they work to protect Heart Palace and can be summoned in an emergency at a moment’s notice. With the Deck they work to defend Wonderland’s borders and plan and execute high-risk special forces operations.

The Chessmen are regimented, specialized operatives whose maneuvers are carefully planned. The front echelon, made up of The Pawns, have numbers but not much in the way of individual skill. The rear echelon, made up of Rooks, Bishops and Knights, all have equal rank, different skills, and are most useful in a variety of different situations.

THE KNIGHTS

The White Knight from The Looking Glass Wars vs. Lewis Carroll's Version
The White Knight from The Looking Glass Wars vs. Lewis Carroll's Version

The Knights are members of the rear echelon of the Chessmen and are of equal rank to the Rooks and Bishops. Typically employed for special operations, the Knights are notoriously formidable in open battle and do well thinking around corners to complete missions in a surprising and unexpected manner. They have a high success rate and do especially well in espionage and intelligence gathering. Strength of both body and mind is a credo among The Chessmen Knights.

They often work in cooperation with the other security agencies such as the Guardsmen and the Deck, always going where they are needed and ready for anything at a moment’s notice.

It is worth noting that Alyss Heart (or Alice Liddell, as those on Earth came to call her) did tell Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) about the White Knight she knew during her childhood in Heart Palace. This character was warped and turned into the White Knight that appears in Through The Looking-Glass. However, just like the Mad Hatter & others, the character was sanitized for the fictional book.

In reality, he was one of the few high-ranking chessmen to escape the massacre at Heart Palace. The Knight proves himself an invaluable member of the Alyssians throughout Redd’s reign alongside the Rook. The Knight remains a loyal, constant, and indispensable figure in the military defense of Wondertropolis and Wonderland as a whole.

Following Queen Redd’s defeat, the Knight continues to serve the newly crowned Queen Alyss as a member of her military and as a result fights alongside her during the battles during Glass Eye invasion and later fights to defend Wondertropolis in the face of overwhelming odds as Redd brings her newly recruited forces to bear against Wonderland.

THE ROOKS

The Rook from The Looking Glass Wars Graphic Novel Crossfire
The Rook from The Looking Glass Wars Graphic Novel Crossfire

The Rooks are members of the rear echelon of the Chessmen and are of equal rank to the Knights

and Bishops. Typically employed for special operations, the Rooks are the Chessmen with the highest success rate of high-risk operations in foreign environments. They are sly and quick thinking, opting for unconventional solutions to the challenges, with expert sabotage skills. Like the Knights, Rooks often work in cooperation with the other security agencies of Wonderland such as the Guardsmen and the Deck.

Alyss was never as close to Rooks as her companion, Dodge Anders, was. On the day of Redd’s bloody coup The Rook, like the White Knight, was one of the few high-ranking chessmen to escape with their life.

The Rook from The Looking Glass Wars in casual wear
The Rook from The Looking Glass Wars in casual wear

This Rook proves himself an invaluable member of the Alyssians and an indispensable friend to Dodge during Redd’s reign. The Rook accompanies Dodge into Wondertropolis the night after the attack to retrieve and bury his father’s body, even going so far as to finish burying him when Dodge cannot.

The duo fight together for years, watching the other’s back, and saving the other’s life too often to keep track of. A veteran of countless battles, The Rook is an expert of getting out of tough scrapes alive when any lesser warrior would likely be killed. After Queen Alyss takes power, The Rook remains a steadfast, unbroken, and vital figure in her inner circle of military defense. Dodge implicitly trusts The Rook as his right hand.

THE BISHOPS

The Bishop from The Looking Glass Wars Graphic Novel Crossfire
The Bishop from The Looking Glass Wars Graphic Novel Crossfire

The Bishops are members of the rear echelon of the Chessmen and are of equal rank to the Knights

and Rooks. Typically employed for special operations, the Bishops are most often used in a planning and tactical capacity. With fantastical intuition and expert perception abilities, this sect of the Chessmen is often compared to the Albino Tutors in their insatiable quest for information, all be it their interest is purely strategic in nature.

Though they might be the least physically imposing of the Chessmen’s rear echelon, they manipulate their adversaries by lulling them into a false sense of security. Once the trap is laid, the wicked strength of a Bishop can be unleashed on their enemies with deceptively aggressive martial skills. ‘Quick of foot and of mind’ is a well-used motto among Bishops.

During Redd’s rule of Wonderland, the Bishops that survived her initial assault were high value targets for capture. Those that were (miraculously) taken alive were “persuaded” to divulge their information to Redd—however, it is well known that over the years Her Imperial Viciousness stopped attempting to extract this information due to a string of extraordinarily botched missions. The Bishops intentionally used their tactical know how to sabotage any attempt at turning them against the rebel Alyssians—often at the cost of their own lives. They are remembered as heroes of Wonderland, and these heroic tales served to bolster future recruitment to their ranks.

THE PAWNS

The Pawn from The Looking Glass Wars Graphic Novel Crossfire
The Pawn from The Looking Glass Wars Graphic Novel Crossfire

The Front Echelon of the Chessmen is comprised of The Pawns. This group lacks skill but make up for it by the sheer numbers in which they attack. Pawns outnumber Knights, Bishops, and Rooks by several multitudes. They are the foot soldiers that often guard Wonderland’s territory alongside low number Card Soldiers.

It is not uncommon for Pawns to pursue distinguishing themselves through bold action. They have a deep love of Wonderland, and an undying loyalty to uphold the ruling Queen. Missions of great danger are a welcome break to the monotony of low-level patrolling in the minds of most Pawns.

Like the Rear Echelon, Pawns often work alongside the other security forces of Wonderland like the Guardsmen and the Deck—however, they often find a certain level of discrimination levied at them. This internal tension is often a thorn in General Doppelgänger’s side— however, in his wisdom as great military leader, the General never undervalued the importance of The Pawns. This civility earned the General(s) an excellent reputation among the ranks of his/their foot soldiers, and perhaps in its small way saved the Queendom. Had The Pawns stood for the Red Queen, it is possible Wonderland would have fallen to Dark Imagination for all time.

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