The Emperor’s Blades were the former military force of Fastheld.
In 626 ATA they were decomissioned and folded into the Imperial Watch. The Blades were separated into the Horsemen (cavalry) and Bladesmen (infantry). Most of these soldiers were commoners who would never hold a rank of importance higher than Guardian, although commoners could, through seniority, become Guardian Leaders, Marshals and even Captains.
All soldiers were sworn to serve at least two years, regardless of social status. During their tour of duty, soldiers of the Emperor’s Blades received training, equipment, armor, lodging and tax exemptions on their holdings.
In return, they were required to go where the Blademaster commanded them - whether the order was to remain stationed at Fastheld Keep or atop the Aegis. Swearing fealty to the Emperor’s Blades was no light matter. The Crown didn't seek weekend warriors. When someone signed up, they were relied upon to serve with all seriousness.
Soldiers who abused the benefits of their position while failing to fulfill the expectations of the Blademaster would face serious consequences. The least that could happen: Ejection from the service and retroactive taxation to cover all the training and the exemptions during the time served.