The Old Ones
The Imperial Legion
The Imperial Legion
“With the blood of an enemy shall the marks be made upon the missile. Then bless the missile and present unto the mounting. Speak the Prayer of Torsion and curse the target. Do this rapidly lest the wrath of the weapon be wasted. Point the eye of the weapon so that it may see the object of its wrath. When the weapon has uttered its curse and eaten the soul of its victim, then shall you take up the next missile…”
-Inscription found on Ballista, 1st Siege Cohort, “Vorn’s Fury”
A single Imperial Legion at full-strength is made up of 10,000 men, organized into 10 cohorts of 1,000. A formidable sight in its own right, an Imperial Legion almost never marches to war alone. Alongside one Legion will be numerous Auxiliaries, conscripts, local bannerlords, mercenaries, freeriders, and thousands of camp followers. This “on paper” strength is almost never achieved in the field, even in peacetime, due to disease, desertions, and general predations of life on the fringes of the Empire.
Such organization and cooperation has made Imperial armies particularly dreaded across the continent. Were it not for the endless wars, famines, and corruption that has plagued the Empire’s long history, no other nation could have hope to stop them should they be allowed to concentrate their entire military might into a single earth-shattering campaign.
“Hate the abhumans as you hate the infidel, as you hate the non-believer. Feel not mercy for them, for their very existence is profane. What right have they to live, those that are Other?”
Signifier Helmut Reisbach, 3rd Imperial Legion
The Legion itself is only open to male humans of the Vornish faith, though it often employs non-humans in the Auxilia for a variety of combat and support roles. Notable non-human Auxilia formations include:
Forest-haflings employed as scouts and ambushers. Often called “The Mutton Stickers” due to the tendency of supplies in the baggage train to ‘disappear’ during their campaigns.
A polyglot unit formed from exiles and freedmen of the city of Salt-In-Wounds. Rumors purporting the existence of abhuman mutations in the Bloodmarked have never entirely disappeared, despite their performance in battle.
Kantic bowmen of the auxilia defending Hochburg against forces of the Schismatic Pope during the Denizolic Apostasy.
Sons of the Abyss
Dwarven berserkers, sappers, and siege engineers, worshipers of the proscribed Dweomer god “Old Miner”, following to the law the pursuit of all enemies held in their Book of Grudges. The High Kings have kept the Great Book of Grudges for generations, the oldest and most important of the many throughout the Dwarf lands. Sometimes known as Dammaz Kron, the book recounts all wrongs and treachery perpetrated against Old Miner since the dawn of time. Occasionally, the Dwarfs have the opportunity to set a wrong right, in which case the Keeper of the Tome has the satisfaction of striking out the record in the book. This hardly ever happens though, as Dwarfs much prefer to hold a grudge forever. Even crossed out grudges can still be read and are never forgotten, but fondly recalled together with the story of how vengeance was finally exacted. It is also interesting to note, that the Dwarf Language has no word for forgiveness, but many subtle variations on revenge, recompense and retribution.