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The Undead Legion

"You haven't seen true darkness. You claim to be tenebrous and powerful and being able to blot out the sun with your armies but have you ever even wielded true darkness? The Undead Legion wield darkness in its rawest and purest form. It lives inside of us as an entity just as alive as a human, coruscating wildly until its time for us to release it. Now the time has come for you to witness true darkness!"   Elias Maltoran, the commander of the Undead Legion talking to an Argonite Champion before engaging him in battle
The Undead Legion is a military order of Tenebria. Whilst not being a regular legion or being a special forces organisation, it is huge and gigantic, consisting of millions of Undead soldiers and many fully commissioned knights. The Legion is particularly known for its usage of frost and shadow magic in addition to its brutal fighting style. Most undead legionnaires wear armour with a dark blue tint, showcasing their control over frost magic but a minority tend to wear armour that shows a green tint , particularly undead soldiers from Arvallia to show their connection to their native country.   The Beginnings of the Undead Legion were around ten thousand years ago, at the same time as the Human Unification Wars and the Tenebrian War of Independence. During these times, they were a regular battalion. All of this would change however when they decided to take shelter under a system of caves. The Caves were semi connected to the realm of Thanatos, and whilst exploring the caves, the undead legion members were all infused with shadow energy with many of them being possessed by the shadow elementals that had lurked within.   Completely transformed, the group came to be known as the undead legion. Using the very element of shadow and darkness, they fought like angels of death and became a key factor in many of the Imperiums victories ranging from the Imperial civil war to The Great War which continues even today. As such, they have a mythological reputation in the Imperium as the angels of Thanatos, who use their dark powers in service of mankind as a whole. Besides this, the art of shadowsculpting has also earnt them much favour from the Imperiums populace, as it showed that even they have a life and enjoy the finer arts when they have a chance.

Structure

The Legion has many divisions to keep the organization running. Its leadership is divided in three major divisions: The Soldiery, The Knights and The Champions.’  

The Soldiery

"Don"t think that our regular boys are shabby folks who haven"t hit the gym. If we the knights are the hammer, then the regular soldiers are the handle and make up a part of the Hammer too. Simply put, our regular infantrymen in sufficient numbers are stronger than us in some cases"   An Undead Legion Knight talking to a The Boreal Legion soldier about the common infantryman in the undead legion
The vast majority of the Legion’s rank-and-file are the often overlooked infantry and specialists who stand shoulder-to-shoulder for the greater causes of the Legion. The Soldiery also includes specialists like Necromancers, Mages, Siege Operators and others. The Soldiery’s main strengths lie in numbers, organization and teamwork.

Undead Legion Knights

"He stood there, towering like the frost giants dad told me stories about. His armour was a dark blue colour, coruscating with shadow energy deep inside. When i looked into his eyes, i knew that this could only be an angel of death. One born from the very essence of Thanatos"   Victoria Elnara Astridsson, describing her encounter with an Undead Legion Knight
The Knights are the officer class of the Legion. Unlike what the title implies, Knights have access to a wide variety of equipment, from the heavy and impenetrable to the light and nimble. Knights are elevated from the ranks of the Soldiery. Becoming a Knight involves an initiation ritual, where the prospected Knight is submerged into a pool of pure Shadow energy to become a conduit for it; an excruciating ordeal that not all survive. If they do, however, they become something more; a terror to behold for any foe, directing darkness as easily as their own limbs. This ritual is but the first step of a Knight’s training.  

Undead Legion Champions

"The Champions are simply put, the heralds of death. Being possessed by one of the shadow elementals of The Underworld allows them to become as close to the darkness and shadows as something could feasibly get. Their eyes burn with the flames of vengeance, as do their weapons which thirst for the souls of the living. Yet, the Legions champions use this power solely for the service of the Imperium, and always against their sworn enemies, against whom they have sworn an oath of hatred"   An excerpt from an Imperial military guidebook
The Champions are the deadliest warriors of the Undead. With their cold-forged metal armour and imbued with the very essence of darkness, Champions can take punishment that would kill their non-Legion peers. They wield weapons of enchanted Underworld Steel imbued with shadow magic that can slice enemies in half. Their magical powers are further enhanced by Shadow Elemental possession, turning a Champion into a monstrous, nightmarish force to encounter on the battlefield. Argonite regulars have been known to die out of fear, their seniors routing at the sight, leaving only their most steadfast heroes to face the Legion’s Champions.

History

The Founding of the Legion

The Undead Legion was born when a battalion of undead soldiers returning to their camp took shelter in a cave for the night. Whilst resting, they had also explored the caves but accidentally awakend an ancient being and its offsprings, which possessed their leader and some of their commanders, and changed them completely. Thus, the Undead Legion was born  

The Imperial Civil War

The Imperial Civil War
Military Conflict | Jun 13, 2020
The Civil war stood out as the very first serious ordeal the legion had to go through. From the very beginnings of the war to the final moments, they had stayed loyal to the legitimate emperor. From the start, the legions veterans and commanders knew that something was amiss and their predictions came to truth over time. In the end, the undead legion were probably the biggest factor in the loyalist victory, their immunity to deathfog and resistance to creatures borne out of it contributing to alter the course of the war.  

The Bloodmoon Rebellion

The Bloodmoon Rebellion
Military Conflict | Jun 6, 2020
The Bloodmoon Rebellion had struck at the heart of the organization, as many of their members had deserted the legion when they saw the atrocities being committed against their fellow people in The Bloodmoon Islands. In the end, the legion would again prove crucial in the Imperiums victory due to them leading frontal assaults against the cultists and bearing the brunt of the losses. It was also the undead legion commander who had defeated the demon that was responsible for starting the rebellion, albeit at the presumed cost of his own life  

The Boreal Mutiny

The Boreal War
Military Conflict | Oct 2, 2020
The Boreal mutiny struck at the very core of the legions tenets, in that it involved the first uprising by members of the legion. The resulting war brought much devastation, including the near extinction of the legion and combined with popular hate for them, it took a long while for the legion to build back both its numbers and reputation. The lesson that was learned from here was that officers were needed to be monitored much more closely, so that such an event never hapens again

The Great War

The Deadliest war to ever happen on Elladia, the great war has completely changed the world and continues to do so in the present day. From simple border skirmishes and assassinations, the war had quickly spiralled out of control into a world war, pitting the two major superpowers on the planet with both sides accepting nothing but the utter destruction of the other. The Legion had been the main factor in many Imperial victories in the war, which continues to this day amidst the return of a far more sinister threat. One that will raze down Elladia unless the two unite

Values of the Legion

The Undead Legion has some values that every Legionnaire is bound to uphold. These Values represent the spirit of the legion , and as such, breaking a rule without a valid reasons ( subject to review from the legions adjudicators) is an unforgivable crime and bears much punishment. The Values are as follows:
  1. Sharing the Burden- The First and Foremost rule of the Legion is to share the Burden of tasks amongst each other. Naturally, the strongest of shoulders will bear the hardest of burdens but as Commander Elias had put it "Everyone also has to hit the gym to strengthen their shoulders from time to time"
  2.  
  3. Loyalty to the Tenebrian Kingdom and The Imperium- Every Undead Legionnaire is expected to uphold their oath to the Tenebrian kingdom and to the Imperium equally. In times of strife, when the two disagree, the Legionnaires swear to be on the side of those who are "right". They also must treat the civilians of the Imperium with respect and kindness, as in the end, they are accountable to the citizens of the Imperium and Tenebria as well
  4.  
  5. Not Maintaining Neutrality in a time of crisis- This is one of the points where the Legion inflicts the harshest of punishments on. The Legion always believes that those who maintain neutrality during crises have the darkest hell reserved for them. As such, the Legion always motivates and encourages its members to be aware of events going around them, as well as aiding them to make on opinion based on their own thoughts and beliefs.
  6.  
  7. Respect for Rights- Despite the Legion being almost always shown as a bunch of murderers who love the dark, the Legion has a surprising tolerance for basic rights such as free speech, freedom of association and others. Soldiers are free to criticise higher ranking members and are even expected to do so, as the Legion believes that constructive criticism makes an army strong and allows it to iron its flaws
  8.  
  9. Fighting Against their enemies- The last but not least value of the Legion is to unanimously and with all their strength fight against the enemies of Mankind and Undeadkind whoever they may be. Legionnaires can voice dissenting opinions elsewhere but in the battlefield, if a Legionnaire deserts his camp or betrays the Legion without having given their opinion before, they are most likely to be sentenced to death or sent to a penal battalion

Shadowsculpting

One of the most unique aspects of the Undead Legion are their art of shadowsculpting. Whilst being a military order, the Undead Legion are no stranger to the fine arts and crafts and their invention of Shadowsculpting is proof of that   Shadowsculpting is an art which relies on using shadow energy to create pieces of art and sculptures. At first, one might ask "how it was possible to make art with something incorporeal?" The legionnaires had the same question until they discovered a simple trick. By using frost magic to cool and solidify shadow energy and then working on it carefully with various tools, they could produce beautiful pieces of art, some that defied the laws of geometry itself. Many had Non Euclidean Shapes and could be folded into pieces that were impossible for a normal sculpture without breaking apart   Shadowsculpting remains a highly treasured art within the Legion and is now renowned worldwide. Whenever they are not at war, a chief recreational activity for undead legionnaires is shadowsculpting, and many have gone the extra mile to create wildly new designs, some being truly alien and even fewer still, coruscating with shadow energy due to their creators infusing in some shadow energy. Many of these art pieces now lie in museums, where spectators look at literal solid shadows molded into beautiful shapes that were unimaginable in their wildest of dreams. However, most of them love the sculptures and are thankful for the undead legion to bear them so much service, even in the non military sector

Shadow Initiation

For a soldier to become a knight, one must go through the difficult and excruciatingly painful initiation ritual. Here, they are pushed into a pool of Pure Shadow Energy, and are expected to become one with the shadows themselves. As soon as one enters the pool, the shadow energy rushes into their bodies and they become a living conduit of it. This process has been described by some recruits as "Having sharp molten glass driven through your body"   If one manages to survive this ritual, they become something completely different. They are now an Underworld Knight, one that can manipulate the shadows as easily as he does his hands. Successful candidates receive further training and chose their specilizations such as class, gear etc before they are formally commissioned amongst the ranks of the legions knights
Founding Date
1 AI
Type
Military Order
Training Level
Elite
Veterancy Level
Decorated/Honored

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    Initial Training and Battles
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    The Initial Beginnings for the Legion, including their first actions of war as part of the Imperium against the Duskfall Horc Federation and a few other threats

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    The Formation of the Legion

    On this day, the Undead Legion was born after they had decided to awaken the being that had been slumbering under the Rilvartide Mountains for millenia.

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    The Imperial Civil War
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    A war that had torn apart the Imperium, where the legion played a decisive part in defeating the tyrant and restoring peace and justice to the Imperium

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    The Bloodmoon Rebellion
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    A Rebellion that shook the Imperium to its core, ending with the Imperium and the rebels allying to defeat the cultists and their demonic masters

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    The Boreal Mutiny
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    A Rebellion by a deranged group of the undead legion, stopped by the timely return of Elias after being missing nearly 6000 years

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    The Great War
    Military action

    The Deadliest war in Elladia, which continues to this day and has seen The Sanguine Imperium and the Aegean Empire fighting for supremacy of Elladia as well as their adversaries destruction

Comments

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13 Jun, 2020 11:47

I love this! I don't think anyone else has featured an organization of undead for the challenge, and I appreciate the way in which you explain how your undead would logically work as a cohesive unit. I wouldn't want to be on this world and possibly have to face this threat! Also, the page looks great. I especially enjoy your clever use of the art. Good work!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga Eater of pickles, Friend of nerds, First of her name
13 Jun, 2020 12:23

Super interesting concept! x3 Awesome. But I must wonder, maybe I missed something but... What happens to the legion in the downtime? When there isn't battle to fight you know. Are they going to do something else, or are they going to take a nap, and then they get summoned back to awaken state when they are required?   I also want to know about the dude and the health risk of the person who does that rad armor. xD Sounds like a risky business!   Awesome article. x3 Nice to see you writing again! <3


Can I have a cookie? | Come and snoop around Melyria
14 Jun, 2020 12:19

Another wonderful article Elias! I always enjoy reading your work. These dudes certainly sound rather terrifying but I love that aside from their deadly weapons and fierce reputation they enjoy spending time creating sculptures! Definitely makes them seem a little more human than just undead.   "...awakened an ancient being and its offsprings, which possessed their leader and some of their commanders, and changed them completely." I love this bit about their "birth" but it does make me suspicious about the ancient being! Did the being take over them completely, killing the host and possessing the bodies of them? Or did they fuse with the humans, giving them power etc. I feel like there's potential here for the ancient beings to be using this Legion for their own ends, manipulating them until they deem their time has come. I'd love to know more about this Ancient Being and why it and its offspring were slumbering in this cave.   But again, I love it! Thanks for sharing!

14 Jun, 2020 18:21

It is definitely a really cool article! I love how you use art to Support the theme of your worldbuilding. The way in that you expand the themes of frost and shadows to build up the strength of the Legion is very fitting for the undead theme. I like that you also thought about the implications for their day to day life in the form of shadow sculpting!   It is really inspiring for me to see how you structure your article.

Eternal Deity Ademal
Ademal Jacklyn
27 Jul, 2020 00:48

As promised, here’s your critique for making it to the top 10 of the regular league!

First off, it’s great that you’ve got so much to say about these guys. You’ve really delved into what makes their structure, history, and values, and put a lot of effort and detail into them! Instead of focusing on those, however, I will focus on where I think you can improve.

In terms of lore, this does leave some open questions which I couldn’t find questions for within the article itself. The biggest one is that you never explain Undeath itself, and why they were undead before entering the caves. Furthermore, I feel like not expanding on the nature of the cave system—which I feel they would be drawn to since it was the source of their power—you really missed out on establishing some strong lore regarding their connection to Thanatos.

You explain the cave origin twice in the article, and the two somewhat conflict. One implies they got the power merely for entering the cave, the other says they awoke a sleeping being and its offspring. I’m sure the two correlate, but you glossed over it.

What unique powers do undead have naturally? How are they made? Why was there an army of them? How does the legion supply itself? Do they have any sort of “healer” when bones are broken or do they naturally regenerate? How do they recruit new members? What do they do in downtime?

The aspect that their magics can be used for positive things and that they aren’t inherently evil is a cool detail! In terms of the text itself, I suggest reading it aloud to figure out what flows and what feels awkward to say, as that often applies to how easy or difficult it is to read, as well. You’re using certain high-value words, like coruscating, so many times that they lose their shine—keep writing simple, then make the dramatic parts pretty. I also feel like some of your quotes get a little wordy—in an attempt to emphasize the point of something, you bury it under so many words that it loses its teeth.

Overall, a great concept and lots of great lore tidbits here!

explore-ethnis.png

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27 Apr, 2021 20:34

“Not Maintaining Neutrality in a time of crisis- This is one of the points where the Legion inflicts the harshest of punishments on. The Legion always believes that those who maintain neutrality during crises have the darkest hell reserved for them. As such, the Legion always motivates and encourages its members to be aware of events going around them, as well as aiding them to make on opinion based on their own thoughts and beliefs.“   The undead are based anti-centrists!