The Mad Legion
"I remember a story from when I was young. My mother told it to me. Would you like to hear?" Indifferent nods in agreement we're made and she began her tale.
"She called it...The mad god and queen winter. A Winter spirit warred with her three sisters. They warred to determine who would get to paint the world in their image. Each season changed erratically as another victory was gained, but one year winter came and never left. For an entire year it was cold and unforgiving. The people starved and and the Gods of Ozlith watched helplessly, but The Mad God had a plan.
The Mad God left to congratulate the queen and appeared before her in the guise of an Alfen painter. When he arrived, he asked if the war had finally been won. She nodded and he praised her.
"I shall paint a hundred paintings in your honor." And she replied.
"If you must but I have no enjoyment in this victory."
"What makes your achievement so sour, oh queen?"
"Seeking this power, elf, I destroyed my family. They came back and I imprisoned them in vaults of ice and snow. I miss them, but I will not release them for they will war with me again."
"Then I shall paint in their memory, as well as their defeat, to keep their memory in your sight. It will be as if they are here with you." She looked at him confused and soon her halls were covered in paintings depicting spring, she wandered her halls with nostalgia and one day the paintings were gone, replaced by paintings of summer. She dealt with it for as long as she could, until one day she raged and summoned the painter.
"Why do my halls celebrate my worst enemy?"
"I know not of what of you speak, my queen, your halls have shown autumn for many hours."
She leaped from her throne and walked her halls to find they indeed depicted the season of changing colors. She watched the painter from then on and saw he wouldn't paint, For all her sisters had their time. She blew an icy chill in her screams and summoned the painter forth.
"What is the meaning of this! Why do my halls not feature me?"
"But, gracious host, my queen. They sing praises to you in heaps. Why every window shows a painting if you just look through it. Your victory means you own the world."
"And why do my halls not show the same."
"This long winter fogs my brain. It leaves little to the imagination. I cannot paint what is already painted. to feature you would steal another artists work... your work, my queen." She fumed in frustration and walked to her dungeon. She called to summer her mortal enemy and made her a deal.
"Go melt the ice that paints the world, so I can enjoy my victory within my own halls. In three months time, back to your cell you will go." Summer did as she was told and enjoyed the freedom and the painter hung his winter paintings along the snow queens walls, but summer went back to her prison and winter took her hold, but as the paintings came and went winter still was missing. She knew what he would say but went to him again.
"Must I release all my sisters to experience my own victory?"
"Why, my queen, that's a capital idea! For the inspiration of winter cannot be gained if winter is all I see. It sours and goes bland. If you realize your sisters and share the world, your victory is still absolute." She went to her sisters spring and autumn. When summer gets back spring will be freed and when she returns it will be autumn. My halls will sing all of our praises for only then will I know I have won."
Mhirrah looked around and saw that all eyes were on her and the bard furiously jotted every word in her journal.
"I'm glad you all still believe me, you seem to be the only ones. This is how the people of Ozlith, my people, believed the seasons worked and for them it may have been true, I can't remember.
The mad god was never an antagonist to them. He was a jokester, a trickster always clad In Yellow, but like his siblings he loved his people and refused to see them die." She took a deep breath,
"His legion was a example of that. I'm not sure if I would make a good queen, but I will try. I was thrown out of my time for a reason, I hope I can live up to it...
The butchers were always on the battlefield, though allies gave them a wide birth. When in battle they often can't tell an enemy from a friend. I once saw a butcher make a kill and literally sit in the middle of the battle and carve symbols into the body of their prey. He was chanting and raving as he marked himself as well. He placed a cauldron on the ground and poured white wine from his drinking horn which smoked a yellow smoke that rose high above the fighting. Any who dared interrupt was inexplicably torn to shreds. The butcher refused to stop as if the battle wasn't even happening. When completed, he simply drank the wine and reattached the cauldron and continued the fight. It was so bizarre...
When the seven gods of Ozlith ventured into the Domain of war, The Mad God was ecstatic. Chaos and insanity were his tools of the trade and he latched to it on the fields of battle with fervor. He watched as the warriors plied their trade. He saw their skills and their discipline, but something was missing.
He walked onto the field and tapped a warriors shoulder. The warrior lost all control and began cleaving violently with unnatural strength, cutting himself by accident numerous times until for whatever reason he started to enjoy it and found the more he did so, the stronger he got. The warrior made feral swings, never flinching at the many wounds he sustained until the warrior stood among hundreds of bodies bleeding to death in the end. The Mad God was elated. He continued this process, teaching into the minds of the soldiers and showing them more than they should ever see, he mastered this process, for the god of yellow was a god of art long before he was a god of war.
When he returned he took his followers and created a mighty legion. The Centurions of the mad legion, who called themselves butchers, were insane and lost to all reason in almost every way. They embraced the slaughter and collected trophies from their kills. Their god loved them so, and they did in kind for their rituals were performed in the heat of battle surrounded by their enemies. Unlike the other legions, the butchers rarely wore armor and when they did it was often very light. The did this to ensure other could see their skin, the branding of their homeland forever sealing their pact to their patron.
Enlightenment Through Self Destruction
when i met the butchers to gain their blessing they took me to an old battlefield. One told me it was the first place the butchers ever fought. I took a step forward and blood came from the ground. He knelt before me and took out his knife, cauldron and horn. He placed the knife on top and picked up his ax. I was not ready for that fight...The fighting styles of the mad legion were frantic and reflected their insanity. While a gladius was used often, the butchers often used clubs and axes as the wounds made by them were far more brutal and violent especially when coupled with serrated edges. While butcher's chose weapons and armor themselves They never fought with shields, embracing the pain. This is thought to be the source of rage which is used prominently in Mhirriah where the berserkers in the east utilize a similar fighting style as well as the same Ozlithian brands as the mad legion.
Those who wished to join the mad legion must already be a little insane. The mad God will take them and mold them, pushing them well over the edge. He bombards the senses and carefully shapes the insanity within the butcher's mind until they are ready to receive their first brand. A butcher is a hunter, and will hunt until his dying breath. his every thought is bent on the violence he is driven to perform. The Mad God always enforced less than ethical practices, however these practices seldom left the fields of battle. The Mad god, while once a god of art, became a god of chaos in war, and as such he drove his legion insane to ensure that chaos was there. The butchers receive no training, only the rage their madness brings. They are thrown onto battlefields and for each kill they claim, the more marks they are allowed to receive. their rituals on the field of battle are rites of passage, a declaration that they have earned this power and are willing to pay the price of sanity to do so.
...despite how unprepared I was, I held my own quite well. The butcher gestured to the wine of his ritual and I drank the wine. What I saw i couldn't even explain. I don't even want to. It was horrible. Death, pain, images of bloody war. It was as if i bore witness to every kill a butcher ever made. When I awoke, I felt a agonizing sting in my arm. He had carved my first brand into me, and stood above me with a red hot branding iron. When it touched my shoulder, I knew my trial was complete. I strangely feel that the branding wasn't the worst part. ~Journals of Mirrah
Ozlith: The Birth of an Empire and the Seven Legions
The tale of Ozlith's rise and fall.
The Legion of the Deep
A legion of coordinated, fast moving centurions. The legion of deep began by hunting monsters in the sea. They came to wander the battlefield in search of enemy officers and attack as a group to break the moral of enemy armies..
The Matriarchs Legion (Mhirriah's Legion)
One of the seven legions of Ozlith, The Matriarchs exacted their vengeance in battle, one name at a time.
The Tyrant's Legion
A Vangard legion in the armies of Ozlith alongside the Matriarchs, The Tyrants were criminals given a second chance.
The Widow's Legion
Widowers in Ozlith joined this legion, and became the right hand of their dark goddess, a goddess of death.
The Alabaster Legion
A legion of Eldritch Angels, transformed by their god into a silent and secret legion of warriors
OutfittingThe butchers often used whatever they desired for equipment. One universal thing was the use of Ozolithian brands. The butchers employed knives and needles initially to carve their ritualistic symbols into their flesh and the flesh of a worthy foe. They often carried drinking horns and small cauldron on their side for the purposes of performing their rituals.
The Butchers preferred serrated blades no matter what it was on. They also carried ritualistic daggers that could only cut their flesh and the flesh of worthy foes. Some were even seen with a branding iron bearing the image of the Ozlithian brand they had to earn, as most markings on their body serve as a form of rank.
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