The Sanguine Legion

Warriors of the Goddess of Passion

When the gods of Ozlith ventured into the domain of war, The Red Maiden couldn't help but feel out of place. The warriors on that endless battlefield were so cold and calculated. The blood they spilled had little meaning.
She wandered the fields far longer than the other gods searching for anything that may catch her eye.

Eventually, it came to her. Warriors who killed out of passion and lathered the blood they spilled on their hands like a holy sacrament.
It was love at first sight for the young goddess. She was, after all, a goddess of passion...of extremes. She was the goddess of red and commanded power over the red within us all. When she returned, the term maiden was no longer accurate, for she experienced a rapture and felt as if her body had been ravaged by the sight. To the maiden, the joy of fightingher brother, The Tyrant, had come to find was fleeting. The skill that The Matriarch desired was cold and the narrow view of The Deep, she found meaningless.
War is more than the fight, she found, and when she looked to her closest sibling, The Widow, she lamented. The Maiden felt that fighting for the kill ends the passion too quickly.

To the maiden, it was the passion that mattered most. It wasn't just the thrill and love of fighting for her. It was having something to fight for....
She once asked of her siblings
"What drives mortals to violence." She looked at their befuddled faces and she shook her head at each of their answers. She gestured to their people and smiled.
"Passion, the passion for one's country, faith, or creed. Passion is what moves one past the pain. Passion is what drives one to excel in skill. Passion is what leads to an enemies death, and passion is what drives those to seek out the watery depths."
  The mad god laughed at the other gods' confusion.
"It seems our sister has grown wiser than us all." Gehova smiled and spoke to his siblings.
"What purpose is passion if it cannot make life better? War can never do that."
"What good is meaning, of purpose, without passion dear sibling?" The mad god chuckled,
"Passion is what drives us all towards purpose." The maiden smiled. She knew that even her maddened brother didn't understand, and that none of them ever will. She had been changed and felt it deeply. She took those who would see her ways, less than a thousand men and women, and ravaged them in kind.

They experienced a passion not meant for mortal minds. She didn't just create warriors, she created artists. The gladius was their brush, the blood was the paint and the field of battle was a canvas.
The red legion was, for many, the most terrifying, or at least the most intimidating legion. Like many artists, these precious few were full of life and ached to bring forth the writhing images they felt within.
They wandered the fields of battle with a vigor unlike any other. A swagger that would make armies flee in terror when they took to the field.
The more blood they spilled, the more powerful they became. Using the arcane art taught to them by their patroness. They would summon monstrous creatures from the wetworks, a demiplane where the maiden resides.

This was often unintentional. They could also shroud themselves in blood and appear as monsters themselves.
Outside of combat, however, they were often considered elegant and graceful, with ornate armor that blended lightweight leather with heavier steel.
Centurions of the Sanguine legion often wore strange helmets that displayed their fiery locks with pride flowing out of the back.   After their joining, they emerge with red hair, and as it was a symbol of their order, refused to cut even an inch of it off. They wore enchanted white cloaks that absorbed the blood they spilled.
This blood was their medium and they used it in many ways. They would heal the fallen, raise the morale of their comrades, and violently dispatch any opposition The blood they gathered would stain their cloak and never spoil. A cloak fully soaked would often be a mark of rank. The cloaks were to never be washed as doing so would cause the blood to rot and spill from the cloth.
 
Ah, The painters of the Sanguine Legion, they were something else. A single squad could rival an army.
They were beautiful...and disgusting if I'm being honest. They reveled in the blood they spilled even if it was their own. They bathed in it. In fact, to my own horror, the pilgrimage to the wetworks, the maidens domain of blood and extremes, requires you to fill a silver tub with blood, disrobe, and completly submerge your body.
It was such a bizarre feeling, I dont recommend it. You enter a medatative state and submerge...
— Mhirrah, Chosen of Mhirriah
     
The painters, as the centurions of this legion were called, were rarely used as a single fighting force. Most military forces needed only a squad or two and with there being so few of them, efficiently divided them amongst their forces.
Based on historical texts, the legion never went far above 700 members.
   

Training and Outfitting

The painters wore heavy armor and an enchanted cloak. They used a gladius in battle and each was well trained in blood magic. They also employed spears and large round shields at the beginning of battle which usually would be abandoned when the passion overtakes them.
 
...Once submerged, that's when the real fun begins. The first thing you feel is a tug as if being pulled deeper which should be impossible, its a tub right?
Now I'll admitit...I panicked. I flailed trying to get out of the tub but found myself swimming deeper like I was swimming downwards.
That's when you notice the walls and base of the tub aren't there anymore. Something tugs you again. It flips you around and buoyancy reinstates itself. You scramble in the direction that used to be down but now is up, and then you break the surface.
— Mhirrah, Chosen of Mhirriah
   
The training of a painter is done by the tyrants and once trained the prospect must make a pilgrimage into the demiplane of the maiden herself. The wetworks leave an impression on those who enter and survive. Their hair turns red and their ability to sense and utilize blood for their magic is deeply enhanced.
While their fighting style with a gladius is heavily adapted from the tyrant legion, the use of blood magic and feral, passionate motions made it look quite different as their cloaks and the centurions themselves attract the blood spilled in floating drips and mists. A red fog often shrouded them, made of the mists that fuel their power.

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The Cult of Fiery Locks

The Red Maiden's priestesses often traveled with the red legion for several reasons. The rituals of The Maiden are usually administered by a priestess, particularly before battle. The priestess is also responsible for powering and maintaining the blood sigils that enchant the cloaks of the legion. On top of this, the priestesses and fanatic cultists often resorted to bloodletting to fuel the power of their centurions. They would fill small 3 gallon vats that they carried into battle for the legion to make use of.
This blood is different from the blood collected on the fields of battle. The tenants of blood magic state that blood can be taken from yourself or your enemies, but blood freely given is sacrificial and much more potent.

The Sanguine Legion cover
...An ocean of blood and an island with shores of black sand...that's the first thing you see. You look at the center of this island and see a massive citadel of impossible shapes with waves of red hair stretching to the sky that seem to go on forever.

Its a long way to her throne. You fight the waves and your first steps on the shore are labored. Your so damn tired from the swim. You trek on though.
Youre only allowed a weapon to take with you. I was naked, armed with nothing but Mhirriah's spear. Monsters are everywhere, her priestesses assail you, test you in many ways with Riddles and temptations. You finally make it to her spire and her throne. The red hair cascaded all over is lush and silky like a warm bed. She is unnaturally tall, with glaring green eyes and a curved nose but no mouth...I found that odd. She speaks to you in your thoughts, offers you the greatest of passions.
You say yes, of course you do. No one denies a goddess.
— Mhirrah, Chosen of Mhirriah
 
The Sanguine Legion was one of the last to form and their arrival causes a huge interest in the red maiden and converts flocked to her temples. The maiden was rarely worshiped beforehand mainly due to many misunderstanding her principles, though many called to her I'm moments of passion, whether it be in late night encounters or in rage on the fields of battle. The legion kept many harems and stables, leading to the red temples of ozlith often doubling as brothels. They were remarkably few compared to the other legions. In many ways this due to the lack of understanding and in other ways it was due to the difficulty of the pilgrimage.
 
...I sprang from the tub suddenly and found myself back in reality. The cold chamber was a calming sight but more than it once was. This pilgrimage changes you in so many ways. You will find yourself just staring at mundane things as if they were the most beautiful things you have even seen. My first was the ocean. I found myself, naked, cold, covered in blood, just staring out the window of the chamber at the horizon. I broke away and realized the blood in the tub was gone save for what was on me. I went to clean myself up and it took almost three full tubs of water to do so, not because of the blood mind you, that was gone with second tub, but it took to the third tub to realize i was clean.
I was born with black hair, but no matter what i did, my hair stayed red, stained by the sea of the wetworks. It grows red too, completely natural.
— Mhirrah, Chosen of Mhirriah
Type
Magic
Overall training Level
Elite

The Structure of the Legion

While a unisex legion, its highest ranking member was always a woman referred to as The High Crone Below her in rank were the priestesses of The Red Maiden, who each shepherded a group of centurions. Among the centurions, those who bore a full red cloak were often treated as higher ranked than those who did not.


 

The Seven Legions Of Ozlith

Ozlith: The Birth of an Empire and the Seven Legions
Myth | May 15, 2019

The tale of Ozlith's rise and fall.


Comments

Author's Notes

So its fascinating how the color red affects us both individually and culturally. I've always had a thing for red head hair and red is my favorite color as well
Taking a look at how we view the color and those who have red hair can reveal some alarming things.
This is my favorite legion of the seven inspired by my love of the color and the unique elements of our culture that surround it. Ozlith is an lost culture that has faded into myth in the present. The legion's story is part of what little remains. Tell me how I did and don't forget to drop a like if you enjoyed the read. :)  

Dropbox:Who is Mhirrah?
Mhirrah is not a typo. Mhirrah and Mhirriah are two different people who are deeply connected in many ways.
Mhirrah is a demigod, a scion of Mhirriah who has to complete a set of labors to ascend to godhood. She a major character in the Walk on Water campaign, which is currently being written...


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3 Dec, 2018 18:19

I really liked the long introduction, through it would be a good idea to maybe put it in a box or a quotebox. It's a bit much to read on the background.   I would really like to know more about their figting methods and links for the maiden and some of the other mentioned deities would really help me understand the world better.   Great job! :D

3 Dec, 2018 18:20

The first part could do great as a sepperate myth :D

3 Dec, 2018 18:45

thanks for the comment and favorite. Im still learning the little tricks world anvil can do, no idea how to put it in a box but links are certainly happening soon, i want it there to specify how the legion formed but not sure how to do it. Ill read up on boxes as you said and fix it up or maybe move it to history and expand on fighting methods. :)

3 Dec, 2018 18:53

You could use a BBC table generator (just make a 1x1 table and then that's a box) Other than that you could use the

QUOTE HERE

3 Dec, 2018 18:57

ohhhhh, ok thanks so much. that would be much better. A quick question if I may? would it be better to combine the quotes from the other legions into one and link the legion articles to a main article?

3 Dec, 2018 19:35

If the legions are connected in a way it would be great to have a main article to keep track of them and to make them more accessible for the reader. The quotes are maybe not needed in the main one, but that depends on what you feel like doing with the article :D

3 Dec, 2018 19:41

That makes sense. I had a category for them but maybe a parent article would be a lot easier to flow from one to the other. Thank you!

3 Dec, 2018 19:49

An interesting legion with some good art and a gorgeously written backstory to their origin! I love the idea of a legion just being seen as monsters by bathing in blood! Though the wall of text really downplays the rest of the sections. Maybe you could move the story of their origin downwards into the footnotes (making a header as well) so the focus is the legion itself?

3 Dec, 2018 20:08

Another commented on that origin story and the wall of text. Lol I have no decided to combine all seven legions and the summarized backstory of Ozlith in a single article so that its all cohesive and focus each legions article to only that legion with maybe a short summary. The introduction is a part of a larger story involving all seven legions and the gods themselves.   Thanks for your kind words too, I've never had someone call my writing beautiful and if you could see me blush I would lol

3 Dec, 2018 20:09

You can keep this one's origin, but maybe shorten it a tiny bit. It's well written :)

24 Dec, 2018 19:43

Great article, I can tell you feel strongly about this group, and the imagery you paint is excellent. One critique I have is to slow down, and re-read some of the paragraphs you've written. If you're anything like me, I tend to write in a stream-of-consciousness manner, especially when the ideas are coming quick into my mind. There are a few paragraphs where the parsing of information was difficult to read and understand. I found myself having to re-read a sentence or paragraph to grasp the information you were trying to convey. Concentrate on proofreading and formatting. There are some areas where simple mistakes are made -- a by-product I'm sure of furiously typing as your imagination was flowing.   I honestly love the article, and think once it's cleaned up and made to flow effortlessly while reading, it'll be the epitome of a formation article. Well done, and keep up the good work!

24 Dec, 2018 21:32

My pleasure :)

8 Feb, 2019 12:43

This article really does have some great rhetorical moments: "They experienced a passion not meant for mortal minds." Your use of alliteration really makes this thought stick. Perfect for concluding the chronicle in the sidebar. Similarly, the image you create in your description of the Maiden is truly evocative. It puts me in mind of one of "hair-mad" Dante Rosetti's entrancing redheads. Except, y'know, without a mouth...
And you weren't kidding when you said the Sanguine Legion was more terrifying than the Tyrant's Legion!

8 Feb, 2019 13:55

Thank you so much man. Like truely your feedback is amazing and much appreciated. This was one of my first worldember articles...meaning its one of the first ones where I really tried...lol and yes definitely. Still working on exactly how I pla. to do blood magic, but truely not fun. Finding an evocagive but also tasteful way of writing something so violent is a line I'm still trying to walk.

8 Feb, 2019 14:06

Also your quite right about dante as well. That's a super interesting story surrounding him. Red hair is such a strange thing. Kids in elementary make up the worst nicknames imaginable for red heads but the moment puberty hits its like they reverse and become this seductive ( and for many people through history, evil) sex symbol. I remember my grandmother...a redhead....always saying "now watch it with those redheads, they got the devil in em." Thats such a common phrase for a gene that only effects what 2% of humans lol

8 Feb, 2019 17:32

Incredible article! I loved the great use of descriptive prose for describing the Sanguine Legion. For me, the greatest part would be the fact that you managed to evoke a sense of mystery and a mysterious aura surrounding them. It makes one want to read more of your world. The usage of quotes was a great way to keep the reader interested and the artwork gave this article a unique feel to itself that is incredibly hard to emulate . I for one will go on to say that this is an exemplar of how to write a military formation article. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

9 Feb, 2019 00:33

That was a really interesting read, to be honest. A Romanesque Legion, fueled by their love of war, and blood, all at the beck and call of a cult worshiping blood.   The way you structured it too was very nice. Easy to pace through, good quotes, and a nice set of portals at the bottom to suck anyone into your world and lore. Love it!   The question I got for you is this. You stated - in a quote - that a group of these guys were capable of holding off an army. Would it possible for the Legion - in its full might - be able to take the world over?   Great article!

9 Feb, 2019 01:42

Lol, a bit of hyperbole. They could hold their own against a large force in certain conditions but no ruling the world is not a thing that would do....though Ozlith came very close...

9 Feb, 2019 01:02

I loved how the magic and the military mingled so subtly. It looks like war wouldn't revolve around magic all the time and that's refreshing. Would you call your people hemomancers? You never use the word so I'm curious.

9 Feb, 2019 01:36

No war does not only involve magic. Magic can play a big role however. As for your question. I havnt decided. Il pondered hemomancer or sangiimancer. I've yet to write that magic system so lol

14 Feb, 2019 11:07

I love the layout of this. It make me image roman soilders using blood magic and to me its amazing. keep up the good work. what weapons do they use when the spear and sheild are abandoned?

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