The Tyrant's Legion

A Second Chance

"Something you learn when training with the vanguard legions: While they are brutal and efficient fighters, they have an unwavering respect for any enemy that willingly blocks the path between them and their goal.
A tyrant in battle can often be heard screaming at their opponents, seemingly taunting them. This is what I thought too. It wasn't until I really learned their language that I understood what they were doing. I noticed the taunting screams sounded just like the words i heard during training. Once i learned their meaning it was eye opening. The words they screamed, the cries heard throughout the battlefield, were not derogatory slurs or taunts.
They screamed things like: "Get up...Not like that...Watch your footing...Good, good...Now do it again."
No, they are not taunting their enemy...they are training them."
— From The Journals of Mhirrah, Chosen of Mhirriah
 

 
The Tyrant's Legion was one of the Seven Centurian Legions of Ozlith. The Tyrants became renowned for their bizarre techniques and ferocity on the battlefield.
They are the brothers of The Matriarchs and as such feature similar outfitting, fighting styles, and organizational structures.

The legion was founded by one of the living gods of Ozlith, The Tyrant, who personally trained the first members of the legion. As the legion progressed, they quickly became the vanguard force alongside The Matriarch's Legion. The vanguard legions were the first in and last out. They were the primary infantry used alongside the standing army of Ozlith.

They carved their way through the battlefield, screaming at their enemies in a way that most would take offense to. These insults and taunts were nothing of the sort. They were commands directed at their opponents in an attempt to make them better fighters for a more entertaining fight. Those deemed worthy by a tyrant would be taken into the legion if they survive the battle. If they did not, the tyrants often found the body of the warrior they respected so much and would place a coin onto their forehead. The coin was made of copper and depicts a centurion with his gladius held across his chest. From that point on, the body was to remain untouched and looting was forbidden by penalty of death. They would cross into the afterlife intact and with dignity.

 

The Fate of The Tyrants

During The Exodus from Ozlith, the tyrants stayed behind and defended their land from the forces of The Infernum. Now, long dead, it is unlikely that they're teachings withstood the test if time. None made their way to The Provinces of Mhirriah

A new life, A second chance


This practice became a symbol of both the tyrants and the matriarchs and as such, they were seen as the most honorable of the seven legions. In the later years of the empire, honor was a major factor that played into recruitment. A nameless empress established a law stating that anyone could find a second chance if they joined the ranks of The Tyrants. Criminals were often trained if they desired though certain criminals were barred from entry.

Those barred committed crimes that Ozlith considered particularly dishonorable such as rape, domestic violence, murder within ones family, and theft due to greed. The legion retained its loyalty to their patron god, the tyrant, but the actions of the empress led to a new found loyalty they kept as well.The Tyrant always had a soft spot for the reigning empress of Ozlith. A payment for the second chance they were given.


I have watched them fight on the fields. Sometimes it was from afar but on occasion I moved as close as I dared. I fell in love with them.
I loved how they never charge. They walk to their enemy. They do so casually and with confidence.

I decided that it was time for a new dream to follow. I wouldn't stop until I could fight with them at my side..."
— From The Journals of Mhirrah, Chosen of Mhirriah
   

Structure and Culture

 
At it's highest, the legion consisted of an estimated 7000 active members along with 3000 in reserve. These reserves often stayed within the empire to guard its borders. A Tyrant had little more than the armor they wore in equipment. Some may have had cloaks for colder climates. Their helmets came with a removable metal mask that depicted The Tyrant himself.

The standard weapon used was the gladius. Shields Spears and daggers were rare as the tyrants were never paid for their service and could rarely afford it. The legion was divided into several smaller divisions and further divided into squads. Each squad had a sergeant and each division had a Primus.
 
when the armies clashed I remember seeing enemy soldiers flying back as the tyrants formed an impenetrable wall. The primus himself fought the enemy general. The primus simply stepped to the side after each swing and screamed.
"Weak and predictable!" And stepped back to allow his opponent a second chance. The general was livid. He swing violently again and again until the primus fought back.
He lunged forward and used his free hand, throwing a punch that connected with the enemies jaw. He drove the gladius into him and screamed,
"Axnum Felundum." Its a curious statement. Translated literally it means "Some blood can stain the blade"
In this context it is intended to say "Your blood is not worthy of this blade."
— From The Journals of Mhirrah, Chosen of Mhirriah


Training

Anyone can volunteer to join the tyrants. Most who attempt to join do not survive training. Training is often done on the job under the tutelage of a mentor assigned by a sergeant.

When they enter battle, apprentices fight alongside their trainers and employ the tactics they learn. When nit in battle the two often train in each technique until the mentor feels the apprentice is ready to be inducted.

The induction itself is a formal affair where all sargents in the division spar with the student to test their worth. One must gain the approval of each sergeant to be inducted. Recruitment generally favored condemned criminals, and undesirables as most never survived training.

Those recruited must be male and exhibit some aptitude for battle. Those who did survive often showed a fanatic devotion to the legion and we're themselves changed and pardoned of crimes.


Legion gladius
by forged in fire


Type
Infantry
Overall training Level
Elite
Assumed Veterancy
Decorated/Honored

The Centurion's Vigil

The tyrants developed a style of fighting that became the basis of martial training for each of the seven legions who made their own tweaks and additions to the style. This style was referred to as The Centurian's Vigil which they shared with The Matriarchs Legion. Using this style, the two legions acted as infantry that spearheaded every battle.

Harassment and pressure are the primary tactics used by the legions as they lunge, stab, kick, and punch at their opponents. The style often featured boasting gestures and taunts that were meant to infuriate enemies.
some accounts state that the boldest among them would carry an apple in their off hand as they lined up before battle. As the enemy force charged forward and closed the distance, these centurions would simply lounge on the field, eating the apple and casually observe the approaching horde as if it were entertainment in an arena.
         
"...A young soldier made a very poor decision and stood in a centurians path. The primus stopped, eyed the boy, then raised his hand as of to stop him. The man shook his head, but the boy swung anyway.
He stepped to the side and screamed, "Too slow.", but the boy knew his language. He listened.

He swung faster feinting his attack and almost clipped the primus in the leg. I saw the man smile. He laughed.
"Again." The primus screamed as he lunged his gladius forward and the boy dodged back deflecting the attack and making his own. He was learning.
Every order he was given he followed and he was improving rapidly. The primus seemed proud.
"Good." He said, nodding in respect.
The boy died soon after, He never stood a chance but he met the afterlife whole. He had been run through with the centurian's gladius and fell to the ground gasping. The man knelt beside him as the boy pulled the blade out. The primus placed his hand on the boys shoulder and bowed his head. He whispered to him. Not sure what he said. He held the boy till he passed on.
The coin was placed and the primus folded the boys hands over his chest still gripping the gladius. I think the primus meant to give the sword to him as a gift to carry with him wherever his soul may end up. If I may be so bold, im sure I saw a tear.
— ~ Mhirrah, Chosen of Mhirriah


Cover image: by pieromng

Comments

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5 Dec, 2018 17:03

I love how this legion communicates with its opponents! Very unique and character-building! Sets an excellent precedent for battle description and emotional juxtapositions. If you're thinking of adding more images to this post at some point, I'd love a picture of a gladius. I had to look up what it looked like. Perhaps your other readership is more sword-savvy than I, but even if they were, I'd think they may enjoy a picture.   Thank you for sharing your work!

5 Dec, 2018 17:35

That's not a bad idea, lol i shall do so. Thanks for the kind words as well. I love the tyrants. Coming from the bottom as criminals and degenerates to this elite fighting force made them very respectful of enemy soldiers capable of fighting and giving that same respect. And the fact that they give opponents obviously out skilled a chance to walk away, such as with the boy i thought really humanized them. I'll add a pic presently and again thank you so much.

6 Feb, 2019 15:13

Man, I love your opener, Dylon <3 They remind me of one of my favorite character tropes; the combat junky that just loves fighting more than anything and will do anything to have his opponents be worthy. In fact, this is a character trope one of the central figures of my novel is partial to: Plâton Rai’enjoh, ex-General of Midas Creek.   The paragraphing feels a bit odd, formatting-wise, to me though. In the quote specifically, I mean. I'd recommend either double-paragraphing, or using indents ^-^   "The legion was founded by one of the living god's of ozlith" I believe you forgot to capitalize Ozlith here.   "alongside the matriarchs legion." - naughty, naughty, forgetting your apostrophe xD "matriarch's"   "and would embed a coin into their forehead." - "embed into"? - what with a hammer?   You have a huge gap in "A new life, A second chance", maybe take out some of the paragraphs?   Lastly: your sidebar extends far beyond your main content, an unusual constellation of a common problem with formatting optimization. My recommendation: There is a very underutilized option in the Design tab, called Full Footer (or something similar). Any content you paste there will take up the full width of the page below sidebar and main content. You could move all the wonderful article blocks you used there, separating them with row-col bb-code into two columns. I think that would much improve the look and flow of your article ^-^   Overall, I must say, this is a great army; they remind me of my Midasmen, and in general I approve of well-trained armies with a high level of proficiency. They are just worlds apart from forced peasant drafts...

6 Feb, 2019 15:14

Whoops, forgot one thing: Why are you not using excerpts at all? It is such a powerful feature that could really make the article stand much firmer on its own legs, improving the reading experience greatly for your readers!

6 Feb, 2019 16:26

Did my final rin through not save? Oh dear. That's embarrassing. Ok yeah ill redo it again lol and not with a hammer...the handle of the gladius... my bad. I had it perfect man. the side bar was just right. Looks like its back to editing for this guy lol

6 Feb, 2019 16:27

Thanks for the like and comment. I'm glad you liked them. Once they are done ill be moving to the other six. It gets even better and dare I say weirder.

6 Feb, 2019 16:39

Also on excerpts. I do use them. It's just not here quite yet. Ozlith is a secret >.>

6 Feb, 2019 16:40

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6 Feb, 2019 18:02

Love the excerpt at the beginning. It is very flavorful and adds a lot of character development right off the bat. Overall, the rest of the article matches this as well. It is very evocative and I can see such a legion existing and can see its appeal. The only criticism I have is that I would like to see more links to other articles, more of a description of the Tyrant, etc.   Who tends to join the legion? Obviously it can be appealing for those who want a second chance, but are recruits primarily made up of criminals or career soldiers? What is life like for the soldiers? Are they allowed to have a family? Do they have a life outside the legion as well?

6 Feb, 2019 18:37

Ehhhh this is iffy. So I will be adding excerpts and linking. the problem is Ozlith hasn't been written entirely yet, its a bygone civilization the players will uncover so I don't want too much linking. The links themselves are in the blocks but I'll work on those particular articles in the coming weeks. Sorry about that.     Also that's a really good question. Anyone could attempt joining as it was based on volunteers. Criminals made the most of it of course. Members could have a life outside of the legion buttt this is something I havnt fleshednout well. If you keep an eye out, you will see the other legions popping up over the next few days. They will reveal alot more about Ozlith. It was matriarchal and the most a man, which all tyrants were male. now I think I'll be doing the legion of the deep next. This tells alot more if you really are curious about it.   I wanted ozlith to be less rome with cosmic horror and more like Rome as a cosmic horror. The tyrants do this less than the others.

6 Feb, 2019 18:38

Thanks for the comment and kind words man :)

6 Feb, 2019 23:30

Wow. I always find the honorable blood knight character to be fun or interesting to watch, but this is the first time I've seen an entire legion with this attitude! I love you you make it feel like a real, living organization, and the quotes you use really do help immersion! I do have to note a few typos, such as the capitalization of the Mhirrah quote, and at the top of the page on the sidebar, you say that "Most who attempt to join the tyrants do not survive p training" Other than those, great job!

7 Feb, 2019 00:22

Thanks for pointinng those out man!! I appreciate it. Thanks for the kind words as well :) I'm glad you liked them.

7 Feb, 2019 12:34

Good stuff! I was very interested in your comments on the composition of the legions and I'd like to know more about the structure (how big were the divisions and squads? what is the nature of the command staff?) I also find myself curious about the history of the legion. I think a brief timeline of major events/battles could be a useful resource depending upon what your players need or would like to know.

7 Feb, 2019 15:05

Swuads would have been in groups of 5 to 10. Divisions likely consisted of 500 to 1000

7 Feb, 2019 15:07

Also as far as the timeline and major battles, Ozlith is anchient history and much of its minute details are lost to time. I'm also confused as to what u mean by the nature of leadership. Thanks for the comment man. Keep an eye out for the next rework.

7 Feb, 2019 15:39

I read your article about Ozlith and I see what you mean about info being list to time. There are probably a lot of people in Mhirrah that don't even believe the Tyrant's Legion ever even existed.   Wouldnt it be cool if Infernum corrupted several squads of Tyrants and retained them as immortal death squads?

7 Feb, 2019 16:54

Lol yes many in Mhirriah question the legions and what the church teaches. They are very cautious of it though. I plead the fifth in the last part but personally id be much more terrified of the sanguine legion being corrupted than the tyrants...and that's saying something lol

7 Feb, 2019 16:54

Also thanks for the like there. It's rare that people venture to far from the article :) thanks so much. I'll be sure to hit u back for that.

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