The Iron Legions
The military might of the Iron Realm is a force so incredible that it threatens to sweep across all the realms. Every age in the world of Orr has been in some way defined by the herculean efforts of King Drin, whose outspoken ambition is to cement his rule over the continent of Oerth, and all the lands beyond. The greatest of his campaigns have lasted for centuries, and failed only because the other realms banded together as one to drive back the march of his armies, and the grinding wheels of his siege engines. Each century that passes brings him closer, and closer to achieving his goal, as his weapons of war continue to advance far beyond the technological prowess of those who would stand against him. The armies of the King Eternal are called the Iron Legions, and are lead by adamantine avatars of Drin himself. These rune-wrought golems remember every battle that has ever been fought by the King, and his armies. They are master tacticians, and each victory or defeat upon the battlefields that they command only swell their ability to prepare, and out maneuver the foes of the Iron Realm in matters of warfare to come.
Drin's Avatars of WarKing Drin possesses a multitude of mithril, and adamantine avatars, each of whom serve a specific purpose. The King's avatars of the Iron Legions are war-minded golems capable of tearing through castle walls with nothing but their unbreakable gauntlets. The runes of power wrought upon the inner lining of their armor blaze with soul fire that create fuming jets of light from the sockets of their helms. They tower nearly fifteen feet into the air, walking as giants among the throng of proud legionnaires, and officers. They are nearly impervious to sorcery. They do not possess gears or vital innards which a shattering blow could damage. These avatars of war are the common image of King Drin that is summoned to mind by the citizens of the southern realms, for the soldiers, knights, and mages of the continent rarely forget the sight of such a formidable enemy. Nearly impervious to all harm, the King himself has been known to route entire armies of his own accord. To fell such a golem is often so monumental of a task that the commanders of the world's armies often have dedicated scribes, and tacticians whom they consult before taking the field against such a foe; and those who are not prepared to face Drin's avatars of war, rarely survive to contemplate the misfortune of encountering one. The only 'weaknesses' which these golems of the King possess is that they require many years to build, and for the runes of power to be scribed within them. The loss of even one such golem may delay the conquest of Drin for a decade. The golems also require an incredible amount of power in order to be made war-ready. This too requires years of time which could spell the end of a campaign. And the last weakness is simply that they do not contain the higher, ingenuitive mind of Drin. Their ambition is solely to conquer, and lay siege to the realms. They are unstoppable machines of war if one seeks to fight them head-on, but to do so would be a fool's errand. No, the warmasters of Iskandar, the cunning mages of the Magisterium, and even the jarls of Aardwulf know that to defeat these adamantine weapons of Drin's will, one must find a way to use its purpose against it. There are tales of the Wildspeakers of Aardwulf taunting such golems into a reckless charge before opening a chasm in the earth beneath its feet that lead to the seas where it was forever entombed, and legends of the Iskar Astartes capturing such a beast in prisons of light while they descended upon the King's Iron Legions with a thousand lances. The Magisterium, with their arts of sorcery, have proven the most capable of thwarting these weapons of annhilation, but for every victory against the avatars... there are many more scores of brutal defeats. Entire cities and settlements of the realms have been reduced to ruin, and splinters at their hands. Only ten of these avatars exist in the Iron Realm at any one time. When one is lost, or destroyed, a new golem of the King's will is wrought from the fires of Mount Orromundus. The King never forgets the tactics used to destroy his avatars. The same plot, and ploy will never succeed twice. The King's ire also lasts for generations, and Drin will inflict his venegeance upon the children, and grandchildren, of all those who earn his eternal grudge.
Military CareersIn order to be granted full citizenship in the Iron Realm, and to join the various guilds which provide opportunities to acquire meangingful personal wealth, as well as prestiege and authority, one must have enlisted into the Iron Legions for at least two years. Enlistment into the army of Drin is not forced upon any individual of the northern lands, but to lead a life that is anything more than despairing, and filled with grueling labor within the mines of the Dwarven Vahls, or as a timber cutter in the vast taigas, it is very nearly mandatory. The service record of those who join the Iron Legions directly affects their station, power, and privileges upon exiting their military service. Those who complete only a bare minimum service, and receive no military honors may aspire to little more than perhaps owning their own shop, or being given lease to farm the lands of the King. Those whose records are filled with military merits, feats of valor, and outstanding recommendations from their Mithril Officers might go on to serve as council members of the Vahls, and guild artisans (perhaps even one day guildmasters). For this very simple reason, there is a deep patriotism to be found in the Iron Legions, for the time spent within its ranks is record studiously and kept for eternal record by way of the Rune Matrix. The service record of a parent also plays a small role in the records of their offspring, for the Dwarves of the Iron Realm keep vigilant scrolls regarding the lives, and lineage of their clans.
CoppercoatsAll iniates to the Iron Legions begin as Coppercoats. Those whose intention is merely to gain citizenship, and fulfill the minimum requirements to seek employment beyond back-breaking labor will go no further than this meager decoration. Coppercoats are issued only recycled leather armaments, copper helmets, and the crudely wrought axes, and hammers forged by apprentice smiths of the Vahls. They serve as the light infantry of the Iron Legions, and often accompany the Legionnaires as a bulwark force meant to soak up enemy ranks, or patrol the borders of the realm.
Iron LegionnairesThose who do aspire to increase their station, and possibilities in life may choose to serve in the Iron Legions for five years, at which point they are granted access to the full arms, and armaments of the King's army. Finely wrought chainmail, and plate is bestowed to them. Master-forged swords, and axes are bestowed to their hands, as well as a dragonpowder service rifle, or pistol. More importantly, they are allowed to wear the brilliant blue and gold heraldry of the King to symbolize their dedication to the will of Drin. They are trained in advanced arts of warfare, and may even be chosen to protect the Vahls. The next five years of their service will determine whether they go on to more expert roles in the Iron Legions, and in doing so, receive commedations that will place them into positions of authority, and power.
Mithril OfficersThe Mithril Officers represent the highest echelons of command, and power in the Iron Realm. They general the forces of the Iron Legions, serving as captains over the Coppercoats, and Legionnaires. They report only to the King's avatars, and may even be given Rune Matrix Vahlstones in order to communicate directly with Drin. They are also the commanders of the King's armada of airships. To be a Mithril Officer means to hold a personal reputation with the King, a mantle which many have buckled beneath, but those who can wear such responsibility with gallant service almost assuredly will receive their just reward upon their final exit from the Legions.
The Ordo MechanicaShould a Legionnair display a talent for artifice, machinery, or simply an apptitude for invention they may be called upon to join the exclusive Ordo Mechanica. This organization works adjacent to the Iron Legion, and answers only to the King's avatars. Unlike the Mithril Officers, however, they are given somewhat more free reign to build, and stage projects to ensure the future of Drin's realm. While more often than not, this takes the form of building new gunships, and other weapons of war, the Ordo Mechanica is responsible for the incredible cityscapes of the Vahls, and even some of the delicate matters concerning Drin's own golems, and avatars. There are few positions in all of the Iron Realm more sought after than to join this order, but it is a rare individual who possesses the necessary qualities.
Gunships & Siege WeaponsIn addition to the impressive military forces of the Iron Legions, the armies of the northern realm possess a number of unique weapons of war which fortify their defensive, and offensive capabilities. None are more obvious, and threatening than the royal gunships of the King's armada. These sailing ships, loaded with dragonpowder cannons, rain death and fire from the sky above, and are the bane of any city who might hope to withdraw behind closed gates, and castle walls. These ships alone would have long ago secured Drin's grasp over the continent if not for the fact that they can only sail upon the very fickle winds of magic that pour out from the Starwell. Such streams chart winding courses across the horizons of the world, and flux with such regularity that the armadas can only be depended on for short skirmishes before they are either forced to land, or retreat. Should the King ever discover the means for unbridled air travel, the world would surely be thrust into the final, deciding war. In addition to these ships, the Iron Legions employ a number of steam-powered siege weapons. The Steamtank is one of the most brutal of such engines. It is a giant armored carriage, powered by an elemental battery with spiked treads capable of crushing a knight and his mount with little effort. These monstrous panzers roll ahead of the Iron Legion formations, soaking up attention, and fire while barrelling through regiments like a rampaging, drunk giant. The Legion also employs other, much more subtle siege weaponry, such as their Geotunnelers, which can carve out caverns deep enough for three men to stride side by side through leading to the back of the enemy lines. Wise commanders facing the Legion often dig massive trenches through the middle of their armies and post scouts to listen for such contraptions even in the midst of battle, lest their men-at-arms be suddenly outflanked by an unexpected force.
Uniforms & Weapons
Iron Legionnaire Uniform
Mithril Officer Uniform
Ordo Mechanica Uniform
Standard Issue Dragonpowder Pistol Mk.IV
Mithril Officer Saber
"Is there any other army in the world lead by its own Lord? Are there any companies in all of Orr who are as fortunate as we who may go and greet our King at his own command tent in the dark hours before we are to take the field? The wizards of the Magisterium, in their black towers of Xathrus, send their conscripted slaves to meet the enemy while they dull their minds with wine, and arcane mumblings. The Knights of Iskandar are perhaps our only equal in this regard, but the thrones of their kingdoms are deserted in a mere lifetime, while we can lean upon the wisdom of the King Eternal, who has guided the northern reaches since the first age. Nothing makes me love this Iron Realm more to stride in step with the adamantine avatar of our Lord, nor make me so bold as to defend his rune-wrought armor. There will come a day where King Drin is the master of all of the realms, and it our duty to help him fulfill this dream, so that he might bring eternal order to these savage times."
- Military Order
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