Let be known that where ever the legions march to, they shall carry the might of Vatia to carry out its will and crush those who would dare oppose it. - Kornelius Agrippa, Legatus of the 31st Legion
Formation of a LegionEach legion consists of at least six thousand, with two hundred to three hundred of them consisting of cavalry. The rest of them consists of Legionnaries. Each legion is divided into cohorts led by a Centurion, all of which number five hundred men. Except for the first cohort, which is double in size and contains the most experienced veterans and officers that run the legion with the Legatus in command of it and a Tribune as their second in command.
Commanding RanksLegatus: The Legatus or general is in charge of the entire legion under his command, obeying their orders. They also have political influence as well. Tribune: The second of the Legtus that carries out orders under them and ensures that reports on all parts of the legion are given to him when they are preoccupied with other duties. Praefect: The third in command and in charge of maintaining the legion supplies, equipment, and construction. They ensure that everything is in order and that the men are disciplined. Primus Pilus: The veteran centurions of the legion that run the cohorts, each one has decades of experience and is an expert in warfare. They can act independently in battle when they see a change in a situation and adapt to it. Centurion : The backbone of imperial officers in the legion, they ensure that their troops stay in line by any means, most of them are respected or feared by their men. Optio : The second in command of a Centurion that aids them in daily duties and orders. Often take over when they cannot and can read and write messages for them.
GroupingContubernium: This group only consisted of ten men, often making them a squad that slept in the same tent and ate together. Each one was responsible for the other, and bonds were formed between them to make them more effective in battle. Whenever one of them was out of line, the rest were punished to ensure they stayed in line. Century: A hundred men led by a centurion. By doing this, they would not be overwhelmed or confused as long they had an officer to guide them. Obeying orders quickly and efficiently when needing to. Cohort: Made up of five centuries and led by one, the Primus Pilus. Under them, they are allowed to be flexible
Being a MemberTo be a Legionary means that you have taken an oath to defend the empire and carry out its will within its borders and beyond. Even to lay down your life when the time comes to ensure that it stays safe. There can be a sign of weakness in it or any lack of discipline for a legion acts as one to ensure that it does not falter. Each person has a role to play that is vital to their survival, and one mistake could be costly. Whatever life you once had does not matter any longer and only the legion matters now. You are expected to train and live amongst those who serve with you are now your family, your brothers in arms who will stand by you thick and thin. No matter how bad it may be for you, they will stand by your side. Depending on where you are recruited you will most like be flung to whatever legion that accepts anywhere in the empire. Each legion has its actions and customs that you must stand by when you join, for it is now your way of life, and you must live by them. Though you will probably be stationed in a certain region of the empire then actually see any actual action often just patrols and guarding things. Unless you find yourself in one of the more hostile regions of the empire where people would want to see your head on a pike, now, all that needs to be done now is to wait for the order to march and head off to where ever you need and bring glory to yourself and the empire.
What People Think of YouIn the empire, it is considered one of the greatest privileges one can have, for they are the ones who defend the empire from its enemies and bring glory to it where ever they go. Many young boys dream of becoming one when they come of age. Often believing all the stories and propaganda about them. But most of it is about tradition as the legions have always been around since the empire's founding, and those who were descended from those once served in one carry on the tradition with one or more family members serving in them. As for the enemies of the empire, they are something to be feared as the legions are highly trained and have crushed many who stood against them. To face the legions is considered a death warrant if you are not prepared to face them. This happens to many people who start a revolt or a rebellion against the empire, as they are more of a mob than an army and are easily cut down by them. But once it is over, it is not pretty either, as most survivors are either executed or enslaved by the legion they are captured by. Often to be made as examples never to cross the empire.
The Imperial Legions' only duty is to serve and protect the Vatian Empire. Often seeing them in every conflict that the empire has been in.
Equipment: The equipment of a Legionary is what makes them a capable soldier. It is mass-produced and given to every soldier as a display of might and skill rather than just being a mob with anything that could be made cheaply. It gives protection and lethality to soldiers while their opponent has difficulty trying to hit them. Supply Lines: Legions have a highly developed supply system that enables them to be well supplied even deep in enemy territory. Allowing them to continue fighting much longer than most other armies.
OriginsWestern Lands that the first legions were formed. Though back then, they were not the professional army of modern standards. They often were only brought up during times of war, meaning that there were no standing armies in the kingdom during this period. But training was mandatory for those who were a part of these legions even in times of peace and was often done every few weeks to keep them in shape. Allowing for these troops to be prepared for war when they need to be. Tactics evolved as the phalanx was becoming outdated as the kingdom faced more powerful enemies that found ways around it. Instead, they involved many small and flexible formations in changing tactics in battle quickly. This allowed them to be more successful on the battlefield and create military traditions for these legions. But their numbers were few, while their enemies were many to the point that their numbers were thinned out far and wide. But they held ground and vanquished their foes. But they could not save Vatia from being sacked and desecrated by them. But in doing so would send them to their graves when these legions went after them with a vengeance in their hearts.
Here me now, my fellow Vatians, our fair city of Vatia is the beacon of light for our people as a place of learning and wonder, our fathers and their fathers before they built upon it from a city surrounded by wilderness to the capital of our fair kingdom. But we never believed that its walls would ever be breached by those who would see our hard work undone to satisfy their greed. But like serpents, they slivered past our defense while we were defending our lands from its many enemies.
Look up, my fellow countrymen, Vatia, our home violated by their filth. Our homes burned, our streets covered in the blood of our people, our most sacred places desecrated, and our wealth and knowledge plundered from their stores. Not even our families were spared from this travesty as our fathers and sons were slain and our mothers and daughters ravaged as if they were nothing more than spoils of war. Though we may seem to be defeated now, and our invaders enjoy the spoils of our people, they will soon know a hard truth that will be known to them; we are not broken!
For every man I see before, I am a son of Vatia that will not let this go unpunished. Our hearts are filled with rage, and our eyes with bloodlust that would even make the gods take notice of it. Let it be known that a day of reckoning is upon all those who dare stand against us and sack our home. Today we are no longer men, for men have mercy and compassion in them, and they are not need here; today, we are wolves. Our fangs bared and ready to tear out the throats of all that we come across as we march into the land of our enemies. None shall be spared from our vengeance that shall befall them.
The marching of our legions shall make the earth tremble. The skies shall be blocked out by smoke and rain down ash from the flames that will consume all that it touches. The rivers of blood shall flood from those we have slain. We shall give no quarter; we shall give no mercy; we shall give no amnesty. Their people shall be butchered, and those who survive shall be our slaves and reminded every day of when they dared to take advantage of us. Our vengeance shall scorch the earth itself, and nothing shall remain of our enemies as everything that was once there should be scattered to the winds and forgotten in darkness. Now then, lets us claim our vengeance! - Hadrian Aurelius, King of Vatia at the beginning of the Scorched Earth CampaignsVatia whether or not they were responsible for its sacking. More Legions were raised as recruits came from all over the kingdom to seek vengeance for this desecration of their city. No matter how much someone tried to hold them back, the legions kept destroying everything in their path and taking anything of value. After many long campaigns, the legions would also learn to create supply lines to sustain themselves and learn engineering to build siege equipment and encampments to ensure their enemies were not safe from them. It also created many veterans to begin the creation of a professional army for the kingdom. By the time all was said and done, the kingdom's enemies were either wiped out or enslaved as its legions stood atop the corpses of the remains of their civilization. Nothing was ever the same after that, as the legions were not disbanded after the fighting was over as they were too valuable to get rid of, and instead, they were allowed to become a standing army. They would continue to be sent out on the conquests of neighboring lands and, from the ashes they had brought with them, would forge an empire as the world has never seen.
Soldiers of an EmpireVatian Empire would rise to power in the Western Lands thanks to the fighting prowess of their legions. As a reward for their services, they were given fame and glory for all reverting them. Creating a value of martial skill over all other things in the empire. Their equipment and weapons were improved for better performance and recruitment, and the training had significantly improved to create the most disciplined and skilled soldiers; even weakness found amongst them would be considered a stain on their reputation and was quickly stamped out before it could spread. As long as the legions remained strong, nothing could stop them from achieving their goals. This also resulted in certain legions rising above the rest as they would gain the fame that allowed them to hone the skills to perfect their aspect of warfare to suit their needs. In doing so, many of these legions would aid in the capture of new lands for the empire that seemed impossible to conquer. All it took was a bit of discipline and skill to get the job done by the legions that brought them into the fold. Their loyalty to the empire would be tested many times as civil and foreign wars made them question everything they stood for, only to be met with loyalty.
Trials and TribulationsThough history often remembers those who lead armies, it also remembers those who served in their armies and won victories. The legions of the empire have faced many foes throughout their history. They had chased the barbarians out of their lands and into the mountains where they remained. They stopped endless hordes of the undead as they were halted by walls of shields that held them back. Drove back the armies of the Eastern Lands as they were driven into the sea when no ground was given to them. Sank the ship of the northern invaders and slew their dark masters. Their blades spilled the blood of their countrymen to decide the fate of an empire. But most of all, the kingdoms that once stood against them had the crowns of their rulers melted down and reforged into their standards. Though they had also known defeat many times, they have learned from it to improve themselves so that they may fight on. Many of these legions still do, even in these so-called times of peace. When the empire they fought has become corrupted and decadent as they bleed to keep the rich wealthy and the ambitious powerful. The people they had once conquered are rising to take back what was theirs and the legions hold them back as best they can. But is the empire they once swore to protect worth protecting anymore, and will its legions be enough to save it from this new age of chaos?
gradientis in sempiternum (Forever Marching)
Military, Armed Forces
Legions of Renown
1st Legion (Shield of the Heartland)
2nd Legion (Falcons of Everwatch)
5th Legion (Pride of the West)
9th Legion (Furious Bulls)
13th Legion, Death March
22nd Legion (Riders of Alexander)
33rd Legion (Exalted Builders)
49th Legion (Wolves of Hadrian)
61st Legion (Sea Devils)
87th Legion (Blood Sworn)
Legions Stationed in Regions
Vakra Hills : Fourteen Legions
Ascar Plains : Twenty Three Legions
Mirelands: Seven Legions
Heartwood: Eleven Legions
Hyperion Isles: ten Legions
Ardania: Four Legions
River Roads: Six Legions
Horselands: Twelve Legion
Geltran Grasslands: Six Legions
Thundering Coast: Four Legions
Isles of Refuge : One Legion
Only the Strong
You better keep up the hard work, boys; you don’t want to end up like Lucius. - Concerned CenturionThe empire's legions desired only the best of its troops to fight for them. But when these legions suffered a defeat, they often blamed weakness. It is not uncommon for soldiers or even officers to be executed by their legion. If they were allowed to live and continue to cause terminal within it, the legion would be doomed to fail and be wiped out.
Bonds of Loyalty
Hey Galos, I heard that you had a son, congratulations. I am sure he'll grow up to be just like his father - Brotherly LegionaryThe most vital thing in a legion is the bonds of brotherhood amongst its Legionnaries. These men that serve with one another are willing to give their lives to those they serve with as much as the empire. With this, the legions have better morale and coordination by a fight with someone they call their brother.
Alright, I need you to bite down this stick while I take this out of your leg, whatever you don’t stop no matter what you feel - Professional SurgeonThe legions were the first ever to use the art of medicine while on a campaign and help improve upon it by creating new ways to save the lives of its Legionnaries. This would lead to the creation of the medical practice of surgery and medicine to fight diseases that might be caught during a campaign. What might have been fatal to a soldier could now be treatable and allow them to get back in the might as soon as possible.
Builders of War
Come on then, you lazy lot, we have to get this bridge done before the end of the week - Energetic LegatusWar can be complex if one is not prepared, which is why the legions of the empire have trained themselves in the art of engineering to improve their times at war. Fortifications are built camps to protect them, and siege weapons can be built to deal with enemy forces or fortifications. Of course, that is not the only thing they can do, as they can build infrastructure when needed. Many roads and bridges found across the empire were built by its legions during campaigns, and if they were still in good condition, they put some effort into them to make sure they lasted.
Sound the assembly call - Bossy CenturionThe empire's legions are much more complex than one might realize, as they have soldiers create specialist groups to make everything tick. Standard-bearers, hunters, trumpeters, you name it, and a legion has it. In doing this, it allows the legion to be on its game when the time arrives for it to go into battle.
Cover image: by Midjourney