Monsters, Guilds and Beasts – The Guilds & Factions – The King’s Legion
This series of blog posts will focus on the various creatures, heroes and guilds that inhabit the world of Esperia and in particular the Kingdom of Delfinnia. This second part will be split into multiple posts. This one will focus on the King’s Legion.
‘Becoming a Legionnaire is an honour. You get to see the world and get paid doing it. The food isn’t too bad either,’ – Commander Stalvos of the Westerland Legion
The King’s Legion was formed shortly after the Magic Wars to restore order to a land which had been ripped apart by over ten years of conflict. The successful invasion of the Golden Empire by King Marcus of the Delfin tribe and his subsequent assassination led to a period of instability as the tribes and Free-fighters that aided in the downfall of the dark mages turned on one another. Markus’s brother, Riis restored order and took the crown for himself.
In a bid to end the strife he had forged a symbol of the broken alliance of the tribes and freedom fighters, the Sundered Crown. Upon placing the crown on his head, Riis reminded them of all they had achieved together. On the same day he announced the creation of the King’s legion, an army that would answer only to the monarch and no other.
Prior to the Magic Wars, the Golden Empire had been defended by multiple different armies which had loyalties to their respective lords. In theory, the Emperor was to have overall control but by the end of the Empire, the influence of the Emperors and Empresses had waned to such an extent that Wizard lordlings often used their troops to take lands from other lords and force the common folk to serve their will.
The early King’s Legion was a cobbled together bunch of warriors from the various tribes and volunteers; it was far from the elite force it would eventually evolve into. King Riis drilled the new legion himself and led campaigns against the followers of the N’gist that had held out in the east. Over time successive Delfinnian Kings, with the aid of the legions conquered the entire continent which was renamed Delfinnia.
Over the next centuries, the legion grew in size and began to exert its influence over the monarchy itself. There were now ten legions, each designated its own region to defend. Several King’s were assassinated and replaced by legion generals which had realised that they now wielded more might than the king. Their power was brought back under control by King Riis the third after he brutally purged the legion of potential traitors. With assistance from the Knight’s of Niveren and the Mages of Caldaria he brought the legions to heel. From that day on the legion knew who was boss and would never threaten their masters again.
The biggest test for the legion came in the year 620 AGE when the Yundol’s launched their massive invasion of Delfinnia. A brutal, warlike race, the Yundol’s raided the Marble Shore. Under the reign of King Ermin, a vast fleet of Yundol ships landed on the southern shore of Delfinnia. What Delfinnian ships were sent against them were destroyed and the King’s Legion was bested at Plock. The Yundols pillaged without challenge.
Disaster struck at the battle of the Retbit valley. King Ermin was slain battling the invaders in the Valley and the legion was put to flight. The legions failure led to the sacking of the sacred isle of Zahnia and saw the ancient city there reduced to ashes. As Ermin had no heir of age to ascend to the throne, the Diasect took up the regency. With the Legion battered and broken, the Diasect devised a plan. It divided the realm into the baronies of Champia, Bison, Robinta, Retbit, Eclin, Stormglade and Sunguard. Each lord of those territories was granted permission to raise their own armies and so ease the burden on the crown. The Legion meanwhile was restored by General Taman the Blade. Under his leadership, he restored the legions pride and led it to many victories against the invaders. Eventually, the Legion united with the Baronies armies and together launched a massive counter attack. The plan worked and together the barons and King’s Legion drove the Yundol’s back into the sea.
For a hundred years, the realm prospered once more. That was until the king and his heirs were assassinated by an unknown foe and the events of the Saga of the Sundered Crown began.