Imperial Legions

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Imperial soldiers: light infantry, heavy infantry, and heavy cavalry

The Legions are the military backbone of the Achaean Empire. Though sometimes referred to collectively as "the Legion," the term "legion" means a single unit of around 5,000 soldiers, usually stationed at a Legionary Fort.


The official, professional military forces of the Empire are the Legions. Each Legion is composed of several thousand troops and operates from a Legionary Fort. These are scattered throughout the Empire and along the frontier. Where a Legionary Fort is constructed, a city usually springs up before long, started by the Legion's families and camp followers. Most major cities within the Empire contain a Legionary Fort or have one located nearby. In the fort, the legionary soldiers are drilled regularly to ensure strict discipline and maximum efficiency. Hard workers, they are also the builders of much of the Empire: they construct their own forts, maintain the Imperial roads, and dig trenches with palisade walls every time they set up camp. A legion is a fighting force to be reckoned with, and without them the Empire would fall.

There are currently twenty-one legions operating in the Empire, though more may be raised if needed. They range from the Legio Prima, the First Legion, stationed within the Imperial Capital; to the Legio XIX Apri, the Legion of the Boar, stationed near Rimegard. Each Legion has its own emblem and colors, and usually its own fortress. For a list of the different Legions, see the Imperial Legions article.

Legionary Ranks

Legatus- The Legatus or Legate is the General of an individual legion. Every Legion has a Legatus, usually a nobleman. Their armor is usually highly decorated with personal embellishments and a large crest on the helmet.

Centurion - Leader of a century, or about 100 men. Six centuries working together forms a cohort, which is then led by the most senior centurion. Marked by a side-to-side crest atop the helmet.

Lieutenant - Minor officers under the centurion who help him relay orders or perform other tasks for him. They have a front-to-back crest atop their helmets.

Legionary Roles

Each unit of a Legion may serve one of several roles...


In the earliest days of Achaea, the phalanx of hoplites served as the heavy infantry, but gradually their armor began to grow lighter in weight, and heavier suits of armor were introduced for the main line infantry. The hoplites now serve the role of Light Infantry. They usually are positioned on the wings of an army where their maneuverability can be used to great advantage. They also serve as skirmishers, scouting the area ahead and weakening the enemy with missile fire before falling back behind the main line. They wear little armor other than a breastplate and helmet, but always carry a shield, spear, and sword.


The backbone of every legion is its heavy infantry. Wearers of the most standardized armor in the Empire, each legionary is equipped with a tower shield, a spear, and a gladius (short sword). In battle, they form a nearly impregnable shield wall and press upon the enemy, carving at them with their swords and spears like a meat grinder, led by their centurion, who makes sure that none of them break rank.


Not all legions have a cavalry unit attached. Each cavalry unit might be Light Cavalry (sometimes referred to by their ancient name, Prodromoi), who serve as scouts and ranged skirmishers; or Heavy Cavalry (Cataphracti or Kataphractoi), who wear full armor and charge in to break enemy lines directly. They have largely been replaced in recent times by Knights, who rose from among their ranks as the Ordo Equester.


Light cavalry or light infantry units which specialize in archery are called Sagittarii (singluar Sagittarium). Archers are used to weaken the enemy at range until the heavy cavalry and/or infantry can advance. They never serve as the main fighting force of a legion.

The Legions

There are currently twenty-one legions in the Imperial military. Each legion has a number and a title, usually an animal. Some are listed below.

Legio I Aquilae

The emblem of the First Legion.
The legendary First Legion, or Legion of the Eagle, is stationed in the capital city of Coronaria, in a fort located along the outer wall of the city.

Legio II Leonis

The Second Legion, or Legion of the Lion, is stationed north of Coronaria near Pluton Hold.

Legio XI Serpentis

The Eleventh Legion, or Legion of the Serpent, is stationed on the hostile border of the Southwestern Wilds. It is led by a Legate known as "Cicatrix" for the hideous scar disfiguring his face. He despises the beastfolk and other free denizens of the Wilds.

Legio XVI Lupi

The Sixteenth Legion, or Legion of the Wolf, is stationed in Fort Coldstone northeast of Illikon, along the border with Northrim. Its commander is Legate Marcellus Calvus.

Legio XVII Grypis

The Seventeenth Legion, or Legion of the Gryphon, is stationed in Fort Norward east of Fort Coldstone along the border with Northrim.

Legio XIX Apri

The Nineteenth Legion, or Legion of the Boar, is stationed at Fort Munin northwest of Rimegard.