SUMMARY: The Silver Legion is a powerful mercenary company founded in 1492 by Morgan Cordell. The legion holds Nuada, god of just war, as its patron, although the organization has no direct ties to the Nuadan Church or the Kingdom of Southold, and many legionnaires only pay lip service to the Silver-Handed One. Likewise, its egotistical commander, Cordell, has little use for chivalry. While he tends to choose employers with just causes, profit is his driving motivation. The Silver Legion is one of the more respected and profitable Southron mercenary companies, albeit far smaller than Eltan’s legendary Flaming Fist in Bywater or the Blacktalons of Eastmarch. The Legion distinguished itself in the Southron Civil War of 1504-7, and fought from the start in the Third Cortalish War on the northern portion of the front near the Drentmoors. In 1512 Cordell won Southron royal and merchant backing for an expedition to explore and conquer the lost continent of Aztaltica far to the south, to win riches for the Legion, Southold, and Nuada (in that order). The Legion succeeded brilliantly in co-opting Itzapan and conquering the main empire of Zlatan, when Night of Tears occurred and the Viperhand/Saurian monsters arose. Soon after, the Legion was usurped by Baron Warwick Kenilworth and Cordell imprisoned, but his senior officers soon liberated the Legion and decided to launch an insurrection against the new Southron regime.
General Morgan Cordell (Southron fighter 13): While few doubt Cordell’s devotion to Nuada, his approach to running the Legion is often more pragmatic; when in need he has accepted jobs from unsavory individuals, although nothing that could blatantly be denounced by the Legion priests as “evil.” Likewise, while Cordell supports the tenets of just war, he has little use for chivalry, and will use any stratagem needed, even engaging in military actions of questionable morality. While not a harsh man, Cordell is prone to bouts of ego and temper. He is the eldest son of the powerful Cordell merchant house in Dunthrane. Cordell trained for four years to become an officer in the Royal Army, but was bored with the infantry and wanted to join the elite order of Nuadan cavalry, the Knights of the Silver Hand. While an excellent warrior and horseman, he was rejected for his record of brawling as a student and widely reported greed. Instead, he formed his own mercenary company, the Silver Legion, with initial backing from his wealthy father. Despite his rejection in years past and his occasional misdeeds, he has an enduring respect for the priests of Nuada and the god himself, as opposed to the faith’s headquarters the House of the Silver Hand in Bywater, run by many who have “grown fat and rich.” He particularly admires Baron Elrich of Wraithstone, who in turn has aided the Legion in times of need. He is dismissive about nobility, often mocking them, and has refused several offers of Southolder titles. He has a particular dislike for Lord High Marshal Ethelwulf, claiming the “arm-chair bound fool” is not prosecuting the war expeditiously. Cordell is an imposing figure with a meticulously trimmed black beard in his early forties. He wears polished plate armor, wields the enchanted longsword Nuada’s Wrath, and rides Storm, a white charger from the famed Fisk stables. Cordell is currently imprisoned by Baron Warwick Kenilworth in Nuada’s Port.
General (brevet) Romnor (Southron fighter 10) Romnor has fiery red hair and a temper to match. He styles himself the swashbuckling cavalry cavalier, constantly bragging about his prowess and seeking to gain Cordell’s eye. He came under increasing criticism for a series of incidents where his cavalry have ridden down civilians to achieve their objective, in one case nearly coming to blows with the Itzapan eagle knight Atahuelpa before both were restrained. After the Legion was liberated, he was given a brevet promotion to General until Cordell could be rescued.
Chaplain-Colonel Gelben Fisk (Southron cleric 9) Captain Fisk is a member of the zealous Nuadan Order of Saint Uther, just as Demetrious, and is known for his fierce dedication to Nuada. Though he has only been outside the Order's cloisters a few short years, he has rapidly assumed a position of trust within the Legion, and a reputation for leading small unit special missions. He won his captaincy after leading such a dangerous mission to the Tower of the Stars in Tara, which yielded key information confirming Aztaltica's existence. Captain Fisk commanded the Silver Phalanx unit of spearmen, which distinguished themselves under his leadership. After his martyrdom on the Night of Tears, Gelben’s heroism was greatly praised in the Legion, and he was appointed Chaplain-Colonel when it was liberated from Baron Warwick’s forces.
Armorer-Captain Gruthenal (dwarven fighter 9): Gruthenal is an excellent blacksmith, possessing amazing strength. He has a grey beard, often blackened with soot, and usually wears a large leather apron. Unlike most dwarves, he is talkative and jovial, although his mood quickly sours when a legionnaire has damaged his weapons. He has a perpetual stoop from his long years of tending to the forge. Gruthenal joined the Legion in 1498 when it was in the hire of the dwarves of Rockhome and saved his outlying village from attack by ogres. He continually argues with Hieronymous over logistics and prices, but the two are actually good friends. He can often be seen joking with his more traditional and pessimistic countryman, Daggrande. On the handful of occasions when the Legion’s wagon train has been attacked, he has led its defense. As a Captain, he commands the Baggage Train “unit” as well as the three subunits of Wagoneers, Provosts, Specialist Casters, and the Ballista Battery.
Captain Daggrande (dwarven fighter 9) Daggrande is an ageing dwarf with a long beard, who rides a pony because of his gout. However, he remains a keen crossbow shot and strong arm with a battle-axe. Daggrande helped his friend Cordell found the Legion, and is a devout worshipper of Nuada.
Paymaster-Captain Hieronymous (Southron ??): Hieronymous handles pay as well as logistics, organising wagon trains of supplies to keep the Legion fed and equipped. While Hieronymous has a miserly reputation--always admonishing everyone from Cordell down about wasted funds--he has the respect of the Legionnaires, as they know he will advocate a just distribution of loot and ensure adequate pay. He is evasive about his past. Hieronymous wears a simple leather jerkin, red cloak, and a shortsword, though none have seen him draw it in anger. He is portly and balding, with speckles of grey mottling his remaining black hair. Though he does not command a line unit and serves under another Captain (Gruthenal), he is accorded the honorary rank of Captain given his importance.
Spymaster-Captain Kincade Winkwillow (halfling rogue 7/sorceror 1/ranger 1): Although he comes from a long line of halfling diplomats in the Five Shires, Kincade has been swiftly promoted through the military ranks. His skill in negotiation on the exploratory mission to Aztaltica convinced Cordell to give Winkwillow his captaincy in near record time. In addition to organizing Legion scouting and intelligence collection, he commands the Silver Raiders light cavalry on the battlefield, replacing Captain Brecht who died in 1512 fighting the Cortals.
Captain Gilgareth (Southron fighter 5/rogue 5) Captain Gilgareth is a lifelong soldier, rising from the ranks as a sergeant in the Royal Army during the Civil War before being recruited by the Legion after his valour in seizing the breach at the Battle of Balar. He is known for his easygoing ways, and well-liked by the troops. He commands the new unit of Itzapan volunteers, tentatively named the Tazumal Recruits. Though they were routed at the Battle of Zlatan, his new troops were credited with heroically holding against three enemy units for considerable time, allowing Romnor’s Wildcats to move into position for a decisive charge.
Two Captaincies remain vacant, for the Dunthrane Halberdiers and Silver Phalanx
Lieutenants include Dimitry Vladimirovich (Sylvanian Wizard), Aramil (Southron Nuadan cleric), Tirol (Southron Nuadan cleric/barbarian), Sett (Southron rogue), Anrar (dwarven warrior), Algan Youngblood (dwarven warrior), Frances De Alma (Iron Leaguer warrior), Jeremiah Williams (Southron warrior), Marcus Poncet (Videssian mage), Brisbane (elven rogue/sorcerer), Seneca Ariansus (Videssian warrior), Kendrick Aimar (Southron warrior), Elias Kestrel (half elven ranger) and Moe Firiendoril (Southron half-elf Sorceror).
Specialists, honorary junior officers, generally spellcasters, who work on contract for the Legion without command authority. They include Specialists Mortimer Armand (Southron wizard), Farmantir of Urml (Southron bard), Andron (Southron Nuadan cleric), Madinly (Southron Nuadan cleric), De Argonne (Taran Nuadan cleric), Callahan (Irrudian cleric of Nuada), Trent McCalster (Southron cleric of Tyr), Ramandar (dwarven cleric of Reorx), Karlak (Huler Priest of Shinare), Tumorf (Southron druid of Sylvanus).
Sergeant-Major Garrant (Southron fighter 9) Garrant is popular with the men, often drinking with them late into the night. He cares little for Nuada and is perhaps louder than he is clever, but he is reliable. The men trust him to represent their concerns to the officers, and to flog them if they violate the Legion’s Code. While technically an enlisted soldier, Silver Legion officers rarely pull rank on him, and he in turn does not pretend to rise above his station.
Drill Sergeant Pelfry no longer accompanies the Legion to war, but every Legionnaire has been through his training at Winterhaven, and even the most experienced officers undergo a week of winter refresher training under his tutelage just before the spring campaign season. Pelfry is reportedly imprisoned in Nuada’s Port.
Non-commissioned officers under Garrant include First Sergeants (one per company) Balderrak (Dwarven fighter--Daggrande’s Crossbows), Grimsby (Southron ranger--Silver Raiders), Edrinson (Southron fighter—Baggage Train), Alessio (Iron Leaguer—Dunthrane Halberdiers), Talbot (Southron fighter—Silver Phalanx), Dalton (Southron fighter—Ballista Battery), Alexis Gambonne (Taran fighter-Romnor’s Wildcats), Blunt (Southron fighter—Nuadan Irregulars), and Lombard (Southron fighter—Tazumal Recruits). Among the regular sergeants, there is one for 9 enlisted men leading each leading a 10-strong squad, notable sergeants include but are not limited to: Graham (Southron fighter), Quadesh (Huler fighter), Bramthar (Thonian barbarian), Falmar (Southron fighter), Isaacs (Southron fighter), Humphrey (Southron figher), and Arlish McGillihan (Irrudian fighter).
Vogon the half-orc deserves his own category, though only recently appointed a sergeant. This great barbarian warrior has been busted down the ranks before for reckless fighting, but has always retained the respect due any non-commissioned officer.
Lady Ailea (elven wizard ??): Ailea was Cordell’s mistress, but was slain by assassins in camp outside Huatepec, a terrible personal and strategic loss given her great wizardry. She had been with Cordell since mysteriously intervening to save the Legion in 1504. She was allegedly expelled from King Leafsong’s elven court in the Galathiene for a destructive magic experiment which went awry over a century ago. Ailea favored cold spells in combat and often flew ahead invisibly to scout enemy positions. She was resplendent in a hooded white silk robe, with hauntingly beautiful chiselled elven features, though she remained aloof from all but the most senior legionnaires.
Chaplain-Colonel Demetrious (Southron cleric of Nuada 13): Demetrious was the crusading spiritual leader of the Legion, albeit always deferring to his long-time friend Cordell. He was taken by Viperhand cultists on the Night of Tears, and presumed killed as so many legionnaires that night. He was a zealot, a supporter of the now-discredited Anorien Inquisition who regretted the replacement of former hard-line Patriarch Anaximander with Anaximenes. Demetrious narrowly escaped imprisonment for his own unsanctioned inquisitorial activities, but prevailed upon the Church to pardon him, allegedly atoning by donating all his enchanted items. He maintained friendly contact with several ex-Inquisitors, including Sir Greylin Lofalkin. He was also a member of the Order of Saint Uther, just as Captain Gelben. Demetrious had no compunctions about ordering the deaths of pagans--particularly Cortals or Aztalticans--and rarely supports giving quarter to a defeated foe. He was balding with brown hair and a stern visage, wearing a perpetual scowl. There were whisperings among the men that he is becoming increasingly fanatical and unbalanced, and he had taken to wearing native war tattoos on his forehead; Captain Romnor’s Wildcats and Captain Guererro’s Nuadan Irregulars were his greatest Legion supporters.
Captain Menigan (half-ogre fighter 7) Captain Menigan was a hulking, taciturn half-ogre recruited from the Southron village of Thirple. Surprisingly, he was soft spoken, but none were fiercer or more loyal in battle. He was respected by his men in the Halberdiers of Dunthrane, including many Thirple recruits, who all contributed to have him resurrected after his death on the field of Radzetsky Pass. He again sacrificed himself on the Night of Tears, rushing to defend the breach when the causeway collapsed, and was seen slain by General
Captain Guerrero (Extremaduran fighter 5 Rogue 3) Guererro is an exile from his native Extremadura, wanted by the Videssian occupiers for his years of serving as an outlaw and insurgent. He has put these rebel and bandit skills to good use in charge of the Legion’s new unit of native Itzapan skirmishers. He was favored of Demetrious for his unflinching faith and harsh disciple, best known for his large, enchanted silver fist around his neck over his armor. However, he had a well-deserved reputation for ruthlessness, and was been accused by many of actions of questionable morality against combatant and non-combatant alike. He wears distinctive Extremaduran garb, including a wide-brimmed hat. When the Legion was liberated, he was imprisoned and stripped of his command for siding with Baron Warwick’s forces. • Other Offices: LT Radamanthus Kane (Southron ranger—left to defend Aztaltica from invaders in the forests), Latna-So (Yazakh priestess of Selune, left to form Yazakh refugee colony), LT Armon (KIA), LT Golan (KIA), 1SGT Blunt (KIA)
(1038 troops mustering (including 200 Aztalticans), up from Post-Radzetsky Pass low of 550, down from Night of Tears high of 1203)
Romnor’s Wildcats (70 Heavy Cavalry) While this cavalry unit is no comparison to the glorious Knights of the Silver Hand, they are better than all but the best the Cortals have to offer. Since he has only one unit of shock cavalry, Cordell usually holds them in reserve until the infantry are positioned for a decisive combined assault. The unit was commanded by the fiery cavalier, Captain Romnor but is now run by brevet Captain De Alma while Romnor remains general. Many other officers deride his abrasive and arrogant ways, but none can deny the elan and dedication of his troops. Nonetheless, many officers have denounced the Wildcats’ alleged massacres of fleeing troops. Other officers include include Lieutenants Frances De Alma (Iron Leaguer warrior currently serving as brevet Captain until Cordell is rescued) and Jeremiah Williams (Southron paladin), and First Sergeant Alexis Gambonne (Taran). The Wildcats wear field plate armor, shields with skulls emblazoned on them, with feathers of red and white emerging from their helmets. They wield black lances and longswords.
Silver Raiders (60 Mounted Archers) These are the Legion’s eyes and ears, with many trained scouts and rangers in their midst. As light, maneuverable cavalry, they prefer to harass the enemy with shortbow fire from the flanks, occasionally charging down weak or isolated infantry. Such skilled mounted archer scouts are very difficult to replace in wartime--moreso than ever in Aztaltican--so Cordell is careful when committing them. The unit was overrun at the Battle of Gemnia Pass in Zlatan, but morale remains good as the troops see their action as sacrificing themselves to hold critical enemy reinforcements away from the center, and they were on patrol on the mainland during the Night of Tears, so suffered no casualties. When not in combat or scouting, the unit is often foraging or hunting. The unit is commanded by Spymaster-Captain Kincade Winkwillow, with Lieutenants Sett (Southron rogue) and newly-promoted Moe Firiendoril (Southron half-elf Sorceror), with First Sergeant Grimsby (Southron ranger). The Silver raiders ride only swift, dark brown horses, and are garbed all in forest greens with leather riding breeches, and are armed with bows, spears, and swords.
Daggrande’s Crossbows (100 Dwarven Heavy Crossbowmen) Unlike most crossbowmen, these dwarves are heavily armored and quite capable of melee as well as missile fire. The unit is in many ways the Legion’s core, commanded by the irrepressible, aged dwarven warrior Captain Daggrande. The unit is proud that it was not even touched at the Battle of Zlatan, while their bolts inflicted grievous casualties. However, they suffered grievous casualties at the Night of Tears. Daggrande’s lieutenants are Anrar (dwarven warrior) and Algan Youngblood (dwarven warrior), with First Sergeant is Grintmar (Dwarven). Daggrande’s Crossbowmen are dressed in bright reds, yellows, and oranges, all evident in the tabards over their plate mail. All are armed with battle axes and crossbows.
Silver Phalanx (140 Heavy Spearmen) This phalanx of spearmen is steady and well-armored, and its spears have stopped many a cavalry charge. The unit was commanded by Captain Gelben Fisk, and its troops are among the most resolutely pious in the Legion from his example. With his promotion to Colonel-Chaplain, the unit does not yet have a new Captain. The unit did particularly well at the Battle of Zlatan. Lieutenants include Tirol (Southron Nuadan cleric/barbarian) and Seneca Ariansus (Videssian warrior), with First Sergeant Talbot (Southron). The Silver Phalanx is garbed in chainmail with tabards of blue and yellow. They are armed with longspears, short swords, and kite shields of blue and yellow.
Dunthrane Halberdiers (160 Light Halberdiers) These troops were the newest recruited in Southold before the Legion’s departure, fighting off a reputation for unsteadiness. The Halberdiers were commanded by a relative newcomer, Captain Menigan, and had many recruits from his native village of Thirple. The unit was overrun in the Second Battle of Radzetsky Pass, but has since regained its reputation somewhat after the Battle of Zlatan. Unfortunately Menigan was slain in the Night of Tears, and a new captain has yet to be appointed. Lieutenants include Gerritsen (Southron warrior) and Aramil (Southron fighter/Solonar priest), with First Sergeant Alessio (Iron Leaguer). The Dunthrane Halberdiers are garbed mostly in brigantine and some chainmail with tabards; all of red and white. They carry small shields, usually slung on their backs for use with their shortswords, and usually carry only their heavy halberds.
Tazumal Recruits (200 Light Native Infantry) These troops from the native Itzapan allies are the Legion’s newest, less steady than their counterparts. All have sworn allegiance to Nuada and the Legion, and have been rapidly trained by a cadre of Legion sergeants. The new unit commanded by Captain Gilgareth. Lieutenants are Halfred (Southron fighter) and Remnick (Southron fighter), with the very loud First Sergeant Lombard (Iron Leaguer fighter). They are currently garbed in scale mail armor with red and blue quartered tabards and shields, as well as halberds.
Ballista Battery (20 light swordsmen) This unit was formed using the three captured ballistae at the battle of Radzetsky Pass. The massive siege engines are towed by oxen, as it would require many horses to do the job, and they take approximately twenty minutes to unlimber and assemble into firing position, and the same time to limber up. The unit was experimental and small which is why it was given to a lieutenant rather than a captain as normal, led by Lieutenant Dimitri Vladimirovich (Sylvanian Wizard), with Lieutenant Marcus Poncet (Videssian mage) and First Sergeant Dalton (Southron). The ballistae had to be left in Zlatan city during the Night of Tears, but LT Poncet has managed to rebuild them. There remains significant mistrust of artillery among the Southrons, who usually only use such weapons in sieges, as they are not very mobile. This is probably why the unit was entrusted to two foreigner officers whose cultures value mobile artillery more highly. The battery crew are all garbed in black light padded armor, as none are not expected to engage in melee combat. Nonetheless, all carry short swords.
Baggage Train (Light untrained Swordsmen, 125 Non-combatants) While not normally combatants, these lightly-armored teamsters, armorers, cooks, and the like can muster for last ditch defense. This "company" is led by Armorer-Captain Gruthenal, with Lieutenant Brisbane (elven rogue/sorcerer) and First Sergeant Edrinson (Southron). It is subdivided into several "platoons", although these terms are used loosely and administratively only (the Ballista battery is listed above as it is a combat unit, though it falls under the wagon train. The baggage train generally do not have armor, and wear normal clothing with the odd leather jerkin or apron appropriate to their trade.
Specialist Caster Platoon, including the charismatic and much-loved Legion bard Farmantir of Urml (Southron); the grumbling hedge wizard Mortimer Armand (Southron); two other newly recruited wizards, the Sylvanus druid Tumorf, as well as another six clerics of Nuada, including Andron (Southron), Madinly (Southron), De Argonne (Taran), Callahan (Irrudian); and one cleric each of Tyr, Trent McCalster (Southron); Reorx, Ramandar (dwarven); and Shinare, Karlak (Huler). The cleric specialists generally go among various units as needed to offer battlefield healing. With the loss of Lady Ailea, there is a serious wizardry deficit which Cordell wishes to fill by hiring more specialists, but they will have to be shipped in from Arik in many months time. Specialists have no fixed uniform.
Provost Platoon of 10 mounted security/watchmen under Lieutenant Aimar (Southron warrior) and his sadistic Sergeant Bramthar (Thonian barbarian). He and his unit are much despised for seeking out crimes such as looting on the march. In battle, the provosts play a key role of messengers from the general to the companies. The Provosts are garbed the same as Romnor’s Wildcats, in field plate.
Wagoneer Platoon of 100 lightly armed men who double as teamsters, with some armorers and such. The unit has 40 wagons carrying all the Legion's supplies. They fall under Paymaster-Captain Hieronymous, with Lieutenant Kestrel and SGT Falmar. Though previously unarmored, given the Zlatan insurgency and the increasing attacks, most have started wearing the padded cotton armor common among Aztalticans.
ORGANIZATION AND FINANCES:
The Legion’s system of ranks is simple; at the bottom rung are the various non-combatents (125 total) of the baggage train—not counting any independent camp followers of which there are often hundreds. Then there are the common soldiers (887 total), the backbone of the Legion. These are organized into squads of 10, led by a sergeant (87 total), and aided by a corporal (also 87, but paid the same as common soldiers) who is his deputy and successor if slain. Within each company, there is a single First Sergeant (10), all of whom are outranked by the Senior Drill Sergeant, Pelfry, and he in turn is outranked by the senior enlisted soldier, the Sergeant-Major, Garrant. Among the officers, most companies have two Lieutenants, though some have one (16); the Lieutenant with the earlier date of rank is considered senior and temporarily assumes command in case of his Captain’s death or absence. Most companies are led by a Captain (9), though both the Armorer and Paymaster hold this rank without a field command, and the small Provost Detachment and Ballista Battery only rate a Lieutenant as commanders. There is now only one Colonel, Chaplain Gelben Fisk, following Lady Ailea’s death, and the entire Legion is led by General Cordell, currently brevet General Romnor.
Officers are expected to lead from the front, and must master not only tactics, but also training, organization, and such. General Cordell frequently calls councils of war with all his officers and the Sergeant-Major; sometimes including various specialists and first sergeants depending on the mission. He frequently creates ad hoc task forces for missions behind enemy lines and raids, and has used one such group of his officers and specialists so many times for such a purpose he calls them his Special Missions Unit (COL Gelben Fisk, CPT Winkwillow, CPT Gilgareth, LT Vladimirovich, LT Sett, LT Moe, SGT-MAJ Garrant, SPC Kyte, and SGT Vogon).
Promotion is at senior officers’ discretion, but there is a strong tradition of using merit and performance on the battlefield as the main criteria, rather than selling commissions as is common elsewhere. General Cordell will sometimes even hold contests when one of the rare captaincies or first sergeant positions opens up, as occurred at the Arena of Gulan. Given the number of corporals and sergeants, such promotions are much more common, and at the discretion of the company commander.
The Silver Legion has a strict method of dividing loot and pay, with loot for profit only divided after funds have been allocated for the Legion’s upkeep and special projects. All loot is divided into shares according to a complex formula. Paymaster Hieronymous updated the formula at the start of the Legion’s Insurrection to enhearten the men—noting that a common soldier’s share of the 3 million nobles equivalent in loot would be worth more than 2,000 nobles each, but all know that the treasure will not be distributed until the current campaign is complete and that the actual profit will be much less once the many costs for operations, the invasion fleet, trading concessions, supplies, etc. are factored in.
Silver Legion Pay/Roster by Rank
While there is no minimum pay under this company profit-sharing scheme, the soldiers don’t complain because they trust Paymaster-Captain Hieronymous to ensure adequate amounts are allocated to pay the troops. Even on rare occasions when pay is in arrears, the legionnaires rarely complain seriously, as the senior leadership contribute funds obtained on their own secret missions for the Legion, and Cordell has even dipped into his personnel funds to make payments. This rare, equitable pay policy is central to the Legion’s high morale.
After a battle, the Provosts supervise the Wagoneers and police up the battlefield, with Specialists sweeping with detect magic spells. Magic items recovered on the battlefield--as opposed to during small unit missions--are Legion property. General Cordell does sometimes award items won as a form of patronage, reward for good performance, and simply to plug deficiencies whether fair or not, as he sees fit. However, Cordell is adamant that any magic item of special importance to the Legion won on a Legion-assigned mission must be handed over, else the individual must resign his commission.
Magic items discovered on small unit missions for the Legion are to be divided equitably by those involved, with General Cordell adjudicating any arguments. Officers who are often sent on very profitable missions will rarely get any magic items after a battle. Cordell doesn't want resentment to build up against any of his officers for being too richly rewarded or risk perceptions of his favoritism. Most of the junior officers, and some senior ones, have very few magic items. In fact, many officers--particularly Captain and above, win respect by donating extra items and spending their own money on the Legion. It is considered improper to ask for magic items from the Legion’s stores unless there is a pressing and immediate Legion-related requirement--in all cases such items are usually disbursed at General Cordell’s discretion when assigning mission, if needed.
Unless something was specifically requested by the Legion, the Legion generally doesn’t offer reimbursement for it--especially not for officers, though sometimes for common soldiers. The few officers who have make a habit of requesting reimbursements haven’t lasted long, getting a bad reputation among the troops, as the other officers simply don't. As a result, the Legion is generous by casting whatever healing, often including Raise Dead, as needed, and frequently loaning free temporary magic items for special missions. Paymaster Hieronymous wanted to begin charging for all services during the doldrums of 1511 on the Cortalish Front, when pay was in arrears for the first time, but Cordell opposed him, reaching into his own pocket instead. He prefers the current system, more a brotherhood which doesn't keep a balance sheet for goods and services. Captain Romnor is loved by his men as he buys them the best equipment--over the years upgrading their Legion-issue half-plate to full plate, an enormous expense. As he says, "My cavalry conquers all before them and wins great riches, but I am poor, for I am a river to my soldiers!" Officers--especially the higher-paid Captains--are expected to pay out of their own pockets when required, often equipping units and such. Daggrande is halfway through equipping his unit with full plate, while Menigan has just begun to procure masterwork halberds for all his sergeants and Dmitry recently purchased several volleys of masterwork Videssian ballista bolts.
There is no Legion-wide uniform, and they vary by the company, generally purchased out of pocket by the officers. Officers do not display their rank on their persons, but their status is usually indicated by a Legion insignia in gold instead of silver, usually either emblazoned on shoulders or the center of the chest. Non-commissioned officers have their rank depicted in chevrons (open to the top for a corporal) on their shoulders, one chevron (open to the bottom) for a regular sergeant, two for a company’s first sergeant, three for the senior drill sergeant, and four for the Legion sergeant-major. Members of the Legion, whatever rank, are called legionnaires, though the two cavalry units call their members troopers.
The Legion has been known to recruit nearly anyone when manpower is low, but it prefers to bring on new legionnaires in late autumn, just after harvest and St. Uther’s Day on 31 Marpenoth. After four months of intensive training under Master Drill Sergeant Pelfrey, they are ready for the spring campaigning season. Those who pass (three-quarters do) undergo the elaborate swearing in ceremony, pledging their lives to the Legion. They are tattooed with the Silver Hand of Nuada on the inside of their sword arm—only scouts are exempted given their covert missions, and specialists given their contract employee nature. The force is all volunteers, and surprisingly few legionnaires retire, given the high pay and espirit de corps. For legionnaires slain in battle, the Chaplain Colonel holds a funeral, and gives back pay, a 50 noble award, as well as any possessions to the legionnaire’s widow or next of kin. All members have wills logged with Paymaster Hieronymous. Such generous policies support the slogan “The Legion takes care of its own.”
The Legion often disperses for the autumn harvest through the winter, although at least a core unit or two are retained on active duty. They bivouac with tents wherever necessary; however, for the last twelve years before leaving for Aztaltica they wintered in a small settlement of log cabins in outside Dunthrane, which General Cordell dubbed Winterhaven. This is where annual recruit training takes place. Cordell hopes to eventually build a castle with a large parade ground for the Legion, although he wants to earn a freehold rather than getting land via a noble title and swearing fealty to King Edmund.
The Legion occasionally provides its own medals, or puts forward names for various Southolder military decorations like the Canary Cross. Lower ranked members will often receive citations for heroic actions, a scroll certificate describing and commending the action, though this is rare for officers. For extremely brave actions, the Legion may award the Silver Fist, a large gem-inlaid fist of finest silver cast in the shape of Nuada’s own gauntlet, worth 1,000 nobles in materials alone. Again, this is rare for officers—who are expected to be very brave without recognition--but more common for enlisted members and specialists.
Each company has its own battle-standard, generally designed to the taste of the unit’s Captain, and greatly valued by the soldiers. These banners often have Videssian military mottoes, such as CPT (now COL) Gelben’s Silver Phalanx, In Periculis Audax (Bold in Dangers), though the Legion as a whole lacks such a motto. The Legion’s own standard has never been captured in the unit’s history, and is greatly treasured by all the troops. It features a Nuadan gauntlet, on a field argent (silver) and white. Unlike a normal, fully bisected (per pale) field, the colors merge to grey at the bottom, symbolic of the balance and flexibility requied for mercenaries. “Silver Legion” is emblazoned in argent letters, while there are currently five battle honors on the standard for particularly meritorious campaigns. These are: Rockhome, 1496; Iron League, 1501; Civil War, 1504-7; Radzetsky Pass, 1511; Zlatan Empire, 1512-13. The most recent one was added after the Legion’s great victory at Gemina Pass.
On the eve of battle, Chaplain-Colonel Gelben Fisk blesses the Legion. His weekly ceremonies are attended by all, regardless of belief. After his sermons, Cordell addresses the Legion, followed by a meeting with his officers to report weekly progress. One of the reasons the Legion has survived so long is its willingness to retreat if faced with an untenable situation, and several relevant spells are retained for just this eventuality.
Any legionnaire suspected of a crime can be tried by a Court Martial, led by the company commanding Captain if a soldier, or General Cordell if an officer. All trials have three officers presiding; Sergeant-Major Garrant must participate in any legionnaire or sergeant trials. A majority of the three must vote guilty for conviction. If within Southold, the victim will usually be handed over to civil authorities for any crimes. If in enemy territory, the Legion has full authority to issue punishments, as all recruits agree to in their recruitment ceremony. A common sentence is expulsion from the Legion with financial and magic item penalties. Death is rarely imposed, though it will be imposed for murder of an officer or sergeant. Historically, war crimes are rarely brought forward, and rarely convicted, as commanders’ judgement are given great weight.
See Cordell’s description for the tale of the founding of the Legion in 1492. It initially consisted of Cordell’s Lancers and Daggrande’s Crossbows, hired out to defend villages from humanoid monster raids on the frontier of the Cruth Mountains and Rockhome. Chaplain-Colonel Demetrious joined a year later, convincing Cordell to dedicate the Legion to Nuada. It gradually grew in power, fighting actions in Tara against troll incursions, for and against various merchant princes of the Iron League, and even a brief stint guarding the Great Pass to the desert nation of Hule from Shaar orc hordes.
The Silver Legion’s one disaster was a night action on Midwinter 1504 at Pelos, on the northern frontier of Southold. Drow made a surface raid in strength and nearly overran the Legion. With half routed and the rest encircled, the elven wizard Ailea mysteriously appeared, blasting an avenue of retreat, although it took months for the Legion to rebuild its strength. She soon became Cordell’s consort. Midwinter is still a day of solemn remembrance for the Legion in honor of the great losses.
The Legion distinguished itself in the Civil War in 1504-7, after King Halfred died and his brother Lord Edrin tried to claim the Throne from the young Prince Edmund. Cordell personally slew the rebellious Duke of Andeaver at the Battle of Montinelle on 7 Eleasias 1508 after the Legion breached the walls. The Legion also fought solidly at the final Siege of Edrin’s citadel Harvury on 14 Marpenoth 1508. Cordell disliked the fact that then-Prince Edmund made the famed half-elven ranger Thingol--who had earlier rescued him from captivity--his champion after the conflict. Cordell believed he deserved the honor for deciding two key battles.
The Legion had little respite before the Third Cortalish War broke out, since the Cortals had reoccupied their “lost province” while Southold was embroiled in civil war. During one battle near the town of Bracken, the Wyrm’s Gap Pikemen were overrun along with Sergeant-Major Daramar covering a retreat, one of the few occasions when the Legion did not hold the field, and many able soldiers were lost. After that rude awakening, the Legion saw initial successes and plunder, but as the months turned to years, funds from Dunthrane waned. The disputed territory itself has changed hands several times, with little loot left to plunder. The Legion has already accepted several pay cuts, with wages one month in arrears since 1510. With the general Southron levy, the Legion’s last class of recruits was the smallest in years. In late 1511, Cordell led the Legion through the mountains to seize Radzetsky Pass, allowing a Southron advance, though it did not prove decisive, and was very costly in terms of manpower.
While Cordell did not want to desert the Southron cause in this pivotal moment, there were rumors he was seeking more profitable employ. In early 1512 he deployed an exploratory party to the far-off, forgotten land of Aztaltica, a savage land 42 days’ sail south. The mission was officially led by Chaplain-Colonel Demetrious, although a young group of rising officers led by the Captains Gelben, KinCade, and Gilgareth did most of the scouting. With their initial preparation and alliance with Itzapan people complete, the entire Legion embarked and landed in late 1512. It soon marched south and, along with an 5,000 allied Itzapan troops, defeated a force of 20,000 enemies at the Battle of Gemnia Pass, afterwards advancing into the Zlatan Empire’s capital city. Nonetheless, while the Zlatan people and political leaders were cowed, many enemies remained servants of the snake-god Sotek, Eater of Hearts.
All went well until the Night of Tears, Midsummer 1513, when the Zlatan rose up and nearly decimated the Legion, which narrowly escaped due to the sacrifice of senior officers such as COL Demetrious, CPT Menigan, and the Special Missions Unit. The Legion was then usurped by Baron Warwick Kenilworth, and Cordell imprisoned and replaced by the largely ineffectual General Alfred. These were dark days for the Legion, with many desertions and rumors of the unit’s disbandment. However, the Special Missions Unit managed to escape from a Saurian city and later liberated the Legion, placing Romnor as temporary General, Gelben as new Colonel, and readying the unit to march against the usurpers.