The Hundred Kingdoms


Far from the many roads leading in and out of Argem, at the edge of the Klaean Fields, the statue of a legionnaire marks the foothills of the Temuli hills. He stands bowing his head towards Argem, his armor marking him as one of the Adamantine Legion, yet he dons two long swords and lacks a helmet, things unheard of for the legendary Imperial bodyguards. Despite his exposed face, the monument remains unnamed, with a single question inscribed instead.


Pray, stranger, tell me,Where lies the seat of the Empire?

Named “The Lost Legionnaire” by the warriors of the Steel Legion, the statue has inspired many a bard. Some recount the tale of a Legionnaire who, gifted on his retirement with an expensive wine by the Emperor himself, was poisoned in his stead. His vision clouded and his thoughts confused, the Legionnaire asked desperately strangers to help him reach the capital and warn the Emperor about his would-be poisoner. Others sing of a retired veteran who, upon news of Otto’s assassination, lost his mind and roamed the countryside. Stricken by grief to the point of madness, he spent the rest of his days desperately asking passersby the question inscribed under the statue. Others still, claim it is Charles Armatellum himself, thus the two swords, who never died but travelled as far as he could, to find a place where they would answer that they know not of an Empire.

The Steel Legionnaires stay silent to these tales. They honor the Lost Legionnaire every year, on the 15th day of Maritus, the day the Legions were disbanded and first day of the Klaean Trials. A single wreath is offered, as well as halosis, the flower of the Emperor’s seal. Cadets are made to offer their longswords, a reminder that the Steel took the traditional great sword of the Adamant Legion to symbolize their determination to protect all that the Empire represented. To the Steel Legion, there is no one man and no one tale around the Lost Legionnaire; there is only a truth. The Throne may remain Hollow and the other Legions may have been forced to disband, but to this day, when asked where the seat of the Empire lies, the Legionnaires of Steel motion much like the monument, to their own chests.

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