So Privateer Press has finally, after a long drought, shown off a little bit of Faction #5 for Warcaster and it’s called the Lost Legion. While the images alone are nice, lets do some detective work and see what we can understand about the Lost Legion. Who are they? What are they like?
Lets start with the most concrete information and then move into the solid, the conjecture and then finally let’s throw out some random theories like we are the protagonists in Series 5 of the TV show Bones.
With a little aggressive zooming and reading the text we can see a few things.
Firstly, the basic body plan is humanoidish and, in fact, share a lot of commonalities with the human factions. The Visors and pouches are very Marcher Worldy as well as the armour segments with the trio of holes on them. They have a circular Radar thing on their backpack which means that they are receiving Arc from a Warcaster just like the other factions. Despite being fully mechanical these robots feel…human related. They don’t have the squiddy feeling of the Empyreans and their weapons aren’t grandiose sci-fi faire either. Flamethrowers, Fusion Knives, Ballistic Rifles with sights. To me it feels that there have been humans involved at some part of the process.
We seem to have 3 kinds of squads here (which correspond with the 3 basic squads the other factions have, namely Versatile, Melee and Heavy Weapons). Riflemen, Commandos and…Flamethrowers? But we also know that names are one of the last things completed in production, so these are very probably placeholders.
To move from the Concrete to the Solid, we already have a model that works for the Lost Legion in the game! Axel 4 Hire.
We can’t be too definitive because he’s a Wild Card, not a member of the faction. Myra, Voitek and Mooregrave are all ISA citizens of some stripe, and it would be hard to make any generalisations about ISA from them.
We know for a fact that Axels Gun is a Lost Legion weapon based on the short story Dead Past Counting (more on that in a moment). The Weapon Axel uses is a rifle that produces no sound when the trigger is pulled and there is no visible projectile, but it splatters whatever it hits. An ISA officer notices that the damage Axel does is the same as the corpses in the area and Axel agrees with that. So, expect to see something like the Energy Sniper Rifle show up in the future (in my nightmares, as well. Horrible weapon. Incredible Stats).
That short Story, Dead Past Counting by Aeryn Rudel, also includes some hints at the attitude of the Lost Legion and Axel’s relationship to them. To shorten the short story into an even shorter story, ISA deploys troops to a tiny town that got attacked. Its currently swarming with AC dudes, but they are merely there first to the carnage obviously caused by the Lost Legion.
The LL killed all the humans and piled up the bodies into buildings and locked them in. They even slaughtered the livestock. Whatever the LL are, they have no qualms with extermination on some level. Axel proudly tells the ISA soldiers early on “Would that I had my Legion at our backs, though. Then you would see real firepower, friends”.
“My” legion is interesting. Especially since Axel has a panic attack in the middle of the battle seeing the number of civilian bodies and when confronted says “No, I am not like them”. So whatever relationship he has with the Legion, it’s a complicated one.
Going further with this thought we can see some callbacks. On page 178 of the Thousand Worlds Book (which I recommend everyone buy), the section on Axel and his history states that he is “on the run”, from what? We don’t know. The Legion maybe? His Rifle is stated to “utilize similar technologies as the particle weapons used by the Coalition of Free States’ Ranger Corps, the weapons is far more advanced than anything yet developed by the Marcher Worlds.” The armour choices of the Lost Legion having that Marcher Worlds connection is starting to have more weight behind it. Either the Marcher Worlds were connected to the Lost Legion or, in a theory I have, they both may stem from the same faction historically.
So that is primarily what we know about the Lost Legion, so let’s engage in a bit of wild speculation. Let’s assume that the similarity in technology of armour and weapons of the Marchers and the Lost Legion stems from them being related to the same empire. The Marchers were a set of colonies left behind by the Caspian Federation, a massive empire in human history of Warcaster. They were advanced, resource rich and constantly got into border skirmishes with their neighbours which they eventually defeated one by one. There is a mystery that occurred while the Khazaraki Malgur Host attacked Caspian space. On Page 42 of the Thousand Worlds book (buy it now!) the Caspians attempt to outflank the Malgur Host by using a circuitous route through void gates to send a fleet into their backline planets. The Malgur, unfortunately, learn of this assault and manage to destroy the Void Gates on either side of the fleet in-transit, leaving it trapped in the void.
The fleet “never arrived at its destination, and its fate has remained one of history’s greatest mysteries”. Is this the Legion that was lost? Did the Caspians have a mechanised force of androids on this Great Fleet? Did something tragic happen to them in the void that they were trapped in where the humans were killed leading to the Robots of the now Lost Legion to become psychopathically vengeful? Did Axel witness this but maintain his level of humanity which comes out in the trauma he exhibits on occasion?
Maybe! Maybe not! Who can say?
Jason Soles, probably. But he’s not talking for now.