Unparalleled defenders of the Wise, the Steel Legion boasts a long and prestigious history intertwined with the struggles for Scottish independence. In 116 CE, a portion of the Ninth Legion disappeared en route from York to Trimontium, an outpost near Edinburgh. The soldiers simply vanished from history without a trace. In reality, a group of legionnaires sought the painted men, the Picti, who dwelled in the unconquered north. Awakened soldiers in the Ninth Legion recognized that tremendous untapped power lay in the land, and they sought to discover its hidden secrets. They were the first to come to mystical Alba, but not the last.
Roman and Pictish traditions blended in the fledgling Order which gained the first toehold in Scotland. The Picts painted themselves in woad symbols that imitated Atlantean sigils, a tactic the Steel Legionnaires adapted for themselves by tattooing and marking themselves with spells. Legionnaires carried the precious secret of siderite — Noricum steel, the perfected equivalent of thaumium or aurum — and very limited quantities used exclusively in their weapons.
The Steel Legion tasked itself to guard the sacred spaces of Scotland and hunt down enemies of the Pentacle, a duty they perform to this day. No longer a fixture of remote outposts, Legionnaires may be found wherever enemies congregate in numbers. The Royal Society owes its stability to tireless efforts of its protectors standing as a first line of defense against invaders, whether rapacious Russian oligarchs or maddened spirits and Seer pylons.
Wise in the secrets of Britain handed down through the ages, the Order taps into extensive resources to ensure the safety of their charges, living and arcane. In many ways the eldest of the traditionalist orders is most receptive to fresh ideas and reinvention. Modern techniques are practiced alongside ancient codes of service and conduct. While others exercise political ambitions and quarrel over Society business, the Steel Legion continues to do what it always has: safeguarding the greatest concentration of mystical power in Europe.
The Adamantine Arrow|
Adamantine Arrow mages embedded with Roman legions discovered secrets at the end of the known world, and their long absence led the Order to believe their brothers and sisters lost. Descendants of those mages emerged from self-imposed silence with knowledge forgotten to the Diamond Orders since Atlantis, foremost the techniques to forge Supernal steel and perfected metals hidden among the Picti tribes of Caledonia. Stunned masters recognized the inherent sacrifices to obtain and protect such priceless wisdom, and bestowed the highest honour they could upon descendants of their brethren, naming them the Steel Legion. Though still entirely part of the Order, the Steel Legion's name takes precedence in Great Britain and Ireland for the exiles who recovered some of the greatest weapons known to modern mages. As Scotland's population grew and the nation fell under English domination, the Legion's influence spread through Adamantine Arrow cabals seeking to style themselves after Roman and native Briton influences. Their repute has only waxed since.
Stories and gossip surround all the Orders, and the Wise might grow rich on learning valuable secrets or discovering the false ones.
The art of tattooing spells, either those with increased duration and potency, or protection spells, is a trademark tradition of the Steel Legion. All Legionnaires are expected to have at least one.
- Nicknames: Legionnaires
- Leading Figures: Urien
- Rote Skills: Drive, Intimidation, Medicine
- Theme: Service is magical.
- Draw to Edinburgh: Prestige and honour await those who defend against enemies attracted by weakness.
- Sample Concepts: Acanthus re-enactment combat tutor; Mastigos Silver Ladder bodyguard (Norse); Moros ghost seeking vault-diver; Obrimos monitor over a technical company doing military research; Thyrsus runecarver berserker (Norse).
A sampling of the Order's interests include, but are not limited to the following:
- Ancient ruins
- Supernal enemies
The Order's famed noricum steel heirlooms passed from memory over the centuries. Tales abound where the blades and axes ended up. Some were said to find their way to the hands of Robert the Bruce and treasuries of French kings, others carried on Crusade to the Holy Land or condemned to the sea in Viking raids.