By Trampas Whiteman and John Rhyne
The Legion of Steel is the youngest of Ansalon’s three knightly orders, which was founded by Sara Dunstan (Steel Brightblade’s adoptive mother) four years after the Summer of Chaos. They embody the virtues of courage, unity, and honor. The knighthood itself is dedicated to justice, based upon selflessness and mutual aid, in honor of the sacrifice made by Steel Brightblade in the Chaos War.
Steel Legionnaires are divided into two groups. Legion warriors are organized into centuries, and serve as the public military face of the Legion of Steel. Legion scouts are organized into cells, and work covertly.
In either case, Steel Legionnaires fight against tyranny and oppression, and strive to defend the common folk of Ansalon.
Motto. “All we have is each other.”
Beliefs. The Legion of Steel believe in the Legacy, which can be summarized as follows:
- Have the courage to do right.
- Know yourself.
- Respect virtue.
- Stay alert.
- Everyone deserves justice.
- Never give up.
Goals. To defend the well-being of the common folk of Ansalon, both through public and covert operations. To fight against tyranny and oppression in the search for justice. To teach commoners to defend themselves. To teach the responsible use of ambient magic.
Typical Quests. Typical Legion of Steel quests include hiding fugitives, escorting travelers, fighting battles, espionage, delivering information, and covert intervention.
Structure, classes, and backgrounds of the Legion of Steel. There are 2 main roles that most Legionnaires fall into-Scout and Warrior, although many members are not a part of either of these roles, being more of a support role or spellcaster that is neither warrior nor scout. The classes that fit best for Scouts are druids, rangers, bards, and rogues. Backgrounds good for Scouts include Charlatan, Criminal/Spy, Entertainer, Folk Hero, Guild Artisan, Outlander, Sage, Sailor, and Urchin. Warriors come from the barbarian, fighter, paladin, and ranger classes. Backgrounds good for Warriors are Folk Hero, Gladiator, Knight, Noble, Sage, and Soldier. There are many within the Legion skilled at magic use as well. While most are welcome within the ranks of Legionnaires, the exception of Black Robed Wizards of High Sorcery or other evil-minded people who do not live up to what the Legacy stands for are not accepted. Since the vast majority of the Legion’s existence has been in the period of the Age of Mortals before the War of Souls, most of the spellcasters in the Legion are sorcerers and mystics (of which there is no official version, but we do have an article with a Mystic class and subclasses, that can be found here: https://dragonlancenexus.com/rules/mystic-base-class-3-subclasses-5e/ ). All spellcasting classes are allowed within the Legion, although Wizards of High Sorcery must keep in mind that their priority is to the magic, which might conflict with Legion interests or missions.
Gaining Renown within the Legion of Steel. Renown is an optional rule found in the 5e DMG on pg. 22-23. If you choose to use this rule in your Dragonlance game, it provides structure for gaining rank and other benefits within factions and organizations, such as the Legion of Steel. A character’s Renown is separate for each organization they may be affiliated with, and typically starts at 0, increasing when characters perform tasks for the organization and earns favor from the leadership of the group. Typically, when you advance an organization’s interests, your Renown increases by 1. If, on the other hand, you do a mission assigned by the group or that directly benefits the group, it can increase by 2. You can also use downtime to increase your Renown, as described in the 5e DMG pg. 129.
Most ranks within the Legion are informal, except for the High Elder, Keepers, and Cohort Commander. Some ranks are temporary and some are equivalent to others. The Renown listed for each rank is generally a minimum needed, although some holders of ranks have much more Renown than their current rank needs. This is done because experienced Legionnaires are needed at all levels of structure.
Most members speak of the ranks in the common tongue, but to make sure that it was known that these were not simply Knights of Solamnia, they also have an Ergothian version of their names.
|12||Cell Commander (Anineysi)|
|25||Cohort Commander (Prosorinos)|
|25||Scout Captain (Akroatis)|
|35||Keeper of the Legacy (Fylakas Kodika)|
|50||High Elder (Daskalos Agapi)|
When a prospective member of the Legion shows interest and initiative, they are called apprentices.
Once they have shown they can perform tasks for the Legion and follow and understand the Legacy, members are given their Starjewels and are known as Legionnaires from then on.
Centurions lead groups of 80-100 Legion warriors. They are elected by members of the century that they serve in. They are roughly equivalent to Cell Commanders and this is a formal, although temporary rank.
Cell Commanders lead covert cells under cover all over Ansalon. Legion cells that are public and that aren’t primarily combat units are also led by a Cell Commander. They are typically elected to their position, which is an informal rank.
Cohort Commanders lead centuries into battle. They are selected from current Centurions, chosen by a vote. This is a formal, yet temporary rank.
Scout Captains oversee open cells and covert operations in their geographical regions. This rank is informal.
Keepers are the advisors of the High Elder. They are appointed by the Elder. There are typically 3 keepers: one is a former Knight of Solamnia, one a former Dark Knight, and the third is a nonhuman.
The High Elder is the leader of the Legion as a whole. They are elected for life by the entirety of the Legion of Steel. If a longer-lived race is voted into the position, it is understood that they will serve for twenty-one years before stepping down.
Benefits of Renown. The more Renown you accumulate, the greater the benefits.
Legionnaire-Even the low rank of Legionnaire and the ownership of a Legion Starjewel will grant such a character a measure of respect and friendship to most good people of the world. Once a character has earned the Legionnaire rank, you (and your companions with a DC 10 Charisma (Persuasion) check made by the Legionnaire) gain the benefits of the Rustic Hospitality feature from the Folk Hero background (PHB 131). If the Legionnaire also has the Folk Hero background, he makes the Charisma (Persuasion) check for their companions with advantage. For every non-Legionnaire companion you try to grant access to this benefit, the DC is raised by 1. So if you and your 3 non-Legionnaire companions were trying to find a place to hide using this feature gaining access to a house, the DC for the Charisma check would be 13. Note that if you are by yourself, a Charisma check is not needed as long as you have a Starjewel. If appropriate, a Charisma (Perform) check could also be used instead of Persuasion. Deception or Intimidation could be made, but since those are means that wouldn’t fit in with the Legion ideology, a check of those skills would be made with disadvantage.
Centurion/Cell Commander-In addition to the troops that can be commanded, these leaders can request a number of common, consumable magic items (such as healing potions and low-level spell scrolls) equal to their Charisma modifier x2 (minimum of 1) once per month per region they operate in.
Scout Captain/Cohort Commander-These Legionnaires can request uncommon or rare consumable magic items equal to their Charisma modifier x2 (minimum of 1) once per month per region they operate in. They can also request to borrow an uncommon or rare magic item to borrow for a period of time, with the understanding that it is to be returned to the Legion whenever the mission they are on that requires the use of the item is completed. A DM decides if this item is available to the character or not, if it makes sense for the Legion to be in possession of such an item that can be lent out.
Keepers-By the time you reach this level of respect and authority within the Legion, you have access to much information and possibly very powerful magic items. These rewards are left for the DM to decide, as they have the potential to change much in a campaign.
High Elder-If you have put in the time (likely years of game time) to have accomplished enough for the whole Legion of Steel to elect you to this position, remember that with great power comes great responsibility. You have the authority to command any within the Legion. Armies rally at your call, as long as your call is for a just cause. The information and resources available to you at this point in the game is truly astounding, with access to powerful magic items or command of the kinds of people that can create or find such items, if you so wish. Any such request is up to DM approval, but can be a basis for a quest or series of adventures in itself.
Losing Renown in the Legion of Steel. Offenses that jeopardize the Legion, or any of it’s members can result in the reduction of an individual’s Renown in the Legion, which can also result in the loss of rank. Any amount of Renown can be lost at one time, including reduction all the way down to 0 and expulsion from their ranks.