The Citadel of the Circle stood almost entirely empty for the first time in General Fel’s memory. All of the Iron Legion was deployed across the world, and even now opening skirmishes were beginning. The Iron General thoughtfully considered the history of this place. He remembered the first stone being placed. The bright looks on those first legionnaires as the physicality of this place gave definition to the purpose of their order. How many Iron Generals had he advised over those intervening years? From the first General, Aurelieus Qadiin whom he remembered so well. Through so many successors over the centuries, and down to the one he thought would be the final Iron General, Tavanya Qadiin, the blood descendant of Aurelius. He had vested so much in her, but her murder 5 years ago had changed everything. This was not how he planned things. His multi-century plan was intact for the most part, but he was not supposed to be the Iron General. Though that was never the plan, fate was a fickle thing. He knew this more than most any other, and he knew that fate could be changed, but there was always a price. No matter how things happened, he would be the last Iron General.
Fel’s contemplation was interrupted by the sounds of his Captains filing into the room. He had asked them all to stand watch through the night, thinking through their responsibilities. He found that dawn’s light was energizing for himself, and it would likely be so for his Captains as well. Captain Yangin’Od Bloodcrest of the Berzerkers. Utterly fearless and brutal beyond measure, he was violence personified. Captain Arshah Consilio of the Tacticians. His mild manner concealed the brilliant mind of a strategic genius. Captain Rakonto Sek of the Disavowed. His silent movement reflected his skills as a ghostly night stalker, for where he went, death went with him. Captain Miralas Kolos, his newest promoted Captain of the Princeps. As befitting the defensive minded Princeps, her reserved demeanor was analyzing everything about the room as she entered. The last to enter, Captain Rowan of the Warforged, the fifth chapter. His flexible skills and ability had worked well with the heroes of the Warforged, and oh the wonders that they had discovered in a couple short years. The Captains all filed in and took their places at the wooden rail that formed a half circle around General Fel. As all of the Captains saluted in unison, Captain Bloodcrest announced “Captain’s reported as ordered, General”.
Fel returned the salute crisply, and motioned the Captains to stand at ease. “I hope you found your contemplations made clearer by the dawn. Quite a long time ago, I would often ponder difficult issues by the first light of the sun. I found it, helpful.” He paused for a moment and continued. “I didn’t bring you here to go over specific details, each of you knows what to do in your areas of command. As soon as we are done here, the walkers will take each of you back to your commands. The heroes of the caravan have come up with a good first response. The Concordant Council has backed the effort with everything they have. Every town and city has cooperated, lending all of their forces to the overall command. It’s a good plan, but as we know, no plan survives first contact.” He let that hang knowingly in the air, and several Captains nodded in agreement.
“Whatever happens next, we will find a way to earn victory. We must find a way to help the heroes find a way to stop the Red Hand, and General Corlian. I have a plan that will help, given that the heroes have chosen to act aggressively, but ultimately it will be up to them to capitalize on the opportunity the Legion will provide. The cards will be stacked against us, and the vile one will use any means to get his way, but the thing he has not considered is that it is the sole purpose of the Iron Legion to ensure that the heroes are free to face the enemy on their own terms. This is why I made the Legion, and this is our task, at any and every price.” As Fel’s energy and emotion rose in cadence with the responsibilities he laid out, a radiant aura began to fill the room encompassing the Iron General and his Captains. “You five may be the finest group of Captains the Legion has ever produced, and now is the time we need you most. I have given you what grace I can, but ultimately things will be up to you. You may be outnumbered, alone, with little hope in sight, but I expect you to do your duty. In that moment, I demand that you find an excuse to win, and prosecute it to the fullest. Now, for the last time our creed”
The unified voices of 6 leaders shook the rafters of the room with their vehemence.
“Die on your feet, or live on your knees
Live for freedom, or Die for honor
Show no mercy that you would not accept
Your Iron is your word, your shoulders are among the stars
Let fall your blade in service of the Legion”