News of the Legion of Dawn spread far and wide. People flocked to witness the wonder that humanity’s best had created. They wished to bask in its glory, a path of extreme struggle, one that would lead to the salvation of humanity’s freedom, unfortunately through their sacrifice. They knew the price.
Once General Tarsis was confident with the Javelin of Dawn, it was decided more would be built. But they differed in design and structure. Those that endured a single moment inside the Fortress of Dawn’s gauntlet, were given a javelin and a rank. But all inner secrets were revealed only to those that successfully cleared the gauntlet. They became the Legionnaires—Tarsis’ most trusted. Before anyone else had received a javelin, the Legionnaires themselves trained to use them in the deep ravine by the fortress, which eventually became the Legionnaire’s Ravine.
The Legion of Dawn began to thrive, and settlements such as Arath and Anshar were built. Anshar was a haven for Arcanists to study Coda and the arcanist ways. Since Anshar was so close to the Fortress, they were always under the Legion’s protection. Once, an overnight attack by the Urgoth was completely put to an end by a single Legion lancer called Ren, a Paladin among Magna Stral’s troops. Ren was mortally wounded by an Urgoth sniper. Through great struggle, all defenders of Anshar were woken and summoned by Ren through the sound of an alarm.
There was a time when an Anzu by the name of Fen Watcher troubled the Legion. Through her stealth, Sanadeen, who at that time was known as Helena’s corvus, identified the Anzu and followed it. Watcher realized it was being stalked, and scampered. Stealth was not the only quality Sanadeen possessed, she was also nimble. But the Anzu was faster. Without giving a thought, as Watcher escaped from the Legion’s Plateau, Sanadeen jumped through the Shaper Tunnel (it was intact back then). While the Anzu would not stop, neither would Helena’s corvus—she chased it all across the High Road. Eventually Watcher halted by a pass, exhausted, and so did Sanadeen. They fought here for three whole days and nights, before they both killed each other. After Fen Watcher’s maimed corpse fell on the mortally wounded Sanadeen, its blood crept inside her. Sanadeen the human was no more, but she was reborn with new powers and from then on, was known as the Sister Dark.
Many stories of the Legion of Dawn portray General Helena Tarsis as the legend she was. There was a time when Tarsis fought a terrible storm monster, Fulminous, because it sent chimeras and squalls at the humans dwelling under its mountain. With a determination of showing no mercy, Tarsis and a band of lancers fought the monster in its lair and defeated it. To celebrate, she forged a sword by stealing Fulminous’ voice. Another time, Tarsis lured the urgoth enemies to the Haven and collapsed a mountain on the whole army using this sword. There was a time when a great cataclysm was unleashed by the Shaper Rings, and Magna Stral was hell bent on stopping it by attacking the chimeras created by it. But the witty Tarsis observed that the rings were damaged and repaired them, containing the cataclysm for good. There was also a time when Tarsis fought with the monstrous Ice Titan.
Two skilled Legionnaires and best friends Verithan and Felux were so close, that they even used the same railgun type weapon to fend off enemies. They were like inseparable brothers, even though Felux had a twin, Durnwin.
Midderon, still a boy, was so fast on his feet that he would run from the base of the ravine to the Fortress’ Colossi, and then to Anshar in record time in case of emergencies, and without a javelin! Around this time, he also became Tarsis’ page.
Gawnes would always have his blade by his side, even though he was strong enough to cut enemies using his bare hands. It is said that Gawnes would often stay by the entrance of the Fortress of Dawn, waiting to greet new aspirant lancers by challenging them.
Artinia was known for her near-perfect aim. But not many know about the ingenuity of her machinations’. During the Battle of Esterod, she left her troops and disappeared. While the last line of defense set mines to trap the superior enemies, and prepared to sacrifice themselves, Artinia out of nowhere led a surprise attack from behind the enemies, forcing them into the minefield.
Cariff was so smart that he would outwit the enemies, beasts and urgoth alike, into infighting. He once drove an urgoth horde toward a fissure in the ground by creating conflict between them, clinching them to their demise.
Yvenia was so skilled at keeping her presence to the bare minimum in battles, that she used to gather resources and heal the wounded without getting caught. Once in the edge of the battlefield of Blackstone, she forged an enchanting weapon which would force lightning strikes on enemies. She then led a reckless charge with it and turned the enemies on its heels.
Such was the Legion of Dawn. It was a ragtag band of misfits with a goal to liberate us from the urgoth slavery. Yet, it was not just the feats of heroism and courage. It was a story of several people who made it a reality. It was a chronicle of friendship, unity, and hope. But, it was also a tragedy of betrayal, conflict, and loss.
The time had arrived. After many victories and feats of survival, there was but one obstacle in humanity’s path to glorious freedom—the Urgoth Overlords.
The Legionnaires set a plan in motion, they would split into several groups and ambush the urgoth in various locations, before finally joining the General at the point of the largest concentrated urgoth army. They feared these overlords no more, for humanity’s greatest weapon—the Javelin—could achieve the impossible.
Arden Vassa had prepared special weapons and artifacts for Tarsis’ Javelin of Dawn and the other warriors before they separated. It is said that he threw mud on the statue of an urgoth master to provoke him into the battle. Vassa was so aggressive in his way that he encouraged his troops to fight by charging towards the enemies to frighten them. Magna Stral and her trusted lancers were in a canyon which later became Skystone. They held the pass against the urgoth army, with great sacrifice.
When an unexpected horde of urgoth lured the legion’s army to an ambush, people were unprepared. This was not the final battle, they knew. But, if a fight broke out here, they would all fall before the last stand. One brave hero held the line against the advancing urgoth enemies. Nal Jarra, by himself, fought this horde allowing the rest of the legion members to retreat. He did not die in vain; his sacrifice allowed the retreated members to regroup and launch a successful counterattack.
Garred the Chronicler writes many such stories of these legion members and lancers in his Volume of Tarsis without much detail. But how else could he have written these accounts at that time, when he himself wasn’t alive. His volumes narrate these events in passing, clearly written by others. These accounts are so hazy that it is not even clear where the final battle took place. Arcanists and researchers claim that it was at the Dawn Gates, Arden Vassa claims that it was at Antium Pass, Liatrelle claims that the final battle was at what eventually became Dunar in the Emerald Abyss. There are other reports of locations such as North Rock and even the Valley of Tarsis.
The most widely accepted location is the Antium pass. Legends seem to exaggerate the final battle, as if Helena Tarsis was the only one fighting the largest of Urgoth Army. But Tarsis proudly fought alongside valiant members and lancers of the Legion, with at least seven other Legionnaires.
Alnwik Marigold, the most skilled sniper in the Legion, separated from the general’s platoon in search of a higher ground. Just before the crucial clash between humans and urgoth began, Alnwik’s squad devastated the attacking forces. While they sniped, the battle began.
Tarsis’ honor guard—Artinia the Sharpshooter, Cariff the Tactician, Gawnes the Blademaster, and Yvenia the Forgewright—popularly known as the Guardians of Dawn, charged gallantly to confront the urgoth horde. Liatrelle witnessed this account firsthand. As waves of larger than life enemies pounced upon the humans, Gawnes single handedly shattered them before Liatrelle could reload her weapon—three heartbeats were all it took to cut them down. Artinia did not waste a single bullet during the battle. While fighting, her right arm was wounded beyond recovery. But Artinia thrived. As the urgoth crossed a rope bridge—when their number on it reached the greatest—with one shot, she parted the bridge, causing all the enemies and the bridge to collapse into the abyssal water below. Yvenia continued to provide support to the Legion, swiftly moving in the shadows, repairing the broken javelins and restoring the wounded. Cariff outwitted the enemies by striking them with his mortar at the right moment. Had it not been for them, the battlefield would have been the tomb of the Legion of Dawn.
As the battle continued, Liatrelle was away from her friend, but the faithful Midderon was by Tarsis’ side fighting along with her. It was the height of exhaustion. Our heroes were expecting the remaining lancers and Legionnaires to join this final fight. But they did not arrive.
Tarsis and her platoon continued to fight the urgoth. Felux witnessed the legion lancers using a unique rapid firing weapon against them. It did more damage to the enemies when the lancers took more damage. He described this event as both horrible and glorious! The enemy numbers did not dwindle. Something had to be done. As the battle progressed, General Tarsis lured a large gathering of urgoth enemies by making herself a bait. As they came closer, Tarsis unleashed a secret artifact—the Voice of Heaven— on the enemies. Avalanches upon avalanches of mud, dirt, and boulders broke apart from the mountain and crushed the numbers of urgoth, but they were still many more. The urgoth, driven by vengeance, marched towards the small town of Antium—this town had been the only one untouched by the slavers.
The remaining Legionnaires and lancers, including Vassa and Stral had arrived. But they were exhausted and their javelins severely damaged. They could not battle in this state. But Tarsis was adamant. She proclaimed that Antium and all other settlements must be protected at any cost, even her own life.
And around this time, Felux’s best friend murdered him. It is unknown what disagreement these two had; the reason is thought to be Verithan’s jealousy. An enraged Helena Tarsis could not bear the thought of a human killing another, let alone a Legionnaire. Rather than executing Verithan, Tarsis banished him on sight. That day, humanity had lost two great Legionnaires.
With her trusted few Legionnaires, including the Guardians of Dawn and Midderon, Tarsis flew at the highest possible speed to Antium, buying some time for the others to recover and rejoin her. Before the urgoth could set their foot inside the town, Helena Tarsis confronted the great enemies of humanity that boasted overwhelming strength. Tarsis and her Legionnaires held their ground. They knew that if their line of defense was broken, Antium would be captured and destroyed.
Helena Tarsis was challenged by the urgoth leader, while the remaining Legionnaires persevered. They battled for three whole days. But, one by one, the Guardians fell. Tarsis fought the leader with valor, using all her might, through unending resolve. However, she was struck a mortal blow. The General knew her death was inevitable this time. Yet, she fought on, forcing the enemy to retreat.
As Tarsis’ life slowly faded, all the remaining Legionnaires including Stral and Vassa, the lancers, and legion members, arrived on foot and drove the enemies away for good. When the final battle neared its conclusion, Stral’s weapon had no more bullets. She took a fallen urgoth weapon—a spear twice the size of any human—and continued fighting. The remaining urgoth, frightened by her might, scattered. As Helena Tarsis’ dying body lay on the ground, she praised her snipers for their zeal. With her final breath, Tarsis made Vassa promise that Antium would never fall.
Helena Tarsis went on to the great wheel. With this, the reign of the urgoth ended, dawning a new era for humanity—the Legion Victorious era, a time still being enjoyed by us.
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