(Spoilers: This article contains spoilers for the Anthem main story. You may want to finish the game before reading on)
This is the story of the Legion of Dawn’s end—the episode of its final moments and what became of it.
For half a millennium, the Legion of dawn had become a true legend, something whose greatness could only be imagined by us humans, literally. Without any sustainable way to keep records, the tales were slowly fading into whispers, and then rumors. What the Legion truly accomplished can never be found out. But their legacy remains. The future of our people can be imparted with what little we know about the Legion, and what we uncover, through cyphers, beacons, and archives.
As Helena Tarsis drew her last breath, Humanity was truly liberated from the Urgoth Overlords. The death of their general was a cold dagger stabbed in the heart—an irrevocable pain. Magna Stral was filled with rage when she learned her friend and leader was slain. She devoted herself to repeal any surviving enemy with her platoon. The Urgoth were chased back to the northern regions of Coda, a cold land buried in deep dark shadows, likely never to be seen again. Arden Vassa’s promise to his General during her final moments, that Humanity would never be enslaved and Antium would never fall, made him return to the Fortress of Dawn with other surviving Legionnaires such as Liatrelle and Midderon, and the remaining members.
When Magna couldn’t find any more Urgoth, she returned to the Fortress, only to find out it was being sealed and in the process of abandonment. She confronted Arden—found out his plans to take the entire Legion to Antium in the South; she called this act desertion. When she ordered the Legion members to halt, they obeyed. The two debated over what should happen to the Legion.
All this while, after the sacrifice of the General, the Legion had no true leader, or real ranks among the members even before that. Liatrelle took care of them for a while, but as with Vassa and Stral, people mourn differently. While the two argued over the future of the Legion, the calm natured Liatrelle was resolute on what must be done at the moment. She prepared burials for all the fallen Legion members. She prepared special tombs for the Guardians of Dawn. She prepared the final resting place for her oldest friend and her signet, inside a place that was close to Helena’s heart—the Haven, Humanity’s first stronghold. She prepared a way for any worthy human to find this resting place through Tarsis’ honor guards. She then collected all the Volumes of the Legion, chronicled by Garred, for safe keeping. And when she returned to the Fortress afterwards, Vassa and Stral were still undecided, each being adamant on what path of Tarsis they should follow—Might, Resolve, or Valor.
General Tarsis had secured a future for every human alive and those yet to be born, and not just the people of Antium. Magna tried to rally the Legion to follow her and fight the Urgoth who had fled into the darkness, to secure this future. There were many among the Legion who admired, and some even revered her. These people joined her cause. Witnessing this act, Vassa called them traitors. In retaliation, Stral declared those who stayed back as cowards. With this the Legion divided itself into two units.
Half the Legion went with Magna Stral to the North to fight the Urgoth with their might. They became the Paladins. The other half went with Arden Vassa to protect Antium in the South with resolve. They became the Sentinels. Arden sealed the Fortress of Dawn behind, leaving a gauntlet for any new worthy Legionnaire prospect to endure.
It wasn’t a sabotage or betrayal, but the Legion collapsed from its own disposition. It was never a place for people with different mindsets. Their goal was to free mankind, which they achieved spectacularly. But with that purpose served, the Legion became a house divided, never to become whole again.
While the Fortress was permanently abandoned, the Legion disbanded, it wasn’t empty. One person stayed behind contemplating his future—the Last Legionnaire. Unfortunately, long profound thinking was not one of Midderon’s strengths, so this would take a while for him. One day, during this thought-provoking process in the Fortress’ courtyard, Midderon heard a roar in the distance from the side of the nearby Anshar. The sound was familiar, and nightmare inducing—Cindermaw, the chimera that stalked him when he was ten years of age.
With the death of Tarsis, the chimera returned. Midderon knew he stood no chance against Cindermaw alone, even with his javelin. While this monster attacked Anshar, Midderon knew that he had to stop it to save the helpless people. He discovered Cindermaw’s lair, hoping to silence the relic that created it. Unfortunately for him, the chimera remained beside the relic. So, the clever Midderon did exactly what he did the previous time. He left a false trail for the monster to follow and woke it. As Cindermaw began chasing the trail, Midderon slipped past the chimera and silenced the relic, defeating the monster for good. This was when Midderon found his calling. He would walk the path of Valor, even if he had to do it by himself.
Liatrelle followed Vassa for a while, but she wouldn’t abandon her path. She knew that Coda would always need Tarsis, and the General, her Legionnaires. She prepared for a future where a worthy person could reclaim the General’s signet. She left the records and Volumes of the Legion with trusted Lancers to be accorded. Generations changed, and the stories of the Legion were passed down to those who would eventually become the Bards. With her preparations completed and plans set into motion, Liatrelle left Antium behind and vanished forever.
Magna Stral ventured further into the North with her Paladins, and soon, Sundermark was founded. She defeated many Urgoth and drove them further away into the northern extremities. Very little is known about what happened to the Paladins, except that they all perished in the cataclysm that froze Stralheim. But there were those Paladins who sought the help from a trio of Anzu beings called the Sistrum, for their survival. With this deal, they lost their path and turned into the dark, militaristic, and totalitarian Dominion.
Arden Vassa became the first emperor of Bastion, our land. His engineering ingenuity developed the nation. Even though there were dangers in the wild, he founded many cities. With the Sentinels protecting the people within the cities and the royal family, everything including science, art, and culture flourished; new discoveries and inventions were made. Eventually, he was succeeded by one of his two sons, Dell, whose bloodline continues to rule Bastion from its capital of Antium thus far. While the other son, Fortuo went on to found his own land.
Midderon, the youngest Legionnaire, became the founder of the Freelancers—the youngest of the three factions that split from the Legion. This new order would dedicate itself to rescue people in danger and silence volatile relics preventing cataclysms. Eventually, the base of the Freelancers was set in the city of Freemark, that hosted the largest and proudest of all Freelancer Enclaves.
The Legion left monuments throughout Bastion, the Reaches, and Mirelands, but their true meaning are lost to time. When the Urgoth were defeated, the three songs that made the Legion became divided. Singing the song of Might were the Paladins, whose strength would match no other. Singing the song of Resolve were the Sentinels, whose duty to serve would always come first. Singing the song of Valor were the Freelancers, who swore to do the right thing, even if they had to do it alone. These three melodies when sung together only caused discord, because until then, there was only one that could sing them together in harmony. The end of the Legion of Dawn is the beginning of the modern era of Humanity—the Legion Victorious era. Some Arcanists such as Mederines believed that the three paths of General Tarsis are politicized conveniently. But they should not be considered something that define an entire faction each. Instead, they must be treated as different perspectives of the same principle.
Centuries after the disbandment of the Legion, the Dominion came to Bastion and destroyed the city of Freemark in the year 458 L. V., to take control of a powerful relic called the Cenotaph, beneath it. In this process, the largest known cataclysm called the Heart of Rage was unleashed by these invaders.
With their greatest enclave and a whole walled city destroyed, people lost hope in the Freelancers. Their relationship with the Sentinels was shattered. This faction, now scarce, settled itself in the small military outpost of Fort Tarsis. Several attempts were made to silence the cataclysm, but all in vain. Eight years later in 466 L.V., a group of Freelancers made one more prominent attempt, but miserably failed, leaving most of them catatonic, traumatized, or dead.
Two years later, in 468 L.V., the Dominion returned to take control over the Cenotaph. Their reason for doing this was to fight the Urgoth attacking their Northern borders by weaponizing this relic. But another Freelancer and a small group of people were adamant on preventing this. Their discoveries led them to find the tombs of the Guardians of Dawn, the tomb of General Tarsis, and her signet. With this, they unlocked the Fortress of Dawn after nearly 500 years of it being sealed. When this Freelancer entered the Fortress, they faced the gauntlet and came out victorious, enduring the paths of Might, Resolve, and Valor. This rewarded them with the legendary Javelin of Dawn. However, due to internal and emotional conflicts among the comrades of this small group, the javelin was lost to one of its members.
But the idea behind valor is that there is always hope; hope that good will overturn evil. The Freelancer and their remaining group discovered blueprints of a shield that would allow them to enter the Heart of Rage without being completely wiped out. This Dawn Shield would not work for a reason unknown. But in an effort to make amends, the person who stole the Javelin of Dawn presented a seal from the javelin to the Freelancer. Using this seal, and the shield, the Freelancer was able to enter the Heart of Rage, prevented the Dominion from weaponizing the Cenotaph, contained the cataclysm, and silenced the relic for good.
With this, people slowly began to regain faith in the Freelancers. The Sentinels were also more confident in the Freelancers and gradually began working together with them. But there also came a news that the enemy long gone from Bastion, had returned. Once the word of the Fortress of Dawn becoming unsealed and Heart of Rage being silenced spread far and wide, an unknown faction that was lost in the darkness revealed themselves to the Freelancer. These were the Paladins, the ones who did not lose their path and remained keeping their watch.
This Freelancer became the first person to open the Fortress of Dawn after it was sealed several centuries ago, fostered a new friendly relation with the Sentinels, and rediscovered the Paladins. Unbeknownst, to their own achievements, this Freelancer who silenced the Heart of Rage became the first Legionnaire in nearly half a millennium. And this Freelancer is… You.
The Anthem must be sung as it is heard, and no one should be forced to hear or sing it in any other way. This is a story of how Might, Resolve, and Valor could deliver hope to conquer the evil, when our world is filled in despair. Stories begin and end, but reality doesn’t; it simply continues. The only path is the path forward. By heading in this path, and the paths of Might, Resolve, and Valor, you achieve the Path to Glory. So, You, my dear Freelancer, are the Legacy of the Legionnaires, the avatar of General Helena Tarsis herself. What are You going to do with this revelation? How will You sing your songs? Learn from the mistakes of the old Legion, persevere through the inevitable, even if You have to do it by yourself. This now, is your chronicle—your reality. Will You keep its melody, or will You force its coda?
Welcome Legionnaire, to the Legion of Dawn!