Fleshless Legion

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The Clockwork Jungle

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Elder Wyrms · Creation · Afterlife

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Metalworking · Dendronautics

The Fleshless Legion is a corps of Cog Soldiers under the control of Auk Yrta Su'u, the World-Queen. They are the only Cogs known to be under mortal control (though numerous animal Cogs have been trained for civilized use, none are under any more "control" than a normal trained animal is). Her unprecedented ability to field these formidable machines in battle has been the source of much of the military success of the Yrtan Empire.

The exact number of Cogs that the World-Queen controls is unknown, as they are never together in one place. The Legion has never fought as a whole unit; rather, one or more Soldiers (seldom more than three) are "assigned" to a specific squadron of loyal Gheen warriors. Most estimates are between 20 and 30 Soldiers, though some believe she may command as many as fifty.

Only one Cog of the Legion has ever been destroyed. It was ambushed by troops of the League of the Waterfall, along with the small raiding party of Gheen it was traveling with, in the Battle of Nerth Sink. Since that incident, the Cogs of the Legion travel only with larger parties of Yrtan warriors who cannot be so easily outnumbered and cut down.

Control and Behavior

The method by which the World-Queen controls these Cogs can only be guessed at. It is clearly a tightly guarded secret, for even though there have been notable spies and traitors in her own court, none have been able to give so much as a hint as to how the Fleshless Legion is bound to her will. Observations of the Legion in the field of battle seem to indicate that the Cogs are not much changed from the standard behavior of a Soldier; the only difference seems to be that instead of protecting a place or fellow Cog, they protect groups of Yrtan warriors. They are clearly not just puppets, for they will only fight when they or the individuals of the unit they are with are threatened. The World-Queen apparently has some means of changing their ancient orders as she pleases, for they have been seen to move from one squad to another as needed.

The unwillingness of the Legion Cogs to take the initiative themselves is not a great tactical hindrance in an actual battle, but the Legion Cogs will not so much as touch a creature that is fleeing from their unit or otherwise making no gesture of violence towards them. The Yrtan hosts have massacred many alien communities, but the Cogs always stand motionless as the "Enemies of the Queen" are hunted down and eliminated. Should a victim so much as raise a fist against one of their protected warriors, however, they will spring into deadly action.

If a Legion Cog is separated from its unit, it searches for them day and night. If the unit is entirely killed, or if it cannot find them after several days, the Cog retreats immediately into Yrtan territory, presumably to receive new orders.

Though Soldier Cogs always attack Cogs that are under the sway of the Saffron Moss, they do not do the same to those under the World-Queen's influence, or even seem to notice that their fellow Soldiers are in any way functioning out of the ordinary.

Equipment and Decoration

There is little that any of the civilized races can do to improve upon the effectiveness of a Soldier Cog, and the Cogs of the Legion rely on the Cogsteel carapace and glaive they have had since the time of the Artificers. They neither accept nor need any other gear.

The Cogs of the Legion are, however, embellished by the Gheen warriors they protect. They do not seem to object to being painted, and are instantly recognizable by the Yrtan symbols and slogans that cover their armored bodies. The Gheen soldiers take a great deal of pride in the ancient protectors they are bestowed by their ruler, and regularly polish the Cogs' armor and retouch their painted designs to express appreciation for their Queen's favor. The Cogs have even been given names by the Yrtan soldiers (like Shield-breaker, Mothers' Grief, Bloodshins, and Scale-splitter), often written in crimson on their steel chests or faces.