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n theory, every Stygian citizen belongs to a Legion. Delineated along the lines of each wraith’s demise, the Legions serve as a way of classifying the dead. A Deathlord, who commands obedience from all within his troop, rules each Legion. Authority descends from the Deathlord or lady in a quasi-military chain of command, with civilian Legionnaires given military ranks in a effort to place them within the Legion’s structure.
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The bureaucratic side of the Legions is just as important as the military, and most members of a Legion aren’t out in armor smiting Spectres and renegades. Instead, they are processing souls, enforcing laws, taking census, repairing Necropoli, educating Enfants and otherwise keeping Stygian society running smoothly.
Then again, there are the martial aspects to each Legion. Byway patrols, Spectre-hunting expeditions, Renegade-busting and other, similar activities necessitate a standing military presence among the dead, and each Deathlord does his best to oblige. This is the face of the Legions that Renegades and Heretics are most familiar with, and these outsiders often mistake the military side of the Legion for the Legion as a whole.
As the Deathlords jockey for power, clashes between Legions are becoming more frequent. While things are a long way from open warfare on the streets of Stygia, out in the hinterlands bushwhacking and other inter-Legion unfriendliness has been known to happen. A lone Centurion of the Legion of Paupers who wanders into a haunts frequented by soldiers of the Grim Legion can be asking for trouble, depending upon how relations between the Smiling Lord and the Beggar Lord are that week.
There are other, lesser organizations also known as Legions, though these are generally orders of merit. For example, the Fifth Legion, a.k.a. the Legion of the Black Hawk, is an elite military corps related by Charon from the finest soldiers in each of the Deathlords’ Legions, while the Online Legion contains Hierarchy wraiths skilled at the Arcanos Inhabit. Some of the Deathlords also have Legions-within-Legions, such as the Beggar Lord who honors his bodyguards with the title of the Legion of the Onyx Tear. It is generally assumed that when the term “Legion” is used, it is one of the eight Legions of the Deathlords that is being referred to. If a wraith wishes to mention one of the smaller organizations, she will usually call it by its full name just to avoid confusion.