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 Post subject: Re: Coryani Battle Mages Article
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:41 pm 
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Cody's completely-not-official-until-and-unless-Henry-approves-it Opinion:

1) To be a Legionnaire, you have to be a Citizen of the Empire. This is reflected by the fact that the Legionnaire Background is open only to Coryani characters (Almeric has their own thing). As such, you cannot be from anywhere else and be a Legionnaire (be it the Hinterlands, Milandir, etc). If your family 'came' from one of those places or you did, unless you were somehow given Coryani Citizenship (such as earning the Armillius of Vigilence, IIRC), you are considered a Gentile and are the equivalent of a citizen of another country living in the United States on a visa. You also can't say "Oh, I became one later!" as would be represented by a Path, since you need to sign a 10 year term to be a Legionnaire IIRC. As previously stated, to be a "coryani soldier" who is not a citizen, you need to take the Former Soldier (ba), and just say you fought in an Auxilia (which could in theory come from any nation as more-official mercenaries).

2) To be a Coryani Battle Mage (as of a member of the specific Auxillia Magus) you have to be an Eldritch Caster (a magus). These are the people who qualify as a Battle Mage of the Coryani Legions (Pa). The Shamans, as listed in Henry's article, are Legionnaires who HAPPEN to be Shamans, and are filling the niche of a Battle Mage while not officially being a member of the Auxillia Magus. These Shamans--as long as the legionnaires in question aren't too upset by their heretical pacts with minor lesser spirits--would be honoured as per their regular Battle Mage breathern, but likely wouldn't earn the accolades of their more 'official' comrades. My view of this would be a commoner vs. a noble in armies of olden days: It was vanishingly rare for a commoner ever to rise to the ranks of the Officer Corps, and damn near impossible for those that did make it there to make it to command ranks like General. The same thing is seen in Roman Republican armies (it was a bit different in the Imperial age) where the highest a non-patrician could get in a legion would be Primus Pilus (first spear), but he was like a high-ranking sergeant in that even the most junior Tribune (a Senatorial/Patrician position) outranked him, and that Primus Pilus could never be more than a high-ranked Centurion, and certainly couldn't attain Generalship/Legateship.

3) The Mother Church of Coryan still is not a fan of shamanism, as it is viewed as a person giving their 'worship' to minor and/or heretical powers. As Henry stated, a lot of these non-Eldritch battle mages are 'hedge mages', and these by almost definition are commoner/peasant stock within most fantasty tropes (and especially in Arcanis). This means that their magic would at best be viewed as suspect by the authorities, especially by official bodies like an organized Auxilia Magus.

My main question is how do val Psions fit into this? Are there just so few of them that they are functionally the same as a shaman Legionnaire (they are not an 'official' battle mage, but fill the same niche in a squad)? Would they fill their own cadre? Would the number of val's in the 'common lines' be considered relatively rare as most in-universe vals (as opposed to heroes) would be filling up the non-combat Tribunships? Who knows!

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Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
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Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


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 Post subject: Re: Coryani Battle Mages Article
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:38 pm 

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Nierite wrote:

My main question is how do val Psions fit into this? Are there just so few of them that they are functionally the same as a shaman Legionnaire (they are not an 'official' battle mage, but fill the same niche in a squad)? Would they fill their own cadre? Would the number of val's in the 'common lines' be considered relatively rare as most in-universe vals (as opposed to heroes) would be filling up the non-combat Tribunships? Who knows!


My guess on this is that psions, as val who are likely to also have val bloodline powers as well as psionic powers, and as they are more likely to join legions associated with their families, are more likely to be assigned to "special forces" as similarly empowered strike squads, rather than interspersed throughout the legion as "mages." But that is just my thoughts from having read about the "specialists" various families had in their specific legions from stuff from the last campaign.

Thus the assassins of the cadician legions, the brute squad of the val'virdan legion, the shapechangers of the val'dellanov legions, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Coryani Battle Mages Article
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:25 am 
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Broadly, I agree pretty consistently with Cody's (unofficial) opinions as outlined in his three bullet points. I would note under his third point that the Mother Church is increasingly "unfriendly" towards eldritch casters too these days & not just towards the heretical hedge mage/shaman guys...

Psionics is an interesting point. It's my unofficial opinion that you probably don't have a lot of psionts in a legion. Vals make up a small part of the troops. Awakened Vals make up a small part of the Vals ...

So it wouldn't surprise me to find that most Legions have a couple of awakened Vals among the Optios, Centurions or (perhaps especially) the Tribunes, but I seriously doubt that there are cadres of them. I'm guessing in the 6 or less range. Maybe some unlucky legions don't have any. Some legions such as the Legion of the Black Sun or the Legion Anguis Reptatus seem to have a lot of them...but the LBS & LAR are both weird cases in other ways. For example the LBS live in Nishanpur and are all undead.

I would note as dicta that the position of Tribune was historically a squishy one as I understand it. There are stories of Trinues taking over after the death of the Legate while on campaign and also stories of Tribunes as glorified gophers and accountants...with no meaningful powers. Conversely the First Spear (most senior Centurion) was effectively the third in the chain of command and often ran the day to day affairs of the Legion's camp. (i.e. NOT just a sergeant) John Roberts Maddox wrote a great mystery novel in the SPQR called "No One Loves a Centurion" in which Decimus, a Tribune in Caeser's legions, has to carefully step around one of the Centurions who really takes a disliking to him. Decimus outranks the Centurion on paper, but in practice angering the Centurion has direct negative consequences. Generally the average Legionaires are more likely to do what the Centurion wants...

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 Post subject: Re: Coryani Battle Mages Article
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:33 am 
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How do "war priests" fit into the Legions? I suppose you could just say you served (as long as you are a Coryani citizen). You would not have the brand and all that, but otherwise I would not have an issue at the table as a GM. I'm at work without books so can't see what the War Priest path says.

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 Post subject: Re: Coryani Battle Mages Article
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:46 am 

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Haakon_val'Ishi wrote:
How do "war priests" fit into the Legions? I suppose you could just say you served (as long as you are a Coryani citizen). You would not have the brand and all that, but otherwise I would not have an issue at the table as a GM. I'm at work without books so can't see what the War Priest path says.

The article mentions the Auxillia Medicus, so I guess the question is if all priests are members of that branch, or just those who focus more on healing.


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 Post subject: Re: Coryani Battle Mages Article
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:10 am 
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FGJustice wrote:
Haakon_val'Ishi wrote:
How do "war priests" fit into the Legions? I suppose you could just say you served (as long as you are a Coryani citizen). You would not have the brand and all that, but otherwise I would not have an issue at the table as a GM. I'm at work without books so can't see what the War Priest path says.

The article mentions the Auxillia Medicus, so I guess the question is if all priests are members of that branch, or just those who focus more on healing.


"Auxillia Medicus" doesn't sound like an organization that would house War Priests. Just sayin' :)

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 Post subject: Re: Coryani Battle Mages Article
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:46 am 

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Hello Michael,

Haakon_val'Ishi wrote:
How do "war priests" fit into the Legions?


War priests are a completely different kettle of fish. Legions that have temples as their patron usually (but not always) forego Battle Mages and instead have priests and holy champions within their ranks.

But that's a discussion for another article.

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 Post subject: Re: Coryani Battle Mages Article
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:55 am 
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Thanks Henry, that pretty much answers the question I had. The in-depth article can wait, you have plenty on your plate good sir! ;)

On a related note is there a Nierite legion out of Novo Cormata? I have a character from that region working his way through the Crusade arc who is an Awakened val (Arcane archetype) with the Templar background. This guy would have definitely served in the legions and is very pro-Coryani (yeah I know that's new for me :) ). Right now I'm torn between Cantenari and Inquisitor. Probably dip into both.

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 Post subject: Re: Coryani Battle Mages Article
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:00 am 

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Hello,

Haakon_val'Ishi wrote:
On a related note is there a Nierite legion out of Novo Cormata?



None as yet. The situation is quite fluid over in Nova Cormata and while they are fending off attacks from marauders and nomadic bands of savage Gar tribes with "legion" like formations of warriors, they haven't formally created a legion.

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 Post subject: Re: Coryani Battle Mages Article
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:51 am 
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Given the frontier nature of the new province I thought that might be the case but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. :) Interesting you mention the Gar, I did not realize they were present within the Empire. I thought they were on the fringes of the Western Lands. Was their range mentioned in the Bestiary? I have a suspicion that there is more about them, the Hunai, and the Voei than meets the eye. But then this is Arcanis so of course there is! :)

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