The Legions are Alera’s major military force. They have protected the Realm since the time of the original Gaius Primus, and are considered by many to be the perfect fighting machine. However, during the events during and surrounding the Vord War, it is realized that the Legions had become less effective due to long years with very few true threats to counter.
The backbone of a Legion is its legionares—single infantrymen trained in the use of sword and bow. Eight legionares comprise a single spear. These eight men do their work together and share a tent when the Legion is in the field. In formation, they stand in a line eight ranks deep with the file leader at the head.
Ten spears form a single century—80 men. The centuries are kept in order by centurions—senior warriors, but not officers. Centurions carry a baton in addition to their standard arms, used to dress ranks, enforce general order, or to lay out an uncooperative legionare.
There are four centuries in a cohort—320 men, except for the Prime Cohort, which is double the size of a standard cohort. Each cohort is commanded by the senior centurion except for the Prime Cohort, which is led on paper by the Legion's Captain, though most of the responsibility and command falls to the First Spear, the most senior centurion in the Legion. Every Legion has fourteen to twenty cohorts, depending upon the varying needs of each. While all Legions are heavy infantry units, most also have at least one cohort of auxiliaries—scouts and cavalry. Each Legion attempts to have a century of Knights at its disposal, referred to as a cohort for organizational purposes. The Crown Legion is the only Legion with anything approaching a cohort-sized contingent of Knights.
All told, a Legion may number anywhere from 4,000 to 6,500 legionares.
In addition to the legionares, each Legion also has a support staff which includes blacksmiths, cooks, domestics, healers, muleskinners, valets, and other necessary personnel. An engineering corp is also present in each legion, consisting mostly of powerful earthcrafters and overseeing construction of siegeworks. Some of the support staff carry a rank in the Legion, while others are simply hired help. Additionally, a Legion tends to attract a good number of camp followers—peddlers and merchants, musicians, brewers, doxies, dancers, and any other people willing to follow and do business with regularly paid legionares. Camp followers may sometimes outnumber the Legion, though typical numbers range from 3,000 to 4,000.
A sizeable chunk of the Legion followers is typically comprised of Legion families. While legionares are not legally permitted to marry, that does not stop some from forming relationships and families. Many of the unofficial wives (and their all-too-officially-illegitimate children) follow the Legion until their husband completes his term and may legally marry.
- Legionare: Standard infantryman of a Legion.
- Centurion: A centurion is a singular soldier in command of a century of legionares within a Legion.
- Knights: Talented crafters, used as elite troops and tasks requiring their respective discipline.
- Knight Ignus: Firecrafters, used for large scale attacks on massed enemies.
- Knight Terra: Earthcrafters, wielding massive weapons with fury-enhanced strength. Used as shock troops.
- Knight Ferrous: Metalcrafters, used as line soldiers as well as elite or shock troops.
- Knight Flora: Woodcrafters, used as scouts, rangers and long-range archers. During sieges teamed with a Legionare shield carrier for protection
- Knight Aeris: Windcrafters, used as aerial forces, messengers, and troop transport via windcoach.
- First Spear: Commanding centurion of the Prime Cohort.
- Subtribune: Assistant to a Tribune.
- Tribune: Commanding officer of a single area of the Legion.
- Knight Tribune: Commands the Legion's Knights.
- Legion Tribune: Assists the Captain in command of the Legion.
- Tribune Auxiliaris: Commands the scout and cavalry units.
- Tribune Tactica: Oversees the organization of fighting units during an engagement.
- Tribune Medica: Commands the Legion's healers, and is usually a watercrafter of high skill.
- Tribune Logistica: Manages the Legion's supplies and resources.
- Tribune Strategica: Oversees long-term strategies of the Legion.
- Captain: Commander of the Legion.
List of Legions in Alera
Each City of Alera is allowed by law to field three legions, under the command of its respective High Lord. In addition to these, additional legions have been formed under the control of the First Lord personally, the Senate and the conjoined control of the previous. Rebel or bandit legions are also mentioned, though only the the Free Aleran, formed by rebelling slaves, is actually shown and later gains legitimacy.
- First, Second, Third Antillan
- First, Second, Third Aquitainian
- First, Second, Third Attican
- First, Second, Third Ceresian
- First, Second, Third Forcian
- First, Second, Third Kalaran (and then four others during the Kalare Rebellion)
- First, Second, Third Imperian
- First, Second, Third Parcian
- First, Second, Third Placidan (one of which Lord Placida entirely mounted in Princeps' Fury)
- First, Second, Third Phrygian
- First, Second, Third Rhodesian
- First, Second, Third Rivan
- Crown Legion (reinstated after Second Calderon)
- First Aleran (formed at the outset of Cursor's Fury) and the Third Aleran (mentioned in Princep's Fury as manning the Shield Wall)
- First, Second Senatorial (formed just prior to Captain's Fury)
In addition to these, legions exist that are not formally recognized as such, or are convenient sub-divisions existing along side the the regular legion groupings.
- The partial legion in Garrison, in Calderon Valley considered under the purview of Riva
- Legion Aeris (A Legion of Knights Aeris, formed by Aquitainus Attis during the Vord War existing parallel to the normal legion command structure when needed).
- Free Aleran (formed between the events of Cursor's Fury and Captain's Fury), later gains legitimacy as a full fledged legion.