|Spindle Art by Juan Ochoa|
The Predecessors are Legions that existed in some form prior to the foundation of the Empire. Armed companies, rebel armies, standing armies of conquered realms, religious orders - each of the Predecessors can trace its roots to turbulent times and places in the distant galactic past.
Legio XIII The Legion That Sorrows Failed: Ancient, cursed and disbanded for unknown reasons in the Empire's Middle Period; their standard is preserved in an ostensorium on a lunar shrine orbiting a dead planet.
Legio XIV Lanterns of the Star-Silk Road: Protect interstellar trade routes and trade stations throughout the Empire and beyond; incredibly wealthy wheelers and dealers.
Legio XV Adjuster of Attitudes: Sometimes called the "Knee-Breakers", this ancient order of reprisal-artists, assassins, and thugs has always been used to suppress rebellious tributaries.
Legio XVI Banishers of Gloom: The discoverers of the Spindles long before humans took to the stars, the first Banishers served as the legendary jump-gate scouts of the Sun-King of Amarna. Today their descendants are charged with scouring and cleansing dead worlds and space hulks of insidious threats.
Legio XVII Red Principalities: Assembled from the multitude of fighting men and women from the Red Martian city-states. Light infantry (sword and radium pistol) their members are uniformly attractive, and popular with the court. More than a few astute members of their ranks have risen from being the lover of a court functionary to occupy the throne as an Imperial Sovereign.
Legio XVIII Greensworn Hordes: Assembled from the multitude of Green Martian hordes, the Greensworn are born in special hatcheries within Imperial Cult shrines. They are raised and trained by Green Martian warrior-priestesses of the Imperial Cult. Light cavalry (lance and radium rifle) as well as light infantry (Imperial Cult shrine guards); religious fanatics.
Legio XIX The Tripods: Tripod war machine pilots - primarily Old Martians, with a smattering of other tentacular races. Never to be deployed with the XVII and XVIII. Siege experts, combat engineers, and expert terraformers. Raconteurs; excellent if perverse occupation forces.
Legio XX Ares Panzerai: Ageless bishonen/bishoju, these Mobile Suit pilots are genetic supersoldiers from the Red Planet's human warrior clans. Many subunits, each with their own clan, planetary, and lunar sigils. Usually deployed in subunits, as the Panzerai are fractious, quarrelsome, and prone to duels.
Legio XXI Union Guard: Originally a Republican Guard unit of the long-vanquished Maltruskan Union, this all-Maltruskan military formation was re-established by the Banisher Pontiff and empowered by treaty to protect Maltruskan worlds and settlements. Heavy mobile infantry; two Hierophant-class Battle Carriers and other assorted naval vessels equipped for travel to and from the pocket universes where Maltruskan worlds are protected by Excommunication.
Legio XXII Sodality of the Lens: A female-only mystical order established in the galactic core millennia ago, this multispecies formation long ago fled the core and established Sacred Offices throughout Known Space. Members of the order who operate within the Empire are considered members of Legio XXII, although they do not report to the Imperial Sovereign and have no battle standard. Members often operate as singletons and/or in small special contact units.
Legio XXIII Nexialist Service Corps: This all-Nexialist unit has never lost a battle, but they haven't won too many, either. During the Nexialist Revolt their ranks were divided - some stayed in their quarters, while others sided with the Nexialist Communes. Light infantry, potent combat psychics. Not trusted; kept out of the way of the serious legions - except when an Imperial Sovereign wants to thin out the Nexialists' ranks. Then, they're thrown into the thick of battle. Needless to say, no standard.