You know how it’s supposed to go with revolution. The guy with the facepaint raises his sword into the air, the assembled angry mob do the same, and everyone fights back-to-back until the villain is dead.
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That’s not how it went in Tyranny. When Kyros the Overlord brought her armies to the gates of the Bastard City, the squabbling states of the Tiers couldn’t get it together. But maybe they might yet?
I’ll let Obsidian explain - it’s their world, and their words that we have the honour of hosting on our humble website today. Without further ado, I’ll let the developers themselves explain Tyranny’s Tiersmen with this exclusive piece of faction lore. Enjoy!
Meet the Tiersmen
When the armies of Kyros the Overlord invaded the Tiers, they were not met by a unified resistance of men and women banding together to fight against Kyros’ armies. Instead, each nation of the Tiers sat back and waited for its neighbor to bear the cost of resistance. Each nation quickly fell before the combined might of the Overlord’s forces.
This lack of unity – of trust – was endemic within the Tiers. Each nation spent centuries warring with their neighbors over land, resources, and – worst of all – pride. When faced with a greater threat, they could not put aside past differences long enough to band together and face it. According to the Overlord’s historians, this mistrust and constant warfare existed throughout Terratus before Kyros began bringing all peoples under a single set of just laws. It was this very chaos that the Overlord sought to conquer, rather than the people themselves. Or so the Overlord’s historians say.
Most resistance within the Tiers was shattered during Kyros’ conquest. But not all. In the valley of Vendrien’s Well, a new spark of rebellion shines forth. The Overlord has sent armies to stamp it out, to ensure that all of the known world remains in Kyros’ control. It is too soon to tell whether these rebels will succeed in their aims. If they do, there are other forces in the Tiers who might join together to fight against Kyros. They will need the right leader to succeed. Someone with the vision to teach them to work together.
The Vendrien Guard were the army of the land-locked Realm of Apex, defenders of the central region of the Tiers. Named for House Vendrien, the ruling dynasty of Apex, the Guard has a reputation for being as resilient and stubborn as the mountains themselves. Ostensibly beaten by Kyros' armies and forced to surrender in 429, the Vendrien Guard resurfaced in 431, brazenly defying the Overlord's rule.
The Bronze Brotherhood is a mercenary company from the Free Cities dotting the Tiers' southern coast. Many of these mercenary companies were employed by Kyros' agents and slaughtered during the war. The Bronze Brotherhood survived thanks to their relatively safe posting at Lethian's Crossing, where the Voices of Nerat hired the company to help protect the town's forge operation.
Among the most trained and dedicated warriors of the Tiers, the Bronze Brotherhood have a reputation for ruthlessness and tenacity. Aggression and decisive thinking are so highly prized by the Brotherhood that the violent, enigmatic Scourge is the group's mascot - a creature most decent folk consider the stuff of nightmares. The term "Brother" is used for mercenaries of both genders, as the company's title harkens back to the archaic notion of 'living as men' (in Tiers custom, this amounts to releasing all claims to lands) to better assure an employer that the Brotherhood won't covet the realms they're paid to protect.
Sages of Ink and Quill
One of the longest surviving schools of magic in the Tiers, the School of Ink and Quill is a venerable institution devoted to the acquisition and preservation of knowledge - or so the Sages profess. Putting more of their energy toward amassing knowledge than disseminating it, they began their scriptorium in 17 TR and through a series of incremental expansions, the structure became the Vellum Citadel - only to be known as the Burning Library after Kyros' Edict of Fire leveled it in 430 TR.
Not all Sages know magic, but those that have mastered the guild's traditional spells can employ magic of protection and preservation. It is a poorly kept secret that the Sages have gradually 'acquired' a wide array of magic practiced by rival mage guilds over the generations.
The Unbroken Legion was the proud and accomplished army of the Realm of Stalwart. Citing their victories as evidence of skill, they prided themselves on never facing defeat while fighting on home soil. After the Edict of Storms tore apart Stalwart and twisted it into the Blade Grave, barely a twentieth of the Unbroken's former strength survived to continue the war against Kyros' forces.