|Author(s)||J. Robert King|
|First printing||January 2003|
Legions is the second novel of the Onslaught Cycle. It was written by J. Robert King and published in January 2003.
|“||In a titanic battle, the world stands divided.
On one side stand the followers of Phage, who cry out for new arena combats, new champions, new blood spilled in the sand. On the other side are the supporters of Akroma, the angel, who preaches a terrifying religion hallowing her creator.
In the middle stands the lonely figure of Kamahl. Once a champion of the pits, he must now atone for the terrible wrongs he has wrought. Those wrongs gave birth to Phage and Akroma. They gave birth to the suffering of the world.
Now Kamahl must sweep the land clean of this terrible blight. But his fury may destroy that which he most loves.
Legions begins where Onslaught ended: upon the battlefield of Topos, with the joint Cabal-Krosan army fleeing before Phage's deathwurms. Phage, following the brief moment when she was Jeska, decides to return to the Grand Coliseum to receive orders from the Patriarch. Kamahl is weakened by the fight and frustrated by his lack of progress with his sister and goes to Krosa to meditate. Akroma takes control of Topos once she has learned that Ixidor is no longer. Braids, who was gleefully riding a deathwurm when they were reabsorbed, has crashed into the jungle and is in critical condition. The two unmen who betrayed their creator at the last moment in order to live a life of their own find themselves on the battlefield, and decide to go to the city of Eroshia, hoping that the mages there will help them find corporeal form. The fugitives from the defeated army reach their camp and discover a magnificent, abandoned city nearby. They decide to cut all former allegiances and settle there. Under the leadership of Zagorka and Stonebrow, they rebuild their lives and call the city Sanctum.
Akroma still follows Ixidor's last order and attempts to kill Phage. She reorganizes the nation to follow her and builds diplomatic relations against the Cabal. She finds the last unman, who waited patiently for the other two to go through him in a display of devotion for Ixidor, and names him Umbra. She commands him to locate the other two unmen and bring them to her so that she may punish them as deicides. She also locates the deathwurm that devoured her master, but her strength is not enough to overcome it and decides to seal it in the ground. Finally, she finds a feeble Braids and brainwashes her to be her follower. From Braids, she learns of several Cabal secrets.
Phage has received an order from the First to go to Sanctum to sway them to their side. She is successful in establishing a gambling arena, which upsets Stonebrow. He leaves to ask help from Kamahl, but the druid has decided to not interfere anymore and to meditate until the time is right. Upon his return, the centaur witnesses the arrival of Akroma to Sanctum, who openly declares war on the Cabal. She then reveals to Phage her true purpose, as told by Braids: to be the mother of the reincarnation of the Cabal god, Kuberr. Akroma leaves for Topos, and Phage for the Coliseum.
The First welcomes her back, having been promised her as a prize to him by Kuberr. After intercourse, he realizes she is the only one able to resist him and plots to murder her, unaware she is already pregnant with his child.
The unmen, nicknamed Mr. Stick and Mr. Puddle first, and then Sash and Waistcoat due to their disguises, have reached Eroshia, but have failed to find corporeal form. Instead, they have greatly angered the populace, and are forced to flee. They are aided by Umbra, who also wants to get a real body. The three travel together until they are captured by the Cabal. The Patriarch enlists them as assassins with the promise of true bodies and transforms them into giant beetles. He sends them and Phage to murder Akroma, with the understanding that the three must kill Phage before returning.
Stonebrow, frustrated by the lack of progress, leaves Sanctum to kill Akroma on his own. His battle, however, ends almost immediately, overwhelmed by Topos' defenses and brainwashed to worship Ixidor. He becomes the angel's obedient servant. During a diplomatic party, she locates the deathwurm again and decides to go after it to rescue her master. When she fails to return, Stonebrow is nominated as the new leader. He immediately decides to wage war against Sanctum.
Sanctum grows fairly peacefully, trying to remain neutral. However, the mysterious glyphs that cover the city foretell a period of great strife. Zagorka keeps the population calm, but she knows that soon trouble will reach the city.
Phage and her unmen/beetle companions reach the camp where Stonebrow is stationed. She commands them to rescue Braids, while she makes a run for Locus, hoping to catch Akroma. The three are successful and return to the coliseum, while Phage arrives in the palace just as Akroma reemerges from the wurm. Wandering aimlessly for days in its intestines, she has found Ixidor, who refuses to leave as Nivea's corpse is still in there. He heals his creation, though, and shows her the way out.
Akroma and Phage begin to battle, as Stonebrow returns. He attempts to kill them both, but fails and merely injures them. Phage, wounded and weakened by pregnancy, flees to give birth. The angel resumes control of Topos, and Stonebrow goes to Sanctum to defend it from Akroma, having recovered his wits.
The unmen deliver Braids to the Patriarch, who is nevertheless furious over their failure to kill Phage. He strips them of their beetle bodies and banishes them. They too return to Sanctum, only to find that the mysterious glyphs have taken a life of their own and overrun the city, albeit without (much) bloodshed. They claim that the numena are returning and that soon their master Averru will reincarnate as the city itself. They imprison Zagorka, while the unmen leave to wander. Stonebrow goes to Kamahl to implore his intervention.
Phage barely reaches Aphetto, where she gives birth to Kuberr, the second numen. The Patriarch attempts to assassinate her several times, but the influence of the newly born god protects her. Finally, a few days after, he separates her from the baby and tries to kill her, but Braids, who recovers her sanity just in time, summons a dementia monster that devours him. Phage and Braids take control of the Cabal in place of Kuberr.
The unmen have stumbled upon Akroma's army, and are arrested. Trying to trick her, Umbra claims that he was faithful the whole time and brought the two traitors to her for punishment. In response to this, the angel uses her magic to give Sash and Waistcoat corporeal form. Umbra seems disappointed, but she reveals that this is so she may kill them. Just as her spear is falling on them, Umbra jumps on them, making them go through him and closing the portal, dying in the process. Sash and Waistcoat are happy to have bodies but sad for the death of their good friend and companion in so many adventures.
Kuberr reveals that she must battle Akroma with a gigantic army, as every death will make him age by a day. Akroma, likewise, also brings countless troops to fight her. The battlefield is Sanctum, which has turned into a twisted reflection of its former self. The angel and the Cabalist fight bitterly and without mercy.
Stonebrow, in the meantime, has convinced Kamahl to intervene, and the two make their way with a few men to Sanctum to end the fight. Kamahl wields Soul Reaper, the weapon forged to kill Akroma. The druid arrives as the two are fighting. Zagorka, imprisoned in a tower right above the field, decides to commit suicide by jumping. She crashes on top of Phage and Akroma, just as Kamahl's weapon falls and kills them all. From the combination of their three souls and bodies, and from the magic of Soul Reaper, the goddess Karona is born. The story concludes in Scourge.