The Imperial Legion is the primary military force of the Septim (Third) Empire, tasked with protecting its people, its territories, and in earlier days, expanding its borders. Such an organization requires discipline and structure, and the Legion possesses a wide range of different ranks and positions offering varying degrees of power and responsibility. All members carry at least one title as all ranks come with a title; however, special positions within the Legion may also come with a title by which a legionnaire can be referred by in the stead of their rank. These titles are often a source of confusion for those unfamiliar with the structure of the Legion.
Imperial Legion Ranks
Ranks dictate the chain of command of the Imperial Legion in most circumstances. A member of the Legion of a lower rank must obey the commands of a member with higher rank. Refusal to do so will result in punishment for insubordination, though punishments may be waived at the discretion of officers. In the special circumstance that an officer gives a clear command to do something and another officer of lower authority gives a contradictory order, the second order can be ignored. For example, if a general specifically tells legionnaires to stand their ground and a legate calls for a retreat, the legionnaires are obligated to follow the general's instructions. In the same situation with two legates, the legate under whom the legionnaires serve should be the one whose orders are obeyed, as they have more authority over said legionnaires due to their position.
The rank of an officer is also a guideline for the number of troops they may command. These are not strict rules as an officer may command very few legionnaires for their rank while directing delicate missions or far more than their rank would usually allow during times of desperation.
Septim Dynasty (Archaic) Ranks
During the time of the Septim Dynasty, beginning with Tiber Septim in 3E 1 and ending with Martin Septim in 3E 433, the Imperial Legion utilized a very different set of ranks, many which are not seen today. They are as follows from lowest to highest:
Knight of the Garland
Knight of the Imperial Dragon
Mede Dynasty (Modern) Ranks
After the rise of Titus Mede I to the Imperial throne and the establishment of the Mede Dynasty, the Imperial Legion underwent major restructuring, including the streamlining of the rank system. The new ranks were utilized during the Great War and throughout the Fourth Era. They are as follows from lowest to highest, with the amount of troops they are expected to lead where applicable:
Quaestor - One Contubernium (~10 Legionnaires)
Praefect - One Maniple (50-100 Legionnaires)
Commander - (Depending on Position)
Tribune - One Numerus (~250 Legionnaires)
Legate - One Cohort (~500 Legionnaires)
General - One Legion (~5000 Legionnaires)
The rank of Commander is a special rank held by officers who do not fit within the regular structure of the Imperial Legion, such as guard captains, the leader of the Penitus Oculatus and the leader of the Shadow Legion. The authority of a commander is largely determined by the number of soldiers they command. Guard captains are expected to answer to tribunes and legates, who command more legionnaires, while the leader of the Penitus Oculatus and the leader of the Shadow Legion are more equivalent to generals.
Imperial Legion Positions
The position of a member of the Imperial Legion is a description of what duties they are expected to perform. While separate from ranks, the rank of an individual usually determines what position they can hold. All members of the Legion have a position within the Legion, but legionnaires holding only positions with no authority, such as scout, quartermaster or battlemage are usually addressed using their rank. Only positions that come with special titles are listed here.
Commander of the Imperial Legion
The Commander of the Imperial Legion is the highest position in the entire Legion and is appointed personally by either the Emperor or the High Chancellor. The Imperial Legion Commander is only answerable to these individuals who may appoint them, outranking all other members of the Legion. They always hold the rank of General.
Captains are the commanding officers of town guards or fort garrisons. Guard captains hold the rank of Commander (see Ranks section for more information) while fort garrison captains are part of larger Legions and are either Praefect, Tribune or Legate in rank depending on the size of the garrison. All are most commonly referred to by the title of 'Captain.'
Recruit is a vestige term from the days of the Septim Dynasty. It describes a new member of the Imperial Legion and is used as a informal but not derogatory term for auxiliaries.
Officer or Commanding Officer is a generic term for any member of the Imperial Legion tasked with permanently commanding a large group of legionnaires. Anyone of rank Praefect or above is usually an officer, though some individuals of rank do not lead a specific group. These individuals are sometimes referred to as 'Officers' as well, either with respect to their rank or as short for 'superior officer' depending on the context.
Not to be confused with the Septim Dynasty rank, Agent in the Imperial Legion of the Mede Dynasty is a term for members of the Penitus Oculatus or the Blades. It can be used to refer specifically to spies or field agents and as a generic term to identify anyone belonging to these organizations. Penitus Oculatus and Blades agents both possess ranks distinctive from Legion ranks, with the Blades being entirely unassociated with the Imperial Legion.