Lost Legion Origin and purpose Theory

I’d like to begin by saying that my theory is not canon and should not be taken as such.

I have some reservations about the Lost Legion, a robotic faction controlled by AI and created by the Marcher World. They seem to lack a clear purpose in this setting, especially if they are supposed to be highly rational like the Empyrean. My main question is, what is their conflict with the other factions? Revenge against the Marcher World doesn’t make sense, since the Lost Legion were lost and likely not advanced AI when they lost contact with the Marcher World. Why would they hate humanity as a whole? They could be after the arc surplus, but they don’t have cities or trade to require large amounts of arc. Arc would mostly be used to keep their home ships running and their metal chassis maintained. Control of the Void gates to go back home? They could just wait at the Void gate they came out of, and they are essentially immortal. Opening more Void gates to bring in more Lost Legion? But why would they need more, since they don’t need planets or human resources? And, unlike the Empyreans, why would they care about arc usage in the galaxy? So, I’ve come up with my own theory about the Lost Legion’s origin that makes more sense in the Warcaster Neo-Mechanika universe, starting with the Void Wraiths.

I believe that the Void contains void energy, which contrasts with arc energy. Arc is not just a type of energy but can also manifest as cyphers and be used as a medium to write scripts or instructions. It has the power to manifest the will of a sentient being into reality. Void energy, on the other hand, is different. It converts living organisms into void energy and scatters their consciousness into a web of other consciousness. The Void is highly unstable and, therefore, unsuitable for sustaining life. The environment constantly pulls and pushes the particles of living cells, and nothing can stop this except for arc energy.

While sentient beings do exist in the Void, they are unable to maintain a form for long periods of time. This is why Phaetheon wears the mantle when he becomes a Wraith. The Mantle helps stabilize his form and contains the void energy that he becomes when he dissolves without a physical vessel. One of the reasons why he dissolves so quickly is because his Wraith form is a combination of void and arc energy clashing. In testing from AC, subjects with more arc energy would explode, while those with too much void energy would dissolve into nothing. It is worth noting that while dissolving, test subjects would become insane, and in some cases, they were able to drive others insane after “death”. The balance of energy allows Phaetheon to maintain his form and his mentality for a short amount of time.

Phaethon is essential to this theory. When a creature of the void enters physical space, it can temporarily maintain a physical form for a relatively short period of time, depending on the amount of condensed void energy. If the void creature can find a living host or an arc container (like Phaetheon’s mantle), it can potentially live in physical space forever.

So what does this have to do with the Lost Legion, the robotic faction? My theory is that the Lost Legion is a group of sentient void creatures that inhabit the shells of the Robots, and are led by an all-power void creature that acts as a type of master computer AI. How is this possible? If the robot was sent into space were powered with an arc the could serve as a container for the void creatures. Why wouldn’t they possess human creatures? I had another theory that to use absorb arc sentient creatures developed a type of cells that process arc, or like a script, arc can be programmed into electronics. Their cells and components do not degrade soon after death, and the dormant Arc energy repels the void energy. They are able to control the robots because they use arc energy, but do not have “scripts” programmed in them like the cortex of warjacks. It is possible for them to possess a living creature that produces little arc, but they often mutate the form as the arc in the living organism clashes with the void energy until it submits. So what do they want? I think the Master void creature wants to push more creatures out of the void gates to exist in a physical form. The long-term goal of the Lost Legion is to eventually find an organism that can reproduce and truly live in physical space. What conflict does this cause between factions? ISA and Empyreans have a strong focus on controlling void gates, and this makes it so that a 3rd faction is also trying to control void gates. The only LL purpose is to bring more void creatures to bolster their war effort. Until they find the organic organism to inhabit they are bound to the robotic form, and to make more soldiers they need material. This would cause them to fight MW for raw materials. For the AC they want to understand the technology void energy can produce and will try to capture and extract void energy and information from the LL. Because the AC has the habit of obtaining rare ancient artifacts from a time long ago (potentially when void creatures and void energy were more common) they seek to take them for their own research.

It isn’t perfect, but it makes more sense to me than a highly rational and intelligent AI unit doing stuff for what seems like illogical reasons. Anyway thanks for reading my fan theory, and let me know what you think or any questions.


The issue with speculation in this case is that know effectively nothing about the Lost Legion. There are no gaps to fill in because they are nothing but gaps.

We know that they are former Marcher Worlds high-AI robots and that they’ve been lost for a long time, and that is pretty much the extent of it. :slightly_smiling_face:

(P.S. - Yes, I know I am no fun. :rofl:)


Agreed but from what litte we know doesn’t tell lead well into their role within the setting. Besides this long winded theory. The only thing I could imagine is that Arc energy somehow corruption programming in these high AI robots. That still leaves a lot to desire with their motivations. Unlike the Exiles who can be more assured have bad blood with the Empyreans and want their homeworld back.

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I mean, I can spin up a pile of theories right now, off the top of my head:

  1. The Lost Legion was programmed with the Three Laws of Robotics. While they were cut off, they discovered an existential threat to the entire galaxy in the form of The Exiles. The only possible way humanity will survive is if they all band together. In order to fulfill their programming and minimize overall long-term harm to humanity, they decide to conquer humanity. Via a series of surgical strikes against human leadership, they plan to take control and lead all of humanity, regardless of faction, in battle against the Exiles.

  2. The Lost Legion returns and is not natively hostile to the Marcher Worlds or ISA. Any battles against them are conducted purely in self-defense or as a result of mistaken identity.

  3. Because they’ve got full AI, they’ve evolved and grown as individuals/a society while they were away. They’re effectively another human faction, except for the fact that they’re robots.

And so on, and so forth. :slight_smile: There’s a million ways to go and we simply don’t have any source material to work with right now.


Well, we know a few things:

  1. Humanity used to have advanced AIs.
  2. The MW built these AIs a few hundred years ago.
  3. Humanity generally has abandoned AIs since. But we dont know why.
  4. This “Lost Legion” of AIs have returned for unknown purposes.
  5. They have, uh, “seen some shit.” As per Axel’s short fiction, it involves lots of dead, dismembered people. Clearly altered from what they initially were.

So, speculation!
A. The Legion was lost “in the void.” As in, the void space traveled by ships using gates (not to be confused with interstellar void, which also gets mention, and confused with, the void). Something happened in the void to the AIs and humans with them that affected the AIs. Could be all kinds of spooky stuff!
B. Alternatively, they were lost, but not in the void. They exited a gate, and were somewhere in the hyperuranion, or possibly beyond it, in the interstellar void beyond this galaxy. Perhaps, maybe, encountering Faction 6/Exiles and fighting them, which over hundreds of years has altered their programming, and now a scout force has returned, possibly leading the Exiles back with them.

Either way, the LL found alternate ways to use and manipulate arc. And thats totally a black box right now.

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Good ones. But the reason Im not a fan of the protectors scenerio is that it aligns somewhat with Empyreans. Even if they dont completely match, LL would have no reason to fight empys except of empys attack humans. Its also that paradox of saving humanity by killing them. Overall LL’s end goal becomes murky. Are they trying to wipe out humanity? If so what happens if the succeed? If the destroy the Empyrean threat, the become the new non human threat, which is redundant. Not mention idea that they somehow became unlost the moment Exiles came into the picture. Why didn’t they return when the Empyreans started attacking humanity more frequently?

If the LL came back were rational enough to not attack the human races I would assume they would try to be diplomatic. Because the Marchers would have designed the LL and their ship, and ISA would mostly recognize a MW ship it seems unlikely would just start blindly opening fire. Even still, as far as we know LL does not have a home planet or a civilization, because why would they need one. If fires upon they would most likely retreat since their number should he a fraction of the other faction, especially the combined population of humanity.

The last one has always confused me with robots wanting to be represented as humans. In any media like the Matrix, iRobot, or Destiny. Where would AI get as sense of morality from to determine what is right and wrong? Its morality could only be an immatation of human morality. And human morality requires emotions, which isn’t logical. The AI would need to deny logic or emotions.

Robotic killing machine typically never make sense which is why GW rewrote the lore of the necrons. Its all speculation of course, and on of your ideas is more likely to be true.

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So a couple things:

  1. The Lost Legion is a few hundred years old, whereas humans have been in the Cyriss galaxy for 5,000 years. The Marcher Worlds are relatively new in respect to the timeline, and a few hundred years ago the MW were fighting the ISA for independence. The Marches were established in Shd 312, or about 2,000 years after arrival. But these were essentially vassal states of the Caspian Federation, and not the Coalition we know today. Its not until Dis 813 that the Marches secede from the Caspian Federation (about 3,00 years after arrival, and 2,000 years before current time).

The ISA is founded about 744 years ago, beginning the Convocation period we are in now. The LL is created at some point in this very recent period.

So if theres an aggressor they were made and programmed to fight, its the ISA most likely. And they would have been programmed to defend Marcher Coalition worlds. But I think its pretty obvious that programming has either twisted or degraded significantly, or fallen away altogether. So the LL can be an automous force, fighting for their own interests. They do not need to be held at all to whatever their original purpose was.

  1. To the broader question of why AI would protect humanity, that is both easier and harder to answer. :slight_smile:
    The short answer is, look at the sci-fi novels and movies out there. As Michael mentioned above, Asimov wrote his Robot series (loosely speaking, they are more like loosely linked stories he later connected and ret conned - and from which I, Robot comes) around the idea that humans built AI with his Three Rules of robotics hard-coded in. Basically, robots must serve and protect humanity and humans.

And that has largely echoed since then in sci fi. Basically, humans make AIs, but want to make sure AIs wont turn against them, so program them that way. But either it fails or there are unintended consequences to this programming.

You’d need to read alot of sci fi to get all the various views and implementations of this concept, but thats the brief.

Id guess that PP would write the MW to have programmed their AIs to serve them - seems obvious. But it will be curious to see where they go with the concept.
A. What specifically happened to the LL?
And B. Why did humanity abandon AIs in the last few hundred years?

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Perhaps humans abandoned AI because we saw the worst parts of our nature in them, reflected back at us. Like how you keep hearing stories of AIs showing racial bias right now.

Perhaps the Lost Legion were built to have emotions in order to be more human, but they decided they didn’t like emotions and came back for revenge for making them feel all the crap that you get with emotions.

I am reminded of an old Terry Pratchett story (I think?) where a robot tells a human that robots don’t ponder existance the way humans do, because robots know why they were created. Think of the salt-passing robot fron Rick and Morty. Imagine being created as an imitation of humans, with our emotions and insecurities, but without the ability to believe that your existance has greater meaning or higher purpose. Maybe that’s enough reason to want to kill your creator?


Human emotions and sense of right or wrong are similarly just biochemical reactions in the brain. If you create a sufficiently advanced synthetic neural network, it could operate similarly to an organic being’s brain.

Or, as the Geth in Mass Effect have a tendency to ask, “Does this unit have a soul?”

And if we go back to the 1980s comics, the Transformers have mechanical brains, but when programmed with the Creation Matrix they gain independent thought, a sense of self and a personality.

But, back to the Lost Legion. If we assume they’re just advanced AI without “souls” - perhaps some malicious entity or faction has “poisoned” their dataset to make them “think” that humans are a threat to their existence, or otherwise bad for business, and need to be exterminated. That’s kinda one of the major weaknesses in modern-day AIs - they don’t really understand anything, they just interpret the data they can access.


Could be “corrupted” AI. Might explain why we dont see AI in general. Maybe arc does something to AI, and PP will retcon the lore. MW vs AI robots thag want human rights. So they can have a mid life crisis. And be in loveless marriages.

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Maybe it because I dabble in absurdism too much. But robotic self preservation has always felt like a contradiction lol. Like a robot person makes a robot baby and thinks I wonder what it will grow up to be. And I’m like bro…its not going to grow, and it going to be what you programed it to be. Any they get mad because I’m being circutist (robotic racist). Or they are mad at me because they can’t enjoy pizza.

The old expression with regards to computers used to be “GIGO”, or “Garbage in, garbage out”. A robot will do stupid things if it hasn’t been programmed very well. In fictional terms, that means AI and robots can do things that don’t make sense, and that’s just because there was a flaw in their programming. And ofc they won’t be able to see the problem, to fix the flaw themselves, because THEY THEMSELVES are flawed, so they can’t see the flaw.


True, but this just makes boring murderbots. They need some spice. Hmm this kinda makes me think of Axel for Hire. 1kW states no one knows anything about it. But he does seem to have some kind of personality.


I’m not sure why that “makes boring murderbots”?the basic concept could be used to write all sorts of different stories. It could for example be used to make some interesting commentary on humans; we can engage in some very illogical self-destductive behaviour ourselves, and all too often don’t recognise it or understand why we do it.

In Space: Above And Beyond, there is a faction of androids that rebelled against humanity because they were infected with a virus that had only one command: “Take a chance”. So that was an issue with programming, but I don’t think it made them “boring murderbots”.


Well murder bots are boring in the context that there is little to nothing to expand on for their own motivations. Murder bot vs humans always focuses on the human perspective because the robots perspective is either shallow or non existent. This work if the murder bots are suppose to be the villian or monster. But in war gaming in which the faction needs to stand on its own, this falls short. But even in your example that the robots were programmed to “take a chance”, thats really where the intrigue and story ends. This is why you can’t write a complex story about Tyranids, they are like an NPC army.

I mention Axel for Hire because you could take any wild card or hero and make a story about their adventures. You could make assumptions about their personalities, beliefs, and motivations from their professions, backgrounds, and faction alignment. But Axel is different, he is interesting as the gun he holds. If a story had Axel in it (with the concept they are murder bots or bad AI), someone would simply hire him, he would so his job, the leave. If there was a story about people trying to kill Axel, he would kill them out of a logically conclusion that they might come back to try to kill him. What would Axel need money for besides physical maintenance? Why is he even a hitman in the first place? Whats his (assumed) motivations?

I feel like youre disregarding the examples of AIs here out of hand, without real analysis.

What makes an AI programed to be like a human boring? What makes them “just murderbots?”

Axel is not a murderbot in his short fiction. If anything, he reads like a soldier suffering from PTSD. Hes a fully formed persona - an artificial one, but there is a personality in the programming. By design or accident, we dont know.

Like, Data from Star Trek. An AI. Has a personality, is a unique individual.
R. Daneel Olivaw and R. Giskard from Asimov’s Robot series - AIs, but also unique individuals and personalities.
A. Bettik from Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos

These are all AIs that have their own, fully formed personalities and motives.

What would Axel need space bucks for? Why is he a merc? Because individuals need to move through society. Maybe he needs to maintain his hardware. Or software. His weapons. More ammo. Supplies. Passage to worlds. To further whatever his greater goals are.
Or just to buy solitude. Perhaps he doesnt “sleep” but needs to recharge. Or just get away from humans to control his PTSD.

A robot could have many needs that require money.
Or perhaps he also works in trade. Arc or materials for services. We dont know his motivations, or how closely aligned or opposed the the LL he is.

Eg, Corebus is an Empyrean, and will work for them. But hes also a fugitive from Emp society. So his alliance is tenuous. They are not chums.


I see what you mean. I don’t think “flawed programming” has to make a robot boring though. After all, flawed humans tend to make for more interesting stories than perfect ones.

I would also argue that any time a robot goes against it’s creator’s will, then there was a flaw in it’s programming. And a robot that doesn’t go against it’s creator’s will doesn’t sound very interesting either.

But yeah, if it’s not developed any further than “Robot glitched out and wants to murder everyone”, than that’s a little shallow.

Well im not disregarding it, I’m discussing it.

A murder bot means thet the sole objective of the robot is to eliminate humans. That narratively isnt that deep. Like do we really care about the T900s in terminator as society or a ideology? It would be difficult to make a interesting story about Skynet, and ignore human in that narrative.

For Axel we don’t the extent of his personality or even if he has one, he could and I mentioned this. He could just a killing vending machine for all he know. What is the monetary value of a life for him? I mentioned he could use the money for maintenance, but I don’t think he would be getting paid peanuts if hired by multiple factions and armies. The amount of money he would get with surpass the regular maintenance and gear. We can speculate on the motivations of a single AI unit, but an entire faction? Also the more we (media) tries to introduce values, moral, and motivation into robots the more remove of what if means to be a robot. When doing this we are trying to combine the cold, logical, analytical parts of machines, and the warm, illogical, creative thinking of humans. Which will clash into mess. When it comes to robotic societies or groups you typical have 3 choices. Robots thay act like humans, robots that act like robots, and human (sentient beings) in robots. My idea is that making robots act like robots is boring, which is why no wargame typically make a robot-robot army.

And Corbus isn’t a robot? Empyreans are ghost/goo in shells. He was once flesh and bone like all the aeons.

Anyway. My post is throwing out a radical idea, and the response I get are just opinions of that idea. I’m looking for counter arguments on how AI robot-robot army could be narratively entertaining without having the interjected in other faction affairs.

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My points are:
Axel does indeed have a personality in his short fiction. We do know hes not just a machine. He is reacting as an individual, based on memories and past expirences.

Corebus is not an example of a robot, but that Axel might not be wholly representative of what the LL are. Corebus is an Empyrean, but his personal goals are not exactly aligned with the majority of Empyreans. The same may be true of Axel.

In regards to Axel needing cash, or working in trade.

  1. Youre assuming his upkeep is not expensive. Facts not in evidence. :slight_smile:
  2. We have seen in Warmachine and Warcaster fiction both that warjacks can develop rudimentary personalites. These have universally (in the fiction) been cast as “bugs” and most folks are weirded out by it, and recommend a cortex reset (see the ISA fiction about the “Mother” personality jack). So interacting with an AI may be a confrontational thing for humans. They be pre-disposed to hostility. So Axel might have to bribe and spend his way through human space.