For Stygian wraiths, the Hierarchy is society and the eight Legions are the Hierarchy. Upon death, every Wraith is inducted into one of seven Legions based on the circumstances of their deaths. Each Legion has a headquarters (its Seat) and is overseen by one Deathlord.
Legions of the Hierarchy
- The Iron Legion, headquartered at the Seat of Shadows and overseen by the Ashen Lady. The Iron Legion is comprised of the victims of Age.
- The Skeletal Legion, claiming those taken by Disease, headquartered on the Seat of Dust and overseen by the Skeletal Lord.
- The Grim Legion, claiming the victims of Violence, and overseen by the Smiling Lord at the Seat of Burning Waters.
- The Penitent Legion, claiming the victims of Madness, overseen by the Laughing Lady and quartered at the Seat of Succor.
- The Emerald Legion, for victims of Happenstance, maintained at the Seat of Thorns by the Emerald Lord.
- The Silent Legion is overseen by the Quiet Lord, and oversees the victims of Despair from the Seat of Silence.
- The Legion of Paupers, quartered at the Seat of Golden Tears, administered by the Beggar Lord and comprising victims of Mystery and whoever the Beggar Lord can get away with.
- The Legion of Fate, consisting of those chosen by Fate, and administered by the Ladies of Fate at the Isle of Eurydice.
With the exception of those wraiths who precede it, every Stygian wraith is a member of one of the legions. They are, in many cases, reaped by their legions and inducted into that culture fairly quickly. In cases where the situation is not clear (A wraith who dies of cancer at an advanced age, for example), the decision is generally made by the local Anacreon and will likely be biased toward that Anacreon's legion.
The majority of wraiths belong to one of three Legions: the Iron, Skeletal or Grim. These three Legions are also largely at loggerheads since their Deathlords are the natural choices to take over Stygia, so much so that they spend most of their efforts in doublecrossing each other. The next largest legions are the Emerald Legion and the Legion of Paupers; few wraiths, however, are aware of how many members the Paupers actually have. In comparison to these five legions, the remaining three (Silent, Penitent, and Fate) are tiny and are largely unable to and mostly uninterested in changing that. They are largely focused on the goals that define their membership in the first place.
Every legion fields a military and civilian force, using an interchangeable rank structure. The size of the military to civilian forces varies by the legion, and the civilian roles filled by that legion tend to be a function of its deathlord's personal interests. The Iron Legion, for example, fields an awful lot of Stygia's infrastructure - including Maelstrom preparedness.
Along with maintaining and enforcing the rules in Stygia itself, the Legion is also active in most of the major Necropoli, overseeing the city on behalf of the Hierarchy and interacting with the city's population on a daily basis. While the degree of control the Hierarchy maintains in each city is subject to the overall peaceful or rebellious nature of its population, the Legion in each Necropolis generally breaks down in the following way:
- Legionnaires are the lowest rank, serving as members of patrols and doing the general grunt work.
- Centurions head the patrols of a Necropolis and are the first rank to have any degree of power in their Legion.
- Marshals oversee and coordinate the patrols in a region of the Necropolis.
- Regents oversee domains that do not directly answer to a Necropolis authority, such as the suburbs or outlying regions of a major metropolitan area.
- Overlords serve as the assistants to Anacreons and work to control the lesser officials of the Necropolis.
- Anacreons are the highest rank the average wraith can achieve in a Legion, short of working directly for one of the Deathlords. They are in charge of their Legion's Citadel in the city they represent, represent the wishes of their Deathlord, and sit on the council of Anacreons that make most of the city's major decisions.
While all Legions have at least one military branch within it, some Legions, particularly the Emerald Legion, specialize in keeping the infrastructure of the Hierarchy up and running. Serving as the civil servents of Stygia, these Hierarchy workers are responsible for the record-keeping and Legion management that keeps them functioning. While there is a great deal of bureaucracy in the Legions' civil branches, those who know the right people can actually get things accomplished. In addition, all civil servents are also trained in fighting and can be pulled into battle at a moment's notice.
- Clerks are the lowest civil rank, doing most of the routine tasks that keep the Hierarchy functioning and acting as "gofers" to high-ranking members. Clerks in wartime are considered Legionnaires.
- Adjusters are the Centurion-equivalent in the civil branches; these Legion members supervise the clerks and serve as personal assistants to their superiors.
- Inspectors run the Hierarchy in a specific area, such as a Necropolis' Citadel, or a specialty branch. They not only work closely with Marshals, but hold the rank themselves in times of war.
- Ministers are the heads of the various departments in a branch of the Legion. They ultimately decide on budgets and hold much of the vital information on the wraiths in an area. They hold the equivalent to a Regent rank.
- Chancellors are the highest ranking members of the civil aspect of the Hierarchy. They are advisers to Anacreons and Deathlords alike, and are responsible for everything and everyone that passes in and out of their territory. They hold the equivalent rank of Overlord, but are also known to be pulled in as new Anacreons when the old ones aren't pulling their weight.
Unofficial or Non-Legions
Occasionally, Legions other than the above will be mentioned by wraiths. These should not be mistaken for bona fide Hierarchy Legions; they are usually slang terms or taunts used by other wraiths and have no actual organization behind them. Popular terms include:
- The Legion of Fools - For wraiths who died through sheer stupidity.
- The Legion in Red - For wraiths who died very embarrassing deaths.
- The Rhythmic Legion - For wraiths whose death is connected to sex.
- The Legion of the Worthy - For wraiths who were executed by a legitimate government.
- The Shivering Legion - For wraiths who were cryonically frozen after death.