“THE NEEDS OF THE MANY”
We were once known as one of Navicularius Angels, to the Lord he was called us his Ferrymen. The dead and dying saw us as an ancestor, a loved one already on the other side, or a beloved pet.
Our job was to take the souls to Saint Peter for judgment, absorbing those souls within our being, and ferrying the to their destination.
Then came the schism, we sided with Lucifer, we became a fallen angel, a Demon with the power to harvest souls, reap those who’d already been already met their harvest.
Lucifer saw this as tremendous boom, we could know everything, be anyone, have the strength of thousands all in one package.
But soon we were cast out, the underworld was our new home. Yahweh, no turning the other cheek, no forgiveness for those who turned their backs on him, no… he always loved humankind more than us. He forgave them… but us we were his servants.
Yahweh forbid that we ask forgiveness for our mistakes.
But the lack of forgiveness made us into willing servants of Lucifer. We committed to his will of corrupting mankind turning them into degenerates and sinners, giving them the will to decide against Yahweh and his “plan”.
Then that day came, Lucifer sent us to wait in the tombs of the Gerasene’s to inhabit the body of grief fueled man that lived in the tombs for every loved one he’d had was dead and living in those tombs as well.
We became the one who could not be kept in captivity, not even with chains, and no one was strong enough to subdue us.
To rebel against us though he would cut himself to win over even fleeting moments of clarity.
But then the day came and we finally understood the reason we had been waiting there for what seemed like years.
The Son set foot upon the sands. The “Lamb of Forgiveness” stood before us and we knew who he was, and it is here that the Disciple Mark takes some liberties with his story.
After months of being cut, and years of serving in hell… we wanted to be back with our family and so we prostrated ourselves in front of him and begged for his forgiveness.
Yet, he had no forgiveness for us, he cast us out from that we possessed, into a heard of pigs and sent us into the waters to drown, ultimately sending us back to hell.
We stood toe to toe with Lucifer, his words to us were simple but brutal.
“You begged his son for forgiveness, you have forsaken me, and you have forsaken the other demons before you. If you want out of hell, I will however give you what Yahweh never gave me, and what the son refused to give you… a chance.”
We were stunned into silence as he continued.
“You will need to climb through all nine circles of hell, suffer their torments, and meet me at the gates. How fitting that you start here, at circle nine, treachery.”
At that he vanished from our eyes, and the world grew very cold.
The nineth circle of hell is where the physical personification of Lucifer was entombed up to his waist in ice, the beating of his wings sending ripples of cold through everything.
It was also where history’s greatest traitors lived frozen up to their necks in their icy tombs and we had to keep moving before the ice engulfed us too.
We marched for what seemed like days but we soon found our way to circle eight… fraud where those who’ve defrauded their others are beaten mercilessly, and so were we.
Bleeding, battered, and unsure of how much time had passed we found our way to the seventh circle, Violence. A lake of boiling blood stretched out before us with hands looking to drag us down be we steeled our resolve and pressed on.
The viscous boiling crimson began blister our skin but we swam like no one before. All the while our blisters were clawed open by those below us wanting to return to the surface but still, we continued.
Soon we pulled ourselves up beaten, battered, skin nearly sloughing off body but one third of the way was down and we knew the higher we went the easier the journey would be.
So, we persisted, we purged our anger on the Demons who guarded circle six from all the heretics attempting to escape all the while the flames of the pit cauterized our wounds and fueled our rage.
Circle five we waded through a murky and where we had sated our rage previously, we simply walked through, a being cold of heart, and callous of mind.
Circle four was as if we could walk on water or in this case smelting gold, we had no greed, we wanted nothing other than our freedom.
We had already endured the frozen tundra of circle nine so when the icy rains of circle rains of floor three beset us it was naught but nourishing while we watch the gluttonous dreck around us scramble for something to sink their teeth into.
Floor two we watched, marveled, and ultimately became very much desensitized to every form of Lust imaginable. Men and women… rubbed raw for committing sins of the carnal and having to do that at infinitum, it seemed the cruelest of all the punishments we had witnessed so far.
Then we reached limbo, floor one, souls of the unbaptized, lonely, and desperate to meet Yahweh. To speak to anyone was godsend for them.
So, happy they were to meet me, and speak with me even though we weren’t Yahweh but a demon.
Essentially one of their captures, they took us in tended to our wounds, and showed us to the gates of hell.
Where we met Lucifer once more.
The spiritual projection of Lucifer stood before us once more, his crooked smile, and look of astonishment.
“I could’ve sworn you’d have given up at the lake of blood, and thanks to you we’re now having to wrangle heretics back into their circle, it’s like herding cats.”
Lucifer, prince of darkness was seemed humbled, he even had that last quip to us, and then his smile turned to a very serious frown.
“However, a deal is a deal and I have to uphold my end.”
He held aloft an ornate mask. It was beautiful.
“This is my parting gift to you, Legion. You’ve earned it.”
We reached our arms out to it and instantly we realized something was wrong, no everything was wrong.
The mask itself began to pull us in, it was a trap, soon we were part of that mask, no we were the mask, Legion reduced to a simple trinket.
“You see, I cannot let you go into the world as you are because if you ever find the right person to inhabit… well let’s just say there’s a reason I had you in the mind of a grief-stricken fool living amongst the dead to have you possess before.”
He looked at us as he held us, the mask that was Legion.
“I can’t have that. But I will give you your freedom now.”
With that we were teleported to the desert, where we lost track of time until a knight plucked us up and delivered us to King Henry the Eighth. Weeks after he had jousting accident and hit his head, some say that this is what lead him to his madness.
No, it was us, he had hung us over his bed and every night we would speak to him. The church England, was the result of us putting the idea in his head when he wasn’t given what he wanted. However, he would never wear the mask and give us life again.
That’s how it would go for centuries, we would be handed from despot to despot. The name Impaler came about while we were stuck with Vlad Dracul the third, we held on to that.
But it wouldn’t be until we were put on the face of all people a professional wrestler in nineteen-seventeen that we would be given life once more.
We suggested the name of the Impaler to him, but it would only last about ten years at max with him. He was a devout catholic and because of that he wouldn’t accept us, couldn’t in fact, his mind, and thus his body rejected everything we stood for.
But we did make him a lot of money, and turn him into the biggest “shooter” of his day so he handed us to his protégé.
That’s how it would go too, with the rise of Christianity across the world we would be used to make money but nothing else we would collect souls of people upon their deaths or save them if they agreed to wear us but it would never last.
Until Night City, we had been taken in this time by man named Victor Stein, he heard us but he knew better than to wear us, no instead he had us tell him our story.
The mad scientist that he was he decided to put us through an experiment. He put on the face of an unconscious behemoth to fuse us with him while funneling every soul in Night City into us.
That was the night, Night City burned, so many screamed to be saved and we tried to answer the call like those in limbo did for us.
When we awoke and pulled ourselves from the rubble, Stein had abandoned us.
“It’s what drew us here, it is what brought us to this place that now feels so much like home.
We came here seeking Victor, the man who left us for dead and used us as a science experiment, a plaything, only to be left with the emptiness that he himself is already dead.
We outlive those who’ve come before us.
We earn what we need, our freedom and now we’re tethered to some Time Bitch who has made us into her lap dog.”
At that we cut in from darkness and in on the narrator, a nondescript man who’s only defining characteristics are his size and impeccable shape.
Set before him in the Bronx back ally is Legion.
“I’m part of you, and you’re part of me.
I’ve only begged to not be part of you twice since Night City.
Once after being doused with holy water by Renault and Sanctus, knowing how much pain it would bring all of us to be merged again at that moment.
The second time was when I realized that Legion, the demon whose life I’ve lived through because of our mask, was choosing to throw away the very freedom he’d fought so hard for.
Because here’s the secret, the one that Stien unwittingly stumbled upon, the one that Lucifer hid from us, and the reason why Yahweh couldn’t take us back.
It’s simple in its elegance my dear friend. If you found the human body to inhabit, you would rival Yahweh, you would dwarf Lucifer, and you would be able to save the souls of those you deemed worthy.
You’re a weapon alright, one in a war of change, but we need to wield the power, we need to make the decisions, and we need to be the ones in charge of the fate of OSW.
Because some here are souls in limbo, innocent and they know not why they’re being punished, while others deserve damnation.
So, what do you say old friend?”
With that the man pauses as the lights in the ally begin to flicker, shatter, and then darkness.
Then a blue ember outlining a face and a mask, then darkness again.
Followed by the outline of Legion silhouetted in blue flame.
“We are Legion, for we are free, and we are no one else’s weapon but our own. We shall be the decider of the souls of OSW!”