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Monster of the East
Lanius without the helmet.
Caesar's will is the will of the Legion. And the West... all beneath the flag of the Great Bear exist to test the strength of the Legion. The West shall fall as the East fell, and all the tribes that stretch to the setting sun shall bear the mark of the Legion.”
Legate Lanius is one of the main military commanders of the Caesar's Legion and Caesar's most trusted war leader. Commonly referred to as the Monster of the East or Terror of the East, he replaced Joshua Graham in this role after the defeat during the First Battle of Hoover Dam and led a campaign of expansion to the East. He laid waste to the tribes in his path, integrating them into the Legion. By 2281, the campaign concluded and the restored Legion was brought to the shores of the Colorado, ready to attack Hoover Dam.
He is one of the principal characters of Fallout: New Vegas and serves as the final challenge if the player sides with the New California Republic, Mr House, or supports an independent Vegas. If they side with the Legion, then Lanius acts as their military commander and issues order for the conquest of the Dam.
With the 1.15 height modifier, Lanius is the tallest human non-player character in Fallout: New Vegas, making him 7' 1" (2.16 m) tall.
Origins and myths
Little is known of who Lanius was before his rise to the rank of Legate, and what is known is inconsistent and frequently contradictory. Caesar presents him as the greatest warrior of the Hidebarks, a tribe of the Arizona, whose terrifying battlefield prowess allowed him to wipe out Legion patrols single handed, while his leadership delayed the annexation of the Hidebarks by several months past schedule. When the Legion surrounded the Hidebarks' main camp, their chief decided to surrender, rather than be exterminated. The Lanius-to-be went insane with rage and attacked his own tribe in fury, finally subdued after killing fifteen of his own warriors. Caesar had him rescued and tended to, saving the maimed warlord with most of his face torn off. When the warrior finally regained consciousness, Caesar offered him a helmet forged out of iron, a new face to replace the one he's lost, if he decided to fight for him. Lanius accepted the deal, on condition that he could slaughter all the surviving males of his tribe. Caesar permitted him to kill all the men, retaining the malleable boys for training and indoctrination.
Other legionaries offer a differing account. Lucius states that the Legate was actually born into slavery, but his natural talents allowed him to reach the status of a full legionary at the low age of 12, just as he was entering puberty and has never lost a battle in his life. Antony states that it took years to conquer Lanius tribe, with the survivors being given the mercy of joining the Legion, rather than wiped out to sate Lanius' bloodlust. Outside of Legion tales, Joshua Graham, the first legate and confidante of Caesar has no recollection of Lanius during his years in Caesar's service. The fact is all the more puzzling given the fact that all of Arizona was under the Legion's control by the time of Graham's fall, and such a noticeable legionary would certainly make an impression.
It's not a stretch to surmise that Lanius is not so much a specific person, but a myth, a weapon in his own right, capable of bolstering the morale of his own men through his ruthlessness, and ruining that of his opponents. Lanius is keenly aware of his mythical status and is careful to cultivate it, so that he might serve the Legion as a symbol. He even had his own slaves struck blind so that he might never be looked upon without his mask - or to hide certain facts that don't correspond with the myth, like his face being intact. Many other slaves, especially women, feared him greatly.
Campaign in the East
Before arriving at Hoover Dam, Lanius was responsible for a campaign of expansion to replenish the Legion's numbers and rebuild the army into an even more powerful instrument of war after the failure at the Dam in 2277. He led the conquest of Colorado, putting its tribal populations to the sword or annexing outright. In Denver, he broke the Hangdogs by throwing their revered hounds onto burning pyres, so that they might burn in the afterlife. The campaign lasted for years, stretching Legion supplies to the breaking point. The lack of food, water, and especially replacements took a heavy toll on his forces and taught him the value of logistics... While the near-defeat seared itself in his mind, making him wary of over-ambitious plans.
His last campaign before he was ordered to take the Dam by Caesar took place in the wilds of Utah. At the conclusion of the campaign, Lanius' forces assimilated 14 tribes and exterminated 5 more, for a total of 19 tribes. The victory by Gaius Magnus achieved after his arrival has apparently added a twentieth, judging by the distinct armor the centurion was granted. All these tribes couldn't stop him and the NCR was to be the next great conquest. To the legionaries, his mere arrival was a harbinger of doom for the Republic.
Fact or myth?
As a symbol, Lanius was the perfect legionary. His very name, Latin for "butcher", was granted to him after victory in several battles. His legendary brutality led to him being considered a savage beast, and Caesar made a point of noting that he supposedly was only loyal to Caesar himself, with no love for the Legion. His apparent lack of loyalty to the greater organization was considered an asset, as he cared little for battlefield losses or legionary deaths in general. All that mattered to him was victory over the enemy, at any cost. To reinforce his reputation, Caesar relied on Lanius to implement punitive measures against underperforming legates and centurions: Executing the officer in front of his troops, then having every tenth legionary in the disgraced unit beaten to death by his peers. The decimatio (decimation) was a terrifying ritual and has caught the attention of Radio New Vegas, which promptly disseminated the news across the Mojave, bolstering Lanius' mythical status in the Mojave.
This carefully cultivated myth made out Lanius to be a brutally effective commander, legendary for his devotion to Caesar and to sense weakness in any army. To his foes, he was a brute not know for subtle tactics, capable only of mounting ferocious, but ultimately simple tactics like frontal assaults and wave attacks, seeking to overcome the NCR through sheer brute strength. His allies also saw little more than a tenacious beast, which would drive its fangs into its prey and pay no attention to losses as long as the enemy hurt more. Capable, of course, of detecting traps and laying its own, but a beast nonetheless.
The man behind the mask
But Lanius was no beast. He was worse: A man, with a strong ideological foundation driving his beliefs. To Lanius, war was the crucible of civilization, where the weak were consumed as fuel, allowing the strong to be forged and rise to greatness. A beast would have no respect for diplomacy. While he prized martial aptitude above diplomacy, he did not disparage those who fought with words. What he disdained was treachery, especially Vulpes' methods: Although he accepted it as a ruse in Caesar's service, he disliked the notion of the Omertas' uprising playing a role in the Legion's victory, believing that it would sully the honesty of a victory through strength of arms.
In the NCR, Lanius saw passable foes. Excellent in combat at range, with leaders that exhibit occasional brilliance and with respectable fighters in the form of the Rangers. However, politics resulted in Lanius being faced by the less capable General Lee Oliver instead of the cunning Chief Hanlon, a fact that Lanius considered regrettable. However, he also recognized the boon the Republic bestowed upon him: Hanlon was keenly aware that the new Legate would not repeat the mistakes of the old, wasting men in futile assaults on entrenched Army unit. Oliver was not, believing him to be the savage he was made out to be. This weakness was what Lanius would use to secure victory for Caesar: Using intake pipes and maintenance tunnels, legionaries would infiltrate the Dam and strike simultaneously with the surface forces, enveloping the NCR forces and destroying them without risking defeat due to attrition. The strategy was risky and required speedy execution: Delays could allow the NCR time to regroup and form a counteroffensive.
However, although Lanius revered Caesar and the Legion, his master's contrarian words notwithstanding, Lanius had his reservations about the entire campaign. With the lessons of the conquest of Colorado and especially Denver, the cursed city, fresh in his memory, Lanius considered the West a trap, rather than a treasure. The Republic's troubles in maintaining effective control over its territories and providing for its people only confirmed that perception. Though he was ready to march on it for Caesar, he was also ready to return East and continue refining the Legion, if defeat - whether immediate or distant - was possible.
Interactions with the player character
|This character is involved in quests.|
- Et Tumor, Brute?: Although not directly related to the quest, killing Caesar or allowing him to die will result in Lanius replacing him as the ruler of the Legion. His reign is much more brutal and militaristic, killing and enslaving the communities of the wasteland. If captured, Chief Hanlon is crucified along with the rest of the surviving Rangers, the Followers of the Apocalypse are hunted down, while the Enclave Remnants are pursued to the ends of the earth, instead of being deemed a lost cause. If sold to Caesar, Arcade Gannon soon finds himself crucified when Lanius tires of his wit.
- Veni, Vidi, Vici: The Legate gives the player their final orders in the assault on the Dam and debriefs them once they deal with General Oliver.
- No Gods, No Masters, All or Nothing, Eureka!: The Legate is the final challenge in all three quests and successfully defending the Dam requires the player to defeat the Legate.
- The most straightforward way is to kill him, however, it is not the easiest. The Legate is designed to be a significant challenge for combat-focused characters: He moves 80% faster than normal non-player characters, capable of keeping pace with the player even with both legs crippled. He also has significantly more fatigue points, increasing the difficulty of knocking him down, cannot be disarmed, and his primary weapon, the Blade of the East, is a version specific to him that has a high chance of knocking its targets down.
- Furthermore, Lanius has two scripted actions. Once his health is below 60%, he will start using his unique healing powder, regenerating 8 hit points per second for 27 seconds (216 hit points in total). He has five doses and will continue using them as needed. Once his health reaches 40%, the Legate will disengage and retreat to regenerate health. The also script marks him as non-hostile (so the player's allies stop attacking) and restores his limbs to full health. He returns into the fray after several seconds.
- Defeating Lanius through diplomacy is the other option, although it requires making several consecutive Barter and Speech checks (55, 65, 75, 85, and 100). There are multiple paths through his dialogue, all relying on convincing Lanius that conquering the West would defeat the Legion in the long term. One path focuses on the fact that the NCR's vast territory would require the Legion to loosen their foothold in the East and lose it in time. Another emphasizes the fact that the NCR's ability to hold the West relies on caravans and Republic's logistics, something the Legion lacks. Another option is to bluff and plant the seed of doubt within him, that the NCR deliberately allowed him to establish a foothold on the Dam, with a trap in wait for him. Finally, if the player cannot meet the checks, they can use a few fallback options, including a bluff that members of Caesar's court actually conspired with the Republic to depose Lanius by setting him up for failure at the Dam (though the conversation will go awry if the player mentions that in doing so, Lanius would give time to the NCR and thin the Legion's ranks).
|Blade of the East¹|
5x incendiary grenade
|5x Legate healing powder|
Drops on death
- ¹ Lanius' armor is marked as unplayable and cannot be looted. The same is true for his specific version of the Blade of the East. Upon death, he spawns a different, weaker version intended for the player.
- "We shall see how brave you are when nailed to the walls of Hoover Dam, your body facing West so you may watch your world die." (after being threatened by the Courier)
- "And who are you to come before me... you bear the insignia of the Bear, yet you do not wear it as a soldier of the West wears it."
- "Caesar's will is the will of the Legion. And the West... all beneath the flag of the Great Bear exist to test the strength of the Legion. The West shall fall as the East fell, and all the tribes that stretch to the setting sun shall bear the mark of the Legion."
- "I see you fight with words, like all beneath the flag of the bear. Let us hope your skill with weapons proves greater." (when attempting to reason with Lanius)
- "A plan by Vulpes... treachery is a weapon that one should never rely on. I can only hope that the Omertas died when their treachery was exposed, to have the plan succeed only would have sullied the Legion. It does not matter, victory shall be ours, it shall be swift, and it will be honest, purchased with blood." (when told that Operation Racket was sabotaged)
- "As for wisdom... there is wisdom in your words, man/woman of the West. Know that I shall return East. I shall not remain there forever. On that day, the strength of the bear shall be tested. If the West is one day filled with ones such as you, perhaps it shall be a worthy fight, indeed." (when told there is victory in wisdom)
- "My coming would have saved you, set your people free in ways they cannot see. War would have tested them. Broken the weak with its violence, yet allowing the strong to arise. Violence gave you that strength, awakened you - I can see it upon your face, where two bullets left their mark."
- "Our forces are better equipped to take objectives than hold them. I do not wish to defend this place if another option exists. Our opponents follow a strict chain of command, which is both a strength and weakness. I intend to use you to strike at that weakness. Find the enemy commander, this General Oliver. Kill him or his resolve. Do this, and his cowards will retreat, leaving the dam to us."
- "Mars's eyes are upon you. Do not fail him - or us."
Behind the scenes
- Lanius was designed by John Gonzalez and Chris Avellone. Chris Avellone wrote all of Lanius' dialogue.
- In the G.E.C.K., Lanius has the unique class "Legionary Bad Ass".
- The ending slides for the Legion's victory with Lanius as Caesar depict him in centurion armor, indicating that specific slide was finalized before Lanius' custom suit was finalized. He does wear the correct helmet, however.
- Lanius is summoned via script when the endgame quests are active. He will not appear if the player somehow glitches into the Legate's tent before the endgame.