Warning: This page contains spoilers
This is a summary of the events and characters in Viridian Legion, book 2 of the Rakkan Conquest series.
Viridian Legion has two plotlines that stay relatively separate throughout before converging at the finale. It’s therefore easier to explain them separately here.
The first is with the rakkans in Viridia and Laltos’s war with them. The second is with regard to Laltos’s hostility to Toria, the city whose empire rules over Laltos and imposes crippling taxes.
After the death of Archimedes in Oblivion, and the loss of the Staff of Arria, the rakkans are now unopposed. The Viridian Legion invades Laltos’s lands from the west and begins a campaign of slaughter and pillaging against the humans that once sieged them.
As Laltos is Lex’s home city, she implores Darius and the Margalvians to help. Her plan is to form an alliance between Laltos and Margalvia. But the humans and rakkans have too much hate for each other, so she needs to build trust between the two races first.
At the beginning of the story, Darius tries to help by assassinating the commander leading Viridia’s raids (without the knowledge of his commanding officers). But he inadvertently comes face to face with Hadrian, the Warlord of the Viridian Legion. Hadrian bests Darius by using Darius’s fear of blood against him, and Darius’s escort, Lyra, is badly injured.
Darius rushes back to Margalvia, taking her to a priest along the way for some medicine. As he does, Hadrian takes the attack as an act of war, and attacks Margalvia’s tunnels in the Urukan Mine.
Once back in Margalvia, Darius is reprimanded and ordered on a new undercover mission. He is to travel to Laltos to fight with Lex’s sister Selene on the war front. There he will prove his loyalty to the humans before revealing his identity and attempting to secure Lex’s alliance with Laltos.
While he’s there, he meets a new character named Gorgias, who he rarely gets along with. He also falls in love with Selene, and they get together. They end up in a battle where he is forced to reveal his true identity and rakkan powers in order to save her. He also kills the Viridian Commander he first set out to in the process.
Selene feels betrayed at learning who he really is, and tricks Darius into restraining himself before taking him back to Laltos as a prisoner. There, the Regent of Laltos (Lex and Selene’s father) orders Darius’s torture, despite the two women’s pleas.
Gorgias is the one tasked with torturing Darius, but Darius blackmails him into going easier than usual using information he found out previously on the man. But the experience still traumatises Darius and he eventually asks Gorgias to kill him.
Before Gorgias does, Selene rescues him, regretting bringing him to the city. She ends up in a discussion with him, her father and Lex, who also turns up to voice her allegiance, as well as reveal she has a daughter with Varro, the Warlord of Margalvia. This is enough to secure the alliance, but then they discover the entire Viridian Legion is marching on Laltos to besiege it.
Xavala / Toria plotline
In addition to Lex’s plan of an alliance with Margalvia, she plans to form an alliance with another human city, Xavala, known as the Silk City, by marrying its regent, Aristippus, also known as the Silk Regent. This city, like Laltos, has bitter disputes with their distant ruler in Toria, King Medus II.
It is here we are introduced to new characters on the side of Toria, the King’s Orator (who speaks for him), and the King’s Sword (his greatest soldier). They rescue Nikolaos from a Margalvian prison and take him to Xavala.
When there, they learn of the Viridian Legion’s planned attack on Laltos. The Regent of Laltos begs for the Xavalan Cavalry to ride to their aid, and the Regent of Xavala reluctantly agrees after pushed to by the King’s Orator.
The battle begins, and Darius is far too weakened to fight. Eventually the Laltos humans are forced to retreat to the place they planned to meet the cavalry.
As the horses near, it is revealed that Xavala has done a secret deal with the King. They will not only destroy Viridia’s army but Laltos’s too (as the King’s punishment for the disputes) and plunder the city.
Darius, Lex, Gorgias and Sulla escape with other remnants of the city. Brutus is killed by the Viridian Warlord in battle, and Selene is lost while fighting with the King’s Sword. Darius doesn’t know her fate, but she is captured and taken back to Toria. There it is revealed there is another goman working for the King, and Selene’s mind is altered.
Darius experiences love in this book for the first time with Selene. She then betrays him to her father. He is deeply hurt, but just about forgives her before losing her again during the final battle.
As a result of Brutus’s death, Darius is exiled from Margalvia by Varro, being blamed for igniting the war at the beginning of the story. He ends having to find his own path rather than simply follow orders.
Lex is the protagonist that drives much of the book, despite having less time devoted to her. She is therefore left devastated at the end when not only do her plans fail, but her home city is conquered and her father is killed. Her anguish is signified by her tossing away her treasured religious necklace at the end, which Darius picks up.
Nikolaos has little agency. He is still uncaring and full of himself, yet most of his machinations fail, and he is constantly outsmarted by the King’s Orator. He ends the book with Selene in Toria.
Hadrian is the main antagonist. He not only has a narcissistic belief in his own divinity, courtesy of his links to his grandfather (Hadrianus the Great), but his main aim is to punish the humans in a bloody campaign. His aim is his own glory, as well as revenge for Laltos starving many of the Viridians at the time when Archimedes fought with them.
Sulla is promoted to Militia Chief and spends much of the story at loggerheads with Varro over whether or not to help Darius when he’s captive in Laltos. Sulla eventually decides his loyalty to Darius is more important than his rank, and leads a large group of his soldiers to desert Margalvia and march to free Darius. They are eventually forgiven by Varro at the end.
Varro is shown to be a reserved and overly cautious leader. He is slow to act when enemies are aggressive, yet none of his subordinates dare to challenge his rule given he is the greatest fighter in Margalvia. He somewhat redeems himself at the end by marching to battle in Laltos, albeit too late to do anything other than protect the survivors from slaughter when cornered.