Upon the death of Otto IV, there were six Imperial legions in the field: the Gilded Legion, the Legion of Steel, the Adamantine Legion, the Legion of Ash, the Legion of Smoke and the Argent Legion. In the chaos that followed all but two of these were disbanded by order of the Imperial Conclave. The only remnants left today of these once mighty institutions are the War Colleges in Argem.
The survival of the Gilded Legion was ensured by their critical role in safeguarding the sovereignty and independence of the Imperial Mint. The Steel Legion, on the other hand, survived by the simple expedient of refusing to disband. They pitched camp within the Klaean Fields of Argem and issued an ultimatum: they answered only to the Emperor. Until an Emperor sat on the Hollow Throne once more, they would serve the Empire. Despite the threats and condemnations by members of the Conclave, none were foolish enough to challenge their position. Before things could escalate, the Conclave agreed to establish the Office of the Imperial Chamberlain and the Steel Legion has since guaranteed the sanctity of Argem, the Imperial Capital, and the Office of the Imperial Chamberlain.
The Steel Legion is one of the oldest fighting forces in the Tellian Empire. Taking its name from the storied legions of the old Dominion and tracing its origins to the very first professional armies the Emperor fielded, only the Orders can claim a more storied or glorious past. When the Steel Legion took upon themselves the role of custodians of the Empire and guarantors of the Chamberlain, they forsook their traditional weaponry and armed themselves with great swords, traditionally the ceremonial weapon of the Adamantine Legion, the Emperors now defunct bodyguard. With this act, the Steel Legion became the last surviving link between the glorious military history of the Armatellum dynasty and the Hundred Kingdoms today.
In the absence of an Emperor, the Steel Legion is the single most prosperous and powerful mercenary company in the Empire. They sell their services widely, but only to those families that are waging war outside the Empire or who have a casus belli recognized by the Imperial Conclave. Their wealth is supplemented by a standing contract with the office of the Imperial Chamberlain to protect Argem from all aggressors. The nobles view this contract as little more than artifice, a mechanism for the Office of the Chamberlain to support one of the strongest and staunchest allies of the Imperial mandate behind a veneer of neutrality. To this day, no Noble House has been willing to directly challenge the Steel Legion on these, or any other, grounds.