45. Menenius Sas Lanatus IIPage 2/2
Duel: Head of the SnakeDalriada - Saunion & Dawon Chest
Birthplace: Garlemald, Garlean Empire
Tribunus of the IVth Imperial Legion, Menenius serves loyally as Legatus Gabranth's chief intelligence officer.
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With the Empire now fallen, and no reinforcements from Garlemald on the way, the IVth was forced to make their last stand in Dalmasca and Bozja. Astutely concluding that fighting on two fronts would soon deplete their resources and rations—leaving the legion scarcely able to sustain themselves, let alone fight—Noah van Gabranth made the decision to abandon Bozja and focus on holding Dalmasca alone. And yet, he could not simply order a complete withdrawal, lest the Eastern alliance immediately swoop in and attack them from Bozja as well as Doma. Until such time as they were able to muster their full strength in Dalmasca, they had to hold strong on the Bozjan and Nagxian fronts.
This was the task entrusted to Menenius—to preserve a stalemate here and buy needed time by whatever means necessary. It was not a glorious task, but it was one the tribunus accepted willingly.
To this end, Menenius devised multiple stratagems. First among them involved employing the legendary might of Save the Queen and its powers of tempering. So it was that Misija gave her life for the cause, delivering a great blow to the Resistance.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the tribunus continued his search for the armaments—frightful weapons of ancient Allag. The expedition bore fruit in Zadnor, in the form of the Diablo Armament, which was quickly deployed in Dalmasca to keep the resistance at bay. Menenius then proceeded to unearth yet more frightful holy relics, which he employed to send further horrors to the battlefield to fight in the Empire's name.
All this succeeded in prolonging Garlean control in Dalmasca for a measure, but Menenius knew as well as any it would not be a final solution—and that the once-proud IVth Legion was nearing its last days.
Menenius had known Noah since the two were children. Since the day the latter assumed command as legatus, his orders were always delivered with confidence and clarity. Even more important, the full intent behind his orders, Gabranth's ultimate goals, and the repercussions and effects his actions would entail—all were clearly conveyed, explicitly or implicitly. This time, Menenius could not fully grasp his commander's intentions. Lyon, on the other hand, seemed quite certain of the truth—a truth Menenius himself vaguely suspected, but perhaps did not want to accept...
The scouts and intelligence operatives Menenius had dispatched throughout the region brought him regular reports. As they told it, Noah was most concerned with what would become of the various Resistance leaders after they had won their independence and the Garlean occupation was no more. He sought to know their plans—the blueprint they would follow.
As he considered this, Menenius realized with a sinking feeling that his suspicions were on target. Here in Bozja, so long as Bajsaljen occupied a position of leadership, Noah's ultimate goal would be realized. But what of Dalmasca? More populous than Bozja, and with its various factions far from united, the future was far from certain. Knowing Noah, he doubtless already understood this, and had already deployed a pawn to guide Dalmasca in his desired direction...
And so Menenius pondered. Lyon had once posed the question—is there a need for one so young and full of promise to throw away their life in a bloody war? Of course not, thought Menenius. With defeat, death is inevitable. But it is the duty of those at the top—myself included—to give our lives so that those who follow us may still live.
This Menenius knew, for he was above all a military man, and he knew the ways of armies and war. Still, was this truly the answer?
Noah van Gabranth. Young Noah, who Legatus Basch entrusted to him, whose life his father-in-law Lucius risked his life to protect—was this all Menenius could do now? To loyally assist as his legatus threw his own life away?
Lyon assured him that Noah's mind was already made up. Still, Menenius could not fully accept it. Is this truly the answer?