Legate Lanius is the military commander of 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 River, ready to attack Hoover Dam.
He is one of the principal characters of Fallout: New Vegas and serves as the final challenge if the Courier sides with the New California Republic and the penultimate challenge if they support Mr. House or an independent New Vegas. If they side with the Legion, then Lanius acts as their military commander and issues order for the conquest of the Dam.
- 1 Background
- 2 Interactions with the player character
- 3 Inventory
- 4 Notes
- 5 Notable quotes
- 6 Appearances
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Gallery
- 9 References
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 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 confidant of Caesar, has no recollection of Lanius during his years in Caesar's service. However, all of Arizona was under the Legion's control by the time of Graham's fall, and there is no explanation as to how Lanius would have escaped Graham's notice.
It is 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 Hoover 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 could not 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 was supposedly 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 under performing 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 known 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.
Though not the only legate, he is the foremost of his rank, serving as both the highest marshal of Caesar's forces and his heir apparent. Most feared what would happen to the Legion should Caesar die, leaving Lanius to seize his mantle and claim control over the vast army. Many of them rightfully so.
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 NCR 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.|
- Veni, Vidi, Vici: Legate Lanius will be the one who gives the final order to the Courier, and also the one who congratulates them after the battle.
- No Gods, No Masters, All or Nothing, Eureka!: At the battle of Hoover Dam, Lanius can be convinced into retreating with numerous Barter and Speech checks, respectively 55, 65, 75, 85 and 100. One Speech route will convince him that the vast territory of the NCR is its weakness and that the Legion will not be able to claim and hold it without highly weakening their presence in the East. Another Speech route will convince him that factions within Legion want him removed from power and he should take care of said matter first. The Barter route will convince him that the West is not self-sufficient and too dependent on the NCR and its supply caravans, so it would be extremely difficult to maintain. If a Speech or Barter check is failed during the conversation, it is also possible to take a different Speech angle to bluff and convince him to flee, suggesting that this fight was too easy because a trap lies in wait for him, and that the player character is only telling him this because it would be dishonorable to defeat a foe in such a way.
- If the Speech or Barter checks cannot be passed, or the wrong dialogue is selected at the near-end or the beginning, he will prepare to engage combat, and the Courier will have a unique good or evil Karma dialogue option that will, respectively, convince him to fight the player character alone honorably (good), or through taunting the Legate (evil) by calling him a "shithead" and telling him to fight the Courier alone "if [he has] the spine for it," regardless of whether or not they have followers with them (requires 80 Speech).
- The final battle with Legate Lanius is more heavily scripted than almost any other encounter in the game. Lanius takes a number of scripted actions during the battle intended to make him a more challenging fight:
- When Lanius' health drops below 60%, he will use his healing powder, causing him to regenerate 8 hit points every second for 27 seconds. He has 5 doses of healing powder and will constantly use them as their effects wear off.
- When Lanius' health drops below 40%, he will run off and hide to regenerate health. While doing this, he temporarily ceases hostility, causing allies to stop targeting him. This also causes all his limbs to be restored to 100% condition. After several seconds, he will run to his original starting position and then resume attacking the Courier.
- Lanius has several special attributes; limiting some options when engaging him.
- Lanius is 80% faster than a normal non-player character and is able to outrun the player character even with both of his legs crippled.
- Lanius has significantly more fatigue points than a normal non-player character, making him extremely difficult to knockout.
- Lanius cannot be disarmed of his weapon.
- Lanius cannot be reverse pickpocketed.
- Lanius' Blade of the East has a 15% knockdown chance, causing him to frequently knock opponents to the ground.
Effects of player's actions
- If the Courier sides with the Legion and allows Caesar to die because of his brain tumor, Lanius will become the new leader of the Legion. He is far more ruthless than Caesar, and handles several things differently than Caesar would have if victorious. For example, he would have Arcade Gannon crucified rather than keeping him on-hand as a doctor, slaughter the people of the Strip upon arrival at the gates of Vegas, have Chief Hanlon crucified with the other NCR Rangers rather than grant him a swift death out of respect, exterminate the Followers of the Apocalypse rather than give them safe passage out of the Mojave Wasteland, and pursue the Enclave remnants rather than recognize it as a lost cause.
|Apparel||Weapon||Other items||On death|
|Legate's armor and helmet*||Blade of the East*
5x incendiary grenade
|Leg. healing powder||Legate helmet
Blade of the East
* Lanius will not drop his armor, however, one can briefly obtain the helmet for the rest of the quest. The Blade of the East that he carries is a different version from the one he drops.
- "Lanius" is Latin for "butcher."
- He is also the only member of the Legion to call Joshua Graham by his true name.
- Lanius performs human sacrifices to Mars, the Roman god of war.
- Trying to use any exploits to reach his camp earlier in the game will not make him appear. He only appears at the end of the game. However, he can be found in the normally inaccessible Legate's war tent.
- In the add-on Lonesome Road, after completing the quest The End or The Apocalypse with Ulysses alive, when spoken to, he will mention Legate Lanius.
- A height modifier of 1.15 makes Lanius 6'11" (2.10 m) tall, the tallest human non-player character in Fallout: New Vegas.
- "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."
- "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."
- "I see you fight with words, like all beneath the flag of the Bear. Let us hope your skill with weapons proves greater."
- "It does not matter, victory shall be ours, it shall be swift, and it will be honest, purchased with blood."
Behind the scenes
- Lanius was designed by John Gonzalez and Chris Avellone. Chris Avellone wrote all of Lanius' dialogue.
- The voice actor for Lanius, Mitch Lewis, would later reprise his role as Lanius in the Fallout fan film "Fallout: Lanius."
- According to Joshua Sawyer, Lanius (and also Joshua Graham) being unscarred is not indicative of a lie but engine related limitations.