The 777th, honored as “Princess Aiko's Natarian Grenadier Legion”1) starting in YE 42, is an infantry division of the Star Army Rikugun. The legion's homeworld is Nataria and it is commanded by Shôshô Uzume, a former Ketsurui Samurai. It is currently comprised of two infantry brigades and is supported by a force of 12 Rikugun assault ships plus other assorted non-combatant vessels.
Their patch has an image of planet Nataria and on it with 血 (“blood”) overlaid in white.
The legion was formed in YE 37 as part of 9,000,000 new soldiers created for Legions 634-1083. Following the disbandment of the 1SF Ketsurui Samurai Detachment in YE 39, the legion was re-organized and refit as a heavy formation to be led by Centurions drawn from those samurai who took the option to stay with the Star Army2) rather than continue direct service to the Ketsurui Clan. In all, the legion's combat officer corps of 200 Centurions are former samurai, as well as the legion's commander and other selected command leaders. Many former journeywoman samurai trainees were also selected for the legion after direct enlistment. So while the 777th does not have a monopoly on former Ketsurui Samurai within its ranks, it is certainly notable for their concentration.
In addition to the veteran leadership of approximately 200 battle-tested Ketsurui Samurai officers, one platoon per century is equipped with 15 Keiko THOUGHT Armor, culminating in its designation as a “heavy” legion. The legion's standard infantry Neko are equipped with Ke-M2-4 Series "Mindy" Armor outfitted for ground combat rather than Daisy M6 Infantry Power Armor or Daisy II usually preferred for planetary duties. Centurions wear their NH-33 (Eihei) bodies with pride, and often paint their Mindy 4s in white-and-red livery for parade formations to emulate their old Ketsurui Samurai uniforms.
The 777th launched alongside a Third Fleet task force to counter-attack the Interstellar Kingdom Of Kuvexia in early YE 423), unknowingly escaping their home system just three months before the planet was besieged in what would become known as the Third Battle Of Nataria. Although many soldiers in the 777th found themselves disappointed that they could not participate in the defense of Yamataian soil, they pressed on with their mission to meet up with the forward-deployed YSS Kaiyō II and establish a foothold closer to Kuvexian territory.
Almost immediately after they arrived on the Kuvexian warfront, the legion was thrust into battle against Kuvexian strongpoints alongside the Kaiyō II and Third Fleet Uchuugun elements. During a particularly risky raid, Taii Ketsurui Aiko and two of her comrades from the Kaiyō II — one of which was the Nepleslian exchange officer William, the son of Nepleslia's premier — were captured during a deep cover infiltration of an enemy installation. First listed as “missing in action,” it was later learned that the three were prisoners of war in Kuvexia and had been forced into slave fighting in one of the Interstellar Kingdom's gladiatorial combat arenas. Legion 777 was subsequently sent to free the imperial family officer from her imprisonment. The raid was successful with Aiko, William, Fujiwara Saya, and Saya's newborn child rescued from captivity4).
So inspired by her legion's charge and their mission performance, Shôshô Uzume named the 777th “Princess Aiko's Natarian Grenadier Legion” in honor of their accomplishment. With many former Ketsurui Samurai in the legion, all of whom had previously chosen to officially forsake their vows to protect the Ketsurui Clan so they could continue power armor service in the Star Army, the new moniker was a universally welcome change. Although a great number of Yamatai's samurai, journeywomen, and trainees still felt some amount of shame after being forced to choose between Empire and Imperials, those in Legion 777 could now count themselves fortunate to serve both.
The next major engagement Legion 777 participated in was the final battle of the Kuvexian War at Glimmergold. While most Star Army forces arrived at the battlefield via a gigantic portal created by Yamatai's Essai allies, Legion 777 was part of a force already deployed to the Kuvexian front who were sent to support the invasion. Again following the Kaiyō II's power armor team into battle (and this time with their new namesake at the head of their charge)5), the legion fought gallantly in support of the mission and Ketsurui Aiko. Upon the complete destruction of that Kuvexian star system's planets at the hands of the Essai and combined fleets from the Kikyo Sector, Legion 777 returned home by way of the same Essai wormholes their allies had come through to meet them.
With the Interstellar Kingdom of Kuvexia in ruins and a bright future of peace close at hand for Yamatai and its neighbors in the Kikyo Sector, the soldiers of Legion 777 were finally able to enjoy time at home after its long deployment to the front. Shôshô Uzume, with the overwhelming support of her troops, elevated Ketsurui Aiko to be an honorary Centurion of the legion. Though this “promotion” came with few duties beyond irregular parade reviews from the legion's namesake Imperial family member, Aiko's patronage kept morale high in the uncertain days after the Battle of Glimmergold when no soldier in the Star Army could predict what a future without something to fight would bring.
The day after Victory Day YE 43 while celebrations still raged across planet Yamatai and the sector itself, Aiko met with Nepleslia's Sky Marshal, Gaelan Sanders, on a personal call6) — she'd served alongside his son William for the duration of her military career, first with him as a civilian and then as an exchange soldier. During this encounter, she secured a full company of Nepleslian Space Marine Corps "Cyclops" Breakthrough Armorsuits to serve on exchange with Legion 777 after expressing how impressed she was with William's performance in the armor during the Battle of Glimmergold. Subsequently, the “Berserkers” were sent to train and operate alongside the legion in the interest of fostering future military cooperation between the Star Army of Yamatai and the Star Military of the Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia. During this period, the task force that Legion 777 was attached to had its ships transferred to the First Fleet in order to be on the same roster as the ship they had often worked so closely with, the Kaiyō II.
Legion 777's first two battalions are fully combat deployable from 10 Kagai-class Assault Ships, while the rest are transported aboard 12 Courier 2B-class Medium Freighters outfitted with living quarters and cargo areas. A single Henry Chen-class Training Ship accompanies the legion to accommodate the training needs of any Century not assigned to a Kagai. Two Plumeria-class 2E/R refits accompany the legion for quick reaction deployments.
🚧 This article is a GM tool for the YSS Kaiyo.
Raz originally had this idea when Wes finally announced how he'd be dealing with the Ketsurui Samurai happenings in Fred's plot. More broadly, raz is really into specialized, elite, and veteran historical military units and has wanted to do something new for the Star Army (previous works related include the Ninth Fleet and their elite Uchuugun invasion force and Star Army Intelligence being so cool today).
The Aiko's legion name was directly inspired by Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, and it also will share a bit of background in that this will be the first actual legion assigned to the Kuvexian War front (with the war progressing, there is finally a need for a legion to invade somewhere).
The actual feel of the legion is more inspired by Napoleon's Imperial Guard, particularly the practice of using Old and Middle Guard officers and NCOs to lead Young Guard formations. The parallel here is that former Ketsurui Samurai will be taking the reigns of the legion's fighting leadership. The original idea was to have an entire legion where the company-level officers were all former samurai and the company-level NCOs were former journeywomen, but calculations indicate that would mean 1,200 COMPANY-LEVEL OFFICERS and 10,000 COMPANY-LEVEL NCOs drawn from the ranks of former Ketsurui Samurai. That's clearly impossible, so we're going with JUST CENTURIONS (200) or CENTURIONS + FIRST PLATOON LT (400).
Regarding total samurai numbers in the organization before the Star Army's KetSam detachment was disbanded, in #Yamatai chat on Discord, Doshii Jun stated: “I always remember it as being small. Not beyond 1,000. That was the detachment when it was whole; units, even single Samurai members, were split and loaned out.”
They are “grenadiers” because it historically became the designator for “elite” infantry formations, and moreover can indicate a formation's “heavy” designation. Centurions have Eihei bodies and access to SARAH M7 samurai armor if they choose, and each platoon is slated to either get 1 Keiko per platoon or a few Keiko Heavy Infantry squads of 4 armor.
Other possible names were:
Decided on “Natarian Grenadiers” because there are millions of unused Legion Neko from Nataria. Nataria is furthermore the homeworld of the Nekovalkyrja, including the Ketsurui.
Type 40 Star Army Infantry use a Mindy equipped like a Daisy with its Turbo Aether Plasma wings removed to cut down on its energy signature and function more like a Daisy. This choice was made because the Daisy is essentially obsolete compared to the Mindy 4, and underperforms in every aspect from toughness to damage output to the effectiveness of its sensor suite.
Since the invasion of Drib got rudely interrupted by Kuvexian provocateurs, this concept might change to a battalion of pure samurai (3 Centuries + HQ Century) that jams around the multiverse helping the Kaiyo do things.
The 777th Legion, honored as Princess Aiko's Natarian Grenadier Legion((Yamataigo: 愛子姫のナタリア人擲弾兵師団 following the siege of Naiva in mid YE 40, is an infantry division of the Star Army Rikugun. The legion's homeworld is Nataria and it is commanded by Shôshô Uzume, a former Ketsurui Samurai.
The 777th got their name either because:
Either it's 200 Centurions (easy to justify) or 200 Centurions then 200 1st Platoon Leaders (harder to justify). I'm going with all Centurions plus all platoon leaders because there are enough samurai and nobody seems to want to be obstructionist on the issue.