“Guardian Down!” Lord Saladin’s ghost informed him as a barrage of arc missiles streaked across the outskirts of the town turned battleground. The excited clicks and grunts of the alien pirates echoed above the fighting. They were winning!

The hundred or so Fallen advancing on the town were a problem, but in truth they weren’t much more than a screen for the spider-shaped walker standing on the ridge behind them. Saladin knew he had to get up there, somehow, and put an end to that threat, but Ragashingo had already shown a solo charge through the Dregs and Shanks would not be enough.

“Up and over, not through!” Efrideet’s said from her place beside him, her voice as young and cheerful as always. “Me or you?” she asked.

“Me,” Saladin growled in replied.

Together, they sprinted at the Fallen hoard, Saladin’s shield of arc energy deflecting what small arms fire came their way. At the critical moment, Efrideet increased her pace and then, gripping Saladin tightly, launched them both into the air. As her catapult gave out, Efrideet surged forward with a burst of speed and a crackle of lightning as she propelled her fellow Guardian forward with all her might.

Saladin flew towards the walker straight as an arrow, flaming axe now in his hands. With one final burst of lift and one mighty slash of his axe, he severed the robotic tank’s cameras and sensors from its body and guns.

With the walker dead, Ghosts were free to relight their Guardian’s embers, and what had been a dwindling defense quickly reversed into a thundering attack as cheers for Efrideet and Saladin rose above even the scavengers’ calls for retreat.

Ok, that’s not actually a Grimoire Card, but it’s what I imagine might have happened when I read this small section of Efrideet’s:

In the tales of the Iron Lords, Lady Efrideet was one of the most prominent characters. She once threw Saladin like a javelin into a Fallen Walker—a City favorite retold for centuries.

Lady Efrideet

The Iron Lords originally formed to put an end to human warlords who were using their gifts of Light and Ghosts to rule and terrorize populations who somehow survived the collapse. It was only later that the Eliksni arrived and began scavenging and killing. The focus of the Iron Lords quickly shifted to fighting this new alien threat and completing the walls of the City.

While there’s not any cohesive timeline to be found, there are some great stories from this time period. Stories like:

The plan Lady Skori comes up with to ambush a group of Fallen while her fellow Iron Lords are pestering her about spending too much time writing the Iron Song:

A lot of people are relying on us, Skorri. If you don’t think you’re up for—”

“Hunters up top, 11 o’clock on the ridge. Two shots to the Servitor, draw their attention up. I come in with Radiance, Dregs are blinded, Jolder’s powered up, she rushes in, splits ’em in half. You hopefully don’t trip over your cloak like you did back at the Flood Zone, but I’m not optimistic. The rest come out of the cave, take out the Captain, Felwinter finishes off the south group with a Bomb, everything else is candy.”

The epic stands Lord Silimar made defending the same location against the Fallen again and again:

As the Fallen charged, Silimar refused to abandon what he’d built, though others retreated to a stronger position. “Go,” he told them. “Save yourselves. I’ll slow them down.”

The enemy came in overwhelming force. A breaking wave of blades and firepower and death. Atop the structure’s central bulwark, Lord Silimar held his ground.

“Take it if you can, you bastards!” He shouted at the swarming enemy.

He leapt upon the great edifice and there put up a final stand as the enemy engulfed him. He died with his dagger in the guts of an Archon while the great structure shook with explosions and rained stones down upon the land.
Later that night, when Lord Silimar rose again from the ashes, he found Lord Saladin already there and waiting, standing near the place where he’d made his final stand.

Lord Timur’s Stormtrance defeating hundreds of Shanks and their Vandal keepers in an unusual way:

Lord Felwinter, I know what you are. And you are no Warmind or even one of its puppets. Come. You must see this.” He makes a gesture like he’s casting a spell over the sand. “Follow my footfalls; this area’s rigged with dirty Fallen nonsense.”

They struggle up the dunes. Felwinter glides ahead. As he lands, a sandstorm rises to meet him. More shanks. Hundreds of them. Behind them, a lone Vandal sniper lays down covering fire.

Felwinter, realizing his mistake, runs back toward Timur, shielding himself in the Light of suns.

Timur continues forward, grasps the brass familiar around his neck, and closes his eyes. A slight hum rises and his trance takes him deep into the sea of shanks, his trusted Lash raised and tearing his path through the darkness. Felwinter is slow to follow, but fast enough to witness Timur’s focus turn shanks by the pack against their Vandal keeper, chasing him back toward the sea.

And Rezyl Azzir who, while not an Iron Lord, existed as a figurative and literal Titan of the City around that same time. His defeat of a Fallen Kell is the stuff of legends!

A massive blast cratered the ground a few feet from the Titan. The Ketch had turned its guns on Rezyl.

Another blast impacted to Rezyl’s left and he stumbled. A third exploded directly in his path…

…and Rezyl fell.

From the treeline, his Ghost watched as the Fallen celebrated and a Skiff drifted down from the Ketch above.

The circle around Rezyl’s body parted and the imposing figure of their Kell stepped forward to admire his prize.

The chittering excitement quieted to a steady drone as the Kell lifted Rezyl’s limp body by the neck.

A chorus rose among the crew, growing louder as the Kell hefted Rezyl over his head for all to see.

Rezyl’s Ghost darted low through the crowd. He didn’t like Rezyl’s plan, but now he understood it.

Distracted by their Kell’s triumph, the Ghost’s presence went unnoticed until a beam of light swept over Rezyl’s body.

The mood shifted instantly, cheers turning to ravenous shouts.

The Kell’s gaze fell to the Ghost as the beam faded.

The circle began to collapse — the Fallen set to pounce.

As the Kell moved to toss Rezyl aside, cold steel met the underside of the alien marauder’s jaw, followed by a red flash as Rezyl pulled his cannon’s trigger.

Ether spewed in an angry geyser and the Kell’s grip loosened. Rezyl hit the ground and unloaded five more rounds into the Fallen leader’s torso. The monster dropped.

Frenzied, the Kell’s crew closed in like a flood.

Rezyl’s Ghost lifted above the fray, frantic, “Now! Now! Now!”

In one motion, Rezyl rose from a crouch, his fists clenched and raised high as a storm of Arc Light built within him, his full might raining down on the Kell’s chest. The shockwave of Rezyl’s attack hit like a meteor, shattering the Kell’s body and any Fallen within the Havoc storm’s radius.

You’ll note almost all of the quotes above are just smaller sections of each story. The stories of the Iron Lords are fantastic, especially when you put them together which is why we’ll loop around and revisit them someday. But for now, I hope you can see that the Iron Lords and their contemporaries like Zavala and Rezyl did a lot to safeguard humanity during the early years of the Eliksni’s incursion into our solar system.

But as much as they did, it was a distant noble Queen who saved us.