In 2246, the Followers sent a team to the Grand Canyon to study the languages of the tribes inhabiting the region. Along with Edward was a physician named Bill Calhoun, and a Mormon missionary named Joshua Graham, who was familiar with many tribal dialects. During their journey, they chanced upon a cache of prewar historical books, including The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Commentaries on the Gallic War. History and philosophy being Edward's favorite subjects, he became engrossed in the books over the next two weeks.
The group made contact with their first tribe, known as the Blackfoots. Joshua Graham began to converse with the tribe's leader. However, during the conversation, the Blackfoots decided that they were not going to leave, and held the group captive for ransom. They learned the Blackfoots were at war with seven other tribes, a war they were going to lose. Edward decided he was not going to die with them. He stood up and offered his knowledge of warfare and organization, seeing they clearly lacked said knowledge. Most gangs and tribes were used to "playing at war" with skirmishes, a bit of rape and pillaging, but Edward was going to show them total warfare. Calhoun and Graham warned against getting involved in the conflict, but Edward ignored them. He showed them how to properly use the guns they carried, how to clean and maintain them, craft improvised explosives, and began to drill them on small unit tactics. He laid out the plan of their conquest through divide et impera- divide and conquer, which was to strike at their weakest enemies first. The tribe was impressed with his knowledge and ambition, and named him their new chief.
The first and weakest tribe known as the Ridgers hardly stood a chance. After the battle, the able-bodied were enslaved, with the weak, elderly and women and children executed and cast into a mass pile. When confronting the next tribe known as the Kaibobs, they refused to surrender. Edward had them bring an emissary to bear witness to the carnage and destruction. The concept of total war was new to the tribes, and they were terrified of this new force. Not wanting to avoid the fate, the Kaibobs surrendered. Then the Fredonians, and tribe by tribe fell and were enslaved and assimilated, and before long, Edward Sallow emerged the victor and leader of the coalition of conquered tribes. Inspired by history, he erased all of the individual identities of the tribes and formed one single great tribe of a single monolithic culture, the Legion, modeled after imperial Rome. He crowned himself as Caesar. Joshua Graham, the missionary who served as his translator during this time, decided to stay. Caesar brought Calhoun before him and ordered him to return west with the warning that he should not be interfered with. Over the course of time, Graham went from translating, to giving orders, drilling legionaries, and was made Caesar's first legatus, and Graham would become known as the Malpais Legate and serve as the right-hand.