The Myrmidons (Claydolls in the Japanese version) are the terrorist/military branch of the religious cult Free the Soul and are considered elite members of the group.
The leader of the Myrmidons is Dio, a fourth-generation clone who was the best of his peers. The leader by extension is Free the Soul leader Delta/Brother.
Free the Soul was built around the teachings of a man known as Delta (known to many as Brother), who, in 1930 at the age of 26, founded the cult. His teachings were considered too profound for ordinary people to understand, but the core ideas (his doctrine) were to separate one's self from worldliness, to destroy greed, and divorce the soul from the body in order to cleanse it.
They aim to do what they thought was needed to be done to bring them closer to the new world that Free the Soul promises. There were some people that might call them terrorists. For a Myrmidon, first, they have to be raised with the teachings of Free the Soul from birth. Next, they have to be chosen to join the ranks of the elite, and achieve great things.
The Myrmidons believe that those who follow Brother's teachings with discipline and devotion will be reborn as a new form of human. Only this new species would be able to live equally, in a world without war or starvation.
Delta's birth and Left's death
In 2029, Delta was born to his parents (Sigma and Diana) in the Underground Shelter, but soon sent to 1904 in the past where he had been adopted by an impoverished family. Delta was in actuality cloned when he was sent; the transportation left the original copy of his body behind (which presumably died of starvation), while the copy sent to 1904 was an exact clone in terms of matter.
Delta lived a hard life after being transported, as he supposedly didn't know his father and had lost his mother at a young age. The only family he had was his younger adopted brother, a boy named Left, whom he was close to. Delta had a special power, an offshoot of Espers -- the capacity to mind hack which gave him the capacity to see into the thoughts of even the toughest people. It left him constantly exposed to the filthy greed of mankind. (However, despite this power, Delta could not SHIFT, as was the typical ability of espers).
When Delta was 16, in or around 1920, Left was found dead. His body was covered in bruises, but the police only made a cursory investigation and quickly ruled his death out as a suicide. Later, Delta found out that the killer had paid the police a massive bribe to keep the truth hidden from the public.
Enraged from the revelation of another act of mankind being greedy and self-centered, Delta soon found himself immersed in cold despair. Eventually, he thought that he had received a divine revelation. Mankind was completely corrupted by greed, and he was now tasked to purify the human race. A new world would be created as a result of his efforts. He believed that God had given him this mission.
Free the Soul
That was when he began to teach others the "truth", and at the age of twenty-six, he started Free the Soul, known at that time as Free the Soul of Y, meant to be the "left eye of Horus", as Delta insisted that the Y part was important. Delta also started going by the moniker "Brother".
Once Free the Soul was established, he devoted his resources to research human cloning so that he could create the new species he foretold. He abducted a team of scientists from a research facility in the United States, such as Alice's father, and managed to have them create the first ten human clones from Left's DNA and artificial uteruses. Those ten clones were the first generation of Myrmidons and were all given the same name: Left. These clones shared the DNA of the original Left.
Even though everyone was supposed to be created equal, there was some random deviation, and other factors could influence the clone's development. Dio, a fourth-generation Myrmidon, was the best of his generation, so he was chosen to lead the Myrmidons.
Dio found individuality to be odd and assumed that if everybody was the same, there would be no such thing as race, ethnicity, etc. With everyone's physical appearance being the exact same and everyone's thoughts being the same, there would be less conflict and war. With cloning, the Myrmidons didn't need different genders for reproduction. These clones would be fundamental to Brother's new world.
In a certain outcome to the December 2028 instance of the Decision Game, Delta successfully released Radical-6 from the Mars Mission Test Site (ironically using his own mother, Diana, as the vector) in Nevada, which eventually caused a global pandemic that killed 6 billion people and led to the explosion of 18 antimatter reactors that blotted out the Sun. Delta claimed that he did this to stop a nuclear terrorist (since 6 billion out of 8 died, he presumed a 75% chance of killing the terrorist; but the details behind this matter, and how it conflicts with the narrative that Brother looked to purify the human race, is unknown).
Dio was also sent to Rhizome 9 in order to prevent Akane Kurashiki's AB Project from succeeding and changing history. He was given orders to kill Akane and to win the Nonary Game: Ambidex Edition as well, but if he failed, he was to destroy Rhizome 9 with the bombs.
The word "myrmidon" in Greek means, roughly, "ant people".
It was chosen according to the Q and A:
- "We ultimately settled on the term “Myrmidons” for a couple reasons. For one, it sounds cool. For two, it refers to a group of people in Greek history who were famous for being excellent warriors and loyal in the extreme—both things that describe the organization Dio belongs to. It was also used for a period of time to mean “a loyal follower, especially one who executes orders without question, protest, or pity – unquestioning follower” so the hits just kind of keep on coming. It also has an interesting tie, in a way, to the story Zero Sr. tells about termites, since the word “myrmidon” in Greek means, roughly, “ant people” and they were in fact supposedly created from ants. Ants aren’t technically termites, but we figured it was close enough. So while something was admittedly lost (the clever phonetic connection to Cradle), some other connections were gained, and we got a term that sounded better and more natural in English."
- Exactly who knows that Brother's proper name is Delta is unknown. It is possible that Dio was ordered to always refer to Delta as Brother, and he knew that his real name was Delta; it is also possible that even this secret was kept from Dio.
- In the Japanese version, the Myrmidons are known as the Claydolls (referring to someone being manipulated or controlled by someone else). This is supposed to be a pun on "Cradle". According to the localization editor, it was changed since "dolls" sounded awkward in the English language. This is revealed in the VLR Q & A, question 43.
- There are around 1,000,000 Free the Soul followers, and the Myrmidons are a subset. The amount of Myrmidons has not been clarified.
- It is unknown but possible Delta used the transporter as another way to clone the Myrmidons.
- As a military of blonde-haired blue-eyed men, and the Myrmidon leader Delta and his brother apparently growing up in Germany (presumably during both WW1/WW2 eras), it is likely the Myrmidons are a Nazi allegory.