There was a time, before the Order and the rule of the Lord Marshal... A time of chaos and disorder and violence and wrath... A time when life was lived by the rule of the sword and the ferocity of the man that wielded it. Of loose tribes and warring clans... It was a time of strife and difference... A time of death.
And it is a time that is coming again.
The Marshal's Road:
The Last of the Strongmen
The first time Serg took life from another, it had been on accident.
Not that he didn't want to, mind you; stumbling around in the fog of a long and bloody battle his regiment had been sent into to reinforce the steadily advancing first wave. The line had broken off to the right when Serg and the others arrived, chaos consuming them all quickly into her bloody dance. Nor had it not been his intent, if given the opportunity; charging into that storm of steel and gore eager to get his first taste of combat same as the rest.
His first was a boy, maybe no older than he at the time. The boy had jumped on his back in those early chaotic seconds. He could hear him snarling in his ears his vulgar barbarian tongue, his dull, crude blade scratching at his leathers as he tried to end Serg. The shifting weight and nerves forced Serg to his knees, then to his back; his even then enormous body crashing hard; the mongrel scratching at his back under him going limp as he hit with a thud. He heard him gasp and felt him writhe before his filthy hands went lifeless, his knife falling harmless to his side.
When he got up, he found his savior; the splintered shaft of a crude spear having caught the boy at the base of his neck upon the fall. It had been quick and painless, more than he would have given to Serg had his attack succeeded.
Serg thought of this first one often, the rest of that day's number nearly meaningless past that first one. And any the days after, thirty years of a soldier's life blurring one in from the rest; a parade of faceless men and savages falling before him. But that first one, he could still see clear as his own face. His bare cheeks, his grubby teeth, his glassy, lifeless eyes staring at him as Serg scrambled free of himself from his stiffening grip; grabbing free his sword and diving into the evolving melee surrounding him.
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