This is an extract from a fantasy novel I am working on. It will be called ‘The Black Golwroth of Karaganda’. It centres on 3 men who fight in the Suicide Legion. This Legion set up by the king to act as a disposable force who fight against his enemies. If you commit a heinous crime, you get 3 choices- death, the Coliseum or the Suicide Legion. About 4,000 men every year take the choice of the Suicide Legion. Only 500 make it through to fight with the Legion. The rest are killed in training. It’s a dog-eat-dog world but there is hope. If you survive 9 tours, you are set free. In 2,000 years, only 17 men have survived 9 tours. Quentin, Gaban and Black Jack have already survived 7. The only problem is that famine is ravaging the land and the last two tours have nearly annihilated the Legion. Can they survive the next two? It’s unlikely, but in this blog post the commander of the Legion gives his psyche evaluation of Quentin. With an attitude like his, maybe it’s just possible…………
Tomorrow night I will give the psyche evaluation of Gaban and the following night I will upload an extract from their battle against the savage Vulgates.
I hope you enjoy the post and the following 2.
Thanks to all those who follow my blog. I think you will enjoy the battle scene in 2 nights time. It’s different from what I normally post, the beauty of the world.
Cheers for now. Liam
Suicide Legion Psyche Reports
Quentin, commonly known to the men as The Town Bull.
Report compiled by Commander Johnathan Sakrom after completion of service training by the above mentioned: updated after tour 7. Description for the Death Squad:
Nose: squashed and pulped like a mushy plum.
Physique: tallest man in the Legion standing over 7’ tall. Hands covered in tear-tracks of scarring. One identifying tattoo on his right forearm; a dagger with a writhing serpent around it. Has a hulking physique with a spade-shaped beard and a gladiator’s biceps.
Other attributes: Quentin is a sadist who gets pleasure from inflicting pain on others. He also causes anarchy with his utter disregard for normal social boundaries. He has great physical strength and stamina and is particularly effective in the shield wall against a superior force. His preferred weapon is the axe but the Legion doesn’t allow this. More of a brawler than a soldier, he has nonetheless proven effective against a variety of foes. He uses his powerful voice to great effect, both as a means to undermine and overpower his opponents. It booms out like a boarhorn and can stun someone who is unprepared for it. Quentin also has the greatest range of insults I have witnessed. Behind my back, he refers to me as The PORG, a moniker which the men find hilarious, apparently. It has yet to be established by myself what that means. I suspect he is cleverer that he pretends to be but his weakness is his temper. Sometimes I wonder if he is not two different men in one hulking shell.
The best clue to Quentin’s behaviour lies in his nickname. It was given to him after he killed eight townsfolk in a barroom scrape. During this altercation, many of Quentin’s attackers ended up in a heap on the floor with him.
One of the attackers was heard to roar: “Who let out the town bull?”.
Some of the men relaxed their guard with Quentin, finding the comment either ludicrous or funny. While the patrons in the bar were laughing, Quentin managed to thrust a dagger into three of his foes. He then regathered his feet, grabbed an axe from the wall and butchered anyone who didn’t run for the door. One of those who escaped testified to a ‘swivel-eyed loon with a bloody beard and a tombstone voice’. ‘Possessed’ was another description. In the subsequent court case, it transpired that Quentin himself had made this remark about the town bull in order to buy time. He was given the option of death, the Coliseum or the Suicide Legion. His response was:
“The Legion, m’lud. At least there I can kill ‘em all legally- harder than this lot proved.”
The relatives of the dead townsfolk then tried to overwhelm the marshals guarding Quentin. Reinforcements were called from neighbouring villages. Quentin had to be locked in his cell for two days until a contingent of the Legion came to requisition him. A Legion veteran made remarks to my person that it was the first time he had seen a town hostile to the Legion. He told me Quentin had the manners of a yard dog and the morals of a wharf rat.
The average soldier in Quentin’s unit killed four men while in training. Quentin killed thirteen. This caused some bitterness with the other soldiers as they detest a man who dispenses death in such a brutal, unforgiving fashion. Over 4,000 men are required before a new Legion can be formed. A fraction of these make it into the Legion proper. In our legion, Quentin and Gaban were by far the most hated of those men.
Initial training for the Legion requires hand-to-hand combat, known as death combat, without rules. It is a time-honoured tradition and weeds out the weak and the unsuited. It is the decision of the victor whether to take the life of his defeated opponent in these contests. In all cases, Quentin showed no mercy to the vanquished, whether they were brave or not. He insults even the training officers and doesn’t appear to have any room for flowers in that ploughed field of a mind of his.
It is obvious that he had been given some formal training in combat before his time in the Legion. He is equally competent with fist, axe or sword. We are forbidden by oath to ask each other about our pasts. Having assessed his battle patterns, my theory has always been that, in his previous life, Quentin was a mercenary fighting for coin. His methods of attack are crude and brutal but ultimately successful. He combines this style with an ability to goad an opponent into making a mistake. Quentin is a braggart and a bully. He sees power as a food pyramid of predators and prey. Consequently, he will always try to get to the top of the pyramid- or destroy it. He lives only for the moment and gives no thought for the consequences of his actions. If he were to meet a priest in a tavern, it is my firm belief that the priest would try to kill him before the candle wicks were doused at last call.
Final Assessment: In short, Quentin is the only man I have met whose inner voice is the same as his outer voice. This tends to inflame the baser emotions of those in his orbit. Without the safeguard of Jack and Gaban to keep him in check, he is a dangerous, undisciplined, snail-brained maniac. He is not to be trusted in any social situation involving alcohol, aggression or arrears of coin. He loves the grape and the leaf in equal measure but desires conflict above all else. The mad blood is in that man and it’s not coming out soon.
I have gone on record with my superiors to this effect. I have also recommended that he be executed for a litany of serious offences committed while Legion training. As I have yet to receive a reply, I can only conclude that his God is greater than mine. Quentin’s biggest problem is that his mind and his mouth travel with him wherever he goes. If they could be left back at the barracks, he would make a fine soldier. He spent more time in the stockade than he did training. This man is never to be left near a flagon of ale or a pitcher of beer.
Report to be updated after tour 8.