Here is the second profile of a character from ‘ The Black Golwroth of Karaganda’ as promised. I hope you enjoy it. Cheers for now. Liam.
Gaban. He does not have a nickname as he would kill any man who tried to apply it to him. Quentin refers to him as The Widowmaker when he is out of earshot.
Report compiled by Commander Johnathan Sakrom after completion of service training by the above mentioned: updated after tour 7. Description for the Death Squad:
Eyes: mamba-black and shiny when fighting, joyless and nut-brown when at rest.
Hair: undetermined as he dyes it with blackroot.
Nose: a falcon’s nose.
Physique: above average height, standing at just over 6 feet and one inch. No scars or other identifying features. Imp-thin and has a complexion burnished bronze by the sun.
Other attributes: Gaban is one of those rare beings that you may hear about but never meet. He is an amoral, a one-of-a-kind emotional desert. He is sinister, deadly and cannot be controlled by others. He carries a deep-seated hatred of all men around with him and does nothing to disguise it. He dislikes the company of others so much that he regularly eats a clove of garlic to keep them away. His speed is the subject of much chatter among the officers. He can fight just as well with his left arm as his right and both are whipcord-quick.
He has broken three records in the Legion, two of which were over a thousand years old. He is the deadliest man I have ever seen with knives and darts and constantly twirls them in his fingers. His fatal flaw is his discipline. Whenever the battle seems to be going against the Legion, Gaban will break ranks and wade into the middle of our opponents’ lines. This can have the effect of breaking the spirit of our enemies but it is not Legion practice. On all seven tours, he has done this at the ‘death zone’ phase of the battle when the result could have gone either way. When this happens, he is a force of nature and will only re-join the lines when the man known as Black Jack physically goes in to remove him.
Although it is good for Legion morale to have a soldier of his ability, many a veteran has died because he walked out of the shield wall. He has been disciplined for it on numerous occasions but seems to enjoy the loneliness of the stockade as much as Quentin.
Gaban arrived to the Legion just before Jack. They never acknowledged a connection but it is my belief that they were known to each other. It is curious that rumours of two assassins killing rich merchants and nobility from Vulgate to Andan stopped when they joined the Legion.
The circumstances of his entry to the Legion are interesting. He is what is known in the Legion as a ‘walk-in’. This means he did not commit any crime but still sought to join our ranks. When informed that he would have to be a criminal in order to be admitted, he slew four recruits on duty at the gates. He then sat with his back to the wall waiting for reinforcements to arrive. He had planned to kill these also as he later admitted in the court.
I fear the casualties would have run into much higher numbers had not one level-headed training officer arrived on the scene. He assured him he had done enough to gain entry to the Legion if a judge ruled it so. Gaban then laid his weapons against the wall and surrendered. There were two swords, twenty death stars, fifteen throwing knives, ten darts, a filleting knife and two ankle-knives in his possession. The judge determined that he was mentally insane and that the Legion might cure him one way or the other.
Gaban gets fixated on anyone who is better than him with a particular weapon. He will observe a warrior who impresses him, for weeks if necessary, and befriend him. In this phase, he can be quite charming and will deliver compliments. When he has acquired the knowledge he seeks, and surpasses that warrior, he is as liable to kill him as talk to him. I feel sometimes that he is on a constant search for knowledge on how to improve his battle skills. He is incapable of forming emotional attachments. It is my belief that Black Jack is seen by Gaban as an ally rather than a friend. Although Gaban sparred with many of the Legion soldiers, normally inflicting life-threatening injuries, he has never cut the flesh of Jack.
In the initial battle training, he reminded his instructors of a spider more than a man. Sometimes he would toy with his opponent, other times killing him with a swift stroke. Although Quentin killed thirteen men, Gaban killed twenty-seven. He is as cold and chilling as a moorpool in winter. Eventually, the Legion made the decision that he be banned from fighting the other men in death combat. He wasn’t just culling the weak. He was starting to cull our entire herd. There is a touch of the night about that man. If I didn’t know better, I’d consider him to be a warmonger. That would result in his immediate death.
Although a Legion commander recommending execution is uncommon, I found myself in this position twice. One was for Quentin and the other for Gaban. Discipline is paramount when dealing with the calibre of men sent to the Legion. To this end, I do not understand the refusal of the king to respond to my orders regarding these two. They undermine my authority and are disdainful towards the highly-skilled training officers. They refuse to comply with the most basic of orders and possess a wild spirit that is against everything the Legions’ foundation represents.
Were it not for the presence of Jack, I would have rid myself of these two quite some time ago through other means. He has a hold over them that is strange.
Perhaps the Investigator has some purpose for them that I cannot fathom. He appeared to display a keen interest in these two and the man known as Black Jack. If so, I would ask that they be removed from the Legion on king’s orders forthwith. I see a bad end to all this if the present situation remains unchecked. The last few battles have grown in intensity to a level we have not seen before. Our opponents were better organised than is normal, motivated by starvation, and nearly undid us with their force of numbers. Only Legion discipline and order can sustain us in the face of such odds.
It would help considerably if the soldiers at my disposal were loyal to the Legion more than to their ego’s. At least then we might all die an honourable death.
I trust I shall receive a response to my dilemma.
Report to be updated after tour 8.