Sleep, a luxury reserved for those I protect. My men slept, their wives and mothers slept, my King slept.
I pondered a career spent covered in blood. Eighteen years ago I stepped onto my first pitch. A swordsman in the rear guard of Harshbarger’s Second Infantry. I was ordered to stand firm and engage any enemy infantry who penetrated the line.
Behind me that day were archers at 100 paces, behind them the commanders and finally the Field General surrounded by the nobles. General Harshbarger was a flawed commander. I learned years later what he lacked – stomach for blood. He was conservative and timid.
He did not know what I now know. When you command, you spill all the blood on the field. It comes prepackaged in your soldiers’ bodies and those of your enemy. Those creatures come to you, willing to die, but not knowing when or how…
That day my all senses absorbed the battle. I was not prepared for such immersion, no one is their first time. It rattled my brain and altered my soul.