“Of course war should remain the focus of the warrior caste. They are the heart of our army. However, if they are our only soldiers, then whenever a city is attacked there will be a thousand excellent soldiers, and ten-thousand idle men who could be helping them if only they knew which way to point a spear. Meditate on that scenario. I am sure you will agree with me.
Regardless, this is my directive on establishing a militia:
Upon turning sixteen, every young man will report for two months in the winter and learn the basics of archery, spear use, and military discipline. On finishing, they will receive a weapon as fits their skill. Thereafter, they will train in their local tens or hundreds once per week, except in the harvest season, until they are forty or crippled, and be ready to answer to any battle within the borders of your province or those neighboring.
Women who turn sixteen will receive similar training in the winter, and will be expected to train twice per month thereafter, separate from the men. They will not muster for battle outside their own locale. This way, even when the men are called away, their homes will still be defended.
Do this as I have commanded, and your border will be secure within ten years.”
-Emperor Ankad ArdAnkadia, excerpt from a letter sent to the warlord of Ralora province, 37 YL.
This chapter is part of the in-progress serial web novel The Unbroken Blade, intended to be book one in The Shattered Empire trilogy, and features a mix of sci-fi and thematic elements reminiscent of near-future military fiction such as Gasaraki or Isaac Hooke’s Atlas series and sci-fi combat classics such as Mechwarrior/Battletech and Gundam. The story is rich with battle and conflicts of honor and conscience arising around a civil war on the forested world of Dankar, far from our own, but is primarily focused on how the main characters deal with the challenges they face, not their machines or their world. Follow this blog to receive each chapter as soon as it is released. Like and share to give me a shot of encouragement. Full chapter updates on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.