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He dream that he was still Ingard Mannison and of the time he became Humakti. But a youth of Tresdarni clan, the Twin Birch bloodline ran strong within my veins. I had lived Orlanth's life to the full in wilds of Lagerwater during my youth but must become a man sooner than many.

I was just nine years old but had heard whisper of the Righteous Wind and how it would strike down the lunars and their madness. Many thanes especially the Vingan women went to fight for that rebellion in 1611, yet at Gamla’s Leap they were slain, only a handful returned. Then at eleven in 1613 it was Starbrow's rebellion that took those still able to fight. We are weak, then comes kinstrife; our *king* and his fawning solar godi scheme to bring the clan under heel. Only the young and infirm seem to be left now, the thanes are younger each year that take up the defence of the clan.

So it was with a heavy heart that father agreed to the training with Clapsaddle, a gnarled and scary Tresdarni weaponthane. A Humakti veteran of the rebellions, Braggi was nobodies fool and wise in more than just the sword. Many seasons pass in Braggi's training with other young Tresdarni; long days full of toil under his scowling gaze and harsh words; war and death was a serious matter and you better not forget it.

Seasons pass and then suddenly the relentless training and spoken word was suddenly at an end; it is time.

We travel through the foothills of Far Point, towards Alda Chur! Many other weaponthanes are met along the trail, some laugh and others are cold, grim as death himself. Braggi knows them one and all and they talk at length of what may come to pass. At dusk we walk down into the walled city of Alda Chur making haste to the War Temple, the dark and foreboding halls of death.

That very night, with blood and iron, I face Death revealed in all his majesty. Severed from kin my initiation is made

I am dead now, I am Humakti.

With the first revelations of Kargan burning my mind I stand outside the War Temple in the frosty dark of early morning. Trying to control my shivering I stand alongside my new brothers and sisters, we are servants of death now, Humakti one and all. Ravens gather on the roof of the War Temple as we stand motionless under fluttering standards and banners.

Then the silence is broken, I hear the Dawn Muster for the first time;

The Dawn Muster
Lord of the Long Road, Humakt, Name-Quester
Cut short my days, destroy me.

Master of Silence, Bronze-Dyer, Illusion Render
Betray my hope, destroy me.

Wielder of the Truth that cuts
the pain that frees

Destroy me once, destroy me twice
till only you remain.

Great Ironbroker of corpses, Straight-Will,
Terrible Secret

I do not claim to judge you
to proclaim, ’this is just’ or ‚’this is evil’
for you alone know Truth.

I know only to obey
surrender to your sharp command
that I may walk the long road, hear the silence
and free myself from life.

All I have is death, and company of swords
to lift the weight of falsehood from my soul.

May fierce fate’s frenzy dye our blades blood red
that we, enduring, suffer into truth.



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