"This is it!" Jon overheard the excitement from a group of green boys. "Just you wait, I'll be the first of the Infantry to slay our foes. Be it the Sandy Bitch to the east, or those horse-fuckers to the south, all will fall before my bloody blade!"
There's one more dead man, Jon thought, vaguely amused. It didn't seem so far back when he himself had made similar boasts. Had it truly been sixteen years? Systematic murder sure does make the time fly.
In the center of the Dragon's Camp was a makeshift wooden dais. Well, today it was a dais. On others it was a gibbet. Yet no carcasses swayed from above and all three of the Infantry's generals occupied the stage. Big news, indeed.
No meeting had been scheduled for today, as far as Jon could remember, and he was seldom wrong. The confused and disorganized manner in which the camp gathered confirmed his suspicions. Soldiers jostled shoulder to shoulder with camp whores for a better view, and Jon was seated very far back for his rank.
After about fifteen minutes or so, the crowd had calmed and all was in semi-order. A long, wiry man in a general's uniform bedecked with countless gold medals and badges took center stage. He was too far away for Jon to recognize, but he guessed it was General Sirrux, the eldest general of the Prince's host.
"Warriors, soldiers, champions!" he began in a boisterous tone, surprising from one of such slight form. "I know you are restless. March, camp, march, camp that is all we seem to do of late. No more, I tell you! The Scorpion Queen openly defies our great Lord and Prince.
"She marshals her strength not only from the desert, but the far eastern mountain tribes and southern horselords as well. We are given strict orders, from His Lordship himself, to break their legions before they can be amassed. I ask you, who is ready for the taste of traitor's blood, a place in the songs of legend? Who will bring our great Prince the most heads?"
An groundshaking cheer rose from the Dragons, soldiers clashed their shields with swords and spears, punched their chests, stomped their feet, and swore to the demise of all who would oppose them.
"That is well," the general announced. "Gather your belongings. Strike your tents. Sharpen your blades. Grease your mail. At first light, we march to war. At first light, we head towards DESTINY!!!"
The roar of eighty thousand Dragons drowned out all other sound on earth.