It was a hot day in the Imperium. The trainee Guards were hard at work, all using steel swords, rather than the soft wooden ones that were used by children. Within the walls of the tower, was the clashing of metal, and the shouting of recruits. Cursing at their incompetence, shouting at their opponents, spurring themselves on to be a better fighter. Around two-hundred men and women were at their final stage of training, learning the ability to fight off five enemies at a time, while simultaneously be scrutinised by the officers of the Guards’ Tower, who had long graduated from the Imperium.
Withal Smyth, Captain of the Guard, gritted his teeth at what he was watching. The trainees had been taught to fight against one, two, and three opponents at once. All of his recruits impressing him, did what he told them. But this wasn’t what he instructed. Fighting was like dancing, he told them. It’s methodical, it’s controlled, and when executed properly, is beautiful. So why weren’t they fighting like dancers, he thought. It wasn’t methodical, it wasn’t swift, it was clunky, careless, and obvious. A fighter’s enemy should be unsuspecting, slight, swift, quick, and effective. These trainees were none of that.