The story begins......
Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there was a small Empire led by an old family of Emperors. The once great nation was surround by the evil from the south and east, left by the traitors of the north and abandoned and estranged from its former friends in the west. A noble King ruled it, but he was troubled at the threat of war.
This is how the story would begin in the countries far to the north where we once came from, or so I’m told. They would then continue through trial upon trial until in the end the evil was destroyed, the Prince got the Princess and they all lived happily ever after.
I don’t think this will be happening to us, we live in interesting times.
My name is Svend and I am the current Captain of the Imperial Guard. This is my personal diary in which I recount the events in my life. I am a Væring or perhaps I should say that that is what we call ourselves. Uncounted generations in the Imperial service have left its impressions and I am no longer what my forefathers were.
A Væring are the northern warriors that once came after the wars in England and offered their service to the Emperor Basilios II Bulgaroktonos as his bodyguard, considered fearful and loyal warriors he accepted.
It is told that my father’s great-grandfather still spoke the old language, but nothing is now left but a few remains that we still use among ourselves and as command language, giving us a slight edge and an aura of mysticism that comes from giving commands nobody can understand.
The warriors didn’t bring their women and generations of taking local women as wives has blended our blood and even though we still try to keep our community tight and our sons marry their friends’ sisters we have in many ways become Greek. I shiver at the thought of snow and I’m told that our northern origin has frost and snow in the winter.
My father like me was Captain of the Guard and our family has been Officers of the Guard for as long as anyone cares to remember, but my uncle left to become a merchant and I fear my son will not follow me into the Guard. I cannot in honesty blame him, with the prospect of war and Empire dwindling and reduced to its present state, but I would have liked him to honor tradition. I have other sons off course, perhaps there I can find a soldier, but the firstborn is always special.
The Guard has changed too during the countless generations. We are still soldiers first and foremost, but we have become more and more involved in the administration of the Empire. As the land has dwindled the administration has moved from the local landowners to taxation of merchants and artisans in the city. I can live with the administrative duty, but I loathe the ceremonial duty, the city has become more and more focused on itself and the ceremonial part is taking up valuable time. Time that should be spending training, building and hiring for the upcoming war, because war is coming of that I’m certain.