Today, we have decided to turn our attention to those who are devoted to protecting the Fyros empire. You can find them regularly patrolling the streets of Pyr: they are the Emperor's soldiers.

Who are you?

Dexius Apokos, Imperial Fyros Fifth Legion Artillery, at your service.

So you are in the Fyros army?

In the service of the Emperor, yes.

And how long have you been a soldier?

I joined the Imperial Legions five years ago, though I entered the military academy when I was just a young homin. The training was hard, but the instructors are always right.

What is the training like?

The first months are especially devoted to physical training, handling weapons and military discipline. Only then are we ready to begin with the actual techniques for protecting our territory. Saving our borders and keeping the Empire together are our top priorities. However, the kitin threat is still with us today, so we had to learn to recognize the various species, know their weak points and evade their deadly attacks. Then gradually, there are some who stand out in one specialized area or another. Those who show good leadership abilities are quickly promoted to commanding ranks. The lighter ones who show little aptitude for physical activities are taught to ride on mektoubs so they can become scouts or messengers, and so on.

And what about you - what is your specialty?

I was immediately attracted to the firearms. You could even say that I am gifted. Since my abilities with an ax were pretty miserable, I was quickly integrated with the Emperor's artillery sections, which is as much of a relief to me as it must be to Sergeant Zerisse, who couldn't bear to see me drop my ax. I think it's significant that when I was young, I had little occasion to handle any arms and other Fyros made fun of me.

You had never handled a weapon, you say? So why did you choose the army?

Since I was little, I dreamed of wide-open spaces. And the proud look of the Fyros warriors, the honor of serving the Emperor, the idea of serving my people - all those things appealed to me. My father happened to be a crafter, and wanted me to follow in his footsteps. He was very authoritarian and forced me to spend hours working leather at his side, while other young Fyros were out hunting yubo. I couldn't stand being shut inside that way. So one day, I up and ran away to enlist with the recruiters.

And do you ever regret this?

Sometimes. Although serving the Emperor fills me with pride, it is true that I have never really had an opportunity to live the adventures I was dreaming of. You know, the life of a soldier is mostly about patrolling the streets of Pyr, endless guard duty in the heat and flames at the gates of Pyr, the risk of being sent to a frontier post way out in the desert for weeks on end, where there is nothing happening and not much of the heroic activity that you hear about in tales when you are a child. My biggest regret is leaving my mother. That is why I asked to be assigned to the sanctuary guard detachment.

The sanctuary?

Yes, the Kami sanctuary! You must be aware that the sanctuaries are being built on the outskirts of Pyr. With those satanic Karavan followers always hanging around, looking for any pretext to attack us, they will need guards to protect the building sites.

So why did you want to be a sanctuary guard?

So I could be closer to my mother. I heard that she was very ill. I feel bad about leaving her without saying a word, the poor woman must have been sick with worry. If I could become a sanctuary guard, then maybe I could go to see her regularly without the risk of being called to a frontier post for months on end. And I know she would be proud to see me serving the Kamis, and it would reassure her to know that I am assigned to a sanctuary rather than being sent to clean out a kitin nest.

And what about you - how do you feel about serving the Kamis?

I feel honored! While I am loyal to the Emperor, my heart will always belong to Ma-Duk. And to tell you the truth, I am a little tired of these unexciting patrols through the streets of Pyr. I will get a chance to see some action alongside the Kamis. I wouldn't want to miss it when war breaks out against Jena! Then I will finally get a chance to show the Emperor that he can be proud of me, and show my father that I have become a true homin.


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