The armies of the Grendel feature a number of elite characters vital to the well-being of the army, they provide support and leadership and fill out roles not performed by the core troops.

Sky Mages

Sky mages are the primary healers in the Grendel forces and most Moridun forces will be fielded with at least one and usually more. They are capable battle-trained magicians, with a strong emphasis on healing magics. They use their magic to protect the soldiers they support, rather than to attack; they expect to be protected by the soldiers they are accompanying.

A sky mage is much more than just a healer however - they represent a crucial part of the command structure that provides a unit with leadership and their commander with authority. This privileged role has arisen because the Grendel are profoundly mercenary - they weigh the value of everything - and they know that the powers of their healers are limited. As a result they cast spells sparingly - trying to use their magic when it will have the most effect - and crucially on members of the unit who are most useful. Anyone who is not pulling their weight...

Soldiers who break the line early know that the sky mages will not waste their mana to heal them if they are cut down. Young, brash Grendel learn to adapt to the discipline demanded by their unit quickly - those who do not find their lives ebbing away from them on the battlefield as their sky mages pass them by in search of more useful members of the unit to heal. Grendel soldiers serving in the moridun soon learn that any break in discipline, any loss of nerve, any cowardice, can be fatal. The sky mages are trained to watch the soldiers they fight behind at all times, assessing them, judging them, weighing where their magic can be most usefully expended.

These reports are fed back to their commanders, they affect a soldiers pay - and for some their hopes of promotion through the ranks. As a result, most sky mages are feared by the troops they serve alongside. To cross your sky mage likely means death will soon find you. Only by obeying orders without question, only by committing to every fight with every ounce of their being can they be certain that their sky mage will judge them worth healing if they fall.

Further Reading