Empire Maker.

Samgal wiped his sword on the grass and his brow with his sleeve. He eyed the severed chieftain’s head at his feet, a macabre ‘trophy’ of the victory.

The enemy was despondently huddled together surrounded by warriors awaiting the orders to kill them and gather the women and children.

Samgal sighed, the ache of his body gnawed, the sword a leaden weight, the ambition a roaring torrent. “It all comes down to this,” his father had said “Leave an enemy standing and they will cut you down.”

It was not an enemy that had killed him, but a close advisor. An usurper in the night with quick poison.

The death of enemies laid the burden of slaves and extra land to till at the feet of the new chieftain. A burden that would cost his ambition dearly.

His second in command approached, “Are you sure about this?”

“No, but this is the only way to make it happen, the land we have is not enough!” Samgal sheathed his sword and strode across the mud and blood.

Samgal dismissed his guarding warriors, “Tend to our foes fallen the same as ours, make haste before the moon rises.”

The prisoners gasped, the victorious should burn his enemy’s dead, barring them from the warrior’s rites.

"My foes, I Samgal, hereby give you a choice. Take up arms with me and unite our clans under the one banner or join your sword brothers in the barrow.”

A warrior spoke, “Why join with you?”

“Because you will become part of the great story of the beginning of an empire that will become the greatest the world has seen.” Samgal’s voice rang out over the field. The warriors fell on bent knee and Samgal knew that his empire had come one mighty step closer.