- See also: The Ashen Cuirass
The charge of the Ash Warriors is a sight to behold. With hounds at their side and their fierce battle cries, the Ash Warriors have buckled the ranks of even stalwart veterans. And if the enemy line does hold, then the true test begins. Quill and ink is a poor medium to convey the sheer power of their rages.
Despite the Ash Warriors' renown, several misconceptions persist. Some believe the mercenaries are predominately Avvar or Chasind tribesmen. Certainly their armor evokes barbarian roots. But the men and women of the Ash Warriors are almost entirely civilized. In my travels as chronicler and surgeon, I spent several months with the Ash Warriors, although finding any willing to speak of their history was difficult. The stories I gradually elicited were chilling tales of hard men.
One was an arsonist who joined the Ash Warriors on the gallows. Another had committed fratricide, and another's dire past I dare not recount. In joining the Ash Warriors, their crimes were forgiven, for it was as if they were never born. Even in legal records their old life is erased—contracts voided, marriages annulled, records of birth erased. In this, they are much like the dwarven Legion of the Dead. Their new lives are dedicated to redemption and service.
My first night with the band, I was startled when they asked me to sing a few verses of the Chant of Light. Grim to a man and fearsomely garbed, yet they were as eager to hear the Chant as the most faithful parishioner. I felt as the first missionaries must have—surrounded by barbarians. The more I learned of the Ash Warriors, the more questions I had. They are mercenaries who demand no pay, men with no pasts, considered the king's men yet beholden to no one. I could have traveled with them for many years and still had mysteries to uncover.
—From Annals of the Scarlet March, by Brother Bedine, Chantry Scholar