Decanus Garus Concus the Stalwart.
Garus in life was a career soldier. In a time where most soldiers were drafted on a: as and when needed basis, Garus was one of a rare breed, a professional soldier.
Garus wasn’t stronger or sturdier than other men but he was able to get out of the way of attacks directed at him. Even in full lorica hamata, carrying a shield and weapons and he was able to do it without putting others around him in danger.
Not a creative thinker. Garus was good at taking orders, which quickly made him popular with the ranking officers of the Roman Legion.
Garus trained extensively with the gladius, spending much of his waking time practicing sword drills (by the book) or sparing with other legionnaires, wooden gladius to wooden gladius. Before long his dedication to training with the gladius meant that none could best him in single combat and Garus took to training against multiple opponents which posed little more challenge to him. Garus was assigned to training the men in gladius drills.
Garus was promoted to Decanus in his mid-twenties and given command of a small squad. Garus was not a natural at this and in his first few campaigns though his squad had the discipline to follow his orders Garus was relying on his wits rather than any knowledge of tactics, Garus was used to receiving orders to respond to changing situations not giving them.
Garus was taken aside by a Centurion and given training in military tactics that he’d need to know as a Decanus. Garus became known as one of the most caring Decanus’s the legion had ever had. Highly valuing the lives of the men under his command and with a strict adherence to “by the book” tactical protocol (due to his lack of understanding of the principles behind the tactics he’d been taught but ability to recall them well). Garus’s squad generally had a lower attrition rate than most other squads.
Late one evening Garius was doing his gladius training, all participants fully armoured and with wooden training swords, Garus was outnumbered four to one. A centurion that Garus didn’t recognise walked in mid spar and watched. After a short while Garus eliminated all four opponents. The centurion nodded and walked out without a word.
Garus continued to perform in his role as Decanus for the next decade. At the age of 38 Garus was on night duty patrolling just outside the walls of a recently captured frontier settlement, when he saw a shape moving in the middle distance. Garus’s caring nature for his men compelled him to inspect himself. Informing the nearest sentry, so he wasn’t reported as absent from his post, Garus moved off cautiously to inspect the shape. As he approached he could make out more details, it was a man…… A soldier……. A roman soldier……. A centurion……. The centurion who had observed his fight ten years ago…. But it couldn’t be, he hadn’t aged a day….. “Put up your sword” the centurion told Garus. Not one to disobey orders Garus drew his gladius. No sooner had his sword cleared its sheath the centurion was upon him, blindingly fast. Only by his instincts, natural speed and countless hours of training with the gladius did Garus manage to parry the incoming blow. The centurion struck again, Garus’s shield was there this time. The attacks came again and again, faster and faster each time. Garus couldn’t even begin to think about forming a counter attack, forced completely on the back foot, his mind occupied with the defensive patterns he’d learnt over his 22 year career. He was faced with someone who was undoubtedly better than him. Garus knew it wouldn’t be long before he was overpowered or the centurion found an opening and then Garus would be either beat or dead, he couldn’t take a chance with it being the latter. Garus redoubled his defence waiting for the speed and ferocity of the centurions attacks to tire the centurion out.
Ten minutes passed, something was wrong. The centurion’s attacks were not relenting if anything they were coming harder and faster and it was Garus who was becoming fatigued. His shield arm agony from the battering it was taking, his sword arm fealt as heavy as lead every time he raised it to parry. The centurion got the tip of his gladius around the rim of Garus’s shield quickly whipping it back, Garus was completely open. Before he could bring his shield back to defend himself, before he could move his gladius to parry, before he could even force his tired weary legs to step back to open up some distance. Garus had a gladius stuck deep within his stomach, shearing through the rings of his lorica hamata as if it wasn’t there. “You didn’t do anything wrong, your form was near perfect and this loss wasn’t any fault of your own. You are remarkable Garus and this isn’t the end for you.” With that the centurion quickly withdrew his sword from Garus’s gut and knocked him out with the pommel.
Garus awoke many hours later in the barracks of Legio Mortuum. The centurion who had turned him was no-where to be seen. It was explained to Garus that he was now a vampire and where he stood in the world and that though he would not hold the rank of Decanus in his new role in the Legio Mortuum, he’d been given chance to fight eternally and become an even greater warrior. Understanding his new role Garus underwent his induction and was quickly deployed to the front lines.
Garus served on the front lines until called back to Rome to show the newest batch of Legio Mortuum how professional soldiery was done. Garus quickly tracked down the rogue legionary Gauis Marius and brought him back to the legion headquarters for trial for desertion.
Also since being back in Rome, Garus has led or taken part in expeditions to clear out Draugr, taking nearby rebel settlements, exposing traitors to the republic, securing new arms deals for the legion as well as beginning to learn the crafts of weapon crafting for himself. Garus, with the help of Dadakai, had earned his way back to Decanus
Garus’s most recent achievement almost left him dead……. Twice. Hearing of an undefeated champion of the gladiators Garus decided since campaign season was cooling down to keep his fighting skills honed he would fight this man. Titan wasn’t a man; Titan was a mountain carrying a huge two handed hammer. Garus in his pride had taken a bet that he couldn’t take Titan without his shield, a mistake that nearly cost Garus his unlife. After a period of recovery it was decided by Dadakai that Titan could not be allowed to live and that he needed to be put down. Garus volunteered to go back in incognito, his pride was at stake. He fought Titan again, with his shield this time and all was going well for Garus until Titan stopped fighting like a military man and started fighting like the back alley street brawler he was built like. Titan grabbed Garus and using his monumental strength started to break Garus’s body under him. Garus struggled against him to little avail. Garus tried to break out as much as he could but he could feel his body giving under the man who had the strength of the titans of legend. Garus could not even get his sword into position to make any meaningful contribution. The unlife was being crushed out of Garus; he was being beaten again, fatally this time. His unlife was about to end and Garus wasn’t ready for that. Letting out an almighty roar, Garus dug deep and accessed the last reserves of his strength, skewering Titan through the jaw. Titans crushing hold relaxed and Garus proceeded to decapitate him. With the last of his energy spent Garus collapsed and was dragged off the field by Dadakai………