"As the sun rose the imposing silhouette of the jackals military city defiantly dominated the skyline, it stood a great towering behemoth of chiseled stone and beaten steel bereft of all beauty in the starkness of its function, The sky was a deep red as if the clouds themselves were bleeding lending a crimson hue to the swirling sands that danced in the morning breeze.
The few trees that dotted the landscape clawed at the sky with leafless branches looking more like grasping desperate hands reaching for rain than any form of vegetation, The day had only begun but already the dry heat had begun to radiate from the emerging sun eagerly devoured by the sanguine sands.
The sounds of the jackals call trumpeted above the city as its residents awoke in a swarm moving with practiced precision and uniformity seemingly belying any sense of being separate entities as they marched towards their shared goals.
The now rising sun hammered its molten wrath down upon the landscape like an angry smith forging the jackals into the hardened military machine they were know as while the air itself drank the moisture from everything it touched, This was no place for the weak or the solitary as it is the gateway to chimeria."
The jackals are a slave race in Chimeria, Once they stood defiant against the praetorians but had their culture, gods and freedom taken from them in a great war they no longer remember, Every jackal alive is property owned by a citizen of the empire, Jackals have a strong code of honour and pride and take great satisfaction in their roles as the southern fist of the empire.
Jackals are bred according to the needs of the empire, Babies are taken from their mothers at birth and given to Creche Barracks to begin their training, Before a jackal can walk they are given a sword, a shield, and a spear to prepare them for their lives ahead, Their time as children is split between intense training sessions, Military and cultural conditioning and service roles around the military cities, Children are sometimes transferred in clutches to strengthen bloodlines in other cities.
Jackals reaching adulthood begin to leave the cities in patrols and participate in training games against other cities, They are also permitted their first contact with citizens of the empire having being long ago drilled in the appropriate responses of humility and deference, It is around this time a jackal is sold.
Owning a militant slave is a sign of opulence, civic responsibility and character in the empire, It says to all your rivals that you are willing to devote yourself to the protection of the empire (And that you can afford the soldiers!) An owner will finance all the gear their jackal is given and will share in any accolades that the jackal earns in service, distinguished slaves can be on-sold to other collectors.
And owner normally has little to do with their slaves but have the right in extreme situations to summon their slaves in the interest of personal security, destroying an enemy of the empire or to travel to other lands, the average jackal though will never even meet their owner.
Jackals view advancement in rank as one of the greatest achievements in their lives and as such value missions and battle as highly desirable situations, Jackals are excellent attackers, They rarely flee from combat and are aggressive to a fault, in times of conflict jackal armies have been known to fly into a frenzy they call "Blood Glory" while they attempt to purge all enemies of the empire (real and imagined) This has given them a reputation for savagery despite their rigid militant nature.
Jackals lack any form of personal currency in their cities and are issued everything they need, Rewards are given by the military command in the form of requisition orders and each city has a cache of funds for purchasing required goods from other sources.
The common ranks in the jackal armies are Private, Corporal and Sergeant, A private is the most basic form of soldier and is what every recruit becomes when they mature, A corporal is the lowest rank that can be given command of other men, typically of 7 men to form a combat unit, A sergeant is the lowest rank that will be given a mission or patrol and can command up to 7 corporals
The other ranks active in the military are lieutenants who are the command staff of a captain, A captain who can take missions, requisition supplies and lead battle groups, Majors who are in charge of special divisions or oversee operations (i.e armoury, logistics, foreign relations, construction crews, seige engineers) Colonels who lead large armies and can command soldiers from multiple cities and Generals who form the council to oversee the cities themselves.
Jackal armour is typically made of overlapping engraved metal plates and is most commonly Coat of plates, Scale Armour or Llamellar, They favour the spear, the shield and the javelin in combat but have been known to use sickles, scythes, axes and war picks per personal preference, Jackal clothing is usually made from heat resistant lightly spun linen in drab colours.
Jackals greet citizens of the empire with the phrase "In Service" with a tilted head, Slaves with "In service we stand" and other jackals with "Our fathers were brothers"