Pernicious attitudes annoyed Gall, as if war was an excuse for anything. He recalled a story he’d heard from a Malazan – Fist Keneb, he believed – about a company of royal guard in the city of Bloor on Quon Tali, who, surrounded in a square, had used children as shields against the Emperor’s archers. Dassem Ultor’s face had darkened with disgust, and he’d had siege weapons brought in to fling nets instead of bolts, and once all the soldiers were tangled and brought down, the First Sword had sent in troops to extricate the children from their clutches. Among all the enemies of the Empire during Dassem Ultor’s command, those guards had been the only ones ever impaled and left to die slowly, in terrible agony. Some things were inexcusable.
—  Dust of Dreams
Wisdom from the First Sword of the Empire

‘Do what’s right,’ Dassem told us. Gods, even after all this time he still remembered the First Sword’s words.

“That’s a higher law than the command of any officer. Higher even than the Emperor’s own words. You are in a damned uniform but that’s not a license to deliver terror to everyone - just the enemy soldier you happen to be facing. Do what is right, for that armour you wear doesn’t just protect your flesh and bone.
It defends honour.
It defends integrity.
It defends justice.
Soldiers, heed me well. That armour defends humanity. And when I look upon my soldiers, when I see these uniforms, I see compassion and truth. The moment those virtues fail, then the gods help you, for no armour is strong enough to save you.”

Hollow Men - cadmean - The Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Cotillion/Dassem Ultor
Characters: Dancer | Cotillion | The Rope, Dassem Ultor
Additional Tags: Angry Handjobs, angry everything really, post TtH
Summary: Guilt, Cotillion has come to realize, is something that even gods are not immune to.

Guys look this is amazing. I’m so happy there’s new Malazanfic and especially fic as beautiful as this.