Jarlslag was a simple man. He was happy to do as he was told, as long as those telling him to do things understood his limitations and instructed him within them.
His happiness led him to a blissful space in which he could exist in a rewarding life full of task that depended on him to get done. This was all a mean really needed, that and a family to share the rewards of responsibility with.
Jarlslag had both, and he was one of the fortunate few to have no questions about the nature or character of those who gave him his instructions. His parents told him what to do, and he did those things to the best of his abilities.
When his father brought him into the training camps of the city guard, he went happily because he knew that he would have no end of tasks and instructions given to him, and he went about them to the best of his ability.
He had learned over the years that he was not the most talented of men, far from it in fact, but he had also learned that his consistency in giving his best effort set him apart from all but a select few.
Of those few an even smaller proportion were also among the most talented and intelligent the guard had to offer. Those were the men who now gave him his instructions. He then distributed pieces of those instructions to other men who then saw them done through the labors of other men.
Acting Commander of the City Guard Jarlslag had always been a title that rang sweetly in his ears, and if he’d had a pang of discomfort or a stray question disturb his mental equilibrium for a moment he’d always simply shoved it to the side and gotten the job done.
That’s why, as he approached the ambassador from the Shattered Kingdom with the aim of slipping his long-dagger between the ribs just under the ambassador’s left nipple, he thought nothing of it so much as he thought about getting the job done and giving his best effort.
Commander Jarlslag didn’t realize, as he followed through with the instructions he’d been given by General Korailen and the point of his dagger pierced the ambassador’s heart, that this action would be the spark which would ignite an inferno of war that would sweep across the continent in the same manner as a forest crown fire – sweeping across the forest canopy, killing nearly everything beneath it through suffocation and desiccation as the fire burns all the oxygen out of the understory and the hot winds scour though, drinking deeply the moisture of the forest as sacrificial blood for the fire gods- before reaching the sea and putting to test the power of the very depths.
He didn’t realize, but the spark was nevertheless struck and the tinder began to smoke…