In the aftermath of the bloodletting, Ruslan would scour the battlefield and strip corpses of their treasures. War booty to be divided and distributed: one in four parts to the royal household, two in four parts to the auxiliaries and retainers, and the balance as his payment rendered to The Peerless One, Defender of the Feeble and the Faithful, Sultan Mahmoud the Illustrious, the Magnificent, the First Servant of God.

Palm trees in desert, Ein Gedi, Israel

He would have preferred The Magnificent One to have given him charge of the gold and silver and precious stones taken from the fallen. But this was a much sought after task reserved for the most trusted of court retainers. Even taking charge of the livestock confiscated from the defeated was an honourable and respected office, and lucrative too. That too went to the favoured tribesmen of The Magnificent One’s clan—herdsmen who carefully selected the best breeders for the royal stables and herds, and kept the rest for themselves. For an empire that fought and ruled from the saddle, this was wealth indeed.

Ruslan was left to gather blunt and bent weapons, shattered shields, scarred leathers, smelly boots and torn and soiled fabrics. The dying emptied life, soul and more.

However, he soon realized that metals and leathers were not a drain on his resources as were horses, camels and goats. The animals had to be watered and fed, and corralled and protected from wolves, both of the four and two-legged varieties. When droughts hit, and it was common for the rains to hold back and test the mettle of man and beast, the value of herds diminished. A goat, which might once be worth more than a maiden with a ginger waist, could be had in return for one night with a novice not versed in the erotic arts.

And with every campaign—the heavens did favour The Magnificent One—Ruslan’s wealth flourished.

The scavenger’s profits are indeed nourished by blood.

### Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2017 ###


  1. Illuminating, informative, and interesting, all the ‘i”s, as well as being well written, but what a gruesome topic! I agree that this scene contains the genesis for a great historical novel. I trust that you will be able to incorporate some love and affection, laced with moments of beauty; for surely they also existed alongside the battle worn struggle for survival.

    1. Thank you, Jane dear, for the 3-i’s
      Much appreciate them and I’ll see where this opening goes…
      Love and affection did exist – after a fashion. Thank you for the heads up – I might give it a go.
      All good wishes for the weekend,

  2. Hello Eric,

    Looks like one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, he who has the foresight to discern the value.

  3. I see you are building on past series relating to the movement of tribes interacting all the way from Mongolia to the eastern borders of Europe. There were no borders in those days, the land was possessed by the stronger….. until another tribe came along which was even stronger to plunder, kill or in some cases to absorb.

    1. You are a perceptive one, Ian – and have always been 🙂

      These are little pockets plucked from here and there. When researching for my novels, I come across words and ideas that prompt. The above is one such result.

      All good wishes,

    1. Hello Bill,
      Yes, you’re right. This has several possibilities.
      I’m working on several historical fictions and these posts help keep me in the groove, so to speak.

I like to hear your thoughts

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