Upon joining the army you’ll have to make a choice to what unit you want to belong:

  • Scout: Generally good at moving unseen, scouts are important to any army. They need to be survivors and therefore only quick, lean and strong soldiers are chosen to be scouts.
  • Heavy Infantry: The meanest, toughest and strongest soldiers are send to the Heavy Infantry. They are trained to work with the heaviest armor and weapons.
  • Medium Infantry: If you show promise, you’ll probably end up in the medium infantry. They are the ones who generally go in first and come out last.
  • Light Infantry: The Light Infantry is despised and laughed upon by the heavier soldiers. But they are important, for they are a versatile and quick-footed army with ranged weapons. Still it is usually the last place you get send if you’re not good enough for anything else.
  • Heavy Cavalry: Some of the heavy and medium infantry show promise on horseback and are recruitd to the heavy cavalry. In the army they are mostly apart from the others, both in battle as on the march, forming their own small elite force. In the years this has been enforced by the joining of mostly nobles.
  • Marines: The marines are trained to be versatile and are therefore mostly chosen if they’re smart and all-around good at everything. They need to be able to wield crossbows, as well as know shield formations and city fighting. Marines are the backbone of the Malazan Army.
  • Sappers: Unique to the Malazans there are forces of combat engineers. They have special alchemist bombs and mines. Their task is mainly to build or blow up stuff, but skilled sappers can be helpful in any situation.
  • Healers: Any army needs healers. Most of them are mages specialized in the Path of Dennul.
  • Mages: Especially Lesser Mages are scattered throughout the army and found in many different squads, where they complement the soldier’s with magic. Most mages can only use one Path of Magic. The most prominent mages are grouped together in Mage Cadres or may become a High Mage.
  • Claw: The Claw are the empire’s specialist assassins. Most of them wield some magic. They are chosen at a young age and trained hard. They operate mostly in secret, either alone or grouped in Hands. They are directed directly by the Empress and are as such mostly outside the command structure. They are feared by both enemies and allies.

A Soldier's Life