Page 3 of 8 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 157

Thread: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [COMPLETED]

  1. #41
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
    Content Staff

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Crannog
    Posts
    2,084

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor

    Quote Originally Posted by ybbon66 View Post
    Promises, promises! He's going to be an old man before he gets anywhere near a battle - you're just teasing us!

    It's hellish good though, I keep coming back to read more. I'd +rep you but need to spread some around first.
    You're not actually far wrong, he's currently 33 years old, pretty old for the time period already! On the plus side...he has two sons...

    I promise you there will be some action in the next update, fear not readers, because I'm tired of Marcus sitting about and have decided to fling him into some whether he likes it or not.

    All support is also very gratefully received, you wonderful people, I only write because you read.

  2. #42
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
    Content Staff

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Crannog
    Posts
    2,084

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor



    Pergamite Blood and The First Patrol, Part II - Summer 575 A.U.C to Winter 576 A.U.C


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    It took, as most things always do, a number of months, nay, over a year, until I finally got to grips with the action that I sought. Being away from Mediolanum, my family, and wife, I wrote them often and relished the news that both my boys were growing up strong and my daughter to be as beautiful as her mother and as handsome as her father.

    Yet always in my heart I longed for violence, something in my blood driving me to this calling, praying each night to any gods that would hear me, to Ares, to Darzalas, to Gebeleizis and even to Dionysos who was more commonly prayed to by our ever-sodden Thrakian cousins and, of course, to mothers Bendis and Kotys both.

    Why this sudden thirst for action had come upon me I could not say, for always I had been a rather peaceful man and only now was my blood boiling away to a fine smiths fire. I reckoned with myself that it could be the methods of the Romani, turning me into a killer, or even that it was the true nature of my Dacian self which had at last come to the surface now that I was away from home-and-hearth. Either could be true, or neither, it made no real difference to me, all that was on my mind was the blood-letting and, as I have said, this is what I eventually got in a rather twofold event.

    In the Roman month of Aprilis, under a sun which Apollo must have placed there to literally bake us alive, Spurius received a message directly from the princeps himself. This swiftly verified document ordered our tribunus to take our cohort into the recently 'acquired' province of Rhaetia, to make a base-camp on the border between ourselves and the Germanii and then to equally 'acquire' persons of the aforementioned peoples so that we may deduce from them what was going on in nations other than our own, most specifically in the territories of the Gauls, the Dacian Confederation and the seemingly ever-expanding lands of the Boii.

    Me, cloak and all, Breucus, and at least nearly two-hundred other Gauls, Dacians and Thrakians, were gathered together under the command of none other than Decurio Vibius Rufus Regillus, the red-haired wonder.

    From a tribal aristocrat to a sub-commander of a Roman auxiliary unit he had gone, embracing everything the Romani threw at him or gifted to him, riding like them, speaking like them and laughing at their pathetic, weak-wine induced, gestures. I can only hope that I was not the only one of my countrymen who sensed a certain undercurrent of resentment and pent-up rebelliousness beneath his cool and calm exterior, his grey eyes creasing at the edges when he laughed but their essence still as hard as the granite rock prevalent in my former homeland.

    I call it former not because I had abandoned it completely but because, like most of the now fully trained recruits around me, I could see the benefit of an organised and prevalent military system and class within ones 'tribe', a force specifically for defending your own territories and gaining new ones. Of course, Dacian tribes already had something similar, but these warriors were undisciplined and ungoverned, like those I had killed in my village, personal gain being their only objective and concepts such as tactics, manoeuvring and formations all but impossible for them to comprehend.

    Does this mean I embraced Roma and her Res Publica completely? By the spear of Heros Karabazmos no, but I did respect it and rightly fear it.

    Anyway...

    It was November by the time we were finally sent on our way, across a ford and on an eastern heading towards the lands of the Marcomannii. Everything we needed for our travels, travels that would see us into the winter of 576 Ab Urbe Condita, was carried on our backs or by the sturdy ponies of the Germanic horsemen who were acting as our guides through the heavily forested landscape.

    Although the Roman army was supposed to be uniform, or so I had heard it said, it seemed to me that our own company was of an entirely unique flavour. Each man had been equipped with whatever could be salvaged from the armouries of both the auxiliaries and the legio V Alaudae before we had left Mediolanum, an assortment that gave our merry band the appearance of a relatively prepared unit, even if we were not one.

    From head-to-toe, a helmet, usually of a type I am informed was influenced by the Gauls, then a common tunic covered mostly by a type of scale-armour or lorica squamata, some well-kept and some almost falling apart, our legs simply bare except for a pair of hob-nailed sandals which were standard-issue. A gladius was shoved into our fists and an oval clipeus shield into the other, a dagger placed on our belts to be used only in emergencies it was said.

    This may sound to you, dear reader, all fine but this was only the half of it really. We had men armoured in the mail of the legions, men with boiled-leather and even men with no armour at all but only their tunics for protection against incoming blows to the body. Likewise there were every miscellanea of accessories you could possibly imagine, from pendants to rings, and felt caps to cloaks, such as mine.

    By the winter, October of the Roman calendar, of 576 we had driven deep into Germanii territory, traversing the territory of the Chattii and heading south-east into Boihaemum. Official rations were low, but game was plenty, as such we never went hungry during our travels, in the summer at least, but we each knew that if we did not find some form of shelter during the winter months then we may as well either turn around or start eating our cavalries ponies...not something that they seemed too keen on.

    One of our horsemen, a native of the area, told us of a settlement near the Mulda river named 'Marobudum' by early Romani map-makers. It lay in a territory highly disputed between the Boii and the Marcomannii and where we were to find that the Boii had been pressing for quite some years.


    **********

    Clear weather and hardened ground were what we had as we took our route towards Marobudum, knowing little that the Boii had already seized control of the city from its inhabitants and now claimed it as their own. Had we known, however, I believe we still would have kept to our course and marched on.

    We had been tracking a war-party of exceptionally loud Boii warriors, nearly four-hundred as far as I could guess, for a few days as they appeared to be following the same trail as our own and, well, curiosity and the chance of conflict got the better of even the Romanised Vibius. Speaking of which, I have no recollection of how our enemies discovered us at their rear, but they did, speeding their advance before finally turning about at their chosen spot to defend themselves from an assault which both parties knew was coming.

    Our enemy placed themselves in a well chosen spot, sitting atop a hill and awaiting our advance with baited breath, weapons ready and deep war-chants billowing through the trees about us.

    “Testudo!” Shouted Vibius from astride his horse, one hand covering his brow to get a better look at our enemy, the call being taken up by our two ex-legionary centurions, “form testudo and then we advance on them and we shall have them, by the gods we shall!”

    The excitement from our ranks was palpable, so much so that, if you stuck your tongue out, you probably could have tasted it in the air all around us. We did as we were asked however, our training that had been drilled hard into us making us move, as one, as if by some invisible strings attached to each of our limbs.

    “One ready...testudo!,” The first rank of men lunged their shields forwards, each rank behind flicking theirs either overhead or out to the sides, the testudo being formed like a finely built machine of war, each man knowing his place in the formation and each shield slotting into position.

    When the formation was finished, each centurion, vexillarius and cornicen retiring to the rear, the cornicen sounded the march and onwards we went.

    Though the ground was of varying degrees of terrain, sometimes solid and sometimes nearly slush, sometimes flat and sometimes a hillock, we walked forward in unison and without complaint, urged on by the cornu and centurion, step-by-step towards the waiting enemy who sounds as excited as we felt.

    I must admit that, being in the middle ranks, I could not see very much of what was going on at all but, by the beard of Jupiter, I could hear it! Those Boii banging their weapons against shields and screaming at the top of their lungs to their gods, not knowing, well how could they, that some within our own ranks probably understood them and must have been quite shaken at the prospect of facing even these distant cousins.

    As for myself, my shield held tightly overhead and my other hand on my pommel, I gritted my teeth and cursed Fortuna as a stone bit deep into my uncovered but also numbed toe, forcing me to leave a diminutive scarlet trail in the wake of our footfalls.

    Soon, my legs close to unfeeling now, we began to be pelted with javelins and stones, the projectiles of our lightly armed and clothed opposition bouncing from our shields and deflecting harmlessly away. I am not ashamed to say that I prayed silently to great Gebeleizis, rewarded as I was with divine protection, flinching inwardly at each thump and hammering of a missile to my side or overhead. Superstitiously my 'free' hand would often move towards the hilt of my sika, an item I had been allowed to keep and wear, as had others, so that in my mind it may ward off injury or harm.

    Once the noises had stopped I let out a huge release of air, sighing heavily, thinking that the Boii would take to their tails and retreat into the shadows of the forest. I was wrong. Contrary to this, the Celtic warriors, worked up to a frenzy, flung themselves at us like wild beasts whilst we were still attempting to hold our formation. I heard our centurion shout from the rear to form line, and that was all the encouragement I needed.

    To my right I saw a blonde-haired Gaul, dressed in a blend of Roman armour and his native dress, pitched off his feet by an enemy longsword and all but decapitated by a downwards slam of the hexagonal shield carried by his adolescent attacker.

    We formed line as quickly as we could, men walking patiently to their positions as we had been taught, our lines kept in check by the grim-faced centurions at our backs, turning to face our adversaries before we slaughtered them all. As we manoeuvred into position a mist began to roll in, a man only being able to see a few feet in front of him by the finish, the Boii determined to use this to gain an advantage and attacking from all directions at once except our rear, trying to wrap about our flanks and consume us as a falcon does a hare.

    “Enemy on the flank!”

    It was a warning shout that there were not just Boii soldiers attempting to turn our flank but an entirely new force, a relief force from the towns garrison perhaps, endeavouring to turn the tide of battle against us. Oddly, it was when a crazed Celt threw himself at me that I realised the cavalry, our native guides and only mounted troops, all two turmae of them, were nowhere in sight. It came quickly to my mind that they must be out there, in the mist, fighting and dying and shedding the blood of others just as we were...or at least I hoped they were!

    Men were screaming all around me, my feet stepping in a concoction of things underfoot that I would rather not deliberate about, but which I like to call the 'juices of war', here a Dacian expertly penetrated the flesh of a lime-haired Boii beneath the armpit and there a javelin was hurled at an unsuspecting Thrakian, whose face disappeared to leave a red haze in the mist where his head had been.

    Another hammering on my shield bought me back round, out of my daydreams and back into the very real situation I now found myself in, men either side of me squeezing closer and closer together as the Boii tried to swamp us.

    I concentrated solely on what was in front of my own eyes, the iron helmet suddenly heavy on my head and my shoulders aching and sore from the weight of my scale-mail, lifting my left arm to ram the bottom edge of my shield into a half-naked midriff, cleaving downwards with my gladius and paying it no more mind than if I had been harvesting wheat. A second opponent appeared, a short-sword clutched in one fist and a shield in the other, the shorter but stockier man throwing his weight against the charge and shunting me, his short-sword coming over the rim of my shield to strike a blow onto my helmet which made my ears ring. Recovering as quickly as I could, a feeling of nausea sweeping over me even as I made my move, I thrust my arm forward and grinned a mad grin of satisfaction as I watched the double-sided blade puncture skin and, from the pungent smell of faeces that emerged as he died, I assumed an influential organ of the body as well.

    To the rear I could hear the pounding of hooves, yelps and deep bellows in the phlegm-inducing syllables of the Germanic languages, those large, blonde and brown haired horsemen riding around us to take the Boii in the flanks and rear and from that moment on, even as I saw Vibius smiling down from his blood-stained horse, what had been a skirmish turned into a rout.

    I will never know how many men the Germanii chased down that day, spearing them in the back of lopping off limbs, delighting in it all the while, but I can tell you, reader, for a fact that we won!


    **********


    Needless to say, the Germanic inhabitants of Marobudum were not all that happy to see us, even liberated as they were. They did not know us, and only after some convincing that we meant no harm to them did they finally open what was left of their gates and allow us entry. It transpired that it had been the garrison of the town that had come upon our rear, a skeleton lot, thinking us easy pickings, the fools.

    Vibius immediately split our centuries into groups of ten men, billeting them on the unfortunate Germanii, taking the largest hall in the village as what was later to become our home base in the midst of deepest, darkest, Germania.

    “Take this,” he told me as he handed me a rolled up scroll, “and this,” as he handed the reigns of his horse to me, “and ride back to tell Spurius that he can bring up the rest of the cohort by the way we came. Tell him also to be on his guard. We shall remain here, rebuild the defences and attempt to get some co-operation out of these swine-herders.”

    I nodded and left as soon as I could but how could I have known that my life of blood-and-battle was only just beginning.

    - M.Laenas

  3. #43
    Derbiean's Avatar Princeps Prior
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,301

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 22/8/2011

    Fantastic McScottish, loved your description the battle could easily picture it as i read

  4. #44
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
    Content Staff

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Crannog
    Posts
    2,084

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 22/8/2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Guplac View Post
    Fantastic McScottish, loved your description the battle could easily picture it as i read
    Many thanks Guplac, hopefully you'll like my next one just as much!

  5. #45
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
    Content Staff

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Crannog
    Posts
    2,084

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 22/8/2011


    Battle of the Little Big Hill - Winter 576 A.U.C


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    After about two weeks of hard riding, with little sleep or sustenance, I delivered my message directly into the hands of the praefectus and, greatly belying his age, Spurius moved into motion with the speed and shouted orders of a much younger man, the entire camp emptying at a word handed down from his mouth and into those of the waiting centurions, experienced and stern-faced.

    These were the very first moments of a rather minor engagement which would come, over time, to be known as the Battle of the Little Big Hill, named for our cohorts defensive arrangements at the point of conflict, as you shall read later.

    We force-marched our way towards Marobudum, sparing not the men nor the horses, the centurions vine-rod being used more than once upon pale fleshy backs.

    Once again we were guided by men who knew the area, those wild-looking Germanii with their large beards and who appeared to hate the Boii with an intensity I had rarely ever seen in a man. I discovered later that the Boii, since they could not head east into Dacian territory, had turned their attentions west and seized land, people and resources from the German tribes nearest to them and seemed to have no plan of stopping their expansion. This is why it was left to us, to the Res Publica, to help our weaker neighbour in the north.

    “Bregu!”

    An Angle horseman came riding towards us from along the flank of our column, his long hair whipping in the wind and his hard face set in a grimace. He informed our commander that a force of Boii, larger than the two smaller ones I had described, was converging on our course and surely intended to wipe us out before we could reach the lands of the Marcomannii. Taking this into account, Spurius noticed a hillock through the trees, a crest, the lightly forested area spread out before it, two gentle slopes on either side and a much steeper gully leading straight upwards toward it. He decided, in his infinite wisdom, that that was where we would make our stand.

    Fortuna may well have been on our side this time, the enemy over an hour away, giving us time to shift into position and turn to face the direction from which they would be coming. The formation was a simple one, two lines of three centuries, one behind the other, facing towards the natural depression in the ground, pilum at the ready and the four cavalry turmae split between two on each flank at the top of each slope. Spurius, his head bare and his shock of white hair blending in with the snow beginning to fall about us, sat between the front and rear centuries, hard faced and still as the statue of Zeus that still commonly impeded on my dreams.

    It was dark overhead, the clouds a grey melancholy, looming over as if about to disperse a thunderstorm at any moment but instead gifting us with the bone-freezing endowment of snow instead. Ahead and below us was an avenue of trees, things unforeseeable within their depths, but not so thick that one could not traverse a mount or indeed the small, shaggy, ponies of our allies through. Unnecessary to say, but it was from these very depths that the attacking Boii, outnumbering us by at least three-hundreds, came forth and were spewed into the light like so many nuggets of digested grass from a cows arse. Excuse my vulgarity, even now the memory of it makes my blood boil.

    When the enemy did emerge into the 'light', meaning into the sight of our men and commander, they came like a great wave. It appeared that they were infantry all, not a horseman amongst them, but that they were slightly different from one another by way of social station. Foremost were, of course, the light skirmishers who were no doubt young men trying to prove their prowess by going ahead of the main force, then came a mingling assemblage of warriors of all shapes and sizes, some lightly armed with nought but spear and short-sword and some with robust shield a longsword of the finest smiths that the Boii possessed.

    Strange to say, but there is certainly no doubt that some of these adversaries looked nobler than others in more than just their clothing or armour. The way they held themselves as they marched into battle, the way their moustaches drooped about their mouths, and even the way they died seemed altogether more heroic than their lighter and in all probability subordinate counterparts.

    “Steady lads,” Spurius bellowed over the top of the Boii and their infernal chanting, giving a quick nod to the centurions that they should now do their jobs and do them they did, “ready pilum...” they yelled, and our throwing arms came up quicker than a lightning bolt out of Jupiter's arse, “...pre-pare...pilum!”

    The Boii came on now, worked up as they had been the first time I had met them, the melted snow giving their pale skins an oddly marble look to them, eyes glaring up at us from beneath stiffened hair as the lightest of them, instead of throwing their javelins as any normal skirmishers would have done, decided to get to grips with us from inches away.

    “Pilum!” My arm came back and the centre of the pilum shaft waited next to my ear, “loose!”, The sound of nearly five-hundred triangle-headed javelins was like music to my ears, followed shortly afterwards by the breaking sounds of splintered shields and the more unique sound of iron-tipped projectiles thumping into and through soft human bone and sinew.

    At least three more volleys we launched at them, piles of inert cadavers landing one atop the other or in any manner of strange positions. I saw one man, no older than myself but, I guessed, younger taken full off of his feet as a pilum punctured his ribcage in a jetting spurt of blood. Another, larger, man took five in the torso before he finally crumpled into the mud, his eyes staring accusingly at us all the while. No sooner were they dead than the snow covered their bodies, a meal well preserved in ice for the carrion birds which were sure to gather when the battle was done.

    “Cuneus, forward!”

    Still echoing from both flanks when they rode, the order for our allies to charge was given and the Germanii rode forward without the least bit hesitation. I will mention now that, though I may not always have found them entirely agreeable, the Germanii, sat atop their shaggy-coated nags, were warriors through-and-through and never lost my respect. These six ala, or wings, of more-or-less mounted infantrymen on our flanks kicked their mounts into action and lurched forward to attack the flanks of the now neatly squashed enemy army, each Boii warrior trying to get up our side of the gully and at us before his comrade got the honour and glory.

    “First rank, ad-vance!”

    My gladius slid with a rasp from its sheath, a twist of my wrist drawing it out to rest gently, almost lazily, by the right side of my clipeus. My eyes became fixated ahead of me as we went forward one foot after another, left-right, left-right, our hobnailed boots giving us at least some grip on the otherwise slippery ground underfoot, the snarling and growling faces of the Boii drawing closer and closer though, on the higher ground, we had the advantage. As we marched forth I could make out, through the falling snow, my head freezing with no cap beneath my helmet, the Germanic cavalry stabbing, hacking and slashing at the flanks of our enemy, drawing them closer together and into a tighter formation which would become pressed up against the grinder that was our cohort.

    “Lay into them boys, lay into them!”

    Now, only an arms length away from our enemy, the automated motion of stab and thrust began anew and, after years of basic training, came as easily to me as the heavy breaths entering and leaving my throat.

    “Rhadacense!”, I moved forward and opened an adversaries arm from bicep to forearm, “Rhadacense!” I kept yelling over and over again as I attacked, caught up in a primeval blood-lust which I was certain my ancestors has gifted to me. At that moment I contemplated once more that I may be wearing Roman armour, wielding Roman weapons and taking Roman orders in latin but I was, and never would be, a Roman.

    “Rhada-”, my gladius was suddenly slammed from my hand by the wooden shaft of a spear, flying from my hand and into the mass of bodies pushing against the shields of my comrades and I, my hand suddenly numbed and my fist unable to clench the hilt of my sika side-arm fully until some minutes later. Until then I fended off attacks with swings and impacts from my shield, the wooden equipment having shards taken out of it and the iron boss becoming dented in a number of places.

    “Thiacus....” I held my sika ready to strike another blow when my name, my true name, was nearly whispered to my left, my head whipping that way because we were forbidden to use one another's 'native' names in the cohort and whoever had said mine would surely be punished if anyone found out, “...I believe they have...killed me.”

    To my everlasting horror it was Breucus, grinning at me with a mouth filling with blood, his eyes slightly open as if he could only just understand what was happening to him. It took every fibre of my being to keep myself rooted to the spot where I stood, in line, swapping places with the man behind myself so that I could catch my breath and not be killed as I did so. All the time the Pannonian continued to watch me, sinking ever-so-slowly to his knees, the gladius dropping from nerveless fingers and his bodyweight held up only by his shield.

    His mouth moved and, though they were meant to comfort, his words stung me more than a hive of bees.

    “I guess I never will see my family again, heh,” crimson dribble ran down his chin as he let out a half-cough half-chuckle, “but it has been my greatest honour to serve alongside you....raise your children well, Dacian, love your wife and treat all men with respect. Bury me here...bury me here.”

    Only after his spirit left his body, his entire weight finally falling backwards to leave his corpse staring at the sky, did his hand fall away to reveal the puckered wound of a daggers strike. Like a venomous serpent it had struck swiftly out and ended the life of my comrade-in-arms and my brother.

    From that moment on, out of emotional distress, I can tell you very little of what happened for our cohort to win the battle. I know that the second rank charged shortly afterwards, that the Germanii reformed a number of times and saw off the Boii skirmishers who were disengaged from our infantry, before the entire line of Boii routed much like their fellows I had fought earlier that winter. They were, of course, pursued, and a trail of bodies were left in the snow where they feel.

    Only when they had been defeated did the snow cease and the sky clear, truly a portent of the gods favours.

    It was said that we had suffered no more than four-hundred casualties but that over a thousand Boii had perished and another two-hundred or so became our prisoners.

    A victory, a distinguished victory, it was and the first of what I was sure would be many for our cohort but I could not enjoy it. My mind had descended into a black depression and all I could think about was meeting again with my friend in the halls of Heros the Horseman and his magical spear.

    As an aside to this event, during our time campaigning legions had been mobilised all over the Res Publica for battle against the Boii, Spurius having sent a galloper directly to the princeps with everything that was going on in the territory of these Celtic outcasts who were driven from northern Italia nearly over a century before.

    Not only that but, in Asia Minor, Pergamon had ceased to exist as a kingdom and Bithynia joined it shortly afterwards. A large number of the legions that had taken part in its defeat and conquest were given parcels of land in former Pergamite lands, veteran coloniae seemingly springing up out of the ground.

    And, yes, I buried Breucus as he wanted to be...amongst the bodies of his slain enemies along with his armour, weapons and honour intact. His like would never walk the earth again and, by the gods, it was a great loss both for the cohort, the Res Publica and for me.

    - M.Laenas

  6. #46
    Derbiean's Avatar Princeps Prior
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,301

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 22/8/2011

    Quote Originally Posted by McScottish View Post
    Many thanks Guplac, hopefully you'll like my next one just as much!
    I certainly did

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Poor Breucus, he will be missed

  7. #47
    Ybbon's Avatar Ace Worn Tattler
    Moderation Mentor Citizen Vault Staff Censor

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    locally
    Posts
    5,189

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 22/8/2011

    This is so well written that it just gets better and better, truth be told, I think screenshots would detract from the atmosphere you conjure up. Obviously I'll have to make the occasional sly remark to have some put in, but it really doesn't need any.

  8. #48
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
    Content Staff

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Crannog
    Posts
    2,084

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 22/8/2011

    @Guplac: He will indeed be missed...gods rest his soul.

    @Ybbon: Your praise is highly valued, thank you ybbon, I do try and will continue trying my best to write good, decent, entries for as long as I can.

  9. #49
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
    Content Staff

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Crannog
    Posts
    2,084

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 22/8/2011


    To Eburonum! - Summer 579 A.U.C



    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Ever since the majority of Sextus Maximus, and my ascension from simple Dacian volunteer, there had been an undercurrent of insurrection, seeds of revolt, planted and welling up in the ranks of Equestrian and Patrician families throughout the Res Publica. Although Decimus, the greater son of Sextus, had managed to make allies of most of these families and factions, there were always those who would be delighted to see the Res Publica fall and the gens of Maximus be responsible for its fall. Then all history would know it and they would forever be despised.

    In the sodden summer of 577 Ab Urbe Condita, in the middle of north-eastern Germania, barracked in a wattle hut used by the natives, like all of my cohort, we were ordered to march to Eburonum in the north-west of Boii territory and help the Legio I Adiutrix from Noricum to either tear it down or starve it into submission.

    Spurius Popillius Laenas, surely a man with only a few years left to live, led us out of our erstwhile billets and on that sweltering road through the Germanian landscape and into the northernmost lands of the Boii. We marched with all haste, cautious as we were, six centuries of our unit taken along the path and those two which were made up of survivors and wounded were left with two ala of Germanic cavalry to hold down the settlement.

    By the time we reached Eburonum, and the well-organised siege-lines of the I Adiutrix, summer had shed its brilliant cloak and now we were in the passionless climes of winter. We heard news from some of the legionaries that veteran coloniae were being established all over the Res Publica, from Asia Minor to the farthest west of Hispania, some our own men hoping to withdraw to one of these establishments upon retirement from the cohort.

    For myself, I was still in a black mood over the death of my friend, hoping only to survive long enough to gather a small fortune, to take my wife and children and servant away from Mediolanum and to live in comfort and safety for the rest of my days.

    Something larger happened that winter, something that happened but was all but over before it began, a minor rebellion which was crushed head-on by Decimus F. Maximus and both by his force of will and the might of his armies. Revolt sprung up all over the Res Publica, in Hispania, in Greece, in Southern Italia, in Dalmatia and Illyricum and even in Noricum. It often surprises me, and still does to this day, that provinces such as Thrake or Asia Minor did not take a similar route but, for whatever reasons, they remained loyal and sturdy when more deep-rooted provinces betrayed the trust of their princeps.

    Forces stationed all over the Res Publica were called into action, cutting down the rebels wherever they found them, Decimus himself leading his loyal Praetorian cohorts and a number of leading Romans into battle for possession of Roma herself. Granted the rank of Dictator by the senate, told so by secret message, he marched at the head of his legion to face a mixed force of German, Hispanic and Illyrian auxiliaries who had seized Roma and now tried to hold it against him. All I remember hearing, the siege of Eburonum never letting up throughout the rebellion, was that Decimus massacred his enemies and marched into Roma as a liberator.

    Soon cities all over the Res Publica were returning to the fold, by the carrot or the stick, populations forgiven but military personnel killed without mercy. In Hispania, Greece and S. Italia the cities, towns and settlements were swiftly retaken or placed under siege, in Dalmatia and Illyria it was left up to irregular Illyrian forces led by Roman officers to seize back their strongholds from Roman-trained cut-throats.

    So it was that, what could have been, a major rebellion was terminated before it even took off. Forces positioned eagerly to counter it, those recent veterans returning to their standards without hesitation, the enemies of the Res Publica being crushed by the ideal and the military that made up the living Res Publica. To an outsider like me I can state that this concept was pretty foreign, tribes and warlords in Dacia fighting one another and switching allegiances with impunity but here...here in the Res Publica...values which were not held in my country forced loyalist forces to fight for Decimus and rebel forces to fight against him, for they knew that to attempt to rejoin the fold of civilisation would only mean certain death.

    This rebellion passed me by without real incident, except some grumblings from rebel sympathisers, no orders ever coming to tell us to retreat from the siege, to break camp and return to somewhere else.

    All I could think of, during those moments when I was alone in my tent, gifted to me by Sextus Maximus himself, were how my children were probably grown and if my wife waited impatiently for me.

    Were my children literate in Latin and Greek by now? How much did they really know about their heritage? Were my sons bullied by their probably Gaulish classmates for being 'outside' provincials and the sons of a Dacian 'barbarian'?

    These thoughts all blended into one as I would lie and stare, brainlessly, at the linen above me, my heart thumping rhythmically against my chest, wanting to feel Eunike close and smell her hair. It pleased me greatly to know that Northern Italia had remained loyal to Decimus, along with the Grecian port-polis of Massalia, Eunike and the children hopefully safe from the purges which would surely follow once the rebellion had been utterly crushed.

    Where would my path lead me next in life...where?


    **********



    It transpired that my path was to lead me into battle once more, once more into the breach against an enemy of those people who I had only recently come to think of as my own. My heart longed for a return to Dacia and, as I had set down in my will, I wished to be returned to and burned in Dacia when I died. No grave in foreign soil for me. It was a large request for some mere auxiliary like myself, my comrades probably going to burn me anywhere they saw fit, but, if the followers of Zalmoxis were correct, it would not matter for my eternal soul would leave my body only to inhabit another in a next life.

    Further rebellion flared up and finally put down by Decimus in the summer of 579 Ab Urbe Condita, the senate proclaiming Decimus dictator-for-life, an accolade Sextus could only have dreamt of in his lifetime, though it was well known that like his kinsman he had become hated by the common mob. They are as fickle as the politicians, these plebeians, changing allegiance from one ruler to another and throwing their hatred at those they choose to despise...ungrateful wretches, the lot of them.

    Now that Decimus was dictator-for-life, however, he had no reason to fear the mobs wrath and as long as the praetorian cohorts remained loyal need not fear an end like that of his relation, my friend, Sextus Fabius Maximus. He wielded power now unlike any before him and, from what I was led to believe, for I knew relatively nothing of Romani politics, such a change made him almost as powerful as the kings of old Italia from before the birth of the Res Publica and their singular variety of democracy. Nonetheless, Decimus did everything in his new found power to ensure that he was not seen as such, handing out donations to the military and making reforms on a more proletarian level to sooth the unwashed masses heated tongues and any following actions that might occur.

    What can I tell you of those who opposed him, who began this rebellion in the first place, this rebellion that lasted for a number of years?

    Well, not much really. I was informed by a number of differing sources that various things happened, some saying that they fled into the east, some that they sought refuge with relatives and some...probably most likely...that they and their family lines were extinguished by eight-man death-squads of praetorians in the middle of the night. Who am I to ponder on such things though? Just a simple barbarian, plucked from a mercenary force and forged into a weapon of Roman-trained might.

    Returning to my current situation at the time, waiting outside the city of Eburonum, already thirty-eight years of age and feeling it in my bones, I was privileged to see first-hand the difference between the legions and ourselves.

    I refuse to puff up the egos of any legionnaires, who consider themselves better than us provincials, who are paid a greater sum and who are Roman citizens. Whereas we are paid less and only receive citizenship on completion of our service. As for being any less experienced or trained than the legions, I can state now that this nonsense is a complete fabrication, probably bought into being by some disgruntled legionary who had scuffled with a provincial and lost. I shall tell you now though, in utter truth and honesty, what it was that I observed and encountered during my time with the lads of the I Adiutrix within looking distance of the walls of Eburonum.


    **********



    I remember it as if it were yesterday, their pickets lazing about in the glorious sunshine of the spring months, clearly certain that everything was under control. They were not entirely wrong, the Boii were trapped within their city along with one of their royal family, Calogenitos, but there were yet other Boii and other lands of theirs still full to the brim with warriors who would gladly shed these Romans blood.

    Anyway...we marched towards these, now fleetly stirring, legionaries in our column of six centuries and two turmae with our tribunus to the fore and our colour party only a little way behind. I was in the first rank of the first century and could soon make out the emblem of the pegasus painted onto curved scutums, as well as, fascinating me more, the new style of armour which these legionnaires appeared to be flaunting. Far from our coats of mail, they appeared to be wearing strips of metal over their torso, shoulders and arms and helmets revised for better protection around the neck and forehead. Some of the old hands within my century, including the centurion, gave a loud snort of ridicule when they clapped eyes on the get-up but quite a few of the newer recruits were clearly impressed.

    “Stay where you are!,” shouted a man with a crest adorning his helmet, marching with the straight back of a veteran until he stood a few feet away from the lone tribune, “name, rank and reason, if you do not mind.”

    I recall Spurius giving a quick smirk beneath his helmet, his fifty-nine years lifting away for an instant, his hand gesturing towards us who followed at his rear.

    “I am tribune Spurius Popillius Laenas, commander of the first cohort of Gauls and Dacians, here by order of Decimus Fabius Maximus to reinforce the Legio I Adiutrix and assist them in whatever way I can...optio.”

    The optio looked slightly taken aback, giving the column an appraising glance, his hand twitching nervously at his side, before he nodded his acceptance and pointed down the road.

    “You shall find the legions main base-camp about a mile down that road, sir. There are other, lesser, ones spread around but that is where you will want to head.”

    “My thanks to you optio, at ease.”

    Within the hour we reached the gates of the base-camp, Spurius gaining admittance right away, the orders to us footsoldiers to head about half-a-mile west and construct our own camp for the cohort. This we did with not a lot of relish, backs aching and sore by the time we finished, our centurions pushing us hard to complete the construction before raising our tents and more than one man collapsing without so much as checking the ground they lay on.

    Just after finishing the raising of my tent in the evening of that day, large enough for three men and with a camp cot inside, I was disturbed by a head poking through the flap. It took me a couple of moments to recognise the grinning features of a man I had once known and only then did I return the smile with a splitting of my lips.

    “Well, by the hairy bollocks of Thrax, if it isn't my old comrade-in-arms,” I recollect giving off a laugh and gesturing for the lithe figure to enter and take a seat wherever he pleased, “Dizas of the Tranipsae...I had no idea you were even with the cohort!”

    The Thrakian auxiliary sat, cross-legged, beside the cot on which I sat and slapped a hand against his thigh before he began to speak in a loud and boisterous voice “nor I you, Thiacus, not until that little action against the Boii about a year ago anyway,” he itched the stubble on his face without thinking and slapped the hand against his thigh again, “I hear old Breucus had finally gone to meet his Gods?” I nodded the affirmative and could see that Dizas was clearly as saddened by it as I was, “I always knew that mean bastard would go to meet the Gods straight from the field of battle, it was in his blood, these Pannonians are known for it after all.”

    For a moment we both were silent as memories took over, but then Dizas pulled something from behind his back, something I had not noted before, and gave a mischievous grin that nearly covered his entire face.

    “A skin of the finest wine, my friend, saved for a special occasion like this!”

    Without another word he unplugged the stopper and took a long draught of the undiluted grape, his hand coming up to wipe his mouth with a smack of his lips, the skin held out towards me until I too filled a portion of my stomach with the dark liquid. It had a rich flavour to it, as well as an apparently warming touch, the taste of fruit remaining behind once the primary mouthful had been swallowed. Truly, it was some of the finest wine I tasted in all my years, Thrakians lying very rarely about something as important as alcohol.

    Together we drank through the evening and into the night, recollecting old times in our mercenary unit, Dizas telling me of his desertion and subsequent re-enlistment when the Romans had taken Thrake from the Macedonians and with it all the man power that such a renowned area could provide. He told me of the huge number of cohorts being recruited from his people, from all the Thrakian tribes, even from tribes such as the Agrianians. Not only that, but cavalry both from Thrake and Pannonia were also being recruited in large numbers, forces of both infantry and cavalry joining legions as they assembled on the border of Pannonia Superior in fresh preparation to wipe out or enslave the Boii...once and for all.


    **********



    In the summer, if you can call it that with the constant rain, drizzle and fog, of that same year we received reports of an enemy relief force finally coming to the aid of their comrades from somewhere to our north. We were said to outnumber them by a few hundred men but Spurius would not let us rest easy because of that.

    The weeks leading up to what would become known as 'the Battle of Eburonum' were somewhat eventful, mostly for our commander.

    It appeared that the I Adiutrix had no commander of their own, there under orders but without a legion commander, a group of the most senior centurions and tribunes placed in charge.

    With this in mind, it was only a week later that a messenger came direct from Roma...Spurius Popillius Laenas, our commander for over two decades, was to be promoted to Legatus of the I Adiutrix and our own cohort to be placed under the overall command of senior centurion Numerius. It was a change that was not heavily welcomed, at first, but eventually both the legion and the cohort got used to the shift in command, our auxiliary unit still attached to the Adiutrix and therefore still under the command of Laenas, even if only in a small way.

    A week after the promotion the enemy came upon our rear, a skeleton garrison left to guard against sallies from within the city, the legion and our cohort meeting our enemy a few miles away from Eburonum and battle was joined once more!

    - M.Laenas



    The epic Battle of Eburonum will be posted in about a week, then on with the story. As the hoplites say... EleleuEleleuEleleuEleleuEleleuEleleuEleleuEleleuEleleu!

  10. #50
    Ishiyumi no shashu
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 6/9/2011

    Nothing better than sharing a skin of Falernum with a friend.

  11. #51
    TheJim's Avatar Taihō no heishi
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    469

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 6/9/2011

    Nice updates as ever!

  12. #52
    Derbiean's Avatar Princeps Prior
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,301

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 6/9/2011

    Excellent as ever

  13. #53
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
    Content Staff

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Crannog
    Posts
    2,084

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 6/9/2011



    The Battle of Eburonum - Summer 579 A.U.C



    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    We located the Boii relief force of just over a thousand men, our own strength outnumbering theirs by at least a few hundred because of our auxiliary cohort and the first cohort of the Adiutrix, in a well-forested valley floor with rocky outcrops scattered here and there but lush green grass sprouting everywhere underfoot. If it had not been for the situation and the oppressive clouds overhead then you might even have even been able to say that the glen held some beauty. Instead it was soon to become a killing ground for men and a feasting ground for scavengers and carrion birds that, even as we arranged ourselves into a battle formation, circled overhead.

    As promptly as was possible, Spurius bellowing orders through a number of subordinates, we dressed the lines and organised our force in preparation to meet the enemy that even now approached through the thick screen of trees before us. We six cohorts took position on the flanks of the Adiutrix, the recently levied legionnaires forming a double line with the first cohort placed in their traditional position on the right. The Germani cavalry, along with Legatus Laenas, formed a reserve force who could and would sweep around the flanks at a moments notice.

    My heart pounded as the battle began, the German horsemen, led by our elderly former commander, sweeping past my comrades on the left flank to engage the mixed number of light and heavy Boii horsemen on the right of their formation. I squinted beneath the ridge of my helmet and, through eyes like slits, made out the shapes of the Boii infantry moving deep in the woods but gradually getting closer as they gained ground. As usual, the younger members of the Boii tribes went without armour, choosing instead a pair of bracae and a shield and sword, whilst the older and more experienced warriors in the centre of the formation advanced calmly behind well-made hexagonal shields and under banner-poles bearing the heads of defeated enemies.

    Only when the first rank of the Boii tribesmen were only a few feet away, their long moustaches, bloodshot eyes and snarling features clearly visible, did the centurions up-and-down the lines order the prepare pilum. Watching the legionaries heft their pilum up, each an expert in its use, I waited patiently until we were ordered to do the same and did so without hesitation, just as I had been taught as a fresh recruit. When the order to release came I watched eagerly as the pyramid-headed javelins caused carnage amongst the foremost ranks of the Boii, no matter their social status, greens and veterans all having to down thureos or become bogged down by the weight of an entire shaft jutting from their shield.

    “First Dacians and Gauls, prepare to charge!”

    A standard-issue gladius was in my hand before Numerius had even finished, the expert twisting of my fist unsheathing it in one fluid motion, my eyes always on the enemy and my ears always ready for subsequent orders from my officer.

    The lightest of the enemies forces were before us when we finally did move, their heavy infantry having hit home in the centre of our lines and the legionnaires standing firm against lunging spears and hammering longswords, the three centuries on either flank advancing to engage these nimble adversaries who were mostly in the prime of their youth in spite of the thin moustaches on their upper lips and the spiked hair supposed to make them seem taller than their Roman enemy.

    What happened next was the same as that which has happened in battle since the beginning of time, and will continue to until the end of it. A maelstrom of razor-sharp metal, pummelling shields, dismembered limbs and the loss of control of the bodily functions, each man heaving against the other in an attempt to end his life. As I said, these things are more than common on a battlefield and I have described them to you, dear reader, a number of times before. I will say, however, that the Boii are a ferocious enemy and that many of my comrades-in-arms and in my maniple were taken apart by their long and broad blades as well as punctured by their wicked and broad-headed spears. Each one of them, like we Dacii, know that we may one day have to fight and die for our nation, our family or something else and, like us, they seemed more than prepared to do it.

    It all came to an end when Spurius, pursued closely by the equally bloodied and whooping Germani, charged headlong into the rear ranks of the already wavering Boii. To their credit, the more veteran Keltoi fought until they were dispatched and my respect for the Boii, and the various tribes of which they are composed, increased greatly on that day. In the end they were run down by the Germani on their stout ponies as they fled, a number of heads dangling from harnesses and bridles both during and in the aftermath of the conflict.

    Even as the last enemy scampered back into the shadow of the woods another cry went up from our right, the flank on which I was stationed no less. Coming from the ranks of an auxiliary century nearest the tree-line, the shout informed the rest of us that a fruitless sally had been made by Calogenitos, with an equally fruitless number of warriors, heading straight towards us in an attempt to do or die.

    By the Gods but these Kelts were brave, if mad, bastards.

    The motley force that confronted us, the non-citizen soldiers of the right flank, were even worse trained and equipped than those which had already been sent to Hades by our blades. They came at us like maniacs, frenzied warriors intent on defending Eburonum, already stained with the blood of those soldiers we had left to guard the city and stop exactly such an incident from happening. In this they had failed.

    “Watch out for cavalry!”

    Someone shouted, just as a group of proud looking horsemen burst in amongst us and began spearing anyone and everyone they could. Our own cavalry, along with the Legatus and his hand-picked guard, were in amongst the branches of the woodland hunting down fleeing Kelts as if hunting hare or rabbit.

    These warriors, older and more experienced than any we had faced before, went about their business with a cool head and made every blow from above or forward thrust count. Though surrounded by Roman-trained soldiers they seemed to have no fear of us, yelling their warcries and throwing back yet another wave of attackers, their well-kept mounts kicking and biting unshielded auxiliaries even as the men sat in the saddles turned them this way and that in an attempt to create more space around them.

    Above the heads of my century, their bronze helmets and scale armour becoming covered in moisture as a thin mist rolled in, I could just make out a much older man, perhaps the oldest of them all, his almost white hair tied in two rope-like designs and his moustache dropping down past his chin. His blue eyes flashed this way and that under a robust helmet, two great wings sprouting from either side, in his fist a beautifully crafted longsword and in the other an ornately decorated thureos. This aged warrior could only be Calogenitos, leader of the Boii at Eburonum and a senior general of the Boii tribal confederation.

    Without hesitation, my body moving almost against my own will, I sheathed my gladius and drew my curved dagger from my right-hand side, the vicious and well-honed blade of my forefathers sika in my hand as I bodily shoved through the lines of my century to reach this group of foolish intruders.

    “Calogenitos!” I remember shouting as I manoeuvred myself closer and closer to him, “fight me you coward!”

    Even as I ducked the blow of a spear, the head forged with multiple projections of metal whipping past my face, each step bought me closer to my goal. Within a matter of minutes I was within striking distance of the Boii chieftain, a number of my fellows clearly with the same idea in their heads as I, auxiliaries and tribesmen bound together in a struggle for survival everywhere you looked.

    My first swing went wide as the tribal chief moved his steed out of my reach, a back swing of his longsword forcing me to raise my clipeus and have my arm numbed up to the elbow. Next, I whipped round in front of both horse and rider, raising my sika high and plunging it as deeply as I could into the neck of the large white horse ridden by my opponent.

    Blood spurted from the arterial wound, spraying me and my armour with the crimson liquid, the warhorse slowly but surely dipping to the floor until it collapsed in a heap of rider and mount. I expected to finish Calogenitos off in one go, thinking he would be trapped beneath his horse, but this was not to be, for he was nimble as well as skilled and rolled away from the crumpling mass of horseflesh just in time.

    Now, standing before him, it shocked me to find that he was also taller than myself and amply more muscled. This time though, I was not a clumsy tribesman but a well-trained and drilled soldier of the Roman Res Publica, my own body forged into a weapon and used in war until my discharge or death take me. This being so I faced up to him, hunching over but forward behind my shield and readying my gore-covered blade for further combat, the Kelt it turned out moving first.

    With long strides and astounding speed he came, whirling his longsword overhead and striking down from on high, every blow sending ripples of jarring pain up my arm and threatening to break it if this continued for too long. I could not, and would not, stand for such things with the patience of an auxiliary, my blood boiling in my veins and my senses standing on edge like the hairs of a cat or the hindquarters of an angered wild dog or wolf.

    “RHATACENSE!” I yelled at him, raising myself to my full height, “RHATACENSE!” I bared my teeth, pulling back my lips and taking a step towards him, placing down my shield nearby and punching a fist to my chest, “RHATACENSE!” All combat around me may have ended by this point, but I was too far gone to notice, my body bunching up and hunching with my arms raised into a ready position and my sika slick in my right hand.

    Sticking my tongue out and spitting towards him I goaded him on, leaping forward and backwards and taking swings here and there, the wielding of a longsword tiring on even the most psychically fit of men if done for an extended period of time. As I took further swings at him, he seemed to slow and each blow deflected or blocked was another nuance of his strength spent in useless efforts until, at long last, he was blown and I saw my final chance to attack.

    I believe, if you have been in the military, then you can imagine with some clarity what I am about to write but, if you have not, then read anyway and try to picture it in your mind.

    The entire battlefield seemed to slow, not being the first time I had felt this, my heart pounding in my ears and my palms slick with both wet earth and sweat. Covered from head-to-toe in grime, blood and mire, as well as more unmentionable substances, I seemed to myself to move as if caught in a bog or wetland or as if time itself was suddenly made to move at the pace of the slowest creature. Step by step, inch by inch, I hauled myself to my feet and ran towards my equally slow-moving adversary, every movement he made seen by me in total clarity and perfect vision.

    Raising his shield to defend himself, to me as if in a dream, I swerved on my left heel and pivoted about once I got within arms length, going to me knees and swinging out with my right arm and the sika attached to it. Metal bit into flesh and tendons and Calogenitos seemed to fall almost gracefully to his own knees to the left of me, lashing out with his iron-bossed shield that impacted solidly with the side of my head and caused me to see white for a split second as bronze bounced off of bone, followed by a longsword hilt hitting me in the lower jaw and sending me falling into the mud once more.

    Wasting no time at all the chieftain leapt upon me, clamping me to the floor between his legs and using all his weight, the next few moments, as opposite to the last few as they could have been, went almost faster than the Gods themselves.

    My right arm, the sika in almost nerveless fingers, whipping upwards to cut across his throat from right to left in a ruby-red smile. I watched momentarily as the old but expert warrior clutched with paling fingers at his throat, gasping for life, my own left hand coming up to wrench him forward by the long grimy hair, my right hand working furiously at the side of his neck until, almost unconscious, I felt more than saw the head come free from the neck of the body and before long slipped into a deep darkness with the beating of a thousand drums, shouts and voices fading into the distance, and the iron tang of blood filling my mouth.


    - M.Laenas

  14. #54
    Ishiyumi no shashu
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 12/9/2011


  15. #55
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
    Content Staff

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Crannog
    Posts
    2,084

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 12/9/2011

    Please see below...

  16. #56
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
    Content Staff

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Crannog
    Posts
    2,084

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 12/9/2011




    Interlude V - Aftermath... - Summer 579 to Winter 579 A.U.C


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The initial sounds that told me I was alive, drawing me back from the darkness which had consumed my mind and consciousness since my fall in battle, were the bass but hushed voices of others. I have memories of opening my eyes unhurriedly and feeling the wooden boards of the valetudinarium bed, which I was now spread across, beneath my aching back and dust-dry hands.

    “He awakens...” uttered one voice, the movement of a shifting body like a hammer on an anvil to my mind, “...cradle his head and make sure he remains awake to experience this.”

    As my eyes adjusted I could make out the shapes and features of two men, one clearly a medicus and the other a Roman officer of some rank, as well as the unmoving or groaning bodies of other wounded soldiers positioned all about me. Leisurely the military man turned to face me, removing his plumed helmet and placing it easily into the crook of his arm, his eyes sweeping over me even as the ghost of a smile played across his lips. It was the man from which I had taken my 'family' name, under who I had first volunteered and enlisted.

    “Legatus,” I murmured through cracked lips and attempted to rise, “why...why are you here, sir?”

    Legatus Laenas, one wrinkled hand placed on my shoulder, eased me back down to the bed with an oddly boyish before smile revealing a full number of teeth and giving my shoulder a gentle pat before lastly removing his hand completely and straightening his back.

    “Marcus Laenas,” he beamed, “I never expected to see the wild Dacian who dispatched a homoioi polemarchos single handily again. Janus damn me for being so short-sighted, and I ask for your forgiveness in that over-site on my part. You prove yourself once again in battle and, for that, you are to be rewarded.”

    He spoke quickly, without pauses, and I was not entirely sure what he meant by 'rewards' although I dared to hope for high honours and, as it turned out, I was not to be disappointed.

    “Behold, Marcus, the face of your enemy!”

    The medicus had returned a moment before, unnoticed by my still-dazed self, carrying a wicker basket which his hand now delved deep into. When it receded, the slightly decomposed head of Calogenitos loomed before my own face and I wrinkled my nose, still keenly interested in my 'prize' and wondered if this was the 'reward' that Laenas had spoken of. I got my answer an instant later when, both he and I satisfied, the Legatus clicked his fingers and sent the medical orderly away, taking the grisly trophy with him.

    “Now, as I was saying...rewards.”

    In one fist, surprisingly strong looking for a man of advanced years, were clutched two separate scrolls, one with a broken seal and one without. In the other was held something I thought I recognised but could not be sure, my mind attempting to recall every detail of my more-or-less personal combat with the aged but tough-as-old-leather chieftain.

    “I think this,” he held out the glittering object to me, “belongs to you, first of all.”

    With a quivering hand I reached out to touch the cold, golden, surface of the object before me. Made of expertly and beautifully forged gold, two snarling animal heads ending the coiled band, the former torque of Calogenitos was being held out to me, placed lightly into my hands for me to take, pressing it as I remember to my chest and feeling a sort of inner strength from it. We did not wear such things in Dacia, though some Thrakian tribes had been known to, but, from then on, it would become as much a part of me as the cloak I wore or the sika I carried.

    “Then there are these...” Laenas said, placing the two scrolls down between my sore legs with a smile, turning to leave almost immediately after “...I have a legion to organise but, when you feel up to it, I shall be presenting you with further blessings.”


    **********


    Left alone with my thoughts, and two officious looking rolls of parchment, I plucked up the one with the broken seal first and began to read the angular Latin script both in my head and out loud, my eyes carefully following the words twice over to make sure I had read everything correctly.

    “Marcus Laenas, auxiliary in the fourth century of the first cohort of Dacians and Gauls, greetings. With permission of the princeps of the Res Publica, Decimus Fabius Maximus, for distinguished action taken in the line of duty, and with referral by Legatus Spurius Popillius Laenas of the Legio I Adiutrix, action has been taken and the necessary documents provided to promote you from your rank of miles cohortis to the rank of centurio in the fourth century of the cohort, of the grade of hastatus posterior. For your bravery in single-combat you are also to be awarded the goblet by your commanding officer, if he should see fit.”

    The document was signed by the ab epistulis himself, the person in the government of the Res Publica responsible for the promotion of soldiers in the Roman army. If it was a forgery in my hand then, by all the Gods, it was a good and severely cruel one. If not...well...I had just been promoted to command of eighty men, under the supervision of a hastatus prior who would command one-hundred-and-twenty men and would no doubt keep his eye on me at all times. Better pay, better uniform and my own vitis, or vine staff, all to the good of my person should this communication prove true and unwavering.

    Still slightly unsure about what such a promotion would mean, I hesitantly broke the seal of the second scroll and unravelled the parchment. I had only scanned the neatly written Greek script halfway before tears began to fill my eyes and the longing for home overtook whatever excitement may have gripped me previously.

    My beloved Thiacus,

    I pray to the Gods that this letter finds you in good health or, at the very least, alive. When word of the rebellion spread to Mediolanum we all feared the worst, but here we were spared the ravages of the southern upstarts and rejoiced when news of the rebellions demise reached us. Your mother, elderly as she is, partially blind and deaf but still very much alive, also wishes her son good health and safety by all the Gods above and below. As to your children, well, what can I say in the short amount of time I have left to me?

    Bolinthos has become even more Roman than his Romanised classmates, a mix of Keltoi and Romani children, having taken the lessons taught to him by old Anakletos and expanded them thoroughly using Roman education to his own advantage. Both he and his brother are the spitting images of yourself, proud, brave and muscular, both catching admiring glances from young women and perverse older men as they frolic and play.

    Diuzenes could not be more different from his brother, clutching at whatever roots he can, wanting to become a warrior like his father, such things seeming glorious to an eleven-year-old mind. He had also become quite the student of history and ethnography, starting with the local Insubres and thoroughly questioning any merchants or traders from foreign lands.

    Your daughter...she has grown into a fine young lady, attempts already made to court her, with her hair down to her waist, but the youthful Arzas far too wily for any of them.

    As for myself, I have found reasonably paid employment as a midwife, being made sad by the realisation that most of the children I take from mothers wombs will not see advanced years of life. Such is the destiny of most.

    Come back to me Thiacus, come back safe and with all your limbs intact, I will sacrifice three bullocks to the Gods to feel you here in my arms once again.

    Your enamoured wife, Eunike.


    By now, feeling tired once more, the torque, both scrolls and the memory of battles past dropped from my mind and once again I descended into the dark recesses of my psyche.

    Tomorrow was another day.


    - M.Laenas

  17. #57
    Derbiean's Avatar Princeps Prior
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,301

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 14/9/2011

    A well earned (and hard fought for ) promotion

    But will Thiacus ever see his family again...i fear not

    Great stuff McScottish, looking forward to the next update

  18. #58
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
    Content Staff

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Crannog
    Posts
    2,084

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 14/9/2011




    Taking a city by storm! - Winter 579 A.U.C (Very brief update)


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Mid-way through the winter of 579 Ab Urbe Condita both the I Adiutrix and their supporting cohort, my very own, returned to Eburonum after our victory. The people of the Boii oppidum closed their gates to us at first, preparations made by our own side to build siege-towers, rams and even to undermine the walls of the rather advanced 'hill-fort' if it became necessary. As I gazed at the tall, stone, walls I could not help but feel a twinge of guilt over taking away their land and essentially their freedom along with it, after all, would I not also fight till the end for such rights?

    This thought caused me to turn and look at a nearby auxiliary, a man of clear Thrakian origin, just one of many tribesmen of that region who had joined up, like me, for a lifetime career in the Roman military establishment. His eyes locked with mine and, for a moment, I actually believed that he could guess what I was thinking, such was the sadness I found in those orbs. Cohorts and alae of Thrakians, Spaniards, Africans and Egyptians marched across the face of the known world for a man none of them had even seen face-to-face and this in itself was enough to make me turn my head towards the ground.

    All of them, the Romani as well as myself, had already taken the lives and freedom of the once-proud warriors and citizens of Sparte. How many more, I queried in my mind, how many more must we kill, how much more blood must be shed, before the Romani lust for conquest was sated?

    That present moment, stood mere feet away from the walls of Eburonum, was not the time for such thoughts however and, clad in the regalia of an auxiliary centurion, I peered at the walls. Well out of range of any bows or artillery, able to make out the militia type warriors that now strode along the walls, no more than simple farmers armed with rusted and ancient weaponry.

    “Release!”

    The first twang of a stone-thrower launching its cargo of death into the air was heard, the clatter of the rocks against the oppidums wall signalling the foremost wave of ladders into the advance and the men carrying them to sell their lives for the good of the Res Publica.

    I will not tell you of the siege, such things best left for a different time, stolid reader, but let me tell you that is was the outcome of the siege which shocked me most of all. Every siege I had participated in, up to that point, had at least been civilised to a high degree but this...this was altogether more frightful and full of atrocities.

    If you have never, or wish never to see a city sacked, my advice to you is to find a quiet and stable pastime such as agriculture to tide you by. Such things as I am about to describe are not for the feint hearted!

    There are those, mostly Romani citizens, who see the legions as the epitome of Roman discipline and stoicism, but let me tell you that in this case it could not have been further from the truth. The legionnaires of the I Adiutrix, for the Gods know what reason, were given free reign to ransack and plunder the Boii stronghold to their hearts content whilst we, the 'Romanised savages' stood by and watched the place burn. Woman, young and old, were mercilessly raped and children murdered in their mothers arms, any who attempted to resist immediately put to death whether young or old, male or female, resistance would not be tolerated. Fires caused by drunken soldiers burned for three nights and only ended on the forth.

    When all was done, the people of Eburonum, those still living, put into chains, the remaining inhabitants were arranged into a column and herded south towards the slave-markets of Roma and the Gods know where else. As I watched them go I could not meet any of their eyes, not that many looked to me, knowing that just as easily it could one day be my own people with shackle-bitten ankles and wrists cut and rubbed raw by manacles.

    News came to us at Eburonum, the legions new base of operations, that other legions and masses of auxiliary soldiers from Thrake and Pannonia were once more gathering on the borders of Boii occupied Pannonia Superior and would soon head north into the heart of Boii territory. Our orders were to link up with them and together to crush this barbarian threat once and for all.

    With the Seleucids massing in Syria, the Gallic Confederation on our western borders and the Germans, Dacians and Pontic Greeks on our eastern ones, there was no telling where my cohort and I may be marched to next. Only seventeen years of service remained to me, before an honourable discharge, my prayers and hopes placed on staying well and truly alive until then.

    Bella horrida bella.


    - M.Laenas

  19. #59
    Ishiyumi no shashu
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 14/9/2011

    Love it!

  20. #60
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
    Content Staff

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Crannog
    Posts
    2,084

    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor; Updated 14/9/2011




    Interlude VI - Raised from the ranks - Winter 579 A.U.C


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    “...Marcus Laenas, of the Rhatacense, junior centurion of the fourth century of the first cohort of Dacian and Gauls.”

    For a moment I missed the calling of my name, recollecting our march into the centre of the formerly Boii oppidum and our ranks assembling for an address by the legatus. As usual it was began with words of encouragement, renewing our vows to the Res Publica and other such frivolities but, as the day shadows grew longer, the circumstance transferred to the subject of awards for bravery and valour. I had watched, blank faced and pretty blank brained, as seven men had gone up before me to receive commendations and monetary awards for their part in the Battle of Eburonum and now it appeared it was my turn.

    Step-by-step I leisurely made my way over to the pile of wood which our overall commanding officer had chosen to use as his tribunal, basic and shoddy but still fitting with his needs. Therefore, instead of climbing steps and the like, I simply went to stand before him with a stiff back and a salute delivered with as much gusto as I could muster in the damp atmosphere of Eburonum on that day.

    “Centurion Laenas, newly promoted for valour shown on the field of battle in doing his duty and dispatching the enemy leader. For this you have received promotion,” he gave a theatrical indication of my new uniform, “you have received the spoils of your enemies body,” a thin finger pointed towards the golden torque which I wore almost constantly around my neck, “but there are yet more benefits befitting such a hero and I shall allow you to acquire them now before all here present, your brothers-in-arms and those who fight and die at your side.”

    The, until then, silent slave, probably of Grecian extraction, at Spurius' side held out an object which flashed in the tiny shaft of sunlight which penetrated the clouds overhead and was taken by the legatus and held out to myself. Primus Pilus Numerius, my senior and commanding officer, gave a grim smile from his position beside the legatus and also the briefest of nods towards me as I stepped forward and placed my hands about the silver cup that was held out to me, taking a firm hold of it and giving another salute, before returning to the position of attention.

    “You shall also receive eight-hundred sesterces in coin as a monetary compensation,” with a gesture of his hand I turned about and returned to the front rank of my century, which was truly now my century, before I listened intently to his next words which were delivered in a voice louder than anyone would expect from such an elderly man, “now that that is over I shall inform you of our next movements. The I Adiutrix will be leaving a number of cohorts to garrison this newest Roman possession, whilst the first cohort of Dacians and Gauls shall be accompanying the remaining vexillation into the southern territories of the Boii to link up with our brothers of the legions and auxiliaries amassing there even as I speak.”

    With his address finished we were dismissed, each of us returning to our tents to prepare to march out.

    Standing to the left of my century on a crisp winters morning, vine rod in hand, gladius on the left and sika on the right, my pugio placed to the rear of my belt, I could not help but feel the paradigm of a centurion. Both the phalerae attached to my leather harness, lustrously polished, and the feeling of graves against my shins were quite alien to me and certainly the transverse-crested helmet enclosing my head in iron was still new to me.

    Perhaps the only object which I felt completely comfortable wearing was the sika, the torque, its twisted golden loop gripped tightly about my neck, and the plaid cloak taken from the dusty storehouse in Helvetica all those years ago. Grime-covered, bloodied and slightly torn in places, it was still with me and would be until the day I died, if I had my way.

    “Fourth century!” My voice lifted above the chatter of the auxiliaries, my eyes watching as the centuries before us began to trail off after the I Adiutrix, every man stopping his talk and turning their eyes to the front and the road ahead, “century...wait for it...century, for-ward!”

    With a bellow of orders and a tread of hob-nailed sandals, we marched once more towards certain battle.


    - M.Laenas

Page 3 of 8 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •