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

  1. #121
    Ybbon's Avatar Ace Worn Tattler
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 29/11/11]

    I like the line about murder of crows, does this mean we can expect a Shrewdness of Apes, a sleuth of bears, a wake of buzzards...

  2. #122
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 29/11/11]

    Thank you Ybbon...and it could do...it really could do! (Not so certain about the apes though.) How about a flange of baboons, a smack of jellyfish, exaltation of larks or sounder of pigs?

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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 29/11/11]

    google has a lot to answer for

  4. #124
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 29/11/11]

    Quote Originally Posted by ybbon66 View Post
    google has a lot to answer for
    It sure does, still no apes though...not until the conquest of the Seleucid Empire and the inevitable invasion of the Hindu Kush anyway.

  5. #125
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 29/11/11]




    The Gods Make Fools Of Us All – Summer 592 A.U.C to Summer 593 A.U.C


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    So here we are, in my fifty-second year of age, in the capital city of the entire world and getting an annual payment of more than I could probably spend in my lifetime. Here, my two sons following their father into the military profession, and my lovely daughter falling head of heels with a young member of the gens Scipii, only my wife, myself and our two 'slaves' left in the eternal city in an insulae of quite some scope and beauty and my duties taking up a great deal of my time.

    I believe that now would be the perfect time for some reflection, a look at where I came from to what I have become, from my roots in the Rhatacensii to my current position as an ex-auxiliary centurion to a centurion of Tiberius Caesars personal bodyguard.

    I must ask myself then, have I changed so much?

    Only a few days ago, I saw a group of Thracian guardsmen celebrating one of their divinities holy-days and making offerings of burnt wheat, meat and other various foodstuffs to their ancestors and forefathers. I forced myself to stop, and stare a little, for it had been decades since I either sacrificed to my own Gods or gave any praise to my ancestors. As with all other auxiliaries, and guardsmen, I was only forced to worship the divine Emperor and be a part of his empire-wide cult, other than that we were prompted to make time for the Roman pantheon and those Gods imported by the Romans but were not entirely prohibited from worshipping or sacrificing to our own 'native' deities.

    Next, as I did the rounds of the guardsmen on duty, for it was my turn amongst the centurions of the guard to inspect and, if needs be, to harangue the men, my eyes looked over the visages of men from over a dozen different regions and over a hundred different tribes and clans.

    There were Gauls amongst my own men of the Dacian and Gallic cohort, mostly of the Cisalpine and Romanised Insubrii, their hair cut short and their faces clean-shaven, for these men had been under the thumb of Roma for such a time that they had forgotten their martial past and any barbarism that had previously gone with it.

    The same could be said for the Spaniards, soldiers taken from equally Romanised tribes like the Lacetani, the Edetani, the Bastetani, Cantabri and Celtiberii, for their homelands within the now Roman province of Tarraconensis or Hither Spain had taken all that the Roman Empire had to offer, even allowing vast amounts of Roman settlers into their lands to plant vineyards and build aristocratic villas. Only the men of Lusitania, a place purposely kept void of Roman civilisation and life, withheld their warlike mannerisms and way of waging war, annually plucked from their homes to march from Hispania to wherever the Emperor saw fit.

    Of all the men present in the guard, our guard and my guard, the Spaniards were mocked and picked on the most by their comrades-in-arms. They were considered soft, effeminate like easterners were said to be, and weak when compared to their Baltic and Northern European brothers.

    I can only say that, from what I have seen of them, those Spanish Cohorts stationed outside of their home provinces or postings in Mauritania, Numidia or Africa Minor, are usually as tough as old leather sandals and fight just as well as any other auxiliary cohorts. The man imitates their environment, which is why I trained and trained with my cohort every single day, soft postings made for soft men, no matter where they were from.

    As for the remainder of us, well...we were all men taken from more “barbarous” nations, even Illyria and Dalmatia, though part of the Res Publica before it came close to being an empire, still supplied men of sturdy and warrior like qualities. The rest, Dacians, Thracians and Germans, were all drawn from men in the relatively unaffected interiors of these nations. Thrace, though taken from Macedonia during my time as a Dacian mercenary under Laenas, had not been overly Romanised and, along with its high population, provided many fierce cohorts and alae for the Roman army.

    Now, whether recruits from any of our cohorts or mounted squadrons returned to their homelands after their service was up was entirely up to them. Many did not, preferring to remain as Roman citizens and live out their lives in relative wealth and comfort, others however, mostly on the frontiers, took local women to wife and therefore remained wherever they had been stationed for long enough to begin seeing these women.

    Finally, others more like myself did wish to return to our homelands and settle there...

    yearn for the rolling hills and pasture-land of Dacia, the rugged terrain and the rough-and-ready people that inhabit it. My wife, on the other hand, was raised amongst Greeks for most of her life and knows very little of what I speak, except in whispers of her childhood and our ever-so-swift visit to my former clan-village. Still, we would see, there was still time for me to talk her around and return home before I died.


    **********


    “What are you doing? Is it not a little early, my love?” Asked my wife one day, when she found me kneeling over a block of stone I had recently purchased from a mason, her long greying hair cascading down her back, her skin wrinkling in places, but her loving eyes never once losing their shine and glimmer.

    “It has been too long, my sweet, since I made prayer or sacrifice or oath to my Gods and my ancestors. They have protected me in foreign lands, from birth to this very day, bringing us both to this place and helping me to survive to come home to you and, I am sure, helping yourself to raise our children. So I am making an altar, not paying some stonemason, but doing it myself.”

    She seemed satisfied with this, giving a small shrug and returning to bed, leaving me alone in the wind-whipped courtyard with my chisel and mallet and thoughts of youth.

    For an entire two months, during every furlough from the guard, I worked on that piece of stone and slowly but surely it yielded to my hammering and took on a life and shape of its own. With the help of old Anakletos, nearly blind by now and surely near to death as well, and an artisan of my acquaintance, I chiselled small images of my parents and my current family into the stone, carving the names of my Gods and the deities of Roma around the altar in a spiral and topping it all off with a top in the likeness of an open scroll. Such was the fashion at the time.

    When it was finished, once more alone and with one of my civilian tunics sticking to my heaving chest and sweating back, I sat down to a cool baked-clay mug of rough wine and, as the liquid went down my throat and into my belly, ingested the sight with a feeling of pride I had not felt since my children were born.

    That very same night, laying cooked meats and fresh-baked bread down on the altar-top, under the gaze of the moons shimmering face and the pinholes of the gloaming sky above, I knelt before the altar on one knee and lifted both my arms towards the heavens. I closed my eyes and lifted my head, breathing deeply and letting myself feel the ache of the winter in my now brittle bones.

    “Hear me, Gods of my people, you mighty Zalmoxis, Gebeleizis the handsome of the thunder and lightning, Dionysus of the splendid vineyards and befuddling wine, and Bendis, mother to us all. Hear me also my ancestors, my forefathers and mothers, may your spirits come to this place and both listen to my words and savour the food which I freely give to thee...” I paused then to gather my thoughts, my brows furrowing momentarily before I went on, “...it has been some time since I prayed to you, some time since I sought your guidance or your protection, but I do so now with this altar as a dedication to you, crafted by my own hands and those of my friends. I fear that I have become too Roman, that I have walked away from the path of my true self, ensnared and perhaps even enslaved by these invaders and unable to see my way out of the forest where I find myself.”

    In that moment I could feel that they were watching, listening, the cold seeping into my knee and the bones all over my body beginning to hurt. Old war-wounds, scars and the like, felt as if they would split open again at any moment, but I stayed exactly where I was and as still as I could. Speaking again into the air.

    “Protect my sons and my daughter, wherever they may go, for I have lived my life and would wish only that they too should live one as long and full as I. Let my wife, Eunike, be happy and content and...” I lowered my voice to barely a whisper at this part “...let me see my home again, you Gods, let me feel the soft ground of Dacia beneath my feet once more and see the blue sky overhead. All this may you do and, should you do this, I shall set up five more altars of equal stature to stand alongside these or, should I die before that time, will command my remaining family to do so in my stead. You have my oath on it.”

    I rose then, wiping the wet patch on my bared knee with one hand, a crick in my should causing me some discomfort, and wondered if the Gods would answer my prayers. Only time would tell, I supposed, time and the results which were yet to come.


    **********


    “Centurion,” sitting silently at the desk in my office, my eyes fixed to the wall, I snapped out of my day-dream and focused my eyes on a soldier wearing the green cloak of an Illyrian, “you are ordered to form up half the Corporis Custodes Peregrinorum in the courtyard, in full battle gear, before marching your men to Ostia and boarding a vessel there. You will be joining the son of our emperors heir in Syria...we're going to invade the Seleucid Empire.”

    Just like that my fate was sealed, the Gods I believed had done the exact opposite of answering my prayers, in fact they seemed to be punishing me. I had three years left, three years officially left in the army, and now it seemed that I would never get to see my beloved wife, daughter or homeland again before I died.

    I, for one, shall not burden you, dear reader, with the details of my parting from the bosom of my wife or the multitude of tears shed by us both as I unwrapped her from about me and walked away, all polished armour and sharpened blade.

    You shall simply have to imagine it, feel it, envisage it for yourself.



    - M.Laenas

  6. #126
    Boustrophedon's Avatar Grote Smurf
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 4/12/11]

    Your writing reminds me of Cato and Macro ^^ except for all the swearing lol
    Nice update, my friend!

  7. #127
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 4/12/11]

    Quote Originally Posted by Boustrophedon View Post
    except for all the swearing lol
    Swearing in this AAR or in Simon Scarrows books?

    I don't believe my AAR has that much swearing but, as a reader of all Scarrows books, I do believe that his sometimes has a little too much. Anyway, thank you for the compliment Boustrophedon, always nice to get some feedback.

    I've gone back to re-read Eagles and Wolves, my favourite because it involves auxiliaries. I actually quite like the fact that Scarrow does use auxiliaries where he can, and his German Guard in his newest novel were quite cool too.

    May have to put more swearing in now...

  8. #128
    Ishiyumi no shashu
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 4/12/11]

    Rabble rabble! I too, greatly enjoy Scarrow's books. I swear like a trooper, so don't mind it.

  9. #129
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 4/12/11]




    The End? – Summer 593 A.U.C to Summer 596 A.U.C


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    It is now three years since I left Roma, the eternal city and capital of the empire, leaving behind me my wife and possibly any hope of ever returning alive to follow some future Caesar on a campaign that would hopefully make his name as a soldier-Emperor for him. It is, as a matter of fact, also the very day of my discharge and retirement from the service of Roma and her all-conquering military, but instead of being in the arms of my loved ones and therefore in relative comfort I am writing this, possibly my last entry, from under the cover of a centurions tent in near Tarsus in the province of Kilikia.

    I am fifty-five years of age now, the ache in my bones spreading rapidly throughout my body, but my endurance and spirit to serve never weakening for one moment. I can still carry a shield, I can still wield a sword with deadly purpose, and I have made an arrangement to stall my discharge until either the end of this campaign or until I draw my very last breath on or off of the field of battle.

    Only days from now, along with two Roman legions, I and my comrades of the guard shall go into battle against the Seleucids for possession of Tarsus, before driving south and into Syria and Judea and, with any luck, meeting with a second Roman force forcing their own way up from the south. If they can take Hierosolyma, an epicentre of Seleucid military presence in western Syria, then they may push on north under Spurius Caecilius Bassus and our forces may link together.

    Orders have also been given that no Roman is to attack any settlements or even hamlets east of Damascus and Bostra, the Kingdom of Palmyrene having handed their sympathies over to the Parthian horse-lords and no longer belonging to the Seleucid Empire or a rebellious faction. Should we attack Palmyrene, in spite of the rather unwise choices they have made, then we would surely have war with another powerful enemy on our hands.

    Currently it is the summer season of 596 Ab Urbe Condita, and I have never felt such heat in all my life, my armour feeling like a bakers kiln and my skin feeling as if it may set itself alight at any moment. Let me tell you now though of the years, interesting as they are, that bought me to where I am writing from now. For it took at least three to get here, and throughout those years, well, it was not all plain sailing.


    **********


    In the summer of 593 A.U.C, I and a number of centuries from the Coporis Custodes Peregrinorum, one from each 'pair' of centuries corresponding to their places of origin, as well as four alae of German Singulares, made our way to the port of Ostia and were met there by the middle-aged Publius Rutilius Calvus, the only son of Tiberius' chosen heir Decimus R. Calvus or Caesar.

    He was plain looking man, not handsome but not ugly either, of average height and build, and with a full head of brown hair beneath his crested attic-style helmet. Over time, during our voyage to the port of the city of Side in Pamphylia in actuality, I would come to know him as a positive and religious man who was passionate about everything he did, though he spoke with a fluency which was deplorably marred by a slight stammer.

    Under the watchful gaze of our Nauarchus, Quintus, a stern and uncompromising Aegyptian, we set off from Ostia with all haste toward our destination.

    Years were taken to reach where we wanted to go, our convoy of vessels stopping at ports all over the empire on our way there, enough stops for me to collect information on current events in other parts of the Romanised world and even beyond our own frontiers. For example, I discovered that there had been revolts by cities and their inhabitants in near Germania, eastern parts of the beloved Seleucid Empire, and even amongst tribes on the Dacia-Sarmatian border, separating but also conjoining the two peoples.

    In the winter of 594, freezing my backside off as the sea winds whipped all about those on deck, word reached my ears of political rivals jockeying for position when the Emperor and his successor were both dead. Both men, Tiberius and Decimus Caesar, were in their late sixties and would likely not be around for that much longer. By an assassins blade, a poison chalice, or pure natural circumstance, they would be dead and without an heir there would be an opening for all-comers.

    As it happened, they needn't have bothered even trying, the line of succession being quite secure and with Tiberius dying in the summer of 595 at the age of seventy years, Decimus in the summer of the following year and at the very same age, the most senior Praetorian Prefect Manius I. Pullus was assigned by the successor and son of the mistrusted and publicly hated Decimus Caesar to act as regent until he returned from his war to take his rightful place.

    Now, having landed near Side only the year before, marching to the border between Pamphylia and Kilikia to meet Vibius H. Cerrinius and his Legio IIII Scythica Parthica, we now protected Publius Caesar and the future Emperor of the Roman Empire.

    The regent he had chosen, Pullus, was a wise choice indeed. This man, an experienced commander of men, was sixty-two at the time but strongly loyal, an Equestrian senator of Roma, a devout and religious man and especially well known for his skill at talking other men round to his side or view during a debate. Not only this but, luckily for myself and my children, he held the view of Sextus Maximus and Tiberius I. C. that foreigners should be welcomed into the bosom of Roma and used to the empires benefit, in short, that they should kill all those who resisted but keep alive and use to their own advantage all those who would submit.

    Lastly, and this makes me chuckle as I write, humorous reader, but it came to me burning ears that my old Legatus Nepos, long considered a catamite and without heir, had a son who had just come of age at the fifths base in Gergovia. Needless to say, I was shocked. Shocked that a boy like Manius F. Nepos should have such a father, and surprised that he had even been conceived by woman at all.


    **********


    Now, we return to the current year, and all its tidings.

    The young Titus Iunius Bubulcus, some of an eminent senator and leader in the Roman army, but largely unknown by the masses or the elite of Roma, has been announced by Publius Caesar as his adopted heir. Until Publius returns to Roma, ascends the senate steps, and proclaims himself to be the Emperor to all present, he is but Caesar and holds less power than even his chosen regent. Nonetheless, Pullus is a loyal soldier and it would be a foolish thing to try and insult him by asking him to take power...or to allow another to do so. Both choices would end badly.

    I can hear the trumpets calling the assembly for the march, and then battle. If I should fall, killed by a Seleucid sarissa or arrow, then this will be my final entry and no more shall follow. I have lived a good life, loved a good woman, and fathered exquisite offspring. I have done all that a man can do in life, enjoying its riches and its lower moments, trying to walk a thin line between a duel-identity as well as I possibly can.

    Should I return from the battle, well, you will know.

    It has been an honour and a privilege, dear reader, for you to follow me all this way through time and through these pages. I only hope, and pray to the Gods, that you shall get to read many more.

    Aut vincere aut mori.


    - M.Laenas

  10. #130
    Ishiyumi no shashu
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 6/12/11]

    Hang on... Is this the end, or just another fantastic update?

  11. #131
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 6/12/11]

    Quote Originally Posted by Diomede View Post
    Hang on... Is this the end, or just another fantastic update?
    Sorry Diomede...that would be telling!

  12. #132
    Ishiyumi no shashu
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 6/12/11]

    Oh, you.

  13. #133
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 6/12/11]


    (Credit to traveljournals.net)


    Twist, Unsheathe, Action. – Summer 596 A.U.C to Summer 598 A.U.C


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Wretched, wretched desert. Nothing but sand dunes, nomads and decadent Seleucids, who truly believe themselves to be the true heirs of Megas Alexandros. I am two years and six months overdue on my citizenship and my retirement, and all I have to show for it is a larger annual pay and sand in my thrice damned sandals.

    Yes, I also have the reputation of a fighting man, a born leader and a born warrior, but who now amongst my comrades will remember me when I am gone?

    Perhaps I should explain myself, yes, I think that would be best.

    When Caesar led us into Kilikia, against the defenders of Tarsus and that region, the mongrel dogs defending it either holed up behind their sturdy walls or retreated before us, destroying what they could not carry, leaving women and children for bandits, carrion or worse...Romans. It was because of this that we spent nearly two whole years camped outside the walls and in the area surrounding Tarsus, because there were three Roman legions outside their gates and no leader of reinforcements was beaten dumb enough to try and break our iron grasp on the city. I personally believe that it would have been better if they had, at least then I would not have spent every waking hour contemplating why I was still even here in Syria, and not living the life of a free man and a citizen of the empire in Roma or anywhere else within her borders.

    As Publius was now the emperor, gallopers and couriers came from all theatres of the campaign with scrolls, papyri and animal-hide documents for his assessment and, if needed, also his signature. Through this, as I had almost a lifetime ago now, I asked questions and remembered what I believed was worth remembering. What I discovered, from my wine-fuddled conversations and quiet enquiries in dark corners, was that the Roman legions and their auxiliary support were winning on every front and at every city and throwing back again and again any Seleucid army sent against them. Syria, Judea and Phoenicia were now in a Roman stranglehold, Publius content with only the westernmost areas of the crumbling Hellenistic empire, the Greco-Persian rulers and Macedonian royal line only wasting more and more lives and coin on fighting against us.

    Near Hierosolyma, for example, Bassus had took the offensive with his Legio X Fretensis against an attacking force, driving them back as if they were nothing. En route to boost the force besieging Bostra, Titus Cornelius Sulla Felix, a plebeian primus pilus known for his luck in battle, was attacked along with his mixed Thracian auxiliary force but successfully saw off the enemy.

    In the winter of 596, Numerius Annaeus Statius took the Legio XVI Flavia Felix to besiege Antiocheia and was opposed along his path by one Anaximander Ceraunus, he did what any good Roman would have done and slaughtered them to the last man, which led, after one further battle at a river crossing, to Statius entering and occupying Antiocheia in the winter of 597 in relative security.

    During the year of 597, our forces slowly baking to death in the hot sun, Caesar proclaimed that he would head east and take Hierpolis near the Armenian border. Our leader, at this time, was becoming more unpopular with the masses in Roma and was already severely hated by the Roman Senate. Luckily this was not compounded or doubled by the death the regent of Manius I. Pullus in Roma, Titus Caesar already there and laying the ground for when his adopted relative would return. It seemed the curse of our emperors to have no naturally born son, the gens Calvus being only a dynasty of two and Titus Caesar being both unmarried and childless by other means.

    All this bring me to this year, and today, and as you can see from the fact I am writing to you now...I am not dead, not yet. Still time for that though, whether by blade, age or ill winds. And I was about to tell you, dear reader, why I hate this place and my current predicament so.


    **********


    Under a glorious midday sun, that heated up our skin and made my already burnt neck both itchy and covered in a rash, we watched as hole were smashed and splintered into the timber palisades thrown up around Hierpolis as something that was supposed to be considered a defensive structure. Clearly, the Seleucids must never have heard of the great and famous Roman school of siege-craft and city-taking.

    When the crews of the artillery sat down to rest, their arms sore and aching, and their entire forms gleaming with sweat from pulling the torsion arms back, was when the rest of us rose to our feet and formed into nearly arranged ranks. We men of the Peregrinorum had no set places in the ranks, unlike legions or auxiliary cohorts, when it came to lining up and so instead we formed up in two clean lines however we wanted.

    Shielding my eyes with one hand, I could make out at least four breaches in the palisades thick timber and knew that each one would certainly be guarded, each one also an entrance for us and a problem for them.

    “Steady yourselves lads,” I shouted to my own century in Dacian and spattered and rough Gaulish, we were barbarians after all, though I did receive a few confused looks nonetheless, “we will be the first into the breach and the last out again, mark my words. So, ready your weapons and yourselves and make sure you have made your peace with whatever Gods you praise.”

    Even at fifty-seven years of age, my stomach still flat as a young mans and my muscles still as strong, I was able to bellow out orders and encouragement with the best of them. There was indeed a reason why myself and my century had been selected for this new guard, above all others, and I would never show weakness in front of my comrades or my enemy.

    Taking a moment, as I strode along the face of my centuries line, to gaze towards the left flank, I could make out the armoured forms of the 'cataphracta' cavalry that Tiberius Caesar himself had taken to Roma from Asia Minor when the Romans had first invaded the Kingdom of Pergamon and he had been a much younger man. Some of the older men, behind those ominous bronze face-masks, imitations of the Pergamite and Seleucid cataphracts own armour, probably had known Tiberius the Benevolent in his younger days no doubt.

    Now, as I gazed at them upon their huge warhorses, horse and rider both covered in the finest armour the empire could provide, I could not help but feel a shiver go down my spine.

    These did not seem like men that I so cautiously regarded, no, they seemed far more like uniform daimôns from the deepest and darkest pits of Hades, glimmering hides of dread steeds and skins of silver and gold encompassing and safeguarding their riders from harm as they wielded their two-handed kontos lance and reaped souls for the dark lord of the Underworld.

    Sitting on his horse, not too far away, so that I could just see the upper-half of his body over the heads of my own men, was the middle-aged Emperor of Roma. Publius Imperator Caesar, who commanded legions and struck down his enemies both at home and abroad with skill, cunning and precision.

    Encircling the figurehead and the power of the empire were his ever-present German singulares, men no less imposing or hellish as the cataphracts I mentioned earlier, all natives of the frontier lands between Roman territory and that of the Germanian tribes. Ubii, Batavii, Germano-Belgic Treverii, Tungrii and even Frisii horsemen accompanied the Emperor, all of imposing height and stature, most possessed of blonde or red hair and usually blue, grey or green eyes. They carried only circular shields large enough to cover the fist and the immediate area around it, as well as a lancea and either a longsword or an axe of some kind, whether a hatchet or a full battle-axe.

    My thoughts were interrupted suddenly by the braying of Roman horns, my old feet carrying me to my position as centurion of the Dacian and Gallic century, sand rising up from beneath me as I made a perfect parade-ground turn to glare at my assigned breach and the Seleucid Thorakitai taking an equally violent glare at me and my men.

    “Coporis Custodes Peregrinorum, forward by the left, quick...march!” Came the words from our most senior centurion, a bullock of a Thracian named Aplus, his booming voice carrying swiftly to all ears and causing our feet to move as one toward the breach to which it seemed we had all been assigned.

    “Second Dacian and Gallic, quicken the pace and follow me!”

    I am fifty-seven years of age now, liable to die at any moment, and I would be damned if I was going to let anyone but my own century get through that breach and into the enemy before me and my men.

    As I quickened my pace into a slow run, making sure not to endanger the other cohorts along the line, I made sure that my century slowly but surely got a good number of steps over on our comrades and, when we finally did reach the walls and the defended opening, I know with the Gods as my witness that we were the first ones through.

    There is also one reason that I cannot and will not forget it, not the order I gave nor the moment we charged, the Seleucid defenders ready and waiting for us with javelins and arms cocked behind their heads. We charged heedlessly and headlong through the gap, shields up and gladii out, when Dizas, my optio and friend, turned to look at me with a wide grin and even opened his mouth to say something.

    What he was going to shout at me, in joy or otherwise, I will never be able to know or write here.

    No sooner had he opened his mouth than he bit down on iron, his eyes rolling into the back of his head and blood streaming down his crimson scarf and scaled cuirass, that expression of battle-delight still on his face as the narrow-tipped javelin pierced a hole in the neck-guard of his helmet and straight through the back of his neck. I could only watch in horror, my blood boiling inside me, as his body fell first to its knees and then pitched forward into the already carmine sand around the opening in the palisade.

    It is simply because of this incident, caused by my own stupidity and ambition and lack of respect for my men, that I cannot remember much of the battle after that. Everything was clouded in a reddish hue, like a veil had been drawn over my eyes, and I can remember feeling the weight of my curved family sica in my hand as I lay about me. The blade of that weapon had not tasted blood for decades, but now it bit into exposed flesh, lopped off unguarded heads and dug into shoulders to drink deeply of the crimson.

    I remember breaking the thorakitai, chasing after them with spittle foaming from my lips, yelling at my men to follow me as I pressed onward toward the settlements central square and through streets and alleyways which were entirely unknown to me and could easily have gotten the entire contingent of the guard killed. I was followed by them all, Illyrians, Spaniards, the whole vexillation, and I can recall the spear-armed century from the Alpine tribes holding back rush after rush from the masses of men, horse and metal of the Seleucid scythed chariots with the most greatest courage and vigour I had seen for a long while.

    The cataphracts, I know, carved their way into the city, through a number of sarissa-armed phalanxes, before rampaging through the streets around us and going about their grim business of death and extermination of Seleucid fighting men.

    By the end of it all, for it was the end, I recollect leaning against a city wall and vomiting while being watched by a number of laughing Germans. These same Germans then proceeded to play a crude game of toss-the-severed-head, laughing in their deep tones and speaking in their guttural tongue to one another. I evidently left them to it, shying away from such disrespect, even to my enemies, and absent-mindedly fingered the torc clamped about my neck so that it would help me remember who I was and what I had done, where I had been, and where I was going.

    Wretched desert, I say again, and spit upon the floor of this mud-built house which once belonged to a phalangite of Macedonian descent, but which now belongs entirely to the Roman Empire. This land, these people, these houses and everything as far as the eye can see, now belongs to Publius Imperator Caesar and his ever-growing empire. Soon, as has been for centuries, Syrians will be recruited into cohorts of sagittarii and Jews into irregular forces of funditores and garrison troops.

    This causes me to think of those Gauls I helped to 'civilise', some would say enslave...I am weary and need to rest now, these old bones not as sprightly as they once were you know. Then there are duty rosters to see too, then training exercises, and then latrine duties for unruly guardsmen.

    The life of a centurion is never done, for you can take the centurion out of the army but...well...you know the rest.


    - M.Laenas

  14. #134
    Ishiyumi no shashu
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 6/12/11]

    I need to spread rep before giving more.

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    Ybbon's Avatar Ace Worn Tattler
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 6/12/11]

    me too, but this deserves it. Getting darker though - you'll be catching up with SBH for misery in the desert before long! Here's hoping he gets to Dacia once more.

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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 6/12/11]

    Quote Originally Posted by ybbon66 View Post
    me too, but this deserves it. Getting darker though - you'll be catching up with SBH for misery in the desert before long! Here's hoping he gets to Dacia once more.
    We shall see...we shall see. He's getting older, life is getting less interesting, and tis just the way it goes. Will he ever see his beloved Dacia again? Will he not? Who can say?!

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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 6/12/11]

    well you could, but ending the AAR with "M Laenas got stabbed by some Parthian in a desert. The end" would be a bit of a jolt. I'd have thought a Centurion at 50 was a real rarity anyway as they usually led from the front so the Centurionate's casualty rate would be high.

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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 6/12/11]

    Quote Originally Posted by ybbon66 View Post
    well you could, but ending the AAR with "M Laenas got stabbed by some Parthian in a desert. The end" would be a bit of a jolt. I'd have thought a Centurion at 50 was a real rarity anyway as they usually led from the front so the Centurionate's casualty rate would be high.
    Correct on both accounts, though they have found a tombstone of a centurion who re-enlisted and died at the age of 70, so there were exceptions, of course. Nah, nae danger Ybbon, nothing that stupid and blunt will happen.

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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 6/12/11]




    An Offer You Can't Refuse. – Summer 598 A.U.C


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Publius Imperator Caesar, Emperor of the Roman Empire and therefore commander of my century, looked down at me from the temporary dais that had been constructed of strong local wood in the main Hellenic magistrates hall in Hierpolis. It was not exactly what you would call fit for an emperor, but neither was it the lowest form of seating I had ever seen, for in Dacia we usually stood or sat on the floor.

    “Let me see if I understand this correctly, Marcus,” he formed a steeple with his fingers and gazed at me once more, kneeling before his dais in only my white tunic and Gallic torc, looking like the very epitome of a barbarian I am sure, “you wish me to release you from service, as your time of discharge has already passed, and allow you to return home to Dacia with the ashes of your fallen comrade Dizas, so that you may scatter them to the winds?”

    The tone he used, and the way he put it, made my entire request sounds foolish and child-like, but I nodded my downcast head all the same. This was the Emperor, not some sorry Roman arsewipe I could threaten or simply leave the service of. I had sworn my life to this man, an oath not taken lightly.

    “Would you consider a better offer?”

    I have to mention here, dear reader, that no matter how much the Senate and the old men within hated Publius, he was always good to his soldiers and we acknowledged that readily. He did not treat us unfairly, was a skilful tactician, and never wasted lives where he did not have to. In short, he was everything that Legatus Nepos was not.

    “You are already a centurio retentus, a fifty-seven year old centurion who had remained on after his service was up, who could have left but did not and for this I am thankful. Your pay shall also be doubled. There are very few that lead from the front and reach your age, or can offer your experience. Now, here is my offer...” he stood up from his dais, walked down a series of small steps toward me, and in plain view of his still and silent German bodyguards placed his hand on my shoulder “...I want you, Centurion Laenas, to become my chief training officer in Roma amongst your comrades of the Peregrinorum and to work in tandem with the horsemen of the singulares.”

    His face came closer to my ear as he leant forward, my head not even moving and my eyes fixed to the floor of the former Seleucid palace.

    “Just between yourself and me, you can also keep an eye on the Praetorians and those whom I trust in Roma for me, there's a good man,” he slid something under my nose then, a sealed scroll of papyri, and his voice whispered once more, “here are your papers for the exclusive position of 'ipsius imperatoris centurio' and all you need do is pick it up. The pay will be excellent and the length of your furloughs, and where you choose to spend them, well, that is up to you.”

    The Emperor's own centurion.

    It had a nice ring to it and, as I looked at that scroll and that seal, well my mind worked out a million different scenarios I can tell you.

    I am tired, dear reader, so I shall continue later and tell you of what came after and likely before.

    Time for wine, sleep, perchance to dream.


    - M.Laenas




    Its a short one, but I'm not up for writing a long'un atm.

  20. #140
    Ishiyumi no shashu
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    Default Re: [RS 2.1a Roman (Auxiliary) AAR] Serving Your Oppressor [Updated: 7/12/11]

    Ok. I don't get it. When is Rome going to oppress the Dacians?

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