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The History of Vindonius - A hopefully fresh take on reporting campaigns.
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Thread: The History of Vindonius - A hopefully fresh take on reporting campaigns.

  1. #1
    TheBigCheddar's Avatar Foederatus
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    Feb 2014
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland

    Default The History of Vindonius - A hopefully fresh take on reporting campaigns.

    I noticed that a lot of the reports here are often written in narrative fiction formats, etc. (and jolly good they are too). Therefore, as an ancient and medieval historian, I thought it might be novel (pardon the pun) to depart from that format and present my campaign as the ERE in the way you might come across it if it were real history. In other words, I have attempted to write it in the snobbish, unnecessarily florid style of the late antique historian, albeit from a first-person(ish) perspective. Please allow for any inconsistencies in the writing style and anachronisms, however, as I'll write this stuff late at night and I'm rather afraid I cannot be arsed to edit it extensively. Also, I have deliberately left out screenshots, etc. as I feel this format is best suited to the imagination (sounds like a cop out I know, but I promise it's not).

    With all that in mind, may I present the long lost and recently found History of Vindonius, a general in the Eastern Roman Empire, as he recounts his campaigns. As I translate more of the manuscript, more shall appear here.


    Whilst in the service of the Lord’s most eminent servant, Flavius Arcadius Augustus, by the Grace of God Emperor of the Romans, I, Vindonius Anatolius, do commit to r
    ecord the events pertaining to the campaigns conducted by myself in service of Rome, the Republic and the Emperor.

    Illyria (A.D. 395 –

    Vindonius and Aebutianus respond to the rebellions of Figulus and Volusus and the invasion of Alaric.

    Through the lies and machinations of the heathen Goths and their king, Alaric, several prominent citizens within Illyricum were provoked into rebellion against the Emperor. Figulus was one, who made his headquarters at Scupi, and the other was Anicius Volcatius Volusus who, with Gothic assistance, had seized the city of Thessalonica and aspired to seize by insurrection the mantle of Augustus. By imperial edict, two legions were dispatched to deal with this treason, one under the command of Appius Aurelius Aebutianus and the other under my supervision. My command, the eleventh, was dispatched from Constantinople in
    reinforcement of the beleaguered Aebutianus, where our combined strength and the will of the Father delivered us to victory against Figulus on the plains near Trimontium. With Figulus’ head now adorning the walls of that city, Aebutianus mustered his troops for the march south to Thessalonica, while I restored Scupi to the control of the Emperor. Our enemy was wily and dishonest, refusing to meet our forces in the field. To the south, the Gothic horde besieged Corinth and stripped that venerable city of all its wealth. Whilst we wept for the violation of Corinth, the forces of the pretender Volusus had taken Scupi, alas, I had been detained in the ancient kingdom of Epirus, facing a revolt that threatened to worsen the current crisis.

    (A.D. 398, Spring) Vindonius retakes Scupi and Aebutianus
    besieges Thessalonica.

    Once I was in a position to move my forces away from Epirus, the eleventh legion began its march back to Scupi. The men were weary and, when walking the picket lines at night, I could hear them
    disheartened, since the city for which their comrades had died had once more fallen to the vile whims of lesser princes than our noble Augustus. Upon our arrival at the city, I had no time to lay stakes or surround the city, for my scouts reported that the bulk of the pretender’s army was no more than an hour behind us and that, once they joined with the garrison, we would be outnumbered and in a position which only the Almighty Lord or a military genius could save us from. The other officers recommended that I await reinforcement from Aebutianus, who would tip the balance into our favour. Yet, so confident was I of the Lord's favour, I commanded that we abandon ideas of a siege and attempt to break through into the city before their reinforcements could catch us in the field.

    The garrison was poorly maintained and small in number, and the eleventh crashed through the enemy’s ranks and seized the
    capitol with little difficulty and, more importantly, in little time. However, we were still outnumbered and the survivors of the garrison, commanded by Volusus’ lieutenant Hilarius Cominius Messalla, yet resisted us. The Father saw fit, however, to make a strategem clear and once evident this was actioned fast enough to be brought to bear against our foe. Whilst the eleventh manned the walls of the capitol and were subject to a vicious frontal assault, a contingent was dispatched through the side streets, pinning the enemy in the main road through the city. The men on the walls hurled missiles down into the massed enemy, who’s screams I could hear even as I led the charge against the remnants of Messalla’s retinue. The bloody work was pushed to its conclusion as the men who had been sent to trap the enemy pressed forward with their swords and did terrible, though righteous, slaughter. Messalla fell fighting long before his men were compelled to flee and was thus spared the sight of the annihilation of his master’s army and the dishonour of its flight.

    With Scupi once again returned to the Republic from its dissidents and Volusus’ army in the field now lost to him, Aebutianus moved south and laid siege to Thessalonica. The city's
    defences were well manned, and the presence of a rebel fleet prevented any blockade from the sea. It would prove to be a long siege and Aebutianus prayed to the Father that the Goths would not turn their ire northward, to the detriment of his endeavour.

    (A.D. 398, Winter) Thessalonica is retaken, Volusus is slain and the Goths suffer a plague.

    Aebutianus waited until the waning months of the year before launching his final assault on the followers of Volusus within Thessalonica, during which time the city suffered much at the hands of the tyrant within and the host without. Indeed, by the time the day of battle arrived, the high and bright walls of Thessalonica were blackened and laid low. Aebutianus is said to have wept openly when he saw the destruction this campaign had brought to so beloved a jewel of the Republic, for even the palace of the city's praefect, within which Volusus had lived in hollow parody of the true Emperor, had burned in the fighting. The dissent of Volusus' soldiers could also be clearly heard by soldiers on piquet duties on the siege lines, they were not convinced of their prince's courage. The
    defence of the city was divided between three; Volusus himself alongside two of his remaining lieutenants: Calvus and Curvus. The first was the commander of the garrison and the second the commander of the fleet, both would see action in the battle and give good account of themselves until their traitor's streak made them forget their honour. Aebutianus was not to face the enemy alone, however, as the fleet that had been based at Corinth under Publius Structus had sailed around the peninsula and was now ready to assist from the sea.

    As Aebutianus ordered his men forward with siege engines to mount the walls where there were not already breaches, Curvus, seeing the might of the arriving loyalist fleet, hastened to disembark his men before Structus could reach him. Landing his troops on the stretch of coast that lay outside the city's walls, Curvus forced Aebutianus to divert no fewer than half of his men to face the mariners. Though ingenious, Curvus' ploy was in vain, for the soldiers of the Emperor had already beaten back the bulk of the garrison and made its way to the ruined palace that commanded the city. It was at this point that Structus, having inserted himself into the city via the docks, displayed great courage by being the first to clash with the shield-wall of Volusus' bodyguard and, although he was forced to withdraw, he did so in no ignominy and gave good account of himself in the fray. By this time the rebels' cause was clearly lost and the traitorous Curvus and Calvus left their wavering prince to his fate. Volusus had, until this point, not been seen on the battlefield and many had presumed he had fled when he saw the host of the righteous pour into the city but, having seen the hopelessness of his situation, the pretender found some courage in his otherwise craven soul and screamed curses as he clashed with the retinue of Aebutianus, who had by now joined the battle in person. The final defiance of Volusus was to be short-lived, he was cut down by one of Aebutianus' men who then claimed the bounty which the legate had offered for the man who slew the pretender. Through the guidance of our Lord, Jesus Christ, Aebutianus hoisted the banners of the Emperor above the remains of Thessalonica, putting an end to the usurpation.

    Of Curvus and Calvus, who succeeded in evading their just capture, the former attempted to rally the rebel fleet near Athens but was caught by Structus and was to join his ships at the bottom of the Aegean. Calvus, however, with fewer than one hundred followers, made into the mountains of Macedonia and claimed to be the legitimate successor of Volusus and Consul. Meanwhile, to the north of Scupi, I had tracked down the remnants of Volusus' field army, now under the command of one Gaius Tertinius Piso, who fought valiantly before yielding before the might of the Emperor's loyal soldiers. Trusting in the Lord's teachings of patience and charity, I offered clemency on the condition that those men who remained rejoined the standards of the Republic, terms which were met with universal acceptance with the exception of Piso who, in a display of admirable virtue, fell on his sword in front of me. Once I returned to Scupi, I sent the sword back to the family of the Tertinii, who venerated their fallen son as the pinnacle of their line.

    To the south, God sought to test the long-suffering citizens of Corinth, who once again came under siege from the marauding Goths. Yet, in a sign that the survival of the city was His will, the Gothic horde fell under a pestilence that burned its way through their strongest warriors and weakest babes. Such a condition laid them open to retaliation, which could now be exploited by the Emperor's victorious legions.

    Last edited by TheBigCheddar; October 24, 2018 at 08:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

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    Feb 2014
    United Kingdom

    Default Re: The History of Vindonius - A hopefully fresh take on reporting campaigns.

    Even though (like you) I enjoy narrative AARs, I like the way that you've chosen a different style here. Your antique-historical style comes across well, you've got me interested in the challenges which Vindonius and the Eastern Roman Empire faced. My only concern - and it's a minor issue - is that, on my laptop screen, the text is slightly too small to be comfortable to read. This sounds like the authentic late-Roman period, with its plagues, threats from the Goths and disputes over succession. I hope that your translation will continue to go well!

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