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Thread: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

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    Default [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!



    For Glory, and the Republic!

    Introduction
    Ave, all those who choose to read this AAR! After having practised and improved my writing skills through my first small AAR and various competitions like ToTW I'd like to embark on a big project. I hope to be able to employ a novel-like style, while still basing the story on game events.

    'For Glory, and the Republic' will follow a number of characters who are playing their roles in the rise of Rome. Perhaps not the most original or challenging faction to write a story about, but one which allows me to put the historical content which I like to see in a good story into the AAR. I will be using the mod Rome Total Realism VII as a base for my story. It will be interesting to see a project which I know so well from another perspective!

    In this first post I'll attempt to organize the AAR a bit to make things easier for those following it. Here you will find lists with links to all chapters and 'historical notes' sections. The former will - of course - contain the story while I plan to add the latter to explain some of the historical elements I integrate into the AAR. Besides that, I plan to create a character list. I sincerely hope that you will all enjoy yourselves while reading this tale!


    Lists
    Chapter List

    - Prologue
    - Chapter I: Training an Army
    - Chapter II: A Gift from the Gods
    - Chapter III: First Blood
    - Chapter IV: The Meeting
    - Chapter V: A Bag of Letters
    - Chapter VI: Prelude to War
    - Chapter VII: The Storming of Taras
    - Chapter VIII: Gifts and Treason
    - Chapter IX: A Port, Honor and the Enemy
    - Chapter X: The Second Battle of Herakleia
    - Chapter XI: The Senate and the People of Rome
    - Chapter XII: A Battle to End a War (Also read ToTW 156: The Battle of Rhegion)
    - Chapter XIII: Home, Sweet Home (Also read ToTW 159: Call of a Legion)
    - Chapter XIV: A Devil's Dilemma (Also read ToTW 157: A Messenian's Request)
    - Chapter XV: Constructing a Navy
    - Chapter XVI: Back into the Sea!

    Historical Notes Sections

    - Historical Notes I: The Polybian Legion

    Character List

    Main Characters


    Publius
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Publius is a simple Roman citizen, who lived peacefully on his family's farm in a small town in Latium. After years of waiting, he has finally been able to marry his beloved Valeria. Just after the marriage, he had to join the army to expel the invading Greeks from their lands. Having shown quite some courage, he has already been promoted to the rank of Optio, which will likely not be the end of his career in the army!


    - Valeria
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Publius' wife, a delicate Roman beauty. She is going through a rough time now that her husband has left her and is in constant danger. Still, this woman has shown management skills through running the farm while Publius is gone. The gods saw upon her in pity, and decided to give her a baby to chase away her loneliness.


    - Publius Decius Mus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Publius Decius Mus, descendant of an old and influential patrician family, has managed to reach the rank of Praetor at the age of 39. Combining a sharp mind with a natural ability to command his subordinates, this man has a very promising future! Likes to have a glass of wine at certain moments of the day. Diluted, of course.


    - Antonius


    Supporting Characters


    Lucia
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Valeria's mother. A strong, utterly Roman woman who is determined to teach her daughter how to live by the old Roman virtues.


    - Marcus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Brave, experienced centurion. He is the senior officer of Publius' manipel and his direct commanding officer. He acts as Publius' mentor during the first part of his service time in the army.


    Costantia
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    'Mother Constantia' is an old house slave who supports Valeria now that Publius is gone and she has become pregnant for the first time.


    - Appius of Potentia
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Appius is a somewhat surprising and mysterious figure. Hiding his face in the shadows of his dark gown, he would scare any child passing by. Hidden in this blackness is a very cunning mind, which was recognized by the elders of Potentia. They sent him out on a mission, which enabled him to become part of P.D. Mus's staff after having given some important information. We might hear more from this man in future...


    - Mikon
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    This Greek commander has been left in charge of Taras after Pyrrhus of Epirus has taken his army down south to capture Rhegion. Besides being an occasional drinker, he is also a fervent hater of anything Roman. Therefore, it is a little sad that he will have to face a Roman praetor in his last battle...


    Lepidus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    This Roman from a poor equestrian family is in his early thirties and one of Publius Decius Mus's most trusted staff officers. Having served in his bodyguard for years, this valiant man often act as his right hand and second in command.


    Last edited by Maurits; February 02, 2013 at 11:00 AM.

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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    Cool start, i think this must be interesting

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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!


    Prologue
    Latium, 280 BC


    The gentle murmurings of the wind caressed and swayed the golden grain stalks that stretched to the horizons. Long and warm afternoons, while they laid on the grass together. A shivering, when his breath caught her skin… the sweet wetness of a kiss. How beautiful had life been, when he was still there, and they had not lost the innocence of youth...

    ‘’Valeria,’’ he had whispered, ‘one day I will make you my wife. I’ll never leave you, and I promise you that my heart will be doomed forever to love yours.’

    She had stared lovingly in his eyes, a deep brown with yellow sparks in it, and accepted what her heart said. She had loved Publius, and still loved him. How old were they at the time, 13 and 15, children. But he had kept his word. After years they had finally married, and that first night she had spent at his side had been the happiest one in all her life.



    In fact, these first weeks were beautiful as a whole, until news reached the small town in Latium. A bode from the senate had arrived, his horse tired because of the long journey it had made. All citizens were called forward, and then he’d cried:

    ‘’Citizens of Rome. Two months ago, the Aeacid Pyrrhus has landed in Southern Italy to the help of our foe Tarentum. After rejecting the ultimatum that we offered him, he has engaged in hostilities with Rome. Three days ago the tragic news that our great Consul Laevinius has been defeated reached us.’’Murmurings ran through the crowd, and some women began crying, wondering if they’d become widows. Then the bode continued, crying out: ‘’Don’t despair! The senate and the people of Rome will withstand this crisis, just like our ancestors defeated the Samnites and the Gauls. They thought that they could defeat us, but we fought and were victorious. Now, we have been beaten, but we won’t give up! I come here to call forward true Roman citizens willing to take up arms and fight for your homes, fight for glory and fight for Rome, in the new legion. We will be victorious! All that want to serve our republic are expected in Rome in one weeks time.’’

    With these words he had left, leaving them to their troubles and tears. She had begged Publius to stay, but he would not listen. Three weeks ago, Publius had left for Rome to serve in the new legions, leaving her behind to manage their small farm and three slaves.

    Now she was alone again. After two weeks of passion and love, her husband had left her for the glory of the republic. Valeria sank down on the sofa, shivering and sobbing to herself. Unanounced her house slave, Mother Constantia came in. She had been a great source of support for Valeria since Publius left, and had become very close with the young woman.

    ‘’Your mother is here,’’ she said. With a troubled look on her face she watched her young mistress. ‘’Are you sure that you’re ready to see her?’’ Valeria tried to straighten her back, and said: ‘’Lead her in, Constantia, and bring us some of the strong wine.’’

    She forced a smile, but as soon as her mother came in she jumped up and embraced her. ‘’Valeria,’’ Lucia said, ‘’What is troubling you?’’ Valeria sobbed into her mother’s arms whispering, ‘’I miss him so much... why did he have to join the legions? We’ve only been together a few days, mother.’’

    Then she broke down in tears. For a moment Lucia looked in pity upon her daughter, but then she said: ''Enough, Valeria. I know that these times are difficult for you. Your father has also served in the army, and I have spent many an evening alone. But you should remember why they have left us! Would you want one of those barbarian savages from Gaul to be ruling over you? No, it is much better that these monsters were defeated by your father! We are Roman citizens, and as such we have the right and should have the courage to trust in our armies who are defending our republic!! What Publius needs now is a strong wife at home, who looks after his property until he returns victoriously. Would you like him to be disappointed in you when he comes home again?’’

    Lucia sank down on the ground, gently touching her daughters cheek. ‘’No,’’ Valeria said softly, ‘’I would want him to be proud of his wife.’’ Lucia smiled gently at her.

    The girl stood up, and drank some of the wine that Constantia had quickly brought in. ''Will you help me, mother, to fulfil my duty?’’ Lucia answered in a proud tone: ''Yes, my daughter. I will.’’
    Last edited by Maurits; July 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM.

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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!


    Chapter I: Training an Army
    Roma, 3 months later


    ‘’Milites, Consiste!’’(1) The loud voice of centurion Marcus echoed over the training field, and at once the assembled soldiers halted and turned towards him. It had been three months since they’d come into the camp, as green as a fresh recruit can be. In these months they had marched, learned formations, practiced with weapons and marched even more. That would be Publius’ main memory about his training; walking under a burning sun, packed like a mule while running up and down the hills of central Italy. According to the battle-hardened centurions, marching and the ability of forming and maintaining a formation was the key to victory.

    Now they had finished their training, and were ready to form the new army that was to be sent to southern Italy. Marcus looked at his men. They were young, some too young. But he had no choice other than to go into battle. Pyrrhus was ravaging their allies’ territories, and Rome would have to do something to prevent him from reaching the eternal city itself. However, when he looked at their sun-browned and stern faces, he felt a spark of hope that they might survive the terror of battle.

    A week ago, while they were marching, some soldiers found a goat with its horns stuck in a bush. They took it with them, and at the end of the day a priest offered it to Mars and took the auspices. For a moment the man’s face had looked tense, while he tried to figure out the meaning of the things that the gods were showing to him. Then a bright smile appeared around his mouth, and he said: ‘’You, centurion, are favored by the gods, for Mars himself showed to me that although you will pass through many perils, the greater part of your unit will survive this struggle!’’ When Marcus told his men this news, he wondered how much of it would really happen, but if anything it had been a great morale boost!

    The whole century of Hastati stood there in tight formation, ready to receive his orders. They all knew that their training was over, and that the moment of leaving this area was near. Most of them succeeded in keeping up a brave look, but in the eyes of some you could clearly see the fear for the unknown. Marcus straightened his back, cleared his throat and said: ‘’Brave comrades and soldiers of Rome! First I’d like to say that I’m impressed by the progress that has been made in the last months. At your arrival I wouldn’t even have sent you against old women and children, but now you’re a flexible and battle-ready group that will send these Greek dogs back to the underworld where they came from! It is an honour for me to serve with you, and I look forward to the battles that will come in great confidence!’’ Cheers went up from the soldiers, and for one moment the tight army discipline was broken. Still, when Marcus held up his hand all became silent again. ‘’Yesterday ‘eve I received orders from the consul himself,’’ he spoke, ‘’and he wants the 3rd Legion to march to Etruscia and defeat some rebelling mercenaries that are making the area unsafe. After having defeated those fools, we’ll march to the front together with the 2nd and the army of Consul Valerius that’s marching towards us from the north. There we’ll attack Pyrrhus forces, and drive him back over the sea that brought him here. I’m sure that we’ll manage to defeat him, for the gods are clearly with us! Men, have a merry evening, tomorrow at the second hour I expect you ready to depart!’’

    That evening, Publius walked into the city with some friends that he had made during his training, of which Cornelius and Aemelius were the closest. When they passed the dark gates, thousands of smells came rolling towards them from the busy streets of the settlement. Even at this late hour, small stores were opened everywhere and sold anything that a Roman citizen would want or need. Carts came rolling past, carrying grain and other agricultural products. A dog whined and ran off after Cornelius hit it, and Aemelius managed to get away from a woman that tried to sell him a necklace for his wife. All his senses were dazzled by Rome. He’d only been there a few times before, and always had to get used to these enormous masses of people pushing and walking around him. After a short walk they came into one of the smaller streets, were Cornelius knew a place where they would be able to get some decent food.

    Not long afterwards he spotted a small wooden wine can hanging in front of a door, and they entered the small popinae. A big woman welcomed them, saying: ‘’Look who’s there! Some brave defenders of our city! Be welcome, all can tell you that Cecilia’s wine is the best of the city!’’ Again laughter went up from the other guests, and one man shouted: ‘’Let them live, Cecilia, and save them from drinking your rubbish.’’ She sniffed, turned her back to him, and showed them a table. ‘’We’d like to have some good wine,’’ said Publius, ‘’For tomorrow we’ll march against our foes. Let’s drink and get some courage in our blood!’’ The woman brought them wooden cups filled with reasonable wine. They decided to eat warm beans and bread, and Cecilia got them some from one of the large damping holes in the bar. The food was good, and there was a nice atmosphere in the room.

    Although he was having fun with his friends, Publius missed his young wife. The last months had been very busy, but at moments like this he wondered how she was doing, and if she’d succeed in managing the affairs on their farm. One of the others saw him staring into the distance, and punched him softly on his shoulder. ‘’Come on, man. Tonight we’ll have fun together. There will be time enough to long for home. Drink, and be happy, for we don’t know whether we’ll live to see Rome again…’’

    At that moment a stream of cold air came into the room as the door opened. Marcus stepped inside and threw his cloak at the bar. All soldiers had stopped breathing, and stared at their centurion. ‘’Salvete!’’(2) Marcus said, ‘’what a pleasure to meet all of you here on the night before our departure.’’ He laughed, but Publius and the others grew afraid. All of them knew that they shouldn’t drink on the night before a march to war, and in what ways they could get punished for breaking the rule.

    However, Marcus seemed calm and friendly. He even asked for a chair to sit next to them, saying: ‘’So. I guess that you all know that this is the last evening before the march, and that you are not allowed to drink alcohol on it. I also know that this is very exciting for you, and that you may fear for the battle. I’ve been a young recruit too, guys.’’ The atmosphere changed, and the soldiers got some air again. ‘’Of course I could punish you, or even give orders to kill all of you for this incident.’’ He hesitated for a moment, but quickly continued: ‘’But I won’t. Above all, we need soldiers now to fight our foe, that Greek bastard! How much have you drunk?’’ The soldiers glanced at each other, and then Cornelius stuttered: ‘’Three cups of wine, sir. We’re all very sorry, but we wanted to have a nice time at our last evening in Rome.’’ Marcus smiled, and sniffed at one of the cups ‘’Did you manage to drink three cups of this?’’ He laughed loudly, and said: ‘’It’s ok to me. Drinking this would be punishment enough for me! Now get back to the camp to sleep, and I expect you to be fit for tomorrow’s march!’’ Publius stood up, saluted, and yelled: ‘’Yes, centurio!’’ They got up, and Cecilia came towards them to give their mantels back, while muttering: ‘’Hmpf. The wine isn’t that bad. Stupid officers, don’t know what a man wants.’’ Luckily Marcus didn’t hear her, and they all went back to the camp.

    After having paid for the food, they walked out of the city. Around them the noises of Rome’s night life rose, with laughter and yells of women running high into the air. Awakened by the fresh night air, they quickly marched back to the camp, and wished each other a good night. A few moments later Publius and Cornelius had found their tent, and laid themselves down under the blankets. Finally, Publius had some rest after an evening in the chaotic business of Rome. His thoughts flew back to Valeria, and their little farm, and he wondered if everything would be well there. Just before he fell asleep, he promised the Gods that if they would both survive this war, he would pay for a large tribute to Mars, and for the rest of his life stay with her, who held his heart in her beautiful hand. His eyes closed, and above him a comet lit the sky. The god’s were with them, the guards said, and with this thought rest finally took over the camp.

    ***

    Notes:

    (1): 'Soldiers, halt!'
    (2): 'Greetings!'
    Last edited by Maurits; August 12, 2012 at 07:10 AM.

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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!


    Chapter II: A Gift from the Gods
    Valeria


    Valeria was staring at the stars. A comet crossed the sky in a short burst, sending golden radiance across the sky. Standing in front of a window, she shivered when the cold night air touched her skin. ‘Where is he, o eternal gods?’ she whispered, ‘is he safe, and will I ever see him again?’

    For a moment she hesitated, but then she walked away. She dropped herself onto her bed, laying there with a smile starting to form on her face as she thought about the nights that she and Publius had shared under the same sheets. Now, she had been alone for three months already, managing the farm and their slaves. Her parents helped, of course… but she had to do most of the work.

    It had been a busy day, now that the final acres of grain had been harvested and packed into their amphorae. The farm had been full of workers and slaves, but now rest had finally returned. In the coming weeks, she would have to sell part of the harvest, and try to make some profits. It was a harsh time for a woman alone. But Valeria decided that she would manage. She lay down and closed her eyes, dreaming about the rich gold that had come from the fields. Their fields. Publius’ fields.

    ‘Lady Valeria, wake up!’ a soft voice said, when she felt a gentle hand touching her cheek. ‘Come, breakfast is ready.’ Constantia stood up, opened the window, and allowed the sun to send its golden light into the room. Valeria stirred, and then opened her eyes. ‘Good morning, Constantia.’

    The older woman smiled, and helped her to stand up. ‘What would you like to eat today? Grapes, maybe some bread of our newly harvested grain?’ Valeria sighed. ‘I’m a bit sick. I don’t know why, but I can’t even think about food.’

    Valeria stood up, and put on her tunic while Constantia started doing her hair. ‘Well, you should eat something. I will not allow you to start working before you have at least one piece of bread in your stomach!’ Valeria smiled. ‘O, Constantia. What would I do without you?’

    She slowly ate some of the bread, and walked out of her room into the peristyle. ‘It’s so nice and quiet early in the morning,’ she said. ‘It always reminds me of him, and the time that we were together…’ Her voice broke, and as her fingers caressed a flower, a tear dropped on the colorful mosaic. Suddenly, she fell, choking, and threw her whole breakfast on the plants. ‘Valeria!’ Constantia exclaimed, while running towards her mistress. She quickly brought her into the house, cleaned up the mess and brought some fresh water. ‘I think that I’m ill,’ Valeria said with a little voice. She looked up, to find a chuckling Constantia staring at her. ‘No, my lady, I do not think that you’re ill.’ Valeria looked surprised at the older woman. ‘Is it…’ Constantia laughed again, saying, ‘It seems that the gods have seen your loneliness, and send you a gift from your beloved one!’ Then Valeria understood. Excited, she stood up, and started crying. ‘I’ve always wanted to have a baby! Send word to my parents! This evening, we’ll eat together and celebrate this gift from the gods.’

    She walked outside again, smiling at the little birds that were crying for their mother. 'One day, Publius, you will return,' she whispered. 'But I will not be the only one to welcome you!'
    Last edited by Maurits; July 20, 2012 at 08:45 AM.

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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!


    Chapter III: First Blood
    Publius


    The air was calm, and a light breeze gently caressed his skin as Publius looked how the first sunbeams set the forest in a golden gloom. He liked these moments at dawn, when nobody but the other members of that night’s watch were awake and the camp was still quiet. His thoughts flew back to Valeria, to their little farm near Rome. It had been a long time since they made love together, talked about their future and made jokes as they worked on the fields. It was a good year for farming, he thought, and hoped that he would be home before the harvest started.

    Suddenly, trumpets sounded and men started getting themselves ready for yet another day of marching under the burning sun. Publius’ guarding time was finished, and he started looking for the soldiers that would replace him.

    ‘Ave Publius!’(1) cried a young man, as he clumsily put his helmet on. It was Paulus, one of those from his own village. ‘Morning, Paulus,’ Publius replied, ‘had a good night? I suppose that you come here to replace me?’

    ‘Aye, I do. Have some bread and rest a little. Marcus said that we’ll march in an hour. Yesterday evening scouts spotted rests of a large encampment, which we believe to be the rebel’s. He told us to get ready quickly, so that we wouldn’t be taken off guard.’

    Publius walked back to his tent, where he found Aemelius already clearing everything up. They quickly prepared their packs, and then got some food. They stuffed a piece of bread and some water into their mounds and then gathered around Marcus to start the day’s march. In less than an hour, the army had cleared up their complete encampment, and was ready to travel on.

    Soon, the trumpets gave the signal to start marching. The columns started making progress like a long grey train passing through the dense forest. For a few hours, they marched quietly and didn’t spot anything which looked like a rebel. Publius almost believed that the scouts had been wrong, and it seemed like that was the case.

    The sun was standing high in the sky, and he wondered when they’d have a break to get some fresh water in their bottles. Just when this thought crossed his mind, a cry went up in the sky as a man fell down. His head was penetrated by an arrow, and more missiles started to rain on them while they heard terrifying battle cries from both sides of the road. ‘It’s an ambush!’ cried several soldiers as they frantically formed a defensive formation towards the forest while men kept falling. It wasn’t clear where the rebels were, as nothing could be seen under the shadows of the trees. Marcus came forward, ordering half of his century to attack while the rest guarded the road.

    ‘Milites, oppugnare!’(2) The men charged forward, their swords shining with a silver light as they were caught by the sun. When they crashed into the forest, the air became heavy to breath as they looked around them to see where the rebels were. Suddenly, Publius saw a shape hurling itself at him. He immediately put his shield before his body and the man fell down after crashing into it. Publius regained his balance, quickly stinging his gladius wherever he saw flesh appearing. The rebel fought back, almost hitting Publius in his head. He quickly bend and then put his gladius in his opponent’s opposed belly. The man sank down on his knees, chocking, while blood flowed from his mouth. He died, and while looking around him Publius saw similar sights. The legionnaires were clearly winning the battle, as the rebels started to rout into the forest. Other centurions had followed Marcus’ example, and everywhere groups of soldiers could be seen hunting down the enemy.

    The air was hot with noise and blood and terror, while Publius once again hurled himself at a rebel. The man’s eyes where great and white of fear as Publius kicked the sword from his hand and grabbed his hair while putting his gladius at the man’s throat. He quickly cut it through, as warm blood spouted over his hands and legs.


    He calmed down, and found himself walking through the forest when Marcus came running towards him. ‘Publius! Is that blood yours?’ He looked down at his own body, which was painted in a brownish red. ‘No, I guess it’s from these rebel dogs..’ His knees started shaking and he sank down on the forest ground. ‘Calm down, boy. It’s quite an experience, your first battle. But we’ve won! Go back to the road when you’ve rested a little, there we’ll try to reassemble.’

    As his centurion walked away with large strokes, Publius cleaned himself a bit with some leaves. Then he slowly walked towards the road, dead tired. He soon found the others and they discovered that only seven of them were missing. The rebels had been totally defeated, the legion had performed very well in its first act of war. The tribune soon ordered them to prepare a camp for the night, and the soldiers rested and cleaned themselves while Marcus made up the balance.

    Their decanus had died in battle, and Marcus needed to appoint a replacement in his function. He walked towards Publius, having cleared up his mind about the matter, and said: ‘Men, how are you?’ They quickly saluted, replying with ‘Ave, Centurion!’. Marcus smiled. ‘Publius, could I have a word with you?’ he said, while walking some steps away from the others. ‘What is it, centurio?’ he said, expecting a reprimand for having lost control after the battle.

    ‘Like you’ve noticed, your decanus has died in battle. You behaved very brave, being one of the first to charge into the enemy, and displayed quite some courage and fighting skills. Therefore, I promote you to the rank of decanus. You’ll lead 7 soldiers in battle and will have to keep an eye on them.’ Publius was nailed to the ground, unable to say anything. ‘Aren’t you happy?’, Marcus said. ‘Yes, sir.. t-thank you very much, sir! I...I didn’t expect this at all.’ Marcus smiled. ‘It’s all right. I expect you at my tent tonight, we’ll have a meeting with the other officers to discuss today’s battle. Be there!’ He walked away, leaving a startled Publius behind.

    Publius walked to his tent, telling Aemelius the news. They drank some of the good wine that they’d saved together to celebrate his promotion, after having got the tent ready. Publius took some paper, and started to write a letter about the day’s events to Valeria. The sun went down again and rest returned to the camp.

    ***
    Notes

    (1) 'Hail, Publius!'
    (2) 'Soldiers, charge!'
    Last edited by Maurits; August 12, 2012 at 07:22 AM.

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    Rex Anglorvm's Avatar Wrinkly Wordsmith
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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    Nice AAR, I always like a detailed story telling, rather than loads of pics.

    Rep+

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    Maurits's Avatar ЯTR
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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    Thanks mate, I'm currently writing my next instalment which will contain a few in-game pics to reinforce the story

    Besides that, I want to write a 'historical note' on the Polybian legion and command structures. That's to clarify some things I am using in the AAR and to make the reading experience a bit more varied. It will be interesting to see the reactions on that particular update!

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    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    I like it! Gave those darned rebels a pasting, by God you did, sir!

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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!


    Chapter IV: The Meeting
    Publius Decius Mus


    ‘Sir, you had called for me?’

    The praetor frowned and then looked up at the servant who had disturbed him while he was reading the senate’s orders. ‘Ah, Gaius. I’d like you to get me some wine, you know how much water I like to be added to it, don’t you? Whilst you’re at it, inform one of the lictors that I’d like them to prepare the great tent for tonight’s meeting.’

    The soldier nodded, turned and quickly walked away to fulfill his master’s wish. Decius returned to his orders, which had been delivered to him an hour ago. The senate congratulated him with his victory on the rebels and thought that the army would now be ready to march south. Aecid forces had continued marauding the countryside around Potentia. They now wanted him to march his army south, where he was to join his force with the remainder of Consul Laevinius’ army. As soon as the second Consul had finished his duties in northern Italy near the town of Ariminum, he would march south to destroy Pyrrhus’ main force. Until he had arrived, only Decius and his legion would stand between Rome and her foes.

    Decius looked up from the piece of parchment. The task would be a challenge, and not an easy one. Pyrrhus was the best general of his time and his army consisted of Greek veterans supplemented by ferocious war elephants. Still, Decius believed that he was up to it.

    He was part of an old patrician family, which had clearly aided his political career. After years of minor offices, patronages and a little bribery he had become senator. Now, at the age of 39, he had been elected to the office of Praetor. The others had recognized him to be one of those few who had a natural sense of authority around them. They trusted that he would be able to put up a good defense against the invaders that had crossed their borders.


    One of his lictors came in, carrying his rod decorated with fasces which symbolized his masters power to execute the Roman law. ‘All are ready and waiting for you to start the meeting, sir.’

    Decius nodded, stood up and allowed the man to help him to put on his toga praetexta. Having clothed himself in his official attire, he slowly walked into the great tent and seated himself in the sella curulis which had been put in the center of the space. All of his officers had been gathered and ordered according to their ranks. Closest to the six lictors surrounding him was the primus pilum, first of the centurions. Then followed the other centurions, accompanied by their lower ranking officers.

    Decius stirred, cleared his throat and spoke: ‘Good evening, gentlemen. I suggest that you make yourselves comfortable. We have a lot to discuss.’
    Last edited by Maurits; July 21, 2012 at 08:16 AM.

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  11. #11
    Mausolos of Caria's Avatar Royal Satrap
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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    This seems to be a very promising AAR, mate!

    At first, I like your style and your English is almost perfect for a non- native speaker. It's written in a very engangig way and still easy to follow. You have put a lot of emotions in it which improve the atmosphere and the feeling a lot, and you even mastered that scenes with women emotion
    In general I'm pleased to see an idea like that, where your story talks about a normal soldiers (or well, maybe he will rise much higher later on, as his first promotion to the rank of a decanus seems to indicate) and his feelings, instead of beginning with a general who then conquers the whole world. Your AAR seems to have much more storytelling and will probably be longer than most of them because of this and because you are also giving us a background and many different characters.
    It really creates a novel style, which reminds me of Simon Scarrow. I don't know if you know him, but he writes books about two Roman legionaries, Macro and Cato, which I can recommend Anyway, back on topic, even if you are going to conquer the whole world (map) in this case it wouldn't be a problem for me as that is just what the Romans did in real

    Well, having written stuff myself, I know an author also wants to hear constructive criticism and ideas to improve, but that's not too easy with your AAR Maybe when the soldiers were in town for a drink, the whole atmosphere and reactions were a bit too positive, usually you expect whores there and fights between men and maybe some people moaning about the Legionaries' inability to defeat Pyrrhus. But perhaps you intended the atmosphere to be brighter at the beginning and there will be darker parts later on, in this case I have said nothing

    What else can I say? Ah yes, I have to praise you again, this time for your use of latin terms and the soldiers shouting orders and other stuff in Latin, that really increases the ancient atmosphere That's all, I can't rep you at the moment, so that will have to follow later. Keep on the good work, I'm looking forward to further updates from the front
    "Pompeius, after having finished the war against Mithridates, when he went to call at the house of Poseidonios, the famous teacher of philosophy, forbade the lictor to knock at the door, as was the usual custom, and he, to whom both the eastern and the western world had yielded submission, ordered the fasces to be lowered before the door of science."

    Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 7, 112

  12. #12
    bartozer's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    Great AAR. I really like the size of the chapters because usually when I look at an AAR and see a massive block of text I get kind of discouraged but you do a great job of breaking the text up with a picture and you keep the chapters short enough for the reader to not lose interest. Also the chapter size keeps the reader waiting and wanting more. Once again well done and +rep

  13. #13
    Maurits's Avatar ЯTR
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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!


    Historical Notes I: The Polybian Legion


    Having introduced a new character, the praetor Publius Decius Mus, I thought that it would be a good idea to add a ‘historical notes’ section. In this update, I will provide some information on the Polybian Legion, as well as on the specifics of the praetor’s function and the Latin terminology accompanying him.

    The Polybian Legion (named after the Greek historian Polybius who wrote a detailed account about it) was the army structure employed by the Roman army during the mid-Republic (c. 300 – 88 BC). Before this system was introduced, the Romans fought in one big line of hoplites (‘phalanx’). The new system changed this set-up, they now deployed in the well-known ‘triplex-acies’ formation which allowed the army columns to march and deploy much faster than before.

    The army was organized in a manipular system. The 120 – men strong maniple was the basic tactical unit of the army. It consisted of two centuries, each with their own centurion, optio and standard bearer. The first line of battle consisted of the Hastati, younger men. The second line were the Principes, men in their 20’s and 30’s, considered to be in the prime of life. The third and rear line was made up of Triarii, the oldest and most experienced soldiers. Triarii maniples only contained 60 soldiers. The poorest citizens fought as Velites, armed with a sword and javelins. They provided a light-infantry screen in front of the main battle line.

    The standard Roman legion consisted of 4200 infantry and 300 cavalry. In the field a Roman legion was accompanied by an Ala (‘wing’) of allied soldiers which contained an equal number of infantry and three times the number of cavalry.

    In Polybius’ day it was normal for a consul to be assigned an army of two legions, whilst praetors more often lead only one.

    While playing the game I tried to recruit a force which would be a correct representation of a praetorian army to be taken south by Publius Decius Mus:


    Like you can see it contains two maniples of Hastati, Principes and Triarii, supplemented by a unit of Velites. Added to this Roman legion is an Ala consisting of a unit of light infantry, Pedites Osci line infantry and Etruscan cavalry.

    Every year, the Roman senate elected two Consuls, who would each command a consular army for twelve months. Around the start of the game, the office of praetor was created to take over part of the consuls’ tasks. At that time, there was one praetor who mainly resided in Rome itself, occupied with religious and judicial tasks. When the situation required it, however, he did also have the imperium to lead an army.

    The praetor was second in rank only to the consuls. Six lictors were assigned to him as a symbol of his imperium (the power to command) and always accompanied him while he was in function. Besides that, he was allowed to sit in the sella curulis (symbol of senior magistrates’ imperium) and to wear the official toga praetexta (a white toga with a purple stripe on its border).

    Based on information taken from ‘The Complete Roman Army’ by Adrian Goldsworthy.
    Last edited by Maurits; July 21, 2012 at 08:24 AM.

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  14. #14
    Mausolos of Caria's Avatar Royal Satrap
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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    Nice update! You have explained this very well I think and refering to Goldsworthy is the best way to do it In fact presenting the structure of the legion in short isn't that easy after all when you see how much stuff can be said about it (different ranks, instruments used by the musicians, endless deviances from the theoretical Standard etc.) and some historians love to speak about that stuff, which is only useful for really detailed work.
    So, well done again
    "Pompeius, after having finished the war against Mithridates, when he went to call at the house of Poseidonios, the famous teacher of philosophy, forbade the lictor to knock at the door, as was the usual custom, and he, to whom both the eastern and the western world had yielded submission, ordered the fasces to be lowered before the door of science."

    Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 7, 112

  15. #15

    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    Glad I caught this one early! Great start, keep the updates coming!

    KOS

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    Maurits's Avatar ЯTR
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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    Thanks for the compliments guys! I think that people often don't realise how important it is for a writer to get some comments from readers. I really appreciate it that you take the time to do so

    At the moment, I've got a new chapter in mind which will hopefully offer an interesting read due to a variation in writing forms and styles. I hope to finish it before I leave on holiday, but otherwise you'll have to wait for about 1.5 week until the next update.

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  17. #17
    Mausolos of Caria's Avatar Royal Satrap
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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maurits View Post
    Thanks for the compliments guys! I think that people often don't realise how important it is for a writer to get some comments from readers. I really appreciate it that you take the time to do so
    I do realise that, you know

    Quote Originally Posted by Maurits View Post
    At the moment, I've got a new chapter in mind which will hopefully offer an interesting read due to a variation in writing forms and styles. I hope to finish it before I leave on holiday, but otherwise you'll have to wait for about 1.5 week until the next update.
    And I've good news for you, the weather here has become much more summer like Will I get a PM reply before you leave?
    Last edited by Mausolos of Caria; July 24, 2012 at 06:07 PM.
    "Pompeius, after having finished the war against Mithridates, when he went to call at the house of Poseidonios, the famous teacher of philosophy, forbade the lictor to knock at the door, as was the usual custom, and he, to whom both the eastern and the western world had yielded submission, ordered the fasces to be lowered before the door of science."

    Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 7, 112

  18. #18
    Maurits's Avatar ЯTR
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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!


    Chapter V: A Bag of Letters


    The sun was baking the country while a young officer urged his horse to maintain a steady speed. He was young, no older than twenty-five years. Attached to his saddle was a large leather bag, which he had to deliver to the senate in Rome. The messenger once again wept the sweat from his eyes. Finally, he spotted a forest on his route. He pushed his mare to the limit, for he felt like he was unable to spend even a minute more in the dazzling heath of the Italian sun.

    When they reached the outskirts of the forest, there was a moment of utter bliss. The old trees cast their shadows on the path, creating a cool atmosphere which seemed to be an oasis in the hot summer. The officer allowed his horse to have some rest, slowly trotting on through endless rows of trees. He could have fallen asleep, so calm and peaceful seemed his surroundings to him.


    Suddenly, his mare whinnied, while screams and the cracking of broken branches filled the air of the forest. The officer looked around him in agony, unsheathed his gladius just in time to counter his foes’ sword which was coming down on him. He jumped off his mare, charged towards the enemy and managed to stab him in the belly. The man looked startled at him, dropped his sword and sank down on the ground.

    Then he heard another crack behind him, turned and jumped away from his second foe. He too was clad in rags, clearly one of those pesky road thieves who would attack anyone traveling alone. But today, they had picked the wrong victim!

    The thieve leaped forward, but instead of cutting the soldier’s head off as he had intended he created a gaping hole in the leather bag. The letters swirled around his head, disorientating him and giving the officer the time to slide a sharp blade across his throat. Bleeding, he too fell down on the forest ground.

    Panting, the young messenger looked around him. When he didn’t see any other enemies, though, he pulled the corpses to the side of the road and then sank down to examine the bag of letters which he would have to deliver. A few of them were damaged; he was unable to read the addresses which had been written on them. He decided to do something utterly forbidden, but which, he thought, would be allowed in this special situation. He decided to open the letters to be able to write the correct address on them.

    He walked a little further, holding the mare close to him. Then, he spotted a little lake, and bound the horse’s halter to a tree to allow her to drink and rest a bit. Sinking down on the grass, he opened the first letter. The address was written at the top of the page, but he couldn’t resist reading the whole thing. After all, what did it matter when he would keep it to himself, he thought.

    Dear Mother,

    I and the other lads from our village are fine. We did fight a battle yesterday! It was quite an experience, and I kindof liked it. Although I was frightened, and there was lots o’ blood, I managed to kill one of those rebels myself! I’m sure that you and father will be proud. I must stop now, but I hope to see you back in our sweet home soon!

    Quintus, your loving son.

    The officer smiled. That was typically Quintus. A rough lad, but with his hearth at the right place! Taking the next letter, he read on:

    Conscript Fathers,

    After my short report which was sent to you three days ago, I would like to give you some more information on the dealings of our glorious Legio Tertius in its campaign against the Etruscan rebels who choose to stand up against the Senate and the People of Rome.

    After a thorough preparation our brave soldiers set out on a march to the forest where my scouts had spotted our foes. Seemingly unprepared, I allowed them to ambush us. Although some particularly malicious or unpatriotic men might want to tell you that the Legion was almost destroyed in a clumsy attempt to find its enemies, I want to assure you not to listen to this profanity. After the ambush had taken place, I quickly ordered half of my maniples to form two opposite defensive lines, facing both sides of the forest. The remaining force was ordered to charge into the woods in order to slay these rebel fools. The complete rebel army was destroyed and dispersed over the country, while we only lost seventy soldiers. It is clear that our victory could not have been this honorable or complete when the Legion had not been under its current excellent command. I am sure that you, noble and wise fathers, will take this into account when having to elect capable men for next year’s consulship.

    In accordance to your orders, I gave the men some rest to recover from the battle and am now ready to march down south to face Pyrrhus. I am confident that this army, together with Laevinius’ experienced veterans, will be able to withhold him from taking more of our land until Valerius arrives with his force to drive that Greek dog back into the sea.

    Vale,

    P.D. Mus, Praetor and commander of the Legio Tertius.
    The letter dropped on the grass. Suddenly, the young man realized what he had been doing. Reading the praetors’ letters to the senate was something which would cost him his privileged function in the best case, his head when things turned out worse…

    Quickly, he put the letter into the bag, deciding not to tell anyone that he had opened it. He’d just tell that it was torn apart in battle. That would do. With shaking hands, he took the last letter and opened it.

    Dear Valeria,

    I hope that you are well, my darling. Every morning and evening I long for your presence. What a bliss would it be to hold your delicate hand, to decorate it with soft touches of my lips… I cannot wait to see you back. Still, our patience will be put to a test, for I have been told that we are to march south to face Pyrrhus before being able to return home.

    (There was a bit here which has become illegible due to blood and a large cut from the thieves’ sword)

    …you should have seen him! All of the officers were gathered in a large tent and got a glass of wine, after which the praetor himself started to speak. He praised us for our bravery and the fact that we had been able to repel the ambush in such an efficient way. Luckily, just a small number of our force had been wounded or killed. He told us some more things about the battle tactics which we are going to use against Pyrrhus’ army. I wonder if our legion will perform just as well when fighting against veterans, professional soldiers, as when it fought rebels. The praetor’s words gave me confidence though, it seems like this man is very capable of leading us. I trust him, and am confident that he will bring us back home again.

    How are your parents and our slaves? I am sure that, together with them, you will manage to create a good profit for this year! Maybe, when I get home, we could buy some new furniture and clothing for you. Wouldn’t you like that? We’ll see. I hope to see you soon.

    Vale,

    Your Publius.

    The officer stood up and put the letters into the bag which he had provisionally repaired with some pieces of rope. He seated himself on top of the mare, looking around him for one last time to make sure that he hadn’t left a letter behind on the grass.

    Then they continued their journey through the forest, at a gentle pace. Finally, rest had returned.
    Last edited by Maurits; July 26, 2012 at 04:51 PM.

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  19. #19
    bartozer's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    I really love this latest update, it was well written and different in a good way.
    I hope you have a good holiday. You've deserved it with this AAR.

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    Default Re: [RTR VII] For Glory and the Republic!

    Amazing just amazing

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