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Thread: Fractured Eagle <Historical Fiction> -Updated 6/30

  1. #1

    Default Fractured Eagle <Historical Fiction> -Updated 6/30


    Game-play are only used for cinematic purposes, as for now I am using Constintine rise of Christianity but I am planning to switch over to Attila once I find a nice enough Retexture.

    It is 406 and the Rhine has frozen. Germanic Migration is on its full peak and the Armies of Alaric, while officially in the service of the Eastern Roman Empire, is ravaging Italy. Our story begins here. In the Tall towers of Londinium, Britannia. Far from the Germanic Front and loose from the Grips of Ravenna.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    "They say the common coin bares the mark of the Empire. The coin of today is cheap, thin, and weak. It's boarders rounded by crude lines with contaminated silver spilled in and out of boundary.But this is the Coin we have today, and this is the currency we live with. So no, we cannot abandon it." - Marcus Dumarius, when asked if Britannia should have its own currency.

    CHAPTER I. The Plans Of Our Betters

    The breezes carrying the chilled wind of the north seas swept down the high walls of Londinium. Its people were the same as the days of Constantine: Strong, independent and fierce. But the waves of time have not been kind to Britannia. The Legions of Britannia and its leader’s no longer enjoy the warmth they remembered as they carried Constantine into Rome. They are now condemned as traitors.

    For refusing the governorship of Praetorian Perfects appointed by the Empire, and taking the defense of Britannia into his own hands, Comes Britanniarum, Magister Militum per Britannia, the famed commander Marcus Dumarius was labeled as an usurper. And for not providing effective leadership against Pictish raids, his lieutenant, Gratian, slid his throat and took power.

    Hence was the relationship between leaders and followers in Britannia. A dead ruler is better than an unfit one.

    Flavius Claudius was the Dux of Britanniarum, commander of all northern defenses. But it was only a title Gratian gave him because he controlled Eboracum, the largest walled city of the north, second in Britannia only to Londinium. Londinium is the heart of Britannia. The port city that harbors the north seas supports its very heart beat. Tradesmen from Gaul and Hispania frequent the City and served almost as Gratian’s only legitimacy.

    And Just as Britannia was the edge of the Roman world, Londinium was Britannia’s edge to civilization. The city is the last one on Britannia that still has a forum. Not the empty lots dotted with weeds in Eboracum or Deva. Londinium still has the life to fill its mosaic floorings. Its people still has the strength to keep up with Fashion from the Eternal City. And its garrison strong, its walls thick to remind the people that Britannia is still Roman.

    Still Roman…the one thing people of Britannia desperately cling on. But the Roman world does not look to them favorably. Britannia put Constantine on the throne and her legions earned him his title “The Great.” But her people bore the price. Ever since Constantine’s sons got overthrown, Britannia became the birth of Usurpers and fractured into chaos. Cities became personal fiefs of commanders who skirmished among themselves for petty difference, all unwilling to break the balance of power.

    Collectively, all the warlords rank high and low had to pay respect to whoever controls Londinium. Which being the largest city, can afford the largest army. Gratian had that exactly in mind when he took the city during the power vacuum. Now, after months of campaign he has established hegemony in south east of the Provence, with the rest of Britannia acknowledging his power.

    “There is no way we are crossing the channel.” Gratian leaned forward and pointed to the map laid on the table. “What do you think the garrisons will do when they see fifteen thousand men crossing from Britannia to the shores of Normandy?”

    “Join us of course; the Gallic field armies are in Italy.” Claudius replied without hesitation, “Alaric and his Gothic bands are roaming outside the gates of Ravenna as we speak. We are the only ones who can protect Gaul from the Barbarians who crossed the frozen Rhine.”

    “Alaric is a mare pawn, it’s the East Stilicho’s worried about.” Gratian replied as he walked around the table, his eyes fixed on the map, grinning when he shifted his eyes to the East, “Arcadius thinks he’s so cleaver using Alaric to weaken the West, but this will only make Stilicho start a preemptive war.”

    “I have a list of twenty fortified Colonias sacked up to six days ago. After the barbarians overrun Gaul we will be cut off. The olives might run out first but it will be our heads rolling in the end. We will be on the edge of the world with our backs against the ocean.” Claudius urged, “We should cross the channel and aid the Limitanei in Gaul. Or risk forever departed from the Known world.”

    “Dear Flavius, you are much overreacting. But I am sure Stilicho and his puppet Honorius thank you for thinking about their realm.” Gratian finally looked up

    “Don’t toy with me Gratian, get to the point.” Claudius sneered in annoyance.

    “Yes the Rhine front has been overrun but the barbarian will never cross deep into Gaul. Stilicho is warring the East. He will be willing to pay an enormous price to Foederatize those Barbarian Tribes. Stilicho only needs to win a few skirmishes for the Persians to come sniff the East for weakness. Then, when Arcadius finally feel the heat of a two front war, he will sue for peace. Stilicho will then use the money the East pays to settle those Barbarians and replace the troublesome Franks.”
    The Franks were Barbarian allies settled within the Western Empire. They were the Foederati who fight besides the Roman Legions. But their ambitious leaders often looked to Rome with envious eyes. And do not hesitate to proclaim their own puppet Emperor.

    “But twenty Colonias in two months, with that speed they will raze Gaul before Stilicho wins his peace.” Claudius wasn’t convinced.

    “And I bet those settlements are all from along the Rhine!” Gratian exclaimed as he puts his arm around Claudius and leads him to the door, “relax my friend, Stilicho has the whole situation under control. And now we must too play our part in his plan.”

    “To do nothing.”

    “Exactly,” Gratian signaled his guards to open the door, but his face darkened, “Stilicho is a cunning man; he earned his place amongst the greatest with his sheer will. Who would think the Vandal leading Theodosius’s horse will be the Master of his Emperor. We are nothing but pawn upon his hand, mere checkers on his Board! But it’s a vision we do not have the power to change…”

    The atmosphere outside the war chamber was tense. Two dozen of Gratian’s men gathered facing off against a dozen of Claudius’s bodyguards. But as soon as the two warlords stepped out, with Gratian still having his arms around Claudius, the men relaxed, but still eyeing each other with hostility as their hands shadowed their side arms.

    “But for now we must trust each other, and watch our backs, so when the time comes we won’t find ourselves weakened by senseless infighting.” Gratian remarked with a sneer as he observed the soldiers.

    “Of course Imperator.” Claudius replied with a grin. But there was nothing friendly in his eyes, “To keep being petty kings in the edge of the world, and not interfere with his plans. With that, we get our peace. And Stilicho gets his Pax Romana.”

    “Yes, yes. So, for all our sakes, convince the others to support my decision. And then: Pax Romana, and peace for Britannia.”

    Claudius turned without a salute, and his cape snapped behind him. His guards sneered and Gratian, and followed behind.

    “Imperator, this boor dare show you such little respect; allow me to go forth to capture him, and I will make him beg mercy at your feet.” At soon as Claudius left, one of Gratian’s officers voiced out his dissatisfaction.

    “Let the runt dance to his own tunes, I still need him to hold off the Picts. Remember how Dumarius died?” Gratian laughed as he turned back to the war chamber.
    Last edited by baozi; June 30, 2016 at 04:05 AM.

  2. #2
    m_1512's Avatar Quomodo vales?
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    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    Excellent! What a start, inspired!

    Looking forward for more.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    “I hereby swear, by the old gods and the new, that I will unshackle Britannia from the chains of Tyranny.”- Gratian, after being proclaimed as Magister Militum per Britannia, supreme commander of Britannia, by his men without imperial authorization.

    CHAPTER. II The path for Greatness
    Claudius stood overlooking his fortress city, accompanied by a few local gentry who were eagerly awaiting his arrival, worrying about the stability of the region.

    “Gratian is wasting this golden opportunity.” Claudius sighed

    “My liege, so Gratian did not take your advice to cross the channel?” Lucius Helvetius, his second in command, asked. Claudius had just returned from Londinium, and gathered his advisors.

    “Gratian refused the chance to cross the channel. He won’t rally a collapsing Rhine front, defend Gaul, save Italy, and reach reconciliation with the Empire. Instead, the bastard wants to be king.” Claudius, still looking over the city, replied.

    “What? He wants to be king?” Numicus, a gentry in his later years gasped at the news, “Your Grace, this blatant act of Usurpation will surly disrupt our regional stability! He will be a despot! A Tyrant that is Unchecked!”

    “And he will leave Gaul to be overrun by Barbarians? Britannia will die starving from trade. He might as well put us to the sword.” Another gentry cried out

    “Gratian is a beggar on a horse, give him some power and he thinks he can do anything.” Helvetius, Claudius’s First Tribunus sneered.

    “But he does have an army to back him up. The taxes of Londinium alone can sustain a massive garrison.” A gentry, and Claudius’s advisor Quintus Batiatus worried, “now he achieved hegemony in the south and controls most of the country side and seizing many villas and farmsteads.”

    “The bastard controls the grain supply.”

    “And every man that’s willing to fight for a loaf of bread.” Batiatus added

    Claudius gave off another sigh. He’s heard the news, Gratian had recently recruited over three thousand men, tripling his forces in the span of four months and drastically overwhelming the lesser warlords. Most of the south had submitted to Gratian and only the north and parts of the western Britannia remained autonomous, many waiting for Claudius to declare his stance.

    “What do you all think?”

    “Imperator, your words are my command. But I must warn your grace that any campaign will severely strain the security of the Northern Boarders. The Picts…”

    “I am sure the boarder is of utmost importance to your grace.” Batiatus interrupted Helvetius, “but Gratian is a shred snake, and he will not hesitate to join force with the Picts to weaken us.”

    “He would sellout his fellow Romans?” Helvetius was not convinced.

    “These are traitorous times, Lucius.” Claudius commented, “The Bastard has no honor, he killed his commander and mentor Marcus Dumarius, he won’t expand in our expense.”

    “Ahh, Your Grace, the people of the North thank you for your protection and petitions for our interest, especially in these traitorous times. It will be an honor to support you in this struggle to prevent tyranny against this villain Gratian.” Numicus, the de facto speaker for the gentry made his stance clear.

    “Numicus, my friend, I thank you for assuring me the support of the people through these dark times. Rest assured, as Doux, it is my foremost duty to secure and defend our boarders, and I will not do anything to jeopardize its security. This I assure the people of Britannia.”
    “Thank you Your Grace, you honor us.”

    “I am rather tired from my journey, and must retire. Give me some time to think it over. I will have my decision by tomorrow.”
    “Of course” the gentries saluted and left.

    “Quintus,” Claudius asked while the men left, he himself still overlooking the city.

    Batiatus complied and stood next to Claudius, together overlooking the fortress center.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Fortress city was as lively as Londinium, but the people were much more modest. Many pushing their carts form the outlying villages to trade in the town center.

    “I wondered if Constantine was this indecisive.” Claudius broke the silence.

    “Your Grace, if we measure ourselves by greater man, we will always be small as specs. I rather like to think if Constantine thought of Julius Caesar when he was contemplating on treason.”

    “Quintus, your words are like honeyed wine to my ears. This is a good time to live, just like the years of Constantine, and Caesar! Hah, Caesar… how much had times changed. I wonder if he would be proud of what Rome has become.” Claudius’s voice is rasp, not of nostalgia of ancient glory, but of excitement, anticipation to re live the glory felt by ancients.

    “I am sure the ancestors are proud of what we have achieved, Rome is no longer a state, it now defines a civilization. And the influence of our world, beyond reach. So lads like us can grow up spoiled and dreaming of glory, instead of living in filth and dirt like the Picts.”

    “Rome is no longer a state.” Claudius was straight to the point, “the Imperial army is a shadow of its former self. For Christ’s sake the Emperor is being siege in the Capital.”

    “Some might say it is truly for Christ’s sake because we’ve abandoned the old gods,” Batiatus smiled, “but times change, things will eventually get better.”

    “What do you think about Helvetius’s little speech to the gentry” Claudius changed the subject.

    “He made a good show, really. Now the other houses are all scared their wealth will be squeezed dry by this tyrant called Gratian.” Batiatus replied, “No one’s going to complain when you demand war tax.”

    “Numicus is a old dog, he knows he’s doing me a huge favor, his words carry much weight.” Claudius said, “Doesn’t he have a nephew in my service? Promote that man, make him something close to the front, but not that close. Leave the front for the men that are truly competent. But Gratian is truly an ambitious brute, over expanding with such aggressiveness. And seizing villas? Hah, his days are numbered.”

    Gratian was a Career Soldier of lowly origins. Unlike Claudius, Batiatus and the majority of the other officers, whom are from the Gentry.

    “My liege, may I be blunt,” Batiatus proceeded with Claudius’s permission, “your Grace for now has the even hand. Gratian had just expanded his army and is in severe shortage of equipment. Most of his men are militia. Our advantage is in discipline and equipment, but that advantage will fade as time pass. By next year, Gratian will have his recruits trained and equipped, and absolutely loyal to him because of the food Gratian provides. He will then use his army to up root the power from the gentry. By then, your Grace, without allies and support, will be forced to surrender and submit. For us, servant and advisors, life will be the same. But for you my liege…your Grace will no longer enjoy the privilege you have today. Your courtiers will be no more than a few; holdings will only be limited to one. Armies disbanded, command given to other. Your Grace will be back being nothing.”

    “Hahaha, Quintus, my friend. You know me too well. How could I give away my chance to make a mark in history?” Claudius laughed

    “My liege, it is your will I am serving.” Batiatus smiled, “after all, your grace wanted war already, and was just gaining courage from Constantine’s point.”

    Both men looked at each other and laughed. Glory, Honor, and fame…how many have died for them, and how many more are willing to.
    Under their feet, a limestone is decorated with lions, rho-chi signs, and the Red Cross of York. Commemorating the very spot Constantine was proclaimed Emperor almost a hundred years ago.

    “Let us lessor men follow the path to greatness then.”

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    Hi, sorry for typos, I don't have enough rep/posts to edit my post yet.
    But here is a correction for the part where Claudius talks about Gratian:
    “These are traitorous times, Lucius.” Claudius commented, “The Bastard has no honor, he killed his commander and mentor Marcus Dumarius, he won’t hesitate to expand in our expense.”

    I am trying to include more pictures in my writing but as for now, most of the scenes are conversations. Battles are coming up soon tho

  5. #5
    waveman's Avatar Decanus
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    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    Seems like it! Looking forward to hearing about them, and the fate of Britain

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    Oustanding work, my friend, really immersive and well written. Keep it up!

  7. #7
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
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    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    I like the way you're writing this; it's very engaging. It makes me want to know not only what happens to your characters, but to the people (and nations) around them. I'm looking forward to the next instalment!

  8. #8
    Iron Aquilifer's Avatar Protector Domesticus
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    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    I echo the words of those before. Really liked the mention of Caesar

  9. #9
    demagogos nicator's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    I really like your style fo story-telling, keep it up

  10. #10

    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    thank you all so much for the support. I've just finished taking screenshots for the next chapter. it'll be uploaded hopefully tonight

  11. #11

    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    I look forward to it, baozi!
    The Persian Empire could raise about 700 soldiers a goat and two chicken
    "This is the time to show my authority."

  12. #12

    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    "Oh good, they chose you." - Marcus Dumarius to Gratian, before Gratian killed him.

    CHAPTER III. A matter of Pride

    The garden of Londinium is one of the many privileges Gratian’s staff enjoys. The small plot outside the Governors hall was built by the Emperor Claudius when he used Londinium as his headquarters during the conquest of Britannia. The lush grass trimmed every morning with perfect precision by generations of romans while the tall trees by the fountains stood bearing scares of the ages, silently witnessing the erosion of this once proud province.

    But Gratian’s first Tribunus Titus Vistus had no time for elegance or history. He paced through the garden straight to the governors hall with a messenger followed behind him.

    “Where is his excellency? Where is the Imperator?” He shouted at the guards as he approached the gates.

    “Tribunus, his excellency is out hunting with some of the gentry.” One of the guards replied.

    “Damn it, send men for him, tell his Excellency it is extremely urgent.” Vistus commanded

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “Aye sir!”

    “Calm yourself dear Titus, there is no news so urgent that a good hunt would be interrupted. How else do I make sure those old runts pay their taxes.” A stern voice came from behind Vistus.

    A prime aged man, surrounded by armed guards strolled through the garden. His hair was swayed back in a relaxed fashion and he wore a neckerchief. His toga white and thick, but not enough to conceal his muscular built.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “My liege, news from the north,” Vistus hurried, “Claudius as rebelled.”

    “I know. It was inevitable.” Gratian was surprisingly cool, “I never did have faith in those northerners especially their gentry. Good to let them all come. Finish them off all at once. And to what reasons did he denounce me?”

    Vistus looked to the messenger behind him, who immediately began to panic.

    “Speak up soldier, it’s not your fault spew out the mouths of others.” Gratian was a man of the ranks, and his speech reveals it at times.

    “Imperator… Flavius Claudius accused ye of cowardice and dishonorable treason to the people of Britannia for not stopping the barbarian hordes coming our way. He has raised a league against ye and is now rallying men in Eboracum under the red cross of York.” The messenger muttered.

    Gratian nodded and walked into the Governors hall, Vistus following closely behind.

    “My liege, Claudius himself has at least two thousand men, and his northern allies number another two thousand.” Vistus whispered as they walked through the halls.

    “Well I have four thousand men alone. And I’ve got allies, more allies than the Yorkists.” Gratian sneered with full confidence as he raised his hands for his servants to dress him in armor, “I’ve also got the walls of Londinium and grain for hundred days. Let Claudius come, let those northern swine smash their faces against these walls.”

    Vistus looked worried and sighed, “I’m afraid Claudius is too good of a strategist to make such a foolish move. The Bastard will try to lure us out for a frontal battle.”

    “How would he? His barely haves enough food to feed his men, let alone his allies in an extensive campaign.” Gratian frowned as he attempts to understand the situation, “a league in Eboracum, his own little kingdom? No, he’s smart enough to know I will destroy him next summer when our recruits are trained.”

    “He’s going to make us go north by attacking our allies there. He will siege Lindum.” Vistus predicted

    Lindum was the extent of Gratian’s control. Its Garrison swore loyalty to him in exchange for grain and had been skirmishing against Claudius’s supporters for months.

    “Exactly, the bastard is going to siege my vassals there. If I go, I’ll be forced into a pitched battle with inexperienced troops. If I don’t go north, Lindum will fall and my vassasl will think I am unwilling to reinforce them, and surly switch sides.” Gratian narrowed his eyes as he pondered, “What a rat, Claudius. You are so full of yourself, how dare you think so lowly of me! I can Crush you!”

    Gratian’s face turned red as he lost his calm. He is the Magister Militum per Britannia, master of Londinium, and Imperator of half of Britannia. The richer half! He didn’t obtain all that just by killing an old man. He obtained it because he was the one men turn to when they needed a leader. He was a man of the ranks, the soldier’s champion. His body aches with scars he bore in over sixty engagements, over half he himself commanded. From roadside ambushes to giant pitch battles, he’s seen it all.

    Now, he has over four thousand men, and his Vassals, at least three thousand.

    Gratian pushed open the door, eyes ranging with anger. Vistus following closely behind, a dozen of his guards rushed to his attendance.

    He is their liege, their Imperator, their master.

    And Claudius? What is Claudius? A spoiled gentry brat whose father bought his rank. A stupid, short sighted fool, who hid behind the north wall and dreamed of glory while Gratian was gaining experience in service of the Britannic Comitatenses, fighting campaign in Germania, Italia, and Pannonia. And that stupid gentry from some northern farmstead dares to challenge him...In Strategy, tactics, and battle.

    When Claudius was trembling facing Pictish raiders, Gratian was already battling against Germanic chieftains in organized engagements..

    Claudius has hardened Border troops and they are well equipped. But so what? When the lines collide then side with the most men pushes the hardest. Gratian made it clear to Claudius that he was willing to share power, allow Claudius to be a petty King. But his good will and mercy was met by treachery. Claudius thinks he can defeat Gratian, with only four thousand men. The Gentry of the north thinks they can defeat Gratian, with only four thousand men.

    An Insult

    Gratain but on his helmet with the great white crest

    “That Bastard Claudius brought it to himself. We will teach him that books don’t make tacticians.” Words seep out of Gratian’s teeth as the group walked towards the training grounds. ”

    Officers begin to gather behind Gratian as he walked through the camp shouting orders:

    “If the Yorkists want a fight, they can have it. We will march in two contingents. I will lead half of the men and our allies as the first contingent. Vistus, you lead the rest of our men. Follow us by a quarter day and join battle midway. We march now and we’ll arrive at Lindum right as Claudius laid siege. Let’s see what tricks Claudius has in his sleeves.”

    Gratian watched as his men gathered.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “You are nothing, Flavius Claudius. Nothing but an arrogant boor on the edge of the world.”

  13. #13

    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    Nice, I like this! +rep

  14. #14
    m_1512's Avatar Quomodo vales?
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    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    Excellent update!

    A tip: You also might want to put some font theme to set the mood.
    My AAR:
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  15. #15
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    Great chapters and images! I like the historical details and the way that are telling the story from the perspectives of Claudius and Gratian. I think that you will be able to edit your posts when you have reached 25. You might want to look at the unofficial guide for new members by Shankbot de Bodemloze - I found (and continue to find) it very helpful.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    Yay! I hit 25 posts and can edit now.

    Thanks guys for all the support, it means alot to see my work appreciated ��
    And thanks for the tip about fonts M, I definitely will try to implement that.
    Alwyn, awesome to see people recognize the not so prominent figures in this era. I'm pretty sure you know who Claudius is but lets keep it low key for now ��

    I really appreciate everyone sticking by and reading all these not so action packed chapter. All the groundwork are laid for the coming chapter which will be uploaded later today.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    "War changes war"- Greek proverb
    CHAPTER. IV Little Toutenburg

    The night mist thickens as the air grew dense from winter’s creep. A hundred torches light up the road to Lindum. A collection of regiments from Londinium to Cornium marched north along the stone path, straight through the northern forests.

    Gratian stood out amongst the many. He wore a golden helmet pressed with jewels, signifying his unchallenged supremacy over the warlords of Southern Britannia. Mounted on a great black horse, he marched near the front of his army accompanied by advisors and armored bodyguards along with a few northern gentery who came to his protection.

    “My liege, Legutus Quintus Gerontius has arrived with four hundred men to join our march.” A messenger rode up from the end of the army.

    “A glorious victory will surely be ours! Our forces have combined to more than eight thousand. Britannia has not witnessed such a glorious display of power since the days of Constantine!” praised the gentry Marcus Tellius, a middle aged landowner with a face too eager to express loyalty.

    “It is an honor to witness such greatness in our life time.” the other gentres were hurry to the pander.

    Gratian sneered and rode up.

    As captain of the Guard, Sextus Antonius knew Gratian was annoyed.

    He rode forward besides Gratian. The guards and advisors followed at haste, creating a barrier between them and the Gentries.

    “Without those useless suck ups, we can talk war. “ Gratian said as Antonius rode along him. Without Vistus, Antonius is his right hand man.

    “Imperator, why are we marching at night? The torches lit by the men reveal our intention. We’ve lost the advantage of surprise!” Antonius questioned. For two days Gratian has ordered his force march up north, day and night while only giving short rest to the men.

    “If these grass that sway with the wind knew I was coming,” replied Gratian as he looked to the Gentries behind them whom now talked amongst themselves, “then Claudius would as well…he plans to siege Lindum and force us into open battle. But I’m not giving him the chance. Instead, I double speed my army and lay camp next to Lindum before Claudius completes his siege. Our camp and Lindum can then support each other. We have five thousand men; Lindum has at least a thousand and high walls. Either one would be a hard nut to crack, let alone if the Yorkists attack one, the other will sally out to engage.”

    “What if the Yorkists retreat?”

    “Next spring our new recruits will be trained, he’ll surly be dead. I don’t need the element of surprise to win.” Gratian answered as he looked up and the night sky, feeling the weight of eternity upon his shoulders, he sighed, “This campaign will seal the fate of Britannia for the next decade. Claudius wants to mingle with Imperial affairs. He represents the gentry, who see the golden opportunity to extend their influence.”

    “My liege, victory will be ours. We represent the people of Britannia, and we will sever our ties with the dying empire.May the gods be with us, Jupiter, Juno, Minerva.”

    “And the Christ god” Gratian added jokingly with a sneer

    “And the Christ god.” Antonius also laughed.

    While the southern army marched haplessly along the trail, Yorkist were spying, eyeing, and planning.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Not far, deep in the woods, Claudius squatted behind the dense forest with three thousand Yorkists.

    “Just as I thought, Gratian is force marching to take a defensive posture.” Batiatus whispered.

    “What a stupid fool. Gratian spent too many years in the Comitatenses. He thinks we’re going to fight him in open battle, cohort to cohort.” Claudius replied.

    The enemy is dangerously close now. He could see rows of spears marching down the road in front of him
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “But instead we’re here,” Batiatus smiled, “Hevitius’s laid ambush on the other side of the road with a thousand men, they are ready when we are.”

    “Then let’s give Gratian a taste of Celtic warfare.” Claudius murmured as he drew out his sword.That was the signal. And in a moment, all swords were drawn. Claudius held firm in his hand the cross he wore around his neck.

    I pray to you Jesus Christ. Grant me victory, show me my destiny.

    “Raise the banner high!”

    When the horns sounded, the trees along the road shook as if struck by thunder. Yorkist troops poured out from the trees and hills from the right side of the road, concentrating on sections of the marching southern army.

    “Face right! Face right!” Centurion Lustinianus shouted at his fear struck Limitanei as mail cladded Yorkists charged down the hill in formation. A cloud of stones and arrows rose above them and landed on top of the Southern troops in disarray, striking down men who still haven’t ran to formation, the ones who survived hurried to gather around officers, forming clusters of shields along the corpse ridden road.

    Another wave of javelin came down, crushing men down to the ground
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    From lowly levies to Gratian himself, one word came to mind


    Lines clashed all along the road. Yorkists advancing in battle lines while Southern troops huddled in scattered tostados. Yorkists troopspoured in those exposed gaps, using the advantage to flank and isolate the trapped southern troops.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “They’re trying to cut us off!” someone shouted

    “Priscus, stay here and rally more man, I’m making a break for it.” Lustinianus shouted towards another centurion.

    “Are you insane? We’ll never make it if we head into the woods!” the young faced centurion cried

    “better in the woods then trapped on the road!” Lustinianus shouted back as he raised his shield, just in time to catch a war dart aimed for his face.

    “Britannia invicta!” the Yorkist who threw the dart shouted has he and his companions charged out of formation at the struggling Limitanei wall like wolfs attacking a sheep herd.

    “Ahh!” a Yorkist shouted as his sword struck Lustinianus’s shield, sending Lustinianus back for a step. Lustinianus struck back with the edge of his shield. Regaining some momentum, he slashed at the Yorkist to keep his shield up, and then landed a solid kick on his shield to push him back.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “Push them off the road! Keep your shields up!” the centurion yelled as he re organized his stance. But the militias under his command were not as trained. Many of them thrust their spears in panic at the approaching enemy, only for their blows to be easily parried by shields and swords. The Yorkist line then closed in at the gap, gaining significant advantage by forcing a close engagement with swords against spears.

    Another enemy leaped toward the centurion, his sword coming down. Lustinianus swung his shield and knocked the sword to the side and with a quick stroke, drove his weapon underneath his opponent's eye.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    his action inspired the men around him and they pushed forward: his voice was the straw that kept the militias together, the only glimmer of order in a panicked crowd. Other Centurions from his flanks begin to issue similar orders and gather around him. Together, they pushed the Yorkists troops off the road with their sheer number, and made an opening in the mist of chaos.

    Lustinianus fell into formation as his men pushed their way out of the pitch battle, scattering the few Yorkists who tried desperately to halt the column’s advance.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Priscus stayed behind the formation with a few dozen men to cover their retreat. He swung his arm to ready himself as he hurried other soldiers to follow Lustinianus out of the fighting.

    The left side of the road had been relatively quiet, and quite a few men have fled down the slope.

    “Fight!” the young man shouted as he shoved a soldier towards the front, only to push the scared man on the ground. The soldier was quick to stand up, but instead of advancing, he threw down weapon and begins to flee, trying to run down the left side.

    “Bloody Coward, you come back here!” Priscus grabbed the deserter’s tunic, and froze.

    He saw the shadows behind the trees, but not before he saw half a dozen javelins flying towards him

    It was too late to doge

    He pulled the deserter forward as a shield. And blood came bursting out as javelins pierced the man’s head and neck, blinding Priscus with a cloud of blood and brains.

    A javelin found its way into Priscus belly, and thrust into his torso.

    Priscus threw down the lifeless deserter and clinched to his stomach, trying to hold in the life flowing out of his body.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “AHHHHHH……..” he finally cried out in pain.

    Then, the scream was interrupted. Priscus was stunned. He was flying in the air, and a cold wave spread out through his body. The coldness started in a line across his torso, and seeped through his body as if it travelled through every vein. It was cool, it was clean, and for a second Priscus forgot everything.

    Then he landed hard on his back. The waves became heated, and with pain. He had just been cut down by Cavalry, who swept up from the left side and clashed into the backs of his comrades.

    He laid there, looking at the stars. And everything was white.

    Horns sang in the distance, the sound of Southern army rallying for counter attacks.

    The ambush is over, and the battle has begun.
    Last edited by baozi; May 26, 2015 at 05:16 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    Well, Gratian took a risk, and so far it has gone poorly...

    Here's to hoping that the battle goes far better for Gratian!
    The Persian Empire could raise about 700 soldiers a goat and two chicken
    "This is the time to show my authority."

  19. #19

    Default Re: Fractured Eagle - When Rome turned against Herself

    CHAPTER V. Night, and day

    Torch light and glimmers in the distance woods along with the clashes of steel and the cries of men. A few hundreds men stood shoulder to shoulder with their shields up and swords drawn. behind them, Gratian and his Staff stood ready with sword in hand.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Suddenly two riders emerged from the chaos in the forest, horse sprinting at full distance.

    “Imperator, the front middle columns are shattered. Some of the men from the column made a push for the trees, Yorkists cavalry exploited the gap left by them and flanked half of the column.” The rider in the front shouted

    “Cavalry? How many?” Gratian shouted back at the scout.

    “A few dozen Imperator, high ranking officers and bodyguards. Their leader with the red crest is extremely vicious; he went straight for the commanders and killed half of middle column’s command staff.” The soldier replied as Antonius signaled his men to give him a new horse.

    “Your grace, the regiments of Camulodunum have been scattered during the ambush and are now holding inside the woods.” The other rider pleaded, “My master Tribunus Pansa begs for reinforcements.”

    “He’ll get his reinforcements when he breaks out the trapped column.” Gratian was unmoved by his plead, “Tell him to form up for a counter attack.”
    “Aye Sir!” the messenger did not dare to argue.

    Gratian then turned his scout, who’s clenching on a water bag passed to him, “Ride out and send word to the back Columns, tell them to push up. This is our chance to pincer the Yorkist army.”

    “Yes sir!” the man replied and the two riders rode out again.

    “Claudius is ignoring our position, he wants to rout my vassals before he engages me. ”Gratian was worried, he turned to his attendants, “Hevatus, take the men and counter attack. Support Pansa, but do not pursue. Gather as much men as you can and hold the enemy off.”

    “Aye my liege.” A middle aged officer replied and road off with a few other men.

    “Come on, come on,” Gratian said to himself anxiously. He was quite calm in comparison to the rest of his staff whose sweat drooped like rain down their necks. The Hevatus gathered most of the foot soldiers and disappeared into the forest, leaving only a few dozen men to guard Gratian and his staff. All of them were quiet, listening closely for the sound of horns, the signal of the counter attack.

    Then there was a horn, loud and clear through the mist of chaos. But there was only one horn, and that sound was too close to be from Pansa.

    Gratian quickly dispatched another rider to hurry Pansa’s regiments, but Captain Antonius was not willing to wait any longer.

    “Imperator, Pansa has abandoned us! We have to get out before it’s too late.” Antonius turned his horse and finally said what everyone was thinking.

    “No, wait a little more.” Gratian was desperate. He eyed the forest in front of his from side to side hoping to hear the horns of Pancer’s counter attack. Antonius did not wait. He immediatly signaled the men to get ready and rode next to Gratian and grabbed Gratian's horse by its lead, "Imperator, We need to get out of here!"
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “Imperator!” just as Gratian was about to reply, his scout had returned, “Pansa would not advance, he reasoned his men will be flanked if they move from their position. The Camulodunum regiments are on a hill not far away defending his headquarters.”

    “That traitorous bastard!” Gratian cried out.

    “My liege, not all is lost. Hevatus has counterattacked and will surely gather more men. If he can break out the middle column we can hold the Yorkists off until Tribunus Vistus arrives with our second army!” one of Gratian’s staff advised.

    Gratian did not move. He was frozen. It was the perfect opportunity to rout the Yorkist army: a pincer attack on an enemy busy engaging the middle columns. But he overestimated the determination of his vassal commanders. Indeed, it was Gratian’s gamble for Britannia, and Pansa did not bet on him.

    “Pansa’s forces are in the woods to the right, behind enemy lines. If he attacks, the deeds of centuries would be done.” Antonius sighed, “but we can still call back Hevatus, gather as much men as we can and head for the hills. Meet up with Pansa.”

    “Hah, but I don’t think he will let us live.” Gratian sneered bitterly as he collected his sorrow, “Pansa is holding his position and avoiding casualties. I bet he’s waiting for the opportunity to surrender as we speak. If we go to him, we will be gifting him our heads for the bettering of his future. Our foremost priority is to make sure Pansa and his thousand men don’t join the battle on Claudius’s side.”

    “Imperator,” Gratian’s advisor, a man known as Bullus voiced, “ we must pull back before it’s too late. Hevatus’s counter attack might not be able to rout the Yorkists, but it surely it freed many of the trapped troops. The messenger said many men broke out the encirclement and are scattered in the woods. We can rally them as we retreat and wait for reinforcements.”

    “Exactly what I was thinking,” Gratian agreed, “ Bullus, tell Hevatus to gradually withdraw.”

    “Aye my liege.”

    Bullus rode forward. But just as he picked up speed into the forest, he heard the sound of horses.

    He stopped his horse and stood in front of the forest, trying to use his torch to see through the darkness.

    The sound grows closer and closer. But there was no torch to illuminate, only his pounding heart.

    “Who comes there?” Bullus finally summoned enough courage and shouted

    A dozen riders appeared from the darkness, swords drawn. Their leader’s black mail shined vividly in the reflection of Bullus’s torch.

    He had a red crest

    Bullus was struck in the face by the leading rider and a second rider cut him off his horse.

    “Gratianus Tullius!” the leader rider shouted at Gratian and his staff as Bullus’s lifeless corpse stumbled to the ground, “I am Helvetius, First Tribune to Dux Flavius Claudius…Surrender or die!”
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “Imperator, urgent news!” a scout shouted as he entered the makeshift headquarters of Claudius’s Yorkist army. The command center is little more than a dozen men with a map in the middle of the forest, using the woods to shield them from the morning sun.

    Claudius stood in the middle of his staff, his hands going through his new grown mustache. The rest of his staff, including Batiatus stood around him, all eagerly staring at the scout who’s making his way over.

    The battle has been raging on all night. The ambush was an enormous success, scattering half of the southern army into Lindum’s dense forests. But just as the men were celebrating their victory, Gratian’s second detachment arrived: 3000 men led by his trusted commander Vistus.

    “Speak fast.” Claudius commanded

    “Enemy counterattack has ceased, Helvetius is in peruse.”

    “And Pansa’s Camulodunum regiments?” Quintus Batiatus asked

    “Still holding their position.” The scout replied.

    “A chance gifted by the heavens!” Batiatus exclaimed as he turned to Claudius, “Gratian has been abandoned by his followers.”

    “We’ll still have to deal with Vistus.” Claudius frowned as he fixates his eyes on the map again.

    “Fear not my liege. The old saying goes, when the wolf dies his pack scatter. With Gratian dead Vistus will not dare to resists you.” Julianus, another advisor of Claudius smiled with confidence.

    Horses were heard in the distance and the men immediately tense up, but relaxed when they saw it was Helvetius and his riders. Helvetius had a head tied around the neck of his horse.

    “By the gods please let it be Gratian’s” Julianus murmured to himself

    Claudius was still tense. In fact, he had not been this nervous the entire night.

    “Gratian, is he dead?” he shouted

    Helvetius untied the severed head and replied with disappointment, “No, he made it up the mountain with over a thousand men. This is the head of his Captain of the Guards, the lad put up a good fight covering Gratian’s retreat.”

    Batiatus removed the head from Helvetius’s hands. The severed head had its eyes wide open, a face filled with anger, as if condemning him for killing another Roman. The men around all took a moment, as if suddenly they realized their deeds.

    “How many men do we have?” Claudius pulled everyone back from their self-blame and pity.

    “A little fewer than four thousand,” Julianus sighed. Indeed the Yorkists suffered as well. Even with the element of surprise and the advantage of home turf, they still lost over a thousand men.

    “And we’ll need to spread them out against Pansa, Gratian, and Vistus, all in different fronts.” Batiatus added. Indeed, just moments ago they were in the arms of victory, now they are on the edge of defeat.

    The situation is not to the Yorkist advantage. Gratian’s army of five thousand, two thousand became captives or lay dead along the road. A thousand retreated with Gratian and are holding on a hill. A thousand under Pansa avoided the battle, and are now waiting to side with the victors. That leaves another thousand still roaming in the woods in small bands.
    Then there is Vistus and his three thousand.

    The Yorkist army are still scattered many cohorts are clearing through the forests looking for stragglers. Claudius also needs troops to look after the captives. All that makes only about three thousand men free to engage.

    “My liege, the only true force we need to go against is Vistus.” Batiatus suddenly spoke out

    “Do you mean Gratian will not attempt to exploit if we expose our flanks?” Claudius was intrigued by his statement.

    “He defiantly will. Even if we don’t expose or flanks.” Batiatus smirked, as if he saw the piece of a puzzle that no one else could, and laughed, “Gratian will soon be desperate, he’ll charge down the hill, even against a ring of forts.”

    “I don’t understand, Gratian has the higher point, he could easily hold out…unless” Helvetius frowned, as if trying to see lights through a thick fog.

    “He doesn’t have food!” Julianus was the first to snaped

    “Exactly, the tyrant’s army abandoned most of their baggage during the ambush. He’s trapped on a hill with a thousand mouths to feed! He'll be desperate to break out.”

    Claudius was overjoyed.

    “Imperator, give me a thousand men and I’ll make sure it’ll be Gratian’s head I have tied to my horse.” Helvetius stood out before Claudius, eager for to a second try.

    “No, Helvetius, I need you by my side when we engage Vistus.” Claudius dismissed him and turned to Bataitus, “Quintus, I’m entrusting you the task to siege out Gratian, how many men will you need.”

    “A thousand will be enough.” Batiatus replied in confidence

    “Good, make haste and get ready. But be careful, a lion is still vicious in its last hours.”

    Julianus became anxious as he saw all the glory going away. He stood out from the staff and knelt before Claudius, “Imperator, I am confident to convince Pansa to come to our cause and join the battle on our side.”

    “Hahaha,” Claudius laughed as he pulled up Julianus, “Dear Tiberius, I see your heart itches at the sight of glory.” He nodded and turned to his staff. Still holding on to Julianus, he said to the men around him, “Let God be witness. With men like you at my council, I shall never worry about the future of our cause. Together men, we will accomplish the deeds of our century. Pax Britannia, Pax Roma!”

    With a crowd of eager men he rose up heading to battle. His men cheered as he pulled out his side arm.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “Quintus,” Claudius suddenly whispered to Batiatus, “Thank you for convincing me. God, I think we can truly change the world.”
    Last edited by baozi; June 09, 2015 at 03:11 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Fractured Eagle - Character submissions are now welcome, see post #20 for details

    Apologies for the lack of content lately. I'm having finals week in college right now. Anyways its been a couple of days plotting about the story line. especially the personalities of those upcoming characters. characters like Honirus and Stilicho. Those big names.

    This brings us to the character submission. Where you submit a character to my Roman world.
    He could be a bodyguard of a noble in Rome, witnessing the plots before him. Or a Germanic chieftain, trying to get a piece of the dying empire. He could even be a She!

    Do you have any characters in mind that can take on the shattering Roman world? do you want to create a character and see how far he survives in the story? maybe a literature personification of yourself in the world of Fractured Eagle?
    If you do, leave a comment with the name, brief description (appearance, backstory) and traits of your character (cruel, lustful, kind... lets get a CK2 going). And I will add them into the story if its appropriate.

    lets get it on guys, lots of people will have to be killed XD
    Last edited by baozi; July 12, 2015 at 06:40 AM.

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