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Thread: “Toutatis Favours The Brave” (A Nervii CiG AAR) [Updated 24th June 2019]

  1. #101
    Derc's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: “Toutatis Favours The Brave” (A Nervii CiG AAR) [Updated 12th January 2019]

    Finally read it. Outstanding job you did there. No wonder. A celt writing about celts is always something intriguing.
    This AAR does not feel cluttered, it isn't boring and especially that battle had me at the choker. I rarely get put in suspense but here you managed it. You did so even after the battle. Good job!
    Lucky that I did not had to wait for the next parts to see how everything turns out. Would've been really evil.

    It's a nice (and very challenging) approach to write a story based on the campaign, not the other way around. TW always throws some weird things your way, making it hard to make something logical out of it sometimes.

    I'm no big fan of visions and I think you demonized Ambriorix a bit too much. That's ok but I'm curious what you'll make out of the other tribes. Let's hope they're not all fanatics too. Oh wait, we're talking about the Gauls.

    Sharp minds and especially players of CiG will have no problem figuring out who the other three people from Gwydion's vision are. And once you figured it out and reread the description of said individuals, one can see how well you described each of them.
    Given the skill of your writing, it will be epic when Boduognatus clashes with one of them.

    This AAR is two years old already? Wow!
    Keep it up. Top-notch work so far. Have a +rep, fine sir.

    All the best,

    Derc

  2. #102
    Welsh Dragon's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: “Toutatis Favours The Brave” (A Nervii CiG AAR) [Updated 12th January 2019]

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxMaker13 View Post
    Cool look into the internal politics of the Nervii.
    I am looking forward to some battle and backstabing.
    I would like to see your army composition before the next battle. Are your troops tattered or are they at full strengh again.


    In the third to last paragraph you have a slight typo "Suressiones" instead of "Suessiones".
    Thank you Max. Unfortunately the ability for the game to provide political intrigue is reduced by the limitations in Caesar in Gaul (which sadly doesn't use the full political system of the other campaigns,) but it's something I want to explore more in future chapters.

    I can't promise a look at my army composition before the next battle, but it's definitely something I'll be taking on board to include in future chapters.

    And I'll fix the typo, thanks for catching it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    An interesting chapter! It is as you say Welsh Dragon, in reality a tribe is divided into different clans and they don't always agree with one another on how to deal with things (mostly they don't agree I would say). This division can be and has been used to defeat one's enemy. The clan names are very appropriate for the person that is representing them on this Council. Boduognatus' plan has been approved this time but it took some convincing. I wonder if this will stick or that at some point the clans will rebel.

    PS: my Belgian heart bleeds for a Belgian tribe that abstains from alcohol.
    Thanks Turkafinwë. It was an interesting one to write as well, as I haven't really covered politics thus far.

    Trying to unite the tribes (both within the Nervii and across Gaul) is definitely one of the challenges that Boduognatus and his friends are going to face. Will the coming threats unite them? Or will the tribes fight amongst themselves and leave Gaul open to foreign invaders? Only time will tell.

    As for the alcohol, I wouldn't know. I'm teetotal (it really doesn't agree with me... even the tiny amount of alcohol in an alcoholic chocolate gives me a colossal headache.) But it was one of the interesting aspects of the Nervii which got my attention, as the drunken barbarian warriors is rather a trope... so much so I've nearly had them drinking ale a few times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I agree with MaxMaker13 and Turkafinwë about your representation of the internal conflict and the connection between the tribes' names and their representatives. It sounds like Caxtos has given a convincing reason for action, but also that Liscos and Sacrapo will look for opportunites to make each other look weak or foolish. That may be dangerous in battle, as I'm guessing that the description of the Suessiones by the chieftain of the Iron Axes was optimistic.
    Glad you enjoyed it Alwyn. Creating tribes for the characters (and characters for the tribes,) was something I quite enjoyed. The game gives you some great names already, but I'll probably expand on them in future. I'm basically trying to make each distinct, without them always being too obvious and one dimensional. Though it hasn't really come up much yet, one of the distinctions I'm aiming to incorporate is weapon choices. While it's not reflecting the game (where Nervii only have Oathsworn and Noble Horses as General choices,) Caxtos and the Hill Warriors favour spears and I imagine his guard being more along the lines of Gallic Spear Nobles.

    As for the Suessiones, well we shall see... Sometimes the best twist is what your reader least expects...

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    Finally read it. Outstanding job you did there. No wonder. A celt writing about celts is always something intriguing.
    This AAR does not feel cluttered, it isn't boring and especially that battle had me at the choker. I rarely get put in suspense but here you managed it. You did so even after the battle. Good job!
    Lucky that I did not had to wait for the next parts to see how everything turns out. Would've been really evil.

    It's a nice (and very challenging) approach to write a story based on the campaign, not the other way around. TW always throws some weird things your way, making it hard to make something logical out of it sometimes.

    I'm no big fan of visions and I think you demonized Ambriorix a bit too much. That's ok but I'm curious what you'll make out of the other tribes. Let's hope they're not all fanatics too. Oh wait, we're talking about the Gauls.

    Sharp minds and especially players of CiG will have no problem figuring out who the other three people from Gwydion's vision are. And once you figured it out and reread the description of said individuals, one can see how well you described each of them.
    Given the skill of your writing, it will be epic when Boduognatus clashes with one of them.

    This AAR is two years old already? Wow!
    Keep it up. Top-notch work so far. Have a +rep, fine sir.

    All the best,

    Derc
    Thank you Derc. I'm glad you are enjoying my tale and not finding it boring.

    Writing based on game events is definitely challenging (especially when, as now, I'm trying to weld two different playthroughs together.) I'm a writer who tends to plan quite a bit, so one of the reasons I'm doing it this way is to challenge myself and try different forms of writing.

    I'm not always a fan of visions and prophecies either, as it's often used badly. But they can be a very effective storytelling device if you can get it right. For example, I'm a big fan of Babylon 5, a sci-fi series which uses prophecy very effectively. I've also drawn inspiration from the military sci-fi novel series "Their's Not To Reason Why" by Jean Johnson (beginning with A Soldier's Duty,) whose main character is a precog who can see potential futures and is trying to put the pieces into place to prevent a catastrophe that won't happen till long after she's dead. You'd think that would take away tension and suspense, but just because she can see what may happen doesn't mean the events happen the way she wants them to. (Not to give too much away about the books, but there's a great moment in one where something truly unexpected happens and she just does not know what to do, because she never saw this coming... literally!)

    Ambriorix characterisation was a response to the way the game presented me with this sudden attack from the Eburones, and me trying to come up with a way to present that in the story. I agree he's a bit one dimensional in that respect, but in being a truly evil person I think he served a purpose of clearly defining Boduagnatos and the Nervii by comparison. I'll look to make future villains a bit more well rounded, as well as give the different tribes more of an identity.

    As for whether the figures in the prophecy are who you think they are? Well, I have some people in mind for those four leaders, but prophecy is a funny thing, and as you said, the game does have a habit of throwing weird things in your way. We shall see. (At this point even I don't know for certain, which is part of the fun! )

    *

    No news yet on the next chapter, as I've tried two approaches so far and I'm not happy with either of them. But I hope to have something for you all in the near future, real life permitting.

    I hope you are all having a good weekend.

    All the Best,

    Welsh Dragon.

  3. #103
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    Default Re: “Toutatis Favours The Brave” (A Nervii CiG AAR) [Updated 12th January 2019]

    “Toutatis Favours The Brave” (A Nervii CiG AAR.)
    Chapter 15: March to War: The Army of the Nervii.

    Three sunrises come and go all too quickly, and as the third day dawns the army of the Nervii assemble south of Bagacum.



    I know that I set my people a difficult task, to gather our forces so quickly. But they have not disappointed me. We are a force some 1700 fighters strong. Many are veterans of the Battle at Atuatuca, hardened by what they saw, but also able to draw from their experience there. Others are warriors from the other clans of the Nervii, fired up by the stories they have heard around the campfires these past few nights and eager to get into the fight. And then there are the young bloods, ready for their first taste of battle, even though that may also be their last.

    It is not as large a force as I would like. Some of our warbands are not at full strength, still recovering from the casualties we suffered against Ambriorix's fanatics. But it is what I have available to me. As Warlord I know I must go to war with what I have, not what I wish I had. I just pray they are enough for what lies ahead.

    But though I know many of the warriors around me, some familiar faces are also missing. While others I never could have expected to be fighting alongside now stand beside me.

    A lot can happen in three days...

    *

    Two days previously...

    It is morning, and as the first rays of sunlight touch the walls of Bagacum, I have already risen from my fitful slumber, and eaten a hasty breakfast of leftover mutton from last night. There is little time for more. A day has already past since the Tribal Council gathered and agreed to go to war. Now only two remain, and there is still far too much to be done. First I must meet with Caxtos and inspect preparations for our departure.

    But as I leave the longhouse I call my home and walk towards the gate, I cannot help but notice the changes that have come over Bagacum in just a day. There is a different atmosphere to the town. Gone is the sense of festivity which surrounded the Great Feast of Beltane, and in its place is the sense of grim purpose of a people preparing for war.

    Just a day or two ago there were the sounds of voices raised in good cheer filling these streets, as locals and guests alike sang songs and shared stories. But now what I hear are the shouts of men at work, gathering supplies and preparing the weapons that we will need to wage war on the Suessiones. And the sound of cutting and hammering, as repairs are made to the carts we will use in the coming days and weeks ahead.

    Where as before if you were hungry you could just follow the scent of roasting pork to find a cooking fire and company, now it is the smell of oxen that carries upon the breeze. They are foul tempered beasts, but without them I would not be able to plan a campaign such as this. An army needs not just warriors but food, tools, spare weapons and many other things for the challenges that lie ahead. So it is upon these animals shoulders we place this weight, as they pull the carts which will carry those supplies to war.

    And while smoke still rises above our homes, it comes not from the great bonfires of Beltane, but from the forges of our metalworkers. They will work long into the night, to ensure that every warrior has the weapons they will need to fight soon enough. For while each of us is responsible for our own weapons and equipment, only some have the skills to make and repair them well.

    But it is not just Bagacum that has changed. I can feel the changes in myself as well. Where my thoughts before were the everyday concerns of a Chieftain, or the not so Usual ones of Gwydion's prophecy that still troubles me each night, now my mind turns to more pragmatic matters. As Warlord, I must lead these people not just in battle but into war. And though a battle may still be weeks away, the decisions I make in these few short days may decide whether we return home form that battle in victory. Or defeat. Or not at all.

    Going to war is never easy, even for a warrior people such as we. Launching a campaign that may take us far from home even more so. There is much to do before we leave, and I have given the tribes all too little time to do it in.

    At nearly any other time of year such an undertaking would take weeks to prepare for, as I would have to send word to the other clans and then wait for their warriors to travel across our lands and gather here.

    But the Feast of Beltane is a time for not just we Chieftains to gather, but many of our warriors as well. It is an opportunity I must take while I can, for I feel deep in my bones that even if we were to delay a single extra sunrise, we may be too late. And I know in my heart that we must not fail.

    I am still deep in these thoughts when I reach the gate where Caxtos awaits me.

    “You look troubled my friend.” He says, a look of concern on his face. It seems my thoughts are clear upon my face, not just in my head.

    “No,” I reply, perhaps too quickly. “Just thinking of all that must be done in the day ahead.”

    Caxtos will know there is more to it than that. For as long as we have known each other, it has always been hard to keep things from him, as he sees more of what is before him than most men do. But we both know that now is not the time to discuss my concerns. And while Gwydion or Sacrapo would have pressed me on this, that is not Caxtos' way. He knows we will speak when the time is right.

    So the Chieftain of the Hill Warriors simply nods, then turns and walks out of the gates towards the open fields beyond.

    I know what the Nervii of Bagacum do to prepare for war. But it is time to see how the other Clans fare.

    ***

    Authors Notes:

    As some of you will have seen with my recent comments, I've been struggling with this chapter as I couldn't get it right. Ultimately I've decided to try a different technique with this and the next couple of chapters, moving the present of the story forward to the march upon the Suessiones at Noviodunon, while also flashing back to show the preparations for that march. I'll be interested to know how people find it, so as always any feedback gratefully accepted.

    All the Best,

    Welsh Dragon.

  4. #104
    Turkafinwë's Avatar Cheerful Nihilist
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    Default Re: “Toutatis Favours The Brave” (A Nervii CiG AAR) [Updated 12th January 2019]

    Boduagnatos' doubts and concerns are conveyed very well. It's good to see he is not an overconfident leader yet also not one who is afraid to make decisions and live with them. In my opinion, the traits of a great leader. The time for festivities is over and a period of grim business approaches. I like Caxtos' approach to things, a man willing to listen but knowing not too pry or force anyone to talk. If they wish to talk about it, the subject will come when the time is right. I'm interested to see how you will deal with partial present time and flashbacks. You're off to a great start!

    Quote Originally Posted by Welsh Dragon
    As for the alcohol, I wouldn't know. I'm teetotal (it really doesn't agree with me... even the tiny amount of alcohol in an alcoholic chocolate gives me a colossal headache.) But it was one of the interesting aspects of the Nervii which got my attention, as the drunken barbarian warriors is rather a trope... so much so I've nearly had them drinking ale a few times.
    I'm the opposite to a teetotal. (I sympathise with you for your intolerance to the stuff ) We Belgians are famous (and very proud of it) for our many special brews and it's just a great part of our culture and like any good Belgian I have a great love and respect for our noble culture. Don't get me wrong I like that you have deviated from the trope for the Nervii as it really differentiates the Nervii from the rest of the tribes with their abstination. It's a very interesting concept that can be used greatly in a narrative sense.

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  5. #105
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: “Toutatis Favours The Brave” (A Nervii CiG AAR) [Updated 24th June 2019]

    I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties with writing this chapter. I know that that feels like (at least for me), some chapters are easy to write and others are like walking through thick gloopy mud, with a nagging feeling that you're walking in the wrong direction. I think you found a good solution, the flashback works well. I like the last couple of lines before you switch back to the earlier time period, "While others I never could have expected to be fighting alongside now stand beside me / A lot can happen in three days.." - this works well because you provide a reason why we're going back a few days. It seems that the Feast of Beltane, by bringing warriors together, provided an important opportunity.

  6. #106
    Welsh Dragon's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: “Toutatis Favours The Brave” (A Nervii CiG AAR) [Updated 24th June 2019]

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    Boduagnatos' doubts and concerns are conveyed very well. It's good to see he is not an overconfident leader yet also not one who is afraid to make decisions and live with them. In my opinion, the traits of a great leader. The time for festivities is over and a period of grim business approaches. I like Caxtos' approach to things, a man willing to listen but knowing not too pry or force anyone to talk. If they wish to talk about it, the subject will come when the time is right. I'm interested to see how you will deal with partial present time and flashbacks. You're off to a great start!
    Thank you Turkafinwë. I agree with you on what makes a great leader, if you never doubt you're liable to make mistakes, but if you give in to doubt then you will never do anything. I'm also enjoying writing Caxtos so it's nice to see people enjoying reading him too. Here I'm also trying to develop him (and Sacrapo in a future chapter) as characters in their own right, instead of just relying on them as a duo (or trio with Boduognatus.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    I'm the opposite to a teetotal. (I sympathise with you for your intolerance to the stuff ) We Belgians are famous (and very proud of it) for our many special brews and it's just a great part of our culture and like any good Belgian I have a great love and respect for our noble culture. Don't get me wrong I like that you have deviated from the trope for the Nervii as it really differentiates the Nervii from the rest of the tribes with their abstination. It's a very interesting concept that can be used greatly in a narrative sense.
    I've never really been interested in drinking alcohol so being intolerant to it isn't actually that bad. Also makes for a cheap night out when I do pub quizzes (and perhaps an advantage in later rounds. ) The Nervii are definitely interesting and I hope to do you and your fellow countryman proud with my tale of your (fictional) ancestors.

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties with writing this chapter. I know that that feels like (at least for me), some chapters are easy to write and others are like walking through thick gloopy mud, with a nagging feeling that you're walking in the wrong direction. I think you found a good solution, the flashback works well. I like the last couple of lines before you switch back to the earlier time period, "While others I never could have expected to be fighting alongside now stand beside me / A lot can happen in three days.." - this works well because you provide a reason why we're going back a few days. It seems that the Feast of Beltane, by bringing warriors together, provided an important opportunity.
    Thank you Alwyn. Your description of writing sometimes being "like walking through thick gloopy mud" is very accurate, and brilliant imagery. One of the challenges of telling a story in the present and flashback is the transition between the two, so I'm glad the final lines of the opening scene worked for people.

    All the Best,

    Welsh Dragon.


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