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Thread: [IB:RO AAR] Empire of the Unconquered Sun [Updated: 29/10/2020]

  1. #1
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default [IB:RO AAR] Empire of the Unconquered Sun [Updated: 29/10/2020]

    Empire of the Unconquered Sun

    A RESTITVTOR ORBIS AAR





    Salvete!

    It has certainly been a hot minute since I decided to undertake an AAR - one that I actually wanted to write a story about and decided to put some discipline into at least - and so, with the release of Restitutor Orbis [BETA] from the same team that bought everyone SAI (and other mod greats) it seems about time to get going again on the serious writing front. As you may have gathered from the lacklustre title, we're going the way of Lucius Domitius Aurelianus, otherwise known simply as Aurelian, in an alternate history and 'what if?' AAR - this Emperor got five good years, five years to re-forge the Roman Empire into a united whole once more, and duly did so. This is an After Action Report chronicling what may have been, what should have been, had Aurelian not been struck down in error and in haste by others that should probably have known better.

    Taking cues from such classics as The Last Pagan Emperor, the incomparable Julian, The Savior Of Rome?, and I'll add The Lost Legion/Quinta Macedonica Legio because how can you not, this is my attempt at a long-form and regularly updated AAR in these trying times.

    As time goes on I shall be updating this page and, Gods willing, no CTD or corrupted save shall stop me.


    Mod: INVASIO BARBARORVM: RESTITVTOR ORBIS
    Faction: Imperivm Romanvm.
    Difficulty: Campaign – Hard, Battles – Medium.
    Goals: The survival of Aurelian, the hopeful commencement of a worthy dynasty, and the reunification of the Roman Empire.

    Feel free to comment or to ask any questions as I go along, and I'll reply as quickly as possible.

    Let's get to it.
    Last edited by McScottish; October 20, 2020 at 03:27 PM.

  2. #2
    isa0005's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: [IB:RO AAR] Empire of the Unconquered Sun

    Looking forward to it!

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    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: [IB:RO AAR] Empire of the Unconquered Sun

    You've got me interested in how Aurelien will re-unite the Empire and in what should have been. Like isa0005, I'm looking forward to this!

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    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: [IB:RO AAR] Empire of the Unconquered Sun

    Contemplations and Tribulations

    Aquileia, Early Summer 1023 A.U.C (270 AD) to Summer 1023 A.U.C, the Consulship of Aspasius Paternus and Licinius Marinianus


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    A lithe figure slipped almost silently into the courtyard of the praetorium and moved softly across the front courtyard of the military headquarters of Aquileia, clutching in two hands something, the light of the nights stars overhead and a pale moon showing nothing of detail as the frankly indiscernible individual made its way across the empty and silent cobbles, head turning this way and that before – a thin pale face ever so briefly illuminated by errant moonlight beneath a hood – they were swallowed in shadow after stepping through a portico, one of many running along all four walls of the firm structure.

    Guardsmen of the equites singulares Augusti patrolled the inner sections of the courtyard, rugged Danubian soldiers with the characteristic shaved heads of Pannonia, Illyria and Dalmatia for the most part, the human-shaped shadow (as well as any other curious enough to enquire) knowing exactly what this meant; it meant that the emperor himself was currently in residence here, which was precisely what the lone wanderer had been counting on.

    Making their way past one, two, and even three equites, the bundle shifted from one arm to another in a moment of otherwise complete stillness, the pale interloper made tracks to the north-western side of the praetorium... and the domestic quarters.

    Two sturdy looking horseguard stood before the door - the pale-faced wanderer pulling back their hood to reveal a narrow-boned visage of green-blue eyes and deep brown, almost black, hair cut short in the Roman style – long legs carrying them towards the door where, with a deep breath, they approached the door with one arm lifting itself up to give a strong knock against the wooden obstacle.

    There was a short pause and sounds of movement within, the equites keeping their eyes fixed on the columned portico and the darkness beyond, the shorter man raising his fist again and rapping against the door somewhat more urgently.

    “Come,” called a voice eventually, a deep voice that commanded and demanded respect from all those that heard it.

    Inside the chamber (a chamber certainly fit for a military commander, but not truly worthy of an Augustus) a dozen or so clay oil lamps silhouetted the shape of a man sitting at a desk and scribbling furiously on numberless reams of papyri.

    “Dominus!” Chided the newcomer, removing his hooded garment – a distinct birrus britannicus by colouration and design – and placing his bundle down on a small patch of available table surface, “you should be abed, or at least not concerned with such things at this hour.”

    “Albus...” began the hunched emperor in a softer, but no less sever, tone than he had used before, “have you ever been to war, my young British familiāris?”

    By now he had paused in his nights work, watching the loyal servant as he prepared a light meal for his master and now emperor, eyes the colour of a stormy sea studying the adolescent attendant for several moments before returning to the scrolls with a shake of his shaven head and smile on his bearded countenance.

    “I have killed, lord.”

    “That is not what I asked, and you know as much. Now, have you fought in the dust of battle? Ridden a steed until it died and leapt upon another to continue the fight? Protected a comrade from arrow and blade, but were unable to save him from sickness and disease?”

    “No lord, apologies.”

    A plate of food was placed as near to Aurelian as Albus could get, a meagre meal of rough-made bread with a handful of olives, mushrooms, and a portion of duck meat, poor fare but there was little that could be gotten in Aquileia this recently after the siege.

    “Do not apologise,” countered the grizzled cavalryman as he plucked up an olive and passed it through his lips, “it is not that I do not wish to sleep, Jupiter that it could be so, but that I cannot sleep.”

    Albus settled himself on a stool a couple of feet away from the emperor, picking at his own plate of assorted vegetables and a little meat, wiping his forehead with the hem of his tunic before returning his full attention to the man who had been thrust by the parcae into his unenviable situation.

    “Quintillus is slain and I am acclaimed Augustus, to inherit an empire fractured rather than whole, unable to even to visit Roma and the senate because of this pestilence. In Graecia and Macedonia I put men to work to restore buildings burned and plundered by the savage Gothi, even as thousands of those same barbaric people do likewise to Thracia and Moesia! As they do this I am unable to stop them, plague spreading through Italia and Illyricum, my home.”

    Aurelian took a moment to make a couple of corrections to the closest scroll, his brow furrowed and mouth set firm as he did so, the tone of his voice becoming ever more angry.

    “In the west rules the usurper Victorinus, and in the east... in the east the boy-king Vallabathus, directed by his doting mother, seeks to expand upon a writ made long invalid.”

    Weary eyes turned back to the attentive Briton, blinking in the dim light of the chamber, Aurelian finally rising to his considerable height and stretching his oft scarred but still powerful limbs.

    “I shall sleep, Albus, do not fear. Now be gone from my sight, rest yourself, and attend to me on the ninth hour.”


    ******


    The door quietly closed behind Albus, who was cloaked once more and clutching a far slimmer parcel of food in his hands, his eyes glancing to the guardsmen and his mind thinking of saying something before he thought better of it, instead turning and running into an upcoming figure.

    “Watch where you're going!” Snarled the giant of a man, a bearded face glaring at the body-servant with unrestrained irritation, glaring with only one eye of piercing blue while the other was nothing more than a ruined hole where an eyeball had once been.

    “Apologies, please, I simply wish to return to my quarters.”

    Albus had already began moving his hands over the floor, grabbing what food he could and carefully returning them to his possession, peeking skyward once or twice to make sure that the lofty soldier was not going to remove his head from his shoulders.

    “Urgh,” grunted the man as his face softened somewhat, one plate-sized hand reaching down and wrapping itself around the thinner man's wrist, a jerk of motion sending Albus back to his standing position, “next time you walk so carelessly into the tribune of the Singulares I shall not be so kind, now be on your way.”

    No more words were needed for Orcetios of the Dumnonii, otherwise known as Albus due to his pallid complexion, to take off at a half-jog in the direction of his own chamber and, if his growling stomach was correct, to finish the remainder of his meal.

  5. #5
    Hitai de Bodemloze's Avatar 避世絕俗
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    Default Re: [IB:RO AAR] Empire of the Unconquered Sun [Updated: 29/10/2020]

    A great start I like Aurelian's initial characterisation, the mix of weariness and impotent anger comes off well, reflecting the rather bleak situation they've seemingly found themselves in. Is Albus going to be our main PoV character going forward though? I'll be interested to see how you choose to develop him - ancillary-type characters usually provide more narrative scope than the generals and military folk we're so often accustomed to, so I'm intrigued to see what you will come up with if he's to be a protagonist.

  6. #6
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: [IB:RO AAR] Empire of the Unconquered Sun [Updated: 29/10/2020]

    A bleak situation indeed, as Rome suffers from usurpers, plunderers and plague. You've got me interested in how Aurelien will handle this and what role Albus will play.

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    isa0005's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: [IB:RO AAR] Empire of the Unconquered Sun [Updated: 29/10/2020]

    Great read, I want more!

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