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Thread: Stories Thread

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    Member Member navarro951's Avatar
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    Default Stories Thread

    Stories of Roma



    This thread is for all in-character stories, except for Battle Reports, which have their own thread. Any post in this thread which is not an IC story will be moved or deleted.

    Note: If your story involves interaction with another player's avatar or otherwise intrudes into an IC area that another player would be expected to have creative control over, you must get the permission of that player before posting your story.
    Last edited by navarro951; 01-18-2009 at 22:20.
    ~WotB~
    Strategos Epilektos Panaitolos Ankyrikos Commander of 1sy Lydian Army

    ~BtSH~

    Consul/Dux Cornelius Blasio

    X 9


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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    Wise and honourable sirs of the Senate, in order to help us in our jointed rule of the grand empire of Roma, let us first get to know each other a little better. Perhaps we can share how we got to where we are now; a short biography our of current lives, if you like. In the tradition of propostion, allow me please to begin.

    Ever since I was entered into the officer class by the wealth of my father, I have been ridiculed by my peers for my Plebivs standing. From a very young age, I faced hardships and often got into fights with a young aristocratic boy and his thug-like mates. However I learnt quickly that this would soon be the end of me in an environment such as mine. I began to sneak into the local school, where I hid while the aristocratic boy who I had had a few run ins with took his lessons. Over the year, I learnt to read and write Latin and Greek. The tutor also taught the boys oratorry lessons, and I practiced what I had learnt in the safety of my home.

    When my father was accidentally awarded a vast sum for masterminding a huge Saturnalia feast by a very rich and rather drunk governer, he finally had enough money to buy in to the lowest senatorial class. He entered me, as a young child of twelve, into the officer training classes in the Capuan Academy. I spent four years there, anxious to prove myself to my teachers and my fellow pupils, but I have yet to acquire the respect I hope for.

    My father died earlier this year in a illness. In consolation for his loss, I was awarded his senate seat. However, being so young and with so little experience, I realised I was vulnerable and needed a patron and mentor inside the senate house. I was, however, determined not to be simply used for my vote, or to be manipulated by more powerful men. I attended several small senate sessions, assessing the tos and fros of the arguments and the decisions. At a certain time, however, I learnt of the powerful, yet at the time, little known figure of Cornelius Blasio. I approached him following a senate meeting which included rather heated discussion on how many amphorae of wine should be guests of honour at Senator Caivs Falerivs' feast. Without boring you with the details, I managed to acquire Blasio's patronage, and, a month later, his adoption. marrying his daughter in the process. He has been a father and a mentor to me when I most needed one, and has protected me from many of the vipers that infest our glorious powerhouse.

    And now, the southern legion is reborn. The might of Rome marches to capture the city of Taras in the south. I have just graduated from the Academy, and now is the perfect time to make my father proud. I have applied to join the Legion heading for Taras. But sometimes, I wonder. What's the point? They're never going to let me lead men-veterens-to war. A boy, they will see me as. I guess I will probably spend the rest of my life in Capua, or Arpi, or Arimium, the most exciting parts of my life being thieves in the market, or a fire in the Greek quarter. I dream of great things. Yet they are only dreams.
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    Last edited by /Bean\; 12-23-2008 at 22:28.
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    Servivs was drunk again. I say 'again' because it was the only the second time in his life that he had ever been drunk. The first time was in Ariminium. Now he was in Roma.

    He had once been deputy to the governor of Ariminium, not long after the days of conquest that had seen Rome's influence extend all the way to the Po Valley. Of course, that had been a good time for those corrupt members of the bureacracy to make a small profit on the side. And those that were caught, such as the governor of Ariminium, well, the threat of Pyhrros was enough of a distraction to prevent any serious punishment from being meted out.

    Someone HAD to be held accountable for the lost tax revenue, though. And what about that deputy?
    Like the esteemed governor said, he was the one who handled all the paperwork. A public whipping, a year of ditch digging, and a small burglary later, and Servivs was belting down fermented barley byproducts in a tavern while watching a military parade pass by.

    Troops headed for Taras, or so he heard. He rifled through his sack, extracted a few bronze coins from his meager collection, and handed them to the bartender.

    "Do you know anything about that?" he asked, pointing with his thumb at the marching infantry.

    The bartender looked at the contents of his palm and grated "Perhaps after you pay me for the other 5 drinks you've had?"

    Servivs fainted, falling from his stool onto the ground.
    Last edited by desert; 12-24-2008 at 00:39.

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    the universal person Member everyone's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    a few weeks later, the infantry unit arrives at the fort of Legio I Apulia, commanded by Legatus Cnaevs Cornelivs Scipio Asina, early in the winter's morning

    throughout the whole morning, the yelling of Drillmaster Manivs were heard throughout the fort, drilling the men into shape, so that they would not rot into ennui from months of sitting around in the fort, buried in the snow of the winter.

    A young man was seen travelling from the tent of Legatus Asina's deputy, Tribunus Cotta, to the Legate's tent and back. a few moments after the man returned to Tribunus Cotta's tent, Legatus Asina walked out of his Commander's tent while seemingly deep in thought. the soldiers halted their actions, and the fort was suddenly silent, without the yelling of Drillmaster Manivs and the men.
    Asina abruptly stopped and tilted his head up, and surveyed his surroundings, the men were all staring at him, as if awaiting orders.
    "eh? oh. carry on what you were doing, never mind about me."

    The soldiers were still silent, only until Drillmaster Manivs yelled "right! form up you lot, we'll now be having some combat drills!" did the soldiers proceed with what they were doing.

    Legatus Asina continued strolling towards the Tribunus' tent and entered it. what transpired in there was unknown, however it must have been something good because the Legate was seen chuckling to himself while on the way back to his tent, though the cold weather was getting harsher.

    The lunch bell finally rang and the men who have been training in the cold winter immediately dropped their weapons and dashed towards the cookhouse with a newfound energy.
    Last edited by everyone; 12-24-2008 at 03:21.

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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    Tribunus Cotta exits his tent moments after the Legatus, and calls after him

    "Legatus, why are the men training in winter?"

    While everyone else looks on, mystified at this seemingly inside joke, Legatus Asina and Tribunus Cotta share a smile
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    Just as a warning disclaimer, there is a slight use of language in this story. I believe this works as the story is taken from the frontline of war, a place where foul language was a common sound. I have kept it to a minimum, but if you seriously offended let me know. Where it is in use, I assure you I have thought about its use and whether it is neccessary, and I believe it echoes the feel of the frontline, making the experience more enjoyable.
    Thank you.


    The Frontline: Personal account of the Battle for Tarentum-Caivs Avrelivs Cotta, senior Tribune Legio I Apulia

    Legio I Apulia Fort-Aprilis 482 A.U.C
    “Move out! First Cohort, forward march!” The booming voice of the Senior Centurion bellowed out across the fort, as the heavy wooden gates began to swing open, pulled by invisible hands. The heavy tramp of boots kicked up a cloud of dust and a thundering monotone of audio vibrated through the earth as the head of the Legio I Apulia began its long march to the walls of Tarentum.
    The dust and the noise affected my horse, and she whinnied softly under my legs, until I calmly patted her neck and held tightly onto the reins. My horse quietened down, and nuzzled her head into her companions’ beside her. Sat astride this white steed was my commanding officer and general of the legion, Cnaevs Cornelivs Scipio Asina. A hard and stubborn man, he was at many times difficult to get along with, especially with habit of pointing out weaknesses and faults in my fellows’ personality and actions. However, the Legatus was also a forgiving and honourable man who had shown me immense kindness and decency, though he would never admit it to anyone’s face. At the tender age of just seventeen, and with no father and no military experience, he had recognised my potential skill in leading men and applying strategy-not to mention the keen hand I had evolved in swordplay. Despite many arguments and insults, he had made me his senior Tribune in the Legion; effectively placing me as second in command of five thousand troops. I owed him a lot.
    “So, Tribune. How does it feel to watch our soldiers march to victory? It will be a site you will soon be accustomed to, I think.” I kept my eyes on the passing legionaries, my hands on the reins.
    “You seem so sure of a great victory, General. How can that these recruits can best an army of blooded Tarentines?” Asina glanced across at me, one eyebrow raised.
    “You seem to have your opinions of the forces at work the wrong way round, Tribune. A force of recruits, indeed. Blooded veterans? These are trained soldiers of Rome, with months of training by the best officers our country can provide. And by you, of course.” A grin adorned his face and the other Tribunes around us chuckled. I knew better than to respond to that. “Atop that, they face not an enemy blooded by war with experience of every hell this earth has to offer, but a small core of part time soldiers, intermixed with old men and young boys, who have never before heard or seen the horrors of war. We only have one, on the other hand.” Again the tribunes smiled at the blatant insult, but once more I chose to ignore it. I gritted my teeth, my hold tightened on the reins. My horse sensed my anger, and was restless beneath me, until I brought her back to a standstill.
    Asina grinned, as the last few men of the First Cohort marched past them. He motioned to those around him, as the group readied to set off. “Shall we, Tribune Cotta?” He motioned with his hand, and with forced enthusiasm I smiled.
    “Please, Legatus, after you. I insist.” A short bark of laughter burst from the general’s mouth, before he dug his heels into his mount, as he and the rest of the colour party trotted out after the already distant men of the Legion’s First Cohort. I scowled at the Legatus’ remarks. It did no good to undermine my authority over the other tribunes, though at least I had avoided making myself sound young and spoilt. However, I knew I would not receive any respect from these bigoted aristocrats until I had proved my worth in battle. This, I vowed as I grabbed the reins of my horse, would be accomplished in the upcoming battle. I dug in my heels, and galloped through the gate to catch up to the Legatus, leaving behind the heavy tramp of feet as the Legion began to march.

    “Open the gates! Open the gates! Officer of the watch, report to the gate on the double.” I heard the call, and adorned my crested helmet, before marching smartly out of the tower where I had taken a few moments to relive myself. As I walked out, the bright sunlight pierced my eyes as I squinted in an attempt to minimise the discomfort. Ahead was the main gate of the hastily erected, yet strongly constructed, marching camp of the Legio I Apulia.
    Set upon a small hill, it overlooked the urban centre of Tarentum about three miles distant, across the flat, rolling plains that preceded the port city to the north, interspersed by the odd copse and a small lake. The long road ran adjacent to the fort, across the plains, and ran between the lake and sea all the way to Tarentum. It was the only road in and out of the city.
    The gates were being swung open as I doubled my step, rushing to meet the camp Prefect. Although I was officially the second in command of the entire legion, that was on paper only. The camp Prefect would always be the most veteran soldier in the Legion, with a highly distinguished career, and received the utmost respect of every soul that followed the Legion, including the general. Upon the Legatus’ absence, the Prefect would basically be in charge until his return, or, upon news of his death, would solely elect the next officer to take temporary command, until a new general was billeted. The Legio I Apulia was no exception. Prefect Cato was a veteran of some twenty seven years with the legions, and had lived through some of the most horrific wars our Republic had yet seen.
    As I approached, I unconsciously straightened my back and raised my head, trying to emit an aura of confidence and authority. However this turned harder and harder as I approached the figure of Prefect Cato, and I trembled slightly as he caught site of me. My heart beat faster as I worked to contain a sense of order and fearlessness. In truth I was scared of him. Who wouldn’t be? He could kill you with his bare hands in two seconds flat, or snap you like a twig if you so much as looked at him funny.
    “Nice of you to join us at last, Tribune Cotta. Perhaps next time you can have a quickie in the corner when it’s not your turn on watch.” The soldiers within earshot could barely suppress their grins and sniggers, and my cheeks burned with humiliation.
    “I don’t know. The youth of today. They just can’t keep their little soldiers in line for more than five minutes without making them stand tall.” That made one of the guards spurt a small snort of laughter out of his nose before he could control himself. Prefect Cato looked over, amused.
    “Do you find this funny, Flaccus?” Cato enquired, marching smartly over. The guard snapped instantly to attention, all trace of laughter gone from him lips. Cato stood in front of him, eyes looking him over. Then he turned his gaze back to me.
    “Tribune, this man has insulted you-a superior officer. This requires discipline.” I couldn’t believe it. What worse act could the Prefect order for me to do? I knew I had to do it. Refusing would ruin any chance I had to earn respect in his eyes, and that would be exactly what he wanted. Yet I could not be too harsh on this soldier when it was not his fault I felt this shame. “Tribune! This man needs punishing at once!” Cato was clearly enjoying this. I marched over to the soldier, hands behind my back. He kept his eyes staring straight ahead over my shoulder. I could not think what to do. I could see Cato out of the corner of my eye, sniggering. I knew I had to do something.
    “Name and rank, soldier,” I said at last.
    “Titus Flavius Albus. Second Hastati of the Third Cohort, sir,” he answered at once. Although he was a new recruit, fresh into the army following the defeat of Pyrrhus several years earlier, this man had obviously proved a reasonably good soldier to stand in the second line. Wrong to exile him from the army then. However, too light a punishment would undermine my authority. I realised this was a good chance to show what kind of officer I was.
    “Titus Flavius Albus. You are hereby sentenced to three weeks of latrine duty and you will receive half of your promised spoils from Tarentum.” I could tell the soldier was shocked, and for an instant his mouth opened in a small ‘o’, before he clamped it shut again. Noticing this, I decided to add a small amount to his punishment. “And you’ll be spending the first week using your mouth to clean out those latrines, Albus. Maybe with everyone else’s crap in your mouth you won’t have enough space to spout your own.” His mouth twitched slightly, before he realised he could let his punishment get any worse.
    Behind me, Prefect Cato roared with laughter.
    “Haha, that’s more like it, lad. Showing a little backbone now, aren’t you. Alright, let’s get ready to receive the scouts. Oh, and as for you, Albus. Run along. Forget the punishment, you got lucky this time. Come on, Tribune.” But I stayed where I was.
    “Prefect, I have given this man an order; and a punishment at that. He will serve his time.” Cato turned, an eyebrow raised.
    “Oh, come off it, Cotta. He didn’t do anything. He laughed, that’s all, at a joke. And unless you want to punish the scallywag that made that joke...” he smiled. We both knew I could never uphold that. But I was adamant that I had to show my authority.
    “That does not matter, Prefect. I have given this man a punishment. He will serve it. I am the commanding officer; this is my watch, and my legionary. If you have a problem with me disciplining him, perhaps you would like to take this to the Legatus?”
    “You called, Tribune Cotta?” I snapped to attention as Legatus Asina arrived at the gate, though my eyes did not leave Prefect Cato. Cato held my gaze, before slowly nodding, also saluting the general. “Anything to say, have we, gentlemen?” Asina looked between us both.
    “No sir. I was just punishing this legionary for some lip. Prefect Cato was just checking in to oversee the return of the scouts.” Legatus Asina looked between us both.
    “Is that true, Prefect?” Cato held my gaze for a while longer, before nodding.
    “Yes sir. That’s about the gist of it.”
    “Good,” Asina continued. “But that had better be it. I’ll have no bad blood between you two, if not for yourselves than for the safety of the legion. Now, shake hands gentlemen.” Although it was a childish thing to do, I agreed with the general’s motive. I offered my hand to the Prefect. He looked at it, and me, before grinning, and clutched my forearm in a tight grip. He nodded to me, and I felt I had gained a small measure of respect from this man.
    “Now then,” the Legatus spoke again, “Can we at last see to these scouts? We must find out what’s happening.” We could hear the hooves now, and a moment later the two scouts slowed to enter the camp. As they dismounted, one took the reins of both horses, while the other headed towards our little party, saluting smartly yet rather tiredly before us.
    “Tell us, Lucius. What news of the enemy?” Asina enquired. The scout, Lucius, began to make his report.
    “General, the Tarentines have ordered their entire army to assemble and report to the city. From what we could gather, it comprises of a small core of full time hoplite foot soldiers and a company of elite skirmish cavalry. Other than that, their force is a mixture of levied footmen and skirmishes. Most of their full time soldiers were killed during the first Tarentine war, and they have been forced drag farmers and shopkeepers into their army.
    Most of their forces have now gathered inside the city walls, but they are ill-supplied to withstand a siege. Although we failed to take the city before, we did raze the high walls that protected them. Now these walls are smaller and far weaker, and would not last long against an assault. It is most likely they will look to engage us on the plains.” The scout paused. Asina took a moment to absorb this information, before he again questioned the scout.
    “How soon can they move out of the city?” The scout answered with little pause.
    “It would most likely take them an hour or more to assemble. Their army is weak and disorganised, poorly equipped and untrained. There are more levies drifting in all the time from the surrounding villages and farms.” This attracted the Legatus’ attention.
    “In how many numbers? Large groups? A few men at a time?”
    “Usually they will assemble somewhere, and then march towards the city in a unit, sir. It gives the impression of strength and cohesion to the people, though I suspect they easily see through this ruse.” Asina nodded slowly, turning to think. Already, an idea had formed in my mind.
    “That’s how we draw them out,” Asina said. I realised he had been thinking the same as I.
    “An ambush on these units of levies,” I finished. Asina turned to look at me, nodding in agreement. Prefect Cato looked at me in mild surprise, before he too nodded. Asina continued.
    “We’ll draw these units near; then we’ll deploy the legion and let them raise the alarm. The rest of the army will arrive from the city and we will destroy them through brute strength.” I spoke in agreement, as did the Prefect. “Good. Lucius, tell your riders to inform me of any approaching unit of levies immediately.” The scout saluted, and remounted his horse. Together with his companion, they galloped away from the camp.
    Legatus Asina watched them leave, before turning to us.
    “If we’re lucky, we can finish off this army and take the city without having to resolve to a lengthy and costly siege, and the risk of Epirite intervention. A rabble of farmers will not withstand the might of the Legions at any rate.” The Legatus turned to me. “Tribune, I leave you to assemble the men. We must make ready to march as soon as one of these units arrives. We’ll leave one cohort here to protect the camp. I leave the designation to you.” I had just the cohort in mind, actually. Asina continued. “Prefect Cato, you will take charge of the camp while we are absent. If all goes well, I will call for you to take the First Cohort in to secure the surrender of the city.” Cato nodded. Just as the Legatus was turning away, we heard the gallop of hoof beats. I shouted up to the tower.
    “Lookout, report.” The answer was fairly swift.
    “The scouts return, sir. Lucius and his mate.” I looked questioningly at the Legatus, but he held the same expression.
    “Open the gates!” I called. Lucius galloped through, not bothering to dismount as he hurriedly saluted the general.
    “Spit it out, man!” Asina called.
    “Sir, scouts report a unit of infantryman moving across the plains towards the city. Exactly what we’re looking for, sir.” Asina smiled.
    “Thank you, Lucius.” He turned to me. “Sound the call-to-arms, Tribune. We march now. Send out the Equites to slow them down. Leave one cohort here, and march the rest down to the plains now.”
    “Yes, sir!” I saluted, and trotted off to find the trumpet bearer. I signalled to him to sound the call-to-arms, and the shrill brass notes of the trumpet soon sounded over the camp, as all over the camp men struggled into armour and grabbed their weapons, before responding to the harsh calls of the centurions to get to the Parade Square on the double. After joining the Legatus here, I cast my eye over the assembled Legion. It was a fine site. Untested, many of them may be. But they made a fine show of strength and order.
    Legatus Asina stepped to the front of the men, and raised his voice over their heads.
    “Soldiers of Rome! I stand here before you today as nothing but a man. Though maybe of higher rank, of a different class, more wealth and a seat in the Senate, I am but a man, like each of you here today. All men die, their possessions in this world prove to be meagre and worthless at the end. We are not remembered for what we own, not for how long we lived or how many drinks we can handle before falling under the table. Men are remembered for the deeds they perform, actions they accomplish, honour they have gained in their short spells upon this earth.
    “Today, we have a chance to prove that. Today, we march to defeat an enemy of the Republic, and a collaborator in our country. We march to avenge the wrongs done, the brave lives lost to Greek swords and spears. Today, you have a chance to set your names into history itself!” A great cheer followed the general’s speech, as swords and spears were raised into the air in celebration. Asina beheld their cheers for a moment longer, before he nodded to me to take the platform. I took his place, while he mounted his white steed. I called out to the assembled masses, now that the cheers had died down.
    “Infantry and skirmish cohorts will double march to the plains and assemble before the city. The Equites will ride out now to harass the enemy. The Third Cohort will remain in their positions to guard the camp. Move out!” The assembled legion rippled as each cohort moved to follow orders, and I saw the gates open to allow the horsemen of the Equites stream out down the hillside.
    Satisfied, I joined the Legatus and the rest of the colour party, mounted and ready to lead the army out. Asina was going through the battle strategy one more time.
    “...in this formation. We will envelop the infantry from all sides, and cause them to flee or surrender. This fight will be short and bloody, gentlemen. Prepare for it.” I mounted my horse, as the First Cohort began to trot out of the gate. Our horses fell in behind, and I looked over to Asina.
    “General, do we plan to get involved in this fight?” He looked over, amused.
    “Yes, Tribune. It’s been too long since we’ve seen some action. I can’t wait to wet my sword.” He chuckled. “Your first military encounter, Tribune? You’ll get through it, don’t you worry. Just keep a tight grip on your sword, and keep control of your men. You’ll sail through it.” I nodded, but inside I was squirming. I had no idea at the time of the horrors of war, I had not yet killed a man, had not stared death in the face. I hoped I could uphold my promise to my father and to myself, to not dishonour my name or my family by running, to serve well the Senate and People of Rome.
    We exited the camp at a trot, and faced the slope towards the plains. I could see the darting forms of the Equites, swarming round a block of infantry attempting to reach the distant walls of the city. And in the distance, I could see the first flashes on sunlight on polished metal, as the army of Tarentum began to assemble before the city walls. I clutched tightly onto the reins, and whispered a quick prayer to the Gods. Today was going to be bloody.


    I heard the shill blast of the trumpet from the Legatus’ position on the left wing, as his horsemen began to overtake the infantry line. There was the signal for us to advance as well. I signalled to my fellows around me, as we dug our heels into our mounts’ ribs and began to gallop. Ahead, the Second Cohort was engaging the unit of levied infantry that we had spotted from the camp, and drawing closer all the time were the forces of Tarentum. It was clear we needed to deal with these and reform the line before the main Tarentine army arrived. Already we could see the skirmishing cavalry begin to break away from the infantry in an attempt to perhaps rescue their stricken companions.
    As the enemy levies desperately attempted to form a close packed phalanx, the Second Cohort swarmed around them, darting their short swords in and out from behind their tall shields, dodging the long sharp spear heads of the enemy. Although this tactic was never going to break the enemy, it did not need to on its own. As the enemy infantry focused their attention on the Second Cohort, our cavalry regiments would encircle them from behind.
    My body was taught with tension; this was it. I was about to enter into the fighting. As we cantered past the fighting infantry, I watched as one of the Hastati failed to duck behind his shield in time. An enemy spear caught him on the chin, and pierced his jaw. Blood spurted, covering his shocked face, twisted in pain, before it was quickly withdrawn, and the man dropped to the ground. Closer, I saw one of the levy infantry drop his shield and turn to flee. However, he got no more than half a pace before the sharp swords of the Hastati punctured his back in several places, and he fell, coughing bloody phlegm. The screams of the wounded, mixed with the dull thud of the shields and the sharp ring of metal on metal pierced my ears, and my heart beat with anxiety and panic. My horse felt the tension, and stiffened in response. I forced myself to relax; if the men around me saw me waver, they would never follow me again. I knew they were testing me, my first taste of combat, to see if I would fight or run. I vowed to never show any weakness, but to lead these men to glory.
    The rest of our legion marched across the plain in a rather disorderly fashion, fuelled as they were by the promise of battle. The Legatus’ cavalry had almost reached its position; it was time. I signalled to our trumpet bearer, and drew my long cavalry sword. A harsh cry of the trumpet, and my sword glittered in the sunlight as I brought it up high into the air. My horseman wheeled around, armed with spears and cavalry swords, and let out a great cheer, as they thundered towards the unprotected rear of the enemy phalanx.
    My heart pounded against my chest as I led the charge. My horse snorted beneath me, and I levelled my sword tip, aiming for a glinting helmet. Hearing the charge, the men to the rear of the phalanx glanced around, and almost fell to their knees in horror, as our cavalry thundered towards them. The one I had targeted let out a cry of warning to his comrades, and some managed to turn their shields and spears around to face us. But then we were upon them.
    Like a giant wave of water from the sea set loose by Neptune on a small coastal village, so our cavalry smashed their way into the enemy ranks, the horses crashing mercilessly into the unprepared ranks of soldiers. As I reached the enemy line, my lips produced a powerful roar, straight from the pit of my stomach. I brought my long sword crashing down over the soldier’s head, splitting his skull in two, as he desperately attempted to cover his body with his bowl shaped shield. A burst of hot blood splattered horrifically across the neck of my horse, and my face felt warm and wet. Spears snapped and shields splintered as our horsemen ploughed through the rear of the enemy phalanx.
    So great was the momentum of our initial charge, the Hastati of the Second Cohort to the enemy’s front pulled back, as line upon line of their foes fell face first upon the grass, toppled by the ranks behind. Momentarily relieved of the pressure to their front, the enemy phalanx began to bring their long spears to bear on our exposed cavalry, who, having the lost the momentum of the charge, now fought stationary from horseback amidst the round shields and darting spears of the enemy.
    I realised the danger we were in, and looked round wildly for the trumpet bearer. I saw him, some way behind me, and attempted to grab his attention. Suddenly, seemingly from nowhere, a crested helmet and a patterned shield loomed up on my left. My horse rears up, as I struggle to maintain my position on its back, desperately clutching onto the saddle horns. My sword slips from my grasp, and I topple from my horse. I landed heavily, the breath knocked out of me. All around, greaved legs and horse’s hoofs crush the ground, trampling everything underfoot. I see the handle of my sword, and crawl painfully to reach it. As my fingers scratch the hilt, the warrior who had so startled my horse towers above me, and I just have time to wrap my fingers around my sword as the sharpened point of the spear descends towards my throat. Rolling athletically to the side, I dodge the spear, but it does pierce my cloak, pinning me to the ground. A roar of triumph erupts from my foe’s throat, as he lifts his shield, intending to smash the edge into my body. Desperately I wriggle in an attempt to free myself, but, remembering my sword, I hurriedly bring it to bear over my body. I knew at once it was pointless attempting to deflect the shield, so I laid it flat below the descending shield. Just in time. The rim of the shield smashed down onto my thigh, and would pierce the skin, possibly to the bone, had it not connected with the flat blade of my sword. I could feel the massive force behind the blow, and my leg felt as if it had just been struck with a blacksmith’s hammer. However, it still worked, and with a snarl of fury I kicked upwards, and my sandal connected heavily with my assailants’ lower spine. He stumbled; the momentum of his attack and my retaliation hitching him forward. I lifted my sword, swinging it round towards his legs. He saw it just in time, and managed to block it with his shield. The dull clang of sword on shield rang through my ears, but for now I at least had secured a moments respite. His spear still pinned my cloak to the floor, so I hurriedly ripped the clasp from around my shoulder, picking myself up from the floor. My damaged leg was numb, but I gritted my teeth against the pain, readying my sword.
    My opponent had recovered, and now lifted his spear. Covering himself with his shield, he advanced towards me, a menacing grin spilling through his helmet. With no shield of my own, and armed only with a sword, I felt horridly exposed. However, I had practiced many long hours in swordsmanship and combat, and had quickly grown a reputation within the legion. I knew my business. As he drew nearer, I crouched low, sword at the ready. His spear licked out, and I parried it away. However his shield smashed into my body and I fell sprawling to the ground, dazed. He loomed over me, his long spear ready to pierce my heart.
    Desperately, I looked around. A dead legionary lay next to me, his tall shield covering his body. I reached an arm, and wrenched it over to cover my own. The spear penetrated the heavy shield, catching me on the arm, causing a sharp sting of pain. However, the spear was stuck in the shield, and I lifted it up over my head, thrusting my sword out as I did so. My opponent swung his own shield around to stop the blow, but accompanied with the pull on this spear and the forward thrust of his shield he toppled forward, over my head. I leapt back up to my feet, in time to meet my enemy before he could recover his weapon. I charged him with a blood fuelled yell, and smashed my sword against his shield. Again and again I brought my sword crashing down, and each time his response grew weaker, as the shock of the sword sent ripples of pain through his shield arm. Finally, he could stand it no longer, and his shield slipped from his grasp. Sensing my victory, I charged once more, but stumbled on a strewn out corpse.
    I fell heavily, my sword flying from my grasp. Winded, I struggled to get up, before a fist flew out of nowhere and struck me heavily in the chest. Time after time the fists connected with my battered body, sending waves of pain through me entire structure. I attempted to ward off the blows, but it was useless against such an onslaught. Finally, a blow landed heavily on my chin, and I fell backwards onto the grass.
    My assailant towered above me. He removed his helmet, revealing a blooded face and long sweat-matted hair. He looked about thirty, with huge muscular arms and a broad chest. I felt minute beneath him.
    “I’m going to enjoy this,” he spat, a gleam of murder in his eyes. He drew a short dagger from his waist, and stood poised to strike it down upon me. There was nothing I could do. I closed my eyes, and waited for the sharp pain of death. But it never came. Risking a glance, I opened one eye, just in time to see a powerful white horse looming above me, and a long sword come slicing down to smash open my opponent’s face. I looked up, recognising my trumpet bearer, who held the reins of my horse in one hand, his bloody sword in the other. His trumpet dangled from his belt.
    “Are you alright, Tribune?” he called down to me. I rose, and spat a bloody tooth to the floor. “We must pull out, sir. Our horsemen will be annihilated if we stay. I nodded in agreement, as I swung myself painfully into the saddle of my horse, and took the reins.
    “Call the retreat,” I ordered my companion. He nodded, raising his instrument to his lips. The sharp triple call of the retreat rang through the constant din of battle, as our remaining cavalry turned and forced their way through the mass of spearmen.
    I dug my heels into the side of my horse, and we ploughed our way through the press of bodies, sending those who refused to part the way sprawling onto the blood soaked floor, or crushed under the pounding hooves and trampling feet of those around them. As we passed the point where I had felled my opponent, I spotted my sword sticking straight up from the ground. Adjusting my position, I leant sideways out of the saddle, snatching the hilt as we rode past. Once more armed and mounted, my crested helmet still adorning my head, I rode out of the immediate danger. As the last of our horsemen departed, the Hastati of the Second Cohort charged once more, surprising the exhausted and confused phalanx.
    I reached the rest of my men as they halted about two hundred yards behind the enemy infantry. There were several missing from the ranks of blood soaked and sweat-matted soldiers and horses before me, but those who remained sat tall in their saddles, panting huge clouds of condensation into the air. Steams of sweat rose from the horses, as they shuffled their hooves and shook their heads; their riders kept them under control.
    Looking over the heads of my men, I saw the approaching forces of Tarentum, still a couple of miles off. The cavalry was ranging ahead, and would reach us within minutes. We had to deal with the threat quickly. Our infantry was still in disorder across the plain; their marching orders forgotten amongst the excitement of their first engagement. Only the more experienced and older soldiers of the First Cohort marched in complete order towards the position that had been allocated to them on the plain. Their job would be to engage the more professional soldiers of the enemy; the hoplites.
    Over my shoulder, I heard the sharp trill of the charge, and turned just in time to watch the Legatus’ cavalry plough into the flank of the enemy phalanx. Screams of the injured and dying men reached my ears, and I saw the lines of spearmen buckle and shift. I knew what I had to do.
    “Sound the charge!” I yelled to the trumpeter. Spears were lowered and swords were raised once more, as our call to charge echoed across the plain. We pushed our tired horses forwards across the open ground, dashing towards the enemy formation in one last attempt to break them. It was almost unnecessary. As soon as the few remaining men of the levied phalanx once more heard the trumpet call, they threw down their dented shields and shattered spears. In their bloodlust, several of the Hastati and cavalry skewered the surrendered, before order was restored. I raised my hand, and my cavalry slowed to a trot, until we arrived at the scene.
    The remaining enemy were being roughly pushed towards the rear of the battle line by the men of the Second Cohort, stumbling over the prostrated bodies of the fallen. Blood soaked mud and weapon strewn grass carpeted the area, and men lay at obscene angles across it all. I stared at the result of the fighting, unsure of my emotions. I was neither horrified nor exulted, but felt a rather strange indifference to it all, as if it was simply a symbol of our victory and our ultimate superiority.
    I spotted the crested helmet of the army commander, and made my way towards him. The Legatus was issuing orders to the Tribunes and Centurions around him, pointing behind him towards the advancing forces of Tarentum. As I drew up before him, he finished with his officers and turned towards me.
    “Tribune, sort this battle line out. The bloody rookies are everywhere. Position your cavalry on the right, and sort this rabble out before the enemy sees them. We’ll be the laughing stock of the country!” I stood still for a moment. I had expected some sort of congratulation; at the very least an acknowledgment of my continued existence. But all I received was this rather harsh bollocking from my commander. When he saw I had not moved, he stared at me in amazement.
    “Tribune, that’s an order. Get a move on!” I saluted, wheeling my horse around, returning to my cavalry. To my right, our infantry were streaming forward, indeed with no hint of order or sense. If they engaged the enemy phalanxes in such a state they would be in for a nasty surprise, no matter how hard they had trained or how green the enemy were.
    Collecting my cavalry along the way, I galloped back towards our infantry, intent on reorganising it immediately. And immediately was exactly what was needed. The enemy army was less than a mile off, and the cavalry were already cutting across the front to endanger our left flank. As I watched, I saw the Legatus signal to his cavalry, and they began to ride in the aim of cutting off the flanking attempt.
    Leaving my men to secure the infantry’s right flank, I raced with my trumpet bearer to find to reform the line. As I drew near the centre, I ordered the trumpeter to sound the halt. At first, most of the men did not respond, save for the First Cohort, who neatly and abruptly came to a standstill in the centre of the line. I signalled again for the halt to me made, and one by one the cohorts realised, beginning to trot back to the centre. Turning to my companion, I said:
    “Centurions to me.” He once again lifted the instrument to his lips, and relayed the order. Soon, I saw individuals separate themselves from the mass and come trotting over. As they arrived, the slowed, panting. I waited till the furthest men had arrived, before speaking to them in a hushed tone.
    “Gentlemen, I must be frank. What kind of piss-poor excuse is this for an army? You’re letting them run like wild children across a meadow. Those toss-pots are barely half a mile away. We’re about to go into battle, not for a game of chase before a leisurely dip in the sea. Get a grip on your men, or you’ll be shovelling out of the latrines for the rest of your sodding lives!” A few of them stared at me, aghast, while others simply dipped their heads in shame. I needed neither of these reactions. I wanted men leading the troops, not stroppy teenagers or boys acting like they had just walked mud into the house. I was coming down on them hard because these were meant to be the leaders, the battle hardened veterans who had seen it all and had grown accustomed to following orders. One, the commander of the Fourth Cohort (Gaius, if I recalled correctly), stood tall and returned my stare.
    “We’ll sort it out. No need to worry. We’ll just blame it on the rookies.” I could not believe this man. I dismounted, and marched over to him. I was not a particularly tall person, but then neither was he. My eyes drew level with his mouth, but I drew myself up to my full height, before responding.
    “Centurion Gaius, if you utter one more sentence I’ll have your balls for breakfast. Clear?” His eyes went wide, and he drew his hands up in mock surrender.
    “Whoa, steady on, lad.” Furiously, I ripped the man’s vine cane-the symbol of his centurion rank-from under his arm. Clutching it hard in my hand, I stood as close as I could to him.
    “Name and rank!” I spat at him. He looked at me incredulously.
    “What?” he said stupidly.
    “Name and rank, soldier, now!”
    “Centurion Marcus Fabius Gaius, commander of the Fourth Cohort of the Legio I Apulia.”
    “Wrong! No centurion in this army would consistently refuse to acknowledge superior rank, would refer to a Senior Tribune as ‘lad’, no matter how young, and would have so little honour and self respect to name plans to pass his own -ups onto the lower orders. You’re no more a centurion than you are valorous.” This sparked a reaction from the older man, who so far had responded only with an on-going stare of ironic disbelief. As I finished, he drew himself up to his full height, and puffed out his chest.
    “No one calls me a coward,” he snarled. However, before he could take it further, he was grabbed from behind by those around him, and restrained successfully. Kneeling on the grass, he looked around him in anger.
    “Fools! Unhand me at once. I am an officer of this legion.” I stepped forward.
    “No longer, Marcus Fabius Gaius. Henceforth, you are stripped of your current rank and you will be placed under military arrest for the charges of insubordination and refusal to respond to orders. Centurion Bestia?”
    “Yes, sir?” The commander of the First Cohort responded.
    “Centurion, place this man in irons and have him removed to the rear.”
    “Gladly, sir,” Bestia acknowledged. He marched over to the kneeling Gaius, removing iron shackles from his kitbag as he did so. “You’ve had this coming for a long time, Gaius,” he said to the shamed man. Gaius continued to shout.
    “I demand to speak the Legatus. On whose authority is this?” I stepped towards him.
    “My own. Senior Tribune Caius Aurelius Cotta of the Legio I Apulia. You will be removed from your command and will face trial as soon as circumstances permit.”
    Calling on two men from the rear lines, Bestia followed his orders, removing the still seething Gaius to the rear.
    “Who is the Second Centurion of the Fourth Cohort?” I asked the still assembled men. One stepped forward; a strong looking fellow who looked as if he had seen a few fights. “Your name?” I enquired.
    “Albinius Herius Falco, sir.” I nodded.
    “Centurion Falco, I place you in temporary position of Cohort Commander.”
    “Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.” He saluted, and I acknowledged him.
    “Now, gentlemen, if we may be able to return to the matter at hand?” Murmurs of affirmation passed through.
    “Good. We have pressing matters to attend to. The enemy will be upon us soon; we must dress the battle line. The First Cohort will hold the centre, with the Second, and Fourth Cohorts either side. The Fifth Cohort and the auxiliaries will make up the reserve. The cavalry will protect the flanks. Is that clear?” A few nods answered me. “I can’t hear you.” A loud chorus of “Yes, sir!” followed. I nodded, satisfied. “The why are you still standing here? Get a move on, we haven’t got all day.”
    As the men around me hurried back to their respective cohorts, I watched as the battle line quickly evolved into the orderly formation of the legions. To the left, the Legatus’ cavalry had routed their enemy counterparts, and were returning to resume their protection of the army’s left flank. I too should return to the flank.
    Remounting my horse, I, with my trumpet bearer, returned to my cavalry waiting on the right flank of the now formed up battle line. As I passed the men of the Fourth Cohort, I received an ongoing cheer from the soldiers. I was quickly taken up, but I was at the time ignorant of its source. I was not until after the battle I learned of the soldiers’ relief at the demotion of their previous Cohort commander; the man had as it turned out been excessively bullish and violent.
    As the current crisis of our own battle line evened out, I finally got a chance to see the enemy’s deployment. They marched forward in a wide front; the whole of the frontline bristled with spear points, with the sun reflecting brightly off polished bronze shields and helmets. The army appeared organised and purposeful; the centre housed the heaviest infantry; the hoplites. With the enemy cavalry routed from the field, however, the infantry faced the danger of being outflanked on both sides.
    They drew steadily nearer, and I began to hear the heavy tramp of boots and the jingle of equipment as they marched across the plain towards us. They were a magnificent site, and although I had tasted combat once today I felt a deep melancholy that our army would be forced to battle these splendid foes.
    At last, the waiting was over. Almost without pausing, the enemy infantry smashed into the front battle line of our legion. As the auxiliaries let fly javelins, slingshot and various other missiles over the heads the legionaries, they were answered in kind by volley after volley of deadly arrows, zipping through the air with the thwack of taught bowstrings mixing with the dull clash of metal as the lines met. The enemy infantry covered the length of our own infantry battle line, and without wing support, their flanks were amazingly open. I knew the Legatus must have noticed this, for through the din of battle I was sure heard the call to advance. Looking round to my remaining men, I nodded to the trumpet bearer, who raised his instrument and echoed the call. Slow at first, then with increasing swiftness, our cavalry broke away from the wings, and rode past the engaged infantry.
    As we finally rounded the battle line, I saw no sign of the Legatus’ cavalry. Inwardly I began to panic. Had that really been the call to advance? If not, we had left the right flank open behind us. If the enemy realised...
    The sky above me suddenly darkened as the enemy toxotai let loose another volley over the heads of their mates in the frontline. I realised, ordered to or not, that we had to stop them.
    “Form the line!” I called to my men, who hastily led their horses side by side, hooves stamping in the mud. As another volley sailed over our heads, I drew my sword, levelling it with the enemy. Our men started forward. By the time the first of the toxotai noticed us drawing closer and shouted a warning, I had already called the charge, and the stinging notes of the trumpet blasted through the air. The archers would have time for one for volley, I realised as I charged forward. If they aim it at us, we’re all dead.
    “Faster, you fools! Ride them down!” I shouted over the wind blasting past my ears, urging my mount forward, crouching low in the saddle. As the first arrows began to sail through the air, time seemed to slow. I watched the arrows fly wildly, falling short or sailing harmlessly over our heads. These peltasts were not trained to receive a charge, and they had neither the training nor courage to calmly notch and fire into our ever closer forms. By the time they had begun to flee, it was too late; we were among them, swords slashing and spears stabbing into their unprotected bodies. But there were many of them. If they simply realised this, and turned on us, we would be in trouble. It was then that Asina’s cavalry ploughed into the opposite flank of the toxotai, scattering any remaining spirit of retaliation, as they abandoned their bows and arrows, turned on their heels, and fled the field.
    I called the pursuit, but was answered by the signaller from the Legatus’ own cavalry to join with him. By now we were directly behind the main battle, some three hundred yards distant. Cantering over, I saluted the Legatus as I recognised him. His sword was bloody, and his face glistened with sweat, but he appeared unharmed.
    “Tribune, where is your injury?” he asked me as I approached. Confused, I questioned his inquiry. “Your face is covered in blood, Tribune. Have you received a head injury?” I raised a hand to my face. I felt my swollen lips, a bruise rising along my jaw and cheek. It must have been from the brute I had fought in the initial conflict. I realised my face must look a mess, but could not see why the Legatus should appear so alarmed by it. Surely he had seen bruises before. Then my hand touched something else, warm and wet. Bringing it away, I saw it was covered in blood. My blood? I could not feel any injury so bad, and I certainly did not remember any blow from a weapon. It was not until I saw the streak of blood that had stained the white coat of my horse that I remembered the man whose skull I had split, in the first few seconds among the enemy. I remembered the warm splatter up my horse, arms and face.
    “It’s not mine, sir. I’m fine,” I nodded. The Legatus simply nodded back, before continuing.
    “Our line is not holding, Tribune. The enemy phalanx is pushing our light troops back. If the line breaks, we’re finished.” I understood.
    “I’ll return to the line, sir. I’ll make sure it holds.”
    “No, Tribune. There is no guarantee we could make a difference from our side. We must attack.” I stared at him incredulously.
    “Attack, sir? That?” I pointed at the heaving mass of armoured infantry, stretching across nearly a half mile long front.
    “Yes, Tribune. If you wish to stay here and watch, so be it. The rest of you, with me.” I could not stay; we all knew that. Whispering a quick prayer to the Gods, hoping that the Legatus knew what he was doing, I joined the front ranks of the line, next to the Legatus himself. He nodded to me, grinning.
    “That’s more like it, Tribune. Let’s work up a bit of enthusiasm, shall we?” I laughed briefly, before again drawing my sword. I looked at the blood that had begun to dry, and to my astonishment wished to wet it again with the enemies’ blood. Was I becoming a monster? Or was it the thoughts of a soldier. I had no time to ponder on this. What happened after this was more of a blur; random images and memories I pieced together days or even weeks after the battle.
    “Sound the charge!” shouted the Legatus beside me. The trill of the horns, the shouts of men, the press of bodies. Armour clattered as the horses collided with the shields and bodies of the infantry, their faces twisted into murderous expressions and emitting bone-chilling war cries. Men fell around me; our own and the enemy. I was feet away from our own men on the ground when my horse was knocked from under me and I fell to the ground. I remember hitting the floor hard, rolling to break my fall. I immediately felt an acute claustrophobia from the heaving mass of bodies all around me; the crash and boom of the fighting amidst the screams of the wounded and dying, both men and horses.
    I was hauled to my feet by a soldier I did not know; a man of the First Cohort-I did not have time to learn his name, nor did I discover it after the battle. He simply hauled me to my feet, handed me his shield, before a spear thrust embedded itself in his throat. I avenged his death, along with every other man that was felled around me. Hacking, stamping, thrusting and screaming, we pushed them back, inwards and downwards. They had nowhere to go, so they stood and took the punishment. We piled up so many dead the survivors were tripping over the corpses, and crashing down in a heavy clash of equipment, before they too were killed where they fell. And I went to it with enthusiasm, just the way the Legatus had told me.

    It was evening when I returned to the camp, blood stained and weary. Our men had been trickling back all afternoon, amongst the piling of the dead, the envoy to Tarentum and simply the aftermath of the battle. My first battle, and already it has dashed my boyish dreams of heroes and honourable duels between men. There was no honour on the field of battle, no heroes save the dead that now carpeted the plain. The legionary that had saved my live by giving his own stayed with me, and I would be lying if I did not sometimes feel ashamed for his sacrifice. Surely he had been a better man than me, a stronger fighter, courageous and fierce. Yet now he was dead, simply another statistic to be sent back to Roma in signed report of our victory, glazed over by the simple fact we had won at little cost. I would like to say it made me sick to think of it, but it didn’t. I felt little difference, only a numb cold that told me things were simply there, events like this happened. It’s the way of the world, the price we must pay for our continued existence, the Legatus told me when I met with him later that night. It just so happened we excelled at it.
    I knew we had won; the city had surrendered as soon as Prefect Cato arrived at the city gates, demanding an entrance. Our losses were significantly smaller than they could have been, had it not been for the calm and knowledgeable presence of our commander. I looked to him in a new light; I had seen what he could do, and I vowed one day I would strive to match or even outdo his feats on the battlefield. He had a fine collection of men around him, and now his army was truly blooded. No more green recruits; the Cohorts had all had their fair share of combat today. It’s almost a shame many of those rejoicing outside the camp and in the city could soon die; we’re not staying long. Traitors hold the city of Rhegion, and we’ve been ordered to take it back and to deal with the rebels. I feel my life is only just beginning.

    Caivs Avrelivs Cotta, Senior Tribune Legio I Apulia, 482 A.U.C
    Last edited by TinCow; 04-14-2010 at 12:04.
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    Look out for the upcoming Warriors of the La Tene PBM, a new style of interactive EB gaming rising from the ashes of BtSH and WotB!
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    After fainting in a bar in Roma, Servivs woke up in the middle of the night to find himself lying in a pile of horse excrement. His headache was exacerbated by the smell of stale s**t a few centimeters from his nose.

    He also found that, to his misfortune, his little sack - which had contained all of his meager savings - was no longer in his possession. After wallowing in the filth for another minute, he suddenly sprang up onto unsteady feet, slipping a little on the fetid mush he had been lying on, and retched onto the street. He swore at the bartender, and accidentally swallowed a bit of bile.

    After choking there for a while, Servivs stood up fully, went over to the tavern he had been thrown out of, and urinated into the window. Hearing a shout from within, he half ran, half tottered off down the street, periodically emitting small spurts of urine.

    ---TWO YEARS LATER---

    A tan and muscular Servivs wandered the streets of Gnatia, a fairly important port city in Kalabria. It had quickly entered into alliance with Roma after the defeat of the Epeirote army near Tarentum, only a few months before. It was a fishing village when compared to huge Roma, but ever since getting chased out of Ausculum with only a loincloth and a stolen piglet clutched to his chest, Servivs had only sought work from freeman farmers, so being in a settlement of any size was a welcome relief.

    Servivs had steadily wandered south and east after that...ignominious...day in Roma, following the Legio I. He had stayed in several cities, villages, and farms, working at odd jobs for a small salary (only bronze coins, of course, never actual salt!). Eventually he had passed into independent land, although Roma was slowly working to integrate its people as allies. And now he was in Gnatia.

    Servivs planned on hiring himself as a crewman on a small ship, and maybe making his way towards Aitolia. He remembered that one of his grandfather's brothers, a trader, had settled with his family there, in one city or another.

    He found a suitably run-down tavern (because they sold the cheapest drinks), and entered it.

    As he waited for his drink, he overheard two Greeks speaking: "I've heard rumors that the Roman Senate is going to appoint a Scipio as provincial dictator of this whole region! With Taras as the administrative capital."

    And so the beginnings of a plan formed in Servivs's mind.
    Last edited by desert; 12-26-2008 at 23:01.

  8. #8
    the universal person Member everyone's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    outside the walls of Rhegion, a year after the fall of Taras.

    "damn this hot weather, we're going to take forever to finish these rams" Centurion Kaeso mumbled to himself.
    "come on men! we'll need to finish these rams by Autumn!"
    As Mediterranean sun hovers over the camp of Legio I Apulia, it scourges the soldiers, who had been harvesting the nearby woods for lumber to construct the rams since the beginning of the month.

    Dux Asina was strolling around the camp, looking for an inspiration to feed his newfound interest on poetry (OOC: Asina picked up the "fond of ribald rhymes" trait while in Taras); glancing around, he noticed that he happened to halt outside Tribunus Cotta's tent. pausing for thought, Asina decided to have a few words with Tribunus Cotta.
    "Good day, Tribunus"
    "Good day, sir", Cotta said as he rose from his seat.
    "I just remembered that I have not thanked you, during that battle in near Taras, when you helped to reform the battle line, I had initially expected one of the senior centurions to do so but it was you who had the initiative to act fast"
    "you're welcomed sir", Cotta said as he nodded.
    "anyway, that's all I've come in to say; it's rather sad that you'll complete your service so quickly, you're a fine tribune and I believe that you'll have a good military career ahead of you..." Asina suddenly looks up, after tilting his head down as he said the previous line, "but that'll probably be some months for now, anyway may fortune favour your blade for the battle next season"

    As he stepped out of the Tribunus' tent, the watchman in the camp's lookout tower yells "horseman spotted!"
    "ah, that must be the messenger I sent to Rome a week ago", Asina thought to himself as he strode towards the gate.

    "Sir, I've just returned from Rome and I bring news that Tribunus Pvblivs Atilivs Regvlvs has accepted your invitation for another Tribunus to join Legio I Apulia" the horseman said, upon dismounting.
    "very well. For now I have no other orders, just leave your horse in the stables, your fellow eqvites are currently in the canteen having their lunch"

    With that, Asina suddenly decides to inspect the progress on the rams.
    "ah, Centurion Kaeso, I trust the progress of construction is going well?" Asina queried as he approached the similarly-aged centurion from behind
    "Yes Sir, work has begun on the third ram, the second ram has been almost assembled."

    "Excellent", Asina mumbled to himself as he turned to look at the wooden walls of Rhegion just a short distance from Legio I Apulia's camp and started fantasising on one part being attacked by the completed ram while the enemies stationed behind the wall cowers under the might of Rome.
    Last edited by everyone; 12-27-2008 at 08:14.

  9. #9
    Unoffical PBM recruiter person Member /Bean\'s Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    The Frontline: Tribune Cotta at the assault of Rhegion

    Still in working progress-this is just to prove I've been doing something

    “For the glory of Rome, my soldiers! Charge home, and secure our victory!” A great shout arose from the throats of those amassed, as they hefted shields and drew swords, leaping over the shattered remains of the city walls and the broken bodies spread-eagled across the earth. Javelins thudded into tall shields or punctured exposed flesh with sickening squelches. As the mass of legionaries let out another tremendous roar, they burst over the remains of the wall, and smashed mercilessly into the wavering lines of the enemy skirmishes stationed on the other side. Bodies fell under the ferocious onslaught of the assault, punctured with sword thrusts or limbs separating from their owners. Blood spewed out over the cobbled streets, the fallen masonry, the crushed timbers of the wall, as wave upon wave of battle frenzied legionaries poured into the city of Rhegion.

    Horns blared and trumpets blasted from the barracks of the city. The enemy troops rushed to defend the breach wrought by the sudden attack of the Romans. The gates hung from their hinges, swinging precariously as the press of bodies pushed against them. Through these gates and ruptures in the walls on either side of the gate house, Roman soldiers pushed through the lightly armed defenders, with the sole intention of punishing the traitor, Avlvs Decivs, the leader of the Campanian mercenaries that seized the undefended Rhegion following the withdrawal of the Epirite garrison, who abandoned the city upon hearing of the defeat of Pyrrhus. Unaware of their defection from the Roman army, the citizens of Rhegion threw open their gates, cheering as the men marched inside. The mercenaries couldn’t believe their luck. After having been allowed entrance into the city walls, they immediately set about rounding up the inhabitants, at the time some ten thousand or so men, women and children, before slaughtering as many as they could. They barred the gates and burned the houses, before setting to work with their swords and spears.

    We had marched from Tarentum to avenge Roman honour and to extract justice upon those who deliberately broke away from their masters to create a world of havoc, pain and suffering. Now, several weeks into the siege, the time for our final assault had come.
    As our infantry poured through the breeches created by our rams, we could see through the swirling dust and bobbing weapons that the enemy was getting pushed back. There was little organised defence, but we could hear the trumpets and horns calling the heavy infantry of the garrison to the breaches. It was only a matter of time before the dent our infantry had made would be stopped; our men halted in their tracks, and great swathes of soldiers killed or injured; an unacceptable eventuality.

    The men and horses snorted clouds of steam into the cold air, as we waiting for the signal to attack. The Second, Third and Fourth Cohorts had manned the rams and burst through the breaches they had created. The runners that constantly moved between those engaged cohorts and the rest of the army waiting some four hundred paces away brought us news of the progression of the battle; the walls were held by skirmishes and one cohort of light infantry. The call-to-arms from the barracks would bring a further four cohorts of battle hardened mercenaries to the defence of the walls. It was imperative as much ground as possible be made in the next few minutes.

    A signal on the wind; the trumpets blared. The breaches in the wall have been cleared of enemies are now unhindered by rubble and bodies. The time had come. I raised my arm, and threw it forward. With a blare from our own trumpets and horns, my cavalry began to canter towards the walls. As we drew closer, we could see through the gaps and breaches in the wall; the fallen bodies and the desperate struggle still ongoing around the gate and the streets beyond. Young boys, perhaps the mercenaries’ sons or those pressed into service, crouched over the rooftops, breaking off the sharp roof tiles with hammers before chucking them down along with heavy rocks upon the heads of the legionaries below. The problem they caused was obvious; one strike from those missiles upon an unprotected limb, foot, or even a helmeted head could kill or maim a man; yet they were nearly impossible to stop or protect against it. Shields could be raised, but they were heavy and cumbersome, and would leave the men unprotected to sword and spear thrusts. A volley of javelins could be ordered against the assailants, but even the most veteran of legionaries would wince at the order to kill such young boys.

    Our horses had almost reached the wall when the first of the enemy reinforcements appeared at the end of the street. The enemy skirmishes that had been protecting, or rather falling, around the walls and the gate fell back, few in number as they were now. Our cohorts let out a ragged cheer, interrupted by the masonry still being hurled from the roofs. Some of the more blood thirsty chased them down the street, until they caught site of the massed legionaries trotting grimly towards them. Faltering, they slowed, and I could imagine the pure terror that must have ran through those few who had ventured out thus far, as the mercenaries let out a tremendous roar, rushing down the street.

    As the cohorts that only minutes ago captured the gate formed up once again-this time to meet a much more determined and vicious opponent-our horses pushed themselves over the rubble that was once the wall, and I could see other wing doing the same at the next breach. The First Cohort had marched up to the gate as reinforcements for the three cohorts already engaged in the fight. As I watched from down the street, our men were being violently pushed backwards, feet tripping over or stepping on their comrades’ behind in their haste to back paddle away from the onslaught. The mercenary legionaries pushed forward with the ominous aim of forcing our men straight back against the gatehouse; the gate allowed no more than three men at a time to pass through, and only as a last resort would this happen-all the men knew what would happen if they were caught running away from the enemy. And yet many fell beneath the stabbing spears, the hacking swords and the improvised missiles from the rooftops. Those who went t ground were trampled mercilessly under the mailed boots of those above, or crushed under the sharp shield rims as the mercenaries and our own legionaries pounded each other to pieces. There was no room for the First Cohort to join the fight, and no room to retreat. It was a slaughter house.

    However, this is exactly what the Legatus had grimly predicted would happen this morning when he had laid out the plans for the final assault. Through our various feints, failed attacks and skirmishes with the enemy thus far, he knew he would have to commit the entire army on one gate in order to force the enemy commander to commit his entire garrison. Only then could he ensure a decisive and clean victory.
    Despite this, I could see our lines were wavering. The enemy had advanced a plenty. It was time.

    “Prepare to charge,” I called to my officers, standard bearers and trumpeters. Wheeling my mount around to face my men, I trotted up and down the line of assembled horsemen, stretching across the entire street from the wall to the edge of the buildings. “Soldiers of Rome!” I cried. “Arise, all who ride with me. Here is where we make history, or die with honour. Our swords and spears will drip with blood; our armour will be dented beyond repair. A poor day it is, a great day it will be.” I drew my sword, the blade shining powerfully in the sunlight, reflecting the rays, so it that I seemed to be holding a sword of pure light. “Ride with me now, glorious Romans! Charge, and may your cries shake the foundations of the earth!”
    Last edited by /Bean\; 01-18-2009 at 22:23.
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  10. #10
    Unoffical PBM recruiter person Member /Bean\'s Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    Just something small to keep the thread going while I'm working on the Frontline stories.

    As he watched the new recruits march almost in step from the rear of the parade ground, Legatus Cotta sighed. He was one of the first to admit that he had little experience in the field, and less in training men to fight. But already he could tell these were not men of war. Farmers, shopkeepers, delivery boys, maybe. Not fighters. But then, I wasn't much of a fighter when I first joined the legion, either he thought privately. Still, it could always be worse. At least they were all marching in the same direction. Weren't they?
    As he watched one of the younger looking recruits turn at the wrong moment, causing commotion around him as his fellows tumbled and stumbled around his mistake. Cotta shook his head, walking away from the confusion and roar from the centurion in charge, back to the tent that served as an office and to offer him some privacy while he was visiting the camp. Entering, he walked past the scribes and officials that sat at desks throughout the interior, heading towards his own chambers at the rear, closed off from the scribes. As he lifted the flap, his chief scribe stood.
    "Sir, I have taken the liberty of placing the scrolls and tablets that require your direct attention on your desk." Cotta nodded, wearily.
    "Thank you, Servius. I'll deal with now." He moved under the flap, stifling a yawn, before letting it drop back into place behind him.
    His chamber was dim, lit only by the single lamp and a few incense sticks burning in the corner, filling the small space with a heavy intoxicating scent. His head rolling slightly, Cotta slumped onto the campaign stool behind his desk, and attempted to focus on the scrolls and tablets before him. Dispatches to Rome, orders of equipment and food, the delivery of someone's will to their sibling in Arretium. All needed his signature and seal before they could be sent off. Cotta sighed again. This new promotion had been nothing more so far than an unbelievable amount of extra paperwork. He understood now why the civilised world needed so many scribes and slaves; no man could do this for ever. He'd die of boredom.
    There was another tablet underneath the dispatches, addressed the Senate. Mildly intrigued, Cotta picked it up to examine its contents. Scanning through, he saw it was a letter asking for the appointment of a suitable young officer to act as Senior Tribune for this new legion. Of course, he had asked Servius to conduct this two days ago. The silly fool must have forgotten until now he smiled. Still, he would need someone to fill this role; his role until only a few weeks previous. The smile disappeared, as he remembered his first battle on the plains of Tarentum nearly two years ago; the smell of blood, the faces of those he had killed. Cotta remembered every one of them. They never left him, visiting him in his dreams, endless cycles of emotionless faces. He knew most soldiers faced the same problem, but it made facing them every night no easier. Still, he could always finish these reports.
    He picked up the top letter, and began to read.

    The new legion will require one hundred cartloads of wheat, fifty cartloads of barely, four hundred barrels of water, eight hundred...

    The chief scribe entered the chamber.
    "Sir, woud you like..." But Cotta was snoring peacefully, his head lolling over the back of his chair, and a piece of parchment dangling from one hand. Smiling, the scribe walked behind the desk, retrieving the scrolls and tablets.
    "I'll deal with these then, shall I?" He chuckled, before removing himself from the room, shutting the flap behind him as he went.
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  11. #11
    Member Member Mjolnir's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    Just a little back ground story I cooked up for my character, hope you enjoy. :)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Caius Aemilius Mamercus rode at a steady walk south towards Rome with his bodyguard of two dozen equites singulares in a double column behind him, the summer sun reflecting brightly off their red and gold hexagonal shields and polished iron helmets. These were the best riders and swordsmen from around his family’s estates on the southern coast of the Lacus Sabatinus (Lake Bracciano) north of Rome and some of them had been training with Caius since he had become a man and citizen at age 16. Caius had many fond memories of growing up on his family’s estates, riding horses along the beach of the lake and walking through the huge vineyards that supplied the Aemilia wineries with some of the finest grapes in all of Italia, even the long hours of studying Greek and mathematics with his tutors now seemed idyllic in hindsight.

    The Gens Aemilia was an ancient family, prominent in both the leadership and military of the Roman Republic back even to its founding. Caius’ father Quintus had died 22 years ago in 462 since the founding of Rome (291 BC) at the end of the Third Semnite War leading one of the assaults on the walls of Venusia the last Semnite stronghold when Caius was two months old. He had been raised by his uncle Lucius, it was Lucius who had taught him how to use the sword that hung at his side now. Lucius had represented the Gens Aemilia in the Roman Senate until this last year, but now with age taking its toll his uncle was retiring to oversee the Aemilia estates and Caius was to take his place as the Aemilia representative in the Senate.

    And so with his brand new title of Tribunus received at Fort Latium, Caius was riding south towards Rome for his first Senate session. As he topped the last hill and came into sight of the glorious city Caius felt distinctly the weight of his noble ancestors and the great responsibility that he carried to help guide the Roman Republic into the future.



    My AAR: Basileion Bosphorou: a Tale of the Pontos Euxeinos

    Tribvnvs Caivs Aemilivs Mamercvs - BtSH

    Strategos Bithys Nisaias Parthiakes - WotB

    From Antinous:

  12. #12
    the universal person Member everyone's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    note: this took place in Autumn 270BC (for Navarro's reference to include this in the history thread)

    Legio I Apulia in Rhegion

    The groanings of a wounded soldier were heard from the medic bunk in Rhegion's barracks (OOC: at the time I captured it, Rhegion doesn't have any regional MICs we could use, so the 'barracks' refer to the Greek regional MIC Asina was using to station his troops while in the city); the soldiers waiting for their turn to be treated formed a queue so long, that it could cover the entire perimeter of the barracks.

    meanwhile, Cnaevs Cornelivs Scipio Asina was busy in his tent, writing a report that he intends to submit to the senate back in Roma:

    Battle Report here


    Asina read through the whole report again, before folding the parchment into half and shoved it into his pouch strapped by his waist. He then left his office and proceeded to inspect the wounded men.

    On his way to the Medic Bunk, Asina passed by the officers' quarters. "Tribunus Cotta, a word please", Asina said as his shining bald scalp, followed by the rest of his head, suddenly poked into the room, while carrying a slight smile on his face.
    the Officers in the room quickly stood up in attention while one of them kicked away the dice they just rolled. Cotta, sitting at one side of the room, refraining from the game stood up and nodded "yes sir". (OOC: Cotta has the "Spartan" trait, so he's refraining from gambling)

    "ah, Legatus Cotta - ". Before Asina could complete his next line, Cotta interrupted, "Sir, I'm still a Tribunus".
    "I know, I just want to familiarise myself with your title-to-be now before it is too late; you've served and complete your training under the Legio I Apulia, the Emperor should grant you your new rank soon enough!" Asina said as he chuckled.
    "hmm, yes that is true" Cotta said with approval and agreement.
    "anyway, you've already made me say what I intended to say just now; congratulations on your completion of service as a Tribunus, I must say you did a rather good job back at Tarentum and yesterday while charging through the breach. As I said a few months earlier, it's rather sad to see you leave, but you'll have a great career ahead of you."
    "thank you sir"
    "Have a nice day".

    Cotta went back into the Officer's bunk and Asina poked his head in again; this time, the officers were still at attention, forcing a smile. Asina counted the number of men in the bunk, then he swerved his eyes onto the group of officers who were playing dice. "eh? I didn't order you to attention, at ease."
    Asina then paused for a moment and did another head count.
    "There seems to be someone missing. I thought none of the officers were killed?"
    one of the Centurions replied "Sir, it's Prefect Cato, he's at the medic bunk, treated for an arrow wound".
    "I see, never mind, carry on with what you were - I mean do something else other than what you were doing."

    As he approached the medic bunk, the crowd outside the bunk seemed to be getting larger and larger. Asina squeezed his way through the horde of wounded soldiers and entered the Medic Bunk.
    "Ah, commander, I was just about to send someone to ask you; the medic bunks currently available are unable to hold all those wounded and injured, may we have permission to use one of the other bunks for those wounded ones to rest in?" the Chirurgeon said as he took out some strange herbs from under his desk and placed it on the soldier's wound.
    "hmmm, there seems to be no more available rooms that are unused; unless - unless I move out of my office; I'll just move out of my office temporarily until those who are injured are healthy" Asina said after much pondering. (OOC: Asina's "modicus" trait)

    A few minutes later, Asina entered the Officer's bunk again, this time holding some documents and accompanied by a soldier, also holding a few more documents.
    the dice was kicked away again, unnoticed by Asina, this time in flew into a dark crevice in the room. "damn it", a centurion muttered under his breath as Dux Asina and the soldier places the documents in a corner.
    "thank you, dismissed"; Asina said to the soldier, after which he turned to the officers; "well carry on with what you were doing then, why does everyone stare at me when I enter the room?"
    the officers all start chuckling.

  13. #13
    Legatvs Member SwissBarbar's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    OOC: With his kind permission, I refer to Mjolnirs Story, please read it too, if you haven't already, to get the whole context: The Story of Caivs Aemilivs Mamercvs

    Ever since he could remember, Avlvs Aemilivs Mamercvs has been taught never to forget where he came from and that the greatest good he possessed was the citizenship of the Roman Res Pvblica. He was thought to respect the people of Roma, to judge them on merit, be they of higher or of lower rank. The man who taught him this lesson was his father, Lvcivs Aemilivs Mamercvs.

    Another lession Lvcivs taught him, was never to leave a member of the Aemilii Mamerci behind. So in the year of the consulship of L. Postvmivs Megellvs and C. Ivnius Bvbulcvs Brvtus (291 BC - historically accurate consuls), Lucivs adopted Caivs, son of his brother Quintvs, who died an heroic death in the Tertivm Bellvm Samniticvm. Caivs and Avlvs - Caivs was one month older - have been raised equally, as if they were brothers.

    More than 20 years later, when Lvcivs Aemilivs Mamercvs after a long and prosperous career decided to retire, Caivs has been elected to the rank of a Tribvnvs of Rome, and only a few weeks later, also Avlvs has been elected to the same rank. Their father could not have been more proud.

    Avlvs swore to the gods, he would never disappoint his father, and was sure, that his cousin and brother Caivs thought the same way. In the year of the consulship of Manivs Curivs Dentatvs and Cnaevs Cornelivs Scipio Asina (268 BC - navarro951 and everyone) Avlvs applied for the position as Tribvnvs in the Legion under the command of Legatvs Caivs Avrelivs Cotta.
    Balloon-Count: x 15


    Many thanks to Hooahguy for this great sig.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    *sigh*
    Well, I really wanted to rp this with Roka, but since he cannot access the forums right now, I guess I'll do this myself. I apologize in advance, Roka, if you think I portrayed Lvcivs incorrectly.

    Navarro, for RP purposes, could you index this under whatever season and year Lvcivs became "acting provincial dictator" of Kalabria?


    Servivs's Ascent

    Several months after Servivs arrived in Gnatia, Lvcivs Cornelivs Scipio, a respected legatus, assumed his position as acting provincial dictator of Kalabria, with his office based in a Tarentine noble's mansion, which he had generously donated to Roma as penance for supplying food for Phyrros's elephants and an entire regiment of cavalry.

    Servivs knew this because he had come to Tarentum only a week after the provincial dictator's arrival, just in time to see the public scourging of said noble. Lvcivs had stepped onto the platform and said something about it serving as a warning to those who would defy Roma.

    As the crowd dispersed and the natives got back to their business, Servivs followed Lvcivs and his entourage at a discrete distance, stopping once to laugh out loud at the nearest man and exclaim in fluent Doric Greek, "Greetings, friend! So, what did you want to meet me here for?" when a bodyguard turned to study him for several seconds. After the bodyguard lost interest, he left the dumbfounded Tarentine behind and continued stalking the Romans.

    As they approached the mansion, Servivs took to hiding in alleyways and behind streetcorners, until finally he saw Lvcivs entering a large building, two of his guards assuming their positions outside the entrance. After waiting in the shrubbery for an hour, he took a deep breath and stepped onto the main path, taking care to make it appear as if he were coming down the road. Striding right up to the guards, who exchanged a quick glance, he said in Latin "Out of my way, you cretins! I must speak with Senator and Legatus Scipio, Provincial Dictator of Kalabria immediately!"

    One of the guards raised a bushy eyebrow while giving the other a sidelong glance. The other nodded curtly, and opened the door for Servivs. Brushing past them in a huff, he entered the mansion. He almost stopped to admire the exquisite busts and frescoes in the main hall, but checked himself and continued on, nearly blundering into Lvcivs himself, who turned his head slightly in an attempt to avoid the terrible smell emanating from the man in front of him.

    Turning to the guards, a look of distaste marring his handsome features, he merely said "Care to explain?" His face settled into an impenetrable mask as the soldier explained, "He said that he had to speak with you immediately." The other guard chimed in "Should we throw this beggar, or even worse, deserter, into the cellar?"

    Servivs turned on the guards furiously, grating "Now see here, you son of a Greek whore, I am here on order of the Senate!" As he said this, Lvcivs's eyes widened in surprise, but he quickly assumed his neutral gaze once again when Servivs turned and continued "I am to be this province's treasurer; I am to serve as an aid to the distinguished provincial dictator and to facilitate the proper administration of tax and trade revenue in the region, so that Roma may be strengthened. Hail the Senate and people of Roma!"

    Lvcivs finally broke his facade with a smirk: "So tell me, where is your Senatorial decree? Surely you were given the proper papers?"

    And Servivs immediately knew that his pre-made excuse would not work on this man; he was clearly not a fool. He decided to try his luck anyway, as he had nothing to lose.

    "Alas, I was mugged by a dirty Samnite while travelling through the mountains. He stole all my denarii, my horse, and the sack containing my papers! I had to obtain new clothes on the way, and as you can see, they were of poor quality" he said, pointing at his stained and torn tunic.

    "I see", Lvcivs murmured, "but tell me this - why were you sneaking around in the street earlier today, speaking in Greek? And it's strange that, after spending so much time in rags, you didn't approach me immediately and make yourself known."

    Servivs tried to swallow, but he could not remember how.

    "Also, I am not the provincial dictator, per se - I am the ACTING provincial dictator. Or were you not informed of that back in Roma?"

    Silence.


    "So, the way I see it, at least 25 lashes with the scourge and a lifetime of slavery is what you currently face. Unless you can give me a good reason to let you go free for lying and impersonating a Roman official? No? Then goodbye. Guards, you have my orders." He turned and walked back down the hall.

    As one of the guards made to grab Servivs by the shoulder, he said "Wait", and, encouraged by Lvcivs stopping, began to make his plea: "I have a thorough knowledge of mathematics. I was taught by a student of Aristotle. So, I can be your...unofficial adjutant. Test me in any way you deem fit, and if I do not meet your standards, then you can just have me executed. What have you got to lose?"

    Lvcivs, a skilled bureaucrat and mathematician himself, turned to face Servivs, who looked back into his eyes unwaveringly.

    "Send this man up to my quarters in an hour. But, have him bathe first."

  15. #15

    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    (OOC: There is some mild language in my RPs... I figure it's more realistic. If anybody has a problem just PM me and I'll edit it :))
    En route to the Legion

    Nero was awoken from sleep early morning by a female servant, who had been issued to him by the Roman army. She had parchment in hand.

    "Sir... sir..." she whispered

    Nero opened his eyes and groaned-- he had slept in. "Damnit... what is it now?"

    "An official courier of Rome delivered this message last night. He rode in upon horse. I dared not open it without your presence, sir"

    "Hand it here then" he said. He grabbed the letter and read it aloud. It bore the seal of Lagatus Caius Aurelius Cotta.
    "...The following Tribunes of the Republic are hereby requested to report to the Legio II Latium camp for a personal interview with the commander of the Legion concerning their application to the Legion. Candidates should be prepared to explain their background, what they can bring to the Legion, and reasons why they think they would be eligable for the Legion's third and second in command. This is the final test for deciding the Tribunes. The final decision will be made after the last interview...

    Tribune Avlvs Aemilivs Mamercvs

    Tribune Titvs Valerivs Maximvs

    Tribune Caivs Aemilivs Mamercvs

    Tribune Appivs Clavdivs Nero"


    "Right then. Fix me some breakfast, will you? I shall begin packing. Ready my horse when I am done. I will ride north, up the Tiber to the Second Legion fort in Latium. You'll keep after the place while I'm gone. It may be a while"

  16. #16
    Legatvs Member SwissBarbar's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    OOC:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Avlvs Mamercvs has hired the services of a Philosopher


    Avlvs application for the post as Tribvnvs of the Legio II Latium has been declined. So he stayed in Roma in order to find another task, until the day his service is required by the city and people he loved. He "borrowed" his Chirurgeon and his Armourer to the Legatii who went to war, and hired himself a Philosopher, with whose help he meant to train his mind, because he believed that a good commander not only had to keep himself physically strong but also be in possession of a sharp intellect.

    His Philosopher was and old makedonian called Nikarchos, who had been in the service of the Seleukid Basileus, governed great cities in Mikra Asia and fought battles agains fearsome enemies. When he got older he decided to devote himself to philosophy, since he was lucky enough to see many wonders in this world, to travel around and share his experience with other people.


    A: "Welcome to Roma, wise Nikarchos"
    N: "Thanks, Master Aemilius, I am looking forward to learning from you"
    A: "What? I thought I'll learn from YOU"
    N: "We will learn from each other, my friend. One lifetime is not enough to learn all that can be learnt."
    A: "I suppose you're right. Follow me, you will stay at my familys villa. Two of my slaves will be at your service. You have the position of my advisor."

    At the villa of the Aemilii dinner has been served for the two men. The Philosopher begins a conversation.

    N: "Something grieves you, Master Aemilius, i can tell by your eyes. Do you want to tell me?"
    A: "Well, its nothing...I... bah, I appied for the post as Tribvnvs in one of our Legions, who marches against the Barbarians in the north. But the Legatvs chose another man. I fear the war is over before I get a chance to act."
    N: "Another man, who is less qualified than you?"
    A: "No, he's a good man, I know..."
    N: "But you are too?"
    A: "Yes."
    Nikarchos looked at him.
    A: "Well...I....no?"
    Nikarchos smiled.
    A: "I don't know, I try to be the best man I can be"
    N: "No more can be asked of you"
    A: "What do you advise?"
    N: "Well, my Advise would be to be patient. You are young, and you want to prove your valour. Since you descend from a great family, you will have the chance soon. And besides: Do not consider those peoples from the north to be weak. The Celts have a great and ancient culture, their rhetorical abilities are far beyond ours and to wirte they use greek letters. Do not expect to gain easy victories there."
    A: "Who could stand a disciplined roman army!! Rhetorical abilities? Will they palaver us to death?"
    Avlvs laughed.
    N: "And this says a Senator of Rome!"
    They both laughed and Avlvs ordered more wine.
    N: "Well, celtic warriors fought for the hellenic peoples for centuries. They even conquered rome in the year of the consulship of YOUR forefather L. Aemilius Mamercinus and Licinus Menenius Lanatus! Especially an Aemilius should know!" (OOC: Historical accurate military tribunes of the year 387 BC)
    A: "Its hundrets of years ago."
    N: "Ah, roman arrogance. The greeks used to be so too. Maybe they teach that at School today, but do not underestimate those Celts, just because rome conquered a bit of Italia and gained some victories agains Epeiros. Maybe Phyrrus would have won, if he had have more Celts in his army! Always be prepared. A good commander does never overestimate himself and underestimate his enemy. Think of Megas Alexandros' words: "To me every bad greek is a barbarian, and every good barbarian is a greek". Thats a wise mindset."
    A: "I will remember that. Now lets get some sleep. We will continue this conversation tomorrow."

    They stood up.

    N: "Thanks again for your hospitality, Master Aemilius."
    A: "Good night, Nikarchos"

    Avlvs thought long about their conversation, before he finally fell asleep. He knew, that he could learn much from this man .... oh, yes, and this man from him too.
    Balloon-Count: x 15


    Many thanks to Hooahguy for this great sig.

  17. #17
    Legatvs Member SwissBarbar's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Avlvs Mamercvs has hired the services of a Librarian.


    3 months later, Avlvs and Nikarchos have become good friends. Nikarachos' teachings aroused in Avlvs a great deal of interest for philosophy. They discussed the whole day about different matters. Politics, military business, life itself, roman and barbarian culture, the great philosophers of their time and of course women, the greatest mysterium of all times.

    N: Boaaaahhhrrrrrrppp
    A: My God, you swine!
    They laughed.
    N: The food was good. There are cultures, where burping signs, that the breakfast tasted great.
    A: Yeah, let me guess. One of those barbarian-but-still-not-barbaric peoples.
    N: Exactly. It would not be a fault to read more about other cultures. You could learn much from.....
    A: Yes, as always, I could learn much from everything and everyone.
    N: Yes, patience and respect for instance!
    A: Sorry, I'm bored.
    Nikarchos looked at him and raised an eyebrow.
    A: No, not by you, i love philosophy and literature, but I'm still not patient enough and can't wait to ride out and kill our opponents.
    N: I understand. How about working on your tactial skills and understanding of military matters?
    A: Sounds great!
    N: Ok. First you need books, books and books again about those matters. You will read about the warfare and skills of all known peoples, in order to know how to act, should you be confronted with one of them one day. Let's go.

    Avlvs hired himself the services of a Librarian, who should keep his Bibliotheca up to date. This mans name was Decimus, a gaunt man with dark hair and sharp eyes. He knew every book about warfare, philosophy and lifestyle ever written and entertained relations with great libraries all over the world. With his help, Avlvs would be able to study history, philosophy and military tactics from points of view, no other roman would ever see or be educated in.
    Balloon-Count: x 15


    Many thanks to Hooahguy for this great sig.

  18. #18
    Legatus Member Tiberius Claudius Marcellus's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    The Spoils of War: Tiberius Marcellus appointed to the Senate

    The horses skidded to a halt, horseshoes clacking on the cobblestone pavers, one rider standing up in the stirrups straining at the reigns to keep his balance. Though the man atop the sweat-slicked beast was an accomplished rider he struggled against being thrown as the stallion was anxiously tossing its head about now that it had caught the scent of two mares. In front of the well-dressed man and his aide was a cart, its axle snapped at the wheel; its cargo of apples littered the road. The farmer and another man, probably his brother from their shared countenance, worked hard to right the cart as a younger man worked a stout log under the cart to keep it lifted while repairs were made. These were men of the land, hard working citizens of Latium earning their daily bread by the sweat of their brow. They were peasants.

    Though they shared political equality with the mounted man's family, his toiled not in the fields with the beasts of burden in dumb anguish, their skin flayed by Apollo's orb; but in the cities and towns selling what little extra these poor wretched souls could coax out of the terra firma. The mounted man's immediate family were of a slowly growing merchant class. While still considered plebeius, they were amassing amounts of denarii unheard of in past ages. While these miniature fortunes paled in comparison to those of the Patrician land owners, they made available luxuries and accoutrements above those of water, bread, and a roof.

    Tiberius Claudius Marcellus looked at the farmers in disdain and remarked,


    "What a time for such trouble. Marcus," he said, turning to his aide' "stay here and help these men right their cart. I shall continue on to deliver my papers to the Consul of the Legions and the Senatores in the Curia. Hmmm," he thought, "I suppose such important men would be too busy.......even for me. Perhaps I shall leave them with a Legatus or other official. At any rate, when you have finished here, give them each a days wage of a laborer for their lost time. I see some of these apples shall never earn them half a copper in the Forum. Return to me at the Campus Martius and inquire of me there." Marcus, quite caught off guard, barely managed to close his mouth and acknowledge his benefactor; silently resigning himself to the effort at hand. It was always this way.

    The farmers, startled from their labor, dropped the cart with a solid thud and glanced about at each other and the men on horseback. Catching a glimpse of a scroll tube with the insignia of the SPQR the eldest farmer clasped his hands before him and gave a quick nervous bow, stuttering,

    "Aye, m'lord. We meant no inconvenience and apologize for having troubled you so. Mercury's swiftness guide your travels to make up for our clumsiness."

    The farmer batted a hand at his brother and the boy to follow his example and they unceremoniously dropped their heads and muttered unintelligble apologies. Tiberius snorted a disapproving sound and urged his mount back to a swift run, leaving Marcus to do the heavy work. Marcus was a good man, a former small unit commander back in Taras when it was ruled by the Molossian. Marcus came to be an indispensable aide for Tiberius' father fifteen years ago when he retired from military service and was hired on as the chief steward. Tiberius remembered half-heartedly listening as Marcus taught him about military tactics and about battles past, using olives and rocks and twigs on a table in large store room. Yes, Marcus was capable and would no doubt distract the men from their hard work with tales of the benevolence and greatness of the gens Claudia, in particular, Tiberius and his father.

    He could see Roma in the distance sitting atop its hills, its walls and rooftops glittering in the waxing day's light. It was still a league yet to the gates and already the road was becoming more and more crowded with other farmers bringing their produce to the markets in the capitol. Tiberius wove his way through the unwashed throngs steadily. His mount, not wholly unaccusomted to crowds and turbulence, was surefooted and snorted to make his presence known to those who would slow his master's travel. Tiberius absent mindedly let the tips of his fingers slip to the scroll case at his hip for the thousandth time since he left Taras almost two months ago. He smiled to himself as he felt the intricate gilding of the letters"S.P.Q.R."on its face.

    He remembered the overwhelming joy he felt and the look of utter pride in his father's face when the messenger from Roma had first delivered the official letter of thanks from the Senate for housing the spy sent to scout the city before the Legio I Apulia beseiged and captured it. Tiberius was at first unsure of his father's decision to support the Romans but was now glad he did. His father was always plotting and planning new ways to advance his family's station and wealth, though, one would never know it from the outside. Yes, father was indeed a sly and cunning man - skills not lost to Tiberius himself. In addition to the grant of citizenship to the adult male members of his family, the Senate also offered Tiberius an appointment to the legislative body itself! Father, though tempered by the knowledge of politics that this appointment was largely symbolic - a way to help insure the loyalty of the local populace to Roma, hired musicians, ordered the best of foods, invited the lesser nobility of Taras and spent thousands of denarii on a three day feast. That was two months ago. Tiberius left the day after the feast and set out with Marcus to grasp the hand-up that the Senate had offered him. One day he would raise the name of his family and the gens Claudia to the highest annals of history!
    Last edited by Tiberius Claudius Marcellus; 01-14-2009 at 05:15.
    Semper Fidelis

    Campaigns Completed:
    Casse, Epirote, Getai, Romani
    ______________________________________
    Legatus Tiberius Claudius Marcellus - Beyond the Seven Hills, a Roman PBM RPG
    Awarded by _Bean_ 02/01/2009 for The Phalerium
    Quote Originally Posted by Potocello
    "it is in his character traits and that's how Tiberius chooses to rp him. In all honesty i think this would be boring without such ridiculous characters..."

  19. #19
    the universal person Member everyone's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    (OOC: this story takes place over a few seasons/years, so this is just the first part, it's spring 268
    and since nobody's signed up for the event 'The Problem With Liguria!' yet)

    The Ligurian: Part 1

    Spring 268:
    A minor officer in the service of Legio I Apulia enters the Consul of the Legions' office in the Campvs Martivs, while the consul looks frantically through a stack of stone tablets, carrying those which he had read through in his left arm while reading it from his right.

    "yes? what is it you want Tribunus? I'm in a huge mess right now" the consul spat; afterwards mumbling something which sounded like "damned bureaucracy"
    "Sir, I've just come to report that there was a Ligurian man seen in the middle of the forum yelling something, taunting our legions to attack their city, and the senate may be discussing to do so" The tribunus replied, with a rather serious-sounding tone.
    "bah! I can't even get any troops ready now, how does the senate expect me to attack Liguria" Asina grumbled to himself.
    The tribunus, confidently, "Perhaps you could get the guard to bring the Ligurian to you, so that you may find out more about the city, so that we would be better prepared for it when we attack it?"
    "ah! that's great! I don't care what the senate says for now, get that ligurian from the prison house; and also summon my clerk (OOC: biographer ancillary, I can't think of any uses for a biographer so I'm using him as a clerk/assistant).

    a few moments after the Tribunus left, the clerk enters the messy office, "you called for me, sir?"
    "ah yes, " Asina said as he took out a piece of parchment and scribbled something on it, "help me to deliver this message to the senate"

    Dear Senatores;
    as the messenger I sent has probably told you, I am currently occupied with some problems to settle regarding the Legions and the attack on Aemilia and Liguria; however I have heard the news from one of my junior officers that some madman from Liguria have recently challenged the might of our Legions, claiming that the confederation of Ligurian tribes are superior to our legions.
    As you all are probably thinking that the Ligurians and their city of Segesta should be captured in a display of our military might; however I have to apologise that I had initially planned and attack on the city of Bononia first, before moving on to Segesta; and am going to inform Legatus Cotta to coordinate the 2 Legion's movements to both besiege Bononia; therefore I unfortunately inform you that an attack on Segesta would have to be delayed by a year.
    Meanwhile, I would like to congratulate Aedile L.C. Scipio on his recent promotion.
    Consul Asina
    Later that day....
    "Sir, here's the Ligurian man you requested brought to you, though he's been given a heavy beating by the prison warden" the Tribunus who entered the Consul's office earlier that day returned, along with a rugged and unshaven man, though not in chains save for one bound to his ankle.
    "you may leave, Tribunus"; Asina nodded as he said that, and the Tribunus left.

    (OOC: this part is mainly dialogue, so I'll just make it in the form of a conversation, but I'll mark some places with a few small details)
    Asina: "you look familiar, I might have seen you sometime a few years ago in Apulia or Kalabria" (OOC: reference to Servivs Romani's earlier stories)
    the Ligurian remains silent until the consul coughs; he speaks in a strange accent
    Ligurian: "I've never been to where you've spoken of"
    Asina resumes with his sorting of the stone tablets, which now seem to be more neatly stacked than previously
    Asina: "never mind that; what did you come to Roma for?"
    the Ligurian hesitates slightly
    Ligurian: "I've been expelled from Liguria by the chieftain of Segesta, Conan, for assaulting another man while drunk, additionally causing a large amount of damage; though I hear the chieftain's going insane, he has fears about the world facing a wine-flooding apocalypse, though I wouldn't mind swimming in wine"
    Asina raises an eyebrow, and placed the stone tablet he was holding on a desk
    Asina: "he's going insane you say?"
    Ligurian: "yes"
    Asina: "I have a proposition for you then, if you could get back into Liguria and help our spies enter Segesta, I'll excuse you from your eventual punishment; which I have been notified is very severe, and also, you'll be free to return to your homeland, at least until you get expelled again"
    Ligurian: "sounds reasonable, I agree"
    Asina grins
    Asina: "but, I'll place you under a watchful eye"
    Asina calls for the guard outside his office, he whispered to the guard something, and the guard went off, coming back later with a gargantuan man, who seemed one and a half times a large as an average person
    Asina: "this is Decius, he'll be your 'warden' (OOC: Asina's slave trader ancillary) until we reach the border of Liguria"
    Asina turns to look at Decius
    Asina: "Decius, this is-"
    he turns his gaze over to the Ligurian
    Ligurian: "Quiamelius"
    Asina: this is Quiamelius, keep him under your watch at all times, we'll need him to help us on our campaign.
    Decius nods, he then proceeds to lead the Ligurian out of the office, into his quarters.

    to be continued......
    Last edited by everyone; 02-02-2009 at 11:15.

  20. #20
    the universal person Member everyone's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    (OOC: this part is on the journey there, and this took place over a few seasons)

    The Ligurian: Part 2


    Winter 268:
    almost a year has passed since Asina has enlisted the help of Quiamelius; though Quiamelius has yet to do anything.

    both Legio I Apulia and Legio II Latium have been camping in northern Etruria in the past month; the camp is now getting rather overcrowded and a few units had to set another camp to the southwest.
    Initially, Legio I had reached the camp first, when Tribunus Longus was ordered by Consul Asina to march north and establish a camp, while the latter is in Roma, settling some bureaucratic matters.
    A day after Legio II Latium arrived at the camp a month ago, the officers of Legio I and II met in Asina's large tent for a meeting; although none of the other inhabitants of the camp at the time knew what transpired; it is obvious that there was a meeting on the military plans to assault Bononia.

    A few years later, the details of this meeting was found on a piece of parchment in the Senatorial Library's section on the Consul's reports. Although it was not written in the very illegible handwriting of the Consul; it is presumed one of the junior officers were given the menial task of taking the minutes; and the following is an excerpt of the section which states the plans of the officers:
    As both armies would besiege the city separately, Consul Asina would lead Legio I for an assault on Bononia, however before he moves the siege equipment towards the walls of Bononia, there would be some skirmishing as Legio II marches from the southwest towards the vicinity of the walls.
    there, two rams would be employed, one to punch a hole in the Settlement's walls and another to break down the gate; in case S.P. Carbo and his contacts did not manage to disable the defences.
    when the wall is breached, all the horsemen are to enter the settlement and avoid engagement and move to one side; afterwards, the infantry would be split into two groups, a smaller one through the broken gates and a larger one into the breach. Meanwhile, the combined Accensi of Legio I and II would pelt the enemy, reducing their numbers or effectiveness. the horsemen would then charge into the flanks of those units holding the walls and gates.
    Strangely, the notes ended at that point and there was nothing written in the report to show what had happened after that. It has been presumed that the officers concluded that they would wait until the last part of the plan is executed, then the commander would decide what to do from there.

    Throughout the whole season, nothing much has been said of Quiamelius, except Consul Asina visiting him briefly to remind the former of their agreement and his duties; and it proceeded with Quiamelius merely giving a nod and no reply following that.


    Spring 267:
    on the first day of Aprilis, the fort was filled with the sounds of Drillmaster Manius in his unwavering, piercing voice, yelling at the soldiers of Legio I random phrases that include "double up!" "pick up the pace!" "stop laying about you slackers!" and numerous other similar phrases.
    Consul Asina paid another visit to to Quiamelius in the camp's detention centre, accompanied with Decius, who was, as usual, was holding an intimidating, coiled-up whip; this time the visit was for two purposes: the first similar to previously, and the second is to supervise that Quiamelius does not take this chance of relative chaos to escape. "bah, I've not been causing any trouble for the past year, and I haven't even had any wine for a whole season" Quiamelius retorted as soon as Asina explained his purpose there, while flinching at the thought of alcohol.

    As soon as the Legion is assembled, Asina gives a short address to his men; after taking the relatively free time he had to practise his oratory skills; and was responded to with a thunderous cheer and applause.

    the march north was a rather peaceful one; for the weather was clear and perfect, while there were no threats of an ambush; thanks to S.P. Carbo and his contacts in Bononia and around Aemilia, who had successfully spread a rumour of the Romans sending a force so numerous that it outnumbers the inhabitants of Bononia ten times. All was light-hearted, except for Quiamelius, who faces the threat of being yelled at, beaten or possibly whipped by Decius, despite Asina's warnings towards Decius not to threaten to Ligurian; though it is apparent that Decius does not comprehend Asina's orders as he does not understand the purpose of keeping this worm of a Ligurian, rather than sell him in a local market.

    The march north was around a month long, with troops progressing at a good pace, keeping their morale high by self-motivation, for tunes which sound as if they were composed in a tavern were heard constantly throughout the march.
    However all morale was lost as Legio I Apulia approached Bononia, for they were greeted with the sight of Cadwaldor, chieftain of Bononia, mustering his troops, of which includes the dreaded Gaesatae; man-demons, wildmen who fight with the strength and zeal of ten men.


    Summer 267:
    The siege went on. Soon the sight of partially-naked celtic warriors brought about a morose atmosphere within the camp, and soon the only people who were as optimistic as a few weeks ago were Consul Asina, whose unwavering optimism is starting to annoy his subordinates, and Quiamelius, who has not changed his opinion on anything and therefore is still as optimistic, or pessimistic as previously.
    News of the reinforcements of Legio II Latium reached the camp by a fleet-footed messenger dispatched by Legatus Cotta; it did well to lift the cloud of greyness that was hovering over Legio I Apulia's camp for the past few weeks.

    Soon enough, both armies were ready to assault; the battle went as planned by the officers of both legions two seasons ago, and it is still firmly embedded in Consul Asina's mind. however, after the Aemilian forces holding the walls and gates were dispatched, it became a skirmish; with accensi pelting gaeroas with stones, and Gaeroas throwing javelins at Hastati. soon, the infantry force was ordered to advance to the town square; but hindered by 2 units of Gaesatae.
    "A bunch of cowards if you ask me!" commented Drillmaster Manivs after the fight.
    A unit of Principes were the first to engage the Gaesatae. Not long later, 2 units of Hastati joined the fight; while the Gaesatae were still oblivious to the mass of horsemen gathering behind them.
    A horn was sounded. it was that of Consul Asina as he, along with Legatus Cotta and the Tribunes of both Legions, charged into the rear of the so-called invincible wildmen. The Gaesatae were routed in nearly an instant, with most choosing to flee while a few more stand their ground.
    the battle was a decisive victory, and Bononia was declared part of the Republic.

    a week after the capture of Bononia:
    Asina strides into the prison house, accompanied with Decius.
    Quiamelius: "gah, so you just captured this rathole town, just to house me in an equally small cell as I had in the camp, when you promised me freedom?"
    Asina cringed at the mention of the final word
    Asina: I had promised you freedom, once you have accomplished the task I set for you
    Quiamelius: you have not even given me any! bah!
    Asina: watch your tongue. I'm here to inform you of your task, which I think you have been anticipating for more than half a year now. Decius, unlock this cell.
    after unlocking the cell, Decius brandished his whipped, only to be stopped by Asina, who ordered Quiamelius not to be touched and sent Decius off to his other duties.

    Asina led Quiamelius to an inconspicuous-looking abode near the chieftain's palace of the now-dead Cadwaldor. the abode is that of S.P. Carbo, one of the Republic's main sources of intelligence
    Carbo: ah! Consul Asina, I was expecting a visit from you.
    Asina: Carbo, it is good to see you still in a piece.
    Carbo: thank you, and my apologies for my contacts being unable to disable the defences; that Celt though senile is still very aware, and I was almost unable to enter the settlement initially.
    Asina: it does not matter now; for I am about to brief you on your next task:
    this moment, Quiamelius interrupts, "would this include me?"
    Asina: this shall include you; and you, shall be given an important task and had better not fail in it.

    to be continued again.........
    Last edited by everyone; 01-10-2009 at 14:26.

  21. #21
    Unoffical PBM recruiter person Member /Bean\'s Avatar
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    Default Frontline: Liguria Burning

    In working progress...should have a bally good portion of it up by the end of the week.
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    Look out for the upcoming Warriors of the La Tene PBM, a new style of interactive EB gaming rising from the ashes of BtSH and WotB!
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  22. #22
    Legatus Member Tiberius Claudius Marcellus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frontline: Liguria Burning

    Bona Fortuna

    Almost a year in Roma and still no word on a military assignment. Just as well, perhaps, it's not like life in the military was a truly desirable career anyway, just a means to an end. True, it was a necessary evil though, to ensure the safety of the Res Publica and the enforcement of the will of the Senate, and, it did offer those dirty commoners who had no skills the chance to avoid a life of begging - or worse - on the streets; but it was so violent, so physically demanding! If only these Romaoi weren't so violent and hell-bent on taking over the world.

    Tiberius Claudius Marcellus let out a sigh as he held his arms out for Marcus to tie the last fasteners of his clothing. The baths were usually such a refreshing place; but lately, they were absent of their soothing effect. Rome was much different than Taras. True, Tiberius' family were Romani .... in name at least. Tiberius' great-grandfather had moved his branch of the gens Claudia family tree southward to Taras to avoid Roma's warring with the other tribes of Italia. There they took up life as merchants and set about learning the ways of their Hellenic home. In Taras, Tiberius was known and well-liked, or so he thought at least. The upper middle class with whom he always associated treated him as an equal. Here in Roma, however, he was a junior Senator from a newly "liberated" province and he couldn't even get assigned to muck stables let alone command in a Legion - something these Latins all but fawned and doted over. To sit on a horse and tell men to "go forth and kill lots of them before they kill you" didn't leave quite the impression on Tiberius as it did his fellow Romani. Just one of the differences between life as a Hellene or a Roman.

    "What bothers you, sire?", asked Marcus.

    "Marcus, I'm afraid that I shall never be given the opportunity to rise here in Roma. I've yet to be even considered for command in a Legion despite the death of the Consul and that I come with the aid of a commander whose lifetime of experience would be invaluable to me. My quarters are so much smaller than back in Taras - and so far away from the Curia as well! It is insufferable that I, Tiberius Claudius Marcellus - a member of the Senate! be made to travel such distances for work and for sustenance. And what a mighty member indeed! They mock and ridicule my suggestions in the open! Marcus, I fear that Roma has little to offer me."

    Marcus mulled over what his master had confided to him as they both walked through the Forum and markets. Suddenly, an idea came to him.

    "Sire, when I commanded my first company back in Taras, oh, almost 20 years ago now, I learned that to keep the morale of my men up I needed to keep them busy. Sitting around without a goal to work towards breeds ennui and disdain for one's surroundings. My men needed direction not only on the field; but off.

    "I remembered the lessons I learned when I first enlisted: 'do not make work for the sake of work'. Now, that may seem contradictory to my original statement that soldiers - and senators - need to keep busy; but I assure you that nothing will bring morale down faster than pointless effort and wasted sweat going towards a task whose purpose does not matter. My first company commander was fond of making us dig latrine ditches most of the afternoon every other day because he believed we needed to keep our minds off of sitting around waiting for an enemy to rear its head. When I became company commander I vowed never to toil pointlessly; but with purpose!"

    Tiberius, half-listening as always, rolled his eyes as he handed a shopkeeper a bronze coin for two apples. The shopkeeper started to hand Tiberius back the proper copper change; but Tiberius shook his head and withdrew his hand.

    "You've a greater need than I. Save what you can and one day you can better your position."

    The shopkeeper thanked Tiberius profusely and offered to donate the extra money to the shrine of Ceres. 'What a foolish simpleton,' thought Tiberius. 'That is why he is a shop keeper and I am a Senator. He can't even follow simple advice.' Tiberius handed the second apple to Marcus who appreciatively took the fruit and bit into it. It was refreshingly tart and juicy. Both men walked through the milling throngs in silence while they chewed.

    "Marcus, continue with what you were saying."

    "Of course, sire. When I took command of my company I made sure that whatever tasks my troops did to keep busy were relevant to either their jobs, their health, or their morale. Whether we were digging latrine ditches, drilling into the night, or inviting their families for a communal meal and bonfire, there was always a purpose behind the task."

    Losing interest, Tiberius interrupted, "And I should invite the Senatores and their houses to my quarters for a feast and orgy?"

    Marcus coughed on some of the juice of the apple that went down the wrong way. This young man was insolent and impatient to the core. He replied, "No, sire. What I do suggest is that you do need to keep busy to keep your mind off of your boredom and lack of appointment to the Legions. Rather than sulk at your current state of affairs, keep busy at trying to better them yourself. If the Lagati won't send word to you, send word to them. If the Senatores are less-than-impressed with your status and so ignore your speeches, then, as you told the shopkeeper, better your station. You are quite capable, master, to challenge the Fates and wrest control of your own stars. 'Carpe diem,' as the Romani say."

    Tiberius thought over all that Marcus had said. It made sense. Tiberius' own ancestors went and made their own fortune, why shouldn't he? Marcus had proved yet again his value. But how to increase his personal standing amongst men of power and influence and wealth? They had everything that Tiberius did not, where to begin?

    It was then that Tiberius noticed a rather awkwardly dressed man about his same age haggling with a fish monger over the price of the day's catch. On closer appraisal, it appeared rather that they were arguing over the system of scales used. Intriguing, not many commoners knew how the different guilds measured what they sold against how much they sold it for. This man, however, appeared quite knowledgeable - enough so to risk causing a public scene. Tiberius couldn't help but intervene.

    "Gentlemen, what is the commotion about?"

    Before the fish monger could speak, the man dressed in a tunic that was two sizes too large offered his side of the story,

    "Sir, this man is using rigged weights in his scales. I saw that his medium weight on the produce side is the same as the heavy weight on the currency side. He is cheating me and others."

    Tiberius snatched the questionable weights from the scales as the hairy-armed fish monger started to contest the customer's accusations. Fear registered on his face when he realized that Tiberius had caught on to his scam. He began to stammer excuse after excuse while sweat poured from his forehead. Tiberius silenced him with his index finger raised in front of his face.

    "You, sir, are a scandalous viper. Your corrupt business takes bread from the mouths of families who toil from sun up to sun down. Marcus, round up the nearest patrol and have this man arrested on my authority as a Senator."

    Marcus came to attention, gave a quick salute of his fist to his heart and trotted off around a corner to find the nearest patrol.

    "Sir," Tiberius said to the wronged man, "you are quite observant and knowledgeable of weights and measures, the law, and currency. You are an asset to your master's house."

    "I am Quintus Valerius, freeman, said the man in the large tunic. I saved enough of my wages as a servant to Gnaeus Decimus Brutus Hortensio to purchase my freedom. While I worked for him I was his chief steward. I am an asset to myself, now."

    'Gods be praised!' thought Tiberius. Just minutes ago he was sulking over how to better his position in life, when lo and behold a second capable man comes within reach to aid his rise to power. Surely this opportunity could not be passed up.

    "Quintus Valerius, freeman: I am Tribunus Tiberius Claudius Marcellus, Sentaor of the Res Publica Romani, representative of Tarentum. I am in need of services such as the ones you provided to your former master. What say you to becoming part of my house as a freeman clerk, earning your keep and wages.......as well as some clothing that fits?"

    Quintus replied, "Senator, I've no obligations to others and your house would provide better for me than the brick maker I serve now. Allow me to settle my affairs with him and I shall accept your position this evening."

    Tiberius smiled, Nike be praised! "Quintus Valerius, I shall meet you at my quarters an hour before sundown with your possessions. If you do not know the way, the clerk at the Curia shall give you instructions."

    The Fates were conspiring in Tiberius' favor......for now. But for how long?
    Last edited by Tiberius Claudius Marcellus; 01-14-2009 at 05:14.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potocello
    "it is in his character traits and that's how Tiberius chooses to rp him. In all honesty i think this would be boring without such ridiculous characters..."

  23. #23
    the universal person Member everyone's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    The Ligurian: Part 3

    Asina's orders to Quiamelius were rather simple, help S.P. Carbo to infiltrate the settlement, Quiamelius's knowledge on local customs would help Carbo to blend in with the locals.

    Carbo had managed to infiltrate Liguria, a few seasons later the city was under siege by the combined Legions of Apulia and Latium, led by Consul Asina, hailed as a military hero for his conquests in Italia and Heres Blasio, the heir to the Dictatorship of Roma respectively. The siege was a bloody one, taking the life of Asina as he rode on to slay Conan, the chieftain of Liguria.

    Now, though Segesta has been brought under the rule of the People and Republic of Rome, the Republic has also lost a fine General to the hands of Barbarians.

    Though Asina's reports end here, his trusted friend M.C. Cicero has taken the time to chronicle the last few hours of Asina's life, and a few events which followed. (note: the following section is told from the perspective of Manius Claudius Cicero, who is incidentially narrating)

    The last thing I heard directly from Consul Asina, was in the tent just before the Battle of Segesta. he was discussing the battle plan for an attack the following day as Heres Blasio, in charge of Legio II then, had ordered Asina to bring along Legio I Apulia to reinforce Legio II when the latter assaults the Ligurian settlement. The strategy, strangely, was a rather disorganised one; it included to coordination of armies and such; it was as if Asina had lost his strategic skills. I had never thought "dismissed" was the last word Asina was to say to me.

    During the battle; Legio I Apulia was in a mess; our horsemen were ordered to charge through our formations, causing them to be disrupted, and our infantry were ordered to move into the settlement through the breeches in a most un-Roman fashion, if I would say. Though the battle was considered a clear victory and our noble Heres had been given credit for capturing it; I had thought it to be more of a defeat. A man, who has bought great victories to the republic, fallen in a battle, is there a man who is competent or capable enough to replace him? Who would bring our legions to that great victories again?

    Though there is a myriad of other military commanders within our republic, I think only a small number of them would rise to the greatness of Consul Asina; I shall aspire to one of them, though I may not be as great as Asina.

    After the battle, I visited to the small abode of S.P. Carbo, which was as equally inconspicuous as previously when I went to the Bononian version together with Consul Asina, to inform Carbo of the news. "Ah! Drillmaster Manivs! what news do you bring? where is Consul Asina?" I was still in the state of shock, I had not believed that our dear Consul Asina passed before my eyes jsut a few yards away from my unit, it took a while before I could respond to Carbo. "Consul Asina has fallen bravely in combat against that barbarian Conan. Other than that, I have been asked to bring Quiamelius back to Legatus Regulus, who has taken temporary command of Legio I Apulia; I presume he is residing with you?

    It was now Carbo's turn to be shocked. He nervously stuttered, "well- that Ligurian man, he - he went missing a few nights after I arrived here, which was a few weeks before the siege started, I'm not sure what exactly happened to him."

    The End

    OOC: partially major spoiler
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    I'll find another chance in the game to role-play what happened to Quiamelius, because as everybody might suspect, he's become a turncoat. but I would dispel some things before I write my next part in the near future:
    1. Quiamelius did not kill Asina
    2. Quiamelius was not killed
    3. Quiamelius also did not exactly betray Asina, because I intended for him to be a introverted coward. well more would be revealed when the time comes
    Last edited by everyone; 01-14-2009 at 13:17.

  24. #24
    the universal person Member everyone's Avatar
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    Default Re: BtSH Stories Thread

    The story of Manivs Clavdivs Cicero

    Born into a Plebian family, Manivs had little opportunities to excel when he was young, though he displayed martial talent throughout his childhood. Though tragedy struck when his Father caught a fatal disease and died when Manivs was about to come of age.

    It was a conversation he has with his father when he was young that inspired him to enlist in the Legion; and he did so as soon as he was of age. When he enlisted, he was placed in a Rorarii unit, but Manivs eventually working his way up to an officer in a Hastati unit within a year through acts of valour displayed on the battlefield. Not long after Cicero's promotion, the then-Legatus Asina recognised Cicero's leadership and martial talent and befriended the young officer; which helped to propel the young officer's position upwards, into the role of an acting offcer in Legio I Apulia by 271.

    Throughout the year that Asina was on campaign with Legio I Apulia, Cicero had loyally followed him around, most of the time at Asina's request, probably Asina recognising the former's talent; Cicero too had thought of Asina as a mentor, or an elder brother.

    For the next three years, Cicero stayed on campaign, along with Legio I Apulia; having marched the entire length of Italia and fought many battles, he has finally been promoted to a Tribunus, and adopted into the ruling Princep's family, sponsoring his talent.

    (I'll also extend this eventually...)
    Last edited by everyone; 01-17-2009 at 15:19.

  25. #25
    Legatus Member Tiberius Claudius Marcellus's Avatar
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    Olive, rocks, and twigs

    The seasons had changed and were beginning to change again since Tiberius hired Quintus Valerius after their paths crossed in the market place. The freeman had proven his worth time and time again. From day one he began taking his new master to task, pinching pennies here and there. Ultimately he was 2,000 denarii richer for it! It never ceased to amaze Tiberius, who was always thrifty with a coin, how many unnecessary expenditures he had been making. This series of non-life-altering changes had netted him a much more spacious residence that he jokingly named the "Villa Claudia". Though modest by most senatorial salaries, these new quarters were much closer to the Curia, boasted a working fountain in the interior court yard and even an almost-finished multi-colored and rather complicated floor mosaic being worked on by imported Hellenic artisans from Taras.

    Tiberius' life too was upwardly mobile in the Senate. Though he had not partaken in any major legislative sessions, he had been working closely with many senior senatores by doing the legwork for the bills that they were to propose. While not as enthralling as he expected it was to make rousing speeches on the floor to rally the troops and slaughter Roma's enemies, he was still anxiously learning every bit he could from these more experienced men. Tiberius was privy to many a conversation that would ordinarily have been behind closed doors, and he wasn't sure if the Senatores realized he was nearly memorizing every word they spoke; but the information he gleaned was invaluable. This senator was sleeping with this one's wife. This senator was good for a favor. This senator favored little boys. The never-ending flow of plotting and scheming was music to Tiberius' ears. He was in his element.

    Marcus quickly stepped inisde and shook the rain off his cloak. The warmth of the fire in the inner room was almost unbearable when compared to this unseasonably cool autumnal rain that had been falling the past few days. He removed his caligae and cloak and handed them to a servant. The smell of the day's catch lightly frying in the kitchens made his mouth water. Life was certainly better now that master Tiberius had cast off the yoke of self-pity and had begun to pull himself up by his sandal straps. Life with master Tiberius was trying at times, after all, the man had nowhere near the maturity or life experience as his father; but he was still a benevolent benefactor, if impatient and insolent to the core.

    Just as he was heading to the kitchens to pilfer a bite, Marcus noticed Senator Tiberius escort a rather dirty and sheepish looking man out of one of the adjoining rooms. The farmer looked more root than man he had so much filth on him. He figeted nervously with his cap in his hand as he sought the proper words.

    "I haven't the coin to pay you fir all you done, m'lord. Alls I kin afford is a chicken and a basket of eggs, what takes three days to fill."

    Tiberius put his hand on the farmer's shoulder and shuddered inwardly. Peasants needed help just as much as the Patricians; but must they be so dirty and uneducated about it? A trip to the baths would be necessary after this visit. He forced a smile as he spoke,

    "Good sir, I do this work pro bono as I explained before. You owe me nothing in return. Simply return to your neighbor and follow my instructions. I'm sure that when he hears how high the court fees are to take this case before a magistrate, he will more than readily agree to have a neutral third party assess the damage your cow caused his fence. Now, you've a rather long journey back to your home. Please see my valet before you leave and he will give you some food for the journey. Good afternoon."

    The servant quickly ushered the farmer out a rear door as Tiberius turned to Marcus.

    "Ahhh, Marcus, good to see you - I trust the rain did not hinder your errands? Foul weather, this."

    "No, sire, it did not, and foul indeed - the cold can run a man through to his very bones!"

    Tiberius knew what the old officer was talking about. He had been feeling rather under the weather himself ever since this cold spell moved in. If it kept up, the farmers' harvest would be affected. He made note to stop off at the shrine to Ceres for supplication later in the day.

    "Sire, Marcus said, "I've taken the liberty to procure the services of a Mathematician I found working in the Greek quarter to better aid you in your studies of siege machines and the various sciences and architecture. After our conversation the other night and your expressed desires I thought it appropriate. If I have overstepped my bounds, please allow me to send him home and I beg your forgiveness."

    Tiberius considered what Marcus had said, one hand cupping his chin and mouth with the other arm across his chest, holding his other elbow. The services of a Mathematician would be useful when it came to siege warfare. Tiberius remembered well how bored he was when Marcus used to teach him tactics using olives, twigs, and pebbles to represent armies. Oh, how tiresome it was, if only he had paid more attention! This new learning could also come in useful perhaps even one day if he were to govern a province! But he was getting ahead of himself......still, there was no harm in being prepared. Well, perhaps there was harm to his purse strings. Marcus should have conferred with him before hiring this man. He could picture Quintus cluck clucking like a mother hen as he re-arranged finances to make this man's salary appear from no where.

    "Marcus, you've not overstepped your authority. I'm sure you will help Quintus arrange the new finances to assure that this man has a place here in the Villa Claudia? I trust your judgment, my father would not have hired you were you not a good and capable man. Still, in the future, please bring it to my attention before you bring a stranger to this house. What are his references?"

    Marcus came to attention and bowed his head.

    "Of course, sire. It will not happen again. I found this man overseeing the construction of platforms and rather complicated machinations in the Greek quarter in preparation for a festival to celebrate Pallas Athena. I stood watching him attend to drawings and double checking measurements while the laborers put together the wooden structures. He was quite confident and quick to make corrections, being not afraid to raise his voice to emphasize a point.

    "After a solid period of observation I approached him and identified myself as your aide. He relayed to me his name as Antigonos Thessolonikki. He had come to Roma as a slave, purchased by a member of the Gens Aurelia. He did not relay as to how he became a slave; but he did say that he had studied in the Megale Schole and designed siege engines for Pyrrhus Anax while in his home town before coming to Italia."

    A slave captured as a spoil of war now doubt! Surprised, Tiberius asked, "The Gens Aurelia? Surely they would not part so willingly with a valuable slave? They're some of the greediest Romani to people the land! Was he a freeman? Where are his papers?"

    "No, he is not a freeman, m'lord," said Marcus. "I have arranged a trade which I think you will find highly favourable."

    Tiberius raised an eyebrow. "Perhaps you have overstepped your bounds. What sort of scheme is this?"

    Marcus smiled. Master Tiberius was sure to be pleased with this arrangement.

    "Sire, it would seem that the lady of the house needed to reduce expenses now that her husband had journeyed with the ferry man to Hades. When I spoke with her about an arrangement she was more than happy to "sell" him to you in return that I educate her youngest son in the ways of the soldier. I have agreed to help him every other day for a year, unless you require my services. She was most pleased and had a clerk draw up the paperwork in two copies. I have them here for you to stamp and I shall return one to her when you give me leave."

    Crafty indeed, thought Tiberius. A slave would not require any payment at all. This would relieve Quintus, he was sure, though there would be some added calculations to account for food and clothing. A sudden bout of violent coughing racked Tiberius' body. It took him a brief while to regain his breath and composure. These humors spread by the cold weather be damned!

    "Marcus, you have done surprisingly well - not out of lack of faith of your abilities; but in your sheer cunning. You've my leave to train the boy as you have agreed, provided I do not require your services elsewhere. Leave the papers in my dormitorium and I shall affix my seal after evening meal. Now, let us eat. This cold weather has emptied my belly."

    Tiberius extended an arm around Marcus' shoulder in friendship, the first time he had ever done so. The two men started walking into the kitchens when Tiberius turned and remarked,

    "Marcus, guard well your heritage. I fear that perhaps Lady Aurelia wished to be rid of our new charge for his lineage. Those of the Gens Aurelia are quite the xenophobes, as I hear told."
    Last edited by Tiberius Claudius Marcellus; 01-15-2009 at 20:08.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potocello
    "it is in his character traits and that's how Tiberius chooses to rp him. In all honesty i think this would be boring without such ridiculous characters..."

  26. #26
    Friend of Lady Luck Member Mooks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stories Thread

    Biography of Deciumus Cornelius Scipio. As written by Gaius Martinvs during the dictatorship of Dentatvs.

    Born 24 years ago. Deciumus Cornelius Scipio life is full of holes. Holes of knowledge of his life of course. Periodically through his life he spent his time in the marketplace of Capua, the philosophy school of Rome (Though only until the age of 17, where he was quoted saying to a bunch of greeks discussing stoicism "You old greeks would roll in Zeno's if it was dirty enough" where he was handed a assignment to find the meaning of life outside the school. Never to return until he did) campus martius and the academy.

    At least those are the official places he was. Rumors tell that he joined a group of pirates, went to the east and burned a town. Then returned to Rome with a hoarde of treasures and gained access in the senate. The only evidence of this is drunken ramblings of men in the innercity, his small fortune, odd patrons and his tongue for various languages.

    Whatever happened to him it is known that he is very pessimestic, mildly agressive, and fond of forming alliances and schemes. Even after all this he is known to be very generous and loyal to Rome. He is true to his word but expects everyone he meets to be a liar and a cheat.
    Last edited by TinCow; 04-14-2010 at 12:05.
    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    i love the idea that angsty-teens can get so spazzed out by computer games that they try to rage-rape themselves with a remote.

  27. #27
    Legatus Member Tiberius Claudius Marcellus's Avatar
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    Leaches and blood letting

    Another violent bout of coughing racked his aching body. It had been like this for a fortnight. His throat was chafed, every muscle and bone was sore, and he felt as if there was an army marching round and round his head. This dreaded cold, wet weather was insufferable. At least in Taras the moist air was warm! Tiberius didn't know what evil plagued him with these humors. He was not a glutton, he gave alms, he aided the less fortunate with legal advice, he prayed with fervor to all the gods equally, and he was diligent in all his duties. He needed some fresh air. Tiberius opened a window to let some of the smoke from the censers out. The priests said to keep the blessed incense burning for three days and what spirits plagued the house would surely be driven out.

    Tiberius gasped as the cold, wet air assaulted his face. It was rejuvenating from the sweet stuffiness of the incense smoke. He had fallen ill like this in the past, usually once a winter; but never so completely. He was sure it would pass in time; but one could never be too careful. Tiberius remembered well the lessons of the poet Hesiod: 'Thanatos with his heart of iron and his spirit within him as pitiless as bronze could be anywhere. Whomsoever of men he had once seized he held fast; and he was hateful even to the deathless gods.' Even so, he simply could not bear the atmosphere any longer.

    It was then that Quintus Valerius entered the room in a tunic that fit just right and shooed his master away from the opening and fastened the shutters. Tiberius sighed, he would get no relief. Before he could complain Quintus began,

    "Master, you will surely journey with the ferry man if you expose yourself so to this inclement weather. Follow the counsel of the priests and one day you will be well again. They are most wise who serve the gods."

    Tiberius allowed his frustration to get the better of him,

    "Know your place in this house or you shall be put out! I am the master of my own stars and should I deem it fitting to breathe in these vapors then I shall do so." Thinking it better to mend the feelings of his clerk, he continued, "Quintus, you have been an asset to me and this house. You alone are responsible for my station in life now. I ask your forgiveness for this outburst. I am not myself."

    Nodding his understanding Quintus replied,

    "Master Tiberius, I can sense how miserable you must be feeling. I only wish you long life and health. Allow me to go to the medicus and tell the cooks to prepare a light and invigorating meal. Perhaps pigeon stuffed with fruit and nuts may be to your liking?"

    There was nothing lower on Tiberius' mind than eating. He could barely force himself to swallow a broth with the way his throat troubled him so. Still, he could not bring himself to dash the attempts of his newly trusted clerk and gave him leave to visit the medicus. Perhaps he would return with some herbs for a tea. Though it would be painful to swallow, he could always add some honey to it like his mother used to. That seemed to make it just a bit easier to take.

    *************************************************

    Tiberius was woken by Quintus lightly tapping at his arm. He hadn't remembered falling asleep; but it had obviously been some time since the lamps were turned on and darkness blanketed the out doors. The smell of pigeon did smell wonderful; but as he swallowed to wet his mouth he quickly gave up on the idea of eating. That was disappointing as days of thin broth had left his stomach on the verge of devouring itself. Perhaps just a nibble might be in order. As Tiberius sat up he cringed at the dull pains throughout his body. Every single joint cried out at the offense and he stifled a gasp as he was jolted awake.

    With his eyes adjusted to the flickering light, Tiberius noticed a balding, stooped man with Quintus. He carried a black leather bag and there seemed to be a strong, clean odor of the outdoors emanating from within it. This must be a medicus, but why bring him here? Tiberius inquired,

    "Quintus, why have you brought the healer here? A simple bouquet would have been enough."

    Quintus brought the man forward who set his bag down and began to rummage through its contents.

    "Master, the medicus was not available to help as he was busy with other patients; but he dispatched his aide, this herbalist by the name of Appius Albius Macer. He has worked with the medicus for 30 years and is a most capable mand skilled healer."

    Appius stepped forward, a rather thin man; but whose bright grey eyes twinkled in the lamp light with an alertness that defied his age.

    "Honored Senator," he began, "I hear told you have fallen ill. These herbs I have are among the best available to help speed away this sickness. If you will, but for a small fee, allow me to mix some poultices and let the humors from your body, I assure you you will be up and about in no time at all."

    Tiberius didn't like the idea of blood letting. It was rather messy and the stench of it made him gag. Still, he was want to be rid of this illness quickly. What if it turned to the plague? He silently nodded his acquiescence and the herbalist readily went to work, quietly crushing herbs and griding seeds and blending them with all manner of creams and waters. He broke out into a near-inaudible hum as he worked, and Tiberius' eyes grew heavy with the aroma of the medecines. He was asleep again before the first poultice was applied.

    *************************************************************************

    Within the week, Tiberius was back to his old self. His strength and more importantly his appetite had returned. He wasn't quite sure just how much the herbalist's trade had helped; but he did feel as if he had slept better in the least. For the 'small fees' charged by the man, Tiberius was slow to wholly disregard the healer's effects; but he was still skeptical. There was just something that felt wrong about allowing writhing water worms to feed from you while you were still alive. To the old man's credit, he was still alive to worry, so that much was good. Tiberius decided he would call upon Appius' services again if needed - if only to avoid the sin of tempting the Fates, of course.
    Last edited by Tiberius Claudius Marcellus; 01-18-2009 at 20:47.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potocello
    "it is in his character traits and that's how Tiberius chooses to rp him. In all honesty i think this would be boring without such ridiculous characters..."

  28. #28
    Legatus Member Tiberius Claudius Marcellus's Avatar
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    Legio III Campania sets out

    It had taken months of drilling these men, fresh from the fields and cities - many of whom were too young to have even married yet - to turn them into the basic soldiers they were today. These were not men who were grisled and hardened to what ghastly horrors the field of battle had to offer. For that matter, neither were Tiberius or Scipio. These two men, who had been selected by the Legate of the Legion, Legatus Longus, to be his lieutenants had not seen one battle themselves; and yet here they were, appointed to lead these green troops against the enemy - whomever that might be. It rather frightened Tiberius somewhat. At least Servius had fought in two battles prior. He knew what to expect. All that said, these soldiers were not rabble. They were properly trained in the arts of war: they were in top physical condition, they were disciplined, they followed orders, they kept their tents in neat rows and properly displayed their equipment for inspection. The entire Legion even was even praised for the perfect cover and alignment of its troops when it conducted its innaugural parade after training was completed in Capua. Yes, each one of these soldiers had passed a battery of physical tests and had proven themselves worthy of being trusted with the defense of the Res Publica.

    Tiberius admonished himself for being nervous. He had been through more intense training than these troops had been. He was, afterall, an officer. He had a personal bodyguard of battle-tested men to protect him with their lives. He also had Marcus, his aide de camp, who had fought for over twenty years in the Epirote army garrisoned in Taras. Marcus would not allow Tiberius to falter. And additionally, the Legion's first assignment was to quell a civil uprising in the hills of Kalabria. No one expected this to be a difficult task, really. Afterall, they were simply untrained farmers with hand tools upset over taxes or a bad harvest. They wouldn't prove much of a fight, he expected. And besides, there were thousands of men that were going to be in front of Tiberius doing the actual fighting. He planned to stay well behind and issue orders, and yell, and posture on his horse so that it appeared he was doing more than he actually was. Yes, Tiberius thought, that was the safest way to get accustomed to battle. Perhaps when he had seen men die and became less confused about the bigger picture would he consider venturing into the fray himself. Until then, this would be a learning exercise.

    Tiberius rocked side to side in his saddle. They had been on the march for over half a day without a stop in order to close the distance with the rebellious louts all the quicker. The latest intelligence gathered from the surrounding farms was that the men had taken to the country south east of Tarentum and were not the rabble of pig farmers they were believed to be. By all accounts this was nothing short of a Samnite uprising and the people were terrified. The Legion's scouts reported at least three units of infantry, believed to consist of Samniciti Milites and Samniciti Hastati, as well as some mercenary Greek cavalry. Tiberius noted that perhaps he had underestimated their capabilities. Afterall, an education in a Megale Schole was not the only way a man became wise, and these rebels had obtained plenty of weapons and armor. Perhaps they were remnants of the defending force of Taras?

    Tiberius trotted his mount up towards Legatus Longus and asked,

    "Sir, when we have dealt with these interlopers, what next for the Legion?"

    Servius replied,

    "Tribunus, your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Eat what is on your plate before you ask for seconds, lest you become bloated and unable to raise your sword."

    Tiberius gave a quick bow of his head,

    "Of course, sir. I have been focusing my mind on the scout reports and wished to divert my thoughts elsewhere for a time. I shall redouble my efforts."

    Tiberius began to slow his mount to fall back to his position in the column when Servius turned in his saddle and called to him. He regained his lost ground and waited for his Commander to speak. The men spoke of the upcoming battle and of the Legatus' plans. They were sound to the core. The Legio III Campania far outnumbered these rebels, even if they were well armed. When they finished talking it was well into the late afternoon, the sun beginning to cast hues of orange and red ever-so-slightly, and the Legatus signalled to his trumpeter to give the call to halt and set up camp for the night. Tiberius thanked his commander for the lessons of the day and broke away to see to the troops under his command who would be responsible for fashioning and constructing the fort's defenses.

    Within the season, the men of the Third Legion would spill blood. Tiberius would see to it that it no one dared raise arms against the Res Publica again.
    Semper Fidelis

    Campaigns Completed:
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    ______________________________________
    Legatus Tiberius Claudius Marcellus - Beyond the Seven Hills, a Roman PBM RPG
    Awarded by _Bean_ 02/01/2009 for The Phalerium
    Quote Originally Posted by Potocello
    "it is in his character traits and that's how Tiberius chooses to rp him. In all honesty i think this would be boring without such ridiculous characters..."

  29. #29
    Involuntary Gaesatae Member The Celtic Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stories Thread

    Pvblivs Atilivs Regvlvs was eating dinner with his bodyguards.

    "... and so I found this female slave last night, this beautiful Gaul, and I'm telling you: there is no better looking concubine in the whole civilized world!"
    "Yeah, sure. I know all about your queer tastes, Varus! She's probably some hairy little skank you picked up in the mud!"
    Laughter broke out.
    "Just you laugh, Bulbus", Varus replied. "When you see her, you'll realize the error of your ways. Seriously, I'm telling you guys, she is fine! Pvblivs, you've seen her! Ain't she a beauty?" Varus was searching for Pvblivs support.
    "Yeah, she's alright."
    "I think you've spent a little too much time away from Rome, Pvblivs, if you agree with him! You need to go back, and remind yourself what real women look like!"
    There were cheers among the men, and at that moment a messenger came in.
    "Ah", Pvblivs said, "I see there may be more reasons than that! Excuse me."

    Pvblivs got up and left with the messenger into a secluded room.

    "So...", Pvbivs started, "what news from Rome, Ralla?"
    "Oh, the usual. Cotta bickering with Tiberius..."
    "Ha! That fool. I hope Cotta puts the red nose in place."
    "... and discussion about where to go next. It seems to stand between Illyria, as favoured by Dux Asina and Avlvs, or Sicily, as favoured by Legatvs Longvs. There's even some talk about a fourth legion..."
    "A fourth? What on earth would we need that for?"
    Ralla looked through some notes.
    "It was never fully explained, it would seem. At least I have no note of it, and I'm sure I would've had if it was. It was only tribvnvs Mamercvs who really stood for it, though."
    "Figures it would be a tribune. So what else?"
    "Well, here's the kicker, and I think you'll like it."
    "Go on." Pvblivs, who had been leaning over a chair, now stood up straight, listening intently.
    "Blasio has made a promise to return Rome into the hands of the senate. He will renounce the title of dictator, and Rome will be a republic once again."
    Pvblivs chuckles.
    "Has he now? Has he now..." Pvblivs drifted off in thoughts, before finally returning to Ralla. "Indeed. That is more than I expected from him, to tell you the truth. Lets hold off the celebrations until after the fact, though. It remains to be seen whether he will live up to his fair words."
    "I think he's being sincere. You're right of course; until he actually does that he's still acting as a dictator, and that alone is reason enough for doubt. He enjoys a lot of support from the other senators - something that has always baffled me - and it is questionable whether he's really willing give up his position and all the perks that come with it when it actually gets down to it. I won't celebrate yet, but for all this, I will say it again: I think he really intends to do it."
    "And I hope you're right, my friend." Pvblivs pats Ralla on his back. "Come! We must hurry before all the wine is spent!"
    "Actually, sir, there's one last thing. There's a new senator in the Cvria."
    "Oh?" Pvblivs looked at Ralla with a look with mixed interest and wish for wine.
    "Spvrivs Clavdivs Flamen is his name. I don't know much about him, though, but he was simply dressed and spoke with hesitation. Just a little boy - much like you, actually, when you first entered the Cvria."
    "Is he now?" Pvblivs smiled. "Perhaps he would do well as a tribune in The First then, eh?"
    Ralla laughed.
    "Perhaps. I only fear he'd be too much like you. One is more than enough."

    Pvblivs laughed as they went back to the dining table, where they were greeted by a drunk crowd and an empty wine keg.
    Last edited by The Celtic Viking; 01-27-2009 at 00:35.

  30. #30
    Member Member navarro951's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stories Thread

    Dentatvs' Last Night
    Winter of 266

    Dentatvs lay on his bed, ill of old age, tiresome of wars past and running the Republic. Blasio sat near him holding his hand while a scribe wrote his dying words...

    "Good Blasio, you have been a son to me, and more than a friend to my family." Blasio holding back tears as a Roman should. "Blasio, promise me...he coughs harshly promise me you will keep the Res Publica intact"

    "I promise father." Blasio replies out of respect. "But am I to be made dictator in your place? The senators will not agree with that for long. I may not serve them as you did-"

    "Never mind...Dentatvs clears his throat never mind the dictatorship." Dentatvs pulls Blasio closer"You shall restore the power of the senate in good time. We can trust the men of the Curia. Ally yourself with those who will serve Roma and its well being...and all will be sorted out appropriately." Blasio Nods. "Bring peace to us if you can...he coughs even harder, longer and give Roma a time of never before seen economic prosperity. If you can gain the trust of the plebs, you will gain the trust of the senate."

    Blasio listens deeply, taking in each word knowing they may be his last. Dentatvs coughs out a gargled cough holding his chest.

    "A doctor! A doctor now hurry!" Blasio yells to the scribe "Good Dentatvs! My friend..My father! I will serve Roma well! In your name!"

    Shaking his head no as best he can and trying to put words together Dentatvs struggles to reply.

    "No...He shakes and his coughing grows louder not for me...no..t..for me...for..Ro...m..aa-"

    Dentatvs falls to his bed...his eyes closing slowly as his the last winds draw from his mouth. Blasio's head falls and that first, painful, tear falls to the ground. The doctor arrives...
    ~WotB~
    Strategos Epilektos Panaitolos Ankyrikos Commander of 1sy Lydian Army

    ~BtSH~

    Consul/Dux Cornelius Blasio

    X 9


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