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Thread: The Great War.

  1. #1
    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default The Great War.

    This is just the prologue, comments would be most welcome.



    The Great War.


    It is B.C 186 the vast territories if Roma stretch from the western coasts of Iberia to the city of Constantinople. The Romans believe themselves to be unbeatable, for did not their great ancestor Titus the Conqueror beat the Carthaginians, Dacians and the Gauls. Was it not Amulius the Great who vanquished the great German tribe in the Northern war of B.C 200-189? Is it not Roma, which, above all other great cities, has been picked by the gods to rule the world. It would seem so in this great year in which Roma’s greatest enemy, the empire of the Ptolemy’s has been defeated by Publius Arrenius, leader of Roma.

    Yet, a menace looms to the east, its grey legions of pikes cut through a barren land of sand and rock. Even now this unseen threat plans to destroy the Empire of Roma. At this great host’s head, is a mastermind of war, Alexandros the Invincible, ruler of the five kingdoms, Selukia, Armenia, Pontus, Parthia and Sarmatia. At his command are sixty thousand of his Empire’s best troops, his strategy, too drown Roma with his armies, he believes that sheer weight of numbers can drive the Romans back to their “golden city”. Yet he knows, that between him and his dream are over twenty four thousand, of the worlds best troops, he realise that many must die, but too this madman the sight of blood is more wondrous than Venus herself. This will be the greatest of all wars, this will decide the fate of countless generations, in this fight all of the old shall be swept away before the storm that is total war.

    The room was bright but silent; the men at the table were all facing the figure standing at the head of the table. They were not silent out of respect, but rather, out of shock. For how could such words be true, such and idea was impossible, yet they all knew it must be. “ You say that their number is innumerable, surely you have over exaggerated, surely they number under twenty thousand”, the unsteady voice came from Menius Arrenius, the son of Publius Arrenius, who behind the closed doors of some houses was called the Twitch. For it was well known that he lacked the great skill and courage of his father, yet he was rarely toyed with, for it was also known to the whole world that Menius Arrenius had a will of iron. Which he would temper in the form of assassinations and freak accidents. “ No sir, mistaken I am not, the enemy armies numbers are innumerable, they are as plague of locusts upon an over-ripe field, all consuming, all powerful, and in my opinion the greatest threat to Roma since the Germans” it was said humbly but stoutly, for although Terasius Harulis was not of great and noble stature, he was of solid mind and opinion and his word could not be doubted.

    “It is a good morning, yes a very good morning, can you see, the sun is rising, its power is all, its greatness untouched, I shall see my empire made as such, and today I believe will be my first great step, do you not agree Kassander”, the voice was silky, too much so for it to be real, how could a man exude such immortal confidence. Yet this was no mortal man, at the young age of sixteen, Alexandros had seen his father and two brothers killed in battle, at eighteen he won his first. Ever since that year he had kept on winning, he never seemed to stop, there was always one more to fight, one more city, and more often than not one more woman. Yet this, was different, Kassander could sense something within his Lord, which had not been there since he had avenged his father and brothers at the battle of the mounts in Parthia. “ My Lord what is there to agree to, your word is all, I, such as I am cannot contend it”, it was said as if the Kassander feared for his life, every word carefully placed and perfectly pronounced, it was a rehearsed statement, honed over years of use. It, Kassander knew, kept him alive. For although Alexandros was known by the many as the Invincible, he was know by a few as the Madman.

    The grey columns were advancing at a steady pace, their march creating a loud rumble which on a cold, dark could be mistaken as thunder. But this day the sun was bright, and the thought of a storm absent from all minds. So, the guard called to his officer and claimed he heard the march of a vast host. The officer was not a man to toy with fanciful ideas, and so dismissed the man of his duty. So the grey leviathan advanced up through the valley, concealed from their enemy, craving death. All within the camp were ignorant of their impending doom. Even the scouts, who in the morning had gone foraging had not found any evidence of the Seleucid army. All was going well thought Alexandros, by the late afternoon he reckoned, that Roman fort would be his, and by next month the whole of Syria would be his. Then by the end of the year, the entire Orient. Then perhaps in ten years the entire world, and it would start here, at the fort of Essus. “ Yes” he muttered to himself, “I shall be as Zeus is upon Olympus, I shall be ruler of the world, I shall have immortality”

    Sig by Durango

    Now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a great deal of harm.
    -Oscar Wilde

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    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great War.

    I like it Bopa the Magyar , very nice.

    The only thing that came off as a little troublesome is you switch perspectives quickly and without warning. It comes off as slightly confusing when the Romans are meeting, and then you suddenly are with Alexandros. Though it's not a big deal and i doubt many will be hampered by it. Just something i noticed and that is imho of course...

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    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great War.

    I'll take that into account, thnx. heres more, alot more

    Chapter One.
    Fort Essus


    The attack had come swiftly, so fast had it been that the Romans had not realised their peril until the grey mass had burst forth from the woods that lay less than a hundred feet of the stockade. Officers were contemplating their futures, while centurions were barking orders at the men to form up on the northern rampart, for that is where the Seleucid army would strike first, at the gate. Fifty, thirty, twenty, on they came yet still the troops were not ordered to throw their pila. “Let fly, kill, kill the bastards”, pila flew through the air, striking hard against the grey waves, yet they were like so many pebbles against the great seas. All were completely useless against the oncoming swarm. Although, officially two entire Cohorts were at Essus, in fact, less than two hundred were within the fort. For the governor of Syria, believed the idea of an invasion complete folly, and so had recalled the near entirety of the Syrian army to Antioch. So now brave men were dying, in vain because of his impotence. Centurion Marcus was standing at the very centre of the northern wall, yelling encouragement, telling his men that the enemy had no ladders and could not take the fort. “ Come on lads, they cannot scale the stockade without ladders, so stand steady, and do not fear your demise”, the Legionaries cheered there approval at his fine words, yet Marcus knew that fine words could not win a battle. Marcus was afraid for his men and himself, he knew that the man leading the army would be Alexandros the one they called the Invincible, and that man would not expect to take a fort with a simplistic head on rush.

    The Seleucids had reached the wall, and all seemed to be amassing about the gate, completely open and vulnerable to attack. “ Sir, what are they doing, we should rush out and meet them sir, they are led by fools” a soldier cried out. It didn’t make any sense, the enemy was simply standing near the gate, they could not take the fort, for the… “The gate, treachery, to the gate, to the gate, brothers we have been betrayed” wailed Marcus, yet his warning had come too late, the gates were open and in came the innumerable swarm. Marcus stabbed upward with his sword, he felt the rasping of bone upon his blade, he twisted it out and continued. The officers and Centurions were bringing the men into line, but it was too late and the only thing for it was a crazed charge at the oncoming Seleucid infantry. “Abandon the line, charge, charge, we must drive them back” called Marcus, the officers could see no other way, and so sounded the charge. The brass horns cut through the festering air, and were followed by all manner of war cries. The collision of the two armies was loud enough to be called thunder, men were thrown backwards, and others toppled over the tops of their enemies’ shields. All semblance of order was lost, replaced instead by the chaos of a street brawl. Marcus hacked at a man’s face, but was parried, and in turn was gashed across the cheek, he felt the warm blood cover his face, and tasted it within his mouth. The man came again at him, this time Marcus sidestepped and thrust his sword through the man’s neck, severing the head. The individual sounds of battle had now been amalgamated into one obscene din of battle; Marcus could only just hear his own heart. The battle was swaying towards a Seleucid victory, for although the Roman fought valiantly, they were down to just over seventy men, and had been forced from the gate and into the centre of the fort, where they had formed a square, in a desperate attempt to save their lives.
    Alexandros could see the day was his, although, he admitted it had been cheapened by the treachery of Lucinius Granus, he would have that treacherous dog put to death for ruining his victory. “My lord, should we not ask for their surrender, they have fought valiantly, and deserve their noble lives”, Alexandros looked contemptuously at Kassander, and smiled. “ Very well, I shall ask them to lay down their arms”.
    Alexandros signalled for the attack to be called off. Marcus could not believe it; he had been upon the verge of ruin, yet now the Seleucids were falling back. He was perplexed, perhaps the governor of Syria had come to inspect the fort and brought the army with him. Marcus frowned and scolded himself for being so naïve. “They’ll want us to lay down our arms lads” Marcus said aloud or all to hear, wanting his men to have no illusions about their fate. Marcus stopped brooding when he heard the murmur of voices coming from the Seleucid ranks. Alexandros rode through to the Romans, his helmet removed and head held Imperiously, he would enjoy this he thought. “ I am Alexandros, Emperor of the world, the incarnation of Zeus upon earth, and you, mere men have dared defy me, yet as a god I must be forgiving to lesser beings such as yourselves”. Marcus stared in wonder at the man, he was insane.
    “So, I ask you, men of Roma, to lay down your arms in supplication”, Alexandros grinned like a child when the Romans did so, he looked over them. Then he saw him, the man, the man who had dared not to lower his arms before his immortal presence. “You there” Alexandros bellowed, his sword drawn and pointing at the man who had defied him. “You, do you defy your god, do you not know who I am, explain yourself” he bellowed.

    Marcus trembled with fear; he asked himself why he had done it, why had he not laid aside his sword.
    “ I, have refused to put down my arms, because, to do so would be an affront to my ancestors and my gods, for to be suppliant to you would mean excepting your deity, this I cannot do, in the name of Jupiter”, Marcus trembled with righteous anger. But this is what Alexandros had wanted, for some idealistic fool to defy him and thus give him a reason to execute all his prisoners. “ This man has rejected my divine authority, and in doing so has not only forfeit his own life, but also those of his fellow soldiers” Alexandros was beaming with glee as he looked at the faces of his enemies, and noted that some of the Roman were only boys, he would indeed enjoy this. Alexandros handed his sword to Kassander, “here you go, prove your undying loyalty and commit this atrocity in the name of your new god”, Kassander was numb, how could his childhood friend ask such a thing of him. Alexandros continued, “ Choose thirty men and kill these unbelievers, do it!”

    It was sickening to watch, most of the Romans had yet to see their twenty fifth year, some had yet to see their nineteenth, but Alexandros must be obeyed, for was he not almighty? When it was Marcus’s turn Alexandros called out, “ no, crucify him, as an example, that no mortal can defy a god and expect to live”.
    Marcus cried out in agony as his legs were broken, and his limbs nailed to the wooden frame.
    Alexandros rode up to the cross, “ look at me Roman, this is just the beginning, I have not come to simply take a few cities, I have come to wash away the filth of Roma, for I have been given the righteous anger of Zeus, I shall crucify all of Rome, my palace will be decorated with the heads of the vanquished”, Alexandros sneered at the unflinching Roman and started to ride off. “ Oh and Roman, I will put to death not just the men, but children, women and the old, for no soul can be left un-cleansed, we must all be cleaned before we are accepted by the divine one, do you understand!” the last three words were screamed at the Roman, causing even Kassander to flinch. Alexandros rode off, and the Seleucid army began its march to Antioch, but Kassander stayed, for he had witnessed the new divine order, and seen that it was madness, and it would tear the world apart if the Madman was not stopped. “ Please almighty Zeus strike down the one who would commit sacrilege in your name, kill the one who dishonours you, kill Alexandros”




    CHAPTER TWO

    The forum was quite, the man was speaking in a horse voice, “fellow Romans, you all have heard of the destruction of the Syrian army, our great armies are being pushed back to the Helles Point, they dwindle in numbers, they are in great need”, the man’s voice had gained fervour now, “ so I ask you, noble Romans to unite under the eagle of my banner, for Romans, the time of talk and peace is over, the time of blood, and death is come”. The crowd roared its approval, Publius Arrenius had his new legions, and he would wipe away the last of these inbred Macedonians, he would destroy Alexandros and parade his head before the world.

    “You cannot raise an army without the senate’s approval, it is against our constitution” Surenus Graco was angered, angered by this upstart from Arretium, he was dangerous and Graco would not allow him to be even more dangerous. “ Noble senators, it is true that we must raise an army to relieve Asia Minor, but to allow a man to raise one at a whim is dangerous, for how could such a force be controlled by the senate” Graco continued. But to no avail, the senators were intoxicated by Publius; he was the darling of Roma.
    Now it was his turn, “Noble senators, I have raised this army it is true on my own and without your approval, but I must confess, that, I was overtaken by a great love, a love so great it would kill me, senators, this love is for Roma, and I would rather destroy her than see an inbred Macedonian ruling her, that is why I raised the army, not to chase my own ends but to save this, great city, the noblest city, the eternal city!” Publius had reached boiling point, the senators cried their admiration for him, and they professed their good will and called for Publius to be named the great. Publius graciously turned the title down and further fired up the senate by pronouncing that only the greatest being on earth deserved such a title, and so therefore only Roma could lay claim to it. Graco felt sick, how could they be so blind, once Publius had crushed the Seleucid upstart he would march against Roma, and if he gained control he would kill his enemies. Graco feared for his life, he had to flee, but where to he thought where to, then it struck him, Assinius Scipio governor of Africa had always felt that Publius took all the glory. Graco realised he could use Assinius to help him destroy Publius and his rotten family. He made his way back to his house, his followers straggling behind him.

    It happened very quickly, the cart went by slowly, nothing seemed to be wrong; the cart turned a corner and disappeared. Then a great cry came up from Graco, he turned to his followers, clutching his stomach tying hard to stop his guts from spilling out. Blood poured forth from his would, his mouth was smothered in crimson. “Surenus, no” Bulbus called out. They crowded round him to hide his bloodied body from the many who had stopped to look. “Brother, do not die, you cannot, we are going to go to Africa, remember” Bulbus called, but Surenus’s gaunt face was still, only his eyes moved, his dark hair was matted together by his thick blood. Surenus’s hand fell to his side, letting his guts fall out. He gave a out a great cry of pain, then grasped Bulbus’s face and said in an vengeful tone, “ Bulbus, do no forget me, do not forget by ideas, this is Publius’s work, he means to become dictator, I stood in his way, and now look, I was too weak to do so, but, you must not be, you must unite the provincial governors under the senates banner, only then can you stop him” Surenus coughed dark blood onto Bulbus’s face. “Brother, avenge my death, it must be your hand that plunges the knife in to the body of my enemy”. With that, Surenus gave one last cry of pain, and then died. Bulbus slumped to the ground crying his oath. “I will destroy all who had a hand in this shallow deed, I shall kill not only Publius, but his entire family, man woman and child” tears ran down his drawn cheeks. Then he said in a low whisper, so only he could hear himself “I shall aid this Alexandros, if only to avenge you brother, then he too will die, no one shall escape my wrath, all shall be judged”.




    CHAPTER THREE


    Like a great cloud, the Seleucids had covered all of Asia Minor. Their army in six great columns had burned vast tracts of land. Billowing smoke had covered the sun; the thunder of hooves and feet could be heard in every corner of Anatolia. Now the armies had converged, upon the great city of Pergamum, if this city was taken then an easy pathway to Greece was open to Alexandros. If this happened, then Roma would fall. The campfires of the Seleucids lit the clouded sky; the ringing of the smithies hammers could be heard within the city. Numerius Flavius, the governor of Phygria was shaking, he was lost, for how could his small garrison hold out against such a host. “Numerius, we have word from Roma, a vast army under Publius Arrenius is on its way to relive Asia-Minor, my scouts have spotted his ships, only a day away from the harbour” Numerius, looked at his informant, the man was of German stock, tall, broad and a head of flaxen hair. “Gennius, you are sure of this”, Numerius was uncertain about the possibility of relief. But Gennius nodded, “yes Imperator, I am sure, it is the mightiest army Roma has ever produced”.
    Numerius sighed, and motioned for Gennius to sit, “ would you have a drink Gennius, for I am in need of comfort, and your haughty stories can do just that”, Numerius started to pour the wine, and Gennius sat.
    “So my old friend what story shall it be, ha! I have just the one, do you remember when we were sent to look over that tribal marriage, and that big hairy bloke…” Numerius laughed at the memory. So he thought, all would be well.

    Morning had come, and so had come the Roman fleet. “My lord, my lord! Alexandros, there is a fleet, Roman, just off the shore”, the man had stumbled onto the floor, and was just starting to get up, when a foot hit him in the chin, sending him backwards onto the floor. Alexandros smiled, “Well, it seems that Romans are itching to see their ancestors”, the joke was lame, but his aides, fearing Alexandros’s wrath laughed as best they could. “Kassander, begin firing upon the city, I want it in ruins by midday”. Kassander saluted and walked off to the siege engines. “Perminium, form your men up on the field south of the city, that is where it will happen, Lysander you will join me upon the western hills”, the generals nodded and went to their duties. So sixty thousand men were mobilised, twenty thousand marched to the field above the southern sand dunes and formed ten phalanxes that stretched from the western dunes to the eastern bay. While another thirty five thousand took up position upon the western hills just above the right flank of Perminium’s men. Only five thousand were kept in reserve. “Now, lets see what Roma can offer us,” said Alexandros to no one in particular. There was a loud crash from the eastern wall of Pergamum; Kassander’s artillery had opened up.

    “ Let the Thracians go first, they can clear the beach if need be”, ordered Publius Arrenius, a shout went up and two thousand Thracians went forward up the beach, their armour glinting in the sunlight, a huge cloud of sand formed above them as they ran in a loose skirmish order. The Thracians stopped at the top of the dunes and their captain came running back towards the command tent. “Imperator, the enemy has formed a phalanx all across the field, there is no way around it, for upon that range of hills over there”, the Thracian pointed in the general direction of the western hills. “There is a larger body of Hellenes, they have much cavalry, and even more archers, it is going to be hard to force back the first line”, the man’s face was stern, but he had defeat in his eyes. Publius stood up and walked over to his map of the city and the surrounding area. “I will send foreword the seventh legion, I will probe the enemies defences with them”, Publius was pointing at the southern field. “Vennius”, Publius called.
    “Yes Consul” a tall and swarthy man came foreword and saluted Publius.
    “Take your Legion and march upon the right flank of the enemy phalanx”, commanded Publius.
    “Yes, Consul, but what might happen if we are overpowered, the enemy cavalry would play hell on us if we retreated”, Vennius was obviously uncertain about what would happen to his men. But Publius just pointed to another man, “ Leviun’s heavy cavalry shall be with you, do not fear”, it was spoken with indifference. “Yes Consul”, the two men saluted and went off to their units. Twenty horns pierced the sky, and forward went the seventh Legion, creating such a storm of dust, that they were engulfed by it. They reached the top of the dune and started to march towards the vast greenness of the southern field. Leviun’s cavalry had spread out to form a cavalry screen for the Legion, horses were unsteady in the stand and so, men urged their horses into the gallop, in order to reach the firm ground of the field. One, inexperienced officer, taken with the sight of the enemy, stupidly called his troop into a full blown charge, one by one others followed, until within the space of two minutes the entire cavalry screen had gone into a disorganised and undisciplined charge straight at the enemies skirmishers. It was a shambles, one thousand able cavalrymen, had in a split second become sitting ducks for the Seleucid archers and cavalry. “Damn them, call them back”, a centurion of the seventh called. A huge cry went up from the Legion, and it stopped dead in its tracks, in the middle of the field. “What the hell is happening”, cried Publius, why had the seventh stopped. “Don’t they know they will be cut to pieces? Their sitting ducks for the enemy archers”. Publius was in peril, what could he do. In a moment of despair he ordered two men to come to him. “Commadus, Cassius, you are to march your Legions to the aide of the seventh and retreat back to the beach in good order”.
    “Yes Consul”, both men saluted and left for their units.

    “Damn it, were going to be shot into Pluto’s realm”, cursed Vennius, he had ordered his men to halt while he thought about what he was to do, it had seemed the proper thing to do. It had proven fatal; no sooner had the seventh stopped, than it came under fire from Seleucid archers. Wounded were screaming, and the able were uncontrollable; the Legion had lost all order. Some centurions were marching their men back towards the Roman camp, but most simply lost control. Small groups of men had formed shield walls in an attempt to deflect the arrows, but it was futile, there were just to many arrows. “Imperator, what should we do?” one of Vennius’ aides asked, the man had an arrow sticking from his shoulder, and blood mixed with mud all over his armour, giving him the look of a barbarian. Vennius stared at the mud on the mans armour “Oh no, oh no, the ground, we have turned the ground into mud, we are stuck”, Vennius was right, the ground under the Legion had been turned to mud by the confused mass of men. Vennius then tried to walk, it was near impossible, and his sandals were glued to the mud. “Flee, flee for your lives”, Vennius called in desperation. How could this of happened, he knew it would. “Damn you Publius”, he cursed. Just then a huge projectile came down upon the seventh, and men screamed like women. “Onagers, flee, the gods have deserted us”. But it was too late. Another hail of arrows had gone up, but this one was larger, the Seleucids had sent foreword their entire contingent if archers. They would finish the seventh. Vennius, looked around, it seemed as if the heavens were spitting out arrows, at least five hundred men had just gone down to arrows. Vennius himself had been hit in the thigh, and had collapsed to the ground, his blood soaked the muddy ground and he felt his life begin to drain. Men were running round like wild chickens, he spotted a centurion attempting to get his century into testudo, the man was doing well he had almost completed the manoeuvre. “At least that’s eighty men saved”, Vennius laughed. Another hail of arrows hit the mess that was the seventh Legion, the centurion got one in the eye, and fell to the ground, then his men, who he had tried so hard to keep alive broke the formation in order to retrieve his body. They were all instantly cut down; one man had an arrow in the groin and screamed like a baby, until another soldier kindly put him out of his misery. Even though he was the commanding officer, Vennius was ignored as he lay there in the mud dying, just when he thought that it could get no worse, the heavens opened up, and the enemy came to put an end to the seventh. “Ha, ha, and so ends Vennius and his glorious Legion”.

    Alexandros had decided that he could use the floundered Legion to further his ends. “You see, they send two more Legions, the fools, we will use this blunder to draw the entirety of the Roman army into the fight, where we shall cut them down”, an applaud came from his aides, Alexandros signalled for his men to go forward. “Tersius, ride to Perminium and tell him to launch his centre at the three Legions that are on the field, but tell him that he is to hold back the rest of his men”, the aid nodded and rode off down the hill over to Perminium’s position. “Ah, I see that the enemy cavalry have been cut down by our archers, good, now my cavalry have a free killing field”, Alexandros said with a smirk, he was pleased with the way the battle was evolving, if the enemy continued to be this obliging he would hold the field well before sundown. “My lord Perminium, Alexandros has ordered you to advance with your centre and crush the three enemy Legions upon the field, but do not for any reason, mobilise your flanks”, the aid rode back towards Alexandros’ advancing troops. “Right you heard the order, the centre is to attack the enemy, sound the advance”, cried Perminium. The great drums of war started to beat, and ten thousand pikes quivered as five phalanxes started off towards the Romans. “Good” said Alexandros, “now I will send five thousand cavalry to reinforce Perminium’s centre in the attack”, Alexandros motioned for one of his subordinates to come foreword. “Theros, reinforce Perminium’s attack”, the man saluted and rode off to his men. “Lysander, take your ten thousand round the city and march until you reach the eastern bay, from there you will advance upon the Roman’s right flank, understood?” Alexandros ordered.
    “ Yes Emperor” Lysander saluted and called for his men to mobilise.
    “Good, now we shall fill the gap left in Perminium’s centre”. Called Alexandros.
    The orders were called and Alexandros’ column altered its march so that it would close upon Perminium’s men.

    Publius Arrenius was in a fit of rage, he was furious with himself for being so foolish. He had just lost one Legion and sent another two to the same fate, but he would not back down. “Order a general advance, cavalry to the flanks light infantry shall form the front ranks”, many of his subordinates looked at each other with concern, but they complied to Publius’ orders anyway. Publius continued to curse himself. He had arrived with fifty thousand men, and now because of his folly he had lost just over sixteen thousand of them. So now when the advance was called only thirty seven thousand five hundred and twenty men mobilised. The Romans marched forward with a dogged determination to win. “Come on lads, win against this horde today, and you shall have immortality forever”, Publius cried out.
    “Roma Eterna, Roma Victorious, Roma eterna” cried his men in response. The heavily armed Romans turned the ground into a festering cesspit causing horse and man alike to slip and slide upon the field. The sky was dark as black storm clouds closed upon the field. The rain of arrows started up again, this time upon the tenth and fourth Legions, who had been sent to extricate the seventh. The commanders seeing the plight of the seventh continued, it would be their doom.

    “Phalangnites, engage the enemy”, cried Perminium, and his men crashed into the seventh Legion. He kept going, it was like cutting grass, his men were virtually unopposed. “Drive them back to the sea” Perminium called. The seventh routed, the men ran and ran until they reached the fourth and tenth Legions. “Flee brothers, the enemy is invincible, too many have died”, a murmur went up through the ranks, then a general uproar broke out and men refused to fight. “We shall not throw our lives away, we must embark and flee to Roma”, was the general demand. But the officers did not listen and so the Tenth and Fourth Legion became as disorganised and vulnerable as the Seventh had been. “Fools, we must keep order, look the enemy are upon us” cried Cassius to his men. But to no avail, his men became weighted down in the mud, flight was impossible. The arrows ripped into the Legions, men fell wounded, blood spewed into the cold air. Another volley hit the Legions, this time the two commanding officers were killed, Cassius received an arrow through the neck, the projectile went through his jugular, he died slowly, unable to cry out. Commadus got an arrow in the mouth, he had been calling orders out when he was hit, and the arrow drove into his brain, killing him instantly. Now the Fourth and Tenth Legions were without leaders, it was perfect timing for Perminium, as his men drove into the Romans. “Ah, at last some fight lads,” cried Perminium. It was true, the Tenth and Fourth did not simply flee like the seventh, they held their ground and fought bravely. But without leadership, they could not make concerted attacks. Slowly the Romans fell back, unable to communicate, for the roar of battle was so great that some lost their ability to hear anything. The rain soaked the armour of the soldiers, weighing them down even more in the treacherous mud. The Seleucid phalanxes pushed mindlessly on, drenched in rain, sweat and blood, they were indeed unstoppable. But finally, an officer had made an effort to concentrate the counter attacks, against the enemy, and every so slowly he was slowing down the phalanx. “Come on men, keep fighting”, the young officer called out to his men. He wiped some mud off his face, which had been restricting his view. It was just in time, for out of the corner of his eyes he saw a man, in fine black armour coming at him sword in hand. Gracian ducked to avoid, the mans sweeping sword, he felt the sword scrape against his scalp, blood trickled into his eyes, but the icy cold rain washed it away. The man lunged at Gracian’s throat, but was parried by the young Roman, who in turn stabbed at the man’s stomach, but he was to slow.
    “Ha, young fool, I am Perminium, the greatest sword fighter in the world, you cannot hope to defeat me”
    Gracian twirled round to face Perminium, just in time to parry another lunge at his throat. Perminium again lunged at Gracian, and was parried again. Gracian launched himself against the Seleucid, bringing them both to the ground. “Die, bastard”, Gracian howled his insult, and with his sword hacked the head of Perminium until it came off from the mans shoulders. Gracian’s face was tuned crimson by the gush of blood that spewed forth from the dead mans neck. “See this, this is your mighty lord, here, take his head”, Gracian threw the head of Perminium into the grey Seleucid ranks. When they realised what ad just occurred they fell into despair. “Flee, Perminium is dead, we are lost”.
    “Romani, hunt them down” Gracian roared.
    “Revenge”, cried the Roman Legions. The Seleucid fugitives were devoured by the vengeful crimson tide.

    “In the name of the gods, Perminium is fleeing”, Alexandros was seething with anger, “the coward, he will be executed for this traitorous act, sound the charge, stop those Romans”.
    The sound of battle was muted by the metallic blasts of horns and the deafening beat of the war drums.
    “Foreword, kill the bastards kill them all!” cried Alexandros. It was a monstrous sight; Seleucid army engulfed the field, as it charged to meet out bloody revenge, what was once green was now grey.
    “What’s this, the fool, he’s invested his entire army into one charge, by the gods he is mine now”, Publius was beaming, for the gods had just sent him a miracle. “Anissius, Clestis” two men rode up to Publius.
    “Yes Consul”, they both saluted.
    “Anissius, take your men across the western dnes, from there plunge into the enemy, Clestis, you take you men east to the bay, from there you will go as far as the city and charge the enemy from behind”.
    “Yes Consul”, both men rode to the head of their units.
    “Right men, we will advance against the enemy, we go not just to beat them, but to save our fellow Romans, there you see, they are cut off, they need your aid, so will you go to them?” Publius said mildly. “Redemption, Glory, Honour, Immortality, are yours, take them,” he cried out. “Publius, the Great”, his men replied.
    “Charge”.

    The Seleucids had surrounded the two Roman Legions and were quickly cutting through to the eagles. The Romans hacked at the Seleucid Pikes in order to close with their foe, but for every pike felled, two more would pierce into the Legions. Gracian was calling for his men to protect their eagles and their honour. But it was fruitless, there were just too many, all one could see was pikes and shields, blood and gore, fear and death. Realising the futility of his fight Gracian grabbed the two eagles and proceeded to hack them to pieces, cursing, “no enemy of mine shall take my honour, no man shall kill my glory, no god can fade me…” “Men I am dead”, he cried, and he fell clothing his chest tying to stop the blood, but it was useless, and so ended Gracian.
    “Kill them all, no quarter”, roared Alexandros, as he stabbed a Roman officer in the chest, he felt something strike him across the head. He fell onto the muddy ground, unable to see because of the mud in his eyes. Immediately five men closed around their lord, calling for him to rise, But Alexander could not get up, for he was unconscious. “Alexandros, he is wounded, quick take him to the camp” barked an officer to two cavalrymen, they lifted Alexandros from the ground and hastened to the camp, praying that their lord would recover. “Fight, kill these men, they have wounded your lord, kill them”, it was said with lustful anger. With one mighty roar the Seleucid army crashed again into the Roman formation, drowning it in blood.

    The Seleucids cheered for they had captured the enemy standards, but their victory was short lived. From behind sounded a horn, calling for the charge. The cavalry swept all before them, men were sent somersaulting into the air, while others were mercilessly trampled under hooves. Men scrambled and stumble to get away, but many floundered and slipped upon the mud. The cavalry broke formation, in order to cause even more carnage in the route that must come. But the route never occurred instead the cavalry were surrounded and isolated by disciplined bodies of men who had been untouched by the charge. “Cavalry retre…” Anissius was cut of when a sarrisa caught him it the throat. “Fall back, retreat” called the officers, but it was too late, the mud, which had been so advantageous to the cavalrymen, was now their undoing as their horses fell and tripped. Within a few short minutes both cavalry units were destroyed, outright.
    The Seleucids reformed their line and advanced towards the charging Roman infantry.

    One hundred yard, seventy, fifty, twenty, ten, five, four, three, two, one. The clash was tremendous, it was loud enough to deafen the gods, and violent enough to cause an earthquake, men were thrown ten yards backwards and ten feet upwards. Many of the Seleucid pikes shattered and so the armies closed with one another sword to sword. A few cohorts flung their pila, but the numbers of the Seleucids were so great that they were rendered ineffective. Publius was the first to close with the enemy, he parried the man’s lunge and severed his neck, next he lunged at an enemy officer, the officer had not seen him and looked surprised when he saw his gut leaving his body. Next on Publius’ targeted a well armoured cavalry officer, the man had also targeted Publius and spurred into the Consul, sending him reeling to the ground, Publius was stunned and was unable to stop the cavalryman’s spear thrust. Publius felt the trickle of warm blood on his shoulder, the wound was not bad but it still hurt. The officer came at him again, this time with a sword, he leaned over the horses neck in an attempt to cut off Publius’ head, Publius had predicted the move and stepped out of the way, as the cavalry officer came past Publius sliced his hamstring. The officer gave out a shriek as he fell to the ground, Publius walked over to him placed his sword on the mans neck and lunged onto the man, thinking that his weight would help sever the man’s head. Publius grinned as he felt the blade tear into the man’s jugular and into the mud beneath him.

    It was then that he felt the blade, slicing through his chest; he could feel it crunching his ribs and rasping as it went past his backbone. The sword came through the armour on his back, Publius looked into the officer’s eyes, with a look of bewilderment and collapsed, the world became dark and all was silent. “Publius is dead, our leader has fallen to an enemy blade, retrieve his body and fall back,” cried one of the Consul’s aides. At least twenty men surrounded the body of their Consul and lifted him from the ground, and then the Romans began to slowly fall back. The body bearers were mounted upon stray horses and rode off to the Consul’s private galley, the rest of the army was not as fortunate. For to the east came the blast of horns, the grey mass of Seleucids cheered, and thanked the gods. For the leader of Roma was dead, and now Lysander had come too finish off his army.

    “Come, my fellow Greeks, let us do our lord’s work let us kill these Roman vermin”, Lysander called to his men, his voice icy, his heart pounding. It would be like hunting wild animals. The Romans, knowing their deaths were immanent, had formed up around their standards and officers. They fought bravely, and well, but slowly the red wall of shields was broken down and swallowed up by the carpet of grey. Lysander was lavishing in his victory when the messenger came, the man looked excited, he dismounted and kneeled before Lysander’s horse,
    “My lord Lysander, Lord Kassander sends you good tidings, the city walls are breached”.
    Book two
    Chapter one

    Seven months after the fall of Pergamum the Seleucid army once again set off to plunder and ravage the Roman Empire. The troops had been split into two armies; one was under the command of Kassander, the other under the great strategist Alexandros. After Publius’ defeat the Roman defence of Asia Minor crumbled, in fact the entire war effort became depressed. Publius had lived, but his mind was so scarred that his only friends were said to be birds, his son Menius was dead, his throat slit by an assassin. The days of Roma seemed ended.

    It was a cold windy day, the sun was barely visible through the black storm clouds, and a grey mist of sleet had fallen across the land. It was mountainous land, only fit for the most degraded of life forms. It was an ancient land though; it was littered with the ruins of great halls passed and burnt out temples. The land was Greece; the land had once been part of the great Macedonian empire, that had been a hundred years ago, before the Romans came. But even the Romans could not keep Greece. A month after the destruction of Publius’ army the Legions had been recalled to make good the defence of Italia, now Greece was under the control of rebel kings and republics. At first Alexandros and his commanders had thought that Greece would be easy pickings, but this turned out to be a fantastical dream, for the Greeks moved in highly mobile groups. Alexandros had already lost five scouting parties to the rebels, and he would be damned if he was to lose more.

    “We should leave Greece and take Illyria, then we could come back, to stay is madness, how do you know that the Romans don’t have an army somewhere in these mountains”, the man talking was Meleteus, the son of the dead Perminium. He was not as brave as his great father, but he was a far better commander who would be expected not to make the same mistakes as his father. “Alexandros gave me the mission of capturing northern Greece and Macedon, we should have the land in a few years”, Kassander sounded unsure, and his commanders sensed it, mutiny was in the air. “I say we turn west and take Illyria, from their we could launch attacks into the northern wilds of Greece and Macedon”, it was Lysander this time, he was a dangerous man, he had wanted a command, so he thought that if he tripped Kassander up, he could take his place. “I will not divert from my task, I aim to besiege Thessalonica”, the words crashed over the men gathered like a tidal wave, Thessalonica lay deep in rebel territory. “Surely you cannot mean it, that is suicide”, it was Meletus again, and he was becoming more hostile to Kassander.

    “I have received the order from Alexandros himself, he has already taken Sparta and Corinth, he wishes us to be achieving the same”, Kassander was tense; he knew he had to do something.
    “You do realise”, it was Kassander again, he had a smirk on his face, “that there are numerous rebel armies between us and Thessalonica, we cannot mobilise the main army until the way is cleared, obviously it would be something that only a brave man would undertake, I know a man…”
    “ I will go!” Kassander interrupted, the challenge had been made and he had to except. “ I shall lead a division of cavalry, the Companions, and a few troops of Katerphractoi, in one week, follow my trail, I shall meet you beneath the walls of Thessalonica”, he took a deep breath. “You are dismissed”, he waved them all away, when they were all gone he collapsed with fear, and started to pray. The commanders stepped out of the mud-spattered tent, all with grim faces, except Lysander.







    Chapter Two

    Hooves trotted along the muddied tracks of inner Greece, rain was constant, as was death, which seemed to follow them every step of the way. No longer did the armour glint, heroically under the sun, no longer, were the great red cloaks the insignia of royalty, no longer was the sword kept sharp. No longer, did victory come.

    For weeks, they had travelled, in order to clear a way forward for the army of Seleukia, and they knew that, for weeks they had been lost. Their leader, Kassander however, had kept up their spirits, with stories of how their greatness would be told for a thousand, thousand years, and they listened and trusted his words. For they had no hope left, but that of their dreams. Fifteen of them still remained, all of them Kassander’s own personal Companions, each one of them he had known since adolescence. All of them were prepared to die for him. The group rounded a hook in the rutted track, which curved around a huge cliff face, its massive height, was such that it blocked all light behind it, the group seemed to speed itself up when it felt the cold of the giants shadow. As the Companions rounded the face they saw that the rocky valley, which they had followed through for two weeks past had finally come to a stop. Before them was a great ocean, its colour the most beautiful union of the lightest blue and the palest green, Kassander’s heart stopped, for, after the weeks of torment, the nights of despair, it seemed to him, the most beautiful thing in the world. The men slowly trotted their horses towards the white sand that lay before the mass of water.

    They moved to wards a forlorn tree which had rooted itself just at the edge of the beach, they dismounted and tethered their hoses to its trunk, and all went gleefully towards the sea, all except Kassander, he looked round for a track which would allow him onto one of the many cliffs that surrounded the bay. He found such a place, and quickly ascended the sandy way. The track was sandy near the base of the cliff, and Kassanders, coarse skin was dashed with rough grains of sand, and his eyes were filled with the stuff, bringing him to tears. But as he neared the top, he found firmer earth, and was able to wash away the sand, then, as he washed his face his heart stopped, his head was sent spinning into a deep thought. For once he had reached the top of the track and came upon the cliff, his grey eyes were filled by the site of death, mountains of death. His nose went numb with the assault of such a foul smell; his horse in one sudden movement reared up and let out a high pitched nay.

    The Companions had been bathing in the warm water when they heard the terrible high-pitched nay of a horse. Instantly, they all threw on their red cloaks and white tunics. Both items were faded by much use, and mistreatment, but such was the way of the clothes of vagabonds. The ropes, which had restrained the horses, were hastily cut, and the saddlecloths quickly set, quick was the pace of their horses, as were their hearts. They came quickly to the cliff top, and reigned in besides Kassander. All eyes were settled, upon the mountains of bodies, charred and shrivelled by fire, men, boys, women, girls, the old, all were piled regardless one on top of the other. Kassander could not tare his eyes away from the sight, for through the layers of emotion, terror, horror, pity, hate and remorse, there was a glint of want, a want of knowledge. “Who are they”, the voice faltered, but the speaker attempted to keep his courage, Kassander just kept staring at them through his glassy and calculating eyes. Finally Kassander found the words to answer, “who ever it was, they were no Hellenes, for burial is our holiest law, and this is no burial”, his words were said with a slight tinge of hatred. One of his companions rode to his front and looked him directly in the eye, “Romans, this is the product of their withdrawal, a massacre”. Kassander stopped looking through the man and gave him a cold stare, “what makes you think that the Romans did, do you have any proof, no you do not”. The man turned his hose away and began trotting through the blackened corpses, then he stopped. He jumped off his horse and knelt upon the ground, he reached out and retrieved something, it flashed under the sun. he came running to Kassander, “ a coin, a Roman coin, they have been here, the embers of the fires are still burning, they cannot be far from here”, his voice was excited, Kassander could understand why, they had come looking for a fight and now they had one. But Kassander was no fool, he had but fifteen men, and the Roman would have at least fifty thousand, “ready yourselves, night will be with us soon, and with the Romans, they will set up a camp, we will scout around and then fall back upon my main force, then in week we shall catch, and crush them”, his men nodded in grim approval.

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  4. #4
    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great War.

    Comments would be nice .
    Do you like it?
    what could be improved?
    Which is your favourite part?

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  5. #5

    Default Re: The Great War.

    I have only come to chapter two, book two...

    First off, the latest part of the first book could be a bit confusing, alot of names and atleast i lost the track of who did what at some points...

    Other than that, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING....
    I will read the last two pages on the way home from work, and i'm really looking forward to it. Are you a writer???? Your numerous metafores fits perfect to describe the horrors of ancient battle.. Really neat...

    I hope more chapters will come out Bopa, as i really enjoy this type of reading.



    -Skel-

    Age of vikings and fanatics: Total War

  6. #6
    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great War.

    Ha! I'm no writer, just a high school student who's waiting for the rugby season to start proper.
    I have been told of the name thingy before.
    Yes I will write another chapter this weekend.

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  7. #7
    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great War.

    Here is the next chapter, hope you like it, I really do .

    Chapter Three

    The clouds raced across the sky, all was silent. All accept the terrible thunder of the vast grey horde that was the Seleucid army. Through scorched fields and barren deserts they marched, so vast and dense was the dust cloud they had kicked up, that when a man breathed in he was in danger of choking. It had all happened quickly, Kassander had been riding at full pace to where he expected his army was. Yet he had instead found another army, an army unknown to him, under the command of a certain Kastos of Scythia. “Where did you come from”? Asked Kassander in a domineering tone.
    “I have marched from Scythia as my Lord Alexandros bid me”
    “I was not informed of such a move, how can I trust you”?
    “Lord Alexandros does not tell you much, has he told you of his attack upon Africa?”
    “What! When did he decide this?”
    “Two years ago, just before you attacked Roman territory in Asia, I have been slowly hacking my way through the Bosphorus region, Dacia and Thracia, I have with me over two thousand Sarmatian nobles and their attachments, a few Thraco-Dacian tribes plus my special contingent”, with these last words Kastos smiled. Kassander caught it at the corner of his a eye, a wave of fear swept through him.
    “What special contingent?” Kassander’s voice trembled.
    “Why have you not heard of these great warriors, you yourself have fought them” he said, with a smirk.
    “What do you mean, I have fought them?”
    “Romans, I have five thousand of them, all willingly joined me from the Northern extremities of Italia”
    “What! Romans, from Italia, how is that possible, by the gods, how much have you conquered?”
    “I have conquered all north of Greece and Macedon, Illyria is under my direct control. And northern Italia is on its knees, gods man, where have you been, Pluto?”
    Kassander was taken aback, how was this possible, the man had conquered over half of the Roman empire, he was… He was Dangerous.
    “How many men came with you from Scythia?” the question was asked carefully so as to not cause suspicion.
    “I left the Parthian Satrapy five years ago with me I took over two hundred thousand men, since then I have added to my force, but I have had to release men in order to garrison towns, so here with me I have only a hundred thousand, but yourself how many pikes do you have?”
    “I have thirty thousand men of Antioch, the emperors finest, Alexandros has another thirty, all from Seleukia”
    “Bah! And yet you were able to overcome the innumerable hordes of Roma, by Zeus we shall have them soon enough”, Kastos seemed generally pleased; he drank from a wine skin.
    “Roman hordes? What nonsense, we have met only one army and that was only around fifty thousand, these hordes you speak of do not exist”, Kassander was laughing, what a fool this man must be.
    “It is no laughing matter, and hordes they do have, in Dacia we came up against an army of hundreds of thousands, and there will be more, just wait till you get to Italia, the place is swarming with legions”, Kastos seemed quite serious.
    “But we have not come up against any armies in Greece, nothing they have all retreated”, Kassander could hear his heart, fear was taking him.
    The grizzly old Kastos looked a him through his one eye “No, they haven’t left Greece, for I would have found them, no good Lord there are a good many left, and were going to meet them, so you should take me to your army so we may strengthen ourselves, for the Roman army in Greece is terrifying”.
    “But… But where could we find them? It will be impossible”
    “No, it won’t, because this particular horde is called the Hammer Of The Greeks, they’ll light up bonfires so we can find them”
    “What?” now Kassander was shaking.
    “Aye, they light bonfires, human ones, they earned their name”, he chuckled at his last comment.
    “So do you know where they are, the Romans?” the situation had changed completely, Kassander was like a school student eager to learn more from his master.
    “The great white city, which sits upon the rocks”
    “Where’s that?”
    “Byzantium lad, Byzantium”

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  8. #8
    Bopa Member Incongruous's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Great War.

    Heres the next part, hope you enjoy.

    Chapter Four

    “What! Where are they, by Zeus what madness is this, where did they come from”, Lysander was astounded by the news Kassander had brought with him.
    “I met with them not a day past, they came by way of the great Scythian plain”
    “But, we…I knew not of this, by whose decree did he march, by the gods I will…”
    “By the gods! By the gods I shall indulge you as I see fit, I am in command here”
    “Ha! Your command is know more than a string, one slice and it is broken”
    “How dare you! I shall have you executed for you impudence!”
    “You will do nothing, the army will not follow you if I wish it not!”
    “I have the power! This is my command, and mine alone”
    “You have no power, the power lies-
    “The power lies with me, I have a hundred thousand men under my command, you have thirty thousand”
    Lysander eyed up the grizzled form of Kastos, he despised the man immediately, “Ah, of course, forgive me my lord, my mind was not straight”, Lysander looked up at Kastos, “please exscuse me”. With a bow he left, a smirk on his face, a few beautiful slave girls would have Kastos on his side, and Kassander isolated. “I apologise Lord Kastos, he is bitter you see, he wanted a command”, Kassander tried to sound apologetic, but the scorn was clearly audible. “I know, you resent me being in charge, you resent being left in the dark. But I do not wish you to be an enemy, I wish you to be second in command of this great host. That intolerable fool is just a pansy, chosen for his good looks, he is no real fighter”, Kastos’ tone was a assertive but not unfriendly, he took a skin of wine and poured some of it into two goblets, “here drink with me, a pact, that you will accept my command and that I will give you secondary command”.
    Kassander bowed his head in compliance, he poured some of the wine into is mouth and almost gagged, it was foul tasting stuff. “Aha! I see my Thracian red is not too your liking, its strong stuff, and acquired taste. I still hate it but, it’s all I could get, other than some good vintage stock from Noricum which I pilfered”. Kassander let a smile sneak pass his face, he was coming to like this old man, despite his rugged manner and course language. A sound of ruffled canvas was heard, Kassander spun round, and saw it was a train of slaves carrying dishes, “Now! For the feast, you would never of seen such a fine selection, hmm, the beef is first class, here some pigeon I’m told its good, but…This is the best, they tell me it is the meat of a mythical beast, which the Germans call an Auroch, apparently if you eat it you will gain super human strength”. Kassander stared at the table before him, the foods of a thousand kingdoms, the finest wines on earth and spices from the great kingdom of the east, “I must admit I am taken aback, but by god how much you have, from so far, what an empire you must have carved for Alexandros”.
    “Bah! It was child’s play, these Roman have only one decent commander and they’ve sentenced him to death in exile, fools”. Yet again Kassander couldn’t absorb the amount of information bombarding him.
    “Tell me, who is this great general, how great is he?”
    Kastos’ face darkened at the inquiry, he dropped his meat, slowly he leaned over as if to say something, which should not be spoken out loud, unless the shadows should hear. “He is undefeated in battle, I have faced him and failed, but pushed him into Italia because he could not fight again, numbers you see”. The old veteran gave a sigh, and prepared himself for his next words, “he fights in blood red armour, he leads his troops from the front, an oh! His men, never have I seen such mighty warriors, he is feared throughout the army, and…Do you know what they call him?” Kassander felt a wave of dread run through him, he slowly shook his head. “They call him, Crucifixus, the Crucified one, apparently he escaped from his cross after being defeated in Asia Minor”. Kassander’s heart stopped, his blood froze over. The goblet hit the floor and smashed into a thousand pieces, “By the gods! What ails you?” cried Kastos.
    “Wha…What is his real name, do you know?” Kassander felt as if his life depended upon the answer.
    “Aye, I know his name, its Marcus”.
    Kassander’s face turned white, how was it possible.
    “The gods wept, what ails you? Your skin is as pale as ice”
    “I know the man, I saved his life at Essus”.
    Last edited by Incongruous; 07-13-2005 at 06:45.

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