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Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven » Forums » Bardic Circle - War Stories & AAR forum » The Revolt
Topic Subject:The Revolt
posted 10-06-13 04:11 PM EDT (US)         
So, in this thread I will present you the story I prepared for the Sepia Joust VII.

Frisia 28 AD

The sun rose from his night-long resting place under the see. Its rays pierced through the tall trees and brought light to the land of the land of the forest-dwelling Lesser Frisii, and focused on the Frisian king’s hall. It also revealed the strange visitors who had come to pay a visit to the king himself.

-“Amalric! Wake up you goatish bear-witted boar-pig. Some of these pesky Eagle –Bearers are approaching”, shouted a sentry to his colleague. Amalric woke up, still tipsy from the sweet Batavian mead he had been drinking the night before.

-“What is going on?”, he asked feebly.
-“Some of these Toga-Wearers are coming. They are carrying some kind of flag”, was the bitter reply. The sentry wished Amalric had shared the mead with him.

Amalric sobered up quickly and got up when he heard the word “flag”. What is a Roman legionary centuria doing near the king’s hall? , thought Amalric. Then he remembered that it was the first day of the summer, the day when the Frisii had to pay the tribute imposed on them by Germanicus more than a decade before. I have to warn the king, he thought, as he was dashing through the narrow alleys of the Frisian village, towards the king’s hall.

A little later he stood in front of the king’s hall waiting for the king to come out after he had delivered his message. The hall itself was not much of a hall. It was a tavern modified to be the new king’s hall in the aftermath of Germanicus’ German campaign and the civil war between the Frisian tribal leaders that followed it. Then, the dark wooden doors of the hall opened and king Hengist came out behind his two bodyguards. Amalric stared him with awe, as the aged but tall, fully armed king was an imposing sight. Next to him stood his son-in-law, Ingomar the Young Prince.

-“Let’s go and meet those pesky Romans”, said Hengist with a tone of unwillingness in his voice.

Amalric nodded and lead the king and his escort to the town gate. After passing through the series of hovels which comprised the village, they reached the gates, where Amalric saw the sentry arguing with a gigantic Frisian bearing weapons. He stopped, recognising Anzo, the town guard’s commander.
-“What is wrong lord Anzo?”, asked Amalric.
-“Your friend over here doesn’t let me, his own commander, exit the city and give these treacherous Romans a lesson.”, the man replied with a grin on his face. “Now open the gate!”, he barked at the terrified sentry.
-“There is no need for you frightening the sentry Anzo”, said the king calmly. “I’ll go out there myself . But I need you to be here if anything goes wrong”, he added to his guard commander.
-“As you command, my lord”, uttered Anzo.
-“Now, open the gate!”, Hengist ordered the sentry.

The guard lifted the piece of wood which held the gates locked and opened them.
-“You Amalric shall come with us as a translator for the Metal-Carriers”, the king ordered Amalric.
Afterwards the king rushed out of the gates, riding like the wind towards the Roman column at the foot of the hill upon which the town stood without expecting Amalric’s answer.
-“Go you fool”, Anzo told the surprised Amalric. “Protect our king”, he added. Amalric rushed downhill, where king Hengist had already engaged in a conversation with the Roman commander, a centurion, as the decorated helmet on his head and the wooden stick in his hand suggested.
-“This is the lead-centurion Olennius”, the king informed Amalric. “He has come to collect the tribute of Germanicus”, he added bitterly.
-“Roman scum”, whispered Ingomar who accompanied the king.
-“Let me do the talking”, Hengist scolded his son-in-law. “Now, ask the Roman how much is the tribute we owe Rome.” Amalric translated his king’s words in Latin, as had spent eight years in the Roman auxilia before being recalled back to Germania.

The short Roman centurion turned slowly upon hearing the question. “Five-hundred ox-hides for military use, each one the size of the aurochs, your large cows”, he spitted the words from his mouth as if he hadn’t pronounced that many words together for some time.
-“This is without precedent”, king Hengist said surprised when he heard Amalrics translation. “We simply can’t afford that many ox-hides, our country is a poor one in large cattle. However, we can deliver 400 normal-sized ox-hides.”, he added
-“You had a whole year to gather the tribute. In this case, we have to confiscate your belongings: animals, grain and even your women if you don’t have enough of the first two”, said Olennius with a sardonic smile on his face.
-“This is unacceptable! How dare you demand our wives and daughters, our cousins and nieces, our families and our means of surviving through the winter!”, shouted Ingomar, not being able to hold his temper. Surprisingly, Amalric translated the warlord’s words in Latin.

The centurion was momentarily petrified. Are these men under Roman suzerainty? They definitely don’t sound like they believe that, he thought. Then, his body stiffened.
-“If this is the case, I’ll have to take them by force!”, he snarled back at astounded Frisii. “Men, confiscate everything”, he ordered the Roman legionaries under his command. The battle hardened veterans had already taken part in hundreds such operations under Germanicus not that many years ago and had learned never to question their commander. They simply deployed in a loose formation and began marching uphill towards the small Frisian town.

-“Ingomar, run back to the town and warn Anzo to let the Romans pass”, Hengist half-heartedly ordered his son-in-law.
-“Why, we can still resist them”, protested Ingomar.
-“No, we are outnumbered and they’ll slaughter us all if we resis. Now, hurry up”, Hengist mumbled, nearly begging him.
Ingomar sighed, then dashed uphill, followed by the two bodyguards, bypassing the slow-moving Romans.
-“Now Amalric, we shall ride to the nearby villages and gather as many men as possible. We’ll be able to catch these Romans on the way back to their camp and get our women back”, the king said.
-“So we shall, my lord”, Amalric responded. “I have my horses at the old warehouse nearby”, he added.
So they both ran, in the hope that their efforts and their women’s sacrifice wouldn’t be in vain.

Meanwhile, inside the small town Anzo was surprised to see the young prince and his bodyguards climbing up the hill. Behind them, he could barely see some soldiers marching towards the town.
-“Roman traitors”, muttered the battle-hardened warrior. “Open the gates”, he barked at the confused sentry. Within a couple of minutes Ingomar and his men managed to enter the town.
-“The king orders you to allow the Romans to enter and take their tribute without resistance”, he told Anzo.
-“Why?”, asked a puzzled Anzo.
-“We can’t afford their exorbitant tribute, so they are coming to collect all women present in the settlement”, was the bitter answer.
-“So we’ll just wait for them?” asked Anzo with terror. He had three young daughters.
-“King Hengist has gone to muster men from the villages nearby. He intends to intercept the Romans on their way back to their fort”, explained the prince.
-“Fine then”, was Anzo’s angry answer. “Let the Romani pass”, he ordered the sentries.

The Romans came through the town gates slowly, fully armed and prepared to face resistance. Olennius at the head of the column turned and looked at the gigantic 6 foot 10
Germanic warrior. “Order the women to assemble in front of your king’s hall. They shall gather their supplies too”, he told Anzo.
A glint of rage appeared in the Frisian’s eyes, but he obeyed the order. He dispatched the guard to assemble the women and gather as much grain and meat as possible, while he guided the Romans through the narrow alleys of the Germanic town. He only felt hatred for the Roman oppressors who ruled free people against their will. We are Friends and Allies of Rome, not conquered people, he thought with anger. When they finally made it to the king’s hall, the Frisian women were already lined up in front of it. Among them, he noticed his wife and his three daughters. The Romans are going to pay for this, he thought. Behind him, the Roman line stopped and the centurion gave his orders in Latin, a language he could not understand.

Then some of the soldiers moved forward and started picking the most beautiful and healthy women, as if they were slaves and not free people. Anzo flushed from embarrassment. Among the women the Romans picked was one tall woman wearing fine jewellery made from amber and silver, unlike most other women who were dressed as farmers. “NO!”, shouted Ingomar. “Leave her alone!”, he continued in German. The woman, Auda, king Hengist’s daughter and Ingomar’s spouse stared at him with utter contempt, saying: “At least this way I’ll keep my family’s honour intact”, while her eyes, cold as the winter, seemed to blame him for not resisting. Indomar was shaked by the ferocity of her reaction, and saw Auda being taken away by Olennius himself, who understood from the prince’s reaction that she was the king’s daughter.

After the chose the best women, they loaded the town’s supply of meat, grain and ale on their mules and began marching slowly out of the town and towards the closest Roman fort in the west.
-“Now what?”, asked Ingomar.
-“Now we become their shadows. We will follow them and wait for the king to arrive with the men he is going to levy. Gather those me who are willing to follow us”, he told Ingomar.
-“If you say so”, was the answer. “Rorik”, Ingomar roared at the sentry, “assemble fifty men. Give them weapons from the royal arsenal. An axe and a shield for the farmers , bows and arrows for the hunters”, he commanded. “No armour, it will slow us down”, he added after some hesitation. His father always advised him never to face Romans witout armour.
-“Aye my lord”, the sentry replied while rushing to complee his task.

The sun had made little way across the sky when Anzo and Ingomar began inspecting the men assembled outside the town’s gate.
-“So, what do you think?”, Ingomar asked the battle-hardened warrior.
-“Well, I’ve led better warriors than them, but I’ve also led worse. They are good enough for the task at hand”, Anzo replied.
-“What route shall we follow then?”, was Ingomar’s question.
-“Well, the Roman fort is fifty Roman miles away from here. However, thirty miles from here there is an open, lightly wooded area surrounded by some mild hills on the one side. It’s where they will probably make camp for the night, as they are moving relatively slow due to their heavy load. In addition, they use the dirt roads they built twelve years ago to move through our forests, so I guess they’ll arrive there in about three hours. However, if we move swiftly cross-country using the old hunting tracks, we will be able to get there before them”, was Anzo’s reply.
-“Alright then, leave two men here to guide my father-in-law when he arrives, send five of the fastest and most experienced trackers to monitor the Romans and the rest of us shall follow the route you’re proposing”, was Ingomar’s orders.
Anzo nodded in agreement and executed the orders.


Three Hours Later

-“There they are”, whispered Ingomar with a tone of excitement in his voice.
Anzo gazed at the newly-built Roman camp more carefully than his companion.
-“They have taken one of our women each in his tent. With only five enemy sentries, this is going to be plain sailing”, he observed.
Ingomar chuckled. “Have we received word from the king?”, he asked the old man.
-“Not yet, but we’ll have to wait for the moon to rise completely before we attack. Just prepare yourself”, was the quick reply.
-“I’ll try to get some sleep then”, said Ingomar.

The moon had made half of its journey across the sky. The tranquility of nature was unbroken if for the occasional shouts of the Roman sentries who were trying to make sure that they were still alive. Suddenly, the crystal clear sound of a war-horn filled the air, while chaotic warcries were seemingly coming out of nowhere. Ingomar and Anzo woke up and rushed to inspect the Roman camp. The horn was blown again, this time louder . Afterwards, a few hundred Germanic warriors wearing dark clothes emerged from the thin vegetation and charged frantically towards the Romans, shouting intimidating warcries. Leading the charge was a large man on a huge black stallion, carrying an axe on the one hand and a large banner with the image of a horse on the other.
-“It’s the king!”, said Ingomar with joy.
-“Then let’s join him!”, shouted Anzo for all his men to hear. “Raise my banner” he barked at one of his men. A triangular red banner bearing the image of the head of a bear was raised.
-“CHARGE”, shouted Anzo.
-“Otta-Laus!”, screamed the men. Yes, without fear, thought Ingomar as he followed the gigantic Frisian downhill.

The small Germanic warband charged downhill to the Roman flank. The few sentries had already been overrun by the king’s men, so the battle had moved inside the Roman camp. The sight was terrifying to Ingomar’s eyes. Roman soldiers wearing just a chiton or even nothing were emerging from their tents holding a mere sword, only to be slaughtered by ruthless Germanic steel. He parried the blows of the few tired Romans who tried to harm him, while trying to keep up with Anzo, who was separating the Romans’ bodies from their heads with the calmness of an experienced warrior. All he could see was Frisian warriors slaughtering naked Romans, while his eyes teemed with cries of anguish from the Romans and terrifying cries of rage from their killers. Suddenly, as he was running towards the king’s banner, he felt someone grabbing his leg and he lost his balance, falling on the ground. The attacker, a naked, grey-haired Roman snatched his fallen sword and tried to stab him in the chest. Ingomar closed his eyes and grasped the hilt of his dagger so as to go to Wotan’s hall. However, instead of the excruciating pain he expected, he only felt a heavy load on his chest and warm blood running down his body. He opened his eyes.
-“Get up Prince. We have a battle to finish”, said a Frisian warrior bearing a battle-axe. He removed his helmet, and Ingomar saw it was Amalric.
-“Let’s do it”, he answered with a feeble voice.

However, when he got up he saw that there was little left to accomplish. The Germanic ambush had caught the Romans completely by surprise, as they were expecting no resistance. Now, the Germanic women were freed, and the men were reunited with their wives and daughters. Then Anzo and king Hengist arrived, both filled with blood and dirt, resembling the terrifying carvings Ingomar had seen in the shrine of Wotan portraying Ragnarok.
-“Twenty men will escort the women back to the village, along with half of the supplies. One of them will ride to Herman, king of the Chauci and Ragnar, king of the Ampsivarii to ask for assistance. Any forces sent are to meet us at the River Temple. The rest will rest here for the night and will resume marching in the morning.”, ordered Hengist.
Ingomar heard the king’s orders as he approached him, and asked surprised: “What happened?”
-“Olennius has escaped and has taken Auda with him”, was the bitter answer.

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.

[This message has been edited by Alex_the_Bold (edited 10-07-2013 @ 10:15 AM).]

Terikel Grayhair
(id: Terikel706)
posted 10-07-13 09:14 AM EDT (US)     1 / 5       
An interesting choice of setting- and a good one.

A nice start as well, though at times the formatting (or lack thereof) can be a bit distracting from what is otherwise a finely-written tale.

I am definitely looking forward to the rest of this tale.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
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Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
posted 10-07-13 10:17 AM EDT (US)     2 / 5       
Thank you for your kind words Terikel. I'll try to make the format a little clearer for the reader...

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.
posted 11-02-13 02:32 PM EDT (US)     3 / 5       
A few hours Later In The Woods
The shrill shout of a sentry stood out from where a few moments before only the pleasant chirping of birds and the howling of the cold wind could be heard. One could see sleepy men rising from the dirt upon which they had been sleeping, or emerging from hastily-built tents. However, one of them stood out due to his bizarre appearance. The man was clearly a Germanic, tall with pale skin and the bright, almost silver hair that were common among the northern people. His clothing was a typical set of Roman military garment though; a combination of scale and mail armour, iron greaves and the crested helmet of a Roman centurion, unlike the rest of the men who were dressed like typical Germanic warriors.

The man walked towards the sentry who raised the alarm with long strides. “Why have you raised the alarm?”, he asked the sentry with the metallic voice of an irritated man, using Latin.
“I heard de hooves of a horsch,sir, ‘bout a quarter of a mile to de east”, was the sentry’s reply in Latin with a heavy Germanic accent. It sounded as if he deliberately butchered the language. “Then we must meet this mystery rider, shall we? ”, was the centurion’s response. “Assemble the men in full battle equipment, Hronderich”, he ordered another German wearing an optio’s equipment. Hronderich nodded in agreement and barked at the men to arm themselves and line up behind their commander in anticipation of the rider. The men executed the orders with the certainty and speed of men accustomed to war.

The sound of a horse’s hooves crushing the fallen leaves which constituted the forest’s soil grew louder and louder until the horse and the figures of two riders emerged from the dark line of trees and entered the clearing.
-“Halt!”, barked the optio. “State deine business und deine Name”, he added in a mixed language of Latin and German, while behind him the few archers prepared to shoot at the riders.
-“Who are you to demand a Roman officer’s name and business, you filthy German”, was the rude and arrogant reply in fluent Latin.
Could be an arcanus, thought the centurion. “If you speak the truth, then you can disclose your mission to a fellow officer, such as me, so that I can help you with it. Come with us, share our food and ale and rest under our protection”, the centurion told the rider. “I am Lucius Gallus, an auxiliary centurion and commander of the garrison of the Roman fort of Flevum”, he added.

-“I am Primus Olennius, appointed administrator of the Frisian lands by decree of the governor of Germania Inferior Lucius Appronius and the imperator Tiberius Caesar Augustus” replied the rider. “As your superior, I order you to take this prisoner and chain her. Then we shall rest here for the night and return to that fort of yours tomorrow”, he continued sternly. What a fool. Yet another typical roman military officer: a decent soldier but a terrible administrator, thought Gallus. “As you order, sir”, he replied. “May I ask though, how come you appear in the middle of the night on a horde with no escort but a Germanic female prisoner riding from the East rather than the West?”, he inquired.

-“Me and my escort where ambushed by a Frisian warband while collecting taxes. That’s when I captured the prisoner. My men fought bravely, but they were eventually overwhelmed and I had to flee in order to survive, for the safety of Rome’s interests in the region”, answered Olennius.
Frisii attacking Romans?A Germanic woman allowed the Romans to capture her?, wondered Gallus. Something isn’t right , he concluded. “Very well, then. We shall march in the morning”, he announced to his warriors.

The sun had begun his eternal daytime journey across the skies when Gallus’ patrol reached the river, after a couple of hours’ march. “What river is this one? Where is that fort of yours?”, Olennius asked Gallus impatiently.
-“Well, this river is the river exiting Flevo Lacus. Our fort is on the opposite side of the river, just a quarter of a mile inland, sir. However, the river is deep here, so we have to be ferried across by the Classis”, answered the centurion.

-“Then what are we waiting for?”, asked Olennius impatiently. Gallus nodded and waved at his standard-bearer, a large 6 foot 5 warrior. The soldier left the Roman auxiliary standard he carried and raised a carefully polished shield, using it to send light signals across the river. They should be here shortly, thought Gallus.

Only a few minutes went by and then the slim figures of two naves lusoriae emerged from the morning mist. “Tis good to see ya safe and sound Gallus”, the captain of the largest ship said to the centurion. “How many this time?”, he asked.
-“About fifty and five men, you foul-smelling bass”, was the quick, friendly reply. All the men but Olennius laughed.
-“In that case order these craven warriors of yours to grab the oars, because we have the wind against us”, jested the captain.

Is that chatting ever going to stop? Where is the Roman discipline the soldiers in Mogontuiacum have?, wondered Olennius. “I think it’s high time we crossed the bloody river”, he said angrily.
-“Then welcome on board, sir”, replied the captain respectfully after noticing Olennius attire. The men sat in the oarsmens’ benches and began rowing with all their strength. It wasn’t long before the opposite bank of the river emerged from the fog revealing the fort’s river port,which seemed to have been built to accommodate fishing boats rather than warships.

Both ships reached the opposite bank and docked, when Olennius turned and faced Gallus. “I would like to inspect the fort’s current state as well as the state of its garrison immediately”, he said. “So disembark and assemble the men”, he ordered Gallus.
What a peremptory manner, thought Gallus irritably. Why are the men in Rome always sending these unsuitable cold-hearted and impulsive men? Don’t they see that they only cause more trouble?, he also wondered, reflecting of other Roman governors as harsh and incapable as this one. Marcus Lollius Paulinus, Publius Quinctilius Varrus and many more, he remembered from the history lessons back in Rome. However, he nodded in agreement.

Gallus quickly dispatched riders bearing orders for the garrison to assemble at the parade ground and then showed Olennius the fort’s fortifications: The wooden wall with a few scorpions mounted on small wooden towers, then the barracks, the armoury where the numbers of German-made steel weapons and mail shirts were the same as that of Roman-made military equipment. Then, they proceeded towards the parade ground, where the troops had assembled.

What a pitiful sight, thought Olennius when he saw the garrison. “Perhaps you canexplain to me the composition and state of the garrison, centurion”, he ordered Gallus.
-“Well, the garrison is made up of one-hundred Iberian skirmishers armed with just a small shield and three javelins, they are those with the colourful clothes and the lavishly decorated helmets, sir. Then we have fifty Greek engineers, the twelve sailors who man the four ships currently docked at the river port, as well as five-hundred Germanic volunteers, mostly Frisii and Chauci along with their families. In total around six-hundred fighting men, sir” , Gallus reported

No proper soldiers it seems. Just Iberian shepherds and German savages, thought Olennius with contempt. “Thank you centurion”, he said. “I’ll speak to the soldiers now”, he added and faced the troops. He cleared his throat. “My name is Primus Olennius, leading centurion and appointed administrator of the Frisian affairs. What is laid before my eyes right now is a perfect example of what I’ve come to fix. In front of me I see no soldiers. I see undisciplined men, unfit for calling themselves soldiers. From now on I will not tolerate these long hair and beards or decorated helmets. I don’t care where you come from or to what gods you pray at night, but here you are soldiers in the service of Rome, worshiping no one else but Mars, the god of war”, he barked. However, he was surprised to see no reaction from his soldiers.

-“Sir, they don’t understand Latin”, said Gallus with a grin on his face. Olennius flushed as he lost his temper and hit Gallus in the face with the centurion’s stick he carried. Gallus lost his balance for a few moments, but then recovered and drew his sword.
-“I’m not one of your little cronies back in Rome or Gaul you buffoon! I’m a German noble and you have just offended me. You also offended my warriors, my gods and the whole set of traditions I was raised by. I challenge you to single combat!”, shouted Gallus.
-“I won’t waste my time playing Germanic games with my subordinates. I have more important business to concern myself”, answered Olennius with contempt.
Hronderich barely managed to disarm and hold Gallus back in order to calm down. Then Gallus, Hronderich and the Iberian commander, centurion Corocotta followed Olennius inside the wooden Praetorium in a cellar turned cell in order to deal with the prisoner.
-“Gentlemen, let me present you Auda, daughter of the Frisian king Hengist”, said Olennius with pride in his voice. The three men gave a brief look at each other and then Gallus shouted “What the hell have you done?”.


At the same time, three miles to the East and a mile South of the fort, where an old sacred circle of Wotan once stood, before the Roman legions burnt it, German warriors under the banners of the stallion and the bear began settling down.

“Are you sure that we have to wait for the others, too?” a weary Ingomar asked king Hengist.
-“As much as it pains me to say so, we don’t have enough men to take Auda back from the Romans”, the king answered. “Do we know who is leading the Eagle-Bearers in Flevum?” he asked Anzo, his second-in-command.
“I’ve heard that the son of one of the local Frisian nobles leads the garrison. I believe he is the son of Octric Bloodhair, a man called Leobwin in our language, but the Romans call him Gallus. He is cunning and cautious as I’m told and he leads men three times our numbers, my lord”, was Anzo’s reply.
-“Very well then, we shall wait for the others to come”, concluded the king after long consideration.

His two-hundred and fifty men began raising tents in order to rest. However, not more than a few hours had passed when a rider came out of the woods galloping. “Your brother, lord Ulf is heading towards the grove with one thousand levies, my lord”, reported an out-of-breath Amalric to the king.
-“Good news Amalric. You may rest now”, the king answered.

No more than half an hour later, a large force emerged from the woods. At its head, a small troop of heavily armed cavalrymen wearing expensive mail armour. Two of the horsemen galloped towards the king.
-“It’s good to have finally found you brother”, said the shortest and bulkiest rider, revealing himself to be Ulf, king Hengist’s brother.
-“I welcome you and your northern warriors. Won’t you introduce the young man on your side?”, asked the king with a faint satisfactory smile on his face.
-“Right beside me rides prince Aldric Whitehair, of the Ampsivarii bringing fifty of the best Ampsivarii nobles with him. They told me that they are second only to the Batavians”, Ulf answered. “They were sent to assist us, as their king cannot send more warriors, because he’s busy fighting coastal raiders”, he added.

-“How come the king of the Ampsivarii found out about the situation in Frisia? My message to the Chauci king can’t have reached them yet”, wondered the king.
-“The High Priest of Wotan had a vision a fortnight ago and warned our king to assist the Horse. My father took it as a sign that he should send help to you, as your banner is that of a horse, my lord”, answered the Ampsivari prince with a strangely weak voice. Hengist noticed that even though he had white hair, he was no more twenty-years-old.
-“So, what is our plan now, brother?” Ulf asked the king. Hengist heaved a sigh. “We’ll let the men rest now and we shall gather for a war council. We’ll make our move tomorrow”, was his answer.

The newcomers began erecting tents while the warlords gathered inside the king’s tent and sat around the table. On the upper side of the king’s table sat the king himself. Next to him, on the position of honour sat Ulf, being the leader of the largest warband. In addition, Anzo, Aldrik and Ingomar were sitting relaxed around the table. What a small gathering, fitting of a small war host like ours, thought the king dejectedly. Too few warlords remain now, he also thought, while reflecting on another similar gathering sixteen years ago, when the Frisii decided to side with the Romans. He breathed deeply.
-“To begin with this council, I believe that the newcomers shall be briefed by my second-in-command, Amalric, about the situation we are facing”, he proposed.

Amalric stepped forward and opened an old map on the table. “On this old Roman map we can see the region’s geomorphology”, he began. However, when he lifted his eyes and looked at the warlords, he saw an expression of utter surprise and confusion on their faces. They have probably never seen a map before, he thought, reflecting on the knowledge he had acquired more than a decade before during his service in the Roman army. “Noble lords, as you can see here we are going to fight against a typical Roman fort. As it is shown here, it is positioned right next to the river controlling one of the few fords in this region ”, he said while pointing at a place on the map. “The fortifications include a wooden wall, some wooden towers mounted with the Fire Throwers and iron gates on all four sides. It also has a small port were three to four river patrol ships are always docked. Inside the wall, as our traders have informed me, there are barracks, a smith and a wooden Praetorium where the commander lives”, he concluded with nearly Roman precision.

-“How many men are there?”, asked Anzo .
-“No more than five-hundred, all auxiliaries”, was the answer.
-“I believe we all agree it is necessary to build boats so as to cross the river, in order to attack the fort”, said Ulf. “However, this has to be completed by tomorrow’s dawn, otherwise we will be sitting ducks for the Roman patrols”, he warned the other chiefs.
-“It seems you tend to point out the obvious, lord Ulf”, Aldrik said with an ironic grin on his pale face. “The putpose of this council is to decide what to do after we cross the river”, he added.
-“Hold your tongue prince or I’ll cut it out!”, responded Ulf angrily. “You have to wash your bloody mouth before you speak of a Frisian, Ampsivarii coward!” he also shouted.

King Hengist grabbed his brother’s shoulder to calm him down. “Calm down fellow lords”, he said with a stern voice. “You can fight as much as you wish after we have dealt with the matter at hand”, he stated, while gesturing to Anzo to begin talking.

Anzo responded quickly. “So, I suggest a typical frontal attack. We have more men and the fortifications are wooden, so we can burn them with flaming arrows. Then we charge in and slaughter them, nicely and cleanly. I’ve tried it before, during the war.”
Of course, what would an old German propose. It seems they have forgotten what happened when Arminius faced Romans in a frontal assault not many years ago, thought Amalric. However, when he looked at the other warriors, he only saw approval in their eyes .

-“I agree”, was Ulf’s short reply. The other lords also agreed with the proposal without second thought. Aldrik stood up. “We are on our way to victory and glory, fellow lords!”, he shouted happily. Then Hengist stood up and suddenly there was silence. “Since most of the members of this council agree, I approve of this plan. May Donar with his Hammer be with us tomorrow!”, he shouted for all the men waiting outside the tent to hear.

Fools, all of them fools, realised Amalric. Then he heard the king addressing him. “Amalric, pick them men who know how to built boats and get them to work. You may cut trees not belonging to the grove”, the king ordered him. Amalric nodded, picked up them map and headed out of the tent.

At the same time, a shadow crept away from a hole at the opposite side of the tent and moved towards the edge of the camp. There it stood up, raised a dark cloak revealing a long-haired Germanic. The man gave the guard a bag jingling with coins and was given his horse. He mounted it and galloped towards the river in silence.

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.

[This message has been edited by Alex_the_Bold (edited 11-02-2013 @ 02:37 PM).]

Terikel Grayhair
(id: Terikel706)
posted 11-05-13 03:30 AM EDT (US)     4 / 5       
I am liking this tale.

There were some quite blatant spelling issues to be dealt with (were they done on putpose?) but otherwise a nice installment.

Please continue!

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
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Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
posted 11-05-13 07:53 AM EDT (US)     5 / 5       
The bad spelling is used to show that the speaker is not fluent in Latin... Thank you for your kind words...

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.
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