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Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven » Forums » Bardic Circle - War Stories & AAR forum » The Adventures of Lucius Maxetinus
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Topic Subject:The Adventures of Lucius Maxetinus
Lucius Julius
Ashigaru
posted 11-20-14 05:07 AM EDT (US)         
Hail and well met Total War Residents. This is my first attempt at writing a story, so enjoy!

The Adventures of Lucius Maxetinus


Chapter 1: A Stranger In Town

The wind was cold, the wolfs howled, the trees rustled in the wind, such was life along the Rhine River. In the town of Augusta Treverorum there laid a tavern, inside the tavern, sitting in an selcuded corner, a man sat, drinking his ale. The man was wearing a dark cloak and his head was concealed with his cloak's hood, he wore a belt and attached to it was a sheathed Roman gladius. He also had brown hair and a small brown beard. To the local garrison he was a stranger, perhaps a mercenary, but in truth, he was a Roman to the core, but he fought only for himself.

He finished his ale and signalled for another ale, the tavern owner responded by bringing him his second ale. While he drank his ale a commotion occurred at the bar, two men were arguing about some rubbish. He listened closely as they argued.

“I tell you, that women is supurb, just look at those hips!” argued one man. He was pointing to a woman outside the tavern.

“Nonsense Appius, she couldn’t get any good men, even if you think she could," responded the other.

“Shut up Gaius you bastard!’ exclaimed Appius. “She is fair and you’ll see soon enough.”

Gaius stood up from his seat, compared to his companion, he was well built, had broad shoulders and was taller. Appius was of smaller height and didn’t look tough enough; he looked like a squinty fellow.

“Apologize and admit you are wrong about that woman, and I may let you go unharmed," threatened Gaius.

Appius stood up and rose to the challenge. “You may be stronger than me; but I will not stand for this threat, lets settle this like men," Appius replied.

The stranger watched as Gaius nodded his head and punched Appius in the face before he could even get ready, a bar room brawl had commenced. Many of those near the two men began to run outside or hide behind the bar or even table, however the stranger didn’t react.

Gaius launched his fist towards Appius’s face again, but he missed. Appius was short but quick. Gaius looked in time to see himself trip and tumble onto the ground, Appius then grabbed a chair and continually smashed it on Gaius’s head, until he grabbed onto it and pulled himself up. He grabbed Appius by the throat and threw him, right on top of the stranger’s table and ale.

“That was my ale,” the stranger exclaimed politely. “I suggest you pay for my next drink.”

Gaius snarled at the stranger and walked up to him. “I believe that this person now belongs to me, and he nor myself will pay for your drink," he said rudely.

The stranger looked at Gaius for a brief second, before kneeing him in the groin, the tall man collapsed before being kicked in the head, sending him into a table and breaking it. Appius started to crawl away until the stranger grabbed him by the tunic and stared at him. His face was full of anger and hatred.

“Who…who are you?” asked a frightened Appius.

The stranger smiled at the frightened man, his face became close to Appius’s face that Appius could feel the stranger’s breath on his own face.

“My name is Lucius Maxetinus," he answered before hitting him three times on the stomach and throwing him on the ground. Lucius walked outside and onto the street, seemingly uncaring to what just happened.

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Matria Mori - It is sweet and meet to die for one's country.

We all die in the end, it only matters when and how - Me

Roma Invicta!

[This message has been edited by Lucius Julius (edited 11-20-2014 @ 03:16 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 11-20-14 10:04 AM EDT (US)     1 / 25       
I hope he took their purses to pay for the alcohol abuse (spilling a drink constitutes alcohol abuse in my world).

A nice start. Interesting. I guess from the names that this is taking place during Roman times, probably during the Pax Romana.

A few spelling nits (I can be so very picky):

Augusta Treverorum, not Treviorum.

cloak's hood, not cloaks hood (missing apostrophe)

Roman gladius, not roman gladius (capitalization)

A few other smaller ones, but overall a nice start. Please continue!

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Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
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General Sajaru
Daimyo
posted 11-20-14 12:45 PM EDT (US)     2 / 25       
An interesting start. As with Terikel, I noted few nits (I'm at least as picky as he is):

-that women is superb (not suburb)

-“Apologize and admit (the verb, not the noun)

-Appius was of smaller height and didn’t look tough enough; he looked like a squinty fellow. (these are two independent clauses and therefore require a semi-colon in between them if they're in the same sentence)

-but I will not stand for this threat; let's settle this like men (see above about the semi-colon; also, you're using the contraction for let us and need an apostrophe)

Every time you end dialogue, you put the ending quote before the comma; you should put it after the comma.

Also, there are a couple of phrases that you use that don't really make sense:
sitting in an elusive corner
Elusive means "difficult to find, catch, or achieve." Seeing how the corner of the tavern is just sitting there, that's probably not quite the word you were looking for (perhaps the proper one eluded you ). I'd suggest something like secluded, perhaps.
seemingly oblivious to what just happened.
Again, your word choice is a bit odd; I'd recommend something like unaffected or unperturbed instead of oblivious. Oblivious means "not aware of or not concerned about what is happening around one," which is clearly not true of Lucius.

There are a few things, mechanically and style-wise, that would make your story flow more smoothly if you worked on them, but I definitely want to read more.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." - Ronald Reagan
"Judge them not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper
"I like my enemies like James Bond likes his martinis- shaken, not stirred."
My first book, The King's Own
Lucius Julius
Ashigaru
posted 11-20-14 03:19 PM EDT (US)     3 / 25       
Thanks for your comments, have finished the editing, I will finish chapter 2 in a few days.

Terikel - I'm sure Lucius took their money, it's his nature.

Edit: I need some characters for the story, if you want I can put you in it. For those who want to be in it please type your characters name and his civilisation (e.g. Roman, Hun, Visigoth, Ostrogoth, Sassanid etc). I'll come up with the rest.

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Matria Mori - It is sweet and meet to die for one's country.

We all die in the end, it only matters when and how - Me

Roma Invicta!

[This message has been edited by Lucius Julius (edited 11-20-2014 @ 11:57 PM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 11-21-14 02:29 AM EDT (US)     4 / 25       
We don't know Lucius yet, my friend, so we do not know what is his nature or not. We learn to know him through his dialogue and actions. If it is understood by you that he took their money, then make it known to us as well.

Be very careful with characters named after real people, especially currently living real people. Stories have a way of taking on a life of their own, and you do not want a character you named after a girlfriend or a comrade to suddenly turn into an evil little shit because the story demanded it. Unless you do not care for said girlfriend or comrade, of course. Cameos are the best way to honor friends and such- have the character pop by, act as the person the character is named for would (girlfriend sweet or steamy, comrade loyal and brave, drinking buddy drunk, etc), and then depart without becoming a major part of the tale.

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Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 11-21-2014 @ 02:35 AM).]

Lucius Julius
Ashigaru
posted 11-21-14 05:30 AM EDT (US)     5 / 25       
Just thought of a few main characters so don't worry about a thing. Also got a new chapter ready, but it is a short one. Will have chapter 3 ready in a few days.

Chapter 2: Troubles Of The Empire

The year was 409 AD and the Western Roman Empire was in turmoil, each of their Emperors had been too weak to deal with the barbarian invasions from the east and many of the barbarians launched raids across the Rhine, even taking land for themselves. Several of the most aggressive tribes were the Huns, the Franks, the Alan, the Goths and other scores of Germanic tribes.

The current emperor of the Western Roman Empire is Emperor Honorius, an unintelligent and selfish young man. His advisors are the real power behind the throne, telling him what the Emperor should do and not what to.

It’s because of this that raids from barbarians have become more frequent along the borders, villages and towns destroyed and the survivors sold into slavery, making the barbarians rich and strong while making the Romans weaker.

At the exact moment when Lucius left the tavern, Alaric the Goth was besieging Rome so he and his people could get their promised land, which Honorius did promise but then refused to give. Negotiations were still being dealt with between Alaric and Honorius, but many think that it’ll end in tragedy.

Meanwhile, The Franks had been raiding Roman lands beyond the Rhine and even attempted to gain land, but they had failed. At that moment, a Frankish raiding party had left their camp and was heading for Augusta Terverorum to sack the town and grab all they could get before heading back to their chieftains to receive their reward.

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Matria Mori - It is sweet and meet to die for one's country.

We all die in the end, it only matters when and how - Me

Roma Invicta!

[This message has been edited by Lucius Julius (edited 11-21-2014 @ 05:12 PM).]

General Sajaru
Daimyo
posted 11-21-14 01:00 PM EDT (US)     6 / 25       
The plot thickens...

Two nits and then some general advice:
The Huns, The Franks, The Alan, The Goths and other scores of Germanic tribes.
Don't capitalize "the".

Other nit: for the middle three paragraphs of Chapter 2, you switch from past to present tense with most of your verbs. While it's certainly okay to write in present tense, you started out with Chapter 1 and the first paragraph of Chapter 2 in past tense. You should be consistent throughout your story with which tense you use, unless it's an exception, like a flashback. A lot of third person perspective books are written past tense, and it's an easy one to work with.


Now for my advice: show, don't tell. In the first chapter, when you talk about there being a bar brawl, don't just write, "a bar brawl had commenced." Instead, start describing the brawl; write about what the various patrons are doing, what sort of weapons they're using, etc. It makes for a much more interesting tale that way. This could also apply to Chapter 2; instead of just telling us that "a Frankish raiding party had left their camp and was heading for Augusta Terverorum to sack the town and grab all they could get before heading back to their chieftains to receive their reward," take us to the leader of the raiding party and write about what's going on with him. That way, you can describe what the raiders are like, what their goals are, and how soon they'll be arriving at the town. You're doing pretty well with getting your main ideas across, but when you start to describe events instead of just stating them, it'll really take your writing to the next level; and it makes it easier for your readers to visualize what's taking place in the story.

One other piece of advice, pertaining to the first chapter and going forward: when you're writing dialogue, try to make the language more casual. While I know this is a story set in 406 BC about Romans, that doesn't mean people like Gaius and Appius speak formally. While a patrician or other wealthy or powerful individual might speak quite formally, it should be a conscious choice on your part to have them speak in such a way. As someone who speaks- and writes- in pretty formal language myself, I know it can be hard to make dialogue "real." However, it really helps draw the reader in and establish characters' backgrounds.


You're doing pretty well for your first story; keep it coming.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." - Ronald Reagan
"Judge them not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper
"I like my enemies like James Bond likes his martinis- shaken, not stirred."
My first book, The King's Own
Lucius Julius
Ashigaru
posted 11-21-14 05:10 PM EDT (US)     7 / 25       
Thanks for your advice, I'll try to do that, but I'm not sure if the Romans said words like: thou, thee etc.

I also realised a mistake, it's suppose to say AD, not BC, I'll fix that.

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Matria Mori - It is sweet and meet to die for one's country.

We all die in the end, it only matters when and how - Me

Roma Invicta!
DominicusUltimus
Legate
posted 11-21-14 11:31 PM EDT (US)     8 / 25       
Always wonderful seeing a new writer post their work here!

Terikel and Sajaru are doing a fine job teaching you the finer points of writing so I'll leave the nits and critiques to them, while I'll be content cheering you on. Keep the chapters coming!

"Life is more fun when you are insane. Just let go occasionally".- yakcamkir 12:14
"It is not numbers, but vision that wins wars." - Antiochus VII Sidetes
"My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel Grayhair
Angel of Total War: Rome II Heaven and the Total War: Attila Forums
Lucius Julius
Ashigaru
posted 11-22-14 07:09 AM EDT (US)     9 / 25       
Yay, a new viewer! I managed to get chapter 3 done more quickly than I thought and it's the longest one I've done, so enjoy!

Chapter 3: Meeting A Barbarian

Lucius Maxetinus walked down the street; night had fallen across Augusta Terverorum. As he walked he heard different sounds, people laughing, people coughing, people walking and running, it seemed like a normal night.

Lucius began to think about his past: he was a Roman legionary who was stationed at a fort near the Rhine; they had just completely annihilated a Frankish army and took the survivors captive. When they arrived back at the fort Lucius argued with the centurion about the loot; Lucius had killed the Frankish warlord and almost lost his life, so he decided he deserved more loot than his superiors, but the centurion disagreed. It ended with Lucius killing the centurion by stabbing him in the throat, stealing a horse and getting away into the wilderness. Ever since he had been a bandit and a thief, living of the food he stole from people, but he liked Augusta Terverorum, it had ale at a low cost.

Lucius then arrived at the public baths, he grinned as he though of the idea of relieving the people of their wealth. He entered and saw no one around, he could hear the men laughing in the baths and could see the steam coming out of the doors. Lucius wasn’t used to heat so he quickly listened for any movement in the change room, he didn’t hear any and entered.

Lucius’s plan was simple, he was going to steal all the denarii from the clothes and get out before being caught.

“Done it before and I can do it again.”

He quickly noticed that he was lucky, all the clothes that were there belonged to the wealthier citizens. Lucius grinned as he searched the first pile; he pulled out two small purses of denarii.

“It’s enough for three more ale.”

Each pile of clothes he searched had a small purse of denarii or, if he was lucky, two purses. His luck continued until he reached the last pile. When he searched it he couldn’t find anything of use, he stood up and examined the pile of clothes. It wasn’t Roman; it didn’t look anything like a toga or a simple tunic. A dark blue cloak was attached to it, keeping the cloak and odd-looking clothing together was an embodied badge on each shoulder, the clothing was dark blue with a taint of brown woven into it. There was also some chain mail for the arms. Lucius was puzzled about who owned it.

“Whoever owns this isn’t Roman, that’s for sure. It almost looks, barbarian.”


“Well, thief, what are you doing with my clothes?” asked a man standing in the doorway, his voice had a Germanic accent to it. Lucius put the clothes down and turned around.

He saw a man wearing a towel robe around his waist, he had blonde beard and hair, his eyes were blue and he looked to be around 35 years old. Lucius also noticed that the man had several battle scars, one was on his left cheek, another on his right arm below the wrist and the last scar was on his waist, that was the largest of the scars.

“Who are you?” asked Lucius.

“I believe it should be you telling me who you are”, the man replied.

Lucius sighed; he hoped this wasn’t going to turn into a fight. He threw back his hood and revealed his face. “My name is Lucius Maxetinus”, Lucius said. “Now tell me who you are.”

The German gave a wiry smile as he answered. “My name is Chlodios the Frank”, the man answered.

Lucius looked at Chlodios in surprise. “You are a barbarian, what are you doing here in a Roman town?” Lucius asked.

“I’m not going to be here for long, only for the night”, answered Chlodios. “I was once a Frankish chieftain, until I was betrayed and forced into exile by my own cousin, I have been in the wild for two years.”

Lucius realised that they were almost similar; they both lived in the wild for several years and had a military background. Lucius thought of something to ask the Frank.

“What religion do you follow?” Lucius asked.

“I follow the way of the old gods, I am a pagan”, Chlodios replied. “Are you a pagan as well?”

“Yes, I am.”

Chlodios walked up to his clothes, dropped his towel and started to put his clothes on. Lucius looked away towards the doorway.

“What are you doing?” Chlodios asked.

“I am looking away”, Lucius answered.

“Why? You aren’t a coward, are you?”

“I’d have you know I killed a Frankish chieftain without much damage to myself!”

Chlodios had finished putting his clothes on and tapped Lucius’s shoulder to signify he was finished, Lucius turned around and sighed with relief.

“I see you are a thief, Lucius”, Chlodios said. “Lets get an ale together, to celebrate our new friendship. We’ll use that money you stole.”

“I don’t think we’ll get an ale anytime soon, last I saw there were some town militia at the tavern”, Lucius pointed out.

Chlodios sighed as both men left the bathhouse, but they then heard shouts from the soldiers and many militias were running on the streets and manning the walls. One soldier stopped near Lucius and Chlodios to catch his breath. He was wearing the usual armour any militia would wear, he was also wearing a standard helmet and was carrying a spear, a shield and had a spatha sword strapped to his belt.

“What’s going on?” Lucius asked the soldier.

“A Frankish raiding party has been spotted near the town and the roads have been blocked by the barbarian scum”, the soldier answered. He then looked at Lucius and Chlodios with surprise.

“Is the blonde scarred one here a barbarian?” the soldier asked Lucius.

Lucius nodded his head in response, the soldier looked suspiciously at Chlodios. “Are you two mercenaries?” he asked Lucius and Chlodios.

Both men shook their heads. “We are travellers”, responded Chlodios.

“Well, if you’re feeling up to it, why don’t you help us defend the town?” the soldier suggested. “If all three of us are alive at the end of this then I’ll get us all some ale, how does that sound?”

Both men nodded their heads. “Sounds like a plan”, answered Chlodios.

“If it gets me a drink to sustain my thirst then I’m in”, replied Chlodios.

The soldier smiled with happiness. “Good! Lets get going.”

“Wait a minute, I’ve got to get my axe”, Chlodios explained. He reached behind a cart and pulled out a one-handed battle-axe and a shield. “Alright, lets go.”

As the three men ran towards the eastern gate the soldier asked Lucius and Chlodios a question. “What are your names?”

“My name is Lucius Maxetinus and this is Chlodios”, Lucius answered. “What is your name?”

“My name is Marcellus Junia”, he replied. He then looked at Chlodios as they continued to run. “Isn’t Chlodios a Frankish name?”

“Yes it is”, Chlodios sighed.

“Then that means you are going to kill your fellow people.”

“I have no more ties to them.”

Marcellus didn’t press the conversation further. The three men ran up a tower stairway and arrived on the eastern wall, where they saw the Franks with a battering ram and ladders. Lucius could hear the defining roar from the Franks and could see them with torches. There seemed to be over fifty thousand bloodthirsty Franks besieging the town- the Roman garrison was outnumbered several times over. The governor appeared at the gatehouse and unsheathed his gladius.

“Men, prepare to fight and die like true Romans! If you die then God will greet you and you will be praised like heroes! If you live then you children and their children will remember you with honour! So fight, fight and kill them all!” roared the governor to his men.

His men roared in response, even Marcellus roared with approval, when he finished he went to his knees and began to pray. Lucius looked at Marcellus with a surprise.

“You’re a Christian then, Marcellus?” Lucius asked.

“Yes. I worship the true faith”, Marcellus replied. He finished praying and stood up. “You aren’t a Christian then?”

Lucius shook his head. “What are you then Chlodios, pagan or Christian?” Marcellus asked Chlodios.

“Pagan”, Chlodios answered.

Lucius looked at the Frankish army once again and began to feel afraid. “Mars protect me”, Lucius muttered. He then pulled his hood over his head, unsheathed his gladius and hoped that he and his companions were going to live.

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Matria Mori - It is sweet and meet to die for one's country.

We all die in the end, it only matters when and how - Me

Roma Invicta!

[This message has been edited by Lucius Julius (edited 11-23-2014 @ 07:05 AM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 11-22-14 09:12 AM EDT (US)     10 / 25       
Better.

The story starts to flow through the actions and encounters, instead of a straight narrative. It is now starting to take form, and drag the reader into using their own imagination to live through the story,as directed by your words.

Speaking of which, do you play the scene through your mind first, then pretend to be telling someone what you just saw? I don't think so, but I would advise to do so- you would be amazed at how life-like such a trick can make a story.

Still nits (I am so very picky):

Your line: “Lets get an ale together, to celebrate our new friendship, we’ll use that money you stole.”
Fixed: “Lets get an ale together to celebrate our new friendship. We’ll use that money you stole.”
Break the run-on sentence into two good ones.

Your line: “Well, if you’re felling up to it, ...
Fixed: “Well, if you’re feeling up to it,
Felling is knocking something down. Feeling is experiencing an emotion or sensation.

Yours: Lucius could hear the defining roar from the Franks and could see them with torches, there seemed to be over 50,000 Franks besieging the town, the Roman garrison was outnumbered severally.
Fixed: Lucius could hear the defining roar from the Franks and could see them with torches. There seemed to be over fifty thousand bloodthirsty Franks besieging the town- the Roman garrison was outnumbered several times over.
Again the run-ons. This fixes it.

began to fell afraid
began to feel afraid
As previously stated

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
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
General Sajaru
Daimyo
posted 11-23-14 00:31 AM EDT (US)     11 / 25       
Good chapter Lucius.

A stylistic note: unless you're having Lucius Maxetinus actually speak aloud, I'd recommend having any thoughts of his italicized without quotes. And you can probably put them in the same paragraph as his actions.
One militia soldier stopped
He's either a member of the militia or a soldier, not both; a militia is composed of volunteers without much formal training, whereas a soldier is part of a full-time military organization. Given Marcellus's level of equipment, he strikes me as being a professional soldier- or at least a member of the auxiliaries.

Also, when you say "Romano-Barbarian sword" what do you mean? Are you referring to a spatha, which was the weapon of choice in the later Roman empire?

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." - Ronald Reagan
"Judge them not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper
"I like my enemies like James Bond likes his martinis- shaken, not stirred."
My first book, The King's Own
Lucius Julius
Ashigaru
posted 11-23-14 07:04 AM EDT (US)     12 / 25       
Thanks everybody for your comments and helping me improve my writing. Chapter 4 is ready to read, chapter 5 will be ready in two-three days if lucky.

Chapter 4: The Defence Of Augusta Terverorum

The Romans and their two new allies stood upon the wall, ready to defend the town from the Franks. Down on the street, Lucius could hear the screams of women and the cries from small children, trying to find a place to hide. Lucius turned to speak at Chlodios.

“You know your people better than we do, do you know if they have any weaknesses?” he asked.

“Yes, they do have a weakness, their leaders”, Chlodios answered. “If we kill their leaders then their morale will plummet quickly, and they will try to get away from the battle. Once that happens we launch a counter attack and kill or capture the remaining Franks.”

Lucius nodded in approval. “Seems like a plan, I’ll tell the governor. You and Marcellus stay here and wait for me.”

Chlodios and Marcellus nodded their heads, and with that Lucius ran across the battlements and towards the gatehouse. The Franks were preparing to charge and their roaring got louder and more defining. Lucius got to the gatehouse and saw the governor. The governor was wearing a generals helmet and wearing a generals armour, he appeared to be old, perhaps 45 to around 50 years old. He seemed familiar to him though.

“Governor, what’s your name?” Lucius asked.

The governor looked at Lucius with confusion. “My name is Pacilicus Sextus, governor of Augusta Terverorum”, he answered. “But who are you? You don’t look like one of my men.”

“My name is Lucius Maxetinus, and I’m here along with my barbarian friend to defend this town”, Lucius answered.

Pacilicus looked at Lucius, his face looked like it was unsure if Lucius was telling the truth. Then his eyes widened and he grinned.

“So you’re Lucius Maxetinus, you do know that there is still a bounty on your head ever since you ran from the camp four years ago?”

Lucius looked at Pacilicus closely, then he remembered where he last saw that man, it was four years ago when he murdered his centurion, this man was the general of that army.

“By the gods, why did it have to be you as governor?” Lucius mumbled.

“Still praying to the false gods are you?” sneered Pacilicus. “You always were a man of the past weren’t you?” He then looked at two men next to him. “Men, take this man away to the cells, make sure he doesn’t escape.”

Before they could follow orders, an axe appeared next to Pacilicus’s neck.

“If you harm this man in anyway shape or form, then I will remove your head from your thick neck”, said a voice, its Germanic accent could be noticed even when speaking Latin.

“Good to know you didn’t listen to me, Chlodios”, Lucius remarked.

Chlodios grinned at Lucius. “Always ready to deal with a problem.”

At that moment, the Franks charged. The battering ram began to move in the direction of the gate and the Franks carrying the ladders began moving towards the walls. Archer from both sides began to fire at each other. Lucius saw a Roman getting hit with an arrow, the soldier then fell of the walls head first. The sound of his fall was covered by the sound of people screaming and shouting at each other. Lucius looked at Pacilicus.

“Lets just forget the past for the moment and let us help you defend the town”, Lucius requested. “I’ll even give myself up to you and whatever you intend to do to me.”

Chlodios looked at Lucius in horror.

What is this Roman trying to do, get himself murdered by this governor?

Pacilicus thought about the offer, he then decided it’ll be a good idea. “Ok then, fight alongside the men. But don’t even think about running away when the battle is over, got that?”

Lucius nodded his head. “One last thing, get the archers to aim directly for the leaders, once they’re dead the Franks will be disorganised”, Lucius said. “The leaders will be the ones that look rich and the most battle scarred of them all.” With that done he and Chlodios left the gatehouse, when they just left Lucius winked at Chlodios. The Frank grinned, it seemed that Lucius wasn’t going to stick around long after the battle.

They arrived back to see Marcellus with his shield up and his spear ready to repel any attacker. Runners were being sent to the commanders along the wall, telling them to aim for the Frankish leaders. Down bellow, the Frankish battering ram had reached the gate and had begun to do its work. The first of the ladders reached the wall and the Franks began to climb.

The first Frank reached the battlements and began to climb over, when Lucius swung his gladius into the Frank’s neck. Blood squirted out onto Lucius’s face, the gladius was removed from the neck and the dead Frank fell onto the ground.

All around the wall ladders were set up and Franks had begun to climb them, some Franks even tried throwing ropes over the battlements for another way to get to the fight quickly. Marcellus bashed a Frank over the head with his shield then stabbed him in the chest, the Frank died within seconds. All over the wall Franks had climbed up and were fighting the Romans face to face.

Chlodios swung his axe into a Frank’s head, splitting the head almost in two. Chlodios removed the axe and saw the brain, or what was left of it, fall out alongside the pile of blood. Chlodios grimaced as he witnessed this, he turned around and saw a young Frankish warrior, he appeared to be handsome and was heavily armoured. This was one of the leaders, a chieftain. Chlodios swung his shield in front of him as he saw the chieftain decapitate a Roman, the chieftain then looked at Chlodios, he appeared to be confused as to why there was a Frank fighting for the Romans.

“Fight me coward! Fight me! Bring your pretty face to my axe!” Chlodios shouted in the language they spoke.

The Frankish chieftain accepted the challenge by shouting a death chant and charging with his sword pointing at Chlodios’s body. The chieftain struck Chlodios’s shield, then Chlodios swung his axe around to hit the young chieftain. The chieftain ducked in time and sliced at Chlodios’s leg. Blood spilled from the wound and Chlodios clenched his teeth.

The chieftain then got back up and swung his sword at Chlodios’s right arm, but Chlodios put his shield in the way and swung his axe over his shield. The axe collided with the chieftain’s right shoulder, rending it useless.

While the young chieftain yelled in pain, Chlodios swung his axe again, this time hitting the chieftain’s face, the axe penetrated deep into the skull. The hit killed the chieftain. The lifeless body fell to the ground and Chlodios pulled his axe from the body’s head, blood spilled out with great speed.

Lucius turned and saw Marcellus fighting a Frank, he appeared to be losing, his shield had been knocked away, his spear was sticking out of a dead Frank and blood was flowing from the left side of Marcellus’s face. With quick speed, Lucius ran up behind the Frank, grabbed him and slit his throat. The Franks fell dead onto the ground as Lucius help Marcellus onto his feet. Marcellus had his left hand over the left side of his face.

“Let me check to see what type of wound you’ve got”, Lucius ordered.

Marcellus slide his hand away from his face, Lucius clenched his teeth as he saw the wound. Marcellus had lost his left eye and a scar could be seen running down his face, blood poured from the wound and down his face and onto his armour.

“That looks horrific”, Lucius exclaimed. “I’ve never seen anyone who lost an eye before.”

Marcellus groaned as he picked up his shield and clenched his spatha tightly, Lucius looked at Marcellus in surprise. “Are you serious about continuing to fight?” Lucius asked. “You only have one eye left.”

“I still have an eye and two arms, that’s enough to continue”, answered Marcellus.

At that moment, the gate smashed open. The Roman archers continued to fire upon the Franks and the Franks appeared to be wavering, a few of their chieftains had been killed and the plan was working.

Lucius saw Chlodios run towards the tower to get to the gate, many other Romans were following him. Lucius noticed the situation along the wall, it wasn’t as bad as before, many of the Franks were at the gate. When Lucius looked at the gate he saw Chlodios and a few other commanders fighting the Franks off, Lucius grabbed a long strip of rope, tied it to a stable piece of the battlement and climbed down. Marcellus followed him down, when they both reached the ground the situation was getting out of hand, even Pacilicus Sextus was fighting alongside the men. Lucius saw Chlodios holding a throwing axe in his right hand; his battle-axe was embedded in a Frankish warrior’s chest. Chlodios threw the throwing axe and it collided with a Frank’s head.

Lucius looked at Marcellus. “You ready to fight alongside me, friend?” he asked.

“God will look over us as we fight for a righteous cause”, Marcellus replied.

“I guess if your god will look over us, then my gods will also help us”, Lucius said.

Marcellus smiled as he charged into the thick of battle, slicing a right arm of a Frank. Lucius charged into the battle and swung his gladius into a Frankish warrior’s neck, he pulled the gladius out and immediately grabbed a Frank from behind and slit his throat, blood spiled everywhere. Lucius then turned around and slashed at a Frank, this one was a chieftain Lucius thought.

He looks rich enough to be a chieftain.

The Frankish chieftain was wearing a usual Frankish battle helmet and armour, he also carried a large shield and a long sword. He had black long hair and dark eyes. The chieftain yelled a war cry and charged at Lucius. Lucius waited for the right time to act, just as the chieftain swung his sword at Lucius, he stepped out of the way and tripped the Frankish chieftain over. The Frank fell to the ground, dropping his sword and shield, then Lucius leapt onto the chieftain’s back and slashed the Frank’s back three times, blood flowed out quickly, but even this didn’t stop the chieftain. The Frank threw Lucius of his back and roared loudly, then picked up his sword and charged at Lucius. The Frank swung his sword down at Lucius while Lucius made a thrusting move with his gladius into the chieftain’s chest, Lucius closed his eyes as he felt a jab of pain in his chest. The sound of cracking bone and the cutting of flesh could be heard from both the chieftain and Lucius.

Lucius opened his eyes and saw his gladius sticking out of the Frank’s chest while the chieftain’s sword had sliced Lucius’s left side of his chest, the wound wasn’t deep but blood was spilling out nonetheless. Just then the Franks began to become afraid and started to flee. The Romans cheered in response and Pacilicus, who was covered in blood, turned to look at his men.

“Men, the Franks are fleeing, they are cowards and God has saved us from defeat”, Pacilicus shouted. “Now charge after them, you can either kill them or make them your captives, now take them down!”

The men cheered in response and charged after the Franks. The battle was over, now it was the mopping up operation. Lucius pulled the sword out of him and removed his gladius from the dead chieftain’s body, he sighed as he sat on the bloody ground, his hood was thrown back and he was sweating immensely as he gasped for air to refill his lungs. Chlodios and Marcellus walked up to Lucius, Chlodios was covered in blood, almost all of it wasn’t his and was carrying his battle-axe in two hands while his shield was strapped on his back. Marcellus was still bleeding from his left eye socket, he was also covered in blood and his armour was notched and dented, his helmet was missing and he was breathing in and out quickly.

“The battle is over, we have won”, Chlodios said cheerfully.

“We all seem to have a few wounds”, Lucius remarked with a smile.

“God gave us victory”, Marcellus exclaimed.

Lucius grinned at Marcellus. “In the old religion I follow we’d say that Mars saved us from defeat.”

“Lets stop this talk about religion”, Chlodios said. “What are we going to do now? The sun is rising.”

Both Lucius and Marcellus looked at the battlefield; the Roman garrison were slaughtering and capturing the remaining Franks and they then saw the sun beginning to creep up over the horizon. Lucius looked at Chlodios.

“I suppose we can stay here to patch up our wounds then leave, or we can leave now and get away before I’m taken captive”, responded Lucius.

“If you are taken captive I’ll get you out”, Chlodios stated.

“Then it’s decided, we stay here then we leave”, Marcellus said.

Lucius looked up at Marcellus in surprise. “You’re coming too?”

Marcellus smiled. “I might as well, I have no family anymore, so I’ll follow you and Chlodios, even to the gates of Hell.” He saw both Lucius and Chlodios stare at him. “I’ll tell you about what happened to my family another time.”

Chlodios nodded his head and helped Lucius to his feet, the three men headed towards the medical house as quickly as they could, eager to be healed and for Marcellus to get them their promised ale.

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Matria Mori - It is sweet and meet to die for one's country.

We all die in the end, it only matters when and how - Me

Roma Invicta!
General Sajaru
Daimyo
posted 11-23-14 12:15 PM EDT (US)     13 / 25       
Some rather bloody combat; my favorite sort.
Chlodios swung his axe into a Frank’s head, splitting the head almost in two. Chlodios removed the axe and saw the brain, or what was left of it, fall out alongside the pile of blood.
While it's good to be clear with what you're referring to in a given sentence, it often makes your writing flow a little more smoothly when you use pronouns and possessive words. For instance, in the above, you might write:

Chlodios swung his axe into a Frank's head, splitting it almost in two. He removed (while this word works, verbs are your opportunity to make your combat particularly vivid; a word like wrenched or ripped might be better) his axe and saw the dead man's brain, or what was left of it, fall out alongside the pile (blood really doesn't pile, so spray or gout might be a better word) of blood.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." - Ronald Reagan
"Judge them not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper
"I like my enemies like James Bond likes his martinis- shaken, not stirred."
My first book, The King's Own

[This message has been edited by General Sajaru (edited 11-23-2014 @ 12:15 PM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 11-24-14 05:04 AM EDT (US)     14 / 25       
he appeared to be old, perhaps 45 to around 50 years old
Screw you!

Nice battle. Some of the tactics should have been standard- the targeting of the chieftains, for example. The Franks had been fighting the Romans for over a century by this point, and their weaknesses should already be known. But still, if the general is an ass, a reminder is in order.

The battle was choppy and chaotic, yet strangely easy to follow- sort of like a real battle. That is Old Norse for "well done".

Believability took a few hits, though. I don't think that Lucius would forget the man who condemned him after a mere four years, generals being the judges at court-martials and killing an officer rated a death sentence, again a general's prerogative.

But overall quite nice. Thanks!

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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
Lucius Julius
Ashigaru
posted 11-25-14 03:38 AM EDT (US)     15 / 25       
Terikel - What did I do to get those words from you? Don't worry, in that age of history if you were 60 or 70 then your ancient in my opinion.

Sajaru - Thanks for the comment, I'll edit it later. Glad to see that everyone like battle scenes.

Chapter 5: Vengeance Is Denied

Lucius laid on the bed; his wound was all patched up. All around him in separate rooms soldiers were screaming and yelling in pain, many of them were being treated. Lucius closed his eyes and began to think of a plan to get out of Augusta Terverorum, when Chlodios entered the room, his face was cheerful and he was smiling.

“Marcellus is patched up, he’s got his left eye socket covered up with some linen”, Chlodios remarked.

Lucius smiled. “Then its time for him to get us our promised ale, I’ve racked up a thirst after the battle”, Lucius replied.

“We can only hope he can still navigate his way to the tavern”, Chlodios laughed.

At that moment Marcellus entered the room. Chlodios had been right; Marcellus had linen tied around his left eye socket to lower the flowing of blood. Marcellus looked grim as he entered.

“Pacilicus wants you now”, Marcellus told Lucius. “He says you must honour your promise to him and give yourself up.”

Lucius smile faded away from his face quickly, he started to look worried.

“Where is Pacilicus at this moment?” Lucius asked.

“He’s in the towns villa at the moment, waiting for you to come to him”, Marcellus answered. “Also, he instructed several soldiers and militia to guard the gates so you cant escape.”

Lucius sighed, he had hoped to have an ale first before leaving town, but it seemed he’ll be covered in chains and sent to Emperor Honorius.

“What are you going to do?” Chlodios asked Lucius.

Lucius looked up at Marcellus. “Tell Pacilicus that I will have an ale with you and Chlodios first, then I’ll give myself up.”

Marcellus nodded his head once, then left the room towards one of the soldiers in charge of guarding the medical house. Chlodios looked at Lucius with confusion.

“Are you really going to give yourself up?” Chlodios asked. “Or do you have a plan to escape after all?”

Lucius grinned at Chlodios and his eyes narrowed, this is what usually happened when he thought of a plan that was going to be bloody. “I do have a plan, but first
I doubt we’ll escape during the day, we must wait until dark falls upon here.”

Chlodios grinned at Lucius. “So you’re going to get caught then convince the governor to let you stay the night”, Chlodios said. “Then Marcellus and I are going to get you out then we make a run for it.”

Lucius nodded his head in approval. “Very perceptive, Chlodios. Yes, that’s the plan. If the guard with the keys decides to fight you then you’ll have to kill him and steal the keys.”

At that moment Marcellus reappeared, he was smiling, it seemed he had good news for Lucius and Chlodios. “Governor Pacilicus Sextus allows you to drink with your companions, but soldiers will be posted at the tavern so you’ll won’t get away afterwards.”

Lucius started to cackle excitedly; his plan was already underway. After he stopped, he and the other two left the medical house and headed for the tavern with half a dozen soldiers in tow.

* * *


Pacilicus rested on his chair, the sun had fully risen a few hours ago. He could hear the soldiers marching along the streets and the citizens were mourning for their losses at the church. A bird could be heard outside Pacilicus’s window, its chirp was high pitched. Pacilicus was wearing a toga white to signify his superiority over other people. Pacilicus then looked at the door, standing there was his messenger. He called the messenger over and spoke to him, signalling him to write what he was saying down on a scroll.

“Write this down immediately”, Pacilicus ordered. He stuffed a small bunch of grapes in his mouth before resuming to speak. “O mighty Emperor Honorius, I, Pacilicus Sextus Governor of Augusta Terverorum, bring good tidings”, he began. He spluttered his words as he ate the grapes. “A Frankish army besieged the town and cut off all routs for reinforcements. I, however, ordered the men to defend the town and God would bring us victory. I ordered the archers to fire upon their chieftains so the warriors would break ranks and flee.”

He finished his grapes and looked at the messenger, he appeared to have finished writing the last line. Pacilicus continued to talk.

“The plan worked and the Franks were massacred in great numbers, I even have proof that my victory was real. I send to you, O mighty Emperor, a thousand Franks to be sold into slavery”, Pacilicus finished.

He looked at the messenger, he appeared to be finished writing. “Go, take that to the Emperor in Ravenna.” The messenger bowed and left the large room.

Pacilicus looked around the room, he was surrounded by art. There were statues of his family that began during the days of Emperor Constantine and the room was large enough to contain fifty people.

I know that I wasn’t being that truthful, but I need to be rewarded, my family needs to be rewarded for their great deeds in ages past.

Pacilicus sat back comfortably in his chair and started to drink some wine, confident that he'll have what he always wanted, a greater position with the Emperor and he'll have Lucius Maxetinus in his grasp.


* * *


In the tavern, there were raised voices, the main voice was that of a Germanic man, singing a Frankish war song. He spoke it in Latin, then near the end he started to speak in his native language. The man was Chlodios, and he was drunk.

Marcellus stared at Chlodios, wondering if a rumour about the Germans were true.

Are the Germanic people really good at getting drunk after several mugs of ale, then waking up in the morning to find out that they feel fine but have accidentally destroyed the tavern they drank in?

Lucius laughed as Chlodios tripped over off the table he was standing on and fell onto an old couple. The two of them immediately stood up in rage. The first one was an elderly man who looked to be around fifty years old, the second person was his wife who appeared to be the same age as the elderly man. Both wore wealthy clothing and seemed to be rich.

“I told you it wasn’t a good idea for us to come here!” the woman growled at her husband.

“Well I didn’t know that there would be a Germanic warrior falling on top of us”, he responded. He then threw Chlodios off and glared at him.

“Now look here, barbarian, that is know way to treat people who are superior to you!” the elderly man shouted. “So just clear off!”

The tavern became silent, Lucius and Marcellus looked at each other, both not knowing what to do in this situation. However, Chlodios got to his feet and stared at the elderly man, Chlodios put his hand underneath his cloak and grabbed something.

“You, superior to me?” Chlodios laughed. “I’ll tell you something, Roman, we were here before you and will always stay here, no matter how long it takes you to figure it out.”

One of the soldiers then entered, soon followed by three more. He looked at Chlodios sharply, then turned and looked at Lucius and Marcellus. Both men sighed. Lucius stood up and placed his hand on Chlodios’s shoulder.

“I think you’ve had enough to drink, Chlodios”, Lucius said. “I think its time we left, now.”

Chlodios muttered several Germanic words, but followed Lucius and Marcellus outside the door. Marcellus followed the soldiers as they surrounded Lucius and Chlodios. The small party then walked down a small pathway that was between two buildings. Lucius winked at Marcellus, it was the signal that Marcellus heard of while in the tavern. At that moment, Lucius elbowed the soldier next to him while Marcellus grabbed one of the soldiers and smashed his face against the wall, the soldier fell unconscious to the ground.

The remaining four soldiers began to panic, when Chlodios, still drunk, punched one of the soldiers in the face, blood poured from the broken nose. The same happened to the others until the six soldiers became unconscious. Lucius breathed in and out quickly.

“Ok, the plan didn’t go as I expected it when I was in the medical house, but effective nonetheless”, Lucius stated.

“I hated doing that”, Marcellus said with regret.

“Well, what’s done is done, now we have to hide the unconscious bodies before we’re noticed”, Lucius said.

Marcellus looked behind him, there was a cart with rags on it. Lucius then noticed it was well.

“That will do nicely, lets bring it over”, Lucius whispered.

The two men carefully pulled the cart over and dumped the unconscious bodies under the rags, but before that Lucius stile any denarii they had and began to remove two suits of Roman armour from them. Marcellus looked at Lucius, confused as to why he was doing this. Lucius noticed Marcellus being confused.

“I think me and Chlodios need these suits of armour”, Lucius explained.

Marcellus nodded his head with a grin. Just then Pacilicus’s messenger attempted to run past them. However, Lucius barred the way.

“Will you just let me pass already?” asked the messenger impatiently. “I have an important message to give to the Emperor!”

Lucius stared at the messenger, his eyes glared at him. “Who sent you?” he asked.

The messenger sighed, be began to glare at Lucius and Marcellus who were looking at him. “Governor Pacilicus Sextus sent me, but I’ll never get to Ravenna in time thanks to you lot”, he answered.

Lucius quickly grabbed the message from the messenger and read it while Marcellus held onto the messenger. As Lucius read it we started to get angry.

Pacilicus is an !@#$%^&*; he’s trying to get all the credit when it was Chlodios who thought of the idea!

Lucius stopped reading and looked at the messenger. “We’ll take the message for you”, Lucius said. He then handed the messenger a small purse of denarii. “Take this, and don’t return to Pacilicus. Go live out your life somewhere else.”

The messenger stared at the purse of denarii in his hand, he then looked at Lucius, he smiled and ran off towards the eastern gate. Marcellus looked at Lucius, wondering why he did that.

“Why did you give him some denarii?” he asked. “And why do he have the message now?”

Lucius looked at Marcellus. “That wasn’t denarii I gave him, it was only some useless rusted metal that I keep with me.”

Marcellus laughed silently; Lucius was a man who loved money.

“Well, now that he have this message we don’t need armour to disguise ourselves”, Lucius thought out load. He then grinned at Marcellus. “The message is our disguise!”

“How so?” Marcellus asked.

“We pretend to be the messengers, when the sentries see us carrying the message then they’ll let us out of Augusta Terverorum, we’ll ditch the message afterwards”, Lucius explained.

Marcellus smiled with approval. “Lets do it,” he responded. “I’ll carry Chlodios, when the sentries ask about him I’ll say he got hit one the head.”

Lucius nodded his head. Marcellus picked up Chlodios and then they walked towards the stables to steal three horses.


* * *


Pacilicus stared outside is open window, he sighed as he breathed in the air.

Where are they? Where are Lucius and the soldiers?

The soldiers guarding him were late; they should’ve been at the villa twenty minutes ago. Pacilicus began to worry.

What if Lucius managed to escape? If he has then I hope God will curse him to die in the wild!

At that moment a militia entered the room, he stood to attention as Pacilicus looked at him. This militia was one of thirty men that were sent to find Lucius and his group.

“Well, have you come bearing good news?” Pacilicus asked.

“We found the six bodies of the guards that were watching Lucius, they were found unconscious in a cart. They have started to wake up now”, the militiaman answered.

Pacilicus punched the wall with his right fist, pain shivered down the bones of the fist. He looked back at the militiaman. “Was there anything else?”

The militiaman nodded his head. “Three horses were missing as well, also the soldiers at the eastern gate saw three shady looking characters, but they proved that they were your messengers.”

After hearing this, Pacilicus screamed in frustration. The militiaman stood silently as he saw his governor raged at the wall. Finally Pacilicus stopped screaming and looked at the militiaman.

“I want messengers sent to each town and city in Gaul, they must be wary of three men: one has a dark cloak on him, another is a barbarian Frank and the other is a one-eyed Roman soldier. If they are found they must be arrested and sentenced to death once I am there”, Pacilicus ordered.

The militiaman bowed and left the room to carry out the orders, but he wondered if Pacilicus was being arrogant.

The other governors most likely won’t care about the message.

Pacilicus then returned to look outside his window.

My vengeance may have been denied today, but I will find you and watch you die, painfully.

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Matria Mori - It is sweet and meet to die for one's country.

We all die in the end, it only matters when and how - Me

Roma Invicta!

[This message has been edited by Lucius Julius (edited 11-25-2014 @ 03:03 PM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 11-25-14 05:36 AM EDT (US)     16 / 25       
Your writing is improving. The level of detail is also improving- making reading more enjoyable. Please continue.

By the way, the ancient Romans thought a man in his prime at 42 years of age- when he was first eligible to become consul. Later the age of a consul was dropped for patricians to 38 or 40, and then scrapped altogether (see Pompeius Magnus, or Gaius Marius Junior), but the age 42 was always considered the peak.

Your remark of him being old, and then quantifying that as 45-50, was just past his prime, in Roman eyes. And I will be fifty standard years of age in a couple of months. Thus my reply.

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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

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 11-26-2014 @ 01:08 AM).]

Alex_the_Bold
Ashigaru
posted 11-25-14 01:36 PM EDT (US)     17 / 25       
Congratulations on your new story Lucius Julius! It is always nice to see new writers bringing these halls back to life...

As DU stated above, I will leave the recommendations and corrections to Terikel and General Sajaru (who as native speakers of the English tongue are better qualified to do so), except one particular point: When I read the battle scene of chapter 4, it daawned on me that you could produce a better dramatic effect when using the semi-colon and the fullstop instead of commas, while introducing words such as when, who, which. For instance:

Yours:"Lucius looked at Pacilicus closely, then he remembered where he last saw that man, it was four years ago when he murdered his centurion, this man was the general of that army."

My suggestion:"Lucius looked at Pacilicus closely, then he remembered where he last saw that man; Pacilus was the general of the army Lucius was serving when he murdered his centurion."

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 11-25-2014 @ 01:39 PM).]

General Sajaru
Daimyo
posted 11-25-14 02:27 PM EDT (US)     18 / 25       
Good installment Lucius.

Your writing could still use a little more polishing, especially in terms of grammar, punctuation, and syntax (how you construct your sentences). While I'm liking how the story's progressing, the mechanical issues detract from my reading enjoyment. For instance, the sentence below:
Lucius started to cackle excitably, his plan was already underway. After he stopped he and the other two exited the medical house, while followed by six soldiers, and walked towards the tavern.
Might be better written as: Lucius started to cackle excitedly; his plan was already underway. After he stopped, he and the other two left the medical house and headed for the tavern with half a dozen soldiers in tow.

Using proper punctuation and diction (word choice) enhances your writing and lets your reader focus on your story.

Also, was there more to this sentence?
Pacilicus sat back comfortably in his chair and started to drink some wine, confident that

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." - Ronald Reagan
"Judge them not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper
"I like my enemies like James Bond likes his martinis- shaken, not stirred."
My first book, The King's Own
Lucius Julius
Ashigaru
posted 11-28-14 05:28 AM EDT (US)     19 / 25       
Thanks for helping me try to edit the work I've done. Chapter 6 is ready, Chapter 7 will take a few more days to complete.

Chapter 6: Marcellus’s Past And The Vision

Lucius, Marcellus and the recovering Chlodios continued to ride towards Avaricum; their reason was for a good rest before deciding what to do after. Lucius rode in front of the group. He began to think about their current situation.

We left with little food and water, and it’s going to take a few days to get to Avaricum. We may have to steal from any nearby villages. Though that village we passed a few hours ago did have some good supplies.

The three men had been riding for hours; the sun was going down beneath the horizon. Lucius stopped riding and looked at the sun, when Marcellus rode up to him.

“Lucius, the horses are beginning to grow weary, and so is Chlodios and I”, Marcellus told Lucius. “We’ll have to pitch up a camp somewhere along here.”

Lucius nodded his head and slowly rode his horse off the road and looked for a suitable spot; he found one. It was a flat area surrounded with a few trees and bushes. He then looked back at Marcellus and Chlodios.

“I have found a suitable spot for our camp tonight”, Lucius called out.

Marcellus and Chlodios rode towards the site and both dismounted. They looked around and Marcellus began to nod his head.

“This site will do well”, Marcellus said.

Chlodios, who was still sobering up, pulled out his flint and found some wood, then started to light a fire, as the Sun couldn't be seen in the sky or on the horizon anymore. When Lucius looked back at Chlodius, he had a fire burning. Marcellus put a bag on the ground, pulled out several slices of meat, and handed one to Lucius and one to Chlodius. The three stuck their meat on a stick and put it over the fire.

“Glad we ran into that village along the way”, Chlodios stated. “Or else we wouldn’t have gotten any supplies."

Lucius nodded. He then got an idea in his head and looked at Marcellus.

“You said you would tell us what happened to your family when we were in Augusta Treverorum”, Lucius reminded Marcellus.

Marcellus sighed as he remembered. “It is a tale of sadness and death”, he explained. “But I will tell you anyway.” He lay back on a log and began to tell his tale.

* * *


Marcellus looked at the sky, it was blue and bright; such was the morning in Illyria. The countryside was green and the crops could be seen nearby He could smell the smoke coming from the spit, the boar was cooking well; Marcellus could smell it.

What could be better than this? This is the life.

Marcellus was seventeen years old but looked younger, he had his father’s looks but his mother’s intelligence and wit. He looked around and saw his younger sister, Alypia, running around like crazy. Alypia was only fourteen years old and she was a beautiful young girl who also had her mother’s intelligence. She then saw Marcellus and ran up to him.

“What’s going on, brother?” she asked, she smiled as she spoke.

“I am sniffing the air to work out when the boar will be ready”, he answered.

Alypia laughed after Marcellus answered. “You could just get up off the ground and look”, Alypia pointed out.

Marcellus laughed as she finished speaking. She looked at him in surprise, but then smiled at him again. She then sat down next to her brother.

“How is your secret love going?” Alypia asked.

Marcellus smiled as he thought of her. The girl he was secretly seeing was called Lucilla, she was a pretty woman who was sixteen years old and she came from a long line of wealthy senators.

“She’s fine”, Marcellus answered. “She and her family are still in Illyria and she sent a message a day ago.”

“What did it say?”

“She asks about your health and if you are ok.”

Alypia smiled as she heard what the message said, she sighed with happiness as she realised that Lucilla was a very caring friend.

The two of them continued to watch the sky and sniff the roasting boar, until their father, Amulius, walked up to them. “The boar is ready to eat”, their father said.

Marcellus and Alypia stood up quickly and ran towards the villa, where outside the boar spit was. When Marcellus, Alypia and their father, Amulius, arrived they sat down, along with their grandparents and mother, Prisca, at an outside table. On the table laid cut up boar, apples, geese and wine, which was for the adults. Everyone started eating and drinking at will, with the servants at the sidelines waiting for orders.

Marcellus was in the middle of eating a slice boar when he then heard the sound of horse hooves. He then stopped eating and sat up straight, listening for any other sounds. Marcellus then did hear the sound again, this time there were more of them. He looked at his father.

“I can hear the sound of horses heading this way”, Marcellus told Amulius. “Were you expecting someone?”

His father looked confused. “That’s strange, I didn’t expect anyone coming here”, Amulius responded.

At that moment dust could be seen coming from the hill near the villa. The feast stopped and everyone began to look at the hill. The dust was getting closer towards them, just then Amulius started to get worried.

“What’s wrong, father?” Alypia asked.

“That amount of dust is worrying me, if it was only one rider then there wouldn’t be much dust, but there is much dust so I believe that there are loads of riders”, he answered.

Several family members began to look worried and even one of them stood off his seat. A few seconds later they could hear shouts, they couldn’t understand what they were saying, until they got close enough to be seen.

“They’re barbarians!” Prisca cried out.

Chaos began to erupt. The barbarians rode in and cut down Marcellus’s grandfather, his dead body fell onto the table, squishing the food. The blood flowed onto the remaining food and the table.

Amulius had run into the villa while Prisca ran towards the stables along with Alypia and Marcellus, when a barbarian horseman rode up, brandished his sword and charged. Marcellus quickly turned around and saw the rider charge towards his mother, Prisca.

“Get out of the way!” Marcellus shouted at her.

But it was too late, the barbarian rode up and decapitated Prisca in one, swift blow; the blood spilled out of the headless neck as the lifeless body fell to the ground, the grass was covered in blood.

Amulius charged out of the villa, screaming a death chant as he charged into a barbarian who had dismounted. The barbarian didn’t see Amulius coming and suffered for it with his life. Amulius stabbed his spatha into the barbarian warrior and quickly wrenched the sword out of the dead body and he charged again.

Marcellus was too stunned to even react to anything, but he noticed an emblem on the dead barbarian’s armour. The armour was barbarian armour from the east and the emblem was the emblem of the Goths. Marcellus felt an unquenchable anger within him as he saw his mother, grandfather and several other family members killed. He growled in anger, then he grabbed the Gothic sword and charged at a Goth horseman.

Alypia hid behind a cart, refusing to watch the carnage that was occurring.

Why is this happening to us? Why? Why?

Alypia then felt a hand grasp her left shoulder; she quickly looked up, hoping it was Marcellus. What she saw instead was one of the Goth raiders. He grabbed Alypia and slung her over his left shoulder, she screamed in terror.

Amulius turned around and saw what was happening, he quickly ran towards the Goth raider, but a Goth horseman intercepted him. Amulius quickly stopped running and swang his spatha at the horseman, it failed to hit the Goth. The rider rode around and brandished his spear, Amulius tried to remove his spatha from the ground as fast as he could.

“ !@#$%^&* thing!” Amulius cursed. “God, why aren’t you helping me?”

Before he could wrench his spatha from the ground or run away, the Goth horseman rode up and speared Amulius where he stood. Blood flowed from the chest and the mouth, then he collapsed face first into the grassy ground.

Marcellus saw what happened and was stunned as he watched in horror. He could see the Goths carrying all his family’s wealth, the villa was on fire and his sister was tied to the back of a horse. She yelled to Marcellus, begging him for help.

“Help me, brother! Help me!” Alypia pleaded.

Before Marcellus could even react he was hit over the head by a wooden plank. He fell to the ground unconscious.

He woke up many minutes later, the sound of the fire was still continuing but he couldn’t hear the sound of any Goths. He stood up and looked around; there was a pain in the back of his head.

Marcellus saw the same scene as it was before, the bodies of dead family members were lying across the field but the villa was defiantly smaller, he reasoned this was because the fire had destroyed most of it. Marcellus then got a thought in his head.

My sister! Where is she?


He looked around for her, for many minutes he looked but to no avail. He returned to the killing field and clenched his fists; he had failed her. He began to cry and the tears flowed down his cheeks and onto the bloody ground. He looked to the sky and cried out in anger.

* * *


Marcellus stopped telling his tale and covered his face with his hands; tears could be seen running down his face.

“It’s ok, friend”, Chlodios said. Chlodios looked sad and grieved for Marcellus, even Lucius felt the same way. Lucius then asked Marcellus a question.

“Did you ever find your sister?” Lucius asked Marcellus.

Marcellus shook his head. “I wasn’t able to track the raiding party back to their camp, I didn’t know where they went”, he answered. He grasped his spatha and clenched his teeth. “This spatha was once my father’s weapon. I joined the military three years after the incident, fortunately I was sent to Gaul, then Augusta Terverorum.”

"What about your Lucilla, your secret love, what happened to her?" Lucius asked.

"She got her father to take me into her family. She is also my wife now, we have a daughter called Marcella", Marcellus replied. "Both of them are living in Ravenna at the moment."

All three of them remained silent for the rest of the night, listening for any movement near their camp and watching the stars as they appeared one by one, then they fell asleep. Marcellus dreamed about his sister and his new family, Chlodios didn't have a dream while Lucius had a cross between a dream and a nightmare.

In it he stood in the air, bellow him was a city; it was on fire. Lucius could hear the screams of people below, then he fell onto the wall and saw the city properly. The city had temples to the Christian God and a palace could be seen on a hill. Lucius looked closely; it was the Palentine Hill. This city was Rome.

Lucius looked around him, he could see Roman soldiers being slaughtered as the stood, civilians were being killed as they ran and senators could be seen being hunted down by Gothic warriors. Lucius gasped as he saw all of this.

Is this Rome's destiny, to be sacked by Goths?

Suddenly, Lucius had the feeling there was someone standing next to him. Lucius quickly turned around and saw a cloaked man who was covered in blood, watching the carnage below. Lucius stared at the stranger, then had a feeling that the man was familiar. Lucius stretched out his hand to touch him, when the world around him crumpled away and he fell into a dark void. The next thing he realised was that he was awake and it was the morning. He looked around him and saw the sun rising above the horizon and heard the sound of Chlodios snoring like a wounded boar with a hole in its neck.

"What just a happened?" he asked himself. "Was it a vision of things to come?"

He looked around and saw Marcellus on guard duty. Lucius decided to get more rest and think about what happened in his mind.

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Matria Mori - It is sweet and meet to die for one's country.

We all die in the end, it only matters when and how - Me

Roma Invicta!

[This message has been edited by Lucius Julius (edited 12-02-2014 @ 06:10 PM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 12-01-14 06:09 AM EDT (US)     20 / 25       
Cool installment, Lucius.

Graphic and detailed- yummie battle!

Well done!

Some nits and irritations, though:

and so is Chlodios and I”,
and so are Chlodios and myself,"
Fixed.

Marcellus began to node his head.
Marcellus began to nod his head.
What does one do to node one's head? Nod I know, but node?


“Glad we ran into that village along the way”, Chlodios stated. “Or else we wouldn’t have got some supplies.”
“Glad we ran into that village along the way”, Chlodios stated. “Or else we wouldn’t have food now.”
or
“Glad we ran into that village along the way”, Chlodios stated. “Or else we wouldn’t have gotten any supplies.”
Grammar.

Again with the commas outside the quotes. Commas and periods belong insid ethe quote marks.


Marcellus quickly turned around and saw the rider charge towards his mother, Prisca.

“Get out of the way!” Marcellus shouted at Prisca.

Why refer to the mother by name here?

Marcellus quickly turned around and saw the rider charge towards his mother, Prisca.

“Get out of the way!” Marcellus shouted to her.


Augusta Terverorum
Augusta Treverorum
Spelling.

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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
General Sajaru
Daimyo
posted 12-01-14 02:52 PM EDT (US)     21 / 25       
An interesting chapter.

My biggest irritation is still how your writing flows. Your sentence structure is often abrupt, with commas where you don't really need them and awkward sentence breaks or odd structure. For instance:
Chlodios, who was still sobering up, pulled out some flint and grabbed some wood, he then started to light a fire. The Sun couldn’t be seen in the sky or the horizon anymore. Lucius looked back at Chlodios, the fire was burning. Marcellus placed a bag on the ground and pulled out several slices of meat. He handed a slice of meat to Lucius and Chlodios and the three stuck the meat on a stick and placed it over the fire.
is full of abrupt clausal shifts, excess words, and odd structures. It would flow more smoothly as this:
Chlodios, who was still sobering up, pulled out his flint and found some wood, then started to light a fire, as the Sun couldn't be seen in the sky or on the horizon anymore. When Lucius looked back at Chlodius, he had a fire burning. Marcellus put a bag on the ground, pulled out several slices of meat, and handed one to Lucius and one to Chlodius. The three stuck their meat on a stick and put it over the fire.


Also, try not to use the same word twice in the same paragraph, especially not two sentences in a row:
Lucius nodded his head. He then got an idea in his head and looked at Marcellus.
Attempt to vary your vocabulary. For instance, you could use mind for the second instance of head, or you could simply leave out the first instance and have the sentence be "Lucius nodded". In fact, that's probably better, since nodding, by definition, is a motion of the head.


Another instance of both of the above:
He could smell the smoke coming from the spit, the boar was cooking well; Marcellus could smell it.


This
he had his father’s looks but his mother’s intelligence and wit.
is one of the laziest ways to describe your characters. While I understand that it can sound good, it doesn't really tell us anything about the Marcellus, especially since we haven't met either his mother or father. You've already introduced us to Marcellus to some extent, and you should have described him there in better detail. Otherwise, use this time to describe him as a young man more fully and accurately, with good descriptive language and a wide vocabulary of terms.


Please stop using the word "then" so much; using it once in a while as a time-shifting conjunction between sentences or paragraphs is fine, but you use it far too often and without really needing it. The sentence would make just as much sense without it.
She then saw Marcellus and ran up to him.


This can be one sentence; doing so helps things flow more smoothly.
she asked. She smiled as she spoke.
she asked, smiling as she spoke.


Sentences like this make me have to think about what you're trying to say, which isn't good for ease of reading:
where outside the boar spit was.


Another instance of the things I've mentioned above:
Marcellus was in the middle of eating a slice boar when he then heard the sound of horse hooves.
Also, while I know you want to be precise in using horse to further describe hooves, it's really not necessary. In fact, it's probably better not to describe the hooves as belonging to horses in this sentence, as Marcellus doesn't necessarily know yet what animal the hooves belong to, although he might guess that they're horses' hooves.


TOO MANY "THENs". Need I say more?
He then stopped eating and sat up straight, listening for any other sounds. Marcellus then did hear the sound again, this time there were more of them. He then looked at his father.


Similar to "then", phrases like "began to" aren't really necessary much of the time:
His father began to look confused.
You could simply write "His father looked confused" and it would convey the same message more concisely and smoothly.


In most situations where you use more than one "and" in a sentence, all instances other than the last one can be replaced with commas:
Amulius stabbed his spatha into the barbarian warrior, quickly wrenched the sword out of the dead body, and charged again.


Know when to use its and it's:
snoring like a wounded boar with a hole in its neck.


Overall, you're doing fairly well, but you have a tendency to add extra words where you don't really need them, which disrupts the flow of your story. Knowing when to use which words is an important skill for a writer to have, but it takes time and attentiveness to gain (which is why I'm pointing out a lot of the places where I think your wording could be better). Keep 'em coming!

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." - Ronald Reagan
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My first book, The King's Own
Lucius Julius
Ashigaru
posted 12-22-14 11:51 PM EDT (US)     22 / 25       
Sorry that it has been a while, I've been on holiday and a few family issues had popped up so I wont be able to post as much. However I have manage to salvage chapter 7 while chapter 8 is being typed up as I speak but I can't promise it will be finished soon or later.


Chapter 7: The Hun Warrior


Lucius could feel the cold air blowing across his face, he looked around him and noticed the fire was still going, Chlodios was somewhere out of Lucius’s sight and Marcellus was looking at the direction of the road.

Lucius yawned and looked to his left, there was some leftover food in the packs and a few pouches of water. He stood up and stretched his muscles, the stiff pain in his back was now gone. Lucius walked over to Marcellus – who was still looking at the direction of the road.

Marcellus’ hair was sticking up all over the place, he wasn’t wearing his armour and the linen around his left eye socket was removed. The left eyelid was closed and a scar could be clearly seen running down along the skin.

“Why aren’t you wearing the linen?” Lucius asked Marcellus.

“The linen needs to be changed once everyday,” answered Marcellus. “You don’t seem to understand medical treatment. Do you?”

“No, I’ll confess that.” Lucius looked at the direction of the road, puzzled why Marcellus was looking in that direction. “Is there a reason as to why you are staring at the road?”

Marcellus looked at Lucius. “Yes, there is a reason. I have a feeling that there is more than us three out there.”

Lucius looked worried, just then Chlodios came out of a bush, he was still wearing the clothes and armour from the day before. He crouched and walked next to Marcellus.

“What’s happening?” Chlodios asked.

“Never mind that for now, where were you?” Lucius responded.

“I went to look ahead,” answered Chlodios. “I went westward but didn't find anything or anyone.”

“Well, there maybe someone out there,” answered Marcellus to Chlodios’ question.

Several sounds could be heard out on the road, one sound was the cracking of twigs and the other was the birds chirping and flying away from the trees. Lucius looked at the road again and saw someone. The person was a man; he had a small black beard, black hair covered by a Hunnic helmet, he also wore Hunnic armour. This man was clearly a Hun.

“By the Gods, why is there a Hun in Gaul?” asked Chlodios.

“How should we know that?” replied Marcellus.

Lucius thought of an idea. “How about we talk to him,” he said. “Only then we will know why he is here.”

“Huns aren’t to be trusted,” responded Marcellus.

“Nonetheless, we should speak to him,” Lucius said.

“Ok then, so who is going to talk to him?”

The three of them looked at each other, unsure which was to speak to the Hun. However, the Hun walked up to them and stared at the three people. Lucius and the others looked up at him, the Huns’ face was scarred and he appeared to be giving them a death stare.

Chlodios stood up and addressed the Hun in the Franks’ native language. “Hail and well met, Hun,” greeted Chlodios. “What brings you out this far in Gaul?”

The Hun looked at Chlodios, appearing confused. The Hun then folded his arms and spoke, in Latin.

“What are you trying to tell me, warrior?” asked the Hun. Lucius, Marcellus and Chlodios looked shocked.

“You can speak Latin?” asked Marcellus.

“Yes I can, Roman,” answered the Hun. “Now answer my question. What were you saying?”

“I was asking what brings you this far in Gaul,” replied Chlodios. “But tell me, what is your name and how can you speak Latin?”

The Hun grinned as he spoke. “I had a slave who was a Roman, I captured him during a raid in some Roman territory,” the Hun explained. “He taught me Latin when I treated him with some respect. Also my name is Ulgden.”

“Well that makes sense. But why are you in Gaul?” Chlodios asked again.

Ulgden looked at the road, then turned back to the three men. “We’ll talk about this in Avaricum, that’s where I was heading. Once we get to a tavern I’ll tell you why I am here.”

Lucius nodded his head with approval and watched as Marcellus and Chlodios also nodded their heads, but it seemed that Marcellus was still unsure about trusting Ulgden.

Lucius sighed as he gathered up the camp supplies and mounted his horse after he was finished.

* * *


Lucius finished drinking his ale and placed the mug back on the table, next to him on his left was Chlodios who was having a good time drinking ale by the gallon, or so it looked. Marcellus was sitting on Lucius’ right, drinking ale in small amounts. In front of Lucius sat Ulgden, he had drank several mugs of ale and, unlike Chlodios, wasn’t being affected by the amount of alcohol he had taken. Ulgden put his mug on the table and looked at the three men.

“Now for my part of the bargain, I will tell you three why I am here,” said Ulgden.

Lucius, Marcellus and Chlodios looked at Ulgden as he began to tell them his story.

“A few years ago I was living in a eastern land, probably what you Romans would call Sarmatia,” he explained. “I was living in a tribal village that my tribe had settled in. It was a good place. It had plenty of space around the village to do many things and there were many trees and wild animals nearby.”

“But that doesn’t explain you being here though,” said Chlodios.

Ulgden looked at the Frank with eyes glaring. “I don’t like being interrupted, Chlodios. So keep your drunken thoughts to yourself and listen to what I have to say, or you’ll soon discover why he Huns are called the Menace of the East!”

“Ok fellows keep calm now. Ulgden I’m sure that Chlodios didn’t mean to be rude to you,” Lucius reasoned. “Now kindly get back onto the story, if you will.”

Ulgden looked at Lucius for a few seconds, then sighed and continued talking. “I will continue, now you lot shut up and listen, I don’t have much patience.”

Lucius and Marcellus nodded their heads, and then the Hun continued his tale.

“My patience was the cause of me being out here though. Back in Sarmatia I had an older brother, he looked after me when our parents died. My mother died in childbirth and my father died in a blood feud, so my brother, Ellak, had to take care of me,” Ulgden continued. “However this happiness with Ellak didn’t last long when I was around in my 28th year on this world. During a drinking contest with my brother and a few other Huns, Ellak boasted that he was the greatest horse rider of the tribe, however I was the greatest horse rider in the tribe during my youth. This lead to Ellak challenging me to a horse ride across the plains and then back to the village.”

Lucius looked at Ulgden in wonder.

This Hun had a troubled childhood and a boasting brother. The life of a Hun is dangerous and short indeed. Who knows where this is heading.

He looked at Marcellus and then Chlodios; both of them were still listening to Ulgden. With that Lucius looked at the Hun again.

“When the race was finished I was the winner, but this lead to my brother challenging me to a fight to the death. Ellak was known for his temper and his love for alcohol, most of it was Roman wine,” continued Ulgden. “Ellak attacked me when I refused his challenge and attempted to kill me with his sword, however during the brawl I had drawn my own sword and threatened him to leave the village and never return. This only made him more infuriated and he charged at me. I stabbed him in the chest as he swung his sword at my head.”

“What happened next?” asked Marcellus.

“I was horrified for what I had done and I sent myself into a self-imposed exile, that is why I am out here,” answered Ulgden. “I am here to redeem myself and then return to my village, if it’s still there.”

Marcellus looked at the Hun and smiled at him. “Well, you aren’t the only one to have a miserable life. I will tell you about it once my friend Lucius has ordered another round of ale.”

Lucius looked at Marcellus. “Why do I have to buy the next round of drinks?”

“Because it’s your turn.”

Ulgden looked at both men and grinned at both of them. “I will never understand how you people are able to create friendships that surround alcohol.”

“Then perhaps it’s not something you should look into,” responded Chlodios.

Lucius stood up and walked towards the bar with the orders of 4 mugs of ale and a plate full of roast pork. As he walked towards the bar he noticed two figures next to the door. Their clothing concealed their faces, but Lucius could tell that those two men were probably spies because of the way they constantly looked at Lucius and his group. Lucius then saw one of the men glance at Marcellus and then walked outside, Lucius frowned and began to think that his troubles had only just begun.

The only question is whom are they working for?

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Matria Mori - It is sweet and meet to die for one's country.

We all die in the end, it only matters when and how - Me

Roma Invicta!

[This message has been edited by Lucius Julius (edited 01-14-2015 @ 07:17 PM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 12-23-14 03:14 AM EDT (US)     23 / 25       
Nice twist.

I like the way you captured the Hun's presence and natural arrogance without emphasizing it. Subtle! A bit brief on the details, but very well done.

Me likes it.

A nit that bothered me, though:
Marcellus was siting on Lucius’ right
Marcellus was sitting on Lucius’ right
(I doubt he was taking aim at his friend's side. )

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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
Lucius Julius
Ashigaru
posted 01-14-15 07:30 PM EDT (US)     24 / 25       
Chapter 8: The Escape

The spy looked at Marcellus one last time and quickly left the tavern, walking towards the governors’ villa, the governor awaited his report. The spy walked in a normal pace, less he attract attention.

He arrived at the villa to see two guards at the door; they had stern faces and held their spears firmly. The spy walked carefully up to the door, just as he was about to enter the villa the guards blocked the way in with their spears.

“State your name and purpose,” demanded one of the guards.

The spy was worried that this would happen. He calmly stood back and addressed the guards.

“My name is Antonius Plinius, chief spy of governor Secundus Antio of Avaricum,” answered the spy.

The guards moved their spears away from the door and let Antonius into the villa, when he entered the main room he saw Governor Secundus Antio talking to another governor from Augusta Terverorum called Pacilicus Sextus. Near the door was a group of mercenaries; they were talking amongst themselves silently. Antonius walked up to the two governors and heard what they were saying.

“I don’t want blood to be shed if the situation with these outlaws gets out of hand,” said Secundus.

“I assure you, the shedding of blood is the last thing I want,” reassured Pacilicus.

“I still don’t understand why you come all this way just to see a group of outlaws get caught and punished.”

“It’s merely vengeance, my friend.”

Antonius looked at Secundus as he approached. Secundus was short in height and had a round body; his bead was short and brown while his hair was also short. He had a hooked nose and it seemed to Antonius’ eyes that Secundus had been a brawler in his younger years.

“But if you are here, who is governing Augusta Terverorum?” asked Secundus.

“A young statesman is in charge while I am away,” answered Pacilicus. “But I hope that these outlaws will be caught by the mercenaries I hired, then they will be tried for murder and punished, hopefully by death.”

As he finished speaking Antonius stood in front of the two governors, ready to tell them his report.

“I have found the men you are looking for,” reported Antonius. “Although you should know that there are four of them, not three.”

Pacilicus looked confused as heard news of a fourth person in Lucius’ group. “So who is this new person,” he asked Antonius.

“He is a barbarian, that I am sure,” replied Antonius. “I have a suspicion that he is from the east.”

“A Sassanid?”

“No. He could be a Hun.”

Secundus looked surprised as he heard what Antonius had to say. “A Hun? That’s confusing, since when did Huns venture this far in Gaul?”

Antonius shrugged is shoulders. “I believe he is a new member to their group, he was talking to them for a while.”

Pacilicus grinned as he looked at the mercenaries. “That Hun is now counted as an outlaw of the Empire,” he declared. “Captain Glycerius, get your mercenaries ready outside immediately.”

Glycerius was the captain of the mercenary group. He was wearing chain mail that covered his upper body, he also had a Roman soldier’s helmet that we wore and a Frankish sword strapped to his waist. On his face he had a scar along his right cheek. He appeared to have short hair on his head.

Glycerius nodded his head and left the villa along with his men. Pacilicus followed them. As he walked he cast aside his toga and revealed that he was wearing the armour he had at Augusta Terverorum.

“I see you came prepared for battle, Pacilicus,” said Secundus.

“I am here to lead the mercenaries under my command and I will not rest until those outlaws are brought to justice,” responded Pacilicus.

He then left the villa, closely followed by Antonius. The citizens were staying of the street when they saw Pacilicus leading the mercenaries towards the tavern while Antonius followed quietly and secretly.

* * *


Chlodios, despite the amount of alcohol in him, was the first to notice the armed people outside the tavern. He looked around him and noticed that the armed soldiers were ready to attack the tavern.

“Hey Lucius, why are there armed soldiers outside the tavern?” Chlodios asked Lucius.

Lucius looked at the commotion outside and saw what Chlodios was talking about. He saw the armed men blocking off any escape route. Lucius quickly got to his feet and looked at the others.

“Wake up! Wake up you lazy people! We’re about to be attacked!” shouted Lucius.

Ulgden sprang to his feet quickly, grabbed his composite bow and notched an arrow, ready to attack. Marcellus slowly got off his chair with a grunt but managed to stand up straight, he saw what was going on outside and quickly unsheathed his spatha. Chlodios was already standing and had taken up position next to the door.

Lucius looked around the tavern and saw the people were hiding under the tables and behind the bar. He sighed and looked back at the armed group outside. At that moment a figure emerged from the group and addressed Lucius.

“Well, come on out, Lucius,” the man commanded. “You and your little group are under arrest in the name of the Empire.”

Lucius looked at the armoured man and immediately recognised who it was. It was Pacilicus.

“By the Gods, why is Pacilicus here? How did he get here?” Lucius asked Marcellus.

“He must have rode out to here after we left Augusta Terverorum, he possibly rode through the night,” answered Marcellus.

“Well he’ll have to drag our dead corpses out of the tavern,” snarled Chlodios.

Pacilicus looked impatient as he waited for a reply from Lucius. Finally he got an answer.

“We will never surrender to a man like you, so may the Gods curse you to a 1000 years of torture!” replied Lucius.

Pacilicus sighed as he heard the reply.

Foolish man, he won’t be able to withstand the attack of the mercenaries. He will be begging for mercy.

“Very well then, if that is your wish,” Pacilicus said. He turned and looked at Glycerius. “Forward!”

The mercenaries then charged at the tavern, eager to spill blood. As they approached the door they found it was closed tight. Glycerius ran up to the door and smashed onto it using the right side of his body, the other mercenaries started to do the same.

Inside the tavern, Chlodios was holding the door shut while Marcellus and Lucius were placing tables at the door for a barricade. Ulgden remained where he was and loosed the arrow; it flew out of the window and hit a mercenary in the neck. He coughed out blood and fell to his knees before falling to the ground and dying. His comrades immediately search for cover. Pacilicus hid in a house near the tavern to see the outcome.

“ !@#$%^&* that Hun!” cursed Pacilicus. “Get a battering ram!”

Glycerius looked at Pacilicus. “How are we suppose to find a battering ram around here?”

“Just make one,” Pacilicus answered. “Get a large log or trunk from a tree!”

Glycerius nodded his head and ordered two mercenaries to find a log or a tree trunk. Ulgden continued to loose the arrows against the mercenaries as they attempted to get into the tavern; several bodies stained the ground red.

The two mercenaries returned with a long large log, Glycerius grinned with anticipation.

“Batter the door down!” he ordered.

Lucius heard the order and decided it would be best to get ready for hand-to-hand combat. He stood next to the barricades while Chlodios remained next to the door, Marcellus took up position behind a table and Ulgden remained where he was.

Finally the door smashed open and mercenaries flooded in, but stopped as soon as they realised that the tables and chairs served as a barricade and blocked their way.

“Move it already!” shouted a mercenary.

He never got to speak again as an axe became embedded in his neck. Chlodios wrenched his axe out of the corpse just in time as a mercenary flung a knife at him; he managed to duck as the knife flew past his face.

The other mercenaries smashed the tables and chairs out of the way and charged towards Lucius and his group. Marcellus’ shield collided with a mercenary’s face, sending him to the ground. Marcellus then quickly stabbed the mercenary in the gut with his spatha. Ulgden continued to take out several enemies with his arrows while Lucius pulled out a knife and stabbed an enemy who was next to him.

Pacilicus saw the situation in the tavern and became filled with wrath.

“How, in the name of God, are they able to withstand the mercenaries?” Pacilicus mumbled.

Lucius slashed his sword across a mercenary’s back, causing him to fall face down on the ground. Lucius then looked across the tavern, he saw the remaining enemies starting to flee.

“They’re starting to flee, lets use this time to get out of here!” Lucius yelled.

Marcellus immediately ran towards the door, slicing at a mercenary’s neck. The others closely followed Marcellus while Ulgden removed his arrows from the dead bodies before following them.

Pacilicus stared in shock at what he was seeing, with a growl he unsheathed his sword and with a few town militia he charged at Lucius. He never got to Lucius as he fell over with an arrow embedded in his right leg bellow the knee. Pacilicus yelled in pain as blood trickled down the leg. Glycerius ran next to Pacilicus and stared at the wound.

“Go back to the villa and stay there until we return,” Glycerius said.

“Since when did you give the orders?” asked Pacilicus with a wrathful tone.

Glycerius sighed and left Pacilicus by himself. Pacilicus looked around him and realised that many of his mercenaries were dead and he was alone in the street along with the poor people. Until Antonius walked up to him.

"What are you doing here?" asked Pacilicus.

"I followed you and the rest all the way here," replied Antonius. "Well, since I'm here, what do you want me to do?"

"Get me to Secundus' villa," commanded Pacilicus.

With a grunt Antonius managed to get Pacilicus up onto his feet and helped him towards the villa.

The citizens in the street were horrified at what was happening, many of them hid in their homes while others stayed at the walls of buildings in the street. A few poor people quickly moved towards the corpses and began to steal the armour and weapons from the dead.

Lucius and his group ran towards the western gate, where they hoped to escape. But when they arrived they saw fourteen town militiamen guarding the gate. Lucius looked at his companions, seeing that they were exhausted.

“Are you three still with me?” Lucius asked them. “Will you continue to fight for your survival?”

Marcellus looked at Lucius, he already knew what would happen if they surrendered to the authorities. “I’m with you, friend,” answered Marcellus.

“I will continue to fight alongside you as well,” replied Chlodios.

“Doesn’t seem that I have much of a choice now,” said Ulgden.

The town militia charged at Lucius and the rest while Ulgden picked off several militias who hadn’t been defending themselves well with his composite bow. However, the surviving militias continued to charge until they collided with Lucius’ group. Chlodios swung his axe over his head and smashed the blade into a militia’s unhelmeted head. The body fell to the ground as blood flowed out of the head. Marcellus bashed his shield against a militiaman's face then stabbed him in the chest. Lucius unsheathed a throwing knife and threw it into the exposed neck of another militiaman.

As the fight continued only five militiamen were left, and they were ready to flee. Ulgden heard several running sounds coming from a street behind them; he looked around and saw a few of the surviving mercenaries were coming after them. Ulgden grabbed Lucius’ left shoulder and turned him around swiftly.

“Those surviving mercenaries are wanting more death,” Ulgden said.

Lucius looked at the street behind them and saw the mercenaries charging towards Lucius and his group. Fear started to grip him.

“ !@#$%^&* it! We have got to get out of here now!” yelled Lucius.

“Don’t worry, the militia have been driven off,” remarked Marcellus.

Lucius looked around the area and saw that only three militiamen had survived and were running away.

“That’s good, now lets get the gate open!” Lucius said quickly.

“I’ll hold them off. I’m not as tired like the rest of you,” Marcellus explained to Lucius.

“If you can handle it, ok then,” replied Lucius. “But remember to get back to us.”

Marcellus nodded, restraightened his helmet and shield, and then charged at the mercenaries. Lucius and Chlodios ran to the gate to get it opened while Ulgden removed his arrows from the corpses, after he was done he saw Lucius and Chlodios open the gate.

“Let’s go now!” yelled Chlodios.

As Chlodios and Ulgden ran out of the town Lucius turned around and saw Marcellus, surrounded by several mercenaries. He watched as Marcellus was clobbered in the face and fell to the ground unconscious. Lucius realised that there wasn’t anything he could do now, so he ran off towards Chlodios and Ulgden.

By Mars, I swear that I will get Marcellus out of bonds and return to us alive!

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Matria Mori - It is sweet and meet to die for one's country.

We all die in the end, it only matters when and how - Me

Roma Invicta!
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 01-15-15 03:29 AM EDT (US)     25 / 25       
Nice installment.

To stay of the street makes no sense. To stay off the street does. By the same token, hitting someone bellow the knee in nonsense, but striking below the knee is a good tactical move.

I mention this because while you evidently used a spellchecker, there is no replacement for the human brain as yet. Both 'of' and 'bellow' are valid words, as are the ones you intended- off and below.

Still enjoyed the tale, though. Well done!

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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

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 01-15-2015 @ 09:04 AM).]

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