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(RI] Eternal Glory of Rome

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Stories & Tales' started by M60A3TTS, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. M60A3TTS

    M60A3TTS Ex-treadhead

    Mar 2, 2004
    Realism Invictus Mod

    Augustus Caesar of Rome

    Monarch level

    Large World Map

    14 AI

    No tech trading

    No random events

    No Espionage

    Protect Valuable Units

    Holy City Migration
  2. M60A3TTS

    M60A3TTS Ex-treadhead

    Mar 2, 2004
    I. Scipio Corsicanus

    My name is Scipio Corsicanus. I was born and raised on the island of Corsica, considered by many to be a backwater of the Roman lands. Although my lineage can be traced to members of the patrician order of House Cornelii, my time as a youth demonstrated that not every man of noble blood is guaranteed a life of wealth. Not that wealth was particularly important to me, but my family led a life of frugality. My father said very little about the circumstances surrounding this, but I remember my mother one time telling me that grandfather had been a local magistrate in the city of Ebrodunum. It seemed that grandfather had a penchance for gambling and had quietly appropriated funds from the city treasury to sustain his activities. He was eventually found out and quietly exiled to Corsica in disgrace with nothing more than his family and a distinguished name, perhaps sullied a bit by his crime.

    I was very young when grandfather died, and he was buried in a non-descript location. My father, listed in the records of Ebrodunum as among other things the son of a thief, scratched out a meager existence selling wine to some of the merchants who did business in Rome. As I grew to adolescence, my education such as it was enabled me to find an inner passion, that of mathematics. I found that numbers came easily to me, and was able to grasp some mathematical concepts that others struggled with. I even thought that one day I might become a math tutor, an educator of sorts, if luck was with me. This at the time was at least my hope.

    There comes a time for some when hope comes face to face with reality. Such as it was with me after a few years of particularly poor years within the vineyards of Corsica. One evening at dinner, father announced that times had become so difficult that there were one too many mouths to feed and I would have to make my own way now. He arranged to provide me a small purse, transport to the mainland, and a document he had managed to obtain through an administrator in Ebrodunum attesting to my patrician background. While he did not use the word “bribe”, I sensed my father had to use more than the power of persuasion to obtain this attestation. Without the benefit of a patron, I had no notion of how this document might be of use, but I resolved then to make the most of a very difficult situation.

    It seemed that perhaps the city of Rome might be the best opportunity to forge a new life. North of the city on the road between Ebrodunum and Rome, I encountered a most unusual sight. Rebelling slaves had risen up at one of the large vineyards outside Rome. South of them, the garrison of Rome had dispatched a force to deal with the situation. I happened to walk by the edge of the army encampment, when I noticed two individuals at the entrance to the camp having a rather animated discussion. When recalled later. many things in life are just a blurry memory, while others linger as though they happened only yesterday.

    “They haven’t been able to hit a damn thing all day!”

    “The ballista is not an easy weapon to master, centurion. And so many of these recruits have no sense for distance. It is just going to take time.”

    “Well I suggest that you look out there, my good man.” Those slaves aren’t going to sit around and give us that time. We have orders to march against them at once, and the longer we wait, the more damage those rebels will do to the area.”

    “It’s a simple matter of elevation.” Now why did I just blurt that out?

    One of the soldiers, who I gathered was a centurion, turned towards me,

    “And just who are you? A spy for those slaves out there most likely.”

    “Heavens no. My name is Scipio and am on my way to Rome to find work. I come from the island of Corsica.”

    “You look like a spy to me. Do you have any documents to prove what you say?”

    I pulled the parchment from my coat.

    The centurion showed no interest in what I had revealed, and reached out to hand it back. “Means nothing to me. Or perhaps you think it means I have to call you sir? And what was that thing you said about elevation. Is that meant to be a joke?”

    I sense that there might be some tension in the air, certainly much of it not of my making.

    “You were discussing a sense for distance. If you are talking about a weapon of some kind, elevation is a factor in determining whether you can hit a target at a given distance with a specific amount of propelling force. It’s all based on mathematical calculations when it comes down to it.”

    The centurion stared at me for a long moment then burst out laughing. “No, he’s no spy. They don’t talk that pretty.”

    He thought for a moment. “You say you’re looking for work. Have you thought about the army? Good pay and the food isn’t half bad since we’re seldom far from the garrison. You’ve likely seen the opposition down the road… well judge for yourself. It’s not as though your life is on the line every day. And all we need from you is a few years of your life. Plenty of time to make lots of new friends and set yourself up for a good future. Now as to that document, if it’s all you got, it won’t get you anything here. Standard enlistment, that’s it. Only question is where you’d fit in. Pretty short fellow like yourself might struggle in the infantry.”

    For whatever reason, I felt insulted. “I may be short in stature but am stout at heart.”

    The other individual seemed to have things already sorted out. “Ballista material. Definitely ballista man. Stout at heart and knows that it’s all about elevation.” A wink of his eye was a strange thing to never forget.

    Suddenly I felt at home, and any plan to scour the streets of Rome looking for work, an afterthought. What lay ahead, I could not know. But that is how I became a soldier of Rome.
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  3. M60A3TTS

    M60A3TTS Ex-treadhead

    Mar 2, 2004
    II. What of Rome?

    What can I say of Rome and her people? Countless centuries before coming into this world, there was a settlement of pig farmers and later sheep herders that hardly could be described as a glorious beginning of an empire. Yet there was Rome, led by a succession of strongmen who led first by the rule of fear and later by despotism. Call them what you will, these men ruled Rome with an iron fist. There was no religion, and the people lived on a subsistence economy that provided only for basic necessities. Slavery was something new to Rome, and I only learned later that I had actually bared witness to the first slave uprising in Roman lands. It was rather ironic that the ballista unit never participated in eliminating the rebels, and this was instead solely managed by the velites.

    As the population of Rome grew, an expanding population looked to settle the region of Pisae and Asculum, where vineyards could be cultivated and wine would flow. Wine can make one forget the most trying of circumstances of the world in which you live. As the population grew further still, mining of copper in the region of Rhegium and the quarrying of marble around Neapolis provided a basic industrial output of Rome. Eventually though, Rome’s population grew to such an extent that it was outgrowing its surroundings. A migration to the north led to the founding of a second settlement, that of Ebrodunum. The beginnings of this area depended on sheep and cattle raising, and a second source of marble around Genua. In both Rome and Ebrodunum, some citizens looked to the coast to make a living as crab and clams thrived in certain regions.

    Building construction in both Rome and Ebrodunum followed a similar path. Smokehouses, granaries and public wells aided in food storage and reduced the risk of epidemics. Carpenters and warehouses increased raw production in the populated areas. Storyteller circles and later libraries were constructed that provided the Roman people with a means of expanding basic education. Augers temples and imperial cult were built so that culture could begin to develop and give the people some sense of destiny. Finally, military establishments like the castrum (barracks) and archery range would give the defenders of Roman lands the necessary skills to perform their roles.

    The Roman army was initially based on archers for defense, and these were augmented by a handful of basic melee hoplites and warriors. The situation was gradually improving to allow for velites, who were a highly useful type of skirmisher. Only recently were ballistae entering service as a means of ranged support, but they were of limited numbers, and it was with this one unit that I had joined the army.

    Scientific advancement held a steady pace with Rome closely behind a small number of foreign civilizations, yet ahead of most.

    Religion had only recently come to Rome in the form of Taoism, but it was widely considered as nothing more than a superstition.

    Beyond the borders of Roman civilization lay the greatest threats to her people. To the west could be found the Spaniards and French. In a most unusual conflict, the leader of France, Henri IV, had long ago declared war on Rome and camped a modest force outside Ebrodunum. It was most unusual in that not a single man died from combat. The garrison of Ebrodunum would not leave the city, nor would the French advance. Eventually tiring of the stalemate, Henri accepted truce and withdrew quietly from Roman lands. The French War of Aggression (2000BC-1470BC) would not be forgotten by Rome.

    To the east lay the nearby civilizations of Poland, Hungary and Russia. The Russian ruler, Alexis I, was particularly ambitious in his desires to expand his lands. He had the army to be a major threat to Rome and was even now embroiled in a conflict with Basil II of Greece. To a lesser extent, Poland and Hungary might be troublesome, but that remained to be seen. The other civilizations were rather distant and not perceived to be an immediate threat to Rome.

    Three wars were ongoing, one involving our neighbors to the west. This would bear close watching in order to see which of the two would emerge victorious.

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  4. M60A3TTS

    M60A3TTS Ex-treadhead

    Mar 2, 2004

    My introduction into army life I found rather natural as I had not been accustomed to the better things in life. The ballistae unit to which I was assigned was a most fascinating challenge. Contrary to what I must acknowledge was a rather flippant remark about it “simply being a matter elevation” it was anything but simple. The ballistae were extremely complex and temperamental beasts. Weather, temperature, humidity, the differing size and quality of projectiles and of numerous mechanical components were all part of a greater equation. The people assigned to these weapons were not highly educated at the start, nor trained to any great degree. The manufacturing process, the maintenance involved and all these complexities limited the whole of the army to only four ballistae units.

    Still, I worked as hard as I could to put all of this together, and in time we had one of the best ballista crews among the four units. It seemed to me that even if it was the infantry who would have the glory in combat, I would wish that they find us indispensable in battle. That would count for something. And over the course of time, we did find ourselves busy with another slave uprising that provided valuable experience.

    While I was busy, so was Rome. She was fast become a city of science, commerce, and building.

    Two great world wonders, the Great Lighthouse and The Colossus were built there, making the citizens justifiably proud.

    Of course what makes one man proud may make another man envious. Many a Roman citizen sensed that with each new accomplishment of Rome came a greater danger that enemies unseen might move against her. Foreign wars continued as years went by. France declared war on Spain, Poland declared war on Greece. Hungary declared war on Poland. Korea declared war on Hindi. When would we be drawn into open conflict?

    That was answered in large measure by the Roman people themselves. An open revolt against the last of the despotic strongmen of Rome belonging to the Tarquin family took place. A Republic was formally established and a formal senate took their seats in the capital. What determined our destiny would now be done in the name of the senate and people of Rome.

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  5. M60A3TTS

    M60A3TTS Ex-treadhead

    Mar 2, 2004
    IV. Will of the Gods

    Our camp was buzzing with questions and activity. I stopped the centurion who commanded our ballista unit in order to make sure I had the true picture of what was happening.

    “So has the Senate really declared war on Spain?”

    “Yes, we have orders to prepare for a march at once. We’ll need to get the equipment ready to go before nightfall. Likely we head out in the morning, after they finish reading the entrails most likely.”

    This was something with which I was not yet familiar. "What? Reading what entrails?"

    "I can see you aren’t one to trouble yourself with the aspects of religion. The priests have to send us off feeling good about ourselves, so they have to gut a goat or some similar poor creature in front of us and after their ritual pronounce that the organs look healthy and indicate that the will of the Gods is favorable for a successful campaign. I can’t imagine they’d find otherwise. After all, what are they going to do, say the goat was diseased and the Senate needs to call the whole thing off?"

    He had a point. "No, it doesn’t seem likely."

    "No it doesn’t. So after that, we’ll be off. On to Paris most likely, that’s the closest Spanish settlement of any size that I’m aware of. Of course the Spaniards stole Paris from the French years ago, so we’re really just stealing from a thief. No harm in that, eh? Anyways, after that, your guess is as good as mine. Now we will find out just how well all this training in camp serves us."

    The next day, it was just as our centurion had said. The Gods were smiling on us, so proclaimed the priests, and our campaign was to bring great glory to Rome and the Republic. We marched for weeks, and could plainly tell that many of the people inhabiting the lands did not speak Spanish, but French. So it did seem that Paris was indeed our destination. The army, called the Army of the West, was commanded by two consuls from the Senate. One consul, Lucius Varro, commanded the four imperial legions of three thousand men that should have had an equal number of velites units, each of twelve hundred men, but in this case there were only three. The second consul, Gnaeus Metilia commanded a specialized group of individual horse, spear and archer auxiliaries of three hundred each, nine hundred men in total as well as the siege train containing five groups of one hundred men responsible for the rams and four ballista units, each of six hundred men which was essential in any assault against a city held by the enemy. In all, our force numbered near twenty thousand.

    Our arrival at Paris found an enemy garrison of roughly eight thousand men. Once our forces had deployed, our rams made quick work of the enemy defenses. Attacks by our ballistae had mixed results, as a unit of Spanish Asturian bowmen were not sufficiently suppressed initially. Varro deployed 4th on the left and 3rd on the right during the initial assault on Paris. The Asturians were able to destroy the 4th Legion before being overwhelmed by the 3rd Legion. Our 1st and 2nd Legions following behind were able to overwhelm three hundred charioteers and three thousand short swordsmen. The battle possibly could have been decided then and there but the consul declined to commit the velites to the battle. Instead he would carry on the battle in a subsequent action so that his legionaries were able to capture the city. Two thousand slaves and one hundred twenty one gold were sent back to Rome in testament to her first great victory against a foreign adversary. I myself was awarded the rank of Decurion after Paris fell and put in charge of my own ballista crew.

    Next we marched southwest, towards Spain itself and the city of Seville. We also now had a shadow, namely a French force apparently intent on capturing any Spanish city should our arms falter.

    At Seville, now with only three legions remaining with the army, we found a Spanish force of roughly three thousand six hundred defenders. Our own force now down to something over sixteen thousand, gave battle. Our 3rd legion perished to another complement of Spanish bowmen in the opening fight. Our remaining force quickly slaughtered the rest of the enemy forces and Seville was ours.

    Now it was time to move onto the heart of Spain. However, with only two legions remaining and the city of Salamanca known to lie on hilly ground, word was sent back to Rome that replacement of the two legions were vital to complete the task of the army. We crossed over the Ebro River and over low lying hills that skirted west of the Pyrenees. Upon reaching Spanish Salamanca we once again prepared for battle. As yet, the French had not taken a single Spanish city on their own, largely because unlike our army, they had no siege weapons of any kind.

    We found ourselves fortunate in that the Senate not only sent us replacements for the legions, but other formations that could garrison the prizes we had taken.

    At the Battle of Salamanca, six hundred bowmen defending a hilled city with a total of near seven thousand defenders, they once again drew first blood, destroying 1st and 2nd Legions. What transpired next was similar to the fight at Seville where the enemy could not withstand the rush of our follow on units. Newly arrived 4th Legion was able to crush some three hundred spearmen before our velites charged in and savaged the Spanish short swordsmen, some six thousand of them along with one group of Astrurians. Varro then threw in three hundred equites, freshly arrived reinforcements that proceeded to scatter the second of the Asturian bow units. Salamanca was ours, along with another two thousand slaves and one hundred thirty five gold to fill the coffers of Rome.

    Success again after Salamanca led to my promotion, this time to the rank of optio, second in command of our ballista unit that was clearly outperforming all others.

    Three battles. Three victories. And now the last remaining Spanish city on the continent remained: Toledo. Thus far we had proven unstoppable. But the French were now near that city. Would we be able to not only get there before the French could take it, and at the same time muster enough of a force to take it without those vultures sweeping in?

    Again, another march west. Upon arriving outside Toledo, we could observe what had become of the French. They had suffered heavily and failed on their own to take the Spanish capital. But we suspected the French had drawn blood of their own, as the Spaniards were down to only four units defending the city. Gnaeus Metilia called for an extended bombardment that necessitated a two-part effort. After an initial bombardment, a later second one succeeded in bringing down Toledo’s defenses. With only two legions, 1st and 4th supported by the velites, the attack went in. For the first time in the campaign, our legions suffered no losses to the Asturians. Six hundred of them perished in our initial assault. Only three thousand demoralized short swordsmen remained in defense, and our velites made quick work of them. Two thousand more slaves. Two hundred eleven gold to send to Rome. The Spanish had been swept from the continent, though we saw evidence that one remaining Spanish city was on the African coast.

    A small force of six hundred auxiliaries was sent over by naval transport some time after Toledo fell.

    It was hoped there would be little resistance, but instead they were overwhelmed by the Spaniards. It was, if one is to be objective, Rome’s first defeat, if only a minor one. Clearly a larger force would be required, and for that it would require more ships. That would take time, hence an offer of peace to Spain from the Roman Senate that was eagerly accepted.

    The campaign against Spain would yield generals who would develop traditions such as archery culture that improved various arms within the Roman Army. These included reconnaissance, melee and archery units.

    Even during the conflict, Rome was not idle when it came to building another world wonder. Slaves in their thousands died on the project known as The Great Wall.

    Note: In Realism Invictus, there is no whipping. Instead, slaves are used like Great Engineers, each with a value of 30 hammers that can accelerate production. Or, they can build improvements but some will die as improvements are finished.

    Roman Engineering was once again triumphant as The Great Wall of Rome was completed.

    The scholars of the world recognized the greatness and the power that was Rome.
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  6. M60A3TTS

    M60A3TTS Ex-treadhead

    Mar 2, 2004
    Map of the Spanish Campaign

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  7. M60A3TTS

    M60A3TTS Ex-treadhead

    Mar 2, 2004
    V. Unfinished Business

    As peace was restored to the empire, life resumed its quiet course. One could not help but see that the army was lingering along the southern coast line. There seemed to be no immediate need for a large standing force in the east as of yet due to the number of wars that Rome's neighbors were waging.

    Ethiopia was a civilization that had made itself to known to Rome most recently. They had made war on France and was besieging Lyons as the Franco-Spanish War still remained ongoing, though neither side was in a position to take action against the other.
    Poland was at war with both Greece and Hungary.
    Russia also maintained hostilities against Greece.

    Transoxiana was perhaps the closest to being the equal of the Roman Empire, but she had no right of passage through Poland. That limited the risk to Rome should any potential war with Transoxiana come about. All of these events allowed Rome to continue with her plans unmolested.

    The destruction of the Hindi Empire at the hands of the Koreans and Transoxianans with whom they were at war was reported by some who had been far to the east.

    In matters of foreign religions, The Transoxianans had adopted Zoroastrianism, to go along side Egypt and Ethiopia. Hungary had adopted Taoism. Poland had founded and adopted Christianity. For her part, Rome continued to decline to establish a formal religion, though Taoist followers could be found in near every city. Buddhism was know to also be practiced unofficially in a few cities of our empire.

    Gradually more and more vessels were being constructed and gathered in the vicinity of Ebrodunum. We knew that it would not be a life of quiet much longer when our ballista unit was ordered to begin practicing the method of embarking onto and disembarking from sailing vessels.

    Finally came the orders we had long anticipated. An army of which we were a part, gathered and sailed to the west. Ahead lay the Spanish city of Zaragoza.

    Not all of the army was able to sail with with the initial force and therefore a shuttling of additional units was required. This did not prove to be any sort of problem as five legions were sent to Africa. Eventually, over twenty two thousand troops were committed to battle.

    5 legions (15,000)
    4 velites (4,800)
    1 bowmen (300)
    4 ballista (2,400)
    3 catapults (300)
    2 rams (200)

    The storming of the hilly city of Zaragoza was a slightly extended affair due to the need to bring in the second set of troops.

    Defending Zaragoza were these Spanish forces, near eleven thousand.

    Heavy swordsmen (6,000)
    Short swordsmen (3,000)
    Bowmen (900)
    Spearmen (600)
    Charioteers (300)

    The siege trains performed their job well. that is to say as one should have expected. The city was taken along with one hundred forty three gold and two thousand slaves. It had been decided that unlike previous conquests, Zaragoza was not to be spared. The city was put to the torch. When it died, it took with it the Spanish Empire.
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  8. M60A3TTS

    M60A3TTS Ex-treadhead

    Mar 2, 2004
    VI. For Whom Old Neptune Comes

    The ruins of Zaragoza had lain at our backs for some time. The Roman fleet was making final preparations to return us home. The men and equipment of the 3rd Ballista had been loaded aboard two galleys. Centurion Antonio Severus, our commander would be aboard one, and I, as second in command, the other.

    Centurion Severus had been my commander since the beginning. His dedication to the profession of arms was only eclipsed by his generosity. A humble man, Severus seldom took credit for the sterling reputation of 3rd Ballista. “What success I have had in the field, I owe to my men” he would frequently say. It was something I would always remember. And he lavished great praise on me, almost to my embarrassment. Upon reflection of what had resulted from the Spanish campaign, my hope that the infantry would come to see us as an integral part of their success had been realized. Scarcely a legion commander could be found who did not have kind words about their artillery, particularly 3rd Ballista.

    The two of us were the last ones on shore, the rest of the unit now aboard. Severus seemed in no hurry to leave this barren land, and I asked him in jest if he had found some attraction that I was unaware of. He laughed for a moment, then turning somber shook his head. “ No. I tell you this in confidence, Scipio. I hate the sea. Good, firm earth beneath my sandals, that is all I ask for. Were there to be a bridge between this desolate place and Spain, I would begin my walk home right now. Truly.“

    One of the sailors who was to see us to our vessels called over to us. “Excuse me gentlemen, the pennant has been raised. We set sail for home at once. Would you care to come along, or shall we make our farewells here?”

    Severus was slow in reply. “I think…I think my comrade and I will place ourselves in your good care.” Then he remarked to me in low tones:

    “But, since no such bridge exists, I suppose we should join our comrades on the ships. The sooner we’re aboard, the sooner will be off, eh?”

    We departed Africa on a fair day, and for much of the trip home conditions remained the same. The galleys and their escorts followed the coastline of what was once Spain, now part of the Roman Empire. I spoke to the galley captain at least once daily, trying to get to know him. He had been a mariner for much of his life. He was almost an exact opposite of Centurion Severus with respect to his feelings for the sea. He loved it, and over many a year became an experienced ship captain. He was carefree in conversation, a good sense of humor, and one with whom I could feel comfortable that our safety was in his hands.

    It had been an unusually cool day as our journey home was concluding soon and dusk had arrived.

    “Captain, any notion when we’ll make landfall?”

    “Two days, should be.”

    He seemed to not be himself.

    “Something wrong captain?”

    He gazed out to the horizon. “Clouds building to the southwest. I’ve seen this before, we could be in for a rough evening. Can’t be sure though, it may pass us by, but I suggest you check below to make sure your equipment is secure. In rough seas, loose equipment can spell trouble for a small ship like this.”

    I proceeded to do as he instructed and was satisfied that all items were indeed secure. I also advised my men to be prepared for an unsettling evening but assured them we would get through this.

    It was several hours later that what I had thought might be an unsettled evening became one of pure hell. The winds came up and blew fiercely, the waves tossing our tiny craft about. We knew of course that being close to the coast, we faced the very real danger of running aground if we weren’t swamped or capsized first. Men tossed inside the galley became violently ill, and the enclosed area below deck betrayed the extent of their illness. Several more hours passed, and with each one of them I was grateful for having a man on board who knew how to hold his own against a raging sea. Come first light, the storm subsided and I felt safe enough to venture on deck. Our ship had stopped.

    “Good morning captain, I thank the Gods you were with us these hours.”

    “Thank you centurion, we were spared but not all were as fortunate as us. Look there.”

    We were now very close to the coast, and only a few hundred yards away I could see clearly that we were passing upon the broken body of another galley that had apparently been dashed upon the shore. What was also clear was that some had survived. In fact, quite a few. Some were waving and after a time I could begin to make out individual voices. A lump came to my throat.

    “Those are my men. What I mean is it is the ship carrying the other half of my unit. I need to know that they’re safe. Can you put me ashore captain?”

    “Yes, I’ll see to it at once.”

    The captain and I boarded a raft, and some rowers carried us safely to shore. I quickly recognized one of the men.

    “Decurion Valens, are you alright? What is the situation here?”

    “Optio, thank the gods that you are well. I’m afraid we had a terrible time of it. One minute we were being thrown about in that cursed vessel, the next thing we knew, she slammed against the shore and started to break up. Our captain gave the order to jump for it and try to make it safely to the beach. I just finished the count. All things considered, it was a near miracle so many got out. We have eight confirmed dead, six missing.”

    Suddenly my eyes began darting about the scene. “Where is the centurion?”

    ‘I’m sorry sir, he’s one of the six. No one saw for sure what happened, it was all so fast, dark and just total confusion.”

    My eyes began to well up. I walked to the edge of the shore and just sat on the ground, looking out at the sea that had just claimed a great comrade and one who I was proud to call friend. My mind began to wander when I heard footsteps behind me. It was the captain.

    “I grieve with you. You have suffered a great loss.”

    I thought about the last time I saw him alive.

    “He said he hated the sea. I wonder if he knew…”

    “Hated the sea you say? Well… now he has an eternity to get used to it. The kingdom beneath the waves over which Neptune rules is a great place. It needs many to serve our lord of the seas and oceans. So when it suits him, he commands the waters to rise and claim some from our world. That betrays the terrible truth we mariners live with. One never knows when or for whom Old Neptune comes.”
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  9. M60A3TTS

    M60A3TTS Ex-treadhead

    Mar 2, 2004
    VII. What are you, I wonder?

    We had stopped for the evening on the road to Ebrodunum, having been victorious in eliminating the last of the Spanish territories. With the death of Antonio Severus, I had been elevated to the rank of centurion and now in command of 3rd Ballista. It had been a tiring day, and sleep was welcome. It had only been perhaps two or three hours before I was suddenly awakened.

    “Centurion, forgive the intrusion at this late hour. By order of his Excellency, Marcus Licinius Crassus, you are summoned to his command tent at once. I have been instructed to escort you there. If you would be so good as to come along.”

    Crassus, sent by the Senate to command an army on the northern border with France. What in the name of the Gods could he want with me?

    As I was brought into the presence of the General, there was one other man dressed in civilian clothes, standing besides him. Crassus himself sat in a chair behind a field table. A noble looking figure, it all seemed a surreal picture to be in his presence.

    "So Centurion Scipio, is it? Sorry to have gotten you up at such a late hour but I have only now been finishing up the daily business and actually have this time free. It’s good that we meet, I understand that you have been quite successful with your ballistae. In fact, you have been developing a bit of a reputation, whether you know it or not."

    "Whatever my reputation, General, it is the all the result of the success of my men."

    "Yes, yes I have no doubt of that. Now, I imagine you would like to know why I sent for you." For a long moment then, Crassus looked me over, and appeared deep in thought.
    "I know who you are, Scipio Corsicanus. The greater question though… is what are you?"

    "I’m sorry sir, but I do not understand the question."

    "No, of course you don’t." He gestured to the person standing besides him. "Tell me, do you know this man?"

    "No general, I can’t say that I do."

    "No, neither does he know you. Well, directly anyways. But the two of you do seem to share a common acquaintance." Another long pause as Crassus seemed to enjoy having me in a somewhat confused state. "How is your father?"

    "My father sir? I have not seen him for years."

    "Again, neither has this gentleman. But it seems he did your father, what shall we call it? A favor? Well perhaps, not a favor, rather was responsible for providing an attestment of fact. It’s not quite clear at the moment, but that is what I intend to get to the bottom of this night."

    "Your pardon, sir. You summoned a man you have never met in the middle of the night to reconcile his past. I assume there must be good reason for this."

    "Indeed. Although you do not realize it, your life may well change forever based on what passes here this night. I have been brought here to do a job. What that job is does not concern you at the moment. However, what you are here for is to possibly help me. I have made some rather discreet inquiries into your background. Marcus Cornelius Scipio, a man who carries the name of a patrician, yet joined the army at the lowest rank as though he were a plebian. I have been in communication with some members of the Scipii and Cornelii households. They’ve never heard of you. Or at least will not admit it. Yet this fellow here, provided a document..I assume you have it… that says you are a part of their noble lineage. Now either you are of noble blood, or you are not, in which being the latter case this gentleman could be in a great deal of trouble. I had been giving this some thought, and then it struck me. Corsica, where Rome has on occasion been known to send people it no longer considers desirable on the mainland."

    "If you are referring to my grandfather, General…"

    "Please do not interrupt, Centurion." Crassus rose from his chair and paced about for a minute. "This army may be called upon soon in the name of Rome, to a great task and I have something of a dilemma. As you may be aware, we are replacing the rams of the siege trains and together with the ballistae units they will be vital to any future campaign. If we are going to succeed in this, we need the best officers in these units. I believe you may well be one of those officers, but therein lies the problem."

    "You are a centurion. As a plebian, you are at the height of your military career. By military custom, I have no obligation or right, really, to consider promoting you further. The higher ranks in almost every case are reserved for members of the patrician class. Yet if what I suspect is true, if you are indeed a member of the patrician class, your military career a long and even brighter future may lie ahead. So, once again we have returned to the central issue. Just what are you?"

    Crassus turned walked to the entrance of his tent, looking out as though he was waiting for some message from the Heavens. Another minute passed, perhaps. Suddenly he turned back and faced towards me.

    “I want to assign you to the officer staff of the army siege trains. Needless to say, the opportunity for continued promotion would go with the job. Do you wish to accept, Centurion Marcus Cornelius Scipio?

    After all I had been through with my comrades, for a moment I felt hesitant. Yet here stood one of the most powerful men in all the empire calling me to greater service.

    "Yes, General, I will accept."

    “Excellent. Now as to that document you were given long ago, I don’t suppose you have it with you?”

    “In fact sir, I am never without it.”

    “That’s good to hear. May I see it?”

    I pulled the parchment, now worn after so many years it was becoming almost hard to read. I handed it to Crassus who didn’t even take a moment to read it. He simply sat back down behind his desk. Then he did something that almost sent me reeling. He put the document over a large candle at the table setting it alight. In a moment, it was gone. Why should he do this? What was its purpose?

    “You won’t be needing it any longer. No one will question your standing among the classes. If they do, they will find themselves dealing with me. It will be made known that I have personally vouched for your standing in the patrician order. Report in the morning to my adjutant, he will get you over to the appropriate people at the siege trains and arrange for your replacement. Now you are dismissed.”

    After my leaving the command tent, Crassus had a loose end or two to tie up.

    “We have an understanding?”

    “Yes General, the official records in Ebrodunum that tell of his grandfather’s alleged transgression will disappear forever. Any future inquiries on the matter, official or otherwise, will be treated as an attempt to slander a highly regarded patrician in your service and that of Rome. And lastly, this conversation never took place.”

    “It goes without saying that you were never here. There is a horse saddled and waiting to get you back home. I trust you will not need an escort with your fee of one hundred thousand cisterses.”

    “Don’t you worry about that General. Just one question if I may? Why so much for this one?”

    “It’s for the good of Rome of course. I think he’ll do quite well. If he does, I will have purchased the gratitude of a very successful officer. If not…well I’ve paid more for others over time that did not work out.”

    “From what I hear, General, if there is a man in all of Rome who can afford it, it’s you. Still, it seems there’s something you’re not telling me.“

    “Only that there are misguided rivals of mine who might question my actions. Scipio could possibly come with baggage should his past, or more to the point the past of his forebears come to light. I do not wish him burdened in future, so it is simply a matter of removing an impediment. And again, your discretion is essential here, hence my generosity.”

    "You have it General, you need not be concerned. Discretion is my key to success, and survival. By your leave."
    A.Caesar likes this.
  10. M60A3TTS

    M60A3TTS Ex-treadhead

    Mar 2, 2004
    VI. Northern Exposure

    I wish to return for a moment to the events which had transpired within the empire from the initial peace with Spain to the expedition to Zaragoza (320-150BC).

    The greatness of Rome was acknowledged in writings by the famed Greek historian Heroditus.

    Around this time, the empire learned of a new form of government, Dynasticism, that led towards a line of kings.

    Rome declined to adopt this new form of government, preferring to remain loyal to the practices of the Republic.

    Just prior to the fall of Zaragoza, the empire entered a new medieval era that would generate some additional detriments to society. Few expected these things to last as Rome continued her advance to greater heights.

    A great general was proclaimed as a son of Rome.

    Two great merchants, also from Rome, enabled the empire to benefit from trade expeditions to Poland.

    This would in turn allowed for rapid scientific advancement as well as improving a number of units within the army. This included all five ram units that came to be equipped with catapults. Crassus was a frequent observer of the new catapult units in training and due to his influence and inspiration, they became capable of breaching city defenses with an unparalleled degree of efficiency. This was deemed critical as so many cities had constructed walled defenses. The sooner these defenses were reduced, the less enemy reinforcements would be available to them. With the additional four ballista units, this artillery arm provided a Roman army with a capability unmatched anywhere in the world.

    (Note: Using this Great General provided enough experience to the five catapult units so that it gets a small city bombard bonus. The cultural defenses of an AI city are reduced by 30% a turn. The short sword unit gets the actual warlord assigned so it can then take a free upgrade to an imperial legion)

    The Roman Senate had been aware for some time that a war between Ethiopia and France had brought a besieging force to the French capital of Lyons. This was an exceptionally large city, none larger was known to the empire, and the Ethiopians had made little headway in reducing Lyons defenses. It was decided that Crassus would lead an invasion of France and capture Lyons. After it had been subdued, he could then turn his army west and seize the port city of Rouen. This would secure the northern flank of the empire and bring Western Europe under our control. While Crassus conducted the first portion of the campaign, the garrison of Lutetia, now commanded by one Gaius Julius Caesar would insure no interference with our plans from the region of Rouen.

    108BC It came to pass that the borders with France were closed and shortly thereafter Crassus and our army was unleashed. The Rome Senate declared war on France. The army under Crassus began the march on Lyons . The force was split in two, with our siege trains moving northeast and several legions marching north. The latter force engages rebel slaves early in the war, taking some casualties but gaining combat experience in the process. This was considered normal as it was a standing order that a Roman army should always engage rebel slaves whenever and wherever practical, regardless of circumstances. Any damage taken could be healed as it would take some time for the siege train to bring down the defenses of Lyons.

    Battle of Lyons

    Lyons was the capital of France on flat ground with walls and situated on the River Rhine. +85% culture. Pop 13 and the largest known to Rome

    Opposing forces

    Roman Army
    General Marcus Licinius Crassus commanding the Army of the North with 26,700 men as follows:

    6 legions 18,000 men (of 7 in the Roman Army)

    2 velites 2,400 men (of 8 in the Roman Army)

    2 bowmen 600 men (of 4 in the Roman Army)

    1 equites 300 men (only 1 in Roman Army)

    5 catapults 3,000 men (all in Roman Army)

    4 ballista 2,400 men (all in Roman Army)

    French Army
    Garrison of Lyons with 10,500 men as follows:

    1 Frankish Warband 3,000 men

    1 short sword 3,000 men

    2 skirmisher 2,400 men

    3 bowmen 900 men

    3 chariot 900 men

    1 spear 300 men

    As the first of four phases of the battle plan was carried out, our siege trains as expected battered down the defenses at Lyons.

    The second phase saw the initial attacks on Lyons. Legions I and II were the first to be committed by Crassus and they each destroyed a unit of Frankish bowmen. Legions III and IV lost to bowman and the Frankish warband (64.7% and 96.4% chance to win). Legion V destroyed the one spear unit while our velites destroyed one of the two chariot contingents.

    In the next phase, Legions I and II destroyed two defending units, one of bow and the other chariot. Legion V destroyed the one chariot element. A thousand slaves were also taken.

    In the final phase, Legions I and II destroyed a skirmisher unit. Legion III destroyed a short sword formation. Our velites unit destroyed the one French warband. Our bowmen finally destroyed the last enemy skirmisher. Lyons fell with 305 gold, and three thousand slaves taken. Lyons was then renamed Lugdunum.

    Our losses at Lyons were two legions totaling 6,000 men. The French garrison of over ten thousand was destroyed.

    Shortly after the fall of Lyons, the army prepared to break camp. An unexpected guest also arrived at this time with fresh orders from the Senate. Soon we would bear witness to how even the newest hero of the Roman Army could not be free from the hand of Rome.
    Dumanios and A.Caesar like this.
  11. GamerDrew13

    GamerDrew13 Chieftain

    May 26, 2016

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