Twin Sons of Mars


Oct 6, 2007
"You dare!,"
Two groups of men held the brothers apart. Keeping them from coming to bloodshed on top of the windswept hill in front of their collective followers. Tension between Romulus and Remus had boiled over to outright anger the moment Romulus had attempted to upstage his brother by seemingly fabricating a portent from the gods that would give him divine right to build and lead the new city. Romulus had even gone so far as to have already marked out the boundries of the new city with a plowshare even before Remus had arrived to confirm the tales of his brother's divine favor.
"You would dare start our new life with an attempt at fratricide!,"
Remus was livid. By a stroke of luck he had narrowly avoided a blow from Romulus' stout cudgel when he had crossed over the furrowed ground to meet with his brother. Romulus had shouted something about tradition and blasphemy and had swung feircely at Remus' head. It was only the followers of both camps that had surrounded and pulled them back from each other that had averted one of the brothers dying right then and there.
"You blaspheme against the gods brother," Romulus shot back. Struggling to wrest himself free of the grip of his own followers. "You know as well as any that it is the will of the gods that any who cross the sacred boundries of a city once sown are to be killed."
"What city," Remus shouted back. "What city is founded here Romulus. What city is founded in our names that I was not accorded the right of attending the rituals to found a city in MY name as well as yours."
"Mars commands us to build here. Who are you to defy his will. Who are any of us to defy the will of the gods," Romulus spat. "Mars says to build a city here. Now. You were not here when the portent was recieved so it is not my fault that you were not part of the furrowing."
Remus shook free of the arms of his men and stepped closer to his brother. Romulus' men gripped their spears and daggers tightly, ready to strike and Remus' own band followed suit. Preparing themselves for battle. Remus shook his head in disgust and turned his head over his shoulder.
"Put your weapons aside brothers. Is this how free latins act. Warring amongst themselves incessantly even when we're to work together to found a new life for ourselves. For all of us," Remus stated in tones that brooked no argument.
He turned to cast his gaze on those men that followed Romulus and fixed them with the same icy stare. None of them could hold the mans gaze overlong. It was to much.
"Romulus, you had no right," He said to his brother.
"I had every right. Mars himself commanded -"
"What Mars commands does not concern me," Remus said sharply. "Or may have commanded."
Remus glanced about the hill in both dissapproval and disgust at the actions of all of the men on it. He spared no one, not even his supporters his look.
"Our agreement was that whoever saw a portent from the gods first would choose the site of the city." he said softly. " I sent you word that six vultures from Mars had flown over the flatlands near the river where I sat and bade you come to verify the will of the gods. As we agreed."
"I couldn't come," Romulas snarled. "Mars sent me SEVEN vultures over this hill. How could I come to verify your claim when the vision Mars gave to me told me of his will!"
"Convenient," someone in the crowd whispered.
"Yes it is convenient," Remus replied to no one in particular. "That when I send word of the will of the gods you just happen to have a greater sign and I rush here to follow your way."
"Its the will of the gods," Romulus stated with conviction. "Mars favors me. You have always known that."
"No, " Remus said with a heavy sigh. "What favors you is the loyalty of a brother. I have stepped back and allowed you the glory you alone sought to often at my own expense. And will do so again, and again if nescessary."
Romulus smiled and his expression changed to one of victory. He waved his followers off and straighted up his rumpled clothing.
"Then you agree, our great city is to be built here. On this spot."
"No," Remus answered.
"But you just-"
"What I said was that I would allow you what you sought at my own expense, " Remus stated with a sharp bite of steel creeping into his voice. "And I will. You wish to be greater than me, so be it. Your crown will be bigger, but I will not allow your vanity to be at the expense of those that pledged themselves to both of us. Aneas."
An elderly gentleman stepped forward, cradling a bundle in his arms. An ancient sword wrapped in the finest cloth. Transported over miles and years from a long fallen city, to this spot before them. He was its caretaker. He was, despite the legends that had sprung up about the two brothers, the driving force behind the collected Latin tribesman that had followed them with a dream of a new city, a new life, a new kingdom.
"Aneas," Remus began. "You're the eldest, and wisest amongst us. I leave it to you to deciede. I will take no insult if you deciede against me."
"Remus! The will of the gods -"
"Is for Aneas to read now Romulus," Remus answered. "Or do you wish to lose the loyalty of those that follow you more than they follow the dream by dishonoring the keeper of the Sword of Hector."
Romulus blanched visibly and shook his head.
"No, No. Speak on good Aneas," he said pleasantly. Recovering quickly. "Read the will of the gods. Read the will of Mars. A lowly six vultures on the plains, or SEVEN atop this commanding hill."
Remus scowled but paid his brother no other mind than that. His attention focused on the elder Aneas.
"The descision and the fate of our people is with you Aneas," he said softly. Offering encouragement without attempting to offer his own view.
"As it ever has been," the elder man said tiredly.
Ever so gently he set down and unwrapped the cloth from the bundle and lifted out the dulled but still shining weapon. A simple blade, unadorned bearing only as its symbol of authenticity the mark of a long lost city etched into the pommell. He lifted it up to the heavens, for all those assembled to see. Holding it aloft in both hands he showed it first to Romulus who eyed it with undisguised longing, and then to Remus.
"It is the will of the gods. The will of Mars," he began in an aged voice that still seemed to carry across the hilltop. "That this sword of our ancestors, this holy weapon be housed in a temple in the center of the plains by the river."
"What!" Romulus demanded incredulously. "But Mars sent-"
"His sign to Remus first," Aneas answered. "Remus, do you accept this sword. Do you accept my judgement and name yourself High King of the Latins. To build your city on the plains."
Remus closed his eyes.
"I accept your judgement, and WE will build a city near the river," he started. " But I will neither accept the sword, nor position of High King of the Latins. The sword is more worthy than I will ever be, and though I will be a king among the latin people, Romulus will be High King. We will rule together."
Aneas fixed the young latin with a long soul peircing look and nodded his head.
"So be it," he said replacing the weapon into the cloth and wrapping it up again.
"But, the sword should be mine then," Romulus nearly shrieked.
"Be happy with your crown Romulus my son," Aneas spoke, "The sword is not for you. Remus will not have it, and neither shall you. Mayhap your sons will be seen worthy."
"Be at peace brother," Remus said softly, placing his hand on his brothers shoulder. Romulus shook it off and Remus sighed. "You are High King, you are he who will be favored of the gods amongst our new city. The gods will look to you, the people will look to you to guide them. You do not need a sword to rule. Leave it for Mars himself to give or not give. "
Romulus glared angrily.
"And what are we to call this city of ours," he said acidly. "I propose Ro-"
"Reme," Aneas said flatly. "It will be called Reme."


Oct 6, 2007
"Its squalor," High King Romulus said in disgust as he looked out over the collection of waddle huts that hugged the banks of the river. "I'm High King, I should not be living in this flea and lice infested filth. Rolling in the mud with the mob. What kind of precendent does that set. I should be living in a palace not a hut."
"Oh I agree my king," Sextus said smoothly. But you know as well as I do that there isnt enough stone for a proper palace here."
Romulus sniffed in agreement and tried to avoid stepping in the mud of the rough hewn path between the huts as best he could.
"Enough stone for that horrid blasphemy of a meeting hall Remus is building. He's there right now with those...dark skinned people." he said disdainfully. "Proudly showing off all of our squalor."
"From every indication my king," Sextus said, "These Aztecs are just as bad off as we are in terms of..'squalor'"
"Oh thats the point Sextus," Romulus spat. "We should be awing visitors with the granduer that is the Latin people, not showing them how filth ridden we are. Yes hello there barbarian rabble. Welcome to 'Reme' care to sample some of our mud. Or maybe our fleas."
He still had a hard time saying the name of the city without choking in disgust. For six long years he had tried to live in the city that bore his brothers name and not his. Tried to make the best of it. The fool Remus always saying over and over how much better things were going to be in the future. Bah!
"Did you know he actually wants to call that hovel the palace?," he said. "Imagine. That collections of rock and straw a palace. What kind of king lives in a hut."
"Oh well it may be good enough for Remus my king," Sextus said shrewdly, "But certainly not for a king who is the favorite son of Mars. Your brother wishes to bring you down so that you do not outshine him. He knows Mars favors you and yet he keeps telling the people that its all superstition. Legend. As if our great High King was descended from a common man and not the immortal seed of the god of war himself."
Romulus snorted in derision. Remus was becoming more and more jealous of his favor each day. And growing more and more active and open in deriding the divine blood that ran through Romulus' veins.
"It will not last much longer," he stated flatly comming up to the clear hovel-free banks of the rivers edge and dipping his hands into the cool water. "The priests of Mars are behind me. They know of my divinity. It's only a matter of time before the whole of the Latin people follow suit and depose that fool and granted full power to me."
"Which is why you should be at Remus' side my king, " Sextus said smoothly. "You don't want him to poison these newcomers against your august personage do you?"
Romulus waved a hand dismissively.
"What do I care for the rantings and ravings of barbarians," he said. " We are the chosen. The Wolves of Mars. What can barbarians do but grovel at our feet. No, I'm more interested in the lands to the east. Let Remus have his fawnings with barabarians. What of the east. What have our loyal scouts brought back."
"Another river majesty," Sextus replied. "One that is a far more suitable location for the throne of the High King of the Latins to rest upon."
"Good," Romulus said gleefully. "Very good. Our city, the TRUE home of Mars on earth with be glorious."
He turned to his companion with a fire in his eyes.
"Rome will make this place look like a torch against the sun." he said. "All of the faithful and true descendants of Mars will be there. And in time, we will blot this city out and cleanse its blasphemy from the eyes of the gods."
"He did what?" Remus demanded incredulously. "What..why...when?"
"Early this morning," Quintus, commander of Remus' personal guard and one of his closest friends replied somberly. ""Him and all of his most..devout followers. Close to half the population actually when he had his men start rousting people out of their huts and commanding them to follow him to the 'true' city of Mars."
He couldn't believe it. Well, he could believe Romulus would think of something like this, but he couldnt think of him actually doing it without even saying anything first. It didnt make any sense.
"How long have they been planning this?" he said almost to himself. "The High King of Reme picking up and moving to found his own city. Thats-"
"Something we should have expected all along brother," Quintus said without much emotion.
Quintus was glad Romulus was gone. With him out of the way Remus would have a great weight lifted from his shoulders. He wouldnt have to constantly worry about tryng to appease the ego of his brother all the time and would be able to actually rule like he should be.
"Was there a note? Something, anything that would explain this," Remus asked despondantly. "Did he just leave without anything for me?"
"No, I'm sorry," Quintus replied. but some of the warriors did overhear him say something along the lines of 'Remus can be high king of Reme and rule over filth. I will be High King of Rome just as Mars intended.'"
Remus buried his head in his hands and rested his head down over the rough wooden table in the great hall trying to collect his thoughts.
"It doesnt matter," he said after a time. "He is still High King of the Latins. Even if he isnt here in the Latin capital."
Quintus sighed heavily. Damn all fraternal loyalty.
"He doesnt want to be king of the Latins Remus, he wants to be king of the Romans. In Rome, not in Reme." he said sternly. "The Latin people are divided. Half in Reme, half in whats to be the city of Rome. If he wants to be king there, be king of the 'Romans', then let him."
"He is still High King of the Latins Quintus," Remus said raising his head up. "Never forget that. The Latin people may now be divided among two cities now, but he is still the High King."
"And King of this new Rome as well?"
"Yes, and king of Rome as well," Remus snapped. "You may not like him Quintus, I know you don't. Even most of his the men who followed him originally have left his side these last few years. But he is still our High King, even if he is now also King of Rome."
He shook his head and reached for a jar of water and took a long drink. It was warm and didnt taste very good but he didnt let that bother him. He needed its wetness to unparch his throat. To allow him to focus enough to keep the tears from his eyes.
"It was that Etruscan wasn't it." he stated
"Sextus?" Quintus asked. At Remus' nod, he answered in kind. "I wouldn't bet money against that no. Probably hopes to be named king as well in Rome, or maybe his own city. Who knows. "
"It still doesnt matter where he is," Remus said after a thoughtful pause. "He is High King of the Latins whether he is in Reme or in Rome."
He gave his old friend a weak smile.
"Besides, now that he is king of Rome, I'm now the sole King of Reme." he said with a joviality that he didnt truly feel. "We're still Latins. Still one tribe. We've just expanded. It's only right that Romulus gets his own city to rule without having to worry over me all the time. He can rule now like he always wanted to.
"If thats how you have to look at it," Quintus said with a shrug. "Let him do what he wants. You rule here like you've always done. Rule without having to worry over considering his feelings and just do whats right for the people for a change. Besides, I'm still here."
Remus smiled and nodded his head.
"Now if you'll excuse me, My King, I have to go out with the rest of your guard and bring in the newest envoy from those barbarians to the north.," Quintus said. "I hope they dont plan on bringing any more of those bone necklaces with them. Thats just can you kill a man and wear his bones afterwards for jewelry. The gods can't look on that and smile."
"Remus laughed for the first time all morning.
"The Aztecs arent so peculiar once you get to know them. They consider being sacrificed a great honor." he said.
"Yeah well they can try selling that here and seeing how far they get," Quintus replied. "I'll bring them up right quick once I make sure they arent armed like the last time."
"Oh it was only a scratch," Remus said with a growing smile. "My ribs barely even hurt anymore."
"Where would we be if I let some crazed barbarian pluck out your heart and eat it," Quintus said drolly. "Be better off going up to that altar of theirs and letting them cut our hearts out if you fell."
Remus was silent a moment, watching his companion, his friend, very intently. Almost staring into his soul.
"He's a good man and a good king Quintus," he said softly.
"No Remus, " Quintus said on his way out the door. "Your brother is neither."


Oct 6, 2007
She was no more than a girl. Couldnt have been more than fifteen winters and already was cradling a small boy in her arms. Surrounded by similarly darkskinned men with shaven heads and stout cudgels resting in their hands. Dark khol painted beneath eyes that watched everything the Remans did with a ready intensity.

Their arrival had been a surprise and Remus had hastened to the borders of the city, on the far side of the eastern hill to meet them himself as they would not for some reason cross over the river themselves. He had expected a warrior. An Advisor. Not a young girl more than half his age.

"I feel I must insist that you come into the city. The weather looks like it might turn on Jupiter's whim at any moment," he said politely. "I can offer you food and drink to quench your thirsts in my hall."

The girl shook her head firmly and resolutely.

"We will not cross the threshold of people who do not hold the favor of Ra," the young girl said in surprisingly commanding tones. "Ra has not seen fit to grace this place with his prescence and so we shall not defy his wishes."

"I can have food and drink brought then-"

"We have brought what we need," she said cutting him off. "You do not have our trust Latin. We do not seek to have ourselves poisoned by your heathen hands."

"Nice girl," Quintus whispered with sarcasm. "If all the girls of the serpent people are like this its no wonder their men glare all the time."

Remus bit back a hiss and smiled pleasantly at the girl.

"Why would you think we would poison you?" he asked. "We've done nothing but offer you hospitality and friendship and you have refused all of it."

"We know all about Latin freindship. Your 'king' showed us when he chased us from your lands to the southeast and bade us to grovel at his feet 'as is our rightful place with the son of Mars'"

The girl looked pointedly at Remus, with a hard enough and eerie enough look to give him chills. Maybe Quintus had a point. This young slip of a girl was very unnerving.

"You met Romulus?"

"Who is this Mars?" she said ignoring his words. "Is he a greater king?"

Remus blinked.

"Um..Mars is one of our gods," he answered slowly. "He is our god of war."

"And your king is his son?"

"He thinks he is," Quintus remarked to loud for it to go unnoticed.

"Then he is not?"

Remus sighed and shook his head.

"No, he is not." he siad tiredly. " It comes from a legend that sprang up because our stepfather found us in the cave of a wolf when we were no bigger than that child you carry. The wolf is the chosen of Mars."

The girl regarded him carefully. Studying him.

"Is your king insane then?"

"He is not my king, he is my brother," Remus answered. "He is High King of the Latins and King of Rome and I am a King of the Latins and King of Reme. This city here."

The girl seemed to think a moment, and nodded her head slowly.

"We think you are correct," She stated. "He is not the son of a lesser god to Amun Ra. He is a man like no other and we will deal with him no more."

She turned to her comrades and gave a curt nod and several of the large men stepped forward with a large trunk full of cloth and polished stones.

"We will deal with you and you will know Egypt's favor King of Reme." She said firmly. "In the name of the Pharoah who was our husband we offer you our friendship."

Remus and Quintus both gaped at the girl and the chest openly.

"Mars! Your the queen?" Quintus whispered in disbelief.

"We rule until our son is old enough to rule in our place," she said crisply. "Hatshepsut is regent until our divine son takes his rightful place and rules in Ra's favor."

Remus tried to puzzle that out and slowly nodded his head in understanding. So young and already married and a widow. Already with child and already ruling over her people. It was amazing.

"Will you join me in a drink of friendship in my hall then Hatshepsut? Anything in our small that we can offer your comfort...."

She narrowed her eyes and looked into his. Studying him more closely. As if she was reading deep down into his soul. This was a very disturbing girl. Her demeanor was far above her age.

"I can offer you some sweetmeats I have saved up somewhere," Quintus offered as an incentive.

Hatshepsut turned to him curiously, her eyes sparkling a bit at the thought and nodded her head.

"We will go with you Remus, the true son of your god of war," she said firmly. "And we wish to try these 'sweetmeats' that you have."

Remus smiled and held his hand out towards the direction of the city.

"Then let me show you the way favored of Ra," he said.

Hatshepsut smiled at him and for a moment he was able to see the young girl in her eyes and not the ruler of Egypt. As they walked he turned slightly to Quintus and whispered quietly to him.


Quintus grinned.

"I have a girl her age myself remember," he said in amusement. "Something you should have by now."

"Don't start," Remus chided his old friend.

"Just saying,"


Oct 6, 2007
"What does it say?"

"It is an accounting of your divine heritage great king," Sextus said smoothly. "In Estruscan."

Romulus marvelled as he ran his hands over the stone pillar in the center of the collection of huts by the sea. It was truly magnificent. A testement to his greatness and a lasting reminder of his grand divinity. He traced his fingertips over the raised reliefs and smiled proudly.

"It's beautiful Sextus. A true wonder," Romulus said in awe. "Now everyone can see and marvel at the epic story of my birth, my rise to greatness. The throwing off the oppressiveness of Remus the pretender and my ascession to be the god-king of Rome."

Sextus smiled and bowed his head politely.

"The augeries and priests are already hard at work making sure all the people are well versed in your true history my king." he said. "They are even going to hold their rites here I'm told. To honor you and your great father Mars."

"Yes, " Romulus said absently. Engrossed as he was in gazing at the immense obelisk that bore his history, his likeness. "It's only fitting that the priests of my father honor me his son as well. I wish the people to pray to me as well Sextus. It's my divine right as favored son of Mars."

"Of course great king," Sextus said pleasantly. "I'll see to it right away. The people have been far to thoughtless in their worship of you."

"Yes, they have," Romulus said still barely paying attention.

In the four years since founding the new city, HIS city, he had come to see more and more the vision that his father Mars had for him. His divine mission was so clear in his mind. He would spread the name of Romulus son of Mars far and wide and he would rule the earth in Mars' name and wage merciless war against all unbelievers. Yes, this was his mission. His divine task.

"I want more," he said spinning around and facing his 'most trusted' advisor.

"More?" Sextus question in confusion. "Where would we put them majesty. This one takes up already the whole of the city center."

Romulus chuckled cruelly, a dark flicker crossing over his eyes.

"Reme," he said with deep relish. "I want one of these right in the center of the Pretender's city. I want all of his people to know and worship the true king of the Latins. "

Sextus blinked and licked his lips nervously.

"That may be difficult great king. " he said evenly. Measuring his words out very carefully. "We both know how traitorous the Pretender is. He might change the story on the Obelisk. Place his lies and the poor people of Reme wouldn't know the difference. He would turn them against your light great king."

Romulus near roared in fury at the very thought. The treachery of his brother knew no bounds. He was a sneaky one. But he was a coward as well. He wouldn't dare. Not when father Mars was watching. No, he wouldnt dare. Him and all his wretched filthy dogs wouldnt dare.

"Do it," he commanded. "I order it."

Sextus licked his lips nervously and bowed his head in submission to the king. Oh how he hated it. This was going to take some doing. Remus would have to be handled delicately. He had to use a light touch. Had to keep him in Reme, away from Rome.

"As you command great king."

He watched as Romulus went back to admiring the Obelisk.

" I want more of these here as well," he said." In a circle. A grand large circle that my followers can worship in. Yes a great circle of stone dedicated to me and my divinity."

That was going to take even more work to accomplish, Sextus thought. But it could be done. It had to be done. Romulus had to be kept happy. His mind kept on his divinity and away from other things. He motioned to one of his attendants and pulled him close. His voice low enough not to carry to the king.

"Send a runner to Reme," he whispered,"Send several of the artisans as well. Tell Remus...."

He paused and smiled to himself.

"Tell Remus that the High King commands that a great obelisk befitting the Latin people be constructed in the center of the city," he said. "To honor Mars and in recognition of the founding of our great cities. Tell him it is the wish of the High King that it be done quickly and without hesitation. Have the artisans show them how."

The attendant nodded and quickly ran off towards the great hall of Rome to gather those he needed. Sextus turned and looked at Romulus with veiled disgust. His Obelisk would be completed in Reme. The fool Remus wouldn't hesitate. To doting and lotal to his brother. The both of them were the same. Peasants. Low born peasants. Neithe rone of them could read or even recognize Etruscan when they saw it. So what if it didn't truly say what Romulus thought it did. That hardly mattered. But it did pose a problem. He waved another attendant over.

"How many of the artisans that worked on this are of Estrucan birth?" he asked.

"Three I think," was he reply.

Sextus nodded his head and looked back over towards the High King.

"Take them down to the waters edge and drown them in the water," he said evenly. "Let their bodies float on the ocean and away from here. We don't want anyone sharing secrets they shouldnt now do we."

The attendants eyes widened and he shook his head. He bowed and quickly rushed off to obey the order. Hoping that he wouldn't follow the poor men he was to kill like so many others had before.


Oct 6, 2007
It had been years since he had seen her last, and the young girl had grown into a young woman. Hatshepsut's guards however hadn't changed a bit. The clean shaven bronzed skinned men still glared dangerously at him as he made his way out of the city and to the Egyptian encampment at the edge of the city.

"Damn girl you've grown," Quintus remarked.

Hatshepsut, regent of Egypt quirked a well manicured brow up at the Latin warrior, her eyes flicking down and lighting up with a bit of pleasure at the tray he was carrying.

"You didn't think I'd forget did you," he said with a smile.

"Quintus," Remus chided softly. "You can't talk to a soverign like that."

"What?" Quintus said with a smile as he offered the Egyptian ruler the tray.

Hatshepsut nodded her head in a thanks and began daintily picking at the sweetmeats. She popped on in her mouth and a look of deep pleasure filled her features. Quintus jabbed his king in the ribs with his elbow and gave him a knowing grin. Remus just rolled his eyes and turned his attention on the young woman before him.

"And how is the young son of Ra," he asked politely.

"Our son is doing very well," she answered. "We will tell him that the son of Mars asked of his wellbeing when we return to the center of the living world."

Remus had to stop himself from jabbing his elbow into the snickering Quintus. He'd tried the last time Hatshepsut was in Reme to get her to understand and believe that he was not the son of Mars, but she had been adamant about it and not relented in the slightest.

She had steadfastly refused any word that he was not the mortal progeny of the war god. It didn't help that Quintus had regaled her with some of the more colorful stories about his birth. The floating down the river in the basket. The suckling from the she-wolf. Damn him.

"And your children?" she asked while she enjoyed another of the treats. "The last we were here you did not sire heirs. We hope this has changed."

Remus sighed and shook his head.

"No, not yet. There are barely enough women to go around as it is," He answered. "My people come first. When all of my people have wives and children, I will look for my own then."

He really didn't want to get into this. It was bad enough having to listen to Quintus going on and on about it all the time.

"The line of a king is always for the best interests of the people," Hatshepsut said as she gave him a long look. "For the people to be happy and content, the must know the line of Ra is preserved for another generation."

"Be that as it may," Remus said resigning himself to the topic at hand. "There arent enough women in Reme to go around. The ones of proper age are already bonded to what men there are. The ones of the next generation are still to young. "

Remus shrugged his shoulders.

"There isnt much I can do."

Hatshepsut nodded her head thoughtfully and popped another of the sweetmeats into her mouth.

"Then perhaps there is something we can do for the great son of Mars," she said. "In our camp there are those that sought shelter in the center of the world. A lesser people chased from their homes by the bone people to the north and from the Romans to the south."

Remus rose his brow curiously. Ignoring the tone of distaste and disgust apparent when she mentioned the second latin city where Romulus ruled.

"What people?" he asked.

"Sabines," came the terse reply. " A lesser tribe of lesser people. The children of Ra cannot take them into our bosom. There are to many. But perhaps the Great son of Mars can give them a home. They have many daughters of age."

"How many people are we talking about," Remus asked cautiously.

Hatshepsut shrugged her shoulders.

"We do not know. The number of lesser peoples is no concern to us," she said bluntly. She turned her eyes to the slowly growing Remen settlement and paused in thought. "As many as live with you now."

Quintus whistled and shook his head in disbelief.


"I know Quintus," Remus replied to the unvoiced thought. "Reme thanks...I thank you great Que- ...Regent of Egypt. We would very much like to talk to these Sabines and see if they would wish to join our city."

Hatshepsut regarded the Latin King with a questioning look. As if letting each word, each inflection and nuance around in her mind. Remus could almost see the wheels turning in her head. Thinking something through.

She was young, very odd in her manner, but there was something else there. The girl was very intelligent and for some reason it worried him. He had to stop thinking and seeing her as a young girl and seeing her for what she was. A ruler. A potentially very dangerous one if she put her mind to it.

"We will make arrangements and have these lesser people brought to you son of Mars," she said finally. "We think you will be pleased"


Oct 6, 2007
Livia gawked unabashedly at the man standing on the small hill addressing all of the Sabine people on the outskirts of this strange foreign city. Someone had to be making fun of them. This simple looking man in the belted peasant tunic couldn't possibly be the king of a whole city. He couldnt be. It had to be a joke. And if it was, it was a very complex joke. All of the Latins that came to the edge of the city with him defered to him. All the warriors watched over him, even as they addressed him by name and not with any honorific. Even the few children that had tagged along seemed to look up to the plain man with reverence.

She had to admit, he did have somewhat of a commanding prescence, but a king? No, he couldnt be a king. Not him. He was so, plain and ordinary. Definately not a king she decieded. Then why couldnt she look away from him. Why couldnt she stop herself from staring and listening to him intently. Intently enough that her father had to poke her in the side to remind her that he had asked several times for a jug of water. She made her apologies and shook her head and made her way down to the river bank to fill up the earthenware jugs. Strange. Very strange these Latins. Not strange like the serpent people, not strange like the Romans they had run from just a few years ago. But strange none the less.

"Done listening?" a voice came from behind her.

Livia spun around and nearly stumbled into the water if strong arms hadnt grabbed her from the waters edge and pulled her back. Quick as she could she drew a stone dagger from her belt and held it out in front of her defensively. It wasnt an idle threat, she knew how to use it and was very skilled with it.

"Stay back," she demanded.

Remus smiled and held his hand open out in front of him.

"Peace," he said calmly. "I'm not here to cart you off and have my way with you."

"Try it and I'll skin you like a deer," Livia stated flatly. "I'll do it if you come near me."

"I believe you," he answered with a slight smile. "You want some help with that water?"

Livia gave him a hard look and slowly it sunk in who she was talking to. No..couldn't be. Well, this at least proved he wasnt the latin king. What king would offer to help a poor peasant girl carry water to her father.

"I didn't fall for it," she stated firmly.

"Didn't fall for what," he answered, taking her change of subject as not having a problem with him helping. He scooped up one of the jugs and carefully filled it with the fresh river water.

"I didn't fall for it like everyone else did," she stated again. "I knew you werent really the king."

"What makes you say that?" he asked filling up the second jug just as carefully.

"You don't look like a king," she said. "You don't have a crown and you're dressed like a farmer."

"Aaah, " he relied. "I am a farmer. Everyone is. Have to get food from somewhere. "

"See," she said.

"I have a circlet somewhere," he continued as if she hadn't even spoke. "Not really a crown, but it is shiny and uncomfortable to wear all the time. I can show it to you if you want. Its not much to look at though."

Livia blinked and narrowed her eyes at him. Glaring.

"You do not have a crown," she said.

"Like I said, its more of a circlet," Remus replied lifting the jugs up into his arms. "I can show it to you if you don't believe me."

Remus started walking with the jugs back towards the crowd of Sabines up towards the hill. The sabine girl, stunned for a moment quickly followed after him. She wasnt done yet. Why was he just walking away.

"If you're the king why arent you talking to the elders then?" she asked

Remus just shrugged his shoulders.

"I said what I had to say and now your elders are discussing my proposal," he said. "Its in their hands now. Not mine."

Livia was going to ask another question when another of the big latins, one of the warriors this time trotted over. He gave Livia a smile, looked at the other man, then back to her again with a wide grin.

"About time, " he said. "Was starting to wonder if you were afraid of girls."

"What is it Quintus?"

"Another runner from the High King," Quintus answered with obvious venom in his voice. "He wants more stone for that circle of rocks he's building."

Remus sighed and stopped in his tracks.

"Hades take him," he spat out angrily. He sighed and composed himself. "I shouldnt have said that. Can we spare any we're digging out of the hill?"

Quintus shook his head and looked back to the Sabine girl who was staring at Remus with a dawning realization.

"No, we can't," was the answer. "We're trying to get the palisade and the wall built up by the first frost. The bears and the wolves been coming up thick this year. We need to keep them out of the city."

"So what are we going to do?"

"You're the king not me," came the reply.

"Thanks. You're severely lacking as an advisor right now," Remus responded. He turned to Livia. "Where's your father at, I'm sure he's looking forward to his drink."

Mouth agape, Livia struggled to lift her hand and point to the small knot of people where her father was standing with the rest of her family. Remus gave her an odd look.

"Are you alright?" he asked.

"Now I see why you've kept yourself from the women for so long," Quintus said sagely. "Wouldn't do to have all the women in Reme walking around unable to talk."

Remus gave his old friend a long look. Quintus just laughed.


Oct 6, 2007
"You sure you don't want to come with us, just to make sure we get there alright?"

Remus shook his head and smiled at his old friend while his son and daughter both had latched on to opposite arms and hung onto him as if for dear life.

"No Quintus,I've got far to much to worry about here in Reme to go traipsing off down south to the penninsula with you," he said. "Besides that, Livia would probably stick that knife of hers in me if I even tried."

"You're right," came the response from over by the cooking fire. Quintus laughed and shook his head. The king was domesticated. "Titus, Lucia, come away from your father and his bad advisor. They have work to do."

Quintus chuckled and turned his head towards the Sabine woman. In the five years she'd been in Reme she'd grown alot. Once she got over the fact that Remus was actually the king and that he didnt expect her to keep quiet and make babies all the time she had made it a point to make her opinion heard in the kings hall.

Case in point being the fact that she disagreed whole heartedly with the expidition down south towards the tundra to make a new settlement. Her thought being that they had too few people in Reme to make it either nescessary or worthwhile, and they already had two cities and two kings why did they need three cities and three kings when two of each was causing enough problems. He agreed with the last part.

"Oh now Livia you know you love me and are going to miss me when I'm gone," he said pleasantly.

"How do I know I'll miss you until you actually leave," she snapped. "I don't think you should go at all."

"Livia," Remus interjected."We've been over this. There's good farmland down south. Good for growing corn. Enough to feed both cities."

"Theres corn already," she said acidly. "In Rome."

Remus sighed.

"Romulus won't give up the crops to all us unbelievers," Quintus said before he could speak. "Crops in Rome are for the faithful don't you know."

"Quintus," Remus chided.

"He's right husband," Livia interupted. "Ever since that damn obelisk got built here and that damn circle he built in Rome he thinks instead of just being the son of a god, he is a god. You want to do something helpful you and Quintus should round up all the warriors you can and march down to Rome and tear that whole city down."

"Livia, " Remus said sadly. "He's my brother, and he is our High King -"

"And whats that got us," she snapped at him. Pointing at him with her spoon. "All we hear from him is proclamations about how to properly observe his divinity. Or how he needs more stone for ANOTHER statue of himself. Hades, There must be more statues in Rome than people."


"Remus, you're not going to get anywhere," Quintus said stopping him. "And since you wont listen to reason and take whats rightfully yours, the best we can do is expand ourselves, and leave him out of it."


"No. You may be my king Remus, but he's not," Quinted said sternly. "And since I don't want to be king of Antium, nice name by the way don't you think. Was my Silvia's idea. Named after our Gens."

"Yes its very nice, but -"

"No buts," Quintus said. "I don't want to be a king, and neither does anyone else in Reme. So if you want another king in Antium you'd best send a runner to Rome. Otherwise get used to Antium being a Remen colony ruled in YOUR name alone."

"You're not going to win Remus," Livia said softly as she walked over and slid her arms around her husbands waist from behind. "You're all the king Reme needs. All the king the Latins need. And since your brother refuses to name an heir since he's an immortal god now, when he passes on you'll be the only king. Get used to it."

Remus closed his eyes and nodded a silent agreement.

"I'll send a runner back up once we get everything settled in, "Quintus said. "That way you'll know everythings alright and that Antium is the newest city of the Remen people."

"Latin people," Remus corrected.

Quintus snorted.

"Latin is a race, Remen is a nation."


Oct 6, 2007
"Great God-King its just a formality," Sextus wheedled.

"I don't need an heir Sextus," Romulus said with a glare. "I'm an immortal god. I will rule in Rome, MY Rome for all eternity. Long after you and your whole family have passed on to Elysium."

Sextus nodded and patted Romulus placatingly on the shoulder while the High King of Rome sat on his throne.

"I know that Great God-King, and you know that," He whispered. "The people, who love and are in awe of you know that."

Sextus took on a conspiritorial tone and leaned in closer to whisper directly in Romulus' ear.

"Its Remus I'm worried about," he said.

"The Pretender! " Romulus raged.

"Yes Great God-King," Sextus said smoothly. "Down in their hovels Remus and his followers plot against our greatness. They plot against Rome, plot against you."

"Plotting, always plotting," Romulus seethed. "But what can he do to me. I'm a god. He's just a man."

"You know they plot and conspire with your enemies great God-King," Sextus said. The words tasting like vinegar in his mouth. "They are watching and waiting for an opening. Waiting to strike at you. "


"Through your heir great God-King,"

"I don't have an heir. I don't need one. I'm a god!"

"Thats the point great God-King" Sextus whispered. "What happens if Father Mars needs you. Calls you up to your rightful place in the heavens. Would you leave all of your faithful to the cruel mercy of the Pretender."

Romulus got a shrewd look on his face.

"Thats what he wants isnt it," he said. "He's hoping my father will call me up to do battle in the Heavens with him and leave my kingdom open for his evil. Thats what he wants isnt it."

"Yes great god-king"

"I won't let him. I won't let the Pretender take whats mine. I won't let him steal my kingdom while I'm paying homage to my father," Romulus said, seething in rage. "He's always scheming and plotting against me. Ever since the day we were born. Making lies about me. Conspiring against me. He stole my city. I saw the portents first and he lied about his. Then he attacked me and tried to kill me on the hill. You saw it."

"Of course great god-king"

"He won't get away with it. No. No he won't get away with it at all. Make a proclamation," Romulus said with a grim determination. "Your oldest son is now my heir Sextus. With you and your sons protecting me that false king will never take whats mine again."

"Thats right great god-king," Sextus said smoothly. "Your brother will never win against your divine favor."

"Thats right. I doubt he's even my real brother. He lies and schemes. Probably lied about that too"

Romulus paused and thought about that a moment.

"Make that part of the proclamation. The Pretender is not my brother," he said. "I've figured out more of your lies and schemes Remus. I've figured them out. I've figured out all of your lies."


Oct 6, 2007
"Kneel dog!"

The Antium warriors were not gentle. In fact, Pontius had come out somewhat worse for wear in their hands. One of his eyes was swollen. His lips bruised and fattened. A few of his teeth chipped and cracked like he knew his ribs probably were from when their sandaled feet had kicked him when he was down.

He'd tried fighting at first, but Quintus' warriors were to many and to strong for him. He was just a priest. He couldn't understand what threat he posed to the lord Quintus. But still he found himself drug through the rough worn streets of the settlement and thrown at the older man's feet in the meeting hall.

"What is your name priest," Quintus demanded. "Your real name, not the name you gave the guards at the gate a month ago. Speak Roman."

"P-Pontius my lord," was the priests struggled reply. It was hard to speak through all the pain. "I'm just a simple priest lord. There is no reason to-"

Quintus stepped forward and brought the back of his hand across the priests already sore jaw, knocking him down panting to the ground.

"There is plenty of reason Roman," Quintus spat. He reached out over to the table beside him and picked up a small clay disk engraved with a six pointed star over its surface. "What is this? It's the symbol of your foul roman cult isnt it."

"It's the symbol of the One God Mars," Pontius protested.

"With Romulus' face engraved on the back," Quintus said with disgust. "And these?"

The leader of Antium lifted up a pile of scrolls and dropped them at Pontius' feet. The scrawny priest scrambled to collect them. Scrambled to make sure they weren't on the dirt floor for any longer than he could help.

"This is blasphemy," He choked out. "This-This is the word of our god Mars. His will written for us to follow."

"According to who," Quintus asked with a swift kick to the mans chest sending him sprawling backwards. The scrolls flying up into the air. "Who's word is that really. Mars, or Romulus?"

Pontius struggled to breathe. The very air he was taking in caused lances of pain to run through his chest. He could barely get any air in at all. But he had expected nothing more than this. He had expected to be martyred when he got into the new settlement to spread the new word of Mars. It had taken them over a month to root him out. In that time though he'd managed a fair number of converts anyways. Enough to make his trip from Rome worth his life. Despite what these unbelievers thought, this was the will of Mars.

"Answer me roman," Quintus spat out again. "Whose word are you spreading. Whose lies are you telling. Mars' or that tyrant Romulus?"

Pontius struggled back up to his knees and began collecting the scrolls again. They mustn't be allowed to just lay on the floor. It was a holy text. It had to be treated with reverence.

"It is the will and word of Mars, not of mortal men,"

"I thought Romulus wasn't mortal anymore," Quintus sneered. "I thought he was a god."

Pontius shuddered. He'd heard that often enough to grow tired of it. Heard about the supposed son and 'prophet' enough to be angered by its mutterings. There were those in the burgeoning faith that believed so, he was not one of them.

"High King Romulus is the representative of Mars on earth," he said finally collecting up the last scroll and cradling it close to his body. "He is not immortal and he is not a god. He is Mars' voice only. Nothing more."

Quintus Sighed and looked down at the man. Roman scum. Another one of Romulus' infiltrators. He couldn't do anything here. Well, he could. He could have the priest strung up and left out to dry, bt that was a descision for a king to make. Dealing with priests was always tricky. Roughing them up was one thing. Killing them, well you might anger the gods and he didn't want Antium to suffer because he wanted to kill a roman.

"Bind him and take him to Reme to see Remus," Quintus said with resignation. "Find out who he's been talking to, who his followers are and have them watched. I don't want this settlement falling into Roman hands."


There were two of them now. Pontius, the one from Antium and another one who had apparently been surprised to see the priests in Reme when Quintus' men had brought him in. Remus' new commander Modius had thought it wise to arrest him and bring him before the king as well. He'd tried to resist and was near dead when he'd finally got before the king.

"What were you sent here to do priest," Remus asked. He was angered. More so than he could ever remember being. This new cult was spreading faster and faster. The other man was proof of that. This new deviation of the faith of Mars was troubling. Very troubling.

"My name is Pontius," was the reply. "For heavens merciful sake, he needs a healer."

"Traitors get a healer when we deciede roman," came a growled reply from the younger man at the kings side.

"Titus, control yourself," Remus chided. "He's right. Modius, send for a healer."


"No Titus," Remus said cutting him off. "Theres no need for cruelty in a ruler. No excuse for it. This is why you're here. To learn."

Titus growled again but remained silent otherwise.

"Now Pontius," Remus began again, "Why are you here. Why have you come from Rome?"

"The Pontifex bade the faithful to go out and spread the new word of Mars," Pontius replied sullenly.

"The Pontifex?"

"The voice of Mars on earth," Pontius said with a nod. "The High King Romulus."

Remus thought about that a moment, sighed and shook his head. What else was his brother going to proclaim himself. High King, A god, now the voice of Mars. How much more could he take upon himself.

"I've read your texts Pontius," Remus said with a peircing gaze. "Romulus is written as the son of god. Is this what you're teaching. That my brother is the immortal progeny of Mars. Is that what you are spreading to the people of Reme. The people of Antium."

Pontius sighed deeply and shook his head.

"Only in Rome your majesty," Pontius replied heavily. "The word of Mars is...has been corrupted by those who would use if for their benefit."

"But his name is still in the texts as the son of Mars," Titus growled, stepping forward and cracking the priest over the jaw.

Remus was up as quickly as his aging body would let him, restraining and pulling back his son from the priest.

"Titus," he said calmly yet in a stern voice. Titus snarled and relented pulling back away from the priest. "Pontius, I apologize for my sons outburst"


"No", Remus said sternly. "He is a priest and you are a prince. Act like it."

Pontius bowed his head. When would it come. When would he be strung up and killed for his beliefs.

"I expect nothing more from unbelievers and Re-"

"Remens," Remus finished for him. Pontius nodded. What was going on in Rome? "Despite what you may have been led to believe, we try not to be barbarians here. But my son is correct. Your texts still say that Romulus is the son of Mars. I can't allow that to be spread. Romulus can do what he wants with his own city. Not here. Not in Antium."

Pontius clenched his fists and closed his eyes. Struggling to maintain his composure despite the pain and aggravation.

"He is the son of Mars as Pontifex, supreme leader of the faith. As will his successor be," he said finally. "Nothing more. It is -"

"An honorific then?"

Pontius nodded ferverently.

"There are those that may believe otherwise, that he truly is the son of a god, but they are mislead."

"And this man here," Remus asked, pointing to the dying man beside the priest.

""He...was and is mislead," Pontius said sadly. "Ignorance is no reason to kill a man. Even if in his ignorance he believes that a man is descended from the One God."

Remus looked to the priest, then to his son. He would not inhibit the beliefs of his people. Not unless it had something to do with Romulus the schemes of his advisor Sextus. Already he had to contend with the fact that the eldest son of the Etruscan was to be king of Rome when Romulus passed on. Hopefully that would not be something he would have to deal with personally. He hoped Titus would be ready for it.

"You say believing that the High King being the true son of Mars is ignorance?"

"Yes," Pontius replied easily. "He is only the highest epresentative of the One God on earth. His son by that reason alone."

Remus nodded his head.

"A healer will tend to you and you will be given time to rest before being taken back to Antium," he said.

"Is that where I am to die?"

Remus blinked in stunned shock.

"Only if the gods find reason to send you to Hades," he said. "Neither I nor those under me will send you to the afterlife for teaching your faith to those who wish it."

"Oh thank you my king -"

Remus held up his hand.

"As long as your teachings do not run contrary to the well being of Reme, Antium and their people." He cautioned.

Pontius had the prescence of mind to look offended.

"I speak the word of Mars. I seek not to cause troubles for the people,"

"Good," Remus said evenly. "See that you don't"


Oct 6, 2007
"I don't understand," Antonius snarled as he staled through the newly built stone halls of the great palace in Rome. "If I am to be High King, why does Lucullus even need to found a new city and be king as well?"

Sextus scowled at his oldest son.

"If our enemies grow and we do not then we will eventually fall," he snapped angrily. Tired of having to explain himself. It was bad enough when Romulus asked him questions he did not need the same from his own children. "Remus has Reme and Antium, but only a single king for the both of them. Even if by some stroke of ill favor he manages to wrest your rightful title of High King away from you, you will still be king of Rome and Lucullus King of Veii. The two of you against the one of him. That is why Lucullus must be king."

Antonius shook his head. He still didn't understand. How could the Pretender steal his High Kingship. It was his. He was Romulus' heir. The crown would fall to him. He wouldnt take a lesser seat to Remus. Ever.

"And then what father," he asked. "What happens if the Remens build another city and make a second king to spite us?"

Sextus chuckled darkly.

"It won't happen Antonius. Remus and his followers are to proud. They feel they only need one king, " he said. "They weaken themselves and WE will truly rule all of Latium. Together. You and your brother as kings, and me..well I've done enough work here in Rome to ensure that I will be named Pontifex. "

"High Priest is hardly power father."

Sextus slapped his son across the mouth.

"Faith is power. Never forget that," he snapped. "If you are in control of what people believe, you are in control of the people themselves. Why do you think I've been sending out our people to the other cities. Spreading the word of Mars to Antium and Reme. Its another source of power. Two kings to block anything Remus or his son tries, and if that fails, I will have the will of the people as Mars' voice on earth."

Antonius narrowed his eyes.

"And thats why the large marble structure you had Romulus commission?"

"What the Parthenon?" Sextus said, then shrugged. "Partly. It will serve as a seat of worship and a center of religious power. When everything is completed, Rome will be the greatest city on earth. Rivaling even that of the ancient land of Hector."

"And the sword? Thats still in Reme?"

"In due time Antonius. All in due time,"


Oct 6, 2007
"What is it you're building again?" Remus asked in a raspy voice.

He was not as young as he used to be. Time was taking its toll on the King of Reme. Most of the people knew he had not much time left on the earth and ever so quietly responsibility and power was being transfered to his successor.

But he was not gone yet, and he had taken a keen interest in Titus' favored project. The Prince had been out here in the feilds outside the city for months with the workers. Working with the stone that came trundling in from the quarry by the sea to the west. It was collossal what ever it was.

"Something I heard about from Hatshepsut the last time she was here father," Titus replied with a smile creasing his dirt and sweat streaked face. "They call them Pyramids. Something of monuments and royal mausoleums."

Remus' worn face wrinkled into a scowl.

"I'm not dead yet," he said.

Titus' face tightened, then softened as he placed his arm around the aged king's shoulder.

"I know father, and Mars willing you have many years yet," he said. "I just wanted to build this, in your name so that future generations all the way til the end of time will know and remember the first king of Reme."

"Pffft" Remus said with annoyance. "You've got better things to do than play with rocks and stone Titus. Hmmm. What are you going to do about the Aztec and the Inca to the north. They're fighting again. Or one of the other northern peoples. Hmm. What are you going to do if those...what are they called again...Mongols. What if they want to cause problems. Hmm, what then."

"Father," Titus said with a laugh. "Our closest neighbor is six months hard march away from us at the closest edge of their territory. I think I can spare a few moments playing in the rocks and stone."

"Hmmph," Remus said. "What about Rome, and Veii. They arent so far away and seperated by an open unclaimed frontier. What about them?"

It was Titus' turn to scowl.

"Lucullus Sextus doesnt do anything without the approval of his father. Antonius is the same, and he isnt even in power yet," he said.

"Isn't he?" Remus said with a frown. "The whole Sextus family has usurped my brother's throne long ago. They've been in power."

"Yes, but so long as my uncle lives, he still is king, and they are not." Titus reminded him. "My uncle may be insane but he still is king."

"Don't talk about the High King that way," Remus snapped. "Show some respect."

"Yes father, my apologies," Titus said softly.

He looked out over the rising Pyramid thougtfully for a moment. Collecting his thoughts before speaking.

"He's done nothing but try to hurt you father," he said finally. "He doesnt deserve your loyalty. Every one else sees this why cant you?"

"Romulus is my brother Titus. We came to this place together. Fought barbarians together to get here. Stood side by side in battle," Remus replied softly. "Even with out that, he is still my brother. That alone earns my loyalty. For whatever else he is, the High King is still my family. Your family. You would be wise to remember the importance in that."

Titus sighed.

"I will father."


Oct 6, 2007
Most of the fighting had died down, now there was only a unerlaying sense of danger and hostility all throughout the city. Some said it was overcrowding that caused the first spark. To many people to close to each other. Others said it was a plot by Rome and its insane king Romulus. Either way many in the city of Reme lay dead. Riots and brawls had swept through the city like a plauge. Jumping from one home to the next like a wild fire.

Titus held back his tears as he gripped his spear and held firm in front of the door of the great hall. He was king now. Compliments of someone taking advantage of his father's nightly walks through the city. He liked keeping in touch with the people. Making sure they were alright. Happy. Someone had taken advantage of that and had struck the elder king down. Bashed his head against the stones of the very Pyramid that was to be his tomb. Murdered him. The new king swore to himself and his mother that he would find out who did this, and make them pay.

"My king," Modius said running up with a group of spearmen from the city below them. "You should be inside where it is safe."

"Why do I deserve safety when my people do not," Titus shot back angrily. Watching the city with anguish in his heart. "Have you sent for Pontius?"

"Yes my king, the runner should arrive within a day or so and your priest should be here within the week," the commander of the guard said. "But you should not be here where a thrown spear could find you. I implore you. The people need their king alive."

"The king is dead Modius!" Titus snarled.

Modius set his jaw and motioned to his men. They hesitated a moment but under his stern gaze quickly stepped forward and latched on to Titus and began dragging him inside the building. Fighting and struggling the whole way.

"We all grieve for King Remus," he said following after the shrieking and bitterly fighting monarch. "But we cannot grieve for two fallen kings. You must be safe. The people need you."

"To Hades with the people!" Titus shouted.

"Very well, " Modius said with an even voice. "Then your mother needs you. She has lost her husband this night as you have lost your father. Don't let her lose a son as well because of your anger."

Titus stopped struggling instantly and his shoulders slumped. The spear dropping from his hand.

"Very well, " he said with soft resignation. "Stop the rioting, find who did this to my father...and tell me when Pontius arrives. We will need his services and his council."

"Of course my king," Modius replied.

He would find who murdered Remus. The king was angry and bitter about it, and so was he. More so as he had served Remus since Quintus had suggested him among all the other young men of the second generation of Remens to protect his king. He'd failed that task.

The king was dead and he wasn't there to stop it. But he would make up for it. He would set things right so that when he travelled down the Styx to meet his afterlife he could tell his King that he had been avenged. Remus' killers would be found and punished, if he had to crucify the entire city to find them.


Oct 6, 2007
They came out through the woods. Howling and screaming warcries and prayers to some unknown god. Barbarians. Thick as fleas rushed from the safety and protection of the forest and into the plains. Running headlong towards the locked shields and sharp spears of the men of Veii. The same barbarians that had been plundering the farmlands from Rome all the way up to Veii were now meeting the trained and disciplined spear phalanx led by the king of Veii himself.

Lucullus steadied himself. Gripping his sheild tight in his hand. Adjusting it in position so that it covered the man to his left, as the man to his right did the same. His spear dropped and leveled towards the barbarians. A wall of sharp points aimed at the enemy. He grinned and shouted the command. As one the free spearmen of Veii set their feet, locked themselves into position and met the charge head on.

The crash was astoundingly loud. Echoing with screams of pain and death. Wave after wave of the unwashed, fur clad brutes ran themselves into the quills of the armored mass of Latins. They were dying by the handfulls. But they were still pushing forward into the Veii lines.

"Principes!" The king shouted.

As one the Hastati, the first few ranks of spears began slowly pulling back. Melding into the second line. The better equipped and trained Principes. Their spears came forward, plunging into barbarian flesh even as the lines of Hastati pulled back to the relative safety of the second line to rest and recover. Behind them, grim faced veterans stood waiting. Triarii. The best free spearmen that Veii had to offer. Veterans of many fights. The elite of the defenders of Veii. If it came down to it, they were the men that would win or lose the battle, and the city far behind them.

It didn't come to that. The battle was won with the second surge of the Hastati through the ranks of Principes who had pinned the enemy down. Allowing the younger, newer recruited spearmen to charge through and cut the life and spirit from the barbarians.

Lucullus was tired. Bloody, exhausted. Covered in dirt and the insides of men he had killed. It was gruesome, but he felt the thrill of battle rushing through his veins. He'd let the men hunt down and finish off any stragglers. The men of Veii, his men, from the city where he was king had met and crushed their foe. Now it was time to rest and enjoy the fruits and spoils of his victory.

"A king doesnt loot the dead!"

Lucullus gritted his teeth and tried to mask his disgust. He picked up a slim leaf headed sword from one of the barbarians and held it up to the fading sunlight.

"A king does as he pleases father," he said without much emotion in his voice. "I won this battle, the first pick of the spoils goes to me."

"Will you stoop to carrion next!" the elder Sextus demanded.

Lucullus ignored him and wiped off the blade in the dead mans hair.

"I will stoop to whatever I please," He said. "I am king on Veii, not you."

Sextus seethed in anger and brought the flat of his hand against his younger sons face.

"Do not talk to me in such words," he raged. "I have done far to much to elevate you, our family to our rightful place for you to sully yourself digging through the dead for baubles and trinkets. My plans need you and your brother as kings, as respectable kings. Not grave robbers."

Lucullus gripped his hand around the pommell of the sword hard enough for his knuckles to turn white. It was always like this. Had always been like this since he was born. He had to stand up to the old man. He was king in Veii, not Sextus. He steeled himself. Collected his nerve and lashed out.

The sword swung through the air, and cut across the elder mans neck. Sextus gave his son a wide eyed look of horror. His mouth agape, gurgling and gasping for breath while his life slowly left him.

"Your plans father, " Lucullus said, again wiping the blade clean, "Are unimportant to me. And now, unimportant to everyone else."

He sat and watched with an idle curiousity as the life of his father spent himself. A small crowd of his men gathered around to join in. None of them lifting a finger to aide the dying man. None of them caring that his life was at an end. None saddened. None angered. Many of them had wanted to do the same themselves. They would speak no ill of their king for killing the old tyrant.

"Someone send a runner to Rome," Lucullus said when his father had finally passed on to the afterlife. "Tell my brother that our father was where he shouldnt have been and was felled by a barbarian sword."

"And the body?"

Lucullus thought a moment.

"Leave it for the carrion birds," he said simply. "Like all the others."

There was a murmur of agreement amongst all the men of Veii. It was no more than he had deserved in their mind.

"Its a good sword isnt it," Lucullus remarked looking upon the weapon again. "Hard to come by. See if you can find any more. But this one is mine. "

The rest of the men began picking over the battlefield for what trophies and spoils they could find. A good shield. A better spear, and if the luck of Mars was with them a sword or a pair of greaves. Enough to elevate them to a higher rank in the battle lines.

"We really need to find out how to make these ourselves instead of having to scavange them off of our enemies," Lucullus said thoughtfully. "This really is a good sword."


Oct 6, 2007

The High King had been wandering the halls of the palace in Rome ever since the riots started. He was sure that it was his false brother's doing. He had figured it out. The Pretender had faked his death so that he could sneak into Rome, HIS Rome and cause problems for the rightful king of the Latins.And now he was causing unrest and civil disturbances to run rampant through the city.

"Remus! Come out and face me," the aged High King demanded in a raspy, hoarse voice. He waved a spear about as threateningly as he could. "I know you're here. You've plotted and schemed against me and my glory your whole life. Come and face me now!"

But no one came. All that could be heard was the sounds of battle and death in the streats all around the palace. His guard, his loyal guard who worshipped him as both king and god had all but left him. No doubt caused to betray him by the honeyed words of the decietful Pretender. He knew Remus was trying to kill him. He'd fail of course. He was immortal. The son of a god and a god himself.

But he would try anyways. He was always trying to steal from him. He should have killed him when the Pretender had lied about seeing seven vultures over the plains. A made up story to try and steal the favor of Mars. And then he had the audacity to attempt to murder him when so trusting Romulus had went down to the plains to verify the claims.

"No, not this time Remus," he said with determination. "This time you wont attack me when I'm not ready. This time I'm ready for you."

A sound at the end of the hallway caused him to grip his spear tighter in his hands.

"Remus?" he said, his voice quavering with fear. "Stay away. I-I command you. Stay away. I am High King. I am a god. I command you!"

There was a soft laugh.

"It is not Remus High King," came a familiar voice.

"Antonius?" Romulus ventured carefully, his voice still shrill and pitched with fear. "Remus is here. He's come to kill me and destroy my city. He's here."

"No High King," Antonius said softly. Placatingly. "Its only me. Remus isnt here. But I know where he is."

"Where?" Romulus demanded in fear. "Where is he. Tell me, we must stop him before he tries to steal my throne again. "

Antonius smiled and stepped out of the shadows, holding his own spear at waist level.

"Remus is where you're going to be," he said driving the point of the spear deep into the elderly mans chest, thrusting him back and pinning him to the wall. "In Hades you old fool. I'm tired of waiting for you to die. I'm tired of listening to your pathetic ramblings. I'm tired of telling you how great you are when each word makes bile form in the back of my throat just to say it. I am king now."

Antonius thrust the spear in deeper and snapped the tip off the spear, leaving it buried in the old kings body. Leaving him pinned against the stone wall.

"I've waited long enough,"


Oct 6, 2007
"Pontifex, so happy to see you," Titus said greeting the white haired man with open warmth.

Pontius gave a depreciating smile and fingered his badge of office, a gold circle with the Star of Mars that hung around his neck.

"It is a welcome surprise that I hold this office King Titus," he said pleasantly. "I must say that it took me quite unaware when my peers nominated and selected me to be the voice of Mars."

Titus gave a wide grin and waved for his men to bring a seat into the audience chamber for the High Priest of Mars.

"Please, you've known me long enough not to stand on formality Pontifex, call me Titus," he said.

Pontius smiled and nodded his head in acceptance.

"Only if you do me the honor of doing the same," he said. "If a king is not to be afforded his honorific, none should be."

Titus gave a laugh.

"So be it friend Pontius," he said. "And it is a welcome surprise. I'd have thought that one of Sextus' get would hold that office. It lifts my heart to know that a trusted and honorable man holds the title instead. Even if it does mean spending a great deal of time in that cesspool of Rome."

Pontius pursed his lips and sighed.

"It is true and unfortunate these days that Rome is the center of our faith. King Antonius has busily been tearing down any reminder of King Romulus," he said sadly. "Beheading statues. Destroying frescos. Killing all those loyal to the old king. Sad very sad."

Titus frowned.

"How is it sad? Romulus was an insane monster. He killed more people than any barbarian invasion ever could." he said.

"Yes, yes he did," Pontius agreed. "But he was still a king, he was our High King. Our first and last one thanks to you I might add."

"I couldnt stomach Lucullus and Antonius muscling in and trying to take control of the Latin people like that," Titus replied with a shrug. "Quintus Secundus agreed with me and, well we have more spears than they do. We win"

"War is not the answer Titus," Pontius chided." But my point is, No matter how good or bad of a king is, he is still a king. We must remember the past or we are doomed to repeat it. Erasing any memory of Romulus for whatever reason is never a good idea."

Titus sighed and looked out the window towards the recently finished pyramid and struggled to keep the tears from his eyes.

"You know we never found who killed my father," he said tightly. "But now because we've completed his mausoleum fully, the world will remember the true king of the Latins. Its only by luck that the burial chamber was already completed when he died."

"You wish me to officiate in the rites?"

Titus nodded his head.

"You're the Pontifex of Mars. It's only right," he said. "Modius is there with him now. Killed himself when he couldnt find the man who did it. Now he'll watch over my father for eternity. I want something nice, something fitting said for the both of them. For the people. For my mother."

Pontius rose from the chair and rest his hand on the King's shoulder.

"You have a heavy weight on your shoulders Titus. Construction of Neapolis, dealing with Roman expansion in Cumae," he said.

"And Aztec settlements up north getting closer and closer to our borders," Titus finished for him. "Its going to eventually cause problems. Problems I'm sure you know about. I've heard Rome has been getting emmissaries from the .damn it all, what are they called?"

"The Inca," Pontius supplied. "Yes, It seems the faith of Mars has spread far and wide. Far enough for our Inca bretheren to come into the fold. You wouldnt believe how difficult it is translating the sacred texts into their language."

Titus gave a soft laugh.

"Maybe some of those Roman priests that are always causing problems will head up north to cause them problems instead."

"Titus," Pontius said sternly. "Thats not a very nice thing to say."

The Pontifex gave the king a long hard look.

"What have the Inca ever done to you for you to wish them that?"

Titus burst out laughing and shook his head in amusement.

"It was just a thought," he said. "Now I have a question for you. How ingrained is the church in Roman politics?"

Pontius gave him a quizzical look.

"Why do you ask?"

"An idea I had to pull Etruscan teeth a little," Titus replied. "The more influence the church...your church, has the less the Sextus family has. "

"What exactly did you have in mind?"


Oct 6, 2007
"I don't want to hear your excuses Arestes," Antonius growled.

"But my lord," the other man began,"We have suffered incursion after incursion from nomadic barbarians over the last year. We're stretched to the limit."

"I don't care what your limits are Arestes," the King of Rome remarked offhand. "You are beholden to me. I am your king and you will obey me. I want that road completed and I want the whole region open up to expansion. Roman expansion. I will not let those Remens have another inch."

"My lord I am trying. But its very hard as just a govern-"

"Enough!" Antonius shouted. "I don't care if you think you should be king of Cumae or not. Thats not my concern anymore. Reme and its lackeys has already made it clear that they will march to war if we even breath word of a fourth king. It's done. Rome and Veii don't have the manpower to compete with the armies of Reme."

"But with Cumae-"

"Didn't you jsut say you are beset with barbarians," Antonius reminded him. "Enough that you can't even complete a simple road to link up your capital to your city."

Antonius snorted in disgust.

"I cant even send my own slaves out to help you because the church demands this damn Parthenon be built. Its draining every rescource I have just to keep it going," he said seething in anger. "I could be building a lighthouse like they are in Antium. Antium damn it!"

The king pulled a small map from his wall and tossed it on the ground. Pointing to the city across the wide gulf on which banks the city of Rome sat.

"Antium damn it," he said again. "When they get that lighthouse built they'll command the entire bay. We won't have a damn chance of raising a navy of our own. The Remens already have Antium and Neapolis to provide them with sea power. With that lighthouse built that will leave only you, only Cumae to give naval power to Rome."

"I understand my king but -"

"No, No exucses," Antonius said cutting him off again. "I am king, me. Antonius Sextus. I am the king of Rome. I need your city to help raise Rome to further greatness. And I want no excuses. Anything you have to do you do it. If they wont work fast enough, line the walls of Cumae with crosses and nail them to them."

"M-my lord thats-"

"Nescessary and within my right as king to order," Antonius said with disgust at the fawning little man. "Do it, or I'll have you nailed to a cross and replace you. Is that clear? Until my brother can stop hunting barbarians long enough to get to work on Pisae and Arpinum you're the last chance we have to get our navy together. "

Arestes bowed low and furiously nodded his head. Why couldnt he have gone up north to Veii. Worse he'd have to deal with up there was being in battle after battle with the barbarians. He shuddered to himself. No, serving Rome was better. Arestes had no wish to join the Veii troops. They actually hunted out and looked for fights. That was no place for a man of his manner to be.

"It-It will be done my king."

"See that it is, " Antonius stated flatly. "Or your successor will. I will not have my military domination stymied by your incompetance."


Oct 6, 2007
"How can I help you lord..ah-k-lan?" Quintus Secundus asked having trouble pronouncing the strange name. It had surprised him enough that the Aztec ship had rowed into the Antium harbor out of nowhere. Even more surprising that the Aztec spoke passable latin.

At least it was actually something interesting instead of the day to day affairs of running a city. Overseeing the building of his departed fathers pet project Lighthouse, ruling over internal squabbles between the various latin gens that lived in the city. It looked like so much fun when he was watching his father doing it all those years ago. How wrong he was.

"Acalan," the Aztec corrected. "Do you like the clams latin lord?"

Quintus gave a somewhat weak smile. He'd nearly choked when the slimy thing slid down his throat. It tasted terrible. His brother Marcus seemed to like them though, not that Marcus was any judge of what was good and what wasn't. He once ate a handful of worms to win a few sesterce after all.

"It's..interesting lord Acalan," he replied

"Interesting enough to broker trade friend latin? Quetzecoatl Mars will smile in favor of this trade," Acalan said with a wide smile.

"Trade? For what? We don't have anything but a few wheat crops."

The Aztec laughed and it made the bone fetishes around his neck clattered against each other. The noise was ..disturbing to say the least.

"We go to Rome to pray to Quetzecoatl Mars and see they have wheat to make bread," He said. "But they do not trade with the Aztec. They take our gold for their priests, but do not let us sacrifice on altar to the One God. They take our beads for their robes but will not share their wheat. Even with trade for Aztec clams."

Quintus blinked in surprise. These bronze skinned barbarians had prayed in the Temple of Solomon in Rome? He just couldn't picture it. He had to bite back a chuckle at the look the priests must have had when the Aztecs told them they wanted to sacrifice a person on the altar. That would have been amusing to watch.

"Well I can say friend Acalan, that we have enough wheat in our granary to fill your cargo hold to overflowing," he said to the Aztec trader. "You can make much bread when you get home to...I'm sorry I can't pronounce the name of your home. "

The Aztec smiled again. It made Quintus think that maybe his latin wasn't as good as he first thought. Maybe the Aztec wasn't understanding even half of what he was saying.

"Tenochitlan," came the reply.

"Right, Tenochitlan," Quintus echoed. "We'll get your ship unloaded and refilled with as much wheat as you can carry. Plus enough extra so that you can make bread on the way home. Would you like something to eat while we get your boat unloaded of"

Acalan watched from the shore as the Latin workman lifted up the bets of clams from the holds of his galley. He watched them carefully as they worked. Taking careful note of everything these Remens were doing. How they worked. What they used. It was very efficient. Enough so that the whole ship would be unloaded and reloaded before nightfall. Surprising since back home in the docks of Tenochitlan it would take several days just to unload a single galley.

Yes, he thought, this would prove very useful. As would the information he had gathered from Rome. He had seen the large four legged beasts that the men of Rome had been riding. Horses they had called them. The Great King would find that very useful indeed. Aztec warriors may not be allowed to search the cities of the Latins, but they could map out the land. And what they could not find out, traders and pilgrims like Acalan could. Yes, he would be rewarded greatly, and he would return for more wheat on his next voyage.

He did have to laugh in amusement at the Remen's face when he tasted the clam. Disgusting things Acalan thought. How anyone could eat them was beyond him. But he did find it amusing how he was able to get the barbarian to eat them and say how good they were just so as not to offend the Aztec merchant. He would have to see what other things he could get the man to eat on the next trip. Maybe eyeballs or the brains of a monkey. That would provide much amusement and tales back home. Very much.


Oct 6, 2007
"He did what!"

Titus was in a furious, yet seriously confused state of mind. He couldn't believe it. He just could not believe what the messenger was telling him. It couldn't be true. It had to be a joke. It just had to be.

"An emissary from the horse people to the far north has apparently been fighting on and off with Egypt for some time my king. "The messenger said. "King Lucullus received the envoy in Veii and pledged the whole of the Latin State to war with Egypt."

"Mars help me," Titus groaned. "And what of the church, what does Pontifex Pontius say?"

"The most Holy Pontifex says nothing about the war majesty," the messenger replied. "But the church itself...there are whispers that this is Mars' will for his children. The One God is a warriors god after all. Rome itself however openly supports the crushing of the evil Egyptian. As Antonius apparently put it."

"Evil Egyptians? Please tell me that you're not...that he really didn't," Titus sighed deeply and ran his hand over his eyes wearily." I've met Hatshepsut. She may be old now, but she is a very shrewd and dangerous woman. And an ally of my family. How could...Well we can't do anything without a council."

"Majesty, Veii and Rome are already levying spearmen and charioteers to march on Thebes."

"Then they can get slaughtered by themselves," Titus retorted. "They declared war on their own so they can march off on their own if they want to. Reme however will NOT march without council from her governors."

He slammed his fist into the rough hewn wooden desk that was at one time his fathers. A simple table and not much more. The great hall, more rightly a palace now may have changed, but certain things inside of it had not.

"Send runners to Antium, Neapolis and Arrettium," he said after some thought. "I'll need the council of all my governors. And tell Vidius to start calling up the levy. We may have to move quickly. Unless I miss my mark Hatshepsut will have toops on the way to strike where we least expect it. We need to be ready.


"The army is assembled my King,"

Lucullus strapped on his breastplate and fastened his greaves. He merely nodded his head to his advisor and grabbed his barbarian sword and strapped it to his waist.

"How many do we have Sempronius?" he asked making a few last minute adjustments. He would lead the army to the gates of Thebes himself. The glory would be for him alone. And Veii.

"Two companies of Chariots, two archers and four levies of spearman,"

Lucullus grinned and stood up to his feet.

"More than enough," he said. "Get my chariot ready. I'll lead this war myself. Antonius won't get any glory from this fight. This fight is for Veii. For Veii men."

"You're leading the army my lord?" Sempronius asked incredulously. "My lord, dont you think-"

"I've led my armies in countless battles with barbarians since the founding of Veii," Lucullus said firmly. "I will not let some other man lead my army to battle."

"Of course my lord." Sempronius said in acceptance of the kings will. "And what of Veii, who will rule in your stead while you are away?"

"You will," the king said offhandedly. "I need someone I can trust to look after Salvius. Someone who I know will guide him as a true Veii warrior should I fall in battle."

"But my lord, I'm your -"

Lucullus held up a hand to forstall any further comment.

"You are my most trusted advisor, my best commander," he said. "I need you here to keep Veii safe. This may be to much of an opportunity for Antonius to resist."

Lucullus grinned and took his spears and javelins down off the wall.
"The swine won't dare try to take Veii with you at its walls," he said.
"This is true my lord," Sempronius agreed. "Do you suspect your brother?'

"Always my friend," the King of Veii said with a lopsided grin. "I wouldn't trust him anymore than I would trust a whore from Reme....speaking of which, send a runner to Titus. Let him know our armies march and the glory of the Latins will be ours. "

"It will be done my lord," Sempronius replied. "Word has already been sent to Arpinum to the two levies of spear there to meet your forces in Pisae."

"Good," Lucullus said with a nod. "We'll put them on the front lines. Let the Romans take the brunt of the casualties. Two thousand less spearmen for Antonius to aggravate the rest of us with. I swear, sometimes he's worse than Romulus."

The king of Veii gave his friend a pat on the shoulder and strode from his throne room, out into the courtyard and mounted his chariot.

"Keep an eye on my son Sempronius," Lucullus called out as he motioned to the chariot driver to start moving. "He's the future of Veii."


Oct 6, 2007
Junius' feet hurt. They'd been marching nearly 10 leauges a day for months now and he felt that his feet were about to give out. It was bad enough they had recently started marching across the northern sands of Pisae, but to do it in full kit was murder. Breastplate. Hoplon, spear and helmet. It wasn't fun in any sense of the word.

"How far do you think we're gonna go today," he asked Paulus, the man next to him.

"Right up to the spot where we camp for the night I'm guessing." was the smirked reply that he got.

"Thanks," Junius said kicking a bit of dust at his marching comrade. "I still don't see why we're marching down to Pisae anyways. Isnt Egypt the other way?"

Paulus laughed.

"We have to meet up with the men from Veii and then head up along the coast to Thebes," he said. "Don't you know anything. Or do you think our two levies of spear is going to be enough to conquer all of Egypt ourselves."

Junius scowled and shook his head.

"Ok smart guy," he started. "Tell me then, why in Mars name are we invading Egypt anyways. Thought they was our friends."

Paulus shrugged his shoulders.

"King says to. What else more do you want?"

"A little bit more of a reason than that," Junius said. " Especially if I'm potentially gonna be laying bleeding on Egyptian sands."

"Well thats all you're going to get kid," Paulus said simply. "They're kings, you're not. Kings get to do what they want and the rest of us have to do what they say. Even if that means a king doing something stupid and getting all us free spearman killed."

Junius kicked dirt in front of him as he marched.

"It's not fair," Junius grumbled. "I'm not doing this for any king."

"Right, then why are you doing it then?"

Junius shrugged his shoulders.

"I'm a latin free spearman," he said. "I'm fighting for my home, for my boy Lucius. I want him to have it better than I do. I'm just a farmer. "

"We're all farmers," Paulus said with a roll of his eyes. "Just didnt expect the levy to be called up for more than the summer months. Don't know how my fields are going to get harvested now. I was just expecting to be in army along the border until the season turned when I could go back and tend my crops. Doesn't look like we're going to be able to do that now. Hope my wife and boys are able to get it all in by themselves. Don't know what we're gonna do if they cant. "

Junius gave a dark laugh.

"I hear you there. I'm a client of the lord of Arpinum," he said. "If I don't get my fields done and taken to market I won't be able to pay my rent and......"

"Yeah I know," Paulus agreed. "Well can't think of that now. Got more to worry about at the moment. Like Egyptian spears jamming into our bodies. That's what we should be worried about."

Junius shook his head.

"I really don't want to think about that right now," He said. "More than enough time to think about that later when we're facing them."

"Yeah," Paulus agreed. "I hope those Egyptians have the same problems we do. Would hate to think that we'rte the only poor sods that have to worry about paying our rent when we arent out trying to get ourselves killed in battle."

"Yeah like we're the only ones who have to worry about things like that," Junius said. "Like we're the only ones that have kings trying to get us killed. That's likely."


Oct 6, 2007
"Six levies of spear, two of archers and two of chariots. Damn it to Hades. Thats not nearly enough."
"The king thinks it is Marius,"
Marius sighed and took his helmet off, resting it on the side of the chariot as him and his driver Silva watched the long column of Latin spears tramp past him.

"Not for a war like this. Not for an invasion," he said bitterly.

"What do you mean? We've been fighting each other for generations this way," Silva said resting the reins of his team on the front of the chariot. "Remember when we stormed that little town outside of Rome. Everything worked just fine."

Marius let his eyes wander over the spearmen. All drawn up into the three ranks of latin spearmen. The young Hastati, the ones who'd never seen combat in their lives. The Principes, they may have had a few seasons, not like the sturdy triarii following them. If he hadn't had the luck to find a pair of swords to sell in the last battle he was in, and gotten himself a chariot, Marius would have been with the Elite of the Latin army.

The system seemed flawed in some way that he couldn't quite pin down. Something was wrong and for some reason he had this feeling that this campaign would be a disaster because of it.

"Problem is brother, the serpent people don't fight like we do," he said. "We might be getting into something we can't win. This won't end well Silva. Mark my words."

"Oh you're just being a pessemist Marius," Silva remarked. "We're latins. The greatest people on earth. We can't lose."
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