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Three Little Legionnaires Sitting on a Log..


Captain Enema
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[b]Gaul[/b]

Decanus Suwi Flavus is tired. He often has wonders if the old bit about coming back on your shield has anything to do with using it to have a bit of a nap, but somehow he doubts it. Not if his Decurio has anything to say about it.

"Decanus, report!" his Decurio Marcus Flavius Oregano commands him.

"Decurio, my patrol went as far as the river and back and we saw nothing amiss. No signs of dissent, nothing out of place," Suwi reports.

"Good, see to it your troopers are given an extra ration of wine tonight and turn in," Flavius Oregano states as he turns his attention to other matters.

"Rome sir!" Flavus says as he gives his Decurio the closed fist salute of the Roman Legions which causes his mailed fist to crash against the scaled armor that protects him. He's grateful its scale and not that atrocious lorica segmentata that the poor benighted foot troops are stuck wearing. "Damn stuff weighs close to sixty pounds," he mutters as he walks away to attend his duties.

Little does he know, fate will hold a cruel joke for him in the coming days, like a horny goat and a delicate virgin in the spring, like a 17 year old boy being sent to adult prison for holding up a liquor store with a banana, like a Mexican getting caught owning his own car in Hollywood, and like all cruel tricks of fate the poor Decurio won't be pleased with it.

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Tesserarius Octavius Leonius was sparring with his men, awaiting the word of the Optio.

"Excellent work, Julian! Just bring your sword into it a little bit more, and you'll have it down perfectly," said Octavius, marveling at how well his new recruits were doing in their training.

Octavius, after finishing the training with the men under his command, milled about the campsite, doing odd chores and helping the progression of things, wherever he could.

He walked towards one of his friends, Decanus Suwi Flavus. "GOOD MORROW, DECANUS," boomed Octavius, slapping his compatriot heartily on the back. "How be thee?"

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"Oh not to bad old boy, a bit of a stiffness in my back, but patrolling on a horse tends to do that," mumbles Decunas Suwi Flavus as he orders his unit of eight horsemen to see to their mounts and to stand down for the rest of the night.


elsewhere...

"The Romans are sitting there, dumb and blind. We should strike now and wipe them out," Gexxlian states.

"It isn't the Romans you see now, but the Legions that come later," his father remarks cryptically.

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The attack was swift. Octavius and many other men in his unit were sleeping when it happened. The shouts and carnage of battle awoke him as he leapt forward, grabbing for his sword and realizing that he had discarded his blade sometime before he laid down. He charged out of his tent and saw that the whole camp was in disarray. Some foreign threat had attacked them while they had been sleeping. He wondered briefly about what had happened to the night watch guards before an enemy came at him.

The first enemy that he saw was on horseback. He threw himself back into tent, narrowly dodging the spear that came towards him. He peeked his head out, and seeing that the horse rider had moved on, grabbed the spear and moved forward. The second threat approached him but this time he was ready. He crouched, and as the enemy drew closer he sprung forward, lunging out with the spear and hitting the man in the chest. As the figure dropped with a cry, Octavius dropped to the ground and picked up the fallen being's sword and shield.

He stood in the center of the camp, in the thick of the mess, calling out for his fellow Romans to rally around him, so they could get a defense going.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Suwi Flavus has just enough time to pull on his armor, grab his shield, and strap on his sword and stumble out of his tent in response to the chaos and carnage going on around him. "To Arms Legionnaires!" he screams as he wades into the fight to join whatever band of resistance he can find. Fighting on foot isn't one of his strong points, but the sudden attack had given him little choice in the matter.

Clearly a traitor is in their midst as the chances of the Gauls making it over the top of the Legion fortified encampment are slim. More than likely someone was paid off to let them in through the front gate. In the distance he spots Octavious and his lads putting up a strong fight. With nothing better to do he works his way over to their location and joins their ranks and takes up his blood coated sword in defense of his fellow Legionnaires.

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Octavius nodded at his fellow compatriot, once he noticed him, but regretted it right after the action. His loss of concentration, even for a minute second, had caused him to be hit by something. As he looked back, he saw a Gaulish sorcerer, far in the back of the battle. The sorcerer had sent a spell that knocked down the front line of the Romans, and as they stood back up, something horrifying happened to the Gaulish soldiers.

The sorcerer had cast a spell and the Romans watched in horror as no less than forty of the Gaulish soldiers in front of them began to violently convulse. They all screamed, as the skin around them began to deteriorate rapidly, and something bright green, their souls, were ripped from their bodies. The souls traveled back to the sorcerer, adding to his power. The husks, the fallen Gaulish soldiers, now soulless, rose from their crumpled positions on the ground, and began to attack the Romans in earnest.

The fiends were persistent, and agile, something you did not expect out of a walking cadaver. Octavius was surprised that the Romans hadn't had the spell turned against them - he realized that the Roman sorcerer with their legion was still alive, and was protecting them. He sent word back with a runner to tell the sorcerer to use some kind of anti-spell, or at least a spell that would kill off some of the creatures. Like his fellow legionaries, he waded into the blood, relishing the battle.

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Suwi takes one look at the enchantment going on in front of him and makes a snap leadership decision. He holds up his sword, points it at the Gaulish sorcerer in the distance and screams, "KILL HIM!"

He then holds up his shield and pushes forward. He does not look to the left or the right of himself. Only forward as he fully expects his fellow legionnaires to fall in with him and help protect his flanks. To his rear a few remaining archers pop up and begin to pelt the Gaulish ranks with arrows as they take aimed shots at the Gauls. Next to them a few wounded Legion Engineers who survived the initial rush manage to deploy a single remaining ballista.

Across the encampment surviving Legionnaires begin to form up from smaller groups to larger groups as they push to join ranks. With the shock of the Gaulish surprise attack wearing off the hours and hours of training and discipline reasserts itself, which represents the hard inner core of the Legion. Discipline, where other armies falter and lose their spirit, the Legion always has their training to fall back upon.

Suwi's barked order galvanizes the soldiers as they respond to the reassertion of command. From the Chaos comes the glimmer of order, and with that glimmer of order comes the seed of possible victory, not much of one though, as the Gauls outnumbered the Legionnaires by about 10 to 1 and still have surprise in their favor. Perhaps though survival might be victory enough.

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Suwi's charge was answered by Octavius and the rest of the Romans. While Suwi ws on the other side of the group, he still pushed forward, first with his shield, and then with his sword. The battle had been an uphill battle from the start - now that the Gaulish cadavers were in the mix, it had become ten times as hard. The Cadavers wouldn't stay dead, even after they'd been completely reamed of their limbs. Now that the Roman sorcerer was secured behind the lines, and was aware of the cadavers, he began to make short work of them - every few seconds a few of the cadavers would burst into flames, their body vaporizing.

Octavius pushed through the Gauls, cutting a swath through them. Soon enough, Octavius, along with Suwi and roughly twenty other legionaires, had surrounded the sorcerer. "CHARGE!" Shouted Octavius, gritting his teeth and rushing forward with his sword.

The sorcerer had been prepared for this though, and a shockwave ripped through the ground. Numerous, and less-stout, Romans fell to the ground. When they hit the ground, large, bony hands reached up through the ground, grabbing them at every possible angle and tugging. Within seconds, they were ripped apart by the hands, their screams dying out. Octavius, Suwi, and the few other legionaires dodged around the sorcerer's next spell - bolts of fire, rising up from the ground, and closed in for the kill.

Octavius scored a blow on the man's left shoulder, while another Roman scored a hit on the sorcerer's leg. A third one scored a hit on his face, forcing the mask on it to the side. Octavius and the other legionaires jumped back in revolt as they stared at the being's proper face, and as it began to transform. The Gaulish sorcerer's face was fanged, with eight eyes staring at them, of various sizes. The being spat at one of the Romans, catching him in the stomach. He screamed, clutching his gut, as acid tore through his body.

The sorcerer began to quake, and a horrible ripping sound was heard as appendages sprouted out of its back - the sorcerer was in fact a human-arachnid hybrid. As the thing reverted back to its original form, it continued to hurl acid and spells at the Romans, who blocking with their shields and assistance from their own sorcerer, began to hack away at the creature's spindly legs.

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Magic is all good and well, but Romans are Romans and Romans tend to rely on practical solutions for impractical problems. As Suwi charges forward the ballista crew in the rear of him takes careful aim at the Gaulish magic user. A six foot bolt of iron and wood screams it way at the man as his attention is fixed upon the charging and weaving Romans led by Suwi and Octavius. That's not all that is hurtling its way towards the Sorcerer.

As the Roman line smashes its way forward it closely followed by their hired auxiliary troops. The auxiliary archers, natives of Briton, take careful shots at the Sorcerer as well. Well aimed shafts of death flick towards the the man as the Archers come into proper range. It would seem as if the ballista crew held their fire until the Archers gave the proper signal, this is very much the case.

Tactics, discipline and so forth dictating a logical solution to a inconvenient problem are all the hallmarks of Roman warfare. Throughout the rest of the camp the former Mounted Legion of 3000 men is pulling itself into the semblance of a formation. With the Sorcerer of the Gauls under the combined assault of a Roman mage, Roman Archers, and a Roman ballista it is only a matter of time before Suwi, Octavius and the rest fall back to rejoin the main body of the Roman survivors after eliminating the Sorcerer or at the very least driving him off.

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The battle had begun to wear out. The Romans pushed the cadavers back, with the help of their own sorcerer, and the rest of the Gaulish warriors were fleeing. The Roman cavalry had arrived and cut through their ranks quickly, chasing down the few stragglers that attempted to get away..

The Gaulish human-arachnid hybrid sorcerer was finally put down. The combined might of the Roman sorcerer, the ballista, the archers, and Octavius and Suwi hacking away at it brought the feral beast down. As it crumpled forward, Octavis ran his sword through its skull, ensuring that the beast was down for good. As the creature fell, the souls of the people it had captured shot forward into the sky before winking out of existence.

---

Later that night, there was much rejoicing amongst the Romans. The legion, after having broken away from the Church in Rome, had been on its own for quite some time. But Octavius had a plan to deal with the Church, but first, they would need a base of operations. He turned to Suwi, gesturing towards the command tent.

A map had been laid out across the table, with their current location, and numerous other land marks pinned down. "Suwi: if we are to overtake the Church, and by extension, Rome itself, we must first secure a stable area. The Gauls have a city, to the north of us, Lutetia. It would work perfectly - the only downside is, it's heavily fortified by Gaulish sorcery, troops, and they are being aided by a local clan of assassins. We only have a few thousand men at our disposal - do you think we'll be able to break through?"

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"We had three thousand, we now have about eight hundred left, but we can break through. We merely have to utilize the indirect approach," Suwi replies as he motions to the city on a well drawn Roman map. He sets up several small blocks of wood to represent other Roman garrisons in the area of smaller sizes.

"If we gather these men, probably bring us up to six thousand strong, we lure the Gauls out of Lutetia, and slaughter them in the fields we have a chance of winning. Depends alot though and which way these axillary units jump. Being hired troops and all their loyalty isn't assured," Suwi concludes.

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"Then it's settled then! We march to Lutetia!" said Octavius, laughing. "Let us celebrate our victory, for until we win at Lutetia, this will be our only time to be joyful!"

---

The next day after the celebrations the group began their long march towards Lutetia, recruiting former Roman garrisons along the way. They too had separated with the Church, since it began using a strange new form of magic known as 'technology'. The increasingly 'technological' Church had developed all sorts of inventions and destructive devices outside of normal, and magical, usage. It was the prime reason why so many Romans had rebelled. To add to it, the Church had been sharing the secrets with certain groups, who had used it to do nothing more than attack Roman lands with it.

As the Roman numbers swelled, a plan was engineered to lure at least a fair portion of the Gaulish army out of Lutetia. With at least half of the Gauls in a valley, Lutetia would only have its defenses and a meager two thousand men to defend it with. As a lure-division was placed into the valley, consisting of a thousand Romans, the rest of the Legion's five thousand were placed on either side of the valley, evenly at twenty-five hundred, waiting for the perfect time to strike.

Octavius was with the group in the center of the valley as the Gauls began to assemble in front of them. War horns sounded, and at least three thousand of them had left the safety of Lutetia to decimate the Roman legion before them. As they lined up, infantry in the front, beasts next, archers, and then sorcerers, in all their disgusting hybridness. "To ARMS!" shouted Octavius, as the legion stood at battle-readineeess.

The Gauls would be the ones to attack first, sending out massive feline-esque monsters. They were being ridden by the Gauls, with massive 'huts' on top of the beasts, with at least a dozen men in them, all armed with archery weaponry. The 'cat' itself had fangs akin to a saber tooth, with numerous tentacle-like appendages sprouting from its face, all ending with a small, gaping mouth, with rows of razor sharp teeth protruding from it.

Roman sorcerers had an answer to this though: Using the souls of the fallen Roman soldiers (the feline-beasts had already begun to wreak havoc on the one thousand men in the valley), and using the ground itself, created massive earthen, soul-fueled monstrosities to combat the feline beasts. Encased in a glowing, green flame, the earthen creatures began to do battle with the felines, while the Romans from either side of the valley began to pour in, to cut off the Gauls and surround them.

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Suwi looks back on his 1000 mounted soldiers with a small measure of pride. The march to this miserable little Gaulish city had allowed him time to rebuild around the losses taken in the opening battle of this cursed campaign. Of the 800 survivors, 600 were inducted directly into Octavius's 5000 men to serve as the backbone of his officer and centurion corp.

The 200 left to him were added with dribs and drabs of the equites that flocked to his standard. The Wolf's Head standard to be specific. Rather than the traditional Roman Eagle or something to that effect the head of a wolf sits on top of his cohort's standard. The Wolf's Head signifying the burning desire of his men to claim justice by the sword from the Church of Rome. Those 200 men wheezed and gasped their way up to the 1000 that fill their ranks now, requiring certain adjustments.

The old Alae style formation of 700 men plus officers had been abandoned. The Wolf's Head Cohort consists nearly entirely of heavy mounted men holding a stout oval shield, thick scale armor, a spatha, and a throwing lance. This more modern heavy shock style had been eagerly embraced by the Italian and Roman citizens who fill the ranks of the Wolf's Head Cohort.

Bitter men for bitter times Suwi thinks to himself as he examines the faces of his cohort. Volunteers from the disenfranchised men who have lost their lands to the avarice of the Holy Roman Church. Revenge drives them, anger fuels them, and the unquenchable thirst for justice blinds them to the fact they are rebelling against god himself. The Wolf's Head Cohort, the seed of what Suwi hopes will be the Wolf's Head Mounted Legion, quietly proceeds toward Lutetia to carry out their part of the operation.

A quick attack, stir up the Gauls, and get them to pursue. What possible could go wrong?

Edited by Tidy Bowl Man
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