Before telling the story, here’s some info:
I thought it would be a nice challenge writing a story about my game I played with the Julii in Rome Total War.
Why pick the Julii, the Brutii are so much easier? True, but I like the challenge in controlling my fellow Romans. Besides, as a Roman era junky, I like to relate to Gaius Julius Caesar who was a family member of the influential Julii family.
I play this game with both difficulties set to medium and ticked the box saying no battle time limit.
In this story I will not write about everything, just the key moments in short stories. I hope you enjoy the story.... and don't complain too much about typing or grammatical errors (English is not my native tongue) ;o).
Summer 270 B.C. – Flavius Julius left the senate in Rome, after weeks of discussion and debating with the other senators, to join his family in Arriminum. The senate agreed that the three most influential families of Rome are to lead our people to great victories. The Julii are among those chosen families and as Flavius arrived in his villa, his three sons, Lucius, Quintus and Vibius, were waiting for him. “Sons” Flavius spoke as he entered the room, “I grow weary of these fools in the senate. They think they are Rome, but little do they know about its full potential. We will fulfill our potential and will lead our people to greatness beyond the comprehension of mankind”. All three nodded and started smiling, “Yes father!”, they shouted. “Come my sons, let us gather in our library and pull out the maps of the area. We have many things to plan” Flavius said. The rest of the day they spend debating on the best strategy until nightfall had long passed.
As was agreed, Flavius rode out towards Mediolanium, a city along the north western region, while Lucius stayed and governed Arretium on behalf of the family, while Quintus settled and lead the production and training of new troops and equipment in Ariminum. The youngest of the three sons, Vibius, was to scout the northern eastern lands that were on the foot of the mountains, known as the Alps. Just as Flavius was about to cross the border into barbarian lands, a scout caught up with him and handed over a message from the senate. “Your orders, sir” he said when he turned around his horse and swiftly turned back towards Rome. Flavius opened the scroll and after reading it carefully, handed it over to his captain while gazing into the wild yonder and said “If we do this properly, without too many casualties, we could kill two birds with one stone”. A grin revealed his face and his captain well understood Flavius’ intentions and shouted “Move out men!”
“There it is” Flavius said to his captain “Segesta, a meaningless village along the coast. Why is Rome interested in this place?” he continued.
“Perhaps it is to keep us busy, sir?” the captain asked.
“Well observed Lentulus , well observed” Flavius replied. “Ready the men, let’s deal with them and carry on towards Mediolanium. Our informants tell me it is a very interesting city that should embrace Roman rule or suffer the consequences.”
“How many men have we lost captain?” Flavius asked. “Only 10 men have given their lives for you, sir” Lentulus responded. Flavius looked at the village and its surviving inhabitants and with a loud voice he said “Hear me Segesta, for I am Flavius Julius of the Julii, ruler of the Northern lands. You shall obey me and my family, failing to do so, and you will be crucified!” He turned to his captain and said “Send a scout to Arriminum and have my son send a cohort to this place. I see some potential in this village after all.” “Yes, sir” was the response. “And Lentulus” Flavius shouted as the seasoned soldier ran off towards a group of men “Sir?”.
“Rally the men, we are moving out immediately!”
“Yes, sir!” captain Lentulus shouted back with a smile as the excitement of further victories entered his mind.
Winter 270 B.C. - Flavius' army arrived not far from Mediolanium. "Set up camp!" Flavius shouted "We will siege the city tomorrow". His men quickly started to gather wood and started placing the tents before preparing siege equipment. While the soldiers worked on the encampment, a scout rushed on his horse towards the main tent "General!" he shouted while he halted his horse and jumped off. "General!" he shouted again, "the barbarians send out a small army and will be here within a day". "Captain Lentulus" Flavius spoke after gathering his thoughts and with a frown on his forehead, "Have the men prepared for battle before nightfall. I expect to meet the Gauls on the battlefield at dawn, so it will be a short night."
"Sir" the captain responded.
Dawn. The sun was still low in the sky, just above the tree tops. Ranks of soldiers stood side by side awaiting the enevitable: a first confrontation against real soldiers. The battle in Segesta can't be compared with the battle that was about to begin. There were peasants and a small band of armed men that could hardly be called soldiers who were defending the village.
It was a beautiful day, not too cold for a winter and birds were singing their song, not knowing of the bloody confrontation that would happen in a few moments. On the horizon the outlining of a small army appeared, marching towards Flavius and his even smaller army. Flavius sat on his horse coughing nervously as he was not too sure about how his men would respond to this fight. He had faith in his own ability as a leader, but guarentees about the outcome, he could not give. He clinched his heals slightly and his horse started walking slowly in front of the troops. Looking upon his hestati troops, the youngest of the forces, he knew he should give them words of encouragement. "My sons" he started as his horse was walking in front of the young ones. "We are about to face our first serious test. And Jupiter has chosen the Gauls as your worthy victims." Flavius' face showed small signs of anger as he continued "We will stand firm and show them no fear. I have given Mars my promise of sacraficing these Gauls if our War God will aid us today. We shall not fail! We shall not fear! And we surely not flee as WE... ARE.... ROMANS!" As Flavius shouted these last words, his face was full of anger and his men cheered and shouted Flavius' name from the top of their lungs.
Flavius sighed and sat down in his chair as his age was starting to take its toll more and more after a day of battle. Captain Lentulus entered the generals tent and saluted his superior. "General" as Lentulus broke the silence "I am pleased to say we only lost 6 of our soldiers and send lots of them into the abyss".
"Jupiter and Mars be praised."
Summer 269 B.C. - Vibius looked at his small band of inexperienced men and he could not help thinking he had done something wrong to displease his father. Why else would he send me to Patavium with so few men. As he was about to order to break up camp, a courrier entered the encampment. Easing his horse, the steed slowed down untill the stallion stopped in front of Vibius. "Sir" the courrier said as he handed over the scroll. "Your father sends words." Vibius opened the scroll and let out a sigh of relief. "Centurion Marcus, break up camp" Vibius shouted "We are ordered to join my father in his siege of Mediolanium."
Vibius looked up towards the sky, mumbled some words and put a smile on his face.
"We must be getting close to the city" said Vibius as he looked at the increasing number of farms his band stumbled upon. "Autumn is upon us, sir" Centurion Marcos seemed to be happy when he spoke these words. "Let's hope the Gods have favoured us as their loved ones, sir, and we will soon join your father." Vibius nodded while he tore off a small piece of bread and put it in his mouth. The two officers chatted a little bit about the good life in Arretium and how they were hoping to return to their beloved city after this campaign in the north, when all of the sudden one of the forward scouts returned with an arrow in his right shoulder. Marcus ordered his horse up to full speed offering his help to the scout. "I am sorry sir" the scout whispered with one of his last breaths. "I am sorry I wasn't more carefull and let them see me. The Gauls are in the woods only half a day marching from here. We are heavily outnumbered." Having said these last words, the scout slowly lost his conciousness and the words he mumbled made no sense to the centurion. Marcus turned his horse and rode swiftly to Vibius while shouting "The Gauls are here".
"And so my final test begins" Vibius mumbled to himself.
With less than half of the enemies forces left running, Vibius shouted "Rome demands victory". Adrenaline flowing heavily through his veigns he wanted to persue the fleeing army and slay as many of the pathetic Gauls as he could when he was halted by his trusted friend Marcus. "Please sir, we have sustained a lot of casualties and we need to mover to your father as fast as we can." Vibius grunted "Bah! Why not grant me this pleasure?" he questioned. "Let these walk" Marcus replied "and have a greater victory another day."
Vibius nodded "You're right my friend, apologies, let the men have some rest and make sure they are prepared to move out soon."
Winter 269 B.C. - "The siege of Mediolanium has gone on for almost a year sir" Lentulus said to Flavius as he felt a shiver going down his spine. "When will we sound the attack?" Flavius gazed upon the city which was covered with snow, then slowly turned to Lentulus and replied "when the snow has melted, they will be weakened enough and we should be able to overrun the city."
One of the camp guards walked up to the two officers, saluted them and handed over a scroll and said with a soft voice "word from Vibius general." Flavius opened the scroll and and read the report about the battle that occured earlier.
"They say Eporedorix got killed during this battle as well" said the guard "and apologies general, but there is no time to mourn, they are moving this way as we speak."
"And we will not only face them, but they will pay for this!" Flavius responded.
"Too bad my son could not witness this battle by my side" Flavius grunted still with anger. Lentules was a little surprised his leader was still filled with anger. "There is nothing we can do about it, it is in the hands of the Gods" Lentulus spoke cautious. "Yes we can" Flavius responded with rage, "the people of Mediolanium will pay with their lives!"
[To be continued]