Savage Rome

The Black Hill
Descent to Doom!

With dawn the party roused themselves and set off North, arriving at the foot of the Black Hill in the late morning.

The hill was surrounded by a rough fence, with a simple wooden building at the foot. At the summit of the hill there could be seen a large black obelisk, similar to the Black Pebble (of Doom). Ragnar cautiously explored the circumference of the hill while the rest of the party entered the wooden building.

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Inside the building, which creaked with age and decay, there was little to see in what must have been a German temple of shrine. At one end there was a simple stone altar on which a roughly hewn wooden figure sat. On examination, this appeared to be of a man with two faces. Tribune Nerva, displaying his usual cultural sensitivity, smashed the figure from the altar and then set about the altar itself in a fruitless assault.

The party, minus Ragnar, climbed to the summit, Tribune Nerva carrying a useful length of wood obtained from the dilapidated fence.

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Passion in the Forest
or Deep Throat in the trees

The journey North was quiet, too quiet. Lucius ordered Quintus sing to keep everyone’s spirits up. Encouraged with the wine they had consumed, Tribune Nerva and Titus joined in, adding a few rough Legionary alternative verses that would make a sailor blush.

As the Sun the party prepared to camp in a clearing for the night. As they did so, an agonised human (barely so) wail could be heard to the North. It was getting to dark to continue so they continued to set up the camp. They agreed on watches. Lucius and his posse settled in his tent. Flavia persuaded Lucius to take a walk into the woods, without Quintus. Lucius, thinking he was on a promise agreed and walked out with Flavia. Quintus remained in the tent as ordered, although the jealous Fredriech, encouraged by Ragnar, followed at a discrete distance.

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Once a short distance from the camp, Flavia threw Lucius to the ground and attempted to insert her inhumanely tongue into his mouth. The screaming Lucius struggled to escape her grasp. His screams brought Fredriech dashing to the rescue, only to see him stumble and fall. Nevertheless, the sound of help approaching and Lucius’ continuing resistance persuaded Flavia to flee and Lucius lost sight of her in the dark forest.

Shaken, Lucius returned to his comrades with s strange tale of how Flavia had attacked him. After a quick discussion of how there were myths involving the impregnation of unwary youths by demons and whether or not they should either behead or burn Lucius (or maybe both), it was decided he seemed himself and that no action need be taken (but no doubt he would be watched closely, if only by the besotted Fredriech).

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Breaking Camp
A parting of the ways as Leandro Leaves and Titus joins the party

As the foresters’ camp broke, Titus, Montanus’s right-hand man rode into the camp. He had been sent with news of the riots in Magnus Major and the escape of Horsa, Son of Theodric. Now Horsa was free there was nothing to deter Theodric from his raids of Roman territory. Titus had bad news for Titus Didus, the forester. His brother, Marcus had been found dead in Magnus Major. There had been no signs of trauma so either his heart gave out or he had contracted swamp-fever.

Titus announced that all Roman’s should move to the protection of Magnus Major. He was concerned that the party didn’t wish to join the foresters and travel to the fort. However, when he heard that the planned to head the the Black Hill he was easily persuaded to accompany them.

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It was decided that Flavia and Leandro should join the caravan to Magnus Major. However, Flavia insisted in accompanying the party and would not hear of leaving them.

And so our heroes headed North into the forbidding forests….

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Back to the Foresters' Camp
North to Doom

The party set off North along the trail to the foresters’ camp. As they rode along the trail, they heard the sound a a large beast moving through the woods towards them, from the river to the east. Tribune Nerva announced that it would be a wereshark. Taking flight, they party rode for their lives.

The beast appeared to cross the trail and continue west. The party, finding their courage, rode back. Ragnar picked up the trail and identified bear tracks. Tribune Nerva insisted it was a wereshark. Hearing the sound of more movement the woods to the west, our heroes decided to linger no longer and headed to back north.

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Continuing on they arrived at the camp just as the sun began to set. They were greeted by Titus Didus, brother to the headman of the foresters’ camp. Informed of recent events, Titus grew increasingly concerned that his brother, Marcus Didus had not returned from Magnus Major. A hut was made available to the party and Titus announced that the foresters would be leaving for Magnus Major in the morning.

Tribune Gaius spent the evening discussing the art of Roman woodcraft with the locals and exchanging tales of daring during his time following the Eagles.

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Awaking Quintus prepared breakfast and persuaded Fredriech that Lucius would prefer a conventional water bath rather than his special German shower.

As the foresters prepared to leave the party’s breakfast was interrupted by the thunder of hooves…

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Horror at the Villa
Where is the Greek?

Seeing smoke on the horizon towards Paulus’ villa, the party set off.

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Arriving they witnessed a scene of carnage. Headless corpses littered the area in front of the villa, all dressed as slaves apart from one, an elderly male dressed in female clothing. The villa was smouldering, the origin of the fire appearing to be the library. Leandro searched the library but could not find a trace of Anaxagoras the Greek.

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Leandro found the entrance to the cellar. Hearing a whimpering within he was about to pick the lock when the brutish Tribune turned up and kicked in the door.

Descending the steps Leandro found a small nervous puppy. Gathering up the puppy he rejoined the rest of the party before the headed North, planning to investigate the dark Black Hill, taking the fight to the evil spirits, planning to spend the night with the Foresters.

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The Germans are coming....
Morning in the homestead: Goodbye Anyaka

The cock crowed and the party awoke. Tribune Nerva and Lucius decided to head to the headman’s hut, accompanied by Quintus to question Horsa and Anyaka.

The Tribune hoped to burst into the hut, but thought better of it as a couple of rough looking Germans standing guard. Horsa glared at the two Roman’s as they entered. The Tribune aggressive questioning drew little from the churlish Horsa. Anyaka interceded with Lucius who managed to restrain the Tribune.

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The questioning was interrupted by the thunder of hooves. Theodric, chief of the Suebi and Hengist marched into the hut. Theodric taking in the scene embraced Horsa. He then turned angrily on the Romans and demanded to know what they had done to his son. Anyaka managed to explain that Montanus was responsible.

The Germans, lifted the weak Horsa from his staw bed and prepared to leave. Glances were exchanged between Hengist and Anyaka. Smiling, [:hengist | Hengist]] invited Anyaka to join him as she would highly respected in his tribe. This was too good an offer to refuse and feeling little affection for the Romans, Anyaka rode into the sunrise with the Germans.

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A Night in the Homestead
Lucius and his posse relax in the barn or a 3-Way Rub

The Homesteaders emerged to see the strange group riding in from Magnus Major. When they recognised Horsa, Son of Theodric, there were whispers heard by the more observant that he was a prince of the Germans.

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Horsa and Anyaka were guided to the best hut in the homestead, while the rest of the party were taken to the barn, the German Homesteaders dispersing when it was apparent that Lucius the ‘clown’ would not be performing tonight.

The Tribune and the Boy settled together for the night. The injured Ragnar rested uneasily having lost an eye in the burning tavern. Flavia massaged Lucius’ head while Fredriech occupied himself with his feet.

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And so they drifted into sleep…

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Trouble at the Villa
A Greek Tragedy

Meanwhile at the villa

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Fire!
Or the Great Escape

The party rode towards Magus Major as the Sun began to set in the West. As they drew closer they could see that buildings in the German quarter were ablaze. A small group of Germans had gathered before Musa’s tavern, which was already aflame. There was a figure slumped on the ground and the party could here the cries of a woman within the building.

Our heroes leapt into action. The Tribune rode into the crowd of jeering Germans, setting about them with his sword, while brave Fredriech protected his flank. Lucius, Quintus, and Leandro set about the wattle of the rear of the tavern. Anyaka disappeared into the night…

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Lucius, Quintus, and Leandro soon made a gaping hole in the side of the Tavern. The dashing Lucius ran up the burning staircase to rescue the swooning Flavia. Meanwhile, Tribune Gaius had, slaying several, put the Germans to flight. Leandroran over to the slumped figure; it was Ragnar who had received a blow to the head and was bruised and battered.

As Lucius helped the breathless Flavia from the burning building, she explained that her father was away trading. As she gazed longingly into the eyes of the heroic Lucius, Fredriech shot him a glare. However, Fredriech ill-temper melted as Lucius gave him a winning smile.

At this point, the party heard shouting from the fort tower; looking up they saw a chained figure dragged to the tower battlement, which then appeared to be pushed from the tower to plummet into the moat.

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Quintus saw Anyaka dive into the moat and dashed to help her. Using a ladder, he was able to help Anyaka and the stranger from the dark water. They were soon joined by Lucius and the others, Lucius having refused to leave without the faithful Quintus.

There was a harsh bray of trumpets as the gates swung open and the legionaries advanced out, cutting down all in their path. The German mob routed and ran for their lives. The party took advantage of the confusion and rode to Fredriech’s homestead…

Postscript: until this point Lucius thought Anyaka was a young boy, but observing Anyaka’s feminine curves beneath her damp clothes realised his mistake.

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Back to Magnus Major
I predict a riot

The party continued their investigations but were interrupted by the arrival of a horseman; Fredriech, clad in leather and astride a mighty stallion.

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Unrest had spilled over into open rioting in the streets of Magnus Major. Fredriech had ridden hard to bring news and warn the Romans. Having delivered his message he shot a wink at Lucius, who chose to ignore Fredriech‘s overt advances but taking command, decided the party should hire horses from the Foresters before return to Maguns Major, stopping off at Mamercus Cassius Paulus’ villa to advice him of developments and to consort with the Greek.

Anaxagoras left the library at Paulus’ villa when he heard the noise of the arriving horsemen. While Lucius explained recent events to Paulus, Anyaka and Anaxagoras discussed recent events and the significance of the Black Pebble.

There were signs of smoke towards Magnus Major. Anyaka and Fredriech leapt into action, riding for Magnus Major. Anaxagoras and Paulus elected to remain at the villa. The rest of the party, Lucius, Quintus, Leandro, and the Tribune set off on the heals of Anyaka and Fredriech.

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