Savage Rome

The Journey Part One
Introductions

Gaius Marcius Regillus is preparing to head to Magnus Minor on the North German border. He has been invited by Mamercus Cassius Paulus. Gaius Marcius Regillus is famous for his thrift, and has persuaded Vespasian that the Imperial Purse should finance the trip as the Senator has heard rumours of unrest on the border.

Vespasian as agreed as long as the Senator is accompanied by Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva served with the Emperor and Vespasian trusts him to provide an accurate military assessment of the situation.

Gaius Marcius Regillus brother has asked him to take Lucius Julius Regillus, his nephew, with him. He feels the young man needs to expand his horizons and leave the temptation and vice of Rome behind him. Lucius Julius Regillus thinks the trip will be a fine adventure and is accompanied by his more reluctant personal slave, Quintus the Slave.

Gaius Marcius Regillus has been provided with an escort of five cavalrymen, led by the dashing Centurio Servius Magius Druses. He has also enlisted Ragnar, a famous beastmaster. The opportunity to bring back some of the fabled wild beasts of the German forests, as well as having a German speaker shows unexpected wisdom from the Senator.

A late addition to the caravan is a Greek philosopher, Anaxagoras the Greek, who after handing the Senator a note is accepted by the scowling Gaius Marcius Regillus.

And so the companions get to know each other and internal conflict erupts..

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva offends the young Lucius Julius Regillus, who orders hapless Quintus the Slave to strike the tribune. Before the blow lands the Tribune’s knee to the balls leaves Quintus the Slave whelping and writhing on the floor, much to his master’s amusement.

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The Journey Part Two
North to Colonia Aggrippina

The caravan travelled North from Rome to Colonia Aggrippina without event, the journey being through the Empire and the escort of cavalry deterring any trouble.

Colonia Aggrippina is the last major settlement before the very edge of the Empire, but as Lucius Julius Regillus commented, “It isn’t Rome”.

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva approached one of the German merchants who thronged the market with a mixture of Gauls and Romans, and managed to get a rough map of the area the party were headed to.

Gaius Marcius Regillus was able to us his influence to arrange lodgings with Appius Fabius Flaccus, the leading citizen of Colonia Aggrippina. Ragnar was accommodated in the stables, while the rest of the party were invited to stay in Appius Fabius Flaccus’ town house.

Much to everyone else’s relief, Anaxagoras the Greek retired to his room to eat. The rest of the party settled into an evening of fine food and wine. As the wine flowed and Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva become more and more drunk, the Tribune told many long stories of his heroic deeds in the service of Rome.

As the time passed, Gaius Marcius Regillus and Centurio Servius Magius Druses, retired, the Senator announcing his intention to ride on ahead at first light, leaving the baggage to follow – including his nephew, the Greek and the Tribune.

[[:lucius-julius-regillus | Lucius Julius Regillus]], recalling how funny it had been to see Quintus the Slave writhing in pain, summoned his slave to strike Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva for some imagined (or real slight) – there had been rather a lot of wine drunk by this time. Before Quintus the Slave could land a blow, Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva kneed him in the crown jewels. With that everyone laughed and went to bed, apart from Quintus the Slave, who was left whimpering on floor, nursing his bruised manhood.

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The Journey Part Three
Into the woods or romping with wolves

Gaius Marcius Regillus, Centurio Servius Magius Druses, and the five cavalrymen had departed long before Lucius Julius Regillus and Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva awoke.

By mid-morning the various members of the party gathered in the courtyard of Appius Fabius Flaccus’ town house. Waiting with the wagons was a tall blonde man dressed in provincial Roman attire; he introduced himself as the guide for the journey to Magnus Minor – Herman the German. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva was suspicious of this unknown foreigner, but Appius Fabius Flaccus vouched for Herman the German, who was a well known pro-Roman German and can be trusted.

Friction between Anaxagoras the Greek and Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva grew worse. The tribune accused the Greek of sexual depravity and the Greek, in a fit of anger sneaked to the wagons to empty the Roman’s wine skins, before filling one with his own special herbal brew.

As the party head East the skies clouded over and rain began to fall. The path East headed into dark woodland. As the hours passed the evening drew in and the darkness began to gather as the rain grew heavier. The party asked Herman the German if there was a suitable place to camp. Herman the German said there was a clearing near a minor river a short way ahead.

As the party reached the clearing, the was an unnatural wail from the East. Ragnar said it was like no beast he had ever heard. Then there was a chorus of wolves. Ragnar advised the party to build a large fire. Anaxagoras the Greek stated this was incorrect as fire would attract the wolves, and clambered up a nearby tree. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva thought it would be good sport to dress the tree with raw meat. The Tribune also set Quintus the Slave to putting sharpened stakes around the clearing while he and Ragnar went to collect wood for the fire.

They wandered a short way along the path to the West to be met with the glowing eyes of a wolf. Ragnar throw a stone and hit the wolf, which scowled away.

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The fire built, Lucius Julius Regillus and the exhausted Quintus the Slave retired to his carriage while the others, apart for Anaxagoras the Greek remained in his tree, bedded down. It was at this point Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva discovered his wine skins empty and shook his fist and the Greek in his tree.

In the early morning Anaxagoras the Greek, Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva and Lucius Julius Regillus awoke to find themselves standing naked in the clearing surrounded by a massive pack of wolves. Lucius Julius Regillus kicked the sleeping Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva who would not wake.

A giant wolf approached through the pack and halted before the three heroes. The wolf pounced towards Ragnar who sidestepped and avoided the beast. Ragnar and Lucius Julius Regillus leapt on the back of the wolf, which easily shook them off. Anaxagoras the Greek watched events with a philosophical look on his face. The wolf turned and prepared to pounce, when a large black cat intercepted his leap. The two beasts rolled until the cat finally tore out the wolf’s throat.

At which point Lucius Julius Regillus woke up in his carriage, Anaxagoras the Greek clinging to his tree, and Ragnar by the fire. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva still lay there snoring. Of Herman the German there was no sign.

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The Journey Part Four
Breaking camp is hard to do

Lucius Julius Regillus awoke in his caravan to see an strange dwarf creature skulking in the corner. He ordered[[:quintus-the-slave | Quintus the Slave]] to investigate. Quintus the Slave found that the dwarf was in fact a small boy, Leandro Fino. Quintus picked Leandro Fino up by the scruff of his neck and hauled him out of the caravan.

The rest of the party were waking as Quintus the Slave and the struggling Leandro Fino emerged. Leandro Fino revealed his name and background, encouraged by Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva’s threat to cleave him in two.

At this moment Herman the German emerged from the road east with another new arrival. A petite young girl of outstanding beauty marred only by a missing arm. The party questioned the new arrival, Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva questions being interspersed with lewd and unrepeatable suggestions.

At this point the sound of cavalry approaching from the east halted the interrogation of the new arrivals.

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While Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva drew his sword, the rest of the party took cover and hide. Lucius Julius Regillus emerged from his caravan almost correctly dressed.

Gaius Marcius Regillus, Centurio Servius Magius Druses, and the five legionary cavalrymen rode into the clearing. Gaius Marcius Regillus informed Lucius Julius Regillus that the road to the east was out and the party would have to head back and take the longer road through Magnus Minor. With this news given he and his party rode off to the west.

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The Journey Part Five
The Debate

There followed chaotic scene as the party argued about where to go; whether to continue east or turn back through Magus Minor.

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva really didn’t care and cared even less when he found two amphora of fine wine among the gifts packed for Mamercus Cassius Paulus. After a few deep swigs the merry tribune tried to force everyone else to join him in a drink.

Anaxagoras the Greek was convinced that the party should abandon the Senators baggage and head east to get to Magnus Major as quickly as possible. Herman the German was in agreement, fearing to pass through the haunted ruins of Magnus Minor. Lucius Julius Regillus however refused to abandon his uncles baggage.

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva, having given a manful swig of wine to Leandro Fino decided to try his luck with the beautiful Anyaka. Having witnessed the lewd and course behaviour of Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva earlier sought the safety of the woods.

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Having failed to convince Lucius Julius Regillus, Anaxagoras the Greek decided to sabotage one of the wagons. Loosening one of the wheels, he found himself pinned under the wagon. Quintus the Slave was ordered to fetch a good stick and then gave the Greek a sound thrashing.

The mighty Ragnar, assisted by the one-armed Anyaka, levered up the wagon, freeing Anaxagoras the Greek and replacing the wheel.

Meanwhile Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva finally found a worthy drinking partner in Herman the German, who found the courage to head through the haunted village in the bottom of an amphora of wine.

And so, after breakfast the finally head off, west towards haunted Magnus Minor.

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The Journey Part Six
Another night in the woods

So they set off in the increasingly heavy rain.

Ragnar and Herman the German took the lead, followed by Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva, swaying in his saddle. Anyaka and Leandro Fino shared a horse, while Lucius Julius Regillus and Quintus the Slave shared the caravan. Finally the bedraggled and sulking Anaxagoras the Greek brought up the rear.

It was a late start and as the rain turned to sleet it became apparent that they would not pass through the haunted ruins of Magnus Major before nightfall Herman the German recommended halting in a clearing a mile or so from the village.

As the party set up camp (at least Quintus the Slave assisted by Leandro Fino did, Anyaka rode back to pick up the straggling Greek. Anaxagoras the Greek used all his philosophical self-control to remain a gentleman as he climbed up behind Anyaka in her increasingly translucent robes.

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And so they settled for the night; Lucius Julius Regillus and Quintus the Slave in the caravan, Anyaka sheltering beneath a wagon, the drunk Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva and Herman the German, joined by Leandro Fino snuggled together beneath a tarpaulin, Anaxagoras the Greek dozed by the fire (even though he thought it may attract wild beasts), and the stoic Ragnar surveyed the camp from the shadows of the surrounding woods.

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The Journey Part Seven
Disturbance in the night

Around 2 am a figure dashed through the clearing from the east before vanishing through the undergrowth opposite. Anaxagoras the Greek recognised Centurio Servius Magius Druses. Then suddenly in pursuit of Druses, one of the legionary cavalrymen rode into the clearing. Anaxagoras the Greek screamed as the horseman glanced around the clearing, sword in hand, before spotting the fleeing Centurio Servius Magius Druses and setting off after him.

Ragnar set off in pursuit, to be joined by Lucius Julius Regillus and Quintus the Slave, roused by the Greek’s screams. Anyaka remained hidden beneath her wagon. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva, disturbed by the noise was assured by Leandro Fino there was nothing to worry about and went back to sleep with Herman the German. Anaxagoras the Greek remained by the fire looking for more trouble coming from the east.

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Ragnar, Lucius Julius Regillus and the faithful Quintus the Slave followed the trail of the cavalryman as it descended a slope towards a small river. Coming to a steep drop, they spotted a fallen horse with a figure trapped beneath it. Ragnar saw a dark figure slip into the cold river. The pursuers descended the drop, using Ragnar’s ropes.

The found the legionary crushed beneath the horse. He was alive, but only just. Lucius Julius Regillus demanded to know what had happened to his uncle, Gaius Marcius Regillus. The legionary gasped “Dead” before passing away himself. Surveying the scene the players noted the legionary grasped his bloodied sword in one hand and his other hand clutched something to his chest. Ragnar sliced off the hand and opened it to reveal a perfectly round black pebble. Lucius Julius Regillus handed the pebble to Quintus the Slave to keep safe.

They then returned to the camp, Lucius Julius Regillus insisting that Quintus the Slave give the legionary a decent burial. After a brief conference, despite Lucius Julius Regillus’ desire to find out what had happened to his uncle, they agreed to wait until first light before carrying on to the east.

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The Journey Part Eight
Magnus Minor: a grim discovery

The morning commenced with light drizzle. There was no debate about which way to go nor any new arrivals. After the events of the previous night the party were keen to push on to Magnus Major.

After about an hour the ruins of Magnus Minor were spied down the track. Barely one stone stood up another. It was here that a grim discovery was made. There were five bodies, four legionaries and a fifth, dessicated corpse. The legionaries had all been beheaded and the heads were missing. The unidentified corpse may or may not be that of Gaius Marcius Regillus .

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Quintus the Slave was set to give the Romans a burial apart from one, that was being nibbled by a passing wolf. Ragnar dragged the mangled corpse to the edge of the village clearing.

Anaxagoras the Greek spotted evidence of a large beast moving into the woods from the clearing. He informed Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva , who told anyone who would listen that it may have been a were-shark.

As the rain closed in the party set off the the safety of Magnus Major.

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Arrival at Magnus Major

As the Sun began to set the party emerged from the woods into the land cleared around the settlement of Magnus Major. The smoke from the fires of homesteads and Magnus Major were visible.

As the wooden palisade of Magnus Major came into view, the party noticed a group of colonists and local Germans gathered around the moat. Has Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva and Lucius Julius Regillus approached they were halted by a Roman legionary, whose uniform was adapted to local fashion. This was Titus Fulvius Longus. He was left talking to Lucius Julius Regillus while Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva rode over to the moat see what the fuss was about.

The party observed that a bedraggled body was being hauled from the water, the body of Centurio Servius Magius Druses.

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Centurio Servius Magius Druses body was carried into the palisaded village and thence to the temple to be prepared for cremation the next day. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva sent Leandro Fino to remove the corpses head when he had an opportunity. While Titus Fulvius Longus escorted Lucius Julius Regillus, Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva, and Quintus the Slave to the hall of Marcus Tullius Montanus, the Germans and Greek decided the hospitality of a tavern in the German quarter outside the fortification would be more welcoming that the Romans. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva warned Anaxagoras the Greek to watch out for Swamp Demons, alarming some of the locals who overheard this exchange.

Marcus Tullius Montanus sat on a throne on a dais draped in wolf and bear furs. On the back of the throne flapped a large eagle, Around the hall loitered a number of Roman soldiers who had adopted elements of German dress. Marcus Tullius Montanus questioned the hapless three and Quintus the Slave, speaking out of turn, almost received a flogging.

The three stooges, Lucius Julius Regillus, Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva, and Quintus the Slave related a confused and incomplete narrative of recent events. After this an exasperated Marcus Tullius Montanus offered to put up Lucius Julius Regillus in his study while Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva decided to find the local tavern to indulge his weakness for alcohol.

Meanwhile, once the temple was deserted and all was quiet, Leandro Fino removed the head of Centurio Servius Magius Druses. With the head in his bag, he stepped out to find Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva.

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Perhaps the Greek and Germans will make better progress…

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A Night on the Town
An evening spent in Magnus Major or I kissed a girl and I liked it

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva headed to the Legionary bar within the Roman compound. The place was deserted apart from the miserable barman who served Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva a flagon of alcoholic vinegar he called wine.

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva had just settled down to drink, when Titus Fulvius Longus suggested he accompany him on ‘patrol’ to Servius Sulpicius Musa’s tavern in the German quarter. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva readily agreed and the set off, Titus Fulvius Longus easily persuading the sentry to open the gate. Seeing Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva leaving, Leandro Fino slipped through the gate after him.

Herman the German led the German part of the group with the Greek to Servius Sulpicius Musa’s tavern. The genial Servius Sulpicius Musa stopped chatting to a table full of merry local Germans to Ragnar, Anyaka, and Anaxagoras the Greek.

As the German-Greek contingent settled at a table, they noticed a shadowy figure sat, sullenly staring into his cup, Servius Scribonis Facilis, sat in a dark cornet. They overheard a heated conversation between Servius Scribonis Facilis and Servius Sulpicius Musa regarding his daughter and how he would be a good match for her.

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva arrived, closely followed by Leandro Fino. Anyaka ordered food and wine for the new arrivals, fearing Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva lack of manners would result in a bar-room brawl. Titus Fulvius Longus and Leandro Fino joined the bitter Servius Scribonis Facilis.

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The beautiful Flavia Musa entered the room with the food ordered. Anaxagoras the Greek noticed that she seemed to be flirting with Anyaka. After speaking to her father, Flavia Musa joined the Germans and the Greek. After playing with Ragnar’s Cat, she settled down to talk in hushed tones with Anyaka. Anaxagoras the Greek managed to conceal his excitement.

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