1199 BR: The Children of Brennus

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1199 BR: The Children of Brennus

Post by Resentine-Vistula » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:34 pm

1200 BR, Mid Winter

The dead of winter had long settled over the southern plains and hinterlands of the Vistula River Basin. Though the few cities in the region still bustled with people, many towns and villages grew quiet as the inhabitants settled in for the winter as they did almost every winter. However, this winter thousands of men and women would leave their homes and make their way to the southwest passage that separated the Empire of Mare Nostrum from the Vistulan tribes. Though they were not in the area claimed by the Confederation, the hills and mountains of the southwest have often found themselves as ritual sites for warriors preparing to leave their homes. While many of these were often traditional pilgrimage trials, they also served as prayer and sacrifice sites to those marching off to war. It was the latter that would be occurring tonight, as thousands of Vistulan warriors gathered along the hills.

They were members of the Children of Brennus, a Vistulan Warband with almost a cult-like following among its soldiers. In Brennoi legend, Brennus was the leader of their old tribe, who led the last successful invasion and sacking of the Roma city-state before being defeated by a great Marian General Marcus Camillus. Though defeated and badly wounded, Brennus escaped, and had a vision of a great valley between two rivers where farming and fishing were plentiful to the far north. Though it took several hundred years, fighting through hostile tribes, terrain, weather, and many near massacres, the Brennoi finally arrived at their promised land. In honor of guiding them to it, the Brennoi chose a new name: honoring the leader who had guided them to their salvation. Though the Children honor that name, many members of the Warband blame the Marians for driving the Brennoi and many of the other tribes of the Vistula from their homelands. Both through advocacy to the Grand Council, small raiding bands, and quiet support for rebellious tribes in Marian Lands, the Children have long sought for revenge and victory over their former conquerors.

Lutumaros Aedia Travari exited his deerskin tent at the top of one of the forested hills. He was a tall and imposing figure, with a long, black knotted beard, wearing a light-green tunic and braccae, along with his battle-ready chain-mail armor and a long, bearskin cape. Though Lutumaros was Travari born, he was gifted command of the Children of Brennus around 10 years ago at the request of then the Speaker of the Council, Atesso Iriadunum Brennoi. Since then he’d become a veteran commander, fighting off the neighboring Saxonian tribes with extreme efficiency, but also becoming widely known for his brutality. His prestige led many warriors to flock to his banner, and even with the slow reorganization of the Vistulan Military into a more Marian style.

He exited his tent, making his way down the hill towards a large, unlit bonfire. Throughout his walk, he saw as more and more smaller campfires being lit, and with it hundreds of tents and thousands of warriors who sought to join him. Though he had long followed the orders of the High Chieftains and the Grand Council, he saw what was inevitable. The Marians slow encroachment towards the Vistula, their patrols going deeper into Saxonia and the conquest of Gallica centuries before that had driven both the Travari and Alarvi from their homelands. War was brewing. The Council refused to be proactive, cowering at the idea of facing the “invincible” Marian Legions. He’d hoped the election of Genna Vergovia Alarvi would change things, and that she would rally the Tribes to prepare for war, but even now the tribes still bickered, and Lutumaros could wait no longer.

Lutumaros walked up to the bonfire, which on the uphill side of it had an altar to Toutatis, the Vistulan God of War. One of his subordinates, a young but veteran Brennoi warrior known as Velagenus, gave him a long torch tied to a staff. With the torch, he lit the bonfire, watching it flare up in a large plume and then immediately settle. He then turned towards the large encampment below him, and his raspy voice boomed across the area. “Brothers and sisters, gather ‘round!” He waited, as the thousands of men and women who stood below him formed a semicircle around his hill. Once assembled, he began to speak as loud as he could, his voice seeming to echo across the camp. “For too long, the peoples of the Vistula have watched as the Marians marched across our brothers and sisters in Gallica and Saxonia. For too long, our council has sat quietly as the Marians stormed the tribelands, slaughtering our neighbors down to the children, and then selling them to slavery like some rabid beasts! No more shall we stand by, waiting for our leaders to act!”

An almost eerie silence crept over the crowd. Though many had long felt wronged by the Marians, and were annoyed by the Council’s almost eternal patience towards the southern foreigners, they also were unsure about outright defiance. Lutumaros began to try and rally them, “Should we wait until they come after our allies in Saxonia? Should we wait until they are pillaging the farming villages in the south? Maybe we wait until they’ve marched into Vergovia itself to burn down the Firehall? The Marians are coming, they are always on the march, ever expanding, and if we wait for them, they will slaughter us. Every Vistulan man, woman, and child will be threatened by them. The fact that our Council continues to wait is a disgrace on every tribe! If they refuse to act, then we must if we are to defend our peoples!”

Cheering and hollering began to emit from the crowd of warriors. Lutumaros had won them over. He walked over to the Altar for Toutatis, unsheathed his sword, and cut along the palm of his hand, allowing his blood to drip onto the altar. Putting his sword away, he closed his hand into a fist, and raised it into the sky. “Brothers and sisters, tomorrow, we will march south, and show these Marians that the peoples of the Vistula are not to be trifled with! And once we have defeated them there, we will march on Roma itself, as Brennus did sacking their city and burning it to the ground. We will seek revenge against the Marians, for driving us from our homes, for slaughtering the tribes of the North! We will show them what it means to fear the warriors of the Vistula!”

The crowd cheered, and as Lutumaros moved down the hill, many warriors began making their way up to make sacrifices of their own. Offering Animals, money, blood, and even several warriors built Wickermen and burned them for the gods to aid their quest. But regardless, the message was clear: together, they would march south, and they would either return victorious, or die on the field of battle.

With 10 thousand men and 1200 horsemen, Lutumaros marches south into the Empire, to pillage and destroy what he cannot conquer.
Last edited by Resentine-Vistula on Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[+] Nation Information
Nation: Vistula Confederation
Capital: Vergovia

Executive Branch: High Chieftan and Small Council

High Chieftain: Genna Vergovia Alarvi
Chief of Trade: Lugurix Averdia Vistali
Chief of Supply: Atporix Aedia Travari
Chief of War: Rikua Cenaricum Alarvi
Chief of Laws: Tascius Veridium Coii
Chief of Whispers: Caetia Adoridum Brennoi

Legislative Branch: Grand Council of Tribes

Council Speaker: Borsus Cantium Vistali

Judicial Branch: Council of Druids

Druidess of Vergovia: Audata Gotia Alarvi

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Re: 1199 BR: The Children of Brennus

Post by Resentine-Vistula » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:07 am

1199 BR, Late January, near the town of Dusentiata

Lutumaros looked over his warband as they crossed yet another snow-covered hill into the Imperial Province of Dacia. The trek through the Southwest passage had been rough, but not nearly as difficult as the direct route through the mountains would’ve been. Though several of his subordinates demanded the direct route, he felt it was better to take a longer route than lose warriors to the cold and brutal conditions of the mountains.

As night fell, and the Warband settled a camp for the night, Lutumaros along with his lieutenants patrolled the camp, making sure the troops were fed with what rations they could gather before their expedition south. Though they’d gathered enough to make the trek south, the moment the Children had abandoned their posts, they were on their own. There would be no resupplying until they’d raided a town or a Marian supply post. He would not be in as good a position as Genna when she inevitably followed his path south to stop him.

As morning came, the army gathered what they could from the snow-clad land to maintain their deteriorating supplies, packed up their camp, and continued the march south. By midday, several of his horsemen who were being used temporarily as scouts located some sort of settlement not far from their location. As they closed however, Lutumaros received reports of another place. Not a settlement like the one before, but a Marian fort, and a large one at that. They were far beyond the border forts of the frontiers by this point, so this fort could host thousands of Marians and be a real threat to Lutumaros’s future plans. His choice was clear: if he was going to continue his campaign, the Children of Brennus would have to face the Marians directly. He rallied his forces, and marched on the Marian encampment. As night came, the army would stop at a small forest a few miles north of the Marian Encampment, cutting down the trees to build their siege equipment. Time was against them as their supplies dwindled, so they kept construction down to simple ladders, hoping their numbers would win the day. Lutumaros met in his tent with Lieutenants to plan their assault.

They gathered around a rudimentary map of the fort based on the descriptions by their horsemen. Though it was fairly standard for the Marians; four large wooden walls, one gate on each wall, and missile towers on each corner of the fort. The true challenge would be whatever unknown lurked inside. After much debate, they elected to go with the simple approach: They wouldn’t have time to surround the Encampment, so they would focus their assault on the northern side. Once the infantry had taken the wall and secured the gate, the horsemen would flush in and finish the job. None of them had any reason to believe this would be an easy fight. The siege ladders would be finished during the night, and they would begin marching to the fort in the morning.

As the sun rose over the camp, with a light snow from a morning storm dusting over the Vistulan Warriors as they broke camp and marched south towards the Marian Encampment. As they assembled across from the North Wall, watching as the Marians took their positions on the top of the wall, Lutumaros rode out in front of his troops on horseback to rally them before the battle. "My Warriors! My brothers and sisters! We have marched a long ways to meet this inevitable conflict. Inside those walls lie thousands of Marian Legionaries, Legionaries who, in their quest for blood and conquest, would match north in the spring and slaughter those who would oppose them! Today, however, we shall stop that from happening. Today, you will honor your names, the names of our five tribes, and the name of Brennus. Today, we face the Marian dogs on their lands, not ours! Today, they will know to fear the warriors of the North!"

The army let out a resounding roar, banging sword and shield together and letting out war cries that could be heard by their Marian opponents. Lutumaros turned and pointed his sword at the fort, and the ten thousand warriors of the Children of Brennus marched forward into the jaws of death and war, determined to come out on top.

Missile fire pelted the Vistulan infantry as they made their way across the open field to the wall. Marian Archers in the towers did what they could to stem the oncoming tide of Vistulan warriors, but before long the Vistulans had their ladders in place and began ascending the north wall.

The battle on the wall quickly became a slog, shield walls of the Marians and the Vistulans crashing into each other, trying to break the other's line. For hours, the two forces clashed, with the Vistulans trying to link up and form a solid battle line rather than fighting in pockets along the wall. As midday approached, the several hundred Vistulans managed to form a cohesive line and began pushing the Marians away from the gate. This allowed several warriors led by Lutumaros's second in command Velagenus to break into the gatehouse and open the North gate.

Noticing the gate was now open, Lutumaros signalled towards the fort again, this time for his cavalry came charging forward, led by him, pouring through the North gate into the unprepared Legionaries who were expecting more Vistulan infantry. Carving their way through the Marian lines, both the Vistulans now in the camp and along the walls began pushing the Legionaries through the fort to the center of the camp.

It was at this point the Legionaries on the walls began to break, fleeing before the Vistulan forces could push them along the walls to the other gatehouses. Though many fled, battle raged inside the gathouses as several Legionary Centuries attempted to buy time for their fleeing comrades. The escaping Legionaries made their way as fast as they could away from the battlefield, marching off to the east towards the hilly heartlands of Dacia.

The forces in the center, led now by their Legate, were clueless about the battle on the walls, only watching and forming a square in the camp's main intersection as they watched their comrades flee into the snow covered grasslands surrounding the fort. They now stood alone, as the Children of Brennus, disinterested in chasing their fleeing comrades, surrounded the remaining cohorts and their Legate. Lutumaros rode forward into the space separating his forces from his opponent's. At the top of his lungs, he shouted in his best Latin, "Warriors of the Empire, you are beaten! Lay down your arms, and on the word of the Gods, you will not be harmed!"

An eerie silence broke over the battle as the Legate considered Lutumaros's offer. Though the silence didn't last long, as an arrow flew out of the Marian formation, striking Lutumaros in the chest, knocking him off his horse. The Vistulans let out a hotel across their whole army, and while some of the soldiers pulled Lutumaros into a tent, the rest of his warriors charged into the Marian formation, rage and fury possessing them as they cut down the surviving Legionaries, and taking the head of the Legate and mounting it on a spear planted outside of the fort. With the battle won, they could take what supplies the Marians had and begin counting their own dead. As they were throwing the dead into pyres to honor Toutatis, the Vistulans only counted several hundred of their own, only loosely counting the thousands of Marian Legionaries they slew, even though many had also escaped.

Lutumaros was lucky. Other than bruises sustained from the fall, the arrow shot missed anything vital, though he would have to stay bedridden for a few days to make sure that the wound didn't get infected. On the second day after taking the fort, Velagenus walked in to Lutumaros's tent. Though Velagenus himself was relatively clean, his armor was still covered in blood from the previous battle. Lutumaros chuckled slightly, "You know kid, you really should get that cleaned up. I know it looks nice but if the Marians see that they'll recognize you as a veteran warrior, and try and get their archers to shoot you first."

Velagenus looked down, drawing the outline of the bloodstain with his fingers. He then looked back to meet Lutumaros's gaze with a slight smirk, "No worries Chief. I'll clean it and the rest of the warband's armors, just like in the old days."

"You can fight well now, but your still as bad a liar as you were when I recruited you. But alas, you're not here to reminisce I assume. What have you got for me?"

"Well Chief, we’ve at least found quite a bit of food and water. The Marians were supplied recently, their food stores should last us at least another month or so.”

Lutumaros sighed with relief. “That will easily hold us over until we start raiding the nearby towns. At least food won’t be a worry.”

“Indeed. We also found quite a bit of Marian equipment. Armor, shields, swords, all brand new.”

“We can question the Marian way on many things, their skill in forging is not one of them. See to it that the armor is handed off to your unit and the others who led the way on the wall assault. They’ve earned it.”

“Very good chief. I’ll see to it immediately.” Velgenus began to leave the tent but paused and turned back towards Lutumaros. “One last thing boss. I’ve been talking with the other lieutenants about our current position. Several of them wanted to use this fort as a base of operations.”

Lutumaros seemed to ponder the question for a moment, but then quickly made a decision, “No.”

Velagenus was confused by this response. “Why not chief? It’s defensible enough, it’s close to a lot of raiding targets, and it’s fairly central at least to this part of the region.”

“If we stay here, we will only be inviting the Marians to attack us with their full force. Not just with any other legions that might be in Dacia, but with any legions that may come to reinforce them. We may need a defensible position then, but for now, we need to focus on the immediate threat. There were survivors, so there will inevitably be reinforcements. We need to act first in dealing with them. To do that, we need to find any other legions in the area and defeat them first. We’re in the West of the province now, and those survivors were fleeing east. We can afford to rest for a few days, but if we want to stay on top of this situation we will need to follow them east.” Lutumaros took a long pause, seemingly lost in thought, but then turned his eyes back on Velagenus, “We will rest here for a few days, let the troops revel in their victory. But once that’s done, we burn this fort to the ground, and we march east. Make this place a message, and the message must be clear: No Marian will stop us, not their Legions or their defenses will protect them. We are inevitable.”

Velagenus, though caught off guard a bit by this response, warmly acknowledged the orders. “I’ll let the men know and we’ll start preparations to burn it as soon as we can. Get well chief.” Velagenus left the tent, leaving Lutumaros to his thoughts about the upcoming campaign and what was next for the Children of Brennus.

Once Lutumaros was healed, The Children of Brennus picked up their camp and their battlefield loot and marched east, leaving nothing in their wake but ashes as they burned down both the fort that held them, along with any towns they encountered along their trail east.
[+] Nation Information
Nation: Vistula Confederation
Capital: Vergovia

Executive Branch: High Chieftan and Small Council

High Chieftain: Genna Vergovia Alarvi
Chief of Trade: Lugurix Averdia Vistali
Chief of Supply: Atporix Aedia Travari
Chief of War: Rikua Cenaricum Alarvi
Chief of Laws: Tascius Veridium Coii
Chief of Whispers: Caetia Adoridum Brennoi

Legislative Branch: Grand Council of Tribes

Council Speaker: Borsus Cantium Vistali

Judicial Branch: Council of Druids

Druidess of Vergovia: Audata Gotia Alarvi

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