Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Julius Crassus vs. the Gothians

Dear Gaius, I hope this letter finds you well. I am so happy that your wife is once again with child! Truly you are blessed with many fine sons and daughters. Not a day goes by when I don't think of my poor Maria, gone these ten years.

But much more important matters are afoot than the cares of people such as you and I. The entire empire was shocked when our emperor Draco Severus sent peace envoys to the Gothians after their raid on St. Marks! Shameful indeed. Julius Crassus, leader of the border legions, raised a cohort of men at his own expense and marched off to seek redress of our wrongs from the Gothians. Honour is not yet dead in the Roman Empire.

Julius force was a single 480 man cohort of legionarii, assisted by 120 archers and 5 large ballistas. Our small force crossed the river Kwai and marched for 3 days into Gothian territory before we found the Gothians who had burnt St. Marks. There were no less than 300 of them, all well-mounted nobles. The barbarians quickly offered battle.

The Gothian horde.
The heroic band of Julius Crassus.

The entire battlefield seen from the
south atop my hill. The Romans are on the left.
The Goths advanced en masse. Our archers sprinted forward to shoot from close range,  and our ballistas shot as well. Alas, only minor causalties were inflicted. The rampaging Gothians then impacted our legionarii. The archers fled, and the impact of the heavy Goth cavalry pushed our legionarii back. The Goths continued to surge forward until the legionarii broke and fled the battle. In all, our romans lost 93 killed, though our archers and ballista crews escaped unscathed. The Goths lost 72 men killed or wounded, a poor trade indeed. I fled for my life for several days until I crossed the border back into the empire. I found your letter waiting and wrote back soonest.

Please do not worry about me, I am exhausted though unharmed. Pray instead for Julius Crassus who tried only to avenge Rome but brought shame instead. I fear the emperor will be wrathful.

Your friend, Flavius Flachus.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Goths over the River Kwai

Year 100 of the Roman Empire

Dearest Gaius, I'm sure by now you have heard of the dreadful happenings here in Panon province. I myself witnessed the raid of the Gothian hordes and massacre of the poor people of the village of Saint Marks. I want to assure you that I myself am unharmed and safe, but I thought you would like an eyewitness account of the happenings.

Two weeks after the full moon, the Gothians attacked the bridge over the river Kwai. Julius Crassus led the legions of our empire against the barbarian horde to defend the vital river crossing. 1200 legionaries set themselves to defend the bridge, while 1200 more stood atop Marcus hill in a more defensible position. 900 barbarians atop their mighty warhorses stormed at the bridge, while 600 of their brethen looted and burned the unhappy village of St.Marks. The legion and the horde first met in a hail of darts and javelins with many causalties. The battle for the bridge was then joined in earnest with many hundreds dying on either side until the waters of the river Kwai ran red with mens lifeblood. Eventually our heroic soldiers of the empire secured the bridge and took no less then 300 barbarians prisoner. The other 600 barbarians continued to loot the unhappy village of St. Marks, oblivious to the plight of their brethen. Julius Crassus ordered the legionaries set atop Marcus hill to cross the bridge and attack these dastardly raiders in the rear whilst they were distracted with slaughter and plundered riches. But before they could arrive the villains, sated at last with loot and wine, climbed atop their horses and left for their own lands.

Praise the gods for the hero Julius Crassus who saved our empire from worse devastation, and pray for the poor souls of St.Marks village, may they rest in peace. There is talk that Julius Crassus will lead a raid into the lands of the Goths, and I will of course keep you informed.

P.S. Is your wife still having trouble sleeping? The flowers of Astorious picked at dawn and eaten at dusk are sovereign against insomnia.

Your friend, Flavius Flachus.