Book 1 Chapter 2

Quintus was tired of marching. It was one thing to tromp along a well-paved cobblestone road in the dry air of Italia or even Gaul, but quite another to push your way through a cool, damp forest so dense that sunlight did not reach you. From first awakening to the time he fell into his cot at night it was perpetual twilight. The birds had even stopped singing a few days ago. By Mithras, his feet hurt.

“Quintus! Over here, you goat lover.”

Quintus turned and saw a centurion waving him over. It was Flavius Attillo. A right nasty piece of work, he loved to stick it to the cohorts when he could.

“This ought to be good,” Quintus muttered as he slogged over to where Attilo stood. There were already several other legionnaires there as well. Looked like around a dozen of them. What was this about?

Quintus halted near the centurion and exchanged glances with several of the other men. They all shrugged or made some other sign of puzzlement. No one seemed to know what this was about.

“All right, turds, here is what I need you to do. Orders have come down the duct that there have been some sighting of barbarian activity in the vicinity of our column. As strung out as we are, we don’t need some mud caked chieftain deciding to prove himself by snatching a supply wagon or two, so we are dispatching small groups, like yourselves, to patrol along the column.”

More glances exchanged. Some shuffling of feet.

“I know, I know. You’re wondering why you’ve been chosen. To be honest it was completely random and you’re the winning hand so let’s make the best of it, shall we? Yes, what is it?”

One of the other men had twitched a hand up. Flavius looked at him in exasperation.

“Centurion, what exactly are we supposed to do?”

“You are to penetrate these woods and stay out of sight of the column, slinking around hoping to catch some barbarian turd unawares. Hopefully you can capture one of the pricks and bring them in for questioning. At the end of the day you can return to camp and sleep, but you are to be in the woods again before we begin the march. If you see anything too alarming, feel free to send someone to let me know. Any questions?”

There were none and they were dismissed to dispose of unnecessary weight. They would enter the dark forest with only their armor and gladii. They could bring rations as well. Within minutes the men were ready and they slipped into the trees.

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Ulaf watched as his men built a wall. They had been preparing this ambush for over a week. There was a long line of brush woven together with the ground cleared in front of it. In front of the wall was a pit of wooden spikes covered with loose brush. This was all set several hundred strides away from the track that the Romans were set to take, thanks to Arminius’ guiding them. Other men had been sent out to harass the Roman lines and inflame their martial spirit, so that when the time came the foreigners would be all too happy to chase their tormentors into the woods.

It wouldn’t be long now. They would secure their homes from the incursion of the Roman filth. Just a little longer….

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Quintus slipped into the brush in the pre-dawn murk. It had been three days with no sighting of the natives. He was beginning to think this was a waste of time. His compadres fell in along the line they were taking as they tried their best to move silently through the wood.

Quintus stopped and leaned back against a wide tree. The light was finally growing to the dim light that was the best this forest could muster, but at least he could see his own hands now.

He heard one of the other legionaries moving in close and he turned to greet them. Perhaps they had some news. What he saw instead was the painted face of a German. He opened his mouth to yell, but something slammed into his throat and he couldn’t make a sound. He saw a long piece of wood jutting out beneath his chin and felt warmth rush down his chest. It was his blood.

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Ulaf watched the light leave the Romans’ eyes. Pulling the spear out of the man’s throat, he wiped the point off one the man’s tunic, then searched the Roman for anything of value. Ulaf stripped the armor off and tried it on. It was a fair fit. He would keep it. He also would keep the Roman gladius. He already had one but he could always trade it. There was also some food in the Roman’s pouch and a canteen.

Ulaf listened and heard the bird call that signaled the “all clear”. So his men had managed to overtake the entire patrol, then. Good. It wouldn’t be long now.

Book 1 Chapter 1

As their boat neared the shore, Ulaf gazed at the dark forest just a few paces inland. Having just attained his status as chief of the war-band, he was not yet as confident as he was sure he one day would be. Especially seeing as how he was leading a large group of his tribes’ best warriors to help a traditional enemy.

What was it they said, the enemy of my enemy is my friend? He was not completely sold on that idea, but if the reports of the Chauci were to be believed this great foe was the worst terror to ever appear. Ulaf and the other war leaders had listened to the envoy’s tales of whole tribes slaughtered, their men butchered and women and children sold into slavery in the direction of the sunrise.

They had been given promises of peace, which in all truth was only worth the empty air the words spun through, but the possibility of these Roman terrors subduing the southern tribesman and then turning their attention across the north seas to their homelands had roused the men to action.

The call had went out for the war-bands to assemble. Fish had been smoked or salted, water stored in barrels and blades sharpened. The men of the north would go to the aid of their southern neighbors.

“So here we are,” Ulaf roared to his men on the beach. “We have heard of the threat of these Romans. We have weighed the balance and decided to come fight. Not out of fear or the promise of plunder, but out of the noble desire to protect our homes and our families.”

Ulaf snatched his spear from where it was tied across his back and jabbed it into the sky, emphasizing each word with the blade.

“We will stop this scum. We will destroy them. We will make sure they never look this way again. And we will return to our homes, safe in the knowledge that our children will be safe.”

“Not all of us will return, but what better way to join our father Wodin than carried by the Valkyr to his side? Men are not made to cower in fear, but to go out to the enemy and if he die, die with a blade in his hand.”

“We are hardened by our winters and by our struggle to live. Our people are the strongest of all. We have never been subdued, never enslaved. So, let’s go show these southern goat humpers how real men conduct warfare.”

The answering roar crashed off of the thick trees and scattered birds from their nests.

 

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Arminius welcomed Ulaf into his tent. Actually, tent did not do it justice. It was a tent in that it had a canvas roof, but the walls were of packed sod and logs. A fireplace crackled at one end, with a long table half covered by papers and a large map taking up the center of the room. A bedroll was adjacent to the fireplace.

Arminius himself was a striking figure. Tall and muscular, with blond hair and striking green eyes, he was surely beloved by the women. But most arresting to Ulaf was the intelligence that caused the southern leader’e eyes to sparkle.

As Arminius spoke, Ulaf also noted flashes of rage that crossed the man’s face as he recalled the unspeakable acts taken against his people.

“I was assigned to Varus because I had served the Romans faithfully since my youth. What other choice did I have? And, besides, I was fighting against people other than my own. I thought what I was doing could benefit us down the road, but I should have known better.”

“Rome’s appetite for conquest is insatiable. They have not suffered a setback in generations, so they believe it is their destiny to subdue all before them. It was only a matter of time before they attacked my home.”

Arminius reached out and gripped Ulaf’s shoulders, “Do not for a moment think that your people are safe. If we are defeated here, Rome will in time grasp for your lands. The sea is no defense for them. They have conquered lands across the sea before. In Africa and Brittania. They will come for the north lands.”

He released Ulaf’s shoulders and strode to the long table in the center of the tent. He picked up a scabbard and blade and turned to Ulaf, holding out the handle to the northman.

“I need your men. I need their savagery and unbreakable will. In return I offer you the best of my weapons and equipment. I also offer you security from attack by all under my control. This can mark the beginning of a new age between our peoples. An age of peace and security. Together, none can conquer us. We will be free.”

Ulaf’s gaze moved from the blade to the man. He stared into Arminius’ eyes for a drawn-out moment, then reached out and accepted the blade.

“I haven’t come all this way to turn back now, Arminius. We will fight. As for afterwards, well, what happens happens.”

Grinning the two men embraced, then Ulaf left the tent. It was time to prepare.

Savior of the Republic

A sixteen year old youth becomes pater familias. A soldier captured by pirates. A man smeared by his enemies because of their fear of him. A man who divorced his wife due to infidelity. A great soldier and premier orator. A man who despised elitism and corruption, but wasn’t afraid to get his hands Continue reading “Savior of the Republic”

Red Pill Authors: Hack n’ Slash

“Once you’ve got a task to do, it’s better to do it than live with the fear of it.”

Today, let’s talk about an author who is brutally realistic in his portrayal of man’s depravity. Even his “good” guys are dark angels, with a few exceptions.

His style is gripping and fast paced. Don’t expect a slow, Tolkien-esc epic. These stories MOVE. And I love it. Don’t get me wrong, The Lord of The Rings trilogy was my introduction to fantasy writing, and they are still the Continue reading “Red Pill Authors: Hack n’ Slash”

Prince of Egypt

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A young mother, desperate to save her son from death, hides him until he is old enough to survive a limited time without her. She takes him to a river and places him in a basket, and sets it free in the water.

What would cause a mother to do this, to seemingly abandon her infant to the whims of nature? What desperation drove this woman? How did she some to this point?

Welcome to the story of…….

Moses

Continue reading “Prince of Egypt”

Corsican Commander: Part 2

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All great events hang by a hair. The man of ability takes advantage of everything and neglects nothing that can give him a chance of success; whilst the less able man sometimes loses everything by neglecting a single one of those chances.

After his campaigns in Italy and Egypt, Napoleon heard of France’s series of defeats at the hands of the Continue reading “Corsican Commander: Part 2”

Corsican Commander

Background of Chaos

May 5th, 1789

“What is the Third Estate? Everything. What has it been until now in the political order? Nothing. What does it want to be? Something.”

The Third Estate represented 95% of the French population and was made up of lawyers, local officials, tradesmen, or land owners. The Third Estate had born the tax burden without equal representation in the governance of Continue reading “Corsican Commander”

Great Men of History

I am an avid student of history. I love trying to get inside the minds of people in the past and try to understand why they do what they do and I love to draw the parallels to today and try to learn from it. The old saying “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” is true. If you don’t learn from other’s mistakes, you will just have to learn from your own.

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The Great Man Theory

The “Great Man” school of history is this:  history can be largely explained by the impact of great men, or heroes; highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or political skill Continue reading “Great Men of History”

Why We Need Great Men

Can modern communities do without great men? Can they dispense with hero-worship? Can they provide a larger wisdom, a nobler sentiment, a more vigorous action, by collective processes, than were ever got from the Titans? Can nations remain healthy, can all nations draw together, in a world whose brightest stars are film stars and whose gods are sitting in the gallery? . . . There is a sense of vacancy and of fatuity, of incompleteness. We miss our giants. We are sorry that their age is past. . . .We mourn the towering grandeur which surrounded and cheered our long painful ascent. Ah! If we could only find some new enormous berg rising towards the heavens as high above our plateau as those old mountains down below rose above the plains and marshes!

– Winston Churchill

What is a Great Man?

Continue reading “Why We Need Great Men”