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Short Story

Joined
Jun 24, 2011
Likes
193
Location
Winterfell
#1
I've been writing this short story for my world history class, it's about a Cherusci warrior who gets captured by the Romans after the Battle of Idistaviso and attempts to win his freedom through being a gladiator. It's still in an early stage so any feedback is welcome :D

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762 Ab Urbe Condita
Teutoburg Wald

“Today we fight. We fight to repel those who are advancing further into our lands. They raze our villages, they enslave our people, but today we put an end to it. Today we will destroy those subjugating our brothers, those who bring their false gods to our countries. Today we fight to protect our land, and tomorrow we invade theirs!” The words of Armin Roman-Raised rang out. The words inspired us, they rallied us as we waited for the coming of our enemies.

Rumors spread about the size of their army; an army that was stretched nearly 10 miles long. But there was no fear among us, for a heavy rain was falling in. A heavy rain that would dampen the spirits of our foes. And so we waited. It was many hours before the line of legionnaires appeared, marching two abreast through the narrow trail. But we did not strike just yet. We waited, watched, as our enemies marched past us; the enemies that killed our families and destroyed our homes. It was not until their cavalry was marching by, many hours later, that we made our strike. Our spears fell on them as numerous as the drops of rain. Frightened, many of the horses bolted, bucking their riders and leaving them dazed in the mud. Before they could react, we closed in from either side. The Roman’s soggy shields stood no chance against our heavy seaxs and sharpened spears. The legionnaires that attempted to assume a defensive formation quickly found there was not enough room to do so. They stood no chance. By the time they had assembled, we were gone.

The number of our casualties could be counted on one hand. The Roman’s casualties were in the hundreds, if not thousands. That night the Roman’s set up fortifications. If you could call it that. Though we could have attacked them at night, Armin, King of my people, the Cherusci, urged us to wait until the next day. We slept satisfied, knowing we would continue the slaughter tomorrow.

At first light our enemies marched for the plains north of Wiehengebirge. We were waiting for them though. The rain had continued throughout the night, and the severity of it increased during the day. Waterlogged, the Romans marched as we attacked frequently from the flanks. The move cost them many. They set up camp once more at the foot of a shallow mountain.

Our foolish enemy made one more night march, towards the low-mountain of Kalkriese. But Armin the Conqueror had expected that. The Romans marched along a narrow strip of land, bordered by a vast forest on one side and the Great Bog on the other. We had constructed a small wall further down this road, and an earthen wall along the edge of the forest. We waited behind the latter. It was silent as we waited behind the wall, the only sound heard was the continual rain. After hours of waiting the Roman’s appeared. We let them march until they had reached our road block. We were silent, and the Romans looked around, scanning the tree line. That is when they realized they had walked into an ambush. It was then that Armin let out his warcry, “Tod naar de Schwakken! Tod naar Rome!”. Oh, how prophetic those words were. Our spears fell upon the enemy in the thousands, and for every spear that fell so did an enemy. The Romans assembled and stormed our wall, but they were cut down by javelins as they attempted to scale the base of it. After we had beaten them back from our wall we made our offensive. From our wall we fought, mostly downhill, the Romans along the narrow strip. Though we were greatly outnumbered, we pushed the enemy back against the Great Bog. With our great swords and our heavy clubs we beat down the cowards. Witnessing the carnage, their cavalry fled, only to be intercepted down the road by more of our alliance. These were the Chatti, whose soldiers were highly disciplined, and feared by many Roman legions. As the Chatti pushed up through the road, flanking the Romans, we continued to push them further towards the Bog. It was not long before the Romans were defeated. For the Romans, thousands were dead. A few of the surviving enemies were kept as slaves. The rest were sacrificed to the Gods and made examples to any other people wishing to intrude upon our lands. That day the blood of our enemies ran a dark red, even darker and more glorious than the red worn by their empire.

Publius Quinctilius Varus, the so-called Roman governor of our lands, lost three Legions, their standards, and his own life by his hand that battle. Armin, or Arminius as he is known in the Latin tongue, Varus’ right-hand man, had rejoined his native people and had defeated the Romans, ending their imperial expansions past the Rhine and the Elbe.

769 Ab Urbe Condita
Weser Fluss

It has been seven years since the Arminsschlacht, where we defeated Varus and his legions at Kalkriese. I am now 23 years of age. A new Roman general has replaced Varus’ though. He is named Germanicus, after our tribes that he fights. For four years Germanicus has been raiding our lands and destroying our people. Our allies, the Marsi and the Bructeri, have suffered defeat by his hand. Last year Germanicus destroyed the city of Mattium, the pride of the Chatti people. Now displaced, the Chatti fight with us once more to stop the Romans. Today we fight, or we die.

Fifty-five-thousand strong we stand. In a line we span the area between the Weser and its neighboring forest. Me and my people stand with our leader, Armin, in the center of the line, on top of a knoll. Across from us stand the Romans under Germanicus. They are formed in three rows. Their cavalry is nowhere to be seen. It is like this our armies stand for nearly an hour. The Romans start marching first, slowly across Idistaviso, the plain located in the bend of the Weser. In response our line starts marching towards them. For both armies the march becomes a jog, and that jog shortly becomes a run, and that run a full-out sprint towards the enemy. The clashing of metal against metal rang out and the screams of fallen men were numerous. The sounds do not frighten me though, as I continue running towards the battle.

My primary weapon, a barbed javelin made of an iron head and wooden stock, measures about the span of my arms. My side arm, a fine, iron seax, is three-fourths the length of my arm. The sax is single-edged and the point tapers to the back edge of the blade. In my left hand is a oblong shield made of solid wood and covered in hide. The shield stands from the ground to my waist. On myself I wear a thick-woven tunic, dyed a plain brown.

As I get nearer to the battle I pick out a target, a Batavian auxiliary, clothed in chain mail with a long-rectangular shield. I launch my javelin at the target, hitting his shield. He attempts to dislodge the javelin, put the barb will not permit that. His shield is rendered useless due to the heavy javelin dragging it down low and exposing his head and body. I draw my seax as I run towards the man. He lashes out with his sword, an easily deflected blow, and I step on the stock of the javelin, lowering his shield. With one quick and forceful strike my blade sinks deep into the exposed neck. I quickly dislodge my bloodied weapon from the enemy and scan the battlefield for another target. Nearby, a legionnaire skirmishes with a fellow warrior. With a blow to the arm, the legionnaire disarms the man and knocks him to the ground. A thin layer of wooden shield is the only barrier between the legionnaire’s blade and the man’s flesh. In an effort to save the man I pick up a discarded javelin and hurl it at the assailant. The legionnaire raises his sword for the final strike, but my javelin finds his exposed side and plunges deep through his armor and skin. The man gets up and I attempt to bring him to the safety of the center, but there was no center to be found. Our left wing had failed its offensive and had been repelled. To escape the Weser they ran towards the center to escape. Our right wing had done no better, they attempted to converge towards the center as well. In the mass confusion we were routed. As we attempted an escape, the Roman’s cavalry materialized from the dark of the woods. The man I was supporting attempted to raise his shield to defend against the lance of an enemy rider. The lance pierced the shield and drove deep into the man’s chest. The weight of his body pulled me down, into the path of the horse. The last thing I saw were the hooves of the steed crashing down towards me.[DOUBLEPOST=1357278238,1357261245][/DOUBLEPOST]woops, didn't mean to post this in artwork xD can this be moved to off-topic?
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Likes
877
#2
''Varus! Give me back my legions''
-Octavian Julius (Augustus), after the battle of Teutoburg Forest

I like how you illustrated the battle of Teutoburg Forest, most of the tales of it are from the losing roman side :D

As for the other battle, Romans didn't use rectangular shields :mad: (Neither did their auxillias), rectangular shields are badly shaped for fighting with the Gladius and throwing Pilum. The roman shields were most likely oval.

^^ I always have to rant over historical stuff, but the story so far is very good!
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Likes
877
#4
More people should read this, it's amazing :D

Novels/stories based on historical events are the best ones.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Likes
102
Location
Denmark
#5
Don't worry about this being in artwork, it's art. I haven't read it, I'm having a TL;DR moment right now, sorry!
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2011
Likes
193
Location
Winterfell
#6
This isn't even near done, I haven't even gotten to the gladiator part yet, and it's due monday D: but don't worry, my best works are my rushed ones xD
 
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