Part of USS Neptune: Mirum and Bravo Fleet: The Stormbreaker Campaign

Inter arma enim silent leges

Outskirts of Gaul Territory
58 BC
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(OOC: The backstory of how the Augustus Legion came to 2400.)

The air whipped over the bridle of Secundus‘s horse as he looked down from the mountain seeing the burning outpost of Roman scouts. The valley was relatively open with trees around the back of the scout camp, which would be good for an ambush, and though it seemed like the Gauls had left he was cautious sending a group of legionary calvary to scout the trees. He readjusted in his saddle as he grimaced at the scene only one thing could have happened. He looked back at the legion as it shone in the mid-day sunlight and knew it was warm for them given the warm summers in this area. He had been tasked with hunting down the Gaul near the Roman borders, but this was a deliberate act of war and he knew it meant trouble for everyone involved. He heard the familiar sound of a horn letting him know the area was clear urging his horse forward and began to head towards the scene knowing it wouldn’t be a pretty sight. He urged the legion forward with the cavalry beside him on the sides and his pikeman on the sides as to watch for any exposed flanks. He was a brilliant leader and was always prepared for a fight regardless of whether he saw one or not.

The line was long even with the many units stacked in two’s and threes. Secundus knew that this would be a formidable force for the Gaul and not like anything they had faced in the past. The outpost was noting but ash upon his arrival with Oppius and Cassius on each side. The Legion stood waiting for orders. Secundus had seen a lot in his time as a Roman soldier, but scenes like this got his blood boiling more and more. He looked over at what was the command tenet seeing a familiar face on a pike. The Gauls had left a message and it was time to respond he looked at Oppius “It’s time.” he said bluntly.

Oppius nodded and walked back towards the First Legionary Cohort preparing to get them into their main position when Oppius heard a huge yell. He looked over and observed men emerge from the woods. “AMBUSH!” he yelled.

Secundus was already back to the Legion when the Gaul ambush fully emerged. They were outnumbered, but they would fight like the devil regardless of how many of them there were. He looked over at Cassius “Sergeant stick close.” He said as he looked at the Cretan Archers getting in position. “Archers prepare to fire!” he relayed the orders watching as the Cretans prepared to loose the arrows towards the enemy. He looked at Cassius “Sergeant could you take a group of heavy calvary and flank the enemy?”

”It’s done,“ Cassius responded in the affirmative with his customary terse manner. Wheeling his horse about sharply, the Sergeant spurred the animal into a gallop, heading to the lead of the cavalry right wing. “Right Alae! With me!“ he called out the strident order to the banner man. Charging down the hill with a horde of mounted soldiers close on his heels, he led them towards the enemy’s right flank which had already begun to break ranks due to the heavy barrage of arrows raining down upon them. The foot soldiers of the Gaul stood no chance against the onslaught of the Roman cavalry, the Roman steeds mowing down their enemy beneath the stomping of their hooves. Steel bit into flesh as Cassius hacked at the Gaul soldiers who fled before his charge. 

It was a moment of utter chaos before the enemy was able to regroup and form something of a front to push back against the flanking maneuver that sought to sweep through their ranks. Cassius’s horse reared as the steed to its right was struck in the chest with a heavy spear, flipping the animal forward and unseating the rider. As the Gauls moved to push them back, Cassius pressed forward with his troops, pushing his mount into the thick of the fray.

His horse stumbled and then fell to its knees, casting Cassius violently to the ground. The Roman Sergeant was back on his feet in an instant, a whizzing arrow deflecting off the right side of his helmet as he slashed his sword across the throat of an enemy combatant. A ribbon of crimson opened up across the Gaul’s neck and the collapsing enemy’s visage grew blank as Cassius reached out to grab his opponent’s now superfluous shield, quickly strapping it to his own arm. Using the shield as a battering ram and his sword to hack down any who stood in his way, Cassius continued to lead his men into the heart of the Gaul army.

Secundus watched as the arrows from the Cretans continued to punch through the Gaul lines with ease. As the banners came closer he saw the mark of Detonix an old enemy, but one who never won. After seeing his Sergeants valiant charge he took over again. “Archers Cease Fire!” He said as he urged his horse back. He looked at his lines the Pikeman in the front ready for any attack of horses. “Legion advance!” He ordered as the legion slowly began marching the rythmic tones of marching could be heard. He made his way towards the enemy behind the lines. 

Oppius urged the line of First Legionary Cohort forward the golden eagle glistening in the sun. The Cohort were the most disciplined group in the ranks and the ones that boosted morale. Oppius looked at the group and ordered “Cohorts tighten the line.” The group quickly made a line of unbreakable force.

Secundus ordered his Seargent back with a certain tone on the horn. He halted the line as the Gauls advanced ready for the attack his line strong and with little to no doubt of victory.

”Look upon the gods this day for they will find favor among all of you. When you woke this morning an eagle circled the camp which is a sign that we will win today! So do not falter stand tall and let’s put these Gaul to sleep!” He said inspiring the legion hearing them cheer and going into an immediate battle stance. He looked over seeing Detonix still advancing even after a battering from the Cretan archers.  

Secundus saw his Sergeant fighting through the ranks and grimaced as he was never one to follow orders.  

Cassius pressed forward, blood streaming down his face and half blinding him from a direct strike he had taken to the back of his head. His helmet had saved him more than once in battle, but at times he found the steel armor to be more of a hindrance than a help. He slashed wildly with his sword and felt the weapon make contact with an opponent, instinctively throwing up his shield in time to stop a heavy thud that bounced off the defensive weapon. A short stab and he heard his enemy fall with a cry. With a growl, he reached up to rip the helmet from his head and wipe the blood from his eyes with an already soiled sleeve.

“Per Jovem!” he swore to himself. “How is anyone supposed to fight with a bloody helmet?” A quick dodge of his head kept a spear from entering his brain, and as it passed harmlessly over his left shoulder, he hurled his sword at the attacker who stood a good twenty paces away. The opposing Gaul flew back through the air as the weapon made contact with his rudimentary breastplate made of animal bone, and before he could regain his footing, Cassius was upon him with his ever-ready dagger. The din of the battle roared around him as Cassius persisted forward into the heart of the enemy ranks, wading through the growing piles of dead bodies that now littered the battlefield. 

A riderless horse galloped past him, heading for the protection of the woods, and Cassius looked about him to assess the situation. Too often he got caught up in the drive of the attack and lost sight of the overall battle, a bad habit he was working to break as he became more accustomed to his position of command. His bannerman was waving at him, signaling that it was time to regroup. Mowing down a few Gaul stragglers, he made his way back towards his bannerman to see what further instructions their General would convey. 

Secundus would reprimand his sergeant after the battle, but for now, he looked to the Gaul who still opposed them or tried too that was. Detonix was still on the field and his heavy cavalrymen began to charge towards Secundus’s line. He was challenging Secundus and his challenge would not be unseen. Secundus urged his group of 210 heavy calvary forward charging straight for Detonix. The dust could be seen as the horses closed the distance Secundus unsheathed his sword and ran straight into the line of Gaul calvary. Detonix was straight ahead and Secundus made a path towards him slicing through his lines blood covering his face not being able to see fully as the blood trickled down one of his eyes. Detonix charged and threw Secundus off his horse.

The grounds were riddled with corpses as Secundus stood wiping the blood from his eyes. Detonix threw down his shield and charged Secundus slashing at his stomach, which was deflected. Secundus fought back with a tenacity he was known for making a quick slash at Detonix’s arm bringing him to his knees. Secundus had dealt with Detonix for many years and now it was time to end it. He quickly ended Detonix’s life and grabbed the banner holding it high as the entire Legion began to cheer, which reverberated in the valley showing Rome was still in full power…

To be continued……