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File: Sacking of Suerna.jpg (124 KB, 1000x703)
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The Gaulish chieftain's concern was found to be baseless.

Suerna, scion of Carthage, accumulator of a hundred generations' mercantile wealth, queen among the many daughters of that most ancient of the Semitic peoples - all that history and wealth crumbled beneath the weight of the martial debauchery of a single night. Cabaleiro, captain of the Five Hundred whose military pedigree stretched to the time of Cyrus the Younger led his men with flawless discipline against his once-employers, the heavily armoured infantrymen consolidating their gains in the urban districts behind looming tower-shields. The gates were open minutes after Rhea began her rain of missiles from her great machines of war, their guardians slain by javelins and swords.

The Gaulish cavalry streamed into the panicking city under the ghostly light of the moon, and everything they touched was death. Axe in one hand, freshly-lit torch on the other, they blazed throughout the heavily populated city like the flames they spread throughout the honey-comb urban complex of the highly populated town. The markets, the shipyards, the temples, the palace - everywhere the blood of Tyrians and Phoenicians and Carthaginians mingled and flowed freely like cheap wine in the aftermath of a wedding. Too late, a guard tower high up in the central hill of Suerna rang its alarm helplessly, the last auto-eulogy from a dying city: "Awake! Fear! Fire! Foe! Awake!"

And seeing this, Caesar spoke, remembering an ancient poem:

Where is your much-admired beauty, walled Daughter of Tyre?
where is your crown of towers, where are your possessions of old?
where are the temples of the immortals, the houses, the wives
of Sidonion Throne, and the myriads of people?
Not even a trace has been left of you, ill-fated town,
but all has been seized and devoured by war.
>>
>>3254353
A lone sillouette stands on the gunwales of a small boat, his small child-form backlit by the moonlight. The boy clenches his tiny fist as he watched the destruction of the only town that they ever knew, playing back the memories of those who he lost. And as the last of his father's palace crumbles under the heat, he utters a terrible and solemn vow into the cold predawn air. The fishing boat perceptibly moves swifter without the oarsman's intervention - his promise has been heard.

---

Welcome to the second thread of the Commentarii. For those of you who missed the first thread, you can find the archive here:
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Commentarii

And now, on with the game.

---

The wide deck of the gigantic vessel Rhea has been converted to that of an open-air feast hall. The wealth of nations are arrayed throughout the ship, the newly-acquired slaves still ferrying in what once belonged to them in piles and piles of dazzling silver and bronze. Most of the inhabitants of the city who are chained are women and children. The men old enough to resist were put to the sword and the old and infirm left to die among the ashes of their homes.

You are Gaius Julius Caesar, your divine soul reborn into the world by the sheer will and determination. Juno Regina was most displeased about your return to the world of mortals, where gods play kings and potentates like so many pieces of latrunculi. In this world, you are known as Alexandros, a five year old boy, son of a notable captain-adventurer of Greek stock. Though Jupiter acquisced to your reincarnation, so too did he listen to the poison-words of his immortal wife, setting you loose far and away from the city of your forefathers.

There is nothing you want more than to return to Rome, set things aright, avenge the death of little Caesarion. You fasted for three days when the news reached this far east. Octavianus is, to put it in the coarse words of Ambiorix, "definitely on my shit list". But to head back west and return to Rome would be to flaunt Juno Regina herself... a bold proposition. To do that, you will need allies greater than the lords of Olympus itself. You will also need to grow up a little, as you are currently barely above toddlerhood. And so you find yourself setting your sight on the mysterious east, further even than the easternmost borders of Parthia, where the people of Sinae are said to inhabit in numbers greater than those of Greeks, Romans, and Parthians combined, their armies large enough to topple gods.
>>
>>3254358
Rome will wait like, like the patient mother she has ever been. You lift a silent prayer to Rhea, mother of Rome. May she protect her wandering son.

---

"A drink!" Ambiorix shouts, lifting his drinking horn high. "A drink to Landros, captain of the inestimable warship Rhea!"

Landros laughs heartily as he joins (with a wine cup, not a drinking horn) with his own cry. "To the valiant Gauls and the disciplined Five Hundred! Long may we reap wealth from the savage Phoenicians and people of their ilk!" The Greeks were long-time rivals of the similarly nautical Phoenicians, and consequently did not shed tears in seeing their destruction. Cabaleiro merely gestures in that suave, sleek-oil manner of his, refraining from joining in on the loud celebration of his compatriots.

Food, fresh food is spread on the makeshift tables of long planks raised on empty barrels, ranging from goats and sheep butchered from the locals' herds and dried Egyptian dates (carried up the Nile, then sent to sail through the seas to reach Suerna) and Angolan olives to bowls of rice with spices from Numidia (extremely strong, you gag at the mere whiff of it) and wine vintages from Iberia. Ambiorix, seated on the high table together with the leaders of the expedition, has two comely female slaves (in discreet chains) around him, their faces as miserable as he is jubilant. The Gaul takes his time admiring his newly acquired twin properties with enough handsyness to get his own son embarassed.

Calabeiro opposite him has a different choice in companionship, having three boys all of fair features (and devoid of emotions) draped around him like so much luxurious silk. The hellenised Lusitani catches you looking at him and his living ornaments and gives you a wink, at which you shudder and return to your cup of freshly squeezed citrus fruits. The list of why you want to become an adult as soon as possible just lengthened by one entry.

Of course you were seated with the rest of the commanders and captain. You masterminded the attack and even saw it through to completion. Landros, your father, is his usual animated self, constantly ruffling your hair and praising your great intellect. With his hair-rubbing and stomach tickling, you can't help but have a good time yourself, though you are exhausted from laughter by the time your father slumps on his seat.
>>
>>3254362
"It's from my wife, Rhea. I'm sure of it." Landros downs another cup. The drinking has made him more sentimental and teary, though at least it frees you from his huge-handed clutches. "She was the village elder's daughter, you know. Learned to read and write at an early age, unlike me. I don't deserve her, I really don't. Listen here, Alexandros my boy, you aughta find a nice girl and when you do, treat her like a delicate flower that she is, you hear me? Treat her... well..." The ground thumps as your giant of a father slips into alcohol-induced sleep, much to the relief of your scalp. If he had kept ruffling your head so violently you might have gone bald. Again.

One of the unfortunate symptoms of being a child is the intense need for long and frequent sleep. Already, you can feel your head heavy from the backlash of a nap-time skipped in order to watch the sacking - your sacking- come to completion. Any other five year old would have thrown a confused tantrum over the upwelling of negative emotions from soporific stupor or simply fallen on their feet, sucking their thumbs in their sleep.

But you are Julius Caesar, known to these men as Alexandros. You will endure for at least one more thing...

>Head down to the belly of the ship where Micah, Timon, and Venicius are overseeing the hauling of the cargo
>Strike up a conversation with Ambiorix, your Gaulish cavalry commander, who is busy playing with both of the twins' teats
>Strike up a conversation with Cabaleiros, the captain of the heavily-armoured Five Hundred, presently doing something with his right hand at one of his slave boys that makes the child's face go red. While staring at you.
>Care for your drunk-sleeping father, ensuring that he gets into his bed sooner than later
>Custom
>>
How many live cargo of women did we carry?
>>
>>3254367
>Head down to the belly of the ship where Micah, Timon, and Venicius are overseeing the hauling of the cargo
>>
>>3254381
Without talking with Micah (your father's Jewish number-cruncher) and Lynius (basically does the paperwork around here), you don't know the exact amount. Basically it's... "a lot". You may find that women aren't the only slaves that you gained from this raid.

On the other hand, the two commanders are relaxed from the victory and great loot, so now might be a pretty good time to strike up a conversation. Who knows? They might be more open now than they usually are.

Pietas, which can be translated as "duty" including that of filial piety, was considered to be one of the chief virtues of the Romans. Leaving your father all drunk and dazed out in the open is... how say you, un-Roman?
>>
>>3254367
>Strike up a conversation with Ambiorix, your Gaulish cavalry commander, who is busy playing with both of the twins' teats

Let's consolidate our gains and maybe even get ourselves a mentor.
>>
>>3254367
>Care for your drunk-sleeping father, ensuring that he gets into his bed sooner than later
We may be Greek now, but that's no excuse to forget the Roman virtues.
>>
>>3254367
Why can't we do both of these things:
>Care for father
>Look over cargo

It's important we know the extent of our gains so we can better plan what to do with it. Also, why is Cabal such a fag?
>>
>>3254426
He's a molester. He's a *child* molester!
>>
>>3254367
>Care for your drunk-sleeping father, ensuring that he gets into his bed sooner than later
Filial piety. It won't take long, then we can strike up a conversation after.
>>
I'll leave the vote up until tomorrow. As usual, expect around one update a day, I'm pacing myself so I don't burn out and write myself to a dead end. Hopefully the long opening doesn't put too many people off, but we'll see.

I was glad to see some historically aware anons join us in the first thread, and there was some interesting "Romanness" vs "Orientalism" voting differences as well, so that was neat. See you tomorrow, anons!

>>3254426
>Why is Cabal
He's a hellenised Lusitanian. Imagine the decadence of Greece with the natural sexual magnetism of that certain Mediterranean stereotype of the Spaniards.

Also you can't do both because >One of the unfortunate symptoms of being a child is the intense need for long and frequent sleep...

Tucking in your dad isn't just going to be overseeing your slaves dump him on his bed and doing a 360 and walking out his bedchambers.
>>
>>3254367
>>Strike up a conversation with Ambiorix, your Gaulish cavalry commander, who is busy playing with both of the twins' teats
>>
>>3254367
>Care for your drunk-sleeping father, ensuring that he gets into his bed sooner than later
>>
File: decadence.jpg (546 KB, 1920x1080)
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>>3255129
>>3254436
>>3254422
Father

>>3254382
Cargo

>>3255116
>>3254414
Gaul

It takes three slaves to carry your father back to the captain's quarters. must admit feeling some curiosity for the place. The Rhea was large enough to have separate war rooms and private rooms for captains and illustrious guests, one of the "useless" things the shipwrights of Carthage probably added for its Atlantic-crossing exploration capabilities. Such a voyage would have needed a powerful and wealthy patron, and they couldn't possibly expect him to sleep with the rest of the hoi polloi who actually run the ship.

Consequently, Landros' room is large, a hallmark of luxury in ships where every extra inch is pure extravagance. The slaves deposit their captain on his bed, which creaks in protest at the sudden increase in its load. He mumbles something in his sleep, the words "Rhea" and "elixir" audible amidst the unintelligible whispers.

"We'll make it there, Landros," you say as you pat his arm fondly. "When Caesar puts his mind into something, it tends to happen. Besides, I happen to have some uses in mind for that elixir of immortality you are looking for myself."

Your father shifts as if in response, and a crumpled packet falls loose from the confines of his sea-jacket. You check his face quickly, but to your relief he's still asleep. That packet was the present he got you from his last journey. He must have forgotten about it from all the excitement of the raid - he could be very forgetful sometimes.

You carefully dislodge it from under him; it's not stealing if it was going to be given to you in the first place, right? The package is wrapped in oilcloth, probably to protect it from the salt and water that is ever-present on ships. Its contours, the weight, and the feel of it... there is no mistake, it must be that thing you asked from him when he left for India almost a year ago. You hastily unwrap the package, revealing...

>a single bar of Wootz steel, enough mass for a single gladius with enough left over for something small. You long suspected that the "damascus steel" sold by Syrian middlemen were adulterated versions to increase profits, so you asked for one straight from its source. Now you need to find someone skilled enough to smith the thing.
>four bottles of ittar or oil-perfume, contained in ornate crystal-cut bottles. It is said that these scented oils hold tiny fragments of the seasons, allowing its user to maintain cool during summer or stay warm in winter. They also smell good.
>Mystery Box
>Custom suggestions
>>
>>3256513
>Mystery Box
How could I not?
And a mystery box from ancient India is guaranteed to be something interesting.
>>
>>3256513
>Mystery Box
Fuck my shit up
>>
>>3256518
What if it's an ancient Indian magic nuke
>>
>>3256513
>Mystery Box
I've always been a sucker for mystery.
>>
>>3256515
>>3256518
>>3256535
Surprised no one went for Wootz given all its meme power. Vote closed
>>
>>3256564
I don't know what it is
>>
>>3256564
NO I DEMAND A RECOUNT
>>
>>3256565
It's Damascus steel.
Best steel in the world, up to English occupation of India. It was noted that Wootz was superior to any contemporary English steels.
>>
>>3256565
Damascus steel.
>>3256564
Mystery box has the highest meme power
>>
>>3256567
no
>>
File: ancient guns.jpg (2.82 MB, 5184x3456)
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This was not the bar of Wootz steel you asked for. Neither is it the four jars of Hindu perfume that Cleopatra so loved to adorn herself with, right before she disrobed and-

-ahem. Moving on. The item before you is a highly intricate bronze instrument, about the length of an adult's forearm and the width of one as well. You dissect it visually with your eyes, turning it around this way and that. It bears a passing resemblance to the ballista. Yes, there's the mechanism that could be the trigger, a delicately wrought thing of bronze. And there is the portion of the instrument that might preserve the energy right before loosing, if this was a ballista. But surely, such a thing is impossible. Whoever heard of a miniature hand-held ballista?

Any lingering doubts you had dissipiate when you notice the small round balls that, after further testing, show to fit precisely where the ammunition would go to. Against all logic and reason, this was a miniature ballista able to be armed and wielded by a five-year-old (granted, this kiddo was Caesar). You quickly examine the metal body of the mini-balli; precise flowing script of unknown origin catches your eye, one that you had initially thought to be part of the floral design woven around the stock.

It does not take a genius to understand what a significant upset this is in the art of war. Trained bowmen capable of of loosing arrows with strength and frequency require grooming from early childhood and onwards - this is why the Romans recruited heavily from allied nomads for their archer auxiliaries. A given people or state must invest heavily in the fostering of a culture of archery, as well as support and care for said archers, who will inevitably be a drain on the economy due to their focus on mastering the bow, instead of taking up the hoe or pick.

This instrument is an elegant solution from a civilised land to face against barbarian hordes, who are so adept in producing masterful warriors. It is the answer of a culture capable of the highest degree of mathematiks matching that of Rome and Greece to their version of Scythians and Berbers. Imagine this instrument, mass produced, their wielders not having to spend years of their lives in effectively firing its pellets. An agrarian society with all its benefits - high population, stable internal and external network of trade, growth in crafts - could finally stand their own against the mounted archers that plagued the borders of Rome.
>>
>>3256618
Of course, there are obstacles to mass producing this implement. The mini-ballista is too intricate by far. You would need specialised artisans to craft something this precise in singles, nevermind numbers able to outfit an army. The penetrating power of this weapon is also probably much weaker than that of a steppe nomad's arrows. It's something to ponder over, but...

Julius Caesar falls drowsily to sleep on the side of his father's bed, exhausted from the all the excitements from tonight. Good night, little Jules.

----

The next updates will involve a timeskip to where the expedition is actually underway. Near what location would you like to see the next post take place?

>Nah senpai, we want them posts stretching from eastern Parthia all the way to China, no skips
>India, West Coast (2 years later, Caesar is 7)
>Sri Lanka (4 years later, Caesar is 9)
>India, East Coast (6 years later, Caesar is- do I have to keep doing this? He's 11)
>The lands of Nanman [for information, see 1st thread] (8 years later, you do the math)
> Mystery Destination, youth not guaranteed (??? years)

Don't worry about purchasing stuff with your loot, we'll handle all that before engaging timeskip.
>>
>>3256618
>It's a fucking gun
ALWAYS CHOOSE MYSTERY BOX
>>3256619
>India, East Coast (6 years later, Caesar is- do I have to keep doing this? He's 11)
Gimme Wootz anyway
>>
>>3256619
Want dem.posts whole way we gooo
>>
>Nah senpai, we want them posts stretching from eastern Parthia all the way to China, no skips
Hey man, I want to read the whole journey. Don't hold out on us.
>>
>>3256619
>>Nah senpai, we want them posts stretching from eastern Parthia all the way to China, no skips
>>
>>3256619
>Nah senpai, we want them posts stretching from eastern Parthia all the way to China, no skips
I know it might save you no small effort to timeskip, but your quality is too good by far to skip any.
>>
>>3256619
>India, West Coast (2 years later, Caesar is 7)
>>
>>3256619
>Nah senpai, we want them posts stretching from eastern Parthia all the way to China, no skips

But at any moment if you feel that it's dragging or you have no ideas of what to do. Simply say out loud fuck it guys, you are in china now (or whatever point in our travels you have some ideas about)

Also did you just gave us a motherfucking gun?
>>
>Gun?
Not a gun, image is the mechanism remaining from Han dynasty crossbows, specifically parts of the trigger and some other bits and pieces whose name I don't know. It would have been added to wooden stocks and lathes, which rotted away in time, thus we get those suspiciously gun-looking things left behind. What your father brought you was basically a one-of-a-kind artisan bronze miniature crossbow with pellets (some of the crossbows contemporaneous to early Roman Principate used round balls as ammunition, though bolt crossbows remained in higher popularity due to being killier). It also has the nice advantage of you being able to actually kill people without having to go near them despite being a literal child. As mentioned in the blurb above, archery takes years of training to really become effective, which means you don't have the kind of specific muscles required for archery that can kill something bigger than a fly. And that is ignoring you are a five year old.

Also, because of the amount of money your father spent on his return gift to his baby boy, I'm going to treat that hand crossbow as a pretty deadly weapon. Real pellet firing crossbows were... meh, but don't let that dissuade you from rooty-tooty-point-and-shooty, we stopped being realistic after Caesar was reborn as a cute Greek boy. TL;DR I'm not going to penalise the handcrossbow for being a shit weapon IRL, because sometimes, you gotta bend reality a bit to get fun items.

It takes longer to reload than bows, though. Just keep in mind that you won't be able to rapid fire or something ridiculous like that. None of that Lego-lass shit here. It really is a one-shot and run away weapon, so don't get ideas about soloing a the Three Hundred with your Six (1)-shooter.

>Nah Senpais
I wrote family, not this Japanese shit! Damn it moot...

Well looks like we'll be slowly making our way to China. The timeskip question wasn't because I was tired of writing in this locale, but rather my fears that people might want to start getting out of what may appear to be the "prologue", especially with being a child. Turns out being a kid really sucks. I have no idea how other Isekai people manage to go through childhood (nevermind babyhood) without going utterly insane. In fact, who is to say that everyone is reborn with memories of their past lives, but literally go mad with boredom during infancy and become a tabula rasa by the time they are able to articulate coherent ideas?

>Other
Looks like consensus is continuing current rate of progress, which means firstly, we want to discuss Loot and Spending. I'm not gonna use numbers here to describe them because I am not the best with systems and balancing, so we'll talk in generalities. I need to know how you want to allocate the Loot you gained. The categories gained from Suerna that you have in your ship's hold are the following:
>>
>>3256791
>Humans
Women, children, and trainee combat slaves. I mentioned before that Suerna was one of the city states from whom the Sacred Band of Carthage (knockoff ver.) gained its recruits from. The original Sacred Band of Carthage, as I also mentioned, was destroyed long ago together with Carthage itself. The SBC (v2.0) primarily consists of well-trained slaves.

Women and Children can be sold as slaves readily in any allied (Parthian) ports, or kept (in whole or part) to award to your mercenary companies (in which case it will count as further payment down the line). Wandering tribals like the Belgae under Ambiorix are more likely to "settle" with you, essentially shedding their Mercenary tag and becoming a de jure force of your own, compared to the Five Hundred, who will prefer to maintain its mercenary status due to accumulated prestige, history, elitism, etc. (which isn't to say making them yours permanently is impossible, just involves different things).

Trainee combat slaves are boys who were selected to begin training/already began training with the eventual goal of becoming a part of the Sacred Band of Carthage (Electric Boogaloo). There are roughly 1,150 of them. They are NOT fuly trained soldiers, just boys who went through the first two weeks of PT. You could sell them as athletic boy-slaves for higher than normal-boy price in the market, or look into training them yourself. Though I am not sure what Caesar would feel about a slave army- oh wait, he already ranted about it. In Thread 1. You could, of course, free them, but what would make them stay with you?

>Luxury Goods
One of the greatest traits of Luxury Goods is that it can be easily carried, occupying small space relative to the price they can fetch. Some of them have time-gates, like being vulnerable to Spoilage (foodstuffs) or Deterioration (rust, eaten by worms, take your pick), though others like Gold are unlikely to deteriorate. Unfortunately, markets large and wealthy enough to accommodate a sudden influx of Luxury Goods is few and far in between - basically only major ports will take them off your hands readily, while smaller ports might allow only tiny portions of your LG to be sold or even bar them altogether, the local ruler fearful of its currency rates being destabilised.

Luxury Goods gained from Suerna are Artistic Works (portraits, bronze statues, wearable jewellery, stuff like that), Prized Slaves (aesthetically pleasing individuals, the unusually well-educated, any slaves that will fetch more than above-average rates in the market and typically are worth pampering), and Tyrian Purple-dyed Silk [vulnerable to worm rot] (automatically taken away from Humans category if this trait applies to them), an article of enough significance that I am putting it on its own category.
>>
>>3256794
>Weapons
Suerna was, again, one of the cities under the aegis of the SBC(Second Season). They had military hardware stockpiles here, mainly javelins and sandals. Every good army needs decent boots to march on.

>Perishable Goods
Food. Primarily dried figs. So much dried figs. I highly recommend you try some, they're surprisingly good, though not comparable to modern candy. Still, when you remember that modern candy unsurprisingly did not exist in those benighted times, you really begin to understand why dried fig would make people's mouths water. Also it really is pretty good. Fuck, I miss eating dried figs. Foodstuffs are, as you can tell from the label, PERISHABLE. Don't go around carrying food (yes, even dried ones) thinking they'll last forever.

You may be thinking, "Heh QM, we don't care about what our character eats since we don't experience the gods-awful flavour ourselves, so we'll stuff our stomachs with the shittiest, cheapest, driest, crumbliest ship biscuits there is!" If you do that you will get scurvy and a host of other diseases, infections, sexual impotence, and whatever else. I highly recommend you do not go "HARDTACK MODE". Remember, citrus saves lives.
>>
>>3256796
>Notable Goods
These are goods that deserve mention by themselves despite belonging to categories formerly mentioned. It's because they're extra-special. Don't want to just dump Hellen of Troy into high-class courtesan category (Prized Slaves), do we? For Notable Goods, you have
Bronze Statue of Dead Dido, Reclined on a Kline (long sofa)
Bronzes is widely agreed within the Mediterranean to be the superbestest material for statue-making. Unfortunately, the rarity of bronze meant that the damned Greeks (and later peoples) kept melting down bronze statues to make THEIR bronze statues. This is the reason we almost never see bronze statues of Greek origin nowadays. Or actual Greek marble statues that aren't Roman reproductions, but that is another story. I presume everyone knows who Dido is, and why this is of interest to Caesar, so I'll move on to the next one.
Particularly well-made torc [gold]
Torcs are neck-wears associated with Gauls/Celts/Germans/etc. It's essentially a collar-necklace that you will wear for the rest of your lives. The semi-permanence of gifting a torc (if you want to get out of it you have to get like two other people and specialised tools to wring the damned thing open) means it's a pretty prestigious thing to receive for Gauls. Hint hint.
This torc features snarling wolves at both ends of the torc. Go look up what a torc looks like and you will know what I mean by "both ends".
Ummashtart, Princess of Suerna
Fancy title for a girl from a dead city, she's just a kid of ten years. Might have some value as hostage, or not. She's currently crying her eyes out in one of the guest quarters being comforted by her handmaidens, under lock and key in a special cell (read: repurposed guest quarters). Reminder that CAESAR IS NOT A PAEDOPHILE.

Suerna is a Large Port, and can accomodate anything you want to offload to its markets. Please vote for things to keep or sell with the following format.
>SELL
>[things you want sold]
>KEEP
>[things you want kept]
>>
Due to the size and complexity of the vote, this will be open until tomorrow afternoon sometime in UTZ, or even longer if consensus is not achieved by then. Go forth and battle with anons of different minds!
>>
>>3256803
>SELL
>Luxury Goods (Artistic Works, Prized Slaves)
>Bronze Statue of Dead Dido, Reclined on a Kline (long sofa)
Idk wtf is this?
>Humans
>KEEP
>Luxury Goods (Tyrian Purple-dyed Silk for mama, Prized Slaves [well-educated])
>Humans (Females, 500 Trainee combat slaves to start our first cohort)
>Weapons
>Perishable Goods
>>
>>3256803
>Reminder that CAESAR IS NOT A PAEDOPHILE

True, he was, however, very much of a satyromaniac as he didn't get his nickname of "Husband of all wives, Wife of all husbands" from nowhere so the poor girl is still only getting a "truce" for the handful years it will take her to become nubile, unless we sell her off before.
>>
>>3256803
>CAESAR IS NOT A PAEDOPHILE
What about handholding?
>>
>>3256860
Quite right, just wanted to prevent some anons forcing me to write a five year old romancing some kid.

>>3256870
>Roman
>wanting to hold hands with a Carthaginian
>>
>>3256805
>Women and children
Give them to our barbaroi friends.
>Combat Slaves
Assemble them and tell them that they have the choice to either be sold into slavery or join us as free men in a great expedition to the ends of the Earth. Make it clear that the journey may claim many of their lives, but if they make it to the other side, riches and glory eternal will be theirs.
>Prized Slaves
Go through their number, perhaps there are some among them with skills that might prove valuable in our journey. Craftsmen such as smiths or carpenters, or educated men with knowledge of mathematics and engineering, if we ever need to build something, such as a temporary fort or siege engines. It certainly wouldn't hurt if we found the new Archimedes here among them and put his skills to good use. Those we can't use, we sell.
>Artistic Works
Sell it all.
>Tyrian Purple-dyed Silk
Keep it for now, it might end up being more valuable the further we range from the location of its production.
>Military supplies
Keep it all.
>Food
Keep just enough that we might use it all before it goes bad. What we can't use, we sell.
>Bronze Statue of Dido, Reclining
Keep it for now.
>Gold Torc (well made)
Gift it to Ambiorix. I'm sure cozying up to the Gallic captain won't hurt.
>Ummashtart, Princess of Suerna
Keep her for now. I don't fancy the idea of the Sacred Band coming after us for revenge, and she might be useful as a bargaining chip as long as we remain in the region. At the same time, I don't want to keep her forever, so make plans to drop her and her servants off at the last port city before India. Maybe let her keep the Statue of Dido, Reclining as a way to get money if she desperately needs it. Maybe also let off a portion of the combat slaves as well in case she needs protection?
>>
>>SELL
Young boys slaves
Artistic works
Tyrian Silk

>>KEEP
The women and female children slaves, give them as a prize for the mercs
Prized slaves
Weapons and boots, we'll need them
Exotic foods
Bronze statue, as a reminder of our first triumph
Well made Torc, give to Ambrionix
The Princess, for future "use"
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>>3256882
>Not pumping and dumping her like Aeneas
Are you even Roman?
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>>3256882
A wise precaution given anons' boners for waifus (underage or not) on this board.

I don't doubt our dear Julius will be an early bloomer again but he's literally just a toddler right now so let's avoid girls and greeklings as they both have cooties.
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>>3256805
Supporting >>3256940. Let's raise that princess into the perfect slave!
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>>3257034
>>3256940
Ick. I'd throw her into the ocean before I touched a filthy Punic in that way.
>>
>KEEP
Food (dried figs)
Trainee combat slaves
Dido Statue
Ummashtart, Princess of Suerna (+ 5x Handmaidens)
Military Equipment (Sandals and javelins)
Prized Slave: STEMs (Engineer Corps?)

>GIFT
Female Civilians (Distribute among Gauls and Five Hundred)
Golden Torc (Ambiorix)
Tyrian purple silk (Mother)

>Sell
Artistic Works
Jewellery
Prized Slave: Pretty-Face Civilians

I tried to synthesise all the disparate opinions. Is this acceptable or shall I wait a bit longer?
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>>3259281
Perfect QM, let's move on with that delicious plot!
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>>3259281
I like it
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>>3259281
You are golden
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>>3259281
Keep the pretty faces, they are useful for bribes to leaders.
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>>3259281
Yes, let's keep the pretty face
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>>3259292
>>3259290
Keeping pretty faces, writing
>>
File: Numante.jpg (192 KB, 900x606)
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The return back to Numante is unremarkable, and for you, unbelievably slow. You want to return to Suerna, sell the newly acquired merchandise through discreet channels, and quickly get ready for the real voyage eastward. Everyone aboard (aside from the newly-enslaved) knows that Suerna was only the entrée, nowhere near enough significant to whet your appetite for conquest.

You are startled by the sound of splintering wood, and look down where your hands grip the gunwale of the ship tightly. There are indentions made where your fingers pressed into the railing. In the spirit of experiment, you flex your hand muscles and grip the top of the railing again, this time in an unaffected area. The smooth Circassian firwood creaks from stress as you slowly add pressure, ceasing when you stop. You try again, but it no longer has that massive power that the first and second attempts in denting the railing possessed. It's like you were inspired with a flash of phenomenal strength, most of it dissipating and leaving only a small fragment behind.

For a full minute you simply stare at your hand. You don't remember anything like this happening in your previous life... it could be something come with being a demigod, but you were one for five interminable years. There were times you felt suffocated due to being limited to a toddlers' range of actions, and you never had anything godlike happen then. What could have caused this change?

The answer comes to you, quicker than Hermes can shout "You're it!". Conquest. That is the only thing different from the you from a week ago, and the you of today.

Whereas Rhea Silvia, daughter of Numitor was the mother of the twins Romulus and Remus, Mars was the father, which made him the ancestor of all Romans. You had always felt that addicting surge of adrenaline whenever you fought in the forefront of Roman expansion, away from the dry snakepit that was the Senate back in Rome - exulted in the careful manipulation of the enemy's psyche, rejoiced in seeing them driven before your veteran legions. Now, that feeling, that Experience... it is no longer merely a thrill, but a catalyst to greater divine manifestation. And this fills you with a great determination.

[You are noticeably taller as well as being stronger. Congratulations, you might even defeat a twelve year old with the kind of strength you have! You can without a doubt beat up every other five year old in the playground. Maybe even the ten year olds.]
>>
>>3259357

----
Somewhere, beyond the sight of mortals and demigods alike, a grizzled soldier soaked with the blood of others continue to watch over the large ship sailing below the clouds, the ship named in honour of his children's mother. He is staring intently at a child of five from his mountain perch, drinking in the sight of the boy. "So," he says with a gentle smile - a smile that does not reach his fiery eyes, eyes that desire murder and rape and destruction of all living things - "he's discovered the rules to the game at last. This song of blood can only end with one conclusion. Rip and tear, little boy, until the deed is done."
----

The port of Suerna is a welcoming sight after a week of featureless coasts and calm ocean. The adults don't expect you to help oversee the hauling of goods or deal with the slaves, which means you have free time - a free time augmented by SPENDING MONEY, generously given to you by your father, after he noticed how suddenly-tall you became. He also tried to, in his not-so-subtle way, suggest going to a brothel. Juno Above, but that man is forward.

You are Julius Caesar, also known as Alexandros in this life. Everything you do is part of a longer plan (or will be portrayed as such when you eventually get around to writing your autobiography), and now that you are docked in port, the first thing you want to do is-

>visit the Phoenician princess in the guest quarters. You're a kid. She's a kid. Maybe you two could talk in child-ese and make her less cry-all-the-timey.
>you saved some (not all, some) of the beautiful Tyrian purple-dyed silk for your mother. You want to be the one to gift it to her, in person.
>talk with Ambiorix. He was ecstatic when you gave him the torc - almost broke your back from that hug... you wince from the memory of it. He really isn't bad at all, even if he's a barbarian. You like his war stories, too, and his daughter/son is easy on the eyes... in a totally platonic way. You're a kid.
>visit that brothel. Hey, dad told you to. Not your fault. Just following orders. YOU PLEAD THE NUREMBERG!
>use that spending money to good use instead of catching crotch-itch by visiting the markets! You hate markets! It smells like fish and there are foreigners everywhere and the spices itch your nose, but the markets!
>chat with Cabaleiro while he isn't being handsy with his lads. He's a bit difficult for you to approach because of his preferences, which you totally respect, but it's just... you're a kid right now. Still, you've been putting off having a heart-to-heart with the olive-skinned Lusitanian commander of your heavy infantrymen, which is not ideal.
>Custom
>>
>>3259283
>>3256682
>>3256650
Glad you've been enjoying the writing, I'm ESL so I had serious concerns on whether my typing would be acceptable. I was surprised when this quest started getting more than one or two votes per update!
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>>3259363
>>you saved some (not all, some) of the beautiful Tyrian purple-dyed silk for your mother. You want to be the one to gift it to her, in person.
>>
>>3259363
>visit the Phoenician princess in the guest quarters. You're a kid. She's a kid. Maybe you two could talk in child-ese and make her less cry-all-the-timey.
>>
>>3259363
>>Custom
All of the above
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>>3259369
>I'm ESL so I had serious concerns on whether my typing would be acceptable.
Never would have guessed. Your writing is excellent; totally thought you were a native speaker.
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>>3259379
No wait nyx the brothel part. Priority should be given to Mother.
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>>3259363
>you saved some (not all, some) of the beautiful Tyrian purple-dyed silk for your mother. You want to be the one to gift it to her, in person.

Some pietas is always good.
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>>3259369
Your writing is very good and so is your style. This quest is honestly one of the most promising and enjoyable one I've seen in the last year or so.
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>>3259369
don't bail on us
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>>3259383
>>3259388
>>3259371
Oedipus Quest is a go, vote closed
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>>3259363
>you saved some (not all, some) of the beautiful Tyrian purple-dyed silk for your mother. You want to be the one to gift it to her, in person.
>>
File: Our mother.jpg (733 KB, 745x900)
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The windows to her room are kept open, as adviced by one of the many doctors that have visited your homestead through the years. Like all the wise words and wisdoms of the wizened doctors and healers that your father employed, it hasn't "improved her humour". Your mother is laid on the bed, motionless save for her breathing.

She is in peace - a rare moment of respite, when she is usually tortured and in pain. You remember so very vividly, her twisting and turning, pained utterances dripping from her half-conscious mind forming nonsense words. This is your fault. You chose to be born here, so close to Juno's power base. And the Vengeful Bitch does not forgive.

The white-dressed maidservants that seem to revolve around her like tireless doves with all their fluttery dresses dab her sweating brow constantly, replacing the cool wet cloth on her head as it soaks up the heat from her fever-slick body. They look surprised when you enter, but do not shoo you away like they used to. The sacking of Suerna has visibly altered you, and being taller and more mature-looking has its advantages.

"Mother," you whisper, feeling a lump in your throat. Funny, you never felt anything like this when you were a mere mortal. Your first mother was a strict and respectable woman, highly intelligent and strong - gods, she was resilient. You couldn't imagine Aurelia laying in bed, comatose with some unknown affliction. She was the kind of woman who would slap Juno Regina herself and get back to her own two feet to prepare the dinner fare. You never saw her drop a single tear when the news of your father's death from the political purge arrived on your doorstep.

Being Greek has made you become sentimental. That must be why you begin to cry, silently so as to not disturb her rare peaceful rest, drops of fat briny water falling on the floor.

Juno envied the Romans and hated the Trojans, ancestors of your people. You never thought much about gods in your mortal life, even after you were raised to the seat of Pontifex Maximus, or high priest, as a purely political ploy. But now you know that gods are very real, that their actions reverberate around the world. One thing is certain: there can be no peace for Romans with Juno, Queen of the Gods, alive and well to continue her machinations against your people.

And most importantly for you, your mother Rhea. Rhea after who your father named his ship. Rhea, whose name-origin once bore unto this benighted world a son to light its four-cornered boundaries with civilisation.
>>
>>3259478

You lay the bolt of purple silk at her feet, letting the incredibly soft fabric caress her toes. And in that moment, overwhelmed by the righteous anger that swirls in Styxian turbulence in your heavy heart-

[Vows are extremely serious matters, irrevocably binding you to certain actions, the penalty of not accomplishing the task(s) being that of getting Greek Tragedy'd by the Fates. There are usually loopholes depending on how you word things, but the spirit of the vow is also important. Vows may also assist the maker of said promise in certain ineffable ways, the universe conspiring to at least give the vow-maker a chance at fulfilling that promise. Choose wisely.]

>You vow that you will destroy the source of her affliction - Juno the Jealous, Juno the Queen-Bitch on Olympus, Juno the destroyer of Trojans. You will raise the greatest army the world will ever know and return west. You will face every obstacle visited by that hateful woman and her allies and overturn the very temples of the Most High Mountain, Olympus. There, you will wring the life out of that spiteful she-goddess for the torturous years she has visited on your mother. Rhea will be free.

>You vow that you will return with what your father is looking for - the Elixir of Immortality. If it is powerful enough to grant a man immunity from Hades' skeletal grasp, then surely, it is potent enough to break this curse that Juno has visited on your mother. Without an army, without divine allies to back you up, you will likely never see Rome again... but you are content to simply live in Greece for the rest of your days if that means your mother can live like a human being once more.

>No, you are a Roman. Such passion-driven vows are what caused the downfall of those Grecian heroes. Even the wily Odysseus almost lost everything, nevermind the rest of the kings and generals that set sail against Troy - all because of a promise made before a royal marriage. You calm yourself by force if necessary, and spend the remaining evening watching your mother, helping wipe away her sweat, until the coming of sleeping time parts you from her presence.

>Custom
>>
>>3259488
Would it be possible to mix the first two? Vow to cure Rhea *and* make sure that Juno can never again cause such needless suffering again
>>
Custom write-ins are always welcome! As far as you know, destroying Juno is one way to cure her affliction, the Elixir of Immortality possibly another. Unless that immortality only imparts, well, immortality, and not the haleness of body and mind, in which case.... shit. Just make sure you make it very clear what kind of method you have in mind, the extent of its effects, and so on. Wouldn't want to drag out the time before next update with constant "do you mean this?" "no i mean that".
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>>3259488
>No, you are a Roman. Such passion-driven vows are what caused the downfall of those Grecian heroes. Even the wily Odysseus almost lost everything, nevermind the rest of the kings and generals that set sail against Troy - all because of a promise made before a royal marriage. You calm yourself by force if necessary, and spend the remaining evening watching your mother, helping wipe away her sweat, until the coming of sleeping time parts you from her presence.

Has much has it pains me to pussy out from such a blatantly decisive moment, such is the fight of our father; not our own.
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>>3259488
>No, you are a Roman. Such passion-driven vows are what caused the downfall of those Grecian heroes. Even the wily Odysseus almost lost everything, nevermind the rest of the kings and generals that set sail against Troy - all because of a promise made before a royal marriage. You calm yourself by force if necessary, and spend the remaining evening watching your mother, helping wipe away her sweat, until the coming of sleeping time parts you from her presence.

Remember that Caesar is as constant as the northern star. Discard passion and strive in simple faith.
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>>3259488
>No, you are a Roman. Such passion-driven vows are what caused the downfall of those Grecian heroes. Even the wily Odysseus almost lost everything, nevermind the rest of the kings and generals that set sail against Troy - all because of a promise made before a royal marriage. You calm yourself by force if necessary, and spend the remaining evening watching your mother, helping wipe away her sweat, until the coming of sleeping time parts you from her presence.
>>
>>3259488
>No, you are a Roman. Such passion-driven vows are what caused the downfall of those Grecian heroes. Even the wily Odysseus almost lost everything, nevermind the rest of the kings and generals that set sail against Troy - all because of a promise made before a royal marriage. You calm yourself by force if necessary, and spend the remaining evening watching your mother, helping wipe away her sweat, until the coming of sleeping time parts you from her presence.
>>
>No, you are a Roman. Such passion-driven vows are what caused the downfall of those Grecian heroes. Even the wily Odysseus almost lost everything, nevermind the rest of the kings and generals that set sail against Troy - all because of a promise made before a royal marriage. You calm yourself by force if necessary, and spend the remaining evening watching your mother, helping wipe away her sweat, until the coming of sleeping time parts you from her presence.

Promises are dangerous things to make. We will do these things, but not because of silly things like fate.

Also had no idea you were ESL, OP. You're doing great.
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>>3259488
>No, you are a Roman. Such passion-driven vows are what caused the downfall of those Grecian heroes. Even the wily Odysseus almost lost everything, nevermind the rest of the kings and generals that set sail against Troy - all because of a promise made before a royal marriage. You calm yourself by force if necessary, and spend the remaining evening watching your mother, helping wipe away her sweat, until the coming of sleeping time parts you from her presence
>>
>>3260346
>>3260227
>>3259638
>>3259578
>>3259552
>>3259546
No emotional promises made to the gods, not for Caesar. Vote closed
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The morning dawn greets you with a downcast sky of rain and thunder. You shiver involuntarily from the brush of outside cold as you tip-toe out of your room. Autumn draws close, and with it the flirting between winged Anemoi - little helpers of Aeolus, god of the winds. Those oversexed godlings when in heat could cause very much trouble with their mating displays and challenges among peers. Your father is confident that the Rhea is sturdy enough to handle the trans-seasonal turbulence, and you, not being the kind of navigator he is, will have to trust him. The Expedition will begin in two weeks, after the Suernian merchandise is safely disposed of, the ship thoroughly cleaned, all the food and water brought back in...

Ah, poor Lynius. He is no doubt overseeing all those arrangements and more back on the Rhea even with the cold morning rain. Your father may be the captain, but it was him who took care of such details when the ship was in dock. No one had attempted a journey to Sinae in living memory - not even Alexander the Great could breach the bulwaks of Hindu to see the other side of Oceanus. Your father really asked a lot of him. But that was the kind of effect he had on his men - undying loyalty. His easy smile, open palms, and a wide heart - that endeared him among the crewmen, who loved him as if he were their own father. He was a great nautician, certainly, the Carthaginians of old would have given much to benefit from his expertise, but the love of his men... that was what made him so indispensable for the greedy Harkonni, for whom solely money kept people in their employee.

Only the threat of resignation allowed him to go on this fool-hardy expedition. The iron must be struck while it is still hot - you do not know when Arto Harkonnen, the head of Numantian branch of the Harkonni, might change his mind about letting your father go. That explained the two weeks of prep time, too short a time for most merchant vessels.

The day is young, if cold, and you have much to do. Micah and Timon has come to you to speak about the recruitment of additional mercenary companies. You are glad to see the bowl of dried figs (the very same liberated from Suerna) and some yoghurt with honey that Timon has brought to the dining table, and begin to break your fast as the two narrate the costs, advantages, disadvantages, and so on of the potential recruits.

You have 7 Resources to spend on recruiting more mercenary groups.
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>>3261639
>the Varangian sellswords from the north, led by a man named Cnut. Varangian is a name given to raiders and slavers with straw-yellow hair who frequent the Germanic coasts, hailing from an even colder place than frozen Germania, if Timon (himself a Varangi) is to be believed. You have heard mention of their fighting prowess in your time among the Gauls, and if they are anything like the Nervii, they would make for great warriors. Unfortunately, they are also likely quite undisciplined, preferring to fight as individuals instead as a part of a unit. [1,000 Raider Infantry] (2 Resource)

>The Germans are fierce warriors, against whom the Gauls do not even pretended to compete with in bravery. They have a unique view on the constitution of the cavalry, in that every horse-rider is paired with a light infantryman who will run alongside his mounted partner, until the conjoining of the battle. Then the footsoldier, armed with a kind of spear or pike, clings to the side of the horse by grappling the mane, protecting the flank of the rider and stabbing at the enemy. They proved especially effective against enemy cavalry, as you found from the German mercenaries under your employ during the Gallic War. It is not unusual to see Germans so far from home - their native lands are cold and inhospitable, regularly driving them outwards in search for a better habitat. It seems that this particular group, led by a chieftain named Hermann, is a remnant of a once-larger tribe who had to flee from the west. They also bring with them a number of dependents along with the soldiers. [120 light cavalry, 120 light infantry, 250 civilians] (3 Resource)

>The prowess of the Parthian mounted archers are well known throughout Rome, not the least due to the disastrous campaign led by one of your former partners of the Triumvirate, Crassus. Carrhae remains to this day a painful blot in the history of Rome. These men are magnificent equestrians to be able to direct their horses with nothing but pressure from their legs, while they freely turn their upper body about to rain arrows on their enemies. The Parthian state keeps a tight grip on these accomplished individuals for use in their militaries, as they are the source of their power. You have reservations in hiring such a small group for such a great price, yet there is a very visible gap in your current military assets - the lack of a rapid strike force that can serve as harassing skirmishers without having to crash into the enemy flanks to deliver damage. There leader is a young man wearing a face-obscuring mask-helm and an ostentatious form-obscuring armour of silk and precious metals who ges by the name of "Azadan".[50 Parthian mounted archers] (3 Resources)
>>
>>3261642
>>The Germans are fierce warriors, against whom the Gauls do not even pretended to compete with in bravery. They have a unique view on the constitution of the cavalry, in that every horse-rider is paired with a light infantryman who will run alongside his mounted partner, until the conjoining of the battle. Then the footsoldier, armed with a kind of spear or pike, clings to the side of the horse by grappling the mane, protecting the flank of the rider and stabbing at the enemy. They proved especially effective against enemy cavalry, as you found from the German mercenaries under your employ during the Gallic War. It is not unusual to see Germans so far from home - their native lands are cold and inhospitable, regularly driving them outwards in search for a better habitat. It seems that this particular group, led by a chieftain named Hermann, is a remnant of a once-larger tribe who had to flee from the west. They also bring with them a number of dependents along with the soldiers. [120 light cavalry, 120 light infantry, 250 civilians] (3 Resource)
Get those Germans! No foes will be able to withstand the furor teutonicus!
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>>3261642
>The heavy cavalrymen of the Parthians are renowned for their near indefatigable horses of great stature and the power with which they can break into infantry formations. Like unrelenting fists of iron do they punch through the vulnerable flanks of unwary enemies, both horse and rider protected by bands of iron and steel. Only the most superb among horse-riders can manage to stay on their saddles in the aftermath of a charge, making such capable men as valued a resource as their war-crazed horses and the expensive armour needed to cloth them. Yet for all their pampered state by their retainers, in some rare moments small detachments of kataphraktoi leave the service of their satrap for one reason or another... [20 Kataphraktoi] (4 Resources)

>Armenians make experienced if ill-equipped soldiers, veterans from years of asymmetric warfare in the tumultuous fields of their homelands which serve as the field of contest between the border Parthian satraps and the ever-raiding nomads from the east, each of their waves with different names and different tongues, always fleeing something. This particular group of light infantrymen, led by a man who introduces himself as Tigrad the Ba'ashar, are most likely deserters from another of the eternal border battles north of here, seeking a more profitable life from their experience in killing. [1,000 Light Infantry] (2 Resources)
>>
And don't forget that you can also pitch ideas for merc companies, I might add them in if it's early enough in the vote and seems plausible to put in.
>>
>>3261642
>The Germans are fierce warriors, against whom the Gauls do not even pretended to compete with in bravery. They have a unique view on the constitution of the cavalry, in that every horse-rider is paired with a light infantryman who will run alongside his mounted partner, until the conjoining of the battle. Then the footsoldier, armed with a kind of spear or pike, clings to the side of the horse by grappling the mane, protecting the flank of the rider and stabbing at the enemy. They proved especially effective against enemy cavalry, as you found from the German mercenaries under your employ during the Gallic War. It is not unusual to see Germans so far from home - their native lands are cold and inhospitable, regularly driving them outwards in search for a better habitat. It seems that this particular group, led by a chieftain named Hermann, is a remnant of a once-larger tribe who had to flee from the west. They also bring with them a number of dependents along with the soldiers. [120 light cavalry, 120 light infantry, 250 civilians] (3 Resource)
>>
>>3261651
With the Germans recruited, let's spend the remaining 4 resources on
>The heavy cavalrymen of the Parthians are renowned for their near indefatigable horses of great stature and the power with which they can break into infantry formations. Like unrelenting fists of iron do they punch through the vulnerable flanks of unwary enemies, both horse and rider protected by bands of iron and steel. Only the most superb among horse-riders can manage to stay on their saddles in the aftermath of a charge, making such capable men as valued a resource as their war-crazed horses and the expensive armour needed to cloth them. Yet for all their pampered state by their retainers, in some rare moments small detachments of kataphraktoi leave the service of their satrap for one reason or another... [20 Kataphraktoi] (4 Resources)
>>
>>3261639
I love that we're working for House Harkonnen. Beautiful.
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>>3261664
I did heavily hint it from the first thread with
>House Harkonni, a Greek-Suomic family with roots in exiled Varangian nobles
but no one seemed to have gotten it, not until I namedropped Harkonnen. I wonder if that means a certain House will try to fuck with your Expedition...
>>
Hire Germans and Armenians
>>3261656
How about an Indian company with elephants?
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>>3262123
Come on, man, we gotta get those kataphraktoi for the maximally Roman army!
Elephants aren't really that great in wars; they're hared to control and just as likely to hurt their own soldiers as the enemy's.
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>>3262130
20 cataphracts for 4 resources is excessive. That's 5 cataphracts/resource compared to 500 Armenians/resource.
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>>3262138
Even so, remember who we're going up against in the end. Light disorganized infantry will probably get shredded against the Chinese armies. Since we know the enemy will have the numerical advantage, we should be focusing on quality over quantity.
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>>3261642
>The Germans are fierce warriors, against whom the Gauls do not even pretended to compete with in bravery.
[120 light cavalry, 120 light infantry, 250 civilians] (3 Resource)
>The prowess of the Parthian mounted archers are well known throughout Rome, not the least due to the disastrous campaign led by one of your former partners of the Triumvirate, Crassus.
[50 Parthian mounted archers] (3 Resources)
Could we spend that extra resource on some sort of big siege engine? Or group of engineers capable of constructing one?
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>>3261654
>no Macedonian type phalangites
Some people might say they're obsolete at this point, but one need only look at medieval pike formations such as those of the Swiss to see that they still have the ability to be a dominant force on the battlefield with the proper organization and support and with a good commander at the helm.
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>>3262492
We had that option at the beginning, but they were the Sacred Band of Carthage. Since we sacked Suerna, their home, we no longer have the opportunity to hire them. Plus, we have quasi-legionary heavy infantry, and if the Roman-Macedonian wars are anything to go by, they're much better.
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>>3262503
I was under the impression that the sacred band were armed and trained as a more traditional hoplite phalanx
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>>3262532
You could be right, I'm not sure.
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>>3261656
>>3261654
>>3261642
Cataphracts and Germans
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>>3262551
>>3262492
If I could have all three of these, I would do so.
>Germans
I mentioned earlier, I believe, on the merits of having a self sustaining population from which we could recruit more warriors down the line which could be bound to us personally (much as it seems we are doing to the Gauls, surprisingly).
>Cataphracts
Super heavy cavalry aren't really a thing at this point in China. A quick Google search tells me heavy cav didn't become popular there until 4th and 5th centuries AD. I doubt they're nonexistent at this point in our quest, just rare, and I plan on using that to our advantage.
>Macedonians
A good choice for the backbone of our infantry. Their defensive capability, especially against horses, is superb. The only thing is their relative immobility compared to the legionary infantry. Thankfully we have that too, so they cover each other's weaknesses. Combined arms!
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>>3262810
Also to add to that, the Nisaean mounts that cataphracts used were huge and powerful compared to the much smaller ones the Chinese used, which allowed for the much heavier armor they're equipped with. I think it would be a good idea to breed them once we get to china, and to keep them under heavy guard. The riders and their equipment can be replaced much more easily than the horses.
>>
We should try and secure a large contingent of Heavy Cavalry, the Chinese lacked powerful horses (as said by >>3262835).

I believe heavy cavalry will be the great equaliser for our small numbers early on, few peasant levies even armed with spears will be willing to stand against the thundering charge of armoured horsemen, especially if they are otherwise engaged with our infantry.
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>>3262320
>Siege weapons
Carrying them around in your ship is not suggested, unless in their prefabricated form, given obvious issues with transporting them around. And seeing as you have engineer-slaves, you could make them your engineer corps - the praefactus fabrum - and have them build those things. A lot of the simpler siege engines that didn't involve intricate machinations were built from locally sourced materials, I think?

>>3262492
>Swiss Pike
If I remember correctly, Swiss pikemen still retained the weakness of the phalangites, just less because they were less organised (one-side facing). I think a major reason for their ascendancy at that time is the lack of powerful heavy infantry forces, and a major resource-tunneling on heavy cavalry, against whom pike formations were created as heavy deterrents.

The Landschnekt also used pikes as screening defensive measures to protect their gunners, and you don't exactly have anything with the kind of penetration power as gunpowder weapons.

>>3262503
>>3262532
>the group calling themselves the Sacred Band of Carthago. Of course, the real Sacred Band of Carthago was destroyed long ago together with that detestable city. These men are probably not even fully Punic in blood. They were famed for the splendour of their arms, and the slowness and orderliness of their march. Their most common clients were the various satraps in the Parthian Empire who waged war among themselves when the King of Kings was busy with external affairs, so they are experienced in the arts of war. Their primary equipment was the phalanx - powerful, but inflexible. [800 Phalanx Spearmen]

>>3262835
>>3262932
I'll add "breeding herd of Nisaeans" on the next "secondary acquisitions" vote.

>Other
So the votes seems to be heavily cavalry-focused. Are we good on Germans and Kataphraktoi? Not going to update soon, it's a workday, but I do want to know if that's the consensus
>>
>>3263557
I'm for Germans and Kataphraktoi.
>>
>>3263557
I'll take it!
>>
>>3263557
>Germans and Kataphraktoi are a go
>>
>>3261642
>Germans
>macedonians if there are any
We don't need expensive cav or horse archers
>>
>>3263641
>We don't need expensive cavalry
>We want Macedonian pikes
You know Macedonian sarissa infantry was the most expensive infantry to train in the ancient world, right? The're hardly a cheap alternative.
>>
>>3263648
Really? I would have assumed the legions would be more expensive considering their heavier armour.
Plus surely kataphraktoi are more expensive considering the fancy horse and very heavy armour
>>
For anyone with an interest in this stuff, you can find more links with info on the time period here: https://www.europabarbarorum.com/EB1/links.html
>>3263654
There's also the training involved. The sarissa was very unwieldy, and maneuvering with it in formation took a *lot* of training. During this rather extended training period, you still had to pay these troops.
>>
testing format
>>
>>3263965
Format TESTED
>>
>Germans (3)
>Kataphraktoi (4)

"More horses," Timon grunts. "Lynius will be driven mad with having to deal with the horse-shit. With all these civilians the Germans are bringing, it looks more like we're preparing to found a colony, not go on an expedition."

"Next up is for secondary acquisitions before we leave port," Micah says, bringing up a scroll for your perusal. "Your father thought that it would be good for you to start familiarising yourself with the family business, since you can read as well as any grown man. Lynius will have his own budget and preparations, so you need not worry about things like food, water, spare ropes, and the like, but there is more to a voyage than spare sails and biscuits. There is also the matter of what to do with the newly-joined freed slaves from Suerna who will have to be equipped for war. There were also some people who came by yesterday, interested in our journey eastward. Here are the estimated costs for each materials..."

[You have 12 Resources.]

>Equip the 671 freed slaves (formerly Trainee Combat Slaves) with arms and armours and lift up officers from their own ranks. [-1 Resources, creates Light Infantry]

>Integrate the 671 freed slaves into the Five Hundred, giving them similar equipment and putting them under the command of the Five Hundred's officers. [-3 Resources, creates Heavy Auxiliary]

>A group of displaced Jewish families from the ongoing territorial dispute between Ardashir, Satrap of Numante, and Vahbarz, Satrap of Sattagydia have asked for safe passage on your ship. They offer payment. [+5 Resources, +600 Jewish Civilians]

>An entourage of House Atreidae demands the best guest quarters on your passage to Hindu. The Atreidae are an ancient rival to House Harkonni, who are your father's employers. The Atreidae may take offence to having other passengers aboard. [bold] [+10 Resource, Atreidae Emissaries to the East added] [/bold]

>Ten nobles from the court of Ardashir, Satrap of Numante, humble servant to the King of Kings [further titles redacted for sake of brevity] make their overlord's wish for their sojourn to Hindu quietly known. They bear a letter of passage stamped with the sigil of Ardashir. The satrapic emmissaries may take offence to having other passengers aboard. [bold] [-2 Resource, Ardashir's Emmissaries to the East added] [/bold]

cont.
>>
>>3263980
Hm, guess [b works but [bold doesn't.

>Purchase 40 Nisaean breeding stock of horses in the highly regulated market within Numante. The Nisaean breed is widely regarded as the greatest warhorse breed in existence, and a herd of this powerfully built mounts per exellemtiam are prohibitively expensive for the common men. There are no horses faster, stronger, or larger than the Nisaean. Exceedingly white Nisaean horses are used by the King of Kings himself, while grey variants carry the divine carriage of Ahura Mazda. [-6 Resources]

>Purchase 120 Hunnic breeding stock of horses from a nomadic patriarch, whose people are camped fifty miles outside of Numante's walls. The nomadic people of the Eurasian steppes were the first to tame these beasts, weeding out traits considered too weak for survival in the harsh inhospitable deadlands from whence they come. Their horses are stockier than western breeds, but extremely adaptable and can survive a wide range of habitats. Their greatest feature is perhaps the fact that they can subsist on almost any kind of vegetation, unlike the war horses of the more professional armies whose horses require specialised diets to support their powerful build. [-5 Resources]

>Purchase prefabricated scorpios, a type of crew-served battlefield artillery that worked as anti-personnel weapons when deployed by a team of fabri. These large man-portable weapons look like miniature ballistae, and can pierce through any human armour, and even some lesser fortifications. [-2 Resources per 10 Scorpios]

>Purchase tools to assist an engineer corps created from the learned slaves gained from Suerna. The slaves are unlikely to enjoy working in a military setting, being used to a more pampered lifestyle due to their intellect and training. Freeing them will make them more motivated since they will have to actively fend for themselves, ie by working hard as a member of your engineer corps and earning their daily wages. [-1 Resource]

>Purchase Trade Goods to barter with when docked in other ports. Numante specialises in glassware, which, while invulnerable from rot, can crack from mishandling and rough seas. [-1 Resource per 10 units of Trade Goods]

>Purchase Numantean Luxury Goods to barter with other ports. These glassware have been crafted and blown with exceptional skill and care. They may fetch a good price in foreign ports. [-3 Resources per 10 units of Luxury Goods]
>>
>>3263980
>Equip the 671 freed slaves (formerly Trainee Combat Slaves) with arms and armours and lift up officers from their own ranks.
Good to have some infantry of our own.
>Ten nobles from the court of Ardashir, Satrap of Numante, humble servant to the King of Kings [further titles redacted for sake of brevity] make their overlord's wish for their sojourn to Hindu quietly known. They bear a letter of passage stamped with the sigil of Ardashir. The satrapic emmissaries may take offence to having other passengers aboard.
'ate Jews
'ate Atreidae
love Harkonni
love me mum
simple as
>Purchase 120 Hunnic breeding stock of horses from a nomadic patriarch, whose people are camped fifty miles outside of Numante's walls. The nomadic people of the Eurasian steppes were the first to tame these beasts, weeding out traits considered too weak for survival in the harsh inhospitable deadlands from whence they come. Their horses are stockier than western breeds, but extremely adaptable and can survive a wide range of habitats. Their greatest feature is perhaps the fact that they can subsist on almost any kind of vegetation, unlike the war horses of the more professional armies whose horses require specialised diets to support their powerful build.
gib Hun horses
>>
>>3263980
>Equip the 671 freed slaves. [-1 Resources, creates Light Infantry]
11.
>A group of displaced Jewish families. [+5 Resources, +600 Jewish Civilians]
16.
>Purchase 120 Hunnic breeding stock of horses. [-5 Resources]
11.
>Purchase tools to assist an engineer corps created from the learned slaves gained from Suerna. [-1 Resource]
10.
>Purchase Trade Goods. 4x [-1 Resource per 10 units of Trade Goods]
6.
>Purchase Numantean Luxury Goods. 2x [-3 Resources per 10 units of Luxury Goods]
0.
>>
>>3264012
Support. Can we rob then dump the Jews on a rock after taking them on lol.
>>
>>3264022
You can certainly do that, though it may be considered to be breaking the promise of safe passage, leading to other consequences...
>>
>>3263980
>>Integrate the 671 freed slaves into the Five Hundred, giving them similar equipment and putting them under the command of the Five Hundred's officers. [-3 Resources, creates Heavy Auxiliary]
9R. Give me heavy infantry! I said heavy!
>A group of displaced Jewish families from the ongoing territorial dispute between Ardashir, Satrap of Numante, and Vahbarz, Satrap of Sattagydia have asked for safe passage on your ship. They offer payment. [+5 Resources, +600 Jewish Civilians]
14R. We have plenty of civilians already, why not take more? If the situation becomes uncertain, we can enslave them.
>Purchase 40 Nisaean breeding stock of horses in the highly regulated market within Numante. The Nisaean breed is widely regarded as the greatest warhorse breed in existence, and a herd of this powerfully built mounts per exellemtiam are prohibitively expensive for the common men. There are no horses faster, stronger, or larger than the Nisaean. Exceedingly white Nisaean horses are used by the King of Kings himself, while grey variants carry the divine carriage of Ahura Mazda. [-6 Resources]
8R. We already have a crap-ton of horses, so it's better to go for quality over quantity.
>Purchase tools to assist an engineer corps created from the learned slaves gained from Suerna. The slaves are unlikely to enjoy working in a military setting, being used to a more pampered lifestyle due to their intellect and training. Freeing them will make them more motivated since they will have to actively fend for themselves, ie by working hard as a member of your engineer corps and earning their daily wages. [-1 Resource]
7R. An army with no engineers can just go home and cry.
>Purchase Numantean Luxury Goods to barter with other ports. These glassware have been crafted and blown with exceptional skill and care. They may fetch a good price in foreign ports. [-3 Resources per 10 units of Luxury Goods] X2
1R. Trade is useful.
>Purchase Trade Goods to barter with when docked in other ports. Numante specialises in glassware, which, while invulnerable from rot, can crack from mishandling and rough seas. [-1 Resource per 10 units of Trade Goods]
We had one more point, and trade is still useful.
>>
>>3264121
Support, but with light infantry freedmen instead of heavy.
>>
Do we really want to bring along the Jews?
Granted, they will give us a pretty penny but they will always be the 'outsiders'.

*Insert Anti-Semitic Joke*
>>
>>3264121
>>3264188
Why Hunnic horses are better then Nisaean's.
There is bigger chance that Hunnic will survive the travel.
Their are more adaptable so we can use them wherever.
Less wary about forage for them.
We can gift them without worry they will die.
>>3264198
+5 resources is pretty juicy
Also depending on their trade they might be pretty useful
>>
>>3264198
>>3264203
Just a lurker coming in to point out that, where you're going, everyone of your potential expedition force are going to be outsiders. Plus they'll be fairly useful given it's literally tripling your civilian population.

Only problem is taking them means the Ardashir and Atreidae will potentially get pissy over sharing their voyage but the way I've read it implies they'd only get annoyed if the other group is on board rather than any people full stop.


Also the complete lack of interest in scorpios is both saddening and entirely wise.
>>
>>3264188
Why do you want light infantry instead of heavy? We're playing Caesar, an expert in commanding legionaries, and adding to our quasi-legion (the 500) is clearly getting the best bang for our buck!
>>
>>3264216
>spoiler
Entirely wise indeed.
>>3264223
Because we're not leading Rome anymore. We're handling a mishmash of disparate elements trained in wildly divergent ways of combat. Our strength is now diversity, not consistency, and it would be absurd to play otherwise.
>>
>>3264216
>Also the complete lack of interest in scorpios is both saddening and entirely wise.
I come to conclusion that we can make our own. Also we already have some on the board of the ship.

>>3264223
Legionaries were combination of different types of units. I only would like to point out painful lack of (range) skirmishers in our combination, and lack of light infantry type unit.

Also if we make them heavy infantry we shouldn't give them to mercs having eggs in different baskets, balance of power and that type of things.

Also for a long time we are will be traveling on the boat. Where heavy infantry does poor job.
>>
>>3264203
"Stallions to the battlefield, mares to the plow, and geldings to the packtrain."

Let me put it like this: Nesaean horses are the equivalent of race cars. You don't use them to drive on normal roads or go on roadless areas. They serve a very specific purpose, and they do it exceedingly well. The Nisaean horse is large, strong, intelligent, and even-gaited, which helps the rider not fall the hell off. Size (and thus stride angle) correlates to distance covered per gallop, which translates to speed. This is a horse that can be fully armoured and bear a rider who is, again, armoured. This is a horse that shines in heavy shock cavalry.

The Hunnic horse is shorter (~13hh compared to destriers' 14-16hh), stockier, and built as much for stamina as toughness. It's slower and isn't expected to put up with a heavily armoured rider, nevermind be armoured itself. You cannot dress this horse up in armour and expect it to do well as a kataphraktos. However, being slower means more maneuverability - you can stop easier on your tracks, change directions, and so on. It works well for light cavalrymen who skirmish the enemy ranks or harass them with thrown missiles and arrows.

In the end, different breeds are for different purposes. The larger and stronger the horse, the more they tend to cost. Notable is the fact that China had to bring horses from Central Asia (see: War of the Heavenly Horses) to bolster their own cavalry to face against the nomads in their borders. The Nesaean horse you buy here will outshine any shitty horse the east has excluding that of the Northern Barbarians, whose stock is comparable to the Hunnic, not Nesaean.

Persia/Arabia was the premier spot for high-quality horse breeds, and the blood of the Arabian horse permeates almost every horse breeds in the modern world. Central Asia was, after all, probably the first place that saw large-scale domestication of the horse.
>>
>>3264247
>Legionaries were different units
Legion, yes, legionaries, no. Yes, there were sub-legion specialisations among units, but the legion we all know and love is primarily composed of heavy infantry. A legion is augmented with other types of units, and said auxilia can and often do outnumber the actual legion itself - but the Legion on the whole was fairly homogenous. I went into some detail on the first thread, when anons picked the Five Hundred instead of the Phalangites.

Roman doctrine focused on heavy infantrymen, but one of their many excelling points was the willingness and ability to recognise the limits of their own styles and augment it with those of others - Numidian mounted skirmishers, Gallic cavalry to chase away enemy cavalry/maneuver enemy infantry, mounted archers drafted from border nomads in Asia Minor, and so on.

>shouldn't give them to mercs
There is a lot more to heavy infantrymen than just "better armours". Because you are weighed down, you have to learn to work in a formation in a comprehensible way (thus having good officers become more important), you need to be able to actually bear those arms (unlike light infantry, who were typically the youngest of the soldiers and thus not experienced enough to pace themselves). Officers -are- what makes heavy infantry, as much as armour.

And regarding leadership of the Five Hundred, there are ways to change that dynamic, perhaps even make them loyal to yourself.

What does a man want? He wants a goal, a raison d'etre. Something he can look to and say, "I wake up every morning because I want to see a day where that thing has been accomplished."

The Five Hundred isn't super loyal to their captain, Cabaleiro.

>Heavy infantry does badly on ships
Very true. But the thing is, you will probably be sailing along the coastline, for the following reasons:
1. Safer from weather, easier to immediately take harbour from the fickle sea
2. Primitive maps and navigational know-how limited all but the greatest of sailors to coastal ferrying in the big pond that was the Mediterranean, and you're about to head into an actual ocean. The more cautious captains would choose to sail in a visible distance from land.
3. Frequent watering - land. Ocean is salt water. Land gives (sometimes) fresh water.
4. Perhaps most importantly - cities mean trade, and/or loot. Bit of a waste to just let your armies rot in the hold all the way to India, yeah?

>>3264216
I just want to make sure everyone knows I wrote may, not [n]will. also yes you read the implication well, though it's not 100% guaranteed they'll start killing each other the moment they're on board
>>
>>3264260
The selling point at least for me of Hunnic horses was adaptability. Africa, Middle east, India, China and many more. Harsh, exotic climates, plenty of alien plants and what not.
Not talking about climates of those places. Also we are traveling on the boat. That's why I want to have horses that were bred to withstand harsh climates.
>>
>>3264289
Certainly more of a survivalist. Just don't expect them to stand their ground once you start armouring them with metal. That is not their purpose, and breeds are specialised for particular tasks. Nomads who range across a wider... range of ecologies tend to have sturdier mounts out of sheer necessity.

"[The horses had] large hooked heads, protruding eyes, narrow nostrils, broad jaws, strong and stiff necks, strong and stiff necks, manes hanging below their knees, overlarge ribs, curved backs, bushy tails, great strength in their cannon bones, small patterns, wide spreading hooves, hollow loins, angular rumps without fat or muscles, a stature that is long rather than high, drawn in belly, and large bones.

Vegetius further adds that these horses were much superior to the Roman cavalry's because they had a "quiet and sensible temperment" that made them more responsive but also more stoic when wounded, and were hardier for sleeping outdoors instead of needing stables to shelter them or some other way to keep warm."
>>
>>3264260
>>3264286
>>3264306
After reading through all this, I'm supporting >>3264121. We want to be going heavy over light and quality over quantity at this point.
>>
>>3264306
>>3264330
I want to clarify that Vegetius is here describing the horses of the Huns, not the Nesaean. Either breeds have their advantages and their disadvantages. Just keep in mind what FUNCTION you wish for them to serve.

Heavy Cavalry -> Nesaean
Light Cavalry -> Hunnic
>>
In retrospect, I should have divided up the votes to make it easier. Something to remember next time you guys go shopping. The anons' choices picked right now are too disparate in parts, so I will have to try and consolidate them into clumps.

Firstly, it seems there is broad agreement in buying tools for the establishment of an Engineer Corps, so I'll count that as "bought". That leaves us with 11 Resources. Let me start with Passengers.

Who do you want to let in? The ship is large for all of them, but some of them may have bad feelings toward others.

>Jews [+5]
>Atreidae [+10]
>Ardashir's Envoys [-2]
>>
>>3264347
Just take all of them lmao
>>
>>3264347
Take the Jews. The atreidae have their own demigod, which will be problematic, and we don't want to be making this journey under our boss' thumb.
>>
>>3264347
>Jews [+5]
>>
>>3264347
Take the Jews. Leave the cannoli.
>>
>>3264347
Just the joos
>>
>>3256882
>>3264347
>take all chaos ship
>>
>Jews only
>>3264386
>>3264384
>>3264379
>>3264376

>Chaos Undivided
>>3264367
>>3264388

Jews are let in, we'll be refusing the Atridae and Ardashir envoys. Next, INFANTRY. There can only be one, because you only have 671 of them.

CHOOSE ONE
>LIGHT
>HEAVY
>>
>>3264391
>LIGHT
Diversity! We live in 2019 people!
>>
>>3264391
Heavy
I suppose we can just recruit light infantry from wherever we end up
>>
>>3264391
>LIGHT
>>
>>3264391
>HEAVY
WE ALREADY HAVE LIGHT TROOPS FROM THE GERMANS AND GAULS
>>
>>3264391
>HEAVY
>>
>>3264403
Both of them serve as light cav!
>>
>>3264391
Heavy!
>>
>>3264415
The Germans bring a free light infantryman for every cavalryman, remember?
>>
Team Diversity
>>3264396
>>3264402

Team Big-Boned
>>3264400
>>3264403
>>3264405
>>3264421

Looks like Heavy Infantry will barely edge out in the end. Now for the meaty portion of the vote, HORSES! I already wrote way too much about the different characteristics between the horses already, so I won't go into them here. Unlike Infantry, you can actually vote for both! Seriously, you have 13R left. Hunnic is 5R, and Nesaean is 6R.

CHOOSE ONE, BOTH, OR NONE AT ALL
>Hunnic
>Nesaean
>>
>>3264430
>Hunnic
I like my horses alive
>>
>>3264430
Nesaean!
>>
>>3264430
>Nesaean
I like my horses able to beat the enemy.
>>
>>3264430
If we crossbreed Hunnic and Nesaean horses, will we get some kind of superhorse?
>>
>>3264441
Nah we will be some normal horse with neither expertise
>>
>>3264430
>Nesaean
>>
>>3264441
That's not how horse sperm works, anon. You'll have to get a stallion from Poseidon's own herd for that.
>>
>>3264430
Both
>>
>>3264430
>Hunnic
>>
>>3264435
>>3264459
Mulan

>>3264438
>>3264446
>>3264436
Nee-san

>>3264456
Both worlds

Looks like Nesaean will get across the finish line. 7R left. Shall I use up the rest on Trade Goods and Luxury Goods? I'm thinking 1x LG and 4x TG. That'll spend the rest of the Resources.
>>
>>3264470
>Nee-san
...
>>
>>3264470
>1x LG and 4x TG
That ok
>>
>>3264470
>Nee-san
MY SISTER IS NOT A HORSE!
>1LG, 4TG
This works.
>>
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"Do these Jews know about our eventual destination?" you ask, dabbing your lips with the dinner cloth. "It is going to be a long voyage. They may not survive to see the end of it. The Germans are used to a hard life, but these Jews... where are they from?"

Micah shrugs. "One of the many nameless towns spread across Anatolia. They appear to be fleeing the wars between our satrap, Ardashir, and another. These Parthians - they love fighting among themselves more than fighting against the enemies outside the border. My people are like grain before wind in these troubled times." Right, Micah was a Jew. No matter how hellenised he was, he likely held some bond of sorts to his people. Hopefully the Jewish refugees were not the ultra-orthodox type that would see a hellenised Jew and try to kill him.

Timon sighs. "Venicius will throw a fit. No offence, Micah," he quickly adds, and Micah nods with a smile to show none was taken, "but you know how he is with your people. It took us years to get him to stop suspecting you as an assassin."

"Yes, he "tricked" me into eating pork, once," The old accountant smiles in recounting the memory. "The moment my lips touched the stew, he sprang out from some hidden corner with an "Aha! You ate pig, so you can no longer be a Jew!" He shakes his head. "Poor Venicius. It doesn't count if the person who did it was deceived. And besides, I've eaten pork plenty of times before and since. I am not exactly a regular in the synagogues."

"Never understood the law against eating the most delicious thing on earth. He'll have a lot to occupy with his mind anyway, now that almost seven hundred people will start training," Timon says. "We'll need to let them get absorbed by the Five Hundred, of course - we don't have the officers or trainers necessary to get them up to shape, from getting used to heavy armours and being able to work in formation, and no matter how good Venicius is, he can't singlehandedly whip seven hundred-"

"Six hundred and seventy-one," Micah corrects.

"Six hundred and seventy-one greens. He'll act as a liaison between the Five Hundred and the freshbloods, keep the six hundred under our formal command." The Varangian winks at you. "Don't want the Iberian to get too uppity with his newly enlarged army, eh? Still, most of the training will have to be done by the Five Hundred's officers."

"Venicius will be delighted," you comment. "He'll get to be a proper army officer at last."

"Mmm. Though I don't think he actually knows much about a legion's structure," Timon says. "How do you know so much about them, anyway?" Was that a hint of suspicion? "I don't remember any retired legionnaries in the neighbourhood."

You wave away his compliment. "Writings of the ancients are great sources of military information, Timon. You know I am always up to my nose with this and that author."
>>
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>>3264597
Micah taps two missives, one written on expensive vellum, the other in a tablet of clay. "This, now this worries me. Letters from the Atreides and Ardashir's men, asking for passage. The Atreides are a powerful house, and one not to be trifled with even this side of Oceanus. Of course, it's understandable that you would deny them passage, but Ardashir..." the old Jew's face crinkles to a worried frown. "He's the satrap of Numante and the surrounding regions. I'm not sure refusing him and his servants is wise."

Timon merely laughs off his friend's worry. "What's he going to do, attack the holdings of Arto Harkonnen? The big man isn't going to kill off his golden tax goose just because we don't bow to his every demand. Besides, they want us to pay for their passage. Us! All the way to Hindu! It's more than unreasonable, that's ridiculous. Don't worry about it, kid," he says toward you. "Ardashir's too busy with his war against whatshisface,"

"Vahbarz."

"Vahbarz, so he has no time to go around killing perfectly law-abiding merchants."

Micah is silent, but offers no further resistance.

---

The day of voyage is at hand. In three hours, you will finally say goodbye to this home where you were born (again), grew up (again), and... that's pretty much it, actually. You're only five - there wasn't a lot of time to make memories with. The weather is calm today, and the sun has finally peeked out behind the curtain of clouds after a week of rain and wind. Your father is adamant about going, of course. And he's right - Rhea IS too big to fail. That ship of his is almost a wooden island on its own, and now it has gained inhabitants - thousands, when you add up the crewmen and soldiers and civilians all added.

You met Hermann two days ago, and shared a customary drink together. Yours was watered down wine, due to not being want to get drunk, while he sipped from that drinking horn that the westerlings so love. He was not what you expected. Cold, calm, very... precise. Not your typical barbarian, you'll give him that. He asked in detail about the expedition, the precise nature of the goal, expected duration, number of people involved, et cetera. Micah and Lynius was thankfully on hand, and was able to debrief him in most of the number-crunchy details. He seemed satisfied with the pay, and did not mind the long and indefinite nature of the contract.

"I lead my people to an exile," he told you grimly. "It is good that we head east, perhaps forever. We will never return to see our fatherland again, not after Rome trampled the light of its hearths. Perhaps in time... yes, in long time from hence, our descendants will reap enough glory to ride back west and retake the lands of our forefathers."

It sounded like your countrymen were doing well for themselves even without you.
>>
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>>3264603

The next day, you met Ariamnes, the leader of the kataphraktoi. An unusual hire, made especially so given the vague nature of your contract. You immediately saw in his eyes the fire that burned in so many foolish recruits that left behind good livelihoods and their parents domiciles to take up the gladius of a legionary - wanderlust. The desire to see more, do more, but anywhere but here. You poor fool, you are heading to your doom instead of sitting safely in these little towns that you are supposed to protect, you thought to yourself. But you also had to thank his eccentric desire to see the world. You wouldn't get such high quality cavalrymen otherwise, after all - fully kitted to boot.

Besides, weren't you the same? You could stay safe and sound in your father's estate.

...No. You are going for something other than mere trivialities like wanderlust. It is for your mother, for your father, for Rome - and the torch of civilisation that entails. Or is it?

"And one day," Ariamnes declared at the end of his inane introduction, "I will ride against the watermills that proliferate those barbaric lands, those behemothic monstrosities that my Hindu slave told me about, and see victory. See if I don't! Did you write that down, Senharib? That was a promise from I, Ariamnes the Gallant! One demolished watermill! No, make it TWO abso-definitely crushed watermill!"

"Of course, sire," Senharib, one of the kataphraktoi who carried a wooden case full of Ariamnes' sayings, said dutifully. He gave you a long suffering look that said, I know he's fucking crazy, but he's my boss. "You will ride against a... water-mill? I'm not sure what that is, but your will be done."

Your father was not present in either of these introductions. Lynius said he was spending most of his time by the Harkonni estate, probably wrangling some last minute details.

Three hours until departure. You already said goodbye to mother. Despite your father's best efforts, both Lynius and Micah vetoed the transportation of your mother into the ship. It was simply too dangerous. You will simply have to make back in time. She is young yet, and Juno loves to extract misery. You have no doubt that she won't die, not this early. Everyone else is already aboard.
>>
>>3264613

>You should check out how Venicius and Cabaleiro are doing. They've started doing trainings aboard the Rhea from the newly freed slaves to give them sea legs.

>Your father is usually involved in the weeks before departure. You should check out what he's doing in the Harkonnen Estate.

>Check out how it's going with Ambiorix. You heard he was enamoured with the Nesaean mounts you purchased as a breeding stock, and was staying in front of the stables just admiring the beasts.

>Speak with Ariamnes, the leader of the twenty kataphraktoi. He seemed rather... odd.

>Drop by Hermann's quarters, see how he's adjusting to a life on sea. The quiet German (usually an oxymoron) seems like he might make a particularly good officer later down the road.

>Speak with Micah and the leader of the Jewish refugees named Izra. Not sure what you might get out of that, but... nice to learn about your neighbours during passage.

>Wander the city of Numante, enjoying the familiar sights and sounds. It will be a long time before you come back, and you want to remember every bit of this place that housed you for five long years.
>>
Remind me not to add more NPCs. P.S. Forgot to add

>Custom
>>
>>3264613
>Three hours until departure. You already said goodbye to mother. Despite your father's best efforts, both Lynius and Micah vetoed the transportation of your mother into the ship.

What? Mom is coming with us! What about those hundreds of female slaves and civilians are they all male? Or Princess of Suerna?
>>
>>3264617
>>Custom
>Hang Lynius and Micah by legs on the side of the ship until they reconsider situation of our mom.
Grab our officers to do it. Make it bonding experience for them.
>>
>>3264667
Apparently she's too weak to bring. Ship voyages can be tough for those who are already physically ailing. Unless of course you try to persuade both Lynius and Micah within three hours by choosing a >Custom [write-in]...

Gonna need a little more detail and plan on how you convince the two, though.

>Slaves
Given over to the mercs, per previous vote - they're now civilians, more or less, wives and adopted children for the Gauls and the Five Hundred. Among the Prized Slaves (Luxury Good), the ones able to do STEM were put into your Engineer Corps, while the pretty-faces (courtesans and such) are specialised servants. They might also make good gifts to local rulers you might meet along the way.

>Princess of Suerna
Kept, is still in ship if you want to talk to her, that can be a >custom
>>
>>3264622
>>3264617
I get the story reason for leaving her. If she stays, that's a huge reason to hurry in our mission and come back. But still, I would have liked to have taken her with us. As for the choices, do we only have time for one?
>>
>>3264696
Like you many time said this ship is technically an island. What our mother would lack on this ship?

Comfort? Food?
>>
>>3264617
>Custom
Go and see the captured princess. I still haven't given up on the idea of making a Punic princess into Caesar's personal maid.
>>
>>3264738
Stability and access to fresh food (meat taken on ships are typically salted to make them last longer), soft food (bread is typically cooked over and over again to make them lose moisture - lack of water makes it harder to spoil)... that was basically what I was thinking of. Logistical challenges when you plan to sail to the end of the world.

>>3264714
Tell you what, I'll write the top two options. Two votes per person.

And I still need a proper written out plan on getting mother onboard with us if I am to write something. You will have to address the concerns I pointed out earlier (food mainly) and maybe other stuff Lynius/Micah might point out.
>>
>>3264767
I'm willing to drop 1 worth of trade goods to bring farm animals on the ship. Cows, chickens, goats. Milk, eggs, meat. We have ton of horses already. It's also only for mom, So it shouldn't be that much of a logistic thing to do.
>>
>>3264767
Alright then, after seeing the princess we should
>Drop by Hermann's quarters, see how he's adjusting to a life on sea. The quiet German (usually an oxymoron) seems like he might make a particularly good officer later down the road.
>>
>>3264787
What is this, the ark?
>>
Support for princess-raising and getting to know the German. He has the potential to be our most loyal ally, since he's depending on us for the new home of his people.
>>
>>3264787
...make it two, and I can definitely think of a barn existing just to provide for one sickly person.

>>3264796
You may have missed the description of the Rhea (the name of the ship, and incidentally, your mother, and also that of the mother of Romulus and Remus in those bygone times), but think of it as... a wooden aircraft carrier? Yeah, something like that. The link to the archive is in the first or second post, check it out for the full description since I can't be arsed to type it out in full again.
>>
>>3264796
With amount of things we already have on board, yes. By the size probably. Having mother with us makes us not that much time sensitive. As father won't be trying to drag us back home with all his power.
>>
>>3264810
I say deal. Question if others anon will agre
>>
>>3264810
Nah, I saw it. I've been following this quest from the beginning. Just couldn't resist the joke, what with bringing farm animals aboard.
>>
Next update will be tomorrow, since it's pretty late where I am.

>>3264812
>Father dragging us back ASAP
Ye of little faith. Did you think that QM would not have a plan to alleviate that issue? Do not trust the QM

>>3264817
Right then, 2x Resources spent on buying particularly hardy farm animals to keep on board (chickens I'm pretty sure were kept by sailors in times long gone by, though I am not sure about the bigger stuff - but I'll allow it). That also means 2x Trade Goods retroactively un-bought to accomodate this change. I recommend you keep coming up with arguments to Micah and Lynius that will overcome their lack of enthusiasm on carrying a deathly invalid on the ship.

And now, I sleep.
>>
>>3264829
>Ye of little faith. Did you think that QM would not have a plan to alleviate that issue?
I believe you do have some options. I don't believe I would like them

QUESTION TO OTHER PLAYERS. Do you guys agree to exchange 2 trading materials for animals, so we can take our mother with us?
I think this should be decided first before someone starts thinking about reasons for her to be on this ship.
>>
>>3264850
Personally, I'm worried about what could happen to her on the journey. I say leave her at home, and come back with the elixir when we get it.
>>
>>3264855
Worth remembering travel there and back will take 16 years.
16 years of pain and suffering away from family.
Gods only know how long we will need for gathering resources and side quests.
Taking her with us and her dying in travel is in my opinion positive outcome as its shortens her suffering.
Also if we take her with us we will not need sabotage our dads attempts at finding cure.
Also its theory but if pain is caused by a god , maybe if we take her away from places of occult maybe effects will disappear?
>>
>>3264850
I sure would like to bring her with us. And as for resource concerns, we have a *huge* ship. We can take some farm animals with us, and we can use some sort of rain collection system with us for water. The more I think of this, the more I think of those Chinese Treasure Ships that Zheng He used. for his similar years long voyages to the West.
>>
>>3264945
In the initial choice, we had the option between an Egyptian obelisk ship, a Chinese treasure ship, and this. I think they're all supposed to be the about the same size.
>>
The main choices seem to be princess, German, and Mother. Let's narrow it down with a secondary vote to finalise the deal. Good write-ins may influence QM's choice of what to write on depending on how stiff the votes are against each other.

>Talk to the Suernian Princess [write-in: need more details on what you want to talk about, how you want to treat her, stuff like that]

>Bring Mother in the Journey [write-in: includes swapping 2x Trade Goods for 1 set of Barn Animals to give Mother fresh goods, and perhaps other suggestions made to make Micah/Lynius more agreeable to this proposition]

>Chat with Hermann the German [write-in: what do you want to talk about? How do you want to approach his hatred for Romans? Seems like that's a running theme in among the western barbarians. Are you there to give him a little chit-chat, or provide him with a new vision for him to lead his people... under you?]

Each anon gets two votes. No voting twice on the same category.
>>
>>3266617
...bloody format. Rewriting to make it less irritating to read:

>Talk to the Suernian Princess [write-in: need more details on what you want to talk about, how you want to treat her, stuff like that]

>Bring Mother in the Journey [write-in: includes swapping 2x Trade Goods for 1 set of Barn Animals to give Mother fresh goods, and perhaps other suggestions made to make Micah/Lynius more agreeable to this proposition]

>Chat with Hermann the German [write-in: what do you want to talk about? How do you want to approach his hatred for Romans? Seems like that's a running theme in among the western barbarians. Are you there to give him a little chit-chat, or provide him with a new vision for him to lead his people... under you?]

Each anon gets two votes. No voting twice on the same category.
>>
>>3266617
>Talk to the Suernian Princess
See how she's feeling -- Angry? Fatalistic? Sad? Try to learn more about her.
>Bring Mother in the Journey
Mom needs herbal medicine. Ancient Indian medicine is well ahead of contemporary medicine.
>>
>>3266620
>Talk to the Suernian Princess
Approach her like a child woould do
Try and make friends witch her
Ask about people that are and were around her
>Bring Mother in the Journey
Ship is huge. And comfortable quarters are empty easily we can make her comfortable just like at home.
Food isnt a problem we can deal witch it.
We dont know how long travel will take, we may be not fast enough to help her.
Guilt trip them
She will be suffering all alone for all these years.

If they don't agree after that threaten them with throwing them off board.
>>
>>3266630
Support, especially for the last bit.
Unsurprisingly, even fucking aromatic herbs are better drinking horse piss and praying to Apollo.

I'm not sure what we would have to say to the little girl whose people we just slaughtered and sold into slavery, but well. I suppose as a Roman, we can't help ourselves from rubbing salt on Carthaginians. :^)
>>
>>3266620

>Talk to the Suernian Princess [write-in: need more details on what you want to talk about, how you want to treat her, stuff like that]
You wouldn't normally expect a child to be the one commanding the assault, and we can use that. Play the role of the captain's son, along for the ride with no real power; approaching the only other child and just looking for a friend. Get to know her, how she's feeling and what her hopes are for the future. Pretend to be sympathetic and on her side; give comfort, if need be. What I'm driving at is that we want her to think of Alexandros as her ally among the enemies, not the leader of her foes.
>Chat with Hermann the German [write-in: what do you want to talk about? How do you want to approach his hatred for Romans? Seems like that's a running theme in among the western barbarians. Are you there to give him a little chit-chat, or provide him with a new vision for him to lead his people... under you?]
An analytical mind is rare among the barbarians. Let's get to know more about it. In particular, I want to question Hermann about his battle strategy. As far as we know, Germans usually fight in a simple manner, but perhaps he deviates from the norm?
Ask him more about his past, as well; his home, and how he had to leave it. Then move on to what kind of a future he seeks, what he hopes the eastern lands will be like.
>>
>>3266620
Supporting this. >>3267498
Couldn't have written it better.
>>
>>3266722
>aromatic herbs
Modern Ayurveda is a bunch of horseshit, but the old stuff was pretty legit -- they could do plastic surgery, kidney-stone removal, and other neat shit.
>>
>>3266722
Reminder that in this setting the gods are real, and actually intervene in Caesar's life. Praying to Apollo may be more effective than you'd think.
>>
>>3267537
Yeah, but he'll just laugh at you for drinking horse piss, you fucking idiot. Why would you drink horse piss of all the things? Did you scoop your brains out before you came to Medicine 101? OH WAIT YOU BELIEVED THAT THE HEART WAS THE THINKING ORGAN AND THE BRAIN WAS TO COOL YOUR BLOOD DOWN
>>
>>3267550
I'll admit, I've never heard of the horse piss thing before now.
>>
>>3267498
I like this, but switch out German for Rhea. We can chat him up later.
>>
>>3267558
Twas to "conjure the strength of the Stallion" or some shit but yes, it actually was among the "typical" ancient Greek remedies.
>>
Fortuna, if you don't mind I'd like to confirm my understanding of the route we're taking.
As I understand it, Rhea sails east from Greece (actually, is Numante in Greece, or is it a hellenic settlement somewhere else?), across the Mediterranean, through the Pillars of Hercules, then south along the coast of West Africa, around Cape Horn, north along the coast of East Africa, and then east along the coast of Arabia and finally India.
Is that correct?
>>
>>3267782
>Fortuna, if you don't mind I'd like to confirm my understanding of the route we're taking.
As I understand it, Rhea sails east from Greece (actually, is Numante in Greece, or is it a hellenic settlement somewhere else?), across the Mediterranean, through the Pillars of Hercules, then south along the coast of West Africa, around Cape Horn, north along the coast of East Africa, and then east along the coast of Arabia and finally India.
Is that correct?

The way I thought of it, Numante (fictional settlement) is a Semitic/Iranian settlement that lies along the coast of the Arabian Sea in southeastern Iran. It is part of Ardashir's satrapy, which itself pays homage to the Arsacid dynasty - so you are not that far from the northwestern Hindus who will be settled in the Indus river.

I actually didn't have a specific spot in mind for the city at the start since I originally thought it would be a short prologue before the "main event", as it were. I knew it had to be pretty far east since Parthian Empire itself (which is what you are technically a part of regardless of your Greek heritage) was more east focused if you look at their territorial maps, Asia Minor and Greece itself would have put you too close to Rome (the cuty) and within Rome (the empire), which for reasons Ju-know is forbidden. So the journey to Sinae won't require circumventing Africa.

Current sail plan I had was to follow the coast to the mouth of the Indus, then continue south, going around the Indian subcontinent, and so on.
>>
>>3267976
Ah, that makes more sense than what I was thinking. Thanks.
>>
Hermann ++
Princess +++++
Mother +++

Princess and Mother it is, closing vote
>>
You find Lynius in his cabin. He's sitting bleary-eyed at his desk, reviewing ship manifests and scattered maps. It is a chaotic task to get a ship as gigantic as the Rhea ready, and with your father practically missing in the last few days, the second in command had been doing all of the work.

"Ah, young master Alexandros," he says. "Your horses have been most skittish, I do not think they were sea-proof when you purchased them. And the Germans and the Gauls seem to have a sort of rivalry, or enmity - whatever the case, they're staying far away from each other. I had to assign them the opposite ends of the ship for their quarters. At least the Germans' civilians are good for something, they've been taking care of the horses - by which I mean shoveling the dung and dumping them out of the side." He humphs in distaste. "Most unlikeable beasts, these horses."

"I came here to talk about Mother," you say. "Father wanted her on board so she could be there when we found the Elixir. What is this I hear of her quarters not being prepared?" Lynius looks like he's chewed on a bug.

"Now, young master," he begins gently, "you know as well as I that she would be better off in her home. Moving her is a difficult proposition to begin with, but sailing! That is a stressful thing. She wouldn't have fresh food, briny water, and all that besides. And the doctors! Do you think any of the renowned chirurgeons your father hired will be willing to come with us all the way to the end of the earth? I think not!"

"The doctors here are idiots, charlatans, fools," you snort dismissively. "Horse piss to grant the strength of a stallion, bleeding her weekly to 'remove ill humours'... I will take my chances with the doctors of the east."

"But what about the greens? Vegetables, fresh from the farms?" Lynius shakes his head. "If it is about the distance, young master, do not worry. Your mother is quite young yet, she'll keep until the return journey."

"A barn. We have space enough on this ark of ours. Purchase some livestock, some milking cows, chickens, goats. That will at least give her fresh milk, eggs, and other goods while we are on the sea. Once we have enough civilians, I might even think of establishing a farm on the ship, but that's another matter - the amount of water required for the plants would also need to be considered. For now, only livestock enough to produce food for a single person is sufficient."

"I will... have to consult with Micah, if we know any farmer who would sell his stock to us in such short notice," Lynius sighs. "Three hours before we start and already such problems...!"

You leave the busily tutting Lynius behind, and head to the guest quarters.

---
>>
>>3270058

The girl captive was kept in one of the finer guest quarters on the ship, guarded by two soldiers at all times. It was your decision to put the men of the Five Hundred in charge of discipline on the ship, sine they are more disciplined than the western barbarians. These two appear to be one of the higher ranked soldiers within Cabaleiro's band, if the ostentatious armour is anything to go by. One of them stops you, his hand heavy on your shoulder. "Where do you think you are going, boy? This here is a restricted area. If it's a playmate you are looking for, go somewhere else."

Wait, Galen... that's the kid, the captain's son. I saw him during the banquet," the other soldier says.

"Don't be silly, Xenophilos," Galen laughs. "This little squirt is a toddler. I heard from Cabaleiro that Alexandros was almost a man."

>I am Alexandros, son of Landros the Navigator. I wish to examine the spoils from the sacking, and determine what to do with this particular merchandise. Step aside.

>Where is your sense of wariness, soldier? Have you forgotten your training? Dominant hand on your weapon at all times when on duty! You would already be dead if I were an assassin's choice of distraction.

>Quick! The Gauls and Germans are brawling! You need to go and stop them before someone dies!

>Custom
>>
>>3270064
>You would already be dead if I were an assassin's choice of distraction, you know.
State it baldly, without reprimanding him.
>>
>>3270064
>Where is your sense of wariness, soldier? Have you forgotten your training? Dominant hand on your weapon at all times when on duty! You would already be dead if I were an assassin's choice of distraction.
If we flat out declare that we're the captain's son, it sounds like we're parroting Xenophilos. Just act like we're in charge, and it should get the message across.
>>
>>3270064
>Where is your sense of wariness, soldier? Have you forgotten your training? Dominant hand on your weapon at all times when on duty! You would already be dead if I were an assassin's choice of distraction.
It make sense that we would say that. Something that our fighting instructor probably would say all the time.
>>
>>3270070
>>3270073
>He'll probably get offended and kick us in the ass or something.
>>
>>3270082
Then we grab Ambiorix and tell him this two were mean to us and to kick their ass.
>>
>>3270064
>>Where is your sense of wariness, soldier? Have you forgotten your training? Dominant hand on your weapon at all times when on duty! You would already be dead if I were an assassin's choice of distraction.
>>
>>3270099
I love it when a plan comes together.
>>
Ever since Alexander, Greek generals and leaders have made conscious efforts to emulate the God-King of Macedon. To be Alexander is to lead the men from the front, putting himself and his royal guard in mortal danger in every engagement - the embodiment of Alexander's gigantic hubris, and a testament to the solidity of his belief on his divine lineage. A bold thing, to be sure, one that will hopefully put them in the songs of bards and performers. But utterly impractical.

For the Romans, the ideal general is not a warrior. The citizens of Rome do not look to a rampaging god-king that leads a wild cavalcade of immortal hetairoi into the ranks of the enemy, thick in the middle of battle, to defeat the many enemies of her seven hills. What they seek instead is a leader.

The role of the Roman warlord is to direct the flow of battle. Bolster flagging sections of the battle lines with fresh troops kept in reserve for just that purpose, ride out behind the lines to encourage the soldiers that are doing exceptionally well, send orders via equites to update each legates in their assignments as the battle goes on - to oversee the forest of war, instead of becoming embroiled in the individual trees. It is also their duty to be on the lookout for acts of heroism and valiance, so that their actors would be duly rewarded with extra rewards and praise and promotion.

Where the Greeks rely on their single general to inspire the men at the front, that role is dispersed throughout the legio to each and individual centurions, the backbone of any legion. You may not be as good with a spear as Alexander of old was, or even be a remarkable swordsman like Cabaleiro clearly is. But you know one thing better than any bloody Greek warrior from the epics and histories, and that is the art of Command.

>Roll 1d100 to see how well you articulate the art of Command in your new body, best of three.
>>
Rolled 98 (1d100)

>>3270120
nat 1
>>
Rolled 4 (1d100)

>>3270120
Nat 1
>>
Rolled 27 (1d100)

>>3270120
>>
Auctoritas - the Virtue of generals and statesmen alike who lead the State in times of war and peace. You were both at the same as Gaius Julius Caesar, commanding such power among both your veteran legions and the populares faction in the Senate. Only base treachery from those you trusted and loved brought your enlightened rule to a premature halt, but you still have that supremely important skill of oratorio, drilled by the illuminated Marcus Antonius Gnipho himself.

"Where is your sense of wariness, soldier? Have you forgotten your training? Dominant hand on your weapon at all times when on duty! You would already be dead if I were an assassin's choice of distraction." The words fly from your lips in short and succinct staccato of criticisms, pointing out his slouching posture, the carefree attitude of a town guard. The surprised soldier is barely able to react.

"We're onboard a ship," he says incredulously. "You act as if we're about to be attacked-"

"ETERNAL VIGILANCE!" you thunder, surprising even yourself at the depth and strength of your voice. "The troopers of the Five Hundred are the elite, veterans of a thousand battles across countless battlefields. Are you or are you not a member of Cabaleiro's band?"

"Yes, but-"

"So you mean to tell me that you are capable not only of fighting, but articulating actual thoughts within that brain-cage of yours?" You cut him off, laughing. "I don't think so. You don't even have the mental faculties to realise that if some door is to be guarded even in supposedly allied territory, there is an implicit danger threatening whatever is that door! Surely, Galen of the Five Hundred, you must actually be one of our new slave recruits we gained from Suerna! Let me ask you again: Are you one of those new boys fresh out of Suernian spear-slinging school, or are you an actual member of the Five Hundred?"

"We're in the middle of an ocean, you little shit," he protests indignantly. "No one is going to attack the hostage!"

"Oho, so you mean to tell me that after all those campaigns, all those battles, you came out alive and well with that criminally limited thoughtbox dangling above your dick-sucking lips?" You are actively mocking him now. Galen does not know whether to cry or to lash out against you - the confusion of being dressed down by a boy too much for him to bear. "Perish the very thought that an officer of the Five Hundred could be so fucking obtuse so as to not even understand the importance of being alert while guarding a group of women in a ship filled with men actually able to play their flutes! I don't know if you Greek warriors are too used to getting fucked by little boys in the arsehole to understand what the primary motivator of a man is, but there are men who actually use their penes instead of letting them hang limp, only deriving pleasure from the anus. You realise that a penis is used to penetrate, yes?"
>>
>>3270334
Galen's face is red from apoplectic rage, while his partner's face is red for quite a different reason entirely. Xenophilos is almost choking with subdued laughter at the sight of a boy berating his compatriot. "Right, that is quite enough from you," Galen says, stepping forward. "Captain's son or not, I'm going to show you some respect!" The clenching of his fists shows you just how he plans to do that.

"Back to your post, Galen of Suerna!" Your commanding words laced with that je ne sais quoi of a long suffering centurion has the intended effect, stopping the Grecian warrior in his tracks. "I said stand to, and I meant it. You disgrace yourself, your comrades, and indeed the name of your long-lived Company by your actions. I have never seen such laxity in carrying out command from a superior officer from a professional soldier! Town guards and slaves? Unsurprising, even expected. But you, you who are supposed to be the cream of the crop, veteran soldiers who should be above such lazy behaviour - what a waste of your salary. What were your given orders?"

"...to guard the door."

You step forward to the now neutralised Grecian, your brown eyes locked with his green. "Then fucking guard it, you imbecile," you hiss.

"He's right, you know," Xenophilos says to his partner with a grin. "I guess this is what Cabaleiro meant when he said you were almost man, Alexandros. Come, Galen, let us defend the virginity of these women behind the doors with our swords, eh?"

The officer looks properly chastened as he stands in front of the door, his cheek still tinged with the red of shame and anger, though it is now directed inward at himself, for opening himself up to criticism by a child many years his junior. Self reflection - just what you wanted.

"I expect more from your Company, Galen of Suerna," you finish. "Now open the door so I can get in."

---

The luxuriant guest quarter-cum-prison is spacious, though not to the degree of your father's own cabin. The Carthaginian shipwrights of centuries ago built this vessel with multiple goals in mind - comfort, martial might, and the hypothetical ability to cross the choppy waters outside the gentle calm of the Mediterranean. It is thus of no surprise that guest quarters intended for the nobles of the decadent Carthaginian maritime empire would be so spacious and built with various creature comforts in mind.

Yet despite all the benefits of a house arrest in one of the best rooms in the ship, the scene is anarchic to the extreme. Blankets and pillows are thrown about the room, expensive clothes are left lying on the floor with multiple rents, accompanied by tired-looking handmaidens who are startled by your entrance. On the bed, at the center of this maelstrom of womanly disarray, lies a clump of bedcloth balled up from where is noticeable a regular sniffling sound - no doubt the elusive Princess of Suerna.
>>
>>3270346
>You change your mind. You don't want to deal with a princess, not at such a busy time like the start of a voyage. She can wait when other concerns like the offering of the bull for a safe voyage awaits.

>What is this? Is it... sympathy? To a Carthaginian? Yet your five year old heart tugs toward her, not with bestial lust or a desire for romantic love, but pity and understanding. In your own time as a Roman, you experienced the tragedy of losing your father early in your life due to political turmoil. The name of Sulla still brings an eye twitch to this day, even unto this new life. How terrible it is, to be left adrift in the world all alone and without adults to supervise your growth!

>It was fellow Romans that slew you, but it is the Carthaginians that left a great deep scar into the heart of Rome herself. Dido and her descendants are anathema to the great Republic- no, Empire now, and to treat her as anything else other than a Phoenician would be to deny your heritage. You came here for one reason, and one reason only: information. The counting of corpses showed all of the royal families dead or captured, all but one - a young male, around twelve. She might know where he has gone to.

>Custom [write-in]
>>
>>3270346
>What is this? Is it... sympathy? To a Carthaginian? Yet your five year old heart tugs toward her, not with bestial lust or a desire for romantic love, but pity and understanding. In your own time as a Roman, you experienced the tragedy of losing your father early in your life due to political turmoil. The name of Sulla still brings an eye twitch to this day, even unto this new life. How terrible it is, to be left adrift in the world all alone and without adults to supervise your growth!
>>
>>3270346
>What is this? Is it... sympathy? To a Carthaginian? Yet your five year old heart tugs toward her, not with bestial lust or a desire for romantic love, but pity and understanding. In your own time as a Roman, you experienced the tragedy of losing your father early in your life due to political turmoil. The name of Sulla still brings an eye twitch to this day, even unto this new life. How terrible it is, to be left adrift in the world all alone and without adults to supervise your growth!
>>
>>3270362
>>It was fellow Romans that slew you, but it is the Carthaginians that left a great deep scar into the heart of Rome herself. Dido and her descendants are anathema to the great Republic- no, Empire now, and to treat her as anything else other than a Phoenician would be to deny your heritage. You came here for one reason, and one reason only: information. The counting of corpses showed all of the royal families dead or captured, all but one - a young male, around twelve. She might know where he has gone to.
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>>3270362
>It was fellow Romans that slew you, but it is the Carthaginians that left a great deep scar into the heart of Rome herself. Dido and her descendants are anathema to the great Republic- no, Empire now, and to treat her as anything else other than a Phoenician would be to deny your heritage. You came here for one reason, and one reason only: information. The counting of corpses showed all of the royal families dead or captured, all but one - a young male, around twelve. She might know where he has gone to.


Holy shit Fortuna, that fucking BTFO from Caesar was just top tier.
I've re-read it like five time and it still has the same effect; that kind of writing is just magnificent.
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>>3270346
What a beaut of a rebuke
>What is this? Is it... sympathy? To a Carthaginian? Yet your five year old heart tugs toward her, not with bestial lust or a desire for romantic love, but pity and understanding. In your own time as a Roman, you experienced the tragedy of losing your father early in your life due to political turmoil. The name of Sulla still brings an eye twitch to this day, even unto this new life. How terrible it is, to be left adrift in the world all alone and without adults to supervise your growth!
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>>3270362
>It was fellow Romans that slew you, but it is the Carthaginians that left a great deep scar into the heart of Rome herself. Dido and her descendants are anathema to the great Republic- no, Empire now, and to treat her as anything else other than a Phoenician would be to deny your heritage. You came here for one reason, and one reason only: information. The counting of corpses showed all of the royal families dead or captured, all but one - a young male, around twelve. She might know where he has gone to.
Carthago delenda est
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>>3270362
>What is this? Is it... sympathy? To a Carthaginian? Yet your five year old heart tugs toward her, not with bestial lust or a desire for romantic love, but pity and understanding. In your own time as a Roman, you experienced the tragedy of losing your father early in your life due to political turmoil. The name of Sulla still brings an eye twitch to this day, even unto this new life. How terrible it is, to be left adrift in the world all alone and without adults to supervise your growth!
>>
>>3270362
>>What is this? Is it... sympathy? To a Carthaginian? Yet your five year old heart tugs toward her, not with bestial lust or a desire for romantic love, but pity and understanding. In your own time as a Roman, you experienced the tragedy of losing your father early in your life due to political turmoil. The name of Sulla still brings an eye twitch to this day, even unto this new life. How terrible it is, to be left adrift in the world all alone and without adults to supervise your growth!
>>
>>3270362
>>It was fellow Romans that slew you, but it is the Carthaginians that left a great deep scar into the heart of Rome herself. Dido and her descendants are anathema to the great Republic- no, Empire now, and to treat her as anything else other than a Phoenician would be to deny your heritage. You came here for one reason, and one reason only: information. The counting of corpses showed all of the royal families dead or captured, all but one - a young male, around twelve. She might know where he has gone to.
>>
>>3270367
>>3270387
>>3270643
>>3270733
>>3270835
Heart

>>3270866
>>3270708
>>3270591
>>3270525
Head

Cato wept. Vote closed
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>>3273204
>Cato wept
FUCK Cato Sicarius
and FUCK the Ultramarines, lousy thieving bastards
almost as bad as the galactic partridges
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>>3273204
Lmao FUCK the republic anyways, ave imperator and all that jazz. Where’s my posca....
>>
The sobbing still continues, ignorant of what goes on outside of the blanket. The handmaidens have come out of their tired stupor, forming a ring around the princess('s blanket) to create a physical wall between you and her.

"Leave her alone," one of them tells you in hushed tones in Greek, one of the common tongues in the region. "The princess grieves."

What is this? Is it... sympathy? To a Carthaginian? Yet your five year old heart tugs toward her, not with bestial lust or a desire for romantic love, but pity and understanding. In your past childhood, you experienced the tragedy of losing your father early in your life due to political turmoil. The name of Sulla still brings an eye twitch to this day, even unto this new life. How terrifying it must be for her, to be let adrift into the sea of men without a single protector in her life. To have all her protections and powers and prestige stripped away in a single night - such a traumatic experience would reduce even the most hardy of men into a shocked shell of his former self. Still...

"I understand," you return gently, but audibly, so that the princess can hear your calm voice over her sobbing. "But it has been weeks. They tell me she hasn't been eating properly since that night. The princess must eat something to prepare for the voyage ahead and comport herself. Too much grief at once can kill a man."

"You think you understand," another handmaiden hisses at you with venom in imperfect Greek. "You child, know nothing."

You shake your head. "I know the pain of loss. To see such reliable pillars in one's life, shattered in but a moment - it is a terrible thing. But that is life, Princess," you raise your voice, addressing her directly. "Cities rise, empires fall. Armies are created and routed, kings slain in their bedchambers and senators stabbed in theatres. We mortals are but mere pieces in a grand game of latrunculi, set up and bowled over by the whim of the gods. Yet, by the grace of the gods, we are able to influence the checkered board of Life with our own actions. Wake up!"

"You dare take that tone with the Princess, slave-"
>>
>>3273319

"Wake up, Daughter of Astarte. Shed your cocoon of bedcloth and rise up to meet the morning." The commanding cadence of the imperator, the strident volume used to addressed the Senatus Romanus - it's all coming back now, even with your small lung capacity and undeveloped vocal cords. Your earlier experiment with Galen proved that much. "You are Royalty. Do not blind yourself from the events unfolding around you. Too many people rely on you for you to falter so early into the Game. Your handmaidens devoted their lives in protecting you, having sacrificed their own youths and romantic prospects. The people in the lower decks, women and children who now mingle with the Gaulish soldiers - they are your people now. Not your father's, not your brother's, but your own. Will you abandon them now in their time of greatest need? Is this how the people of Suerna are repaid by their faith monarch? No. You are made of greater things than that. Surely you were educated by your father's scribes, taught in the way of Kings from watching your father in his court. You know what the duty of the monarch is to his people."

"To lead." The sobbing has stopped, and a quiet voice comes out from below the blanket.

"Yes, Princess," you say, more gently now. She is past the stage of unadulterated grief now. "To lead. To rule - bearing the burdens of each and individual people that labour under oppression, to suffer the wounds of your soldiers, one and all. To know that everything you do, and everything you don't do, leads to victories and defeats, deaths and triumphs. All actions and words have consequences, Daughter of Astartes. The humblest of man may alter the course of history with but a single word... how much more, then, for a member of Royalty? The burden that your blood and lineage bestows upon you is a great and terrible one. Your actions, your words... they will reverberate with greater strength than those of any other. And this is why you must wake up."

Humanity is cruel. They rely on individuals to lead the whole, pampering the sacrificial lamb with thorny crowns of gold and placing them atop altar-thrones like sacrificial animals, weighed down with the responsibility of choice. You, Caesar, have tasted the content of the chalice of power, and it was nothing if not bitter. But you drank it all, and demanded more. My cup overfloweth.
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>>3273327
"And this is why you must stay strong even when your people are destroyed, Princess," you continue, hoping against hope that your words have conviction that you yourself do not feel. The handmaidens are no longer blocking you now. They sense the shared connection between you and her - the pain of the bereaved, but more importantly that grief, the torment that comes from being shouldered by Responsibilities. "Suerna is not dead. Its temples are looted, its walls are laid low, certainly, but the people - that is what makes a nation. And your people live on, awaiting for someone to take on the ultimate burden of leading them once more."

For a tense moment, you wonder if she's gone further below into depression. The figure on the bed is motionless, and the handmaidens themselves are hushed, waiting.... waiting. Then suddenly, the Princess of Suerna rises.

The bedcloth of deep blue and red fall off as she begins to stand up, her handmaidens hurriedly assisting her in untangling herself from the linens. She turns around to look at you, revealing a pair of intelligent eyes the colour of roasted hazelnut, reddened from crying, but no longer tearful. She is... beautiful.

"You are shorter than I expected, from the strength of your voice," she says in a lilting voice like that of a songbird (a deadly weapon against you who have been conversing with manly menfolk for the past months) tilting her head curiously. Gone are her frowns, the tantrums, the wrinkles of a grieving daughter. She has regained her calm now, and assumed that veil of royal inscrutability, and there is even a hint of a smile of amusement around the corner of her lips. How cruel people are, you repeat to yourself. To force such a crucifix on a girl, solely by the virtue of her birth. Yet, she was trained for this from her early life, to expect the burden of rulership in one form or another. As the two of you exchange scrutinising glances, you know. You haven't read her falsely. She has the Mark of Royalty.

"You are taller than I expected, from your age," you reply, the flippancy of which annoys that one handmaiden. "I was told that you were ten."

"Ah - no," she breathes out. "That was... my sister. She was the younger of us two. I am - was - two years elder." Aside from that small pause, her voice does not waver when speaking about her family. "What you said about royalty... did you know many kings?"

I've bedded them. "I am a student of history, Princess," you say. "It behooves one to learn of the great men and women that move the heavens and earth, if one is to be counted among such luminaries." You scrutinise her carefully. She's standing tall and proud, but there's the obvious sign of fatigue and malnourishment. And that, when the voyage hasn't even begun. "I will leave you to your rest now. Eat. Sleep. Rest. There will be servants along to bring food and wine shortly."
>>
>>3273333
Without waiting for a reply, you exit the room. That was too close. You were this close to losing your spaghetti. You were always weak against beautiful women, and... well, let's just say that whatever conquering Suerna did, it's had an effect in your physical maturity, without the restraint of a more experienced body. Ah, to be young again... is hell, it turns out.

"Nice speech in there," Galen says, closing the thick doors behind you. You note with some satisfaction how his hand remains on his swordhilt. "You really think that the girl is actually a princess? I mean, her city's destroyed and you gave away the Suernians to the Gauls. I haven't heard of the people below deck pining for a queen or a king to lead them."

You shake your head with a sigh. "Galen of Suerna, you have lived for so long and seen so much, but you know so little. All politicians are liars."

---

>Despite his initial antagonism against you, Galen "of Suerna" is a good drinking partner. After his shift in front of the Princess' quarter ended, you shared a cup with him, and began speaking over a... potential change in management in the Five Hundred.

>You have been impressed with Hermann the German's ability to keep both his civilian and military groups under quiet but firm discipline - there hasn't been any reports of disturbances in the German side of the ship despite this probably being their first time being cooped up in such a large ship. You're interested in talking with him over stuff. [write-in: suggestions on what to talk about, QM will decide whether it fits/can be fit in/is fittable]

>Ambiorix! Your bestest friend! He's been busy in the newly built stables, drooling over the Nesaean breeding stock you purchased. He's there with his daughter - apparently she's the horse expert in his band. You could head there and have a chat with him. And her. [write-in: suggestions on what to chat about, see above disclaimer]

>Timon the Varangian, Venicius, and Cabaleiro are in talks about how exactly to integrate the six hundred something freedmen into the Five Hundred.
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>>3273335
>Despite his initial antagonism against you, Galen "of Suerna" is a good drinking partner. After his shift in front of the Princess' quarter ended, you shared a cup with him, and began speaking over a... potential change in management in the Five Hundred.
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>>3273335
>Ambiorix! Your bestest friend! He's been busy in the newly built stables, drooling over the Nesaean breeding stock you purchased. He's there with his daughter - apparently she's the horse expert in his band. You could head there and have a chat with him. And her.

Ambiorix is the best "mentor" and "tutor" we can hope for (and the only one that wouldn't be aiming for our arse which is a nice bonus) so let's see if he'd been willing to train us in horse and swordmanship.
Also, let's try and smooth thing over between them and the Germans.
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>>3273437
>maximum friendship with Ambiorix
>we're buddies with the Gauls
>we hear rumors that one small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the Roman invaders
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>>3273335
>Ambiorix! Your bestest friend! He's been busy in the newly built stables, drooling over the Nesaean breeding stock you purchased. He's there with his daughter - apparently she's the horse expert in his band. You could head there and have a chat with him. And her.
>>
>>3273335
>Despite his initial antagonism against you, Galen "of Suerna" is a good drinking partner. After his shift in front of the Princess' quarter ended, you shared a cup with him, and began speaking over a... potential change in management in the Five Hundred
>>
>Relentlessly support going in and talking to the princess because I figure a 5-year age gap isn't so bad
>Turns out it's actually a 7-year age gap
>We do the exact opposite of trying to break her and make her a servant
Fortuna, you are a brutal QM
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>>3273802
Hey, I can't read minds! You guys went for sympathy route, you got sympathy route.
>>
>>3273969
I had posted up above that my idea was to cast ourselves as her only ally in a situation where she has no power, cultivating a Stockholm Syndrome situation and raising her over the next several years to become Caesar's maid/personal slave.
Unfortunately, it seems like I didn't go into enough detail or reiterate recently enough. Oh well, maybe we can still turn this thing around.
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>>3273335
>Despite his initial antagonism against you, Galen "of Suerna" is a good drinking partner. After his shift in front of the Princess' quarter ended, you shared a cup with him, and began speaking over a... potential change in management in the Five Hundred.
As a young boy, it seems like it's in our interest to remove the child molester from power.
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>>3273984
Well to do that we should probably sell off her handmaidens first.
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>>3273993
That would be good, yeah. Maybe we can follow up the "your people need you" hype by selling off her handmaidens and then doing something to show her that (as Galen pointed out) her people don't actually care a bit about her.
Then it drives home even more harshly the idea of "Alexandros is the only one who cares."
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>>3274003
I was thinking you could maybe finalise the admixture of Gaulish and Suernian (with the Gaul warriors marrying with the Suernian female civilians already) by having the Princess marry Ambiorix's son, thereby heralding a peaceful and smooth integration of the two peoples. Which Caesar will be the ultimate ruler over, because of course Caesar is not doing this out of the goodness of his heart. Makes good political sense to ensure the transition from Suernian/Gaul to Suergaul is as smooth as possible.

That's just one way things might go though \_o_/

>>3273984
Yeahhhh you aren't going to mindbreak someone into becoming your personal maid/slave with a couple talks, this not that kind of game! I hope to keep waifuism to an absolute minimum (relationships are fine, one-sided Haremmaster stuff you can find in FUCK QUEST better than anything I will write). If this is something you want to make happen, I'll need some very damn convincing input from the anons swaying things that way.
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>>3274010
>A couple of talks
I mean, I was thinking this was more of a process of several years. Even just the trip to India will keep us aboard ship for 4 years, right? During that time, keeping the princess isolated and under control would be natural.
For what it's worth, I was thinking of this more in the context of ironic vengeance against Carthage than waifuism.
Of course, this is all made more difficult by the age shift. Children are more malleable at younger ages, and it's easier to change a 10-year-old's worldview than a 12-year-old's.
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>>3274020
12 year old are still far more malleable than adults are. We just have to break her current support system (the handmaidens) and replace it with us.
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>>3273335
>Ambiorix! Your bestest friend! He's been busy in the newly built stables, drooling over the Nesaean breeding stock you purchased. He's there with his daughter - apparently she's the horse expert in his band. You could head there and have a chat with him. And her.
>>
Speak with Ambiorix. We can talk to Hermann later, and the Cabaleiro issue is also something that can be postponed for a while.
>>
New thread has begun in >>3276141



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