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He had heard the rumours. They all had, within the confines of The Ship. That Alexandros was the Basileus come again.That his blood was as hot as molten gold when angered, and burned the skin off those who wounded him. That during the attack on Ypra, a faraway city in ancient Parthia, he wrestled the native she-god and destroyed her temple with a comet.

That Alexandros was himself a god.

Stuff and nonsense, Xanthippos thinks, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Superstition of sailors and barbarians. Gods no longer walk on the earth like men. Sure as sure. The hierophant had said as much, the Atreidae priest blessing him before he departed for this mad journey east.

"Do gods walk among us, priest?" he had asked.

The priest had chuckled in that patronising way of his. "Has that Harkonnen captain been filling your head with his nonsense again? Gods do not meddle in the affairs of mortals in such direct ways, Xanthippos. They direct and guide from distance in subtle methods, the likes of which you and I are not wont to understand after a hundred life-times."

Xanthippos wonders how right the priest was. His blessings certainly did not help in his voyage.

That damned dream. It was always the same memory, that scene of his wife being taken by the Kraken. Oily-sheened tentacles thicker than the torso of a man grasping - breaking - the back of his beloved; one moment standing with spear and shield in hand, gone the next. Small mercy that she died instantly when the monster's appendages grasped her, its monstrous strength too much for human forms to endure.

Except Alexandros.

Eventually, with numerous spear-wounds and strange glowing burn marks from an unknown source, the Kraken had withdrawn. Twenty three dead, four hundred injured. Could have been better. Should have been worse.
>>
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>>3566527

Eventually, with numerous spear-wounds and strange glowing burn marks from an unknown source, the Kraken had withdrawn. Twenty three dead, four hundred injured. Could have been better. Should have been worse.

Life is not as merciful as his own tortured mind. In that hellish dreamscape, she does not expire instantaneously. Instead, the beastly appendages wrap around her, slowly choking the life out of his beloved's eyes. She screams silently, her burning lungs incapable of squeezing out the cry of help she so desperately needs, eyes fixed on him.

Then suddenly, with the dementedness of dream-logic that plagues all nightmares, she suddenly finds her tongue. "You did this," she says softly. "You brought me here."

Xanthippos shakes his head, forcing the last wisps of the dream-memory out of his head. A strong sword-arm snakes itself from under the bed cover, feeling its way to his body, and then finding its mark, begins stroking his leg.

"Nightmares again?" says Zaharin drowsily, voice muffled by the same bed cover as his.

"It was nothing," Xanthippos says gently. "Go back to sleep." It is dark outside. Still an hour at least until daybreak.

"You should see Scrivener. He has concoctions for those."

Of course he does. He was the not-doctor of a war band. Even steady soldiers needed a pick-me-up every now and then, to keep from going completely insane.

Except Alexandros.

What disturbs Xanthippos the most about that man is that he does not blink. Or rather, he blinks as if one performing a duty, a ceremonial necessity. But he didn't need to blink, as he often saw whenever the man was in deep thought. The super-strength, the ability to seemingly recover from deep wounds in the blink of an eye, those he can swallow. After all, the Age of Heroes have mentions of such things in exceptional men. But the bards don't sing of the Man Who Does Not Blink. It's unnerving, this subtle evidence of inhumanity. But if he is not a man, what then?
>>
>>3566529

Not for the first time, Xanthippos wonders what he's gotten himself into in his youthful indiscretion. The same indiscretion that got his beloved killed by a fucking Kraken.

Taking care not to disturb the nude Amazoness beside him, Xanthippos gets up from bed and starts to dress in his...

>civilian attire. Maybe Zaharin was right. He could use some something. Whatever that thing is. [Go to Veicht]

>military dress. Might as well make use of the early awakening and see how the perimeter guards are doing. [Check out Ambiorix and his men]

>Second-guessing himself, Xanthippos stops dressing and returns to the warm embrace of the bed - and his lover. [May you rest in a deep and dreamless slumber...]

>Custom [write-in]
>>
[Welcome to the newest installment of the pseudo-historical fantasy quest following the rebirth of Caesar. As per the last thread's vote, we'll be kicking off with some Xanthippos POV. The rest of the chapters can be perused at your leisure in:

http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Commentarii

I wasn't able to archive the last thread, because someone archived it as a Fate/Zero quest. Not sure how to fix that. Updates are typically once a day, though occasionally I do make second updates.]
>>
>>3566531
>Second-guessing himself, Xanthippos stops dressing and returns to the warm embrace of the bed - and his lover. [May you rest in a deep and dreamless slumber...]
Eh, give him that much.
>>3566534
>Not sure how to fix that.
Maybe you could try talking to Lord Licorice?
>>
>>3566539
Yeah, I posted a message on his thread. Hope he doesn't mind the interruption. Sometimes for large quests like his, the QM does not need to do the archiving, so it's possible it was a player instead of the QM making the accident.
>>
>>3566529
>Eventually, with numerous spear-wounds and strange glowing burn marks from an unknown source, the Kraken had withdrawn. Twenty three dead, four hundred injured. Could have been better. Should have been worse.
Jeez, where did THAT come from???

>Taking care not to disturb the nude Amazoness beside him
And when did we start importing amazons?

>military dress. Might as well make use of the early awakening and see how the perimeter guards are doing. [Check out Ambiorix and his men]
Duty before personal business. Hopefully Ambiorix is not too restless from being left behind.
>>
>>3566544
>Sometimes for large quests like his, the QM does not need to do the archiving
Oh, no, Sweets always archives his threads. He was feeling too unwell to update till a few hours ago, so he might've accidentally done your thread.
>>
>>3566531

>military dress. Might as well make use of the early awakening and see how the perimeter guards are doing. [Check out Ambiorix and his men]
>>
>>3566546
Zaharin was part of the Five Hundred, was a side character during VeichtPOV. Reminder that Five Hundred was -very- international, there are probably a few Romans there too.

>>3566547
>feeling unwell
QM CURSE! I have a feeling I will fall victim to it again soon enough, it's been too long since the last.
>>
>>3566550
>was a side character during VeichtPOV
Oh the name did sound familiar, but I was unable to find it in the archives previously. It is nice that Xanthippos managed to find some comfort after his loss.
>>
Who was Xanthippos already?
>>
>>3566570
Our newest officer addition. Of house Atreides
>>
>>3566531
>>military dress. Might as well make use of the early awakening and see how the perimeter guards are doing. [Check out Ambiorix and his men]
>>
>>3566544
I emailed the suptg admin about it, hopefully he'll get back to me and we can resolve the issue.
>>
>>3567297
Oh neat, thanks for the update

>>3566549
>>3566737
>>3566546
>military dress. Might as well make use of the early awakening and see how the perimeter guards are doing. [Check out Ambiorix and his men]

Writing
>>
The camp is still a bustle of activities, the shadowed frames of soldiers moving about on their business. "Soldier," Xanthippos calls, stopping one in his tracks.

"Sir," he replies, a dark-skinned man (Berber, Xanthippos thinks) armoured in the manner of the Legion's officers salutes. A foreigner, and an officer at that.

"You one of the Five Hundred?" Xanthippos asks. How Alexandros managed to incorporate the greatest mercenary company in history into his cadre of soldiers, he doesn't want to guess. A contract with a daemon, maybe.

"Signed up in Numidia, twenty four years ago," the soldier replies, pride evident in his voice. "Never looked back. May I help you?"

"Yes, I..." Xanthippos coughs. Morning chill. "Just wanted to check if the walls were safe."

"I see, sir." He smiles sympathetically. "Bad night?"

He nods. Of course, the former Five Hundred knew more about him at this sort of thing. Back in Muziris, he had served as a glorified warehouse guard, a "captain of the guard" for the esteemed House Atreides. A whole lot of paper pushing in security detail, not so much... killing. Nothing as much as a Five Hundred infantryman must have seen in his day.

Gods, the deaths. They cling to him like the water of the rock, that black, vile liquid renowned for its inflammability. And for being impossible to wash off.

The Numidian offers him a small wineskin that he carries on his belt, which Xanthippos gratefully accepts. "You should go to Veicht, sir," the soldier says as he drinks. "He'll fix you right up. Ah. Not to say that you look terrible, sir."

Xanthippos waves off the man's politeness. "Haven't washed. A shave and another drink," he upends the wineskin again, "and I'll be right as rain. Right as rain. Have you seen Ambiorix?"

"Organising the fifth perimeter scouting party, sir. He wanted to make sure we kept an eye out for friendlies." Survivors, is what he means. There could be any number of troubles in the jungled mountain. Their role would be to ensure any fleeing legionary coming from the forest would be assisted. Smart man, though dangerous for anyone who pulled scouting duty. "You should find him by the north gate."

"Thank you. And north is...?"

"That way, sir." A beat. "You certain you don't need to see Veicht?"

"I'll be fine, thank you. Send a jar of wine - real wine, not this cheap posca stuff - to Zaharin's tent, will you?" Not like his friendship with the female lochagos is a secret to them. The Numidian nods and walks off, merging into the contours of the night. Leaving Xanthippos alone again in the flickering light of the torch-spear.

>Head to the south gate
>Head to the west gate
>Head to the north gate
>Take a roundabout route, casually checking the parapet behind the wall
>Go see Scrivener
>Custom [write-in]
>>
>>3567389
>Go see Scrivener
>>
>>3567389
>Head to the north gate
>>
>>3567389
>Go see Scrivener
God damn you Fortuna, I've always been wary about your choices since you killed Alexandros' parents that one time. You usher us into one of these doors, beckoning us with unspoken promises, all the while distracting us from shadows waiting for us on the other side.
>>
>>3567389
>Go see Scrivener
Might be worth it.
>>
>>3567389
>>Take a roundabout route, casually checking the parapet behind the wall
>>
>>3568485
>>3568134
>>3567447
Scrivener it is, writing
>>
"And I sign here?"

"Yes, that's the place. Mind how you use the ink, I don't have any replacements for it until someone decides to go find a new source of ink-berries for me."

Xanthippos finds himself turning toward Scrivener's tent, despite all his previous protestations that he was completely fine. The light is on within as always. He's never seen the old man sleep. It's always scribbling on that Annals of his - hence the nickname - or dealing with the myriad problems that arise between the former members of the Five Hundred, now that the Captaincy is more or less extinct. But when he peeks in, he witnesses a scene not frequently seen.

The initiation into the Five Hundred. Xanthippos waits as the newest inductee scribbles his name onto the parchment, signing his membership in perpetuity. Strictly speaking, the Five Hundred was not a thing anymore, with its members spread throughout the Legion. If it wasn't the Betrayal that no one really liked to talk about that nailed its downfall, then the influx of new infantrymen from freed gladiators-in-training from Suerna and the Jewish voluntaries did it in. The need for officers to train and oversee these new recruits meant that the veterans in the mercenary company were scattered piecemeal, each with an officer's paygrade.

That didn't stop Veicht from running the Five Hundred as a sort of informal club for the former members, with occasional openings for earmarked personnel. A warrior's lodge with a secretive mystique around it from the viewpoint of the rank and file.

He grimaces. How the mighty have fallen. They were a mercenary company of great repute, known for never breaking their deals with their patrons once the contract was signed.

"Xanthippos," Veicht notices Xanthippos waiting respectfully outside his tent. "Kaphar here was just finishing up. Did you need something?"

"Morn', captain," the Jew jauntily salutes, his trademark half-smile making him look half a decade younger than he really is. Full of swagger and bravado, that one, unseemly for his age. Xanthippos was not exactly part of the hierarchy of the Legion, but for courtesy's sake he was given the captain's rank.

"Good morning to you, Scrivener, Kaphar," Xanthippos replies with a nod to each. "Just visiting to see if you had that. It can wait."

"Oh, we were just finishing up," the old man grunts as he smoothes the contract paper. "Didn't you have a celebration to join?" he asks pointedly at Kaphar, who clearly has half a mind to loiter around to see what that is. Not even blinking at the unsubtle rebuke, he flashes that smile again and scuttles away, no doubt to brag among his peers of his initiation.

"Not much for ceremonies, are you?" Xanthippos asks, entering the tent proper and taking the seat so recently vacated by Kaphar. "I thought you men of adventure were all about speeches and secret rites of initiation."
>>
>>3569051

"We were a practical breed, the Ten Thousand," Scrivener replies curtly, using their old name back when they were ten thousand. "Time spent fucking about with that drivel is time that can be spent marching. But you didn't come to sign your name in the Annals, I think."

"No." Xanthippos hesitates.

>"The... dreams have been bothering me again."

>"I didn't know you were peddling medicines. Does Alexandros know about that?"

>"Why bother keeping the name of the Five Hundred alive? It's a glorified officer's club."

>"Can I read a part of your Annals?"

>Custom [write-in]
>>
>>3569052
>"Can I read a part of your Annals?"

What could this Betrayal be? :P
>>
>>3569052
>>"Can I read a part of your Annals?"
>>
>>3569052
>"Why bother keeping the name of the Five Hundred alive? It's a glorified officer's club."
>>
>>3569110
>>3569620
>>3569055

"I was curious if I could read your-"

"No." The sleep-deprived smile on Scrivener's leathery face doesn't flicker. "I know what you are about to ask, captain, but I am unable to grant it. Our Annals were only ever for the eyes of those within the brotherhood, and even though it has become secondary to this... Legion, some of us continue to keep the old ways."

"Keeping the flame alive."

"Yes, captain. Keeping the flame alive." Scrivener smoothly rolls up the freshly signed contract. "Now, the subject of your dreams."

Xanthippos looks up sharply. "How did you know?"

"You are... bedfellows with one of ours. Zaharin worries about you." He breaks into a light smile as the captain shifts uncomfortably on his chair. "Oh, don't go all offended. I am the man they come to for contraceptives, so I end up knowing whether or not I want to. She is a good girl. I don't want you to cause her more worries than she already has, being in this new world and all."

"I won't." And that is a promise.

"See that you do, captain." The man who works as the scribe, recorder, herbalist, and recorder of the final words of dead and dying soldiers of the Five Hundred places a thinly yellowed vial into his hand, its content sounding like tiny pebbles as they shake from being moved. "One in the morning, one before sleep. Keep to the prescribed amount and you shouldn't have many side effects..."

>Sleep Medicine gained!

He emerges from the tent, the medicine in hand.

She worries about you.

He hasn't been very fair to her, the captain thinks. Their relationship began only as a temporary fling, the young and handsome captain seeking solace from his newly widowed state, the female Amazon finding a kindred spirit in him, that of someone who misses one's one dearly. But it's become more than that.

The sun peeks over the ocean horizon, lighting the sky dark blue with its glow. It feels the still young captain with a new determination. A new place, a new home - a new me.

>Xanthippos resolves to propose to Zaharin, once he finds a nice gift for her.

>Xanthippos, nothing if not a man of indiscretion, runs back to Zaharin's tent to propose then and there.

>Xanthippos is still too depressed about his dead wife to consider moving on.

>Custom
>>
>>3570764
>Xanthippos resolves to propose to Zaharin, once he finds a nice gift for her.

What’s this about contraception? Give us kids you git. è.é
>>
>>3570782
is Xanthippos ready to be a dad?
>>
>>3570794
Ready or not, we need kids.
Especially with a large portion of our population under arms; we can’t afford to have them die without leaving behind descendants, otherwise, it’s the end of our civilization.
>>
>>3570764
>>Xanthippos resolves to propose to Zaharin, once he finds a nice gift for her.
new world, new life
>>
>>3570764
>Xanthippos resolves to propose to Zaharin, once he finds a nice gift for her.
>>
>>3570764
>Xanthippos, nothing if not a man of indiscretion, runs back to Zaharin's tent to propose then and there
Drama!
>>
>>3570870
>>3570842
>>3570782
Writing
>>
Some typoes in the previous post, should be "who misses one's home dearly" and I think there was another one but I can't find it now

>Xanthippos resolves to propose to Zaharin, once he finds a nice gift for her.

The hardest part isn't moving forward. It's letting go.

Xanthippos stares at the rising sun, the halved circle blushing prettily like a maid caught climbing the neighbour's garden wall. Soon, he promises himself. The weight seems to lift from his shoulders, the deeply graven image of the terrifying sea-beast that took his wife just a bit fainter in his mind. Instead, he begins to dream of a new family in this new land, without having to worry about his uncles and cousins vying for the top place within the Atreides holdings in Muziris.

I just need to survive a few more years.

Xanthippos pockets the bottle and walks back toward his lover's tent, knowing little of the scale of the war that awaits them both. They may come to enjoy a long and peaceful life after retirement, enjoying each other's companionship. Or end up as two of many anonymous corpses in the mounds of the dead. Who knows? Certainly not the writer of this story. The gods who roll the dice in this game of life are fickle, with little regard for the little people that populate any world.

No, their eyes are focused elsewhere.

>Scene: A primitive feast, held in a sizeable village at the top of the mountain.

>Scene: The surrender of Sakizaya-Kavalan to the men on horseback.

>Scene: Ministry of Celestial Observation, Chang'an

>Custom [suggestions?]
>>
>>3571049
>Scene: Ministry of Celestial Observation, Chang'an
>>
>>3571049
>>Scene: Ministry of Celestial Observation, Chang'an
>>
>>3571049
>Scene: Ministry of Celestial Observation, Chang'an
>>
>>3571049
>The surrender of Sakizaya-Kavalan to the men on horseback.
>>
>>3571049
>>Scene: The surrender of Sakizaya-Kavalan to the men on horseback.
>>
>>3571056
>>3571393
>>3571543
Writing
>>
Imperial Celestial Observatory, Ministry of Ceremonies, Chang'an

"Grave tidings from the celestial firmaments, my lords." Court Astronomist Feng is a thin wisp of a man, filled head to toe with nervous energy that wracked his slight frame with a cough whenever he was stressed, which was always. "The Celestial Body of the Fire Element-"

"The Fire Star," Gan Duo replies gently, hoping to ease the man from his nervousness. "Do not tremble so, Sixth-Tiered Celestial Attendant. You speak among friends here. Tell us what you saw in your shift, and in simple words if you can. We have a visitor here who would enjoy less of our jargon." He gives a slight deferential bow to the visitor, who stands out among the court astrologers gathered for the morning's briefing for his austere shenyi robe of a scholar.

The astronomist's lips quiver. "Y-yes, Prefect Grand Astrologer. Last night, while looking out for further deviations in the Heavens, we - that is, Junior Administrator Hui Xiefang and I - found that the Fire Star's aura has enveloped the Summer Stars among the Twenty Eight Mansions."

A wave of murmur from the gathered mathematicians, astronomists, and astrologers begin as they discuss the inauspicious portent. The Fire Star has always held a dire portent for the people of the Xia. The bloody Red, the antithesis to the civilised Yellow.

"That is nothing to worry about," an old and wizened astronomist says placatingly, a veteran of survival in the complex web of courtly intrigues. "The Star of the Vermillion Bird is long known to be a proxy of the Imperial Dragon. Its ascent means that the sovereignty of the Emperor is also on the rise."

"Yes, but which Emperor?" a rather young official standing beside the trembling astrologer says sarcastically. "The scion of Han sleeps in a gilded cage, while Wang Mang frolicks in the Imperial Gardens, playing tag of a lewder sort with the previous Emperor's courtesans."

"Are you trying to get us all killed?"

"Watch your mouth, Junior Administrator Hui!"

"Friends!" the Prefect Grand Astrologer shouts over the din. "We of all people should not begin panicking like the hot-blooded Nanman whenever a disaster strikes. You shame the entire ministry with this goings-on. I must apologise to you, Brother Fengxiao," he says to the scholar beside him. "Things have been difficult lately, with strange readings in the night sky."

"No problem at all, Lord Prefect Xao," Guo Jia [courtesy name: Fengxiao] replies. "The Fire Star has ever held an ominous meaning for the children of the Yellow Emperor. That you are worried shows a great sign of patriotism and interest for the well-being of your fellow men."
>>
>>3572356

"We can't send this reading to the Imperial Palace," the Sixth-Tiered Celestial Attendant says despondently. "Wang M- I mean, the Emperor, will surely denounce us as liars, and worse - judge us to be spreading misinformation to destabilise his dynasty! We will be culled to the seventh generation!"

"Then send the hogwash about the Fire Star being a symbol of Imperial good fortune instead," the Prefect Grand Astrologer says irritably. "Brother Fengxiao, I am sorry that the month's celestial reading is so badly done. Will you be coming to dinner later?"

"Your hospitality has been more than a humble scholar could ask for, Lord Prefect," the young scholar replies. "Alas, other matters pull me away from your bountiful table. There is a hermit in the mountains I must visit - his birthday was two days ago, and I failed to make a calling there. I must do my due diligence, after all." The young scholar bows respectfully before retreading his steps to the exit, then turns, as if remembering something. "Just one thing. Junior Administrator Hui, was it? I wonder if I could borrow him from you for a while."

"By all means, by all means!" cries the Prefect Grand Astrologer, distracted by the renewed argument of his colleagues over the meaning behind the red star's occupation of the southern Celestial Mansions. "Give Master Sima Hui my greetings as well. Unfortunately, the business of the Ministry keeps me from visiting him as often as I would like. You may make use of the horses from the Imperial stables. Tell them I authorised it."

"Of course, Lord Prefect. With me, Junior Administrator Hui." The outspoken minor official in tow, the scholar disappears from the room, where a dire pronouncement is finally formed by the squabbling astrologers, consensus attained from the overwhelming evidence of the star charts.

"The heralding of a new Emperor!" They shout in frenzied unison. "A Red Emperor to rival the Yellow!"

But how can this be? The Prefect Grand Astrologer thinks helplessly. There is only ever one true Emperor in the entire world.
>>
>>3572359
---

With the receiving of the report that Sakizaya-Kavalan had capitulated after witnessing the prowess of his horsemen, Caesar knew that the island of Alexandria Eskhata was nearly pacified; for, having placed himself in mortal danger to challenge the supremacy of the tribals of the Atayal, he had gained their respect, and more than that, their fearful worship.

Only the Bunun, those archer people of the mountains, remained.


>Seeing them as too great a threat if allowed to disperse throughout the unmapped forests of the mountain range, Caesar immediately ordered his men to march to their suspected villages, so as to root them out completely.

>Realising that a culture that encourages bowmen is one that could be of use with compliance, Caesar decided to repeat his previous performance with the Atayal, risking his life by entering the Bunun territory without an army.

>Custom [write-in]
>>
>>3572363
>Realising that a culture that encourages bowmen is one that could be of use with compliance, Caesar decided to repeat his previous performance with the Atayal, risking his life by entering the Bunun territory without an army.
>>
>>3572363
>Custom [write-in]
>Learn more about Bunun culture (whether they would honor a challenge in particular) from Atayal before proceeding to repeat the act
>>
>>3572407
support
>>
>>3572407
>>3572363
Support
>>
>>3572407
Supporting this anon's plan
>>
>>3572637
>>3572610
>>3572561
>>3572407

The first component of any battle is intelligence gathering. Before setting off to a potentially suicidal gambit, Caesar questioned the locals as to the predisposition of the Bunun; their weaknesses and their strengths, how likely they might capitulate after a show of individual strength.

As mentioned before, many primitive societies force its leader to be seen as the most warlike of them all in order to justify his chieftainship, unlike in civilised states where a wider range of skills of command are sought.

But according to the tribals who had already submitted, the Bunun were the most craven and secretive of them all, preferring to attack their enemies with a hail of arrows before disappearing. They were not particularly known for taking risks or displays of bravery like ceremonial duels. These things, Caesar noted, suggested a more cohesive society than even the plainsmen, with someone at the head who could keep social order and prevent the barbarians from acting out in their baser instincts.

In other words, an actual leader was within their midst. Expecting to win purely from a single duel was off the table.


>Caesar prepared his heavy infantrymen for the first deadly conflict to be waged since the landing. While unarmoured archers are poor melee fighters, their flight would be aided not only by their understanding of their home terrain, but also the fact that they are unburdened by protective equipment. This would take some time.

>Caesar prepared his cavalry, gambling the speed of his horsemen against the forested terrain of the mountain range where the Bunun dwell. He reasoned that their lack of familiarity with his majestic beasts might cause confusion among their superstitious ranks.

>Barbarians are powerful because they have not had the chance to become effeminised by civilisation. He ordered maidens from the Taivoani to be picked according to the local standards of beauty, and having drafted a hundred, made them dress in their ceremonial dresses. Carrying drinking vessels, caskets of wine, and silken fineries, Caesar marched forward into the mountains, in effect not leading an army, but a troupe of women.

>Custom
>>
>>3572664
>Caesar prepared his cavalry, gambling the speed of his horsemen against the forested terrain of the mountain range where the Bunun dwell. He reasoned that their lack of familiarity with his majestic beasts might cause confusion among their superstitious ranks.

While ordering

>His heavy infantrymen prepared for the first deadly conflict to be waged since the landing. While unarmoured archers are poor melee fighters, their flight would be aided not only by their understanding of their home terrain, but also the fact that they are unburdened by protective equipment. This would take some time.

Essentially, shock them with the cavalry and follow up with the legions if resistance continues (or is possible to continue). Life is so easy for people who have cavalry and face no cavalry.
>>
>>3572664
What is the terrain like? A lot of mountains? I suppose it would be possible to burn them out of their home
>>
File: 1559590930723.png (1.11 MB, 850x966)
1.11 MB
1.11 MB PNG
>>3572738
>>
>>3572755
Forgot to add,

Black = Taivoani
Red = Bunun
Orange = Atayal
Purple = Sakizaya-Kavalan
>>
Alright because mountains suck for both horses and heavy infantry, we either train up light skirmishers that can fight in rough terrain, or we go peaceful.

>Barbarians are powerful because they have not had the chance to become effeminised by civilisation. He ordered maidens from the Taivoani to be picked according to the local standards of beauty, and having drafted a hundred, made them dress in their ceremonial dresses. Carrying drinking vessels, caskets of wine, and silken fineries, Caesar marched forward into the mountains, in effect not leading an army, but a troupe of women.
>>
>>3572664
>Barbarians are powerful because they have not had the chance to become effeminised by civilisation. He ordered maidens from the Taivoani to be picked according to the local standards of beauty, and having drafted a hundred, made them dress in their ceremonial dresses. Carrying drinking vessels, caskets of wine, and silken fineries, Caesar marched forward into the mountains, in effect not leading an army, but a troupe of women.

with

>Caesar prepared his cavalry, gambling the speed of his horsemen against the forested terrain of the mountain range where the Bunun dwell. He reasoned that their lack of familiarity with his majestic beasts might cause confusion among their superstitious ranks.

In reserve

Let's try get their fealty peacefully but have horses just incase things go badly.
>>
>>3572664
Supporting >>3573187, but if we have to pick only one then go peaceful. Obvious shows of aggression will get us arrows to us or, worse, the troops that can't shake off injury.
>>
>>3573187
supporting
>>
>>3573130
>>3573187
>>3573425
>>3573738

"You're mad."

You look up from your bowl of warm seaweed soup. "Hmm?"

Xanthippos runs his hand through his hair, exhaling nervously. All your forces were back in the (temporary) fortress after accepting the respective surrenders, cavalrymen included, which surprised the Taiovani to no end. That you had managed to place their ancestral enemies under your wing in such short order was to them nothing short of a miracle. A festive mood permeates the air, the feeling that they no longer have to worry about being raided by the Atayal or fight over fishing rights with the Sakizaya-Kavalan.

"Walking straight into the lion's den. I mean, you don't know if they might shoot at first sight."

"Men are men, regardless of race and nationality," you smile crookedly, pointing at the century of women being prepared to march. "Think, young captain. What do the Bunun expect us to do, now that we have rounded up most of the islanders? What does the mind behind these archer people expect me to do? March in there with an army, that is what. Round up the entire native population sans themselves, and throw their lives into the meatgrinder that is the mountain." You lean back on your chair. "To do what the enemy expects of you, that is folly."

He looks uneasily around him and lowers his voice. "You don't know if they have a leader as you say," he whispers fiercely. "For all we know, they might be savage cannibals who feast on the eyeballs of their victims, with hardly any idea for what is to come."

"Slanders from angry mothers and sorrowful fathers," you reply. "They have caused many deaths until today, these Bunun. The locals are afraid. Resentful. Of course they will want us, strange foreigners we, to march in there and exterminate them to a man. But I have plans for these savages as well, Xanthippos. I have plans for every people under the sun. They will submit, or burn... like the-" you stop yourself just short of saying "the Gauls". Ambiorix was an agreeable chieftain, and thought of you almost as a foster son after you were orphaned. It would not do to talk about the Gauls that way, not here. "...the Han."

"You must return alive," the young Greek captain says earnestly, defeated by your insane logic. "I don't know if we will survive here without you. Everything here is tied to you, and you alone. Some kind of, I don't know, a mad web of loyalty that connects everything back to you. Alexandros," he looks at you with part fear and part awe, "what are you?"

>"Adventurer. Conqueror. King." [DIGNITAS]

>"It has ever been my occupation to lead, and to open ways where there had been none before." [VIRTVS]

>"That's a very deep question. Just the kind of which I am not prepared to answer right before waltzing into enemy territory with only one hundred maidens to back me up." [COMITAS]

>"Civis romanus sum."
>>
>>3573130
>Barbarians are powerful because they have not had the chance to become effeminised by civilisation. He ordered maidens from the Taivoani to be picked according to the local standards of beauty, and having drafted a hundred, made them dress in their ceremonial dresses. Carrying drinking vessels, caskets of wine, and silken fineries, Caesar marched forward into the mountains, in effect not leading an army, but a troupe of women.

I agree. The last thing we want is holding guerrilla warfare against tribals on their familiar terrain. If charming them doesn't work, I like >>3572738 anon's idea of burning the area to the ground. Surprisingly wildfires indeed occur in the mountainous regions of Taiwan despite it being a rainy jungle forest.
>>
>>3574077
>*laugh* Your leader captain. That's all you need to know.
>>
>>3574077
>"Adventurer. Conqueror. King." [DIGNITAS]
>>
>>3574077
>"Adventurer. Conqueror. King." [DIGNITAS]
But always I am Caesar.
>>
>>3574077
>"Adventurer. Conqueror. King." [DIGNITAS]
>>
>>3574097
>>3574094
>>3574093
Writing
>>
>"Adventurer. Conqueror. King."

And always, you will be Caesar.

"I will not ask you to believe in me," you speak to the Grecian captain seriously. "Faith requires blind obedience. An unearned trust. I am not like those charlatans who would promise his electors the world, only to dash their future against the stone for some puerile self-interest. Merely judge me according to the fruits of my work, by my actions and my words."

The young captain nods reluctantly. "Gods be with you, Pater Patriae." The Latin rolls off clumsily from his tongue.

"They are. More than you can imagine."

---

Let us see whether Caesar commands women as well as he does men. There is no luxury of previously instilled discipline here, nor a personal loyalty to their commander. Will they hold their lines as they march into the lion's den?

>3 rolls of d10
>>
Rolled 3, 10, 7 = 20 (3d10)

>>3574116
>>
Rolled 5 (1d10)

>>3574116
>>
Rolled 8, 8, 10 = 26 (3d10)

>>3574116
Are you asking for 1d10 from 3 people or for 3d10 from each person?
>>
>>3574139
The former, but I can simply take the first roll of each person so no need to reroll the 3d10s
>>
>>3574116
>Gods be with you

Plz no D:
>>
>>3574165
Not all gods are malevolent! It's just that the pissed off ones tend to be the more active.
>>
>>3574189
Of course, all gods aren’t malevolent, but they are pretty much all mercurial, which isn’t much better :P
Btw, what do they think about having worshipper all the way to Formosa?
>>
>>3574196
A drop in the ocean, really. The beliefs within your odyssey group is diverse and often syncretic.
>>
>3 - Tragedy averted
Don't forget this is a roll-under quest.

By all accounts, Alexandros was a competent general, if somewhat impulsive. Indeed, his decision to lead a troupe of maidens instead of soldiers caused some concern among us, but he was adamant in his decision. So let him go, we did. I watched his back recede into the foliage.

The women trudged onwards to what might have been their deaths, none of them breaking ranks to seek refuge in the depth of the jungle or killing themselves. The dark recess of the forest held stealth-warriors even more brutal and savage than their kinsmen, and at least there was a chance to survive in following the mad foreigner captain.

After a day of march, with plentiful rest in between, the first contact came.


Forest of Arrows

Reflex = +20DC [Healthy +5DC, Skilled I +5DC, Elite I +10DC]
VS
Event: Flying Arrow = +25DC [Expected -5DC, Very Hard +20, Unacrobatic Foe +10DC]
Personal Reflex DC45

>Needed rolls: 3 1d100s
>>
Rolled 67 (1d100)

>>3574199
>>
Rolled 55 (1d100)

>>3574199
>>
>>3574199
Should we not get a bonus for having armor and superhuman physical capacity?
>>
>>3574206
Unnatural Strength, not Unnatural Agility. This is just a Reflex check, not a full on combat one.
>>
Rolled 5 (1d100)

>>3574208
I mean, unnatural strength pretty much mean unnatural speed, they go hand in hand to an extent.
>>
>1 Success

When the arrow embedded itself against the tree trunk behind Alexandros, he did not show any surprise. "What a show-off!" he remarked then, and tasting the tip declared it to be free of poison. That was when I noticed a glint of gold in his eartip. The arrow had nicked his right ear. A shot not to kill, but to send a message.

Alexandros made the womenfolk erect the pavillion then and there. We had brought some dried food to complement our banquet in the middle of the jungle, a means to lure out the Bunun with curiosity. "After all," he said, "these people have known nothing but animosity from their neighbours. How would they react from the first sign of hospitality?"

Perhaps his reason was sound. But I did not like being exposed to such dangers that he seemed to jump into without a single thought. That may sound foolish, being as I am the chronicler for the doings of the Five Hundred, a mercenary company of some renown. But that is how it is.

For the umpteenth time, I cursed myself for revealing my capacity for languages, which had earned me a place beside him in his insane adventures.

When the food was prepared, we finally gained the first glimpse of the Bunun when twenty of the barbarians emerged from the trees. What were we doing there, they demanded to know. Did we not know that this was Bunun territory? Did we not see the well-polished skulls that marked the constantly shifting borders between the Bunun and the Atayal? Were we so foolish so as to disrespect their ancestral lands?

Working as the mouthpiece of Alexandros, I replied thus: that we knew this was Bunun territory, that we have seen the skulls that demarcated the borders, and that we had no intention of insulting their ancestors. We had come in order to...


>accept the Bunun into the greater fold of mankind once more, no longer left in their ignorance and savagery.

>see if their skills in archery, so famous even beyond the island, were true, and to witness it with our own eyes.

>offer them a way out of their inevitable extinction, whether it be in the next decade or the next century, given their small population and unrefined military sciences.

>invite them to a banquet, as it is only proper for a host to feed his guests.

>Custom
>>
>>3574216
I separated them in the mechanics
>>
>>3574236
>see if their skills in archery, so famous even beyond the island, were true, and to witness it with our own eyes.
Lets play up to their pride before we dine!
>>
>>3574236
>accept the Bunun into the greater fold of mankind once more, no longer left in their ignorance and savagery
>>
>>3574246
I feel like if we do this, they'll just shoot someone.
>>3574236
>>3574236
>>3574216
We should ply them with gifts of good wine and loose women, then afterwards ask to speak with their leader.
>>
>>3574278
>I feel like if we do this, they'll just shoot someone.
Well as I interpreted it it didn't mean literally see immediately, but as recognition, a compliment.
Stroke egos, eat, drink, enjoy the women and then negotiate.
>>
>>3574236
>invite them to a banquet, as it is only proper for a host to feed his guests
>>
>>3574236
>>invite them to a banquet, as it is only proper for a host to feed his guests.
>see if their skills in archery, so famous even beyond the island, were true, and to witness it with our own eyes.
>>
>>3574444
>>3574433
>>3574278
>>3574282
>invite them to a banquet, as it is only proper for a host to feed his guests.

Writing
>>
...to fete the bold heroes of the Bunun, of whom many and much were said about. He welcomed them to join him in his celebration of life, easing their wariness with the obvious lack of soldiers around him, and tempting them with strange new dishes laid before them like a wonderful dream. The barbarians sat down, each of them serviced by five of the women. Of food, there were smoked fish from the Taiovani, and salted seafood of many kinds as well, all taken from that coastal people. Cheap wines from The Ship's stores that were going nearly sour were provided liberally, the barbarians not knowing the difference between vinegar and wine. They ate, and made merry.

Let this serve as an example to those who would make business ventures while drinking uncut wine. Throughout the feast, the barbarians drank liberally from their goblets without mixing water, thus inviting all the more quicker the clouding influence of alcohol into their minds. More and more of the Bunun emerged from the forest around us, looking curiously at the foreign drink their compatriots were enjoying, and soon there was a fight, for it was evident that the drinks that one hundred women can carry is not enough for a thousand men.

Fists were exchanged, tables upturned. With just a taste of civilisation's offerings, they had become like madmen, thirsting and hungering for more.

No doubt roused to action by the foolishness of their men, the leader of the Bunun finally made their appearance, arrow knocked in shortbow but not quite aiming at us. To my surprise, it was a woman that led the Bunun, not a man. She was a short thing, like the rests of the Bunun people, two heads shorter than the average Ionians. She was clad much in the way of the rest of the Bunun archers of the male sex, except for a length of primitive cloth banding her considerable chest flat. Unusually for the squat, dark-faced Bunun, she was not unpleasant to look at. I was reminded of a certain clay figurine of a fertility goddess that I had the chance of cataloguing during the Five Hundred's contract with the Ephesians.

Alexandros was first to recover from the surprise, and bade me call out to her. To invite her to join the festivities, and...


>discuss with him the future of the Bunun people as a part of a greater nation, one that had managed to nearly unify the island in such a short span of time. Would she not wish to put her flag behind the power that did the unthinkable, and march forward to a glorious future, not as a slave, but as a compatriot?

>lay out the terms of her vassalisation, on threat of the annihilation of the fighting men of her tribe. There were soldiers on horseback near the area, Alexandros claimed, who would ride in at the merest sign of treachery from her or her kind.

>custom
>>
>>3574915
>discuss with him the future of the Bunun people as a part of a greater nation, one that had managed to nearly unify the island in such a short span of time. Would she not wish to put her flag behind the power that did the unthinkable, and march forward to a glorious future, not as a slave, but as a compatriot?
>>
>>3574915
>lay out the terms of her vassalisation, on threat of the annihilation of the fighting men of her tribe. There were soldiers on horseback near the area, Alexandros claimed, who would ride in at the merest sign of treachery from her or her kind.

No, we are not giving citizenship freely, it must be earned.
Also, I am calling it now, you are totally trying to ship us with her.
>>
>>3574926
Any sort of shipping is the last thing from my mind, I just prefer leaders to be... not fuck ugly. And it's been a sausage fest so far, so I thought, "fuck it, short archer chieftess."

I don't even have an artwork prepared for her! ...then again, I don't have one for the MC either. There is a severe character portrait deficiency going on in this quest.
>>
>>3574926
Hey, we haven’t talked full rights at all. I just don’t like the bluffing without any forces in the area. Not all savages will bend to Caesar's bravado....

Also, I think it’s less that Fortuna’s trying to ship us and more Caesar’s latent lust, which we have largely ignored, coming to light. He was not a chaste man in life...

>>3574931
Character portraits are for cowards with no imagination!
>>
>>3574915
>lay out the terms of her vassalisation, on threat of the annihilation of the fighting men of her tribe. There were soldiers on horseback near the area, Alexandros claimed, who would ride in at the merest sign of treachery from her or her kind.
The genius of Rome is for rule. Caesar Alexandros does not freely make equals of strangers.
And we're not romancing her either!
>>
>>3574933
Because of the anon's suggestion earlier, I did have cavalry stationed somewhat nearby. But not near enough to tip off the archers. That means they're still some ways away, and may not be here in time to snatch you from death by thousand drunken archers who can't shoot straight.

You -do- have cavalry on standby, though.
>>
>>3574915
Also, Alexandros going down in history as master manipulator, calling it now.

>>3574933
Not sure how we are going to explain that we aren’t giving them citizenship after we have been this... accomodating.

>>3574931
I would have put Alexander from fate, but you know, already taken.

Well, he is Greek, and greek were kinda mysogin, as in, they hated women (don’t ask me why).
>>
>>3574936
>Implying the drunk archer won’t kill each other when trying to shoot.
>>
>lust
I consider it my divine duty to offer the patres conscripti the chance of Royally Fucking Things Up like IRL Caesar did by banging too many senatorial housewives and getting attached to his future murderers.

If that means writing the barest minimum of hand-holding before fading to black, so be it!
>>
>>3574951
Actually that was my implication. Basically the archers who were shadowing you got honeypotted with shit wine.

Then again, after this long a voyage, most of your wine is unpalatably briny or just plain gone bad. Soon you're going to run out of alcohol... the horror...

Also you guys have played him more as a Roman than a Greek so far. Romans were pretty respectful of women, as long as they stayed within the domestic boundaries allocated to them. Caesar himself had very positive experience with his mother, unlike his father, who kind of died early on and wasn't present much in his life. I don't believe Caesar would be a mysoginist. Unless you ask some twitterleft.
>>
>>3574957
To continue the case of Caeser not destroying thots, Quest-wise we did have him get attached to his mother all over again, and he has a measure of experience fighting with barbarian women (the Germans in particular).

>>3574951
>Be Caesar
>tell the barbaroi to submit or die
>get shot to death by qt3.14 tribal loli
>pic semi-related
>>
>>3574957
No wines!?! However are we going to have political conversation!?!
Seriously, are they going to get sick from the shit wine? I don’t particularly enjoy the thought of having to take care of hundreds of bedridden tribal.
>>
>>3574981
Nah, it's just poor quality and nearly vinegar'd. Pretty potent in terms of alcohol though. As much as can be expected from carrying the same barrels of drinks throughout multiple long voyages.

>>3574970
That image is a little more stimulating than what I was going for!
>>
>>3574984
>tfw I misread post
Image is actually more applicable than I thought!
>>
>>3574984
The voyage just matured the wine :P
Do we have seed for olive and grapes? Life would be unbearable if we don’t have those....
>>3574970
>tribal loli
>look at the picture
....just what is a grown woman for you ? D:
>>
>>3574991
Just went with the first female tribal archer I could find, but then I reread the post after I finished typing and realized that the Bunun leader was more shortstack than anything.
>>
>>3574991
They actually grow grapes around this time in the northwestern regions, I think? The most popular alcoholic drink in the mainland is made from millet. And not to worry, your father planned for colonising efforts so you do have stocks of seed for such things. Though whether it is the right climate and soil is a different question altogether. I have no idea, I'm not a geologist. Do they grow grapes in southern China?
>>
>>3575007
Wines have historically been made in China in the north-west and Chang’an, although Luoyang and Yantai are a bit closer to the coast. Chinese wine culture really took off during the Tang Dynasty after the conquest of Gaochang. Nowhere near Formosa unfortunately, and wines are consumed at a much lower rate than more typically “Chinese” spirits at this point in time.
>>
>>3574915
>lay out the terms of her vassalisation, on threat of the annihilation of the fighting men of her tribe. There were soldiers on horseback near the area, Alexandros claimed, who would ride in at the merest sign of treachery from her or her kind
>>
>>3575032
That more or less conforms with how I understood it.

>Citizenships
Do you want to offer it to her during your threat/cajoling? If so, which tier?
>>
>>3575041
No, citizenship through merit.
>>
>>3575041
Hey, guy that did the Indian medicine stuff, just dropping off a useful link and giving thoughts. 4chan thinks the post I actually want to send you is spam so I'm breaking it down: wine possible; environment similar to higher humidity Italy; could be sour if not careful.
>>
>>3575522
Fuck it, it won't let me post the link just google "Taiwan today, grapes of promise"
>>
>>3574915
>>discuss with him the future of the Bunun people as a part of a greater nation, one that had managed to nearly unify the island in such a short span of time. Would she not wish to put her flag behind the power that did the unthinkable, and let her people be equals if they conform and follow our rules and culture.
>>
>>3575522
>>3575527
Awesome, looks like wine is back on the menu boys. Just need to start vineries so it'll be a few years. Until then, German/Gaulish beer should tide you a while.

>>3576004
>>3574923
COMRADE

>>3574926
>>3574934
>>3575033
SERF

Writing
>>
It was then that I truly understaood what Alexandros meant when he spoke of barbarians becoming effeminate when touched with civilisation. For a man who has never known the pleasures of the higher sort - namely that of wine, women, and wanton ingestion of exotic food - are liable to succumb at the first whiff of such luxuries. The thousand-strong archers of the Bunun were in various states of combat non-readiness, from drunkenness to exhaustion to being simply too wounded from their own internecile brawls.

The chieftess was a proud sort, a common trait among all chieftains. If leaders of men are not owed some measure of self-pride, then who else? But she was also the person behind that singular mind that Alexandros had spoken of, the individual that had kept the disunited Bunun from being of many minds. It is often difficult for tribal chieftains to exert their authority beyond their immediate reach. That she had consolidated the Bunun, who were in truth not one single tribe but like the Atayal formed of a coalition of many family clan-units, was a feat in and of itself.

It only takes one misstep to lose all that. How despondent she must have been, to unite her people to something that resembled a ghost of a nation, only to lose independence and sovereignty to an outside conqueror! All because she had not realised that food and drink can be as potent a trap as poisoned arrows.

If the chieftainness was affected, she did not show it in her face or her body language. She unstrung her bow and broke the notched arrow, and flinging them to the feet of Alexandros, said that she understood the futility of pitting her people against the entirety of the island.

And with this, Alexandria Eskhata was united.
>>
>>3576425
---

18AD, Early Summer; 771 Years from the Founding of the City of Rome

The island is pacified, but the tensions between the different tribes will not be defused just like that. There is a peace of sorts now, but it is one imposed by a foreign aggressor, and the moment your position weakens...

You knock your knuckles against the familiar hardness of the table, listening to the short and steady sound. Familiar. Calming. This was your father's table, just as the room was his before his death. The man was surprisingly far-sighted despite his boisterous nature. Within The Ship's hold were supplies any newly found colony might need, locked behind dusty doors. Dormant seeds, building materials, bolts of cloth and common metal ingots. You have carpenters and architects aplenty, even a blacksmith from the Five Hundred who maintains the arms and armours with his little mobile forge, but no true smithies. No way to reshape the metal bars, nevermind the urukku ones. The inability to produce metallic goods is a pressing concern.

Just as important if not as immediate a worry is the food supply. The tribals on this island know little of proper agriculture, content with rooting up freely-growing yams like boars in the wild. That has to change if they are to support a greater population.

Another issue is the fact that the tribals do not understand Greek, the one unifying language among the People of the Ship. Though Latin was also known to a good portion, Greek remained the lingua franca among them all. The Jews might help with that, you think. They as a people boasted a high rate of literacy; virtually all adult males were able to read, write, and speak not only in their native Semitic tongue, but also Greek. Some of them spoke Aramaic on the side.

Delegation is key in maintaining the apparatus of the State. A pity you do not have the Roman senate, a ready pool of bureaucrats and generals to draw officials from. But your State is only beginning, and you are starting with more than what Romulus had. Probably.
>>
---
Right. Brainstorming time.

Due to gameplay constraints, Caesar will not be directly involved with the day to day administrative duties, but will rather hand down policies that are to be implemented to the officials. I imagine players would prefer getting involved with the higher politics instead of counting taxes and going through hearings of sad and angry peasants.

But to do that, you need to assign people to such positions in the first place! Please note that late Republican/early Imperial Rome had no standing civil service as we understand it, so I'm going to have to bullshit creatively reinterpret preexisting titles to suit the needs.

I would like your input on how you would like to form the government. So far, what I am thinking is giving the title of Dux for Ambiorix and Hermann as they are the two most significant tribes loyal to you, effectively giving them semi-autonomy in their ruling of their respective tribes (as they have been doing so far) as long as they remain loyal to you. Then you could have various senatorial ranks such as Consul to serve as your representatives to the Senate (while you are busy doing other things).


RANKS OUTSIDE OF THE SENATE

Pater Patriae - Imperial Rank
The Father of the Nation. King in all but name. Considered a "sanctus magistratus" - sacred magistracy, which means its authority supersedes most of the government institutions.

Dux - Promagisterial Rank
While a member of the Senate by virtue of the honours of the title, the Dux title is somewhat similar to "client king" in this context. Not subordinate to the Consular Ranks. Usually a life-long title.

Proconsul - Promagisterial Rank
Governors to oversee territories of the State. Though they are chosen among the Senators, due to the physical distance involved, they are considered absent from the Senate for the duration of holding this office. Governor-Militant in the sense that both civil and military authority on the specific region is invested to the individual. Limited term.

Censores - Imperial Rank
Internal Affairs sort of deal, superficially serving as the anti-corruption squad focusing on the other Senatorial ranks. Independent from either Consuls, and reports directly to the Pater Patriae. Considered a "sanctus magistratus" - sacred magistracy, which means its authority supersedes most of the government institutions. Kiiiind of the Inquisition from 40k?
>>
>>3576433

RANKS WITHIN THE SENATE

The overall purpose of the Senate is to serve as an assembly of the officials of the State, wherein cabinets are formed around the two unelected consuls. They are the total body of officials, both military and civilian. Kind of like UK House of Commons but with generals and military officers included. Only the censores have the authority to remove senatorial status from members of the Senate. Serving in the military and the bureaucracy (low level functions such as adiutor/numenarii/subadiuva/regerendarii/exceptores, aka stuff that aren't Senatorial Rank) of the cursus honorum is a set requirement in becoming a member of the Senate.

>Magister Militum - Consular Rank
Effectively the Grand Marshall, the highest commander of the military below the Pater Patriae. Also doubles as one of the two Consuls during the assembly of the Senate ex officio. Somewhat similar to the Minister of War/Defence.

>>Legati pro Magistratum - Senatorial Rank
Directly subordinate to the Magister Militum. Commands multiple legions. Holds command over legati legionis.

>>Legati legionis - Senatorial Rank
Generals, roughly speaking. Commands a single legion.

---

>Pontifex Maximus - Consular Rank
Leader of the religious cult dedicated to the veneration of its ruler; more importantly, is in charge of the bureaucratic apparatus of the State that oversees non-military matters. Also doubles as one of the two Consuls during the assembly of the Senate. Basically Head of Civil Service. Each "department" is headed by a pontifex.

>>Quaestores - Senatorial Rank
Civil servants of the Treasury. Oversees finances of the State, collects taxes.

>>Aediles - Senatorial Rank
Public Works. Oversees maintenance of roads, buildings, temples (in this context, government buildings),

>>Praetores - Senatorial Rank
Judiciary. Judges, enforcers of the ius Romana, maintains records on the laws of the State.


What do you guys think? There should be more titles and ranks but I have to go for now.
>>
>>3576435
>>3576433

I like it
>>
>>3576435
Well given we've completely secured our island, meaning that any future expansion will occur by sea, we probably want some sort of formal naval structuring to match the senate's Legatii pro magistratum and Legati legionis. That way we can easily structure a professional navy and the industry to support it. I don't think creating an entirely separate position higher than that would prove wise given the possibility of in-fighting between a head-of-army and a head-of-navy.

Also, given we're going to be ruling forever and we are starting out fresh, we can implement a policy the actual Romans never did! A national fire service to prevent rampant fires in cities. Although admittedly not needed for now, it'll be important given time and we shouldn't forget it.

It might also be wise to create some sort of spymaster or at least formal information gathering expert we can have manage such networks and efforts / bring matters to the attention of the senate or us.

The next few updates are gonna be fun but we've gotta be careful, until we've gotten a good handle on our food supply and on the local population, this might still prove difficult. At least we can be sure of the relative loyalty of one or two of the tribes.
>>
>>3576450
>navy
Good idea. What about legatus classica, as opposed to legatus legionis? Legate of the Ships. I agree with keeping the head of navy below the head of army (Magister Militum) since navies perform secondary/logistical roles at this time, instead of being the primary means of power projection like in modern times.

>firemen
How about merging firemen and police duties under the office of Praefectus urbanus? It would be under the Pontifices, not the Militum, because it is more on the civil administration side.

>one or two loyal tribes
The Germans and the Gauls are more or less loyal to you, not only because their leaders have personal positive feelings toward you but also because they're strangers in a strange land and you're basically what keeps everything together. Like Xanthippos said, if you die, there will be infighting and/or people just absconding.

>spymaster
the censores fulfill that function, actually. Or did you have something different in mind?
>>
>>3576467
It’s probably better to keep the censores a strictly internal service, with the true spymaster core being separate but equal.
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>>3576473
So would you have the censores be under the Consuls (making them of Senatorial Rank) and have a separate intelligence organisation for the Pater Patriae?
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>>3576467
>What about legatus classica, as opposed to legatus legionis?
Hey man my latin is as roughly as the 4th crusade. Whatever you think works.

>How about merging firemen and police duties under the office of Praefectus urbanus? It would be under the Pontifices, not the Militum, because it is more on the civil administration side.
Sounds fair, just needed to make sure that it was established at some point so we don't have shit burning down.

>one or two loyal tribes
I meant this in reference to the locals, not the people we've fought and lived with for the past half-a-decade or thereabouts.

>Or did you have something different in mind?
I suppose, when I say spies I mean a larger thing that just a anti-corruption squad focused on the senate. I mean having the odd "trader" who just so happens to be in port when we put a place under siege and later has his crew secure the gatehouse to let us in. Not to mention stuff like networks beyond our own borders attempting to develop an understanding of what our neighbours are like in terms of their infrastructure, terrain and so on to prepare for eventual invasion.

That is to say, I mean a force of clandestine soldiers and infiltrators that can do everything from burning fleets in port or destroying a bridge in the path of a reinforcing enemy army to basic passive information gathering and network building.

>>3576475
Nah, that doesn't make sense given the point of the censores is they are meant to be independent of the Consuls and report to us about any noteworthy corruption.
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>>3576476
>spy/censores
So keep the censores as Internal Affairs, and then add a more clandestine organisation? The spies you have in mind seem more James Bond than George Smiley. Maybe we could have venatores acting as enforcers and the more militant arm of the censores. The censores would be the intelligence/HQ side, while the venatores are the scalp hunters, as it were. Desk duties vs field agents.

Or would you rather have them separate?
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>>3576475
No, I’d say it’s more like having an “internal wing” a la the FBI and an “external wing” a la the CIA. Distinct roles and operations, but existing as super-senatorial entities under Caesar’s direct control.
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>>3576482
Yeah that sounds about right, I mean the divide I was originally planning would basically be Censores = in-country stuff, new organisation = out-of-country.

What you've suggested however, Censores representing a HQ / intel and the new org being mostly field mission agents and shit is good too. Probably better since it keeps a greater divide between our actual spies and the expendable assets.
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>>3576483
>censores - Proconsular Rank
FBI equivalent. Organisations of "Proconsularl Rank" do not adhere to the structures of the Senate (being headed by a Pontifex), having instead a proconsul heading it independent of the main apparatus of the State, namely the Senate. They hold the authority of being able to strip senators of their senatorial rank, effectively banishing them from any higher offices in the same stroke.

>frumentarii - Proconsular Rank
CIA equivalent. Headed by a proconsul as well, they do not have official capabilities like the censores, but have a wide range of discretionary, under-the-table powers.

This sound okay?
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>>3576487
Yes, yes......
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>>3576487
Yeah sounds good.
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>>3576484
>>3576487
Roman Republic didn't have an official "spy organisation" or they were just so good that no one really talked about them. Frumentarii are kind of it, but they were more for reading letters and collecting gossips, from the sound of things. An alternative system is

Censores - HQ/Command, official face of the bureau. Under which are...

>Venatores - scalp-hunters, field agents, assassins.
>Frumentarii - pseudo-SIGINT, reads letters, collects the rumours of the day from various areas of the would-be-Empire, inserts field agents who are there only to funnel information, not go Bond.
>Exploratores - pseudo-GEOSINT, focused on scouting and mapping terrain
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>>3576492
I guess it would be more akin to the UK system, where you have the Directorate of Military Intelligence (censores) overseeing the different MIs - MI5 and MI6 being the more popularly known ones
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>>3576492
That would also make sense and honestly sounds like a logical system with room for diversification and specialisation as needed.
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>>3576435
....alright, if the German and Gaul are going to be their own things, who the hell do we have left as actual citizen?
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>>3576515
They aren't their own things, the People of the Ship are classified as Tier 1 Citizens. But as one of the primary contributors in the founding of the state, Ambiorix and Hermann will expect certain privileges such as their own lands and some autonomy. Most of the people in the State will have some form of citizenship.

Roughly, I construed the tiers of citizenship as the following:

>cives Navi
"People of the Ship" - the original inhabitants of The Ship that came with Alexandros east. Full citizenship. This is the "Roman citizenship" tier. Voting, ability to demand a trial in front of the Senate, the guarantee safety from bodily harms such as torture. Can be exiled instead of executed when the law calls for the latter, except in the case of treason.

>Sinarum
"(People) of Sinae" - Integration level citizenship, comparable to Socii/Latini. Limited rights, ability to join auxiliaries, which directly translates to the possibility of becoming members of the cives Navi. Will likely be the majority of the people in the State once it starts expanding mainland.

>Peregrini
"Foreigner" - Strictly speaking not a citizen, but those who have been given certain privileges such as the ability to trade in the domains controlled by the State. Peregrini can vary in terms of given rights, from merchants to foreign diplomats.

>Provinciales
No citizenship. Is allowed the basic human rights/laws, but little else.

These are all freedmen, of course. Slaves don't have citizenships. What do you guys think?
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>>3576523
Alright, where do the Original inhabitants of Formosa and colonist go in this list?
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>>3576527
Hasn't been decided yet. I think they should go in the Sinarum category so that you can raise them as auxiliaries.
>>
Everything sounds good to me, but there seems to be a lot of "positions" that don't need to be made. We have just a few thousand people, so while future planning is good, we shouldn't get caught up on creating offices that won't be really used for years.

Instead, I would argue that we should create an advisory council to Caeser, so they can accurately keep us updated on all aspects of the empire, as well as focusing on basic civilization stuff, education/agriculture/metallurgy
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>>3576425
>She unstrung her bow and broke the notched arrow, and flinging them to the feet of Alexandros, said that she understood the futility of pitting her people against the entirety of the island.
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>>3576671
This is sensible. I will revisit the positions once we're on our way to becoming a real nation with sizeable pop. I put up some votes but deleted them just now, because I need some more time on them. Please wait warmly.
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>>3576835
>Re-education schools (Gradual)
Too brutal and we lose the whole point of subjugation rather than wholesale murder

Also, be sure to take the leader’s/headman’s children and hold them in trust, as is the Roman way.

>Integration of Local Tribes' Military Strength
I’m inclined to only have this be for the mountain tribes with the lowlanders being used exclusively as labor forces.

>Keep recruiting the Germans

>Keep recruiting the Gauls

>Keep recruiting the Suernians (Gallic)

>Let the Jews become farmers again, perhaps attempt a program wherein Jews run farms and can use native labor- in this way, the natives can learn proper farming and we don’t compromise short-term output. But don’t totally enlist the native population in this foreign farming- have their old ways kept as a short term backup plan. Also, recruit the willing literate/numerate Jews to become a core of our new civil service.

>Keep most Greeks as sailors, recruit those who are literate and/or numerate to become the other part of our new civil service. Those with particularly useful trades should also be brought to land.

>Not yet, not now. Foreign announcements will come as soon as the nation is properly founded.
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>>3576835
Stamp out any local languages, cultural norms, clothing - anything that could resemble their own identity. Enforce the teachings of western cultural values, Greek/Latin becomes mandatory language. Those who resist the most fiercely are publicly executed.
Normally I would never go for this, but it's best we're the most severe when the tribes are still enemies of each other, so they cannot unite against the foreign incursion.

>Integration of Local Tribes' Military Strength
Keep the militaries of the natives and use them as auxiliaries. Due to the recency of their subjugation, some of them may harbour grudges. Grudges are fine as long as they remain just that, but if they see a sign of weakness from their perceived oppressors...
Might be making a bomb that'll blow up in our face, but these tribals do have skills that we lack, specifically light skirmishing units that we can use to our advantage. I assume this option doesn't mean to turn them all into heavy infantry, correct?

>Germans (~270)
- Let them remain a source of cavalry recruitment.
From what I remember, Germans made pretty feisty horsemen, so letting them continue being a boon to us will be helpful, especially if we can get those horses bred.

>Gallians (~500)
- Turn into civilians and put them to non-military work.
From what I know of these people, they don't have any specific penchant, so they'll do well to fill in the gaps of our society.

>Suernians (Gallic) ( ~750)
- Liberate them from Gallic authority and place them under yourself as a distinct and free people-group.
If we want to survive as a nation, we cannot keep these tribes under tribal rule. The clan leaders will trade in their furs for togas and their barbarism for civilization. It won't be popular, but it'll be necessary.

>Jews (~600)
- Other
Because most of these jews are highly educated, they must become the teachers for our nation, even if that means teaching agriculture. They will have to be the ones to implement our culture to our new people.

>Greeks (~500)
- Continue employing them as sailors on The Ship.
Our navy will be very important, so having our sailors stay crisp will be very important.

For the last decision, we should stay hidden. Our biggest strength right now is how we have an entire island to shape for us and no foreign intervention.
>>
"An island larger than Cyprus taken, and all without bloodshed. Gentlemen, to victory!"

"To victory!" your gathered lieutenants echo, raising their cups. Contained within are the contents of the very last barrel of wine. You swirl the wine in your palate (only slightly sea-salty!), savouring the taste of Muziris. The voyage was not kind to you or your people, but your store of alcoholic drinks suffered the most. You hope that grapes can be grown here. Or you will have to start getting used to... beer.

The horror.

"As you all know," you say after downing a separate cup of blessedly clean water to rinse off the salt in your mouth, "conquering is one thing; ruling, another. There are... certain challenges that stand in our way to truly integrating the island natives into our nation." You grimace. "Language."

Ambiorix scoffs. "If I managed to learn bloody Greek, then they can shove their complaints and get to it."

"As always, my father-in-law strikes at the heart of things," Hermann says drily, his lips twitching to an imperceptible smile at the uncomfortable look Ambiorix gets whenever he is reminded that his daughter is married to a German. Three years of marriage, and a baby to boot, and Ambiorix still hasn't gotten over it. He is the symbol of overprotective fathers everywhere.

"A united language is necessary for the most basic levels of establishing common understanding," Hermann continues. "We can't be united with no tongue to tie us together."

Galen taps his fingers against the table, bored. He is startled when he realises that others are looking at him. "Uh, what the other guys said."

"Maybe we could give them some incentives and offer free schooling on Greek?" Lynius suggests. "I don't think we should force them to do so. Learning a new speech is hard enough without it being voluntary."

"If it helps, there are a number of teachers among the Jews we brought," Micah comments. "They were rabbis for their local synagogues, and brought education materials with them when they fled their homes. They could be put to teaching the natives Greek."

"Wouldn't they start proselytising the locals as well?" Timon says suspiciously. His loss of limb hasn't put him out of commission completely, and he was working as something of a spokesman for the sailors now. The Greek sailors knew him back when he was the captain of the marines, and Timon's naturally cheery disposition won him more friends than Lynius, their boss, did. "I don't know if I trust them not to start shoving in their crazy religion to everyone and their mothers. No offence, Micah."

"No offence taken," his friend replies with a slight smile. "I am not of the temple, not for a long time now. And we Jews are... not exactly known for going around as missionaries."

>CULTURE: What does Caesar do with the natives' own lifestyle?
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>>3576898
>>3576882
No need to delete these, it was my fault for prematurely posting votes.
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>>3576914
School sound like a good idea, we could probably look at their religion too, see if we can bring them around to Greeks/Roman gods, common tongue and religion would go a long way.
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>>3576914
Schooling is necessary. It’s a trade off, but a good one. Make the schooling voluntary, but Greek the only recognized and used language in government work. Learn, or remain less than second class citizens.
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>>3576435
>Kind of like UK House of Commons
Isn't it more like the House of Lords, since senators had to be of patrician family?

>>3576467
Legatus classica is good, in favor.

>>3576492
I'm in favor of this system for the Censores.

>>3576523
This is excellent, and very similar to the tiers I'd suggested previously. I would like to divide the cives Navi into patrician and plebeian lines, though.

>>3576914
Integrated schooling. Teach them not only Greek, but also the social order of the new nation and the skills needed to become a part of the machine of expansion. Alexandria Eskhata is a very different state from that which existed previously, and if we teach them civilization at the same time as language we can hopefully create a wholesale shift of mindset. This includes the planting of the first seeds of the cult of Divine Alexandros, Sol Invictus, naturally. Regarding whether education should be voluntary or forced, I agree with >>3576965.
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>>3576950
>>3576965
I agree with these anons, but we should really reform the religion before we teach it.
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>>3577022
Could you elaborate? Right now, there is no established cult of Alexandros yet aside from the Jewish rabbis (who were variants of Essenes and thus not part of the "mainstream" Judaism at that time, such as the Pharisees faction or the Saduccees) inserting the Ypra Incident into their writings, and it doesn't go as far as deifying you, merely portraying you as a kind of new Cyrus the Great.
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>>3577055
How are the different people we brought with us feeling right now? Just out of curiosity?

I would personally prefer we go with a roman/Greek religion for now.
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>>3577022
I don’t know about that. Religion and politics shouldn’t travel in the same cart...
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>>3577060
We're playing as an absolute monarch who is also a living god. I don't think separation of church and state is really in our best interest.
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>>3577055
I was thinking more along the lines of trying to syncretize the native and colonist religions. But we could also just enforce Greco-roman religion.
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>>3577058
Germans - own faith system
Gauls - cult of Visucius, a kind of Gaulish Mercury
Suernians - Nergal
Jews - Heterodox Essenes. Essenes are a sort of heterodox (believed to have been the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls) religious/social faction, less known than the Sadduccees or the Pharisees.

"Pliny relates in a few lines that the Essenes possess no money, had existed for thousands of generations, and that their priestly class (“contemplatives”) do not marry." - wikipedia

"[Josephus] further adds that the Essenes ritually immersed in water every morning, ate together after prayer, devoted themselves to charity and benevolence, forbade the expression of anger, studied the books of the elders, preserved secrets, and were very mindful of the names of the angels kept in their sacred writings." - also wikipedia

This particular community of Jews are heterodox, which means not part of the main branch of the Essenoi; they are much more... liberal in their interpretation of their G-D and would probably have been stoned by the Pharisees for their opinion of "maybe the Jewish people aren't all that superior to the gentiles" regarding the salvation of the soul.

The Greeks' belief is the usual mix of sailor superstition and faiths, with a healthy mix of foreign gods renamed via interpretatio graeca. Essentially, renaming and applying superficially the attributes of Greek gods on the foreign gods.

The Five Hundred's patron god is Mithra, for obvious reasons.

That's all of them, I think. Did I miss anyone?
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>>3577080
To elaborate on Germans, it's just the familiar German-Nordic pantheon, with no one overriding cult.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Germanic_deities
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>>3577076
I actually wrote up more on the political offices (for later on) that basically made each "ministry" a Temple, with the Pontifex Maximus being the chief administrator on par with the Magister Militum, chief of military matters. I think that's a pretty neat way to flavour things, seeing as their head of state is a god.

It's not set, of course, I'll put it to a vote and everything later on when we need to have actual titles and ministries and whatnot.
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>>3577089
Ooh, I definitely like that.
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>Heterodox Essenes
I fucked up the wording here, they're Essenes, which is not mainstream, and Heterodox even among the minority Essenoi. So double minority.
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>>3577080
Do the 500 belive in the persian mithra, or the Mithraic mysteries. I was a little confused on that.
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>>3577115
Persian or I should say Zoroastrian. They mostly stayed in and around Parthia/Asia Minor throughout the history of the Company, from their days as the Ten Thousand up to recency, when their contract was purchased by a mad captain heading east to the end of the world.

Then their last captain broke the contract which for the first time in the Company's history, prompting the surviving lieutenant, Galen, to more or less swear an oath of eternal servitude to make amends for their betrayal and murder of the contractor.

For those unaware, the "Mithraic Mysteries" is Greek/Latin Zoroastrianism-influenced religion centred around Mithra. The ones the Five Hundred follow are the original strain.

Ariamnes only invokes Ahura Mazda, because he's old school.
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>>3577079
for religion mabye we could have the cult of Sol Invictus but add some elements of Ahura Mazda to Sol Invictus. then add some germanic gods, native gods, and Mithra to the pantheon after hellenizing them.

The germans would be happy because they have familiar gods. The Gauls already associate Visucius with Mercury. the 500 and the natives would still have a hellenic form of their gods. and the jews would probably just do their own thing.
>>
Well I still stand by the fact that we should force the culture on the natives, instead of letting them do it voluntarily.

The way I see it, the natives will just go back to their barbaric ways because there won't be a reason for them to join society, as our reach isn't that far. It's best to strike while the iron is hot
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>>3576997
>HoL
Nah, HoL doesn't have any authority at all in modern times

>class divide
Patrician is not nobility per se, but rather those with land ownership. Such economic differences will draw borders on their own.

>>3577325
>Ahura Mazda
Ariamnes wouldn't particularly care even if you claim to be that. What he cares is the great cosmic struggle between Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu, and assisting the former by doing Good Deeds to add on to the balancing scales on his god's side. He does not believe in there being multiple gods, considering them merely spirits; powerful, sure, but not God with a capital G. Jews stole that later on during the Babylonian Exile

Generally people are happy as long as they're allowed to worship their own stuff, and don't mind having more gods added. The notable exception are the Jews.
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>>3577478
>Nah, HoL doesn't have any authority at all in modern times
I know they no longer hold any power, but I can't help feeling that when looking at English history they're a closer parallel. I won't debate the point, though, as it's rather a semantic one.
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So to sum up, you don't want to go full Imperial Japan on their arses, offering instead a voluntary schooling period that teaches them language/culture/religion.

>Religion is syncretic mashup of Hellenistic polytheism that includes the major faiths of the People of the Ship
>Language is Greek, the common unifying tongue of the People of the Ship

I don't think there's been much talk of what kind of culture you wanted to impart them. Do you want:

>Romanitas - To this war-mad race, the line between civic and military duties are blurred. This is self-evident only from the cursus honorum that mandates the rulers of their state to go through a series of military posts before becoming a member of the prestigious Senate. The ideal citizen drawing from the legend of Cincinnatus is the farmer/soldier/citizen - the frugal and austere farmer who tirelessly works on the lands of his fathers, and the courageous soldier who obeys orders from his officers and stands his ground against the raging barbarian horde.

>Greek - For this race that spread to the Four Corners of the Earth to establish the greatest maritime empire while remaining politically divided, the freedom to seek profit is the greatest good. They as a people detest great empires, conspiring to their downfall whenever one arises in their neighbourhood, for strong centralisation is the bane of the wily salesman. The ideal citizen is the merchant-captain, who plots the course of his own (financial) destiny with the help of the Wooden Walls that destroyed Xerxes' westward ambitions in Salamis.

>Suggestions? German/Gallian/Persian/Other
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>>3578581
>Romanitas - To this war-mad race, the line between civic and military duties are blurred. This is self-evident only from the cursus honorum that mandates the rulers of their state to go through a series of military posts before becoming a member of the prestigious Senate. The ideal citizen drawing from the legend of Cincinnatus is the farmer/soldier/citizen - the frugal and austere farmer who tirelessly works on the lands of his fathers, and the courageous soldier who obeys orders from his officers and stands his ground against the raging barbarian horde.
As if you needed to ask. I would like to note that I, anon, would rather let religion be than cultivate any sort of unified faith intentionally. Let the dice fall as they will.
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>>3578581
>Romanitas - To this war-mad race, the line between civic and military duties are blurred. This is self-evident only from the cursus honorum that mandates the rulers of their state to go through a series of military posts before becoming a member of the prestigious Senate. The ideal citizen drawing from the legend of Cincinnatus is the farmer/soldier/citizen - the frugal and austere farmer who tirelessly works on the lands of his fathers, and the courageous soldier who obeys orders from his officers and stands his ground against the raging barbarian horde.
Honestly, after giving it more thought I'm in favor of forcible linguistic and religious indoctrination.
>>
Was hoping the archive kerfluffle would have been resolved by now before I archived this thread, but it isn't. I'll have to put a separate link just for Chapter 3, Book 2 from now on in the intro.

http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/3546412/

(Posting so I have a link handy)
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>>3578602
I actually just got an email back from the suptg admin earlier this evening, saying he'd resolve it. So things are moving along, albeit slowly.
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>>3578603
I'm surprised it took him this long given it was a weekday all this time, but progress is progress
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>>3578581
I though we agreed on mandatory schooling?

anyway

>>Romanitas
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>>3578581
>>Romanitas
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>>3578726
Most of the comments were for voluntary, not mandatory, unless I am misreading them
>>
Archive problem has been resolved, FYI; both threads are now properly titled and tagged.
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>>3579272
Super! Thanks for keeping up with the issue.
>>
There is no point in needlessly antagonising people who will be living side by side with the rest of you. You decide to go for the softer approach, where only volunteers would receive cultural enlightenment, and hope that the benefits of interacting more fluently with their overlords will be a draw. It's not a great solution, but given the amount of manpower you can spare, not terrible either.

"The re-education of the tribals is of paramount import," you declare. "I'll trust you with the organisation of it, Micah. You're basically their spokesperson for the other Jews, even if you don't share the same beliefs, anyway."

Micah nods. "I will do what I can."

"There's also the question of what we will do with the warriors from the tribes," Galen says, getting to the part he's interested in. "Obviously, we can't communicate with them, so complicated maneuvers are out of the picture. But war always has uses for crude hammers where needles won't do."

"Is it safe?" Hermann says doubtfully. "It has only been three days since we arrived. Their loyalty is still questionable."

"It helps that we didn't kill anyone," Ambiorix pauses, then looks at you. "Well, almost anyone, while we were adding those tribes. Tribal assimilation is difficult when there's bad feelings from all the deaths of loved ones that the defeated face." He speaks as though from experience, then you realise that before he had to seek refuge from the Romans, he was a true Gaulish chieftain as well, who tended to feud with each other to absorb them into their own tribes.

"We could put them to work as normal workers. I can always use more lumberjacks, farmers, fishermen..." Lynius rattles on other positions that need strong backs and steady arms.

>"We need every professional soldiers we can get, even if they are the tribal kind and not used to discipline. They will not be fully part of the command, what with the cultural and language barriers, but I am certain they will follow orders. Because the alternative is to see their civilians dead."

>"The threat of an unacclimatised group of people who outnumber us almost one to four is too great. Take their weapons away, forbid them to wield anything bigger than a dagger, and put them to work."

>Custom
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>>3580619
I see incentivizing schooling as an opportunity to claim a position of power, be it governing or military rank.
Recruit native leaders from among those who showed promise.

>"We need every professional soldiers we can get, even if they are the tribal kind and not used to discipline. They will not be fully part of the command, what with the cultural and language barriers, but I am certain they will follow orders. Because the alternative is to see their civilians dead."

Lets not do any abrupt changes but gradually sift through their ranks and shape what's left into an army.
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>>3580619
>"We need every professional soldiers we can get, even if they are the tribal kind and not used to discipline. They will not be fully part of the command, what with the cultural and language barriers, but I am certain they will follow orders. Because the alternative is to see their civilians dead."
We did use the "god of war" angle when taking over one of the tribes. Let's enlighten them culturally and militarily at the same time.
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>>3580619
>"We need every professional soldiers we can get, even if they are the tribal kind and not used to discipline. They will not be fully part of the command, what with the cultural and language barriers, but I am certain they will follow orders. Because the alternative is to see their civilians dead."
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>>3580619
Ok, so I’m going to stick to my earlier suggestion and say

>Keep the mountain tribes soldiers
>Make the plains tribes workers
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>>3580841
Plains tribe warriors would mainly be militia-tier light infantry with poor weapon diversity. It's the mountain tribes who were really warlike, and the one advantage the plains tribes had was their numeric superiority and a comparatively stable food supply.

With this custom vote you will only draft auxiliaries from the mountain tribesmen while having the plains tribes militias converted to full time workers. Does this sound acceptable to others who voted for ">need every professional soldiers"?
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>>3580863
yeah I'll suuport this.
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>>3580863
Sounds fine.
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>>3580673
>>3580631
>>3580841
>>3580697
>>3580863
>>3580929
>>3580944

"Take the plainsmen, but I will continue to employ the mountain men as warriors." You would certainly need them for the mainland campaign.

"Very well," Lynius scribbles some notes on his vellum. "There will be some evolutions of duties now that we are no longer reliant on The Ship. We could always use more labourers, but I imagine you will be needing the soldiers to remain soldiers?"

---

>Germans (~270)
Current status: Entirely military.
- CIVILIAN [CONVERT TO CIVILIANS]
- MAINTAIN STATUS [UNIQUE CAVALRY]

>Gallians (~500)
Current status: Entirely military.
- CIVILIAN [CONVERT TO CIVILIANS]
- MAINTAIN STATUS [CAVALRY]

>Suernians (Gallic) ( ~750)
Current status: serf-people to the Gauls.
- MAINTAIN STATUS [GALLIAN SERF]
- CIVILIAN [CONVERT TO FREEDMEN]
- MILITARY [CONVERT TO LIGHT INFANTRY MILITIA]

>Jews (~600)
Current status: Civilians, with significant portions being Legionary volunteers.
- MAINTAIN STATUS [MIXED]
- CIVILIAN [CONVERT TO FREEDMEN]

>Greeks (~500)
Current status: Sailors, necessary for the running of The Ship.
- MAINTAIN STATUS [SAILORS]
- CIVILIAN [FREEDMEN]
- MILITARY [MARINES]
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>>3580971
>Germans
>Gallians
>Suernians
>Greeks
Maintain Status

>Jews
Civvies
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>>3580971
Change all to mixed as the individuals prefer
>have the suernians be in the same status as the tribals.
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>>3580991
when you say tribals here, do you mean the islanders or the Germans/Gauls? In case you've forgotten, you gave the Suernians over to the Gauls back then to serve as a servant race.
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>>3580993
The tribals here. So still as a lesser citizen but able to become one. We shouldnt have individual slave groups for different factionsm it will devide our people too much but we can keep them as lesser.
>>
>>3580971
>Germans (~270)
- MAINTAIN STATUS [UNIQUE CAVALRY]

>Gallians (~500)
- CIVILIAN [CONVERT TO CIVILIANS]

>Suernians (Gallic) ( ~750)
- CIVILIAN [CONVERT TO FREEDMEN]

>Jews (~600)
- MAINTAIN STATUS [MIXED]

>Greeks (~500)
- MAINTAIN STATUS [SAILORS]
>>
>>3581012
I should probably mention that Suernians were given over as de facto slaves to the Gauls, and making them into freedmen might have repercussions.

It's not impossible to do, but things cause other things.
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>>3581022
Thats why im voting for just a lower tier of civilian
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>>3581022
Depends on what citizenship level, kinda like Sinarum?
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>>3581051
>>3581036
Suernians were property-tier, because slaves. Like, that's a pretty high jump right there. So I guess the question is, do you want to free them despite being owned by the Gauls? What do you plan to offer them in compensation?
>>
Let us not forget, men of Rome, that the Suernians are in nature a sort of mongrel Carthaginians; the descendants of Phoenicians. They are by blood and by earned hatred our perpetual enemies, and to raise them out of slavery would be to cast shame on our own past deeds!

It's out of character for Caesar, is what I'm saying.
>>
I wouldn’t advise freeing the Suernians at all, but maybe we could use the opportunity now to put into place a piece of legislation I thought up earlier wherein after ~3 generations slaves are elevated to Provinciales status? Long-term chattel slavery is more limiting than it is useful...
>>
I thought we had the children of slaves elevated to the lowest tier of freedmen automatically on reaching adulthood.
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>>3581154
Did we do that already? If so, my memory is failing me already....
>>
>>3580971

Freedmen/Civilian
>Jews (~600)
>Suernians (Gallic) ( ~750)

Maintain Status
>Germans (~270)
>Gallians (~500)
>>Greeks (~500)
>>
Freeing the Suernian sound like a bad idea, especially as we aren’t their owners.
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>>3581198
for the suernians I'll switch to support this anons plan >>3581142
>>
Lets not forget how hurtful slaves became to the roman economy. We should try to move away from the idea of a large scale slave society Let us also not forget that we are the ruler and our word is law. We have proven our wisdom and strength time and time again, so I dont think the Gauls are gonna automatically revolt.

I'll support the eventual freeing, but 3 generations seems too long
>>
>>3581585
yeah mabye 1 or two generations is better.
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>>3580971
Have all peoples choose their destiny, to live a peaceful life or one under arms as each individual wills. The exception to this will be the Suernians, who will remain slaves, and the Five Hundred, who will remain under arms for the normal 10 years of service of the Roman legions, with an addition few years as reservists afterwards.
>>
Counted out the votes, status quo in the end for the Germans, Gauls, Jews, and Greeks. Requesting to alter the deal with Ambiorix on Suernians.
>>
It was a question that needed to be asked anyway. You just hope this wouldn't cause a fight.

Nervous (or, Mars forbid, fidgety) indirectness is the mark of an imbecile who cannot even make his mind on whether he should even utter that which is on his mind. Caesar is no imbecile.

"I need the Suernians to become contributing citizens of our new nation," you state. A question, after a fashion. But there is also the steel of command. Perhaps it is selfish, to request the return of a gift offered so freely so long ago. The path of rulership forces man to do many dishonourable things.

Surprisingly, Ambiorix is acquiescent. "Women and children, you gave me," he exclaims, "and mothers and young men I will return to you. I understand, Alexandros. I have listened to Lynius go on about shortage of work force, the oncoming winter." He looks impassively around the table, no evidence of the usually jolly giant. Here instead is a man conscious of the weight of his authority, and the necessity that drives him to take away that which is owned by his people. For the greater good. "We earned the prize. Now we should do what we can to keep it."

"You will be compensated," you begin to say, surprised by how easy it was. "I swear it by-"

"Your word is as good as gold, my dear boy. I know you will do good by us. Do what you will, and know that I am behind you a hundred per cent." He looks down at you from his giant height with loving eyes.

You open your lips to say some perfunctory words of appreciation, when your eyes wander down from his eyes to the rest of his face. Even under the soft orange glow of the ship's candle light, flecks of white and grey grace his beard and braided hair. Wrinkles gather above bushy brows where once there were none, and his eyes are lined with tell-tale signs of labourious life.

Ambiorix is a grandfather now.

The realisation makes your heart sink. You were too busy... far too busy to notice how old everyone was getting. What will happen once your loyal lieutenants die off, one by one? Will the Gauls still obey this foreign Greek captain-prince? You knew Ambiorix had sons and a daughter, but you were never close with them. They, never with you.

Once he dies...

"We'll get some workers out of the Suernians, once the children born from the union of Gauls and they grow up as free people," Lynius continues as he writes the details down on his never-ending length of vellum, not noticing that pause from you. "If we're going to work the lands and consolidate our hold in Alexandria Eskhata, you should demilitarise further, so we do not starve come winter. It may be early summer still, but time has a way of sneaking up to you." He looks meaningfully at his creaking leg that has been causing him trouble lately. "With this, the various contracts are fulfilled, and lands can be distributed to the mercenaries."
>>
>>3583045

Land. The pay that lured them out of Numante (has it really been so long since the last time you thought of your home port?) was significant, certainly, but this was the biggest draw for this expedition to the hired men. Land of their own, to be passed down their families and serve as the basis of their livelihood. From the eastern marches of Mesopotamia to the tin-rich island of Britannia, land was the ultimate currency, the foundation of a nation's economy.

"It's a good thing we arrived during the warmer seasons," Lynius is saying. "The coming winter will be hard, but if we all tighten our belts-"

"No."

With that one word out of your mouth, the mood around the table darkens, and even Ambiorix shifts uneasily. Xanthippos looks questioningly at you, puzzled by the shift in the atmosphere.

"No?" Lynius raises an eyebrow.

"We were promised land when we arrived," Hermann says emotionlessly.

"To Sinae." You jab at the tiny island at the bottom right corner of the map that occupies the central table. It's clearly not very well measured, the mainland's mass ridiculously oversized compared to this island which is itself pretty damned large. If the scale was speaking true, the entire thing was larger than Asia Minor. Highly doubtful, that. Lady Tzi had supplied the map, like she did most things that taught them about this new land. Whether she was a reliable source of cartographic implements was doubtful.

"Remember where we are. The uncivilised natives, the lack of even the most basic metalware. Does this look like the country of flowing silk and intricate bronzes to you?"

"The men are exhausted from the unending voyage," Hermann retorts. "We came east to get land, and we got it. If we don't start gathering food now, we will be dead before spring. For every warrior, we require-"

"-ten farmers. I understand basic logistics." You return his scowl unperturbed.

Galen is the first to break the silence. "As far as I'm concerned, the contract was voided when my captain rebelled against you and... killed your parents," he says sheepishly. "If you need the Legion, it will be with you until the end of our days."

"Ten years are all I ask from your soldiers, Galen. From everyone. After that, I release you from your bond." You look around the table. "You must know that this island is nowhere near enough. Not as a port stop

"The Captain is too kind," he says lightly.

"The Jews joined as volunteers, anyway," Micah adds, referring to the young Jews that comprise the majority of the second cohort. "They knew what they were signing up for when they joined an armed band conspicuously named the Legion."
>>
>>3583054

"...Ten years." Hermann mutters. "You promise."

You draw yourself up, the full weight of your golden gaze boring into Hermann's placid grey. "You have my word."

Finally, Hermann breaks off the visual contact. "So the Captain needs ten more years, and another generation to work out his plans of conquest." His face returns to the unreadable glacial surface was when you first saw him. "Your plan. Let's hear it."

---

For every soldier, the State requires ten labourers. Farmers, cart drivers, wine pressers, and all the other workers of esoteric professions that supports the mechanism of war.

It was self evident to Caesar that the island of Alexandria Eskhata, regardless of the fertility of its soil and the rich shoals of fish, would not support the kind of military that he wanted. That he required. The population was far too small, and nowhere near urbanised enough for the making of war, aggressive or defensive.

The mainland was massive. Lady Tzi's maps were vague and often contradictory with each other on the precise scale, but they agreed in one thing: Sinae was huge, and contained thousands if not tens of thousands of settlements. Cities that rivaled the populations of Mediterranean trade poleis crowded around the northernmost river, some of them larger even than Rome. Countless fishing hamlets that passively evaded the Imperial census takers due to the latters' focus on major cities as the sole source of taxation dotted the coasts, each of them self sufficient and experiencing population boom while being ignored by the central administration.

"It is a time of rebellions and usurpation," Lady Tzi had said sadly, one stormy afternoon when she was prevented from returning to her ship and stayed overnight at yours. "Inland trade has more or less broken down with all the peasant rebellions. The Capital doesn't care, as long as they get enough to pay for their decadence. Warlords rise up in the morning, only to end up dead by their subordinate's hands the same evening."

A land, long united, beginning to divide. But when it unites again, as it surely must, it will not ignore Alexandria Eskhata. It is the wish of all Empires to see its peripheral vassals fully integrated.

You should know that better than most, Caesar. Gaul-Slayer. Enslaver of Million. You who doubled the territories of Rome, and quadrupled its grain shipments by taking Aegyptus.

The emergence of a unified China is an existential threat. But it need not be, not with the right people leading its unification...
>>
>>3583078

---

That fateful evening, not even a day after he had subjugated the island tribes, Caesar made his call to begin his conquest of the Han. His first target was...

>...an unassuming fishing village nearby, whose name translated to Face-of-Morning. Its civilian population was small for now, but it was a growing town thanks to the flow of refugees from the north and a steady food supply from its fish-rich waters.
[An excellent resource-rich area, especially blessed with food. Not the most defensible of positions, however.]

>...a naval garrison of eastern Yang Province, north of a growing fishing village. It also served as the seat of the local magistracy, where a minor family member of the Sun clan presided for his uncle Sun Jian's stead.
[Moderately fortified, the garrison is nevertheless lacking in actual troops. Tzi's informant counts only three large ships currently moored, the rest being away chasing waegu away. Taking this place automatically puts Face-of-Morning under your control and the surrounding lands under your control, as long as you have an army afterwards to exert your own influence.]

>...the City of Jian An, a highly populated walled city. It is one of the few population centres this far south, as most cities are concentrated in the North. It is rather deep inland so you can't sail there the entire way, but after a few days' march you could make it. That does put the naval garrison at your back, however.
[Wealthy, highly populated. That means a high number of peasant militias that can be raised, but wealth is also very useful in raising your own peasant militia.]

>Suggestions

Woah, my shitty computer just froze there for a while, sorry for being late with this update.
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>>3583114
Naval garrison. Lets start putting military influence in there getting more food for winter. Then we take the city amd see if we can get some weapon/armor industry going.
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>>3583114
>...a naval garrison of eastern Yang Province, north of a growing fishing village. It also served as the seat of the local magistracy, where a minor family member of the Sun clan presided for his uncle Sun Jian's stead.
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>>3583114
>...a naval garrison of eastern Yang Province, north of a growing fishing village. It also served as the seat of the local magistracy, where a minor family member of the Sun clan presided for his uncle Sun Jian's stead.
We should take Jian An after securing the naval garrison.
>>
>>3583114
>
>...a naval garrison of eastern Yang Province, north of a growing fishing village. It also served as the seat of the local magistracy, where a minor family member of the Sun clan presided for his uncle Sun Jian's stead.
>>
>>3583114
>>...a naval garrison of eastern Yang Province, north of a growing fishing village. It also served as the seat of the local magistracy, where a minor family member of the Sun clan presided for his uncle Sun Jian's stead.
>>
>>3583128
>>3583165
>>3583197
>>3583224
>>3583381
Going for the toughest nut to crack, eh?
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>>3583386
Jian An seemed toughest to me.
>>
The Enemy's lack of knowledge was to be the key to Caesar's success. All of Sinae had their eyes drawn inward to the north, the heart of the Han people, where the greatest concentration of this numerous race dwelled among the Yellow River and its tributaries. In these troubled times, its outlying commanderies and settlements were left alone even from tax collectors, leaving regional governors to rule as de facto kings. But that also meant that the combined might of the Empire would not be gathered. Not yet.

To cripple the Enemy's military capabilities in the immediate neighbourhood, Caesar struck the Garrison of Oaken Hearts.


>Who do you bring for this expedition?

---

LEGIO I CLASSICA
(Legion of the Ship, or more literally, Fleet-Based Legion)

>COHORS PRIMA SVERNICVM
The first cohort, led by Galen (of Suerna) himself. Contains more of the former Five Hundred veterans. Named the Suernican Cohort for Galen's infamous nickname. Multi-purpose heavy infantry.
Current roster: 722 Legionaries

>COHORS SECVNDA GERMANORVM
The second cohort, led by senior Centurion Vaeli. Named the German Cohort after its first leader. Contains a plurality of Jews within its ranks. Multi-purpose heavy infantry.
Current roster: 842 Legionaries

>EQVITES GALLORVM
The Gallian calvaric auxiliary, led by Ambiorix's second and eldest living son Taranis. Mounted skirmishers.
Current roster: 519

>EQVITES GERMANORVM
The German cavalric auxiliary, led by Hermann. Mounted cavalry hunters.
Current roster: 276

>EQVITES CATAPHRACTARVM PARTHI
Led by Ariamnes I the Gallant (though more commonly referred to as 'the Mad' outside hearing range). Requires Nisaean horses.
Current roster: 21

>IMMVNES
Logisticians, ballistics experts, medics, and so on. Lynius is too busy with setting up semi-permanent housing and worrying about food supply back in Alexandria Eskhata. Marcus Pollio, doctores ballistarum, in charge.

>AVXILIA TAIOVANI
Named after the first tribe that contacted Caesar; is actually staffed mainly with Bunun and Atayal. No centralised hierarchy, which means no single leader. Veicht acting as liaison.
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>>3583392
Walled, but not "fortified" tier. As you will soon find out, peasant militias are really, really bad. I guess there's a reason famous generals were known for being able to slaughter literal tens of people with their famous and possibly ahistorical brave charges.
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>>3583402
>COHORS PRIMA SVERNICVM
>COHORS SECVNDA GERMANORVM
>IMMVNES

The tribals we have seem to still need to be trained in our art of war.They'd be better as farmers for now
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>>3583411
They're good light infantry/archers, but language barrier and clan-centric social structure prevents rapid integration since they never had centralised authority. No kings, just a loose familial connection.

They will essentially follow orders from you relayed via Veicht, but are not exactly eager to sacrifice their own lives for a foreigner. I forgot to mention that they're the single largest force number-wise.

>Current roster: ~600 light infantry, ~1100 archers
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>>3583402
>COHORS PRIMA SVERNICVM
>COHORS SECVNDA GERMANORVM
>EQVITES CATAPHRACTARVM PARTHI
>IMMVNES
>Half of the AVXILIA TAIOVANI
Essentially, I just want a classic siege. The natives will provide an archery presence as well as numbers for when we crack the walls, our cohorts’ purposes should be obvious, and we will need support for something that *may* turn protracted. The Cavalry are largely unneeded and can remain to keep the island in check, but I always want Alexandros to have his finest soldiers to serve as a personal force if need be.
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>>3583475
Supporting
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>>3583402
Concerning our engineers, do we have any that are particularly inventive? It'd be nice if we had the services of our very own Archimedes-style mad scientist type to unleash on our enemies.
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>>3583848
The temporary head of our support/logistical force was the one who reinvented the Masada siege for our purposes back in India. No Archimedes to be certain, but an inventive and talented mind regardless.
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>>3583475
Writing
>>
File: Eastern Han Feast.jpg (1.77 MB, 3055x2444)
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The evening feast is in full swing. Courtesans draped in fluttering dance like blossoming petals falling in the wind, their long sleeves trailing pink and white behind each and every motion. Mask-wearing clowns perform acrobatic feats, their wooden faces fixed in lecherous leers as they comically chase the performers belonging to the fairer sex - without success, to the laughter of the audience.

Millet wine is poured into empty cups and lines of servants carrying small portable tables flow in and out, carrying roast ducks and pastries baked with fish and rice dishes made with chicken livers, nuts, and wrinkled jujube fruits. The guests, seated against the wall in two neat, straight lines, smack their lips appreciatively, some at the dancers, others at the food. From their extravagant uniforms and dress, they must be men of some import. Even the military officers, usually disdained by the literati that make up the majority of the bureaucrat-scholars of the Imperial government, are being treated with civility. This is, after all, a party held in honour of their departure as they march to aid Sun Jian.

And in the corner, seated furthest away from the place of honour where the host reclines indulgently, seats Yue Quan the Mohist.

Accomplished Engineer, acolyte of the School of Names, former military advisor to the Governor... and now the Commandant of the Eastern Gate. It is a slap in the face for a man of his accomplishments to be placed in such a mundane position, when most traffic in the fortified garrison goes through its ports. Fools partake in wisdom of bootlickers, Yue Quan thinks bitterly as he looks at the Governor's current favourite, a spineless yes-man named Xu Ching. Years of illustrious service and heartfelt advices, all for this; watching dung-splattered cows and farmers unload grains.

I should not have told him how much it would cost to retrofit this place with stone walls. That was the problem with northerners. They were too mindful of filling their own pockets while meeting the quotas demanded by their overlords, whichever of the hundreds that were roaming around and staking claims in the land now. Skimping on defence is liable to get this place destroyed.

The garrison (called Oak-Hearted, because of the primary building material) was intended to be a supply depot for the great Han Navy, almost a century ago when the Han Empire was great. It was to serve as the municipal headquarters for the patrolling naval squadron, who acted as a quick response force against waegu raiders. Over the decades, it had been built up, fortified, turned into a modest castle on its own right - but mostly with wood. The architects, whoever they were, were definitely no Mohists like himself, who specialised in castle building.
>>
>>3585255

"Go show those traitors the power of the Southern Tiger!" the host roars, raising his drinking vessel. "Wang Mang may be dead, but the blasted eunuchs are still controlling everything, I tell you. The Suns will rescue the True Emperor this time, or my name isn't Sun Kai!" The bureaucrat guests hurriedly follow the Governor in raising their cups, repeating the formal blessings to their military counterparts. The Mohist ignores the customary counter-greetings, drowning his anger with alcohol.

"What is the matter, Brother Yue?" Xu Ching calls down mockingly from his favoured seat, close to the Governor. "Are you saddened by the departure of our brave warriors responding to our overlord's call?"

"I am a servant of His Excellency the Governor, not his uncle," Yue Quan replies. "Thus, my advices have always been for him and his."

"But they are related by blood, and furthermore, His Excellency's uncle is the direct vassal of Lord Commander Yuan Shu," Xu Chi smirks. What I would do to punch him here and now, Yu Quan thinks. Rip that whisker-like beard from his face. "Perhaps you would whisper words of treason to our faithful and loyal Governor here, were it not for me!"

"Now, now" the Governor says magnanimously, licking the duck fat off his lips with his tongue, "Minister Yue has served my father well. I will not have him slandered in my own home! It is just his age that has forced me to place him to a less stressful assignment, not words of treason. You must not accuse him of that again."

Yue Quan bows his head to the Governor to show his appreciation of him coming to his defence, but inwardly he grits his teeth. I would not have served a pig like you, if I hadn't held the foolish notion of the son being like the father. The feast continues with flatteries and imbecility all around, with everyone once again ignoring the poor Yue Quan seated by the exit.

"Commandant Yue!" a hushed voice comes from his side. A soldier whose face he knows from the gate is standing there, hands together. His breath is rough, as if he ran all the way here. "Message from the Port Gate. I was told to deliver it to either you or Commandant Xing."
>>
>>3585262

Yue turns, looking around at the sea of faces until he notices Xing, seated fairly close to the Governor. He is busy trying to slip his hands into the maidservant's bosoms.

"The Commandant of the Port Gate is distracted, it seems," Yue comments drily. "Tell it to me, and I will relay it to His Excellency the Governor."

"A gigantic ship is approaching us. One that floats like an island! We didn't know if it is friendly or not, but it doesn't seem like one of ours."

"How large?"

"The evening fog made it difficult to see, but it was like a city, or maybe a castle. Orders, sir?"

"...Return to the Port Gate, and tell them I will be coming by shortly. Do not tell anyone else of this, do you understand? His Excellency is entertaining some very important guests."

"But..."

"You are familiar with Military Law. You have been given an order. Are you contemplating breaking that which even the Emperor should not undo, and go against my command?"

"At once, Commandant!" The soldier staggers tiredly away, while he stays seated, calculating the rapidly branching options within his mind. After a minute, he makes up some excuse - "Old age, you must understand. I am beginning to sleep in earlier and earlier these days..." - and hurriedly leaves, taking Xi Ching's horse from the stable to ride to the wall.

---
>>
File: Lady Tzi.png (741 KB, 1200x842)
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>>3585264

"The locals call it the Oak-Heart Garrison," Lady Tzi whispers. "Do you know why, zhi-zi?"

The two of you are standing at the brow of The Ship. You, in full martial regalia - though with beefier defence than the ceremonial one - and her with the usual female accoutrements. You glance up at the hair ornaments that line her crimson hair. Freshly picked flowers and subtle, understated jade hairpins.

Barbarians of the south were said to have red hair like hers, representing fiery temper. Did she consider herself a barbarian?

The port-cum-garrison is mostly filled with small vessels, fishing boats or cargo ferries. Odd box-shaped vessels creak gently in their moorings, wary men - soldiers, from the look of the uniforms - armed with bows watching your ingress, but not firing. Not yet.

"Because they built it out of oak," you reply at last. "How shortsighted. Wooden fort so near the sea is liable to rot."

"Not so foolish as it seems at first," she chuckles. After a breathy intake from her pipe, she exhales. "These coasts are teeming with shellfish, but poor in rocks. The architects decided to lacquer the parts that touch water most often, instead of bringing in suitable stones from far away quarries."

"That could work," you admit. But only if the country was ordered enough to continue to maintain the wooden fort.

"It was enough when the Empire was one and stable," Lady Tzi sighs, and you wonder if she can read minds. "But these are trying times for people like us, just trying to make a living. Things used to be so easy - just bribe the Imperial governor, and things would be fine for a month. Now, I have to pay to fifteen different bureaucrats, all collecting taxes for this and that warlord. This war is bad for business, nephew." She pats your arm affectionately. "Go and bring me order."

You raise an eyebrow. "I am not doing this for you."

"All the better!" She claps her hand joyfully like an innocent girl-child, her dead eyes untouched by the faux-liveliness. "Mutual benefits make long partnerships."

The way she fluttered her eyelids right there leaves the womanising part of you in a lurch, but the last thing you need to do is risk this comfortably professional relationship you two have. Lady Tzi provies intel, you the brawn. That was the deal that you hashed out in exchange for her assistance in guiding you all the way from Indian Muziris to Sinae.

"You'll get your stable markets," you say calmly, staring out once more to the fort that stands like a shadow behind the evening sea fog.
>>
>>3585272

A joyous moment, to finally set foot on True Seres! After all the trials and tribulations, you are finally here, Divine Caesar. The outcome is near certain; only the method now remains to be determined...

>Caesar disembarked with the infantry when the ship made land a short distance away from the fort itself. Heavy infantry rarely made good marines, due to their relative slowness and the lack of agility that could see them jump into enemy ships. What they could do is engage the Enemy in a secondary front - behind.
[March with the majority of your own men to begin land siege; first and second cohortes + immunes.]

>Caesar stayed on board while the infantry began their terrestrial march, watching their progress as he and the Islander archers sailed onwards to the mouth of the natural harbour that protected the moored ships from the winds and the waves. [Stay on board with the auxilia Taiovani and your Parthians.]

>Custom
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>>3585276
>Caesar disembarked with the infantry when the ship made land a short distance away from the fort itself. Heavy infantry rarely made good marines, due to their relative slowness and the lack of agility that could see them jump into enemy ships. What they could do is engage the Enemy in a secondary front - behind.
>>
>>3585276
That was thoroughly entertaining peak at courtly intrigue!

And nephew?!

>Caesar disembarked with the infantry when the ship made land a short distance away from the fort itself. Heavy infantry rarely made good marines, due to their relative slowness and the lack of agility that could see them jump into enemy ships. What they could do is engage the Enemy in a secondary front - behind.
This and leave enough troops aboard to blockade the harbor.
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>>3585292
>And nephew?!
>not >daddy
I know, I'm disappointed too.
>>
>>3585292
>>3585298
Just a diminutive, since she's older than you are. Well, in this life anyway... think of it like "darling" or "deary".
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>>3585276
>Caesar disembarked with the infantry when the ship made land a short distance away from the fort itself. Heavy infantry rarely made good marines, due to their relative slowness and the lack of agility that could see them jump into enemy ships. What they could do is engage the Enemy in a secondary front - behind.
>>
>>3585276
>Caesar disembarked with the infantry when the ship made land a short distance away from the fort itself. Heavy infantry rarely made good marines, due to their relative slowness and the lack of agility that could see them jump into enemy ships. What they could do is engage the Enemy in a secondary front - behind.
>Lady Tzi
>Yue
bueno...
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>>3585305
I suppose Lady Tzi explained what lacquer was to Alexandros at some point? l bet he sure likes the stuff.
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>>3585320
>>3585307
>>3585292
>>3585286

>Caesar disembarked with the infantry when the ship made land a short distance away from the fort itself. Heavy infantry rarely made good marines, due to their relative slowness and the lack of agility that could see them jump into enemy ships. What they could do is engage the Enemy in a secondary front - behind.

---

Eastern Gate, Commandant's Office

"Bahahahaha!" Spittle rains on Yue Quan's face. The laughing man is Major Ohglu, a soldier of Turkic descent. High enough a rank to be entrusted with the guarding of the land-facing gate while his superiors are attending the feast, he is still of lower rank than the Mohist. That he feels confident enough to debase his superior so suggests insolence of a lethal degree... or the abject fall of Yue Quan's influence in the Governor's court.

Definitely the latter. Yue Quan tempers his fury. "I am saying that you need to close the gates right now, Major Ohglu. This is a two-pronged attack by someone who has both an army and a warship! You cannot take these things too lightly."

"A thousand men at most, and not a single spearmen among them!" Major Ohglu replies contemptuously as he gestures toward the legionaries massed beyond the range of his archers, the poison in his words directed more toward the strategist than the actual enemies without. "This garrison holds ten thousand soldiers, Commandant Yue. We're talking about ten against one."

"We don't know how many they have in the ship port-side," Yue Quan says.

He sneers. "As if they would be able to take the garrison from seaside! This place was built for waegu intrusions. We're not going to have trouble there."

"Then why send a messenger so desperately to His Excellency's manse?"

"I hoped Commandant Xing would be here so he could see me beat the shit out of the enemy, of course!" he replies with endless confidence. It isn't as if his boast is empty; the large bell-ended bronze mace-staff that he wields is heavy enough to require three men, but Major Ohglu spins it as easily as one does a length of bamboo. "Seriously though, the only reason I'm only a Major is because this place has been so. Fucking. Peaceful!" He grunts, emphasising his words by slamming the end of his mace-staff on the floor. "War is the great equaliser! We will see who becomes Commandant of this gate once I deal with them alone. The man who singlehandedly drove off some barbarians, or the cowardly scholar whose only thought is building more walls."

Yue Quan blanches. "You cannot be seriously thinking of-"

"I shall call for a duel!" he interrupts. "And they will send out a champion, or try to win against ten thousand spearmen. They'll pick the duel, if they know what is good for them! Although, they will lose either way. Hah!" Picking up his helm, the Major stalks off, leaving a facepalming Yue Quan behind in his office.
>>
>>3585571

---

As he watched over the siege engineers preparing their instruments of destruction, Caesar received a report that three riders were exiting the gate - which had remained open all this while - waving a white banner. The foremost of the riders stopped his mount, prompting his two followers to do the same, and then shouted something from the distance.

A brief consultation with Lady Tzi (who had accompanied the infantry to sate her curiosity over the siege engines) revealed that the mounted man - clearly not of Han blood, but some sort of a military officer regardless of race - was demanding a champion to come out from the legions' ranks to duel.


---

"He has a foul mouth, that one," Lady Tzi smiles. "Ahh, how nostalgic! He reminds me of my second husband."

"My Lord would do well to send out someone unimportant to test his strength." Vishtapah, Ariamnes' favoured knight. His darkly handsome face is creased with a frown as he stares at the still-shouting barbarian on horseback. "We do not know the strength of the Han, nevermind one who has risen through the ranks despite whatever racial prejudice there may be. Allow me to accept the man's barbed words, and ride forward to meet him in an honourable duel."

"No, Vishtapah." Ariamnes shakes his head before you can reply. "You are young, and have a long life ahead of you. Do not throw it away like a foolish old man who has seen all there is to see."

"My Lord, but your oath against the windmill-"

"Is mine to keep," the old Parthian says with a thin smile. If he wasn't utterly sincere, you would crack out laughing from the utter ridiculousness of the conversation taking place. You manage to assume a stony mirthless feature before Ariamnes turns to you. "Order me to take his head," he says earnestly.

>Although Ariamnes' tendency to go mad while in the heat of battle was... worrying, Caesar acquiesced and ordered the ancient equite to ride forth.

>Not needing Ariamnes to start massacring the entire garrison when he hoped to take it intact, Caesar sent Vishtapah, believing his youth to be the greater advantage when fighting to test the man.

>Not wishing to risk his greatest fighters for a duel under the arrow-range of the archers on the wall, Caesar rode forward himself before either of them could say anything more.

>Untrusting of the barbarian officer with the bell-ended mace-staff, Caesar ordered his troops to ignore the shouting rider and commence siegework fire when ready.
>>
>>3585555
Yep, though I don't think Caesar would care for sparkling wood.
>>
>>3585587
Forgot to add

>Custom [write-in]
>>
>>3585587
The chinese do love there leaders doing the dueling.
>ceasar rode forward himself.
>>
>>3585609
It's because with the breakdown of the social order (and thus the intricate web of logistics network required to maintain a professional military empire-wide) the late Han Dynasty went "fuck it, regional governors can have soldiers to keep order in their own area". Devolving military authority to regional governors.

What were they thinking?

Anyway, this meant that soldiers (or at least those that passed as one) were on the whole low-quality and very quick to lose morale, so the "general" types rapidly became the type of people we associate with brutes. Thugs, really. Violent types who can put up a show of beating up the symbolic "The Enemy" figure and rally the rest of the barely-trained militia to stomping forward recklessly.

It's a bit like the hooligan mindset.
>>
>>3585615
Huh that makes sense. I always wonfered why it seemed like chinese armies in this time period were hot garbage. That does put us in a better position with our pofessional solidger system. We will have less but they will be better at what they do.
>>
>>3585619
Basically this is the reason behind wuxia "my general is worth ten thousand soldiers!" meme. Soldiers at this era were literal lowlifes who just couldn't make it any other way, refugees that wanted daily bread and soup, or both. There were professional bodies of soldiers, but they remained a distinct minority and considered to be "elite", since the default militias were so shit.

On the other hand, Chinese leaders didn't have any particular reason to try to go fully elite with their troops. Defections are unsurprisingly common in China, especially during civil wars, with lieutenants jumping camps left and right when things seem dire. So if they had every soldier be professional and well-trained, that meant they would be that much weaker if a lieutenant ran off with his portion of the troops. And China being China, they could afford meatgrinder wars.

It's a combination of a lack of trust in the system (which is where civil wars come from in the first place) between those who are ostensibly in the same faction, and massive numbers of people willing to YVAN EHT NIOJ.
>>
>>3585615
Fascinating

>>3585587

>>Not wishing to risk his greatest fighters for a duel under the arrow-range of the archers on the wall, Caesar rode forward himself before either of them could say anything more.
We didn't get the Malacca fight, this will be a substandard substitute.
>>
>>3585587

>Not wishing to risk his greatest fighters for a duel under the arrow-range of the archers on the wall, Caesar rode forward himself before either of them could say anything more
I want to go for this but given how Ariamnes can royally kick our ass,
>Although Ariamnes' tendency to go mad while in the heat of battle was... worrying, Caesar acquiesced and ordered the ancient equite to ride forth.
>>
>>3585587
...I am of a mind to introduce him to Roman stoicism and drown him in Pila.
>>
>>3585587
>Although Ariamnes' tendency to go mad while in the heat of battle was... worrying, Caesar acquiesced and ordered the ancient equite to ride forth.
It's tempting to continue building up Alexandros' record as a fighter, but we should really send our strongest stat-block against this guy.
>>
>>3585719
While that would be fun, we really need to swell our numbers. If we can capture the garrison with only a duel and then whip the useless troops into shape Belisarius-style, it'll be a major boon.
>>
The eternal tie strikes again
>>
>>3585587
>>Not wishing to risk his greatest fighters for a duel under the arrow-range of the archers on the wall, Caesar rode forward himself before either of them could say anything more.
>>
>>3585587
>>Not wishing to risk his greatest fighters for a duel under the arrow-range of the archers on the wall, Caesar rode forward himself before either of them could say anything more.
if the guy they sent out is shit, we'll fight like shit. I dont trust those arrows though
>>
>>3585587
>>Although Ariamnes' tendency to go mad while in the heat of battle was... worrying, Caesar acquiesced and ordered the ancient equite to ride forth.
>>
>>3585587
>Although Ariamnes' tendency to go mad while in the heat of battle was... worrying, Caesar acquiesced and ordered the ancient equite to ride forth.
>>
I want the old man to see some action before he dies. He's likely not long for this world, and I fully expect him to die peacefully after finally meeting the windmill in fated combat.
>>
>>3585609
>>3585633
>>3585986
>>3586085
Caesar

>>3586581
>>3586323
>>3585730
>>3585684
Ariamnes
>>
>>3587486
Let me break the tie.
>Caesar
Because I don't trust Ariamnes to stay sane and fight smart.
>>
You expected them to try to dissuade you. To have to explain your reasoning to the two equites before riding off. To your surprise, Ariamnes smiles, his obsidian eyes twinkling with something like pride.

"The sparrow has left its nest," he says. "Remember our training. Do not hesitate. In the charge, there is only you and the mount..."

"...two souls joined in one blessed motion," you finish. "Let's see how the Sinaeans deal with real horses."

And with that final quip, you spur your horse forward alone.


(1) Style

>Cautious - Double AV (Max 80), Total unsaved damage to Foe is halved (Rounding up)
>Guarded - Exchange of Blows does not inflict or sustain damage.
>Balanced - AV and Damage remain unchanged.
>Belligerent - Exchange of Blows does not inflict damage; +1 Damage to Foe if any unsaved damaged is inflicted.
>Audacious - Halve AV (Rounding up); Each point of unsaved damage to Foe is doubled.

(2) Stance

>Dance of the Maekarii I [Personal Combat +10, -2 Damage dealt]
>Aetian Acrobatics I [Exhaustion +1(Personal Combat -5DC, stacks), +2 Damage dealt]
>Iovani Backstep II [Personal Combat +10DC, -10AV]
>Susa I [Personal Combat -5DC, -1 Damage received]

(3) Weapon Choice

>Kontos
The long, steel-tipped cavalry lance favoured by armoured riders from the Iranian Steppes. The rounded point combines the speed of the mount and the weight of the lance, becoming as deadly as a ballista bolt during a charge. [+15DC, doubled when mounted; Skewer]

>Crucible-steel Khanda
A longsword looted from an Indian assassin. Its length serves well as a sidearm while mounted, where the extra reach is necessary. [+10DC; Armour Penetration]

>Gladius hispaniensis
A vicious double-edged weapon forged with high quality steel from Iberian mines. Formerly owned by Cabaleiro. [+10DC, penalty when mounted, Legionarius modifier; Bleed]
>>
>>3587551
>Audacious - Halve AV (Rounding up); Each point of unsaved damage to Foe is doubled.
>Iovani Backstep II
>Kontos
FULL OFFENSE



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