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Thread: The Eagles of Avalon

  1. #1501
    I have just managed to start reading this AMAZING tale and i find it impossible to do it all in one sitting. Your characterizations and descriptions are amazing, you have mastered the brutalities and strategies of the battlefields of Italy (well used with the Rome total war screens ) to the subtle intrigues and conspirings of imperial courts. Something I have yet to master. You have created a work of art Mettermick, i just hope i can catch up in time haha! It is inspiring, truly inspiring.
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  2. #1502
    Non sufficit orbis Lord E's Avatar
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    Interesting update Mett.
    So the emperor has started to understand the ways of the world, but Varic is still the old, evil and cunning advisor. One would think that Varic’s hate for Remus should have cooled after all these years, but it seems like it hasn’t

    Remus might be a little too trusting and loyal, but I am glad to see he is no fool. Returning to Rome with his forces sure leaves many possibilities open for a man, as someone said maybe first he can remove Suomar once and for all and then cross the Rubicon. I wonder what Varic and his pet emperor will do then. But then again it doesn’t look like Remus ambition is to become emperor and seeing the ways of Roman politics I can understand that, commanding this empire is much more difficulty than commanding an army, but Remus is becoming excellent in both matters, so maybe in time he will see that the empire needs him.

    A lot of interesting things can happen in the future, shall be very cool to see Rome’s reaction when a general once more returns from Gaul with his army. Looking forward to it Mett
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  3. #1503
    Danish Guy boehm's Avatar
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    Very interesting update!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mettermrck

    ”If we could not destroy him, let us use him!” He suddenly exclaimed. Behind him, Genucius took steps backwards, struggling not to let his expression reveal the shock. Destroy him?! Fortunately for him, for his very life, even, Varic did not even notice.
    ... I wonder if the above slip of the tongue might not cause some senators to approach Remus with some kind of suggestion ... ?
    Currently spending my time on ... Empires in Arms & Mordheim ...

  4. #1504
    The Fuehrer of the Dance Mettermrck's Avatar
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    Fulcrumvale: I guess I wanted to give Romulus a little bit of sense, even if it perhaps comes too late.

    Darks63: Indeed, Remus coming back to Italia is like the story coming full circle.

    cthulhu: Well, that's the tragedy of the man, I suppose...if he never lets that sentiment go.

    Chief Ragusa: I think Romulus, and probably Varic, are hoping to use Remus one last time, leaving him in place in his position and playing on his loyalties. Risky after his exile, but that's their mode of thinking. I'm not sure Selenus will be able to capture Lilybaeum without a large enough navy...from my readings on the Vandals, I'm thinking Selenus is lucky the Vandals are too busy fighting the Berbers and Moors to truly concentrate on him.

    Vincent Julien: Indeed it has, now it's to you to write the next part. Yes, Theuderic is part of the first link in the clientiarii chain binding Gaul together.

    Draco Rexus: Tangled, for sure, and thanks. One thing I know I've tangled up is the dates...when I go back through this story, polishing it up, I'm going to need to adjust the years...it's been very easy sometimes for me to forget what year I'm in, hehe.

    Deamon: Sometimes I laugh at myself when I think how simple it seemed when the story began. A story about Remus' rise, sure, but then on to the good stuff in Brittania. But the more I write on the Continent, the more interesting it becomes, and the more I want to fully flesh out my ideas. I've been wracking my brains lately, wondering if I honestly should rename the storyline. The Britain part might make a good climax, but it doesn't seem to be the critical point in the rise of Remus, Claudius, the West, etc. If anything, it's the closing act...but we'll see.

    Spothisto: Thank you! As this next update will highlight, one wonders if Remus has matched the practicality of Caesar.

    TreizeV: Honored, sir, and welcome aboard! Your L'Empereur works are classics in their own right.

    Lord E: Thanks, sir! Remus is slowly developing into his own man, but he's not quite there yet. Even after all the struggle in Gaul, the abandonment and the rise using his own abilities, he's still not quite prepared to jettison his imperial notions.

    boehm: All too likely...I'm sure VJ will have something to say about this.

  5. #1505
    The Fuehrer of the Dance Mettermrck's Avatar
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    Silence descended upon the battered walls of Mediolanum as its garrison stood to, watching impassively and with mounting nervousness, the arrival of the large Roman army along the Via Gallica. It was as if the earth had gone still, the heavy clouds casting an evening shadow over the western walls, scant beams of sunlight providing the only daylight. A single horn occasionally pierced the silence, blaring out from the distant columns, boldly announcing the arrival of this unexpected military force. Secure enough behind their fortifications, the soldiers lining the walls could not help, however, but be impressed by the precision of the army as individual columns peeled off to form the outlines of a military camp. The mass of heavy infantry and cavalry was awesome to behold, a force rivaling that any of the experienced legionaries had seen in their campaigns with Claudius. Then there were the wagons, the baggage and siege train and many wondered if there was to be a battle.


    The elite Aquila legion arrives in front of the walls of Mediolanum


    The rumors had flown for weeks as word of a strong force decamping from the Alps and racing through Cisalpine Gaul. Claudius had given orders to let the army pass down the Via Poenina through Aosta without incident, yet that did not settle the matter for some. The Empire was not supposed to have any armies outside of Italia, to say nothing of one as powerful and disciplined as this. Where had it come from? And what did it mean? There were a few soldiers, grim-eyed veterans who had seen more than their share, convalescing in the town, recovering from battlefield wounds. They whispered that it was the return of Remus Macrinus. But everyone knew he was dead, killed by the Burgundians…or was it the Visigoths? Or the Franks? Surely he had perished. Yet what was this army then?

    To the surprise of many in the garrison, the gates immediately opened, the new wooden doors of the Porta Occidentalis swinging wide to allow a small party of horsemen to trot purposefully towards the growing encampment half a league away. A second party of horsemen soon broke away from a column of heavy cavalry currently tramping up the Via Gallica. Both parties carried their standards, both eagles. Yet while the Mediolanum standard was the traditional Roman eagle, its wings tucked inward with the head looking vigilant off to the left, the newcomer’s eagle was different, a bold silver with the eagle’s wings spread wide, as if in flight. Scarcely visible from the walls, some wondered if they meant the same thing. They would’ve been even more shocked had they known they were witnessing a reunion.

    ”This is a large escort you bring with you, Remus,” Claudius said easily, though his eyes couldn’t hide their favorable appraisal. He was silent for a moment, scanning the disciplined ranks of cataphractii trotting past. These weren’t for show, he noticed immediately. Their armor had seen many tough battles. ”I see you’ve solved the problem of the heavy horse,” he said quietly, as if this was a discussion on military tactics and strategy. He seemed to catch himself, and turned back to Remus with a bemused smile. ”Well then, welcome to Mediolanum, my new home. Safe journey?”

    Remus nodded as he sat casually on his own horse, his eyes mirroring Claudius’ as he scanned the city walls, instinctively searching for weakness. ”Safe enough. There was one Burgundian chieftain who hadn’t gotten the news in time. I passed on the message swiftly enough,” he said, and Claudius’ eyes flickered to the siege train in the distance. How long had it been since he had seen ballistae in the field? He was transported back to his first meeting with Remus at the camp in Latium, the defeated general and the victorious young rebel. Why did he feel the same nervous fear?

    ”I heard Romulus had recalled you, yet I scarcely think he expected you to bring your army.”



    ”He explicitly ordered me to leave my army behind.” Pausing for a moment, he seemed to pick his words delicately. ”I’m convinced the Imperator was misinformed of the level of danger in the Alpine provinces. A strong force was needed to allow me to carry out my orders.”

    Claudius’ eyebrows rose as the side of his mouth curled. ”Subtlety from Remus Macrinus? One wonders what went on in Gaul.” He laughed, holding up a hand to forestall Remus’ retort. ”Say no more. Your Gallic campaign is already being discussed in military circles, you know. Some compare it to Caesar’s own.”

    Remus flushed a little, his mind casting back briefly to his dreams. They hadn’t come recently, but they never left his thoughts. His eyes fell upon Claudius’ escort, and he noticed a particular Roman officer eyeing him with open interest. The armor didn’t strike him as Italian in manufacture, yet clearly he was an officer, an experienced one at that.

    His eyes following Remus’ gaze, Claudius nodded. ”Ahhh, my other guest. Seems Mediolanum is a focal point for Roman interest these days. But first, is there a place to take the dust off our feet? I imagine you could use a good chair yourself.” Remus nodded with a smile, and led them back towards the camp, both parties moving parallel to the other.

    The Praetorium had been one of the first structures to be erected. ”The old camps were a lost art, I always said,” Claudius said with approval as he stepped inside.

    ”An old primicerium named Gnaeus drilled the practice into my head,” Remus replied as he sat them all comfortably around the hastily erected table. ”Now then…your companion? Clearly you’re not from Suomar’s army.”

    The man nodded. ”Maximinus Aurel, Magister,” he said, giving Remus a quick salute as he sat across from him. You could see it in the eyes, he knew, whether a man had killed someone, had seen battle. This officer had seen more than his share of both. He nodded for him to continue. ”I’m a Tribunus detached from the army of the Comes Viator.”

    For a moment, Remus blinked, then his mind quickly caught up to him. Since the deaths of Julius Nepos and Glycerius, the Roman province in Dalmatia had lingered under independent military control. Repeated attempts to subjugate it had met with reverses. Italia, the Ostrogoths, and the eastern Empire, had never been able to successfully defeat its armies. First General Ovida had gained a formidable reputation as a mountain fighter and now his successor, Comes Viator, was equally as hard.

    He kept quiet for a time, half-listening to the sounds of his army outside, rushing to make camp in record time. They were safely in Italia, yet never would they abandon discipline even in the laxest moment. Situations changed all too quickly.

    Claudius cleared his throat. ”The Tribunus arrived soon after I retook Ravenna from the Goths. It appears that Viator wished to keep a channel open to the west.”

    Remus looked from general to officer and back. ”No general worth his salt could not help but respect the Comes’ achievements in Dalmatia,” he opened calmly. Maximinus nodded with a gracious smile as he continued. ”Yet why not go to Rome? Surely the Comes’ army could’ve helped suppress Theodoric.” The pair looked uncomfortable, and his eyes quickly narrowed. How he despised maneuvering.

    ”Simply put, Magister, Maximinus began, ”the Comes does not recognize Romulus Augustul----Augustus, as his emperor.”

    The statement dropped like a flat stone, and Remus wasn’t sure if the misspoken name was a deliberate insult or not. He chose to deem it accidental, yet his features flushed at the tone. ”Romulus is the emperor in the West…my emperor. Claudius and I are both subject to him.” He paused and looked at around at his staff officers, each actarius attempting to work, yet clearly straining to hear the discussion. With a word, he dismissed them, sensing the tone of the conversation.

    There was a pause as they were left alone and then, leaning forward to take the goblet that had been placed before him, Maximinus spoke quietly. ”Is that, Magister, why you brought an entire army with you to Italia? Even when your…emperor…commanded otherwise?”

    Angry, Remus stood, ready to order the man out of his camp, yet Claudius rose with him, interrupting him. ”Remus! Hold!” Breathing tightly, it was all he could do to stop himself. ”You are with him then, Claudius? You know what this is, don’t you? This plotting?”

    Claudius shook his head slowly, while Maximinus again pounced, sensing his opportunity. ”No one respects the Empire more than you, Magister, but please listen. Please.” The softening tone at least drew them back from the brink and it was Remus who was the last to sit.

    ”I was a trooper in my youth, just like you. I served in Nepos’ army, Remus,” he said, daring to assume such a confidence. ”You know, you might’ve seen me at Aquileia.” He smiled and even Remus caught himself trying to picture a young version of Maximinus, tramping around the ruined port. ”I’d heard about what you did, saving Julius’ life.” Maximinus set down his goblet, spread his hands imploringly.

    ”You must understand, we served Julius Nepos. He was the emperor before Romulus’ father threw him out and installed his own son. When Odoacer took Ravenna and Romulus abdicated, there was no question. Nepos was our emperor. Even Zeno in Constantinople recognized that. Odoacer printed coins in Nepos’ name. After Odoacer and Zeno turned on us, we were on our own, as we are today. We certainly do not recognize Romulus as anything but a usurper.”

    Remus felt the heat return, but turned instead to Claudius. ”Why does he come now? Surely he knows whom you serve.”

    Leaning back on his chair, Claudius placed his hands atop his legs. ”Remus, I’ve served as long as you in Rome’s armies, Italian and Roman. You are the dreamer, not I. I serve whoever brings order, whoever can rule with some measure of justice. But whether it’s an ancient empire or a barbarian king, I…don’t….care,” he said with emphasis on the last three words.

    Remus scoffed, not wishing to believe what he was hearing. ”And what of the army you forged? That wasn’t barbarian discipline you used at Ravenna, that wasn’t Odoacer’s tactics you adopted to protect Italia from the Goths.”



    ”The army Suomar broke?!” Claudius snapped. ”Yes, I admire the tactics and strategy of the old Empire. But the rulers? Romulus emulates them far too closely, removing generals at a whim. What I had forged, what I had achieved, I had done with very little bloodshed. In a month, Suomar Verus has ruined all of it.”

    Again, Remus voiced his question. ”Then answer me, Tribunus,” he said stonily.”Why did Viator send you to Italia? To Claudius?”

    ”Because the Comes knows the truth of these times that every general knows. The same that Claudius knows and that you know deep down in your heart, Remus. It is the armies who rule, and the generals who are their ruler.”

    The stone fell a second time, and Remus found himself instinctively shaking his head. Something awoke inside him, something that tore at him. He could feel the rushing in his mind, the voices from the dreams, the ones he had struggled to suppress. The dream came back, the door, the down turned thumbs, the men glaring at him. The bald general came to mind…take it! He heard the voice inside. Was it the man, was it Caesar who said this? Take it! He heard again, and thought in horror that it was his own voice. With a twitch, he found himself glancing across the table at Claudius and Maximinus, neither appearing concerned. How little time had elapsed?!

    ”What do you want, Maximinus?” His question faltered, his voice losing its earlier vehemence.

    ”What we all want, Magister,” the Tribunus replied calmly. ”A strong Empire. Ruled by those with the power and means to bring order and stability. As it has always been, Remus. With your exile, I came to see Claudius first. He rebuffed me, naturally, but didn’t send me away. I think he was waiting…waiting for you to return.”

    Remus glanced at Claudius, who couldn’t meet his eye just then. ”Romulus is the emperor. Through him we bring order and stability.”

    ”Passing water through a corroded pipe quenches nothing, Remus,” Maximinus continued. ”Let us be frank. You, Claudius, and Viator are all great generals. Yet none of us dispute that you are the one above us all, the one who by sheer force of will kept the Empire going. Romulus is a mere token, keeping power only because you let him. His corruption and incompetence corrodes the Empire. Enough of this pretense, Remus. How much longer will you abide him? You have your army. Claudius has Mediolanum and a strong garrison. I can offer the Comes’ army and loyalty. And I’m sure Suomar’s army will rally to your standard.”

    With mounting distress, Remus could again feel the rushing, that part of him that he had suppressed for so long, since before he had first journeyed to Aquileia. He remembered the conversations with Gaius, who had openly wondered at his course. Surely he was wrong! Rome needed its symbols, needed it. Take it! The voice returned…his own? No, he realized, it belonged to Maximinus, with Claudius nodding alongside him.

    ”Enough is enough, Remus. The Tribunus is right. Take it,” Claudius said simply.

    With his dignity strained by conflicting thoughts, loyalty and glory at war, Remus slowly stood. After a deliberate pause, he shook his head. ”I cannot turn my back on the Empire. For all that, he is still my emperor…” The tone in his voice reeked of finality, and no more was said. A polite if stiff meal followed, and then Claudius and Maximinus returned to the city in darkness.

    The next morning, both army and garrison stood out to watch Remus Macrinus ride southward, with only a single protector as an escort. God help me, he thought to himself as he rode towards Placentia. He would give the loyal soldier one more chance. In his mind, the thumbs again came down.

  6. #1506
    Remus is putting his head in the lion's mouth.

    Best time to take the Vandals. The city Selenus is attempting to takeis too big to be supplied by the springs within its walls. It's fed by ythe aqueduct. Now, if Selenus' men don't mind getting their feet wet ... The Vandals are aleady scared witless by Selenus. He goes in, they leave by sea spreading their fear throiugh navy and capital alike. They are ripe to fall.

    Romulus can't be thinking to send Remus to the northern army, defeat the Goths and then have Suomar bump him off? Is Romulus truly that stuupid?

  7. #1507
    Shadowman Darks63's Avatar
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    Let remus win control this time and the west will live for a 1000 years.

  8. #1508
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    The emperor’s conduct at this meeting decides whether he lives or dies. I can’t wait.
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  9. #1509
    This may sound a bit creepy Mettermrck; scratch that, this DOES sound creepy. I've been obsessively stalking this AAR ever since the time you began working on the Gallic Campaign being a part of my daily schedule almost. Your writing style is simply superb with your characters being very well fleshed out.

    That said, I do hope Remus makes the right decision on what to do. Yeah, I'm completely addicted and can't wait until the next update!

  10. #1510
    Safe One Lofman's Avatar
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    Once again Remus shows he is not a real Roman general. A real Roman general in his position would take the offer with little hesitation.
    Still playing EU:Rome? Might check out my litte Rome mod

  11. #1511
    Non sufficit orbis Lord E's Avatar
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    So Remus returns to Italy and meets Claudius. It looks like Claudius is not one to think twice about plotting against the Emperor, but who can really blame him. It is the same emperor who removed him from his command and destroyed his precious army; I can very well understand that Claudius is loyal to Remus, the great commander and general, and not the backstabber in Rome and his evil creature, Varic.
    Remus should have listened to his inner voices, he should have listened to Caesar in his dreams, he should take it…. Let us just hope he will be able to return from Rome safe and sound, Remus has given loyalty one last chance let us hope Varic and the emperor doesn’t use it wrong or we might very well have Remus fleeing Rome, returning to his troops hunted and bloody and then there will be nothing to stop his army from crossing the Rubicon and destroying the evil forces that are corrupting the empire.
    I can see Caesar in him now, but Remus is not quit the cunning fox Caesar was, at least not yet, he is still too loyal, but a trip to Rome, should he survive, will surly alter all that.

    Wonderful update Mett, the tension is really rising now, can’t wait to see Remus’s return to Rome
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  12. #1512
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lofman
    Once again Remus shows he is not a real Roman general. A real Roman general in his position would take the offer with little hesitation.
    Ah, but you have to remember, it looks like Remus is looking a lot further back than the Empire itself. He's looking at the Generals of the Republic who, until the late 3rd early 2nd century BC, never realized the power they could wield. They controlled the Roman military completely for a year on end, but they never used it. It wasn't until Caesar and Octavian that the realization fully dawned on the early Roman citizen-generals.
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  13. #1513

  14. #1514
    Field Marshal TC Pilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plushie
    Ah, but you have to remember, it looks like Remus is looking a lot further back than the Empire itself. He's looking at the Generals of the Republic who, until the late 3rd early 2nd century BC, never realized the power they could wield. They controlled the Roman military completely for a year on end, but they never used it. It wasn't until Caesar and Octavian that the realization fully dawned on the early Roman citizen-generals.
    Actually, it is not that Roman generals did not realize the power they had, it's tthat they did not gain that power until Marius set the precedent of recruitment from landless Romans. Soldiers in such armies relied upon their generals' success for wealth and reward, and owed their loyalty to generals, not the Senate or Rome itself.

    Going back on topic, I am not sure Remus is really the best choice for Emperor. He is as quick to anger, it seems, as Romulus, and I doubt being emperor could put any restraint on that. Overthrowing him may be desirable in the short-run, considering his pretensions and excess, but somewhere along the way this pattern of usurping the current power holder must stop. If Remus takes over, what is to stop the next general from doing the same?

    Is an empire threatened to repeat the 3rd century any better than one under Romulus? Is Remus as good an administrator as he is a general? Is the true test of character caving to the demands of haunting ghosts, or resisting their temptation? Is not the true measure of glory what one does with the power which is given to one, rather than how much one might gain?

    Claudius should have known better than to so bluntly force Remus to make a choice, knowing full well the magnitude of what he was proposing.

  15. #1515
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TC Pilot
    Going back on topic, I am not sure Remus is really the best choice for Emperor. He is as quick to anger, it seems, as Romulus, and I doubt being emperor could put any restraint on that. Overthrowing him may be desirable in the short-run, considering his pretensions and excess, but somewhere along the way this pattern of usurping the current power holder must stop. If Remus takes over, what is to stop the next general from doing the same?

    Is an empire threatened to repeat the 3rd century any better than one under Romulus? Is Remus as good an administrator as he is a general? Is the true test of character caving to the demands of haunting ghosts, or resisting their temptation? Is not the true measure of glory what one does with the power which is given to one, rather than how much one might gain?

    Claudius should have known better than to so bluntly force Remus to make a choice, knowing full well the magnitude of what he was proposing.
    Remus did build an army pretty much from the ground up in Gaul, which speaks well of his abilities as an administrator. And remember: Cesar, Augustus, Diocletian and Constantine all got their start as generals (as did a number of rather less savory characters, admittedly).
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  16. #1516
    Danish Guy boehm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrumvale
    Remus did build an army pretty much from the ground up in Gaul, which speaks well of his abilities as an administrator. And remember: Cesar, Augustus, Diocletian and Constantine all got their start as generals (as did a number of rather less savory characters, admittedly).
    During the republic u couldnt really distinquish between generals and administrators ...since skill at military command and politics were two sides of the same coin ...it was vertually impossible achieve success in one area without a minimum of success in the other. - most generels of the republic really did live up to clausewitz´s theorem that war is just the extension of politics ...though here it was domestic politics NOT foreign politics.
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  17. #1517
    Excellent update, I don't know whether to applaud Remus for his integrity and loyalty or to give him a slap around for not seizing the magnificent opportunity in front of him. It's obvious that Romulus is an uninspiring paranoid ruler, one that can easily be overthrown, and Claudius makes no hesitation in pointing that out. But Remus keeps it going. Any other character in another story would have instantly gone that road, marching an army into Italia with a weak emperor on the throne so i'm interested in seeing how this meeting will go and how long Remus can fight that voice in his head. He certainly has the potential to be a good leader, judging from his earlier italian campaigns, but I can't help but think that he has a dark side to him should he take the throne.

    I'm beginning to think Remus is one the verge of a great dilemma, and how he comes out of it, i can only guess. Great stuff!

    btw, are you using Rome Total war: Barbarian invasions for that screenshot? just curious.
    Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can? - Sun Tzu

  18. #1518
    Quote Originally Posted by TC Pilot
    Going back on topic, I am not sure Remus is really the best choice for Emperor. He is as quick to anger, it seems, as Romulus, and I doubt being emperor could put any restraint on that. Overthrowing him may be desirable in the short-run, considering his pretensions and excess, but somewhere along the way this pattern of usurping the current power holder must stop. If Remus takes over, what is to stop the next general from doing the same?
    As the Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Christ on Earth, I proclaim to you the new Augustus of the West, Selenus Sicilianus!
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  19. #1519
    Danish Guy boehm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrarca
    As the Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Christ on Earth, I proclaim to you the new Augustus of the West, Selenus Sicilianus!
    Perhaps if Romulus were to have an "accident" ...then someone marrying Barbaria might have something approaching a legal claim on the throne ? ....and she did previously favor Selenus no?
    Currently spending my time on ... Empires in Arms & Mordheim ...

  20. #1520
    Field Marshal Avernite's Avatar
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    Back after some time of not reading, and wow!

    Remus marching into Italy with his army, and not going for the throne. What IS he doing with his army, then?
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