- Feb 27, 2017
Chapter X: A child for a childThe 9th of November of the year 476 of our lord is a date no Roman man, woman or child can ever forget, for it marks the date of our resurgence, the date when the barbarian Odoacer lay defeated and bowed to the underage Emperor of Rome and the date when Roman pride resurged once again, this time to never even come close to fade. I hope.
Objectively speaking though, this date is the day in which Odoacer signed a White Peace with the Empire back at our capital in Ravenna. It had taken both parts two months of talks and negotiations to reach this stage, time the Skirian had used to plunder “a little bit more”, just in case. He was not in chains, nor was he welcomed with boos. He signed the treaty as a free man, and left together with his all the formerly imprisoned family members as a free man. The two generals that had faced off and defied death in battle just a few months prior met face to face right before the signing act. In that meeting Odoacer congratulated Decimus for his strength in a perfect Latin, proof of his Romanized self. He also complained, in a slightly dreamy tone, that once just a few of his units had been slain following Arsacius’ charge several of his less loyal subjects just left the fight, to the demise of the Skirian. Ah, what could have happened had they stayed just past the first minutes of the flanking attack. The legendary aura that surrounded Odoacer vanished following the battle and many of the lesser tribal chiefs that followed him simply abandoned the war they thought was now pointless. They really didn’t know that half our army had literally been turned into dust during that battle; night and darkness did us good.
Comes Arsacius wasn’t present at the signing of the treaty despite being invited by Orestes, as he had now gained the high esteem of the Emperor’s father. He was, instead, ensuring that every one of the germanic tribesmen that had ravaged the lands left the territory in peace. He would not allow them, however, to carry any of the pillage they had done. Each one of the barbarians would receive ten Tremissis as a pay for their “loyal service as Rome’s foederati”, of course, all of them bearing Romulus’ young efigie to remind them that encroachment on Roman territory would not be taken lightly. Perhaps it was time to make a few commemorative gold medallions celebrating the survival of the Empire? You may see now that all the “important” matters that worried the capital were nothing but celebration related topics. Should a gladiatorial event be held? Should taxes be lowered for a week? The dead peasants in the countryside surely deserved it.
Apart from meeting Odoacer in a more personal and… distended way, Decimus also got to bow in front of the Emperor the Seiani swore to protect, and although receiving a very childish answer to his “funny salute”, he knew that those words were better that any pay he could have gotten. Not that he didn’t get a huge monetary reward anyways, that was more than granted already. Even I got a few coins for surviving the battle.
I’m afraid I did not get to see Romulus though; as part of the lesser family I was not invited and didn’t even put a foot in Ravenna, but I’m glad our kin is finally beginning to be recognized as a positive pillar of the empire, and our name stops being a synonym of treachery.
I returned back to Florentia, where I left most of my duties almost a year ago and have stayed there since. In the meantime and entirely for my own amusement, I have managed to produce a nearly accurate portrait of Emperor Romulus, just by reproducing the description Decimus has made in his many letters.
My take on Emperor Romulus
One last question though, because partying is fun and celebrating victory is always sweet even far from the capital, but… What in the world happened to Basiliscus “The Craven”?
I can easily answer that. Dread nothing of his dissappearance, because we will surely meet again. He has fled to the Visigothic court and has taken up once again the role of commander of armies, oh those poor barbarians, they don’t know what awaits them.