• Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

SeanB

Colonel
10 Badges
Jun 2, 2005
821
1
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
I wouldn't do place holders, people won't really know when you've updated. ;)
 

Alhazen

Europa Barbarorum Team Member
6 Badges
Feb 7, 2003
617
0
Visit site
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
Ah, so you guys are right. :rolleyes:

Well, the update is coming. I had a longer day at work than expected though, so may be a little late, as in, later tonight. Still have to write one scene, and then its just a matter of loading the pictures. Have faith!
 

Alhazen

Europa Barbarorum Team Member
6 Badges
Feb 7, 2003
617
0
Visit site
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
rometitlecopy7jo.gif


Sons of Mars Theme



219 BC
Nones of Martius
6 March, 219 BCE



cartagena9kd.png


Carthago Nova,
Hispania


*****​

“A bad peace is even worse than war”--Tacitus

In the early spring of 219 BC, Hannibal Barca was the uncontested master of southern Iberia, called Hispania by the Romans. His brother-in-law, Hasdrubal the Fair, had expanded the ancient city of Mastia along the southern coasts of Murcia, and renamed it Karth-Hadasht, Carthage already meaning “New City” in Phoenician. Beginning in 223 BC, Hasdrubal had refortified the new center of Carthaginian power, extending the walls and making the fortifications virtually impregnable. It was from here, with its abundant silver mines and resources of slaves and food, that Hannibal launched his many campaigns to subjugate the restless Iberian tribes in southern Hispania, and gathered resources, mercenaries, and equipment for his planned attack on the hated Romans. It was there, in that city, that envoys from disaffected Iberian Saguntine tribes met with the General, pleading for retribution of the injustices they claimed to have received at the hands of wealthy landowners in Saguntum. The Carthaginian Senate was weak, and would not allow him to wage war on their enemy. But once these envoys arrived, Hannibal was only too happy to comply with their requests, which gave him just the excuse he needed to attack the ally of Rome and not Rome itself, thus drawing them into war with the Carthaginian Empire, or so he hoped…


The lions that reclined upon the raised dias were slothful looking creatures, lounging languidly and staring back at him with dark, round eyes that bespoke a fiery wit within them. He dared not make any sudden movements, for their reputation alone was enough to keep him, as well as most emissaries, well away from the platform on which the general held his court like an eastern King. There was no throne, not really, yet the great desk was crafted of a myriad of different types of wood, all fitted together in elaborate carvings that depicted the siege of Troy on each side. Censors of incense hanging from tiny gold chains burned on either side, and expensive tapestries covered the walls leaving little of the stone visible. At the desk was there seated the man himself, indomitable, regal, cold.

Hannibal was young, having not yet reached this thirtieth winter. Despite his youth he had achieved wealth and power beyond what could be expected of a son of his station, and had inherited the vast wealth of the Barca family, swollen with profits from the silver and tin flowing out of Iberia which they ruled almost as an independent satrapy from Carthage herself. He was hearty and strong, his skin dark and bronzed, his hair thick and curly, his face set in stone with a jaw-line a greek statue would be envious of. Wrapped in heavy gold and purple robes trimmed with crimson that fell to his sandaled feet, the young scion looked a god in waiting as he received the visitor to his camp.

One of the lions yawned lazily and stretched out its heavy paws as the General stood from his desk. In unison, all of his lieutenants, servants, and slaves rose as well. “I am glad you have come, Ambraxis,” he said.

“I am pleased you are glad, your honor,” Ambraxis replied, bowing again as Hannibal approached him, and placed a ringed hang upon the Greek’s slight shoulder, blushing in some embarrassment despite himself at the man’s strong grip.

“Do not mistake me, I am well aware of your plight,” Hannibal said, crossing to kneel beside the two reclining great cats, and stroking their heads thoughtfully, as one might the household dog. Looking back to where Ambraxis stood fixated, he grinned. “I think Apollo here likes you,” he said, scratching the hairy chin of the larger of the two lions whom was watching the Greek merchant as it might observe a gazelle before pouncing.

“Sir, if we may discuss the matter at hand,” Ambraxis offered, in as respectful a voice as he could.

“Of course. Money, is it not?”

“Well, no, I—“

“It’s always money, Ambraxis. Especially for people like you. Let us not mince words.” Hannibal’s eyes were stone as he said this, and Ambraxis thought better of argument.

“Very well, then. You want war with Rome.”

“I am already at war with Rome, even if my government has not yet lifted the veil from their eyes. My war with them began years and years ago, and will continue until they are all dead, or I myself have crossed over that threshold.”

“You want the Carthaginian Senate to declare war on Rome, then. To allow you to prosecute your war fully.”

“That would be helpful, yes.” Apollo rose and arched his muscled back, his golden fur brilliant in the torchlight. The lion padded the ground near where Ambraxis stood, and began pacing a circle around the Greek who tried to make himself as small as possible. Hannibal smiled. “You see, I told you he likes you. I have my supporters in the Senate, Ambraxis, be assured. But I have my enemies as well. At least half of them would rather see the Republic march roughshod over half of the Meditteranean than oppose them in open warfare. The sores of Sicily are not yet healed. I, like my father, see the Romans for what they are. Barbarians, you see. But not just barbarians. Cunning, greedy, deceitful barbarians. You’ve seen what they’ve done in Cisalpine Gaul, what they’ve begun doing in Illyria for that matter. I will not have it done in Iberia, or gods forbid Africa.”

“In this, we are of one mind then, General,” the Greek said uncomfortably. Apollo yawned, revealing teeth like arrow-heads.

“Are we?” Hannibal smiled. “I am so pleased.” Walking back up the dais, Hannibal took up a scroll and unfolded it across the breadth of the desk, revealing a detailed relief map of Iberia and Gaul, with hundreds of tiny mountains and rivers and streams. Cities were drawn out and marked in blocky Phoenician letters, with trade routes and roadways highlighted in dark ink. “Tell me, Ambraxis, how would you be able to assist me?”

photos00003ph.jpg

“I can promise you the gates of Saguntum,” Ambraxis answered, too quickly.

“Can you,” the General said, more of a statement than a question, his tone only half-interested as he examined the map.

“I have many supporters in the city, men, like myself, who do not wish to be under the yoke of the Republic.”

“And the Saguntine government?”

”Lap dogs for the Romans, one and all, but many of the guardsmen would follow me, if the circumstances were right.”

“You mean if you offered them enough money,” Hannibal said dryly.

The look on Ambraxis’ face was one of insult, but he dared not assert himself. What’s more, the General was right.

“How much do you need?” Hannibal asked.

Shortly thereafter, Ambraxis and his cohorts were well on their way, escorted to the gates of New Carthage by soldiers of Hannibal’s Sacred Band, their pack-horses laden with silver coins stamped with Hamilcar’s image pulled from the mines of Tartessos and the Greek himself much relieved to be away from the fearsome lions and their equally unnerving master. The road home to Saguntum was not overly long, but made perilous by roving bands of tribesmen that made sport of banditry. But, gods willing, Ambraxis thought as the walls of the city fell behind them, he would be home in a few short days’ time, and soon after, the balance of power would be changing. Hannibal would march, Saguntum would fall, and the Romans would be spit upon pikes on the roadside before the month was out.

Hannibal stood looking still at the fine map on his desk as a short, swarthy man approached from a side chamber of the room.

“Surely you don’t trust that fool,” Himilco said.

“Of course not,” the General replied, marking a note on the map with an ink-stained quill. Himilco was a worthy lieutenant, but not a prodigy of subterfuge and guile.

“The money?”

“A trifle, if it achieves its purpose. Ambraxis will get what’s coming to him, in due time.”

“I see,” Himilco said, though in truth he was just confused. “Your orders then, sir?”

“Have Mago dispatch two squadrons of the Libyan cavalry north to screen our movement. Alert the army, we will march tomorrow.”

hannibalmarchescopy0yl.gif


*****

untitled12ie.png


Saguntum,
Hispania


“Attack!” Sabucius shouted, rapping his bronze rod against the stool sitting before him loudly as Cale watched from a recess nearby, leaning against a stone column and studying the soldiers’ moves with intrest.

About the tall chamber, the soldiers responded. Wicker shields were pressed forward, wooden gladii lunged from above them, stabbing downward toward their sparring partners who caught the blades on their own heavy scutum, twice the weight of a regular one, and stepped backward, responding with counter-thrusts of their own, the maple gladii also heavier than their real life counterparts. It was a dance, complete with the complicated movements that came with such an engagement. Each soldier had to master both foot-work and reflexes, and be conscious both of his sword arm and his shield, and that of the men beside him. The Roman way of warfare was precise and ordered, not the chaotic cacophony of combat idealized by the tribes of Gaul or Hispania, or even Carthage, to a lesser extent. The consular armies made killing a job, their weapons simply a tool to accomplish the work. Each soldier knew his position in the battle-line, which in the consular armies was made up of three primary ranks of troops, augmented by auxiliaries and misslers who filled the gaps and guarded the wings.

The gladius was short, wide, and sharpened to a precise edge, around two feet in length from pommel to tip. It had been lifted from the swords used by the Celtiberians a century before, and widely adopted by the Republican military ever since for its easy production from the soft, carbonated iron that was plentiful, its ease of use, and the deadly wounds it produced with minimal effort. Their scuta were heavy and oval, made of strips of overlapping bentwood and leather, and reinforced with iron strips with a bronze or copper boss in the center, most brightly painted to represent their unit or home station.

“Good! Faster now. Attack!” the duplicarius repeated, and so they did, running through the movements again, for the tenth time so far. It was tedious work, but far easier to bare than the lashes if you were to fall out of training before Sabucius said you were finished—he remembered that from his own training with the man. Men drenched with sweat despite the relative coolness of the early spring morning began to respond sluggishly after hours of hard thrusts and parries, but none would quit, for they were Roman soldiers, and the Republic was sacred.

The auxiliaries were trained on their own, with their own leaders, in the courtyard of the estate every morning. Iberian scutarii were spearmen primarily, and made second-rate swordsmen if the need arose. But these, the dozen or so men in the center chamber of the Roman compound with heavy arms and sweaty brows, were the core of the Republic’s mission here, veteran antesignani, the heavy infantry of the republican legions, some of whom had fought in Gaul, others more recently in Illyria, a scant few in both campaigns.

Cale was one such who had fought in both. There were only two others he knew of, and Sabucius was one. It had been a year since Cale had returned from the coasts of Illyria, and nearly three since the hard campaigning in Cisapline Gaul that culminated at the battle of Telamon, yet the scars still remained. When he closed his eyes at night, he could still see faces of the Gallic women, and hear the screams of the children, after the battle had been won. Orders, they were, and the gods understood, or so he had always believed until a few months ago…

“Valens!”

Waking from his remorseful reverie, he saw the scoundrel Sabucius himself approaching him, thumbs hooked into his bronze plated balteus belt, the soldiers who had been training behind him now stretching their arms and watching the coming confrontation with poorly disguised curiosity.

“Your men look strong, duplicarius. But I think they look slow, as well.” Cale said.

“Quick enough to kill a scoundrel like yourself, if they were ordered to,” he responded, the threat openly spoken.

“I doubt it,” Cale replied, a confident smile on his lips.

“What brings you to my training hall?”

“I want to speak with you. About Telamon.”

“I have no desire to speak of it. Especially to you.” The look on the aging man’s face was grim, the color seeming drained from his face as he recalled those events.

“There are matters to be settled, and—“

“I will have nothing to do with it anymore, nor you. Now be gone, or I swear by Jupiter’s balls I’ll have you flogged for disrespect!” He bristled.

Another flogging was the last thing he wanted, so, Cale sighed in defeat and started to turn away.

“Wait,” Sabucius said. “Meet me at the tavern in the Greek quarter tonight. I’ll speak to you.”

“Very well then,” Cale said, and walked away, his mind racing with questions that had to be answered for peace of mind, and perhaps his very soul.



 

Katapraktoi

Captain
67 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Great story Alhazen. I thought you played as the Romans, and here you go off with the Carthaginians. Or perhaps you are switching between them to make the game go in a specific way you want it to, to make the writing easier? What do I know, as long as you keep it up, I don't care either. I just want more updates like these. :)
And now we'll be getting some background information on Cale as well. That will be interesting reading for sure.
 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
124 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.938
3.449
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
I wonder if Cale will ever get to complete that conversation, or if there might be some unwelcome guests along? Nice suspense in the music. That is one rather large army you have there.
 

Semi-Lobster

Tàishǒu of Rìnán Commandery
47 Badges
Nov 13, 2003
5.539
31
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
Excellent update, you gave a brilliant description of Hannibal there. :) I was wondering though, in Hannibal's army... is that artillery he's got there? Or is that supposed to represent siege weapons? Because if Hannibal had a few cannons then I'm afraid Rome's day's are up :D
 

Katapraktoi

Captain
67 Badges
Jan 15, 2005
304
3
  • 500k Club
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Lead and Gold
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
I'd say it's the usual artillery of the antique; ballistas, onagers and such stuff. But who knows? Maybe Hannibal was supported by strange men from the future who gave him the power of gunpowder to smash Rome's armies as he did before returning home. ^^

Btw, who is the other general together with Hannibal? I see yu can switch between Hannibal and another. Could that perhaps be Himilco? Or Hasdrubal? Or just an insignificant general not worth mentioning in the story? :)
 

Machiavellian

Alternate Historian
52 Badges
Jul 9, 2003
2.329
33
Visit site
  • Tyranny - Tales from the Tiers
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Empire of Sin
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
Maybe the artillery is supposed to represent elephants?
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.760
398
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Very nice portrayel of Hannibal. I can't wait to see how he takes it to the Romans...and what Cale might have to say about that. ;)
 

Alhazen

Europa Barbarorum Team Member
6 Badges
Feb 7, 2003
617
0
Visit site
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
Feedback to Feedback

All--thank you for your comments. Of intrest, you might want to watch a show on the National Geographic channel sunday night, called "Hannibal". It looks very good, high production value documentary of his march over the alps and invasion of Italy. The show's website is where I lifted the picture of Hannibal at the desk from, theres a few more as well.

Katapraktoi--Thanks! Yes, I'm playing as Rome, but sometimes I do have to switch around to get a good screenshot due to fog of war and such. Im trying to showcase Molleby's mod with this AAR. Don't worry, my loyalties lie with the Republic ;)

Stynlan-- Historically Hannibal's army wasnt that large at this point in the story, but who minds a little dramatic flare? I believe he's given that many troops at the start of the RU scenario because of all the attrition he gains marching through the alps to italy. I enjoyed the music, myself. :D

Semi-Lobster, Machieavellian, and Katapraktoi-- I can't say for sure since I didn't do the mod, but there was a discussion about it in the RU thread. They either represent ballistae and other torision siege weapons, or elephants. Molleby could answer better.


Coz1 and Mett--Its hard finding good sources on Hannibal as a man. You can be sure I'll be portraying him more, how can you have a story that co-stars one of history's greatest commanders and not? :confused: The only facts I have on him from the sources are his commanding presence, the lions, his vow against Rome, and his name means "beloved of Baal". And, you'll see what happens to him at Saguntum...

if any of you know the history of it, don't spoil it for anyone else. :D
 

VILenin

Revolutionary Leader
61 Badges
Dec 24, 2004
3.147
5
  • Stellaris
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Warlock 2: Wrath of the Nagas
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Tyranny - Tales from the Tiers
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
Hannibal is a very interesting character and I like your portrayal of him, Alhazen. Waiting eagerly for the outbreak of war between Carthage and the Republic.
 

Alhazen

Europa Barbarorum Team Member
6 Badges
Feb 7, 2003
617
0
Visit site
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
A short update today, as I am trying to get another piece done for Sins of the Father before I leave for field training Wednesday gentlemen. Enjoy it, and I will try to get something done for Sins tonight or tomorrow. :D

rometitlecopy7jo.gif



Sons of Mars Theme


"Dishonor will not trouble me, once I am dead"
--Euripides


219 BC
Nones of Martius
8 March, 219 BCE


Saguntum,
Costa del Azahar


*****

lateroman40em21im.jpg


Hannibal’s army was incredibly large, but also incredibly diverse. Drawn from such far-flung lands as Numidia, Mauretania, Libya, Gaul, Iberia, Sicily, Carthage herself, and more, it included over a dozen races and spoke twice as many tongues and dialects. What’s more, over half of them were mercenaries. Carthage, as most Phoenician settlements, retained a small population of native-born citizens and thus exempted them from military service, content to focus their talents on trade and production and use their wealth to hire fighting men to wage their wars for them. Of the various and sundry regiments of the hosts of Carthage, the Berbers were a splendid cavalry. They rode without saddle or bridle, a weapon in each hand; on foot they were merely a horde or savages with elephant-hide shields, long spears, and bear-skins floating from their shoulders. The troops of Spain were the best infantry that the Carthaginians possessed; they wore a white uniform with purple facings; they fought with pointed swords. The Gauls were brave troops but were badly armed; they were naked to the waist; their cutlasses were made of soft iron and had to be straightened after every blow. There has been much said of the Sacred Band in the Sicilian wars. It was composed of young nobles, who wore dazzling white shields and breast-plates which were works of art; who even in the camp never drank except from goblets of silver and of gold. But this corps had apparently become extinct, and the Carthaginians only officered their troops, who they looked upon as ammunition, and to whom their orders were delivered through interpreters.The heavy infantry spearmen of Libya formed the backbone. They were armed with pikes or long spears, and probably fought in a formation similar to the Macedonian phalanx. The Libyan infantry proved to be a match for Rome's legionaries throughout the Second Punic War. These spearmen were augmented by Balearic slingers, renowned as the finest missile troops in the world at the time, along with Numidian archers and javelinmen. It was, however, the mounted arm of the Carthaginian army that was decidedly superior to its Roman counterpart. The javelin-armed Numidians were far and away the finest light cavalry in the western world. Those superb horsemen provided Carthage the margin of victory time and again. Heavy cavalry, in the form of Libyan-Phoenician horsemen, though few in numbers, provided shock action to complement the fire of the Numidians. The various regiments of the Carthaginian army had therefore nothing in common with one another or with those by whom they were led. They rushed to battle in confusion, "with sounds, discordant as their various tribes," and with no higher feeling than the hope of plunder or the excitement which the act of fighting arouses in the brave soldier. It is a testament then, to Hannibal’s generalship that he could retain control over such a force, let alone move it across Iberia on hard rations and forced marching to reach Saguntum in the amount of time he did.


*****​

Cale and Folco walked down the muddy street oblivious to the cacophony of noise about them. It was a dreary evening which hinted at rain, and the brothels and taverns were bustling with noise and light. The sea was in the air, and the tides crashed against the rocks within the sandy cove that Saguntum was built above with a whispering roar in the distance. Having just completed a shift of guard duty for the Praefectus, Cale had enlisted the companionship of the Iberian to accompany him to the meeting with Sabucius. He did not trust the duplicarius, not a bit. He had seen before what depths of vileness that one would sink to. The tavern their meeting was to be at had a seedy reputation anyway, not a place to be visited alone at night in the first place. Deep within the crowded slums of the Greek quarter of the city, the place had a character of drag-out brawls and gambling matches turned to knife-fights amongst the sailors who frequented it.

Candles burning luridly from within clay bowls lit open archway whose dusty steps led down into the taproom, and a large Coriscan sailor pushed past them as they came down the stairwell, his breath reeking of sour wine. The bar was an old wine cellar, its cool cobblestone walls slick with moisture and not a little mold, with rough-hewn tables scattered about the common room and several shelves of alcohol on the far. The owner kept rooms for rent upstairs, though few of them had doors and none bore locks, it was a dangerous place to stay and only the most desperate did so. It was not crowded that night, many people had left the city over the brewing troubles with Carthage, and even some ships had begun avoiding Saguntum’s port over the uncertainty of the situation.

He found Sabucius drinking alone at a knife-scarred table near one corner of the sordid tavern, the duplicarius still wearing his coat of hamata mail over his grey tunica, with a brown paenula traveler’s cloak draped about his shoulders. That he had been drinking was obvious, and he began chuckling to himself as they approached, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and then taking another long draw of wine.

“Cale Valens,” Sabucius laughed. “I didn’t think you would come. You’ve got more balls than I gave you credit for.”

“I have many faults but cowardice is not one.” Cale replied, pulling out a stool and squatting over it across from the grizzled veteran. Folco drifted away to buy drinks, leaving the two alone to their issues.

“You said you wanted to talk about the battle,” Sabucius said grimly. The battle. As if it were the only battle fought by the two men who had in truth partaken in a dozen.

“Telamon, yes.”

Taking a long drink, the older man reflected, then said, “A day I’d rather forget about. And thought that I had, until you came here.”

“I’ve tried forgetting, I can’t.” The brooding in the Etruscan’s eyes was like a thunderstorm on the horizon. “I must know what happened.”

“War happened boy. War!” He was angry now, and sat the cup down forcefully, sloshing some of its contents out upon the table.

“That wasn’t war, and you know--” Cale stopped in mid-sentence, feeling a presence behind him. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw a tall Iberian standing behind him, wrapped in cured leathers and a thick hide, his skin leathery and tanned, his beard braided. “Go away,” he said, calmly.

The Iberian grunted out something in his native tongue, which Cale didn’t understand.

“He says he wants to fight,” Sabucius groaned.

“What for?” Cale asked, unintimidated but annoyed by the interruption.

“Who knows. He probably heard you’re a war hero.”

“Tell him no.”

Sabucius did so, and the Iberian only grunted and pulled out a long knife from his belt.

“He still wants to fight,” the old legionary said, almost amused by now.

Cale groaned, then ran his hand over his face. “First blood?” He asked, Sabucius, not the Iberian.

After a moment’s translation, the Roman responded “Aye.”

Cale reached back, his wrist moving like a rattle-snake striking fast as you please, and before the Iberian knew it, he no longer possessed the knife that had been in his hand a moment before. Cale gripped the blade and ran it across the palm of his left hand quickly, drawing a bright sheen of blood along the cut.

“He wins,” he said.

The few men who had crowded near to watch the coming fight laughed, and the Iberian growled in indignation. He snatched at the knife, and Cale let him take it back easily.

“He says you mock him,” Sabucius grinned drunkenly, though he could hardly contain his own amusement.

With a look of frustration the tribesman turned and skulked off to the other side of the tavern, where his companions were looking at him with disapproval. Cale watched him sit back down at their table, and then turned back to the old legionary as the crowd too went back to their respective tables and drinks, the excitement over for the time being.

“Telamon,” the Etruscan said, getting back to the subject at hand.

“Yes,” Sabucius mulled. “A dreary place. It was three years ago, son.”

“I was the only survivor of two conterburnia, except for you,” Cale said levelly, referring to the ten-man squads of soldiers, legionaries or auxilaries, that formed the smallest tactical units of the Roman centuriae. “All because of what we did.”

“We did what we were told…” Sabucius began, his thoughts heavy and his brow furrowed in dark remembrance…


*****

ancientcelts290ub21rh.jpg

The moon had long since set beyond the western mountains when they made to leave the musty cellar of a tavern. Outside, stray dogs were scavenging the alleyways of the city and a light rain had fallen earlier that night, making the few cobbles in the road slick and the rest a soupy mess of mud that clung to their sandles like gum. There was no light, and the only noise that of night birds and the dogs occasionally barking from somewhere several streets over. Folco had left long before, as his duty began early that morning, and it was the Etruscan and the veteran legionary who made an odd pair leaving the place that night. They had spent the past three hours drinking, reflecting on their dark memories of the battle that had left them scarred as much on the inside as it did out. Quintus Sabucius found himself developing a grudging respect for the Etruscan mercenary-made-citizen, and Cale likewise, dispite his dislike of the man.

They had turned onto a side-street as they were making their way back to the Roman villa in the waterfront, when several dark silhouettes emerged from one end of the alleyway, and then behind them as well, blocking both exits. One man in each group carried a flaming torch, its light casting dancing shadows upon the buildings that hemmed them in and making their own shapes dark and sinister in the night.

“What’s all this?” Sabucius shouted angrily, his voice only a little tinged with drunkenness. “Be gone!”

“I don’t like this,” Cale said quietly, his hand drifting to the hilt of his sword.

The groups began creeping closer from each side, and they saw it was the big Iberian from earlier who wanted to fight Cale, along with at least a dozen companions, all surly looking sorts with scarred faces and broad shoulders, bearing an assortment of implements ranging from knobby clubs to short falcata swords that had been greased black to conceal the light off their blades. The big Iberian stepped forward with a gap-toothed grin, wielding the same knife from earlier.

Sabucius was wroth. “You wish to fight, then? You really think you can fight the two of us, you flea-infested dock scum! I spit on you!” And so he did, then drew his own sword.

The Iberian growled as he wiped the spit from his face, and lunged forward with the knife. The old duplicarius, drunk though he was, stepped aside and brought his own sword in a backwards arc that slashed across the brute’s back, opening it from shoulder to hip in a bloody slit, then turned as he stumbled past and thrust his gladius twice into the man’s back, each sound like that of a knife punching into a melon.

Cale’s sword was out in a start, and he had deflected a lunge from another of the thugs and then brought the sword in a high thrusting arc over the man’s head, plunging the sword into his face with a sickening crunch as nose and skull were pierced and blood gouted out in a red flash. He turned to receive the charge of a third, and let the Iberian impale himself on the sword he had just extracted from his dead companion’s face. The thug made a weak whistling sound as the air escaped his lungs and Cale used his foot to push his body off the blade.

Sabucius was engaged with two opponents, blocking and thrusting with a red-stained sword, sweat on his forehead. Cale moved to assist him, and with a hand motion to alert the legionary, he swept in to take up a position behind Sabucius, so they fought now back-to-back. Cale kicked a man in the torso and then stabbed into his chest three times in quick succession, and Sabucius slashed out across another fiercely, missing his chest but opening the muscle on the man’s arms who crumpled in pain against the wall of the nearest building.

The others were running away in both directions now, terrified by the sheer ferocity of their intended prey’s response. Sabucius shouted something behind them that Cale couldn’t quite make out with his heightened adrenaline, and when he finally lowered his wet sword he saw one of the Iberians cowering up against the wall, his face covered in sweat and his teeth clenched, a pool of blood beneath him where he was holding the opened flesh of his arm.

“Please, don’t kill me, I beg you,” he said, in garbled Latin, heavily accented.

Sabucius stepped to him and grabbed a fistful of the man’s ratty hair, and put the tip of his gladius to his face angrily.

“Please no!” he begged.

“He’ll likely bleed to death anyway,” Cale said calmly, wiping his sword off with a dead man’s dirty tunic, then placing it carefully back in its scabbard.

“Please,” the Iberian gasped, his teeth chattering. “If you save me, I’ll give you information…” He groaned in pain.

Sabucius harrumphed, snorting in disbelief, and chuckled quietly as he pulled on the man’s hair, putting the tip of the sword on his lips and forcing his mouth open. “What sort of information would a dog like you have, that a gentleman like myself would be interested in?”

“The city is in danger!” he gasped, the cold iron on his teeth. He could taste the coppery blood of his slain companions on the blade.

“What sort of danger?” Cale asked, interested now.

“I can’t say much…” He was weeping, his pain intense.

Cale lunged forward, moving Sabucius and his sword aside. He put a hand on the man’s head to hold him still, and then issued a sharp kick fiercely to the man’s wounded arm, sending racks of pain throughout the Iberian’s body. His scream was terrible, and he sobbed, moaning on the edge of coherentness. “What sort of danger?” Cale repeated.

“A plot…a plot, to open the gates for Hannibal.”

“Let’s take him back. He’s telling the truth,” the Etruscan said to Sabucius.

“Perhaps. Maybe he just wants to save his life.” Looking down at the man, Sabucius grabbed him by his jaw and looked into his eyes. “I swear, son, if you are lying I will personally see you on a cross before noon-time.”


*****
 

unmerged(9313)

Deliciously Danish
May 14, 2002
497
0
Visit site
:)

Very, very good writing, Alhazen. I'm following this like a favorite tv-show.

As for the artillery in the Carthaginian army... it's not elephants, and I know Carthage is not supposed to have siege weapons, but I wanted to give the army at least a small chance of taking a city. Might remove the artillery in the coming update. As for all the icons, they will bechanged as Birger makes new ones.
 

Semi-Lobster

Tàishǒu of Rìnán Commandery
47 Badges
Nov 13, 2003
5.539
31
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
Looks like the romans may have a chance to save Saguntum after all. Also an excellent description on the diversity of Hannibal's army.

BTW, is it just me or does the old man in the picture look a lot like Sean Connery?
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.760
398
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
It seems that Sabucius and Cale are forging a tentative, but useful friendship. And, that Hannibal has an opening to the city. One works well for the Romans, I would think...the other?
 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
124 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.938
3.449
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
Nothing like a little fighting to bring men closer - or break them further apart I guess. In any event, Saguntum looks like it will not be caught unawares, but will that really alter its fate? Somehow I find that unlikely, though perhaps news will get to Rome sooner and Hannibal might have a nasty surprise or three waiting for him.
 

SeanB

Colonel
10 Badges
Jun 2, 2005
821
1
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
Excellent story. I love your version of Hannibal. I look forward to seeing if he will indeed be as successful in your campaign as he was in history. ;)
 

Alhazen

Europa Barbarorum Team Member
6 Badges
Feb 7, 2003
617
0
Visit site
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
Not an update, friends. Just letting you know I am back and will be beginning writing again shortly. Got some great ideas just waiting to be let out! Stay tuned.