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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Tiberionus

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Prologue: The Edge of the World

It was in the year of 1159 Ab Urbe Condita when the seeds of an exodus were laid. As the Roman legions of Brittania revolted against the Emperor over a lack of pay, they chose a new leader, Flavius Constantinius, to lead them. When Constantinius moved on towards Gaul became organizing to take legate by the name of Septimus Severus implored Constantinius to leave his legion of comitatenses behind so Brittania would not be lost to the Empire. Constantinius reluctantly agreed, deciding 1,000 fewer men would not be critical in the fight against the Emperor Honorius.



Legate Severus would do his best in the following four years against ever increasing internal unrest and barbarian invasion from the sea and the north, but with no assistance forthcoming from Rome, even once Constantine was declared co-emperor in 1162 AUC. The Saxon barbarian raids only increased, and Severus was forced to focus his defense around Londinium. Those in Britain were split, for they were angry at Rome for the lack of support, but even so refugees flooded into Londinium seeking the protection of the last truly Roman formation against the onslaught.
All seemed lost to the virtually abandoned Romans on the edge of the world, with the constant putting out of fires seemingly more and more helpless. Salvation, in the eyes of Severus, would come in the form of a priest he visited to attempt to seek assistance from God. The priest would tell the legate of a rumored island a 5 day’s sea voyage north that was a paradise, and that it had been visited by monks from a monastery further north.



Septimus Severus’ Fleet as it exits the mouth of the Thames River

To Severus, this was the only hope he had left, for Rome had all but abandoned not only him and his men, but those who gladly called themselves Roman in Britannia. Beyond this, in Gaul, an invasion of Vandals had made attempting to retreat off the island just as dangerous as staying. Severus made up his mind; he ordered his men to seize every vessel they could from the Londinium harbor and the surrounding countryside he could still count as loyal. From this small gathered fleet, he gathered supplies, animals, even the scrolls and codices of Londinium’s libraries, everything he considered necessary to begin a new Roman colony. Severus then coldly picked those Roman citizens he considered most loyal and valuable to the colony, with young, Latin speaking couples being at the top of his list.
With the remaining contingent of his legion and some local limitanei and those Severus picked amongst those civilians willing to follow him, the Roman fleet set sail in 1163 AUC. Severus was not pleased with the number who heeded his call, so as he sailed along the coast, word was sent ahead to the still nominally Roman settlements along the coast from Camulodunum to Pons Aelius. The fleet would pick up a few more ships and hundreds of more desperate settlers seeking a more peaceful life. As the fleet turned north from Pons Aelius, close to five thousand people on nearly 50 ships had joined Severus’ desperate expedition. To Britannia, this was the end of Roman authority as Rome’s last army in the region disappeared over the horizon, chasing some fool’s errand idea of paradise.


The Fleet at sea as it spots land

Four days went by without any sight of land, with each day those aboard the fleet growing increasingly nervous, for most had never been to see, and going so long without sight of land caused great distress. Severus did his best to keep the fleet calm, moving north in the direction of the stars at night. Disaster would strike on the fifth day, as a storm descended on the fleet. By the time the storm passed, much of the fleet had been scattered or outright lost. Several vessels gave up and turned around, hoping to return to land and home. Against all odds, Severus managed to rally a large majority of the fleet that remained to continue on. But the storm had left them hopelessly lost, with clouds obscuring the sky, making navigation difficult.
Four more days would pass, with the fleet growing ever more restless with every day land remaining out of sight. Many began to simply give up hope of ever seeing land again, which might have been true if not for the extensive supplies brought along to feed the colony during its earliest days. On the 10th day of voyage, salvation would come as land was finally spotted. A snow capped peak appeared above the horizon, then an extensive, snow covered landmass. Paradise, it was not, but the sight of land spurred the Romans onward, rallying their fading spirits. Cheers and trumpets echoed through the open watters as oars were lowered and all haste was made towards the land before them.
The next day was spent with the fleet hugging the shoreline, with Severus refusing to stop until they found a place that could truly be called home. As they traveled further along the shore, the land grew green and heavily forested, and finally after turning around a peninsula, at a site where steam rose from the ground from hot pools of water, Severus was satisfied with the harbor and land surrounding it. The fleet beached itself, and those aboard jumped to the beach, kissing the ground and weeping, for they had finally made it safe to what now seemed to be Paradise.


Severus and Senators inspect one of the first farms

Severus would order any of those willing to continue to sail around the land to gauge the size of the land. Meanwhile as those who wished not to were organized to build the first settlement, which Severus would name “Campos Vapos”, for the clouds of smoke billowing from the hot springs. Upon the return of the fleet, it confirmed that they were on a large island, with much of the west green and covered in trees and rolling hills, with the other half covered in snowy peaks. With this information, Severus would announce that land was limited, and the entire island was now the state property of the Province of Insula Viridia.
Of the roughly 3,500 people who arrived, Severus would select 30 of his centurions, and those who most distinguished themselves on the journey to serve on a new ‘Senatus Insula’, for the Senate in Rome and Constantinople could not be contacted. Septimus was then voted to serve as proconsul of Insula for life. The rest of Severus’ life would be spent ensuring the colony’s survival and future, forbidding large latifundia, with no farm larger than 125 hectares being allowed, and strict controls placed on the size of farm per family.
From here, the Romans at the edge of the world would live a meager life on a dreary island, unaware of the day that Western Rome collapsed to Odoacer’s revolt. Or of Justinian’s attempt to restore the empire. By 1623 AUC, or 870 AD to the rest of Europe, an extensive Roman population had grown on the island, reaching over 57,000 strong, but such a population was straining its resources



Insula Viridia

As Roman fishing fleets sailed further from the island in search of more food, a rumor would be spread amongst Norse fishermen of strange men encountered at the sea. Eventually, a curious sailor by the name of Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson would find and follow one of these strange ships. He would discover Insula Viridia, though he would call it ‘Island’, Iceland, for his sight of the land was the glacial peaks of the eastern half of the island. He would not investigate further, returning home and began to spin a tale of a paradise, with only a handful of naive natives occupying the land.


Ingólfr Arnarson arrives off the coast of Insula Viridia
In 1625 AUC/872 AD, Hrafna would return alongside Ingólfr Arnarson and several hundred colonists, seeking to escape the civil strife of King Harold I’s reign and to carve out a new land of their own. To the isolated Romans of the island, the arrival of these barbarians was sent a shockwave throughout Insula. Angry and fearful of an attack, the Romans refused the Norse any right to settle. However the Norse refused to leave, instead settling on the more mountainous eastern half of the island, living in what settleable fjords they could find. Over the next few decades, a few thousand more Norse would arrive and occupy the western half of the island before the Romans would finally have enough.


Several hundred Roman soldiers would descend on the Norse settlements in the east. The Norse settlers attempted to offer resistance around the center of their colony, a settlement they named Reyðarfjörður. However, while the Romans had not fought for 400 years, their inherited armor and maintained martial tradition, and most importantly numbers, made the battle a one-sided affair. The Norse Islanders were driven from the field and Reyðarfjörður burned, with a new fort named Castrum de Orientus built on its ashes. Those Norse that remained were forced to submit to the Proconsul, or flee. Virtually all decided to stay in exchange for promised immunity from further persecution, not wishing to return to the unstable situation in Norway.
With the entire island now settled, and with the outside world starting to creep in, the Romans of Island began to look out. Ships set sail looking for more land for those who could not stay to move to, with the assistance of Ingólfr Arnarson who saw it as an opportunity to move his people further away from the troubles of home. Over the next hundred years, contact was made with the new kingdoms of the British isles, and through them, slowly the rest of the world came into view. To much of Europe’s western courts, there was shock of discovering these people who called themselves Roman and spoke Latin from beyond the British Isles
Limited contact would be made with the Eastern Emperor Leo VI in Constantinople in 1663 AUC/910 AD. In this meeting, Leo would agree to Insula’s roman-ness, and would declare that their independent system could remain in place while being considered part of the Roman Empire, in exchange for one Senator to permanently reside in Constantinople as an Imperial ‘advisor’. All this external contact would drastically affect the Romans of Insula however, as Catholic priests would arrive to try to pull them away from their old Pelagian and Nicene based rites of Christianity. Soon, a significant number of Romans and especially Insulan Norse had abandoned their old rites for the Catholic ones, with the leadership of these groups believing it would allow for peaceful, closer ties to those nations closest to them. It would come to a head in 1687 AUC/935 AD when several Catholic senators left a meeting of the Senatus Insula, alongside several hundred soldiers who followed them. These senators would declare the Sancta Res Publica Romana, a new Catholic Roman Republic, and that a new third Rome was born. This traitorous faction would quickly secure the eastern half of the Empire, with those Norse living there eager to support a regime that offered a more equitable treatment. To the ruling Proconsul Fabius Salvius, this challenge would be the greatest threat to this corner of Roman civilization since Severus led the great expedition to the island…

The Following Images represent the world situation at the start of this campaign just after the Iron Century start date due to time being needed to move characters around.
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Proconsul Fabius Salvius


Insula Viridia/Iceland in 936 AD/1688AUC, population 74,425 (69,388 Romans, 5037 Insulan Norse)

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20200812122616_1.jpg

The World Situation at Start, 10th of August, 936
This is my second AAR after my first one died around about a year ago from a corrupted save file and the forums weirdly breaking all the images on it. I've been kicking this idea around for a very long time, basically ever since then, and was born of some ideas of reading about the Irish Paper priests pre-Norse icelandic settlement and some games I've played as Iceland. Makes for a nice challenge and I hope the year of kicking around and developing this idea will pay off! (seriously put way too much work in the background). I am using Fracelli as a stand in for the 'traditional rites' of the Icelandic Romans which is based on a mix of Pelagian and Nicene rites from 410 AD when they left Britannia. I am also using the elective monarchy system to stand in for the elected nature of the Proconsuls. Hope you enjoy!
Due to said development, I can pull out random facts about life on Insula if people are interested. Maybe as subchapters if enough are!

Notable Game Rules
- Major Epidemics; Dynamic
- Minor Epidemics: Default
- Exclave Independence: Harsh
- No Devil Worshipers
- 50 year De Jure Drift
- Culture Conversion Combination
- Slower Religious Conversion Speed
- Provincial Revolts Rare but Powerful

Mods
- Abdication Plus
- Autonomous Dependent States
- Blob Exporter
- Improved Genetics 2.0
- Larger Artifacts Menu
- Melting Pot ++
- Muslim Bloodlines
- Nicknames +++
- Purchase Claims (High cost setting)
- Real Random Dynasties
- Roman Diadem
 
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Nikolai

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Lovely, a very interesting setup!
 
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Wixelt

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Who are the Xamids?
 

Tiberionus

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Who are the Xamids?
Im..not quite sure. I only start a few days after the game start due to having to make characters and such. May restart as I just noticed other odd differences between the current Iron Century Start and the save file I have. Might just be some change made to CK2 as I've had this save sitting around for quite awhile. Won't change anything about characters and such, but will fix some odd things like that in the wider world. Thanks for pointing that out. Will be fixed in the next day or so then I'll start the first true chapter.

Edit: Updated.
 
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HistoryDude

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Subbed!

This looks interesting. Perhaps the Insulans can seize control of Brittania once more, or even take Gaul, after this rebellion has been put down?
 

stnylan

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Intriguing idea
 

Tiberionus

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Chapter 1: A Republic Falls
“I cannot stand for this act of treachery!” - Tribune Pontianus Aquila on seeing the delegation of Senators storm out of the Senatus Insulan after a proposal to adopt western Catholic rites as an official faith is rejected, declaring they shall do so anyway



A written account of the events following the splintering of Insula Viridia sees its beginning when Tiberius Cornelius, a notable author of various historical works, offered Fabius Salvius his services in recorded not only his family’s history, but notably Fabius’ own history as well. This promise of his own ‘Gallic Wars’ was enticing to Fabius, and so he agreed to patronize the author.



When the spring thaw came in mid-March of the following year, Fabius would begin the campaign against the so called “Sanctus Res Publica” by declaring to the remaining Senatus Insulan that the entire eastern half of Insula to be in rebellion, and its leadership traitors. Two separate armies were to be raised, with the intent on moving to lay siege to both primary settlements of the eastern island, Castra de Oriens and Sinis Aquilo. As proconsul, Fabius would lead the main southern army intended to march on the primary stronghold of the rebellion, leaving the northern army under the command of Praetor Auctus. On the march, Fabius would order his men to restrain from looting the countryside, for it would only harm the province following the rebellion’s end, and slow the army’s march.



Praetor Auctus’ army of 800 would make contact with the enemy outside Sinis Aquilo. The enemy had a small river protecting their western flank, and the side of the small valley they were in protecting their eastern flank. Being outnumbered nearly 2 to 1 by Auctus’ army, this made where they stood the only option to them. Auctus saw no option but to immediately engage the smaller force, hoping to quickly smash their army. This would prove a foolish action, as the enemy simply retreated further north into a narrower part of the valley, using their spearmen and heavy infantry as cover.

After sailing around the mountainous southern coastline of the Regio Oriens, Proconsul Fabius’ army would land at a broad beach to the east of Castrum de Oriens. The move shocked the defenders, lead by a norseman who was expecting an overland attack much like the one that destroyed Reyðarfjörður. The confusion gave the forces of Fabius time to land and fully disembark, securing his northern flank with a broad river that went down the middle of the valley.


After a small skirmish with the rebel’s small cavalry force that charged ahead of their army, Salvius saw the surprised, disorganized group of the rebel army trying to reorient from the Castrum to face them. This clear weakness lead to Fabius Salvius declaring to his men that the rabble before them showed how the half norse, half roman force before them did not know each other, but they did, and that they should show them the might of a united Roman force. He urged his men to charge forward, and the two sides met with a crash.

The proconsul’s personal force drove clean through the disorganized front line of the rebel army. This would prove to be a mistake however, as Fabois would find himself quickly surrounded as he drove too deep. His small group would be surrounded by the personal guard of Marinus Valerius, one of the 5 rebellious senators who was acting as the one Roman general of the rebellion. Thinking quick, Fabius launched himself at Marinus, catching him off guard and dragging the traitor into a duel while their guards fought.

Slashing wildly with his spatha, Fabius managed to slam the pommel into the hand of Marinus, shattering the bones in his hand and near cutting it off as Fabius drew his spatha back. Marinus cried out in pain, and swung his norse battleaxe towards Fabius’ legs, but was unable to control it with only one hand, causing the blunt end to hit Fabius’ leg instead. Both commanders crumbled to the dirt in pain, but Fabius would manage to stand first, causing Marinus’ guard to disengage and drag their wounded leader to safety.



Praetor Auctus’ army would see the first end of combat. His army proved entirely incapable of breaking through the blocking force in the valley, and would disengage after several days of off and on fighting. His blind charges into an entrenched enemy lead to nearly 300 dead or wounded comitatenses or civilian levies for no gain. His disgraceful return to Campos Vapos would see him stripped of command the the remainder of his force sent to Regio Oriens to hopefully link up with the Proconsul. Fabius’ battle would prove relatively indecisive despite the advantage at the start of the force. After Marinus was wounded, the rebel force immediately disengaged and withdrew north towards Sinis Aquilo. Fabius could not pursue, as Castrum de Oriens stood in his way, as the rebels had made sure to leave just enough of a garrison so that it could not be ignored.

As the full scope of the conflict came to Fabius’ mind upon learning of the defeat of Praetor Actus, he would realize that organization and speed would be essential to win the war. Actus failed for he did not move fast enough to stop the enemy from blocking the pass, and did not engage coherently despite being superior in strength. He himself was not able to strike a decisive blow against the rebellion and destroy its southern army as he did not move fast enough. In his personal letter to the writer of his story, Tiberius, Fabius would state simply “A fast war, is a good war. We did not act decisively, and now 600 Romans are needlessly dead. Our countrymen can not stand for this, even as needs demand for us to continue on with not only this war, but the future defense of Rome and Insula Viridia”.



After the two armies of the rebellion united once more in the north, they would united, restoring their strength back to the original southern army’s size, and move south to attack Fabius while he was isolated. Emboldened by how relatively little damage the Senate’s forces had done to them, the rebel forces immediately charged and engaged the Proconsul’s forces as they laid siege to a small Norse town of Kirkjujæbuer. Fabius’ forces rallied and formed a strong shield wall to meet the enemy, causing the rebels to smash their formation against a brick wall. The charge quickly became a rout in the face of the organized resistance, and this time, Fabius gave chase. While most of the enemy army escaped, they killed more than twice their wounded, before turning their attention back to Kirkjujæbuer. The town would near immediately surrender, but frustration with the lack of a decisive victory lead to Fabius losing control of his army as they pushed through the palisade. Before Fabius regained control, Kirkjujæbuer had been burned to the ground and dozens of Norse civilians laid dead. Fabius would force his army to give all they killed a proper burial, before marching on and securing the surrender of Castrum de Oriens. After that, Fabius would dismiss the levies, as the comitatenses and he wintered in Castrum de Oriens alongside Actus’ former army.

Once the spring falls came back the following march, the levies were called up once more, and together the united army of the Province of Insula Viridia marched north to face the remainder of the rebellion. The two sides would meet in a broad valley east of Sinis Aquilo, the rebel army taking up a strong position with their front protected by a river just shallow enough to cross. Fabius knew crossing there is exactly what the rebels would want, but he had little choice. He met the rebels at the crossing, but instead of immediately crossing, he gambled he had superior missile forces. The gamble paid off, and the skirmishers of the rebels were forced back, giving Fabius’ forces a chance to cross unimpeded. Unwilling to accept the rebels getting away again, Fabius ordered an immediate charge into the cowering rebel force.


The rebels broke in the face of the charge, their formation having been completely disrupted by the missile fusillade from Fabius’ forces. They scattered in all directions before the significantly larger force. One of the commanders, a Norseman commander by the name of Arnbjörn who replaced Marinus, attempted to escape by scaling a nearby rock cliff. Using a mace to attempt to take the Norseman alive to try for treason back in Campos Vapos, Fabius charged and stroke the desperately fleeing man. The first blow struck Arnbjörn in the face, and he immediately crumpled to the ground, his skull caved in by the force of Fabius’ swing.

In the ensuing pursuit, almost half of the rebel army would be slain, and the rest captured as they attempted to flee towards Sinis Aquilo proper. The last rebel stronghold then surrendered afterward, seeing no hope in continuing to resist.


The leader of the rebellion, once Senator Valerius Licinianus would lead the garrison of Sinis Aquilo out and surrender himself to Fabius personally. Valerius would state simply “I, Valerius Licinianus, lay down my arms to the Tyrant Consul Fabius Salvius of Insula Viridia, as had Brutus done so to Caesar in those grand times.”, as if daring Fabius to strike him down during a peaceful surrender. Fabius would instead retort simply, “Valerialus, you are a traitor to the people of Rome and to the Province. If you choose to stay in Insula Viridia, I can not guarantee that you shall safely live to see your trial alongside the rest of your rebellion. Many have lost their loved ones due to your delusions, and they shall want vengeance.” The threat was clear, and Valerius stood, dropped his weapons and armor at the feet of Fabius before returning to the town of Sinis Aquilo, boarding a boat that would take him and his family away from Insula entirely.

Following the successful conclusion of the rebellion, Insula lay once more united under the rule of Proconsul Fabius Salvius and the nominal rule of the Emperor in Constantinople. Great trials were held for those captured rebel soldiers, and headlined by the surviving 3 traitor Senators and the remaining Norseman general, Sörkver. The four were sentenced to death by hanging, with most of the soldiers sentenced to some years long sentence of labor under the families of the soldiers slain in the rebellion to replace the lost farmers. Regio Aquilo and Sinis Aquilo as the heart of the rebellion, would be placed under the military occupation lead by Decimus Severus, a descendent of Septimus Severus.

With peace finally restored to Insula by April of 938AD/1691AUC, after 2 years of rebellion and all potential conflicts seemingly settled, Fabius Salvius would state to Tiberius Cornelius that he had yet need of his services for “As there is opportunity found in lands to the West, we as Romans must make our home safe again. There is history yet to be written, and a true Rome shall be reborn, whether the Greek pretenders or the Papal puppets agree or not. Insula was not meant to be our home, it is a refuge, and it is time we look beyond.”

Im so sorry for the 2 week break between posts. I was dealing with some major insomnia and 'starting new uni semester and recovering from illness' related stress that gave me incredible writer's block. Hope to be posting more consistently from now on, time permitting!
 
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HistoryDude

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Nice to see the rebellion defeated! And now Rome seeks to make their way amongst those who claim their legacy...

“I, Valerius Licinianus, lay down my arms to the Tyrant Consul Fabius Salvius of Insula Viridia, as had Brutus done so to Caesar in those grand times” - Oh, this is snarky... Of course, Caesar ultimately has the last laugh, so...

Fabius seems honorable. Let’s see if his honor does him any good...
 

stnylan

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With his authority firmly stamped on Insula I wonder what he will do next.
 

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Seems like Insula's prime time may soon be over as new land is colonized in the west? Will you add NA?
 

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Fantastic progress so far. Time to hop, skip and jump back into the rest of Europe
 

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Chapter 2: Peace and Rome


“Friends, O’ Romans. Our home is whole once more, the rebellion is over. But far too many of our own have been lost. Many of you would have known at least one killed by the treachery of the Papist Conspirators and the Norsemen. Woe upon the Enemy of People of Rome, that snake Valerius Licinias, whose rebellion brought death to our fair land. Whose cowardice was so great that he fled to Italia in disgrace, rather than face his peers in a fair court of law, to take advantage of the base curiosity of the Barbarians occupying Italia. He shall become their trinket, while we shall remain free. O’ Romans, whilst I know it is feared that our Verdant Island has naught more room for even our fairest nation, I encourage you on. The stipend for those appropriately sized families shall be doubled, for the harm placed upon us by Valerius, cursed be his name, must be undone a thousand times. For the People of Rome will not forgive the Papist for their rebellion, no, for as long as we seem weak to the gaze of others, we shall have to face rebellion and invasion. We shall rest, but when the time comes, we shall return a thousand fold upon our enemies, those barbarians who took our rightful home from us.” - Proconsul Fabius Salvius, addressing the Forum of Campos Viridia after the civil war from upon the speaking base at the foot of the Senate House.



As time passed on from civil war, the Romans of Insula Viridia returned to how they were before. However. Fabius Salvius would regularly convene meetings not just of the Senatus Insula, but also of those Senators who held office above the Senatus and those whom were close to Salvius and acted as his eyes and ears. This Senator Vigilus at a meeting 2 years after the end of the civil war would bring to Fabius’ attention rumors surrounding the location of a lost artifact of Septimus Severus. According to Vigilus, finding such an artifact would further cement the rule not just of Fabius, but his dynasty as well by finding something of great import to the founder of Insula itself. Fabius saw this flattery for what it was, but decided to agree to pay for Vigilus to investigate the rumor, as if it proved to be nothing, it was only the loss of a few miliarenses and the gain of favor from Vigilus.



Inspired by the growing work of Tiberius Cornelius on his and his family’s life, Fabius chose to begin writing a codex of his own. He decided he would instead attempt to write a book detailing what he thought one should do in governing a realm recovering from war. While he knew due to the tasks of the Proconsul and the necessary continuance trips out to the countryside and Senatorial meetings would make the writing slow going, the time it took was of little consequence.




With his mind on the world beyond, and fearful of potential future invasion of Iceland, Fabius would invite his private circle of advisors to run a mock battle with the standing legion of Insula. The Comes of Insula, Valentinianus, would lead a mock formation of attackers, who would outnumber the defending Insulan stand-in force, with 750 attackers, and 450 defenders. The soldiers were equipped with wooden swords as in their drills, and drawn up as if to battle. At the blow of a trump, the battle would begin.



Valentius sent his force forward, concentrated in the center in a clear attempt to smash clean through the line. Fabius had his infantry hold position, as the few dozen cavalry of both sides skirmished on the wings and brought the other out of the fight. Once Fabius was confident from his view that the line had held, he ordered the center to withdraw slightly to allow the weight of the enemy to push them into a pocket; A classic move Fabius gambled on Valentianus not being able to control his men enough to prevent.



However, Valentinianus for his credit did catch what Fabius was doing, and through his centurions, rallied the center to hold fast and not push forward. Fabius was temporarily shocked, but Priscus suggested that their own center should charge forward, as there was enough room and surely they wouldn’t be expecting it.



Fabius agreed, and blew a great trumpet and his center charged their unexpecting comrades. The push had them on the back foot, and they quickly broke, and the center folded around the flanks of Valentianus. Both surrendered the fight and Valientanus reluctantly gave Fabius a wooden sword to stand in for an honorable surrender of arms. The entire affair gave Fabius the reassurance that beyond a truly overwhelming invasion that they could potentially drag the Byzantines into helping, Insula could stand on its own. More importantly, the discipline shown by his men compared to the peasant levies showed that Roman discipline had survived the centuries of only internal practice.



The good news for Fabius would not last, as his eldest daughter, who had always been sickly came down with a severe gravedo that autumn. Fabius immediately called for his family’s personal physician and the bishop of Insula to treat her. Over a week, she was taken to the main monastery of the island and attended to, before recovering, seemingly stronger than ever. In thanks for his role in healing his daughter, Fabius would pay the Bishop Valentinianus a solidus and thank him to the Senatus.



Hilara, after her recovery just a month after her recovery would come to Fabius and ask her father if she could join the Church, for the Church had now saved her life and she felt she should give her life to it instead. Fabius would reluctantly agree to allow Hilara to join the monastery as a nun to live out her days in peace.



In 941 AD/1694 AUC, a plebian small holder family was found massacred in their farm, with only the husband left standing outside, staring blankly, covered in the blood of his family. With no other evidence found, and the pleb near completely silent, the evidence pointed to only one option, he was the murderer. In the biggest trial since the massed treason trials after the civil war, Fabius presided over rowdy court that was barely contained. Many times Fabius was forced to order armed soldiers of the Urbus Centuria of the Insulan Legio to intervene to stop the crowd from lynching the guilty man. The prosecution did not help, as the lawyer leading the prosecution would often turn to the crowd and openly mock the stoic pleb, and incense the crowd with grisly details of the murder. After three days of the rowdy, barely contained trial, the pleb remained completely silent to being asked to plead his case. In accordance, the jury issued their verdict, unanimous condemnato. Fabius Salvius would then sentence the pleb in accordance to the law, as none whom he injured were left alive, he would be imprisoned by the state, and sent to work as requested.



In May of 942/1695, Decimus Severus would propose to help facilitate the full Romanization of the eastern Island from the few thousand remaining Norsemen to Fabius to address the need. more land to stem the growing number of landless plebs starting to fill Campos Vapos and other settlements while suitable land was attempted to be found in the west, or conquered elsewhere. Fabius agreed to Decimus’ proposal, even if it violated long standing treaties with the Norsemen of Insula that their land would be respected. With the stroke of his pen, farmland and colonies for 3,000 landless paterfamilii or 2nd sons of families would be set aside. If the land to be given was held by a Norse family, they were simply evicted, either moved to Campos Vapos or exiled entirely from the island. In an instant, Regio Oriens and Regio Aquilo were near totally romanized, at the cost of any friendship with the Norse.



The next year, Fabius would receive news that his sickly daughter Hilara had died from yet another case of graveado. She was laid to rest in the monastery's graveyard in a small ceremony. Fabius could not help but feel Hilara’s death was God’s revenge for his breaking of oaths with the Norse, and would repent and swear on her grave to never break another treaty again.



Overseen by Bishop Valentianius the following year, Fabius would order a project to fund the handful of artisans of Insula Viridia to bring life to the dreary, mostly concrete city. Dyes and paints would be imported for such things were rare aside a few basic kinds on the island itself. A school of art would be created as well to help give work to a select few of the urban poor of Campos Viridia. This school would be given the job of dressing up the capital of Insula with murals and paints, and to create works en masse like those of old Rome. While the city was still a boring grid of mostly concrete insula apartments, it would be given a bit of life with murals of the glory days of Rome that the ancient manuscripts brought with the fleeing Romans spoke of. This would have the further benefit of speaking further to the people of the need of a reaffirming of old values, in an age where Rome was a distant memory for most to be fought over as a title to be wielded by far off Greeks, and once claimed by Germans and other Barbarians.



After four years of searching, Vigilus would finally present to Fabius what he insisted was the lost sword of Septimus Severus. The rusted spatha did certainly appear the right age, even if it was...less impressive than Fabius had expected to be worthwhile given the length of the search. Regardless, as with the murals, such a historical, and to some, sacred item was important for Fabius’ goal of reclaiming a ‘lost’ truly Roman identity. Fabius would handsomely reward Vigilus for the find, which had the added benefit of enduring the Senator further with Fabius.




After the...disappointment of the Sword of Septimus Severus, that certainly could not be used as anything more than a trophy, Fabius decided to order his own proper sword. His old basic spatha had served him well, but if he was to be the leader of a new Rome as he wished to be, he needed a weapon and equipment that suited such a status. While what he received from the swordsmith Sextus was not quite what he had in mind in terms of grandeur, its true steel was certainly of higher quality than his old one of made bog iron.



With his new sword in hand and 7 years of peace concluded, long enough for the stain to have faded just enough, Fabius declared that the so called “Faereyar and Faroe” islands to the south were truly Roman land. For it was clear that the island Septimus Severus wished to land at originally was one of them, for he thought he was sailing for Thule, just a 6 day voyage north of Britain. Instead, he sailed for 2 weeks and reach Insula Viridia instead. Therefore, those Norseman living on them were living on land claimed by Rome since time immorial, and should be thrown off for more land for the masses of Insula. They were small, but they would buy Severus a little bit longer before the Romans truly outgrew Insula and what it could provide. The next spring, The census was to be compiled, and the levy drawn upon its completion to bolster the legion. Then the army of the Province of Insula would wage war on the Norse barbarians for the Senate and People of Rome.





The World Situation, 17th of April, 945 AD/1698 AUC
Smaller chapter, but only so much can be made of peace if events don't fire. Next up will be a half chapter detailing the Census, which I will do every so often to detail the growth of the nation and reforms taken and such. This first one will be meatier than most as I'll throw in additional info such as how the supposedly "provincial" government of Insula works and other neat stuff. Like maps of Campos Vapos if I feel up for it.
 
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stnylan

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Just enjoying the land of ice and fire :)
 

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Let Rome expand!

The Romans shall triumph, and any who stand in their way shall be crushed!
 

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To the Imperator Domanus, Konstantinos VIII Flavios Lekapenos, Basileus of the Roman Empire in Constantinople

As asked by the treaty of the Fifty-fourth Proconsul of Insula Viridia Flavius Decius Vegates and Basileus Leo Sophos, the Province of Insula Viridia shall present, upon its conclusion, a copy of any Census completed by the Province; for the Basileus and Emperor to better understand their most remote Province and exiled government of the Province of Brittania. To further aid in providing an understanding of the situation of the Province, there shall also be an attached summary of the Government and General Situation upon Insula Viridia.
The Census of 1699 AUC
By ancient tradition, in accordance to the standards demanded by First Proconsul of Insula, Viridia Septimus Aurelius Severus; expanded upon by the Forty-Ninth Proconsul, Titus Olus Philo; and now ordered by the Fifty-Sixth Proconsul, Lucius Fabius Salvius and the Censors Flavius Julius Cotta and Publius Dellius Rusca, the Census of the Senatorial Province of Insula Viridia has been concluded. The peoples of Insula Viridia have been recorded in number, wealth, family, occupation, and status of citizenship or freeman, as well as the numbers residing in the various settlements of the land.

Of the full island, Of the total number of persons ,74,351 were counted; of this number, 8,922 meet the requirements in age to be eligible for service in the Comsistanses or in the Regulus militia. This marks a slight decline since the Census of 1689 AUC. Those of Roman citizenship counted 70,786 with freemen consisting of almost all those of the Norsemen counted for 3,565. Those of the Senate were 25, whilst those of their families numbered 172. Those of the Equestrians of 100-125 hectares numbered 637. Those of the 1st class of 50-100 hectares numbered 3,677. Those of the 2nd Class of 10-50 hectares numbered 6,710. Those of the 3rd Class of 4.5-10 hectares numbered 61,069. Those of the landless Proletariat numbered 7,086.

There are recorded to be 135 properties of the largest size; latifundia of 100-125 hectares. There are recorded to be 610 properties of the moderate size of 50-100 hectares. There are recorded to be 1,115 properties of small size of 10-50 hectares. There are recorded to be 10,175 properties of subsistence size of 4.5-10 hectares. As in the previous census, it was concluded that all farmable land on the island is in the private hands of a family, although there has been a notable consolidation of land in that time.

There are recorded to be 13,383 persons whose primary residence is in a settlement exceeding more than 50 people. The largest settlements were Campos Vapos had the largest population of 8,029; Cygnasia of Regio Auster had a population of 1,124; and Sinus Aquilo had a population of 1,057.

The Governance of the Fifty-Sixth Proconsul Lucius Fabius Salvius in His Fourteenth Year


The Senatus Insula has, surviving in accordance with the wisdom of the Basileus Leo VI Sophos, entered its 535th year of consecutive existence. As has been its tradition, the Senatus Insula has remained 25 select members strong, elected for life by the People of Insula as a Quaestor. It is in these 25, one shall send himself, or his eldest son, to the Service of the Ruling Basileus and Emperor of Constantinople. It is also from one of these 25 that one shall be elected Proconsul in perpetuum upon the death or retirement of the one before. The Proconsul and Senatus Insula each complement the other’s authority; for in the Proconsul, imperium is rested and has the power of war, punishment, and veto entrusted to him. The Senatus holds the powers of lawmaking, and may overturn the veto of the Proconsul should three-fifths of the body agree.

In accordance to the standards set forth by the first Proconsul Septimus Severus,for he restored the ancient Cursus Honorum in a form; To qualify for the Senatus Insula, all a man has to do is to have served his time in either the levy or comitanses and reach 25 years of age. The man is elected by the people of Insula Viridia at large, by simple majority. Upon entrance to the Senatus, the man may then stand for election to be one of four Quaestors after three years of service in the Senatus. Determined by lots; One quaestor directly helps the Proconsul for a term of 2 years in the finances of Insula, whilst the rest assist in the running of Regio Occidens, Regio Aquilo, and Regio Oriens.

After the Quaestorship, the Proconsul may appoint two of the Senate to serve as Aedile for two years, who act as the main officials of Campos Vapos in the stead of the Proconsul. After serving; one cannot serve again until ten years have passed. As such, the Aedileship as in time of old, is not a required step. Four years after their previously held office, one of the Senate may run for the Praetorship. Two may hold the office, and through the Praetorship, be allowed to lead an army, or preside over a court. The Praetorship may be held for two years, and cannot be held for another six. The consulship has been discarded as an unnecessary challenge to the central authority in Rome, and as a redundancy for the Proconsul holds the authority that office once granted. One final position, granted to those of the Propraetors, is the Censorship. There serves two censors, for two year terms, and the position is only held before and during a census, for it is the job of the Censors to record the census, and the name and ranks of those in the Senate, though they are forbidden on pain of execution from intentionally altering the Senatorial rolls or the Census.
Whilst from what those of the Province have learned of all that has changed in the Empire since the Great Journey from Brittania, it may seem archaic and of dangerous Republicanism; it is a system that has seen our Province through 400 years, and it is not the intention of the Province to bring back the Republic. This is proven by the recent defeat of the Five Papist Senators, who saw the creation of a Catholic nation subservient to the Papacy in Rome, and who attempted to use the Republic to earn support. They only found it amongst the barbaric, uncivilized Norsemen, not amongst those of Roman blood and mind. With this burden of proof in our loyalty towards Rome, the Empire in Constantinople, and to our ancient traditions, we ask that you, great Imperator, great Basileus, allow the continuation of our fair governance and traditions. As your predecessor so wisely agreed, and in return we shall continue to send one of the Proquaestorial ranks to you, to show our continued loyalty.

Campos Vapos

Campos Vapos, a rough outline of its streets and wall.

Campos Vapos is the beating heart of the Province. It is the site of the first landing of Rome onto the Insula Viridia, and is now home to over 8,000 Romans, almost the equal of the barbarian occupied Londinium and Parisius. It is bound by a southern wall of 5 and a half stadii, and an eastern one of 2 and a half [2kmx1km], enclosing land just over a stremma in size (1 sq km). While far from the splendor of Constantinople, the home of the Province is of sturdy construction, with even the insula of the lowliest pleb being constructed primarily of the abundant concrete the island provides. The harbor and docks are similarly constructed, and enclose an area of land and sea also equal to roughly a stremma. The main business of Campos Vapos is providing industry for the rest of the island, and being the largest harbor, home to the most of the largest fishing vessels. Surrounding Campos Vapos are those oldest, most distinguished farms of the island, as well as villas of those wealthy Equestrians who typically live elsewhere upon the island.
Since the barbaric Norsemen awoke those of our Province to the world once more, it has also come to be home to what traders and visitors make the long voyage to our lonely island. It is a common refrain amongst those of Campos Vapos, that those who come stare as if lost. Worst are those of the Papist priests or others supposedly “learned”, who come to us speaking their vile corrupted Latin, thinking themselves fluent. There are more than a few Literators who have taken to providing at least one lesson free to try to save the ears of others from such barbarians.

Conclusion

And thus is the end of this short letter to the great Imperator Domanus of Rome, holder of Constantinople, and Insula Viridia’s great benefactor. Whilst as ever, in his wisdom he may ask more of the land that is the last that speaks Latin, it is understood our Province is but an insignificant part of his realm, and should not take too much of his time. As Proquaestor, I, Gracchus Constantius, conclude this letter.

Vínlendingar saga (the Saga of the Vinlanders), chapter III
[Courtesy of @Legionary Guard , from Discord]
An incomplete translation of a Runestone on the island of Færeyjar


“Sword-clash; shield-bite; Óðinn was pleased; the Raven was fed. The Romans had come to burn Reyðarfjörður and the Northmen resisted fiercely. Fierceness could not make up for numbers, though they tried. Árelíus Sterki had fallen to Floki the Skald. Karl the Berserkr, clad in coat of mail and shiny sword, skewered Magnús Jarl, though the vengeful Romans ensured that Karl followed their leader to Folkvangr. Ten spears attacked Floki; nine spears died. But the tenth man hurled his spear and pierced the Skald’s chest and sent him to Valhalla. The Romans broke the shieldwall in three places and their scorpions felled Sigurðr Hrafn.

“Eiríkr Rauða, so-called for the color of his sword and coat of mail that day, rallied the survivors, the women and the few Hirdmen alive, and made for the longships. Reyðarfjörður burned, but Eiríkr Rauða sailed three longships out of the harbor. A fourth made to follow, but was holed by the Roman stones and had to be beached. Eiríkr’s band, ninety-four strong in three ships, made for Færeyjar, but was blown west by a storm…”
Little bit of a world building exercise to explain a bit of what can't be represented through gameplay. As hinted at in the spoiler, if yall have any questions about Insula Viridia as it expands, internal forces that can't be shown through typical AAR stuff, etc, feel free to ask them, and every so often I'll create a new "Letter to the Emperor" to answer those questions in universe! New chapter should be out in the next few days. And thanks to Legionary Guard for the Norse saga to give a counter to the Roman perspective to the sack of Reyðarfjörður in the prologue of a one sided victory. I wont take anything that tries to influence the AAR itself, but if done properly, similar in universe text from times already covered could similarly be featured. REMEMBER; Its not interactive with the AAR itself, just fleshing out the world.
 
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stnylan

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I like the saga entry here especially.
 

Tiberionus

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Chapter 3: The Thulian Expedition
“We are the Sons of Rome in an era in which we are seen as a curiosity, a relic, soon to be finally bound to the chamberpot of history once our “betters” decides to place their yoke on us. This is an affront. It is not the destiny of Rome to fall to the invader. Septimus Severus saw his flight to our fair island as an exile, from which the true rulers of Britannia would return. We are strong, and it is time to give life to great Septimus’ belief.” - Proconsul Fabius Salvius speaking to the Legion before the invasion of the North Sea islands.


True to ancient tradition, on the Ides of January, Fabius and the Senate convened and voted to declare war on the so called King of the Norðreyjar. Together, they charged that not only were the Norse there occupying land claimed by Septimus Severus as the original destination of the 3,000, but also aiding and harboring rebellious Norsemen from Insula. Thirty days would be allowed to be passed to allow for the notification of the nearest resident of the lands to be attacked. Fabius, for his part, saw an advantage in this. He knew the Norse would be aggressive and attempt to attack the island directly to try to spark an uprising amongst the remaining Norse on the island. He also knew many of those banished in his resettlement policies had fled to those islands and would seek revenge. So he took his time, spending months gathering levies from towns, drilling them, and told them to stay in their home region and sound the alarm for when the Norse arrived. He also made sure to get as many fishing and other ships he could to agree to ferry the Roman troops once the Norse were defeated.


In June, the alarm was sounded from the southern coast of Regio Auster; at long last the longships of the Norse of Norðreyjar were seen coming over the horizon. With his preparations and the road network of Insula, the standing legion of comitatenses were able to meet the invading Norse force that outnumbered them nearly 2 to 1. While Fabius was sure his legion could take the Norse head on and win, he wanted a crushing defeat, and delayed in accepting the Norse push for a fight. He pulled further back in the face of their attempt to force battle, taking up a favorable position with one flank secured by a river, and the other by a ridgeline.


The Norse were successfully discouraged from joining battle until the next day, when reinforcing levies from the rest of Regio Auster arrived, turning the tables on the Norse, with the Romans now outnumbering them nearly 2 to 1. Faced with this, the Norðreyjar attempted to withdraw, but the Romans charged. Equites rounded a mountain and hit the north flank of the withdrawing Norse on their way back to the ship. This unexpected charge shattered the cavalry defending the northern flank of the Norsemen, forcing the entire army to turn and fight or be destroyed fleeing to the river. Heavy infantry with the restored armor of the old comitatenses found the barely armored near militia of the Norðreyjar army to be barely a speedbump. With the cavalry collapsing on the north and the infantry center falling apart, the Norse cavalry on the south flank peeled away and ran back to the ships. “King” Einarr decided he would fall in battle, organized his housecarls, and charged. Hopelessly outnumbered, the charge fell apart immediately, the housecarls slain, and Einarr was denied a glorious death when a legionary hit the old man square in the chest with his shield, and the “King” was taken captive.



His army utterly shattered and fleeing from Insula without him, Einarr was taken before Proconsul Fabius by his triumphal soldiers. Defeated and broken from being denied a glorious death, the old man bent the knee and surrendered his land to the Romans. In the month after the battle, centuries of soldiers would be sent to the captured islands to inform those living there of the fates of not only their king, but those they sent off not a month before, confident of victory. Any family who had even one take up arms against the Romans were to be evicted and banished from the now Roman territory for the “stability of the nation”. The land seized from the hundreds of evicted Norse was then simply passed on to the landless masses of Insula, determined by lots. In an instant, the Latins outnumbered the Norse who had lived there for centuries on the small islands, or those who had fled seeking an out from the eternal conflict of Norway and were forced to go back.
The Romans were blind to the plight off those whose lands they took, and Fabius’ popularity soared. While the seizing of Fæeyar, Hjanland, and Orkney, now Thule, Acomadæ, and Orcades only gave a percentage of the landless new land, it was a taste that Fabius would free them from their destitution. To the soldiers, it at long last gave them something to do that wasn’t endless drilling or being relegated to breaking up drunken brawlers. Finally, to the Senators, it was a hint that yes, they could indeed return to Britannia and reclaim their ancestral homeland from the barbarians, and possibly earn a tidy fortune along the way that Insula simply could not provide. But while the success brought immense popularity to Fabius and his expansionist plans, it for the first time brought a true sense of factionalism to the nation.
Many were already considering Britannia as good as theirs even if they hadn’t fought any from there. Minds drifted to what would happen once the old province was back under the rule of the Romans. Would they take their newfound power and split from those Greek pretenders in Constantinople? Should the Proconsul really be trusted with lifelong authority, when there were many left wanting for command? Fabius was clearly extremely competent, but his son whom he was setting up to succeed him was clearly not. Questions swirled, and whispers began. Where they’d go, only time would tell.


Not long after the victory over the Norðreyjar, controversy would strike the Church of Insula. The bishop of the island, Valentinianus, had been found to be demanding small fees from the plebeians for even basic religious services. Such corruption would not be allowed to stand, not when one of the major claims against the Papists was that they would be corrupt from the claimed infallibility and indulgences that reduced penance. The Bishop was arrested, and after a short trial, Fabius sentenced him to two years house arrest to a simple abode, where he would be allowed to continue his duties as Bishop, but watched for continued corruption.

A year after the war with Norðreyjar, the scribes that Fabius had assigned to write his codex for him while he was off on campaign presented the codex to him. It was not quite the codex of good practices in ruling he hoped, but instead a tome on the cuisine of Insula and how it related to Roman culture’s virtues. Regardless, “Apicius” was still quite well written so Fabius saw no need to punish those for deviating from the original idea, and if Campos Vapos was to be a new center of Roman culture to the wider world, why not have a codex being part of that effort?

With the conquest of the renamed “Thulian Islands” from the Norse, trade with the rest of the world would become easier, as those from Insula could stop at each island to resupply and move on, as well as in reverse. This sudden increase in the ability to trade and the prudent policies of Fabius lead to Regio Auster and Campos Vapos to undoubtable enter into prosperity. The once dull grey concrete and red capital had become vibrant as dyes and paints that simply could not be made from Insula were imported, and the new union of artists bringing much loved murals to the city and beyond. More importantly for Fabius’ vision, this meant two things; more taxes and more births to sustain his vision of an aggressive expansion.


With some of the money this new prosperity brought, Fabius would order the commissioning of a new set of the symbols of office; A band of laurels, an ornamental faces without the axehead, and engraved sword. While paltry to the symbols of office elsewhere, they were a start, and a clear sign of the growing wealth of the island.



After several years of peace whilst Fabius drew up his plans for the next invasion, a pair of events would come in rapid fire in just the span of a month. First was Dux of Insula’s legion and levies, Gordianus Arcadius, whom had been training the latest batch of those drafted to serve in the levy. In a horrific training accident, a youth drew back a bow before being told and loosed an arrow half drawn as Gordianus was walking in front of him speaking to the archers-to-be. The arrow buried itself in his eye, but not enough to go much beyond. After this incident, he would demand angrily to Fabius that the job of training the levy be given to a subordinate, to which Fabius was forced to relent.
Just a month later, the elected Quaestor overseeing Thule allowed smugglers to set up a ring on the island of Thule, believing them to be just another group of merchants making a stop. Unwilling to interfere with the elected officials and fire the incompetent, Fabius would instead place Thule under the authority of his eldest son Valentianus. While he wasn’t especially competent, the appointment as a propraetor over the island was within Fabius authority, and would drastically increase Valentianus' chances of being elected Proconsul upon succession.


Pushed to his wits end by the simultaneous planning to invade Hibernia, and the incompetence of those he had for traditions sake to help run his state, Fabius could feel the stress of it all begin to eat at him. Sleeping became more difficult, and he found himself snapping out at those who asked him something to him was seemingly simple. This pushed Fabius further into seeing all those around him as incompetent weights on his rule as he pushed began to seek to centralize power within himself, and accelerated his Caledonian invasion plans which was nearing completion..


As a form of stress relief, Fabius would order a suit of scale mail armor for protection. Whilst in his age he was likely now far too old to be leading the charge, it would help to be recognizable to his men. The scale was elegantly shaped and fitted, allowing for even his older frame to wear it almost comfortably, and would do more than well enough to protect him on the coming battlefields.


So wrapped up in his planning, Fabius would be one of the last to learn of news that shook Europe in what it meant for the balance of power. The barbaric German king, Otto, had claimed virtually the entirety of the land of Charlemagne by direct conquest or tributary, and thus declared his realm the rebirth of the “Holy Roman Empire” of that Frank. When Fabius was informed, he simply burst out laughing, asking the messenger if he was serious. It is said, he said “The Germans are pretending they are our empire? At least the Greeks have the lineage! This usurper Otto is delusional, and I will be the first to laugh upon his ‘empire’s’ grave!” But Fabius knew, with this now strong force in central Europe, a potential to restore Rome was all from Insula but lost. It also posed a direct threat to Insula, for what better what to legitimize yourself as a "Roman" empire, than by ruling over Romans? The Greek Eastern empire demanded as much from them upon contact, and the Papists had already once incited a civil war to claim the island. Who was to say they wouldn't try again?





The World Situation 24th of March 956 AD/ 1710 AUC after the Formation of the Holy Roman Empire
 
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