Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Julius Crassus vs. the Gothians

Dear Gaius, I hope this letter finds you well. I am so happy that your wife is once again with child! Truly you are blessed with many fine sons and daughters. Not a day goes by when I don't think of my poor Maria, gone these ten years.

But much more important matters are afoot than the cares of people such as you and I. The entire empire was shocked when our emperor Draco Severus sent peace envoys to the Gothians after their raid on St. Marks! Shameful indeed. Julius Crassus, leader of the border legions, raised a cohort of men at his own expense and marched off to seek redress of our wrongs from the Gothians. Honour is not yet dead in the Roman Empire.

Julius force was a single 480 man cohort of legionarii, assisted by 120 archers and 5 large ballistas. Our small force crossed the river Kwai and marched for 3 days into Gothian territory before we found the Gothians who had burnt St. Marks. There were no less than 300 of them, all well-mounted nobles. The barbarians quickly offered battle.

The Gothian horde.
The heroic band of Julius Crassus.

The entire battlefield seen from the
south atop my hill. The Romans are on the left.
The Goths advanced en masse. Our archers sprinted forward to shoot from close range,  and our ballistas shot as well. Alas, only minor causalties were inflicted. The rampaging Gothians then impacted our legionarii. The archers fled, and the impact of the heavy Goth cavalry pushed our legionarii back. The Goths continued to surge forward until the legionarii broke and fled the battle. In all, our romans lost 93 killed, though our archers and ballista crews escaped unscathed. The Goths lost 72 men killed or wounded, a poor trade indeed. I fled for my life for several days until I crossed the border back into the empire. I found your letter waiting and wrote back soonest.

Please do not worry about me, I am exhausted though unharmed. Pray instead for Julius Crassus who tried only to avenge Rome but brought shame instead. I fear the emperor will be wrathful.

Your friend, Flavius Flachus.