Oh fickle hand of fate! Oh cruel mistress of fortune, who raises us so high then smites us down! I hope this letter reaches you friend Gaius, though I be deep in the territory of the dreaded Gothians. Following our triumph as related in my last missive, our hero Julius Crassus struck deep into the heart of Goth territory, the goths refusing battle until we threatened their city of Urgal, but pride cometh before the fall as those heretical Christians are wont to say. I will get straight to the point, and hope my misery can be salved some what.
Our Roman cavalry faced off against half the gothian cavalry which sat atop a hill. Our legions and artillery were to the left, faced by the remainder of the gothian horsemen. But wonder to behold, the Gothians had an armoured oliphaunt amongst their force! No one has seen one of these beasts in generations, and it was thought the king of the east, Antiochus Nicator, kept them all for himself, never to let them out of his own army. Yet this beast was clearly crewed by soldiers of the Eastern king. Worrying enough without all the other bad news. Our cavalry on the right flank fought the gothians and had the worst of it, yet the greatest disaster was to befall our left flank. The gothian cavalry charged our legion and many men were slain on each side, until the gothians were forced to retire, but before they had slain almost all the men of Julius Crassus legion. The oliphaunt advanced steadfastly, and even a squarely aimed stone flung from our catapult failed to halt the monstrous creature. Julius Crassus bodyguard untimely fled, despite our leaders protests. Seeing this, our artillery crews fled as well. Our remaining legion fled immediately once the oliphaunt came within striking distance.
|Our valiant legions fight hopelessly against the Gothian horde,|
while the dreaded oliphaunt approaches from within the
town of Urgal.
So there you have it, a shameful defeat indeed. The army is in tatters and withdrawing rapidly back to the river Kwai and the bridge at St. Marks. Perhaps I will see you soon, dear Gaius.