*Hello I apologize about the delay, as school cane be a bitch sometimes. To give you something to read for the moment here is the introduction to my upcoming fight!
Friday, September 16, 2011
Arminius vs. Shaka: Battle Intro
Arminius was well aware of the fragile state of his country. For the first time since the days of his country’s most ancient heroes the tribes were truly unified under one ruler-Arminius. Unification of tribes that had warred against each other for ages hadn’t been easy; Arminius knew this better than anyone. As the leader of a coalition scarcely a day went by before he had to hear complaint, almost all of which were about new instances of violence that revolved around ancient feuds. Arminius cursed the shortsightedness of his countrymen. Did it really matter that one tribe may have stolen some cattle a hundred years back? All of the parties involved were now dead. Why did an unresolved murder thirty years ago have to cause the deaths of over fifty people in a gruesome inter-tribe brawl?
Arminius shook his head, pissed that petty domestic issues ate up most of his time, and gave him a lingering headache. “I shouldn’t have to worry about this” he thought bitterly “foreign issues are pressing enough”. While the Romans this side of the Rhine had been crushed Arminius knew that on the other side they were amassing more legions. Having studied under them, Arminius was well aware how long Rome could hold a grudge. He would have to strike them soon and hard. But how…
From studying their history, Arminius knew that the only conceivable chance he had to defeat the empire was to rip out its heart; Rome. The capital city of the Romani had not been taken in 400 years, but it had been taken. If Arminius had any chance of seeing his dream of a unified Germany become a reality, and to have his wife and child, unjustly stolen from him, returned then the Imperial City must fall. But how to get there…. ? The Alps had been fortified so heavily that even if he could bring Hannibal’s old war beasts back to life he would still not be in a position to force passage. Nor could a foray from Gaul work out as the Romans, suspecting such an incursion, had fortified the Rhine and moved six legions into the country. Luckily for the Germans there was still one option left….
In their mad dash to exit Germany as quickly as possible, the Romans had left behind much of their sea craft: their triremes, galleys and troop transports. There was enough room to carry a small army; perfect for what Arminius planned. He knew that a big portion of his army had to stay in the homeland to both deter the Romans and to keep the piece among the quarrelsome tribes. Arminius would personally lead a detachment of 4-5,000 men on a journey around the Pillars of Hercules to raid an unsuspecting Rome. There was the problem of patrols spotting the ship which could prove irksome but not one that Arminius didn’t have a solution to. His auxiliaries spoke Latin well enough; if he dressed them up as Roman soldiers and had them carry Roman weapons he could avoid suspicion from the patrols. Furthermore his pure Germanic troops could either pose as the rowers or hide within the bowels of the ship. Once they were in the cities harbor they could reveal themselves, and quickly run through the city and destroy key buildings; The Senate, the Forum and the emperor’s palace (with the cursed old man Augustus inside of course! Even if the resilient empire survived it would be in position to challenge Germany in the near future, not with all of the rebellions, civil wars, economical collapse and unrest that would follow.
Arminius flashed a brilliant smile; in his mind he was simply too brilliant for words.
Shaka was king of his domain yes, but like any absolute ruler he spent his time only thinking of how he could increase it, not how he could enrich what he already had, wrote Henry Flynn in his journal. Like Alexander in the days before the birth of our lord, he thinks of nothing but of more worlds to conquer, has no higher purpose other than the pure thrill of conquest, desires to…
Francis Farewell burst into his tent, interrupting the young Irishman’s thoughts. Without preamble he said: “Shaka just finished interrogating the refugees. Apparently it was the white man that caused them to flee their lands.”
Startled, Flynn looked into his compatriots face, “What? I was not aware that we had any colonies in the area?”
Farewell shook his head “No we don’t, and I have no idea who these newcomers are. Not any nation of Europe that I know of. They do not carry firearms, instead opting to use spears and clubs in the same like our gracious hosts.”
Flynn caught Farewell’s sarcasm and silently agreed. Neither of them had wanted to go on this expedition but Shaka had not-so-politely insisted. The British trading expedition had no choice but to accept; after all this was Shaka’s land, and if he desired it, not one of the trade expeditions would make it back to England.
Still, he could not deny that he was curious to find out the origins of the strange men of his race, as he hadn’t heard of clubs being used in European warfare for….many hundreds of years. Pikes had survived in combat to relatively recently, but still they were an archaic weapon in Europe, and the only type of spear used in warfare now was the lance, and even use of that was faltering. Farewell seemed to have had the same thoughts and quipped up
“The villagers said that they were chased down by men riding horses, and that the men covered themselves in, as they so aptly put it, a rainbow of colors. “
Confused, Henry Flynn opened his mouth to reply, only for one of Shaka’s messengers to burst in and speaking in his harsh English dialect said
“The inkosi demands that you and your men make ready to pack up. We leave soon”
Farewell gruffly replied back “Aye”
The messenger made no effort to leave, and Flynn immediately understood the dilemma facing the man: if Farewell’s men did not get packed up soon, then Shaka could interrupt that as a sign that his messenger passed along the wrong message, which would be fatal for the man standing in front of them. Flynn turned to him and spoke reassuringly
“Tell the Inkosi that we are packing up as you deliver this message. We will pack as soon as you leave.”
The Messenger left, still looking nervous and Farewell sighed. Shaking his head, he turned back to his old friend and said
“What queer folk these savages are. “
Shaka was quite surprised by the reports coming from the refugees- and the fact that they were fleeing in his direction, when they should be fleeing away from him. He had questioned Farewell extensively as to the origins of these newcomers, but the British officer had been as genuinely confused as he was. Farewell’s people disdained close quarters combat, preferring instead to rely on their firearms in battle, only occasionally using knives mounted on the end of their firearms or a long, cutting implement known as a sword (speaking of which, reports have indicated that the invaders had carried weapons similar to Farewell’s).
In eight years, Shaka had far surpassed even his own dreams of conquest- but it wasn’t enough. It would not be until his kingdom stretched from ocean to ocean. Until his kingdom was truly powerful enough to withstand the white man.
Looking over his assembled regiments, Shaka knew that his goal of seeing the great Eastern Ocean would soon come to pass. All that stood in front of him were these foolish invaders, who Farewell insisted weren’t his people. Shaka hoped, for his sake, that he was telling the truth. If he wasn’t, then even his precious King Georgie wouldn’t have a hope of saving him. Shaka would prove to his subjects that they bleed the same color as everyone else.
Smiling at the thought, Shaka turned to his general, Soshangane. “General, have the scouts returned yet?”
Soshangane shook his head, replying “The first squad has, the other two, no. “
Shaka frowned. These scouts were some of the kingdoms best; they knew better than to keep their king waiting. Something must have gone wrong….
Dismissing these thoughts for the moment, Shaka asked his general “Very well. What did the first squad have to report about the terrain?”
“It is a forest my king, though not wholly a dense one. The trees are fairly spread out in most of its sections, save a couple of small sections which were uncommonly dense. Ayanda’s squad was sent out to explore the largest dense forest, along with Bheki, while Msizi was sent back to report on what they had found thus far. “
“Did they see any of the White men who deign to fight like Zulus?”
“No, my king.”
“ Very well we keep marching. We should be out of the forest by sunset”. At this he gave a look to his underling that suggested that if they were not out of the forest by sunset, he would be the first to pay.
Soshangane gulped, but nodded and left. Shaka silently wondered whether his generals had sufficient backbone to attempt to overthrow him; the last one who would have ever expressed contempt of Shaka to his face had left a little over a year ago, Mzilikazi, who was rumored to be trying to build a kingdom of his own, to rival his old overlord Shaka. By all accounts this man was just a mime of the great Zulu king, with few innovations of his own.
Arminius cursed the gods that he had not foreseen such a disaster. He had misjudged the Roman navigators, thinking them sniveling cowards while they were really devious snakes. The Romans, taking advantage of the German leader’s perceptions and lack of geographical knowledge, lead them far past the Pillars of Hercules, past the farthest reaches of the Roman merchants, ending up even farther south than the brilliant Phoenicians had ever dared to sail. When they had gone far enough, the navigators had deliberately rammed the ships into reefs.
Eventually, the Germans had caught on to the navigator’s treachery, and had the Romans boiled alive, a sacrifice to the German gods. Still the damage was done, and they had landed in a strange land filled with strange, horrifying creatures; more than a few of his men had been mauled by lions (which he recognized from the decadent Roman amphitheaters) , dragged under the water by great lizards, or else gored by elephants or the one-horned beast. Worse still, many of his men had come down with the weird sickness that roamed this land, causing them to bleed out from all openings. These poor souls had to be left behind for the good of the many.
After a great deal of time spent scouring the land (during which time they raided tribes of men who looked as if they had been under the sun for too long), they had come across a somewhat cool forest like the ones found in the homeland. Though the types of trees were different it was still similar enough to remind the Germans of home. Better still, some of the Germans who had once been fishermen, as well as a few defected Germans who served in the Roman navy, were cutting down trees with the intent of remaking their crashed
Now their temporary refuge was threatened, by what was clearly an advancing enemy scout column. Arminius couldn’t let the column get back to its leaders, and had ordered his men to hide in the surrounding brush while he, alone, stood in the middle of the path, on his beautiful Nicean horse (which had cost him a small fortune to get).
Not too much later, the first Zulu scouts came into view, coming to an abrupt halt when they saw the strange rider. Silence dominated the scenes for a few moments, before a man holding a knobbed club; their leader, stepped forward and spoke in a harsh, incomprehensible, native dialect. Arminius glared at him; did this fool really think that he could be understood? Arminius himself knew better to waste his energy trying to communicate with the native, but this man really seemed to be under the impression that he could be understood.
Arminius merely pointed his lance forward, to signify that they should return the way they came. The native chieftain shook his head; apparently some signs of nonverbal communication were universal, either that or this native had learned the phrase from his countryman. Arminius repeated his thrusting motion forward, more urgently telling them that they should leave. The native bared his teeth, and apparently lost his patience, throwing his knobkerrie about ten feet from the German warlord.