World Description.   Posted by The Scribe.Group: 0
The Scribe
 GM, 7 posts
Fri 11 Sep 2015
at 20:07
World Description
You are located in the Roman province of Germania Superior at the Roman Cohort Fort of Saalburg. The fort belongs to Cohors II Raetorum Civium Romanorum Equitata, a combined infantry and cavalry unit.  The fort supports up to 480 infantry and an additional 120 cavalry men.

In theory, the Cohort should have six centuria of infantry, with each centuria having a strength of 80 men.  The cavalry is divided into four Turmae of thirty men each.  This was not achievable unless the region was preparing for war and levies of troops were brought in as reinforcements.

The fort is situated right next to the Limes or wall.  The wall is a palisade fence that was erected atop an earthen berm.  In addition, there was a ditch before the palisade to aid in its defense.  Along the length of the limes, watchtowers were placed.  These were spaced 200 to 300 meters apart from one another and stood 20 meters back from the limes.  Each watchtower was manned by a single contubernium (or tent party of 8 men).  Interspersed with the towers were small fortlets that could support up to a half centuria of troops.  These were in turn anchored by a larger cohort fort.

Behind the limes were larger support stations that supported the forward deployed troops.  This is where the legionary forts were placed and cities grew up around them.

This campaign covers the forces in the upper corner of Germania Superior known as Civitas Taunensium.  The capitol of the Civitas is the Roman village of Nida.  There resided a fort that was large enough to support two full cohorts of Auxilia troops.  These include the cohorts of Ala I Flavia Gemina (a cavalry cohort of around 500 men), Cohors XXXII Voluntariorum civium Romanorum (a volunteer cohort of Roman citizens of 500 men).

The Cohors II Raetorum, is stationed in Saalburg and is responsible for the fortlets of Heidenstock and Lochmuhle.  The cohort is also responsible for some 12 watchtowers along the limes between the outlying fortlets of Heidenstock and Lochmuhle.  Heidenstock was a small fort of only 20 x 23 meters in size.  Lochmuhle is larger but only able to support about a half centuria of troops.  Lochmuhle is located in a clearing in a largely wooded area. It is in a rectangular shape (18 m long and 22 m wide) on a cleared area of approximately 400 meters squared.

North of the wall, the area was heavily forested.  Small villages dotted the clearings that hosted German tribesmen.  Most of the villages were very small that were under 10 or so families in size.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:14, Fri 11 Sept 2015.

The Scribe
 GM, 9 posts
Fri 11 Sep 2015
at 20:53
World Description
The Saalburg fort has a large village that has grown around it.  Present are inns, baths and all of the luxuries that Roman citizens have grown to expect from the Empire.  With trade moving from Nida to the south, the outpost has access to all of the conveniences that can be had.

The fort itself is made of stone.  It has barracks, stables, public buildings, dining halls and equipment rooms needed for the garrison.

The centuria that the players will be assigned to is commanded by a Centurion.  His second in command is the Optio and the third officer is the Tesserarius.  Other positions within the Centuria are the Signifer (carries the banner for the unit) and the Cornicen (musician).

Within the ranks, the men are divided into ten contubernium (tent parties of 8 men).  These are commanded by a duplicarius.  The duplicarius is responsible for ensuring his tent party are in the right place at the right time.  (Note that the term really denotes that he receives more pay than the normal infantry man.)

Beyond the troops of the centuria, there are a total of ten slaves attached to the unit.  Two are water bearers that have a mule.  They supply the men with water when in combat.  Then there are an additional eight servants that serve as stretcher bearers for the centuria.  These servants are assigned out to the various contubernium when not in combat.

The soldiers of an Auxilia infantry unit are equipped as follows:
A short sword, three javelins, an oval shield, a brass helmet, Lorica Hamata armor (chain mail), a tunic, sandals, pack, tarp, cloak and mess gear.

Depending on the unit, some soldiers may be issues bows or may have a sling.
The Scribe
 GM, 15 posts
Fri 11 Sep 2015
at 21:25
World Description
Places you may visit
The Romans had a complex system of roads that were well maintained.  The Roman Legionaire operated not only as a heavy shock soldier, but as a engineer as well.  Everywhere Roman roads went, civilization followed.

These were official way stations for official/government purposes.  They operated as an inn or waystations for troops or messengers traveling on business for Rome.  These were present every 15 to 20 miles on a Roman road.  One is present in Saalburg as well.

These are inns of a more dubious nature.  They are open to any traveler and often the place where a weary soldier can spend his hard earned money and find temporary companionship.  They were often present near mansiones.

These are reputable hostels that would be present.  They appealed to a higher class of clientele.

Every self respecting Roman village and town had at least one bath.  If there was a roman fort of at least a cohort in size, a bath would be present to serve the needs of the soldiers at the very least.  Without a bath house, it just was not civilized.

Since all commerce moved either by river or by cart, these were the service stations of the Roman world.  One would be present near a mansione.  They repaired carts and tended to wounded pack animals.
The Scribe
 GM, 16 posts
Mon 14 Sep 2015
at 13:52
Excerpts from Plutrarchs History of the Founding of Rome
Lost in the mists of time, little is truly known of the twin founders of the Roman Empire, Romulus and Remus.

While many myths and legends have circulated, few truths are actually known.  The two feral children of legend are estimated to have been born some 770 years before the the common event.

The birth of the brothers was viewed as a miraculous event.  Their mother a high elf and father a human king, the children were born pure blooded.  Romulus evidenced only elven features while Remus was fully human.  While mixed marriages between elf and human were not uncommon, the results are universally resulting in a half-elf child.  This was viewed as a sign from the gods to the special nature of these children.  The two went on to found the city of Rome and established its senate on the Palatine hill.

What more is known of is the common event.  Seven hundred and Seventy years after the birth of the twins was the year of the star.  In the heavens, a star burst.  The light of the event turned night to day for three weeks.  It was an event witnessed by all peoples of the world.  Sages, priests and philosophers all struggled to identify what the event meant.  The polyglot society of Rome picked up on many of the explanations, some bordering on the absurd.

There were a number of events that did occur and seem to be triggered by the event.  But none caused any lasting change.  It did have a number of disturbances all along the borders of the Empire as many of the barbarian tribes saw the event as a sign from the heavens to free themselves of Rome.

Now, fifty years after the event, the empire is larger and stronger than it has ever been.  The borders are once again quiet.  It is a time of prosperity and the PAX Romanum is upon the civilized world.
The Scribe
 GM, 17 posts
Mon 14 Sep 2015
at 14:49
Excerpt from "Notes on the races of the world" by Honorius S
The Civilized Races:
Human - Humanity has spread further and faster than any of the other races on earth.  They have expanded their presences throughout the earth.  Humans are not entirely civilized.  Only a portion of humanity has been gathered under the auspices of the empire.  Humans dominate the troops present the Empire's military forces of both Legionary and Auxilia units.

Elves - They are the oldest of the races and completely civilized.  Most of the known tribes of Elves live within the Empire.  There are elves present throughout the known world and some do live outside of the empire.  Elves consider themselves the founding force of the empire.  Their ranks dominate the senate and to some degree the officer corps of the military. But there are large numbers of elves serving within the ranks of the army.

Dwarves - They are reluctant members of the Empire.  Typically they are found where there is discontent brewing.  Dwarves are among the finest artisans and craftsmen of the Empire and are stubbornly proud.  In times of emergency where the Empire is threatened from without, the dwarves are among the first to respond to the crisis.

Halflings - As a largely agrarian people, halflings have found a home among the Celtic humans of Iberia and Gaul.  There are sizable communities in Italia and Germania Superior as well.  Following the collapse of Carthage, numbers of halflings migrated to northern Africa to work the farmland there.  The halflings are loyal citizens of the Empire.  They are under represented in the military but are not unusual.

Hostile and Barbarian Races:

Knolls - The Knolls are huminoids that are covered in fur and have faces of dogs. They are known to have domesticated animals These are creatures that are found in the wilds of Northern Africa.  They are a desert dwelling race that engages in trade with the empire's outposts across Numidia, Africa, and Aegyptus.  There have been sightings in Mauretania Tinitana and Mauretania Cesariensis but they are not common there.

Goblins - The goblinoid race is prevalent throughout the mountious regions of the earth.  They have been discovered in Britania, Caledonia, Hibernia, Raetia, Germania Superior, Germania Inferior, Dalmatia, Asia, Thrace, Macedonia, Dacia and Galatia.  The goblins are outside of the law of Rome and were driven out of Italia by 500 BCE.  They are
a prolific species and will grow and expand if not purposefully kept in check.  They are a raiding people but tend to stick close to their mountain holds out of fear of Rome's might.

Orcs - They are a warrior people that have formed complex societies.  There are known bands in the upper reaches of Sarmatia and Germania Magna.  They have domesticated animals.  They have been known to attempt to breed with nearly anything and as a result have left behind a variety of half breeds behind in the wake of their attacks.  They are known to stick with clan and tribal alliances and not form larger nations.

Ogres - Ogres tend to be solitary creatures that will organize into small family units.  They are large brutes but are exceedingly rare in the Empire.  There are still some of them in the hills of Syria, Asia, Galatia, Cappodocia and Armenia.Rumors have circulated that there are more further to the east and some in Sarmatia as well.

Giants - The Giant tribes have largely been driven from the empire.  Rumors persist that there are some in the mountains of Galatia but none have been seen in four hundred years.

Dragons - There are few known dragons in the world.  The Empire has forged treaties with each of the known dragons and remains on friendly terms with them.  Draco Principalis was appointed to the senate and a special perch has been established for him when he visits from his home on the Aventine Hill.  There are few known dragons in the world.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:00, Mon 14 Sept 2015.

The Scribe
 GM, 18 posts
Mon 14 Sep 2015
at 14:53
Character Languages
Languages parallel those of the Roman Age.  Latin is the common tongue of the Empire with Greek a close second.

Each small sub-nation of the empire has its own language but most speak Greek or Latin by this time.  Even nations outside of the empire typically have a working knowledge of Latin.  The Barbarian and hostile races have their own languages.

(Note: There is no such thing as a dark tongue that is shared by hostile races.)
The Scribe
 GM, 21 posts
Tue 15 Sep 2015
at 20:35
Structure of the Cohort
The Cohort is commanded by the Praefect. (Publius Albucius Eugenius)
His second in command is a Beneficiarius (Lucius Virius Armiger)

The cohort is divided into two sections, cavalry and infantry.

The infantry is divided into six centuria (centuries).

The infantry is commanded by the senior centurion, the Centurio Princeps.  The cohort has a standard bearer called a Vexillarius that represents the cohort.

Each century is commanded by a centurion.  The centurion is supported by an optio (his second in command) and a tesserarius (third in command/corporal).  Each century has a standard carried by the signifer.  In addition, each century has a musician called a cornicen.

The cavalry is divided into four Turmae.  They are commanded by the senior Decurion, Decurio Princeps.  The cavalry unit has a standard and a standard bearer - vexillarius.

Each Turmae is commanded by a decurio.  He is supported by a Curator (second in command) and a Sesquiplicarius (third in command/corporal).  Each turmae has a signifer and a musician.
The Scribe
 GM, 65 posts
Wed 28 Oct 2015
at 14:48
Since we are in Rome, the currency structure is different. To simplify things, we will use the following exchange rates:

1 Aureuss = 1 GP = 10 Denarii
1 Denarius = 1 SP = 10 Sestertii
1 Sestertius = 1 CP = 10 As
1 As = 1 Tin Piece

One measure of a Roman soldier was the honors and awards he had earned.  The most common award was the phalerae.  These were awarded in three classes: Gold, Silver and Bronze.  These were awarded similar to modern military medals.  They were worn on a harness over the top of the chest armor.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:04, Mon 22 Feb 2016.