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Versuri Bal sagoth - Blood Slakes The Sand At The Circus Maximus


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Versuri >> Bal sagoth >> Blood Slakes The Sand At The Circus Maximus
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[Thoughts of an Iceni gladiator, awaiting the
opening of the arena portcullis:]

[Memories of rebellion (Carnage at Camulodunum):]

[Iceni Messenger:] Hearken! The Ninth Legion has
been put to the sword! The

war-Chief of Queen Boudicca: Onwards to
Camulodunum... wet your swords!

Redden the earth with Roman blood!

I remember the carnage at Camulodunum...

The glorious clash of Celtic sword against Roman
gladius,

The pride in the eyes of our war-queen

As we hacked down the Imperial Eagle,

And the severed heads of centurions gaping atop
our spears.

[Bloodshed and Battle: 61 AD (C.E.)]

They had gone too far, these invaders from the
east, with their imperial eagle

which they dared to drive into our sacred soil...
pompously claiming our

island as their own. They who marched across the
world expanding their empire

all for the greater glory of their succession of
debauched emperors, reclining

upon their ivory thrones in the heart of
sweltering Rome. Aye, they had gone

too far... After their brutal annexation of our
sovereign Iceni lands and the

vile rape of our Queen Boudicca's royal daughters,
the Romans had the sown the

fields of carnage and they would reap a grim
harvest of slaughter, without

doubt! They had enraged the Red Queen, and by the
gods, they would pay!

We certainly taught the arrogant invading dogs a
lesson, at any rate. The

omens and portents spoke of vast bloodshed and
great carnage, and after our

slaughterous victories at Camulodunum (the Temple
of Claudius burned

wonderfully!), Londinium and Verulanium, the
cursed Romans finally dared to

meet us honourably upon the field of war at
Mandeussedum. They sent fifteen

thousand legionaires, their armour gleaming like
gold in the sun... but it

would still yield to our swords and spears, no
matter how it sparkled.

The Roman scoundrel, Governor Suetonius Paullinus,
battle-scarred from his

campaigns against the Druids, was able to choose
the ground upon which to make

his stand, and so it was that he selected as the
battlefield a narrow valley,

fronted by a flat plain, with dense woodland at
its rear. Aye... Mandeussedum,

the place of the chariots... I remember it
vividly.

The Governor's army looked unnerved as wee took
the field. I'll never forget

that, iron Roman fortitude or not! We were one
hundred thousand strong,

infantry and cavalry, both men and women warriors,
as is our Celtic custom, in

the ranks together, all annointed with woad, all
roaring oaths and vows to our

ancient gods, who were surely grimly watching the
epic confrontation from

their great thrones and vast halls. Our
war-chariots thundered up and down the

Roman front, the charioteers screaming abuse at
the grim legionaires,

decurions and centurions, and hurling spears and
other missiles which

clattered against the Imperial shield wall. And
not one Roman javelin or pilum

was hurled in response, not one arrow was loosed
in retaliation. They were

disciplined, I'll give them that. We were swelled
by our victories, empowered

by our noble cause, enraged with the battle
frenzy; thirsting to take as many

Roman heads as our bright blades could sever!

And yet we were perhaps somewhat overconfident
that day...

[Abducted from the Iceni:]

In the aftermath of our defeat at Mandeussedum, I
was captured by Romans with

a veiled intent... (though three of them died at
my hands in the attempt!)

Nero was growing bored with the gladiators, slaves
and lion-fodder at his

great Circus, and so had requested Suetonius
Paullinus to provide the citizens

of Rome with new entertainment... The Emperor had
heard much of the wildness

and fighting spirit of these barbaric Britons who
had brought such woe to his

far-famed legions; these painted, pagan tribesmen
who had resisted the

Empire's iron fist where the glorious phalanxes of
the East had not.

Agents of the Imperium... hearken to my words,
Nero had demanded. Bring to

Rome some of these tribesman for the Games. Let us
pit them against our most

ravenous beasts and our greatest gladitorial
champions.

And so I was taken in fetters aboard a Roman
trireme, the blood of slain

legionaires still crusted upon my thews, I was
taken far from the fens of my

beloved homeland, to tread the sun baked sand of
the Circus Maximus... to

fight for my life in the Imperial Arena.

[Arrival at the Circus Maximus:]

The Circus Maximus was certainly a splendid sight,
I'll admit. A vast

colosseum with great stone columns and tiers, huge
ornate arches and mighty

statues of grey marble. Countless people filled
the seats surrounding the

sandy floor of the Arena... and in his opulent
royal enclosure, flanked by

gleaming guards and grovelling lackeys, sat the
great Emperor himself...

[Emperor Nero:] Fight, barbarian outlander! Please
us, and mayhap Mars will

smile on thee this day!

[Iceni warrior:] Bah! I do not hail to your Roman
gods, and you are not my

emperor! By Cernunnos, the blood of my enemies
shall stain the sand of this

cursed arena red this day!

[The Combat Commences:]

They unleashed the lions first. Hunger maddened
beasts, goaded into a frenzy

by the cruel point of many a pilum... And yet my
own hunger, the hunger for

revenge, was greater, and my honed steel was
sharper than bestial fang and

claw. And so they ranged their finest warriors
against me. Three more iron

gates around the arena yawned open, and they
strode from the colosseum tunnels

amidst a cacophony of cheering from the assembled
Roman spectators, urged on

and showered with martial adulation from the
massed arena crowd, who howled

their bloodlust without cessation.

I studied my opponents... there were two trained
gladiators, champions I was

told, who had never met defeat in the Games... and
then there was another like

me, a captured warrior forced to fight for his
life. This one was a towering

reaver from the Northlands with a bright yellow
beard, hefting a crude axe

with a single iron head. I lifted my iron bladed
Celtic shortsword with its

bronze hilt (the same sword which, mere days
before, had been slaked with

Roman blood... and its blade would soon be red
once more with the blood of my

captors, by all the gods!) and nodded to the
reaver. An understanding passed

between us... we knew we were here simply as
sword-fodder, and we knew we

would both fight these Roman dogs to the death!

The first gladiator moved towards me; he was a
giant of a man, standing nearly

seven feet tall and clad in dark leather and
bronze armour from head to toe.

His full-face visored helmet was set with ornate
metal fittings and encrusted

with jewels of various hues, and a vast black
horse hair plume rose from the

metal crown. Strapped on to his forearms were two
black vambraces, to each of

which had been secured twelwe inch serrated
blades, and they gleamed brightly

in the hot afternoon sunlight. He began to circle
me slowly, his eyes hidden

beneath his great helmet. To his left, I saw the
second gladiator begin to

close on the Northman. The yellow-bearded axeman's
opponent was a huge

steel-helmeted Nubian, wielding a wickedly pointed
trident and carrying an

embossed iron buckler with a great spike jutting
from its polished centre.

Far above, upon his great dias, the Emperor gave
the signal for the combat to

begin, and with the battle-lust engulfing me, with
the red mist swirling

before my eyes, I vowed to my northern gods that I
would show these leering

Romans the fighting spirit and battle prowess of
my people... I would leave

the arena littered with the bloody corpses of my
opponents...

I would cast off the imperial fetters and return
to the fens! Aye, I would

escape, and make all Romans fear my name, and
compel Nero to rue the day

Julius Caesar had first ordered his legions across
the grim grey sea to my

ancient island... BLOOD FOR BOUDICCA... CARNAGE
FOR CERNUNNOS!!

To be continued...

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