The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 part 16


The Missing

Part 16

To the Mine again

Other parts here

Well rested and eager to find Harold we pack up our stuff and get ready, it’s a foggy morning so it looks like we are going to get wet again. James casts ‘Charm’ onto both orcs so we can leave them with the mule to guard it and the house. Guido has cooked up the deer meat as jerky it has Preserve cast on it so will not go off, we also have some for KOR which has not been cooked.  We take 4 days of the jerky with us and Thorn carries Gnomon’s equipment for him.  After all with not being very big that is why he brings the mule with him to carry stuff. With James taking the lead as scout and Thorn bring up the rear as protection we set off again along the path leading further into the wood.

After about an hour we come to the stream and cross, James up front struggles but doesn’t fall. A while later we reach the ravine which this time with no mule we are going to cross.  Thorn ties his rope around a tree and using it to steady himself get to the bottom. He then walks back a bit and holding the rope tight we can slide our bags down to him. KOR leaps down the rocky slope as James ‘Levitates’ himself down. Gnoman goes down with his fancy footwork and Guido goes down the rope one handed showing me how easy he thinks this is, Arnost follows him using both hands. That just leaves me so I untie the rope loop it around two trees tie it around me and using my amassing climbing skill go down the slope where Thorn pulled the rope through and repacked it.

James floats up the other side of the ravine and Thorn throws the rope up to him to tie around a tree. We al then make a chain of bodies up the rope to pass the bags up to James once they are all up we all finish moving up to the top. After a rest to recover from the excursion we set off again through the wood. A while later James stops our march as he comes to an open area. This clearing is full of lush tall grass, James isn’t happy about it and then sees that the orc tracks go around it. Arnost comes up and tells him it’s a area of marshy boggy land and he might well have sunk into it if he hadn’t stopped. So we all go around, glad that Gnoman wasn’t point as he would have been able to cross with no problem and led us into it.

Later on James hears a rustling and sees some squirrels disturbed by us passing, he also notices a big wasps nest which he might have fallen into if he had jumped into cover. We continue our walk in the woods and sometime later Panther barks at James. This alerts James to two Hobgoblins who come into sight surprising each other. James reacts fast and lets go a snap arrow shot managing to hit  one goblin in its arm for a light wound. The goblins return arrows one hitting James in his left arm but failing to get pass the armour he wears there. James ducks behind a tree to draw another arrow and the hobgoblins leg it. James shouts to let KOR give chase, however as only he had seen the goblins the rest of us had no idea what was happening. Anyway I told KOR to seek and off he went.

The goblin which took the arrow stumbles and KOR leapt onto him grapping his left leg Guido starts walking up towards James to see what is going on. A KOR worry at the goblins leg but is forced to back away and run back to me when the other goblin attacks him with a sword. With Guido to slow in the undergrowth he gives up and the goblins get away. We assume that the mine now knows we are on the way. We pull ourselves back into march order and continue on causally.

It is now getting late in the afternoon so we send an invisible Gnoman to check ahead and see where the goblins went while the rest of us set up an ambush. Gnoman later tells us what he found; first he comes to a small clearing at the bottom of a hill the road seems to end here. As the track I have been following ends, I see an entrance carved into the side of a small hill. The square entrance is framed by thick blocks of stone. The blocks along the top are sagging as it has started to fail with age. This block has writing carved into it over it in red paint under a red whip are more words. Gnoman can’t read them but later we find out that the carved words are in Dwarf and say ‘This is the mine of the Greytoe family visitors not welcome.’ The red words are in Hobgoblin we think but Arsnost only understands some of it using Orc ‘…. Ownership … out’. Gnoman hides himself so he can see the entrance and waits to see if anything happens.

The rest of us hearing nothing start to worry about Gnoman and so we slowly move forward till we also see the entrance and KOR finds the still invisible Gnoman by scent. He wonders why we didn’t stay put and we say we were worried. Arnost tries to see if he can get an echo from the hill and entrance but all he gets is a bit of one off the hill, I tell him to keep quite. I then give a pep talk to Gnoman encouraging him as he prepares to go into the mine. The rest of us again set up an ambush around the entrance. Gnoman says he is off so we wait, this time till something happens as he tells us to.

 Again Gnoman fills us in later; the mine entrance is 3m square with a stone floor and packed earth on both sides and above. A series of thick stone blocks are placed every 3m for support of the walls and ceiling. Roots hang down from above. Gnoman enters going slowly and checking for traps as he goes.

The tunnel runs at a noticeable downward slope, and after moving 20m into the earth the tunnel is now carved from solid rock. The entrance is just a glimpse of light behind and he is in total darkness. After another 12m Gnoman comes to a fork as the tunnel branches off to the south east and to the west. The southeast tunnel still slopes downwards.  Gnoman starts going west to check that area out even though the orc had said that the main route in and out was the other direction. After a litter distance he can make out some heat sources from something living blocking the tunnel, he moves closer and can make out two giants, small maybe but filling the tunnel, sat down blocking the tunnel. They seem to have javelins and very big axes. Gnoman goes back and heads down the other tunnel, which goes on quite a way.

The tunnel ends onto a large open area, where the ceiling appears to be 6m’ above your head. Gnoman walks out onto the open area and sees a circle of reddish light about 30m away, he hears a faint clicking sound and moves towards it till he can make out some large beetles with glowing red orbs above them. He continues to explore and finds both ends of this massive area the bottom part seems to be a drop down and at each end there is a set of steps cut into the cliff to walk down. There is also what seems to be some sort of elevator in the middle of the cliff area he expects the miners used it for moving ore out.

These steps lead down into darkness but as Gnoman moves down them he hears voices there appears to be others in this area. Being very careful not to make any noise to alert them Gnoman gets to the bottom and can see two orcs on guard about 10m from the steps. Gnoman moves around them and explores, he finds two more guards at the other set of steps as well as the bottom of the lift with old decaying carts around it. There is one other way out a tunnel leaving at the other end of the area. He moves down this till he gets to a 12m square area with tunnels from each side.  The one to the right has animal prints in the dirt, maybe the wolf lair the one to the left has lots of orc prints so must lead to the orc barracks. We think the one going straight on leads towards the Hobgoblins and boss area. Gnoman thinks he has gone far enough so retraces his steps avoiding all danges and alerts us to his presence by the normal three stones thrown at us. Now we need to work out how to get past the giants.

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 part 15


The Missing

Part 15

Harold’s House

Other parts here

It is a few hours after midnight and day six since leaving Longreed. We prepare to leave the woods and go back to Harold’s house James casts Deflect on himself, Guido and Thorn while Gnoman casts Warmth on himself. This is because the wind has shifted and brought a chill wind and light rain onto us. Arnost is not having any of this arcane magic cast on him; he is tough enough to deal with a little night time rain he says. No one seems to think about me so I put my waterproof over me and get into line. Guido takes point followed by James and Arnost then Thorn with the orc captive, then Gnoman and the mule with me and Alice bringing up the rear. Alice soon leaves me to go hunting I assume.

As we march along those of us without Deflect get wetter and wetter and all but Gnoman get colder. Around 3 hours into the walk around the ravine we hear a bunch of wolves howling, they seem to be all around us. We keep close together and keep moving. By the time we reached the other side of the ravine it was daybreak and a fog settled over us, this was cold and damp as well. By now Gnoman is tired as well as wet and decides to ride the mule the rest of the way. I do not see the rest move off in the fog and get lost for some minutes before I manage to find them again. I decide to walk right behind the mule as I could see such a short distance.

The fog magnifies all the noise of us passing as well as the sounds around us, it is very disorienting. A while later we hear Goblins in the fog, Arnost understands what they are saying ‘quick there are others around lets go quickly, leave the deer it will be quicker.’ Eventually their sounds fade and we continue our walk back to Harold’s. By the time we reach there the fog is lifting but Arnsot, myself and Gnoman are all very wet cold and worn out.

Guido and James go and check that the house has not been occupied while we have been gone, it hasn’t and the orc is still tied up in the basement. James volunteers to watch out at the front door after we have added the new orc captive to the one in the basement. Guido prepares food in the kitchen and Thorn gets a fire going in the dining room for those of us who are wet and cold. Gnoman, myself and Arnost change out of our wet clothes but it turns out Arnost only has those clothes and so sits around naked in front of the fire. After getting warmed and fed we barricade the doors and James and Guido with Thorn in support stand watch. We bring the mule in as well so Harold’s house is now quite a smelly and messy place.

Arnost, Gnoman and I sleep till after midday around 4 hours, recovering from the trails of the march and for Gnoman getting some of his magical ability back. Guido has lunch ready for us all and says that we are nearly out of supplies as we only brought a week’s supplies with us expecting to be back in Longreed by now. Guido, Thorn and James now need to sleep as they have been going for a long time so we swap over to let them sleep till early evening around 7 hours. We have the last of the rations for tea and I use my scroll of Animal Talking to speak to Alice. It turns out he would rather me called ‘Killer of Rabbets’ KOR to James. I tell him what commands I will use with him, Attack; Guard; Seek; and Heel this should allow me to do all I need with KOR.

[‘Killer of Rabbits’ is a clever deceitful play Rabbits, to KOR, are anything that are smaller and stand afraid of him.]

With that done I Arnost and KOR go hunting for food, hoping to find a deer. We find 4 deer drinking. We carefully close with them and Arnost kills one with a throwing axe while my sling shot misses spooking them. KOR drags a running deer down and kills it, another rabbet dealt with. We drag the carcasses back to the house and I butcher them getting around 230lb of meat and edible organs from them, we would like to use the skins but have neither the skills nor time. We do keep some of the blood to make sausages though.

With plenty of food, Guido has been reading some of Harold’s cook books, and some veg in the garden Guido can keep us feed. We decide to take another day to rest, reflect on the adventure so far and plan. I take this opportunity to share my dream with the group. When we slept in the woods I had this dream. I entered the mine and went down a long tunnel deeper and deer under the earth with no light but I could see caves with movement outside of my vision. Then I see a horde of creatures, Goblins, Orcs, Hobgoblins and Ogres then I wake with the words ‘Do not go too far underground yet’ in my mind.  We take this as a warning from the ‘Old Ones’ to take care in the mine as there are deeper dangers we should avoid.

Day 8 after leaving Longreed, we are rested feed and ready.

Review of ‘SPQR’ by M Beard


‘SPQR’ A History of Ancient Rome’ by Mary Beard is a book on the first 1,000 years of Rome from its founding to 212 CE or AD as I think of it. Mary takes us on a journey of discovery as she looks at the myth of foundation through the republic and into the early empire. In over 500 pages she includes a lot and I learnt a lot as well.

I love history and this is a great history book, lots of information and good Roman stories along with the facts as she sees them. Mary also brings to the fore were there are different views on the history which is very good. This is not an in depth view of any one person or battle or period it is a overview of 1,000 years.

Mary looks at the various rulers but also how others lived and worked and survived in Rome and its empire. I was shocked at the rubbish dump of babies and amassed at the hill of pottery, this book is full of surprises.

A good read and well worth reading and keeping for reference as it has a good further reading chapter.

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 part 14 B


The Missing Part 14

Ambush part 2

Other parts here

Gnoman gets his sling ready, James moves stealthily and slowly, Thorn gets to his feet. Arnost hits the Hobgoblin with his great hammer and even though the Hobgoblin puts his shield in the way he hits its chest doing a little damage. The first of Gnomans summoned hobgoblins makes a real mess of its attack on a orc and hits the other hobgoblin in the abdomen. The three orcs attack back but all their blows were parried by the hobgoblins the last one still impaled on Guido sword attacks him but Guido parries that attack. As the orc attacks Guido tries to pull his sword out. I start to cast bless which will effect James, Thorn and Gnoman.. The wolf snaps at Arnosts legs tripping him to the ground as Alice racks it with his claws.

Gnoman spends the next few seconds loading his sling. James fires a Magic Missile at the Hobgoblin stunning it while Thorn moves. Arnsot stands as the orc attacks to stop him but misses. The hobgoblins and orcs exchange blows with one of the orc and one of the hobgoblins dying. The Hobgoblin falls back from Arnost with its wolf following. Guido uses his shield to try to bash the orc away and pull his sword out at the same time however he fails this time.

James fires 2 more Magic Missiles this time at the orc stunning it as Arnost hits it with his hammer squashing it. My Bless spell goes off.

Gnoman continues to load his sling as James and Thorn move again. Arnsot moves after the Hobgoblin who attacks him but Arnost parries. One Orc and the remaining hobgoblin slug it out while the other orc moves away. It looks like they are trying to get away. The impaled orc manages to get past Guido’s parry and hits him but his armour takes the blow well. Guido then tries his shield bash again this time leaving an opening for the orc to try to grab the shield and disarm Guido. However the orc failed in this cleaver move. I and Alice move quickly towards the hobgoblin as the wolf trips Arnost gripping his right leg.

Gnoman moves with his swinging sling James and Thorn also move again taking care by doing so slowly. Arnost on the ground with the wolf gripping his leg rips the wolf off with his bare hands and throw it away from him. The orc and hobgoblin swing and each other with the hobgoblin dying. The Hobgoblin by Arnost points its sword at his face and calls on him in orcish to surrender. Arnsot refuses.  Guido again bashes the orc this time knocking him back pulling sword out and theyby killing the orc. I walk while looking around and send Alice to help Arnost as the wolf takes a bit from Arnost’s abdomen leaving a bleeding wound.

Gnoman eventually uses his sling stunning the orc with the shot. James casts another double magic Missile at the Hobgoblin killing it. Opps wasn’t capturing the Hobgoblin the point of this ambush!

That is it combat is over Two orcs have got away and the Hobgoblin is dead we have many wounds but Arnost and Guido have the worst also most of us are winded and James is tired. Thorn casts Hold Person on the last orc and ties it up. I rush to Arnost to steam the bleeding and use my healing skills on him, after a few minutes he can stand with the bleeding stopped and the wounds dealt with. I then go to Guido and draw the arrow from his backside; he will not be sitting for a while. Thorn then comes along and casts healing on Guido and Arnost finishing the healing of the two worst off members of our group. We then loot the dead Arnost takes the Hobgoblins shield as its better than his tiny one. We then rest for 15 minutes or so to recover our breath and then Thorn casts Cure fatigue on James to restore his wind. As we rest we discuss what to do next, we are too low on Magical energy to risk going forward. James wants to just sleep for now but we convince him that doing so here would not be a good idea so we agree to return back the way we came to Harold’s house. Guido uncovers his light and goes to find his spear and pull it out of the tree. We fall back to the mule and prepare to walk the long way back to Harold’s this time in the dark wondering what dangers this wood might still have to throw at us. Once we are rested we will be back as we still have not rescued Harold but they will probably know we are coming.

Talk for 25th Oct for Ascension Church


Link to YouTube video of my talk on Patience and Persistence in Prayer

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 part 14


The Missing Part 14

Ambush part 1

Other parts here

 

We quickly get rid of any ant parts left around so as not to give away our ambush then after a short discussion we decide to continue with our planed ambush of a orc patrol with our desire to capture a Hobgoblin. Having decided to do that James followed by Gnoman and Thorn decide to go to sleep I see no reason not to join them. So we all, except Gnoman who doesn’t have any, take off our armour make ourselves comfortable. I have Alice, my wolf, by me to wake me if needed. Gnoman is near Guido and Arnost, a bit back from the trail, so they could wake him James is off by himself but has his dog Panther with him.

After a while Alice growls, which helps Guido see two orcs on the trail at the same time another wolf responds to Alice’s howl. Arnost uses his hammers shaft to poke Gnoman awake. The two orcs release arrows at Guido hitting the tree he is by, Guido then throws his spear at one of them also hitting a tree.

Arnost moves to get closer the orcs retire behind trees to reload while shouting. Guido draws his anti-goblin sword.

Gnoman wakes quickly and sends his cat to waken Thorn, James stands with his bow as Arnost readies his hammer, and the orcs move still shouting. Guido walks carefully using the tree sides as I cast Barkskin on myself.

Gnoman puts his backpack on and readies his sword; James goes invisible, Arnsot moves. At this point we can see no enemy. Then a wolf bounds through the undergrowth to challenge Alice. Guido finds his spear in a tree and I ready a javelin.

Gnoman gets his sling out and recalls his cat, while James looks around as does Thorn. Arnost and Guido try to get into possession, Guido deciding that it was not a good idea to expose himself to pull out the spear from the tree. I throw my Javelin hitting an orc and impaling its left arm.

Gnoman becomes invisible, James moves towards the wolves as Thorn casts Barkskin. Arnost continues to move. Guido has arrows from 4 orcs to his side hit him, one goes into and partially through his shield while another hits him in his backside sticking in there. Guido moves behind cover and I throw a second javelin but miss.

Gnoman starts to cast and hold Summon Lesser Monsters and James becomes winded from lack of sleep. Thorn readies his shield and mace as Guido snaps the arrow in his shield off leaving part in it. I throw my last javelin and miss again.

Gnoman moves as does James, Thorn,Arnost and Guido I ready my sling.

Gnoman lets his held spell go and 3 hobgoblins appear in front of the orcs. James moves trying to get to the flank of the orcs. Thorn trips over Gnoman and both fall to the ground as Arnsot moves to attack a now visible hobgoblin and orc, their commander we assume. The 4 orcs let go arrows at Gnomans allies taking one out and another injured. Guido moves and I start to load my sling.

Gnoman moves from under Thorn and his remaining two hobgoblins miss their attacks. Arnost attacks the enemy hobgoblin and although it’s a bad attack the hobgoblin fails in his parry as well. Orcs drop there bows and ready their axes, Guido rams his sword into an orc impaling it.

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 part 13


The Missing

Part 13

Ants in our pants

 EARLIER CHAPTERS HERE

 

We spend an hour or so exploring the area and arguing about how to do the ambush or even if, I have no idea why we keep going back over things we have already decided to do. During this time James moves away from Gnoman and becomes visible as we take up positions for the ambush. The orc has told us that they cross the ravine here by using ropes to climb down so James things we should hit them while they are doing it. He sets up back from the rest of us by the edge to fire down into the ravine. We have left the mule back where we had finished cutting a path for it and we leave the orc to guard it. Arnost and Guido deploy close up to the pathway maybe 10m back but out of sight. Thorn Gnoman and I cover their back to give support. Once he is settled Gnoman casts Chill on himself to make him harder to spot amongst the trees with infravision.  He has realised that as night falls the trees and undergrowth cools he would stand out so he is lowering his temp to help concealment if his invisibility comes down.

 

 

Not long after the sun goes down and the forest becomes very dark James senses a movement nearby and sees a few deer eating nearby. The orc also sees them and grabbing one of my javelins which were on the mule throws it but misses. However it does scare them away. As the night crawls on I fall asleep and Guido and Gnoman get distracted so we do not notice the giant ants. The first we all know is when they drop from the trees above us. It seems we have been ambushed rather than us doing the ambush. Arnost, Guido, the mule and I all get grabbed by one while Gnoman, James and Panther are alert enough to make the ants miss them. Mind you one could hardly call them ants as they are bigger than some of us.

 

 

Gnoman as always reacts fasted and swings his sword at the ant but in his rush misses. James drops his bow and draws his great sword, Guido pulls the jaws of the ant apart and throws it away from him while Arnost also prizes the ant off of him and then pins it against a tree. I use my shield to bash at the ant holding me and keep it off balance so it can’t use its stinger on me. The ants manage to sting the mule, grab and damage James right arm. Alice bits onto an ant.

Gnoman swings at the ant again hits this time but finds its exoskeleton to be too tough. James manages to prize the ant off his arm and throw it away however he had to drop his sword to do so. Guido delays waiting for the ant to come back to him, while Arnost pulls his ant apart with his bare hands. I shield bash again to keep the ant off balance. Alice worries at the ant in its mouth but can’t get past its tough skin.  The Ants while the one moving back on Guido gets stunned by a shield bash from him. The others all fail to do anything; the one attacking Thorn is faced with tough armour.

Gnoman decides to disengage from the fight he can’t win, James picks up his sword, Guido picks up his spear, Arnost picks up his hammer. I use my shield again and Alice worries at the ant.

 

Gnoman moves away from the ant and towards Thorn, James decides to protect Panther who has an ant on its back, to do so he swings his great sword at it. The blade cuts right through the ant missing panther and cutting the ant in two. Guido impales, the ant which was attacking Gnoman, on his spear. Arnost uses his two handed hammer to smash another ant. I continue to use my shield to protect from the ant on me. Alice continues to worry the ant in its mouth however the ant manages to sting Alice in his left foreleg but fails to inject any poison.

Gnoman casts Feather fall onto two ants, as Arnsot moves. James impales another ant on his sword as Guido tries to remove his spear from the ant. Alice with a lighter ant in his mouth swings it away as I yet again protect myself with my shield.

The last ants we can see move away and we kill of the last of them. The result of this ambush is the orc lost to ants who dragged him off, Guido, James, the mule and I all injured so Thorn casts cure minor wounds 4 times to clear up this wounds. Gnoman was most worried about his mule while James was concerned about Panther his familiar.

 

We settle back into our places of ambush and wait to see if an orc patrol comes along. Maybe next time we will check the area we are hanging around in for vermin.

Pictures from Alexandria Park Bath September 2020


Copyright C Brann

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 part 12


The Missing

Part 12

The Lonely Wood

 EARLIER CHAPTERS HERE

Morning day five since leaving Longreed, Gnoman James and I spend the first hour changing spells in memory around, while the others prepare breakfast. Guido also spends time using his craft skill to fix the stone with permanent light on it into his shield front, he decides to put into the lower left side so it illuminates ahead of him but does not attract missile fire to his head. He then cuts up a sheet and finds some jam so he can cover the light if he needs to. We were then going to head off to find Harold but James decided he wanted to find Harold’s magic and alchemy books, to do this he cast Locate Object thinking about an alchemy book, however he found nothing. Then he decided he wanted to ask more questions of the orc prisoners.

 

After a heated discussion James casts Charm onto one of the orcs then Tongues himself to be able to give it instructions. He tells the orc to listen to and obey Arnost and then we ask questions about the journey to the mines, the mine itself and the hobgoblins. We find out that there is a ravine on the way to the mine which they climb down and up but the orc has no idea about going round as he never has. He describes the mine as deep, we need to enter and go down a long passage to a big area where there are steps to the left and right and an elevator thingy leading down to another large area. There are guards at the bottom of the steps normally a couple of orcs at each end. From that area there is a passage which takes you to the orc’s barracks around 20 we think and the hobgoblin barracks where there are 5 or so hobgoblins. There is also an area where 4 or 5 wolves are kept. There are also passages we are not allowed to go down and they are marked as such. Then the passage runs further into the mine to where the boss is with his shaman and guards. He has no idea where Harold might be kept as he is not allowed down that area.

 

So it appears we have a mine with around 20 orcs, 6+ hobgoblins including a shaman and a chief who wears fancy armour. However we do need more information, which the dead hobgoblin might have been able to give us had Guido not killed him. We check our rations and have seven days food left but will need to get water on the way. Eventually we moved out around late morning with a invisible James and Gnoman 30m ahead of the rest of us followed by Guido and Arnost with the orc then me, Alice and the mule with Thorn bringing up the rear. It is unlikely we will make the mine before dark now.

 

 

We pick up the Orcs tracks just past the back gate they lead to a creek about 100m from the house. We can see that the tracks continue the other side so we follow the track into the woods, although track is hardly the word for it as it is barely an animal path. As you go along winding around trees and shrubs Gnoman notices that we are in places on a buried stone road. Looking he sees that it is dwarf work made of rubble and small slabs, maybe from a mine. This must come from the mine unfortunately due to trees and undergrowth we cannot always follow it but have to follow the faint track. It is hard going as we have to help the mule through the tight spaces.

 

Next the trail comes to a stream, were we rest awhile as it is around midday. The stream is about 1m deep and slow flowing. There are moss covered stepping stones [not natural] which will allow us to cross in a depth of 6”. After a rest we cross and laugh as James and Guido both slip and slide but luckily do not fall into the water. A while later we come to a rocky ravine the road we are part following seemed to cross here but the tracks stop. Our orc says we have to cross here but the climb down and up will be a challenge and very difficult for the mule. So we decide to go left and try to go around.

 

The passage is even harder now as we do not even have a slight trail to help; we have to cut a path for the mule in particular. However at least we know which way to go as long as we keep the ravine to our right. It takes a couple of hours to get to the end and then we head back down the other side for another couple of hours. It is now late afternoon and James thinks that maybe we could get a hobgoblin to question if we lay an ambush here by the trail. So stopping short of the trail we stop.

 

How will the ambush go?

Will we get any rest this night?

What will the night bring?

Review of ‘Gods and Legions’ by M C Ford


‘Gods and Legions’ a novel of the Roman Empire by Michael Curtis Ford

A interesting read, the book starts at the end and then goes back to the beginning. It is 354AD and Julian is about to become a Roman General leading to him becoming Emperor. That is history as is the path of his career, however like all good historical novels it’s in the details that the story comes to life.

You might like me wonder about the title Gods & legions, but it soon becomes clear why this is the title. This book looks at the conflict between Legion’s and enemies of Rome and the conflict between Rome’s old Greek and Roman gods and the new Christian faith. It does this through Julian and his doctor as they work through differences in faith and changing faith. This is intertwined with the ongoing wars and keeping the Legions happy. The Legions are made up of men who follow different old war gods even though Constantine made Christianity the official religion some years before.

The reader always knows what the end is going to be but you soon get caught up in the story of the Doctor Caesarius a Christian in a hostile environment.

I enjoyed this book it is well written with no obvious errors in printing or history, unlike many new books which seem to always have silly paragraph errors with missing words or lines. The military history is interesting but I got most from thinking along with Caesarius’s struggle with faith.