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Dux Britanniarum Campaign

Spring has finally come to Abingdon Wargames Club, and the inevitable spring cleaning of the Club scenery cupboard follows in its wake. Imagine our surprise this year when underneath some of our larger polystyrene hills, we uncovered an early medieval text, itself a translation of a much earlier work. Realising this should be shared with the wider world, the club’s finest minds (bribed with Tunnocks Snowballs) set to work translating the tome. All that the original author has left of themselves is their poor quality Latin and the mysterious epigram ‘Odor Lardum mane amo’.

The document purports to date from the Dark Ages and seems to offer an account of that period at odds with the accepted historical sources of the time. More specifically, it describes the attempts by early Saxons to raid, conquer and settle in Britain during the fifth century, as well as the efforts of various Romano-British warlords to oppose them, and to claim for themselves the title of Dux Britanniarum. It is therefore Abingdon Wargames Club’s pleasure to bring to the wider world the first in an irregular series of translations from this tome, otherwise known as….

Admonitio ad Infideles

AD 443 This year sent the Britons begged assistance from Rome, over the sea, against the Picts; but they received none, for the Romans were at war with Atila, king of the Huns. They then begged the Angles, requesting the same from the nobles of that nation.

AD 449 This year brothers Hengest and Horsa landed in Britannia, invited by Wurtgern, king of the Britons, to assist him; first of all they did assist the Britons, but they afterwards fought against them. Wurtgern directed them to fight against the Picts; and they did so; and wherever they went, victory was achieved by Hengest and Horsa, sons of Wihtgils, son of Witta, son of Wecta, son of Woden, Woden who begat all of their royal kindred. The brothers then called to the Angles, and asked them to send more assistance. They described the worthlessness of the Britons, and the richness of the land. They were then sent greater support. Then came the men from three powers of Germania; the old Saxons, the Angles and the Jutes…

AD 455 This year Hengest and Horsa fought with Wurtgern the king on the spot that is called Epsford. His brother Horsa being slain there, Hengest afterwards took to the kingdom with his son Aesc.

AD 457 This year Hengest and Aesc fought with the Britons on the spot that is called Crecganford, and slew four thousand men there. The Britons then forsook the land of Ceint, and in great consternation fled to that there Londinium.

AD 471 This winter news from Germania. Encouraged by the successes of Hengest and Aesc in Ceint, mead barrels were broached and warriors gathered in the halls of their lords, who made preparations to sail across the sea to Britannia. Youngest of all these lords, Theodoric, son of a Foederati formerly in Rome’s service and wise in their ways. Next Iron-Livered Hringweald, born with no advantage in life save his sword-skill and his cunning. Lastly, the three Wodenborn royals, hardy Teodan and hardy Beowulf, and thrifty Raegnold, son of Osfram.

Yet Hengest and Aesc’s victories had also sharpened the minds of Ceint’s neighbours, who mustered their forces and began to look to their own defences. Virgilus of Rhegin, son of an Honestiore and his companions Rufus Dungbreath and Constantinus the Confessor. Calgarus the Victorious of Caer Gynntguic, son of a centurion of Rome, never far from his redoubtable champion Vanii the Executioner. Three more Tribunes there were, seeking more than just the defence of their lands; these three brooded over their exile from the lost lands of Ceint, and dreamt of revenge. Rhodri ap Idwal, whose loyalty now was with Caer Colun; thrifty Marcianus who now rode for the Kingdom of Northern Britain alongside his companions Albus the Martyr and Drusus the insane; and finally in Linnius, full of thoughts of vengeance was the fifth of Britannia’s defenders…

AD 472 This year much raiding in the spring by the men of Germania. No farm seemed safe from Northern Britain through Linnius and to Rhegin, and Caer Colun’s farmsteads pillaged. Even Caer Gynntguic’s pastures were not safe, as its flocks were herded by the Saxons…

(In other words, Abingdon Wargames Club has got itself a Dark Age Britain campaign going, using Too Fat Lardies’ Dux Britanniarum rules. At this stage, five Saxon and five Romano-British players are vying for control of coastal Britain from Cataractonium to Clausentum!)

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Mar 31, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Nice build up, look forward seeing how it evolves!

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