Friday, November 2, 2018

Dux game in the making

A wet, windy and thoroughly unpleasant Thursday afternoon saw me at a local office supplies shop where I printed out a nice shiny batch of Dux Britanniarum cards. I spent the rest of the afternoon wielding guillotine and card sleeves to put them all together - only to run out of sleeves. Ho hum. Still, those I can get tomorrow. I like the card decoration by Coral Sealey, and my card shoe really adds a touch of class to proceedings, if you ignore the messy work area behind it.

So, where will I set the campaign? Taking a look at the list of British kingdoms in the rule book I decide the Kingdom of Linnius (modern Lincolnshire and the immediate area) is a good prospect, and the starting year will be 472AD. The Old North has yet to see any significant Saxon raids, although the Kingdom of Northern Britain has recently split into the Kingdoms of Verbeia and Navio following the death of its king. Surrounded by more-or-less stable kingdoms, Linnius has little concern for its flanks and rear. The main danger lies in those sinister dark longboats crossing the German Sea...

Fingers crossed I can set up the first game this weekend. For now, let's revisit the characters I created.

Dux Britanniarum characters.
To lead the Romano-British, we have Gaius Menusius. Age 28, he's the son of an Honestiore, a Roman middle-class family with a good local reputation. A master of arms, he's pretty handy in a fight. His wealth consists of a Tribune's Tribute, so from the start he's well-off for lucre.

The first of his two subordinate Nobles is Barriventus. Age 23, he's a tall, strong young man of noted piety. The son of a warlord, he has a Thief's Horde of wealth.

The second Noble is named Cynbel. A die roll showed he's already earned a sobriquet - the Magnificent. Given his tall, strong physique and noted athletic ability, it seems quite appropriate. I've already nicknamed him Captain Britannica. Another child of an Honestiore family, he's 25 years old and possesses a mere Beggar's Bowl of wealth.
For the Saxon leader, I rolled Ebba. A short and wiry cove of 31, he's out to make a name for himself raiding the lands of those soft, effete Romano-British. An Honorable Wodenborn aristocrat, he's the British-born son of a Foederati, a Saxon mercenary. Ebba possesses a Tribune's Tribute of wealth, which he has used to good effect to attract followers from both the conquered British lands and Northern Germany.

His primary Noble is Oeric. Once again a die roll showed he's already earned a nickname - the Insane. Uh oh... A 28 year old fellow of average build, he's quite an athlete. The son of a peasant, he has but a Beggar's Bowl of wealth, and is out to improve his lot by hitching his career to the ambitious Ebba. It's yet to be seen quite how his insanity will manifest itself...

The second Saxon noble is Wigmund, age 34 and of average build. Like his Lord Ebba, Wigmund's a devout Wodenborn aristocrat, born in Ceint, one of the earliest Saxon-conquered provinces in Britain. Wigmund possesses a Tribune's Tribute of wealth so he's not hurting for cash-but the prospect of making a whole lot more is enticing.

* * * *
Now I roll 1d6 to determine the first scenario, and I get a 6 = Cattle raid. Hmm... Not the easiest of missions right out of the gate. We'll see how events shape up.

Spring 472AD. Ebba and his men recently crossed the German Sea and stole ashore in the Metaris Æstuarium (The Wash) where they established a fortified camp on the coast of Durobrivae province. It places them at the edge of that complex of waterways and failing Roman-built dykes and ditches known as the Fenlands. A band of bold raiders equipped with stout vessels can use those waterways to penetrate deep into the hinterlands and create all kinds of mayhem.

For now the Saxons have need of both food and mobile wealth in the shape of some native cattle. Luckily the fertile land created by the Roman drainage system is good grazing country. Descending upon a Fenland farmstead the Saxons have rounded up a number of beasts and are heading back to their fortified camp. Unfortunately for Ebba, Gaius Menusius has learned of the raid and brought out the posse comitatus. As Ebba's men drive the cattle onwards he senses the Romano-British are on his tail - or could they be ahead of him, waiting to pounce? Either way his introduction to raiding is likely to be fraught with danger...

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