Hello All, Yabusama has suggested a story of the Lost Keoish Legion that marched into the Rushmoors and simply disappeared. There have already been other tales of the countryside that should be included in this area. I am composing the tale of Law Ran-Dreck, after whom the Plains north of Hookhill are named. There is also the Tale of Saint Orsiti, in Barony Hethiye near Geoff. Other suggestions? I know that there is a post fest submission from a few contests ago that would fit in well, and will contact the author.
In the late autumn of -161 CY, Glavius ne-Dorlin was appointed commander of the Keoish forces tasked with the subjugation of the Flan tribes in the Rushmoors area. Glavius had under his control two forces, the Ninth Legion and the Horse Legion. The Ninth Legion was raised in the County of Flen and numbered approximately 2,000 troops, predominately heavy footmen with a significant number of demi-humans from the Good Hills in their number. The Horse Legion was raised in the County of Dorlin, and numbered slightly under 1,500 troops, but with a higher number of cavalry (expensively mounted on Blerfield horses). The Legion took it's name from the standard it carried at the front of it's lines, a golden stallion's head embedded with emeralds for eyes.
Glavius, despite his lofty military position, was less than experienced in fighting an enemy as elusive as the local Flan tribes that relied on hit-and-run and ambush tactics. His forced became bogged down in their advances in to what would become the Gran March, and his men began to become increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress. The junior commander of the Ninth, Hammion Ryloian, did his best to put Glavius's increasingly frustrating orders into action, but his men suffered several significant losses in five minor engagements.
As the weeks rolled by and winter approached, Glavius recieved word from Niole Dra that the Ninth Legion was to be removed from his command and transferred back to the County of Flen for refitting and resupply. Many of the Ninth were happy to be out of the endless marshes and damp fields of the Rushmoors, and Hammion shared his men's relief at being able to remove the rust and mold from their equipment. Rumour had it that Hammion had complained to his step-uncle in Niole Dra about Glavius' poor command and had oiled a few palms to ensure he was out of his command.
With the removal of the Ninth Legion, Glavius was left with an imbalanced force, heavy on cavalry ill-suited for tackling the terrain of the area. Smoldering from the rumours of Hammion's disloyalty, Glavius assumed personal command of the Horse Legion, and set about finally quelling the remaining Flan resistance, Glavius sort to execute any that opposed the introduction of the new law of the land, and was not shy in ordering the razing of any village or farming community that was suspected of harbouring partizans. It was no small surprise then that the remaining Flan stalwarts withdrew into the Rushmoors, where their local knowledge and skills kept them relatively safe from the Horse Legion. This, of course, infuriated Glavius but he was unable to locate the enemy in the endless sea of rushes and myriad of streams and minor rivers that criss-crossed the marsh.
In mid-Fireseek, finally Glavius' luck changed, his men captured a small rush-canoe and its crew attempting to exit the Rushmoors. One of the occupants was a druid of Obad-Hai, called Brandubh who was not unknown to Glavius. The druidic circles that he had torn down in an attempt to break the spiritual back of the conquered peoples had caused the druids to become champions of the Flan people, and Brandubh was one of their most celebrated. Dispite his resolute refusal to speak or communicate in any way with his capturers, Brandubh had his spirit broken during two weeks of intensive "questioning", his shattered body thrown back into the muddied Rushmoor waters as a warning to his people. Glavius gleaned from Brandubh's tortured mutterings of a settlement deep within the marsh that was their last bastion of faith and resistance, a fortified village called Bernicia. Armed with this knowledge, Glavius set out to finish the subjurgation of the area by eliminating Bernicia once and for all.
On the last day of Fireseek, Glavius assembled the Horse Legion and marched in to the swirling mists of the Rushmoors, bound for Bernicia. This is where fact gives way to legend and rumour, as not one man of the Horse Legion returned from the mists to tell his tale. Some say that Glavius found the settlement but was besieged there until his men were overcome, others that they never made it to the redoubt and that the very nature of the Rushmoors rose up and washed them away in retribution for the slights made to Obad-hai and his druids. What is known that the druids of Obad-Hai continued their resistance for several decades, using what some say was the golden standard of the Horse Legion as a rallying point.
The truth is that no-one knows what happened, and if it were not for the occasional discovery of a water-logged corpse dressed ancient armour, preserved in the peat of the marsh, the legend of the Horse Legion would have been forgotten. Other travellers speak of a ghostly legion that still marches through the swamp when the mists are at their thickest, led by Glavius and his golden standard. _________________ The only Good hobbit is a well-done hobbit.
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