In the annals of Marcus Aurelius; the Emperor writes of a particular battle that had given him much to think of in the days of his youth. He writes of the time during the first Caesars, when the empire had first expanded her boundaries to the far edges of the known world. The Roman military of the time was proclaimed as invincible, and everything in their path was dealt fire and sword and crushed beneath the heels of the Imperial Legions. Tens of thousands of vanquished were taken captive as tribute and enslaved forever, never to see their families and lands again. Fastened in chains and looking over their shoulders a last time to see behind them their tribes scattered and their forests burned to provide settlements under the rule of the Empire, they were marched to a Eternal City filled with the captives and the wealth of all known nations.
King Blood – Vengeance
Their Generals had heard of the Germanic forest-dwelling tribes north of the Danube, and it was reported that they were fearsome and that they welcomed war. It was said they were physically larger and more intimidating than any the Romans had yet encountered, and they had inspired fear among the Legions of the northern borders. Hearing this, the Commanders gathered their councils and devised a plan; they would bring trains of cages filled with Lions to lead the phalanx, and at the outset of the battle they would release the Lions and surely the barbarians would flee in terror.
Crossing the Danube, on the sloped plain of a valley of which the location is now unknown, they met the Warriors of the tribe known as the Nervi. The Romans had not foreseen that the Germanic tribes north of the Danube had yet to see a Lion, and were unaware that they should be afraid. As the Roman soldiers advanced to meet the lines of the Nervi, they released the Lions who came roaring out of their cages, charging the battle lines of the Nervi Warriors with bared fang and claw, yet the Warriors simply shrugged their shoulders, pausing only to swiftly kill all of what they understood as only packs of huge dogs.
King Blood – Silent Dust
On that day the Romans lost two of the Pannonian Legions to the last man, along with the sacred standards of their eagles, and the northern borders of the Empire from that time on was set forever on the south bank of the Danube.