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10/02/2019 / Harry Browne

Battle at Hadrian’s Wall by Declan Cossan

The Roman auxiliaries aligned themselves on the large network of fortifications of Hadrian’s Wall, peering into the misty and cold highlands of Caledonia. From the mists of the highlands, a loud horn echoed across the highlands. At first, they thought they were here to repel a Pictish attack but then they thought nervously to themselves…why would a primitive tribe at the edge of the world have the audacity and power to attack a great Roman fortification. Nevertheless, they prepared their weapons, lighting their fires, loading their ballistas. For now, they waited. Suddenly, one of the centurions heard the sound of thundering footsteps coming closer to them as massive yells boomed through the Scottish and British highlands. He asked his fellow centurion 

“Did you hear that?”
“Do not worry about it, we’re Romans!! The mightiest empire in the world. We will stomp whatever barbaric abominations that come from the highlands!! ROMA VICTOR!!!”
The words “ROMA VICTOR” echoed through the wall…that was till a massive humanoid foot came through the mist. Roars sounded as several giant ugly humanoids who were very pale came out towards the wall. Their long messy coal black hair blowing in the wind, and saliva slowly drooled over the uncoiffed and scraggly beards. These monsters had very muscular bodies who were only covered by the furry skin of woolly mammoths that they killed long ago. These monsters also had very icy blue eyes and rotten teeth. Although they had similar patterns, these were not the Picts…these were the fomorians, a race of misshapen giants who clasped massive spiked clubs in their big filthy hands.

On their heads were headdresses, extending from their headdresses were stag antlers. They clasped weapons such as spears, swords and bows. Nevertheless, the Romans stood their ground as the only homo-sapiens army in the ancient world that could fight the supernatural. The giants made slow but enormous strides towards Hadrian’s wall. The Romans emptied everything they had at the giants, everything ranging from burning ballista bolts, fire catapult shots to flaming arrows and pilums in a bid to take down the giants. While some giants shrugged off most of the damage, some of them collapsed as burning heaps…but that didn’t stop the Fomorians. They still kept advancing. Expecting to fight on the walls, the auxiliaries locked shields. However, the giant king Balor (who stood out from the other giants because he had antlers growing out of him) rose his club and swung it around in order to cleave through the Roman fortifications of Hadrian’s Wall, smashing through their machines. The Romans still tried to hold onto their ground, once the giants got through the wall, an army of legionnaires was waiting. Seeing the hordes of Fomorians, the lead Roman commander yelled
Leading the Romans to lock shields into their tortoise formation. While this formation shielded the soldiers from arrows and thrown spears, all it took to snap a formation was for Balor’s foot to stomp on a regiment, squishing them all under his foot. He then swiped up another group with his foot.

“Oh, what sort of abominations have we unleashed? Now all of Britain will be doomed to darkness!!”
But one of his followers asked
“But there might still be hope!! Maybe we could send a prayer to the Hibernian goddess Danu, so that she might send her sons to fight the Fomorians. They drove the fomorians out of Hibernia before!!”
“No, the Celts of Hibernia drove her tribe….”
But then suddenly many horns sounded across the highlands, striking terror in the Fomorians. They turned around to see a huge mist pour across the battlefield. A legionnaire then asked his centurion.
Seeing the new mist coming in, the centurion said to him.
“Praise Jupiter, the armies of Hyperboria have come!!”
The great white mist from the west coast had cleared away to reveal an enormous army of towering, well built heavily armoured soldiers wearing gleaming silvery armour over their emerald tunics. Their silvery coloured armour was much sleeker and stronger than the armour forged by mortals at this time. They clasped weapons such as spears, broadswords, crossbows and longbows.

However they had icy pale skin, and had either sapphire blue or emerald green eyes, they had short tidy haircuts and beardless faces like the romans but had either golden or flaming red hair like the Celts. Mounted on a giant dragon was their king. A furry robe draped over his scaly silvery armour. His dark red hair was short, but it was thick and curly and like the rest of his men, he had pale skin and bright green eyes. He wore a jewelled crown. He was the largest of all the Tileans. Balor looked over and said to his warriors.
“Nuada!!! The king of Thule, brothers, let us strike him down for good!!”
Yep, the soldiers of Thule had come to stop the Fomorians once more. The Fomorians charged towards the Tilean ranks as a massive unorganised mass. Seeing this, Nuada nodded to his son, Aengus who was beside him who then rode to back to rally the Tilean archers to get ready to fire. The Archers then readied their longbows to fire in volleys, sending very powerful waves of arrows that just sliced through the giants and through hordes of Fomorians. The Fomorians kept charging towards the Tilean ranks. Though to the eyes of the much hairier Celts and Picts, the men of Thule would look like a bunch of boys, they were undaunted by a swarm of Fomorians and they locked their big shields together to form a formation while their longbows continued to decimate the Fomorians. The Tileans then brandished very long razor sharp spears so that they could just skewer the much taller fomorians as they advanced forward, supporting the Lancers were battalions of shielded crossbowmen. This was the real strength of any superhuman army such as those from the land of Thule, it wasn’t their meta-human strength or their magical weapons, nope it was the fact that they fought as a unit. They fought in a fearless and disciplined unit as they marched on against the Fomorians, slaying many of the horrid and barbaric.

As the Tilean soldiers slowly advanced, king Nuada drew a very long broadsword that had runes patterned on it and his dragon shot up into the sky to do battle. The runes slowly began to light up. Several of the nobility, including Nuada’s son Aengus had similar swords. These magical swords had the power to slice down giants but Nuada was using his enormous dragon mount to do most of his killing. However the advance of the Tilean armies was enough to drive the fomorians off from the battlefield. All normal homo-sapiens armies like the Romans were just dumbstruck in awe at the sight of the Tileans. To them, they were like a race of Gods in the eyes of mortals.

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