In preparation for the Facebook Launch Party I've organised some blog visits to spread the world about my latest book release. I also sent out a press release to my local media outlets and I've certainly been successful with my local Inverusrie Herald who put on a spectactular 'page 3' spread for me.
Psst - it's already at...
AD 80 One Moon After Beltane – Damnonii Territory
As Brennus made his way into the lands of the Damnonii, the news from each new village and hamlet was increasingly disturbing. Evidence of Roman patrols seemed to be everywhere. The settlers who lived in the coastal villages had alarming tales to tell of many sightings of Roman vessels which had been seen hugging the shoreline.
“Do they beach the ships at any time?” This question of his had been voiced in many places.
The answer seemed to be consistent. “Aye, they do. Small Roman patrols disembark and make small camps, their first stop always to establish a nearby water supply. They terrify the farmers and villagers across the territory but have only engaged in attacking the locals if they are directly threatened.”
“Has that happened often?”
The next part was also consistent. “Aye! Those who are left flee. They have no wish to die under a Roman gladius but they have been able to return to their soil fairly soon after. The Roman patrols make their observations and then leave quickly.”
“These ships do not disgorge hundreds of soldiers? They do not build any of their small forts?”
“Nay! Only small numbers of the Roman scum come to shore but do not linger. They move quickly across the land.”
“Where do they go when they leave their first camps?” Brennus had a feeling the answer would not be favourable.
“Where, I am not sure, but I suppose they must go back to their vessels because they sail off after only a few days.”
Brennus nodded; it sounded very much like Roman tactics. “Aye. I can believe that. Once they take on a fresh water supply, and the venators bring some kill, that would be time for them to leave.”
His guides could not say if the people who dwelled well away from the coast had seen any Roman presence, therefore he deemed it necessary to travel inland. It was high summer so the travelling was fair. The terrain they traversed was peppered with undulating hills, the population who settled there fairly sparse. Some of the even higher slopes were much like the hills between the Brigantes and Selgovae, the moorland too wild and inhospitable for crop growing. He was not surprised to hear of few dwellings there and was glad his guide knew how to skirt the highest peaks to find habitation.
At each new hamlet, his question rarely varied and his answers were returned in like fashion.
“We are valley farmers, Bran. We only see our nearest neighbours a few times over the seasons when we celebrate our feast times, but we have certainly not seen these soldiers you describe to us.”
At every stop, he pulled out his ocarina and flute and entertained the settlers, Nith and Esk providing some fare for their communal eating. At every stop, he established a strong chain of messengers. And at every stop he looked for a leader who would rouse the people into action against the Roman Empire – but nowhere did he find that man. He would not allow himself to become despondent, though it was a trial to carry on at times. The farmers he spoke to would fight for their own land, there was no doubt of that, but there was a great reluctance to fight against an enemy they had only heard talk of around the fireside.