Sunday, 5 February 2017


Sunday Greetings to you!

I haven't shared any of my work for a while so here's a tiny excerpt from my current writing.

At this point in the manuscript, my character - Gnaeus Julius Agricola - is making his first appearance. Something's not well at his camp near the Springs of Ythan...

I hope you enjoy it.

(The following is from my 'unedited' WIP)
image from :

Tribune Flavus was now visibly sweating, a trickle running down each temple. A fleeting memory came to Agricola of being a rattled junior tribune of the Legio II Augusta, when he was serving in Governor Paulinus’ staff. He, too, had weathered through some trying times when he had angered his superior.

The tribune’s gulp before answering him was suppressed but still audible. “Another patrol was sent out immediately after we found the beast to seek traces of them.”

“And?” he prompted, wanting the update concluded. He had so many more pressing decisions to make, like how many of the Caledon passes into the mountains to block. Although there was really no question at all about that since it was now clear that he needed to block every single one that could be found.

“No signs so far, sir.”

The approach of a new arrival at the entry gate again halted the conversation that he found irksome. He assessed the newcomer’s tunic. When the man got closer they shared a salute. “Manius Helva. Salve! You come from the Tungrian detachment sent to patrol the northernmost Taexali territory?”

“I do, sir.”

“What good news do you have for me?”

When Flavus made to step away he growled at him, “Stay. And learn!” Turning to Helva his nod gestured the Tungrian to continue.

“Due north of here there is one large river flowing from the northern Taexali coastline out into the Oceanus Germanicus.”

“You found no other rivers?”

Helva’s eyebrows flinched. The man carefully formed his reply, as though the question was a trick one. “No other rivers in Taexali territory on the northern coast, though we have been told there are more rivers to the west which flow into the Oceanus Germanicus, but they are in Vacomagi territory.”

“Your unit has not explored these other rivers?”

Again there was the tiniest flicker in the man’s expression. “No, sir. My unit was dispatched to investigate the extent of north eastern Taexali lands and was bidden to report back as quickly as possible.”

Agricola shook off the vague white coating on his crimson cloak before it seeped in and soaked the wool even more than it was already. He ignored the stinging chill at his cheeks and stared at Helva who appeared unaffected by the miserable weather. As well he may do since the lands of his origin were probably not so different from Caledonia. “Your unit has been on patrol for days. What took you so long?”

A trickle of melted hail slid off the Tungrian soldier’s nose though the man’s stance remained firm. “We established the route of the river that we found a short ride to the north west of here, till it reached its estuary to the sea. From the natives we confirmed that river is the western border of Taexali territory.”

“The natives were friendly?” The question had to be asked though the answer was no doubt a foregone conclusion.

What do you think Agricola is doing at this point in his Caledonian campaigns? 


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