Why not keep going? A Roman Britain TL:

I- A Spark of Ambition

Colonia Agrippina, January 14th, 139​




Quintus Lollius Urbicus was an anxious man, not necessarily a bad trait for a Roman governor on the Rhine. The new Emperor Antoninus had been impressed with Urbicus's governorship of Germania, enough so that he'd been given quite the reward. In just a few months, he'd be setting out for Britannia, the island province that was tucked away in the furthest corner of rome. At a glance, the miserable weather and great distance from Rome could make the governorship look like a poorly disguised exile, but this was far from the case. The gold and silver mines insured steady income for its governor, while the control of three legions meant the officeholder required the Emperor's trust.

Even now there was much to be done. Urbicus had to prepare his old province for his replacement, and make arrangements for things to be established in Londinium. His office was a mess of dispatches, replies, and his own personal notes strewn about everywhere. The Roman's mind was already swimming with ideas for expanding the minds, perhaps importing slaves from Italy to shore up the villas. While he was deep in thought, a messenger arrived with a report from one of his men who'd been sent to Britannia ahead of him. Urbicus thank the messenger and excused him, before eagerly diving into the report. The bulk of it was endless figures on productivity, reviews of the legions and myriad other statistics, there was one snippet of information towards the end that caught his attention.

"Minor raids by the Britons from beyond the wall of Hadrianus, as well as small attacks by Hibernians on the Western coast last year, legions and auxilia sufficed to repel them" Urbicus was no stranger to border raids of course, it came with having a border province. But something about the report got Urbicius thinking. Taking a leap, he tossed about his office until he found a wax tablet and stylus, and began to take down a letter

To Imperator Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius.​

In light of my new station, Caesar, I have a proposal. It's seems the Caledonians and other Celts North of our border have forgotten Agricola's example of what violating Rome's sanctity brings in retribution. With your permission, I'd like to remind them. What this will cost you is the services of no more than two legions for no more than two campaign seasons. In exchange I will grant you the expansion of one province and the creation of another, as well as the permanent reduction of the need to garrison Britannia. Whatever your decision, please inform me of it as soon as your duties permit

- Q. L. Urbicus


Urbicus called in a slave to have the letter copied and sent out, and returned to his nightmare of administration, wondering just how big his province would be by next year...
 

Colonia Agrippina, January 14th, 139​




Quintus Lollius Urbicus was an anxious man, not necessarily a bad trait for a Roman governor on the Rhine. The new Emperor Antoninus had been impressed with Urbicus's governorship of Germania, enough so that he'd been given quite the reward. In just a few months, he'd be setting out for Britannia, the island province that was tucked away in the furthest corner of rome. At a glance, the miserable weather and great distance from Rome could make the governorship look like a poorly disguised exile, but this was far from the case. The gold and silver mines insured steady income for its governor, while the control of three legions meant the officeholder required the Emperor's trust.

Even now there was much to be done. Urbicus had to prepare his old province for his replacement, and make arrangements for things to be established in Londinium. His office was a mess of dispatches, replies, and his own personal notes strewn about everywhere. The Roman's mind was already swimming with ideas for expanding the minds, perhaps importing slaves from Italy to shore up the villas. While he was deep in thought, a messenger arrived with a report from one of his men who'd been sent to Britannia ahead of him. Urbicus thank the messenger and excused him, before eagerly diving into the report. The bulk of it was endless figures on productivity, reviews of the legions and myriad other statistics, there was one snippet of information towards the end that caught his attention.

"Minor raids by the Britons from beyond the wall of Hadrianus, as well as small attacks by Hibernians on the Western coast last year, legions and auxilia sufficed to repel them" Urbicus was no stranger to border raids of course, it came with having a border province. But something about the report got Urbicius thinking. Taking a leap, he tossed about his office until he found a wax tablet and stylus, and began to take down a letter

To Imperator Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius.​

In light of my new station, Caesar, I have a proposal. It's seems the Caledonians and other Celts North of our border have forgotten Agricola's example of what violating Rome's sanctity brings in retribution. With your permission, I'd like to remind them. What this will cost you is the services of no more than two legions for no more than two campaign seasons. In exchange I will grant you the expansion of one province and the creation of another, as well as the permanent reduction of the need to garrison Britannia. Whatever your decision, please inform me of it as soon as your duties permit

- Q. L. Urbicus


Urbicus called in a slave to have the letter copied and sent out, and returned to his nightmare of administration, wondering just how big his province would be by next year...

Whoao really promising start, if successful it would be a great thing for Rome, but obviously there is always a hidden risk, namely that the longer the military campaign lasts, the more men will have to be removed from garrisoning the vast imperial borders, leaving a dangerous gap opened somewhere that could be exploited by the barbarians, but at the same time in case of success the resources to be used in Britain will necessarily be fewer and therefore they can be redirected elsewhere ( perhaps along the Rhine, considering that in this period and significantly consolidating the first Germanic confederations, such as the Alemanns, Quadi and above all the Marcomanni ) who will begin to represent an important threat along the limes

consider me your regular reader for future updates
 
For what it's worth, SW Scotland is chock full of deposits and while I cannot find the one I had in mind, there's a large one that should definitely be exploitable with Roman technology and thus able to drive maintenance of the new Caledonian province. It also was near the coastline, so it would be good for attracting Hibernian raids and a subsequent interest in counter-smashing those.
 
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II-Imperial Review

Flavian Palace, February 17th, 139​



Marcus Aurelius rubbed his eyes as he shuffled into the tablinum of his adoptive father, pulling his cloak against his chest as he tried to stave off the morning chill. "Ah, good" Antoninus looked up from his neverending work "I was worried they wouldn't get you up." "If that's such a concern-" Marcus yawned "Perhaps don't schedule your meetings with me at such maddening hours." Antoninus laughed "Early rising is a virtue you'll thank me for passing along someday, anyway Atticus has the rest of your day filled up." "Naturally. Now, what's this about?" "You know that Urbicus fellow?" "The new governor in Brittania, what about him?" The Emperor scratched his greying beard "He's sent one interesting proposal for me to consider, and I'd like your appraisal." Marcus smirked "Is this your way of informing me of your imminent death?"

Antoninus snorted "My, maybe you were correct about waking you so early, quite the mouth. No I'm afraid the gods still plan to kill me slowly." He stood and straigtened his tunic, before walking over to his adopted son "You'll have to read plenty of ludicrous proposals from your own governors anyway, it's good practice." He handed over the dispatch, which marcus quickly skimmed "Hmm... interesting, no doubt there." "Seems this Libyan fancies himself an Agricola." "That's a nonstarter I'd think, you aren't Traianus after all." Antoninus looked at his son quizzically "And why did Hadrianus reject his conquests?" Marcus knew the answer "Because father, he knew the shorter borders would be easier for our armies to maintain, we'd require fewer legions." The Emperor nodded "But then, he suggests eliminating a border entirely, Britannia's always had to take a lot for what it gives us."

Marcus paused, digesting his fathers argument "I suppose, if it is as simple as he makes it seem." "Agreed, we must at least make him plan this thoughtfully." Smirking, Antoninus guided Marcus over to his desk before handing him a reed pen "Why don't you see to it?" "I-what?" Marcus stammered "I can't forge an Imperial document." "Sure you can, it's not illegal if I say as much." Antoninus cringed at those words "Gods, no wonder Caligula went mad doing this. Anyway, give it a try, if it's really horrid I won't send it, go on." Marcus took a breath, gathered his thoughts, and started to write


To Q. L. Urbicus.​


I believe your proposal has several merits, but ample consideration is sadly not counted among them. What are your campaign strategies? How will these legions be supplied? What two legions of mine do you intend to borrow? If you intend to govern my province, let alone the greatly enlarged form you envision, then I must request a more extensive and thoughtful description of your intentions with my forces. In any case, begin assembling your forces as soon as you receive this dispatch.

-Imperator Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius.

"A bit..." "Petulant?" Marcus finished for him "Just a tad, you can tell this was written by a sleep deprived teenager. Then again, we've had a few of those as Emperor, so I doubt anyone will notice." With that, Antoninus stamped his seal on the parchment and stowed it away to be sent out later. "We're both still new to this Marcus, just remember, if we do fail we'll at least have plenty of company." Marcus rose from the desk "Just... don't give me this office yet, please." "It scares you?" "...It does." "Then you have your soul Marcus, be grateful for that." "Well... Atticus will give me an earful as I'm late, let me host you and Faustina tonight?" "Wouldn't miss it, just don't be suprised if I drag a couple of senators with me, vultures I say." Marcus chuckled "Indeed, well, good day father." "Good day Marcus" Antoninus replied before returning to his work, silently dreading the thought of a yet larger empire to run...
 

Flavian Palace, February 17th, 139​



Marcus Aurelius rubbed his eyes as he shuffled into the tablinum of his adoptive father, pulling his cloak against his chest as he tried to stave off the morning chill. "Ah, good" Antoninus looked up from his neverending work "I was worried they wouldn't get you up." "If that's such a concern-" Marcus yawned "Perhaps don't schedule your meetings with me at such maddening hours." Antoninus laughed "Early rising is a virtue you'll thank me for passing along someday, anyway Atticus has the rest of your day filled up." "Naturally. Now, what's this about?" "You know that Urbicus fellow?" "The new governor in Brittania, what about him?" The Emperor scratched his greying beard "He's sent one interesting proposal for me to consider, and I'd like your appraisal." Marcus smirked "Is this your way of informing me of your imminent death?"

Antoninus snorted "My, maybe you were correct about waking you so early, quite the mouth. No I'm afraid the gods still plan to kill me slowly." He stood and straigtened his tunic, before walking over to his adopted son "You'll have to read plenty of ludicrous proposals from your own governors anyway, it's good practice." He handed over the dispatch, which marcus quickly skimmed "Hmm... interesting, no doubt there." "Seems this Libyan fancies himself an Agricola." "That's a nonstarter I'd think, you aren't Traianus after all." Antoninus looked at his son quizzically "And why did Hadrianus reject his conquests?" Marcus knew the answer "Because father, he knew the shorter borders would be easier for our armies to maintain, we'd require fewer legions." The Emperor nodded "But then, he suggests eliminating a border entirely, Britannia's always had to take a lot for what it gives us."

Marcus paused, digesting his fathers argument "I suppose, if it is as simple as he makes it seem." "Agreed, we must at least make him plan this thoughtfully." Smirking, Antoninus guided Marcus over to his desk before handing him a reed pen "Why don't you see to it?" "I-what?" Marcus stammered "I can't forge an Imperial document." "Sure you can, it's not illegal if I say as much." Antoninus cringed at those words "Gods, no wonder Caligula went mad doing this. Anyway, give it a try, if it's really horrid I won't send it, go on." Marcus took a breath, gathered his thoughts, and started to write


To Q. L. Urbicus.​


I believe your proposal has several merits, but ample consideration is sadly not counted among them. What are your campaign strategies? How will these legions be supplied? What two legions of mine do you intend to borrow? If you intend to govern my province, let alone the greatly enlarged form you envision, then I must request a more extensive and thoughtful description of your intentions with my forces. In any case, begin assembling your forces as soon as you receive this dispatch.

-Imperator Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius.

"A bit..." "Petulant?" Marcus finished for him "Just a tad, you can tell this was written by a sleep deprived teenager. Then again, we've had a few of those as Emperor, so I doubt anyone will notice." With that, Antoninus stamped his seal on the parchment and stowed it away to be sent out later. "We're both still new to this Marcus, just remember, if we do fail we'll at least have plenty of company." Marcus rose from the desk "Just... don't give me this office yet, please." "It scares you?" "...It does." "Then you have your soul Marcus, be grateful for that." "Well... Atticus will give me an earful as I'm late, let me host you and Faustina tonight?" "Wouldn't miss it, just don't be suprised if I drag a couple of senators with me, vultures I say." Marcus chuckled "Indeed, well, good day father." "Good day Marcus" Antoninus replied before returning to his work, silently dreading the thought of a yet larger empire to run...
Great work! Keep going!
 
Interesting start!

To Q. L. Urbicus.​


I believe your proposal has several merits, but ample consideration is sadly not counted among them. What are your campaign strategies? How will these legions be supplied? What two legions of mine do you intend to borrow? If you intend to govern my province, let alone the greatly enlarged form you envision, then I must request a more extensive and thoughtful description of your intentions with my forces. In any case, begin assembling your forces as soon as you receive this dispatch.

-Imperator Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius.
Also, I I'd have guessed that besides of the above mentioned, in the proposal should have been addressed, what in Emperor mind would have been. IMO, the first and foremost the concern on reading such proposal.... About how it may affect the Empire defenses and particularly the Limes Germanicus. And why a governor from a border province, overlook it in his proposal for expand his new province...
 
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III: Plan of Action New

Cataractonium, April 15th, 140​




The small fortress town at the edge Rome might as well have been at the edge of the world to the legionaries, and it certainly felt like it. Despite Spring being a month old the air this far North carried a horrific damp chill, that made armor painful to wear and made sure the soldiers kept up a steady stream of grumbling. At the center of the swollen camp were the first newcomers, the 5,000 men of the Legio X Gemina. Many were hardened veterans of the Bar Kokhba revolt, put down four years ago. All three of Britannia's garrisoned legions crowded around the town, with them at least as many native auxilia mingling amongst them. Many merchants and locals, understanding the profit to be made here scurried about, selling threadbare cloaks for ten times their worth

At the enlarged Principia that served as the army's headquarters, Governor Quintus Lollius Urbicus met with the legates. The past year had been a time of maddening preparation, correspondence with officers and officials on the limes, all while question after question rolled in from Rome. Urbicus was relieved to finally be here, his name about to be made immortal. "Good evening everyone.." Urbicus began, receiving nothing but a few grumbles in responce "If everything is proceeding as it should, the 4th legion should be landing in Eboracum any day now." "Meaning they'll miss the party?" The Legate of Legio X snickered. Urbicus shook his head "It means you'll be missing the party." He waved off the Legate's stunned attempt to retort "Not because of any of your conduct or that of your men, quite the contrary. Your legion is the most seasoned on this island, if we need you it means something's gone terribly wrong. The general nodded "We're the Triarii, goodie." He said, all his enthusiasm melting away

"If anything, that's the aspect of Agricola's campaigns I hope to replicate, he hardly used the legions on the Caledonians, and I think he had the right idea, speaking of which, what do we have for the auxilia?" He snapped his fingers for the camp prefect's answer "Not bad by any means, 32 cohorts, 12 Alae, 30 chariots-" "Even though we-" "Even though we specifically told them not to, yes" The prefect shared Urbicus' frustration "That's firewood taken care of anyhow. The cavalry's mostly rich brats from the big local familes, as you expected Dominus." "I imagine they aren't too happy with our rules, then again, you did make sure not to recruit any of the more... uppity tribes?" "As you ordered Dominus." "Is that really wise Dominus?" The 2nd legion's commander now spoke "What'll be here to stop them if they try anything?"

Urbicus grinned "I've got a fair number of their sons coming along, officially as cohort leaders, and a fair number more summoned to Londinium on "Official business". If they want to try it I'll deliver them a legion of coffins to start things off." A few of the officers chuckled, as Urbicus continued "Anyway, the lands between the wall and the Bodotria are mostly farms and pasture land, that's the trick, they can't sustain their armies without them, not forever anyway." "So we starve them out in the Northern wastes?" "We would, if we had the time, but Caesar wants his legions back soon, so if they won't give us battle we'll have to come for them. We'll do it methodically, burn the villages one by one, I doubt even these creatures can survive a winter on some frozen hilltop."

With the main business concluded, the officers delved into their wine and dinner, with the talk turning to idle chat about the men, the terrain, and the other minutae of command. A couple hours later, as the buzzed Romans began returning to their tents, Urbicus made one final thing clear "Remember, part of the goal is to take slaves, so the men are to take prisoners wherever possible." "Especially the red haired ones." The camp prefect added "Their scalps go for quite the sum back in Rome." With that Urbicus called the night to an end, returning to his office to continue preparing for tomarrows challenges...
 
I think that would be worth to be noted that the military campaign, that for the conquest be complet, is only the first part and after it should come the arguably more hard, to hold it and keep it, integrating the conquered in the Empire. For whom besides from Roman subjects or veterans brought there as settlers, should remain enough from the original inhabitants for serve as new Roman taxpayers (even if it was in farm goods or even filling a 'recruitment quota' as auxilia)...
 

Cataractonium, April 15th, 140​




The small fortress town at the edge Rome might as well have been at the edge of the world to the legionaries, and it certainly felt like it. Despite Spring being a month old the air this far North carried a horrific damp chill, that made armor painful to wear and made sure the soldiers kept up a steady stream of grumbling. At the center of the swollen camp were the first newcomers, the 5,000 men of the Legio X Gemina. Many were hardened veterans of the Bar Kokhba revolt, put down four years ago. All three of Britannia's garrisoned legions crowded around the town, with them at least as many native auxilia mingling amongst them. Many merchants and locals, understanding the profit to be made here scurried about, selling threadbare cloaks for ten times their worth

At the enlarged Principia that served as the army's headquarters, Governor Quintus Lollius Urbicus met with the legates. The past year had been a time of maddening preparation, correspondence with officers and officials on the limes, all while question after question rolled in from Rome. Urbicus was relieved to finally be here, his name about to be made immortal. "Good evening everyone.." Urbicus began, receiving nothing but a few grumbles in responce "If everything is proceeding as it should, the 4th legion should be landing in Eboracum any day now." "Meaning they'll miss the party?" The Legate of Legio X snickered. Urbicus shook his head "It means you'll be missing the party." He waved off the Legate's stunned attempt to retort "Not because of any of your conduct or that of your men, quite the contrary. Your legion is the most seasoned on this island, if we need you it means something's gone terribly wrong. The general nodded "We're the Triarii, goodie." He said, all his enthusiasm melting away

"If anything, that's the aspect of Agricola's campaigns I hope to replicate, he hardly used the legions on the Caledonians, and I think he had the right idea, speaking of which, what do we have for the auxilia?" He snapped his fingers for the camp prefect's answer "Not bad by any means, 32 cohorts, 12 Alae, 30 chariots-" "Even though we-" "Even though we specifically told them not to, yes" The prefect shared Urbicus' frustration "That's firewood taken care of anyhow. The cavalry's mostly rich brats from the big local familes, as you expected Dominus." "I imagine they aren't too happy with our rules, then again, you did make sure not to recruit any of the more... uppity tribes?" "As you ordered Dominus." "Is that really wise Dominus?" The 2nd legion's commander now spoke "What'll be here to stop them if they try anything?"

Urbicus grinned "I've got a fair number of their sons coming along, officially as cohort leaders, and a fair number more summoned to Londinium on "Official business". If they want to try it I'll deliver them a legion of coffins to start things off." A few of the officers chuckled, as Urbicus continued "Anyway, the lands between the wall and the Bodotria are mostly farms and pasture land, that's the trick, they can't sustain their armies without them, not forever anyway." "So we starve them out in the Northern wastes?" "We would, if we had the time, but Caesar wants his legions back soon, so if they won't give us battle we'll have to come for them. We'll do it methodically, burn the villages one by one, I doubt even these creatures can survive a winter on some frozen hilltop."

With the main business concluded, the officers delved into their wine and dinner, with the talk turning to idle chat about the men, the terrain, and the other minutae of command. A couple hours later, as the buzzed Romans began returning to their tents, Urbicus made one final thing clear "Remember, part of the goal is to take slaves, so the men are to take prisoners wherever possible." "Especially the red haired ones." The camp prefect added "Their scalps go for quite the sum back in Rome." With that Urbicus called the night to an end, returning to his office to continue preparing for tomarrows challenges...
Amazing work!
 
Thanks for all the kudos and for enjoying the story. If you wanna help me out, I need some good Brittonic names for the Caledonians and company, I'll give a free self-insert to anybody who has a suggestion or two, I'm uncreative as hell so I won't be able to come up with any
 
Nice so far!
Don't forget that the navy has to be heavily involved in any operation north of the wall so maybe a naval pov?
Plus the infrastructure requirements needed to secure victory beyond just holding the lower highlands and larger glens would be cool to hear about!
Divide and conquer comes into place as the Picts were not monolithic by any means…
Remember for every arminious and bodacia there were hundred of collaborators and sellouts in the tribal elites of conquered Europe, so marine food old adulterated Roman gold?
It would be interesting if it is so cold that this would stimulate coal mining beyond otl to fuel the fires of freezing legionaries in camp and forts set around the highlands and on strategic islands off the coast….

Like I said nice idea…
 
IV: Caledonian Campaign New
1715628382021.png

Over the second half of 139, Quintus Lollius Urbicus supervised a build up of legions in Britannia. The wayward province was already highly militarized, with three legions (Legio II Augusta Legio VI Victrix Legio XX Valeria Victrix) permanently garrisoned there to watch the border and quell any insurrections. With the Empire's Northern frontiers secure for the time, Antoninus permitted the transfer of two seasoned legions (Legio X Gemina, Legio IV Flavia Felix) to support the invasion. By April of 140, the forces had been assembled, and on the 17th of April, the Roman eagles marched through the gates of Hadrian's wall.

Urbicus had hoped to be met by several delegations from the local tribes offering surrender, but only a handful of the Brittonic leaders had decided to do so. Most of the rest had fled to the Northern wastelands, along with the vast majority of their inhabitants. Many had also destroyed whatever couldn't take with them. In one Selgovae village the legions discovered 6,000 slaughtered cattle piled up and left to rot, an obvious message that the Romans would be be welcomed. Nonetheless, the tribes that had bowed to Rome (Mostly Otadini) provided translators, guides, and supplies to the legions, allowing them to make quick progress, reaching the Bodotria (OTL River Forth) by mid May.

Here, Urbicus paused the advance, spending the next month establishing fortress towns, negotiating terms with the remaining locals, and surveying the hills for any prospective mines. Legio X found itself pressed into the engineering role, starting the first progress on a basic road into Caledonia. Come June, the army began a cautious probe into the Highlands. As they crossed the Bodotria the Romans were suprised to find many of Agricola's old marching camps, refurbished into (Mostly now abandoned) towns. Some were in such good condition that Urbicus claimed the legions only required minutes to set up their camps.

Still, the small foray's into the Highlands by the Auxilia still showed no trace of the Caledonians, even as June came and went. Urbicus, while somewhat annoyed, was content with the situation. The Governor ordered any local property that couldn't be used by the legions or sent south destroyed, many villages on the far Northern shores found themselves used for firewood by legionaries, who complained bitterly about the cold. The Roman Navy did its part as well, brushing aside the Hibernian raiders in the West, securing the surrender of Mona island (The OTL Isle of Man) and keeping the army well supplied wherever they could land.

As Summer came and went, and the campaign season wound down, there was still almost no sign of the Caledonians themselves. Knowing that the seas would soon be to dangerous for large transports in the North, Urbicus decided to give the Caledonians some bait. In preparation for the expected Hibernian campaign next year, he withdrew two of his four legions back to the South of the Bodotria, and had the remaining two feign preparations for winter quarters near the abandoned fort that had acquired the Roman Durnum (OTL Durno). To the endless complaint of his men, he'd forced many of them to wear inadequate winter clothing outdoors, forbid them from burning peat or coal, and even had some horses killed for meat. Under the (Correct) Assumption that he was being watched, Urbicus hoped the illusion of having undermanned, starved and frozen legions might tempt the natives into attacking. As his legions cursed his name, Urbicus prayed he'd be right...
 
View attachment 906462
Over the second half of 139, Quintus Lollius Urbicus supervised a build up of legions in Britannia. The wayward province was already highly militarized, with three legions (Legio II Augusta Legio VI Victrix Legio XX Valeria Victrix) permanently garrisoned there to watch the border and quell any insurrections. With the Empire's Northern frontiers secure for the time, Antoninus permitted the transfer of two seasoned legions (Legio X Gemina, Legio IV Flavia Felix) to support the invasion. By April of 140, the forces had been assembled, and on the 17th of April, the Roman eagles marched through the gates of Hadrian's wall.

Urbicus had hoped to be met by several delegations from the local tribes offering surrender, but only a handful of the Brittonic leaders had decided to do so. Most of the rest had fled to the Northern wastelands, along with the vast majority of their inhabitants. Many had also destroyed whatever couldn't take with them. In one Selgovae village the legions discovered 6,000 slaughtered cattle piled up and left to rot, an obvious message that the Romans would be be welcomed. Nonetheless, the tribes that had bowed to Rome (Mostly Otadini) provided translators, guides, and supplies to the legions, allowing them to make quick progress, reaching the Bodotria (OTL River Forth) by mid May.

Here, Urbicus paused the advance, spending the next month establishing fortress towns, negotiating terms with the remaining locals, and surveying the hills for any prospective mines. Legio X found itself pressed into the engineering role, starting the first progress on a basic road into Caledonia. Come June, the army began a cautious probe into the Highlands. As they crossed the Bodotria the Romans were suprised to find many of Agricola's old marching camps, refurbished into (Mostly now abandoned) towns. Some were in such good condition that Urbicus claimed the legions only required minutes to set up their camps.

Still, the small foray's into the Highlands by the Auxilia still showed no trace of the Caledonians, even as June came and went. Urbicus, while somewhat annoyed, was content with the situation. The Governor ordered any local property that couldn't be used by the legions or sent south destroyed, many villages on the far Northern shores found themselves used for firewood by legionaries, who complained bitterly about the cold. The Roman Navy did its part as well, brushing aside the Hibernian raiders in the West, securing the surrender of Mona island (The OTL Isle of Man) and keeping the army well supplied wherever they could land.

As Summer came and went, and the campaign season wound down, there was still almost no sign of the Caledonians themselves. Knowing that the seas would soon be to dangerous for large transports in the North, Urbicus decided to give the Caledonians some bait. In preparation for the expected Hibernian campaign next year, he withdrew two of his four legions back to the South of the Bodotria, and had the remaining two feign preparations for winter quarters near the abandoned fort that had acquired the Roman Durnum (OTL Durno). To the endless complaint of his men, he'd forced many of them to wear inadequate winter clothing outdoors, forbid them from burning peat or coal, and even had some horses killed for meat. Under the (Correct) Assumption that he was being watched, Urbicus hoped the illusion of having undermanned, starved and frozen legions might tempt the natives into attacking. As his legions cursed his name, Urbicus prayed he'd be right...
Great strategy.
 
awesome hoping to see Rome wining just think in all the potential a safe Britannia could have when the Pax Romana ends
also that sure is a hell of a strategy hoping his men don't decided to end his governorship early
 
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