7 November 2007


... normal.

Merula, that is. A cat suddenly walked into my novel, ate Sammy once and for all, and *wham!*, suddenly Merula is normal. No more talking elm trees.
I think all the insanity was Sammy's fault - he must be some sort of evil spirit in salmon shape who drives Romans insane.

Merula has figured out how to use a sword (pointy end goes in enemy), he talks to people instead of trees, and no longer has ambitions to become High King of Greenland.

However, now he wants to keep the cat. Says it followed him home.


Gabriele C. said...

Well, for historical fiction, that's probably a good development, though I bet the elm tree was fun to write.

If only the cat doesn't turn out to be a Saracen princess an evil sorcerer put into that shape. :)

Celedë Anthaas said...

Don't give it ideas! At the moment it's just a normal cat (it's running around in the background chasing birds at the moment) and I kinda want to keep it that way. Lol.

I've cut the elm tree out. It's got its very own word file now, and will not be included in my total word count (unless I'm very desperate on Nov 30, haha).

Gabriele C. said...

On another note, I'm lazy and don't want to research the Batavian rebellion just for some of Irminger's backstory. What I have set up is that Irminger was one of the leaders in that rebellion (are they all known by name or is there place to sneak one in?) who flees to the Chatti, a Germanic people related to the Batavians, after Rome turns out victorious. I'd like to have his wife and son (born 61) to be hostages of the Romans at that point if possible. Our dear Irminger then manages to kill the brother of the Chatti chief and thinks he stands a better chance submitting to the Romans. Since there is a connection of friendship between his family and the Horatii Veranii (which I made up), he gets pardoned and his wife and son are returned to him. Of course, he's expected to provide the army with soldiers from his people.

Would that work, and who would be in charge of the Romans in/around Batavia some months after the rebellion? And who could have housed his wife as noble hostage?

Celedë Anthaas said...

Nice, isn't it, when characters decide to have complicated backstories... Am I right in guessing that Irminger didn't bother to tell Madalric about this? :P

Not many of the leaders in the rebellion are known by name; there's Civilis and his two nephews Verax and Claudius Victor (both only mentioned once) and a Julius Maximus (also only mentioned once).
Important non-Batavians are Brinno (Cananefate, only mentioned in the beginning of the revolt) and the Juliuses Sabinus, Tutor and Classicus (the first a Lingone, the others of the Treviri).
Those are the ones I can remember from the top of my head. Geravan, Thiadulf, Riold, Bob 1-6, Embric and the rest of the lunatics from NaNo06 are all my own invention. Plenty of room for another made-up character.

Hostages would work, I'd say. Civilis' wife and sister and Classicus' daughter had been left in Köln as secruties for the Batavians' alliance with the Ubii, but once Rome started regaining control of the Rhineland, the Ubii offered to hand over the hostages to the Romans (Histories, 4.79). Maybe something similar could've happened to Irminger's family...?

Cerialis "offered the Batavians peace and Civilis a pardon" (Histories, 5.24) but killing a Chatti noble would probably be a wise course of action to ensure that the Romans kept their word:)
The Chatti chief's brother that Irminger killed could be someone who took up arms against Rome in the revolt as well. At some point the Chatti plundered Mainz, if I remember correctly.

As for who would house Irminger's family, uhm, I think that is your area of expertise.
Cerialis was the one who negotiated a peace with Civilis and would've been the most important Roman around, until he left for Britain.
The Tenth Gemina stayed in Batavia though. Some officer maybe...?

Gabriele C. said...

Lol yes, he did. Irminger told him it was a bad idea to try and escape service in the Roman army, but he still feels ashamed that he lost his temper and killed that man. And then our stubborn Madalric just goes off and into trouble. :)

So the Chatti were involved in the rebellion? Must have been a bad habit, since they tried again in 83 AD. I like the idea about the hostages. If Rome got them second hand, they might be less insistent on keeping them.

Looks like a need a Steve or two in that scene for now (I'll leave the Bobs to you).

Thank you very much.

Celedë Anthaas said...

Histories 4.37 says that the Chatti, Usipi and Mattiaci plundered Mainz and "left the scene with their fill of spoil". But some Roman troops caught up with them sometime later when they were off their guard.

Apart from this I don't think the Chatti are specifically mentioned as sending troops to join in the rebellion, but Tacitus mentions that "Germany awoke to the call of spoil and glory" just before the siege of Vetera (Histories, 4.21) and that Civilis "gathered reinforcements throught Germany" after the battle at Trier (Histories, 5.14) just to mention a few things. I added a few Chatti in my novel.

Lol, Steve :) That's one of the few random names I didn't use last November (I had a Roman called Luke though, and another called Dennis).