The five hundred Urban Cohorts assembled under the command of General Xeoner, a Julii who had made all other countries his enemies.
He saw his Urban Cohorts raise their shields as Scythia's horse archers rained arrow after arrow down upon them.
"Testudo formation!" He ordered, and his men complied without hesitation.
Xeoner led 100 Praetorian cavalry instead of the bodyguard, and he was a fierce sight in his silver armor stained with red.
The Scythian heavy cavalry began their march on them, and they looked scornfully at the Urban cohorts in front of them.
With a 5 to 1 advantage, they would win easily.
"General, should we sound the signal?" A soldier beside him questioned.
"Not yet. Let the Arcanii rest." Xeoner snarled. Just as he finished his sentence, he saw twelve-hundred axmen from Scythia march onwards as well, and knew that he would be to lose very soon.
"Look at their fearful faces!" The Scythian general roared in front of his cavalry.
"Sound for the mercenaries!" Xeoner shouted, and the ram's horn blew hard. The Scythian heavy cavalry was surprised, and even more so when the saw a massed group of fire arrows stream towards them.
The general of the Scythian army knew that his men were highly disciplined and unafraid.
But he didn't know that a quarter of his men were new recruits, scared and nervous. He raised his shield and caught at least three arrows on his shield.
He looked back and saw at least twenty of his men down. That wasn't so bad. But then he heard the ram's horn blow again, and out of nowhere, Arcanii charged out of the trees surrounding them, hitting the Axmen quickly, killing them before they could regain control.
The effect was almost immediate.
With the Axmen out of the way, Rius, general of the Scythians, knew that the way for the Urban Cohorts were clear.
"Kill the Arcanii!" He called, and raised his spear. His bodyguard, made out of eighty men, roared, and as one, then sped towards the Arcanii, cutting them down and only taking a few casualties.
Rius looked back at the main infantry of the Romans.
"They're hear!" A Scythian called out, and then Rius saw the Urban Cohorts throw their heavy javelins, catching at least half of their targets.
Rius saw several of his men retreat to the horse archers.
He cursed as he saw that they weren't firing arrows any longer.
Xeoner grinned and led his army to battle. His unit struck the Scythians quickly, taking down forty within the first few seconds. Then the Scythians were all upon them.
However, that problem was solved when the Urban Cohorts charged into battle, felling hundreds as they attacked with their swords.
He knew that he had won the first part of the battle. Xeoner slashed down another Scythian, and saw his cavalry route fifty Scythians.
Out of the original 2500 heavy cavalry, only a 200 remained after the surprise attack had been launched upon them. Even more so, Xeoner and his cavalry had now rode off to silence the horse archers, which had begun firing once again.
Now, with only one hundred Urban Cohorts left, Xeoner watched as the Scythians, impossibly, drew together to form rank again.
"To me!" He called, and rallied his men together.
The enemy, consisting of four hundred horse archers, three hundred heavy cavalry that had come back from routing, and four hundred peasants, looked at them with contempt.
"For the glory of Rome!" A man called out foolishly and charged forward. Several others followed him.
"No!' Xeoner yelled, but it was too late. The entire battalion of Urban Cohorts surged forward, yelling their battle cries.
"Sir, we must aid them!" One of the cavalry members spoke to him urgently.
"Go ahead." Xeoner said, and let them leave. He stayed there, but one of the cavalry stayed behind.
"Sir, you are not joining them?" He asked.
"It is suicide." Xeoner said. "And I am a coward. Ever since I was a boy, I only fought when I knew I was going to win. If I knew I was to lose, but I fought, I would always run away."
The cavalry member, a veteran of battle, replied to Xeoner with ease.
"Then this is your chance." He said. "Prove yourself to Rome. Destroy these Scythians!"
"I cannot." Xeoner said. "Look."
The veteran followed his gaze, and they saw the Scythian peasants route, the horse archers following, but the heavy cavalry staying their ground. His men barely numbered twenty by them.
"It is not too late. The enemy is four hundred. Your force is twenty. Die here with honor, Xeoner. Die for Rome!" The shouted.
Xeoners sighed and reigned in his horse, and led it towards his men, followed by the veteran.
He reached his men, and found them nervous.
"Men!" He called. "The enemy is only four-hundred! However, we can beat them! If we don't we will take down all we can! Who are we?" The last line was merely a whisper.
"Rome!" One man shouted.
Xeoner was angered by their utter defiance. The man was the veteran who had spoken to him.
"What?" He yelled.
"Rome!" Ten of them shouted.
"WHAT DID YOU SAY?" He roared.
"ROME!" All the men shouted.
"Then fight for Rome!" Xeoner shouted. "To me!"
As one, his entire force charged towards the heavy cavalry. The sight of them was so nerve-wracking that several of them actually rode away.
"For Rome!" One man shouted.
They all charged into the mass of enemies, and even the Urban Cohorts felled enemies and climbed their horses, joining the cavalry fight.
For every Roman that fell, the survivors got even closer to rage.
After a few minutes of fighting, only Xeoner, the vetran, and two praetorian cavalry were remaining, plus a wounded Urban Cohort.
"Halt!" Came an order as Rius, general of the Scythian army, rode up, flanked by eight cavalry.
Xeoner raised his bloody blade.
"Coward." He said in a whisper. "I… I…. I challenge you to a battle to the death."
"Really? Do you think you will win, Xeoner? The other Romans have already moved towards Scythia, and all of our allies. Even the Parthians and Armenians are wary. I do not have time for this." He spoke without shame.
Xeoner kept a calm face and said, "Very well Rius. But remember, there are men all around you. They will all tell the tale of your cowardice, isn't that right?" He said.
"How dare you-" Rius stopped, his face red in anger. "I will let you live Xeoner. I will let you build an army again. I will allow you to keep these troops with you. When you have built your army, challenge me again. And remember, change your name. Xeoner is a name is despise." Rius said, and with that, his army left, leaving the five Romans staring after them.
Oh this is my first Total War fanfic. Did you like it? Post what you want Xeoner's name to be changed to. R&R!