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One of the most disastrous military defeats of the Roman Conquest of Damoria.Was a battle between Legion VIII of the Roman Army and the Damorian Militia.The battle lead to the enable the Damorians more time to assemble a defense force at Darendeael, and the mysterious disappearance of Legion VIII for another 80 years.
In March 3,1322.After Damorian troops failed to prevent the landing of the Roman Army in Red Beach,Northwest Arendale , Bregan Kolanz-sky , the commandant of the Damorian Militia ordered 20,000 militia to muster at Freden Hill for an overall attempt to contain the Roman Army in the North.He’s initiative was to lure the entire Roman Army to the forests up to the San Ka border.And furthermost to make some time for the Damorian Royal Army to gather supplies and manpower.By March 13, only 11,000 came to the hill,so he sent a delegation to Chelonia to acquire a thousand cavalry for the Militia.The delivery was told to hurry, because by now the Roman Army was approaching.
On the Roman side,Gaius Romulus,Commander of the Legion VIII didn’t suspect such a thing about the Damorian preparations.The Legion was intended to capture key fortresses and towns.It was ordered to march alone as Legion IV and VI were still securing the Kentli,Red Beach, and Ekelan cities 800 miles away.The Legion had a total of 45,000 Legionnaires and 8,000 cavalry.Also with them was around 2,000 civilians and slaves to carry the baggage train.Hoping for a quick victory he ordered the men to take the closest shortcut to Darendael,the Durmount woods.
At around 8:00 in the morning,March 15, 1322.The Legion VIII finally entered Durmount Forest by the orders of the Commander.It was a custom for a Roman Army to first lay a foundation of road when it was crossing a marsh or a forest,but Gaius in hopes to capture Darendael,ordered his men to carry on marching and just avoid obstacles.This was an opportunity for Bregan to ambush the Roman Legion and crete panic.Also Romans were afraid of dark woods.
By around 12:00,seeing the Legion weary and low of morale,Bregan launched an ambush with 4000 militia and 500 cavalry at the flanks and rear .The Roman Legion’s 76 cohorts were soon in total chaos as soldiers were surprised to see shouting men from the dark charge.Gaius quickly ordered the other 243 cohorts at the front to reinforce the rear ones and the other 243 to guard the baggage train.Just when the cohorts were breaking formation,the 7000 militia came out and attacked,causing more panic.Gaius ordered a quick retreat to save his men,and to cover the retreat,left his Hastati to their fates.A total of 8,000 Legionnaires and 1000 cavalry officers died from Bregan’s first assault.Only 1000 men died in the Damorian side.
After the Damorian assault.The Romans safelt set up camp.Gaius called a meeting with the centurions to do what next.51 accepted to march on,134 agreed to stay where they were and 277 announced their wish to hurriedly turn back.But Gaius accepted only the proposal to send a plea for reinforcements.At the dawn of March 16,almost 100 horsemen set off for the north with the message.After their departure,the Legion set off again in the trail.Bregan was soon informed and stationed his 1300 archers in the cliffs of Gelan.When the Romans reached Gelan, flaming arrows welcomed them and 1000 men were scorched.Bregan then led a charge of 6000 men from the right flank and another 4000 men from the left flank,while 500 cavalry charged the rear.Gaius in a desperate attempt to ensure a retreat for his infantry ,lead personally 2000 horsemen to the west of the forest.Bregan then ordered to withdraw his men from the Roman lines and pursue Gaius.After nearly 4 hours,about 10,000 Roman legionnaires and 2,000 cavalry lay dead with 2,500 dead Damorians and 600 Danorian cavalry.Nearly 2/3 of the Roman Infantry have been wiped out in 2 days.Gaius was able to out maneuver the Damorians and safely return to the laid camp by the remaining Romans.But with him were only 500 cavalry officers,1500 were slaughtered just to cover his retreat.
By evening,Gaius meeted with the remaining 325 centurions to already leave the baggage train for it was slowing the marching speed of the Legion.They accepted.And also that evening Gaius thinking that the Damorians were also exhausted ordered 1,500 of his horsemen to quickly escape from the forests to the nearest Roman line,they were under the command of Centurion Lentulus Brutus.
March 17,1322.The Romans began to march earlier than normal.Gaius was eager to get out of the forest.By now they had marched 16 kilometers of the forest with about 3km left to go.Breagan knew this and had encamped in the cliffs 2 km from the Roman Camp.By the time Bregan’s Militia had woken,The Legion was just about to march below them.Bregan had no difficulty in slaughtering the Romans.Gaius seeing they were already in sight of the end of the forest,ordered 100 cohorts and remaining horsemen to fight back,while he led the 225 cohorts to the plain.It was a success,but it costed 10,000 Roman lives.By now the mighty Legion of 45,000 and 8000 was reduced to 237 cohorts of 19,000 legionnaires and 0 cavalry and short of supplies.Gaius however still thought of it as a victory.
By eveningof March 18.,The Legion was in open area,considered “safe” for a Legion,the remaining men were demoralized and hungry as they left the Baggage train to the Damorians.They were also 860 km from the Roman lines,but they were still hoping a Relief Legion to their rescue.
In the morning,Gaius and his men were marching in a scattered formation near the forests edge when in the horizon they saw Roman cavalry officers hanged in the trees.These were the Romans sent by Gaius to call reinforcents.Now they already knew there was no help coming,they were doomed.Bregan’s plan was successful.
The following events still remain a mystery.Because by this time the narrator,Private Diocletian Maximus abandoned his post and fled with 60 others back to the forest.trying to find a way back to the Roman Line.On the way 32 were killed by Damorians and 27 starved to death.Diocletian managed to survive when he met the Baggage train which was untouched by the Damorians.