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Nepos to the Rescue

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Nepos to the Rescue is an alternate history, centered around the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It began in 480 AD, when Julius Nepos survived an assassination attempt. Hearing that the Emperor Zeno was involved in the attempt to annex Dalmatia into the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, Nepos made a plan to invade Byzantium, after invading the Ostrogoth territory as a way for his Dalmatian soldiers to master the arts of war. Ultimately, Nepos designated his main objective: to save the remaining traces of the glory of the ancient Roman Empire from dissipating.

Background

In 480 AD, Julius Nepos survived an assassination attempt by his soldier which, in the real world, caused his death. While recovering from wounds inflicted from stabbing, Nepos heard that the Emperor Zeno was involved in the attempt to assassinate him, so that Dalmatia could be claimed as Byzantine territory. Angered, Nepos immediately called for an invasion of Byzantium, with an invasion of Ostrogoth territory as a training for his troops. 10 Roman generals who were stationed with Nepos in Dalmatia joined him in the effort.

The War Council and The Diplomat

In July 480 AD, Julius Nepos held a meeting with all 10 of his generals. There, he discussed the plan to conquer the Ostrogoths, before attacking Odoacer's kingdom. The generals agreed, and Nepos sent a diplomat to the Ostrogoths, to ask them to surrender to the power of Nepos. The diplomat went to the imperial court of the Ostrogoths. There, the Ostrogoth king, Tabentas, personally ordered the execution of the diplomat. 2 weeks later, on July 30 news of this execution reached Nepos, who immediately rallied troops to the Ostrogothic territory, leaving Dalmatia the day after he received the news with 20.000 troops.

The First Attack

On July 31 480 AD, as the Dalmatian troops entered the Field of Maloter, near the town of Maloter, in the Ostrogothic territory, a man was seen approaching them. He introduced himself as Arion of Maloter. Arion offered a vassalage treaty. Believing it to be fake, Nepos captured Arion, and advanced to the village. As they approached the village, they were attacked by 70.000 Ostrogothic troops. Nepos ordered the generals Scomenos and Adrianos to isolate the archer and chariot units to the east and west of the village. Nepos and 5.000 troops broke into 3 lines of Ostrogothic soldiers protecting the warlord Heldes, dispersing them into small units scattered throughout the village. Heldes was killed, while the archers and chariots were suppressed with the help of isolation by Scomenos and Adrianos. They were forced to surrender. As the Ostrogoths retreated beyond the Rock of Maloter, Nepos went to the village, with approximately 17.000 troops remaining. Nepos employed 50 new soldiers.

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