"Maximum Voluum Triumphant"
A Excerpt from Pax Bochemannica: Legio IX - The Return of The Ninth by Mac Coxhead
An Orcs in the Webbe Exclusive!
We bring you an exclusive excerpt from an early draft of the first expansion to Pax Bochemannica, Legio IX - The Return of The Ninth. Carrying on from where we left him at the end of Pax Bochemannica's Friends in High Places story arc Maximum Voluum returns...
A Noman Orc
Painted, Based and Photographed by Tony Harwood
Maximum Voluum, exiled, ex-General and extremely pleased with himself, swaggered through the gates of the Noman Camp. The confused guards saluted, remembered their orders and drew their swords, then saw the look in Maximum’s eye, thought better of it, put their swords back in their scabbards and carried on saluting.
Wort scurried after his leader carrying a cloak-wrapped bundle; the other survivors of the raid on Bitter Smells limped into line just outside of the gates.
The commotion at the gates rippled out through the camp like a splash in a pond. More and more legionaries came to watch the returning General, oblivious of the secret ‘terminate with extreme prejudice’ orders put out by the Emperor, they cheered Maximum enthusiastically as he sauntered through the camp. He acknowledged their cheers with a wave of his hand, he winked at the soldiers he knew and smiled and pointed at their officers.
Maximum was a popular General, his team of snowboarders had won glory and fame for Nome at the Winter Olympics held at Mount Olympus in Skirta; he was known never to risk his troops in a hopeless battle, unless there was good snow involved; he always looked to the Legion's supply of fresh food, and after selecting the best for himself, he made sure that some reached the common soldiers
As Maximum and Wort approached the square where the pavilion of Emperor Bennydictimus was set up, Max caught a glint of gold speeding through the crowd. It was the nose of Laurius Liincimus Vacuous, being carried before him by a slave. The one-time disgraced General and now the Emperor’s favourite Ass-kisser was rushing to block Maximum’s progress. Vacuous it was who had lost the Ass of the Ninth, and his nose into the bargain, by leading his Legion into a Boche ambush, in spite of the fact that the Boche are the worst ambushers in the world!
Maximum slowed his triumphal march through the camp as Legate Vacuous and rather too many Praetorian Guards thrust through the crowd and formed ranks behind Vacuous and in front of him.
The Legate snatched his nose from the slave and held it before his face; it was a beautiful nose made of solid gold and mounted on an ivory handle. Vacuous was very careful never to let it touch the snotty mess on the front of his face where his own nose had been; this golden nose had been gifted him by the hand of the Emperor! To defile it was unthinkable! When addressing inferiors he held it up in front of his face; and when creeping to superiors he had it placed on a silk cushion and held before him by a slave to remind them that he was a favourite of the Emperor.
In his thin and reedy voice he cried out petulantly “Maximum Voluum! I am commanded by Caesar Bennydictimus, to arrest...” He got no further.
At a signal from Maximum, Wort uncloaked his bundle, and raised the Lost Ass of the Ninth aloft, where it glinted in the wintry sunlight. The communal gasp of surprise gathered pace and throbbed into a tumultuous applause as crowds of soldiers mobbed forward to worship the Hero: General Maximum Voluum.
Any words that Vacuous might have spoken were lost in the hubbub of soldierly celebration!
The Praetorians looked around, confused. The miscreant they had come to arrest (and quite accidentally kill whilst he was resisting said arrest, or attempting to evade said arrest, or indeed happening to fall on one or several swords during the said arrest) had disappeared behind a mob of jubilant legionaries! They looked to Vacuous for orders, but he just stood there, mouth opening and closing, a thin dribble of drool hanging from his lip.
The golden nose had fallen from his nerveless fingers, it was caught very quickly by the nose-slave who understood that if it hit the ground it would be his fault...
Maximum pushed his way through his admirers until he stood before the stunned Legate, he raised an eyebrow and winked at Vacuous, the broad smile on his face signalling ‘check-mate, mate’.
As Laurius Liincimus Vacuous , Legate and favourite sycophant of Caesar Bennydictimus, tried to recover himself, his dignity, and his nose, a haggard Tribune pushed his way through the Praetorians and put his mouth next to Vacuous’s hairy ear. What should have been a whispered conversation took place, in fact it was very nearly shouted. Maximum caught the odd word.
“...not now you idiot...”
Vacuous turned and gave orders to the Praetorian Optio beside him. The junior officer barked commands to his troops and the Praetorians drew their truncheons and began to restore order, in their own inimitable fashion.
When all was nearly quiet, apart from the groans and whimpers of those that had been “quietened down” by the Praetorian Guard, Vacuous raised his hand for silence and began again.
“As I was saying, Maximum Voluum! I am commanded by Caesar Bennydictimus, to arrest... your progress through this camp and to congratulate you on the successful completion of Caesar’s Secret Plan.”
“It has been Caesar Bennydictimus’s dearest wish that his Ass should be held by his soldiers' hands once more. It gave him great pain to think that the Halflings should abuse his Ass, which he knows his legionaries love and worship.”
“Many tears he has shed while the Boche ravaged his Ass, many nights he has been unable to sleep while they held it!”
“Secret plans our beloved Emperor made, in spite of the pain his Ass gave him!”
“Soldiers of Nome!”
He turned from Maximum to the gathered Legionaries.
“As you are no doubt certain my dear comrades, it was I who wished to seize back the Standard in person, I begged to be allowed to realise the glorious plan in person, risking my own person in its glorious conclusion! However, all of my pleas were in vain and the Emperor insisted that I should remain by his side and instead direct the victory we have won on this field. I am the Emperor’s servant and his wonderful wisdom has been proven.”
“Even though his wilful disobedience caused him to be absent at the vital moment when the Ass of the Ninth was lost, the Emperor and I decided to entrust the renegade Maximum Voluum with its rescue, and, in spite of his shortcomings, he has justified our faith in him and redeemed himself somewhat.”
“Caesar Bennydictimus has commanded that Legio IX be reinstated and reformed, dear comrades!”... Wild cheers... “All of the Legion's Honours are to be restored to it!”...More ecstatic cheering... “ The Legion is to have its beloved Commander reinstated and General Maximum Voluum shall serve as my second in command, inferior only to me in its glory!”... The adulation faltered, and stuttered to a halt; there were a few more groans than could be accounted for by the victims of the Praetorian pacification.
To be continued in...
Pax Bochemannica: Legio IX - The Return of The Ninth
With the return of the Emperor’s Ass and, indeed, their beloved General; Maximum Voluum, the legionaries of the Ninth Legion are out for revenge. This seventeen character expansion supplement includes full rules for the powerful Noman Squorpion Bolt thrower, full stats for using the Emperor's Ass in battle and a new Noman formation, the Legio.
An Orcs in the Webbe Exclusive! "Maximum Voluum Triumphant" is taken from the as yet unpublished first expansion for Mac's Pax Bochemannica and was published here exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe on the 22nd December 2015 as part of its 2015 Advent Calendar.
Pax Bochemannica (or Pax Boche as it's affectionately known) is a 'heroic' scale set of miniature skirmish rules pitching Orcs of the Noman Empire (as the name suggests, based on the Roman Empire) against the Halfling Boche (based on the varied tribes of Britain around the time of Boudica). The game is on hiatus at the moment but with luck 2016 will see it rise like a phoenix once again, stay tuned for details.