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Calgacus (Cal-Gac-us)

Calgacus "the swordsman" chief of the Vacomagi  tribe and lord of the lands of the Northeast. A man who won glory and great renown for his deeds in his youth, through these deeds he rose from humble beginnings as a the son of a blacksmith to assume the leadership of one of the most powerful chiefdoms of Caledonia. From his court at a place named the winged fort (Burghead) he holds sway over all the clans under the Vacomagi  banner, here he sits upon his throne surrounded by his many courtiers and retinue all of them sycophants and shills. For the Vacomagi  are a populous and wealthy clan, with countless curved fields of fertile soil and many herds of cattle, the people all pay a tithe in tribute to Calgaucs' house, this collected regularly by his subordinates on pain of death. From this tithe Calgacus amassed a great store of wealth, distributing much of the grain and cattle to his courtiers as gifts, in this way he surrounds himself in folk unwilling to question his rule. He likes nothing more than to drink to excess and talk of his youthful exploits. Flagons of expensive Roman wine are brought to him by Venicones  merchants paid for by the tithe of the people. Through this excess he has grown fat, with the red face of a drunkard. Still he commands a certain presence with his long curly red greying beard and a guttural deep voice booming out commands. He wears a bear pelt as a cloak which makes him appear even larger than he is, a spurious prize he claims to have slain himself.

 No one can doubt that Calgacus was once a mighty warrior known to be the best swordsman in all of Caledonia, although many moons have passed since that time the folk still speak of his legendary duels. The story has it that Calgacus' father was a bladesmith of renown, plying his trade along the North Eastern shores among the Vacomagi . His father was commissioned by the then chief of the Vacomagi  to forge a great sword for his eldest son Fergal the fair. Calgacus' father knew this would be the most important blade he would forge in all of his career. Without hesitation he set his mind to work devising how he might forge the mightiest sword, longer, lighter and sharper than all others. He enlisted the help of Calgacus to source the best ore from the Smertae , peculiar rocks of metal that the Smertae  say come down from the heavens lighting up the sky as balls of fire. Calgacus' father used a yew tree that had been struck down by lighting to stoke the furnace, the sacred yew burning brighter and hotter than any other wood. With this the forging began, seven days and nights blow upon blow stroke upon stroke his father laboured by the dim light of the forge by night, Calgacus worked the bellows and both chanted the blacksmiths verse to keep the rhythm of the labour and imbuing the blade with the incantations of the haunting old verse. When the blade was complete calgacus and his father brought the sword to the clan chief who was impressed beyond measure with the length and nimble weight of the blade. He called upon Fergal the fair to present him with the mighty sword. Fergal was in the bloom of his youth when he received the sword. His father told him to hold the sword aloft and strike the centre pole of the house to put the blade to the test. Fergal drew the sword up but was unable to wield it, having not the strength or skill to wield the blade. Calgacus laughed at Fergal, his father reprimanded him for laughing at the chiefs son, and Fergal pleaded with the chief not to let Calgacus away with such disrespect toward their superiors. With this the chief bade Calgacus come forward and wield the great sword, no sooner was Calgacus commanded did he leap forward and swung the sword above his head three times before striking the centre pole with such force that the blade cut half way into the bore. Calgacus called out Fergal to remove the blade from the bore and if he could not he was unfit to ever wield it, Fergal was not impressed by this remark and he challenged Calgacus to a duel, Calgacus wielding the great sword and Fergal his preferred spear and shield. The chief laughed and agreed to this spectacle but Calgacus' father pleaded with him to concede defeat lest they be outcast from the clan. The pair stood back to back in the centre of the house with arms drawn ready for the command. Before the command to begin was given Fergal concealed by his shield struck back with his elbow into the ribs of Calgacus, winding him before the batlle had begun. The command was given and the two turned to commence the duel, Fergal crouched low with his spear held above his shoulder behind his shield and Calgacus stood tall in a peculiar stance with sword held high above his head swinging and rotated, whirling like a dancer in constant state of motion. Fergal took the first strike and missed thanks to Calgacus's pivot, with this Calgacus struck down with all his might, Fergal held up his shield to the sword but the sword cleaved right through it and into the neck of Fergal causing blood to gush into he air as Fergal slumped to his knees before collapsing. The chief cried allowed for his son and bade his guards to lay hands on Calgacus and his father. Calgacus could not be caught or cornered , killing a number of the chiefs men before fleeing with his life. On the other hand his father was captured and hung up on a pole by the wrists and left to the crows.

In this way Calgacus got his hands on the great sword but lost his father in the process, being sower of heart and banished from his homeland he took to roaming the country as a vagrant offering his services to various chiefs for raiding parties and occasional contests, through this he rose to fame as the best swordsman in all the land, warriors came from all parts to challenge Calgacus to duel, but none could stand the might of the two handed sword in single combat, such was the skill and nimble movement of Calgacus that many young boys were sent to watch him fight and many a blacksmith copied the great sword but none could match his fathers blade.

Many years had passed when Calgacus was hired by the Taexali to raid the easternmost granaries of the Vacomagi after years of poor harvest for the Taexali they were in want of stores of grain to sow their fields for the spring. It happened that when Calgacus and his band raided the Vacomagi lands the chieftain was lying in ambush for him, set on having his revenge for the death of Fergal. when Calgacus and his raiding party came to the granaries and found them unguarded, here whilst they filled their wagons with the grain they were set upon by the chiefs men, a fierce battle ensued and although Calgacgus' men were outnumbered and taken by surprise they bested the chiefs men and perused the chief himself, once they had caught up with him they took him prisoner and rode not for Taexali  lands but instead to the citadel of the Vacomagi  at the winged fort. Upon arrival calgacus bade his men enter the settlement and promise the townsfolk a bushel of grain if they were to come to the gate and watch a spectacle. with this the townsfolk hurried to the ramparts and once they were congregated there he made speech to them. he told them that the chief was a coward and a poor ruler who abused his power and made light of their toil on his behalf, with this he challenged the chief a to a duel for the right to rule the Vacomagi, the townsfolk let out a cry to go ahead, having no love for the tyrant and all in one wanting their share of the grain. Now Calgacus had his men release the fetters from the chief and threw a spear down in front of him, goading him to pick it up and make good his Vengance upon Calgacus. The chief took up arms and launched himself at Calgacus, an evenly matched fight ensued, for the chief was no coward and was no stranger to single combat. After some time both men grew tired of fighting in the thick mud, the youthful energy of Calgacus carried him through the spectacle, the chief dropped to his knees exhausted and Calgacus cut his head of at the neck in a single strike. With this he took up the head and held it aloft to the cries of the townsfolk. In this way Calgacus made himself master of the Vacomagi  and famous across the north as a warrior of great renown.
Children

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Comments

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Eternal Sage Wordigirl
LexiCon (WordiGirl)
15 Aug, 2022 05:16

Hi there! You may not know me, but I am the sponsor of the Great Leader of Their People Summer Camp Prompt this year! Since you wrote this article, I would like to know, would you mind me reading it aloud on my Twitch channel this week? I have a lot to get through so it helps to do it live while people watch. I've scheduled to go live at 8am and 8pm Eastern Time every weekday. If you join and comment, I can go over your article right then and there! If you'd like to coordinate a specific date, let me know. If you aren't able to make it (or don't want to be present live), you can also always watch streams after the fact on my YouTube channel   BUT, if the answer is NO because you'd rather I not, it's okay! Not agreeing to be streamed definitely does not put you at any disadvantage for winning in my eyes. Please respond swiftly by replying here (make sure to click REPLY under my comment or I won't be notified), message me on my World Anvil profile page, Discord, or anywhere else you find me online.   Thanks again! Whatever you choose, God bless and much success! <3

Have an exuberantly blessed day!!!
19 Aug, 2022 22:36

Hi there, sorry for late reply I've been off radar for a few days. Yes the answer is yes! I would be delighted if you read my article aloud and I would make every effort to be present if you did.

Eternal Sage Wordigirl
LexiCon (WordiGirl)
20 Aug, 2022 00:02

Oh awesome. I'm going live right now, but I'll be going at 8am and 8pm Eastern every weekday, so that's also Monday and Tuesday next week (deadline's Wednesday!) but yeah whenever you drop by, shout yourself out so that I can hop on over to your article. Thanks for the reply and permission!

Have an exuberantly blessed day!!!
Eternal Sage Wordigirl
LexiCon (WordiGirl)
24 Aug, 2022 16:25

Hi there. I pray all is well. I went over your article last night in my final stream. Here's the link for the replay if you'd like to take a look. PLEASE BE ADVISED THE STREAM IS ALMOST SEVEN HOURS XD but I tried to link the articles in the description and the comments in the order they appeared for your skippy-through convenience. :D If not, no worries at all. Thanks again for allowing me the honor! Have a blessed one. <3

Have an exuberantly blessed day!!!
1 Sep, 2022 19:04

LexiCon i just wanted to say thanks for including my work in your podcast. I never did well at school, my greatest gift has always been my imagination, sadly the school system isn't tailored for creatives, therefore throughout my entire education i was never commended, rewarded or won any praise at all really. One day in my final year of high school the teacher asked us to complete a creative writing assignment. Having gotten used to failing i just gave up caring and wrote what i wanted, it was a kind of pulp fiction inspired story about the gritty day in a life of a gangster. i tried to use what i learned in english- simile, onomatapia etc knowing very well that that might just make up for my complete lack of ability at spelling and grammar.   in class the next week the teacher placed everyone's marked assignments back on their desks one by one, i noticed that i was given nothing, i thought maybe she had scrapped it because it was full of cuss words and violence or maybe so much spelling mistakes she gave up. Anyway, she began class by saying that she was going to read out one of the assignments, even in that moment i still didn't believe she would be reading mine (even though i was the only kid with an empty desk in front of them) she then proceeded to read aloud my story, all the cuss words and violence included. I think even the others in the class were surprised by this, knowing that my english grammar was awful. but for once this wasnt about the ability to remember and repeat, this assignment was about imagination and the ability to tell a story, with added points for use of metaphor and literary devices as such of course. For once in my 11 years of education someone recognised something in me when i had all but pretty much given up on myself. I felt so proud that i almost shed a tear, partly for myself, for realising success wasn't just attained solely in the ability to remember and repeat information and partly for her, the teacher herself for having the balls to stand up and read that explicit shit out.   When she finished she came over and handed me my assignment, there was so much red pen covering my punctuation, grammar and spelling errors that she had clearly given up actually correcting it by the third paragraph and just treated it as a story instead. At the end she wrote a note, i cant remember what it said exactly, something like excellent effort a shame about the spelling and grammar marking it down.   3 days later i left school at 15 years old with no qualifications, her praise for my story the only merit i can recall receiving throughout my entire education. That was 23 years ago now, my teacher has since passed away and her son is now the headmaster of the school, after a public event her approached me and i told him this story and how his mothers praised had inspired me to go on to do the things i have done, he burst into tears and told me she had just passed away only a short while ago but was glad to hear my thoughts.   So thank you Lexicon for considering my story for your podcast, for you its just a story but for me its an honour that inspires me to try harder, to keep going, to just write. In the same way that the teacher lifted my spirits not by recognising my academic ability, but just by recognising my story. i view this in the same light, i have won nothing..... but gained everything.   {lease do have an exuberantly blessed day as you have made mine.

1 Sep, 2022 19:05

PS THANK FUCK FOR SPELLCHECKER

Eternal Sage Wordigirl
LexiCon (WordiGirl)
1 Sep, 2022 19:55

Aww well that's a very inspiring story! I'm glad this was inspiring for you as well. <3 God bless and much success with your creative endeavors!

Have an exuberantly blessed day!!!