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Ah... the good life. You've enjoyed your time in the sun as a member of The Roman Legion, but now it's the moment to retire.

Your last stint as a trooper was in helping The Empire to bring Great Britain under its sway. With the promise of your own homestead, who needs to cross The Channel? Life in this new territory is bound to be good.

The Life of Retirement

Camulodunum is perfect. Granted, the local people had to be booted out when the town was taken over in AD49, but all is happy and peaceful now.

On the banks of the River Colne in the County of Essex, this former Roman fort is seeing great growth and prosperity. There is a theater, and for the politicians, a senate house. Metal and glass manufacturers are doing a brisk business. Trade is healthy.

Although there are no fortifications, no walls around your retirement city, there is no sense of fear. You and your neighbors are veterans of many battles. Your skills will help keep the city safe.

Perhaps one day you'll be called back to active duty, but in the meantime, your way of life is showing "The Locals" the benefits of adopting a Roman lifestyle.

As a symbol of you and your friends thankfulness for the prosperity of Camulodunum, a lovely temple dedicated to the Emperor Claudius has been erected.

Made by heavily taxing the local Britons, and also using them for slave labor, this temple is a great symbol of your dedication to Rome. That it's a symbol greatly hated by those who were forced to build it is just a small matter.

Your Nearest "Local" Neighbors

The Iceni Tribe and the Trinovantes people, all just north of your place of retirement, have been silent. Grudgingly they have taken to having you settle on 'their' land, but no major confrontations have occurred.

Until AD61. Unbeknownst to you, the Queen of the Iceni Tribe, Boudicea, is suddenly widowed. The Londonium tax collector, Catus, interprets the will left by Boudicea's husband as a gift to Rome of the Iceni lands.

Making his way to the County of Norfolk to take possession, he insults Boudicea and allows the rape of her two daughters. Leaving a proud woman humiliated, Catus makes his way back to the future London, convinced that all will be well.

For the Iceni, this is the final straw in a long line of atrocities against their land. Roman Britain has not been good to them. Knowing that the Trinovantes will offer their support, a great gathering of disgruntled "Locals" band together.

Camulodunum will be the first target. While you are enjoying a leisurely day at the market, or visiting with fellow officers, your city is just about to be razed to the ground.

Retirement Ends Brutally

Without warning, from the north, a great wave of angry people descends on your city. Lead by Boudicea, your community is set afire and fellow Romans are being slaughtered in the streets.

Pure pandemonium erupts around you. Where can you flee to escape the angry mob? Through the smoke and flames, you see the Temple of Claudius as a beacon of safety.

Moving quickly with the masses of women, children, traders, politicians, and retired troopers, you make your way to the temple. Gaining the safety of this symbol of Roman pride, the doors are shut.

A messenger has been sent to Catus for reinforcements, so there is hope. Within a short space of time, the Iceni and Trinovantes people will be overcome and Camulodunum will be set to rights.

But your symbol of a prideful Rome has been a symbol of tyranny to the Briton tribes. The Temple of Claudius now faces the full brutal force of a people who are just plain fed-up with taxes, disrespect, and brutality.

The first shot of flame appears at the top of the wooden temple roof. With a growing sense of horror, you realize that any help from Londinium is not going to arrive in time.

Amidst the quickly growing hysteria of the people who sought protection from Claudius, you are probably wondering why you didn't cross The Channel when you had the opportunity. Most probably that is your last coherent thought.

Camulodunum is burnt to the ground, including the temple. With her victory, Boudicea and her followers next fire Londonium and St. Albans before being defeated on the Roman road of Watling Street.

The future of this first capital of Great Britain? Rome repopulates the area with a rebuilt city (Colchester), including a defensive wall.

Article by "Tudor Rose"

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