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Celtic Age - Roleplaying the Myths, Heroes and Monsters of the Celts

Celtic Age - Roleplaying the Myths, Heroes and Monsters of the Celts

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Published by Darkenning
Out of print historical fantasy role-playing game
Out of print historical fantasy role-playing game

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Published by: Darkenning on Apr 29, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Before embarking on his conquest of
Persia, Alexander the Great negotiated a
peace treaty with the Celtic tribes to the
north of Macedonia. The Celts respected
Alexander’s power, but when he died in Babylon
in 323 BC, leaving only a child as heir, the
infighting between his generals gave them a
chance to invade and sack the rich Greek cities.
For two decades the warlord Lysimachus, who
had seized Macedonia itself, managed to hold
them back. But when he died in battle at age
74, leaving a much weaker successor, the Celts
had their chance.

In 280 BC, a Celtic army led by a chieftain
named Bolgius met Ptolemy Keraunos, who

When Brennus from the Western Sea
Led hosts for the overthrow of the Greeks
Hymn to Delos

If one has the courage to urge his boat
Into the waves away from the Osetrymnides
Under the Northern sky where the air is freezing,
He comes to the Ligurian land,
deserted by its people
For it has been emptied by the power of the Celts
— Avienus,
Ora Maritima

had seized control of all Alexander’s empire the
year before by assassinating his rivals. The
Celts put a quick end to the new emperor,
taking his head and parading it before their
army. The next year, they invaded Greece again
led by a chieftain named Brennus.

The Macedonians fended off the Celts, but
could not stop them from moving on into
Greece. An Athenian-led force moved to stop
them at the famous pass of Thermopylae, the
only useful route southward toward the rich
Greek cities. Barbarians the Celts may have
been, but they had read their classics. They
bypassed the Athenians using the same
mountain path taken by the Persians when they
unhinged the defense of Leonidas and his 300
Spartans in 480 BC. When the Athenian fleet
tried to evacuate the army, the Celts attacked
and a fierce battle broke out at the water’s edge.
The Greeks drove off the Celts after heavy
losses on both sides. Leaving their dead behind,
the invaders headed on toward their real goal,
the sacred Oracle of Delphi.

For centuries, Greeks had donated treasures to
the Oracle and its god, Apollo. The Celts now
pillaged these riches and apparently were
surprised in the course of the sack by a
relieving Greek army. According to Greek
writers, this enraged Apollo, who smote the
thieving Celts with earthquakes and
thunderbolts, slaying thousands of them.


Gora McGahey (order #19251)

It appears that the Celtic army may actually
have fallen victim to landslides caused by an
earthquake along with guerrilla strikes by small
bands of Greeks. A nighttime raid also sowed
great confusion, and Celtic contingents
mistakenly fought one another in the darkness.
The next day’s fighting against the Greeks went
badly, and Brennus suffered a serious wound.
Despondent, he then followed the Celtic
custom of enlarging the wound to make it more
conspicuous, killing himself in the process. The
remainder of the Celts put their own wounded
to death and straggled north, losing still more
warriors to Greek attacks along the way. A
pitiful remnant returned to their homelands,
still loaded with immense treasures.

One wing of the Celtic host founded a small
pirate kingdom on the shore of the Black Sea,
which endured for several generations. Another
crossed into Anatolia (modern Turkey) to serve
as mercenaries, eventually founding the long-
lived kingdom of Galatia.Still others returned
to Greece and Macedonia for decades to come,
this time invited as paid swords for hire. But they
would never again threaten to conquer Greece.

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