Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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A new song for old faces

Talk about never throwing away anything.

It was August 2014, my life was pretty different, I was about to publish a new collection of Aculeo & Amunet stories and I mused about doing a spin-off of the series, focusing on the character of Centurion Nennius Britannicus and his contubernium.

connollyFor the uninitiated, the contubernium is the smallest unit of the Roman army – a band of eight men, led by a decanus, with two auxiliaries, and maybe a mule. The guys, called contubernales,  lived together and fought side by side. It was a very tightly knit sort of military unit, and probably one of the (many) reasons why the Roman Legions were so awesome in the field.
So back in the summer of 2014 I decided I’d do a spin-off series, and call it Contubernium. I said I would be…

Something like Hill Street Blues, but set in Alexandria, in the Third Century.
A city filled with zealots, fanatics, weirdos and loose women.
With Lovecraftian creatures.
It would be fun.

But then the project went nowhere.
I had my Scrivener file with all its odds and ends and stuff, but quite clearly there was not a good story in there. So I filed the lot away.
Fast forward 30 months. Continue reading