Comes litoris Saxonici
- High Concept: Comes litoris Saxonici
- Trouble: Unraveling Command
- King of the Iceni
- Rivalry with the Dux
- Stewardship: Superb (+5)
- Leadership: Great (+4)
- Negotiation: Good (+3)
- Patronage: Fair (+2)
- Learning: Average (+1)
- Foreign Tongue (Saxon) (Learning): Adeodatus speaks the Germanic Saxon language.
Patron: Ambrosius Aurelianus
High Concept: Comes litoris Saxonici
Lucius Adeodatus is the Comes litoris Saxonici, the Count of the Saxon Shore, the commander of a series of forts built by the Romans along Britain’s southeastern coastline. They provided safe harbors for trade, occasional protection from raids, and naval bases for patrols. They were named the Saxon Shore both because they defended against Saxon raiders, and because they largely employed Saxon foederati to do so. When emperors like Constantine III took soldiers from Britain, the limitanei like those along the Saxon Shore were not so easily moved. As a result, Lucius’s father, Publius, had the second largest military force in the island after the Revolution, after the Dux Britanniarum in Eboracum, Coelestius. Comes Adeodatus never became the regional power that the Dux did, however. The civitates in the southeast were more powerful, and the Comes had to deal with more direct attacks. Over the past two generations, several of the forts have revolted against him, but most have remained loyal.
Trouble: Unraveling Command
Hengist began his revolt by convincing the Saxon garrisons at Regulbium, Rutupiae, Portus Dubris, and Portus Lemanis to join him. Neither Publius Adeodatus nor his son ever succeeded in taking those forts back from Ceint. The interruption made it more difficult to coordinate with Anderitum, Portus Adurni and Clausentum, forcing Publius to delegate command of those forts to Elafius in Belgia. Under Lucius, that has been inherited by Elafius’s son, Caratacus. Ambrosius Aurelianus’s magister militum, Gnaeus Hectorius — better known to his troops as Uther Pendragon — often accused Lucius to the rex as a traitor. When some of the Saxons in Icenia did join with a warlord named Ælle and try to attack the villages in the Fens, Pendragon responded with a brutal counter-attack, which ultimately attracted more Saxons to the insurrection, leading to a terrible battle. The insurrection only ended when Lucius was able to persuade enough of the Saxons to turn against Ælle. The insurrection convinced many Britons that the Saxon Shore forts are a problem, full of Saxons who will revolt against them at any moment, and that Adeodatus is a traitor who has sided with the Saxons against them. The Saxons have become more convinced than ever that the warlords like Hengist and Ælle are right — the Britons will never accept them, and their loyalties should lie with men like them from the continent. Between them, Adeodatus can feel his command unraveling, as the memory of when the Romans called all of these people “Britons” slips further and further into the past.
King of the Iceni
After the suppression of Boudica’s revolt, the Iceni never fully recovered. Venta Icenorum was never as large or as prosperous as the civitates of the other British tribes. In later centuries, they suffered the brunt of Saxon raids. Many of the Iceni took refuge in the Fens, where they were able to make a relatively prosperous life for themselves. After the Revolution, the Iceni asked Publius Adeodatus to be their king. The Iceni in the Fens proved difficult to rule, but, thankfully, peaceful. The open territory to the east is populated primarily by Saxon laeti settled here by the Romans over the preceding centuries. Under the Romans, both groups were simply considered Britons, but since the war began under Vortigernos, tensions have pulled the Brythonic-speaking and Germanic-speaking populations apart. The violence has driven more of the Iceni into the Fens, where they have de facto independence from Adeodatus’s rule. As tensions mount, many of the Iceni see him as a Saxon benefactor — and a foreign tyrant.
Rivalry with the Dux
After the Revolution, only the Dux Britanniarum in Eboracum, commander of the garrisons along Hadrian’s Wall, had a military force in the island to compare to the Comes. Both commanders had those forces only because they were such immobile limitanei, so there was never a real possibility of a confrontation. Now, however, Einion ap Mark is working to build a Classis Eboracensis. The Dux is clearly overstepping his traditional bounds, and impinging on the role of the Comes. Adeodatus sees Einion’s ambitions not only as a violation of the Roman tradition their commands derive their legitimacy from, but as a direct assault on his own position.
Image by Angus McBride.