The drum were deafening, the syncopatic beat almost maddening. It was all a game to the few hundred strong vanguard. The west Roman auxilleries were like children, advancing in well made lines. He could smell their piss from here. They had to march in open country, under the beating sun. It brought a smile to the half blind man's features as he took another long swig of the arabian wine. Drier than his native mead, but it did the job. His men stood beneath wide tarps, simply resting as armour was lazily donned. The enemy's onagers were still out of range, the horses and oxen used to drag them tiring in the heat. "Pathetic," Muttered Bledir as he lifted his shield, thick oak, studded in steel and wrapped in shining bronze, a figure of Jormungdr painted menacingly around the outside. The other men chuckled, talking amongst themselves as the creak of wood announced that the enemy missles would soon be in range. Ballistas and scorpions were being moved out from beneath the coverings. The sounds of rope and sinew being strained was like music to his ears. "So it begins..." He muttered mirthfully. Rolling his shoulders he began to walk, others following in loose formation. It was all a show, heavily armoured men, shining chainmaille and plate. Their laughter beginning to rise as the beat grew harder. Feral eyes hidden behind nasal helms. The slow meadering walk broke into a run across the line, shields raising to protect heads as arrows were loosed in fear of the oncomming horde. Outnumbered nearly five to one, heh, it may as well been one to one hundred as the stink of human fear rose into the hot air.