Spartacus War of the Damned: Victory – Recap

Spartacus-VictoryOne day Rome shall fade and crumble. Yet you shall always be remembered in the hearts of all who yearn for freedom. – Agron

Victory marks the end of Spartacus’ emotional and blood soaked journey. Time and time again Spartacus managed to do the impossible and thwart the might of the Roman Republic; he freed his brothers from the bondage of Batiatus’ ludas, toppled the arena in Capua, and defeated the forces of Gaius Claudius Glaber. While Spartacus did not see the end of the Roman Republic his death was that of a free man and his victory granted freedom for many who sought him out seeking it. Crassus may have stood victorious upon the battlefield but he won a pyrrhic victory. His son, Tiberius was stripped of his innocence prior to his life being taken by the woman he loved and cherished.

 

Spartacusdies

Great and Unfortunate Things

Victory begins with an attack on a villa where we see Gannicus allow the last surviving Roman in the villa to go free. But not before he instructs him to tell his people to free their slaves or they’ll suffer the same fate. When the Roman asks him who he is he replies, “I am Spartacus!” This is repeated by Lugo, Nasir and finally Spartacus himself. Crassus and Caesar receive these reports and try to make sense of how Spartacus is able to attack so many places in such a short span of time. Crassus reasons that it’s a strategy by Spartacus to confuse Pompey of his true whereabouts. Caesar voices his concern that Pompey may jeopardize their victory. Crassus shares his concern and does not want everything they sacrificed to be for nothing. As Crassus looks solemnly at Tiberius’ death mask, he orders Caesar to have their men double their efforts and send scouts to find Spartacus so that they can put an end to the conflict once and for all.

Tiberius-rests

A significant improvement

Spartacus’ followers are hard at work building something to aid Spartacus’ strategy in the coming battle. Spartacus explains to Gannicus that his plan is to hold off Crassus’ army to give those who cannot fight, time to escape. Agron tells Spartacus that he  wishes to join him in their final battle. Spartacus tells Agron that he’s welcome to and offers him his sword. Agron is unable to grasp the sword and it falls to the floor. Spartacus tells Agron that his role in the coming battle will be to help those who cannot fight over the mountains. Luckily for Agron, Nasir found a way for Agron to continue to fight: Nasir weaved a sword through a shield allowing Agron to fasten it to his arm. Agron tells Nasir that he cannot flee to the mountains and he plans to stay and fight. Nasir tells him that his place is forever at his side so he will join him on the battlefield.

A couple that kills together, stays together

A couple that fights together, stays together

 

Before Spartacus departs Laeta tells him that she’ll be waiting for him at the foot of the mountains despite his protests for her not to wait up. Agron also tells Spartacus that he won’t be fleeing to the mountains as he commanded. Nasir explains that he’s found a way for Agron to still fight. Spartacus tells Agron that he is the last of his brothers who stood at his side when they brought down the House of Batiatus and he’s honored to have him stand at his side during their final battle. As Spartacus parts ways with the rest of his followers, several of them stop to thank him before departing. Castus arrives and informs Spartacus that the Romans have taken their bait.

Spartacus-parts-ways

Some of you won’t make it passed the mountains, but if you’ve had a speaking role your chances are that much better

Both armies square off against one another as they prepare to do battle. Instead, a messenger on horseback rides towards Spartacus. Spartacus greets him with a spear, stopping him in his tracks.

Chill out bro, just a messenger!

Chill out bro, just a messenger!

The message is that Crassus wishes to speak with Spartacus prior to their battle. Spartacus agrees to meet with Crassus atop a hill. They both disarm themselves and send away the rest of their forces. Crassus tells Spartacus that he summoned him out of curiosity. He explains that despite having fought each other for several months, they have never so much as spoken a word to one another. As they talk, Spartacus reveals to Crassus that it was a woman who had been “brutally treated” who killed his son, Tiberius. Crassus asks Spartacus if he’ll feel that justice has been done if he’s able to defeat him. Spartacus replies that there is no justice, a sentiment which Crassus shares. Crassus extends his hand,  Spartacus accepts it, and tells Crassus that the next time they meet he’ll kill him. Crassus replies that he’ll try.

Crassusshowsrespect

That’s all a free man can do.

 

When Crassus returns to his camp he questions Caesar and Kore about who really killed Tiberius. Caesar maintains that it was an older man who killed him. Crassus backhands Caesar and reiterates that Spartacus told him that a woman “moved by vengeance” killed Tiberius. Kore reluctantly admits to Crassus that she was responsible for Tiberius’ death. Crassus draws his blade, puts it to Kore’s throat and demands that she explain herself. Caesar does the explaining for her and tells Caesar that Tiberius forced himself on her. Kore further explains to Crassus that Tiberius’ love for him turned to hate following decimation. So Tiberius hurt him the only way he could, by hurting Kore. She explains that she tried to tell him. And Crassus recalls when he told her that there’s nothing that his son could do that he would not forgive. Caesar tells Crassus that they did not want to cause him any further pain. Crassus sends Caesar away and drops the blade. Crassus blames himself for what Tiberius became and smashes Tiberius’ death mask. Kore reassures Crassus that he is a good man. Crassus apologizes to Kore for all that she’s suffered and he promises her that it will all end once Spartacus is defeated. 

I thought he took decimation a little too well

I thought he took decimation a little too well

Prior to the final battle, Spartacus tells Gannicus that he no longer defines victory by the number of Roman deaths. Instead, he defines victory as life; the lives of those they wish to protect and those who they wish to live freely. Gannicus sees this as a cause he can embrace. Spartacus pleas with Gannicus to step up as a leader during their battle against Crassus. After some reluctance, Gannicus agrees to do so.

Gannicustandsready

Fine. I’ll lead, but only because you said please

Both armies line up as they prepare for battle. Spartacus and Crassus both deliver speeches to rallying their armies to their cause. Crassus kicks off the battle by firing their ballistae and catapults as Spartacus’ army race forward. Spartacus suddenly stops his army in their tracks while the Romans continue marching and run right into their trap; a hidden spiked pit. Archers then begin firing on the Roman soldiers. Crassus orders his men to form Testudo to shield themselves from the arrows. Predicting that to be the Roman’s reaction, Spartacus and his army pull out ladders which were hidden underground and use them as a bridge to cross over the Roman testudo formation. Spartacus leads the charge and starts cutting into the Roman army. 

Testudoinvalid

Spartacus brought ladders, your testudo is invalid

Crassus orders his men to resume firing the ballistae and catapults. Fire and projectiles rain down on both Spartacus’ army and his own. Lugo is incarcerated by a ball of flame accompanied by two swords to the back of the neck. We then see what Gannicus was tasked with as he leads the rest of Spartacus’ army and attacks Crassus from behind. Gannicus’ forces are able to seize control of the ballistae and fire on the Romans with their own weapons. A projectile from the ballistea flies by Crassus’ head alerting him of their counterattack. Crassus sends Caesar to take command of the rear flank to keep their men from falling into disarray, while he advances with the rest of their forces. Castus is killed shortly thereafter, not far from Nasir. Nasir lets out a battle cry as he lays Castus to rest while Agron follows behind him. 

Nasirbattlecry

It’s okay Nasir, now I don’t have to be jealous anymore

Crassus spots Spartacus on the battlefield and races to challenge him. Spartacus happily accepts and uses a dead Roman soldier as a springboard to launch himself at Crassus. Spartacus slices Crassus sending him tumbling from his horse. Several Romans rush to protect Crassus and drag him to safety. Spartacus tells Agron to draw attention while he goes to kill Crassus.

Spartacus Jump

Challenge Accepted!

Caesar and Gannicus spot each other and engage in a long awaited battle. Caesar holds his own for a short while before Gannicus gains the advantage. Caesar withdraws while Gannicus rushes to Saxa’s aide. He’s too late, she’s already received a fatal blow. Saxa spends her final moments once again in Gannicus’ arms as she had hoped to one day be, making her death bitter sweet.

As close to a 'happy ending' as you'll find of this battlefield

As close to a ‘happy ending’ as you’ll find on this battlefield

Naevia trades blows with Caesar before she’s overwhelmed. Caesar snatches her sword from her hand and plunges it in the back of her neck, killing her with the same sword that claimed Crixus’ life. Blood spills from Naevia’s mouth as she meets her end.

At least it wasn't a spear in the back...

At least it wasn’t a spear in the back…

Caesar spots Gannicus and again attempts to defeat him. Gannicus fights him off and Caesar withdraws behind a sea of Roman soldiers. He looks on as Gannicus is overwhelmed and surrounded. Gannicus fights until he’s wounded and left defenseless. Only then does Caesar emerge from behind his men. He orders them to stand down and he knocks Gannicus unconscious with the butt of his sword.

I'll be right there, once it's safe that is...

I’ll be right over there, once it’s safe that is…

As Crassus is being lead away his commander, Rufus, advices that Crassus receive medical attention. He cautions Crassus that If he falls Spartacus would have the advantage. Before Crassus can even respond Spartacus is sprinting towards them, closing in on them fast. Spartacus goes after Crassus like a man possessed. He cuts down all of the men attempting to defend Crassus, but not without taking some damage himself. Spartacus reminds Crassus that he promised to take his life the next time they met. Spartacus and Crassus go tit for tat until Crassus gains a momentary advantage knocking one of Spartacus’ swords from his hand. Spartacus draws strength and fights harder as he recalls those closest to him being robbed of their lives by Roman hands. Spartacus remembers the day that his wife Sura was torn from his arms by Glaber’s men, he remembers lying Mira to rest after she had been struck in the back with an axe, saving his life in the process. He remembers his friend Varro who was killed for nothing but the amusement of a Roman child, Numerius. And lastly he remembers his wife Sura as she lie dead at his feet, killed by Aulus, on orders of Batiatus. Spartacus unleashes his rage on Crassus knocking his swords from his hands. Crassus attempts the move he used to kill his instructor, Hilarus and grabs the blade of Spartacus’ sword, stripping it from him but Spartacus blocks his attack. Spartacus headbutts Crassus for his efforts before tossing him to the ground. As Spartacus prepares to deliver the final blow he’s hit with a spear that drives through his collar bone, followed by another spear which rips through his torso. And yet another spear that’s sent through his calf, immobilizing him. As Spartacus drops his sword Crassus orders his men to stand down so that he could claim Spartacus’ life himself.

Crassusprepares

Crassus, would you mind? My back itches and I can’t quite reach it.

As Spartacus prepares to meet his fate he closes his eyes and sees his wife Sura. Before Crassus can kill Spartacus, Agron intervenes and sends Crassus tumbling down the hill they were fighting on. Nasir and a handful of others kill the other nearby Roman soldiers. Spartacus peers back at the battlefield as Agron and Nasir lift him to his feet. Casear and dozen other soldiers race to Crassus’ aid. Crassus orders them to retake the hill but Spartacus is gone by the time they get there. Crassus proclaims that if Spartacus is still alive he’ll soon die from his wounds. He then orders Caesar to have any of Spartacus’ surviving followers crucified along the Appian Way to stand as a warning to any slave who would try to defy their master. Gannicus is crucified as Caesar and Crasuss look on. As Gannicus dies he sees his friend Oenomaus before he’s transported to the arena of Capua, the one place he truly felt at home.

Gannicus-crucified

If I am to die, at least I shall die amongst brothers.

Unexpectedly, Kore is among those crucified as well. Crassus reasons that although he has forgiven her for what she did, she was known to have joined the rebellion and he cannot exempt himself from his own decree.

Kore-crucified

So I wouldn’t be made Vilica after all?

Pompey arrives along with senator, Metellus, who’s still showing signs of his beating. Pompey informs Crassus that he defeated Spartacus in the north as Spartacus attempted to cross the mountains. Metellus informs Crassus that they’ve already sent word to Rome about Pompey’s victory over the enemy that he couldn’t defeat. Caesar attempts to object but Crassus cuts him off and allows Pompey to lay claim to their victory. Caesar questions why and Crassus tells him that Pompey will become a powerful ally.

Did i miss anything important?

Hope I didn’t miss anything important?

Spartacus awakens to see Agron, who informs him that they have crossed the mountains. Laeta tells Spartacus that she waited for him like she promised. They regrettably inform him that Pompey attacked and killed many as they attempted to cross the mountains. They tell Spartacus that they need to escape the mountain path themselves before they’re discovered. Spartacus tells them that they must go on without him. Before Spartacus succumbs to his wounds, he turns to Agron and says his last words. Laeta, Sibly, Nasir and Agron bid Spartacus farewell and they bury his body. Spartacus is buried beneath the sword and shield that Agron left behind. The shield bares the fated red serpent which Sura warned Spartacus of, the day he went to war against the Getae. 

    Do not shed tear, there is no greater victory than to fall from this world a free man.

Do not shed tears, there is no greater victory than to fall from this world a free man.

 

- Prometheus

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No one cared who I was until I put on the monocle... You can follow Prometheus on Twitter @PrometheusPtwor Or contact him at Prometheus@punchingthewallsofreality.com