Journal of Gaius Marius Africanus - Centurion -- Legion of Marcus Crassus
We left Antioch in good spirits. Upon reaching the border of the Armenians, our morale remains but our endurance is beginning to falter. The sun has taken quite a toll upon the men. We are overjoyed by the opportunity to rest and recover. I have to warn the young and inexperienced men against drinking too quickly, as too much water can kill a man who has gone too long without. I must give thanks to Jupiter, as we have only lost a handful on the march thus far. That cannot continue much longer.
Our great general is arrogant to a fault. He believes our enemy to be weak and womanly, possessing an all-too-feminine manner as a result of their Persian ancestors. His cavalier attitude towards our enemy is a great mistake, I fear. The locals speak of the Empire to the east with great fear and awe; they do not appear as confident in this endeavor as the other legions. They will be pulled along regardless of their wishes, as our great general lines their pockets very well to keep lips sealed.
Onward we must march. The Parthian expedition is nothing more than a means of building a hero. Our great general has nothing else to stake his reputation upon. The true great one, Magnus Pompeii, stole away the last triumph. Crassus cannot allow another repeat of the Spartacus affair, for a slight breeze can easily shift the sands of fate. All the money in the world lies at the disposal of this one man, and yet, he seeks out death with singular purpose. Why? His martial prowess is untested; he cannot allow himself to be bested. For this, we all must follow along, blindly obedient to the point of insanity. Could there be anything worse? Give me Caesar and the hordes of Gauls over this hellish desert, any day.
I have done a most foolish thing by deciding to join this campaign. I have abandoned my dear Nirena, leaving her without any company, save than the coin of Crassus. The cold feeling of gold cannot replace our warm embrace, but I went ahead with these plans without any thought of consequence to her. She has often said that wealth is of little importance in my company. She prefers the simple to the extravagant, and loves me with her whole heart. What do I do with her love? I return it to her, unopened, unappreciated. For acting in such a manner, I deserve to lose her heart to another, but she is foolish as well. She fell for the most oblivious man in the whole of the empire.
I would give anything to turn back from here and find my way to Antioch. No amount of gold is worth certain death in the desert. A dead man has no means to spend a fortune.