Hellstorm goes back in time to ressurect the brains and brawlers of time long gone! Shakespeare's Warriors, the kings and generals brought to life and glory by the pen of England's greatest playwright, team up against Rome's Enemies, the rebellious and vengeful dissidents who seek only the destruction of the mighty Roman Empire! Blades, bows, and the tactics of the ancient world will be unleashed in battle, but only one team will end up the deadliest warrior!
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as one of the greatest original authors in history. Immortalized by his plays specifically, he brought to life through his writings a wide array of cunning, conniving, and cut-throat characters who fight for land, love, and blood!
- Macbeth: A Scottish noble and commanding general in the play Macbeth. He is manipulated by otherworldly witches and his own scheming wife to murder his king and take the throne for himself. The actual killing goes out successfully, but he is driven to madness by his guilt. Nonetheless, Macbeth fights to the death to defend his kingdom and ultimately falls in battle to the blade of Macduff.
- Othello: A Moorish soldier/ambassador in service of the Venetian Republic in the play Othello. He falls in love with Desdemona, the daughter of a senator. While fighting Turkish warriors on the island of Cyprus, Othello is tricked into believing that Desdemona has become unfaithful, and enraged, kills her. Upon learning that he was fooled, and in danger of being arrested for murder, Othello committs suicide in shame and sorrow.
- Tybalt: A Capulet in the play Romeo and Juliet, and a very foul-tempered one at that. When he notices rival Montague family member Romeo at his uncle party he flies into a rage and challenges Romeo to a duel. Romeo declines, but Tybalt begins to fight Romeo's friend Mercutio, killing him in the process. Driven by grief and seeking revenge, Romeo attacks Tybalt and fatally stabs him, leading to his exile.
- Hamlet: Prince of Denmark in the play Hamlet. His father (also named Hamlet) was killed by his brother (and Prince Hamlet's uncle) Claudius, who usurped the throne afterwards. Prince Hamlet struggles with an inner conflict - torn between avenging his father for honor and soiling his hands with killing a family member. Eventually, he stabs Claudius with a posioned dagger and succumbs to wounds he suffered in the struggle.
- The Duke of Albany: Husband of King Lear's daughter Goneril in the play King Lear. French armies threaten his lands, and he forms a loose coalition of treacherous allies who seek to do him in during the battle. The Duke of Albany survives the battle, victorious, and watches as King Lear's family falls apart in a series of horrific betrayals. One of the few surviving characters at the end of the play, it is implied he becomes the new king.
|Character||Weapons and Armor|
|Macbeth||Claymore sword, war hammer, chainmail hauberk and helmet|
|Othello||Scimitar, dagger, bronze cuirass, scales, and leg greaves|
|Tybalt||Basket-hilt rapier, off-hand parrying dagger, wrist guards|
|Hamlet||Partisan, Poniard dagger, targe shield, iron cuirass and nasal helmet|
|Duke of Albany||Falchion, English longbow, chainmail coif and hauberk|
The Roman Empire was one of the largest in history, spanning three continents and amassing over 2.5 million square miles in size at its peak. Being such a vast and multiethnic civilization, it nonetheless attracted a wide array of foes strong and determined to see the great empire fall!
- Hannibal Barca: A Carthaginian military commander and tactician. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest military commanders in recorded history. One of his most famous achievements was at the outbreak of the Second Punic War, when he marched an army, which included war elephants, from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy. His ultimate defeat came at the Battle of Zama.
- Spartacus: A Thracian gladiator, who was one of the slave leaders in the Third Servile War, a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. Little is known about Spartacus beyond the events of the war, and surviving historical accounts are sometimes contradictory. All sources agree that he was a former gladiator and an accomplished military leader. He was defeated and crucified by the Romans.
- Vercingetorix: A chieftain of the Arverni tribe who united the Gauls against Roman rule. He led a guerrilla campaign against the Romans and defeated Caesar at the Battle of Gergovia, but this proved to be a Pyrrhic victory, costing him 3,000 men in the process. Cornered at the stronghold of Alesia, Vercingetorix was taken prisoner and brought to Rome, where he was paraded in public for humiliation before his execution.
- Alaric I: King of the Visigoths and one of the most successful of Rome's enemies. Bypassing the stronger Eastern Roman Empire, he marched through Thessaly and besieged the Western Roman Empire. After initial success, he installed a puppet emperor, Priscus Attalus, but later invaded and sacked Rome itself in 410 AD. He died shortly after a failed seaborne invasion of North Africa.
- Attila the Hun: The most iconic leader of the Huns and ruthless warmonger, Attila assumed control of his clan in 445 AD. After waging war with the Sassanid Empire, Attila turned his wrath over to Rome and skirmished with the Eastern Roman Empire along the Danube River. On the Western front, he sacked cities across modern-day France. Attila remained undefeated by the Romans until his death in 453.
|Warrior||Weapons and Armor|
|Hannibal||Falcata sword, sarissa spear, bronze musculata and shield|
|Spartacus||Sica sword, pugio dagger, Parmula shield, left arm greave, plumed bronze helmet|
|Vecingetorix||Iron longsword, seax knife, chainmail and leather breastplate|
|Alaric I||Fransisca throwing axe, hunting knife, iron helmet, round wooden shield|
|Attila the Hun||Sword of Mars, Hunnic bow, leather lammelar and fur cap|
Consider these following X-Factors when casting your vote:
Which team is more mentally susceptible to the other's attacks?
Which team can form a more solid game-plan beforehand, and which team is more adaptable to changing their plans if things go south?
Which team has more experience fighting other combat-capable warriors?
Which team can sustain physical damage for a longer amount of time before giving in?
Which team is more intelligent in the battle space? Which team will be able to figure out their foe and exploit their weaknesses first?
Which team will be able to use the environment and any other X-Factors in the area to their advantage more successfully?
Which team is more skilled in the usage of their weapons?
Which team is more physically brutal in the battle space?
Attila the Hun and Vercingetorix stand at the top of a small hill in the dark blue sky of the early twilight hour. The wind blows their long hair behind their heads, creating an intimidating image of ruthlessness that the barbarians seek to embody. Below them sits a quiet frontier town in Roman control. Things are peaceful - for now.
"I am glad we have joined forces, my friend. The cowardly taskmasters and weak politicians hiding behind Rome's gates will fall prey to our combined strengths." Vercingetorix stabs his sword into the grass for dramatic emphasis. Attila laughs and nods.
Hannibal approaches his companions, holding several rolls of paper tucked under his arm.
"Hannibal! Do you come with news, or perhaps an offer?"
"I have found these scrolls. What language they are, I know not."
"Give me that!" Attila snatches the papers and unfolds them, holding them out at arm's length. Vercingetorix looks over Attila's shoulder.
"You two don't even know how to read..." Hannibal scoffs. "Even if you could, it wouldn't help. We'd need a Briton. It looks something like their writings."
"They aren't maps, so they can't be useful." Attila says dismissively. "Lay them on the table in my command tent, and we'll figure out their significance after the battle."
"You just don't like it because there aren't any pictures," Hannibal retorts, but he turns and enters Attila's tent to put the papers aside.
Vercingetorix turns and watches Hannibal leave. Attila shifts his weight uncomfortably from foot to foot.
"So what if I like pictures?"
Attila's command tent is big and roomy, and Spartacus and Alaric are sitting over a small table, playing a dice game. They look up as Hannibal walks in with the papers. Alaric swipes some of Spartacus' coins while the former gladiator is distracted.
"Gambling? Really?" Hannibal sighs, but ignores the two and sets the papers down on the table.
"That looks English to me," Spartacus says, getting up from his seat and looking at the writing. Behind him, Alaric takes more coins from Spartacus' side of the table. "Back in my gladiator days, there was a Briton who was hauled in to fight with us. He met an unfortunate end at the hands - paws, really - of a lion. Shame, too. Nice guy."
"So you know English?" Hannibal asks, excited.
Spartacus shrugs. "I don't know, maybe a little. Besides, I've only heard it, never seen it written." Squinting at the writing, he shakes his head. "Doesn't look like any English I've heard of."
Alaric hangs back and ducks through the tent flap. "You guys should hurry up with that reading," he says. "Attila's getting impatient out here."
Hannibal moves a candle on the table closer to the papers, but melted wax falls and smears over the words. "Damn it. Well, Alaric's right. Let's go." The two look away right as a bright line shoots out from the papers and bathes the tent in a shining yellow glow. An intense burst of wind blows through and snuffs the candle in an instant. Voices, speaking loudly and in some foreign language, overlap each other and cry with emotion and determination. Hannibal and Spartacus sprint toward the tent flap but the commotion ends before they even get there. Panting and in shock, they stagger outside and try to tell their companions exactly what happened.
Inside the tent, five men of varying size and dress also attempt to figure out their situation. Covered in torn bits of parchment, with ink splashed across their skin and armor, they have been ripped from their uncomfortable world of fiction - William Shakespeare's violent fiction - and thrown into reality.
"Where the hell am I? Who the hell are you?" Macbeth stands, Claymore in hand, Scottish accent thick and full of rage.
Before any of Shakespeare's characters can compose themselves, Rome's enemies burst into the tent. "Who are you men?" Vercingetorix demands, his language alien to the English speakers. Tybalt makes a daring retort, but his English is just as foreign to Rome's enemies as Vercingetorix was to him. Angry and impulsive, Tybalt lunges forward with his rapier.
Vercingetorix sidesteps the attack and swings with his longsword, snapping the top of the rapier off. Undeterred and fueled by rage, Tybalt slashes with the broken blade and cuts Vercingetorix across his cheek - a superficial wound. His follow-up with the parrying dagger sticks in the Gaul's armor, and Tybalt looks up in shock to find a fist smashing into his face. Staggering back, and without any armor, he is promptly run through with a longsword and thrown into a table.
Attila ducks out of the tent to run to his horse, and Alaric and Hannibal retreat to find their weapons. Vercingetorix and Spartacus hold their swords out, challenging the English warriors to advance. Macbeth swings his massive claymore and knocks Vercingetorix's sword out of his hands. Spartacus darts forward with sica in hand and slashes down on Macbeth's shoulder, but the chainmail deflects the cut. Macbeth hits Spartacus with the handle of his sword and throws the gladiator over the gambling table. Spartacus stands with his pugio drawn and Macbeth responds with his war hammer. The tiny dagger fares no better than the sica against the Scot's mail, and the war hammer finds its mark on the rebel slave's head. Vercingetorix has recovered his longsword but retreats from the confined space of the tent. While Macbeth charges forward, the Duke of Albany readies his bow. Othello nods and advances with Hamlet.
Outside, Vercingetorix stands, sword ready, but has found himself fatigued from the fight in the tent. Macbeth and Othello stand on either side of him, and both attack simulatenously. Vercingetorix hacks at Othello, but the bronze cuirass holds firm. Vercingetorix's armor also holds off a scimitar slash. Just as Othello finds himself in trouble, Macbeth slams the claymore hard into Vercingetorix, not penetrating the armor, but breaking bones underneath. Doubling over, the Gaul looks up to catch an arrow in the eye from the Duke of Albany's bow. He clutches at the wound and slumps forward. Hamlet advances with his partisan held out and charges past Othello and Macbeth to Alaric and Hannibal. Hannibal's sarissa is longer and spears the prince in his unprotected leg. Hamlet snaps the shaft with his palm and rips the blade out, advancing with a limp. The Duke of Albany fires another arrow, but this falls short of Rome's enemies and embeds itself into the grass. Alaric readies a throwing axe and hurls it at Hamlet's head. The blade goes through the front part of his helmet and into his skull, killing him. Alaric makes a step back and pulls out another axe.
While the Duke of Albany readies another arrow, Othello and Macbeth advance across the top of the hill toward Alaric and Hannibal. Behind his friends, Attila sneaks down the hillside and disappears. The Carthaginian general discards his useless sarissa and unsheats his falcata, hefting it up and down menacingly. Othello sizes up Hannibal while Macbeth charges at Alaric, claymore high over head. Startled, Alaric throws his axe but Macbeth ducks to the side and avoids it. Alaric pulls out his hunting knife, painfully aware of how short it is compared to Macbeth's claymore, and tries to block an incoming swing of the sword with his wooden shield. The blade goes clean through the wood and severs the limb at the elbow. Screaming in pain and shock, Alaric drops the knife and instinctively clutches at his stump of an arm, the blood streaming through his fingers. Macbeth snarls and laughs menacingly before he slashes across Alaric's upper chest and lower neck, sending him tumbling to the ground and not quite in one whole piece. Turning, Macbeth finds Othello down on the ground at Hannibal's mercy. Both bronze-clad warriors continue to struggle, but Hannibal's falcata finally makes contact with Othello's neck and rips violently away. Hannibal looks over his shoulder, a long gash down his cheek, and rolls to the side as Macbeth charges him with war hammer in hand. The Duke of Albany tries to let loose an arrow, but stops for fear of striking Macbeth. He sets down his bow and unsheats his falchion sword - just in time, too, as Attila the Hun tackles him to the ground and the two roll down to the base of the hill.
Attila swings wildly with the Sword of Mars but only scrapes his blade across chain mail. The Duke swipes down on Attila's arm and cuts the back of his elbow, but it's not his sword-arm, and Attila dives forward and brings the Duke's knees out from under him. The Duke brings a knee up into Attila's stomach, who grunts and bites down on his foe's exposed hand in return. Startled by Attila's savagery, the Duke of Albany lets go of his falchion, which is promptly snatched up and thrown aside by the Scourge of God. Attila stands, stomping his foot hard on the Duke of Albany's face in the process, and picks up the falchion with his injured arm. Dual-wielding two swords, he makes a final charge at the stunned Duke, who manages to sit up only to have his head slashed at the nose in two directions with both the Sword of Mars and his own falchion. Blood spurts in two diagonal directions from the Duke's face as he totters and falls back to the grass. Attila composes himself for the briefest of moments and then runs back up the hill.
Macbeth and Hannibal are both injured, slashes and stabs visible near almost every bit of exposed flesh. Macbeth's war hammer is wearing bronze-clad Hannibal down, though, who cannot pass Macbeth's chain mail with his falcata. Struggling valiantly, the Carthaginian raises his sword for one final, dedicated chop down on Macbeth, only to take a hammer blow to his musculata. Winded and stunned, he drops the falcata and stumbles back a few steps - all the distance Attila in the background needs to fire an arrow from his bow and strike Macbeth between the eyes. Before the body can hit the ground, it crumples into old paper, which in turn melts out into ink that soaks into the grass. Hannibal kneels, placing an unsteady hand on the ground to keep balance. Attila looks around but sees no further opposition.
"Thanks..." Hannibal manages, breathing heavily.
"And that is why you don't bother reading," Attila storms off to his tent, thoroughly annoyed by the fact that the attack on the Roman town is now spoiled with the deaths of his allies.
WINNER: ROME'S ENEMIES
Expert's Opinion Shakespeare's Warriors may have had a small advantage when it came to technology, but many of them were mentally unstable and unfit for combat. Rome's Enemies, on the other hand, were a calm, collected group of battle-harded guerrillas and warrior-kings, and their stronger leadership, cohesion, and tactics allowed them to triumph over the best William Shakespeare had to offer.