The weirwolves of Roman England
This is from one of at least three former lifetimes I had in England and doesn't really belong on this website.
Did I tell you how we Celtic's had ~3 1/2 foot tall hunting dogs? They were very similar to the Irish Wolfhound Princess Elizabeth is petting in this c. 1960 photo. The infamous Falstaf was one of these dogs only his shoulder was about 1 foot higher.
When the Roman's violated their agreement and came north we would release 35 of our dogs on a sleeping Roman Century (100 man group of soldiers). The dogs would jump over the soldiers 9 foot walls and kill lots of the 100 in less than 2 minutes. Then when we blew on a large sea shell they were all disappeared as mysteriously as they had appeared.
The Roman's likewise were all gone as mysteriously as they had appeared and they stayed away for at least 5 years. They left everything and those that lived through it ran away forever. They wanted no part of the huge packs of large wolves, weirwolves or whatever had torn apart a century of men on the moors of Northumberland.
The Roman's attributed the attacks to weirwolves or half human wolves while we were trying to make it appear as though very large and mean wolves had done the killing. We had huge 6 foot tall demon wolves in our legends but the Romans and Greeks had a long history of weirwolf legends so they fell for it 'hook line and sinker'.
The Roman Empire was said to have been started by Romulus and Remus who were raised by a mother wolf.
The legends of weirwolves goes back to the Greeks (and even earlier) which include King Lycaon who was transformed into a wolf for feeding his own son to Zeus. The interesting thing is that 'were-wolf' is an old English and Anglo Saxton word (weir meaning man and wolf....) but they don't know when the word weirwolf originated. It may have been then.
It was only a few miles north of Longhorsley, Northumberland and a very long time ago. Before Hadrian's wall was built. I bet I could find it. We thought the brave Roman soldiers would come back to bury their dead so we left everything just as weirwolves or demons would have left everything.
The location is north of the town. It should be within the circle on the map.
That is around High Horsley Birk but that map is only a couple hundred years old and that is too recent.
We watched the deserted camp for a week and when more Romans did not come we thought that maybe they were watching from afar to see if we had been involved in the attack. That meant we were were too close. To play it safe we then moved back and watched from over a mile away and not even in a direct line of sight. We were able to just watch the birds come and go. If the Romans ever went to the camp all the birds would have left. For a long time the birds went there to eat the bodies and to eat the grubs that ate the bodies and we just watched the air above them for any change in their patterns but nobody ever came. That lasted for three months.
When they did not come back we thought it was a Roman trap. Rome always made their soldiers account for even the arrows they fired and lost. (I know this because they would hire Celts I knew to find the arrows. Even when it took as long as a half a day they would pay for the arrow (so it always took just short of a half a day to find the lost arrow.) Since the Romans had to account for everything it was inconceivable that they would not come back for at least the equipment including pots, armor, weapons, tunic, etc. (That whole package should still be there.)
Then we thought they would at least come back the next year to see if anything had be taken and retrieve their equipment. If anything was missing they would know that humans were involved. They would not be afraid of the wolves and they would also kill us all. It had to remain inhuman monsters that had killed them and not us or we would be dead.
However, they never came back. For over five years we would go by it whenever we were nearby to see if they had ever returned but they never did. All that stuff is still is sitting there and the same way as it was then but with dirt on top. I went by it many times to check it and so it's location is indelibly printed on the 'inside of my skull'. That is why I am almost certain that I can find it again.
A patrol from a whole different Roman army went there once about 8 years later but they had been told nothing about it and the rusty Roman articles were a mystery to them. It seems an officer was involved and asked some of our people who said it was wolves and that the soldiers had not kept one brand burning all night tong like they had been told. When their fire went out is when the wolves attacked and killed them. The Romans threatened to kill one Celtic chief if he did not tell the truth but they backed down really fast when he pointed out that either they did not believe the Celts had anything to do with it or else they did not intend to kill him since if either one was true then they would be afraid that they would never leave the moor alive. They took two of his children as hostages until they got far away from the village. In case the Roman's intended to keep them the word went out and the numbers of Celts following them just kept increasing until they let the children go. There were too many dead Romans for them to ignore that threat. Maybe I'll recall what happened to that stuff but I was too old by then to do anything with it and so it was left.. We should never have left that stuff there because of the chance discovery by Romans which is what made the trouble!
From then on the Romans on the eastern part of the northern frontier were like cows that wore bells because of the large fires that burned all night long. (Maybe the date can be figured out. This must have been when a complete swap out or exchange of troops occurred because the second group did not know about the Century that had been wiped out and also because they believed us about burning fires all night.)
There were 9-10 ft walls surrounding the encampment although one side I think was a natural cliff. There was one structure for cooking and what ever else they used it for. There were lean toos for the men. It was like one of the hill top firebases the American's had in Vietnam. It was one of their northern most outposts that they went to in spring and stayed until the stream dried up. Then they would abandoned it and leave. They might repeat it the next spring. (Not after this happened though.)
The Roman's hated England but loved the warm women so we men made them hate it worse. The English women (men too) have always had their sights set on fun and the Romans loved them for it. The Roman women focused on indulgence which was diametrically the opposite of a soldiers duty. The Italians now seem to be more focused on satiation and the French pleasures of the senses but it used to be SEX which has now been taken over by Americans under the general megalomaniacal overall category of desires. The English still seem to be stuck on fun which is quite appropriate.
This entire event was strange. To start with the Roman's had agreed to stay in the south of England and yet every year this was a major trespass on their agreement. It's like if you drew a line and someone said: 'you stay on that side and I'll stay on this side.' Then they walk across the line to your side and sit down. That is why it was so strange.
After a few years they tried it again about 20 miles north and the same 'demons' attacked them. I'd have to be there to locate that one since I did not go to it often. There were many other attacks I was told about after our two worked so well.
Each Celtic clan of maybe 35 to 50 people had one dog which killed the deer that gave us most of our meat. Getting 35 dogs together was a feat in itself. Then afterwards it gave us a reason to have a 1000 person celebration for 5 days.
That was a life when I got to be normal person it seems. I was just a regular guy. I have a feeling I could put all the most exciting stuff that happened in that life on less than one page and you would fall asleep reading it like you probably are right now.