A few days later a feast is held at the praetor's house together with two arkonts from Athens. The brats aren't behaving as usual but the rest of the tribunes manage to show their good side and partly cover the tribunes bad side - the brats - to not be coloured by them as a group (Obstacle: Persuader versus Deceiver 4, Passed). Mattia and Atia take the oppurtunity to ask the arkonts about Greece and mostly of southern Greece and Delphi specifically to show themselves as interested and to get information about hte area they will be travelling through and spend time fulfilling the mission in. The focus is mostly militarily and they get a good and informative conversation going with the arkonts (Obstacle Persuader versus Deceiver 4, Succeed with Condition Angry/Tired => Atia gets a Tool consisting of knowlege of southern Greece, +1D and Mettia get a check on her way to learn Delphi-wise). The arkonts are a little suspicius about these roman military leaders being so curious but not enough to not tell Mettia and Atia a lot as the evening passes on into late night and the praetor doesn't hold back on wine, dancers or lyricists (End of GM's Turn).
Shortly after they get the message that they shall march in two days. Four cohorts will move out to Sparta and two of them on to Delphi). They, Mettia and Atia, start to prepare their troops and get provisions. The brats mostly trust their centurio senior primus to do what's needed and doesn't really care whether it's gonna be any of them.
The next day they're told that the two brats will march with Mettia and Atia to Sparta where the brats will stay with their cohorts and Mettia and Atia march on to Delphi..
As they march westwards during the Dog Days they have troubles with stomach illness among the troops and food quickly becoming unusable and therefore some having a little too little of provisions. By keeping the discipline and paying good for the food they can get they manage to keep the cadence and reach the outskirts of spartan territory when expected (Check: Militarist, Succeed with Condition). It's mostly Atia, Mettia and the troops that make it possible. The brats spend much time among the greeks in the ''picturesque'' ''farming areas'' testing the wines and looking at the girls and boys dancing and probably comparing the loval plump lyrics with the ones of Athens.
As they enter spartan territory they are told that there has been crop failures and that there almost no food to sell. Atia and Mettia ride around and question the village leaders directly but get the same message everywhere. Atia is getting quite suspicious but find no evidence.
During the march Atia sends reports by the local runners back to the praetor in Athens about the progress.
As they march on the the brats are talking about that it's strange that they don't see any typical spartan architecture or other signs of Sparta except for some warriors here and there. Atia and Mettia mostly just let them chatter on and wonder what they are talking about. Farmers are farmers everywhre, or?
The brats start to get bored by the ''picturesque farming area'' and Mettia and Atia can't decide whether they should be amused or worried. After a while the brts report that their troops and buyers that search south of the road has started to find more food and soon they are getting as mych food needed for their troops whil Atia's and Mettia's scouts and buyers still get too little food and have to spread ut over a wider area and therefore slow down the march. Atia is a little suspicius that the brats are squeezing the farmers but let it be since it will be the brats problem as they're the ones staying in the area. For that to be true though they have to get back to a normal cadence otherwise they will be stuck together with the brats in Sparta. Neither Atia or Mettia thinks high of that outcome.
Not much later they suddenly get a message from the front troops that there are some sort of guard standing in their way. Something like a hundred typical spartan soldiers in full armor standning attention in the middle of the road, actually all over the road. Atia brings her scribe, Mettia and her scribe to the front to speak to them hoping that with their total knowlege in greek should make it possible to communicate with them. At leat hte scribes are not that bad in greek.
They order the tropps to halt as they ride up to the front and stop just out of spear reach of the spartans and tell them that a roman troop under the lead of tribune Atia Lucius Quintilius needs to pass on the road. The soldier in the right front turns and shout something backwards and the soldier at the back left turns and run into a sturdy house on the side of the road, facing a big villiage on the other. Atia and Mettia assume he's telling some commander about the situation and in an attempt to be polite they wait. As an hours time is closing in they decide it has been enough time and they tell the spartans that they will pass no matter they are standing in the road or not and return to their place in the middle of the column. They have a short discussion on how to tackle the spartans and then send the orders for attack.
The furthermost cohort, Atia's, change from four to six files, the small roads hadn't given more room for marching. As Atia's cohort march out to the left, turn around and march back to the right to place themselve with about one half of the cohort on eachside of the road Atia give the two brats order to take two decuria of cavallery each, one fourth each and ready them selves for encirclement. The brats, happy that something exciting is happening gladly ride away. Atia's cohort has placed itself as a six file snake crossing the road and everyone makes a left face and the six file marching order has become a six line battle line, ready to kill. All the time the spartans has just observed them like they were just clock work men that has run out of torsion power. Atiaäs centurio senior primus sends report back the some hundred meters along the rest of the front half of the troops and baggae train to the tribunes. Atia immediately orders attack.
As the legionaires march forward the spartans during silence form up for a battle line but being only a fifth as many they will have to do well to stop the romans, and that's just one out of four cohorts. On the other hand, everyone has heard about the 300 spartans at Thermopyle. The two front lines throw their spears and the spartans lift their big round shields and although some get hurt badly and fall down they are just silently replaced and the spartans big round shields do a good job to protect them from the spears and not many shields get pierced and weighted down by a pilum, rather the pilii slide off.
The jogging legionaires and spartans tackle each other with the shields and stab at each other, each with their pros and cons with spears or short swords. The spartans can't stand the four times as many romans and start to back down. The brats readies the cavallery.
The spartans fall and the romans slowly move forward driving the fewer and fewer standing spartans backwards. Their lines start to look thin and although the spartans aren't known for running away the cavallerists close up och each side of the legionaires, ready to encircle any escapers. THen suddenly the lines break and the spartans actually flee. The cavallery rides of, makes a circle and stab och ride down the fleeing spartans and drive the remaing ones into a circle of legionaries and cavallerists. Now the spartans surprise the romans again by giving themselves in. About a fifth of the spartans still stand and are disarmed and tied up. legionaries are sent to the house and Atia and Mettia themselves ride over to have a look. As expected it seems to be some sort of border post or inn for runners and marching soldiers. They find an office but someone has burnt some papers there lately. Atia and Mettia quickly go through the other paers and collect what seems to be inventories to be able to get a grip on troops in the area and maybe also food in the area. They then return to the troops and order them to be at war state since runner(s) presumably has lsipped away and if someone will try something they will know about them and what has happened.
The psartans are quesitoned but show some spartan traits and don't tell anything interesting and since there's no time for detailed questioning and they should anyhow be punished with the death so Atia orders them to be crucified. When that's done the column marches on but no prepared for battle or ambush.
Atia also decides to send a special report back to the legates and the praetor and because of the recent events she decide to use some of their own cavallery to fulfill the missions. Two pairs of riders are sent on different routes and at slightly different time to make it harder for any rebellious spartans to stop both messages (Check, give as good orders that at least one of the messages arrive: Militarist versus Militarist 3D, Passed). The riders later actually reach Athens and the praetor but that of course Atia doesn't know.
During their further travel Atia gets into a conflict with the eldest brat who almost, almost challenge her on a fight but she refuses to let private matters risk any of them or their ability to fullfill the mission during the mission. Private amtters has to wait until some other time. The brat feeling dishonoured storms off but there is no fight and the cohorts continue to march towards Sparta. Atia promises to record the events in one of her reports to the praetor (End of Player's Turn).