The Greek Wars

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-03-21, 06:49

The news hit me like a roof-tile falling on my head. Eleni a spy! Could it be that all this time she was just using me to get information? No, it could never be! Nicodemus seemed certain of it, but being around duplicitous people would have naturally made him see that trait in anyone he suspected. The Megaran delegation had certainly disappeared, but had Eleni gone voluntarily with them? Nothing in the nobility of her character suggested such an action. The others could make whatever assumptions they may, but they did not know her as well as I did. They just saw her as the senator's wife, a woman of importance, a Megaran dignitary. To me she opened up her soul, and no amount of slander could change my opinion of her.

In light of that, I figured that there were only two logical possibilities for her disappearance; either the Megaran delegation left despite her protests, forcing her to go along, or Spartans infiltrated the city and kidnapped them to cause confusion and distrust in Corinth. In either case, Eleni was in danger, and I was the only person in Corinth who was aware of it!

From the moment I reached that conclusion, I could not rest. The citadel that seemed so safe to me before, now felt like a prison that kept me away from finding out the truth or rectifying whatever foul deeds had occurred. In vain I tried to incite the nobles and people of Corinth to sally out, in the hope that Eleni would be recovered from her possible captivity in the Spartan camp, or that the movements of the Megarans would be revealed and action taken against them. Although my speeches of desperation met with enthusiasm from many Corinthians, some of them very notable and influential citizens, when Nicodemus heard about them he forced me back to his house and yelled so hard at me that I could almost see his vocal chords dancing before my eyes. In the end I could no longer be content with what I could do as a poet and emissary. I could not sleep and I could not eat. I could not stand myself for not being able to do anything. I had to do something extreme. My honour and my admiration of Eleni demanded it of me.


***************************************************************************************


One night I was taking a walk on the battlements of the citadel. It was a low wall, sparsely guarded, as any possible enemy attackers would have had to climb a sheer cliff-face to get to it. The guards knew me from my frequent walks and did not mind my presence. Some of them I even knew by name. One such guard was standing as an outline in front of the moon-lit sky when I approached him.

"Greetings Chremes."

"Hey, Iphitos! How's it going?"

"Well enough. No complains. How about you?"

"I've got another two hours on my shift and I'm bored senseless. Got any new poems?"

"Not tonight, I'm afraid. The howling cold of night beckons me, but I am an echoless vessel to it. I can but stare and ponder."

Chremes nodded in a friendly pretence of understanding.

"So, you gonna sit up on the ramparts and stare into the void like yesterday?"

"Seems like as good enough a use of my time as any. I hope you don't mind."

"Mind? No, no. Not at all."

We stood speechless for a few minutes, me staring at the void and Chremes alternating his glance between it and me. Finally, he ventured to say what he had been thinking.

"Say, if you are going to stand here and look out the walls for the next hour, how about I went down to the barracks and played some dice while you're at it? You might as well be a guard for what anyone can make out and I can use the break. What do you say?"

I looked at him with surprise, but rushed to agree that it was a good idea and that I would be delighted to help him out.

"Thanks Iphitos! You're the best!"

I watched him walk nervously away and down the stairs towards the barracks, and I was then alone. My plan had worked much quicker and easier than I had anticipated. The gods were with me!

I had not forgotten my military training back in Argos, rudimentary though it may have been, and I had already climbed down the cliffs of a citadel once. The thought of Eleni held in captivity, with no one willing to believe in her innocence motivated my otherwise cautious disposition to dare what I would have otherwise only barely imagined.

My plan was to climb down to the Spartan camps and search for Eleni in the cover of night. Failing to find her, I would then decide on whether I would return to Corinth or try to make it to Megara past the Spartan lines. Unfortunately it took me much longer than I anticipated to climb down the treacherous cliffs, and it was a few hours before dawn when I reached the ground, bloody and exhausted. I sat down for a minute to catch my breath and congratulate myself on my athletic achievement. In less than a minute I was on the ground again, knocked down by two much less exhausted men who then carried me away from the city.

"So, the Corinthians are sending their own spies out now, eh?" the Spartan soldier at the picket line exclaimed. "If this keeps up there'll be no one left in the city to besiege!"

This was turning out to be a very, very bad idea.


Corinth -1
Sparta +1

Athens 12
Argos 6
Corinth 5
Megara 14
Sparta 6

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Tombles on 2008-03-21, 08:07

The Spartan King had a sharp mind for his age, I could see that. His plans seemed a little risky, however. Dragos would surely come to Sparta with his full army at his back... something that the collection of troops I had with me could not repel at the moment. My troops were building large wooden walls wround parts of the town, to provide some form of defence agaisnt attacks from foes, but they would not hold out against a determined assault. Still, if we heard that Dragos was coming with a large force, we could pull back to the fleet in the river before his troops had time to mobilise. Most important was to send a messenger to Nicodemus, so he knew of the new developments.

I was careful not to reveal too much to my newfound ally- a Spartan was a Spartan, after all, and they could not be trusted. He could be trusted to rely on his greed whilst Dragos was at large, but once Dragos was imprisoned, who knows where that same greed would lead the immature King to do? I had noted that the young King had chosen his words carefully- "You have my word that the armies will not move on your city again in my lifetime". That made no mention of troops belonging to Athens. Nor did it make any reference to Corinth. Still, I had accepted, and now I was duty-bound to carry out my role in the bargain.

The messenger to Dragos, one of the Spartan Royal Guard garbed in a torn and bloodstained red cloak, had been dispatched a day ago. Now I sent a Corinthian messenger, who Nicodemus had assured me was completely loyal to the Corinthian state, to send word to Corinth. They would need this support in their seige. My only hope was that Nicodemus was wise enough to know when the right moment was to go out and attack the Spartans besieging his city, and when to stay within his walls...

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-03-21, 08:15

"I am so worried about Dragos. When that messenger came bearing news of Sparta's destruction, he lost it. Dragos became that... thing... he turned into after he killed all those Argives, and physically assaulted the already exhausted messenger. I tried to stop him, but he knocked me away like a rag doll. It's been an hour, and I can still hear him raging about in his tent. I doubt there's anything left to break in there. Zeus help him!" - excerpt from Lydia's diary


Zeus... my city has been captured by those Athenian dogs. Athanaikos dead... I... cannot believe it. I've basically destroyed everything in my tent, including the messenger. It looks like he's still breathing, luckily. Now that I've calmed down, I need to decide some things. We are little more than a day's march from Athens, with Megaran forces a day or so behind us. I will leave this army to take Athens, and send the Megarans to relieve our forces at Corinth. Then, I will join Kleomenes there, and march that army back to Sparta to retake what is ours. This is one sin of Aristoxenus that can never be forgiven. Killing a 13 year old boy... what threat could he have posed? Aristoxenus, you will die at my hand. You will DIE! YES DIEE! DEATH COMES FOR YOU, FRAIL ATHENIAN FOOL! DEATH!

I could feel myself slipping back into another fit. Fighting it seems impossible. Where once there was light, there is only darkness... Lydia...
But she wasn't here, not this time. I fell headlong into the world of my nightmares, where those faceless Argives and my dead king haunted me so viscerally. All alone. I was sitting on a charred log, in the ruins of Argos, surrounded by a fiery vista of destruction. Shadows moved in the fires, hissing my name.
"Dragossss... you killed them..." Out of the embers they came, charred faces, bloated eyes, skin still bubbling from the heat. They reached out, trying to pull me into the fires with them.
"No I didn't, I didn't! He did! Aristoxenus...he had to see what he had wrought!" I started flailing about wildly, my fists meeting naught but air. Then my King was there, grasping my head in his powerful hands. I strained against his grip, but to no avail. His mouth was mouthing silent words, hampered by the dagger in his throat even now. Fighting to overcome my terror, I tried to make out what he was saying. I could only make out some of the words, and the ones I could made no sense.
"Athanaikos... treachery... don't trust..." He released me, and I tumbled into the darkness yet again...

"He's calmed down now. This last fit lasted only ten minutes, but it left him exhausted, both physically and mentally. Tomorrow we leave for Corinth, and from there Sparta. I can only pray he remains sane long enough to enact his revenge." - another excerpt from Lydia's diary

Athens 12
Argos 6
Corinth 6
Megara 14
Sparta 6

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-03-22, 03:30

The messenger had just arrived, I thought over the message from Aristoxenus in my head as I strode to the council meeting, if the message had arrived just a few days later then I could have been overruled, even so the wolves were still circling.

I stood before the council, glanced at the parchment were I had written the message down and spoke

"I have finally had word from Aristoxenus" I paused "The plans have become slightly….unorthodox…but they can still work, Aristoxenus' Athenians defeated the Spartan fleet and made it to the Eurotas, they fought a great battle with some 400 of Sparta's homoioi, but then the King of Sparta, a mere child, sent word that they should discuss terms, it appears that the boy is greedy, and is jealous of Dragos' powers as regent, so he promised a ceasefire between all loyal Spartans and Corinth and Athens. In return he wants Dragos, my fellow Corinthians, he wants a Spartan civil War"

The sound level in the chamber rose as the councillors started murmuring between themselves, this carried on for a few moments, I called the room to silence

"We now must decide what to do next, two things could happen here, if Dragos is truly operating for the good of Sparta then he will surrender his powers to the King, however if he seeks power, than he may decide to attack his own King, I am unsure of home much loyalty his soldiers feel towards him, certainly I don't think the entire army would follow him if he wanted to depose the Spartan King. Aristoxenus has sent no message of what his army plans to do, but he hints that if Dragos attacked Sparta, Dragos would win. A Spartan was sent to Dragos, telling him that the King was dead and that the city was Aristoxenus'. I do not know what he will do now, we know that he is near Megara, but I don't know if he will turn back, and help his men here, go to Sparta or attack Athens, so we have a choice, do we stay in the city and possibly have his army trap us here, or do we march out, defeat the besieging army and confront Dragos?"

The men in the room instantly started loudly debating with each other, I slumped down in my chair and began picking my nails with a knife, I knew no decision would be made today, the King realised this too, so half an hour later he called an end to the meeting, saying that the day was getting late, the decision would be made tomorrow, yet I still didn't know what was the better option…

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I got back to my accommodations I just sat tired from the day, relishing the peace and quiet, I wondered why it seemed so quiet, then remembered Iphitos had disappeared, this was good in one sense, my house was quiet again, but bad in the sense that he knew too much, whoever had him could learn a lot of tings that I wished no-one else to know. I realised that I strangely missed the man. I wondered why, it could have been, I thought, that he distracted my wife's attention.Yes that was it I may have hated his poems, but my wife had loved them. I thought about my wife, our marriage wasn't bad, considering how different we were, she was about 9 years younger than me, plain looking, but most importantly her father was an important man, that was why I had married her, for her connections.Oddly the girl had the same shrewd mind that her father did, and I did, she was much more moral than me, that might have been because she did not have to face the atrocities that came about because of her advice, whereas I had had to see decisions that I had made ruin people's lives, that was why I was bitter and cynical, because I knew that only women and children could have morals, for they can say all they like, but they cannot do anything, so morals work for them. I snorted; if I had used morals to form my policies then I would have joined the long line of men who hoped to be influential, but just couldn't make it, no in the real world you had to be ruthless to survive. Just like I had to make a ruthless emotionless decision tomorrow, many soldiers lives hung on my choice, yet I still didn't know what that choice was….

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Corinth 6
Megara 14
Sparta 6
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-03-22, 08:10

"So, let me get this straight,"

The Spartan captain was stern and humorless.

"You are a Sicyonian citizen who got stuck in Corinth when we besieged it; was mis-treated by the Corinthians while you were in their city; finding an opportunity, climbed down the citadel cliffs in the dead of night to escape; and were then captured by our scouts."

"Yes, for the tenth time yes! You don't have anything against Sicyon, do you? You can let me go!"

The captain thought about it for a few seconds.

"Nah, I still don't buy it."

"Can we kill him now?" a Spartan soldier interjected. "It's getting boring."

"No! Like I said before, we have to know if he is a spy or not; and if he is, what we can learn from him."

He grabbed me by the neck and shaked me up violently.

"Speak you Corinthian scum! Who sent you? What are your orders? Are the Corinthians getting desperate? Are they scouting ahead for a sally? Speak!"

I desired nothing more than to speak at that moment! I would say anything and everything he wanted, but I had no voice! Much like the captain's grip, panic took hold of my neck and I could only gasp without sound.

"He's not talking" said the soldier. "Let's kill him already. They'll probably send another spy anyway."

The captain loosened his grip.

"I'm not so sure about that. Look at him. He's not dressed for field work. He is hardly inconspicuous in his clothes and general appearance. If he is a spy, I can only hope he's the best the Corinthians have got!"

"So what do we do with him?" the soldier asked.

"Let me think about it."

Shortly thereafter, a messenger came, and the captain went to find out what news he was carrying. When he returned, he said

"Regent Dragos is returning to Corinth! Maybe he'll be interested in dealing with this possible spy. From what I've heard from the other captains he's always had a knack for espionage and the like! Take him away and guard him."

"Yes sir", the soldier replied half-heartedly.

I would live for a while longer! Oh, gods, what had I gotten myself into? I'd have to gather all my wits to come out of this one alive. Everything would now depend on how I would present myself to Dragos - unless the Corinthians would somehow miraculously sally out that morning. But no. There were no preparations that I had noticed. Oh, Eleni! What perils I encountered for you!


Athens12
Argos 6
Corinth 6
Megara 14
Sparta 6

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-03-22, 23:02

The grey and sombre sky matched my mood as we rode into the Spartan camp at Corinth. We had been travelling hard for the past day or so, despite me still recovering from my recent bout of fits. It was a difficult journey for me, battling my mental fatigue all the way.

I was still shaking when Dromichetes stuck his head into my tent.
"We have the prisoner here, sir. Do you want to see him now?" Prisoner? Oh yes, the wall climber they captured a few days ago.
"Yes, bring him in."

They dragged in a disheveled looking man, probably in his mid twenties, and dumped him unceremoniously at my feet.
"If that's all, sir..." Dromichetes said, as he waited for my orders.
"Yes, thank you Captain. You may go." They left.

I looked at the prisoner. He was watching my movements very carefully, probably readying himself for a mad dash out of my tent if I made any sudden moves.
"What is your name?" I asked in a level voice.
"Ip...Iphitos..." came his stammered reply. "Iphitos of Sicyon."
"Well then, Iphitos of Sicyon, do men from your city always cower at Spartan feet? Get up, go sit on that chair, and speak." He scrambled to his feet, clearly relieved that I didn't attempt to kill him.

I watched his mannerisms closely as he told me his story. He was clearly not a military man, looking more like a writer or artist. Probably a poet of some kind, judging by the flowery language he used. He was also clearly lying.
"IPHITOS!" I bellowed suddenly, nearly causing him to fall off his chair. "I do not appreciate being lied to. People tend to... die... when they try to deceive me." He started to protest, but I silenced him.
"BUT! I will give you another chance. If you lie again, I will kill you. If you tell the truth, I will let you live. And believe me," I said as rose to my feet to stand menacingly before him, "I know when I'm being lied to. Your choice, Iphitos." He nodded fearfully, and started to speak again.

It was hours later. I was lying in bed next to Lydia, her arm draped over my bare chest. Iphitos... is from Argos? He must hate me for murdering so many of his kinsfolk... yet I didn't sense any resentment from the man. Could he be lying? No, I don't think he had the guts to lie again. He also mentioned that Megaran woman, Eleni. Seems she got to him as well, judging by the reverence in his eyes when he speaks her name. I wondered if I did the right thing when I granted him protection from Nicodemus' forces, but then, he does know alot about Athenian and Corinthian plans. I will string him along for now, and see how it goes.

Lydia stirred next to me.
"Mmm? Dragos... why are you not asleep?" She snuggled against me, giving me a soft kiss on the cheek in the process.
"It's nothing, dear. Go back to sleep."
"Mmm..." Her breathing deepened as she fell asleep yet again. Tomorrow we march on Sparta, leaving Corinth under siege by the Megaran Army. I sent Kleomenes to command the siege on Athens, which should also be close to happening as well. I doubt Athens would be able to resist for long, with their army still in Sparta. Revenge will be sweet...

Athens -1
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Corinth 6
Megara 14
Sparta 7

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Strohble on 2008-03-23, 02:00

11/24/07 00:38:38
His cobalt eyes swept the beach as pleas for mercy reached his ears, "please, please, it is not necessary, we will tell no one, I swear it, we are just fisherman." "Be that as it may, you are Spartan and not to be trusted", the soldier replied. A flash of blades, the gurgle of air drawn through opened throats, the coppery smell of fresh blood mingling with seaweed and rotting fish. "Thanatos, what shall we do with the bodies?" "Leave them to rot. By the time they are found we will be in Sparta." I turned around and stared at the fallen bodies, 'how did it ever come to this?' Images flash before my eyes, family, friends, maimed, dismembered, burnt, dead. My city, rubble, fire, smoke, destruction. We forget what we try to remember, and remember what we try to forget. I look up into the hard, expectant eyes of my men, the remnants of the Argive logades, mercenaries, citizen soldiers. Men with vengence in their hearts and iron in their will.

"We stand on the shores of our enemy. We are 600 strong. I could have chosen men with no repute, no will, fodder for the gristmill," a soft breeze comes off of the water, the rising moon casts a pale glow onto the white sand, an owl screeches as if in triumph. " I chose men that are no stranger to the spear and sword, men that have felt the cruelty of the Spartans, MEN THAT WILL FIGHT IN THE NAME OF ARGOS!!!!" The nodding of heads, no word need be spoken. " We seek a man named Aristoxenus, an Athenian. Not in fealty, but in unity to fight a common foe. Our numbers may not be great, but lesser forces have turned the tides of war. We march at apex of the moon, smokeless camp, no sound."

The men mumble assent and the sound of 600 footsteps in the sand is masked by the gentle waves breaking on the shore. "Aiolos, choose 20 trustworthy men for watch, 500 paces distant, 100 paces apart. Make sure the rest of the men are fed and gear is in order. 3 days rations per man. There's a small spring by the fisherman's hut. I want waterskins topped off. Make it so." "It will be done." He stands there, hesitant. My look softens, "Is there something you would like to say my friend?" Aiolos replies,"Thanatos, we have seen many battles you and I. Many victories....our numbers, they are so few....." "We may be few but we are not alone in our fight." I answer. "The Athenians haven't failed us yet. They have just as much to lose as we." "Perhaps we should offer to the gods for luck, for our people." Aiolos says. I feel anger creep into my face, "where men cannot live. gods fare no better."

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Tombles on 2008-03-24, 09:21

I walked hurriedly down the long main street, remembering the tense fighting that had occured along it only a week ago. Too many good soldiers had died here. Their deaths would not be allowed to be made in vain.

Scouts reported that Dragos' army from Corinth had lifted the siege and were marching down to meet us. The second Spartan army had besieged Athens, but that did not trouble me unduely. The Spartans seemed to have overestimated the number of men we had sent over to Sparta- their besieging army was pretty inadequate for the number of defenders they would find in Athens. When I had sailed to Sparta, Cleitos and the majority of his men had returned to Athens, just in case Corinth fell. We had not expected Corinth to be bypassed- the splitting of the Spartan army seemed quite foolhardy.

More worrying were the reports from Corinth. It was said that a sizeable Megaran army had marched on the city as soon as the Spartans had left, keeping the Corinthians stuck within their walls. I had no idea of the size of the army, but it would doubtless be at least the size of the original Spartan army to march on Corinth all those months ago. The Megarans, after all, were not splitting their forces. The Corinthians would not be outnumbered, but any fight between the two forces would be costly, far too costly, unless the Megarans assaulted the city. But they would not. A wise leader would sit out the siege, waiting for the Corinthians to starve, or for the Spartans to return. Corinth had enough supplies to last for a long while, but not indefinately. This plan had to work. There was no way it could be allowed to fail.

I walked into the King's hall in the palace, followed by Damon and Kaenas. Athanaikos was lounging lazily across his throne, dressed in the finery of royals, eating olives from a golden platter. He looked up at me and smiled.

"Ah, Aristoxenus. I hope you bring good news?" Athanaikos flashed a glimpse of his ever-so-slightly yellowed teeth from behind his thin red lips. It seemed odd to me that I was supporting this spoiled youth. I knew he was too young to properly lead a City State. But hard times called for hard measures, and supporting him was the only way to go. I gazed at him sternly.

"Dragos comes to Sparta with a full half of the army he set out with. My forces could not hope to hold them." My worries about how Athanaikos would handle the situation must have ben pretty obvious, because he rushed to reassure me.

"It should not come to that, my friend. The best men in his army are totally loyal to me. As soon as they see me alive, and see that I no longer have faith in Dragos, they should turn against him." The princling was totally confident in his own charisma, obviously. But he had not thought this all through.

"You say you will arrest Dragos when he enters the palace, Lord," I said, not lifting my gaze from the boy's face once. "But he will not enter the palace until my forces are destroyed. You must come out and meet him when he arrives at the city."

For the first time, a flash of fear seemed to momentarily cross the boy's face. He recovered his composure quickly.

"What if he tries to kill me? He would not go willingly."

"You have your 300 Royal Guardsmen, who you have boasted are the finest soldiers in the world. Are they not capable of defending you?" I replied. "Besides, you say that most of his army will turn against him. If that is so, you should have nothing to fear."

"And what of your forces?" Athanaikos enquired. He seemed reassured, but still not toally convinced.

"Most of my men will remain within the central city. I will accomapny you, if you so wish."

Athanaikos smiled again. He knew I would not accompany him unless I was totally certain of the success of the plan. "It shall be so. Tell me, how long until Dragos arrives?"

"Three days if the weather continues like this. Four if it takes a turn for the worse." The heat of the summer had not totally faded through the Autumn, and no real rains had come aside from the occasional shower. It seemed almost ominous that the weather should be so strange on the very year that such a war broke out...

"Keep me informed as to Dragos' movements. We go to meet him as soon as he camps outside the city."

***

I returned to the perimeter of the city, surveying the work of my men. The palisade was now up around much of the city, although no gates had been constructed as yet. All movement in and out of the city was through a single gap opening up to the Northern Road, from where Dragos and his men would come. A swathe of woodland had been cut down to provide us with the wood we needed. The walls were temporary and weak, but they would serve their purpose until more permanent defences could be built, or until the Spartans tore them down at the end of the war. The end that could be in a few weeks, or a few years. Only time would tell.

Suddenly, a sentry let out a cry from his position on top of one of the outermost houses. "Men to the south! There are soldiers approaching the city!"

I rushed to see them. In the distance we could see a collection of armed men, heavily armoured hoplites all. As they drew closer, we could see the design on the shield, the black many-headed serpent of Argos. They must have followed the coast around as soon as the Spartan army had passed Argos by, hearing of the attack on Sparta. Argos were our greatest ally through these troubled times- even when surrounded by Spartan forces, alone and unaided, their loyalty to our alliance had been unswerving. Surely these men were sent to honour the alliance. As they approached the palisade, a man stepped out from the rest. His piercing gaze communicated an iron will and an unyielding warrior spirit from inside the armour of the Argive elite.

"We seek an audience with Aristoxenus of Athens. Argos will not sit idly by in this war. We come to destroy Dragos of Sparta!"

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Volksie on 2008-03-25, 01:10

Autumn was coming to a close and the unnatural heat had just started to melt off. Winter would arrive in a matter of days and with it, six months of war.

Lady Eleni waited silently in the large and empty auditorium of the senate building in Megara. Her latest task of finding her father's loose agent had so far come to nothing. Singular search was futile. It was time to call in the hounds.

A single set of footsteps sounded through the nearby corridor and a door to Eleni's right opened slowly. Eleni turned to see a familiar face but not a welcome one.

"I thought some miserable bastard would have killed you by now, Chrysander?" Lady Eleni said coldly.

"You have not changed Eleni." Chrysander sneered and closed the door behind him. "Still the heartless serpent running around after Daddy."

"I would advise you to watch your tongue," Eleni frowned. "Except i would so love to watch it being cut out of your mouth."

Chrysander smiled and moved close to Eleni. He wasn't attractive in any way but arrogance poured out of him. He wasn't kind in any way but was excessively violent. He wasn't a senator or a man of much standing in Megara and yet as much as Eleni wished to have him removed she could not. Her father needed him.

"What are you doing here?" Eleni asked brusquely.

"You called for me." Chrysander said with a knowing smile.

"No i didn't!" Eleni shouted, loosing her patience. "I called for Hades."

"Poor poor Eleni," Chrysander said, sitting down next to Eleni and leaning in close to whisper. "I am Hades now."

Lady Eleni froze and for the first time in nearly a decade she became fearful.

"Oh!" Chrysander yelped, enjoying every moment of Eleni's disbelief. "Didn't Daddy fill you in when you got back from Corinth? Linus had a terrible and unfortunate accident. Someone was needed to take his place and i just happened to be in the right place at the right time."

"You bastard," Eleni whispered.

"Yes. What a shame we could never get along," Chrysander said and ran his hand through Eleni's hair. "Hades and Amara, living in co-existence."

Eleni hit Chrysander's hand away and stood up. Her momentary shock at the news of Chrysander's elevation had passed and she once again became her father's steadfast agent.

"Hades or not you still do my father's bidding, which, in turn, means you do mine." Eleni spoke confidently and Chrysander became annoyed.

"Yes, my Lady." Chrysander rose and bowed stifly.

"There is a man, somewhere in Greece, by the name of Adrastos. He is Megaran and used to work for my father. Take your shades and find him. When you do, bring him to me."

"A man named Adrastos," Chrysander said thoughtfully. "Yes. I know him. An assassin who worked for us nearly ten years ago now?"

"That is him."

Chrysander smiled again and walked to the door. "I like a challenge. Perhaps next time we meet you will be slightly more grateful to me, Eleni..." With that Chrysander closed the door and his footsteps retreated back the way they had come.

"Next time we meet...," Eleni spat. "Next time i see you, you will be dead."

Athens - 12
Argos - 7
Corinth - 6
Megara - 14
Sparta - 6
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-03-30, 11:09

The Megarans were coming. Gods, it never ended. Now what the Spartans had left, but now the Megarans were coming with a large Army, what should they do? I knew what Hecateaus and his cronies wanted, to march out with glory and honour. What idiots, but they had a point, the Megaran Army was not as good as the Corinthian Army, it might be slightly bigger, but not enough to confer an advantage, Corinth needed to enter the Political fray again and we couldn't do that under siege, plus I wasn't sure that I could retain power if I recommended that Corinth's soldiers should once again cower behind ramparts of Stone and rock. Aristoxenus wouldn't like it, but who was he to dictate to me, if we crushed the Megarans life would suddenly become much easier. So I went to the council meeting, intending to start war.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I looked behind me, at the flying banners of Corinth, and the beautiful city itself, although I wasn't doing this for the city but for myself, I wouldn't have survived if I had counselled against battle. So the Army marched out, most of the Soldiers in the city had been called to arms, many citizens too, all we left behind was half of the Royal Guard, the Athenians, and a few citizen hoplites, I rode in the front of the Army, as befitting my position as lead general, Appolinius stayed behind, but Hecateaus was with the Army, he couldn't be left unwatched, or Gods only knows what he would do. So the Army left Corinth, I sent out scouts, telling them to look for an advantageous place of battle, and the enemy.

The scouts returned at night, I was in my tent when one of my loyal men, Pylades called to me

"Lord, the scouts have returned!"

"Send them to my tent" I called, I sat and waited for the Scouts, "So what did you see?"

"The Megarans are still a day or two march from us, and we found a hill near here, on the road, it would make a good defensive position for our army"

I dismissed the scouts and settled down to think, if we set off as quickly as possible, we could reach this hill before the Megarans and set about making ourselves ready for battle the next day, yes I thought, we would do that.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I looked down from the hill at the rapidly assembling Megarans, the scouts and spies had been right, they did hold a small advantage in numbers, but we had the hill, ad an Army which had defeated Spartans, we should carry the day, and win the field. The battle wouldn't happen till the next day, it was late afternoon now, and the Megarans were setting up camp, tomorrow morning the fight would begin, then we would see if my plans had worked.

I walked away from the hill's crown towards our own camp, hoping to speak to some of the senior military commanders about our strategies, but I was intercepted by one of Hecateaus' dogs

"Lord Nicomedus" he said mockingly "My Lord Hecateaus would see you, he wishes to discuss…strategies"

"Your master? He is a merchant, tell him to stick to selling silks to pampered fools and to leave the business of war to real men"

The lackey didn't look surprised "He says if you don't come, things could get, uncomfortable for you……"

I grabbed the man by his tunic, lifting him off the ground "YOU DO NOT THREATERN ME!!!!!" I flung him to the ground, where he lay whimpering "This is my message for your master" I said, and drew my sword

"Lord, please no" he begged, but I ignored him.

I put my sword to his neck and pushed down hard, he writhed in agony, I pulled the sword out and cut off his head, I wrapped it in his tunic, and left the body where it was, I took the head and had it thrown into Hecateaus' tent.

"There was a Megaran spy in the camp" I told Hecateaus, "He was posing as one of your men, I dealt with him for you" I opened up the tunic, Hecateaus went white, he knew what the head meant "Choose your friends more carefully next time, I said, and strode out of the tent.

Corinth +1
Megara -1

Athens - 12
Argos - 7
Corinth - 7
Megara - 13
Sparta - 6
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-03-31, 08:55

Athanaikos was pacing up and down in the halls of his palace. "You want me to go out there alone?! You must be joking. A king, outside his city, without and army at his back?" Aristoxenus started to speak.
"You will have your Royal Guard to protect you, Lord. Surely..." Athanaikos laughed.
"That's what you want, isn't it? Your army safely inside the city, while I risk my neck confronting a madman? No, the entire army will go, or I will remain here and let you fight Dragos all the way to the palace. Do you really want to do that, Aristoxenus?"
"Well, no, but surely..." came the stammered reply, his voice trailing off as he realised the young King had already decided his course.
"Ah. Very well. We will be ready to march at midday." He left to make the neccessary preparations, all the while praying to the gods for some luck.

Later...

I looked out over the plain at the assembled armies. We outnumbered the Athenian force by a good margin, but what worried me was the black robed men on their right flank. They bore the insignia of Argive Elites, fearsome foes indeed, and no doubt held a grudge against us. "Iphitos!" I yelled. "What are your countrymen thinking, opposing us on the field?" He started to answer, but I cut him short.
"Don't bother, I'm not really interested. If they raise their spears against us, they will die with the rest of them. Now go back to the supply train, and stay there with the reserves. Pray you are not needed." He darted off toward the rear of the army, only too glad to be clear of the front lines.

It was then that their ranks opened and a litter borne by several retainers was carried out ahead of the army, under a flag of truce. Accompanying them were Aristoxenus and some of his elites. I frowned as I rode with my bodyguards to meet them.What can there be left to say? He killed two Spartan Kings, and now that he faces annihilation, he wants to talk? I spat on the ground in disgust.

Aristoxenus lifted his hand and the litter stopped. He rode forward, stopping close enough for me to see the beads of sweat on his forehead.
"Dragos," he said as he regarded me coldly.
"Wretch," I replied. "Whatever gifts you come bearing in that litter, you can stuff it up your #%@%. You and your men will die here today, and nothing can change that fact."
His expression changed to one of amusement.
"It's not WHAT I bring, but WHO. Your King is displeased with you, Dragos the Fool." The curtains of the litter parted, and revealed the small figure of King Athanaikos of Sparta.
My mind reeled. Still in a daze, I dismounted and staggered towards the litter, dropping to my knees a few metres from it .The soldiers guarding it leveled their spears and closed ranks to protect the King.
"Stop! Leave him." Athanaikos got up and walked towards me."Can you not see he kneels before the rightful King of Sparta? Can you not see he is weak before my might?" He knelt to look me straight in the eye.
"Can you not see he is afraid?"

The darkness overwhelmed me once more. Flashing images danced before my eyes, visages of those I had killed, or have tried to kill me. Suddenly I understood my dead king's cryptic warning. Betrayal! Athanaikos was a puppet of Aristoxenus, cowering behind Athenians and luring me back with false rumours of his death. The boy was a fool, a stain on his father's good name, and a traitor to Sparta herself. I could see him through the blackness of my mind, mocking me, taunting me with that shrill voice of his. He turned to share a laugh with Aristoxenus, patting me on the head as one would a subservient dog. It was then that I lost all coherent thought, my mind erupting in a fury so great it alone could start a fire.

I thrust my sword into Athanaikos's chest with such speed that he didn't even utter a sound as the blade passed through his heart and out the back. I surged to my feet in one fluid motion, the body of the child still dangling limply on my blade. Letting his corpse slide from the sword, I exploded into a ferocious assault on Aristoxenus' bodyguards that claimed two, before the rest of them managed to react. All tactics went out the window at that point, with the two armies charging in mindlessly to engage in a bloody melee with no sure victor. I could hear Aristoxenus shouting orders at his men as he fought to bring order to the ensuing chaos, but it was to no avail. Men hacked and stabbed at each other in a frenzy, as if there was no tomorrow. Indeed, for many there was none.

That night, after the battle, I adressed my victorious troops from a pile of stacked Athenian corpses. We had suffered heavy losses, but had prevailed at last, recapturing our city from Athenian rule.
"Spartans!" I shouted. "This night will be with us forever! For today, the weak has fallen, and the strong has remained." I gestured at the corpse of the Boy-King Athanaikos. "Our King lies dead, slain by my hand, yes. But did he not die weeks ago, when he used deception and lies to serve his own purposes? Did he not betray all that is Spartan, when he allowed Athenians to dictate terms?"
A murmur of assent rumbled through the assembled troops. Many saw the boy as a weakling, too impressed by extravagant things to rule a great city like Sparta in a proper manner.
"He will get a proper burial, as befits a son of Leonidas. He will lie next to his father, a good man, just like his father before him. And we," I said as I lifted my hands to the skies, "will mourn him."

"But hear me now! This is not the end of a dynasty, so much that it is the start of a new, even greater one. I will lead Sparta's armies in glorious conquest over her enemies, and all that threaten Greece. Our foes will cower at the sight of our righteous fury! Through strength and sword, we will prosper!"

A loud cheer went up in the camp, and I knew that I had done the right thing. I am the King. I will conquer all that opposes me, come heaven or hell! A lot of the Argives had escaped, after fighting like demons for the entire afternoon. Aristoxenus was also missing, even though some men saw him hurled from his horse when it died under him. Curse that man, and all he stands for. His foolish ideals had gained him nothing, except hundreds of dead Greeks. He will taste my blade, sooner rather than later.

Sparta +1
Athens -1

Athens - 11
Argos - 7
Corinth - 7
Megara - 13
Sparta - 7

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Strohble on 2008-03-31, 12:10

I surveyed my Logades, for that's what all proved of themselves today in battle, selfless, valiant, ferocious. No matter from whence they came nor by what title, they are all now Logade. Down but not beaten, not by far, we shall fight again, and Dragos, ahh Dragos, I WILL see the copper put upon your eyes for the ferryman.

After witnessing the boy Athanaikos fall, the ensuing melee was sudden and fierce. The ebb and flow of battle took many turns and more than once Argive and Athenian thought that we would take the day, but the Spartans fought as if the flails of Hades himself was at their backs, once Aristoxenus fell the bottom seemed to fall out of the Athenian will to fight. If we only had more than a handfull of cavalry we could have crushed the Spartan flank, but once the word spread to the Spartan citizenry that their forces were gaining the upper hand and they joined the fight attacking our rear it was over. As we march through the countryside, the rising moon lighting our way, the men of Argos are consumed in their own thoughts, there is something palpable in the air, these men crave another chance.

"We lost just under 70 today my lord."

I turn and look at Aiolos. " That's much better than I expected. What of the wounded?"

"The gods seem to favor us, nothing serious, right now I fear fatigue more than anything," replied Aiolos.

"And the Athenians?" I ask.

"The stragglers we've picked up number about 200. They seem to be in pretty good condition but are very low in spirit."

"Keep an eye on them, I want no discord among our troops, we have to rely upon ourselves until we get word from the scouts," I reply.

"It will be done my lord."

"We need to find better cover to rest the men, something close to the Eurotas but away from the road. The wood up near the summit of those hills should do," I point to the east at a series of heavily wooded foothills. "I don't foresee Dragos sending out patrols, we made him pay a heavy toll today and he will be very short on manpower."

Suddenly, a low whistle from the glenn to the left, followed quickly by two short ones. Aiolos signals to the lead of the formation to halt. I return with two sharp whistles and one of our scouts hurriedly jogs over. He is dressed like a peasant, dirty and smells like sheep, but he is one of our best.

"My lord," he says breathlessly, "there is a sizeable group of Athenian soldiers just over that small hill," he points in the direction we were heading, "camped in a vale." "Aristoxenus is with them!"

"Are you positive?" I ask.

"I have seen him with my own eyes my lord."

"Then let us make haste. We will see how to make best of our situation, and where to strike with the most damage." The word is given, and we resume our march at the double.
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-03-31, 13:10

Gods, that we should live to see such times! That I should live to give up all I believed in to serve a Spartan in exchange for my pitiful life! I could almost just bear it before I saw the logades of Argos joining the formations of the Athenians, their white Argive robes replaced by the black robes of revenge or death. They looked like the black shades of Hades in the misty distance - like the shades of the hoplites I abandoned as they charged suicidally at the Spartan army outside of Argos. All while the battle raged, after the regicide - and what more terrible sign of our times could there be than a Spartan general killing his own underaged king - I cowered in the supply train with the reserves, hoplites from minor cities allied to Sparta, waiting for the shades to come for me.

But the shades never came.

The night after the battle the Spartans celebrated their victory and the coronation of their new king. There were Spartan patrols scouring the fields for Athenian and Argive survivors, but most of their soldiers were either resting of visiting their relatives in the city and assessing the impact of its short Athenian occupation - for they had already half-forgotten that their former king had invited them to stay within the city; and for all I knew they would have wiped all memory of such acts from their collective history within a generation. Taking this opportunity I managed to slip past the soldiers 'protecting' me and made my way to the battlefield.

The Spartans had taken care to bury their own dead first, but the coming of night prevented them from finishing their work, and hundreds of their enemies' bodies still lay scattered on the field, that was coloured red from all the blood that had seeped in or dried on it. I walked in terror at that scene, lighted only by the crescent moon, and froze of fright at the sight of white shades moving about in the distance erratically. Petrified, it took me a few terrified minutes to realise it was just helots assigned to keep the wild dogs away and continue the grave-digging. I gradually picked myself up and continued my journey through the field of corpses. Eventually I found what I had been drawn to all day: a dead Argive hoplite. I hadn't seen the symbols of Argos since I ran away and there they were now - at my feet, covered with blood and dirt. I raised my eyes from them and looked around. Over a dozen more bodies like that lay scattered in the immediate area. By that time I was trembling, and then I was overwhelmed. I fell down among the corpses and cried like I had never cried before.

Much later I would learn of a new Helot superstition of a lamenting spirit that wailed as night fell over a battlefield. I always imagined I'd make some cultural impact in my lifetime...


Sparta+1
Athens -1

Athens - 10
Argos - 7
Corinth - 7
Megara - 13
Sparta - 8

(This was a major defeat for the Athenians)

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-04-01, 00:46

The days following the battle was chaotic, at best. I had the loyalty of the armed forces, but the civilian population... objected to my killing the Boy-King. Dragos of Sparta will not terrorise his own people, regardless of the sadistic rumours spread among them. It is said that I am a power-hungry tyrant, driven by an insatiable lust for blood and women. Hmmph... they do not understand. Athanaikos threw his life away by making deals with Athenian scum, bending his knee before Aristoxenus. What other option did I have? A Spartan King bows to no man, regardless of the odds. Therefore, I made several public appearances, and hosted open banquets to appease the influential citizens of Sparta, and it does seem as if public opinion is now changing.

The remaining Royal Guardsmen were also hostile at first. Only 74 of the original 300 survived the battle, but, under the command of one Lysander, surrendered unconditionally. I was pleased at this, for they are the best warriors in the Spartan military, and are not assets that I would lose willingly. Nevertheless, I disbanded them as a unit, integrating them with the rest of the armed forces. A new group of men, completely loyal to me, will be trained as their replacements.

The battle inflicted grievous losses on the force stationed at Sparta, and for once I decided on a prudent course of action. I would recall Kleomenes from Athens, abandoning the siege to secure the lands around Sparta. This was not an easy decision, but I am not prepared for a war of attrition on a front far from home. Also, there has been no word from the Megarian army at Corinth, which is a cause for concern. If they have somehow been defeated... it would not bode well for Kleomenes.

An excerpt from Lydia's diary:

"The date for the wedding has been set. Me, a queen? A few weeks ago I was nothing more than Dragos' consort, someone he used for sexual pleasure. It seems... surreal somehow, as if a greater power was at work, dictating our lives as he sees fit. Maybe this is what the hand of Zeus feels like? I can only hope the great red-bearded figure I see in my dreams continue to view our meagre lives as important. In these uncertain days, Dragos and I need all the support we can get!"

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-04-01, 06:04

I stared down from my horse at the advancing Megarans, everything was ready. The battle was about to begin. They marched slowly up the hill staying in formation; their line was just as long as the Corinthian one, and several ranks thicker. I swallowed hard, this would be a tough fight, we didn't have the advantage of cavalry that we had had over the Spartans, for I had sent Aristoxenus' cavalry back to Athens when he had left. I ordered the pelastas forward to harass the Megaran Hoplites as they advanced.

The lines crashed together, the sound of men grunting and cursing, the sounds of bronze against bronze and men screaming filled the air. The sound of battle is a sound like no other, but it is not only the sound, it is a full attack on your senses. I stared at the mass of men, my Corinthians were holding, but I could see that at the left of my line, the Megaran right was moving slowly around to their flank, if the men on the left were attacked on the flank, they might well turn and run, I twisted in my saddle, and shouted to one of the Commanders of the Reserves

"Plicades! Take your men and hit the Megarans on the flank!!"

His men set off at a trot towards the flank, and minutes later I saw them smash into the battle, I grinned, the Megaran right would be composed of their best men, but being hit in the flank would totally dishearten them, soon I thought I would see them flee like cowards from my Hoplites. Yet they did not break, the stayed and fought on. I turned away from the left, to inspect the right wing of the battle; it was going well, the men were holding, all was still well….

I heard a shout from one of my guards "What the…! Lord! Our centre, its wavering!"

I turned to look at where the man was pointing, and went pale

"Oh gods! They are breaking through!!"

The Megarans attacking there did not look like the ordinary citizen levies, I realised that the true Megaran elite must have hit into my centre, where sheer force of numbers was making my men falter

"Reserves! On me!"

I dismounted, grabbed my Spear and Hoplon from a servant, and quickly took the last few reserves to re-enforce the Centre, but even the presence of their general didn't rally my men in the centre, paying no attention to me they were starting to run right past my men. We marched forward slowly, staying in formation, we took are position in the line, and so the fight began. The Megarans crashed into our line of shields, they were pushed back, realising that they now faced fresh troops, they formed into Hoplite formation, and attacked again in proper order, I ducked down behind my shield, I felt myself being pushed backwards as the lines met, I stabbed over the top of my shield with the spear, I felt it smash into a man's helmet, I looked over the top of my shield and saw the man, more of a boy really, saw him gritting his teeth as he tried to push me back, I stabbed down again with my spear, it hit him in the mouth, blood gurgled out, the weight on me suddenly lessened as the boy fell dead, I nearly fell, but recovered myself as the next man took the boys place, I stabbed downwards again, my spear scraped his shield, and I felt him smash my on the head with his spear, but one of the men behind me finished him off. So it went on, I had last my spear, stuck in the neck of a Megaran soldier, so now I fought with my short sword, stabbing at men's eyes, or under my shield, to hit their groin. I was tired, we must have been engaged for at least half an hour now, I was aware of nothing outside the immediate area surrounding me, all I knew was to stab, to block, and to duck.

Another man came forward, and his body was added to the already large piles of Megaran dead, I crouched, waiting for another Megaran, but none came. I looked up. The Megaran Army was retreating, in good order, down the slope, I heard my men jeering at them, but they still continued to retreat. I was confused. Why would they retreat? The battle was still in the balance, they could have still won. They must have got a message, telling them of important news, but what could it be?

The Megarans still hadn't gone, why? I stared at their camp, as if trying to see into their Commander's head.

"L-Lord Nicomedus" a man stammered

"Yes? What is it?"

"There is a messenger, he comes from Corinth with news of Aristoxenus and many other things"

"Send him to the command tent, I will await him there"

The messenger walked in and handed me his message, I opened it, and went pale with shock.

"Nicomedus?" A commander asked, "What is it?"

"I, King Appolinius of Corinth, have just received word that Aristoxenus of Athens has been defeated at Sparta. The Spartan Regent, Dragos, has killed the young Spartan King, and named himself King, and start of a new Royal Line. I have heard no news of Aristoxenus himself, the man I have with me was sent by an Athenian commander, who has no idea if Aristoxenus is alive or dead.
In other news spies report that the Spartan Army at Athens has lifted the siege and is…" I paused "Marching towards you."

The Commanders went silent this news was devastating, this was why the Megarans ad retreated, because they knew that the Spartans would have to move us to go wherever they wanted to go, and so thought that they could save more loss of Megaran life by combining with a Spartan Army to crush us.

"Lord, what do we do?" Asked a Commander

I sighed deeply "We will stay here for a day, to see what the Megarans do, if we here that the Spartans are indeed coming this way, and the Megarans have still stayed put, then…. We will fall back to Corinth"


Corinth -1 (they might have to retreat in the face of the Spartans)
Megara -1 (by the rules of engagement the Megarans lost by retreating)

Athens - 10
Argos - 7
Corinth - 6
Megara - 12
Sparta - 8
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Tombles on 2008-04-01, 07:14

The young King's murder came as a surprise, taking even his loyal 300 off-guard. The sneering look of superiority on Athanaikos' face was broken by a sudden look of pain, of confusion, and of a man who knows his days are at an end. Dragos pulled his sword from the lifeless child and launched himself upon the men assembled before him. He fought like a madman, slaying two of my men before anyone could react, his eyes wide and unblinking in a deep and consuming rage. The battlefield erupted into chaos, as the assembled phalanxes rushed to the centre where we stood. The Royal Guard formed a ring of spears and shields around the body of their fallen master, slaying any who came close. But there was no hope. I knew that we had no chance of victory against the overwhelming numbers that Dragos had brought to the field.

I shouted orders to my men, bringing them into the order of a close phalanx to avoid the futility of a chaotic melee. My bodyguards obeyed, forming a wall of spears against their Spartan counterparts. But the rest of the battlefield was lost to my words, a broken mass of men frm which which only one victor could emerge. No, not all of it was broken. There were the Argives. I could see them distantly, on the opposite end of the line, fighting with the utmost calm against the storm that assaulted their lines. At least we could take some of the Spartan scum with us...

My thoughts were interupted as the point of a doru buried itself deep into the flank of my steed, a horse taken from the stables in Sparta. I fell to the ground as the animal screamed, kicked, and barely missed falling on top of my body. My life could have ended there, lying on that bloodied patch of grass, but for Damon. He rushed to my aid, grabbing the spear and pulling, flinging the Spartan who had attacked me to the ground. Before he could stand, Damon had driven the butt of his spear into my assailant's nape, slaying him instantly. As I clambered to my feet, I looked gratefully at my friend, who nodded curtly. And then I leapt into the fight.

At such close quarters spears quickly became useless, and the fight at the front of the lines quickly dissolved into a clash of swords, with the hoplites at the rear still stabbing away with their spears. I smashed one Spartan in the face with my shield, spinning him around, and stabbed into his back with my sword. Another Spartan swung wildly at my head, but I caught his arm, holding it high in the air, and the point of my sword found his armpit to leave him dying on the ground. Another sword flashed in the corner of my eye, and I turned to see my foe. It was Dragos.

Fates beat about us on that field like hungry crows, as we stared into each other's eyes. Dragos still looked maddened, out of his mind as he leapt towards me, his sword flashing in three well-aimed strokes toward my neck, chest and face. I dodged the first, blocked the second with my shield and somehow managed to pull off a parry to the third. Dragos was unrelenting in his assault, his sword a series of steely flashes coming closer and closer to achieving their goal. I sidestepped a thrust and brought the hilt of my sword down hard on his elbow, only to see the rim of his shield hitting me just as hard in the stomach. Despite my armour, I was knocked back and winded. Again Dragos brought his sword against me, and again I parried and thrust at him, but he dodged with the speed of a man trained all his life in war.

Suddenly, a man leapt in front of me, the blue plume on his helm marking him out as an Athenian elite. Kaenas. He aimed a cut at Dragos' neck, but Dragos beat his blade away and sliced at his shoulder. Kaenas fell to the ground in pain, letting out a sharp cry as his face contorted. I ran to his aid, but a Spartan jumped in my way, almost taking me off guard before I plunged my sword through the gap in his helmet into his face. Men from both sides now stood between Dragos and me. As my bodyguards formed a wall in front of me, I knelt at Kaenas' side. I felt his pulse. It fluttered weakly. He was alive, but losing blood rapidly from the wound in his shoulder. All across the battlefield, good Athenian men lay bleeding and dying on the earth, staining the grass a deep shade of red. I saw citizens of Sparta charging into the rear of my men, innocents themselves who should not be involved in battle. This could go on no longer.

"RETREAAAAAT!!!" I cried, my voice carrying over the cries of the men all across he battlefield. The few who had not already fled needed no convincing, running blindly away from the Spartans as our enemy gave chase. Damon came to my side and together we lifted the body of Kaenas, before retreating slowly as my bodyguard fought a bloody rearguard action. Were it not for the remnant of the Spartan Royal Guard, we would have been caught and overwhelmed, but the valour of their men held out against the impossible odds. They would hold out against the tide of Dragos' men until we had retreated a safe distance, but I knew eventually they would be forced to yield.

* * *


The remnants of the army were scattered and disorganised, so I camped at the side of the Eurotas, risking its position near the road so that my men could find me and assemble at my banner. Tomorrow we would march onward to the ships. Throughout the night, men trickled into the camp, men bloodied and bruised from the fight. Some had the haunted look on their faces of men who had just experienced their first battle, men who had never killed before or seen their friends dying in front of them. Others bore the grim expression that marked my own face, the look of men who had thought themselves used to the horrors of war and now had discovered a new form of despair wrenching at their souls. None could ever become truly used to war. Its evils are too great to understand, bitter and terrible beyond comprehension. Defeat left a sour taste that I had never known before, a crushing and disheartening blow despite the fact I had expected little else. And I could see in the eyes of my men that same crushing feeling.

It was long past sundown when the Argives arrived, wearied but mostly intact. I met Thanatos as he entered the camp, the cobalt of his eyes sweeping from left to right and surveying all around him. As his eyes locked on to mine, a brief look of surprise flickered across his face.

"My Lord Aristoxenus, I am glad to see that you still live," Thanatos stated, his black cloak billowing out behind him as he approached me. "I had heard that you fell in the midst of the battle."
"As surely as you see me here, I am alive, my Lord Thanatos." I surveyed the men behind him. "How many did you lose?" I asked, turning back to him.
"68, all good Argive hoplites." I expected him to look accusingly at me, but instead he just stared into the air above us, angry and sad. "They must be revenged."
"They will be, Thanatos. They will be." I took hold of his shoulder and spoke in hushed tones. "The majority of the Athenian fleet awaits us at the mouth of the Eurotas. We head for it tomorrow."
"And from there we head for Athens?" He asked, sceptical of the idea.
"Eventually, yes. But there is something we must do first. And when done, you will have had your revenge."
"Tell me more." Thanatos said, curious.
"The majority of the Spartan fleet was captured or destroyed in our voyage here, but they have some ships under construction or repairs at Gytheum. We go tomorrow to destroy these ships, and end their naval presence for good." Thanatos smiled, and nodded aquiesence to my plan. And with that, he left to rest off the weariness of the battle.

It was early in the morning, before sunrise, that the two most surprising men came to my banner. Red-cloaked and armoured in bronze plate, they were survivors of the Spartan Royal Guard. Briefly they introduced themselves as Orthaeus and Python, trusted guards of Athanaikos. Although they had no real love of Athens, they would not support a king who had destroyed the line of Leonidas, and so they joined my force to put an end to Dragos' tyranny. I had them watched, to make sure they were not spies, and accepted them into my camp.

* * *


The next morning was bright and clear, with a strong wind. It seemed that Poseidon was aiding my plan, giving me the perfect conditions nto launch a surprise attack on Gytheum. We marched the few remaining miles to where Admiral Amphion awaited us, already aware of the defeat we had taken. I explianed my plan to him quickly in the cabin of our flagship, and we were at sail within two and a half hours of setting out on our march. We sailed in grim silence, the burden of the defeat the day before still hanging heavily on our shoulders. Today would go part of the way to avenging that defeat.

It was night when we turned around the headland and came in sight of Gytheum. We had hugged the coastline, keeping as far out of sight as possible, and used black sails to make the ships as difficult to spot as possible. A few ships had been dispatched to Athens already, carrying the wounded and those too devastated to fight any more. They would be a distraction, making Dragos assume that we had all headed back for Athens. Kaenas was aboard one of those ship, his wounded shoulder bound and his arm limp beside it. The doctors had assured me that he would have no lasting damage aside from a great scar upon his right shoulder, but still my thoughts constantly went back to him, to the sight of Dragos burying his sword in the man's flesh. That was one thing I could never forgive him for. Dragos had slain thousands of innocents in a fire, launched an assault on Athens herself and now he had grievously wounded my friend. He would pay for those things, by my hand he would pay.

But now was not the time to think about Dragos. Now was the time for efficient and deadly deeds. Gytheum had guards, guards who I had no wish to fight. Using the oars, we sprinted as far in as the triremes could go, before assembling on smaller boats to go across to the docks.

We had almost reached the docks when one of the men from Gytheum looked over the side of one of the ships on which he was working and, seeing us, gave a yelp. Other men hurried across, and a horn was blown. We didn't have much time. As soon as we reached the docks we poured on, carrying with us torches and spears. The men aboard the ships were mostly craftsmen, not soldiers, and they ran as they saw us clambering aboard their half-constructed ships. A few of my men began to give chase, but I ordered them to leave them be. Instead, I ordered them to go into the three nearby houses, and to herd their inhabitants away to a safe distance. I would not kill innocents, like Dragos did. The few guards who remained on the ships were quickly dispatched.

We lost no time setting light to the sails, the bodywork and the struts supporting the ships in the drydock. We ran back to the dock as a myriad of lights appeared from the gates of the town of Gytheum. The town guards were coming to defend the docks. But they would come too late.

We set fire to the wooden walkways behind us as we ran, leaping back into the boats in which we had landed. We were gone before the guards had even reached the water's edge, fighting the tide and rowing back toward the Athenian triremes. The whole ordeal was over in ten minutes. The docks and the ships that we left behind burned against the night sky, and huge columns of smoke rose amongst the red. But the town itself was untouched by the flames, too far from the destruction of her docklands. I had avenged the burning of Argos, and I had done it without the loss of civillian life. Now we would sail for Athens, to regroup and make my report to the Athenian council.

Sparta -1 (Gytheum's docks are an important trade hub and naval base)
Argos +1 (Vengeance is their's)

Athens - 10
Argos - 8
Corinth - 6
Megara - 12
Sparta - 7
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-04-01, 10:59

When I woke up, the morning dew had covered the blood-soaked ground in a layer of frigid pink. Instinctively, I pulled a cloak over me as I felt the cold penetrating my skin. It was then that I realised that I was pulling at the black cloak of a dead Argive soldier lying next to me. I immediately remembered where I was and what had transpired and was wide awake with terror. The cloak still in my hands, I took it off the dead soldier and, without thinking of it, wore it on my back and got up. I started walking with no sense of direction, then when I recognised some ground features faster, until I started running to the north, away from Sparta and the field of the dead.

It was a wet morning, and the mist helped me go unnoticed until I was far enough to feel relatively safe again. For the next few days I travelled like a thief or a wild animal, keeping away from people and living off whatever I could find on the trees, the shrines along the roads and remote farming houses. I was a changed man, bearded and dirty, when I reached the mountains of Arcadia. In that land I would seek hospitality as a wandering poet, until I could decide on my fate; for what was left for me to do? I had abandoned Corinth at its hour of need, failed the lady Eleni in my disastrous attempt to find her, pledged my allegiance to the Spartans against everything in my conscience, and failed twice to die along my countrymen with honour. With what face could I return to Argos or Corinth, or even Sparta! How could I face Aristoxenus in Athens, if fate ever brought my steps to that direction, having stood opposite him in battle?

I remembered Getas and Galen. They might be the only people who would understand, the only friends I could turn too. But I had no idea where they had gone to or how I could ever find them.

Before going into the first Arcadian town I washed myself in a little stream on my way. Seeing my reflection in the water I saw myself as the Arcadians would soon see me: a poet of sad songs.



Athens- 10
Argos - 8
Corinth - 6
Megara - 12
Sparta - 7

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Volksie on 2008-04-01, 14:15

"Quietly!" Lady Eleni hissed as a man stumbled in the dark.

Dawn was just beginning to break and feeble light lit the empty room through a large window. A dozen or so men stood still in the room with Lady Eleni in the middle.

"You lot," Lady Eleni whispered and gestured to half of the men. "Go to the servant's quarters. Make sure none of them leave or raise a warning."

The group of men moved out of the room and disappeared further into the large house.

"You two come with me and the rest of you make sure all the exits are covered." Lady Eleni gave her orders quickly and the men jumped to her bidding.

Eleni and the two men edged up a flight of stairs and rounded a corner in the corridor. Treading as softly as possible they came to the main bedroom of the house and entered without a word. In the bed were two sleeping figures.

"Artemios." Lady Eleni called out softly towards the bed. A smile came to her lips as one of the figures woke slowly and blinked at her. "Hello again Artemios."

Suddenly the figure in the bed was wide awake and gave a yelp of terror. Artemios made a dive for the other door but another of Eleni's men stepped from the shadowy doorway and blocked his escape. The woman in the bed woke too and looked around at the group of people in her house with a look of surprise and fear.

"Artemios," She said with a tremor in her voice. "Who are these people?"

"They're here for me, Damara," Artemois said, his eyes fixed on Eleni's. "Go back to sleep and i'll take my... business outside."

"I'm sorry Artemios," Eleni said with another smile. "Business is over."

Lady Eleni nodded to the two men on either side of her and they advanced on Artemios. He backed away and grappled behind him for some sort of weapon as the two men drew daggers. Damara shrieked as her husband fell under their blades and ran for the door. One of the men blocked the way but she collided with him and they fell to the floor. After a brief struggle she fought her way free and disappeared into the house. Lady Eleni swore and ordered the three men after her.

The men ran after her, silence left behind them as they chased her noisely down the stairs. Lady Eleni walked over to where the former Athenian senator, Artemios, lay next to his bed, a red pool of blood spreading onto the floor and his eyes staring at the ceiling lifelessly. She stood looking at the corpse for a minute before another shriek came from down stairs and then silence once again.

Eleni and her group of assassins left the house as noiselessly as they had come, stepping over the body of Damara as they went, and disappearing into the streets of Athens.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"We have done as you have asked, Tamaerus." Lady Eleni said later that day when she visited the house of the senator. "Artemios is dead."

"Good. Good. Once again i owe your father much." The conniving senator said with a smile. "His work is thorough and will make my plans in Athens run more smoothly. If there is ever anything i can do for you or your father then all you have to do is ask."

Lady Eleni simply nodded and bowed to the balding senator before leaving.

Athens -1

Athens- 9
Argos - 8
Corinth - 6
Megara - 12
Sparta - 7
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-04-02, 00:19

Kleomenes had a dilemma. The Corinthians, battered from their recent engagement with the Megaran army, were camped a stone's throw from where the Spartan scouts lay hidden in thick underbrush. And yet, Dragos' orders prevented him from attacking his son's killers in their weakened state.
"We won't have another chance like this. They are exhausted, many of them carry injuries and they don't know we're here. Prepare the men, we attack in..." He was interrupted by a crash in the underbrush behind him. It was Dromichetes, Captain of the Spartan Cavalry.
"What did I miss?" he whispered with a grin on his face.
"Keep quiet, you fool, they'll hear us!"
"What do you mean 'keep quiet?' I AM quiet -"
"Shhhhhhh!" They were silenced by Kersebleptos, a Thracian mercenary in service of Sparta. "Patrol."

A group six of Corinthian soldiers were patrolling the perimeter of their encampment, oblivious to the twenty Spartans lying in wait mere yards from them. Kersebleptos waited until they had passed, before flinging a rock into the tall grass beyond the patrol. As they turned to investigate the noise, Kleomenes gave the order and twenty well armed Spartan men rushed the hapless Corinthian soldiers. Within seconds they lay dead in the tall grass, killed quietly and efficiently, with the Spartans crouching next to them.

"Now," Kleomenes said, keeping his voice low, "we are going to go after their commander." Dromichetes started to object but was silenced by a dangerous look from the older man. "Six of us will use their clothes as a disguise, and return to their camp. It is a moonless night," he said, looking up at the dark sky, "so if we play it right we can really hurt them before they come to their senses. Kersebleptos you're with me. Pick four others and get dressed. Dromichetes." He looked at the Captain with a steely look in his eyes. "I know you don't agree with this, but I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. Take the rest of the men back to the main army, and if I'm not back by dawn, resume the march to Sparta. But know this: tonight, Corinth will bleed again. I swear it on my son's grave."

Dromichetes reached out and squeezed the older man's shoulder.
"Good luck, old man," he said, before leading the remaining soldiers back into the woods. Kleomenes turned to look at the Corinthian encampment.
"I'm coming for you, Nicodemus," he said, as he readied himself for revenge. Or death...

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-04-02, 02:23

I heard a noise outside my tent; I looked up, just as four men in burst into the tent, swords drawn. My two guards engaged three of them, whilst a third attacked me. I grabbed the stool I had been sitting on, and smashed the assailant over the head with it, he fell to the floor as the stool splintered, and I drew my sword and stabbed down at his neck, killing him. One of my men was dead, the other fought on. One of the men looked up from my dead guard.

"Nicomedus! I will avenge my son on your corpse!"

With that he came at me with his blade, I met him, sword versus sword, but I was outmatched, I knew now that these were Spartans; they fought like them, like cornered lions. I would not beat this man. He lunged at my throat, I parried and slashed for his chest, my blow was deflected. I tried again, lunging for his neck; he parried me with such force that my sword was knocked from my hands, he thrust at me, his blow going through my cuirass. I fell to the floor, putting my hand to my wound I saw that it wasn't bleeding too much. But that didn't matter, I waited fro the killer blow, but it never came. I looked up. The old Spartan was fighting with my remaining guard; he finished him off and fled, presuming that I was dead.

I staggered to my feet, picked up my sword and went outside. The Spartan was surrounded by Corinthians who had heard the noise of the fight. The Spartan was surrounded, I could see two more men dead at my men's feet, and they must have been left to guard the tent.

"Old man" I called out.

The Spartan spun at my voice, when he saw me alive I saw his face contort with hate,

"B*stard" he spat "What will you do now Nicomedus? Will you fight me? Man on man, prove your honour?"

I sneered at him "Does a man fight a stray dog? No. You may have teeth, but you will die all the same. I will not fight dogs with no honour to prove mine"

He looked furious.

"You cowardly whelp! Honourless cur! Fight me"

"Kill him" I told my men carelessly.

I saw them begin to advance towards him.

"Oh no! Don't give him the honour of a soldier's death. Slingers! Kill him"

I watched as he tried to defend himself from the missiles hurled at him, but he was surrounded. His fell to his knees. Then a rock smashed him on the head. Almost taking it off. He was dead.

I grinned "Feed his corpse to the hounds" I turned and walked off.

Corinth+1
Sparta -1

Athens- 9
Argos - 8
Corinth - 7
Megara - 12
Sparta - 6
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Strohble on 2008-04-02, 13:02

There was a brisk wind blowing at our backs once we reached the mouth of the harbour and headed out to open sea giving the rowers a rest and enabling the sails of all vessels to be raised. The salty air was cool and clean and the sun shone down from the heavens making it seem as if we sailed upon a vast blue blanket scattered with millions of diamonds. As the marines settled into their tasks I leaned upon the rail and stared at the vague form of land to our right.

"How did you come to the soldiers life Thanatos?" I glance to my right as Aristoxenus mimics my fashion at the rail. No bloodied armor, no weapons in hand, just two men.

"My father was a prosperous trader in our region. I used to travel with him as a boy to the outlying areas. One day in Mycenae, I saw a contingent of hoplites, fully armored, off to some conflict somewhere. To my young eyes they looked like gods. I knew then, that was the life for me. I left home when I was 16 and put myself in the service of the King. I've never looked back."

"What of your father?"

I stare at the sea gliding by the hull, a porpoise breaks the waves at the bow,"He was killed by robbers. I was told he did not beg for his life, but died with sword in hand." Aristoxenus just nods.

With a sigh, Aristoxenus says, "You must hunger for word from Argos. Perhaps when we reach Athens we will hear of news from your city."

"Perhaps." I turn and look at him in the eyes,"I need more soldiers. Argos needs more than a paltry show of resistance, I need an army. You need an ally that will make a difference."

Aristoxenus stands up and laughs, "If all Argive soldiers are such as yours, I will gladly provide the transport. With our forces standing side by side, our enemies do not stand a chance." "Have you the resources to conscript another army?", he asks in earnest.

"I know that we hold a large gold reserve for crisis. We also have the means to arm and field the helots if need be. If Aristippos lives, word should be sent to inform him of our situation, and what we need."

A look of gravity comes to Aristxenus' face,"Thanatos, do you trust me?"

I think for a moment and reply, "I have no reason not too."

Aristoxenus continues,"After hearing what you have just told me I am forming a plan, a plan that requires some further thought and which you will be made privy to once we are in Athens. Will you take my command?"

The air seems to grow strangely quiet, muted, the sun takes on a sharp brightness that now burns my eyes, everyone seems to be moving slower around the two of us. I take commands from my King, no one else. Who IS this Athenian that asks me such a question? My current forces are small, on allied ships headed to an allied city, no word from Argos, if Argos even still stands who knows? What choice do I have? I leave it in the hands of the gods.

I stand to my full height with shoulders squared,"Sometimes we must do distasteful things in war. My men and I are representatives of Argos and will not bow our heads in subservience, but we will hold trust in our allies, and we will take your command."

A slight look of relief enters the face of Aristoxenus, his hand is held out for the meeting of hands,"Word will be sent to Argos, you shall get your army."
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-04-02, 13:54

The Arcadians in the villages were not rich people, and I dared not show my face in any of the larger cities out of plain paranoia, but they were generous enough to a man of the Muses and I did not go hungry. I toured several villages in the course of my days there, eventually reaching the lands that bordered Argolis. I was keeping myself warm in a modest tavern, eating a small honey pie the tavern-keeper's wife gave me as a reward for the entertainment I provided, when I overheard the conversation of two travellers sitting at the next table.

"So what they say about Argos is true?"

"Yes, I tell you I was there but a week ago. The citadel is permanently closed off to all foreigners and many of the less well known Argives as well. It is said that the king will never come down from there but that mercenaries are brought to the city in droves, some from Crete, others from Aetolia, some even from Thrace. The poor citizens are trying to rebuild their lives, but the king takes no interest in their affairs. He is deaf to all petitions or assemblies and is obsessed with the army. Some say..."

Here he lowered his voice

"Some say that there are even thoughts of releasing the slaves and arming them like regular citizens!"

"Amazing! How does the king hope to pay for all those expenses? Mercenaries cost a fortune and taking slaves off the workforce will cripple the economy!"

"I have no idea! People are beginning to say that king Aristippos is not a man of his senses any more... The craziest rumours I've heard are that he does not even plan to use all those soldiers in battle! He is just obsessed with the safety of himself and his city and he plans to garrison everyone in the citadels indefinitely!"

"Madness! The man will ruin Argos more than the Spartans! You know what I think? They say that the gods punished Argos for the destruction of Troy with the fall of their royal house to the Dorians. I think their punishment is not over yet. Troy fell twice, once to Hercules and once to Agamemnon. The house of the Atreides has fallen in Argos; now comes the time of the house of Hercules."

The other man nodded in silent agreement.


The honey lost its sweetness in my mouth as I heard those two speak and the realisation I had been fighting off for days now hit me head on. How could I sit there reciting poems and eating pie when the world crumbled all around me? Had I forgotten who I was? Who I was meant to be? I might have made some bad decisions, some regrettable mistakes, but did that cancel me out from the cause that I served - the cause I still served? Argos needed me now more than ever!

With that in mind I arose from my table a determined man. I would do everything again, and this time I would do it right! I wrapped my black cloak around me theatrically, while the patrons stared, and strode out of the tavern into the clear day.

Seconds later, I came back in hurriedly to grab my remaining pie and then I strode out again.


Argos+1

Athens- 9
Argos - 9
Corinth - 7
Megara - 12
Sparta - 6

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Volksie on 2008-04-02, 14:19

Galen stumbled into the room and collapsed upon the bed, his hand clasped to his side. I fell after him and sat down in the single and simple chair. We were both panting with exhaustion and my leg stung where I had been hit. Galen moved his hand to reveal a small bloody patch seeping through his shirt.

"That was too close, Adrastos." He said and eased himself down and stared at the ceiling.

"I know. We misjudged that time," I said and began to remove my heavy coat and hidden knives. "Are you hurt much?"

"I'll live," Galen smiled. "Just a small flesh wound. Lucky shot. How about you?"

"It was the handle not the blade," I said rubbing the emerging bruise on my leg. "Not sure I'll make it though."

Galen chuckled and held his side when the pain shot through him.

"You'll have to continue by yourself from now on," He told me honestly. "At least for a few weeks."

Since we had arrived in Megara we had been busy and had undergone a transformation. My stubble had grown into a matted beard and my hair now fell to my shoulders. Galen's long blond hair had been cut back and he wore it tied tightly behind his head. We were both covered in dirt and filth and our hands had gone a pale shade of red, a mixture of our blood and other's.

Megara was a beehive of backstabbers and murderers, no different to any other city in Greece but the difference here was the queen bee. All answered to higher forces and at the top of it sat a man I had known personally for many years. My target. My enemy.

"I will have no trouble by myself," I told Galen. "I know how to kill."

"I know you do," Galen sighed. "You just need to remember that these people know how to fight back. They are all killers. They are all like you."

"I'm still the best though," I said proudly. "Why else would that%$%*%#** Otis ask me to kill Nicodemus and Aristoxenus?"

Galen turned his head and looked at me with a smile. "You rely too much on natural skill, Adrastos. You're fat and booze-infested."

"Well-rounded and living well is how I would put it," I said rising to my feet. "Don't forget who's relying on who now you're injured." I walked over and poked him softly near his wound.

He knocked my hand away and made a feeble punch at my stomach.

"Hopeless," I muttered and knelt next to him. "Do you want me to get your mother for you?"

"Do you want me to stab you in the side?" Galen joked. "And yes, get me my mother. She cooks better than you."

I winced and shook my head sadly. "That's too far. Now I'm not even going to try cooking your food well."

With another poke at his injured side I got to my feet and walked into the next room. Knowing we would be in Megara for many months we had found a small place and settled in for a long stay. Otis had many agents working for him and we had only taken care of four minor ones so far and a dozen or so lackeys. Since I had been in his service many new men and women had joined him and my knowledge of his manipulative organisation was outdated. For now the plan was to destroy minor connections in the hope of discovering things about more major agents. These in turn would lead me to Otis.

When he was dead Megara would be cleansed and I would be released from all bonds of service to either Otis or Aristoxenus. I would be a free man.

Megara -1

Athens- 9
Argos - 9
Corinth - 7
Megara - 11
Sparta - 6
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-04-03, 08:05

I was happy. For the first time in many, many weeks, I was actually happy. The wedding ceremony had gone well; Lydia was now my wife and Queen of Sparta. A lot of the more prominent citizens of Sparta disapproved of me marrying a commoner, but I don't care. She is the only one who can help me control my fits, and help calm me when I do… lose control. I turned to her as we lay on our bed, alone for the first time since the ceremony.

"Well, shall we commence the evening's entertainment?" I said with a wolfish grin on my face.

"Hmmmm… I think I could be persuaded with some more wine and kiss from a King…" she gave me a sultry smile and leaned in closer.

There was a soft knock on our door. Damn, I'm not wearing any clothes. Oh well.

"Enter!" I shouted irritably. A uncomfortable looking servant entered, inching his way into the room.

"What is it man? Can't you see I'm trying to do something here?!"

"Your pardon, my King, but there are several men from Gytheum who requests an audience. They say its urgent." He kept his eyes on the ground, cleary nervous at disturbing his king on his wedding night.

"Can't it wait twenty minutes? Maybe ten, if we…" my voice trailed off as I saw Lydia's stern expression.

"Get out there! You're the King now, remember?" She smiled impishly. "Besides, we have the whole night ahead of us…" I jumped out of bed and marched purposefully towards the door.

"Right you are, wife! I'll go meet these people and get back here as quickly as possible, so we can-"

"Dragos, put some clothes on! Zeus, you can't go meet people like that, with your sceptre swinging all over the place!" She had her hand covering her mouth, with a highly amused look on her face. I smiled sheepishly as I gathered my clothes and put them on. The servant had turned towards the wall, trying his best to appear nonchalant. He was failing miserably.

15 minutes later…

I was unhappy. Instead of bedding my lovely wife, I was stuck listening to yet more bad news. It seems Aristoxenus survived the battle at Sparta, and had led his remaining troops to Gytheum. There, they proceeded to burn all our ships and facilities, leaving us without even a single warship. Damn that man! Why can't he just die in battle like any normal greek? He's like a common housefly, incessantly buzzing around a pile of horse manure. Wait, in this metaphor, I'M the horse manure. That's not right… and it isn't a metaphor, it's a simile. But I digress.

To make things worse, Kleomenes and the Northern Army has not arrived yet. Did they run into the Corinthians? Surely the Megarans held them? I will dispatch scouts in the morning to look for them. But now, I'm going back to bed. My wife gets prissy when I make her wait. I wonder if there's any wine left?

Sparta -1 (Dragos is focusing on the wrong things…)

Sparta +1 (But then again, he's just married)

Athens- 9
Argos - 9
Corinth - 7
Megara - 11
Sparta - 6

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-04-04, 03:17

Arrichion stepped off the street and into the courtyard. Taking his bearings he hoisted the amphora once more, and staggered towards the storeroom. He dropped the large jar on the storeroom's floor, and then reached inside of it. After a few seconds of scrabbling around inside of it he pulled out a package wrapped in a cloth. Grains fell out of it as he checked the contents, a fine wood handled dagger. Smiling he sheathed the dagger and put it back in the cloth. Tucking the package behind his crude tunic belt, he slipped out of the storeroom.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Lord Nicomedus"

I turned to see who had hailed me, and saw the Captain of the Sentries,

"Yes, Captain?"

"The Megarans have quit camp, they seem to be returning to Megara"

So, the Megarans, obviously shaken by their ally's decision to ignore me and continue home to Lakonia, were falling back. Now I had a hard choice to make. I had done what I had set out to do; I had stopped the Megarans from reaching Corinth. But now I had an opportunity to take the fight to them, to destroy their Army. My men were good, they had killed Spartan Army, I was sure that they could defeat the weakened Megarans. But could I risk losing any more men?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


By wearing the ragged tunic of a slave, Arrichion melted into the background much easier than he would have done if he had been slipping through the shadows. He found his target's study, unwrapping the dagger, he moved towards the door. He slipped the blade from its sheath, and slowly pushed the door open, and looked around. Empty. Arrichion smiled and concealed himself in a chest full of scrolls.

He waited. And waited. Finally he heard the noise of a man entering the room, the man coughed briefly before seating himself in his chair. Arrichion then heard the noise of wood scraping on tiles. The man moved towards Arrichion's hiding place. Arrichion prepared himself. The man was over the chest now. Arrichion threw the lid upwards, smashing the man in the face. Arrichion leapt form the chest with the speed of a snake. His force smashed the man to the floor. Arrichion drew his dagger back, and stabbed the man hard in the throat. He clamped a hand over the man's mouth as he writhed under him. Tiring of the man's struggles, Arrichion stabbed the man in the heart. The man's contortions stopped. Panting heavily, Arrichion clambered to his feet. He grabbed the bloody, lifeless corpse towards the chest. The man had been overweight, and it took all of Arrichion's strength to drag him to the chest, where he heaved the corpse in side, and slammed the lid. That should bide some time. Sheathing his dagger, he slipped quietly out of the room.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In the end I decided to follow them. Many of my commanders disagreed, and Hecateaus even suggested that I had lost my mind, but I shot him a malevolent glare and he shut up. If all was going to plan back in Corinth, Arrichion would be killing all of Hecateaus' chief supporters. One by one.

So we packed up camp marched after the Megarans. My men were in good spirits; they did not think that the Megarans would offer them any real threat. We were closing the gap between the Megaran Army and us. In desperation to stop me reaching the City before it was prepared for a siege. The Megaran Commander formed his elite hoplites into a rearguard; we met them at a fast moving stream. It was a choke point. Fighting there would ensure that their flanks were secure. It would mean that no fancy tactics would work. We would have to push them out of our path.

I formed up my best men. I would lead them personally, it might not have been sensible, but men are cheered when they see their commander living through the same dangers they themselves face.

We marched slowly forward, hoplons held high. We splashed into the stream. Then with a crash of metal the two lines met. My shield was nearly crushed to my chest. It took all my strength to keep it held out. I stabbed at the Megaran opposite me, all along the line the same thing was happening. The first two ranks stabbed with their spears, and the back ranks pushed us forward.

A Megaran without a spear tried to stab at me over his shield, he was dealt with by the man behind me, Another came to my spear, his throat was ripped out, and he fell into the bloodied stream. Yet more men came, the fight was tough. The man to the right of me was killed, but the man behind him took his place before the Megarans could exploit the gap. I stabbed a man in the face with my spear, and then felt something heavy smash into my helmet. My vision blurred and went black. I collapsed into the stream, and felt the water flow through my armour. I began to choke as the water welcomed me to its cold embrace.

Megara -1 ( they are being pursued back to their city)

Athens- 9
Argos - 9
Corinth - 7
Megara - 10
Sparta - 6
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-04-04, 05:09

I stood at the fork in the road and pondered my next move with a sense of destiny. One road led to Argos, the other to Corinth, and beyond that to Megara and Athens. Half my heart longed to see the land and city of Argos again; my birthplace, where I had spent my youth, the origin of all the happy or at least not too embarrassing memories that I cherished from my life before the war. It would be a shattered land now, burnt and devastated by the rampaging Spartans, its people in mourning or, even worse, beyond all sentiments. But deep in the heart of it all I could picture my first love, Thyona, somehow unaffected by the misery of it all, and my king, Aristippos, who had been affected more than any man living, if the rumors were to be believed. But it was an inglorious road for me; I would probably be presumed dead and the story I would have to present to justify my appearance was not one I was willing to tell yet.

Corinth was a fleeting option in my mind, but I could not rely on the same treatment I had prior to my rash rescue attempt. Which brought me to Megara. I knew that Eleni was not with the Spartans, so it was logical to assume that if I were to search for her again, Megara was where I would have to start. Failing that, it was on the road to Athens, and I could still hope to make something of my mission there. It embarrassed me to think that I had stood opposite the Athenian army in battle, but what I slowly allowed myself to admit was that no Athenian knew that, or would ever know unless circumstances forced me to reveal it.

So, with a heavy heart and light feet I trod the road to Megara. Hopefully I would not run into any curious Corinthians on the way. Especially not any curious Corinthians who knew me.

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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Volksie on 2008-04-04, 22:52

I was dying. This was it. Nothing could save me now. I fell into the main room coughing and collapsed in the dusty corner.


Galen lay on his bed laughing uncontrollably as black smoke poured into the room as the rest of our dinner was engulfed in flames. After my coughing fit passed i got to my feet and made my way back to the kitchen of our temporary headquarters. It appeared we would be having stale bread and raw vegetables again.
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Tombles on 2008-04-05, 10:57

The voyage back to Athens was a grim and tiring one. Now heading northwest, we fought against the wind, making the journey a long and exhausting affair both physically and mentally. Somehow, Admiral Amphion steered us through the heavy gales and great waves that heralded the oncoming of winter. Oftentimes I would see him at the prow of our flagship, staring out at the grey expanse of the sea and the clouds, lost in thought. His calm control of the smallest workings of the ships on which we sailed was the only thing that averted disaster on more than one occassion. And so we continued on, slipping through the angry water like shades in some dark corner of the world, silent as the grave. Few words were spoken, and those that were seemed harsh against the cold grey mist that so often enshrouded us.

We finally reached Athens over a week later, to the relief of all aboard. Rain fell in an incessant drizzle, but we cared little. We were wearied and downcast from our struggles, far from the cheerful expedition that I had led from Corinth that seemed so long ago. But I knew we could not rest in the city. There was still a Spartan army surrounding it, and we would need to find some way to get from the port to the city without bringing the armies wrath down upon our heads. My head was a whir of thoughts as we docked and descended back to solid ground once more.

A crowd had come to watch us, a crowd of curious faces watching the procession of armed men as we slowly removed ourselves and our supplies from the ships. Their bright, happy expressions seemed to come from another world, somewhere I had left long ago. Were they not afraid of the Spartans? Had they no qualm about being beseiged by an army intent on their destruction? I shook my head silently as I returned their gaze. And, to my surprise, I recognized a face amongst them.

It took me a few seconds for me to realise exactly from where I knew the man. It was the same messenger who had summoned me to the head of the Athenian army at the orders of the council back in the Summer, all those terrible months ago. And now he approached me across the wet cobbles of the floor.

"My Lord Aristoxenus, I have much news to report to you from the city". His voice took on an odd tone, a tone that I couldn't quite read. What was he going to tell me, that made him seem so grave and severe?

"I am listening." I replied hesitantly, unsure of what to expect. "Tell me what you know".

"Firstly, the Spartan siege of Athens has been broken. The Spartans removed themselves from around the city several days ago. They then headed West, in the direction of Corinth. Whether they bypassed the city of Corinth or attacked it, we do not know." He looked as if he were about to say something else, but checked himself. It seemed pretty obvious he was keeping something back.

"Is that all?" I enquired, trying to be subtle in my attempt to draw it out of him.

"There is one other thing... but I suggest that your Lordship returns to Athens before I explain." I looked at him sharply. What had happened? Had some terrible affliction hit the city? I hurried after the messenger as he turned and led the way along the long, broad path to the city.

The rain had faded away to a light smattering of small droplets, incandescent in the weak winter sun, by the time we reached the gates of the city. All around there was devastation- stumps of trees where they had been hewn down, yellowed grass where tents had been pitched and scorched earth from a multitude of campfires. The Spartan army might have left, but the signs they left behind would remain for a long time. The sad reality of it all hit me now. Yes, I had accepted somewhere in my head that Athens would be threatened, that Sparta and her allies would attempt to take the glorious city, but it was only now that the full atrocity truly showed itself to me. The beautiful fields and groves of trees that had looked so green and lush and inviting in the summer were now a marred and dejected landscape of sodden earth and trampled weeds. And all this after only a few weeks of siege…

The messenger led me through the winding streets of the outer city, past the bustling marketplaces and rows of houses. We continued on until we reached the more opulent areas of the city, filled with sprawling villas and olive groves, currently bare from the winter cold. We walked up a steep rise towards a particular villa I knew very well. Artemios' home. Why did Artemios need to summon a messenger to lead me here? What had happened that was so urgent?

The answer was soon revealed to me. Instead of turning right into the house, we turned left, heading out into the olive groves… and the family tomb. My heart twisted inside my chest. No, surely, it couldn't be…

We rounded the corner, and entered the tomb. And there, on a freshly carved slab, lay Artemios. He was garbed all in white, and covered from the chest down by a white sheet. His face was pale and still, and I knew that if I touched it I would find it as cold as the stone on which he lay. His eyes were closed and his mouth composed into a faint half-smile. He looked regal in death, though I supposed his face must have been moulded into that position by whoever had moved the body to here. Next to him lay Damara, his wife, clad in a similar fashion and with a chain of thinly- entwined gold crowning her forehead.

"What… what happened?" I asked, my voice cracking slightly from shock and grief.

"They were murdered, my Lord."

"Murdered…?" I breathed, still shocked. "Who killed them?"

"We do not know, my Lord. He came in the night, and left no witnesses to tell a tale." The messenger talked quietly and reverently. And now he slowly backed out of the tomb, leaving me to have a moment on my own.

I stared long and hard at the faces of Artemios and Damara, faces I had known since childhood. I thought of the many times Artemios' sharp wit had brightened a dull conversation, or Damara's meek but never-ending cheerfulness had reassured me in dark times. And now, when I most needed them, they were stolen away from me by a thief in the night, a terrible and malicious act that could never be forgiven. I would find the man who had done this. I would track him unceasingly, and when I found him I would crush the life from his body until it was but a lifeless rag. The anger and the grief overwhelmed me, and I fell to my knees.

And I wept.




Athens -1

Athens- 8
Argos - 9
Corinth - 7
Megara - 10
Sparta - 6
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Strohble on 2008-04-05, 16:41

The clattering of dice and muted laughter was heard from inside a tent as Aiolos walked by, as he poked his head in he was greeted by the faces of regular soldiers, Argive and Athenian alike.

"Don't let them take all your coin, we wouldn't want to be seen as robbing our hosts." Hearty laughter is the response as Aiolos moves on.

Street trollops give seductive looks and coo sweet words as a cart from a tavern sells amphorae of wine in the midst of a tent village that is springing up where a Spartan army once laid seige to Athens. The day is cold and damp but repairs are being made to armor and equipment, weapons are being tended to and the hustle and bustle of a military camp is keeping spirits up.

Aiolos nimbly mounts his borrowed steed, pulls the reins and heads towards the city proper. Athens is indeed a beautiful city, the temples, majestic on their mounts with gods in residence, look down upon the city in grandeur, priceless statuary that is the envy of the known world, villas, apartments, bathhouses, fountains, all hewn from white stone, pleasing to the eye. A dark look crosses his face as he remembers his last gaze upon the smoking ruin that was once Argos.

The streets of Athens are crowded as Aiolos works his way to the residence where his general is staying. The stalls of vendors hold vast arrays of food, household items, cloth, spices, anything available from the trade routes, now on display again without the fear of Spartans at the gates. The smells of spiced meats cooking, honeyed sweetbreads, curing olives, waft on the air as Aiolos turns down a side street and comes to a high wall with an ornate iron gate at the front.

Two soldiers on guard stand opposite each other on either side of the gate. The taller of the two acknowledges Aiolos and opens the heavy iron gate for admittance to the peristyled garden. Purple lupin, scarlet paintbrush, crimson peonies, creamy lillies abound in the manicured garden, still colorful in spite of the cold. A dry fountain with sculpted dolphins adorns the center of the garden with marble benches scattered throughout. A servant leads Aiolos to the lavish study where Thanatos sits, quill in hand, putting an ink cake into the well for use. He looks up as Aiolos enters.

"Any word from Aristoxenus?" I ask immediately.

"No general. Nothing since we received word of his loss." Aiolos replies.

"Loss. He mourns one man. One woman. I mourn the loss of a city." I feel bitterness that I cannot help but feel.

"Nevertheless, I tire of waiting. I want you to gather our best messengers and tell them I have dispatches to be sent to Argos. Arrange for gold to be provided for swift horses and food. They will ride night and day."

Aiolos looks surprised, a questioning expression upon his face, but my look quells any questions he might wish to ask. "It shall be done my lord."

I glance at the pigeonholes stuffed with scrolls to his left and turn to the ornate tapestry on the wall to his right. It matches my mood, Hercules wrestling the Hydra. I look at Aiolos, decide to impart a little information about my motives.

"I am writing to the King. He lives. Though from what I have heard, he is a bit......" I pause, "unbalanced right now." I am letting him know that Argos still has a part in this war and a general that needs an army. Hopefully, he will come to his senses."

A slight smile comes to Aiolos' face, " I will summon the messengers immediately."
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Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-04-05, 17:00

After a long and frightful journey I now stood before the gates of Megara. I had heard that there was a war going on between Megara and Corinth, and that had served to only increase my, already considerable, apprehension, but I had chosen my path and was not about to back off. Besides, I heard some vague rumors of bandits hanging around the fork where I had made my choice, and I did not feel like going back there anytime soon. So I made my way through abandoned fields and deserted groves, while the clamor of war was always in my imagination, just beyond my immediate perception, and had now come to where even war was bound to halt its progress should it follow me there: city walls.

Megara was less ornate than Corinth or Argos, but still offered more distractions to the casual traveler than the extreme Dorian simplicity of Sparta. I wandered the streets taking in the style and color of the city, barely aware of the fact that I would have to find some sort of lodgings for the night, or of any plans to go about my vaguely thought out mission to find Eleni. I eventually found myself enjoying a stroll down some picturesque little alleys, when I heard the noise of struggle coming from around a corner. A man could be heard silently making some sort of plea, amidst sounds that I could only imagine as the gargling of blood in his throat. Being a sensible man who would never poke his nose in what was clearly not his business, I backed away as silently as I could, turning by back and walking on the tips of my tows in the other direction. It was when the noises stopped that I began to worry, and my walking became more nervous by the second. I felt the urge to look back, but an instinctual fear kept me from doing so, preferring the paranoid fear of being followed to the possible verification of the fact. Ultimately I started running in a mad sprint through the maze of unfamiliar alleys, until I fell on a man coming from around a corner and was knocked to the ground.

The man was filthy with long hair and a thick beard, but I would recognize that shout of pain as I banged against his head anywhere.

"Getas!" I shouted, slowly picking myself up, "By the gods, I can't believe it's you!"

Getas looked at me incredulously for a few seconds, then looked around before getting up and pulling me over.

"Iphitos the poet! Of all the people I expected to see, you are the last one I'd imagine!"

He kept looking down the alley with some alarm. Then he spoke again.

"Say, you didn't happen to see someone running up this alley did you?"

"Running... no. But I was running myself, so I wasn't paying attention."

He stared at me for a second and then he laughed, though for the life of me I couldn't see what was so funny.

"It's not a funny matter! I heard something a few alleys back, something that suggested foul play!"

"Don't worry about it! Come, you must allow me to offer you my hospitality. Apparently the alleys aren't a safe place to hang out today."

I was honestly relieved and thanked the gods for this fortuitous turn of events. Getas led the way to his house and I followed happily. The first thing he said when I accepted his invitation was

"So... can you cook?"

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Re: The Greek Wars

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