The Greek Wars

Page 4 of 6 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Volksie on 2008-04-05, 18:59

"...and this is the kitchen," I said and showed Iphitos around the small room.

"It's...nice," Iphitos muttered as he surveyed the layer of filth covering the bench. "How long have you been eating off here?"

"About a month now," I said casually. "It hasn't been doing wonders for Galen," I whispered and motioned for Iphitos to come closer. "Before you see him you need to know...," I paused for dramatic effect. "He's not the same. One night he ate a bad olive and his stomach ruptured."

Iphitos looked horrified and jumped as the door to the small house opened and the sounds of Galen making his way inside reached the kitchen. I lead Iphitos out into the main room, which also served as our bedroom, to where Galen was just sitting down on the bed. He stopped when he saw Iphitos. Iphitos eyed Galen's wound apprehensively.

"Iphitos," Galen said increduously. "What an earth are you doing in Megara?"

"Well, to be honest, i'm not entirely sure. I came looking for people."

"What people?" Galen asked.

"I knew you and Getas were in Megara so i thought it would be good to see some familiar faces," Iphitos smiled. "Then i ran into Getas, which, i should say, was mighty lucky because i was down a backalley and was being chased by someone with intent only Zeus would know. But why are you two here? I don't understand. Your house isn't very big and is disgusting. Not that i'm saying you two are disgusting just that perhaps if you both took a little bit more time in general housekeeping jobs you wouldn't wind up with such grievious injuries as you have."

"Yes Iphitos," I said slowly and sat down in the chair. "We will allow you to cook and clean for us. We weren't going to ask but since you offered."

"What?" Iphitos asked in confusion. "I offered to cook and clean?"

"Don't you remember? You heard him didn't you, Galen?"

"Yeh i heard him."

Iphitos looked sheepish as Galen and I smiled at him.

"Well," he said finally. "It's good to see you guys again."
avatar
Volksie
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 2526
Age : 26
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-04-07, 13:10

My eyes flew open; I leaned forward, and spat water onto the floor. I looked around me. The battle was still going on. Someone must have dragged me from the stream, because I was now about 10 yards from our back line. I got unsteadily to my feet. Looking at the sun it could have only been a few minutes since I lost consciousness. My sword was still at my side, but my Spear and hoplon must have still been in the river. I was sodden, dripping and snivelling I stumbled to wear I could see a bunch of men on horseback. Amongst them would by my Second-in-command, Pylades.

"Pylades!"

My voice was just a croak, and no one heard me,

"Pylades you+@+*!@#* listen to me!"

Then he heard me; half of the other commanders did too. Their hands went to their swords, and they stared in amazement at what they saw before them, and what a sight I must have made; drenched from head to foot, stumbling and spitting water.

"N-Nicomedus?" Pylades said, "What in Zeus' name happened to you?"

"What do you think happened?!" I retorted, by now I was standing in front of Pylades, who had dismounted to talk to me "I fell in the stream, what is happening in the battle?"

"They are being pushed back, Lord."

"Good"

I turned to survey the Battle, Pylades was right. The Megarans were being forced back from the stream, and the fresh Corinthian troops were making a real difference. The last few Megarans were trying to make a last stand on a small hill just past the Stream. I could see their banner flying on the top of the hill, and their men forming around it. I grimaced. If we had to kill them man to man, it would be a grim battle indeed.

"Pylades go to the Megarans and see if you can negotiate their surrender, tell them they will not be harmed"

"And you Lord? What will you do?"

I raised an eyebrow, "Change my armour of course"

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

They surrendered. Their Commander could see the futility of fighting on, so he gave his sword to Pylades, and his men followed suit.

Although we had now pushed the Megaran force out of the way. It had severed its purpose. We had lost a day, and many good men. We now had no chance of stopping the Megaran Army reaching the city. It was mid-winter now, and the men were cold and tired and wanted to go home. So the Army of Corinth turned back, probably the last Army out in the field that campaigning season. I wondered what awaited me at home. Would Arrichion have carried out his mission, would Hecateaus' supporters be dead?

Megara -1

Athens- 8
Argos - 9
Corinth - 7
Megara - 9
Sparta - 6
avatar
Kasey
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2614
Age : 25
Location : West Country, England
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile http://hs.facebook.com/profile.php?id=711615734

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-04-07, 13:39

It was a bleak winter in Sparta. The rains fell, seemingly without end, and together with the howling wind, enveloped the city in one of the wettest winters in recent memory. Still, my wife and I really didn't mind the weather. We enjoyed our status as newlyweds, often remaining in our bedroom for days on end. This greatly annoyed the council members, most of whom disliked me anyway. I guess it didn't help that I could never remember any of their names and frequently fell asleep during speeches. Thing is, I couldn't care less about the price of grain, or news of yet another fishing village swept away by the storms lashing our coastline. Give the people what they need, keep them fed, but if they build houses where the sea once was, let them suffer for their idiocy. My father used to say, "Where Poseidon once walked, he will walk again." I understand what he meant now.

I was saddened to hear of Kleomenes' death at the hands of Nicodemus of Corinth. Still, it was what he wanted. Dromichetes will prove an able replacement. He has a sound tactical mind and doesn't panic easily, but I do think he places too much faith in his horsemen. Sparta's strength is her hoplites, not the damned four-legged ponies we breed down here! Hmmm, perhaps I should send some men up north to see if there are any good mercenaries for hire? If we can bolster our armies with quality horsemen, it could give us a big advantage against our foes.

I've found that my parents have been in my thoughts more often than before. I barely remember their faces, but I've come to associate certain smells and sounds with them. For example, when I smell strong drink, I remember the night before I left for the agoge, when father came into my room and kissed me goodnight for the final time. I remember his bloodshot eyes, but whether it was from the drink or sadness I'll never know. Or, when I hear someone with a particularly bad cold, I remember the rasping cough mother always had. Sometimes she would collapse, gasping for breath as bloody phlegm stained her dress. Father would keep me away from her, perhaps fearing for my health, perhaps just trying to keep me from seeing her weakness. I heard she died mere days after I left. What a shame I can't remember what she looked like.

Agoge training was hard, as it should be. It is what sets us apart from other greeks, as most twelve year old Spartan boys endure things most common Greek soldiers never even think about. I would gladly pit a group of sixteen year-old spartan boys against a group of Athenian soldiers, and bet all I have on the boys. How strange that none of the other city states have ever accepted such a challenge?

My Eirena was named Dumas. He was as cocky as they come, with the brains and brawn to back up that confidence. Would you believe I actually felt guilty when I killed him during that wargame? Sure, I was quicker than any of the other boys my age, but he really shouldn't have been surprised by that rock I hurled at him. He left a huge gap in his defence as he batted the stone aside, and when my makeshift spear skewered him, I think he was as surprised as I was! In all honesty, I expected to end up on my face in the dirt, and hearing him gloat as he proved his superiority yet again. I can almost hear him, even now.
"Oh well done, Dragos, even a chair could have dodged that feeble thrust! Why don't you go back to your mommy? Oh wait, she's DEAD isn't she? Probably just as well, I wouldn't want to see my son face down in the mud!" Strangely enough, his words never bothered me. I always acknowledged defeat, and tried again. But on that day, he was the one collapsed in the dust, with a wooden spear through his body, looking every bit as fragile as my mother ever did.

The instructors told me it was better for him to have died by my hand, rather than falling to some other nameless foe. I never really believed that. It has always been my belief that Spartans shouldn't kill each other, but recent events have changed that. Zeus knows, I struggle every day, to come to grips with what I did to the boy-king. But deep down, I know that I am forgiven, for it was the right thing to do. Now I just have to find a way to forgive myself...

_________________
*Burp*
avatar
RedAkbar
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 1187
Age : 34
Location : Cape Town, South Africa
Registration date : 2008-02-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-04-07, 13:40

It was a herculean labor but, finally, the kitchen was clean! At last I could take pride in one of my accomplishments! Exhausted, I laid back on the wall enjoying the serenity of an environment in order and half-closed my eyes in satisfaction. At that point Getas came in and shook my shoulder.
"Iphitos, old buddy! Where's dinner?"
"Dinner? It took me all afternoon to clean up this mess!"
"Ah, yes. Well, now that's done with, how about cooking something for us? Galen would really appreciate it. He's too proud to say so himself, but I know his stomach is giving him trouble again. You don't know how it gets those cold winter nights, when you can just feel his pain in the air, and know that merely a hot stew or a well cooked meal could alleviate his suffering. I'm only too eager to help but, god knows, my cooking skills leave something to be desired..."
He paused for a few seconds for dramatic effect.
"Yes, I can feel it now. It's gonna be one of those nights..."
I could take it no longer.
"All right", I mumbled, "I'll see what foods we have and cook something."
Getas patted me in the back and left the kitchen. It was certainly good to see the two of them again, but the circumstances of our reunion were not those I would have imagined. At least I would have a base of operations in Megara from which to search for information on Eleni - or the state of Megaran politics. However, Getas and Galen should know nothing of it, preferably. I doubt they'd react well if they perceived the sheer scope of my actions and the complexities of diplomacy and subterfuge involved in them...

_________________
'Tis better to admin in the Defenestrated than serve in the .commie
- John Milton, before being defenestrated
avatar
Seleukos of Olympia
Admin _- Beard-at-arms
Admin _-  Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2964
Age : 37
Location : Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-04-10, 03:36

Arrichion sipped at his drink. He wondered at the summons he had received, to meet the Captain of the Royal Guard in a seedy Dockside bar. Strange. It had happened the evening before, a slave had come to Nicomedus' home, asking for Arrichion. He had been told to await Aeneas at the "Salty Trident" at noon the next day. The Slave stressed the importance of arriving in secret.

So here he was, waiting for Aeneas to come. He studied the bar's patrons, but in all honesty he couldn't tell whether most of the men were sailors or anything else. There was one particularly loud bunch sitting near the bar. Arrichion inspected them closer, they were ragged looking men, none had the look of a pampered Merchant, but then merchants, pampered or not, did not frequent dockside tavernas.

The door swung open, showing a large man wearing a wide-brimmed hat and cloak. His eyes scanned the room, he noticed the man sitting by himself at a table. Arrichion too noticed the newcomer, he had only met Aeneas once before, but he wasn't the easily forgettable type. Huge and barrel-chested, he was a cheerful man, not blessed with a shrewd mind though. Arrichion signalled to him, and Aeneas suddenly recognized the face. He strode over to the table and sat down heavily in one of the chairs. He was plainly terrified.

"What is wrong?" Arrichion asked quietly

"They are after me"

"Who? Who is after you?"

"By Zeus! How should I know? Hecateaus? Megarns? Spartans?"

"Assassins?"

Aeneas nodded slowly, "Yesterday evening, a man was waiting for me in my courtyard, he cut down a servant I was talking to, but I managed to kill him before he harmed me. After that I sent a man to tell you to meet me."

"You want me to tell Nicomedus" Arrichion guessed,

"Yes. Something is happening in Corinth. He needs to return, tell him that if he fails to return soon then the balance of power could shift in favour of someone else."

"You think Hecateaus is behind the attack?"

"Hecateaus? I don't know, do you think so?"

"No. He is too cautious. I don't think he would assassinate someone of your power. I think he is being used. I think….." But he didn't finish. The rowdy group he had spotted early had risen from their table with drawn swords. Several patrons began scrambling for the door; this gave the two men a few vital seconds to make good their escape. They darted for the door joining the other patrons. Once out in the street the began to walk briskly away from the bar. Suddenly they realised that they were on their own and that the other patrons had dispersed. Looking behind him Arrichion saw two me blocking off the way behind them, and three blocking the way in front. They were the men from the bar. They were trapped. The men advance slowly, swords drawn. Suddenly Aeneas leapt at one of the men smashing him to the floor.

"Run!" he cried at Arrichion.

He took heed of Aeneas' last word as he sped from the back street and into a crowded square. Looking behind him he saw one of the assassins searching for him in the crowd. Arrichion doubled back on himself, coming round behind the assassin. He quickly grabbed the assassin round the neck and dragged him into an alley. The man elbowed Arrichion in the stomach, forcing him to let go, but Arrichion found a wooden pole lying on the ground behind him, picking it up he smashed the assassin round the head with it, the man staggered backwards, Arrichion rammed the pole into the assassin's chest, then grabbing him by the head smashed hi m repeatedly into a wall. The man fell to the ground, his skull cracked like an egg. Arrichion slipped off into the crowds.


Athens- 8
Argos - 9
Corinth - 7
Megara - 9
Sparta - 6
avatar
Kasey
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2614
Age : 25
Location : West Country, England
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile http://hs.facebook.com/profile.php?id=711615734

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-04-10, 07:16

In the months following the death of Dragos' Eirena, he became even more withdrawn from his peers than before. He hardly said a word to anyone, going as far as to isolate himself totally from any group activity whenever he had the chance. The other boys mocked him at first, but soon fear replaced ridicule, as he continued to excel in the one on one training arena.

He didn't merely defeat his opponents. No. First he would toy with them, giving them hope of victory, leaving them gaps in his defence, sometimes even taking hits intentionally. But then, when they least expected it, he would unleash a ferocious string of counterattacks that would always leave his opponents senseless on the floor. One time, the instructors tested him against three other opponents simultaneously. He won, nearly killing one of his opponents, despite taking a tremendous amount of punishment himself.

The head instructor, Kygones, was very concerned, despite Dragos' obvious skill. He was worried that the boy's mental solitude would prevent him from fighting in a group, such as a phalanx unit. Time proved him right. Dragos was woeful in group maneuvers, but it was more the other student's fear of him than a lack of ability on his part. Still, it was a problem that couldn't be ignored.

Soon after his father death, in Dragos' sixteenth year of life, things got better. He started to speak more often, even smiled sometimes. When queried about this change, he would just shrug and reply that he had some demons of is own to fight. Any further inquiries would be politely, but firmly refused.

Some of his biggest enemies became his friends, in particular one Kalliades, a very talented young man in his own right. There had been an intense hatred between them, for the boy Dragos killed during training was Kalliades' elder brother. After a particularly violent sparring match between the two, during which both of them nearly died, Dragos apologised (even though he didn't really need to, Agoge deaths were quite common), and the two became like brothers.

It was this bond that would ultimately make Dragos who he is today. Kalliades inspired him to think outside the box, so to speak, even motivating him to study philosophy later on. And it was during his studies in Athens when he would encounter Aristoxenus, the young Athenian, for the first time.


-an excerpt from the works of Diomedes, Biographer to King Dragos of Sparta

_________________
*Burp*
avatar
RedAkbar
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 1187
Age : 34
Location : Cape Town, South Africa
Registration date : 2008-02-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Volksie on 2008-04-10, 07:22

"It's all just good fun," the young man said giving the teenager a little push. "Go on."

"I don't know about this." the teenager eyed the building warily.

"Look Addy," the young man said, taking Adrastos by the shoulders. "You've only even been with that girl from your father's farm. Live a little. The world is your oyster, all you have to do is take it."

"But 'being with someone' is about love isn't it? This isn't love." Adrastos grimaced.

"Being with someone is about fun, Addy. We'll pick two nice girls and I'll see you in the morning when you're a man." The young man said as he pulled Adrastos into the brothel.

"So when you said you'd take me to Megara to see all the wonderful sites you meant to take me here all along?" Adrastos sulked.

"This is what cities are all about," the man turned and smiled at Addy. "The streets spell danger and excitement at every turn. People with stories line the alleyways but if you stop to ask about them you wind up dead on the ground. Petty gangs roam around and can be the true masters of a city."

"Don't go on about your gang again, Otis," Adrastos said, turning his eyes to the ceiling in boredom. "If I hear about how you're taking over the city one more time I will kill myself."

"You don't understand, Addy," Otis said and clipped Adrastos over the back of the head. "I brought you here to be my right hand man as we subdue the gangs and rule the city with subterfuge!"

"Why can't I go back to the farm? Why don't you go home and help your father before winter comes?"

"My father can go rot in a ditch for all I care and if you don't have any ambitions then you can go join him." said Otis as he walked through the door and disappeared inside.

"Wait! Otis!" Adrastos called and ran after the young man. He could see the back of Otis' head bobbing ahead of him in the dark corridor but it moved further and further away. "Wait!" The corridor melted and Adrastos woke up in a daze in a small dusty room. He was sitting in his chair with Galen in front of him on the bed and Iphitos with the door half open.

"Oh," Iphitos said as he turned back into the room. "You'd like to come picking mushrooms with me after all?"


Athens- 8
Argos - 9
Corinth - 7
Megara - 9
Sparta - 6
avatar
Volksie
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 2526
Age : 26
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Strohble on 2008-04-10, 11:27

As the wearied messenger urged on his tired mount the veiled form of Mt.Lycone began to solidify in the morning fog. A faint breath of wind rustled through the cypress trees as the mist swirled in ghostly patterns across the road that led to Argos. Many days of hard travel has brought the rider to this point, many days of apprehension for what he might find once he reaches his destination. At last the Temple of Artemis appears on his left seemingly intact but lifeless in the cold morning. The messenger heels the flanks of his steed and moves at a quicker pace to reach the city.

As he enters the city, signs of destruction from the rampaging Spartans are everywhere, buildings reduced to nothing more than piles of rubble or hollowed forms with discolored walls from the intense fires and smoke. The burnt remains of two humanlike forms lie in the open air, dew collecting in the hollows where eyes once were, making it seem as if tears were being shed for the life they once gazed upon. The messenger looks around in shock and sorrow at his once proud city,

"HALT!!" The messenger's head snaps up at the sight of a fully armed contingent of Argive hoplites blocking the way further into the city. He is quickly surrounded by serious faces under bronze helmets, spears brandished at rider and mount ready to inflict death. He notices strangely clad bowmen at strategic vantage points looking down upon him with arrows nocked and bows taughtly drawn. The horse hangs his head low as if signalling acquiesance and gives a slight whinny. The messenger takes a nervous swallow of air and says to the soldier that stopped him,

"I bring urgent dispatches from General Thanatos to the King." An incredulous look comes to the face of the Argive soldier,

"You lie!! Lord Thanatos lies dead somewhere in the ruins."

Strength enters the messengers voice as he begins to tell the story of the flight from the city, the journey to Sparta and the battle against Dragos with the Athenians, the destruction of the Spartan navy, and where his General now awaits. To solidify his point he brandishes scrolls with the signature ring of Thanatos embossed in wax upon them. The soldiers that encircle him relax slightly while the soldier he spoke to scrutinizes him closely,

"Dismount and follow me." Not a word is spoken as the messenger is led by a full guard to the citadel. Many signs of life appear in the streets on the walk to the center of the city as citizens and slaves load carts with debris. Signs of new construction appear sporadically in the ruins and a few goods are being sold from makeshift stalls along the way. People go about their tasks with a sort of grim determination, smiles are few and strange soldiers are everywhere as if in occupation but deferrence is given to the Argive Soldiers.

The temples of Hera of the Height and Apollo Deiradiotes are still standing but have received much damage and are stained with smoke, the Spartans worship the same gods but held no respect for the Argive temples in their fury. As the road winds ever upwards, the heavily guarded citadel is reached, words are spoken and the messenger is taken to an inner sanctum. With some reluctance and many words of assurance, the dispatches are handed over to a well dressed administrator who is one of the few to have audience with the King. After going through the levy of many heavily armed guards, the adminstrator stands before the dishevelled King with messages in hand.

"Sire, I bear news from Lord Thanatos, he lives and still fights in the name of Argos."

King Aristippos reaches a hand out to take the scrolls, an evil smile upon his unshaven face, "Finally."


Argos +1 Contact is made with the King and his general


Athens--8
Argos--10
Corinth--7
Megara--9
Sparta--6
avatar
Strohble
Admin - Beard-at-arms
Admin  -  Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2123
Age : 92
Location : Kahleeforneeuh
Registration date : 2008-02-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-04-10, 16:59

Finally! I managed to obtain some information on the state of the fair lady of Megara, for whose sake I had committed myself to the gravest of perils!

I was shopping for some vegetables and discussing the news of the day with the shop owner and various talkative customers, when I noticed a cute slave girl walking outside the shop. Noticing my gaze, a trio of elderly women who had been alternately discussing with me the fluctuating quality of spinach and the ever-decreasing quality of young people and society in general, felt it their duty to inform me of the life history of her and the household that employed her, making long digressions to touch upon the works and days of all the other people whose names came up during those accounts. Her name was Myrto and she was a slave of Otis, a rich and powerful Megaran who nevertheless would not employ some competent gardeners to take care of his mansion's garden.

"...I mean, it's the showcase of a household if you ask me. And he has let his rose bushes grow like fences around the front. When I and my dear Byzas used to live in our house in the country we kept our rose bushes prim and evenly spaced. Well, now his sister has taken it over, scandalously so if you ask me, and her son lives almost exclusively there. And he's been seeing that girl, Anthe, the blonde, and I know nothing good will come of it..."

That spawned a discussion on Anthe's questionable merits as a potential wife that lasted for over half an hour, until Otis was brought up again.

"...And he's so secretive too! Chrysa, who lives down the road, tells me that there are strange people going in and out of his house day and night. She knows, because her window opens on the street that leads to his back door and she can recognize an unfamiliar face from fifty paces. Now her son is marrying Cleo, and a better match could not be made in all of Megara, if you ask me..."

Another half hour went by in extolling the virtues of Cleo.

"...And his daughter, Eleni! One would think that being the wife of a senator would be enough for a woman to settle down and start a family. But no! She runs around the country like a vagabond, doing goddess knows what, and her husband doesn't have the clout to say anything to her about it! And they made him a senator! No wonder the city is going to the dogs. All those wars, and now the price of spinach! I swear it has never been this high!"

Cries of affirmation echoed from the other two women, much to the shop owner's discomfort, until they finally returned to the vices of the house of Otis.

"...So, Crysa says that Eleni has left Megara, and of course no one can say where to, or rather to whom to, especially not her dumb husband."

The discussion dragged on for almost another hour, until the women realized that they would eventually have to go cook for their incompetent husbands, who would all be rich by now if they had only listened to them. At its end I was feeling enlightened, but also agitated by the many mysteries that arose from the women's stories and my own unanswered questions. I decided that there was only one way to get to the truth before it all drove me mad. I would have to break into Otis' mansion and search for clues on Eleni's whereabouts.

That night, after Galen and Getas had gone to sleep, I slipped out of their house and made my way to the back of the house of Otis, close under Crysa's watchful window, whose shutters remained, thankfully, closed on that night. By now climbing walls was almost second nature to me, so I had little difficulty in overcoming that first obstacle, and jumped onto the soft ground of the courtyard, barely missing the thorny branch of a wild rose bush. I made my way stealthily to the hearth of the house, where I lit a small lantern I had brought with me. With that, I could navigate through the corridors in search of Eleni's room, where I would possibly find the answers to all my riddles. Of course I had no idea where her room actually was, and it was only then that the full realization of that fact hit me, but I wouldn't let such a detail deter me.

I walked blindly around the ground floor, trying to find the stairs to the upper floor, when I tripped over something and fell on my face. To my horror, I saw my lantern broken in front of me, its oil spilled on a pile of papers that were being devoured by an ever growing flame. In panic I blew on the flame with my mouth, but that only made the flame stronger. I looked around nervously for a few seconds while the fire spread and then instinct kicked in and I bolted for the courtyard. I was over the wall and walking nervously down the street when I saw smoke over my shoulder and heard shouts of men raising an alarum that started waking up this part of the city. I walked a bit more nervously and when I cleared the first corner I started running.

When I reached Getas and Galen's house I was sweaty and trembling with fear. They were both awake and staring at me when I walked in.

"Where have you been?" Galen asked seriously, while Getas eyed my speechlessness with amusement.

"Erh... I heard sounds outside. I can't make out what it is, but it sounds like a fire somewhere. I want to go to sleep now." I replied meekly, and made for my makeshift bed in the kitchen.

For the rest of the night I couldn't sleep a wink.


Megara -1

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

_________________
'Tis better to admin in the Defenestrated than serve in the .commie
- John Milton, before being defenestrated
avatar
Seleukos of Olympia
Admin _- Beard-at-arms
Admin _-  Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2964
Age : 37
Location : Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Volksie on 2008-04-11, 02:30

"Come here Iphitos," Galen called out into the kitchen from his bed the next day. "We want to talk to you."

Iphitos had bags under his eyes as he walked into the main room. Galen was taking it all very seriously but i was having a good laugh. I had forgotten how amusing the poet was. Iphitos stopped in the middle of the room and i walked over to him. I smelt his breath and shook my head.

"Just as we thought. Wine! You've been out cavorting with ruffians again, haven't you? I bet there was a girl too!"

"What are you talking about?" Iphitos shouted in confusion.

"Sit down Getas, you idiot," Galen said shaking his head and then turned to the shakey Iphitos. "Tell us where you were last night. Tell us why you are in Megara. Tell us why you left the service of Nicomedus."

Iphitos looked scared and eyed us warily. Galen, still lying in his bed injured and me sitting back lazily in my chair. He swallowed loudly and hung his head.

"I left Corinth because of a woman."

"I knew it!" I shouted and Galen frowned at me before Iphitos continued.

"Her name was Lady Eleni and she had been acting as emissary with her husband in Corinth."

Suddenly i went from bored and uninterested to very interested. This soppy poet was after a real woman.

"I was captured by the Spartans and stood with them when they fought the Athenian force outside of Sparta," Iphitos said with shame. "When i saw the dead and the aftermath i ran from the battlefield and from my captivity. I believe that had i stayed Dragos of Sparta would have had me killed. He has gone mad and all of Greece is in danger from him. I had three choices then; i could go home to Argos and face shame, i could return to Corinth and face shame, or i could come here to Megara and continue my search for the lady Eleni."

"So that's how you came here," Galen said. "What were you doing last night?"

Iphitos seemed ready to tell his tale now and didn't hesitate. "I heard reliable gossip that Lady Eleni's father lived just near here. I went to the house but accidently set it on fire."

Iphitos had to stop talking for a moment as i laughed.

"I've been awake all night trying to think what i should do. Do you think i should go back and try and pay Otis for the damage?"

Immediately i stopped laughing and sat up straight in my chair. Galen had reacted in a similar fashion.

"Pay who back?" I asked, suddenly serious.

"Lady Eleni's father. Otis." Iphitos said nervously.

For a moment i sat dumbstruck before i felt a goofy smile spread across my face. "Come on poet!" I yelled in joy and jumped out of my seat. "Take me there now."

"Now?" Iphitos asked in bemusement. "Do you know him?"

"Know him?" I said as i threw a cloak around me and covered my face with a dirty rag so only part of my face was visable. "Rotten bast@rd is trying to kill me!" I grabbed Iphitos by the arm and pulled him towards the door. "We're just taking a look. If you get me killed, poet, then i will be very cranky."

Athens- 8
Argos - 10
Corinth - 7
Megara - 8
Sparta - 6
avatar
Volksie
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 2526
Age : 26
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-04-14, 00:20

"So, how would we define the soul? The core essence of a being? Or something else...?" Timeon the lecturer was asking from the front of the room.
"Hmm? Surely one of the bright young minds in this room will be able to answer me?" In truth, most of the 'bright young minds' were fast asleep, having just sat through the entire 'Apology of Socrates.' Zeus, that was boring. What the hell was I doing here?

"Spartan! Perhaps YOU could offer some insight?" I was jolted out of my daze by the lecturer's words. I might have known. Ever since I joined this class, he has singled me out, firmly believing I would never be able to grasp the fundamentals of philosophy. The rest of the class had also woken up from their slumber, and was staring at me in anticipation. Well, I'll show them!
"I think the soul is what makes us what we are. It is the defining object that gives us self awareness, an awareness beyond the physical boundaries." I looked the lecturer straight in the eye, for I knew he would disagree with me. He always did.

"Whaat? You believe the soul to ba a seperate entity? How absurd. The soul is the essence of a thing, but it ends when he does. Like Aristotle said:"The soul of a knife is its blade, to perform the act of cutting. If the blade breaks, the cutting ends, and thus, the knife." He turned away from me, clearly dismissing my opinion as foolish.
"But, what about humans?" I asked loudly. "Are we not more than a knife? Are we not self-aware?" He spun on his heel and looked at me with a quizzical expression.
"Spartan, I suggest you shut that mouth of yours. Have you not made a fool of yourself more than enough times?" I was determined to make my point, and stood up.
"Imagine yourself suspended in mid-air, cut off from all your senses. You cannot see, you cannot feel, you cannot hear, you cannot smell, you cannot feel. Yet, even then, you would still be aware of that. You would be aware of yourself, aware of the fact that your other senses are not working. That is why we are much more than a knife, or a chair, or any other inanimate object. We are self-aware. And it is the soul that gives us that self-awareness." The faces of the other students were rapt as the considered my words. Timeon faked a laugh.
"So THAT's Spartan logic. I heard it was total drivel, but for you to come here and sprout that nonsense in my classroom.." He was getting worked up, and I could feel an hour of Spartan-bashing coming on. I sighed inwardly. Maybe I'm just not cut out for this. But then a voice from the opposite end of the room piped up.
"I agree with Dragos." It was Aristoxenus, a young Athenian noble. We had not spoken much before, but here he was agreeing with me, in the face of popular opinion. I'd have to thank him later. I sighed as Timeon launched into another anti-spartan rant, while also berating Aristoxenus for his misguided views. It was going to be a long afternoon.

I waited for Aristoxenus by the door after class had ended. I smiled at him as he approached, flanked by his friend, Artemios. Both of them regarded me with the same coldly appraising look.
"Aristoxenus, I wanted to thank you for agreeing with me earlier. Timeon sure gave you an earful, didn't he?" To my amazement, walked straight past me, without a word. I turned around, about to insult their mothers, when Aristoxenus stopped and looked at me.
"Spartan, join us after class tomorrow. I would like to hear more of that "flawed logic" of yours." I started to respond, but then they were gone, into the mass of students exiting the building. I shrugged and headed home.

In the weeks that followed, I stuck up a tentative friendship with Aristoxenus and Artemios. We spent hours discussing philosophy and history, arguing more often than not. Still, it was fun, and provided a lot of insight into the Athenian way of thinking.

I left Athens the following summer a wiser man. But Sparta was calling, and I would not shirk my duty to her. So it is still, more than a decade later. In spite of all that has happened, I will defend Sparta with my last breath, so help me Zeus. Enemies can come and go, but as long as Dragos lives, Sparta will remain strong!

Sparta +1

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

_________________
*Burp*
avatar
RedAkbar
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 1187
Age : 34
Location : Cape Town, South Africa
Registration date : 2008-02-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Tombles on 2008-04-16, 16:05

It was mid-day. The heavy wooden doors of the Athenian council chambers swung open as I pushed them aside, allowing the mixed odours of the agora to stir the still air. I was late, and I knew it. But I didn't care. I wore a black cloak over my ordinary clothes, a cloak I had vowed to wear every day until the killer of Artemios was put to justice. It billowed out behind me as I strode to my vacant chair. I hear a voice break the silence.

"Perhaps, Aristoxenus, the tensions of the battlefield have affected your ability to read a sun dial. I would recommend you fix that ability as soon as is possible" the voice said pointedly. It was Harpalos.

"I see you wear no icon of your mourning, Harpalos. Have you forgotten Artemios so quickly?" I avoided his statement for a matter I saw as far more pressing. Harpalos had always been a follower of Artemios in the council, seconding his opinion at every turn and never once advancing his own before he was sure Artemios would agree. Before Artemios' death, Harpalos would never have ventured to challenge another member of the council- only the most influential and popular members would speak out of turn. At the time I had thought he was simply a born follower of greater men. Now I saw he had used Artemios' influence simply as a stairway to his own power. The whole thing stank of a plot.

"The death of your friend is unfortunate, but there are more pressing matters at hand." Harpalos turned away from me dismissively. "Now, the Spartans are..."

I jumped to my feet and interupted him. "The murder of a council member is never a trivial matter. The murderers of Artemios were no mere thieves in the night, they were professionals. They broke in silently, killed all witnesses, and left without a trace of who they were. I've seen the house. I can tell when a killing is done skillfuly- I've seen my fair share of death." I began to pace up and down as I adressed the council. "Now professionals like that don't just kill for the sake of it. Someone must have been paying them. And if someone is willing to pay to have one politician killed, they'll be willing to do it again. You're all at risk, gentlemen, until we can find who these killers were- and, more importantly, who employed them. Maybe it's the Spartans. Or maybe it's someone with more domestic reasons to attack our members." I shot Harpalos a glance. "It's winter, campaigning against Sparta and Megara can't continue for a good few months. And so we should devote all our assets to finding out about the murder. We must discover who is behind this!" A clamour rose amongst the council, and the man to the right of Harpalos stood to his feet.

"That's preposterous! We might not be able to send an army against our enemies at the moment, but every minute we spend mulling over the death of but one of our members is a minute lost in which we could plan and prepare for the next campaigning season! You are too swayed by your love for your friend, Aristoxenus. It has made a fool of you."

The hall was filled with shouts of the assembled members. Some agreed with me, and some jeered and spat at my suggestion. All rational debate was lost as a great argument swept the chambers. A man to my left cried "What more do you want, all the armies of Hellas to aid you in this personal vendetta?! Our men have done the best they can!"

"Well then it's not good enough!" I shouted back. I was shaking with rage now, angered by the blindness of the men who disagreed with me. The noise grew as the argument heightened.

"STOP!!!" Tamaeros' single voice cut through the noise as he rose to his feet. All heads turned to him. "All this arguing will get us nowhere. Lord Aristoxenus has a very good point; we should definitely do all we can to find out who these killers were. I myself am willing to help him in leading our investigations. Now, can we please get back to discussing the matter in hand?"

As we took our seats once more and discussions returned to various aspects of the ongoing war, I gave Tamaeros a nod to show my gratitude. It was good to have an ally in my struggle.

Athens -1 (the council is becoming increasingly fractious)

Athens- 7
Argos - 10
Corinth - 7
Megara - 8
Sparta - 7
avatar
Tombles
Beardknight
Beardknight

Number of posts : 2987
Age : 26
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-04-16, 16:15

"That's the house"

As I pointed it out to Getas, his cloak wrapped around him and his face partially concealed by a rag, like some oriental type trying to get used to the cold, I instinctively pulled my own black cloak tighter over my shoulder. What a sight we would have been to Chrysa, I thought, and felt relief in thinking that she would probably be out shopping by now.

"We can go now, right?"

I turned to leave but Getas grabbed me by the shoulder.

"We're in no hurry, poet. It's not like anyone is out to kill us."

"No one out to kill us!? Didn't you say Otis wanted you dead? And I set his house on fire! Gods, he must be angry! You can still see some smoke in the air."

A thin trail of smoke rose through the dew over the wall of the courtyard, barely hinting at what had afflicted an, to all appearances, undamaged house.

"And even if he doesn't kill me he will want me to pay for damages. I can't pay for damages! I'm poor! They'll probably make me a slave and send me off to some dark god-forsaken mines!"

"Relax. It doesn't look like your fire did much damage."

"That wouldn't look like much to a normal person's house - you said he's been trying to kill you! And you didn't even burn anything of his! I want to go back home."

I shook my arm free but he pulled it again.

"Listen here! This is a delicate situation for me. And now it's a delicate situation for you too. If you don't do exactly as I say it could spiral down to a world of pain for us both. Now stop shouting and flailing your arms around! You're drawing attention."

I obeyed reluctantly, and kept quiet long enough for Getas to be content with our situation.

"Good. Now what we're gonna do is walk casually down the street by Otis' wall and you can tell me all about how you got in without being noticed."

We started walking, and I gradually overcame the more overt symptoms or my nervousness as I explained my moves on the night before. When we had half-circled the house and were going up another side street, I ventured to ask the second thing that had been on my mind after the prospects of my imminent misery.

"So, and forgive my indiscretion if it's too personal or otherwise not something you'd feel disposed to discuss, but - in short, why does Otis want to kill you?"


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

_________________
'Tis better to admin in the Defenestrated than serve in the .commie
- John Milton, before being defenestrated
avatar
Seleukos of Olympia
Admin _- Beard-at-arms
Admin _-  Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2964
Age : 37
Location : Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-04-19, 07:11

Arrichion could see the vanguard of the Army coming towards him; pushing his tired horse into a canter he quickly closed the gap between himself and the army. He reined in his horse when he saw the horsemen at the front wheel their horses round to surround him. Remaining still on his horse he told the horsemen of who he was, and what he wanted. Three men approached him on horseback, curtly demanding he give up his weapons. Arrichion handed them the sword he had taken from Nicomedus' house, and his own dagger. Once satisfied that he was disarmed the men escorted him down the column to where Nicomedus and the other Lords and Commanders rode.

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

In the corner of my vision I saw four men approaching from the front of the column. They rode up beside me,

"This man" one of the horsemen said pointing to another of the riders, "Says he bears you an urgent message from Corinth"

I turned to the man, of whom the horsemen had been talking of,

"Arrichion!" I said joyfully. "What are you doing here?"

"My Lord" he said soberly. "There is trouble in Corinth. I…" I stopped him,

"Ride with me Arrichion. Here is not the place to discuss this."

So we rode just out of earshot of the rest of the commanders, and he told me of what had been happening in Corinth since I had left. How he had killed two major supporters of Hecataeus, but how he had begun to feel that there was someone else at work in Corinth, and how this had been confirmed by his talk with Aeneas, and the subsequent assassination attempt.

"So Aeneas is dead?" I asked him

"Possibly, I didn't see him fall though, and he is a good fighter. He could still live"

I mused on this, "What will it be like in Corinth when we return?"

"Only time will tell, but it won't be good," Arrichion stated grimly.

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

We arrived at the city. I was a little surprised to see so many soldiers on the walls. But what surprised me the most was the banner flying from the walls. I had seen it often enough in the past weeks. The Banner of Megara. What in the Underworld were Megaran troops doing in Corinth! I called to my bodyguards and my other Commanders, and rode towards the gate. They opened and an embassy came out to great us. I eyed him contemptuously. He was no Corinthian, if he were I would have recognized him. He had a false smile on his face, whilst the others in his party just looked nervous.

"You must be the Lord Nicomedus" he said to me. "It is an honour to meet such a worthy foe!"
"Foe?" I said caustically

"Yes. Let me introduce myself. I am the Lord Narcissus of…"

"Megara?" I interrupted.

"Yes. I am the new military Commander of Corinth. At least for the time being."

I spat in derision, "You are a fool. Why are you here? I command the Corinthian Army. Not some Megaran dog. You are no more than a puppy. Be gone!"

For the first time the smile slipped from his face, replaced by a flash of anger, he quickly mastered himself, "You think your petty insults hurt me? Your arrogance will be your downfall. You and your men are not welcome here any longer. However the Lord Hecateaus will be permitted to enter the city."

This was his first mistake. He had revealed to me his traitor. A slow smile spread across my face. He saw it, and his face fell, he had realized his mistake, and "The Lord Hecateaus is….indisposed I will send him your regards." With that I twitched my reins and rode away from the young Megaran and his cohorts. Suddenly I stopped my horse and turned to the man. "Where is the King?"

"Hah! Your King and his guard hide like rabbits from the hunt in the Acropolis! Why you serve such a coward I don't know"

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

I rode straight up to where Hecateaus stood talking with some other Commanders. Leaping from my horse, I sent my fist crashing into his face. There were gasps of horror from the other men. But I didn't care. I picked the man up, and pinned him against the trunk of a tree.

"What did you do, you son of a whore?!"

"W-what?" he whimpered

"Why did you let Megarans into the city!"

"Megarans?"

"Don't you dare lie to me!" I screamed, and backhanded him. "Listen up, and listen well. The King and those loyal to him are trapped in the Acropolis. Megaran soldiers are helping to garrison the City proper. They seem allied to you. Why? What have they given you?"

He started to sob; I let him fall to the ground, disgusted. "They-they said that they would make me King," he wailed, "All I had to do was get you and the Army out of the city, and swear Corinth would be the eternal ally of Megara. They even promised me troops for the job. I just wanted power." He trailed off pathetically.

I was boiling with rage and suppressed anger, "How could you be so stupid? So naïve as to let Megaran troops enter the city?! Do you have no sense?!"

So now I had a problem. I had an army. But nowhere to winter. I also had no siege equipment. I could not risk a siege, for my supplied were low, and I did not want the people of Corinth to curse me. To prefer Megaran overlordship to my rule. My only hope lay in the Royal guard in the Acropolis.

Megara +1
Corinth -1

Athens- 7
Argos - 10
Corinth - 6
Megara - 9
Sparta - 7
avatar
Kasey
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2614
Age : 25
Location : West Country, England
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile http://hs.facebook.com/profile.php?id=711615734

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-04-28, 03:18

It was a beautiful night. The rainclouds had gone, revealing the silver moon in all its splendour. Beams of moonlight illuminated the city, bouncing off the marble columns in the courtyard of the palace.
"It is good to be the King!" I said out loud, as I stood in the palace gardens, dressed only in a loincloth. My wife and I had decided to take an evening stroll in the gardens, but we only managed a few dozen steps before things got out of hand. Now, she was dozing off inside a gazebo, under a heap of clothes, while I answered a call of nature. The chilly air filled my lungs, and a shiver went down my spine, perhaps an indication that midwinter frolicks outside was not a particularly smart idea. I sneezed.

The following day was back to normal. Clouds were obscuring the sun, and a faint drizzle had started to sift down on the already wet city. I sighed inwardly. Winter bored me. Nothing to do but listen to boring old men ramble about something they deemed "important." I'm the King, dammit, I decide what's important and what's not!

I was brought back to reality by a messenger, bringing me news that Polites, newly appointed Head of Espionage, wished to speak with me as soon as possible. Eager to evade another boring afternoon with the Council, I hurried to my study, where he was already waiting.

Polites was not one of my favourite people. A small, wiry man, with shifty eyes and a rodent-like face, he always seemed to know more than he should. He also seemed unable to answer a question directly, preferring vague statements instead of "yes" and "no." Nevertheless, he was the sneakiest person I knew, and had numerous contacts throughout Greece, which made him the perfect man for aquiring sensitive information. He greeted me with a weasel-like smile.

"My King!" he said as he bowed flamboyantly. "I trust you enjoyed your walk last night? The gardens are so pretty this time of year." He smiled. "I trust Queen Lydia has found the thorn in her thigh?" That caught me off guard.
"Yes, she found the little bastard this morn… wait… HOW DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT!?" I was shocked. "Are you following me, Polites?"
He smiled faintly.
"Heavens, no, my King! I was still on the way back from Argos last night. Some of my associates, however, heard some terrible grunting and moaning from the gardens last night, and investigated. Discreetly, of course." I started to yell again, but thought better of it. I did ask him to keep an eye on Lydia, in case my enemies tried to get to her.
"Well then, Polites, what do you have to report? What goes on in Argos?"

He sat down across from me, leaning back in his chair and resting his feet on my desk. I grinned, and followed his example. This really was the best way to discuss espionage.
"Argos is rebuilding, my King, but not in the classical sense. The King is hiring mercenaries to bolster his forces, and focusing his repair efforts on the military buildings in the city. The residential areas remain badly damaged, and martial law has been declared. The common citizenry are very unhappy. Many speak of rebellion." I poured us both a goblet of wine, as he continued. "It seems the King had a large store of gold in the citadel, which he is using to pay the mercenaries. But, my informants say his wealth is dwindling rapidly. I'd be surprised if he lasts the winter."

I smiled. Mercenaries are expensive, and they get really unhappy if you don't pay them. It seems Aristippos of Argos is digging his own grave, without my interference. Once his money runs out, the mercenaries will take it out on the commoners, and a revolt will be inevitable.

"And Corinth? What goes on there?"
"Corinth? That place is a mess. There's a power struggle verging on open war between two prominent generals. Their King seems powerless, I'm not even certain that he still lives." I frowned.
"I'd wager our "friend" Nicodemus has something to do with this?"
"Yes, but he seems to be in a spot of bother. A general named Hecateaus has let Megaran soldiers into the city, under the command of one Narcissus of Megara. They control the streets of Corinth now." This was very good news. Nicodemus had rejected multiple offers of friendship from Sparta, and it was good to hear of his troubles. If he falls, Corinth would be nullified as a political and military entity, which would put a lot of pressure on Argos and Athens.

Polites continued: "Things are not much better in Athens. Aristoxenus' closest ally, Artemios, was slain along with his wife and children." I jumped to my feet, nearly kicking over the decanter of wine on my desk.
"Artemios is dead? Truly?" I sank back into my seat. Artemios was a friend, once. "Any ideas who did it?" Polites was looking at me with an arched eyebrow. I could see my reaction to Artemios' death startled him, but to his credit he didn't query it.
"Reports are a bit vague, but I'd wager that Megara had a hand in it. Very few killers in Greece operate without the blessing of the Assassins Guild in that city. But as always, finding proof of this is a very difficult task." He eyed me slyly. "Not to worry, my King, I've got my best spy on the job."

I drank deeply from my cup as I leant back in my chair. The wine was starting to do its work. Time to go bother my wife again.
"Thank you, Polites, you may go now. Keep me in the loop, will you?" He thin man stood, and bowed flamboyantly yet again.
"Of course, my King. Good evening to you." He stopped at the door.
"Stay out of the rosebushes, my King." And then he was gone.

Sparta +1

Athens- 7
Argos - 10
Corinth - 6
Megara - 9
Sparta - 8

_________________
*Burp*
avatar
RedAkbar
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 1187
Age : 34
Location : Cape Town, South Africa
Registration date : 2008-02-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-04-28, 10:46

WRITTEN BY FLAVIUS FORTIUS


Corinth. The tavern

The fallen assassin slumped to the floor, his sword remaining oddly lodged in Aeneas's belly. His partner stared for a long moment, expecting the officer to fall.

Aeneas grinned as he plucked the sword out of the linothorax he wore under his tunic. Knowing the danger, he had taken the precaution of the light body armour which had prevented the blade from inflicting more than a superficial cut. The assassin had no such protection; Aeneas made quick work of him.

Turning, the big man saw that one of the three at the other end was gone, probably in pursuit of Arrichion. Now armed, he faced his attackers with confidence, pulling off his cloak and wrapping it around his left arm as a defense.

The two were surprised but not cowed. They moved apart, crouching, swords held before them. Instead of backing away, Aeneas advanced toward them. He was better off facing them than trying to flee at this point.

The man on his left set his foot as if to charge. Aeneas flicked the end of his cloak like a whip. It caught the man across the face, stinging and momentarily blinding him. Aeaneas charged the other, slashing at his sword arm.

The man staggered back, a long cut in his forearm dripping blood as his sword rattled to the floor. The first man swung his own sword wildly and freed himself from Aeneas's cloak just in time to see the big officer drive the point of his sword into his chest.

It lodged there, so Aeneas picked up the other sword, dropped by the man with the cut arm; and finished him off in like manner. Those who later came to dispose of the body found that the point of the sword was sunk deeply into the hard-packed dirt floor.

The wound in his side smarted as he followed the way Arrichion had run. No sign of him. Then he caught sight of a thin stream of blood running from an alley. Oh, great gods, did they catch him? Cautiously, he investigated.

No. That's not Arrichion. Aeneas breathed a silent prayer of thanks as he left the square. Ride swftly, my friend. Ride swiftly. He headed for his house to have a surgeon attend his wound.
avatar
Kasey
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2614
Age : 25
Location : West Country, England
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile http://hs.facebook.com/profile.php?id=711615734

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Volksie on 2008-05-03, 00:35

"Come on, Adrastos," Otis hissed in my ear. "I told them you were good; all you have to do is prove it to them."

I looked around at the circle of sinister and unfamiliar faces with fear gripping my stomach. The night was very dark and the alleyway was lit by two small lamps casting flickering shadows that danced around me in mock play.

Otis' gang watched me closely, every move was monitored. "This is his party piece." Otis announced to the small gathering.

I raised the knife carefully, feeling the balance of blade and handle, in-between my fingers. The gang had given me a small target, an apple on a wall, outside of the circle of light. I could just make out its shape from where I stood. Taking a deep breath I flicked the knife straight and true. One gang member rushed around the wall and came back holding the apple, impaled with the knife.

"I told you he was good." Otis smiled.

"Can he fight?" A voice called out from the circle.

"He's had a bit of experience but not much." Otis spoke for me.

"Can he speak?" The same voice asked and the speaker stepped into the light. Arrogance seemed to enter the circle as he came. He was larger than me and better built but around about the same age as me. Too young to be here. I could tell he didn't like me.

"I can speak," I said. "And I will fight."

"Adrastos challenges Chrysander by fist-fight!" Otis called out happily. "The winner will become like a brother to me and command the respect of all present. They will become my 'Hades'," Chrysander smiled at this. That was what he wanted. Influence over this rabble. "Let's fight!" Otis called out and the gang cheered.

I was pushed into the circle again and Chrysander stood opposite me with his fists raised. The gang started cheering and I raised my fists and bent my knees slightly. Chrysander leapt forward and natural reflexes saved me from his blow. I darted out of his way and watched him as he faced me again. Slowly he edged closer until he was near enough to rush me again. I side-stepped him once more and circled away from him.
Otis' gang gave a hiss of disapproval and Otis shouted out for me to commit.

Chrysander was smiling smugly now. He could see I as afraid. I wouldn't let him win though.

Once again Chrysander edged towards me and leapt forward. I made to faint away from him again but swung my foot out at the last minute. Chrysander was caught off balance and collapsed into the dirt.
The gang started to laugh and it was my turn to smile. As Chrysander got to his feet though, he was no longer smiling. His eyes flashed hate as he wiped a trickled of blood from his cut lip.

We raised our fists and Chrysander came straight on the attack. He swung out with his right arm and I caught it on my left. He was fast and relentless and I could do nothing but block and dodge.

The gang was cheering wildly now as we danced around the firelight. It was clear to me that they favoured Chrysander and facing him was proving to be more difficult than I had thought. However, Otis seemed confident that I could beat him and, while Chrysander was stronger and larger than me, he lacked finesse and agility. He was sheer brute force.

For nearly a minute Chrysander stayed on the attack as I searched for a weakness. He found mine first though.

He had been smarter than I had thought and had been following a pattern with his punches. I had subconsciously picked up on it and when he broke it I was thrown out for a split second. It was all Chrysander had needed and his fist sunk into my stomach.

Instantly he was on to me; punching my chest and stomach before smashing me in the face. I fell to the ground dazed as he stood above me, laying punches into my face and ribs. A punch landed on my chest and there was an audible crack.

The flames danced overhead and the sounds of the gang cheering began to fade in my ears. He was going to kill me.

All it took was the thought and all my senses came back to me in a whirl of sights and sounds. Without conscious thought I heaved my legs up and Chrysander tumbled off me.

I stumbled to my feet and the gang gave a surprised cheer. Blood trickled down my face and when I tried to move my left arm there was pain in my chest where I had broken my rib.

Chrysander picked himself up from the ground and turned to look at me. He was panting and sweat ran down his face. He was frowning but after a moment he smiled and raised his fists again.

I just stood and watched him come closer. I blocked out the pain that was coursing through my body and concentrated on his movement. He thought I was finished. He believed he was coming to finish me off. I had found his weakness.

When he was only feet away he lunged for my head but I was faster than him. Using my good arm I grabbed his hand and spun him round onto his back. I fell on my knees next to him and started laying my fists into his face before he had even realised what had happened.

The gang gave a great cheer as Chrysander raised his hands in surrender and Otis called a halt. I stood up and stumbled back before someone caught me. My vision swam but I could see people attending to Chrysander. I was inches from unconsciousness but I could just make out Otis smiling and nodding at me.
At least he was happy, I thought. He was no longer the childhood friend I had known. The older brother I had never had. No more.

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


"I grew up with Otis," I told Iphitos as we wandered through the streets. "I lived on a farm and met him when I was about ten and he had just turned twenty-five. He taught me how to throw and fight but I had natural ability and quickly became better than him, especially in throwing."

"If you grew up with him and you were friends, why does he want to kill you?" Iphitos asked in confusion.

"When I was fourteen Otis left for Megara and stayed there for two years," I continued. "When I was sixteen he came back to the farm and took me to Megara with him. He told me all about a gang he had joined and eventually become the leader of after fighting the original leader. Later on I found out that he had killed him."

"That's terrible!" Iphitos exclaimed. "But why does he want to kill you?"

"Shut up and listen to the story, poet," I said quickly. "He gained power by being the most powerful. He wanted me to come and join him. Being young and weak-willed I agreed to his wishes and travelled to Megara where he initiated me into the gang and I became a sort of second-in-command. A position he gave the name of 'Hades'. After some months of being in this gang Otis made a bid for greater power and invited all of the other gang leaders to a meeting. There were eight major gangs by this time and all the leaders attended. Otis demanded they join him or be wiped out. Two gangs joined him but the rest refused. For nearly a year there was vicious backstreet warfare between Otis and the other gangs and he eventually won out. In that time Otis forced me to assassinate many of the opposing gang members and in that time we grew distant."

We rounded another corner and found ourselves in a crowded market place.
"Shall we buy some food for dinner tonight while we're here?" Iphitos asked me and I nodded without really paying attention. I was lost in the past.

"Otis controlled the city and still does," I went on. "He started to fancy himself as something akin to royalty and began to take an interest in politics. He continued to send me out assassinating people but this time they were senators and foreign diplomats. A net of spies and assassins was cast over all of Greece and Otis controls it all from behind the scenes. If you hear about an attempt on someone's life in any city or any town you can bet your life it has Otis' approval."

"There was an attempt on King Aristippos' life some years ago," Iphitos said after considering my words. "Would that have been him?"

"Without a doubt," I said. "Even personal assassins or hired cut-throats answer to Otis. When a new assassin comes on the scene they are captured by his agents and brought before him. They swear loyalty or are killed."

"That is a scary thought," Iphitos said as he examined the fruit at a nearby stall. "Why does he want to kill you though?"

"Because I confronted him. I confronted him on my twenty-first birthday when he gave me this dagger as a present," I said, pulling the dagger from under my cloak and showing it to Iphitos who eyed it with wonder. "I swore to him that the blade would never kill a human being, save one."

Where Iphitos had been regarding my story with interest and some fear before was now replaced with shock. "You told one of the most powerful men in Greece you would kill him?"

"Don't get all hypocritical on me," I said with a wry smile. "You burnt down half his house. But yes, I did tell him I would kill him one day. And I saw one thing in his eye; not a sense of betrayal or lost friendship, it was fear. He feared me in that moment and I left him, cold and alone. I spent the next few years of my life drinking and whoring in the underbelly of Megara until one of his agents came to me and told me to assassinate Lord Nicomedus of Corinth and Lord Aristoxenus of Athens."

"But when I met you you were working for Lord Aristoxenus." Iphitos said in confusion.

"Nicomedus was going to kill me and Aristoxenus offered me life in return that I work for him. I am one of the few assassins in Greece that does not answer to Otis."

"Does he know of your betrayal?"

"Without a doubt," I replied simply. "He's probably gotten someone to hunt me down and is probably sending more people after Nicomedus and Aristoxenus. Even you have probably been marked for death."
Iphitos' eyes grew wide and he dropped the fruit he had just picked up. Ignoring the cries of the fruit seller he steered me away from the crowds of people. "Otis' daughter!"

"What are you talking about?" I asked in annoyance. "Otis doesn't have a daughter. I've told you this."

"I swear he does!" Iphitos whispered forcefully. "The lady Eleni is his daughter."

"So what if she is?"

"She knows me. She's probably marked me for death for being in the service of Nicomedus." Iphitos said hurriedly.

"So what? We're all marked for death. Let's get back to Galen and figure out what we're going to do," I turned down the street and Iphitos jogged after me. "Otis is clearly not in Megara."

"How do you know that?" Iphitos asked.

"Well you managed to get in his house without being killed."

"Where has he gone?"

"I have no idea," I answered honestly. "The spider has left his web. Wherever he has gone I think we should follow."

"Ok then, Getas," Iphitos said with a nod of his head. "I have always trusted you and Galen."

"Don't call me Getas," I said. "My name is Adrastos."

Athens- 7
Argos - 10
Corinth - 6
Megara - 9
Sparta - 7
avatar
Volksie
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 2526
Age : 26
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-05-07, 04:10

Kassandra pulled her cloak closer around her body as the wind howled through the alley.Taking care to remain hidden, she scurried around the corner and into the main road.

"Not far now," she muttered to herself. Otis' house was only a few streets on, and with any luck, she could be on her way back to Sparta by morning. Otis himself will most likely not be home, because of the fire that gutted his daughter's room earlier that day. She looked over her shoulder nervously, and proceeded to scale the wall surrounding the estate. Hopefully there wouldn't be any dogs...


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


The man followed the cloaked girl discreetly. She was quite skilled, but not good enough to lose him in the alleyways of Megara. She was pretty, he admitted grudgingly, but he was the best because he saw his targets as prey, not people. Does the lion feel remorse when he tears apart a gazelle? No. He does it to quench his hunger, to fulfill his purpose in nature. In this, the man was the same.
He watched as her lithe form disappeared over the wall of Otis' estate. Off you go, little gazelle. The lion lies in wait...

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


Kassandra smiled to herself as she entered the house through the window. This was easy! The guards were woefully inept, and the one dog she encountered seemed more interested in eating its own poop than guarding against intruders. Still there was that nagging voice in the back of her head, telling her that something was amiss. Was it her skill at staying hidden that made entering the house easy, or was she let in? She berated herself under her breath as she recalled Polites' words.

"You are one of the best, Kas. Trust in your skills, they might save your life one day." She made her way deeper into the mansion. There has to be some evidence linking Otis to Artemios around here somewhere...


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


The man crossed the courtyard without much fuss. The guards wouldn't interfere with his mission, as they were warned in advance, but they were useless anyway. He entered the house in the same way as the girl, through the top floor window. He could smell her scent now, as he crept down the hallway and into the darkness. Not long now.


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


This was it! A scribbled note, containing directions to Artemios's house and a date. The date of his death! There was no indication who wrote the note, but it proved that SOMEONE in Otis' household was involved. She stuffed the note into the hidden compartment in her underwear. It would be safe there. She continued to rummage through the desk drawer for another minute. Suddenly her blood ran cold as she felt someone's breath on her neck. Her senses screamed a warning, but it was too late. A gruff hand clasped over her mouth as she opened, stifing the faint scream that formed in her throat. She felt the man's dagger plunge into her side, the cold metal piercing vital internal organs. The strength drained from her limbs as her lifeblood soaked her clothes and flowed from the corners of her mouth. The blade entered her five more times, before her body went limp, and the life passed from her eyes. The man smiled. Yet another successful hunt. Otis would be pleased.

_________________
*Burp*
avatar
RedAkbar
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 1187
Age : 34
Location : Cape Town, South Africa
Registration date : 2008-02-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-05-16, 07:53

WRITTEN BY FLAVIUS FORTIUS





Corinth. The house of Aeneas

"Captain, they're inside the gates!"

Aeneas looked up from the surgeon binding his wound. "Who?"

The guardsman stammered for a moment. "Megarans . . . They just marched in, overwhelmed the gate guards without any real fight!"

"Where's the King?"

"I do not know. I have seen no sign of His Majesty. I came here from the West Gate."

Waving away the surgeon, Aeneas sprang to his feet, totally unconscious of his nudity. His command voice reverberated through the house.

"ALL OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS, TO ME! QUICKLY!" A dozen or so soldiers and three officers hastened into the room.

"We have been invaded. The Megarans are within the gates. The bulk of our army is in the field and we have but little defense. We must act.

"You, lieutenant, take those four men and make for the Palace. If the King is there, inform him of the situation and escort His Majesty to the Acropolis. Gather as many loyal troops as you can find. Citizen-militia too, if they can arm quickly." The young officer nodded and departed with his small contingent.

"You, lieutenant, go to the barracks and alert as many as you can. Tell them to make for the Acropolis, and have them band together as best they may. Take those two with you." The trio took off at a run.

"The rest of you will come with me. Kalanassos, bring my armour and shield!" The slave scurried to obey and the captain was soon dressed and fully armed.

The small troop moved swiftly through the streets. On the way, they encountered the officer Aeneas had sent to the palace, now trailed by about twenty guardsmen.

"The King is already at the Acropolis, Captain. Word got to him as soon as the first Megarans entered the city." Aeneas nodded grimly as the combined body continued on.

Turning a corner, they ran smack into a band of Megarans apparently with the same goal as themselves but with a different purpose. Neither band was in tight formation so the usual hoplite tactics did not come into play. It was more like a barbarian skirmish, with the soldiers engaging in mostly single combats. Aeneas himself spitted two on his spear and sliced another with his sword. His example heartened his troops and dismayed the invaders, who retreated in the direction whence they came.

"Do not pursue!" Aeneas barked. "On to the Acropolis!" The discipline of the Guardsmen held, and they resumed their progress, smarting at having to leave a battle unfinished.

Aeneas took grim pleasure in seeing that the road leading up to the High City was barricaded and guarded, mostly by members of the Guards and Sentries. Their leader recognized Aeneas and ordered the makeshift gate opened to admit him and his men.

"Have any more come up here of late?"

"Aye, Captain. A band of some thirty came from the Barracks with an officer who said he was under your orders."

"The King?"

"His Majesty is in the Temple of Ares, though he might be more at home in the Temple of Diony-"

"No more of that!" We are at war; disloyal words have no place in the mouth of a soldier!"

"Aye, Captain."

"Reclose the gates. Others may come to join us. Listen carefully to their speech. Megarans have a different way of speaking . . . their Greek is . . . foreign somehow."

"You, lieutenant," this to the one that had accompanied him, "See to the ordering of the guards here. We must be ready to hold this road for some time, if they choose to attack us here. Thank the Gods there is only this one road."

Once inside, Aeneas took stock of his command. Thirty-four Guardsmen and fifty-two Sentries, backed by about a hundred citizen-militia. Not very much to hold against a determined assault, if the Megarans decided to force the matter. The priests and acolytes of the temples could offer little aid, save in the Temple of Ares whose acolytes were trained as soldiers and whose priests were trained as officers. There was very little food, though plenty of water. They could stay there without discomfort for perhaps a week.

Hermes, make his and his horse's feet swift, Aeneas prayed. And then reflecting where he was, he went to the Temple of Hermes and made a sacrifice of olive oil.
avatar
Kasey
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2614
Age : 25
Location : West Country, England
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile http://hs.facebook.com/profile.php?id=711615734

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Seleukos of Olympia on 2008-05-16, 15:19

"I suppose your name isn't Galen either, is it?"

Galen looked up to me from his private conversation with Getas - or rather Adrastos.

"No. It's Galen", he replied nonchalantly.

"Oh. Because I assumed, what with all this spy stuff suddenly revealed to me, that you would also have an alias or two."

"No. Just Galen."

So Galen it was, and Galen didn't want me to be part of his secretive plotting session with Adrastos. That was fine! I had shopping to do anyway. I grumbled this under my breath as I slipped out of the house.

I was still grumbling silently as I picked vegetables from the shop. Sure, I was important enough to be marked for death by Otis the spymaster of Greece, but not important enough to hear Galen's great secrets! Hm. The spinach was getting more expensive...

"And the onions too!"

I heard a familiar shrill voice exclaiming on my side. Two more voices joined it in indignant affirmation.

"This war will be the ruin of us all, with these prices! I was telling so to Byzas - just last night - and he said 'the feast of victory is the sweetest'! Like he can fill his stomach with the thoughts of victory! I'm telling you, he has no practical mind, never has!"

I smirked listening to the same old complaints of the gossipy local housewives. Another day I may have listened on in amusement, but now I was too caught up in my own pressing problems to be in the mood. I moved to pay the shop owner, when I heard them lowering their voices and bringing up something I could not ignore.

"So, Chrysa has news about Otis' house."

I waved to the owner to wait, while I moved to inspect a carrot close to where the gossipy trio was talking.

"You know how she's been on the lookout after the fire? On that night she was sure she could hear someone running away from Otis' house just before she heard the slaves cry 'fire', but she didn't have time to see anything. Well, last night she saw two people climbing into the house through a window. She waited all night but she never saw anyone climb down the same way. Her husband was furious, you know how he gets, telling her to go back to bed and stop spying on the neighbours, they had a big fight that night! Well, anyway, two people through the window, just one night after the house was set on fire. I mean, how could she not stare out her window? If Byzas raised his voice at me on such an occasion I'd make 'victory' the last thing on his mind!"

After that they started discussing in detail the status of Chrysa's marriage and I left the shop. This could be important. I'd have to tell Adrastos. And Galen too.

_________________
'Tis better to admin in the Defenestrated than serve in the .commie
- John Milton, before being defenestrated
avatar
Seleukos of Olympia
Admin _- Beard-at-arms
Admin _-  Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2964
Age : 37
Location : Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-05-17, 04:03

Narcissus stared moodily up at the acropolis. He had mucked up. The King was alive, Nicodemus' dog was alive, and half the bloody Royal Guard was alive as well. To add insult to injury he hadn't managed to capture the acropolis either. Zeus! He didn't know who it was that had ordered him here, but he knew that it had to be someone very influential. At first he had been honoured that he was picked for such a task, to take Corinth! But now he knew why he had been picked, it was a difficult task, and by picking an inexperienced young Lord like himself, and no one would care if he were disgraced by its failure.


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

I strode into the tent.

"Greetings Lord Hecateaus. I trust you are well"

He looked at me with anger, "How dare you do this to me! I am a Noble Merchant! I will not tolerate this…. incarceration" with the final word he gave a tug on the chair, but his hands were securely fastened behind his back with rope. He couldn't escape.

"You think your treatment unjust?" I asked civilly, "Well then complain to the King about it. Oh wait. HE IS TRAPPED IN THE CITADEL BECAUSE OF YOUR BETRAYAL!!! You are a traitor! You are scum! You will die writhing on the floor, pleading for death! I feel sick even looking at you!" My tone softened, "Or you could tell me who the whelp gets his orders from. Who tells Narcissus his orders? Who sent him?"

"I don't know. Honestly" the fear was there in his eyes, but there was no truthfulness there, just deceit.

"So you agreed to sell Corinth to an unknown Megaran? Don't expect me to believe you."

"I won't tell you." He said defiantly. "I won't tell you anything else"

"Fine. We'll do this my way. Arrichion!"

"My Lords" Arrichion said slyly as he came in.

"You may begin, my friend"

Arrichion smiled, and pulled a wooden club from his knapsack. Hecateaus was starting at him in horror. Too late for him now, I thought grimly. He should have talked earlier. Arrichion rammed the club into the merchant's belly, forcing all the air from his lungs. Hecateaus gasped and moaned, Arrichion brought the club down over the merchant's head, forcing his chin into his chest. He then slammed it into his face, breaking his nose. I signalled that that was enough to Arrichion. He stepped back, revealing Hecataeus' battered and bloody face.

"Now will you tell me who you dealt with?"

He spat a mixture of blood, saliva and broken teeth onto the floor, "I'll tell you nothing" he slurred

"It really is a shame I have to do this to you, Hecataeus. I always thought you a coward. But you are proving that there is steel in you. Oh well. The thumbscrew if you please Arrichion. Start on his left."

"ARGHHH!!!! NO NO!!! STOP, STOP!!!"

You could hear Hecateaus' screams from the other side of our newly erected camp. I daresay you could hear it on the city walls. I hoped so, I hoped that whelp Narcissus could hear his traitor's agony, and hear his own fate in the man's screams.

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

"You are ready to talk?"

He nodded, and I studied him. His nose was a mashed pulp. Blood, spit and snot dribbled down his face. One of his eyes was closed with swelling. All the fingers on his left hand were mangled, his hand hung limp, the wrist broken. He winced every time he breathed, broken ribs I mused.

"So, who was it? Who approached you?"

"His name is..." he paused shutting his good eye tight closed with pain, "ahhh" he whimpered, "He is Otis. I know no more than that."

Otis. Sweet Zeus. It was he. The shadow in the corner. The monster in the closet. The sponsor of all Hellas' assassins. As powerful as a King, he ruled the underworld. It seemed that I had made a powerful enemy.

"You met him?"

"No. He would not be seen with me, he wouldn't even let me go to Megara. No-one was to know we were in alliance. He will kill me for telling you this."

"I will save him the trouble" And with that I drew my sword and stabbed him in his already wounded belly. He gasped with the pain. He tried to stem the flow of blood with his right hand, whilst his left still hung limply from his side. Grabbing his head I raked my sword across his throat, ending his suffering. His head lolled as blood spilled from the deep cut. He was dead. I looked at the man who I had thought my adversary, but he was not that. He was merely a puppet, dancing on Otis' string. There was still one more puppet who needed his strings cut in that city. But to cut those strings I needed whoever was left in the acropolis, and to talk to them I needed a distraction. Realization dawned; even in death Hecateaus could be useful. I called for a horse, and with the help of Arrichion and some quizzical bodyguards managed to get the merchant tied onto it. Now I found myself a messenger, to talk to whoever was in the citadel.

"Tell them that at midnight tomorrow some of them must try and slip out of the acropolis, and attempt to slip out of the acropolis and open the main gates, my men will be ready. When we are all in the city tell them I will have a horn blown. That will be their signal to sally forth, we will out number them then, and there will be a great slaughter. If they are caught trying to slip through the city, then the garrison of the acropolis will have to come down and try to drive their way to the gate. Got that? Good, may you travel with the speed of Hermes."

Now along with some bodyguards I rode up to the gates of Corinth under a flag of truce.

"The Lord Hecateaus" I called out, "Would join you"

Slowly the gates swung open. I slapped the dead man's horse and it trotted into the city, I heard shouts of horror from the awaiting men as they saw him.

"I think we should go," I said to my companions, and so we cantered off back to our camp, and I prayed that my distraction would work, and that the acropolis would get my message.

Corinth +1
Megara-1

Athens- 7
Argos - 10
Corinth - 7
Megara - 8
Sparta - 8
avatar
Kasey
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2614
Age : 25
Location : West Country, England
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile http://hs.facebook.com/profile.php?id=711615734

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Strohble on 2008-05-17, 07:38

Aiolos and I set our horses to a canter after a hard ride through the Athenian country. Steam blows from the horses nostrils in the cold air, the day is clear and crisp as we head back to the city. Another rider lags behind us, his head j e r k s up occasionally to ward off sleep, he is dirty and exhausted but has reached his general in the scantest of days.
I mull over the message from the King as I hand the parchment to Aiolos, wondering just what exactly is going on in Argos. I recount the scribbled lines again,
"General Thanatos, it pleases me greatly that you live and still seek the destruction of our foes at any cost. The gods have been whispering to me that our salvation will come from within our own people. Trust not the Athenians. Where were THEY when Argos burned? Trust not the Corinthians. They too were nowhere to be found at our most dire moment. Our so called allies are illicite in their actions and seek to use Argos as a stepping stone only to further their own cause. I hold council with the gods in my dreams. What better advisors than Ares and Zeus to lead Argos to new greatness? Yes. You shall have your army. At any cost you shall. Gather your men, leave immediately, tell no one, trust no one, remain steadfast, your King awaits your return."

"He's mad." says Aiolos, handing back the scroll.

"Aye. But he is still my King and he has an army." I reply.

"He trusts no one. How can you be sure he will trust you?"

I think for a moment before my answer. "A mad King is the least of my worries. At least he still thinks of Argos for the time being and is forming a new army. I did not reach my position by being pleasant and kowtowing to the whims of others, by deception and lies such as a common politician." I spit into the dirt. "The King takes direction from no one but himself at the moment. When we reach Argos I will have the chance to evaluate his faculties firsthand. Once I assume command of a new army and loyalties are established," I pull back on the reins and look directly at Aiolos, " the King might need a more substantial, more forceful form of direction than his dreams."

Realization dawns upon the face of my second, "You would go so far?" Aiolos asks.

"I would go further to insure the security and prosperity of Argos. Our city has been to the brink of destruction by the hands of the Spartans and our King holds much of the blame, that will not happen again. The fault does not lie only at his feet however. The pretty men that flock around him, fellatoring politicians with only self interest in their rodent sized brains, they have much to answer for as well."

A somber look from Aiolos, "I am with you until the end my Lord General."

A smile enters my face. "That is one thing I never doubted my friend."

The walls of Athens loom in the near distance as the sun shines directly upon the Argive encampment. "Have the men break camp and ready to journey at dawn." I say to Aiolos.

"Shall I send a messenger to inform the Athenians?" he asks.

"No. We've been ignored for too long, they'll figure it out."
avatar
Strohble
Admin - Beard-at-arms
Admin  -  Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2123
Age : 92
Location : Kahleeforneeuh
Registration date : 2008-02-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Volksie on 2008-05-20, 04:43

"My Lord Dragos."

Dragos of Sparta had been staring out of the window over Sparta but at the sound of the voice he spun around with knife drawn.

"Put that down, you silly little man," Lady Eleni smiled and walked out of the shadows of the room.

"My good lady," Dragos said with surprise and put the knife down. "What are you doing here? How did you get in?"

Lady Eleni strolled over to Dragos casually and looked up at his weathered and rugged face. Barely inches apart he swallowed visibly and shifted his weight uncomfortably. "I am here to see you, obviously, and how i got in is of no concern to you."

"It has been some time now since i saw you last," Dragos said, tearing his eyes from hers and trying to look casually over her shoulder. "Many things have happened since then, for one, i am married now."

Lady Eleni laughed and placed a hand on Dragos' shoulder. "I know you desire me," she whispered in his ear. "But that's not why i am here... unfortunately. I come on business."

"What business do you do?" Dragos stuttered and stepped away from Eleni.

"You have given instructions to an agent of yours. Instructions to find the murderer of Artemios of Athens."

"He was an old friend," Dragos said simply.

"Stop. Call your agent, Polites, to stop the hunt. One of his agents already lies dead," Lady Eleni said seriously as she sat back lazily on a nearby couch. Dragos remained standing. "Artemios' death was steeped in great political implications and further investigation will only result in more death."

"So you're saying i should just forget about his death?" Dragos said angrily.

"Yes."

"Do you know who did it?" he asked, more desperate than angry.

"Yes, i do," Lady Eleni said, looking out of the window over her shoulder in boredom.

"Will you tell me?" Dragos asked, falling to the floor in front of Eleni.

"Perhaps," Lady Eleni said slowly. "If i find myself... in the right mood."

"What is the right mood, good lady?" Dragos asked, taking Eleni's hand in his as he did so.

"Well only you can put me in the right mood." Eleni hinted slyly. It took some moments for what she implied to become aparent to Dragos, at which point Lydia walked in, merrily calling out Dragos' name. When she saw Lady Eleni lying back languidly with Dragos on his knees in front of her she stopped in her tracks. Dragos jumped to his feet and there was a long pause in which nothing was said.

"Lydia...," Dragos said after a moment but Lydia turned and walked out of the room. "Lydia!" Dragos was about to chase after her when Eleni rose slowly and called his name.

"Next time, good king," Eleni said with a small smile. "Until then, you tell Polites he is treading dangerous ground going behind our backs. That is all you need tell him. He will understand," Eleni watched the distraut king for some moments. "Go on, chase your painted doll."

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

"Let's go," I said after nearly an hour's consultation with Galen. It had become dark and we needed to move quikly.

"What's the plan?" Iphitos asked as we threw on cloaks and gathered our meagre belongings.

"We're going down to Otis' mansion, which we know he is currently away from. One of us will break in and look for a lead as to where he has gone. If all goes to plan, we leave the city before morning." I told him hurriedly and we made for the door.

The moon was high and cast pale light over the streets of Megara. We kept to the shadows from the surrounding houses and stopped every few minutes to make sure we had not been seen. Soon we were in the shadows of a house opposite Otis' wall. A cold wind blew and i wrapped my cloak around me tighter.

We watched the house and surrounding streets for signs of movement for nearly a half hour.

"It looks clear...," Galen began as he took a step forward but i pulled him back and told him to remain silent. I thought i had heard something on the otherside of the wall.

Sure enough, only seconds later, an almost inhuman figure lumbered out of the front gate. It took some time for my eyes to adjust before i realised it was a man carrying the body of another person. The three of us watched the man move down the street, who was nearly out of sight round a corner, when another figure came out of the gate. This figure was small and quite obviously a woman. She looked around the street quickly, but failed to see us in the shadows, before she started to follow the other man.

When she was out of earshot i turned to the others who eyed me with confusion. "Change of plan,' I said, and made after the shadowy figures of Otis' household.

For what seemed like hours we crept through the streets after the woman. She was obviously not trained in the arts of deception; we had no trouble following her. The only reason the man in front of her didn't seem to notice his follower was the body he carried on his back and the effort spent in carrying it.

The woman disappeared around a corner into a backstreet and the three of us hurried to catch up, so as not to lose sight of our quarry. I turned the corner and tumbled to the ground. A small squeak came from the woman as i tripped over her. She had been crouched on the ground but had obviously not expected me to come around the corner.

Galen jumped round the corner and grabbed the woman by her hair. Iphitos came after him and stood and watched. I lay on the ground in confusion. The events had unfolded in a bizarre fashion and i tried to take stock of the scene.

Galen was holding the woman's hair tightly in his fist and she appeared to be sobbing and was plainly terrified. In front of her was the body of another woman; the body the man had been carrying. The man himself was nowhere to be seen.

"Let her go, Galen," I said and her head bobbed down as he let go. "What's your name?" I asked her as kindly as i could. She didn't appear to be threatening and found our appearence frightening.

"My name is Myrto," the woman sobbed. "I work in the household of Otis. Please don't hurt me."

"Don't be afraid, Myrto," I said and helped her to her feet. Her eyes stayed downcast and a shiver ran through her body. I took off my coat and wrapped it round her shoulders. "We don't want to hurt you."

Myrto looked up at my face and her sobbing subsided for a moment. "I will be punished for coming here."

"By who?" I asked.

"Otis. I am his slave."

"Then don't go back," I said. Galen and Iphitos looked surprised behind her back and the words surprised me too. "Come with us."

"Who are you?" She asked.

"This is Iphitos the Poet and Galen of Athens," I gestured behind her but she did not turn away from me. I found her gaze unsettling. "My name is Adrastos."

"I have heard your name," Myrto said and wiped her tears from her cheeks. "They speak of you in the house."

"I'm not surprised," I said softly. "We have sworn to bring your master to his knees. Come with us. Tell us what you have heard in his household and we will protect you. You will be free."

Myrto looked into my eyes and i saw hope flare in them for a moment. "Free?" she muttered, as if the word had never passed her lips or crossed her mind. "I will come with you," she said at last.

"Good," I said with a sigh of relief. We were making headway. "Now who is she?" I asked and pointed to the dead woman. Myrto looked down at the body and she flung herself into my arms, her sobs returning instantly. I was surprised for a moment before i put my arms around her in an awkward hug. I could feel her tears making a wet patch on my chest.

"I don't know who she is," Myrto sobbed into my chest and i strained to make the words out through the cloth. "She broke in and that man came in after her and stabbed her. It was night but i saw it all because i couldn't sleep."

Iphitos and Galen watched me awkwardly as i patted her on the back and whispered that she would be alright and that she was safe now.

"Before she was stabbed she took some of my mistress' papers from her desk," Myrto said eventually, the sobs finally subsiding. "I came to find them," Myrto said and handed me a scrunched up piece of parchment.

I took the parchment from her and read it qith growing surprise. I detached Myrto from around me and showed the paper to Galen and Iphitos. They read it and looked at me with a mixture of concern and some excitment.

"Come on, Myrto," I said, taking Myrto by the arm and leading her down the street with Iphitos and Galen. "We're going to Athens as quickly as possible."

Megara -1 (hasty attempt to destroy evidence has failed)

Athens- 7
Argos - 10
Corinth - 7
Megara - 7
Sparta - 8
avatar
Volksie
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 2526
Age : 26
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Tombles on 2008-05-20, 15:12

It was bitterly cold in the council chambers that morning, and a grim sense of foreboding hung around our shoulders. The messenger from Nicomedus had brought terrible news, that left us all deeply shaken. For the first time since my return to Athens and my discovery of the murder of Artemios, I had heard news dangerous enough to briefly lift my thoughts from my friend. If Megara held Corinth, we were stripped of our greatest ally. Nicomedus' army could not possibly last a winter in the field, and once they were dead, Argos and Athens would be completely separated. Argos would fall to the Spartans and the Megarans, and then we would be alone against the armies of our foes. The powers to the North remained silent and unmoving to aid either side in our conflict. We all realised this. But at the same time, what could we possibly do to stop this?

Gennadas, an aggresive statesman with little military knowledge, was in mid-speech. "... and so I tell you this, noble members of our great council. We must send an army out at once! Cut the Megarans down where they stand! The might of the Athenian army will crush the Megaran soldiers like grapes in a winepress. And from there, we march on Megara itself, and burn it to the ground! Proud Strategoi, you must see this is the only way."

Cleitos glanced at the rest of us, before rising to his feet wearily to repeat the same message that we had spoken countless times already today. "Gennadas, maybe you could shut up and listen rather than spitting out the same rubbish that we've been saying for the last two hours? We can't march on Corinth, not now. Our food supplies are enough to support us through the winter, even through a siege- but any army we sent out would starve to death before they even came within sight of Corinth's walls. No army can march in winter, after a bad harvest- it's stupid to even try. Besides, Nicomedus in his great wisdom has said a siege would 'cause the Corinthian people to curse us', and so would not allow us to try even if we wanted to." Cleitos' voice boomed out across the room, echoing off the stone pillars, floor and ceiling. His eyes flashed with frustration as he sat back down.

The debating went back and forth for another hour before all the politicians were finally convinced that we could not march out. Finally, Tamaeros gave a halting and shaky speech about marching to Corinth's aid that was so ridiculous even the most stubborn politicians could see that the plan was flawed, and accepted that we could not march out. And so we left, another council meeting wasted. It all seemed so pointless now, a political system that dragged back and forth without ever coming to any serious conclusion. To think that not long ago I had admired it, that I had seen the council of Athens as the epitome of all governments, the forefront of justice and reform anywhere. But so much had happened since then...

I took the long, winding road back to Artemios' villa. It had been generally accepted that he would have wanted me to have it, now that he was dead, and so I took ownership of it grudgingly. I could not bear to sell it, despite hundreds of greedy landowners offering me great sums of money. And so I had left it, a great marble edifice to my friend. But now something drew me back, a yearning to see the house I had known so well once more.

I sat now in the cold, under the same porch where we had been the last time I ever saw Artemios alive, sipping wine from a glass just as I had done that hot summer's day. Back then I had been ready to face the world, a youthful general soon to lead an army to victory against the Spartans themselves. How times had changed. I lifted the glass to my lips once more, only to realise I had drained its contents. I shouted out for a servant to refill my glass. No reply. I shouted again. Still, silence. It suddenly hit me. For a second, I had felt like I was back in that Summer, with Artemios still alive, and servants buzzing around the house waiting on our every need. But of course, now the house was empty, save for me. I shook myself, and slowly walked down to the cellar myself.

Artemios' cellars were vast, and still filled with a multitude of foods, olive oil and wine. Salted meats and fish lined the far wall, preserved to last through the cold winter months. The shelves of bread, ready to be sold at the agora, were still packed full, though their contents were now stale and moulding. I propped the door open, remembering the times when I had locked myself in by accident as a child, and walked on, past the myriad of rows of shelves. I reached the wines, and turned left. Here, I knew, the best wines were kept, the ones that Artemios had saved for himself and his guests. I stepped on a pile of sacks, and reached for the upper shelf…

Suddenly, I heard a yelp underneath me. Something squirmed under my foot, and I fell backwards onto the stone floor. Warily, I looked up at the pile of sacks. It was whimpering. I picked myself up off the floor, ignoring my aching rear, and threw the sacks aside. There, lying at the ground and staring up at me in terror, was a girl. She looked about 19, maybe 20. Her hair was greasy and matted, and it fell in dark ringlets over her shoulders. Her face was dirty and there were dark rings around her huge green eyes.

"How did you get in here?!" I demanded. The girl continued her whimpering, but didn't talk. Tears began to tumble down her cheeks, leaving wet trails through the dirt.

I peered closer. There was something about those eyes… I was sure I had seen them somewhere before. I squatted down next to her and said quietly, "Tell me, do you know who I am?" She shook her head nervously. I continued. "My name is Aristoxenus. I am- was- a friend of the lord Artemios." At the sound of his name, she stared down at the ground and the tears quickened. It suddenly hit me where I'd seen her before. "You were a servant of him, were you not?" I asked gently. She nodded, not lifting her gaze from the floor for a second. "Were you here when he was… when he died?" She nodded again. A wave of grim excitement hit me. Everyone had thought all the servants were dead, killed by the assassins. But one of them still lived… and if I could get her to talk, she might reveal a mine of information.

I calmed her down a little before continuing with my questions, but her answers were still all in nods or shaking her head. No, she wasn't mute. Yes, she had been down here since Artemios was killed. At this point she stopped listening entirely, and began to sob uncontrollably. I realised I couldn't talk to her in this state. She was delirious. But neither could I just leave and forget her. She was probably my only chance of finding Artemios' killer. And so I needed to somehow get her to relax. And the first step would be getting her cleaned up.

It took me a long time, but I eventually convinced her to come out of the cellars and accompany me to my house. Once out in the open, she stopped crying, but the fear she had shown when I stumbled upon her now seemed transformed into paranoia. She refused to walk through the crowded agora, but instead we had to take the slow route through the narrow side streets. Her walking was shaky and slow, and several times she stumbled on the paved floor. Eventually she fell to the ground and lay there, trembling, until I picked her up and carried her the rest of the way.

I left instructions with my servants to have her bathed and dressed in fresh clothes, and for her to be treated as an honoured guest until she began to speak again. I sat out in the courtyard for hours, waiting, mulling over my discovery. What if I could get her to speak, and she had seen the killers? Even if she had seen them, would that help me in any way? A description from a hysterical servant girl wouldn't be the best thing for identifying a murderer. But still, there was the hope.

It was almost nightfall when she finally returned, washed from the mass of dirt and tears that had coated her face when I found her and dressed in what must have been spare servant's clothes. Her eyes were still red and swollen. She stood nervously at the opposite end of the table, as Kilissa, a woman who had long been a servant in my house, walked over to me, and whispered in my ear,

"She's talking, sir, like you asked. But she's a bit- weird, like. I think she's a madwoman, if you want my opinion. Not that my opinion matters of course. But she keeps babbling on about-" I cut her off.

"That will be enough, thank you Kilissa. How about you get yourself some food, I'm sure you can't have eaten for a while." I tried not to let my excitement show through. The girl was talking. That was good.

Kilissa gave a curt nod, and walked off. I could tell she disapproved. Ah, Kilissa. She was a true old-fashioned Athenian, with a jaw like an excited seagull- always flapping away. She'd served my father when I was a child, and nursed me when I was little. She was a faithful friend in her own way, although she made it very obvious that she disliked what I had heard her call my 'scandalous modern approach to life'.

My thoughts turned back to the girl standing in front of me, still trembling slightly. I motioned to the chair next to her.

"Sit down", I said. She gratefully took the chair and sat. "So, what's your name?"

"L…Lyra, my lord" She stammered.

"Lyra." I repeated the name slowly. "I assume you know why I want to talk to you, Lyra?" She gulped and nodded. "Good. I know this might be painful, but I need you to walk me through what happened that night."

She looked down at the table. "It was early in the m… morning, and we were all asl… asleep. But Pyrrha woke us up, and she was s… scared, and then she went to the door, and-" the tears began to roll down her face again, "There was a m…m… there was a man standing in the doorw…way, and he had a knife…"
Her voice trailed off. It was obvious what must have happened next. There was no way I could make Lyra talk about the killings themselves. I wasn't that cruel.

"Tell me, Lyra, can you describe this man?" I asked. It was a long shot, but I might as well try.

She nodded. "He was t… tall, with brown hair and a b… black hood" She looked up at me through the tears, and I faked a smile. That could be any man amongst thousands in Greece- it wasn't good enough.

"Would you recognise him if you saw him again?" I asked. She nodded. "Did the man talk? What did he say?"

"He said something. I don't remember the words. He… he sounded Megaran."

She talked for a little while longer, of how she had managed to bolt out of the room in the confusion, how she had locked herself into the cellars without any way out. Eventually I stopped her, and ordered the servants to find her a place to sleep for the night. Finally, I had information I could work on.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Gentlemen, diplomats, strategoi, I address you now at a time of need for our city, a time of strife and great suffering." It was the next morning, and Harpalos was giving his usual demagoguery that would, of course, precede a long and tiring speech. "Our ally, Argos, has deserted us, her troops disappearing from our city like a morning mist under the sun. Our only other ally, Corinth, is in enemy hands. Our most excellent strategoi" Harpalos spat the words with venom "have informed us that we cannot march to their aid. Now-"

I shot to my feet and stated loudly, "I disagree."

The silence that fell upon the council echoed about the room. I saw the confusion ripple across the assembled men.

"Aristoxenus…" Cleitos began, but I ignored him.

"Corinth has aided us in every danger we have faced since the beginning of this war. Should we abandon them now? No. Yes, fighting Megara will be difficult in this winter. But it isn't impossible. A small army could live off the land, make it to Corinth, disrupt the Megaran forces. We have no other choice…"

"ARISTOXENUS!!!" Tamaeros had risen to his feet, and with a commanding shout silenced me. "This matter was put to a vote, and closed, yesterday. You yourself voted against an offensive."

"Maybe we were wrong."

"The council is never wrong. And you cannot change its decision. Do not make a fool of yourself, my friend." Tamaeros' face was a picture of heartfelt pleading. I knew he believed in the infallibility and incorruptibility of the council, and that he truly cared that I saved face in front of the council. But I did not care.

"I go to Corinth."

Tamaeros sighed. "Then I am afraid that you must do it without the aid or the consent of Athens. Should you make this choice, the council will have no alternative but to strip you of your rank until your return and redemption."

"So be it." I said. And with that, I stormed out of the hall.


Athens -1
Megara -1

Athens- 6
Argos - 10
Corinth - 7
Megara - 6
Sparta - 8
avatar
Tombles
Beardknight
Beardknight

Number of posts : 2987
Age : 26
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-05-21, 00:42

"POLITES!" I yelled from inside my study. "Get in here!" I was startled when he replied from inside the room.
"I am already inside, my King. How can I be of assistance?"
"What the... how long have you been in this room?" I asked apprehensively. Still upset because of the day's happenings, I had indulged in an act of self-love, and the thought that Polites might have seen me was mortifying. He coughed politely.
"Unfortunately, I saw you pet the one-eyed dolphin, my King." I turned bright red. "However, you called me here for a reason. How can I be of assistance?"

"I did something stupid. See, that Megaran woman, Eleni, seduced me into performing certain ...acts, acts that Lydia walked in on. As you can see by my swollen cheek and split lip, she was not happy." I winced. Damn, that girl can punch!
"What Megaran woman?!" Polites seemed alarmed. "How long ago was this?" He made for the door, but I called him back.
"Sit down, you dolt. She's long gone. Still... its amazing that she slipped past your agents." For the first time since I met him, Polites was visibly angry.
"I apologise for my failure, my King. Those responsible will be punished-"
I shook my head.
"Don't bother. She's in a different league, that woman. Oh, she said to tell you you're treading dangerous ground, going behind their backs. Apparently, one of your agents is dead already."

For the second time in as many minutes, Polites was surprised. But there was something more, like a profound sadness that clouded his features.
"Kassandra... no..." He composed himself. "I was not aware of my agent's death. That means, my King, that she had something to do with it. And the fact that she came here to threaten me, proves it. King Dragos... we have found the killers of Artemios. Or rather, they have found us." I nodded, a frown forming on my brow.
"I surmised as much. This is not good, Polites. We seem to have allied ourselves with a nest of serpents," I said as I felt the anger welling up inside me, "and I do not like it at all. For all I know, the assassin that killed King Helikaon was also from Megara." A terrible realisation dawned on me. If that assassin was from Megara, that would mean that it wasn't neccesarily Aristoxenus that ordered his death. Which, in turn would mean that the massacre of Argos was for the wrong reasons! Gods, I may have burned all those people for nothing! No. No, it must have been Aristoxenus who gave the order. It MUST have been him. Surely? It was then that I felt a familiar presence inside my head.
"Polites... run," I managed to stammer before the darkness took hold of me once again. The world turned black...


Later...


When I came to, I was still in my study. Ruined books and furniture lay strewn about the room, torn apart by my madness. It was back. I shook my head, hoping to clear the ringing out of my ears. Using the remnants of my desk to hoist myself to my feet, I staggered out of what was once my study, and into the hallway. I had a plan to deal with Megara, but first, I needed to find my wife. I'll be damned if I let that snake of a woman come between me and Lydia.

On my way to our suite, I came across a shaken Polites in the hallway. He was slumped against the wall, sporting a large bruise on his cheekbone. I sat down next to him.
"Did I punch you?"
"No, but you threw me with a chair." He looked at me with a wry smile. "Now I see why the servants think you're crazy. My King," he added quickly.
"Sorry about that, Polites. It's been quite a long time since my last fit." I sighed. "Today was not a good day." He nodded in agreement, as I got to my feet. "When you're done here, go get Dromichetes and meet me in the war room in one hour. I've got an idea, that doesn't need to involve the rest of the council." With that, I headed to my bedroom.

Sparta +1
Megara -1

Athens- 6
Argos - 10
Corinth - 7
Megara - 5
Sparta - 9

_________________
*Burp*
avatar
RedAkbar
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 1187
Age : 34
Location : Cape Town, South Africa
Registration date : 2008-02-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by RedAkbar on 2008-05-21, 00:43

Now my left cheek aches too. I should never have taught her to hit like a guy. And that move with the broom? Where the hell did she learn that? There was a massive bump on my shin where the wood struck. I sighed. How dignified must I have looked, the King of Sparta, dressed only in a loincloth, being chased down the halls by a scantily-clad woman wielding a broken broom.

How was I to know she would react that way? When I got to our room, she was already asleep. So I took off my clothes, and got into bed next to her. But then... mistake! I tried to spoon with her. All of a sudden I took an elbow in the stomach, followed by a vicious right hook. And then, she had a broom in her hands. Note to self: never attempt to reason with an angry woman packing heat. It hurts.

So here I am in the war room, shin aching, out of breath and sporting a nice black eye.
Dromichetes was looking at me with arched eyebrows, but to his credit, he kept his mouth shut. Polites stood, and spoke.
"King Dragos, I have verified the fact that my agent was killed in action last night. She was murdered while inside the estate of Otis, the man suspected of being the Master of Assassins in Megara. I am also quite sure that his daughter, Eleni, is very dangerous," he glanced at my bruised face, "as I am sure my King is aware." He paused briefly, before continuing, eyes downcast: "None of my agents saw here come or go. This is a failure on my part, one for which I am prepared to face punishment." I looked at him sharply.
"Polites, as I said before, you are not to blame. That woman is something else. For all her beauty, she is able to blend in seamlessly with her surroundings. But next time, be ready." I stood. "What is the situation in Corinth? Does Megaran forces still control the city?"

"Yes, but not completely. The Acropolis is still in Corinthian hands, and Nicodemus is outside the city gates. He cannot stay there for long, however. 'Tis a harsh winter."
I remained silent for a while. What I was about to do could spell disaster for Sparta, but if done right...
"Dromichetes. Pick 300 men, and get them ready for travel. You will travel to Corinth, and assist the royalist forces against the Megarans." Both men's jaws dropped as they tried to comprehend my radical orders. I continued:"It is imperative, however that you are not identified as Spartans. Wear nondescript armour, no crests or emblems. Give this to Nicodemus," I said as I handed him a scroll. "It is a letter detailing my concerns about Megara, and a proposal for a secret alliance against them. Even if he refuses this, you are still to assist him in the capture of the city." He nodded, but I could see the doubt in his eyes. Not that I could blame him. This was possibly the craziest thing I had done since ascending the throne, unless you count going down on that Megaran chick.

"Polites. Find me someone sensible in Argos. Those people all hate my guts, but surely theres a commander somewhere with some brains in his head. I want to send food and monetary aid, but I want to make sure it reaches the commoners, not the mercenaries." He nodded. "Your second task might be even harder. I want you to send people to Athens to find Aristoxenus. Tell him I know who killed Artemios, and that I'm willing to meet face to face in a location of his choosing. Tell him... tell him I'm sorry for his loss." Both of them stood.
"Now go. And remember: not a word of this to anyone." They left in a hurry, leaving me behind to ponder the choices I made on this fateful day.

_________________
*Burp*
avatar
RedAkbar
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 1187
Age : 34
Location : Cape Town, South Africa
Registration date : 2008-02-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Volksie on 2008-05-22, 00:42

Our strange band darted through the shadows away from the walls of Megara. As we left i felt a strange feeling, an apprehension, leave me. Ever since i first entered the city as a boy, just come of age, i had felt it constricting. Perhaps i wasn't meant to be in a city. I should have returned home.

We had slipped through the gates without alarm. Two guards would have headaches in the morning but we had gone undiscovered. For a moment i had thought Myrto would make a noise as Galen and I dispatched the guards but i was wrong. Instead Iphitos did it for her.

After a quick sprint we reached a clump of trees and stopped to catch our breath. Myrto had gathered herself since our meeting in the streets and was now warming up to me. She still seemed a bit reluctant to talk to Galen or Iphitos but had stopped jumping in fear whenever they spoke. I couldn't understand why she felt safe with me but i was sure she would warm up to them too. I looked across at where she leant against a tree, holding her side from a stitch and smiling slightly.

"Are you having fun, Myrto?" I asked.

"Just a little bit, Adrastos," she said with a blush.

"How come she is allowed to know your name?" Iphitos sulked from where he was slumped against another tree.

"Come on," I said, pulling him to his feet without answering his question. "Don't worry, Iphitos. I'll always come to you when i need a poem written about me." Iphitos looked smug and turned to Myrto, who quickly looked away.

"Let's go," Galen said and strode off into the trees, all signs of his injury now gone.

We walked towards Athens until the few remaining hours of moonlight had faded away and the sun crept over the horizon in front of us. The sky was bright orange, with purple smeared across the clouds. As one we all stopped to watch as the sun crept up. I eyed the other three out of the corner of my eyes as we stood in that line. What an odd bunch we must have looked. A tall and blond athletic Athenian with an unreadable expression on his face, a small and tear-stained slave-girl who looked upon the rising sun as if it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen, a clean and well-cut Argive poet, who was mouthing words to himself, as if reciting some of his work, and then me. A washed up killer with a price on his head and absolutely nothing to show for his life.

I felt a tear well up in my eye as i realised that i was standing with the only people i could call friends in all of Greece. I turned away from the others and quickly tried to get the uncharacteristic piece of salty water off my cheek with my sleeve.

"Are you alright, Adrastos?" Iphitos asked, taking a step towards me.

"Yeh, yeh, i'm fine," I stuttered. "I just thought i saw an interesting looking vegetable but it was just those people travelling on the road over there," As i talked i realised what i was saying and swore. "We're too close to the road! Get out of sight."

We all fell to the ground and looked down across the hill towards the travellers. They didn't appear to have seen us but they were travelling back the way we had come, away from Athens.

"Is that Aristoxenus?" Galen asked with surprise. I peered down at the people and conceded that one did look very similar to Aristoxenus.

"Why would he be travelling to Megara?" I asked.

"I'd say it would be more likely he's travelling to Corinth," replied Galen.

I nodded in agreement and then we were silent. After a moment all three of them looked at me expectantly.

"What?" I asked, when they turned their heads.

"What are we going to do?" Iphitos asked.

I thought for a moment and looked down at the travellers and then in the direction of Athens. "We'll follow them until we know it's Aristoxenus. If we do make contact, no mention of this," I finally decided and pulled out the crumpled note incriminating Otis. "Aristoxenus may be our ally in name but for the moment i only trust you three."



Argos -1
Megara +1

Athens- 6
Argos - 9
Corinth - 7
Megara - 6
Sparta - 9
avatar
Volksie
Admin - Beardlord
Admin  -  Beardlord

Number of posts : 2526
Age : 26
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Strohble on 2008-05-24, 05:11

The Argive Logades were accompanied with good weather on their journey from Athens but their general seemed enshrouded in a black cloud. Too many questions of uncertainty swirled about his mind in an endless loop, his mood was dark, his heart heavy. They were close to Argos, their home, and still the questions ate at him as a dog worries a bone to get at the marrow.

'Should I have left word with the Athenians about my intentions?'

'What if they think I abandoned our endeavor?'

'Why in Zeus' name was a Megaran army at the walls of Corinth in the depths of winter?'

'Who did the small force represent that was on the road from Sparta?'

'What if my King is truly mad?'

'Questions, questions, QUESTIONS!!! And no answers, no news except what I hear from my few spies. It's enough to drive me out of my mind.

My mind shifts focus as Argos comes into view and I am struck with emotion. My last gaze upon her was filled with destruction and the bloodlust of Spartan soldiers. Pleas of mercy and screams of horror still echo in my ears. My eyes well and tears fall unashamedly down my face. As I march alongside my men towards the newly repaired gates a sense of ferocity and rage blossoms within me, warming me, drying my tears, giving me purpose.

A long low wail from a trumpet can be heard as the walls rapidly fill with archers the gates having already been shut on our approach. Aiolos commands the formation to halt and stand at ease while he strides to the gate, spear in hand, helmet tucked under his arm. He stops, looks up, and bellows,

"Thanatos Diotrephes, citizen of Argos, general of the Logades, faithful servant to our King Aristippos, seeks admittance to his city."

Silence. Neither call of bird nor whisper of air. Nothing. Many foreign faces look down upon us, bows at the ready, the signature of black capes and plumes interspersed. A deep thud is heard and the groan of the gates opening breaks the silence. A group of heavily armed soldiers march out as I walk to the front of the column and smile at the sight of an old friend. The smile that is returned is slight, but genuine.

"General Thanatos, the King wishes an immediate audience. Your men are to remain here until further notice."

Steel enters my voice as I reply, "Surely my Logades deserve better treatment than that Aetos. It was they who summoned the courage to march on Sparta even while Spartan soldiers put their city to the torch. They who chose to fight not knowing if their families lived or died, if their homes still stood, if there was anything left to fight for. You stand there and tell them they must remain outside the gates of their own city?"

Anxiety enters the face of Aetos, "I am sorry general, these orders come directly from the King and are quite clear." I stare hard into his eyes. He cannot hold my gaze and looks at the ground. "Very well." I turn. "Aiolos, see to the men. Someone will be out shortly to grant admittance."

"Yes general."

I turn and walk past the soldiers at the gate, Aetos in tow. My first steps inside the gates are a bit of a shock. Rough looking soldiers are everywhere but Argive regulars are few. Citizens stand about, dirty and dishevelled, faces gaunt, eyes hollow. Signs of construction are evident but disorder is dominant. Aetos catches up and with a lowered voice tells me,

"After the Spartans retreated from the city Aristippos shut himself in the citadel. Not a word nor sign was heard for almost a month. No one knew what to do. Many people abandoned the city after disease started to spread and take more lives while the remnants of the army were garrissoned around the citadel and told to guard the entrances with their lives. The King's advisors started sending many messengers out of the city and not long after that mercenary soldiers began to arrive. They arrive still. "

"And what of the people?" I ask.

"Very disillusioned. The King refuses to show himself and provides little relief. We in the army do what we can but......" Aetos trails off.

"But what? Speak man!" I bark.

"But the King allows no one to take charge. Orders to the army are to come directly from him and him only, these mercenaries are becoming harder to keep restrained and there are whispers of rebellion amongst the people. The Argive ranks grow thinner as each new morning the assembly lines hold fewer men than the previous and our control wanes."

A small child stands barefoot in the street, her clothing lies thinly upon her frame in the winter sunlight as her melancholy grey eyes watch us pass. Aetos looks expectant but I am consumed in my thoughts. No conquering army can defeat a city as surely as one that collapses from within. As we reach the citadel I know what I must do.

Argos (-1)

Athens--6
Argos--8
Corinth--7
Megara--6
Sparta--9
avatar
Strohble
Admin - Beard-at-arms
Admin  -  Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2123
Age : 92
Location : Kahleeforneeuh
Registration date : 2008-02-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Alexios Komnenos on 2008-05-27, 04:18

My galley pulled into the harbor at Piraeus. The city, built of marble and stone, loomed before him, the beautiful and glorious port of Athens, capital of the Delain League. The wind lifted the sails at my back. I knew that my battles against the Persians would be recognized and I - a hero, the equal of Achilles or Odysseus.


The galley was moored, and I stepped off the boat, onto the dock, where a few men where waiting for them. I recognized only a few. My wife was not among them. Had I not requested her presence? I longed to see her face again, after long years alone, fighting the barbarian. I had expected a triumphal parade, cheering citizenry, the helots and men cheering. I got ten men sitting on a bench, looking bored.


Pericles rose from his seat to greet me. "Hello, old friend, Demetrios." He said, similing. "I, however, am the bearer of bad news. Your wife is dead… she died in childbirth." He said, mournfully.


I did not speak for a long time, greaving the loss. "No…" I said, looking back up at him. "How can this be?" I asked. "Why do the gods seek to punish me like this?" I asked, a tear running down my cheek. "Why?" The years had changed much. Pericles was no longer the youthful man he had once been. His face was worn and haggard.

I mounted a waiting horse. Pericles did the same beside me. "The political scene has changed much since you were here last." He said. I didn't want to think about politics now, but much needed to be said, for the council was meeting soon, and I had little time to acclimate myself before the next meeting. "Tamaeros, do you remember him?" He asked.


I turned to him, sighing. "Yes. I do. I remember all these political swine, trying to make it difficult for me to defend Athens, protect our people. Why could we not be a kingdom, like Sparta?"


"Shhh…" He said. "Do not speak of that. Tamaeros still dominates the council. That is ill news for you. Harpalos…"


"That #%%@%%$, self-loving, effete…" I said. "Political…"


"He is in league with Tamaeros. It is unwise to oppose the two." He said. "I myself, have withdrawn from politics to look after your estates in your absence. Anyways, Cleitos is still elected general of our armies, time and time again. He and you, were friends of old, no?"


"We were… political allies once." I said, my mind elsewhere.


"You need friends to survive, friends who will protect you. Expect the council to reward your actions in Ionia. That will arouse the fury of Tamaeros. He will want you dead. Watch out for yourself. Your army is no longer a shield to hide behind, you are in the world of politics. Also, there is Aristoxenus."


"Never heard of him." I said. "Why should I care?"


"He is a rising star, but he is not in Athens. He has left the city without the approval of the council. But, an alliance with him might help you gain ground against your opponents."


"Maybe." I said.


"Well, the meeting is in two days." He said, waving goodbye. "See you later." He rode off, and I headed for my villa. My mind was buzzing with possibilities. I needed power. Power to make Athens great again. As soon as I was back on my feet, those corrupt politicians would be made to work for me. And once I could, Athens would be respected and feared. Delian league states in northern Greece would pledge allegiance to my flag… Armies would march… it would be glorious.


Suddenly, I snap back to reality. One step at a time Demetrios. First step, the council meeting. I would go to that, and I would get them to back me.

Athens + 1 (A new general has arrived, bringing reinforcements.)

Argos - 1 (They are unreasonably powerful for what has happened to them.)

Athens--7

Argos-- 7

Corinth--7 Megara--6
Sparta--9
avatar
Alexios Komnenos
God-Emperor of the Fora

Number of posts : 4986
Age : 67
Location : Deleting the Chatbox
Registration date : 2008-02-12

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Kasey on 2008-05-28, 09:30

I was ready. A man had been sent from the Acropolis. The plan was about to be put into action. But there was yet more good news, it seemed Aeneas had survived the fight with the assassins, and was leading the men in the acropolis, he had also hinted that he could persuade the King to use some Persian Courage and get him to fight. I knew what he meant by this, he would give Appolinius a Hero's death, and then I, as his trusted advisor could step into his shoes. Yes, I mused, it could work. The other good news was that reinforcements had arrived, 300 well-armed hoplites had come. They bore no emblems on their shields and refused to tell anyone whom it was that they served. However their leader carried a message for me, and the contents were extremely interesting. It seemed the cur Dragos was no longer satisfied with his Megaran allies, and sought my help against them; the hoplites were 300 of Sparta's finest. A show of support. The final arrival was my old comrade Aristoxenus. He brought with him but a few companions, but at least it still showed Athens' loyalty to her allies. At least it did until he tactfully mentioned that he had come here without the council's permission. By Herkales! One man against Corinth?! What in Hades did he think he was doing?!

But know we were ready. Every man waiting nervously near one of the side gates. My men were ready, I was ready, the secret men of Sparta were ready, and I hoped to Zeus Aristoxenus was ready; there was no room for his pretty horses in THIS battle. I held my breath waiting for the flaming arrow, our agreed signal. Waiting to take a City, and a throne.
avatar
Kasey
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms
Knight of Kydonia - Beard-at-arms

Number of posts : 2614
Age : 25
Location : West Country, England
Registration date : 2008-02-13

View user profile http://hs.facebook.com/profile.php?id=711615734

Back to top Go down

Re: The Greek Wars

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 4 of 6 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum