Hey guys my other AAR conquest and a game of empires died due to CTD s this will be a spiritual successor to that game. Enjoy
Hey guys my other AAR conquest and a game of empires died due to CTD s this will be a spiritual successor to that game. Enjoy
Act I: REBIRTH
Prologue: The Silver Dawn
Summer 272 BC
"No man, against my fate, sends me to Hades, And as for fate, I'm sure no man escapes it, Neither a good nor bad man, once he's born (Hector, The Iliad)
Antiochus sat alone in the empty throne room. He had ordered his guards to stand outside and for for no one to disturb him. The King was deep in thought. He was already 52, nearing his twilight years. He would die soon he knew that but would he be remembered in the pages of history? And if he was what would he be remembered as? A Savior for his victory over the Galatians? A hero like Leonidas? A conquerer like Megas Alexandros?.....A tyrant perhaps? No...most all he would be remembered as the man who left his empire to decay and ruin at the hands of his enemies.
"I will not let that happen" he said to himself
He still had hope, that one day men would remember him as the man who had against all odds held together a massive empire, the empire of Alexander the Great. The man who had ushered in a new era. A silver dawn
But he realized he was too old to lead another campaign. His hope lay with with his three sons, Sarepedon, Alexandros and Theodoros. If he had done one good thing in his life, it was the up bringing of his sons. They were fine men and one day he hoped they would become Great men. Greater than himself
Archeas one of his companions entered the hall
"My king, the war council has been assembled as requested."
"Good, I will meet them now"
Antiochus walked slowly to the chamber of war. He paused outside the gates. The grand strategy would be made today and the fate of the Empire would rest on his decisions. With a heavy heart, Antiochus pushed the doors open and entered
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-10-2012 at 15:13.
Big thank you to strategos vasiles who helped me get these pictures up
Chapter 1: The Three Brothers Part 1
"All men are of one metal but not one mold"
A young man sat proudly on his warhorse watching the column of men marching. Behind him, arrayed in a semi-circle were 7 older men riding similar steeds, wearing the finest armour and armed to the teeth. Their names were Apollonois, Diogenes, Heliodoros, Lycus, Nikomedes, Philandros, and Demetrius. The young man himself was Theodoros Syriakos, crown prince of the Seleucid Empire and the 7 men were his companions
Behind the 8 men were 400 other horsemen waiting on their prince's orders. The column of men were made up of 1 600 archers from Ecbatana. The young prince waited patiently for his force to catch up to his cavalry. They had been marching for more than a month. Theodoros remembered that day when he had received the message from his father
Gather 2 000 men, rendezvous with Alexandros on Royal road. March to Antioch in all haste
In just 3 days he had gathered all of the forces he needed and began the long march to Antioch
"My Lord, I see something in the distance. Looks like a large group of men headed our way" reported Lycus
"Can you see banners on them?"
"No my lord I cant see any from this distance"
"They could be bandits or rebels. Have the archers form up on that hill over there. Hide our cavalry behind the hill"
The men were issued orders and the frightened Persian levies slowly formed up. Then they waited for the forces to approach
"My lord! I see banners. There are Silver ones of the Empire and also flags of the Satraps of Susa"
"That must be Alexandros. Order the men to stand down"
As the force approached Theodoros could see the agema of his brother's cavalry as we as his brothers army which was considerably more impressive than his own. The two men embraced
"Greetings brother!" said Alexandros, "I trust you've been well since we've last met"
"Indeed I have. But tell me brother, did our father tell you why he needed us to march to Antioch personally? Syria is not under threat as far as I have heard"
"No it isn't but it may soon be.The Ptolemies are massing their forces in Judea and they could strike soon"
"The regional defenses are more than enough to stop the Ptolemies. This is something bigger, I can feel it"
"You may be right" replied Alexandros, "Lets discuss this later tonight. I've had a weary day. You didn't bring any of that famous Ecbatana wine with you be any chance did you?"
Theodoros smiled. His brother was famous for his drinking ability
"Yes in fact I have. Lets set up camp now, Its been 2 years since we've last met we have much to talk about"
Alexandros left to address his men.
Now alone Theodoros, stared off into the west, uncertain what he might find once he arrived.
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-04-2012 at 01:08.
Chapter 2: The Three Brothers Part 2
272 Asia Minor
"Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others (Machiavelli)"
Sarepedon was in a good mood today. In fact he had been in a good mood ever since he had received the orders from his father. After a year of defending Cappadocia from frequent Ptolemaic attacks he would finally take the offensive. His destination was the Ptolemaic fortress of Tarsus. Although his scouts reported that the Ptolemaic garrison was larger than his army, Sarepedon was not worried. His men were professionals compared to the Ptolemaic levies.
"My lord," one of his companions spoke,"We have just entered Ptolemaic territory. Perhaps we should march more slowly and give ourselves more time to form a battle plan."
"Why would I do that? I want to arrive as soon as possible"
"But My lord we have no battle plan and they outnumber us by at least 2 000 men."
"You leave the battle plan to me my friend"
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-04-2012 at 01:31.
Chapter 3: Lambs to the Slaughter
"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep. I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion (Alexander the Great)"
272 The Gates of Tarsus
Sarepedon woke his men at on the very brink of dawn. He ordered his men to have breakfast quietly and then to form up. They weren't going to take the town by surprise. He knew that but at least this way his men would be well fed and less groggy than those of the enemy. As his army approached the walls, Sarepedon could already hear the panic and chaos of the defenders trying to organize their defenses.
They had camped outside Tarsus for 3 months. Sarepedon had expected the Ptolemies to attack as soon as he arrived. After all they had 6 000 men to his 2 000 but it appeared the Ptolemaic commander was smarter than Sarepedon first thought and he saw Sarepedon's cavalry and superior infantry as too much of a threat to face in the open. However there were two important things he didn't know. Firstly that there would be no help arriving from Side as the town had just fallen to Seleucid forces under general Attalos. The second was the stubbornness and determination of Sarepedon. No man would have dreamed that Sarepedon would assault the fortifications while outnumbered 3 to 1. But that's exactly what he did
"Men of Seleucus! Today is the day we've been waiting for for the last 3 months. Fight with honor. Fight with everything you have! And remember, you cannot die today because you will live on forever in history!!"
His men cheered and they began to push the great ram up to the walls.
The Peltasts broke through the wall and began to slaughter the enemy skirmishers. The Ptolemaic general sent his spear men and slingers to halt the advance of Sarpedon's peltasts. The Peltasts began to take casualties and Sarepedon and his personal guard charged into the fray, killing the enemy general and causing all of the Ptolemaic troops to flee to the town center where they were massacred
Sarepedon was relieved when it was finally over. He didnt want to waste anymore time killing sheep
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-05-2012 at 11:30.
Chapter 4: Sleight of Hand
Summer 271 BC
"By the breaking in of enraged merciless armies, flourishing countries have been laid waste, great numbers of people have perished in a short time, and many more have been pressed with poverty and grief"
"Impressive sight isn't it brother?" Theodoros whispered. Alexandros did not reply but stood there fixed on the sight below him. The sight of 30 000 men marching under the silver banners. A beautiful sight
The brother's mission became clear as soon as they arrived in Antioch. An enormous camp with countless soldiers awaited them at the great city. This was not another squabble over Cole Syria. This army had one purpose, To drive into the the heart of Egypt itself
Alexandros and Theodoros both knew that if they marched down the coastal road, the Ptolemies would immediately send aid to Sidon. Instead they would do the unexpected. The marched their army into Cole Syria intending to march on Sidon from the desert, an extremely risky move considering how close it brought them to the hostile city of Palmyra
They would arrive in 2 weeks. The Ptolemies dont stand a chance against this army, thought Theodoros. What nation could?
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-06-2012 at 14:58.
Chapter 5: The Fate of Merchants
Summer 270 BC
"Money is the ultimate form of power, said the old man. After a minute of thought the boy asked. Then why do generals command men?"
Attalos and Sarepedon sat on their horses side by side watching the Greek army slowly approach
"That's a big army" muttered Attalos
"You put too much stock in numbers lord Attalos, as do those merchants we are facing now."
The Greeks began to increase their pace, shouting their war cries.
"Men brace yourselves!" ordered Attalos. The shields of the Karians and Celts locked together. Chaos erupted as the two lines clashed
"Sarepedon, with me!" commanded Attalos and the 800 elite cavalry moved to flank the enemy. Their charge was overwhelming and an entire battalion of enemy hoplites routed. They gave chase for a few hundred metres and then turned around for a second charge. This time the entire Greek army ran for the safety of their walls. The Seleucids gave chase all the way up to the gates of the city. When they arrived they found open gates. The Greeks had surrendered. Rhodes, the prize of Asia minor was now theirs
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-23-2012 at 04:34.
Chapter 6: Enemy at the Gates
So much had happened in the last year thought Theodoros. The attack on Sidon had been an overwhelming Success. The siege of Jerusalem was also a quick but bloody affair. Now came the hard part. As Theodoro's army set foot on the soil of Egypt they all began to fear. What did the Pharaoh have in store for them? They would face fierce resistance. After all they were going for the jewel of the Mediterranean. They were going to capture Alexandria itself.
"No matter" thought Theodoros,"Let all of the hosts of the Nile come. They will all fall..one by one"
Chapter 7:The Burning City
Winter 269 BC
“The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own”
The fires had subsided but the air still smelt of burnt flesh and death. Theodoros stood on the walls of the great palace of Alexandria, overlooking the city he had just destroyed. It had been Alexandros' reasoning which had lead them down this path. If they wanted to destroy the Ptolemies, he argued, then they must break their spirits and instill as much fear as possible. This led to over a week of slaughter in which 100 000 citizens were killed. Surprisingly the Pharaoh himself wasn't in the city which meant the war wasn't over. They would have to drive deeper into Egypt.
"Can't sleep?" a voice behind Theodoros startled him. He turned around to see his companion Demetrius standing behind him
"I keep seeing the faces of all those we slaughtered. The young girl, The butcher, The farmer and his wife.."
"My lord, it was a necessary action. I have fought many wars with your father before I served you and I assure you that there was nothing pleasant or noble done by either side. It is a burden which all Kings have to face. Your father spared many cities but only to win favor with his mercy."
"But all those innocent people..."
"I'm afraid my lord that in a war like this, you must see those innocent people as potential soldiers and recruits for the Ptolemies. Alexandria is the Key to controlling Egypt. If we had not massacred the population, they may have revolted. Now even if they retake Alexandria, they will never be as strong as they once were."
"You're right Demetrius. I suppose I will have much more blood on my hands in future.."
"You look tired my Lord. You should sleep. Tomorrow we need to begin reorganizing the city's government and to raise a strong garrison before we leave the city."
"Yes your right."
Theodoros began walking to the palace quarters. He paused and looked back at the city one more time. Then he continued walking. The thoughts which had assaulted him earlier had all but vanished from his mind
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-08-2012 at 13:02.
Chapter 8: The City that dreamed of being a Kingdom
Summer 267 BC
"War is the continuation of politics by other means"
"Magnificent walls aren't they?" Sarpedon asked his companion Areus
"Yes my lord. Although it's a shame we're the ones who have to scale that thing"
The two men sat on their horses observing the walls of Pergamon, and old enemy of the Seleucids. The defiant Pergamese under the rule of Philetaerus had dared to break away from the empire when it seemed weak. No matter thought Sarpedon. In a few months they would cease to exist. Antiochus had sent Sarepdon the message while he was in Rhodes asking Sarpedon to gather a force and crush Pergamon. Antiochus had also explained that the Macedonian fortress of Mytenile was under siege by the Pergamese general Alkibiades. By attacking Pergamon they would both increase their influence in Asia Minor and gain the good graces of their Macedonian allies.
"We wont need to scale those walls, they will come out to fight."
"How do you know that my lord?"
"Because i've planned it this way"
Areus looked puzzled so Sarpedon explained further.
"The Pergamese have the most professional, flexible and diverse army in Asia Minor while i've gathered a force of levies"
"So you think they will attack thinking we are weak?"
"Precisely. But we are not weak. After our recent victories the fire of Seleucus and Alexander has been rekindled in our troops. The Pergamese will find a tougher adversary than they expected. Soon my friend they will come out to meet us. And we can destroy them in one fell swoop."
Chapter 9: The Gift of Magas
“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth."
Theodoros and his guards walk into the Palace of Cyrene. There sitting of the throne, his brother in Law Magas, King of Cyrene greets him.
"Welcome Prince Theodoros. We are honored to have you in our city."
"I am honored to be here" replied Theodoros
"Your attack on Egypt came in the nick of time. A few more months and the Ptolemies would have overrun us."
"I am glad to be of service. But I am here to renew our alliance treaty."
"Ah alliance...Perhaps that is something better discussed in a more private setting"
Magas lead Theodoros to his private chambers. Theodoros started to speak
"It is in our best interests to secure another military alliance with your Kingdom. We will fight the Ptolemies together and split their lands accordingly"
"My prince...What is an alliance tell me."
"Well..Its a mutual treaty between two nations that states aid should be exchanged between the two."
"Yes. Precisely. Two nations. Would an alliance between two Kingdoms be stronger than a single Kingdom with the strength equal to both of these Kingdoms combined?"
"No i suppose not. If it were a lone Kingdom it would be more organised and the entire Kingdoms' resources would be directed in its best interests whereas in an alliance, support is not always guaranteed."
"Exactly right. My Prince. For too long my Kingdom has been isolated. A lone city between the powerful nations of Egypt and Carthage. It has been like this since the founding of Cyrene. I do not want my people to be isolated anymore. You offer me an alliance? I offer you the Kingdom of Cyrene. We wish to join your empire so in the future, if any enemies attack us we will not have to face them alone."
Theodoros was speechless
"You would give up your sovereignty to us?"
"Yes I would. My son Philon died attacking the Ptolemies. I have no other sons and i am nearly 60 years old. When I die a civil war will begin which will further cause suffering to my people. It is best if i bequeath the Kingdom to you."
"Well in that case Magas. We will accept. From this day on to the end of all days the Seleucid empire will protect your people and your country. Any nation that has ill intentions towards your people will face the full wrath of the Seleucid Empire."
A single tear slid down Maga's face.
"Thank you", the old man replied
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-08-2012 at 16:14.
Chapter 10: Call of the Desert
Summer 265 BC
“You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst.”
The troops gathered around their prince as he began to speak
"My men, you may be wondering why i have brought you to the edge of this great wasteland. Simple. We are going to cross it."
The troops began to murmur.
"We are going to cross because on the other side we will find the oasis of Siwa, The oracle of the Gods. After all Megas Alexander crossed the desert with his army. We are his descendants. Why shouldn't we?"
His troops cheered and Thedoros smiled. He now knew he had full support of his men. They would follow him into death
Chapter 11: Oasis
The two men sat beneath the open night sky sharpening their swords, drinking and talking. They were Demetrius and Lycus, two companions of Theodoros
"This place is beautiful"
"Yes the Oasis of Siwa is the jewel of the desert"
"Not just the desert Lycus. I've been to many cities and countries. None have been as beautiful as this place."
"That is true. The desert has a certain majesty about it."
Lycus paused for a second before continuing
"Demetrius have you noticed a change in the prince?"
"Yes. I noticed the day after he visited the Oracle."
"So whatever the oracle said, it changed him?"
"The oracle of Siwa has been known to change the people who visit it. Alexander the Great himself was changed by what he heard. Our prince has become more strict and serious."
"That cannot be good for us then"
"On the contrary, I believe whatever the oracle said to the prince has made him even more determined."
The two men continued talking through the night until the stars disappeared and the desert sun in all its glory rose from its bed
Chapter 12: A Big Mistake
Summer 261 BC
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five for minutes longer
Sarpedon was weary. He had been at war for the last 10 years without resting, defeating one enemy after another. Now he faced his toughest challenge ever. The The prince of the former Seleucid Satrapy of Pontus, Mithridates Kianos had marched a sizable army into Seleucid land near Sardis. When the seleucid envoys approached him asking why he trangressed in our lands. He told the envoys that he had just been repelled from Galatia who had blocked his path home. However after a few weeks the Seleucid scouts returned saying that Galatia had been conquered months ago. The envoys then asked Mithridates why he lied and asked him to leave immediately. Mithridates' response was to hire 10 000 mercenaries. So Sarpedon recalled all of his veterans and they marched off once again to war.
"My lord." Areus spoke,"The Pontic army under their prince is only a week away from Sardis. why are we marching to Sinope?"
"Our adversary has a large force but i believe Sardis is too well defended for a direct assault. Attacking the prince directly now would be a wasted opportunity. Even if we defeat their prince they can simply regroup and attack us again later. However if we go straight for their homelands, they will be cut off from supplies and reinforcements. The Kingdom of Pontus will cease to exist before Mithridates takes a single city."
They were now only a month away from Sinope. Soon the Greatest port on the black seas would be his thought Sarpedon. And the enemy will be surrounded
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-09-2012 at 16:23.
Chapter 13: The King of Seleucia
Summer 260 BC
"A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist"
The Funerary procession was over a mile long. The body of Antiochus I Soter was carried in a 4 horsed chariot, his face unveiled so his people may see him again one last time. At the head of the column was Theodoros and beside him Alexander. The news had arrived while both brothers were celebrating their completed conquest of Egypt. Their ancient enemy the Ptolemies had been destroyed but the brothers were no mood to celebrate after they heard. Instead they quickly traveled back to Antioch to insure Theodoros was crowned King.
The body was taken into a great Mausoleum and the Tomb was sealed. The body of Antiochus I Soter, the saviour of Asia Minor and the 2nd founder of The Seleucid empire would lay undisturbed for all eternity.
The procession went back into the city and the funerary feast began. Stories of Antiochus' courage and life were shared between his acquaintances and songs were sung about him. At the end of the night the sadness had lessened for the friends of Antiochus. The next morning all of the lords gathered in the palace hall to see the crowning of the new King. Theodoros approached the throne with his brother at his side. Next to the throne was the high Councillor, The Priest of Seleucus and The Lord commander of the Kings Silvershields. Theodoros sat down on the throne. The Priest of Seleucus began to speak the customary words
"Theodoros, son of Antiochus do you accept this responsibly. To be King of Seleucia. To protect her people and sacrifice health for your Kingdom until your dying breath?"
The Priest placed the crown of the Seleucid Kings on Theodoros' head. Suddenly Theodoros felt a great weight pressing down on him
"I present to you your new King. Antiochus II Theos King of the Seleucid Empire!"
The Lords all bowed down. The High Councillor spoke," My King i served your father and I hope to be as equally useful to you."
"Thank you High Counciller. Your services are greatly appreciated"
The Lord Commander of the Silvershields spoke next
"My King. You have the Loyalty of the Silvershields."
"Thank you lord commander. You are as true as you are loyal."
After Antiochus had spoken to the important lords he had walked to the palace steps with the Royal procession where he had been proclaimed the new King to the public who cheered for their former and popular prince. Afterwards Antiochus went into his personal chambers and ordered his guards to leave him alone. He took the crown off. But the feeling of a weight pressing down on him remained..
End of Act I
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-23-2012 at 12:26.
In 260 BC Antiochus I Soter the second King of the Arche Seleukeia died at the age of 63. He is compared by many to Cyrus the Great who turned his weak and unstable Kingdom to a large and powerful empire. In the latter years of his life he concocted a master plan to rebuild Alexander the Great's empire. His plan was very successful and their arch rivals the Ptolemaic empire was wiped out in 15 years. Also the Seleucid possessions in Asia Minor has been extended greatly. In the Far east, the situation was very stable. When the Parthians had began to get the upper hand and conquered Asaak, Antiochus responded by capturing Nisa, the Parthian Capital. Due to illness he was unable to reconquer Asaak but the conquest of Nisa effectively surrounded the Parthians reducing their threat. The borders have since become very stable.
His three sons have been campaigning for the last 12 years conquering huge swathes of land and destroying many enemies. Theodoros the conquereing of Egypt is currently the highest ranking general in the Arche Seleukeia followed by Sarpedon the conquerer of Asia Minor. Alexander is the third who conquered Nubia and is currently in Ethiopia
The three Great Brothers
After the destruction of Egypt the Empire of Alexander the Great had nearly been reunited. Pergamon and Rhodes, two of the most powerful hostile cities in Asia Minor fell to Sarpedon within 2 years of each other. The only remaining threat in the west was Pontus. The young Pontic prince declared war on the Arche raising a huge army of Mercenaries from within Seleucid lands including rebels and former Pergamese troops. Meanwhile, Theodoros was subjugating the Northern Arabian tribes around Palmyra and Bostra while Alexander was laying siege to the last great Nubia city of Meroe.
However in the same year that Antiochus I Soter died. The Epirotes declared war by allying themselves with Pontus, setting the stage for a bloody war and the winner would rule all of Asia Minor and Greece.
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-10-2012 at 13:23.
Act II: Blood
Prologue: Blood Moon
“Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”
The city was under a curtain of red light. It was as if blood was pouring from every wall and every building in the city. It looked like the palace of Hades himself. The blood moon had appeared 3 nights ago and returned each night after. It was a sign. There was no doubt about that. Whether it was a good or bad omen Theodoros couldn't tell but he knew one thing: Blood would soon be spilled. Theodoros suddenly realized he was not alone. His hand moved down to his kopis.
"Who's there? Show youself"
"You really shouldn't go off by yourself my King. Especially on a night like this."
Out of the shadows Demetrius emerged. He was now 60 years old but he still walked and fought like a man many years younger.
"Oh it's you," Theodoros sheathed his sword and replied,"I can defend myself."
"Nonetheless, I swore an oath to protect you. Why are you here again my King. You have been here every night looking at the moon ever since it appeared"
"Yes, I've been pondering its meaning."
"Do you wish to hear my opinion my King? They are merely warnings from the Gods to signal a great event but they are not meant be deciphered by men."
"You may be right. I have a terrible feeling about the future. Ever since this...omen...appeared, I have been struck with a sense of dread which I cannot explain."
"Well then it is even more important you get some rest my King. If your intuition is right then something big is coming and you will need your full strength to face it."
My intuition has never failed me Demetrius. If it had, we would not be standing here and our bones would be littered across the sands of Egypt. Brace yourself my friend. Darker days are coming.
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-11-2012 at 14:02.
Chapter 1: The Visitor
Summer 257 BC
The ship was old and dingy. In many places there were signs of rot and the once white sails were grey with old age. Five men stepped onto the docks of Seleucia Pieria, the great port of the Syrian Tetrapolis. They wore hooded cloaks covered in dust which hid suits of fine armor underneath. Approaching the nearest stables they procured some horses before riding to Antioch. At the gates of the royal palace they were stopped by the guards but after a few words from the leader of the group the guards quickly moved aside. The men seemed to know their way around the palace well and they quickly arrived at his destination. The leader pushed the two great doors aside and entered the war chamber. The King and his generals looked up from their maps startled.
"What is the meaning of this? Who are you?", asked Theodoros
"Its been a long time...brother"
"Yes..I thought you would recognize me, but then again, it has been 15 years. Can we talk in private?"
The two men walked to Theodoros' chambers. Theodoros spoke first.
"Your visit is most unexpected brother. The last letter I received from you told me that you were marching on Pontic lands."
"Yes I marched to Pontus and conquered their cities very quickly. But even with his Kingdom destroyed Mithridates Kianos stubbornly refused to surrender. He found support from the King of Nikaia so he had supplies to continue campaigning in our lands."
"So you had no choice but to fight him directly?"
"Yes. We fought about 7 months ago north of Ipsos."
"He had the advantage in more professional troops and heavier mercenaries but I had a secret weapon. I had been testing out scythed chariots and I perfected their usage. In that battle I sent them around the side and used them directly against Mithridates Kianos' personal guard. Mithridates was cut down almost straight away allowing my troops to gain the upper hand. I then went on to conquer Nikaia"
"But brother I did not return to tell you about my victories. I returned to tell you what is about to come. You see, I captured several of Kiano's highest ranking officers in the final battle. They revealed to me a terrible plot against us. I had began to wonder why the Pontics were so daring to attack us with such a high chance of failure. Well I discovered why. The nations surrounding our borders made a secret alliance to invade our lands. This alliance consists of Epirus, The Parthians, The Sabaens, Carthage and Pontus."
"Thats troubling indeed"
"But thats not even the worst part. You see, our allies the Macedonians and the Hayasdan were part of it too."
"Yes when I heard they were involved I was shocked. Their original plan was to send their armies into our land all at once to overwhelm us. Luckily for us things didn't go according to plan for them. The Hayasdan were attacked by the Horse lords of the north while the Macedonians delayed their plans due to a military build-up at Sparta."
"Brother I came to ask you for permission to attack Macedonia. They must pay for their betrayal even if they haven't acted yet. I also urge you to attack the Hayasdan before they attack us. Although It might not seem like it brother we are in dire straights. If we do not rid ourselves of some of our enemies before they all mobilize I fear we will be overrun"
Theodoros was silent for a moment trying to come to terms with the news. Then he said, "Ok brother It shall be done."
Theodoros felt the same sense of dread return. The events heralded by the blood moon were coming to pass. Little did he know the worst was yet to come
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-11-2012 at 14:44.
Chapter 2: Oh How the Mighty have fallen!
Winter 251 BC
"Thy glory, O Israel, is slain upon thy high places! How are the mighty fallen!" (King David)
The cold winds of the Greek winter bypassed his cloak completely, biting into his skin.. But Sarpedon did not feel it. All his attention was fixed on what came ahead. The last 6 years of his life had lead to this moment. Before him lay all the might of Sparta, the once glorious city unmatched in military strength and valor. He had 20 000 men to their 14 000 but he knew better than to underestimate them for among them there were 2 000 Spartiates. The true Spartan warriors. If Sarpedon overcame these Spartans he would be the first man since the time of Phillip and Alexander to unit Greece. Sarpedon had not asked for this battle. His goal had been to destroy the Macedonians. This he had succeeded, but no sooner had he captured the last city of Corinth, he had received news that the Spartans were now marching against him.
Both the Agiad King Akrotatos and the Eurypontid King Eudamidas were present as well as a contingent of elite greek cavalry. The sight of the heavy cavalry surprised Sarepedon
"They're learning Areus" he muttered to his favorite companion.
"Yes my lord their cavalry numbers 1000 as do ours."
"They are lacking quality and experience though. They shouldn't be too much trouble for our veteran cavalry to handle."
The Spartans began to march at double the pace. Sarepedon was amazed how quickly they could move in their heavy armor
"Phalanx lower sarissas!"
His veteran Phalangites lowered their sarissas and braced for the impact. The Spartan charge was overwhelming. Sarpedon saw spear tips breaking and heard the cry of men dying. Amazingly the phalanx held against the Spartan hoplites but Sarpedon knew he only had a limited amount of time before the more heavily armed Spartans broke through the formation and began to slaughter his lightly armored phalangites.
"Cavalry with me!" cried Sarpedon
The cavalry contingents began to move behind Sarpedon's Companions and they moved to engage the inexperienced spartan cavalry which routed after minimal resistance. Sarpedon turned around and saw to his horror that the center of his phalanx had been broken and his phalangites were now engaging the Spartans with their small hand axes. The Spartan Kings had sent all 2 000 Spartans to the weak point and now his phalaghites were being overwhelmed despite their brave efforts. Sarpedon wheeled his horsemen around and ordered them to charge into the backs of the Spartans. The horsemen gained speed. They lowered their lances and thundered straight into the backs of the Spartan warriors. Sarpedon's first charge killed many Spartans but to his dismay they didn't flee and simply turned a part of their line around to face them halting the cavalry charge.
Sarpedon decided to pull out his cavalry and he reached for his horn. He then realized to his horror that Areus was nowhere to be seen. he desperately scanned the battlefield looking for his friend and at last he saw him. Areus was engaged with the Spartan King Akrotatos in single combat. He had picked up a hoplon shield and was exchanging blows with the Spartan King. Areus ducked and parried the King's spear while slashing with his kopis. Sarpedon gathered the nearest horsemen and rode in the direction of the Spartan King. He then saw Akrotatos bash Areus down with his shield and lift his spear.
"Nooo!" cried Sarepdon
The spear came down entering Areus' chest. Blood spurted out and his friend began to jerk violently before laying still. Fueled by his anger Sarpedon charged at Akrotatos who noticed too late. Sarpedon rode past severing his head from his body. Seeing this, much of the Greek army began to flee except the Spartans who rallied around the second King Eumamidas. The Seleucid army surrounded the 2 000 Spartans and the massacre began. At the end of the day no Spartiates remained alive and only 300 surviving allied greeks arrived in Sparta. Over 5 000 Seleucids lay dead aswell and Sarpedon lost a quarter of his army strength. However the battle for Hellas was over and he had won. There would be no more resistance here and once he had conquered Sparta, all of Greece would be his.
That night Sarpedon buried his fallen and gave Areus a heroes' funeral. The war was far from over he knew that. The Epirotes would attack him soon, threatening his new holdings and he would have to fight them...Without his friend at his side
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-15-2012 at 14:57.
Chapter 3: A Family Reunion
Winter 249 BC
“Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though t'were his own."
In the highest tower of the Palace of Antioch there is a room. It was a forgotten room that had not been used since it's creation. But today that would change. A dozen men walked up the winding staircase. At the top of the tower three men from the group entered while the rest stood outside guarding the room. The three men were brothers, famous throughout the land for their innumerable victories. They were of course Antiochus II Theos, Sarpedon, and Alexandros, the three Great Brothers. It had been Alexandro's idea to meet here in secret. After all they didn't want their enemies to know their armies were leaderless. After a servant had brought in wine and left Antiochus began to speak.
"Brothers it has been a long time since we all stood in the same room together"
"Yes around nine years?" replied Sarpedon
"Well I would like to say I am very glad to see you both here. Unfortunately I have not brought you here to make up for lost time, although we have plenty of time to do that tonight. I have brought you here to discuss the next phase of our plan. Alexandros I trust Ethiopia is pacified enough that you can permanently leave the region?"
"Well there is some trouble with the Axumites but it is stable enough."
'What about you Sarpedon, how goes the war in the west?"
"It is nearly done brother, as soon as i finish off the Kingdom of Tylis and destroy the last remnants of the Epirote Kingdom in Illyria my work in the west will be done. There is a troubling note though. I had originally planned to take Serdike to secure the northern border of Macedonia but the Getia Federation has beaten me to it."
"Well when you return to the west evaluate their strength. If they seem weak attack Serdike and take it. It is vital we secure Macedonia."
"Of course. But what is our next move Theodoros?"
"I have finished my conquest of the Hayasdan Kingdom. Now all that remains is the East and Southern Arabia."
"Arabia?", asked Alexandros
"Yes, as you know we have recently been attacked by the Sabaen Federation who are getting stronger as we speak. I want you Alexandros to invade their lands and subdue them."
"Why do we need to subdue Southern Arabia. We are perfectly capable of defending our lands from their raids and their isolation would make any invasion very difficult."
"If we conquer arabia we will have secure our southern borders freeing our forces for other fronts. I understand it is a difficult task but I will put all the resources of Egypt at your disposal. As for you Sarpedon I want you to continue your campaigns. Destroy any threat to Macedonia and Greece and then begin conquering the ports of the black sea. I will place all the resources of Asia Minor at your disposal. I will go east personally to deal with the Parthian Menace."
"Oh and one more thing. As you know 15 years ago I visited the oasis of Siwa. I asked two questions and received 3 answers for them. One of the questions I will not reveal to you now but the second question I asked was whether we would reunite the Empire of Alexander the Great. The oracle told me these two things: First he said, It will take three mortals to unite the empire of a God, and then he told me, If the three mortals fail then all Greeks will be consumed by a red tide"
"I understand the first part," replied Sarpedon,"The three mortals clearly refer to us. But what of the second part?"
"It means," replied Theodoros,"That we must not fail..."
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-13-2012 at 12:49.
Chapter 4: Darkness Ascending
Winter 246 BC
Antiochus II Theos slowly unfolded the letter but already knew it contained ill tidings. The state of the message bearer was enough to tell him that. He had stumbled into the throne room tired and dirty. He looked like a man who had not slept in days. After handing the message to the King he had collapsed from exhaustion. Antiochus slowly began to read.
My King were it not for my ill health and advanced age I would have personally came to you to tell you of this news. However the years are not kind to me and I have been forced to send my son Parmenion instead. What I tell you will be troubling. Many years ago you told me of the prophecy you had been told at the Oasis of Siwa. The red tide that would consume the Greeks. I believe it has arrived. Weeks ago troubling news came to me of strange and horrifying occurrences at the outskirts of the empire. Travelers told stories of burning villages empty of life and piles of skulls strewn along the landscape of the east. I went to investigate and arrived in Alexandria Ariana just as a huge horde of horsemen descended upon the city. I saw their banners. Red as blood.
I saw nothing I could do for the city so I retreated. Days later a large group of refugees from Bactria arrived in the village I was staying at. They told me terrible news. These invaders were the Sakae, horsemen from the far east. They had began to migrate months ago overwhelming many peoples and conquering the entire north-east. They arrived at Bactra about a month ago. The so called King of Bactra lead his impressive hosts out to meet the nomads. That was the last anyone ever saw those men. They simply vanished. Bactra itself fell. It is a terrible enemy that can destroy a Kingdom such as Bactra so quickly.
I urge you my King to come to the east as soon as possible. The Red Tide is upon us.
Your loyal and faithful servant Demetrius
Theodoros turned to Lycus
"Lycus that was a message from Demetrius. It seems we must push our plans ahead. Ready the men, we are marching east!"
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-14-2012 at 09:35.
Chapter 5: The Next Generation
"We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country"
It was noon when the scouts returned. Earlier in the day they had spotted vast number of men camped in the plains near Seleukia. Antiochus had sent several of his men to scout ahead. If they were hostile it could be a problem as he had only brought a thousand cavalry with him while they numbered at least 10 000. Apollonois jumped off his horse and approached the King with a relaxed smile.
"My King they march under the silver banners. They are friendly forces."
After hearing this Antiochus ordered his cavalry to move towards the camp. As they approached the soldiers in the camp began to cheer and shout Antiochus' name. In the center of the encampment two young men waited and bowed to the King as he approached. One of them began to speak
"My King I welcome you to our humble Camp. My name is Diomedon of the house of Isaurikes first among the noble houses of Antiocheia. This is my brother Apolloniketes."
"Greetings young brothers. What is your purpose here? And under whose authority did you gather this army?"
"This army is for you my lord. We are friends of your youngest son Antipatros and it was he who convinced us to raise an army for your journey to the east. It is not a large force but I hope you can put it to good use."
"Yes my lord, he hopes this token force will please you. We have 5 000 phalagites, 3 000 Thureophoroi and 1 000 elite cavalry "
"Well you must tell my son I am very pleased when you return to Antiocheia"
The two brothers exchanged looks. Diomedon began to speak
"My King it is our wish to accompany you to the East"
Antiochus hesitated for a moment. Then he nodded his head in approval
"So be it"
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-14-2012 at 12:59.
Chapter 6: Priorities
Summer 244 BC
“What difference does it make how much you have? What you do not have amounts to much more"
When Diomedon entered the tent he could immediately tell the King was troubled again. He was on his desk looking over sheets of Papyrus.
"My King what ails you?" asked Diomedon
"Ahh Diomedon just the man I wanted to see. You have a good knowledge of statecraft and management. Tell me Diomedon what does a Kingdom need?"
"It needs a King and it needs people"
"Yes but what else?"
"A strong military"
"And what does a strong military need besides its leaders?"
"No even more than that it needs money. Without money an army cannot exist. We are marching towards perhaps the greatest threat Greeks have ever faced, even more dangerous than the Persian Empire during their invasion."
"Yes my King but we have your leadership. You have never lost a battle"
"Yes but this time even if I don't lose battles I can still lose the war. We have 24 000 men, less half the amount I wanted for this war. The Sakae have over 100 000 horsemen. These men don't fight like the men of the west. Battles against these men will mean huge casualties. To win this war young man we must focus not on our armies but on our treasuries"
"What do you intend to do my King?"
"As you know since my father's grand strategy came into action 30 years ago, all of our funding has gone into our military and to pay for my brother's armies. Its time to change that. We have conquered many territories. Now we need to develop them so they will be of some benefit to us. I will begin by building a large network of roads to stimulate trade. Then I will move onto ports and eventually mines"
"A wise plan"
"Yes we must fight on the defensive for now and slowly build up our strength before we can destroy the Saka. Diomedon fetch paper and write a message to the governors of my new acquisitions. Tell them to build basic roads connecting all major towns and cities."
"Very well my King"
"This will be a war of attrition Diomedon. If we do not find the money to raise new forces then I fear we have already lost"
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-15-2012 at 14:52.
Chapter 7: Eastfall
Summer 240 BC
“Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.”
The Giant walls of Bactra cast a shadow over the entire camp. They had arrived yesterday and immediately started setting up siege lines. The Sakae garrison was large but mostly infantry which could not go head to head with the Seleucid infantry. What worried Diomedon was that they had encountered no resistance on their march here. What worried him even more was that the usually cautious King Antiochus had suddenly become optimistic and without care. Diomedon decided to have a talk with him. He entered the Kings tent and bowed
"Greetings Diomedon, shouldn't you be with your men supervising the siege works?" said Antiochus without looking up
"Yes my King but there is something on my mind."
"You wish to know why we have not encountered resistance on our march here and where the Sakae horde is"
"Yes my King," replied Diomedon, hiding his surprise.
"I am guessing the Sakae horde have surrounded us and even now close in on our army for the kill" replied the King calmly
Diomedon was shocked.
"Then we must break off the siege and find favorable ground to avoid being surrounded."
"We'll do no such thing."
"I thought you trusted my leadership Diomedon"
"I do my King, but we will be surrounded if we don't move"
"Diomedon have you ever fought a nomad army?"
"I have. I chased the Hayasdan King into the stepples after conquering his Kingdom. He found support from the local Scythian tribes and every day those fast horsemen showered arrows down on my army before retreating, never offering battle. It nearly destroyed me. However this time we have encountered nothing on our march. That tells me that they feel confidant enough to face us in open battle. They know as well as we do that Bactra is the key to controlling all of the east. They will come to us so we know exactly where we are going to fight. We know they will act soon and we know the majority of their horde will be here. Their King Arsakes will not miss a battle this important so he will be present as well. This is our chance Diomedon. Our chance to break the horde in a single battle"
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-16-2012 at 12:04.
what does everyone think of the style of this aar? any criticism would be apppreciated
Chapter 8: King of the Mountain
“If you don't scale the mountain, you can't see the plains”
Sitalces was sharpening his rhomphaia. He was proud of it. It had been his father's during Sarpedon's invasion of Macedonia. His father had been one of the many mercenaries who flocked to Sarpedon's side. He had fought admirably and at the conclusion of the war he had received a plot of land near Tylis. Now Sitalces took his father's place in the Seleucid army. Sitalces worshipped Sarpedon was a God of war. He had defeated the Spartans, Macedonians and Epirotes and without rest he marched onto Dacia, taking Serdike and Naissos within a year. Now they were marching under the shadow of the Carpathian mountains heading for the Dacian Capital of Buridava where the Dacian King awaited. The warriors in his company had been nervous. Marching against the Dacians in their own homeland was a dangerous move. The Dacians were known as great warriors equal to the Thracians. For the past week Sarpedon had been visiting different companies giving encouragement to his men
He looked up and saw the great general Sarpedon walking towards him. His palms began to sweat
"What is your name?"
"Sitalces my lord. My father was Belisarius."
"Ahh Belisarius I remember him well"
"Yes he was an exceptional warrior. He saved my life once you know."
"He never mentioned that to me my lord"
"Yes he not found of talking I recall but he was a damn good killer. Tell me Sitalces how are your men? What are they saying about the task ahead of us."
"My lord they are nervous. We are marching into lands which even we do not know. A land perfect for ambushes"
"I see. They are right. I have come to you for a task. You say your the son of Belisarius. Because of this you have my trust. I need an infantry bodyguard to supplement my Hetairoi. I need men I can trust to defend my life. I need you to be one of those men and for you to find several others for me. Will you accept this task?"
"It would be an honour my lord"
"Good Sitalces. You wil report to my tent tomorrow morning."
With that the general walked away leaving a surprised Sitalcles. As he came to he realized his position. They would soon face the full force of the Dacians. And he would be next to the general, right where the fighting was the thickest.
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-16-2012 at 12:06.
Chapter 9: The Houses of Seleucia Part 1- The Syriakes
Three men sat in the dark room. One of the men was older than the other two and from the way the two men acted around him, an observer would have concluded that he was their father. His name was Androsthenes Syriakes, the Satrap of Asia Minor and the richest man in the world. The other two men were his sons Polyxenidos and Kendebaios. They were in deep discussion.
"Father I don't understand why we have to make this move. How will conquering Crete affect the Isaurikes family at all?" asked Polyxenidos
"My son. Surely you have heard. The brothers Diomedon and Apolloniketes Isaurikes have joined the King in his campaign in the East. Also they are personal friends of the King's son Antipatros"
"But how does that affect us?"
Androsthenes sighed. His older son had always been more interested in women and wine than politics.
"They did it for power and a higher standing. They are close to the King and they will gain much influence. We need to counter that with achievements of our own or they will become the most powerful family in the Empire. That's why I have used our wealth to raise a small army for Crete."
"I understand father," replied his younger son Kendebaios,"The King and his brothers are now all older than 50 and they are campaigning at the outskirts of the empire."
"Exactly. They might not ever return. The new King will turn to the noble houses for support. Whoever he turns to will become the most powerful faction within the empire. Make no mistakes my sons. When the great brothers are dead there will be a clash among the houses. We must extend our power and influence now or we will be brushed aside in the aftermath"
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-17-2012 at 02:18.
Chapter 10: Blood and Steel
Summer 240 BC
Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
Antiochus waited patiently for his enemy to approach. His face showed no worry. He had prepared for this.
The Sakae reinforcements had arrived three days ago only to find the Seleucid siege lines abandoned. Antiochus had hidden his army in the forest near the city and after the Sakae had arrived he ordered his army to attack. The horde had lost thousands of horsemen in a skirmish with the Seleucid archers before they withdrew into the city. A second force had arrived challenging the Seleucids to battle and the garrison of Bactra saw this as an opportunity to sally out. Antiochus found himself facing 20 000 horsemen.
He smiled. Arrayed against him were all of his enemies. He could end this right now and here.
Antiochus would face the best of the horde in this battle: armored cataphracts and horse archers whose armor gleamed in the sunlight and whose war cries would make most men shake with fear. But not the men of the Seleucid army. These men had had been fighting with Antiochus Theodoros for years. They had been through Egypt, Libya, Arabia, and Armenia. The Sakae would not find their foe so easy to intimidate. As they approached, Antiochus gave the order to his archers to advance. At his signal 6 500 archers emerged and marched to the front of the Phalanx.
The Sakae horde began to approach more quickly. Theodoros gave the order to fire and 6 500 arrows were unleashed upon the horde. Many of the light Sakae horsemen were struck down immediately. They began to return fire. Arsakes and his heavy Cataphracts moved towards the left flank of the Seleucid phalanx. Spears were lowered and they prepared to charge...only to have a shower of javelins rain upon them causing mass confusion. They panicked as 4 000 hykranian axemen charged from the nearby forests where they were hiding. When the Cataphracts tried to withdraw, Diomedon and Apolloniketes lead their cavalry around trapping the Sakae horsemen. The brother's cavalry fell onto the backs of the Saka elite wiping them out. Their King Arsakes was among the fallen.
Seeing this the Saka horde began an organised retreat while firing arrows back at the Seleucids who were following. Theodoros would not let them leave with their army intact. He initiated the final phase of his plan. Prior to battle he had instructed his Hetairoi to don lighter armor similar to the prodomoi. This was risky as the arrows of the Saka could have devastated them however it gave them extra speed. Theodoros' Hetairoi burst out of their hiding place and into a mass of Saka horsemen. From the other side of the battlefield his prodomoi emerged and mimicked the companions. The Sakae retreat became a full rout and the Seleucid cavalry gave chase. At the end of the day the Saka horde was completely destroyed and the Gates of Bactra were thrown open by the Greeks inside.
As they entered the city Diomedon asked the King,"What should we do with the Sakae who have settled in the city?"
"Do nothing to them. The Greeks of Bactra have always been a rebellious people. They will thank us for liberating them today but tomorrow they could turn on us. Keep the Sakae in the city so they remember that they need our protection."
At the end of the day Antiochus retreated to his temporary room in the palace of Bactra. The Sakae still controlled the north so he knew it wasn't over yet but the east was safe for now and the King lapsed into a well earned sleep
Last edited by seleucid empire; 06-17-2012 at 02:16.