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Thread: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

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    Default Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Location, Macedon. Circa 270 BC.

    The Hellenic world is where the power lies in the world. Alexander the Great died just a mere fifty three years ago, his empire fractured, he left his generals in charge of the empire. The Diadochi. Ptolemy in Egypt, Seleucus in Asia, Antigonos in Macedon, and as fate would have it the generals turned upon each other. Alexander's empire, now turned upon itself, was given to war, assassination, schemes and political machinations. With great men among his generals, such as Ptolemy and Seleucus, it was an inevitability. Each desired more power and fame than the other, each desired the glory and fame of Alexander. Macedon was not unaffected. Antigonos I Monophthalmus was a worthy heir to the homeland of Alexander the Great. Fighting against the Cappadocians, the armies of Pontus, and notably, Seleucus, he kept Macedon safe until when in battle with Seleucus he was slain. That was nearly forty years ago. A mere ten years ago, Pyrrhus of Epirus was embattled in Italy. His Pyrrhic War would eventually end in failure. In 280 BC he fought the Romans in the battle of Heraclea. A year later in 279 BC he fought at the battle of Asculum. It was in this battle that Pyrrhus won his most bitter victory. Thus the Hellenes lost their colonies in Magna Graecia. Only two years ago Pyrrhus died in battle, a civic squabble in Argos. An old Argead woman threw a roofing tile at his head which stunned him, allowing a warrior of Argos to behead him. And so Pyrrhus died. Leaving a legacy of ambition, cunning, and brilliant generalship. However, the fates were unkind to this second Jason, and thus he died an ignoble death, in a small town, for a petty cause. And thus the Greek world lost one of it's brightest stars, for since Alexander, no man had accomplished as much as he, until Pyrrhus. With his death it had become clear, the power of the Republic of Rome was considerable. A conflict with the Hellenic world would be imminent. And though the power had been with the Hellenes for these fifty three years of chaos, there were new stars rising into the heavens. Rome, the Greeks, and Carthage were the kings of the world. But when rivals are so near in strength, so admirable and worthy, it can not be long but that these rivals should seek to compare their might. So it happened with the Diadochi, so it would be with these rising stars.


    Macedon 270 BC

    "Kleomenes of Sparta is our main threat. Already he has dispatched watches, sentries, sent spies into our settlement at Corinth, he has made clear his intent. He intends to make war on us my lords." Damasos handed his father Antigonos a scroll containing his official report. "He may be greatly respected by our neighbors the Greeks, but his bloodlust makes him untrustworthy. Surely he hopes to add the prosperous city of Corinth to his alliance of city-states. Not to mention to sate his thirst for glory and prestige!" Damasos stood illuminated by the brazier of fire, his long shadow adorning the otherwise bare campaign tent.

    Antigonos read his son's report solemnly. "You are correct my son, Kleomenes is a man without fear. He would have to be to lead the Spartans. He is an honorable man though, Kleomenes. And Carpus of Pylos tells me his son has accepted our terms of trade and friendship at Thermon. I do agree though, that he can not be trusted, for truly, you are right. He sees himself as the defender of an independent Greece, but fails to see that we are not so different. He supposes I am a tyrant. I am no more than he, but let us prove that with our actions. You say he has made forays into our lands?" Antigonos hardly looked up from the scroll of Kleomenes' offenses his son had composed.

    Damasos pointed out a spot on the map, "Here, near this place have our men spotted Kleomenes and his army. Father, let me strike out at him, let me defeat him and thus keep Corinth safe from his grasp!"

    Antigonos held up his hand, "No son. You may not fight Kleomenes. You must defend the garrison at Corinth. It is of vital importance son."

    Damasos protested, "But father! I know Kleomenes well. I have learned much from watching the craven coward wander around our lands, let me show him that we are not afraid of him."

    Antigonos smiled to himself, "I suppose you have gotten to know him pretty well. But I have known him for many years my son. I know his strategies, his peculiar quirks, and what's more is that he and I have faced each other many times in the past. I want to be the one to lead our army against him, I will bring my royal cavalry. We will show the world the might of Macedon. You, my son, must keep watch, keep us informed. And if he does attack Corinth, you will lead the defense against him. However, I hope to have brought my army to Corinth by that time." The old man stood in the assembly. "Well then, what other news is there my sons?"

    "A most excellent plan father." Gyras pointed to the map. "It had been my hope that you would deploy my army in Larissa to aid my brother Damasos. It is much closer to Corinth after all."

    "What a fortunate father I am, that my sons are so valiant. But I have determined, I will face Kleomenes." Antigonos moved the piece on the map that symbolized his fleet. "My army shall arrive by sea."

    "What I wonder is, what can we expect of our old enemy in Thrace?" Asked Euenus. "And furthermore, what are the plans of Dacia? For truly, if war is waged with both Thrace and Dacia, we will be quite taxed on our northern border. As you may well know, Byzalora is a rather small settlement."

    Antigonos pondered over his son's words patiently. "Wise Euenus. You pose a good question, but my answer is this. If Thrace or Dacia come to us with favorable terms, accept them. We can't risk war on too many fronts. If they come against Byzalora in arms however, you must defend the city."

    Euenus bowed to his father, "My noble lord, it shall be as you request."

    "There is yet another threat we have not discussed." Damasos stood up from his chair, "Rome."

    "My son, there you have pointed out a most distressing problem." Antigonos looked weary at the mere mention of the city's name. "Yes, the Brutii seem to have their eyes set upon Greece, but what can we do but wait and see. That is why we must address this issue with Kleomenes immediately. If we can consolidate Greece under one banner, the flag of Macedon, then it will stand a better chance against the invaders. Not to mention, that it will show we are quite capable ourselves. This issue of Rome, I leave it to you Gyras. Monitor the situation, muster troops, increase the defenses at Larissa. If not for Rome, than for the Greeks at Thermon. For as surely as this night shall end, war is coming. Now to each your duties. My sons, be well. Macedon will prosper, as long as we are bold."

    The assembly ended, and the the lords departed. Antigonos left for Thessalonica, his three sons left together. Gyras, Macedon's prince and heir apparent, led the company of brothers. "So my brothers, it looks like we shall soon be quite busy with the business of war."

    "And about time too," said Damasos, "I was getting tired of seeing Kleomenes mocking face."

    "Let us mock him then tonight in our revels." Gyras turned to Euenus, "Can I expect you to attend upon the gods of revelry with me tonight?"

    Euenus smiled, "Of course, as long as you are paying, and you are paying aren't you?"

    Gyras shook his head, "More than I can afford, like always."

    Damasos grinned, "Euenus will go with you, but he won't drink. He'll sit in the corner and watch us all make fools of ourselves, and then he'll tell us how foolish we looked the next day."

    "You forget the part where I make loud music to torment you with your headaches," added Euenus. "Besides, you know Damasos isn't much for drink either."

    "I shall drink enough for both of you." Gyras laughed, "Well then, I'll bet you go to the revels to watch the dancers then don't you?"

    "Well, let's not ponder and get ourselves to the revels then shall we?" Answered Damasos.

    "I knew it!" said Gyras. "Well then, let's to the revels. I fear this may be the last time we can engage in such frivolity!"
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 270 BC

    From the records of Euenus of Macedon.

    It is as you said father, the Dacians and Thracians have come to us asking for peace. I granted them their wish to open trade relations with us. Surely the inflow of trade will be favorable to us. Your son, Euenus.


    Winter, 269

    "Brutii, in Apollonia? Well, they were quick to seize Epirus." Gyras asked the diplomat, "Carpus, you've seen this for yourself?"

    The diplomat bowed politely, "My lord, it is as I told you."

    "I see," Gyras turned to the diplomat, "I'm sure a man of discretion like yourself could tell me about their present force."

    Carpus spoke quietly, "Of course my lord." He motioned Gyras to the Governor's chambers. "I would prefer to tell you about that in private."

    Gyras retorted sarcastically, "Why, do you think we have spies among us?"

    Carpus remained stern, but had turned quite pale, "One can never be certain. And additionally, there is the issue of morale we must keep in mind."

    "Oh, is it that bad?" Gyras was truly shocked, "Meet me in my quarters then. We'll discuss it there."

    "It's nothing we can not handle my lord, but I shall tell you more about that soon."

    "Do so Carpus. I must inform my father about this." Gyras retired from the villa's lush garden to the privacy of his mansion.

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

    "Well my lord, as I told you, I saw the Roman army at Apollonia. The army was composed of heavy infantry and skirmishers, in equal measure. Two units of heavy infantry, and two of skirmishers, and two generals. A modest force but nothing more than that my lord. My fear is that this is just the beginning. Two generals for such a small force?" Carpus handed Gyras a scroll, "I obtained trade rights with them quite easily. But I sense their agreeable nature shall turn as soon as their strength increases."

    Gyras looked over the contents of the scroll. "Brutus? That's a familiar name."

    "Brutus, they are the leaders of the Brutii family my lord. One of the three ruling families of the patricians. They rule Rome."

    "Carpus, why does that name sound familiar?"

    "Well, Tarentum and Croton, formerly Greek cities were taken by the Roman Brutii family. Pyrrhus of Epirus once fought in the territory the Roman Brutii now call their home."

    "Ah yes, now it makes sense. And they're after more Hellenic territory? Well, we shall certainly make this effort a more costly one to them." Gyras got up from his chair to examine his battle map. "But, there are some problems. My garrison is small, my brother's garrison, Euenus, can't spare any men, and nor can Damasos in Cornith. The army is all with my father Antigonos. And he can't spare any men until he has dealt with Kleomenes. We'll have to stick to our garrisons until we can march troops out to meet the Romans at Epirus. Once we can afford to do that we can stem the tide of the coming Roman invasion."

    Carpus followed his liege, "So then my lord, we shall go to war with Rome?"

    "Or they with us. Doubt not that it will come. The invasion of Epirus is a precursor to an invasion of Macedon. It's too bad we couldn't have captured Apollonia before the Romans. We will capture the city though, one day. The Epirots will be reunited with their Hellenic brothers."

    "Truly," replied Carpus.

    "Come with me Carpus, follow me to the stables. I do believe our cavalry may be the key to keeping Macedon free. We will not fall like Magna Graecia."

    From the records of Gyras of Macedon.

    Father, the diplomat Carpus has informed me that already the Romans have landed in Greece. Furthermore, they have captured Apollonia. Their army is quite modest, but they have among their forces two generals. The family is the Brutii family. It is my opinion that they plan on invading Macedon. I am raising an army to meet them at the pass between Epirus and Thessaly. If we can at least match their forces then we can keep them from advancing any farther than Epirus. Your son and loyal servant, Gyras.
    Last edited by Tsar Alexsandr; 03-03-2012 at 01:19. Reason: style
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Author's Note

    I added a introduction just to remind the reader of the time, environment, and to provide a source to refer to for historical references I make in this AAR.
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 269

    From the records of Euenus of Macedon.

    Those lying, treacherous, barbarous Thracians! Now they besiege Bylazora while I am away. Those confounded curs, they come to us in the guise of peace only to unleash their teeth! I was headed for Thessalonica to merge forces with some cavalry that were to be sent to Bylazora, and then upon my arrival near Bylazora, what do I see? A Thracian army at siege. My only regret is that me and my full force are separated. Would that I could be among them, to lead them to victory against the barbarous enemy! I know our army is taxed as it is, but the plain matter of the fact is we need more troops in Bylazora. If we can not hold the city, than nothing will stop the onrush of the northern barbarians.

    Your son and servant, Euenus.
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Summer, 268

    "Father!" The cry echoed down the Thessalian halls, "Father! News from Epirus!"

    "Aloeus, what is it my son?" Gyras was in his study when Aloeus entered calling for him.

    Aloeus turned to where the voice had come from, "Ah there you are father!" He marched across the room to where his father sat, the young man's armor rattling and his sword swaying with his feverish pace. "Father! Carpus has just come from Epirus."

    Gyras looked up at his young son. "And does he bring good news my son?" Gyras eyes seemed to stare right through his son's and into the ceiling above.

    Aloeus turned to look out the manor window, "Truly, father, it is alarming news."

    Gyras stood up, "My son, when you get to be my age nothing will surprise you. Well then, what is the news."

    "Carpus has just returned from Epirus, and he has seen a new army that has arrived in Epirus. The garrison at Apollonia has been increased, and furthermore, yet another general has arrived in support of the Brutii army." Aloeus marked the spot where Carpus had last seen the Brutii army.

    Gyras pressed his hand against his face, "I see." He shook his head, "It can't be helped. Well then, my son, I shall send you with my cavalry to Thessalonica. There you shall be given reinforcements by my order and my father's order. My son, when you receive your army, you shall guard the pass between Epirus and Thessalonica. If the Romans come to make war with us they will first have to make war with you."

    "My father, I shall not fail you!" Aloeus eagerly announced.

    At the age of sixteen, his son still young, yet showed signs of greatness. The men respected him, but not because of his noble birth in lineage, for truly, an outsider could scarcely see the difference between the noble Aloeus and a young captain. Aloeus camped with his men and lead his army from the front. There was truly no fault in him, except perhaps a dangerous temper and his natural trusting nature. Although largely practical he was no stranger to the revels, much like his father. Making and honoring countless toasts to the gods of victory, wine, war, and Zeus. Although a youth many already hailed him as a second Alexander. Gyras his father recognized in this son an underlying greatness that he believed, would naturally come to the forefront in these trying times. Surely, he and his sons would have to fight for the continued survival of Macedon. Outwardly Macedon seemed to be a stronger force than it truly was. Gyras was painfully aware of this. With reinforcements going to Euenus in the north and the bulk of the army headed south with Antigonos, Gyras knew that his territory of Thessaly was vulnerable. To Rome on one front, and to the Greek league on another.

    "My son, you have all the makings of a great hero in you. All you need now is a chance to prove yourself, and I fear, there will be no shortage of opportunity for that." Gyras eyed his son fondly, knowing that they may be apart for quite a long time.

    Aloeus embraced his father, "Have no fear father."

    Gyras was surprised by his son's impulsiveness. "No, you're right son. I know you are ready." He placed his hand in his son's hair. "Now go son! The army awaits you, ride and show the world the pride of Macedon. Aloeus and our mighty Macedonian cavalry!"

    "You flatter me father. But I shall try to honor that praise!" Aloeus left triumphantly.

    Gyras watched in pride as his eldest son marched off to join the wars, but he felt an odd pang of regret as well. "I recall when I was young and I told my father what I would do in his name and for the glory of our nation. And now, well, I suppose it can not be helped. War is coming to us anyhow, it is better if we are eager and hopeful like my son."

    ..............

    Aloeus marched into the manor's courtyard. He saw his army practicing at hand to hand, passing time. The stable hands watched as their superiors practiced their martial art upon one another. Aloeus complimented the gathered warriors, "I must congratulate your instincts my soldiers! For as a matter of fact, we are engaged in a most important and martial task as of this very moment."

    One of the old veteran's spoke up, "Where to young lord?"

    Aloeus glared at him viciously, "Young lord says you. Am I then a child?"

    The veteran didn't speak but looked down at the young officer's rebuke.

    Another soldier spoke up, "You have yet to grow a beard young Aloeus."

    "Ah, now there's a man I've fought alongside." He placed his hand on the old veteran's shoulder, "I was just joking with you good man, don't worry. My wrath is for the enemy alone, not my men."

    The veteran took a sigh of relief, "I had no intention of dying early in the campaign either."

    Aloeus leaped on his opportunity, "Well you've done good so far, living to this ripe old age!"

    The man laughed, "Oh I'm not that old yet am I?"

    "A verifiable old man time you are." Aloeus retorted.

    "I am no older than your father my lord." replied the veteran.

    "Well then, there are two old men time upon the earth."

    "And your grandfather?" Replied the other soldier.

    "My grandfather?" Aloeus smirked, "Why he's the Titan Cronos!"

    "Why then did he not consume your father and you?"

    "Well," Aloeus started, "It's known far and wide that we Macedonians are unpalatable. Be glad on this, for no god nor cannibal shall dare eat you."

    The soldiers laughed at the absurd tale.

    "Well then, enough of that, make ready to follow me to Thessalonica. And make haste! I'd rather leave before I too am white-haired."

    The soldiers were glad to finally receive news of their deployment.

    "About time." One said.

    Another, "What is our goal young Prince?"

    "We are to reinforce my uncle Euenus in his efforts to hold back the Thracians, if need be. And if the Romans raise their arms against Thessalonica, we are to meet them in battle and halt their aggression."

    "War with Rome?" Said one soldier, "Was not Pyrrhus repelled from Rome?"

    "Repelled?" replied Aloeus, "Truly he was. But did he not also slay many of the foe? Well, we shall also slay many of the foe, but take heart men. As of yet we have no enemy but Thrace. And that should put you at ease. What need of you to have fear? We are Macedonians! The heirs of Alexander, Antigonos, Pyrrhus, in your blood noble Macedonians is the blood of Alexander's empire. We are blessed by the gods, so fear not. But follow me, we waste time here and I would like to make as much progress as we can this day. To your horses good soldiers, and to Thessalonica tonight!"

    Aloeus left the men and some followed, others took their time on account of their injuries sustained in practice.

    "A mild injury, but it shall hurt sorely on this nights march." The soldier ran his hand down his back as he packed his gear, "What think you of the general sir?"

    "I think he's enthusiastic." Replied the other as he bandaged his forearm.

    "Yes, surely. And, do you think he can truly lead us to victory?" replied the other, leaning forward in an effort to alleviate his pain.

    "Truly," replied the other.

    "Why?" asked the other soldier.

    "Well, he has shown some knowledge already, experience, charisma, he's a good officer as far as I know."

    "What about the Romans?" Asked the sore soldier. "Do you think we can defeat them?"

    "Pyrrhus did from time to time didn't he? Except, we will be fighting for our home. Yes, I am sure we can."

    "I've heard the Romans ravaged the defenders at Epirus."

    "And they were led by some no account Epirot yokel were they not? A brigand? A pirate? Not a real army."

    "True enough I suppose."

    Another soldier interrupted the two, "The general has just promised us a revel in honor of Dionysus when we arrive in Thessalonica!" The herald ran back to rejoin the others, "Hurry, we must make it there tonight or we shall miss the revelry!"

    The soldier finished bandaging his arm and turned to his compatriot. "So then, are you coming? Come and you can drink the soreness away. I shall drink profusely so that I have a reason so that my head should hurt as it does."

    The other soldier got up uneasily, "That sounds well enough to me. A drink's a tempting thing, I'll need a few in me if I am going anywhere near those barbarous Thracians."

    "And may they never drink a drop, for as fearsome as you are drunk I fear how the drink may affect them!"
    Last edited by Tsar Alexsandr; 03-03-2012 at 05:18. Reason: style
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Summer, 268

    Damasos stood atop the stairs that lead down to the port, the heat of the summer day was only abated by the fresh breeze of the wind coming in from the sea. Not only was he relieved by the breeze but also by the arrival of his father Antigonos. Damasos brow was twisted into an expression of malice, hatred born for his adopted rival Kleomenes. The leader of the allied Greeks did often encroach upon the Peloponnesus. All Damasos could do was watch, but now, now he might get to watch the hated enemy defeated.

    Antigonos lead his army from the ships to where Damasos stood waiting. The sun, shining upon the masses of armored men, cast a bright and vibrant light. A golden light. The glint of the sun upon the warriors spear points was like a sea of stars, swaying with the mens movements. Antigonos stopped his horse to address his son. "Well Damasos, what news is there of the Greek king. Has he made himself present?"

    "At times my lord, and at other times he evades our notice." Damasos shielded his eyes, "He does seem to invite a provocation."

    "Well we shall see." Antigonos noticed a man coming up behind Damasos.

    The man removed his cloak and they recognized the spy, Aegisthes of Larrisa, whom Damasos had engaged in a campaign against Kleomenes. "Noble lords, I made haste when I observed what I've come to tell you of."

    Antigonos acknowledged the spy, "Yes Aegisthes, what is it you wish to tell us?"

    "At this very moment, Kleomenes of Sparta is in the Peloponnesus. He has crossed our borders and lies in a cunning place, hidden in a vale of our forests. His army is broken from his main force, but at the current moment his force is greater than ours at the garrison of Corinth."

    Damasos' anger was greatly enhanced by the news but Antigonos expression was more of surprise than outrage.

    "In our lands, currently? You know this for sure?"

    "Not for sure my lord, but he certainly was. If he is making for Corinth than yes, he is still in our land. And what's more, is we hurry we can cut him off at a narrow peninsula."

    "Damasos, Aegisthes, does Kleomenes know of my arrival?"

    "We recently expelled a spy from Corinth, but we know not what became of the spy. Still, we do not know if he could testify to your arrival or not, seeing as how we have already driven him off. Would that my forces had captured the wretch instead!"

    "Very well then, I have made my decision. We act now, as we must. Kleomenes is a sly adversary, but he has made his final mistake." Antigonos turned to is troops still marching out from the ship. "Soldiers, we march today! We march for Sparta and to oppose the king of Sparta!"

    "You may want to add some auxiliaries to the army when you pass Corinth," Aegisthes spoke discretely, "the pass is so narrow that when we take it the garrison will be able to hold without their surplus soldiers." The spy added, "Not only that, but just a few more men will allow you to match the enemy force. And that will certainly guaranty our victory."

    "You advise me most soundly Aegisthes," the general turned to Damasos, "My son, is it possible to be reinforced by your army?"

    Damasos bowed, "Aye, most certainly my father. I shall lead them to join your army on the march, do not worry."

    "Good, that shall expedite our victory!" the king turned his horse to the task at hand, "Well then gentlemen, I will defeat Kleomenes and thus deliver this nation from its most pressing concern. Until we meet again. Forward!" The king rode along his column shouting encouragements to his fresh army.

    Damasos sighed, "It is his right to face his old enemy, but I wished it could be I who led the army against Kleomenes."

    The spy noted the prince, "Young men like us Damasos shall earn our legacy through hard work, we will earn ourselves some fame yet."

    "Quite wise for a knave," replied the prince.

    "And are not the greatest senators also knaves?" The agent scoffed, "a spy is more honest than a politician."

    "Well said," said Damasos.

    "My lord, allow me to provide your forces with security in your mission to reinforce your father." The spy added, "The roads and the woods are both dangerous places."

    "Very good noble Aegisthes, let us then lead the reinforcements to my father, and let my father lead Kleomenes to Hades!"
    Last edited by Tsar Alexsandr; 03-18-2012 at 22:30. Reason: Spelling
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Summer, 268

    The Battle of the Peloponnesus


    The sun rose over the fog covered hills of southern Greece. Illuminating the mist like a great golden tapestry. The wet dew upon the ground caused the soldiers to gather mud about their feet while the chill fog clung to their armor. The spy Aegisthes had been right, Kleomenes of Sparta was in the Peloponnesus, seemingly making his way for the city of Corinth. One of the jewels of the current Macedonian dominion. A prize won from the Greeks in times earlier and kept by the vigilance of Antigonos and his forebears. Antigonos signaled to the army his intent, deploy in the nearby woods and cut off Kleomenes advance.

    "Forward men! Into the wooded hillock, deploy in a standard phalanx. Light cavalry, protect the right flank. Hide in ambush until my signal, royal cavalry, follow me and we shall place ourselves upon the left flank. Forward men, onwards to glory and honor!"

    The men obeyed their orders and the Greeks continued unabated, seemingly unaware of the approaching Macedonians. The Greek column headed straight into the path of where Antigonos had deployed his troops.

    Antigonos reveled in his stroke of fortune, "Kleomenes, your senses have grown duller in your old age." He signaled a servant to bring him his horn, "I won't fight my old enemy unannounced." The horn broke the silence of the peaceful morning, it echoed among the small hills and valleys of the plain. In reply Kleomenes sounded his own horn. Antigonos signaled his cavalry, "Come men, I wish to have an audience with my adversary err we fight."

    The enemy halted their advance in the plain, waited as Antigonos rode before it waving to their general. He let out a shout, "Kleomenes! Come, let us speak before this battle. Speak with me, or I shall forever regard you as a man without honor!"

    Kleomenes thundered his reply back, "Very well Antigonos! We shall speak then."

    The two generals separated from their units and rode with just their bodyguards to the middle of the field. In the Hellenic age, much had changed. For the two generals to meet before battle was now an anachronism, but one that the two senior gentlemen would honor as it was their custom. "Many years have passed since we first met, is it not true Kleomenes?"

    "Indeed it is," Kleomenes shifted in his saddle, "So why are you here today my some time enemy and some time friend?"

    "I think you know why. It is because you are in Macedon Kleomenes, what are you doing here?"

    "Well, there is no use lying about it. I make for Corinth." The old general made no effort to try to deceive his old adversary, "You know I owe it to the Greek League to recover the city."

    "You expected my son Damasos didn't you?"

    "Before you? Yes. I assumed I would see him rather than you. If only I knew of your intent to come here, but it is of no matter. My seer has already foreseen my victory."

    The Spartan Seer rode forward, "It is true. The omens are good for his lordship."

    Antigonos, a practical man scoffed at the notion of seers and prophets, but he felt inclined to ask anyways, "And what do you see for me, mighty Seer?"

    "Pain, and death. Great devastation."

    "A bleak prophesy." He turned back to his opponent, "Kleomenes, I can't let you pass today. You know that. I feel inclined to warn you, if we fight today old nemesis, you will surely perish."

    The Spartan king merely grinned at the Macedonian king, "I will try my luck. You may outnumber us but we Spartans outman you."

    "The Fates have their duty today, to bring you to the afterlife. Already they reach for the scissors."

    Kleomenes noticed the king's cavalry in the distance, "You must really hate me to have brought your royal cavalry with you Antigonos. It's rare that they leave Thessalonica these days, is it not?"

    "They follow me, and I brought them here today because I know you." Antigonos motioned to his adversary's army, "And you, you have brought your hoplites. You have deployed in a solid, traditional phalanx. You too rely upon your favored stratagem."

    "More are on the way. My Spartans from Sparta are coming with more hoplites. So then, what now? Do you still think you can win? I assure you, you are now outnumbered and outmaned."

    "You prize yourself on your cunning Kleomenes, but let us see who wins the day. Your life of scheming and clawing your way up through the ranks ends today. Tell me, do the Spartans still refuse their pretender king?"

    "The Spartans? Aye, but the Greeks who outnumber them have rallied behind me and by and by I have won them over for the most part. They know it is either I a Greek, or you a Macedonian that they must follow, and they despise you more than me. I command their loyalty, but not their love."

    "Kleomenes, sometime my enemy, at other times my friend, let us return to our armies and decide this one final conflict between us."

    "Is it certainly final?" Asked Kleomenes.

    "Aye, it is." Answered Antigonos.

    "A pity we fight each other and not the Romans."

    "Aye, it is. But we had our chance and sat by, we watched Pyrrhus lose Magna Graecia."

    "For shame, we did."

    "My people did not trust him until it was too late," sighed Antigonos.

    "And I owe him this throne."

    "Whoever wins must recover that which Pyrrhus had lost."

    "Aye," replied the Greek king, "starting with his home, Epirus."

    "Aye, even so." Antigonos turned to return to his army, "Farewell Kleomenes, know that despite all I've said and done I do respect you noble foe. It is why I had to come to face you."

    "I know," replied the Greek, "And it is good that you have. We shall fight our best, one last time. Farewell Antigonos."

    The two rode back to their own armies, Antigonos complained to one of his officers, "The fool, he doesn't even realize the danger he is in."

    "My lord, you know him do you not? His pride alone would command him to fight, am I wrong?" replied the officer.

    "No, you are right. It's just a shame that in all these years he hasn't inherited the wisdom of age." Antigonos sighed heavily, "You can't help the hopeless. But still, I admire his bravery and courage. His cunning is not lacking, truly, his strategy is sound. But it is predictable. As always, his cunning was more so with the ways and policies of man, rather than with the strategy of war. He made himself a king by his cunning, but his strategic blindness has cost him in the past, and today, it shall cost him dearly. Strike up the banners and sound the drums, we shall deploy for battle!"

    By this time the fog had cleared and the morning cool gave way to the initial heat of the summer morning. The sky was clear, the sun radiant, the battle was about to begin.

    ----- The Battle -----

    "Moving already!" Antigonos shouted to his army, "Hold your positions! Follow your orders. The enemy is meeting us head on!" His horse stirred under him, he leaned over to an officer, "Too soon and too bold. He knows he can beat what he can see but does not at all take into account what he cannot see!"

    The enemy hoplites advanced slowly and in unison, like one giant wall of glimmering bronze and spears, Antigonos pikemen stood fast but anxious about the coming battle. Armored only in light linothorax, protected mainly by their long pikes, the pikemen looked feeble compared to the Grecian hoplites.

    Suddenly a cry rang out among the Macedonians, "Archers! Aim," the voice waited, "Fire!" The volley flew out of the forest and landed among the Greeks, causing many surprised warriors to be killed in the first volley, "Fire at will!" called the officer.

    Antigonos scoffed, "Ha! You scorn archery and it proves your downfall. Ha! I hope many fall to the bow, that will show them."

    The Greeks marched on undaunted, the powerful phalanx was escorted by two flanks of feeble peasants who were felled in great numbers by the Macedonian archers. This agitated Antigonos, "Cruel but effective Kleomenes, what a shame you must use your own countrymen as shields for your precious hoplites. And what a shame that unit of commoners has drifted too close to my ambush! Was that your plan Kleomenes? Were you screening for an ambush with those mean commoners? It's of no matter now, signal the light cavalry to charge! Light cavalry, charge!" The general's horse rose up with the command.

    The command was repeated throughout the army, "Light cavalry charge!"

    The sound of their trumpets filled the air as the cavalry met with the hapless peasants. The commoners flew into the air from the force of the charging light cavalry, cries of "Fall back!" rose among the peasantry, they broke the instant the lancers fell upon them and the Macedonians returned back to their flank, more important enemies were left to be dealt with.

    Antigonos signaled his royal cavalry to move, "It's not good to stay here, follow me."

    The archers persisted with their task, killing some, wounding more, but by now the pikemen could clearly make out the approaching hoplites, more imposing up close than they were before. They could even see the king of the Greeks behind them, his tall plume swaying above his white horse. The sun making his armor appear like gold. Their pikes swayed with their weight. The officers saw this and began shouting, "Hold steady, hold fast our phalanx!"

    Soon the Greeks and Macedonians connected, first the Macedonians with their longer pikes and then the Greeks who steadily buried themselves in the melee. Antigonos was greatly displeased with what he saw, "Our lines are crumbling! Hurry, order all cavalry to charge!" He blew his horn, the signal for the charge and charged towards the left flank where he and his cavalry had an excellent view of the enemy's flank. "Charge and leave none alive!"

    The royal cavalry broke Kleomenes hoplites in the initial charge, relieved pikemen let out a cry of victory as the enemy left flank was broken. On the right flank, the lancers charged again from the forest, so fast and sudden upon the backs of the enemy right flank that they too fled rather than face the Macedonian cavalry or the wall of pikes before them. Kleomenes who had been leading his men from the front lines saw his army fleeing, the sound of their cries surely made it to his ears. He looked both to his right and too his left, he called out to his army "Regroup!" And turning to flee himself collided with the right flank which was moving to aid the center and envelop the foe. He and his guards fell to the pikemen of the right flank and all that was left of his army were the routers.

    Antigonos stood by soberly, and muttered a command to his officers. "Tell the cavalry to deploy on the flanks again. Tell the infantry to redeploy in the forest, Kleomenes reinforcements are just now reaching our view." He donned his helmet and let out a cry for all to hear, "The battle is not over! Follow your orders and we will win Macedon another great victory!"

    The officers carried out their orders and the soldiers followed their officers commands, they redeployed in the same formation, but something was different. The enemy army didn't move. "Why don't they move? Are they in mourning for their king?" Antigonos pondered the enemies inaction.

    Antigonos watched the enemy hold position on a gentle hillock. He waited to see if they would engage him, but it became clear, they had picked their battleground. Antigonos tired of waiting for them to move, "Very well," he said, "We shall move to fight them. Army, forward!" He motioned the army to advance. The new order was to mirror the enemy phalanx but the cavalry would take the flanks in preparation for an encirclement. The army marched across the flat plain, the day's heat now much more oppressive than before. At least the terrain was easy to traverse.

    The army held it's composure excellently. The pikemen moved as a solid mass of infantry, their weapons at the ready the entire time. The cavalry waited ahead of them, already in place, but the enemy did not budge.

    Finally the army in place, Antigonos formation achieved, the enemy still didn't move. He ordered the infantry to advance until the archers were in range of the enemy. This army was as formidable or more so than the last. The only thing it lacked was a notable leader. The hoplites of this second army were of greater quality than the former, the former being of intermediate quality. These new warriors had superior armor, and one unit of them were the notorious Spartans. Their red cloaks gave them away from a great distance.

    As soon as the archers were in range the enemy advanced. The Spartans headed for Antigonos and his cavalry, while the main army advanced upon the Macedonian phalanx. Another group of hoplites marched upon the king's lancers. The cavalry fell back, so as to not ruin their strategy while the infantry held it's ground. The pikemen performed admirably at first, but the Greek's unrelenting pressure and fury forced them to lose ground. The right flank was holding, but the left flank wavered with the arrival of the Spartans upon their flank. But this gave Antigonos the chance he was looking for, the enemy all engaged he could now destroy them. The lancers charged first. The right flank relieved by the lancers was now free to aid the weary left flank, which by now was half broken. Half of the left flank now fled the battle, Antigonos ordered a charge on the Spartan's exposed rear. The left and right flanks now flanked the Spartans, but with Antigonos and his cavalry cutting off their only exit the battle turned into a massacre. The Spartans fought desperately, but there was no hope for them. The entire unit died in the massacre, leaving behind a tangled mass of men draped in their red cloaks, adorned in their golden armor. The bloody brawl concluded Antigonos ordered his lancers to chase down the routers.

    The day was won, but it had been costly. Antigonos saw that his phalanx had been greatly bruised. This second wave of Greeks had damaged his army more than he could have anticipated. Perhaps if Kleomenes had received his reinforcements in time he would have won this battle. The enemy king never should have attempted to capture Cornith with so much of his main force left behind.

    After the battle it was clear Macedon had won a great victory here. The Greeks had come in greater numbers, and though they were better armed, Antigonos proved his superior cunning in battle once more. The king ordered a monument to be raised upon the spot where Kleomenes was slain. "He was a noble enemy. Although it's true, in life, he was a notorious plotter. At times my enemy, at others my friend. He fought hard to earn his position in the world. To die as king of Sparta, in battle, after a long life is something worth noting and worth celebrating."

    "My lord!" An exhausted man knelt in the king's presence, "I have word from Sparta!"

    "What is it?"

    "The garrison at Sparta is empty. The reinforcements you fought were the city's garrison. And now that the enemy are all slain, the town is vulnerable. Kleomenes may have built the first wall around Sparta, but it has never been more vulnerable!"

    "What!" Antigonos was in shock at the news, "We have ruined them so utterly then? Than we shall march on Sparta! Seize the city before it can be reinforced, but before we do that we must honor the worthy dead. Lay markers here so that we may honor these who died today. Lay one here with noble Kleomenes, leave another with the Spartans who fought and died as brothers. Take up the bodies, the men in their arms and armor, bear them back to Sparta. We shall give them a fitting burial for their valor and fame." The men obeyed Antigonos orders as he wandered off into the wilderness by himself. "Sparta, ungarrisoned? How unusual. Was this a gift from you Kleomenes? Nevertheless, I shall honor my vow to you Kleomenes. I will restore the empire of Alexander. We will not fall to these new comers, this republic of Rome. My friend Kleomenes, rest now in the Elysium fields. Drink in the waters of forgetfulness, wash away thy woes and pains. Good friend, forget my transgressions against you as I have yours against me. Rest well and know, I will honor my vow or death shall take me!"
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 268

    From the records of Euenus of Macedon

    Ha! My father, the Thracians have broken siege. I followed in pursuit but we could not catch them. How nimble they are in their flight! They must have seen our numbers and our quality, and that brash boldness they formerly had must have fermented into the cowardice that now infests their ranks! I shall stand vigil north of Byzalora. They caught us at a moment of unreadiness before, but they shall not do so again!

    Your son, Euenus.
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 268

    "Euenus has scattered the Thracians before him. They fled before our righteous might." Antigonos handed the letter to his youngest son Damasos, "I leave the bulk of my army with you son. I shall ride with the cavalry for Thessalonica this night."

    "Very good father." Damasos walked along the ramparts as he read through his brother's letter. "Father, there is an army of Greeks left near Athens."

    "Oh?"

    "Yes, remnants of Kleomenes forces. Aegisthes says that they are besieging Athens, but they have no hope of victory. They are merely a band of peltasts, light infantry. Say the word and I shall dispatch them presently."

    Antigonos mulled over the situation quietly, "They wouldn't last a cavalry charge. Son, you maintain my army in Corinth and Sparta. I shall defeat these vagrants who strayed too far from home."

    "Yes sir."

    "Re-train the men, and train more men. Recruit the Spartans and Laconians. Their experience shall prove useful and shall strengthen our phalanx. Then son, then I shall send you south to capture Crete."

    "Yes sir, I shall do as you ask."

    "Good." Antigonos smiled as he placed his hand on his son's shoulder, "I am proud to have a son as eager as you. After Crete, who knows, perhaps I shall send you to capture Cyrene."

    "Very good father."

    "Now, I have a small matter to deal with. You must see to our strategy here in the south. I know my trust is well placed."

    Damasos bowed, "Thank you father. I shall not fail you."

    Skirmish at Athens

    "There they are! All cavalry, charge!"

    Antigonos and his men charged across the Attican plain. The enemy braced for battle, poised to throw their deadly javelins. Few managed to throw their missiles before Antigonos and his men made contact with the Greek forces.

    "Cut them down, break their resolve!" Antigonos personally rode at the front of his van. Many fell before him and his guard.

    The Greek captain tried his best to rally his soldiers, crying, "Revenge, revenge for King Kleomenes!"

    He cried thus as one of the King's bodyguards plunged his spear through his back, the officer stumbling forward, fell before the horsemen. His desperate cry haunting the confused chaos of battle.

    With the death of their officer the enemy was broken. Antigonos ordered his cavalry to run them down.

    The battle was over and Antigonos the victor.

    "We have saved Athens. Saved it for another day." He told his officers, "Well then, let us continue on to Thessalonica. By now the Greeks should surely know they can not do as they please in our domain. Forward to Thessalonica men!"

    The Greeks at Athens learned quickly that their Greek besiegers had been defeated. Some witnesses told the story of how it had taken place, but this started a new controversy in Athens. If the Greek League was not going to conquer Athens, than the conqueror of the Greek League would. And thus the townspeople had to accept the possibility of Macedonian citizenship once more. Athenian independence, hard fought for, might again be lost.
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 268

    "My lord!" The messenger was nearly out of breath, "Lord Aloeus, I have news."

    Aloeus turned to the soldier, "What is it soldier?"

    "Carpus has sent me." The soldier paused for breath, "He is in Epirus. He reports that a large army has left Epirus for Thessalonica!"

    The soldiers around Aloeus stopped their work, "Romans, in Macedon?" They discussed the news frantically and passionately. "Confounded villains!" said one, another exclaimed, "First Epirus, now Macedon!"

    Aloeus alone remained calm. He stood patiently before the messenger and waited for him to catch his breath, "How many do they have in their army soldier?"

    "Many." Said the soldier nervously, "four units of Hastati, archers, velites, and some auxiliaries. My lord, I saw the army on my way here, it is an invasion force!"

    "An invasion force?" Aloeus seemed interested, he was already planning a response. "Soldiers! Silence. Listen to me!"

    The soldiers gathered before their young lord.

    "We will meet the enemy head on. We shall deploy to the west in a pass between Epirus and Macedon. Come with me messenger, I need to ask you where you saw the enemy." Aloeus lead the soldier to his map. "Can you show me where they were soldier?"

    The soldier pointed to the valley between Epirus and Macedon. "Here they were sir."

    "And do you think that they could have gotten to this point since you last saw them?" Aloeus pointed to where he intended to deploy.

    "No sir. They would not have the supplies to make it that far this fast. It is a large army."

    "Good." He motioned for his officers, "Officers! Come, I intend to inform you of my plan. You will gather your men and we will deploy here, immediately! We shall lie in wait near the forest. It is high ground. Ideal for defense. The enemy would be foolish to engage us, but I hope to give him no choice in this matter."

    The officers nodded in understanding, "A good plan my lord," his senior officer remarked.

    "We shall see when we test its practice." He summoned the rest of the army, "Men! The Romans may be gifted with treachery. They are snakes! Slithering into our territory uninvited. But let us see if the snake is a match for the fox!"

    The men cheered their general, the mood shifted to one of anticipation. Their generals inspiration and bravado became their own by adoption. Frantically the officers shouted orders as the men gathered their equipment. The army prepared to meet their most worthy adversary, encouraged by their officers and heroic general, a bastion of confidence. The timing of the new couldn't have been more perfect either, they would have a chance to catch the treacherous enemy after all! A trap to be laid for the would be assassins.

    Aloeus pulled the messenger aside. "Soldier, you have performed most admirably. I thank you for it. Are you hurt, do you need anything?"

    "No my lord. Just rest." The soldier was naturally exhausted.

    "Very well then. You may take your rest soldier, you have earned it."

    "My lord I thank you."

    Aloeus placed a generous purse of coins next to the soldiers bed. "For you, for services well performed. I know what difficulty was undertaken to bring me this most advantageous news, and I will not betray a man his hard won prize."

    The soldier opened the purse, it contained several months worth of pay, "My lord, are you sure?"

    "Absolutely. I may win a great victory for Macedon, but if it were not for you, this might not have been possible. I and your country owe you soldier."

    The soldier was truly surprised. Such generosity was unheard of in the army. "My most noble lord! Please, make use of what I told you. I shall pray to Nike for your victory!"

    Aloeus grinned, his cunning and youthful expression clearly deserved his epithet, the Fox, "I shall do my best to make both you and Nike proud good soldier!"
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 268

    From the account of Aloeus of Macedon, son of Gyras.

    We have set up camp in a forest near Thessalonica. We make daily inspections of the camp, there is very little else to do. Ever since we have deployed in the field we have not encountered the Romans. Nor have we found an trace of them. The cavalry and I screen the area around the camp often. Our searches always come back fruitless. I do not doubt that the Romans were here. Carpus, our kingdom's emissary, saw them leave Epirus for Macedon. We have since recalled him to enlist his efforts in finding the Roman army. He suggested that it could perhaps be headed to Illyria. My military advisers however, they warn me that the Romans could be hidden in our own Macedonian forests, on the edge of Macedon and Epirus.

    Aloeus


    Winter, 267

    From the account of Aloeus of Macedon, son of Gyras.

    The men tire of waiting, as do I. We have been engaged in this same business for nearly a year now. The soldiers grow restless, their fire-like zeal has cooled to become like the ashes of that fire. Our security at the camp has grown weak, the senses dulled by the countless nights of fruitless vigils. And now, the cold of another winter invades the camp. Though discipline has also suffered, respect for the officers has not. I hold conferences with the men and make it clear to them that I have grown as weary of this assignment as they have. Antigonos, my grandfather, please allow me to travel south so that I may aide my father Gyras in his campaign against the Greeks at Thermon.

    Aloeus
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 266

    The Battle of the Paeonian Pass

    "Blast!" Euenus writhed his hands together in the cold, "How can these accursed Thracians endure this cold?" His breathe lingered in the air like his question.

    "Sir," interrupted one of his officers, "The Thracian army has been spotted. What are your orders?"

    "We will deploy the peltasts on the ridge before the great valley. The citizen spears shall be deployed behind them. I will take position behind them to keep the morale of the infantry in check and you and your light cavalry squads, you will deploy on the flanks. There are two high ridges, one on the right, one on the left. Take both. When I give you the order to charge the force will be devastating."

    The landscape of the battlefield was like a giant bowl. A giant stone bowl, high in the mountains. Very little vegetation grew in this high mountain valley. The pass was simply essential to entering Macedon by way of Paeonia. Euenus had been monitoring the pass closely. When he learned that an army of Thrace had been discovered, seemingly headed for Bylazora, he promptly occupied the pass. It was cold in the summer when he had taken the pass but now the cold was unbearable. Hopefully, the men would be able to return to the town of Bylazora soon.

    The army Euenus commanded was merely modest. The citizens of Bylazora stood in the field as traditional Greek hoplites. This afforded them spears and the bare minimum training to use them, but little else. They owned shields, the hoplon from which hoplites owe their name, and a motley collection of various helmets and greaves. They had to adopt measures for the cold; warm robes, hats, and furs. Some of which resembled the Thracian style of dress. Alongside the citizen army were more lower class men, the light infantry peltasts. Euenus did not have any archers in his army, most of the archers in the Macedonian army were sent to more profitable fronts. As he did not have archers he would have to maximize the effectiveness of his peltasts. The lancers were the most elite and highly trained unit in this army. Intended to deliver quick attacks with unparalleled fury these men played a crucial role in Euenus strategy.

    Euenus surveyed his army, his position seemed solid.

    From his position in the mountainous highground Euenus could see that the Thracian army outnumbered his own, but they would have to traverse the deep valley between them. He felt confident in his eventual victory. "Come and face us Byzas. You eluded me before, you will die this time."

    The Battle

    "The Thracian army advances!" The cry rang out amongst the snow covered peaks. A shiver ran down Euenus spine. The echo returned with a new noise, that of the Thracian army. Shouts, threats, blood curdling screams.

    The soldiers began to waver, the sounds of exotic warcries daunted the citizen army. The shield and spears rattled, in part from nerves, in part from the cold.

    Euenus shook his head, "Petty tactics." He shouted to his men, "Soldiers! Men of Macedon. The enemy seeks to terrify you, it is because he fears you! We hold the highground while those fools trudge through the winter snow. Because he can not drive you from your posts with strength, he seeks to scare you. It is a ruse, and a bad one at that. Behind us is Bylazora! Your home. As of late, my home. Bylazora has emptied it's garrison into this battle, so steel yourselves. Harden your resolve. Know that we fight not only for our lives but for our homes. For our women and children! For my wife and children in Bylazora! Know that Euenus would rather die here than see the barbarous Thracians invade our homeland."

    The men let out a roar of approval, rattling their spears on their shields. A cry ran out, "For Bylazora!" Another, "For Macedon!" "For Macedon and Antigonos!" rang out another. The Thracians replied with the ghastly echoes of their barbaric laughter, their warlust inspiring the terrifying mirth. The Macedonians remained undaunted however.

    The sounds of the advancing Thracian army grew louder. Euenus peltasts readied their javelins. "Javelins!" The cry rang out, "first volley!"

    The javelins struck a few men, but didn't seem to be too effective at the great range they were thrown. The height the army was positioned in allowed great distance but little accuracy. They waited for their next order.

    Euenus gave it, "Fire at will!"

    They continued to throw their javelins into the mass of enemy troops. The screams of the stricken warriors raced up the valley ahead of the Thracian army. Although they were still a great distance from the enemy the javelins became increasingly more effective.

    Thrace's cavalry would not sit by idly though, the Thracian cavalry charged up the mountain. Euenus ordered the peltasts to fall back. "Light infantry! Fall back to higher ground! Do not throw your lives away! Heavy infantry, phalanx formation, forward now. Four men thick, we need to make our front as wide as we can. Forward now!"

    The cavalry reached the front lines before the other parts of the Thracian army. The citizen hoplites easily defeated the light Thracian cavalry. The peltasts were still able to inflict their injurious missiles upon the enemy, safely protected now by the firm wall of spears.

    Soon the Thracian infantry was upon the front lines as well. Euenus could hear Byzas shouting orders to his troops, "Stand firm! Stand firm! We shall overcome these Macedonian serfs!"

    The Thracian hoplites engaged in a phalanx against the Macedonian phalanx. Light infantry supported the Thracian flanks, their numbers were now quite a problem. Falxmen were coming to engage the Macedonian right flank. Euenus spotted the distinctive curved blades, if they hit his right flank it would crumble. Now was the time for the cavalry charge.

    "Cavalry, charge! Hit the right and left flanks! Now!"

    The sound was intense, the sound of horse hooves clashing against the rocky landscape, horns blaring. Suddenly, the Thracian army seemed panicked.

    On the left flank the lancers killed many warriors upon the initial strike. On the right flank the impetous lancer were felled in great numbers by the falxmen. Horse and rider were hewn by the vicious adversary. The lancers who had expected an easy victory fled. However, very few survived the attack. Euenus was outraged, "Confounded fates! Very well then, general's bodyguard, follow me! Charge the falxmen!"

    Although the lancers fell in droves, Euenus and his staff decimated the unarmored falxmen. A few died, but against the vicious falx that was unsurprising. The battle raged all around, the Thracian infantry melted. Byzas was surrounded. He cried out to rally his men but to no avail. The infantry were routed and he alone remained. Out flanked by the lancers he fell to the cavalry that soon turned itself upon his routed infantry.

    "All units pursue! Chase them back to Thrace!" Euenus and his cavalry killed many routers. The lancers who struck the left flank slew many more. Going uphill for the Thracians was truly a suicidal move, but desperation drove them onwards. They slipped in the snow, only to be killed by the swords and spears of the cavalry, only to be crushed beneath the stampede of horses. The peltasts ran down weary hoplites, over-encumbered with heavy gear and weapons. Very few of the Thracians made it to the top of the mountain.

    It was a great victory. The lancers alone slew more than four hundred men. Euenus and his bodyguard had come close itself.

    His hands were trembling, his sword drenched with blood. "It is good that some survived. Perhaps they will warn others of what has happened here today! Although, I suspect, the death of Byzas might accomplish that as well. Byzas, noble foe, you fought well enough but you were a fool to face us here. Still, we should give him a proper burial. And then to Bylazora! We have defended our homes good soldiers, we have defended them and more. All of us here today may return home triumphant, victorious! Sing your praises to Ares, the old captain, and thank the gods that fate was kind to you! You my soldiers are the heroes our children shall sing of."
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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 266

    From the account of Antigonos, King of Macedon.

    Euenus, your victory has been celebrated across our land. They minstrels sing of your triumph in the Paeonian pass. They claim that Ares himself has led you to victory. You really should have seen how they celebrate your name and your victory here in Thessalonica! But I am sure you received quite the welcome in Bylazora.

    The King of Thrace, he used to be, at times my ally. He was usually quite cunning as well, why he would send his son on this fool's errand is beyond me. Things must have run afoul in Thrace. That or they supposed they could exploit some weakness in our defense. But, you proved my son, that there is no weakness in our defense. I am sending you more troops now that we can afford to recruit more soldiers. You have more than earned it worthy Euenus.

    The King of Macedon, Antigonos
    Last edited by Tsar Alexsandr; 04-02-2012 at 21:40. Reason: Grammar
    "Hope is the Last to Die" Russian Proverb

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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Summer, 265

    Thessaly


    "Look," Gyras pointed to the north, "Aloeus is coming with his cavalry."

    "Father," the young man started, "Do you think me as worthy as Aloeus?"

    "Abreas, you know I do. Fortune has smiled on Aloeus, but you too are a son of Macedon."

    Abreas shifted, "Perhaps. But I have heard the men talking about me. They say I merely inherited my rank, that I would never be a general if I weren't a nobleman."

    "And? They are soldiers, their duty is to serve. You are their master, in time they'll learn to respect that."

    Abreas looked uncomfortable. "I don't understand why they are taken so utterly with Aloeus and not me. Even my soldiers beg and moan to be placed under his authority. I, I know I'm young."

    "And so is Aloeus."

    Abreas looked out to the plain, "It's a magnificent sight isn't it? Macedonian cavalry riding in the Thessalian plains."

    Gyras rested his hand on his son's shoulder, "It is indeed. Soon you too shall command such a magnificent host. Come, let us great your brother."

    The two walked out to greet the gallant horsemen, the leader of the horsemen, Aloeus, recognized them immediately. He raised his hand to order the horsemen to halt when they drew near. "Father! Brother!" He quickly dismounted, "It is good to see you!"

    "And you my son! Tell me, did you see any Romans?"

    "No. None. In fact, I don't want to talk about it. It's a sore subject with me and the men."

    "I beg your pardon," retorted Gyras.

    "It's just that we were so excited for a chance to prove ourselves. But what really happened was that we stayed on watch for a year and conducted pointless patrols. King Antigonos has relieved us of this duty."

    "Well that I can understand. A year of waiting for battle with the troops must be quite trying." Gyras motioned to Abreas, "Your brother has been training for war. I've heard only positive reports."

    Aloeus turned to his brother, "Patient Abreas, how are your studies going?"

    "Good. I know how to lead men, I've learned all the modern tactics and standards, but I do not know yet how to do so in battle."

    "Humble as usual. But you know, I haven't lead men into battle yet either."

    "It must have been a disappointment then, to see those Romans slink away, back into Epirus," said Gyras.

    "It was. Have you seen any sign of them here in Thessaly?" Asked Aloeus.

    "I had heard rumors. Carpus had seen them, as well as other witnesses. I do rightly believe they did pass into our territory, but I do not believe they had stayed."

    "Perhaps war led them somewhere else." Reflected Aloeus.

    "Well you've arrived at a good time son, the Greeks led by Kleomenes son are holding out at Thermon. I intend to send you and your army, it's clear that you are now the most powerful force in this region."

    "My father, I am most honored."

    "It is my will that you do so, and Abreas shall soon join you in the glory, as I am sending him to Athens."

    "Athens!" Aloeus turned to his brother, "What a magnificent city, and what a great opportunity for you Abreas."

    "I suppose so," replied Abreas.

    "Athens is one of the greatest cities in all of Greece. The scholars of that city are legendary, it will be a great contribution to our cause."

    "Indeed it shall," replied Gyras, "Well my sons, will you follow me to Larissa? You should see what I have done with the place Aloeus."

    "I am sure that you have greatly improved the city father."

    "I have spared no expense. And recently, I have commissioned a beautiful shrine dedicated to the goddess Athena."

    "I always thought your favored god was Dionysus?" asked Aloeus.

    "I appreciate the worship of Dionysus as much as anyone, but the town has a devoted reverence for Athena. And so we choose to dedicate the town to Athena. Hopefully, if she appreciates the gesture, she will bless our state."

    "Wisdom is a most admirable trait to enshrine"
    "Hope is the Last to Die" Russian Proverb

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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 265

    Aetolia


    The Macedonian camp lay in siege outside the walls of Thermon, as it had for many days now. Smoke rose from the camp as men prepared their early meal. The fog was thick, as it was usually was in this coastal region. Together with the sky and the mountains the fog made the landscape a perpetual grey. Aloeus was inspecting the camp grounds with his officers. The camp was well organized and the men in high spirits. The news from the Macedonian spy Aegisthes was that the Greek defenders were few in number and poor in quality. Nothing like the elite troops Antigonos had fought nearly three years ago. Of note though was that the city of Thermon was governed by two noble princes. Antigonos son of Kleomenes and Doros of Sparta.

    Aegisthes had told Aloeus that the elder general, Antigonos was a skilled general. A worthy heir to Kleomenes. His men respected him. He was stern but not unfair. As a tactician he was skilled. Well schooled in the arts of war as any prince of Sparta would be. The other general, Doros was young and naive. Aegisthes estimate was that as a leader he was unlikely to pose a challenge. Merely a young boy who came of age at an unfortunate time.

    Aloeus thanked the agent for his priceless intelligence and plotted the siege. He would assault from the south with the majority of his army. A second force would besiege the western side of the city, the sea at their backs. The time to initiate the attack was drawing near and the tension was felt throughout the camp. But the tension was mounting in the camp. Although the army was eager to seize Thermon for the glory of their noble Prince Aloeus there were rumors floating about the camp. Rumors that another Greek force, a large Greek force was coming to lift the siege. The truth is, a large army evacuated from Thermon before Aloeus started his siege.

    A messenger rode into the camp, "Pressing news for Aloeus! Where is Aloeus?"

    The soldiers scrambled, one came with the prince before long, "Here he is. What news do you bring our Prince?"

    "My lord. We have discovered a large Greek force in the wilderness. Their objective is to lift the siege at Thermon!" The messenger dismounted to deliver a scroll to the prince. "We made notes of what we saw, where we saw it, and how many we saw in the enemies force."

    The prince looked over the contents of the scroll, "What was the army composed of soldier? And how many are among the enemy?"

    "Light infantry mostly. With a company of light cavalry. A few heavy infantry were also in their number."

    "Do we have more heavy infantry than the enemy?" Aloeus asked.

    "No sir, it's an equal match. But they outnumber us with skirmishers. In cavalry we're matched."

    "What about archers?"

    "None sir," the messenger answered, "word is that Antigonos has stirred from his position in Thermon as well. That army is smaller than yours my lord, but he must seek to join up with the other force!"

    "Then we are outnumbered and outflanked." Aloeus rolled up the scroll and looked around at his soldiers. "Moments before you looked to me like great heroes. Men that would be remembered in song, but I see this news has made your hearts sink like a stone tossed into the sea. Men, I know that you are still lions! Come with me, let us awaken that warlike aspect in you. To the hills good soldiers! The enemy thinks themselves clever, but this strategy holds no guile. It is merely a common plan. To overwhelm us with numbers, what a pity. Men we shall wear them down. Noble peltasts, skilled archers, you shall wear them down before we even enter into conflict, phalanx on phalanx. Valiant cavalry, you shall strike their sides and make them lament that they did stand in the field today! Most noble pikemen, you are the pride of Macedon, our valiant shield and strong arm. Stand strong and you, heirs of Phillip and Alexander, you shall give us a mighty victory today. Men, prepare for war and we shall prepare ourselves in these strong Aetolian hills. The gods be with you men!"

    Aloeus turned to the messenger, "Will you ride in my cavalry with us today? A man of your resourcefulness would bring our unit no shame."

    "Yes my lord. Let us repel these fiends!"

    "Good, follow me and my men. My cavalry should be leading the men into the hills, I will personally see that my plans are carried out as I will."

    The cavalry rode at the head of the army in flight. Aloeus and his officers shouted orders and encouragements. The camp soon emptied, leaving behind only the tents of the evacuated army and the smoldering ashes of the morning's campfires.
    "Hope is the Last to Die" Russian Proverb

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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 265

    Aetolia

    The Battle of the Aetolian Hills


    The sun had risen and dispelled the morning fog. It was intense, the light from the now noontime sun. From his command position upon the tallest hill in the area Aloeus could see the enemy armies clearly now. One came in from the rocky north, another came eastward from the city of Thermon. The one moving south would have to cross a wide valley between the mountains of Aetolia and the one Aloeus and his army had claimed. The other had an upward climb to make to get to Aloeus position. However, a tall hill did lie in the way between this army and his own. The army was deployed in a traditional phalanx. The pikemen stood in the front lines, presenting a dangerous wall of spears for the Greeks to contend with. The peltasts stood right behind them, their vantage point allowed them to see over the solid wall of Macedonian pikemen. The archers further back had an excellent view of the battlefield. Positioned near the apex of the hill they would be able to rain death upon a wide area of the battle. Aloeus had his pikemen standing in rows four men deep to counter the enemies infantry advantage. This worked excellently, and Aloeus would soon find out the enemies infantry advantage was even greater than he had thought it was. The cavalry stood behind the main line on both the right and left flanks. Aloeus himself took the apex of the hill to survey the battle best.

    According to the intelligence he had on the enemy coming from the north it was led by an inexperienced captain. The Greek force was fully trusting in it's numerical superiority, and although those numbers were greater than Aloeus had been led to believe he showed no sign of anxiety. Instead he rode amongst his ranks issuing his final commands to the units he had led to this mountain. Specifically he told the archers to use fire arrows, if they could not match the enemies numbers they could still aim to break their resolve.

    The enemy from the north came into range and Aloeus ordered the archers to open fire. The first volley killed many of the unarmored peltasts. The second volley did as well but also fell among the well armored hoplites. "Douse the fire! Douse the fire and then resume fire! Every arrow counts!"

    Arrows and thrown javelins filled the sky, the Macedonians killed many in the exchange. The enemy Greek cavalry charged the Macedonian lancers. Aloeus ordered a counter charge, "They wish to face our cavalry? Very well! All cavalry, charge! Drive them back and chase them from this battle!"

    The main lines were coming into contact, Aloeus waited for the right moment to order the advance, suddenly with the enemy closing in he gave the order, "Infantry! Advance!"

    The two lines made their way onto the level battlefield between the hill and the valley. The Macedonians maintained the high ground as they advanced. When they hit many fell to the longer Macedonian pikes. And as he had predicted, the fewer but more stretched out Macedonian army enveloped the foe. He rode behind the line to rally the troops. "Show them your mettle! Show them the pride and skill of the men of Macedon!"

    Aloeus had charged his unit into battle to relieve his lancers.

    The Greek line was crumbling. The Macedonians held firm. The Greeks had marched through a hail of missiles to reach the Macedonian line and now that they had arrived there the Macedonians outmatched them. The Macedonian cavalry had driven off their cavalry and now were slaughtering the unguarded peltasts behind the main Greek line. The line broke. "Abandon the battle! To the hills soldiers! To the hills!"

    The officer shouted his order to his men but was silenced by a Macedonian arrow. The line routed. The Macedonians held firm. Things were not going so well for the cavalry. Although the peltasts were vulnerable they were not without arms. Some cavalrymen fell to the mass of desperate peltasts attacking, others had died chasing after the deadly Greek cavalry. Quick, but not quite quick enough to catch the harassing light cavalry. Aloeus had suddenly become aware of something more pressing than the peltasts who remained in the field. He cursed under his breath, "Antigonos will take that hill if we do not hurry. Men! To the next battlefield! Follow me!"

    He rode ahead of the army, "Redeploy on the hill! We must take it before Antigonos! Come now, come! Let Hermes grant you his speed!"

    The army followed his orders, all except for a few unlucky horsemen who were overwhelmed by the sheer mass of enemy peltasts.

    Aloeus could see he seized the position in time, but had to wait to see if the army would be there in time as well. Occasionally his archers and the cavalry were caught in scuffles with the enemy peltasts. "Antigonos, I will not fall to these delays. Do you seek to defeat me with tediousness!" He turned to his personal guard, "Hold men, the army will be here soon. Soon we shall have won two victories in one day!" The men cheered their valiant general.

    "Aloeus. Son of Gyras and Athena! Grant us victory my Lord!" One called.

    "I shall soldier, shortly."

    The army arrived with time to redeploy, Aloeus, though no longer as cool and collected as he had been was still very much in control of himself. He now communicated passion and faith in his soldiers, but also the necessity of immediate action. "Men! Redeploy, we have shown our people that men may still perform the feats of Hercules. And yet men's hearts beat in these chests. But yet not men, men of Macedon! The blood of conquerors that flows in my veins and also in yours noble soldiers. The blood of Alexander and Phillip! Of my grandfather Antigonos and my father Gyras! Stand to, the enemy draws near!"

    The archers he placed on the unusually tall crest of the mountain granted them access to the battle before them and behind them. The could kill the enemy peltasts behind them before they could get in range but also Antigonos force.

    Antigonos the prince and his brother Doros rode in the van. The army could see and hear him rallying his troops. Suddenly a cry rang out, "For Antigonos! For Doros! For the glory of Greece!"

    The enemy cavalry charged. Aloeus who rode behind his phalanx offered his encouragement, "Stand strong men! Let this be the first of many victories for us. I hope to battle with you again good soldiers. Ready your spears for this sacrifice of crowns!"

    Antigonos of the Greeks yelled to his soldiers, "Fight on soldiers! Fight on! I will avenge my father's death. I will not rest until I have claimed Aloeus head!"

    The pikemen struggled to keep the weight of the cavalry back, many fell before the Greek general's assault. The enemy phalanx was also coming near, the pressure was building. Aloeus shouted out more encouragements, "Stand strong men! They are but wasting their energy as the ocean does upon a seawall."

    Antigonos would not relent, "Doros! Forward! Slay these Macedonian dogs. Do honor to our father Kleomenes!" Suddenly, the unimaginable happened, the Macedonian phalanx fell apart in the center, nothing stood between Antigonos and Aloeus now. Antigonos immediately recognized it. "Now! Now is my chance, I shall take Aloeus head and then nothing else matters!"

    Aloeus felt fear for the first time in the battle, the first he'd truly felt. The elder general was a large man. His elder by a decade, stronger, imposing and a veteran of wars from before Aloeus time. Aloeus in his conventional fashion however did not let on to what he was thinking, he whipped his sword forward and ordered a general charge. "All units advice! We end this battle now!"

    Aloeus and Antigonos units mixed in a violent melee. If there was an advantage there it was to be found in Aloeus less battered force. It was a bloody battle. Antigonos desperately tried to close in on Aloeus position while Aloeus guards traded their lives for his safety. Aloeus moved in to face the general himself, "Leave my men alone! You seek me do you not? Come face me Antigonos of Sparta!"

    Antigonos slid out of the fray, "So there you are. Prepare to drink in Elysium."

    They traded blows, the first landed square on Aloeus right shoulder, he held the wound and turned around to see Antigonos coming for another strike. He ducked under it. He turned to face him again. He gripped his spear and prepared to charge. "I'm not quite ready to die! The world needs a new Alexander!"

    "I'll write that on your epitaph." Replied the grizzled Antigonos. They charged again, this time their charge ended with them bracing their spears against each other and a deadlock. Antigonos pushed down on his younger opponent, "Looks like your sun has set Aloeus." The veteran warrior was winning the deadlock when suddenly he offered no resistance whatsoever. Aloeus watched in horror as his mouth filled with blood. He slid off his horse and Aloeus noticed that a pikeman from the middle of his line was still engaged in the battle. The pikeman was transformed by the tension of the battle. He nervously approached the general.

    "Sir. We have won the battle."

    Aloeus sighed his relief, "Excellent news soldier. And thank you for helping me, I was nearly certain I was about to join my forefathers."

    The soldier nodded slowly. "Yes sir. Just doing what had to be done."

    "You were from the center line weren't you?"

    "Yes sir," His trembling would not abate, "the enemy broke when you ordered the cavalry to charge. The enemy is vanquished."

    "Do any survive?" Aloeus asked.

    "Doros of Sparta is fled. The rest lie here."

    Aloeus looked around him, the soldier was mostly right. A few units remained but they were being pursued by his cavalry. "I shall join the pursuit soldier. Guard this place."

    "Yes sir." He answered.
    Last edited by Tsar Alexsandr; 04-29-2012 at 01:05.
    "Hope is the Last to Die" Russian Proverb

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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 295

    Aetolia


    "He saved my life, so I am promoting him to the guard. I just don't understand why it was I did not slay Antigonos myself."

    "Master, you shoulder is sore? You must not brood upon it. You kept decorum and ordered the army leading it to victory. More than likely the soldier saw an opening and took it. It's simply the way we're taught." The guard looked down upon the slain general. "I'm glad he did too. We could have lost you as well."

    "Antigonos was a valiant soldier and a worthy opponent." Aloeus held his hand tight against his shoulder. "He struck me sorely in the shoulder, I wish I had dealt his deathblow."

    "I saw you in battle my lord, as did man in the guard. We saw you fight through his guard, you performed excellently. You slew many of his guards, just as he slew many of us." The guard rubbed the back of his neck, "I am sure my lord that they are now in Elysium."

    "He taught us an important lesson in resolve. He truly was a valiant warrior. I desire that he be buried here where he fell." The prince paused to reflect, "Perhaps men will think highly of this place, this shrine in the mountains. Though he were an opponent his heroism deserves its honor. He had just cause, fighting to avenge his father, but there was no justice in the way he attempted it. Though I am a grandson of his father's vanquisher, I am not my grandfather."

    "I shall give the order my lord."

    "He was my senior, a veteran of past wars. Let it also serve as a monument to us though. Our brave cavalry and our faithful pikemen. The men who held the center line, upon them I desire to heap honor and glory. For when it appeared they broke they stood yet steadfast. A worthy model to the rest of the army. And had it not been for one such soldier perhaps these hills would be home to two princes."

    "The Aetolians are brave people, they shall certainly follow you my lord, for thou art the embodiment of valor." The guard surveyed the battlefield, "And since they honor bravery, this place to them shall certainly become one of their sacred sites. Dedicated to the twin gods of war, Ares and Athena!"

    "What news of Doros good soldier?" Aloeus asked, his gaze turned towards the city of Thermon. "Has he returned to Thermon?"

    "He has, and worse news is this. The army that came from Thermon razed our camp. Antigonos had our siege equipment destroyed. The smoke rising from the camp is our months of preparation burning."

    "I underestimated his cunning. He has bought some time, but it will not delay the inevitable. We will have Thermon. We must have it."

    "Doros and a small company of peltasts are all that have survived amongst the enemy. The rest lie slain here, a testament to the vicious battle we have won."

    "And our own numbers?" The general asked.

    "One unit of cavalry suffered considerable casualties. The middle of our phalanx also suffered casualties. But their numbers are not so diminished."

    "Well let us renew our siege, it is a tedious necessity, but necessary nonetheless." He motioned to his officer, "Come now, we have much to do. We must strike the camp anew, and when someone is ready send them here to bury this noble with the honors due him. Before long we shall be making a toast in Thermon."
    "Hope is the Last to Die" Russian Proverb

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    Default Re: Macedon: The Sons of Achilles

    Winter, 295

    From the account of Aloeus, son of Gyras

    Esteemed father and most valiant grandfather, I have news from Aetolia. Our army defeated a larger Greek force that outnumbered us by more than two to one. The enemy sought to outnumber and outflank us. The result was a devastating loss to the Greeks and a magnificent victory of our forces over the enemy. The enemy dead gave proof of the odds we were against. Our army suffered only minimal losses. The Greeks also lost their general, Antigonos of Sparta. Son of Kleomenes. Antigonos broke through our lines, intent on my life. He was slain by a modest pikeman whom I have promoted to my personal guard. Decorum and order was not lost though the battle did increase in violence. The discipline of our troops overcame the enemy numbers. The enemy could not, for the most part, muster the courage to move us from the hills. Our line held firm and our cavalry performed most excellently.

    Doros of Sparta was also present in the battle. He fled when his elder Antigonos was slain. He now leads the defense in Thermon, apparently a motley force consisting of him and but a few peltasts. I expect to deliver the city into you hands soon. Antigonos destroyed our camp and thus our preparations along with it. Buying time for a doomed force.

    Father, tell Abreas I wish him luck in his siege. Such a magnificent city. And a worthy task for our brother. Also to Damasos, my uncle, as well for his invasion of Crete. Worthy heirs of Macedon both.

    Your son and general, Aloeus.
    "Hope is the Last to Die" Russian Proverb

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