Category Archives: DIADOCHI WARLORDS

The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 16


Victory and Defeat

Later on I hear about Archi’s work in Alexandria, he builds a novel stone thrower. It’s a 10 minae self-recocking device with a hopper of 10 stones, it takes 4 months to get the design even close to working even then it really only works well when he is there to help with its operation. It is fitted to Admiral Patroclus flagship a big 10 banked galley; Archi makes sure that the crew practice with it when we can over the winter. Archi also develops a light screen which can be raised and lowered on each side of a galley; he makes it out of a light wood frame with very thin leather attached to provide some cover to the ships marines. Unfortunately once he has made a few and tried them out at sea they turn out to not be able to cope with rough seas hitting them on the side of the ship, breaking them up and making rising them up impossible also when they do make it up they act like a side sail pushing the ship off course.

Meanwhile back in Athens Jason takes Xenophon with him to check out the water tunnel into the Piraeus. They make sure that the air is safe and protect their knees and elbows with rags. Using a knotted string to message the distance they head of into the dark. The journey is hard with rats in the water but the walls seem not to have caused a blockage and after some hours to can see light ahead. It’s the well, Xenophon moves very stealthily to where the light is shining on the water then we head back to the entrance. They run back to Athens to cover why we are wet and reach Telamon’s home to hear me and my wife arguing.  I join them in a walk to talk about our plans. We decide that we need another recce to see where the well comes out however we still have to decide wither we are just going to destroy food and ships with fire or try to take the place. Jason and Xenophon head out for another recce, this time stripping off and keeping their tunics in a bag. Once they get to the end again they climb up the well and they pop up in the middle of old warehouses. Climbing a warehouse they can see that this is an old area of the port and they can see that there are two walls an outer and an inner. The inner gates appear to be open.  We head back to Athens itself.

Over the next months we come up with a plan we think will work to take the Piraeus from Macedon. First Jason does his chat with the gods’ thing to get a divination, “If the twig of Macedon from the Nile ventures into the port of Athens. He will meet the sons of chaos stricken down by the curse and joy of Bacchus.” We need to wait and see how that will come about, while we wait we prepare for the attack. Chremonides will let us use the city Hippies most of all are friends of Jason anyway, who will be able to reach open gates quickest. Jason will take the Cretans through the tunnel to take control of the gates and hold them for the Hippies followed by mercenary units. It will take about ½ hour for the horse to reach the first gate from a position out of sight and sound of the garrison and an hour for the first foot troops to make it.

Seven days after the divination a Macedonian general is seen entering the port and then leaving with the mercenaries, leaving just the Macedonian ships, crew, marines and Galatians left defending it. Well it might not be Telamon the divination was about then; maybe it’s this unknown Macedonian. About four days later there is a lot of noise coming from the port; it seems that the Galatians are having a big celebration, with fires for roasted meat and sacrifices. By late afternoon we decide that this is our opportunity to catch the port defenders unaware. We quickly assemble our forces I will command the Hippeis while Jason aided by Xenophon lead the Cretans.  The Cretans wrap there bowstrings to keep them dry and tie cloth around their limbs to protect them and head down the tunnel. They have some lanterns to signal when they have taken the gates and for the Hippeis to come.

The trip through the tunnel is not quite as keeping over 100 men quite while moving in the dark with weapons in a confined space isn’t easy. Hopefully no one at the target end will be near enough or aware enough to hear them. Jason and Xenophon lead them out into the warehouse area and split into two groups, Jason is going to take the outer gate after Xenophon has taken the inner one. Xenophon scouts forward to the open inner gate and hears drunken snoring from the two gate towers, it sounds like 2 or 3 men in each. He gets 5 of his men and they slip into the towers and kill all the guards before they even know what has happened to them. He then deploys his men onto the walls to cover the gate and shoot down any reinforcements. Jason then moves through the gate with his men and does the same at the closed outer gate takes it from the sleeping guards and opens the gate and deploys his men on the wall putting out the lights.

A while later Xenophon is disturbed by a shout from below, “What are you doing up there? We have come to change the guard”. Xenophon replies “we will be right down just enjoying the air.” Xenophon brings the five men near him down the tower and opens the door. On the other side he sees 11 men, one an officer. Xenophon orders his men to loose and the ones with him and on the wall let go with the arrows. Four enemies drop dead and the others turn and run, however a second salvo takes down the office and all but two men who run into the darkness. Xenophon sends a message to Jason to say it’s warming up.

A while later me and the Hippeis arrive at the outer gate and trots to the inner gate. Getting there he sees a force of marines approaching. He lunches his men in a charge scattering the marines and hacking them down through the town. When the mercenaries arrive from Athens a little later they join the cavalry in starting to loot and kill, seamen, marines and Galatians. I send many men to Thanatos and then rally the men and stop the killing before innocents die, or more of them. By morning we have full control of the port and all the remaining garrison have surrendered to us. The prisoners are released after having any cash, weapons etc. taken from them.   Chremonides arrives to see the victory and claim it and offers to hire the oarsmen, most decide to stay.

With the port open Chremonides brings food in from the Peloponnese and messages to Sparta. We make sure that the tunnel is broken down in places and both ends securely sealed. No one else will use this way into the port. We can now rest knowing that we have helped the war and Chremonides, so we spend the time with our wives. Jason’s wife Leda gets pregnant the child due in summer.

Alexandria Spring AG48, war with Seleucia.

Our fleet is to sail to take troops to Judaea then to raid along the Seleucid coast and reinforcing Ptolemaic held islands, in the east. Archi goes with it to help the use of the catapult. Then it will head west to pick up the force near Athens before heading back to Alexandria in late summer. Unfortunately near the island of Cos the fleet is incepted by a joint Macedon and Seleucid fleet which break’s our fleet killing the admiral but the flagship survives along with Archi, who is pleased how his weapon performed, even if the side screens hindered the fleet more than protecting its marines. The senior captain, on the flagship, reforms the remnants and heads for Athens were it joins up with the force there ready to head back to Alexandria. We decide that we will be going with it so Jason and I plus our wives slaves and the seven remaining Hippeis and their slaves embark leaving the Cretans who are now working for Chremonides.

Back in Alexandria we report to the Prince, and get a thank you from Ptolemy. He gives us a home and income from land befitting our new rank, which he confirms. While Archi starts to teach those who wish to follow his path of philosophy, Jadon and I settle down to and get used to our new status. Jason is told to train a new group of Cretan archers and I get to train a squadron of Akon Hippeis as Tarentine instead.  My wife Dione gives birth some months after Jason’s wife Leda does. 

The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 15


Athens in Autumn & Winter AG47

Archi arriving safely in Alexandria decides to see Prince Perseus [son of general Menelaus, brother of Ptolemy I father of Ptolemy II] on his own rather than with the admiral. Archi says he came back due to his love of the library here, to report on the mission, he praises Jason and myself.  He tells about how mystified he is over Telamon’s recovery from his fatal injuries, ‘I have no idea how he did, after all we buried him’ he tells the Prince. ‘Others say that the gods brought him back, I do not believe that in any way’ Archi says ‘but I can’t explain it either’. He brings the Prince up to speed with our operations, the capture of Agena, the suppression of the rebels and delivery of the sliver. He also tells the prince that we have stayed in Athens having been made Aristoi and been given land and a wife.  The Prince tell Archi what the current status of Ptolemaic empire, the Seleucids are raising forces and we expect an attack next year, they have been raising ships from the cities along the east of the sea and encouraging pirate attacks on our shipping.

The Prince has been given the task of raising more sailors for the fleet along with the Admiral while Ptolemy II is raising an army from his military colonies and making sure they are ready for next year. Archi is asked to work with the admiral on finding new weapons for the fleet. Archi points out that he feels the admiral is too timid to really progress the war against Macedon. He also wishes to look into multi weapon fire for artillery, 10 Minae stone thrower self-cocking with hopper for 10 stones, and a ship borne movable shield wall on a frame which can be raised and lowered as needed. That will keep him busy for some months.

Telamon is married to Dione daughter of Ajax, father of Iris priestess of Athenia. I gain one of Ajax’s homes, some slaves to run it and the title of Aristoi. The lands are outside the walls and are worth two talents a year to me. Jason is married to Leda daughter of Creon. He gains one of Creon’s homes, some slaves to run it and the title of Aristoi. These lands are also outside the walls and worth two talents a year to him. These titles, lands and wives are given to us in a ceremony at the temple of Athena by Chremonides and Iris [who has recognised her error in reading the gods will at this time]. Unfortunately are wives are not happy about this and are cold shouldering us as are the nobility. However Chremonides has a solution, we attend and host social events for the nobles, and this will happen over the autumn and winter but will still allow us to do other things.

GM note – to get the characters in good stead with the nobles and their new wives I have set up a extended social conflict. This is a chain event with each turn one month, if you hold out then you are accepted into the ranks of the nobles as an equal by most and your wives will accept you as well.

Skills used –

Offensive – Customs; Music or Singing; Oratory

Defensive – Customs; Music or Singing; Insight; Oratory

The players decided to take separate combats against a group of nobles who gain the initiative and start by attacking the characters.

Over the first two months Jason, considering his past as a slave, starts to fit in well and by third month is accepted for his faith, musical ability and ability to fit in. I on the other hand find it harder to fit in, maybe it’s the fear of me dying and being reborn but I struggle to fit into their mundane lives of rulers of Athens, partying while Athens suffers. I get there in the end but it takes all of the six months of autumn and winter but get there I do. Meanwhile there is news coming in and Jason and I have jobs to do.

News comes in of the fall of Corinth to Macedon, Antigonus army won a decisive and crushing victory over the Spartan and Allied forces outside Corinth during which the Spartan King Areus I was killed. The city defenders then surrendered, forced by the populace, once they realised that neither Athens nor Sparta could or would save them. This pushes Chremonides to ask me to be part of the committee planning for the next season of campaigning. He wants to train up the militia to mercenary standard so they can take the field next year. He is hoping that part of the Spartan army can be brought over to join them once the fleet comes back, but even the fleet we have left can do some work.

Jason and I work with the other militia and mercenary leaders to organise a training regime, with my knowledge of tactics and the support of Jason we drill the unit leaders.  I struggle to get them to listen and do but with Jason I get there eventually. With the leaders trained we then get them to work on their units with us supervising. Over the winter we see an improvement in the discipline of the units and a small increase in their weapon use. All this training causes’ disquiet amongst the militia, complaints from the traders over lost workers etc. build but we persist and people accept that it needs doing even if it is disruptive of their lives. I am sure that Jason will want to use this force as part of the attack on the port in the spring.

Xenophon, one of the Cretan file leaders, decides to try to infiltrate the spy ring and maybe kill some more leaders. He goes and finds Pelasgon and gets onto his good side by complaining about Jason and me. He makes good use of deceit and is convincing, Xenophon talks to Pelasgon and offers to poison us. Pelasgon says although his bosses would love to see us dead they would not want any blame to lay at their feet. As Chremonides has said to us it’s important that politics are seen to be civil even if they are not. Xenophon wonders about finding a good roof hiding there and letting a few arrows lose.

The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 14


Different Directions

With the rebellion over and Chrenonides safe we head home and pull together what our losses and gains are and what are next move will be. Of the 114 Cretans we lose none but a few have minor injuries from falls etc. Of our ten Hippeis we have lost three and three more out of action for a while due to injuries. Also of course I am going to need two to three weeks to fully recover from my serious wounds.

Do we prepare to go back to Alexandria or stay in Athens over the winter? Do we try to attack and recover The Piraeus, Athens port? Do we hunt down the rest of the rebel leaders? We spend some days tossing these around.

I then go to talk with Chrenonides, he wants to keep the Cretan’s in Athens to join his force as they are useful and non-Athenian. He will pay them 10% extra if they stay; he would like me to tell him who the best leader of the force is to take control unless either Jason or I are going to stay as well. If either of us does he will make them a noble and give them a grant of land and a wife. Both are good things to have for either of us. As to the rest of our force he has lots of Hippeis and ours need to go back to their families. We also talk about taking the port, although Chrenonides thinks that might be beyond us, but it would be a good moral and strategic move.

I then go back and talk with Jason who likes the idea of command and status and thinks we should attack the port. I then go and talk with Archi who would rather go back to Alexandria than stay here as he has things to do there. It looks like we have different directions, I need to decide which way I want to go and weather to order the others to follow or not. The struggle and worry of command hits me. We all talk together and come up with a plan.

The Plan: – I need to recover from my wounds and then learn how to use a shield and learn from my actions; I need to talk with Admiral Patroclus before he heads home for the winter; Jason and I will stay in Athens; Archi will go with the fleet back to Alexandria, but first he wants to spend some time looking for some good manuscripts to take with him, after all the library back in Alexandria is always after new ones. As he can’t take the original he arranges to have them copied to pays for five to be copied and manages to find one rare one he knows the library doesn’t have and four others which he thinks it doesn’t have but might have. These take a couple of weeks to copy and cost him 150dr. While Archi is doing that I arrange for a big sacrifice to Hercules to regain the spirit I used calling upon his help. Jason suggests that we cremate our dead at the same time so that we can celebrate them and send their ashes back to Alexandria with Archi and with my testimony about their actions and valour. I get Archi to write them as he can put it into flowing and praising language better than I can. Once I am healed I head off to see the Admiral, this takes me ten days to reach Aegina. I then catch the Admiral up with what has happened since we last saw him. He tells me that he wants to take most of his fleet home this winter – 1 Ten; 2 Eights; 25 Fives; leaving, 5 Fives & 5 Two’s giving 5 Twos to Aegina to crew; 5 Corinthian Fives; 5 Threes from other cities, on Aegina with the mercenary garrison. These will not be up to attacking the port but will keep communications open and hold the Macedonian fleet in their port. I leave Archi here to go back with the admiral and head back to Athens. I have decided that we can do little other than explore ways into Piraeus until next spring when the fleet returns, it does mean we can spend time hunting down the rebels

The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 13


Defend Chremonides

Archi works on my wounds while Jason interrogates the prisoners and makes sure that they are secure with our wounded. He finds out that some of the leaders of the rebels are in the place as well. We prepare by making sure our remaining Hippies have Akon’s and are ready with us for another attack. Before long the enemy appear, eight more Hippies with what looks like four Hoplites in old style panoply, some of the leaders I assume. The Hippies come in eight wide and one deep with the leaders behind. The fight opens with an exchange of Akons then a move to close combat with Jason and Archi using their missile weapons from the side.

A confused melee ensues, with both sides breaking up into small one on one or two on one fight’s with Archi using his sling as he can and Jason using his bow until a noble turns his back on him so he turns to his dagger to stab into the less armoured back. Slowly we gain the advantage and Archi calls on them to surrender but they continue fighting, he tries again but they just throw insults back at him.  By now we only have four of our men left standing but the enemy is down to one Hippies and the four leaders.

The final seconds of the fight sees us gaining the advantage and then the victory as we bring down the nobles, their long spears cause some problems as does their heavy armour. I end up with multiple wounds and have to disengage and keep out of range of any more fighting but only after calling for help from Hercules who helps me strike down two enemies which I send to Thanatos. However our last Hippies Xenon, Orestes and Proteus manage with help from Jason and Archi to take out three of the leaders and the last surrenders.

Chremonides moves to kill this last noble but Archi tries to stop him but in the end he does kill him arguing that if he’s not killed now he will be a running sore or a martyr if killed after the fight. Archi is more concerned with treating my many new wounds to my right leg, head, right arm, abdomen, left arm and chest. In other words all my body, Archi works his magic and gets me to a place where it will take me 17 days to fully heal. Archi also extracts the long spear impaled into Pelasgon saving his live.

At the end of this we soon hear that with the leaders down our mercenaries have contained the rebels and dispersed them back to their homes. Chremonides will stay in charge of Athens for now supported by the Ptolemaic empire. We now only have three healthy Hippies with three dead and four wounded for some time to come. With our manpower declining we do not at the moment know how our Cretan archers fared and we need to decide if we are going to stay here in Athens over the winter or re-join the fleet and head back to Alexandria. I take some greaves and an Aspis so I can have a shield protecting mu arms, abdomen and chest when I fight and legs protected by the greaves. I will need to spend some time practicing to become proficient in it so it doesn’t interfere with my weapon use. Chremonides takes all the other spoils and intends to donate them to the temple of Athena.

The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 12


Shocks and Rebellion

I, Archi, and Jason head home to arrange to see Chremonides but when we arrive there we find the slaves in a state of shock and just pointing us to the courtyard. There we find a man there eating with the slaves looking most bemused.  We move around to see who has intruded into our home, maybe it’s an informant about the assassins.


It’s Telamon!



We try to get him to tell us what he remembers of the attack and after, but he passes out after telling us he remembers the attack. I, Archi, am assuming that somehow he wasn’t dead, although I have no idea how. Jason is oddly confused as I would assume that he would have said that the gods brought him back. However with trying to make his divination be true he seems to be on the same track as I am. Very odd indeed, a person who believes in the gods but denying their ability to raise the dead if they want.

We send him to get washed and cleaned up and send 3 messengers to ask for an appointment with Chremonides. Once Telamon is clean and dressed we head to the place and wait in the anteroom for Chremonides to see us. He comes out and invites us in for supper. “Well that is a neat idea” he says, “faking Telamon’s death to draw out our enemies, very clever”.

I Telamon take over the story again. We explain to Chremonides what we have found out about the rebellion happening tomorrow. He asks for my advice and we share ideas to come up with this. Chremonides can summon quickly 1,500 mercenary Thureophoui; and some Psioli, the rest are needed in other places, plus our force of Cretan’s course. Most of this force will be sent to control important parts of the city and stopping the militia from accessing equipment, with our Cretans providing archery support which will be very effective against militia. That will leave you and your Hippies to guard me and the palace against any who reach me, after all if I fall you will as well as the rebels have placed you with me now. Jason wonders if we could just go and shoot them down in the street, but Chremonides points out the political cost to him of doing that which was why you were supposed to be dealing with them earlier, however we are where we are and our fates are connected now.

I spend some time in the night in prayerful preparation for the morning and rebellion. Before long in the morning we hear reports of the rebellion, first reports sound like we might have got this right. Jason decides the best place to defend the courtyard were we are making our stand if we need to will be a balcony on the first floor overlooking the courtyard. Archi decides to stay on the ground using statues etc. for cover. I and my Hippies surround Chremonides and we wait. Hopefully our precautions will mean the rebellion is stopped from even getting started.  However we soon hear the sound of fighting coming from the city and hope that the outer doors we have blocked will stop any strays from getting in to Chremonides.

Our action comes from a surprise as Jason on his balcony didn’t hear the door behind open and a Hippies on foot enters. Jason hears at this point and spinning around readies his bow coming face to face with the Hippies readying his Akon to throw. Jason being fast gets his arrow of first the Hippies parries with his shield but still takes damage in his abdomen. The Hippies would have hit and possibly killed Jason if he hadn’t leapt over the balcony, to land cat like in the courtyard. It seems the Hippies have come in armour, old style but fitting for old aristocrats, they are wearing Boots, Bronze Greaves; Attic Helm; Bronze Thorax with Scale Pteruges; and a Sm Pelte. He looks out of the balcony and disappears; well they know where we are now.

A while later the courtyard is invaded by 12 Hippies in armour, six from north and six from the south surrounding us. Archi lets loose his Belly bow hitting an enemy in the abdomen impaling him. The enemy move into a line at a run 15m away, as Jason readies his bow and our men full into a double line facing north and south. I then throw my Akon taking an enemy in the head killing him.

Archi changes his weapon to his sling while the enemy Hippies throw their Akon’s at our line, then ours return their Akon’s. The fight doesn’t last long and at the end we have 7 prisoners thanks to Archi calling on them to surrender as they tried to run. Our casualties are me injured in my left arm and head and three of our Hippies one, Abas, with a serious wound to his leg, the others Lycaon with a minor in his abdomen and Demaetius with a minor to his arm. That leaves us with 7 effective Hippies plus the three of us to deal with any other attacks. Archi sets to work with his healing skills on me while Jason collects armour Akon’s and ties the prisoners in a nearby room with our wounded guarding them.

The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 11



Jason along with me and Archi go to look for this spring between the Long Walls Archi has told us about. Jason and I find it in the weedy undergrowth; it has a covering grill over it and the tunnel running underground from it. Without some light we can’t see far into it but what we can see looks like a 2’ diameter tunnel lined with tiles heading downwards and presumably towards the port. Having found the spring tunnel we head home and then, with four hippies escorting us, to the gymnasium. The Hippies are going to use the baths and we are going to spend some time practicing our martial abilities, except Archi who is going to try to find out more about the port areas from talking to various groups of people around the gymnasium.

Archi picks up the story

I Archi continue the story as you will find out Telamon can’t. I will write this part of the story in the order I have experienced or heard it. I was chatting to a small group of elders about the Port of Athens and not getting anywhere when I saw from the corner of my eyes two slaves, who must have been with one of the participants, start to draw daggers and move towards me from both sides. I shout out a warning and draw my dagger. Then use my oratory’s voice to calmly call upon the others around to help by joining in. I then prepare to defend myself from this double attack. As the slaves attack the first one would have hit me had I not deftly used my dagger to flick his from his hand and fling it away from him, if looks could kill, I do not think he expected much resistance. The second slave was nudged by a bystander as he attacked and so missed me.

I continue to defend as the first slave moves to retrieve his dagger and is tackled by the other people around as they responded to my call. The second slave I manage to parry as he cut at me. I decide I need to attack but all I manage is to get my dagger knocked from my hand by the slave’s skilful parry.

The slave then counter attacks and cuts my left arm rendering it useless for now, and follows up with a cut to my left leg. As I fall I see the others having subdued the first slave pull this one down as well. By the time I have managed to use my healing skills on myself the crowd has kicked the two slaves to death, so no information from them, I cannot object as who wants revolting slaves not to be punished.

While this is happening Jason finds me, he has a similar story to tell of being attacked while at archery practice. As he was heading to the butts to collect his arrows something made him look back past the two slaves collecting the arrows of two other archers. The slaves seemed to be moving sideways and looking back he sees the archers aiming at him. Jason starts to ready his bow with an arrow while breaking into a run towards the butts to get some cover. Both archers let loose at him but miss due to his running. Now it’s a race as to who can ready and release quickest for the next shot as they also break into a run to keep the distance at around 50m.

Jason wins that race and let’s loose an arrow which takes one of the archers in his shoulder nearly ripping his left arm from his shoulder, the other archer misses Jason with his arrow. So another race starts. Again Jason wins the race and puts his arrow into the eye of the archer killing him outright.

Jason and I go to find Telamon, we find him with a crowd around him. He is dead. It seems that two pankration experts attacked him while they were practicing. One grappled him while the other used his fist plus cestus on his head, this broke his neck. The attackers then ran off leaving Telamon dead on the ground.

With Telamon dead we need to arrange a funeral before hunting down the attackers, because they are going to pay for this. Firsthis body was prepared; at our residence, by the hired women, so it could be laid out for viewing on the second day, and the gold coin put in his mouth, to pay the ferryman who will take him across the river. As we had no kinswomen, we hired mourners who wrapped in dark robes, stood round the bier, the chief mourner, normally mother or wife but in this case a priestess from the temple of Athena was at the head, and others behind. The women led the mourning by chanting dirges, tearing at their hair and clothing, and striking their torso, particularly their breasts.  Before dawn on the third day, the funeral procession formed to carry the body to its resting place. Jason and I will bury him with his Hippeis carrying his body to the Athenian place of burial.  We are accompanied by the rest of our men and Chremonides and other nobles who support him and some philosophers I have become acquainted with.  

At this time, we made the offerings to the deceased; we have bought him a shield to bury with him and his sword and armour. The chief mourner first dedicated a lock of hair, along with libations of honey, milk, water, wine, perfumes, and oils mixed in varying amounts, poured at the grave. A prayer then followed these libations. Then came the enagismata, which were offerings to the dead that included milk, honey, water, wine, celery, pelanon (a mixture of meal, honey, and oil), and kollyba (the first fruits of the crops and dried fresh fruits). A funeral oration, made by Chremonides was made, shaming the Macedonian scum who use assassins to kill good men. The mourners led a Threnoi song to the departed Telamon. Once the burial was complete, the house and household objects were thoroughly cleansed with seawater and hyssop, and the women took part in the ritual washing in clean water.

Afterwards, there was a funeral feast called the peridinin. The dead man was the host, and this feast was a sign of gratitude towards those who took part in burying him. We spent 1,000dr on this feast to give our beloved Telamon a good sent off to the afterlife we invited all our men and the notables of Athens.

Even I who do not believe in the gods wanted him to have a good send off as all Greeks believed that after death, a soul went on a journey to the Underworld, a place called Hades.  Then, Thanatos, the God of Death, would reach down and cut a lock of hair from your head, as you died. I do not believe any of the god stuff but most do. Then, Hermes, the messenger of the gods, leads you to the River Styx. If your body had been buried then, Charon, the ferryman, transported you across the river. On the bank of the river, you would encounter Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guarded the Underworld. His job was to stop people from leaving and returning to the world of the living. After crossing the river, you would leave the ferry and walk on to a place called the Asphodel Fields, where people forget all memories of their former life. Then, at a fork in the road three judges would decide where to send souls: good people were allowed to go onwards to Elysium (a comfortable place where the sun always shone), but those who needed to be punished were sent to Tartarus. Sometimes, when the judges could not decide, souls would be sent back to the Asphodel Fields. In Tartarus, people who had upset the Gods would receive terrible punishments. Tartarus was a dark place, imagined to be as far below the Earth as the Earth is from the sky. Such a lot of tosh but Telamon believed and so I hope he was right, it would be nice to think he has peace now, I just want to make the best of my only life and die in peace.

With the rites of funeral done we arrange to send a message to Admiral Patroclus and onward to the Ptolemaic empire of this loss. Then we set out to investigate and find out who is to blame for this assault, at least we can now go armed if we want thanks to Chremonides giving us that honour. With me leading the quest and Jason helping and keeping an eye out for trouble we hit the dusty streets of Athens. We have our own idea who is behind this but do need some proof so as not to get into trouble. The first day, was hard going and we draw a blank but the next day wisdom smiles on me.  We find out that it was our spy ring and Sthenelus behind the attacks. We also are told that it was to get us out of the way before a rebellion due tomorrow; we rush back to the place to warn Chremonides and raze the alarm. Will we be in time?

[Effect of the Threnoi – all gained 2 POW which will last 3 more days]

The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 10



With time to think we do that, between spending time at the gymnasium checking on our troops and the normal day to day requirements we talk about some options. First we wonder about some assassination of Sthenelus or other members of the spy ring but neither I nor Archi can think of any way to do this without implicating ourselves and then Chremonides. We even spent time on the streets trying to get a insight but failed to get any easy way to do this. So we went to Chremonides to talk with him about the issue. We talk about wanting to hurt Sthenelus he understands but says that politically we are now known to be attached to him so any action we do or is connected to us will also be on him. He leaves us to think upon the situation and see what we can do.

Month of Metageitnion week two, a prophecy from Media of Hera is announced ‘A twig from the tree of Macedon found in the Nile will be broken in Athens’. We are not sure what this means but as Media is linked to the spy ring it isn’t good. We wonder if it means that I am broken, after all I am a Macedonian from the Nile. The talk on the streets is that it is me who will be broken, a popular interpretation after Sthenelus tale about Aegina but there is also talk that it applies to Admiral Patroclus and that his fleet will be broken. Either way not helpful as both interpretations are anti Chremonides and pro Macedon. I try to convince myself that this can’t be the will of the gods but all I do is dent my faith in the gods, much to Archi’s amusement.

Divinations and riding into trouble

Jason decides to do his own divination to see if he can adjust Hera’s, from watching the birds, he knows Apollo can’t reverse Hera’s but maybe he can twist it in some way. He gets us and all the groups’ mercenaries together at the temple, and spends 200dr hiring people to hear his divination. [This is to reduce the cost in POW of his divination] He is given this insight ‘Telamon the twig of Macedon from the Nile will be broken but not killed by Athens in his moment of victory’.

This is followed by a second prophesy ‘By the bringing in of the harvest the Galatian de-filers and their allies will be struck by the arrows of Apollo’ This seems to indicate that the Galatians working with Macedon will be punished for their earlier defiling of temples.

Archi having watched the divinations with disgust decided to go to the Academy and research Piraeus, the port of Athens, as we are still thinking about freeing it from Macedonian control.  He spends nine days looking through very old scrolls from when it was built. He finds 3 small bits of information. First that the long walls running from Athens to the port have small 2’ square tunnels within them which have been tile lined. Second that there is a small rowing boat sized sea gate in the north eastern harbour wall, the Munychia harbour. Third that there appears to have been a water supply which started as a spring between the long walls and then goes under ground to a well inside the port near to the old theatre. Again this seems to be along a manmade tunnel. These might be able to give us access to the port secretly.

While Archi was off digging in records Jason decided to go and scout out the port walls of Piraeus himself. Dressing in his old shepherd’s clothes he approaches dancing madly towards the gate. The walls are around 15’ high with a higher tower each side of the gateway. These towers look like they could hold artillery and rock and javelin defenders. The gates are shut with Galatian guards behind them.

I meanwhile take my Hippeis with me and go to scout out the Macedonian holding fore in the hills to see if maybe we could engage them and threaten the supply line of the Macedonian army around Corinth, we have heard that they are besieging Corinth. We take a couple of days supplies and ride out. By the afternoon of the first day we see enemy pickets, scouts, on the hills either side of the pass. We ride carefully forward, they see us and start to form up. At around 100m we stop and can see that they are Akon armed Psioli, we fall back from them  and I decide to wait a while then ride through quickly to see if we can see what is behind the hills.

We ride past the scouts some of whom throw Akon’s at us but all miss. Behind the hills is a camp, large enough for around 4,000 men. I can also see a couple of big grey creatures towering above the camp, elephants I assume.

With a better idea of the force here we ride back through the pass. This time the guards are ready for us and Akons fly from all directions. I and my men manage to avoid by careful riding to avoid most of them. However one man, Demetrius, takes one in his leg, once we are clear I bind it up and we ride back to Athens the next day.

Jason and I then spend time at the temples him praying to Apollo for the return of his Power and I in thanks.

Month of Metageitnion week three, Archi and Jason work on an idea to make something he calls Caltrops, but although we can make an example we need to make it simple enough for it to be mass produced they need me to tell them how many they need. So we now have two ideas for our last effort in this campaigning session, try to dislodge the holding force and force the main Macedonian army to fall back or try to capture Piraeus and drive the Macedonian fleet from the gulf altogether. However first we head off to the gymnasium for our usual practise and exercise.

The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 9


Back to Athens

Over the next month, the month of Panamos, we get to take part in the festival of Hecatomb on the island. They arranged the holy hecatomb, the animals, all orderly round the altar of the god’s Apollo and Aphaia. They washed their hands and took up the barley-meal to sprinkle over the goat and sheep victims, while the priests lifted up their hands and prayed aloud on behalf of the followers. Jason and Telamon both take part in this part of the festival as low level priests, I made an alter to Hercules as well. When they had done praying and sprinkling the barley-meal, they drew back the heads of the victims and killed and flayed them. They cut out the thigh-bones, wrapped them round in two layers of fat, set some pieces of raw meat on the top of them, and then the priests laid them on the wood fire and poured wine over them, while the young men stood near him with five-pronged spits in their hands. When the thigh-bones were burned and they had tasted the inward meats, they cut the rest up small, put the pieces upon the spits, roasted them till they were done, and drew them off: then, when they had finished their work and the feast was ready, they ate it, and every man had his full share, so that all were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink, slaves filled the mixing-bowls with wine and water and handed it round, after giving every man his drink-offering. Thus all day long the young men of the island and the fleet and army worshipped the gods with song, hymning them and chanting the joyous paean, and the gods took pleasure in their voices. Jason and I please the gods with our donation of one talent towards the costs of this festival.

After the festival we give our men another talent as a bonus of a month’s wages this allows them to enjoy the after festival activities. The rest of our time till we get back to Athens is spent helping the admiral with shipping the prisoners to Salamis and Athenian troops back to Athens, then bringing over the families of the new garrison for the island. Also reflecting on our experiences and improving in the gymnasium. We are the last shipping the admiral needs to do and we are dropped back into Attica with our carts and head back to Athens within the month.

Once in Athens we update Chremonides on our successful mission to gain control of Aegina, although of course he had already heard from merchant Sthenelus his side of the story about Athens gaining control and losing it to Ptolemaic forces. He tells us that Macedonian forces have blocked off the passes to the isthmus and are moving their main force towards Megara to confront the Spartan’s.  Over the next few days Archi picks up rumours in the streets of the city that Patroclus and I took the island from Athenian units. Also we talked about how to deal with the spy ring and I ended up in a heated debate with Archi over the status of gods and their priests. How do you know the priest is doing the gods will or his or her own and if we kill one is it because the gods allow it or not. I could not keep up with his arguments and went off in a huff. [Archi went up in his passion hate the gods and I went down in my devotion, both by 1%.]

 After this Archi heads into the streets to counter the rumours spreading some drachmae to help, as the three of us do this one day going inn to inn. Suddenly the crowds around all start running past us in panic, looking we spot a rabble of 20 men armed with clubs heading our way shouting down with Telamon, let’s kill Telamon. It seems we have people out to do harm to me and my friends. We turn and start running after the crowds about 100m ahead of the rabble. [Making use of the chase rules] We get lucky and find an ally within 20m and turn into it, and then we find another and turn into that. Having made two turns before the rabble even get in sight of the first we think we have lost them and head home. I think we need to find out who was behind this attack; although we think we might know. Archi gets to work on the streets again with 1,000 drachmae to help. We find that the thugs were hired by an intermediary; his name led us back to Sthenelus, as expected.

With that info we let Chremonides know and then try to find out if Sthenelus has any enemies and any links to the rebel spy ring. His enemies include various other merchants who feel that he has overcharged them at various times and he does have links to Solon and Creon on our spy link list. So we add him to the list to deal with. While we are doing this we hear that the Macedonian army has moved on Corinth with the Spartan’s falling back in front of them. It seems that the Macedonians want Corinth back having lost it last year and the Spartan’s do not want to face them without Athenian support. They cannot afford to lose their core Spartan units which are the only force which keeps their allies together. We wonder if that means we might be able to deal with the Macedonian Attica garrison or even free their port.

The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 8


Rebellion and navies clash

I am feeling a bit under the weather and let Archi take the lead in sorting out how we send the surrendered troops down to our forces without them realizing how small we are and then moving them to the city to ship out. Archi gets Jason to join him and they arrange to send the troops down one hundred at a time. They will then stack there weapons and be guarded by some of our men. As Archi and Jason feel that they need to organize the transfer so they leave me behind to send down the groups at hourly intervals. Archi and Jason reach our camp to find that the Athenians have left, Archi does some enquiries and finds out that Sthenelus has taken his men to gain control of the city and claim it for Athens and more importantly take claim for the victory and become governor.  So Jason and Archi plan for how to regain control tomorrow, as evening is coming and it’s too late to go and sort this mess out now. We set the files of Xenophon and Lycaon , from the Cretans, to watch over the piled arms and equipment of our prisoners.

Next morning we head towards the city, bringing all our remaining force with us as well as the prisoners. The journey there is easy with the locals keeping their distance from our large force, even if half of them are prisoners.  By midday the city is in sight so Archi and Jason take the Hippeis and head into the city leaving the rest of the force under my control, I am still under the weather. They enter the city, which is subdued and has a lot of Athenian’s hanging around with the locals staying indoors. They talk to some of the Athenian’s and find out that Sthenelus has set himself up as governor and the troops support him in that after all we drove the garrison out and won the city in the first place didn’t we.

Archi and Jason make their way to the agora to find Sthenelus and deal with this situation. Finding him isn’t difficult and we arrange to see him. We intend to explain to him the situation and that we control the island not him and he needs to hand the city back, we are even prepared to bribe him if needed. {this is dealt with by using an extended social conflict. Using Influence and Power]

As it turns out Sthenelus concedes straight away [critical by Jason, then using force surrender and max damage.]. He takes the bribe of 3 talents and hands over the city and control of his men excepting that without our access to the fleet he will be stuck here. We accept that he will play up his part in this mission when back in Athens but those who need to know will know the truth. We finish the conference just as a soldier comes in saying there are ships on the horizon to the north and south.

Archi and Jason head to the temple of Apollo to look, Archi is put off by the temple followers but they inspire Jason who can make out both forces.  It looks to him as if the Macedonian fleet is coming from the north while our fleet with its scouts out is coming from the south. Jason sends our forces to the beaches to control them and deal with any ships beaching if there’s a battle.

Now down on the beach it is impossible to tell what is going on, but then we see a scout ship heading towards the harbor. Archi goes to meet it and finds out that the admiral with his whole force is coming behind the scouts.

About an hour later the admiral lands and tells us that the Macedonian force turned and retired at the sight of our fleet scouts and there was no way to catch them. That means that any idea of a Macedonian counter attack has failed. We explain to  the admiral what has happened here in the last 3 days including Sthenelus part. He says he will talk to the city elders over supper and for us to arrange it, tomorrow over lunch I will talk with you all and the commanders of the various units as well as the Macedonian commander.

That evening over supper the admiral talks to the city elders with us there as well. He says to them that he will be dropping the Athenian’s back to Attica, and wants the locals to feel that they are free within the Ptolemaic empire. In lieu of the damage they have suffered from the Macedonians and Athenian’s they will have two years free of tax and will only need to support the garrison left to protect them and also train up their own militia. The elders are pleased they will not be under hated Athenian control and thank the admiral for freeing them. The admiral tells them that with his fleet based here they will be safe and will have plenty of trade opportunities.

At lunch with the army commanders and Iolaus the Macedonian commander, the admiral says that he intends for Periander of Thermum and his mercenaries to stay on the island under Ptolemaic control and with the orders to train up the Aeginan’s militia so they can help defend their own homes. The mercenaries will be encouraged to bring their families over as well and to settle to increase the local population. Periander of Thermum says he is fine with that as he is sure his men will be, after all all mercenaries want a home in the end. However, he will need to be realised from his Athenian contract as well, although as he is on this island and the Athenian’s can’t get to him he doubts this will be an issue.

Theophrastus the Macedonian mercenary commander and Iolaus both decide that they want to go back home and the admiral will drop them off to the Macedonian fleet under a flag of truce but that will take a week or so to arrange. Thankfully that is not our job as we seem to have done what we said we would do, so all we want is for the admiral to drop us and the Athenians back near Athens as soon as he can. The admiral takes 15 Talents of the shipping money from us and we are left with 12 after taking out the bribe for the Athenian’s. That means we have 26t 2850dr in cash now. I expect we can pay a bonus to our troops and still have some left over.

The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 7


Chasing the Garrison

After the city elders had left we spend some hours deciding on what to do next, I eventually decide that we need to follow after the Macedonian garrison with a scout force out in front, led by Lycastus leading the Hippies and Xenophon’s file of Cretan’s joining them. They are to take out any enemy scouts they come across and keep in sight of our vanguard.  With the scouts ahead followed by the vanguard of the rest of the Cretan’s then the Thureophoui, then the slaves and carts with the Athenian bring up the rear. It would be nice to leave a force to hold the city but I do not have enough men.

The route from Aegina city to the temple is a long march through farmlands, vineyards and orchards, about 2 leagues or most of the day. The first part of the march, 1 to 2 hours long, is along tracks, heading east, between villages and farms. In the distance we can see the volcanic hills rising up before us with the heat of the day shimmering off of them. It is a hot day and we need to make small marches with breaks for a drink and cool off.

We then head south east between low volcanic hills with orchards running down to the track pathway which is only 20 yards wide at this point. Little can be seen of the slopes due to the number of trees and bushes lining them, a perfect spot for an ambush I think. So I make sure the scouts are alert. After a while the land opens up again as we enter a valley junction where 4 valleys meet. There is a small town in the middle.  This is the town of Oea., we stop outside for lunch and the men scatter under the orchard trees, I make sure that they know not to pillage anything and that the fruit will not be ready and cause illness. I take Archi with me and 5 of my Hippies to ride to the town. There we speak to the elders, who eventually tell us that the Macedonians went past yesterday and they also give us info on the temple area.

This temple has a path up the steep landward western side, with the cliffs to the east and south and steep or shear to the north. It is surrounded by a low wall with a gate in it. Between the wall and the temple are some buildings for the local workers and the storing of harvest.  There is a spring in the temple itself as well as one within the compound. The temple is also the store for the harvest as is right for a goddess of agriculture. The compound is around the size of a village, 300x300m. The non-west sides are steep and difficult to get up. There is no water back down the track till the last village in the valley. This sounds like it might be tough going to move the defenders as we only have a few days’ food and wine and they seem to have lots. This might require a different approach. First we get more watered wine off the town another 3 days of it for the whole force costs us 5000dr, a cost we could do without and Jason thinks excessive. We have to wait some hours for it to arrive in amphora.

Later afternoon I send Archi and the Hippies up to the temple to negotiate surrender. Archi continues east into another narrow valley bottom, with steep tree lined sides; this opens out into a large plane with farms and a few villages. At the second village the track heads south east as he heads towards a narrow pass in the looming steep slopes to the north east. This path is upwards and winds to keep the upslope walkable. Both sides of this track, 5m wide, slop upwards and are covered with trees, orchards and scrub. It is impossible to see far in any direction, only the direction of the track gives any sight lines and they are limited to around 100m or so. Archi follows this narrow path until they can see the temple standing proud on an outcrop of rock above them. The temple is surrounded by a low wall and has buildings behind it and then the temple on a higher rock standing proud. We see guards at the gate and behind the walls.

Archi calls to the garrison and asks to speak with the commander, Theophrastus, he arranges for them to talk and Archi and Theophrastus settle down for some long discussions. Archi makes our first suggestion but nearly get caught in a trap by Theophrastus. After that the next hour of talks all goes Archi’s way. Slowly Archi wears down Theophrastus, using the expected size of the force from 70 ships as a convincing argument, and eventually get the surrender we wanted. Theophrastus agrees to surrender all his force of 700 men; they will lay down their arms until we ship them elsewhere and will pay 30 talents to be shipped away. This avoids the sliver being a prize of the surrender and having to go to our men so we can pay it to the Aegina elders what they wanted from us. Archi then rides back to us. Next day I go with Archi to accept the surrender and light the signal fire to call the admiral back, he will be transporting the Macedonians and I will need to sort out what we do next.