Recording of the talk will be here for a couple of months
Recording of the talk will be here for a couple of months
‘The ides of April’ is a detective story set in Rome in 98AD, it is an enjoyable read. Lindsey knows her background so as you read you get taken back to Rome under the emperor’s with the terror of the state as well as how the normal people lived. The hero, Flavia Albia, is a woman which makes for an interesting story as women had few rights in ancient Rome. The plot is neat and convoluted, even if I had worked it out before the conclusion. As I got further into the story I found I just wanted to keep reading to find out what was happening next. This is Lindsey’s new adventurer book after 20 novels about Marcus Falco, I must leek for some of those as well as I expect they are equally as good to read.
A book well worth reading I think most people will enjoy it.
Day 43, we watch bug video from the Dolls house and hotel. Beater has turned up.
Day 44, the Dolls House is agitated, the Zagerman gang seem concerned as they up security, then we see from various bugs that they are changing stash points and delivery runs, we try to keep track of it all. Listening in we hear talk about shutting down Beater’s starport action if any more trouble.
That’s all we need now to get warrants for a raid, so get the warrants and plan a double raid with extra resources.
Day 45, 4am. Robert and Jack have gone to the hotel to take Beater down, while Gwen and myself with SWAT support hit the Dolls House.
The boys do well and take Beater down with little trouble.
Gwen and I put on SWAT armour and prepare our weapons her with her shotgun and me with my pistol. Th e SWAT have a variety of guns and equipment. Four swat are going to take the front entrance and secure the ground floor, while Gwen and I with 2 swat hack the back door and use the stairwell down to the second level,bypassing the 1st level as that is where the punters are and we do not need to worry about them.
Swat hack the back door and we and the front group all enter the building together. We learn later than the ground floor was secured quickly and with no trouble. We headed down the stairs to the 2nd floor, we check the first floor as we pass it going down, the door is locked from this side. Once we get to the 2nd basement level we chack out the first office and toilet then head for the main office. I knock and call out NSA open up, we hear sounds but the door is not opened. As we prepare we take down the door we hear a noise from down the corridor, I turn and see that it is the engineer and his robot, I tell them it will be safer in their room rather than running around. Gwen and a Swat shot off the doors hinges with their shotguns and we enter with caution saying ‘NSA drop your weapons and hands up’. Their are two people in the room Edwin Laplant the accountant and Mr A Zagerman. We secure both of them and then hear footsteps running up the back stairs, Gwen and I give chase, checking the 1st floor door as we go.
As we leave the area of the 1st floor we hear automatic fire followed by a shotgun and pistol shot. Something has happened below but we choice to follow up the stairs. As we leave the stairs we see that the Swat technician and medic has apprehended the engineer and his robot. We tell him he was stupid to run after we told him to stay and he could have got shot, all he did was keep on about saving Misty, a sad case.
We rush back down to the office to check on Swat and prisoners. When we enter the room their is a body bleeding on the floor Sonia the guard she had been hiding in the safe and lightly injured both Swat members they had gunned her down in response. We got the medic while Gwen tried to save her, but she soon bleed out.
With Sonia dead Beater turns state witness and after a short court case Zagerman is sent to a penal area on earth for a long time while Edwin got a shorter sentence. Beater was last seen heading to a more distanced part of the planet.
Case closed and the gang broken up. As a reward we are being sent to 82 Eridani to work with Texas Rangers on the Taxas colony. I wonder what this will entail.
Part 1A Shipwreck
I, Barypos, boarded the Dolphin at Athens and entertained the crew and locals at ports we stopped at as we made our way along the islands and then the coast to the remains of Tyre. Once there I bordered a different ship, a small one, the Gull which was heading to Alexandria. These voyages where fine despite the risk of storms at this time, however as we neared Alexandria we saw a strange sight in the sky as birds fled from the coast.
A short time later a massive wave hit the Gull, lucky I was on deck with my gear as I was preparing for us to enter Alexandria’s harbor. The wave flipped the Gull over throwing us all into the sea, I managed to hold on to my pack but had to let my armour, cash box and weapons other than my Kopis on my belt go. Lucky I had been improving my swimming skill and managed to grab hold of a piece of broken wood put my pack on it and swam for shore. After a long time I made the shore, apparently the only survivor of the Gull. I was soon found by some locals who on seeing my status, as a rich man, aided me to Alexandria and my friends. With the sliver I had in my pouch I replaced my lost armour and weapons and am now ready to join them in their adventures.
Life in a Medieval City; Life in a Medieval Castle by Joseph and Frances Gies
Two books I had for Christmas, I have been reading them between other things. The Bible mainly as well as Role Playing books. Both of these books are great for a good understanding of medieval life and although old are still very relevant and have been used by many others to guide there novels.
Both books start by looking at the context then looking at daily life for different people, Knights, Craftsmen, farmers ext. They look at religion, commerce, fashion, death, marriage, education and war. There are many books out there with deeper knowledge but known I have read which give such a good coverage in general.
Interested in Medieval history in general, for setting of Role Play games or for writing a novel then you need to read these.
The Odyssey of BARYPOS of TEGEA
Arrival at Alexandria
Late Spring AG44 [268bc]
During the last year I Barypos have been in Athens taking part in the Mysteries and improving my status in them. I manage to attain dedicated member and receive a the gift of Voice from the god’s. I train in my seamanship and swimming skills and read up on Egypt where I will be going next, I live the life of a rich freeman with all the sliver I now have. In the spring of AG44 I set sail on a merchant ship to head to Alexandria and met up with my companions.
During the last year Jason has been in Crete, improving his standing in the cult of Apollo, he is now a dedicated member although he did not ask Apollo for a divine gift, he thinks being a diviner of the future is gift enough for now. He has found trainers to help him in his divination, seamanship, singing, oratory and influence, he has continued to work and even though he has the sliver has stayed a humble freeman.
In his own words “Never had so much money before so I considered heading for a big city and trying to pass myself off as a rich freeman but in the end decided to remain a humble servant of the Temple of the Sun & the Moon and go home.” “By reading the signs I encountered some honest Captains and good ships and shipmates who allowed me to work my passage back to Crete and provided some training for a fair fee. Warned Captain that if he did not delay sailing we would encounter Cilecian dogs but they backed off when our arrows started to fly showing that this Cretan ship was awake and well armed. Got back home with my offering of the gold horse and reported that I had passed on the cult messages and had fought against the evil Celts of the Chaos Rune as ordered. The Minotaur seemed pleased to see me but he never says much and it has been all change on the Moon Side of the temple. One unfortunate result of which is that no one seemed that certain about why I had been sent to Anatolia. Fortunately, that most kind & noble Lady Cleopatra is now Priestess of Britomartis/ Artemis at the temple and kept the promise that the temple would employee me and provide training in temple skills as I try to become a devoted member of cult. Think I am in love with Lady Cleopatra…….a very model of the fair Artemis and as far above a poor love sick Shepherd. Fortunately or unfortunately, the worsening situation between the Kings of Syria and Egypt plus trouble on the mainland has done nothing to reduce the risk to the Temple or its property from the Chaos things of the White Mountains and from pirate raiders so good archer’s are still needed.
Archi, spent this time in Alexandria at the Museion doing research, working as a teacher and gaining respect as a teacher and student. He has learnt some Aramaic and got to know the streets while also improving his Oratory, Insight into people, more about treating wounds and illness, his Egyptian language, Science, Mechanisms, Commerce and unarmed combat. Archi is careful with his living style using most of his sliver for studies.
Telamon has spent the last year in Thebes, living as a common freeman. While there he became a dedicated member of the cult of Hercules gaining the gift of Vigor. To do so he had to train and learn Oratory and Exhort.
Rumours around in Late Spring AG44 [268bc]
Both Ptolemy and Antiochus I are eyeing up Palestine and Coele-Syria again. Ptolemy as his northern border with the Seleucid’s and the Seleucid’s as the gateway to Egypt. In this The rebellious Jews are important. It was only 3 years ago that the last war over this area finished.
Decree of Chremonides signed, creating an alliance between Sparta, Athens, and Ptolemy II, directed against Antigonus of Macedon.
Seleucus, son of Antiochus, is said to be in rebellion in the east.
Philetaerus of Pergamon is said to be planning an attack on the Galatians in the area.
The Romans are establishing a Roman colony with Latin rights of Beneventum in south Italy They have also declared that they will be founding a new city at Rimini on the East coast of Italy.
Alexandria is a great city founded by Alexander and now the capital of the Ptolemaic empire. It is a majestic city the biggest any of us have ever seen or been in, bigger even than Athens.
Laid out on a grid pattern, like all new cities, Alexandria occupies a stretch of land between the sea to the north and Lake Mareotis to the south; a man-made causeway over three-quarters of a mile long extends north to the sheltering island of Pharos, thus forming a double harbour, east and west. On the east is the main harbour, called the Great Harbour; it faces the city’s chief buildings, including the royal palace and the famous Library and Museion. At the Great Harbour’s mouth, on an outcropping of Pharos, stands the lighthouse, the lighthouse is reckoned as one of the Wonders of the World for its unsurpassed height (140 metres or 460 ft); it is a square, fenestrated tower, topped with a metal fire basket and a statue of Zeus the Saviour.
In the last 60 years the city has inherited the trade of ruined Tyre and become the centre of the new commerce between Europe and the Arabian and Indian East, the city is now larger than Carthage. It is the main Greek city of Egypt, with an extraordinary mix of Greeks from many cities and backgrounds. It hosts a Dionysian festival that features a 180-foot-high golden phallus, 2,000 golden-horned bulls and a gold statue of Alexander carried by elephants. Alexandria has grown by supplying papyrus, jewels, glass and grain to the Greeks and others.
The Construction of Alexandria, the city has monumental buildings that have been and are being erected in. The Heptastadion connects Pharos with the city and the Lighthouse of Alexandria followed soon after, as did the Serapeum, all under Ptolemy I. The Museion was finished under Ptolemy II the current ruler.
The Ptolemy’s are being careful to maintain the distinction of its population’s three largest ethnicities: Greek, Jewish, and Egyptian. Alexandrian Greeks place an emphasis on Hellenistic culture, in part to exclude and subjugate non-Greeks. The law in Alexandria is based on Greek-especially Attic-law. There are two institutions in Alexandria devoted to the preservation and study of Greek culture, which help to exclude non-Greeks. In literature, non-Greek texts entered the library only once they had been translated into Greek. There are ostentatious religious processions in the streets that display the wealth and power of the Ptolemies, but also celebrated and affirmed Greekness. Alexandria is also home to the largest Jewish community in the world. The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (the Torah and other writings), is produced here. Jews occupy two of the city’s five quarters and worshipped at synagogues.
The Ptolemies have fostered the development of the ‘Museion’, the Library of Alexandria and associated Museum, into a renowned centre for Hellenistic learning. The Library was located in the Mouseion, the Temple of Muses, it was part of the Royal Court of the Ptolemy’s, a huge complex that covers a large area and includes a zoo and botanical gardens.. It also includes areas for all of the arts and performances of such.
The library boosts hundreds of thousands of scrolls, one foot wide 20 foot long to about 60 pages. All visiting ships are checked for manuscripts which where seized and copied with the copy being returned. The library has special rapid-copying shops where scholars can get copies of a scroll within a day or two.
The outskirts of the city are mainly a mix of Greek and Egyptian low class buildings around the harbours and roads in. As you reach the centre you come across the big posh buildings for the wealthy and the state. The Museion houses the Major Temple of the Mesues. The Royal court also has a Minor Temple to each of the god’s, and Alexander it also has a Major Temple to Serapis. Around the city are various Modest Shrines to each of the Greek and Egyptian god’s.
The Rules of the City, Greeks are allowed to carry a sword all other weapons are illegal. Important people tend to always go about with a few sword armed guards. Most minor crimes, stealing, cheating, ect., are tried by group of citizens and punished by fines, if they can not be paid slavery instead. Mayor crimes, Murder, Assault, ect,, are tried by city rulers and punished by slavery or death. The City Guards are Thureophoui and normally armed with Dory and Kopis with a Thureos and Boeotian Helm
The cost cost per week of accommodation and food minimum 4dr rising to 12dr for a rich freeman. This gives you a rented room or small house food ect and a slave or more to look after you and your stuff.
Our first adventure in Alexandria
A slave comes up to Jason and tells him his master Abas the Silversmith would like to speak to him. Archi know this man a man who makes sliver items for the followers of Apollo. When Jason, Telamon and I, Archi has yet to make it here, get there Abas calls on Jason in Apollos name for his help in finding his son Philip aged 11. Abas has come to Jason as the temple told him to when he asked the god what he should do. He has no idea who or why his son would be taken, the slave Cadmus say’s he was hit from behind and when he woke Philip was gone. He ran straight back home to report. He has a bloodied head where he was hit and a bruised leg. Archi examines Cadmus and says that he was hit in the head badly. SO as Jason is honour bound to help we set off to investigate.
Reaching the area near the main market where the attack happened we question the market traders. Jason talks with the Greeks nearby but due to his lack of status, they think he is a slave, they say nothing. Archi talks to the Egyptians, as he speaks that strange language, he gets some info as does Telamon when he speaks to the Greeks. It seems two large men with dogs hanging around for some time. They admit they saw they attack but it was over quickly and they did not want to intervene when the two big men with dogs where involved, they did not realize that a child had been taken. The men where Macedonian looking with dark hair, the dogs where big guard dogs with bronze helms depicting two heads. Archi says that these dogs could belong to Ptolemy’s son, so the men must have access to them. Its now five hours since Philip went missing.
Telamon uses his skill in tactics to organise a search of the area of the attack. After two hours we have managed to find some clues. A Sliver symbol of a Vulture from a belt and blood on a wall with a bloody handprint. We decide to track the blood as far as we can. its takes quite a time before we lose the trail. Telamon stops and with me and Jason work through the information we have, we think the trail is leading us towards the harbour so continue that way and pick up some more blood signs, we are not sure they are the ones we are following or others.
We talk with locals and they recall seeing two men with dogs and a boy heading towards the shine of Hades. We go there and talk to the acolyte of Hades there. Telamon gets no helpful response but Archi says I believe he is lying. With some pressure applied the acolyte says that some followers where annoyed with Abas the silversmith over not making worship items of Hades. He continues that they are Dymnos & Phaido however he does not know where they live in the harbour area, however they are sailors. With around 10 hours gone since Philip went missing we need to keep going, it is getting dark now. Archi wants to find some meat and herbs to drug the dogs if needed, he soon finds a local stall and purchases what he needs for a couple of drachmae. While he is doing that Jason wants to see what the signs say about encountering Philip, so he looks at the birds as they settle for the night. As he needs witnesses and as many as he can get Telamon rounds up a crowd of locals. Jason gets a vision but does not tell the others about it saying it was not relevant.
Archi talks to locals to find where these two men live and get directions. With eleven hours gone we wonder if Abas had had any demands yet but we feel we can not give up time looking for him to find out. We reach the sailors building where we believe the sailors and Philip are, it is a multi story building of many families so we need to be careful. When we get to the doorway of the room we want Telamon listens, but there is a lot of noise around here, but no dogs. He knocks and enters with Jason and Archi following. In the room are two men fitting the description with two women. Telamon asks ‘are you Dymnos & Phaido?’. ‘Yes the two men reply’. We ask for Philip they deny having a child here and the women back them up. Archi tries to pull on the women’s hearts but they still say we know nothing. So Telamon intimates them with threats, and they admit to taking him to force Abas to make items for Hades as well, however we realised him an hour ago he should be nearly home now with the message that Abas must produce things for Hades or else.
We take our leave, Abas and the authorities can deal with the crime if they want we want to make sure Philip has got home ok. When we reach Abas’s home Philip is there having been picked up by the watch and brought home. Abas is very please with us and asks for Apollo to bless us however that means we take a curse from Hades well at least Jason and Telamon do as Archi has no truck with gods and I was not there. Gain Hostility of Hades ‘Curse’ causes reduction of one in HP in all locations [removed by a offering buried in the ground of a sliver two headed dog worth at least 100dr each. Blessing of Apollo one of [choice now] Art, Musicianship, Singing; Lore Animals, or Healing at one difficulty grade easier when used during this year. Jason takes Musicianship and Telamon Lore Animals.
I on the over hand end up shipwrecked off the Egyptian shore, the ship I was travelling in got hit by a massive wave which came from nowhere. The ship was turned over and we lost everything except my life as I swam ashore. I made my way to Alexandria to find my friends and make a new fortune. [Lose party funds and all of Barypos gear but he survived] Jason, when I see him, tells me he saw this happen when he went to divine the future but he could not inform me it was going to. Now we are altogether again we can see what fate and the gods have in store for us.
The heroes question the professor about Ch’andarra hideouts in the past. However he is in shock and does not answer.
Grenade contacts MI5 contact John and asks the same question.
John has no idea but the captives might if you want to question them.
Deciding that Armadillo is the most mercenary, Grenade and Airgirl go to where he is being held leaving Stretch to watch over the Prof.
Questioning Armadillo, Grenade uses his suggestion power on him. ‘Tell me where the Enchantress base is.’
‘Urh Ug what sorry over there’
Armadillo seems to be confused, maybe from the beating he just had.
Eventually he says no.
‘How where you contacted by the Dark Enchantress?’ asks Grenade.
‘I was contacted by Panda and Raccoon and paid direct into my Swiss bank, he gives details.
Grenade uses suggestion on Raccoon.
Base is a farm, at Hinton Charterhouse, paid into a Swiss back account known to Panda.
We then paid the others.
He is not aware of any defences at the farm.
‘How did the Dark Enchantress contact you?’
‘Social Media’ Raccoon answers. and gives details of the page on the dark-web.
Grenade asks Raccoon to list all the other crimes they have been involved with.
The list is long and includes work for Dr Destroyer, various foreign countries, inculding Russia and China.
Air-girl hacks into the dark-web to the social pages. The Dark Enchantress put aid on villains for hire page from a computer at a student block in Widcome in Bath
Hack student computer and find that it is based in flat 2b of the student block.
Air-girl picks Grenade up in a whirlwind and flys with him to the block.
Land on student block roof
Grenade opens up the roof lift door
Accessing the lift on the next floor, the 4th, they take it down to the second floor.
They then find flat 2B
Outside Flat 2B; Grenade listens and hears scratching and funny noises from inside.
Grenade knocks on the door
Knocks again loader, head pokes out of door behind them ‘its late, she’s out’. the young lady says before disappearing.
Try door which is locked
Grenade quietly opens the lock and they enter the flat
As Grenade and Air-girl enter the central area of the flat, which has a kitchen and common area and four doors off of it, three vaguely humanoid horrors fall from the ceiling to attack them.
Air-girl with her wind-sense moves as they drop and raises up to hover above the floor, as she does she air-blasts one of them knocking it away.
Grenade also reacts quickly and flicks a marble at another also knocking it away.
The remaining horror attacks as do the other two once they have moved back, however all fail to make contact with the hard to hit heroes.
Air-girl uses her air-blast again this time knocking out the horror.
Grenade throws another marble hitting another and killing it, as it dies it turns back into a young university female student.
The remaining horror attacks and again fails to hit.
Air-girl blasts the last horror followed by Grenade using his stick while pulling his blow the combined attack knocks out the horror.
The two unconscious horrors turn back into female students.
Air-girl senses with her airpowers if there are any more in the flat, she doesn’t think so.
They tie the two girls up.
After Grenade has contacted John in MI5 they search the 4 rooms and common area.
They find a part of a page on a Cattery ending in ant.
Air-girl hack’s the laptop in Andrea’s room, but finds nothing of use.
Air-girl uses computer to investigate Catteries ending in ‘ant’
Limiting the search to around Bath she finds no matches in Bath and Hinton Charterhouse area.
She then tries to hack the Swiss banking system but fails to get past their firewalls.
Grenade contacts John to get MI5 to clean up the flat and see to the injured and dead.
John tells them off for killing innocents and damaging property.
Air-girl flies them both to the farm at Hinton Charterhouse.
The farm has a barn and a house, they move to check out the barn first.
Grenade goes to the door and Air-girl lands on the roof and enters through the air vents door
They both enter, Grenade enters the doors and Air-girl through the roof.
The Barn is 10x4sq within it is a Monstrosity of Limbs a blob of large size with limbs appearing and disappearing around it.
It attacks Grenade and knocks him back out of the door.
Air-girl air-blasts the monstrosity but it has no effect.
Grenade moves back in and tries to attack a weak point in the monster.
The monster fails its limbs at Grenade but does not hit.
Air-girl taking the idea from Grenade attacks for a weak spot with her Air-blast which catches a retracting limb and knocks the monster out and it disapears.
Air-girl investigates the barn and finds another clue, part of a one page guide to with Saint George ……
They search the internet and find a church called Saint George in Fovant which also has a cattery called Cattery @ Fovant.
This must be where the Enchantress is based.
They go home to rest and see which of the others will be available for a attack.