No announcement yet.

The Epic Tale of Navalon (Redux)

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Epic Tale of Navalon (Redux)

    The Beginning – Or the End?

    A countless number of years after the beginning of the Universe, a number so close to infinite it is practically so, the universe has grown dark, distant, and cold. The stars have burnt out that seemingly endless pool of energy granted to them at the Beginning, the Bang. The galaxies of burnt out stars, cinders of the past, have drifted far, far from each other as they were designed to do, leaving an endless void of darkness. Their resident interstellar civilizations now also dead, their structures, or what is left of them, towering feats of life, a testament for none to see of something truly great. This signaled the beginning of the end of the Cycle.

    At this point, the end of the Universal Cycle, The forces of Good and Evil march from their portals to the Void to fight the final battle, to finally affirm the victor of the Cycle. The Lord of Good and Cosmos [Greek for “order”] and the Lord of Evil and Chaos [“disorder”] lead their armies of a trillion-trillion-trillion souls, the essence of all sentient life forms that ever lived from the beginning of the Cycle to this point, to battle. The victorious Lord uses the essence of all the souls of the vanquished, to draw the mass and energy of the Universe back together. The mass and energy then “clumps” together, condensing into a zero-dimensional, infinitely dense point that then collapses onto itself before exploding into the Universe of the Next Cycle. At that instantaneous point in time, of the Universal Birth, the victorious Lord can influence the resulting Universe to be closer to his alignment. Therefore if Chaos won, the victorious Evil Lord would steer the resulting universe more towards unpredictability and chaos, whereas a Good Lord would aim it towards one of beauty and order. The resulting souls of this universe will then duke it out in the End, as they did the Cycle before this, and the Cycle before that, and the Cycle before that and they will fight again at the End of the next Universe, and continue to do so, but I do not know for how long; I know not if there will ever be a “true” End or if there ever was ever a beginning. Most puzzling of all, is where did this system come from? When, if ever, did it began, and who, if anybody/thing, created it?

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

    Good was hopelessly outnumbered. Too many souls of the past universe followed the path of lawlessness, anarchy, and disorder. The Supreme Being of Good accepted defeat, and the next Cycle was to be controlled by Chaos himself. Lord of Good tried to figure out where he had gone wrong, and what he could do to change the outcome of the next Universe, now that he had lost the advantage. He controlled the last cycle, yet somehow lost. He had plenty of time to think, though, he would fall into a deep semi-conscious comatose for 4 billion years after the new beginning, allowing Chaos his head start to guide the universe into His image. He had the advantage this time.
    When He awoke, he knew exactly what had gone wrong. He had become arrogant and passive, assuming since He had begun with control, that he could not lose. This time would be different. He would take as active a role as the Universe allowed in obtaining the control of the next Universe. Unfortunately, little activity was allowed between Gods and Life. He only had one shot, and had to make it work. After surveying the life that had come to exist thus far, the Lord of Cosmos spied a species, quite well balanced for their state in evolution with intelligence, physical strength, and versatility, as well as having an unusual natural tendency towards organization. He liked. He searched this third sphere from the local average star at that present and using his limited power of looking through time for a specific specimen, one of great power… He found one. Only this…One, would live very briefly, he and his mother and father would be killed during his birth. It would happen during a violent sea storm, where strong winds and finally a lighting bolt would snap and knock down a large tree and cause it to go crashing down upon their domicile, killing the family. He would not let this happen. Using much force, he forced an asteroid to hurtle towards the sphere, where it hit the atmosphere at a shallow angle and skipped off into space, but not without the force of impact breaking up the storm, and indeed, influencing the species significantly through the resulting rain of fire from the collision. Indeed, many myths and legends were born that day…

    Ok, thats the setup, now for the real story. I' ve done a little more, and I think thats it for tonight. Ill try to post more tomarrow afternoon, i'll see howmuch time i have.
    Last edited by Kramerman; October 15, 2003, 14:06.
    "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
    - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
    Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum

  • #2
    The Cradle

    Navapolis, named after the Greek mythological God Navayosus, son of The Greek warrior Goddess and God of the Sea, whose Realm was that of navigation and naval combat, was fittingly named, for it was a small (but fast growing), bustling, port colony of a powerful Greek city-state located on the tip of “toe” of the “boot” of the peninsula of Italia. It was a diverse town, where traders and merchants from all around the mighty Mediterranean Sea would come to re-supply on their long voyages, as well as trade their surplus wares.

    The colony obviously prospered with the influx of trade and also had many homegrown successful start-ups, such as the ship building industry, commercial fishing and even limited manufacturing of tools and such. The town also had a very diverse culture, with a high concentration of Greek colonists, locals native to the area, as well as many Latins, Etrurians, and Sabines from the north that came down to settle and even a few settlers from further north, from the mountains and beyond. Phoenicians, and peoples from Asia Minor, as well as Africans were not uncommon, most came as merchants who settled down to take advantage of the strategic position of the colony, others were sailors who deserted, and yet others just immigrated for a new and better life.

    However, the town was a Greek colony, first and foremost and it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. The first governor of the colony was quite a benevolent and wise leader and he was most responsible for the town’s growth and prosperity. Unfortunately, he mysteriously died around the birth of our hero and his erratic, adolescent son took his place - suspiciously ready. He was the new “governor”, his name was Tyranicus, and he lived and ruled like a king, squandering any funding from the homeland to feed his own voracious life style, most notable for exotic foods being the glutton he was. He simply swept the “dirt” under the carpet when the King’s comptroller would come for inspection and collect taxes from the colony, and then he would return to his ways after he was gone. Tyranicus himself wasn’t bad initially, though he was an inexperienced leader being a mere 17 year old. But as time wore on he became more and more despicable. He would impose ridiculous laws and allow unthinkable things to happen, such as letting his friends select women to rape at will, and that is not to mention his paranoia that began to arise. He would often select townsmen at random and would publicly execute them, claiming they were against the city-state and would be examples to those who opposed him. Of course, at that time, no one opposed; but that was about to change. He was bringing ruin to the prospering economy, scaring many merchants away. The residents began to organize…
    Last edited by Kramerman; October 15, 2003, 14:07.
    "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
    - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
    Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


    • #3
      History Altered

      During a frightfully violent thunderstorm, she went into labor. The woman would become a mother, her husband a Father. Just as the baby was being delivered, the sky outside the window lit up, bright as day. Wrapping the baby in blankets and clutching the wailing child to her chest, the couple went out to the front door of their meager home and saw nearly the whole of the town, in the middle of night, outside looking at the wonder taking place in the sky. The couple looked up and saw fire streaking across the heavens. Many wailed that the Gods have come for reprisal, others that the world was ending, yet most were surprisingly calm, at ease, watching the fires float and descend through the sky. That couple knew their child was special, for that was certainly why he was born during such a beautiful, terrifying, and enigmatic event . It had to be a sign from the Gods themselves. It was then that they named him. Annhyicus.

      The father came to Navapolis indirectly as a Greek sailor. As a boy he always wanted to explore the sea, being fascinated by its size and mystery. He always wanted to know what lie beyond the water and what lie beyond that. When still considered a boy by most, he struck out and got a job on a merchant galley. However, it was not the adventure he had hoped for. After many years toiling behind an oar, and a man with a whip behind him, he decided enough was enough. He jumped ship at the next port, Arbos, a small colony north of Navapolis. There the young man became a street urchin, begging and living off handouts from the governor. Then one day while trying to pick a large-waisted man’s pocket, his arm was grabbed.
      “What is your name, boy!” his voice boomed.
      “Um, Arius sir,” the young man replied meekly with a mix of terror and guilt in his voice and on his face.
      His choice was simple, be turned in and rot in the dungeon, or come work his crime off with that man. The man turned out to be quite a jolly fellow, owning a blacksmithing shop in the marketplace. He became somewhat of a father figure to the Greek, taking him in long after he’d paid off his crime and making him an apprentice. There Arius learned the trade of metal working and also met the girl that would be his wife. After marriage, they were off together to Navapolis, to start their new life. The Greek would never forget that jolly old man that had taken him in, when all others just spat on him.

      She was born as the only daughter into a nomadic family. They lived in the towering mountains of the north of Italia, where life was hard. Her mother would later tell her that her family, and that of her husbands, came from the dark forests even further north. When still a young girl this small family migrated down into the valley, where it was warm, green, and unwild as it was not in the mountains. There were settlements of people, many people living together in one place; the girl had never seen so many people before. And the farmers beyond the settlements worked with bountiful crops without fear of being slaughtered; the girl had never seen so much food. Her father got work helping a farmer with his crops, earning only a meager living but enough to support his family. After many years of toil, he died, a tired and worn out man, truly good of heart. The farmer’s family that he’d work for were kind enough to take in the crippled family in long enough for them to get back on their feet. The mother, now an older lady and her daughter almost a women began their trek south, to the large settlements they had heard about. There the mother would find work as a weaver and the daughter would find a husband. Their travel was dangerous, through the wild lands of warlike tribes – those of the Latins and Sabines, but they made it without incident to the northern most settlement of the South of Italia, Arbos. There the mother and her daughter found work weaving, and the daughter fell in love with a young metal worker. After her mother died, after a long hard life, with a short bright end, the young lady agreed to marry the man, and then they went south together to start their better life.
      Last edited by Kramerman; October 15, 2003, 14:08.
      "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
      - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
      Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


      • #4
        Sacred Encounter

        Annhyicus was a vivacious boy, full of activity; physically fit, he easily competed with the older boys in the foot races and throwing contests. He was smart too, quickly learning to read from his mother, who had taught herself to read not to long before. Though at times mischievous, he was quite well disciplined. He was often given a hard time by the other boys though, because he looked different, with lighter skin, hair and eyes than all the other Mediterranean children. These traits come from his mother, who was most respected in the town for her beauty, though boys never change and would pick on the kid that is different. When a young child, his family was poor, but as the years past his father’s metal working business prospered. He opened many shops in the forum and bought out much of his competition. His shops employed many workers, from toolmakers to armourers. Indeed, many additions were made to their hut on the cliff, until it soon became a coastal villa. The captain of the gaurd even selected his finely balanced bronze javelins to replace the old wood-shafted copper tipped javelins presently in use. The father never lost his love for the sea however, and his dream was to purchase or build some boat building facilities on the beaches north of the town, outside the walls. In the mean time though, after much prosperity in the past, the seemingly insane governor Tyranicus, or King Tyranicus as he now demanded to be called, was putting a crunch on the business by scaring away the merchants. That, as well as his many other wicked acts forced the colony to organize. The father, being quite respected in the town was part of the leadership of this movement, often hosting secret meetings in his home. They were planning an overthrow with help from units of the militia, though they had to be careful, most were entirely loyal to the governor and would rat out the resistance movement immediately. The governor, being paranoid as he was, also had spies who where his eyes and ears throughout the colony and looked for trouble. The movement worked slowly and carefully, and over a few years gathered many followers and supporters.


        Late one night, on the eve of Annhyicus’ 18th birthday, he lay in his room unable to sleep. Tossing and turning, he had a pounding headache, which he thought odd because he rarely got such aches. Then he began to feel dizzy and perspired profusely as his room appeared to spin about him.
        “What is going on,” he thought to himself,” Am I dying?”
        What sounded like a thunderclap exploded around the now dreadfully frightened young man, quickly followed by a burst of light, the brightest, purest white light, emanating from the room’s north wall and flooding the room.
        “I HAVE BEEN WATCHING YOU BOY,” a voice sounded out, louder, deeper, and closer than any thunder-strike that Annhyicus had ever heard. “YOUR PROGREES HAS BEEN SLOWER THAN ANTICIPATED, BUT NO MATTER.”
        “Oh my…the Gods, they’ve come for me! Almighty Zeus, I am your slave!” Annhyicus yelled with a trembling voice. Filled with fear, he stood up to show he was brave and worthy, but immediately collapsed to the floor with dizziness.
        Annhyicus now found himself strangely at ease, though still sick to his stomach. He listened intently to this strange Light, bursting even brighter with every syllable. He learned the origin of the Universe, he learned of the Cycle, he learned of the cause of and purpose of that mysterious sky fire his parents told him about on every birthday, he then learned his mission.
        “How could I ever unite the whole of earth, especially in a single life time. I do not know if I can do what you have asked of me, Almighty Light.”
        The Light explained that time was quickly running out. It explained that if Annhyicus succeeds, than they shall not meet again until the Final Battle. He told the young man that he has been granted immortal life, that he cannot die of age, mild poison, or disease, though he definitely could still bleed and can die by wounds like any other man. He stated that Annhyicus should age to his late 20s or early 30s and then not age another day after that. He then implanted a ritualistic prayer in the young man’s mind that he shall use to call upon the essence of good and infuse it upon an object or person of worth. By doing so he can greatly increase the strength of an object or lifespan of a person in proportion to their worth, but if they are not worthy enough, object or life form, they shall be instantly annihilated. The Light, now just a glimmer, and the voice just a whisper, said farewell to Annhyicus and wished him well on his quest. Then with a flash and bang as powerful as the first, the light disappeared, the voice was no longer, and young Annhyicus remembered nothing more until morning…
        Last edited by Kramerman; October 15, 2003, 14:10.
        "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
        - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
        Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


        • #5
          The Morning After

          “Annhyicus, come to breakfast,” she yelled from the kitchen to Annhyicus’ room as she made her way there. “Come on lazy bones, get up, its your big day,” the mother said with excitement in her voice.
          “Come Adalae, let him rest. Besides, today is his day off from the shop, unfortunately,” the father said, leading his wife back to the kitchen.
          “Why do you say that?” she asked.
          “Because he is in the tail-end of making a beautiful short sword, jewel encrusted and everything, that I am to present to the king in a few days. Damn, that boy has a gift of craftsmanship finer than I’ve ever seen. Anyway, I hope it will throw Tyranicus off from any sense he has of me and any underground movement, since an incident last month when the militia constable walked in on a meeting. The cover story that we were organizing a business guild wasn’t the most convincing.
          “I thought I told you to stop with that nonsense, Arius, if King Tyranicus does finds out he’ll kill all of us,” his wife stated with worry.
          ”What, do you want me to have to sell another shop so I can put food on the table. I’m down to five. If business doesn’t pick back up soon, we might have to sell the house. And remember Mr. Kalshisa, the owner of the large wine shop in the forum, I heard he was arrested today on charges of ‘trying to poison the king’. We’ll probably never see him again. That filthy drunken governor just wanted to take his shop,” Arius remarked with bitterness.
          “I don’t care Arius, I don’t want to take a risk like that, not after how far we’ve--- shhhh, say nothing to Annhyicus,” Adalae whispered as she heard her son approach the room. “Well! How are we doing this morning, sleepy head!” the mother said cheerfully, “Come, sit and eat, there is plenty. I picked these delicious grapes up from the marketplace this morning. So, child, or man, I guess you have become one today, how did you sleep last night? And what are your plans for today?” the mother asked inquisitively.
          “Uhhhhh…I don’t know…uhhhhh… may I be excused. I’ve got much to do. Um, father, could I use some iron ore from your storeroom, I would like to begin a project today,” Annhyicus asked politely.
          “Iron? Whatever for? That stuff isn’t cheap! Oh well, consider it my gift to you. Take as much as you need from the storeroom, of anything you need from the storeroom,” Arius told his son with a sense of pride,” With your skill, I’m quite excited to see how this ‘project’ of yours will turn out. Can you tell me what it is---“
          “No,” quickly replied Annhyicus before his father even finished asking the question. “I must go now, I’ll see you all tonight,” the young man said as he left the room towards the workshop on the side of the house.

          There is where he and his father tinkered with new ideas of metalworking and with other forms of construction. There he will begin his quest. He took some lumber and nails from the storeroom and began work on his alter that he would perform the prayer given to him upon. After several hours of work, it was finished and he then began planning that which he would bless upon it. He would fiddle with ideas in his head and in sketches for most of the rest of the year. He knew one thing, that it must be worthy of the power of the Cosmos. He then worked for another full year on his plans, spending every awaken moment and every minute of his spare time he had. He also worked hard to keep his project a secret.

          Then late on the night of the eve of his 20th birthday, his project was done. He then spent the rest of the night performing the ritual to bless his project…the most stunning and beautiful armor, helmet, shield, and sword yet created on earth and perhaps more beautiful than any ever created. The next evening, he found his father to be most upset at the matched set, when he discovered Annhyicus in his room (he went looking for him after not seen him all day) at the tail end of the ritual with the set, to Annhyicus’ great surprise. His father thought the armor and shield to look strange, like nothing he’d ever seen before. And the helmet just vaguely resembled that of the Corinthian style with wich he was familiar. But that was not what upset him, he was throbbing with anger when he discovered that his prized jewels, a large pyramidal blue gem and two large white diamonds, where emplaced into the hilt of the sword, the blue one pointing down at the bottom of the hilt, and the 2 diamonds at the top and to either side of the hilt in the center of a beautifully carved compass rose - the symbol for Navayosus. His father yelled that he would deduct his son’s pay for his work at the shop until he had paid for the gems, though he knew a life time's work in his shops could not pay them off. His father then said he was in the middle of something important and was on his way somewhere, and didn’t have time to deal with this at the moment, but would when he returned…
          Last edited by Kramerman; October 15, 2003, 14:11.
          "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
          - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
          Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


          • #6
            The Burning Cradle

            As Arius hugged and kissed his wife goodbye and headed to the front door, it swung open. There appeared king Tyranicus through the door along with an entourage of troops.
            “Ah, my faithful civilian Arius, master craftsman, and businessman extraordinaire, your life’s story is quite well known and an inspiration to all. But with pleasantries aside, I’ve come to ask you a few questions.”
            “Oh king!” Arius exclaimed as he dropped to one knee,” I am at you service!”
            “May I ask where you were on your way to. I assume you were going somewhere, having seeing you embrace your wife, such a pretty woman she is by the way, and head for the exit of your home,” the king asked with a grin on his face.
            “Uhhh, I was just on my way to check up on my shops---“
            “Isn't it almost dark? Why, aren’t they closed now?”
            “Well, yes, but I would like to see---“
            “Enough games!” Tyranicus exclaimed, cutting off Arius once again,” You were on your way to a meeting, a secret meeting, as you do at every time at this part of the week! Guards! Seize him! Take his wife back to my quarters and chain her. Then torch the house.”
            “Sir, I believe they have a son,” remarked the captain.
            “Find him, and kill him,” remarked Tyranicus, with nonchalance," I must deal with this insurection once and for all."
            “Annhyicus! Run! Fetch my bow and light an Arrow and launch it towards the bell tower, it’s the signal---“
            “Shut him up!” Tyranicus barked, with a soldier quickly punching the restrained Arius across the face.” No you idiot! I meant kill him! Tyranicus exclaimed as he shoved the soldier out of the way and thrust his sword, the very encrusted sword Arius had presented to him almost 2 years before, through his chest.
            “NOOOO!” Adalae shrieked as the guards shoved her through the front door. “Nooo,” she said once more with painful cries and pleads, as she was wrestled away from the door. She cried and cried, with deep remorse and sorrow, having seen her true love be struck down before her and fearing the worst for her only child.
            “Don’t cry woman!” Yelled Tyranicus as he jogged up the road behind them, on the way to the Governor’s Keep, “Soon you’ll know the touch of a real man….”
            Last edited by Kramerman; October 15, 2003, 14:12.
            "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
            - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
            Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


            • #7
              The Burning Cradle Part II

              Annhyicus, Hearing the commotion, was quick to gather his gear in a sack, and upon hearing his beloved father’s command, was off to the stable beside the house. There his father kept his bow and arrows, along with his horse, Archus [Arkus], or Arch as the family lovingly knew him. He was a powerful stallion, white in color and in the peak of his life. He had grown very powerful from carrying Arius on his hunting excursions outside the city gates and also from pulling heavy carts of oar and metal sheets from the harbor where Arius would purchase the raw materials he needed, back up to the workshops. Annhyicus quickly mounted the animal as he had done many times before, grabbed his fathers bow and some arrows, and was off, not knowing exactly what was going on or the purpose of his father’s instructions. Barging in to the closest neighbor’s house, and that of his childhood friend, he politely excused himself as hit lit an arrow aflame from their wood-burning stove. He ran outside, notched the arrow into his fathers bow, drew back on the cord as far as he could and loosed the arrow over towards the bell tower and out into the sea. The Bell tower was near the wall and was manned at all hours of the day by the bellboys, who took the lookout in shifts. If word came of approaching barbarians, as many did come this far south a few times a year to attempt to loot, pillage, and rape the rich city, then they would ring the bell like crazy to warn the town and alert the militia to get to the walls (Navapolis had only a north wall, that stretched from the bluffs on one side of the peninsula where the town lie, to those on the other side). The bellboys, though, were also apart of the insurrectionist movement and were instructed, upon seeing a flaming arrow fly near from the south of town, to ring the bell three times then pause, then ring it three more times and pause and continue to do so several times. This was the signal for the militia and guard units that were rebellious as well as those citizens that too had had enough, to rise up and rush the Keep in the center of the town.

              Indeed, after several rings, the revolutionists had realized what was going on, and rushed outside to their prearranged meeting places to organize. Arius’ armourers had been stockpiling hundreds of simple swords and maces along with many other devout citizens and they distributed them quickly at this moment of congregation. Tyranicus and his guard were only a few blocks South from the gate of his keep when the bell rang out. Confused at first because it was not the all-out ringing that signaled a barbarian raid, but an ordered ring. Then Tyranicus noticed many people gathering in the alleyways, distributing weapons among them. He immediately realized what Arius had shouted just before his death was a signal to begin the fight. This was his nightmare scenario that he had been preparing for throughout his rule, only, to his surprise, it had caught him completely unprepared! He could hear the fight inside the keep roar up as loyal guards fought the disloyal guards. He could see in the distance, atop the keep’s south wall soldiers, just moments before comrades at arms, now bitterly attacking each other. Inside the keep, fortunately for the governor, he kept his most loyal guards and they greatly outnumbered the insurrectionists that were also there. Though some of the loyals switched sides in seeing what was happening, it mattered not to Tyranicus, for moments later the superior numbers struck them down. All devoted militiamen, nearly 200, quickly gathered in the keep. Some of the organizing citizens saw the governor nearing the keep and several dozen attacked, though the professional guard of 10 were able to hold them off just long enough for Tyranicus to drag Adalae through the gates with the portcullis smashing shut behind them. As night fully set in, torches were lit and those guarding the keep could see thousands of flames wrapping around the keep like the flaming tendrils of Hades. With a strike of thunder, the clouds opened up and rain poured down. The soldiers were ordered to guard the walls, and they waited, in the rain, mud, and darkness, pierced only by the occasional bolt of lightning and the constant roar of the mob outside, they waited…dreading the moment when they would be forced to fight those they once protected.
              Tyranicus dragged Adalae inside the building. Clearing everybody out, cooks, servants, and entertainers, demanding they guard the walls. Once they were gone, he threw Adalae down. She kicked and screamed, but there was nothing she could do. She felt completely powerless. She could not stop her husbands death she knew nothing of her son, she was lost, without hope. She gave up, traumatized by that day’s events; her stare became blank and her voice silent. Tyranicus only laughed a wicked laugh, finally, after so many years of lust, he finally had his way with her…
              Last edited by Kramerman; October 15, 2003, 14:13.
              "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
              - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
              Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


              • #8
                The Burning Cradle Part III

                The rain did not deter the rebellious mob, nor did the darkness, but confusion began to spread. The leadership had expected to have many insurrectionists in the walls before the gate of the keep closed, enough to open the gates again to let in more, at least. But that did not go to plan, the revolution moved to slowly. Now what would they do? The walls were made of solid stone, nearly three-dozen feet high, and with towers in each of the four corners of the keep’s walls. They needed Arius, the central figure of the leadership, he would know what to do, but where was he? At least the wall guards were not firing at the mob outside their walls with arrows or javelins, but why weren’t they? After several minutes of the mob standing around the keep, there began a roar of confusion. Nobody knew who was in charge, nobody could act without direction. Tabonus, one of Arius’ good friends and one of the founding members of the insurrectionists movement, tried to calm the crowd around him, he tried to organize but they were just too loud and confused. Few noticed him let alone pay attention. Many began to disperse, fearing the failure of the revolution was at hand and Tyranicus’ retribution to be near. Just as it seemed all was lost, a flaming arrow shot over the crowd on the southern wall, deflected off the wall at an angle and ignited a hay stack against the wall and underneath a canvas tarp. This caught nearly all’s attention and they looked to see from where the arrow came. Up on the crest of a rise of the main street, one of the few paved roads and leading from the southern tip of town to the Keep, was a mighty horse mounted by a figure larger than life. With a strike of lightning and a booming thunderclap, the stallion reared up on its hind legs and bellowed a mighty neigh; the mysterious rider raised his large sword into the air, his beautifully polished iron and gold ornated armor glistened in the light of the lightning bolt while his crimson cape flapped in the gusty wind. The mob and wall guards alike were immediately hushed by this awe-inspiring sight. Tabonus recognized the horse as Arius’ and was overjoyed with relief. He briskly walked over to the approaching horse as the mob cleared a path.
                “Arius, where have you been, I was almost slain with worry?” questioned the old man Tabonus.
                The rider then removed his helmet of polished iron and gold topped by a crimson horsehair crest, revealing Annhyicus, young son of Arius. Tabonus reeled back in surprise and the crowd roared to see so young a man.
                “Where is your father!?” exclaimed Tabonus with worry returning.
                Annhyicus, elevating his voice as loud as he could, replied, “My father is dead, murdered at the hands of Tyranicus!” The crowd hushed once more and began to move in as close as possible to hear this remarkable figure, who was unknown to many.
                “How do you know he is dead, and how do you know it was by the hand of Tyranicus?” pleaded Tabonus, hopping that there was some mistake.
                “Because I discovered his bloody body in my parlor, Tyranicus’ sword still piercing his breast,” retorted Annhyicus sharply, with a sobbing shrill. “ I know it was his sword… I know it … I forged that damn sword with my own bare hands…” Annhyicus broke down into tears, a truly heart sinking sight seeing such a man in so much pain and anguish. After several moments he gathered himself. He asked Tabonus, “Have you seen my mother, she was not in my home?”
                “Young Annhyicus, I am sorry to say your mother has been captured by that evil Tyranicus. She is inside the walls as we speak.”
                “Then we will bust those walls down!!” Yelled Annhyicus in a powerful voice, imbued with anger and rage. The exclamation was followed by a cheer of the mob of thousands (though only a fraction probably heard it), who could not help but be sympathetic to this strong character. Annhyicus, calming himself down now guided his horse, Arch, to the portcullis of the south wall, the crowd once more parting before him. He cupped his hands over his mouth and raised his voice over the pitter-patter of rainfall. He warned the guards that if they did not surrender immediately, then they would be overwhelmed, reminding them they were outnumbered 40 to 1. Just as he was going to go on with his warning the bell tower began to chime like Hell … barbarians.
                “Men on the south wall stay put! All else to the city wall!” Annhyicus commanded with haste, his orders relayed by those of respect and leadership…
                "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
                - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
                Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


                • #9
                  The Burning Cradle Part IV

                  By the time Annhyicus got to the wall, the raiders were still at a distance. The rain was beginning to let up, only sprinkles now. A farmer must of ridden into town ahead of them, to warn the bell tower, he thought. Immediately, Annhyicus’ natural skills and abilities began to kick in. He observed the attackers to be in numbers of about 500, all mounted, and at a distance of several hundred yards and closing fast. Since he had never heard of an entirely mounted attack, he assumed there would be many more raiders, as many as a thousand, on foot straggling behind. 1500 attackers was a lot, the largest raid he remembered before was 800. Many had light, wooden ladders at their sides, long enough to scale the 15-foot wall. The citizenry had gathered atop the walls and did not know what to do, few having ranged weapons. Those who could not fit on the wall, Annhyicus ordered to return to the keep. He ordered to use what torches were still lit through the rain to try and light the wet braziers that lined the walls and the torches of others. Then when a ladder is placed next to them, do not do what comes instinctively and just push it back, for then they will just keep using it again and again under the cover fire of their mounted archers until the walls are overrun. Instead he said, if possible, light the top of the ladders aflame, as to make it an obstacle for the raiders to clear before entering the walls. Then thrust you weapon into them. Try to maintain the fire on your ladder until it fully engulfs the ladder. Many people began to distribute different oils, such as palm oil, that would help catch the wet ladders on fire. The raiders arrived at the walls and began their invasion. Sure enough, in the distance Annhyicus could see what must have been 1000 raiders approaching at a full sprint. Many on the walls began to panic, But Annhyicus road back and forth encouraging them. The eastern section was weakening and in danger of being over run. Annhyicus commanded 100 from the west go and reinforce that section in all haste. Annhyicus, then feeling that he had done all he could at this point from horseback, dismounted, put on his helmet, grabbed his shield, his father’s bow and quarrel of arrows, and drew his mighty sword. He noticed that the north was now doing fine with their new reinforcements, but now it was the center section that was in trouble. Though Annhyicus saw many ladders now burning to cinders, a few, notably in the center section, were untouched. Pull those ladders in he yelled, as he grabbed one. Several men grabbed on from both sides as another held back the barbarians on the ladder and another slang stones at those trying to enter. After a lengthy struggle they succeeded in pulling in the ladder. He then moved on to help the next. After that was also successfully pulled in, all other had either burned or been pulled in. The foot raiders arrived to about 150 of their mounted kin slain. Leaving scouts behind the rest retired to the north, probably to the trees to make more ladders and perhaps even a battering ram.

                  Annhyicus commanded that everybody stay put, but those of leadership meet him by the main gate. There gathered about 50 men, some elderly citizens to militia officers. The militia captain informed Annhyicus that he had about 400 hundred militia under his control, most were at the wall with him, but some were back at the keep, keeping an eye on the guards. Annhyicus told him to gather them quickly and then gather all the javelins he could. After dismissing him he quickly went through the crowd, telling who he wanted to do what. He told everyone of the citizen officers to tie red cloth around their upper arms to distinguish themselves to their fellow revolutionists. He told some to go to the walls to spread his orders, he told others to go to the keep to do the same. Some were ordered to gather all those proficient with bows and others to gather those with horses. He then said that they would meet again in one hour by the gates. He then left to the keep himself to see what had gone on in his absence.

                  Tyranicus emerged from the building to see the rain had all but stopped.
                  “Captain, what is our status?” he asked.
                  “Sir we have no casualties. And most of the mob has either dispersed or headed to the city wall,” the captain replied.
                  “What? Why are they at the wall?” Tyranicus quickly asked.
                  “The guards of the northern towers say that there has been a barbarian raid—“
                  Tyranicus cut him off, “Excellent! What other good news have you? How many of the rebellious pigs have you slaughtered?”
                  “Um, we’ve killed none sir, they have just been standing there outside—“
                  Tyranicus cut him off again, “WHAT! Don’t you have bows and javelins you idiot, cant you shoot at them?”
                  “That’s insane!” thundered back the captain, “I refuse to kill my fellow citizens, the ones I’ve served and protected for more than half my life, just because they don’t like y o u.”
                  Tyranicus gasped at this insult. “Lieutenant, place the captain under arrest, you are now in charge.”
                  “Stand down lieutenant!” the captain ordered.
                  “I will not tolerate this insubordination!” Tyranicus yelled, his voice cracking. “I will make sure the king hears of this! Send for your heads he will!”
                  “I thought you were the king” the captain replied sharply. “Enough of this, I am going to open the portcullis and except what punishment I receive. I’ve blindly enforced your wicked will long enough! Without me, you are just a pathetic, insane, aging man, without an accomplishment to your name.” The captain turned and walked towards the portcullis on the southern wall.
                  Tyranicus, red with fury at the captain’s remarks, reached for his sword. “Damn!” He thought, “Where did I leave that…” He quickly reached for the lieutenant’s sword at his side, and lunged at the captain. Before the captain, a proud aging warrior, could respond, Tyranicus had thrust his sword in through his back. The captain fell to his knees, cursing Tyranicus.
                  His last words were more a whisper to himself than anyone else, “A thousand battles I have fought with honor and bravery, only to be cut down in the back by a pathetic old man…”

                  “I’ve seen all that I’ve needed,” remarked the king, leaving the sword in the captain’s body, as he has a habit to do. “Lieutenant lower me over the east wall, there is no one there and I will slip away to Greece. There I will tell the king of this Rebellion and he will send me back with an army. Wait, let me get the woman first.” Tyranicus ran into the building and unchained the woman and returned to the east wall. “Lower us down, now.” The soldiers on the wall tied the king and the lady into ropes and then slowly lowered them down the side. Just as they reached the bottom, a few returning officers after the meeting with Annhyicus spotted the pair. Tyranicus grabbed the woman and pulled her along with him into the streets of the east side, where he would lose his pursuers and then make his way south to the docks…

                  As Annhyicus returned to the keep atop his horse, he saw Tabonus rush forth to meet him.
                  “Annhyicus, young Annhyicus, a man was spotted leaving the keep with a woman, I believe it to be Tyranicus and your mother. I’ve sent several dozen into that residential district in search—“
                  “Thank you,” the man quickly replied as he road away at full gallop. Annhyicus knew exactly what Tyranicus was going to do. He road with all haste to the docks, where many commercial and private vessels were portered, including Tyranicus’ private yacht. He saw on his arrival, with dawn quickly approaching, a couple of figures struggling in the distance. He drove his tired horse, who had been running all night, toward the pair.
                  “Clop-clop Clop-clop,” the galloping horse’s hooves hit hard against the paved road running along the docks.
                  “Halt! Tyranicus stand where you are!” Annhyicus yelled as Tyranicus was about to board his boat.
                  Adalae had immediately recognized the voice of her son, and hope returned to her, dispair left her, and she screamed and yelled to her son for who she loved so much.

                  Annhyicus jumped off his horse and stood there on the street, just a dozen feet from his mother down the wooden dock.
                  “Not a twitch, man, or this woman gets it right in the throat,” the wicked man said, as he positioned a dagger on his mother’s neck. “See, I want to get on this boat, with this woman, and sail away undisturbed. Otherwise…” he glanced at the dagger.
                  “That’s crazy, Tyranicus, no man can crew this boat by himself—“
                  “Oh really, wouldn’t you say, my masked assailant, that my odds are a little better out there than in here,” he replied, motioning to the sea. “Who are y o u ? The guards told me of a man in extraordinary armor that gave the mob hope just as they were going to flee. Who led them successfully as of yet against the Barbarian hoard outside our gates. Who is this leader, this ‘hero’ of the people of Navapolis?”
                  As the man removed his helmet he said in a steady, proud voice, “I am Annhyicus, son of Arius, master craftsman of Navapolis.”
                  “Ahhhh, I see, did you think you would come and rescue your mother, did you think you would kill me and ‘save’ the day. You may very well be capable of accomplishing one of these, young man but not the other – I shall not be a total failure on this day…” Then, with a most wicked laugh, he thrust the dagger into Adalae’s neck.
                  “NOOO!” screamed Annhyicus in agonizing pain, as he lunged toward the wicked king and struck his torso clean in two with the most powerful of blows, fueled by fury and hatred. He dropped his sword and fell to the ground to hold his mother. She clutched her neck, and felt the blood rush between her fingers.

                  She looked into her son’s eyes with a smile on her lips and whispered with her last breaths,” Annhyicus, my boy, you have grown so big and strong from the baby I once clutched to my chest. Do you remember that Annhyicus, when I used to sing lullabies to you so you would sleep with beautiful dreams? You are special my son, I have always known that. Your life is just beginning and you have so far to rise. I love you with all my heart, and your father loved you with all of his. We will always … always love … you … the jewel of my life … I will miss you…” She faded into death and silence.
                  “No mother, wake up mother, please wake up ... please … don’t leave me…” Annhyicus kneeled there next to his mother, crying with agony.

                  He loved her so much. He had gone through so much pain that day. He did not know if he could go on. Apart of him wanted to fall off that dock and sink with his armor. He lay there next to his mother; he lay there with his head on her breast. He did not want to move. He only wanted to cry, he only wanted his family back, he wanted his old life back, he wanted it to be like it was before, before Tyranicus became “king”…
                  "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
                  - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
                  Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


                  • #10
                    The Revolution Has Ended, But the Battle Has Just Begun

                    The former lieutenant of the guards followed the captain of the militia closely. They were searching down by the docks where they heard Annhyicus was last seen. The hour had long ended and all the officers had gathered back by the gates. They needed Annhyicus’ leadership, he had brought them this far, and they believed he could finish it. The rain, in the early morning, began to pick back up to a hard and heavy rain. It was hard to see but the captain was sure he saw something slouched over on one of the docks. The captain saw one body in two pieces and blood running off the docks like rainwater. He feared the worst as he and the lieutenant ran quickly to the spot.
                    “Annhyicus, are you alright?” asked the captain.
                    Annhyicus turned and nodded, his eyes all red and puffy, “I am uninjured, if that is what you mean.”
                    “I see you have taken care of the governor, the townsmen shall be pleased. Let us go Annhyicus, the leaders have all gathered as you have commanded and they fear another attack is close at hand,” the captain said.
                    “Who is this man?” asked Annhyicus
                    “This is the lieutenant—um, I mean captain of the guard. The original captain of the guard was apparently stabbed in the back by Tyranicus and the former lieutenant is now in charge of the guard, who, may I add with pleasure, surrendered shortly after Tyranicus fled and have agreed to help us fight the barbarians. Add 200 hundred professional soldiers to our defense, sir,” replied the captain. “In all that means we have 400 hundred spearmen, who are well trained and disciplined in phalanx tactics, 150 swordsmen who can fight well in both formation and individually. We have gathered about 50 men proficient in bows, as you asked, as well as the 50 guardsmen who are bowman also. There are also approximately 50 wealthy men who can ride well and have there own horses, as well as about 50 more horses were captured from the raiders last night and men are being trained how to ride them as we speak. I believe those were your orders and that they have been carried out satisfactory.”

                    “You have done an excellent job captain, now return to the gates, I’ll shall be there momentarily, I have some things I must do quickly before hand. Captain I want you to take charge of the spearmen, Lieutenant you will take the swordsmen, select one with leadership qualities and proficiency with the bow to be my lieutenant of the bowman and one for the horsemen as well,” order Annhyicus, “Go now, I’ll be there shortly.”
                    “Yes sir,” replied the captain and the lieutenant in synchronous.

                    After they had turned the corner back up the main road that led to the keep and then beyond to the main gate, Annhyicus put on his helmet, cleaned his still bloody sword in the rain and with his wet cape (which his mother sew for him), sheathed it, and gathered his mother’s body in his arms. He mounted old, trusty Archus and headed to his home. There he laid his mother down next to his father. He knelt and prayed. He promised to return soon and give a proper ceremony. He promised that he would lead a good life, and do great things to make them proud. He then ran outside, mounted his horse and rode to the gate.

                    On his way to the gate, people waved and smiled at him. Word had spread quickly that he had slain Tyranicus and they were now free from his cruel rule. When he reached the front gate he was greeted by his captain and 3 lieutenants.

                    “I will make up a formal military ranking system later, but for now we need more organization,” said he, still mounted, to those officers around him. “Lieutenants, you are now captains, and captain, you are now general. Each of you captains will split your respective branches, cavalry, archery, and Lieutenant—sorry, captain, I am now giving command of the spearmen and swordsmen to you, into two groups and name a lieutenant to run them for now. Be prepared to send these cohorts to act independently. General, you will assist me. Now captain of cavalry, take four of your best men this instant and send them to locate the horde, maybe we got lucky and they went home. Once we know their exact location then the swordsmen will set out and attempt to reach one of the sides of their encampment undetected. There they will wait until they hear or see the commotion of the spearmen approaching the encampment. The archers will remain behind the phalanx formation of the spearmen and rain hell upon the barbarians who sought to rape our city. The cavalry will be sent around before hand to flank the Barbarians from the rear, for by this point they should be moving towards the main spearmen formation. At this point the swordsmen will attack from the side. This is what I am thinking we can do with what we have, but I must make sure the surrounding terrain of the encampment would be appropriate. The point of this is to take the fight to them, and away from our city. With some luck and skill we should be able to sneak up on them as they prepare their ladders and rams and what not and be able to defeat their numerically superior force. Remember, most of our soldiers do have at least leather armor if not bronze, where they have none and use clubs and stone axes – maybe copper if they are lucky. So, prepare to move out when the scouts return.”

                    The scouts returned and reported that the barbarians were encamped on the edge of the lowland forest just to the north. There the woodlands are surrounded on the east and south sides by hills and the forest runs almost to the sea on the west side and continues north for quite some distance. The cavalry were instructed to head well north and east of the encampment before moving into the woods and turning south. They were told to be able to charge the encampment from the woods by mid-day. They were told to get close to the encampment so they could hear the horn from the spearmen, signaling for them to charge. Then shortly after the headed out the gates, the swordsmen were instructed to stay just east of the hills of the encampment, out of sight, and to wait there until they heard the horn of the charging spearmen and the archers would remain atop the hill to the south of the encampment, picking off targets of opportunity. Annhyicus decided he would go with the spearmen, last, and send the general with the swordsmen.

                    The spearmen gathered at the foot of the final hill. Annhyicus told the newly appointed lieutenants to keep their cohorts in formation as they ran down the hill and through the barbarian encampment, hopefully impaling all in their path. He told them to gather at the top of the hill where they would gather themselves until Annhyicus signaled the horn blower. At that point they would charge, in formation, with archers staying at top. They spearmen formation, 400 man strong, 4 ranks deep, made its way up that final hill. Annhyicus then galloped around to the western flank of the formation. They reached the crest, aligned the ranks, and Annhyicus signaled the horn man. With a mighty blow the horn bellowed, echoing off the wet grass of the hills. The spearmen charged, everyman yelling a battle yell, combining to form a ferocious roar. This was the first time the inexperienced militia had ever been in hand to hand combat, all times before they would merely guard the wall when the bell tower sounded. The rain had stopped some time before, but it was till overcast and drops of water ran down Annhyicus’ helmet. He waited several seconds before galloping down the hill at full speed, Arch’s hooves kicking up clumps of green grass and mud behind him. He quickly sped past the troops, now half way to the forest edge, inspiring the men. In the tree line one could see a few temporary huts and smoldering campfires. Several bearded barbarians were sharpening their axes or splitting wood. When they heard the roar they looked up and immediately ran. Most at the tree line were immediately picked off by the skilled bowman atop the hill. As the spearmen reached the tree line they could see a horde of men scrambling. Most were retreating in the opposite direction but many ran east, out of the dark woods, only to meet 150 charging, bronze armor clad soldiers.

                    The spearmen quickly moved through, stopping only to clear the bodies off the end of their spears. Annhyicus swept along the western woods, swinging his bastard sword out at those retreating that way, severing multiple heads with the great force of his blows and velocity of his horse. At the mere sight of the armor clad man upon the lightning quick horse the barbarians would scream in terror. Annhyicus struck them down with almost malicious hatred, without mercy. After defacing several by sword blows to the head, he could hear the approaching cavalry from the north. Satisfied, he turned Arch around to head back and join with the spearmen, only to find a giant man, on a horse not 20 feet beyond him, just standing there.

                    As intimidating as Annhyicus thought himself to be, with his armor and crimson crested helmet, it was nothing compared to this man. He was obviously the warlord, having what appeared to be an iron sword. He must have been six and a half feet tall, almost a half-foot taller than Annhyicus’ already tall height, and had a helmet with horns and a faceplate made of a human skull. Clad in furs and black cloth, he let out a horrible roar and charged Annhyicus. His first blow was parried by his shield, but Annhyicus quickly turned his nimble horse around and pulled him to lunge at the barbarian warlord, still turning his horse. Annhyicus leapt off and tackled the warlord, dismounting him and taking him to the muddy forest floor. He rolled over and began to stand up, his armor hindering him. He rose and pulled up his shield just in time to parry another blow from the warlord’s massive 2-handed sword. The shock of the impact forced throbbing pain to shoot down his left forearm. Annhyicus went on the offensive, confident that his shield could block most any blow, however painful. He twirled his sword high in one hand once to gain momentum, then clashed down upon the barbarian. Sparks flew as their swords met. Annhyicus continued to take advantage of his one-handed sword and shield to press his attack, though the veteran warlord stopped blow after blow. The barbarian then struck hard against Annhyicus’ shield, pushing up against him and trying to knock him on his back. Annhyicus grabbed him, so as not to fall, and jabbed the blue gem of his pommel into the back of the bearded barbarian,

                    Anhyicus was quite thankful that he reared back, his stinking breath in his face was making him nauseous . The warlord took several steps back, clutching his wound just under his left shoulder blade and feeling th blood run between his fingers. He then went into a rage, charging the young swordsman, and bringing his sword in for a strike, but was blocked by Annhyicus’ own weapon. They dueled for several minutes more like this, sparks flying every time their swords clashed together. The Barbarian, then started to get noticeably fatigued from his rage, and tried to back away, but Annhyicus would not let him. By this time several spearmen and swordsmen, having routed the camp, had noticed the duel and began to gather and watch this fight of almost God-like proportions. Annhyicus rained continuous blows down upon the barbarian, who while backing up, tripped over a root. Though on his butt, he continued to hold his sword up, to block Annhyicus’ incessant blows. Annhyicus, noticing the clumsy parry maneuver by the now vulnerable giant, backed away slightly and angled his sword with much force to broad side the warlords mighty iron sword. And with a shower of sparks, the warlord’s weapon was cut in two. With a sense of hard earned victory, Annhyicus drew his sword back and decapitated the barbarian horde’s leader. On this day, young Annhyicus had his first real taste of mortal combat, and, with little more than a nervous twitch, he performed beautifully.

                    The captain of the infantry, the original lieutenant of the guard, quickly approached the young leader, “Sir, only a handful of barbarians were able to slip past our lightning quick offensive, west into the forest. The general has already dispatched the cavalry to chase them and cut them down. We have also captured a handful of them inside their encampment. Sir, our casualties are minimal. I have never heard in my entire career such successful use of spearmen in such rugged terrain. Your plan worked perfectly sir. I had my doubts initially, about you and your strategy, but now I can see what the general was saying. It is a pleasure to be under your command… uh, what is your title by the way?”

                    “I don’t know yet captain, but we have more important things to worry about now. We must return to the city and setup our government. We are no longer ruled by or Greek-founding city-state, we are self-sufficient now, and I am going to work damn hard to make Navapolis into the flourishing empire it ought to be.” Much of the army had gathered around their leader at this point and cheered at his words. “From this moment on, we are all proud citizens and soldiers of the nation of Navalon!”
                    "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
                    - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
                    Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


                    • #11
                      Fast Forward

                      Ok, basically, the army returns to Navapolis to cheering crowds and Annhyicus is hailed a king. He conducts a very public ceremony to honor those who died during the revolution. He begins a “Honor” Cemetery well outside the gates where all who have served Navalon are buried with honor and remembrance, the first of which to be buried here are his parents and the captain that stood up to Tyranicus in speacial plots (that in the decades to come a massive beautiful tomb would be built here) and everyone else who died in the revolution was also buried here. Tyranicus’ body was put upon a burning raft and shoved out to sea.

                      Many citizens asked Annhyicus of his armor and his past and he explains his encounter with the supernatural. This God quickly becomes the unofficial deity of the new nation and an organized religion, under the development of Annhyicus, is quickly formed. Many citizens fear that word will reach the founding city-state of the rebellion and an army would be sent to take the colony back. Annhyicus, using ideas of what he had learned, quickly organizes a professional army and navy. The army, with spearmen proving to be ungainly in the rough, hilly terrain of the north, was mainly composed of swordsmen who, at this point just used whatever was available for swords and armor. After word arrives that Greece is embroiled in a massive war, with one city-state trying to conquer the rest, Navalon takes a sigh of relief and begins repairing its economy more than prepareing for war.

                      In the mean time Annhyicus traveled north the other colonies along the Adriatic Sea, including Arbos and sent emissaries to the few that doted the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas in order to incorporate them, though only a few yielded. After several years of pulling resources from the few colonies that did joined Navalon, Annhyicus completed his first Legion of nearly 5000 highly trained swordsmen supported by hundreds of cavalry and archers, as well as the elite corps of swordsmen known as the Century, made up of Centurions. The Legionnaires at this point were armored by bronze scale mail and armed with short swords, and lances for when phalanx formations could be useful. He had also finished his first effective naval fleet, made of a dozen large biremes built in the shipyard at Navapolis. The Legion was then marched up to the walls of each and every colony that did not submit initially as well as up to those colonies of Phoenicians that were prevalent in the “heel” of Italia. They all fairly quickly surrendered to Navalon with little bloodshed on either side, after the sight of the impressive army begin work on siege equipment and the fleet of war ships sail into their harbors. Within a single year all of the Greek colonies had been brought under Navolonian control semi-peacefully and Phoenician colonies were taken next, but with a little bit more conflict.

                      They would not soon regret it either. Navalon, under Annhyicus’ prudent and benevolent leadership, prospered in everyway. A population boom was triggered by new farming techniques discovered under the Navaolnian inventive spirit. Economic prosperity was gained by the Greek city-states buying food and supplies from their former colonies so that they could support their war. The empire spread out along the south of Italia, many small towns and villages were founded in what was once wilderness. It was at this point Annhyicus decided to shed the city-state system, which he thought promoted secularization when the growing empire needed unity most. Annhyicus drafted a document that guaranteed certain rights to all citizens of Navalon, something no other nation known at that time provided. Shortly after a standard unifying law code was developed and guaranteed other things to the Navalonian citizenry that made them happy, such as a trial in the court of an elected judge and by a jury of fellow citizens, and habius corpus. Annhyicus also developed in this short time span standard currency and also a standard of measurements. J

                      ust a decade after the revolution, the war in Greece was still going strong and the population of Navapolis itself had doubled and began to expand outside its wall. Annhyicus was quick to plot land that would be used in the future for government buildings and such, including a massive library, fortress, government headquarters, and stuff that would all be built in the coming decades, as resources would come available. Right now however, there were higher priorities for national resources…
                      "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
                      - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
                      Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


                      • #12
                        Navalon Plans Northern Conquest

                        “Good afternoon Imperator, and welcome aboard my pride and joy,” Admiral Tycerus [Tie s er ous] said with a handshake, and then quickly snapped to a salute.

                        “Ah, this is indeed an impressive and intimidating ship, please, tell me Admiral about its capabilities and improvements over our old biremes,” replied Imperator Annhyicus.

                        “Oh, many, many improvements, I’m sure you have already noticed some. But before I get started, where would you like me to go on your first visit to my ship,” inquired the Admiral.

                        “Helmsman, pull the anchor and head south from the shipyard along the coast. I would like to see Navapolis from the sea. Then once we reach the southern tip, drop anchor and I can row ashore there,” commanded Annhyicus, now 40 years old, but not looking a day over 30.

                        “Well, let me begin. To start it’s much larger, a good 60 meters long, almost 15 meters longer than our old ships of the line. This means it can carry more soldiers for boarding actions as well as landing assaults, it has much more room for offensive and defensive capability, and all this with only a negligible reduction in maneuvering ability, and these new triremes are actually faster,” began the Admiral.

                        “How is that?” asked Annhyicus with deep curiosity. It was always his nature to want to know how things worked.

                        “Well, the rudders are longer and deeper giving it great control, allowing the helmsman to steer this massive ship just as effectively as our nimble Navayosus class biremes. As you can see, the rudders are not handled individually as on typical ships, this wheel in the center is turned by the helmsmen and pulls the rudders to either side. This way we need only a single helmsman. I hope to be able to have a single rudder under the ship controlled in such a fashion, but that will be a project in the future. To continue, its sail is much larger in proportion to its size than the biremes’, allowing it under sail power alone to go slightly faster in equal conditions. In addition to this is the small foresail that I have added, I call it an artemon sail, and it catches the wind that blows under the main sail. We are now adding this to our biremes to further increase their speeds, and all biremes currently in production are being remasted with a larger mast that holds a larger sail. When you add the fact of the third bank of rows into this over the bireme’s two, then speed for the ship as a whole becomes significantly faster than the biremes. Now, onward, I’ve retained the midtower innovation made with the biremes, it provides an excellent platform for archers and since this is a bigger ship, the tower is bigger. Added to this is what I call a forecastle that is similar to the midtower, but is over there at the bow of the ship. It provides a second platform for archers and is also being added to the older biremes and new ones in construction.
                        Along the sides I’m sure you’ve noticed those eight turreted siege devices. This is perhaps my best innovation yet. There are two catapults and two ballistae on either side of the ship. The catapults aren’t real accurate, so at this point they’re pretty much only good for launching these special chain shot that can tangle and rip down an apposing ship’s rigging and also these special clay shot that are filled with oil then set aflame and launched four at a time. If they hit an enemy ship, the oil bursts open and ignites, being very effective at catching enemy vessels on fire. Along with flaming arrows from archers and flaming bolts from the ballistae, initial testing leads me to believe we can disable up to four or even five warships before they can get close enough to ram or try to board.
                        To help put out flames on our on ship I have taken the recent “pump” invention by that Syracuse fellow on Sicilia, and built one into the center of the ship. It pumps water directly from beneath the ship into our fire buckets, greatly increasing our survival ability. This, along with the iron ram is also being built into our new biremes. Even with all the new things, tactics is relatively the same. Seamen, both sailors and oarsmen, defend the ship from boarding while the Legionnaires handle offensive boarding via those four boarding planks on either side. All the while we try to maneuver to ram and avoid being rammed, and archers are either picking off targets or are lighting other ships on fire.
                        Now, can you see the edge this will give us over any aggressors? All at the price of just 2.5 biremes apiece, and we can halt production on the galleys, shifting biremes to cover their costal defense duties. A fleet of these vessels would be unstoppable by anything our adversaries have now. I mean, only the Greeks and Minoans have anything that can compete with our biremes as it is. So, do I have the go ahead to start production?” asked the Admiral.

                        “I must let you know how thrilled I am of your progress, and under normal circumstances,” began Imperator Annhyicus, “I would most certainly give you the needed money and resources. Unfortunately I cannot spare that at this time.” Annhyicus waved his hand to thwart any interruption by the admiral and continued, “ See, for the past several years I have been planning a push into the northern frontiers, into the lands of the Lats and Sabines. There are many growing threats from that region, most notably a growing powerful Latin tribe. This would normally require only two of our three Legions to handle with certainty; unfortunately however the Etrurians have just began an offensive of their own into what is their southern frontier. According to my sources, they are attempting mainly to recapture the land in the Tiber river area that was lost to them many decades ago to the Latin tribe I mentioned earlier, which were once under their control. The resource rich midlands of the Italian peninsula are necessary to continue the boom of our industrious economy and it is vital that we take these lands and assimilate their population. Unfortunately for the Etrurians, their move south means they are a threat like the warlike Latin tribe they are trying to recapture. I have now begun planning an extended campaign that will require all three of our legions to invade the midlands as well as the Etrurian lands of Tuscana a little further to the north. If we prevail with a healthy army, then I plan to push north again against the tribes in the foothills of the mountains there.
                        This is where you come in. I plan to move within the month, and with all three Legions to the north, Navalon would be left virtually undefended from an invasion from across the sea. I wouldn’t be so worried if Greece were still at war, but that is no longer the case. I need all 68 galleys and 29 biremes that are on coastal defense to remain there. I want you to recall the two flotillas of six biremes each that I had you send out to destroy the pirates that plague our trade routes and put them also on patrol. I also want you to immediately rearm the flotilla I sent on the mapping expedition of the Mediterranean so they can defend once they return. No invasion force may be allowed past our waters. You must stop any attempt at all costs. As I said, I fear attack from Greece. Sparta has gone on the warpath and now that after 20 years of war they’ve finally united Greece under their control, we may very well be next on their minds. Our sudden appearance and burst of economic prosperity has not gone unnoticed, and I fear that once word reaches of our aggressions to the north, they may see us as a fat juicy target and take advantage of our moment of vulnerability.”

                        “I understand my orders, Imperator,” replied the Admiral with a sense of duty and honor in his voice and on his face. He knew that ‘defend at all costs’ meant ‘fight to the death’

                        “Good. Once this is all over with, I predict within the year, I will give you the extra funding you require to expand the Navy. It will be a crucial part in my plan of expansion throughout the Mediterranean,” happily replied the leader.

                        “What plans might those be,” inquired the Admiral.

                        Annhyicus replied, “If I knew I’d tell you. But without a reliable map of the Mediterranean I can’t begin to plan with confidence. But soon, when the expedition returns, I shall be.”

                        “Ah, Imperator, we approach the southern tip, shall I ready the boat as you requ---“

                        “I see ships approaching from the eastern horizon!” shouted an excited lookout.

                        The captain of the newly built vessel snapped to his toes, “Can you make out the ships’ origins, rating [low ranking sailor]?”

                        “No,” shouted the sailor from his lookout position on the cross mast, “but it appears that one ship is being chased by the others.”

                        “Admiral, how many ships are docked in the harbor just to the west,” quickly asked Annhyicus.

                        The admiral replied he had stationed 8 galleys and 4 biremes there for the defense of Navapolis, but was uncertain to how many were presently docked. The Captain said with certainty that 4 galleys and 2 biremes were docked there at that hour on that day, being familiar with their rotation due to just recently being transferred from one of those biremes to take command of the Admiral’s new flagship. Annhyicus commanded that they head quickly to the harbor and signal the ships to ready themselves for combat. Then they would all sail out to the approaching ships to investigate. After about a half hour the squadron of warships was off to the approaching vessels, now just a few kilometers off shore…
                        "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
                        - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
                        Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


                        • #13
                          Naval Encounter

                          “Five galleys and two biremes are disengaging the Minoan bireme and appear to be coming for us sir, uh, whoever is in charge,” Shouted the lookout, perplexed.

                          “Excuse me rating!” shouted the Captain

                          “No, no, don’t you understand his confusion, Captain. Admiral, ff you don’t mind, I’d like to have command of our impromptu flotilla.”

                          “Have you any experience?” questioned the Admiral, fearing he knew the answer.

                          “No, but there is no better opportunity for me to gain experience. Captain, order the artillery and archers to fire when in range. Ready the Legionnaires for boarding on the left, uh, I mean portside of the ship,” ordered the inexperienced Annhyicus, “Helmsman, keep the bireme to our port. Captain, why don’t those archers in the forecastle have their braziers lighted yet?”

                          “Forecastle, light your braziers!” barked the captain, “And wet this deck. I don’t particularly feel like burning to death or drowning by default, today.” Immediately several sailors began pumping water into buckets and heaving it all over the deck and on the sides of the hull.

                          “Imperator, I suggest that the catapults use the chained lead shot at long range, then when we close to a more accurate range, they should change to oil shot,” suggested the Admiral.

                          “If it were a loose formation I would agree, but this is a tight formation of ships and they present a big fat target. They’ll probably split up in a few moments, so we should try to knock some out at a distance while we can,” replied Annhyicus, “Signal the two biremes to stay well to our left and to our right, and tell the galleys to split up. I want two to go far left and hook around to flank the enemy formation from that side, and the other two to do the same but from the right side.

                          “FIRE!” barked Captain as the forward artillery came into range, “Sir, the aft artillery are unable to fire at this angle because the sail is in the way.”

                          “Thank you captain, but I had figured as much. Wait, what the hell is that, on the bow of those biremes? Those sailors are doing something to that object,” inquired the Imperator about the ship still 200 meters distant.

                          “I don’t know, I’ve never seen such a thing before, have you Captain?” asked the old Admiral.

                          “No sir! I don’t know what that is, and I don’t like it. The archers have begun their attack, sir,” informed the Captain.

                          “Concentrate all fire power on those biremes!” ordered Annhyicus with concern, “Helmsman, cancel my previous order. Turn 45 degrees to starboard then keep our ship perpendicular to their formation. We will try to draw there attack, being the obvious flagship, and let the others hit them.” Annhyicus saw several flashes as the oil shot ignited in the distances. Some had actually ignited on the sea, but two had hit two different galleys dead on and burst. Both were quickly engulfed. Annhyicus was amazed at the speed at which the fire devoured those ships. As this thought crossed his mind, a hail of burning arrows struck the ship, striking some crew. The Legionnaires had been ready with their large shields up, but had to quickly put out the flames on the arrows to keep their shields from catching fire. He saw many sailors hop to the pump and fill their buckets, quickly putting out flames before they could spread, even on the wet deck.

                          The Admiral informed the Imperator, “Sir, our two biremes are engaging the enemy, going to ram or board it appears.”

                          As he said this, another galley was hit by the clay shot as it was breaking off to fight the incoming galleys from its flank, even though the catapults were aiming for the biremes, and it began to burn quickly. The two remaining galleys moved to intercept those same two galleys as their ill-fated ally. One of the biremes then broke off and then went after the other two coming from the other side, and the last one went towards the two biremes coming at it. Annhyicus thought that was rather brash, a bireme going against two equal if not superior ships coming straight toward it at full speed. He didn’t like it. As the friendly and enemy ships closed, Annhyicus ordered the catapults to stop, but the more accurate ballistae and most accurate archers continued. The lone brash bireme’s outer hull began to catch from the several burning ballistae bolts in its side. Its sailors were working so furiously at putting out the arrows on its deck that they overlooked this growing fire. As the Greek bireme got into about 5 meters of the incoming biremes, Annhyicus learned what that device on its bow was for. Several Greek sailors pushed down hard on a large lever, which Annhyicus later found to be a pumping mechanism, shooting a jet of liquid out of the device several meters and striking the Navalonian bireme coming at it on its starboard side. As Annhyicus saw this, he thought it was a water pump device like the one on his ship, but for some other strange purpose. The jet was then set aflame, sending a massive fireball at the poor doomed Navalonian vessel. To Annhyicus’ horror, he saw many of his own men engulfed in flames, most jumped overboard to put out their fires. The poor Legionnaires that did this certainly drowned, their heavy bronze armor dragging them down to the murky depths of the sea. Annhyicus ordered the helmsman to steer towards this doomed craft and for the crew to pick up as many survivors as possible.

                          The Greeks then turned the device around on the other bireme, now passing on its side snapping off the oars of the Greek ship and discharging its Legionnaires via large planks of wood. The Greeks were able to catch the tail end on fire, but an army of sailors would inevitably put it out. The enemy sailors also put out the fire started by ballistae bolts on the Greek ship, as they fought the invading Legionnaires. Fortunately for the soldiers, the Greeks often used slaves to man the oars and so they were chained and unable to fight off the Navalonians, even if they wanted to. The Legionnaires were as disciplined and fierce a fighting unit at sea as they were on land, and they would soon have the ship under its control with the help from reinforcements sent from the trireme flagship, to Annhyicus’ satisfaction. He wanted to learn as much about that weapon as possible.

                          In the distance, Annhyicus saw one of the two galleys head for the Greek bireme approaching it, as the other nimble galley came from its side to try and ram. The bireme saw this maneuver at the last instant and hesitated at firing towards the oncoming galley as it repositioned its “Greek Fire” device toward the ramming one. Fortunately, for whatever reason, it was too late and the Greek vessel was rammed and the Legionnaires of both galleys swarmed the doomed bireme to keep the sailors occupied and not use the fire device, as the commanders of those ships surely saw the destructive nature of it after seeing what had happened to their ally from a distance. As one galley rowed itself out of the hole it busted at the waterline of the Greek ship, the other waited along side and received the retreating soldiers from the quickly sinking ship. Both pulled away until the fire device was safely submerged, and then swept in to gather prisoners floating in the sea.

                          As all this was happening, the other two Navalonian galleys were locked into combat with two Greek galleys. After an intense orgy of arrows, swords, and vying for ramming position, one Navalonian galley was rammed while trying to distract the 2nd Greek ship so its ally galley could ram it. Fortunately the rammed Navalonian ship was able to grapple the Greek galley before it could pull out and the Navalonian soldiers and crew invaded this new host and captured it for use to sail home. The other Navalonian galley took advantage of its friend’s distraction and broadsided [at this time meaning ramming a ship square in the side] the final remaining Greek ship.

                          As Annhyicus gathered his small fleet, the Minoan ship now approached, followed closely by three galleys and a bireme. The Greek ships, seeing the victorious Navalonian fleet regrouped and heading its way, began to turn around. Annhyicus ordered they chase them down and destroy them. They could not be allowed to return to Greece and tell of what happened, it would most certainly inflame war. With help from the Minoan vessel, and every available man helping with the oars, the flotilla gained on the retreating Greeks after several kilometers of chase. After launching the last eight-dozen clay shot, the enemy bireme and a galley caught fire. The two remaining ships threw over their anchor and surrendered.
                          The Minoan ship pulled in closely to the trireme, with evening rapidly passing into dusk, and an elderly man dressed in royal clothing came out and shouted for the leader. Annhyicus, as impressive as usual with his armor, stepped forward and introduced himself loudly so as the Minoan could hear.

                          “I am Imperator Annhyicus, son of Arius, master craftsman of Navapolis, at your service. May I ask who you are and why that Greek fleet was chasing you?”

                          “Of course. I am King Minosus IV, King of Minos and all of its wealth. The Greeks have invaded my island nation. I have no idea how long my fleet can holdout, but as soon as they fall, my kingdom will fall, for we have little of what would be called an ‘army’. It has been the practice of my nation for centuries to rely on our powerful fleet for defense. The Greek fleet is nearly as large and they have this weapon, a new weapon of great destructive power, I’m sure you have been acquainted to it, and I fear for my nation,” the old mans voice began to go hoarse as he yelled, “I’ve come to this young Nation called Navalon, that I’ve heard of only through traders and merchants who’ve stopped there, to ask for help. I’m sure we can come to some form of an agreement”

                          “Yes, yes, will talk about this on shore so we don’t have to yell. I will see you there,” Annhyicus said, waving the humble old man goodbye.

                          The two ships docked adjacent to each other on either side of the same dock at the harbor. Annhyicus quickly disembarked and awaited the king from the gangplank of his vessel. He saw the king come over the side of his ship, just a few steps down the gangway, and turned. He grabbed a hand and then turned once more down the gangplank, leading behind him the most beautiful girl Annhyicus had ever seen …
                          "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
                          - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
                          Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


                          • #14
                            The First Alliance

                            The King led the young lady down the gangplank and Annhyicus held her other hand to help her off on to the dock. Annhyicus then removed his helmet, tucked it under his arm, bowed and kissed the young lady’s hand, then introduced himself.

                            “Are you this polite to all your guests, young man,” the stout, rotund king asked Annhyicus in broken Greek (which they found was a mutual language) and with a clever smirk on his face.

                            “Actually, I’ve never had guests before. You are my first,” he replied with a smirk of his own, “You mentioned you needed help. What may I and my humble nation do for you?”

                            “As I said before, the unified Greek state has suddenly and without warning invaded my island nation, already seizing many of our possessions in the Ionian Sea. I do believe we are capable of fending off our attackers from the “mainland” island of Crete, though it is quite uncertain without help. My first reason for coming to Navalon was that you were the closest nation that may be able to lend aid to contain the Greek aggression. Secondly, I needed to find a safe haven for my only child and beloved daughter, Allya, while I fight off the invaders. The last thing I would ever want is her to fall into the hands of that wretched Greek king if I fail. So, I ask you, could you help me fight the Greeks and would you grant asylum to my daughter,” asked the king, now speaking with desperate tones.

                            “This could not have come at a worst time,” replied Annhyicus with a sigh, “I am about to deal with external threats to the north, and I definitely do not have the resources to fight a war with the Greeks … yet. I have an idea though. My Navy was to protect my shores from Greek invasion while my plans are under execution, but since the Greeks are preoccupied with you for the moment, I could lend a good deal of my Naval resources to your aid. I could send a fleet of our ships, under your flag, of course, as not to draw the Greek might onto our own shores, to aid you in the war. Also, our shipyards are fully operational and we have recently developed a very efficient system of ship construction. With some funds and resources they could begin to pump out our superior biremes and our new, very powerful triremes. And with that one Greek weapon we captured, it wont be long before we learn to duplicate it. As for your daughter,” Annhyicus shot a glance and a smile in her direction, “it would be my absolute pleasure to personally oversee her protection; consider her in the safest haven possible, here in Navapolis”

                            “Oh my, thank you young Imperator Annhyicus. Whatever ships you can spare would be a blessing. I shall send money and material immediately for as many of those big ships of yours that you can build as possible. It is the first time I have seen myself with a shortage of warships and an excess of merchant vessels. Fortunately, I have plenty of eager young sailors, back home, I merely need ships for them to sail. Money is not an option. I think this is the beginning of a truly strong alliance,” said King Minos very happily.

                            “Indeed,” replied Annhyicus with a charismatic smile, “I will have a dozen warships ready by tomorrow morning, fully outfitted with Minoan flags and sails, and ready to go. I will send Admiral Biarus himself, this gentleman standing beside me and the finest naval commander in the Mediterranean might I add, to command the fleet. As for our shipyards, I will send word to expand them and begin night-and-day work on our newest and finest class of ships, like this one you see behind me. In the mean time, follow me to my Keep where I can provide you with rooms, they’re not much, surely not what your used to, but it is all I have at the moment.”

                            “That is most kind of you. I wish I could stay in your humble hospitality longer, but I must leave first thing in the morning,” replied the king, “You have shown much trust and benevolence to a wounded stranger, my friend, and as a token of my appreciation for all your help, I give you my newest acquisition to my territory, the island of Malta. It is a large island not to far south of here with wonderful vineyards and sweet orchards.”

                            “Thank you sir! But all do respect, the Greeks have not been subdued yet, are you sure you want to give such a possession away?” inquired Annhyicus.

                            “Absolutely!” the old king let out a royal laugh and a hard pat on the back of Annhyicus’ armor, “What are friends for after all?” he rhetorically asked with a smile on his face.

                            “Well, come now, I will show you to my meager keep and to your quarters. Dinner should be waiting, I’m sure you all must be hungry. Over our meal, and if you wish to hear it, I would love to explain the origins of my small, but quickly growing nation,” said Annhyicus, as he led them off the dock and toward the keep followed by the king’s small armed entourage.

                            King Minos seemed happy with these plans and relayed them to his daughter in their native tongue. Allya smiled and could not keep her eyes off the charming, modest young man who was going to help save her homeland until he finally bid her and her father goodnight at their rooms. Early the next morning Annhyicus saw off his new friend and the fleet he had lent to him, wishing them well. Poor Annhyicus would suffer harsh anxiety attacks for many months thereafter, often going many consecutive nights without sleep, fearing the outcome of the near future for his young empire…
                            "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
                            - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
                            Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum


                            • #15
                              The Northern Front 20 – 21 years AR [After Revolution]

                              After a year of intense fighting in the Italian peninsula’s central region, the three Navalonian Legions were able to subdue the Latin and Sabine tribes there. However, all three Legions took a beating, the 3rd Legion in particular. It nearly completely lost its 1st of 2 cohorts after it was ambushed near the town of Rome. However, the mighty 3rd fought hard and triumphed against the numerically superior opponents who also controlled the element of surprise. What was left of the 3rd Legion after that hard won victory laid a six month siege to the town of Rome (whos troops had also been depleted in the battle with the 3rd), ending only after the 1st Century, a corps of elite warriors known as Centurions, were able to scale the walls in siege towers and defeat the inferior trained, equipped, and malnourished Romans.

                              Annhyicus arrived in Rome shortly after it was taken, after he had led the 1st Legion victoriously against the other Latin tribes in the area. He had left the 1st Legion to occupy that land and to regroup, leaving that legion’s general in charge of reconstructing the newly gained territory and population into Navalon. Word came of the battered 2nd Legion’s victory against the Sabines and Annhyicus ordered them to do the same as the 1st.

                              Rome was by far the most significant settlement in that central region, and Annhyicus was hopeful at successfully assimilating its population into Navalon. While there, he showed his truly spectacular diplomacy skills. The locals were terrified of being slaughtered by the invaders, but Annhyicus assured them they would be quite safe if they cooperated. He met with their ruling governing body, and a novel idea struck him hard. He had heard of a democracy in Greece, but after it failed (due to Spartan conquest) he thought nothing more of it. This republic the Romans had was a similar idea, and all the people of Rome were very satisfied with the system. This gave the Imperator some ideas to play with; he had been experiencing more and more domestic discontent. Many of the outer towns, especially those along the Adriatic that were formerly Greek settlements, were feeling left out of much of the empire’s growing wealth and development. They felt that the Imperator was favoring certain other towns and regions over them. Annhyicus’ basic thought process was that perhaps if he gave them some representation of some sort, he could appease their tantrum.

                              After a few weeks in Rome Annhyicus felt he had to return to Navapolis to his seat of power. After finishing the Tiber River area’s organization and leaving instructions for all of his army to rest, relax, and refill its beaten ranks, he left alone on horse back through the sparsely populated, former, Navalonian northern frontier and returned to his home city after a two-days-ride. As he road through the countryside, through small towns, and through villages, the Navalonian folk waved and smiled, most recognizing their leader and praising his victories. News had spread fast through the country of the victory over the “barbarians” who often raided the frontier and other towns and cities too, disrupting their civilization. With their defeat, a much more stable life was hoped for by the public. Many young men had heard the stories of courageous and valorous Legionnaires who fought bravely, including the story of Corporal Garius Vasmuth, and were immediately inspired. Long lines of young men formed, eager to join up with these heroes that the soldiers became to be known as.

                              Immediately after returning to his keep, he went to check up on Allya, King Minos’ daughter, and to make sure she was all right and taken care of. He had only returned a handful of times during his yearlong campaign in the north to check up on the old girl that had become a young woman in his absences and to receive full updates on his ally’s war against the Greeks, though messengers would bring him news while he was at the front. Minoans had lost all but the Island of Crete itself and for a time had even lost a section of that large island, but North African mercenaries from a young Phoenician empire known as Carthage were able to repel the invaders. Some of the largest and most spectacular fleet engagements to date were fought during that year, with many Navalonians sailors and soldiers posing as Minoans. The Battle of Agea, which was fought with hundreds of warships on both sides just off Crete’s northern shore, was led by Grand Admiral Biarus, the Navalonian fleet commander. It was a fantastic Minoan victory where the fleet used catapults to launch Greek Fire with devastating results. Grand Admiral Biarus ultimately fell in battle after being struck by an arrow, but not after leading the numerically inferior Minoan fleet to victory. Grand Admiral Biarus was later buried in the Navalonian Honor Tomb with full honors for the service he had provided to his nation and its allies.

                              Annhyicus would spend a few months in Navapolis, spending a lot of time with Allya. He would show her places where he used to play when he was a kid, where his old home used to be, and even introduced her to some of his old childhood friends, who were now old men by those days’ standards. He grew very fond of her, and she of him. One day, only days before Annhyicus planned to return to the front to continue his campaign still further north against the Etrurians (he had received a message that a large Etrurian army had approached Rome and were standing off with the now replenished 3rd Legion stationed there. Supreme General Wilmus was handling the situation well and had began to mass all three legions to intimidate the main Etrurian force in order to stall if they planned to invade the Tiber area that they wanted back so badly, having invested as much as they had into roads, bridges, wells, aqueducts, and swamp drainage), Allya complained that a new servant that was hired had been bothering her with rough physical behavior that was making her very uncomfortable. Annhyicus said he would question the man and later that evening he went looking for him. He was told by the other servants that he was with the princess in her quarters. As Annhyicus approached, the door was cracked open a bit and he heard a terrible scream, one that sent a bone-chilling memory through his mind of his mother, so many years ago on the docks. He ran into the room and found the servant holding Allya’s half-naked body down on her bed with a dagger to her throat, blood running down her neck. With lightning speed and ferocious rage he knocked that “sadistic piece of sh1t”, as he would later refer to him as, to the floor and began to pommel him with blows. He beat him with his fists furiously for several minutes, long after he had been knocked unconscious, turning the young man’s face into a bloody mush. He only stopped after he realized he needed to see how Allya was. She was fine more or less, though in much pain. The man had cut her neck not to deeply so he could derive pleasure from her without killing her, but the wound would leave a large provocative scare that would only fade slightly in the many years to come.

                              The man that would become to be known locally as “The First Sadist Since Tyranicus” would not wake from his coma for several days and because of that he died from dehydration. Annhyicus had broken both his hands in his rage, but borrowed an idea from the Northern Etrurians and set the bones back into place before he used a splint and sling system to allow them to heal, which he did remarkably quick; in only a few weeks he was completely back to normal. The incident had delayed his return to the northern front by many weeks, not just due to his injuries, but also by his trial.

                              Shortly after the man died, the news spread quickly through the empire. Everybody wondered if their Imperator would stand trial like any other man. Though he was never arrested by the local militia (law enforcement was carried out by Legionnaires and the local militias), he turned himself in because he wanted to show that no matter who you were, no matter how rich or poor, powerful or weak, famous or infamous, nobody was above the law (in practice it would be many centuries for this to truly be the case, however). After a trial that lasted only a single day (it was held three weeks after the incident), Annhyicus was declared to have been acting in defense of the lady, and was therefore acquitted. However he did have to pay for the burial ceremony of the man for his family.

                              Allya wore a scarf around her neck since recieving her wound, fearing the world to think her ugly because of the large scar she now bore there. She became deeply depressed. Annhyicus tried repeatedly to get her to remove it, feeling it was his fault that he did not confront the man sooner, and that he was the source for her grief. He thought that she blamed him for what happened to her. He had fallen in love with her, and she seemed to hate him for what he had done. He too began to slip into depression. Allya in fact, however, was quite infatuated with him and had been so for quite some time; she viewed him as her savior, though felt she was now too ugly to ever win his heart. This was the true source of her depression. One night, after a quiet, solemn dinner, Annhyicus escorted her to her room and then broke down. He begged her to forgive him and pleaded for her to remove her scarf. She consoled him but refused to do as he asked, in fear that it would disgust him. Annhyicus, realizing this is what she feared, quickly removed his shirt. In the candlelight of her room he showed her the several deep scars caused from battle wounds. Most of his scars were on his muscular arms, but a few ran across his chest and along his back. He told her that he always thought of scars as a badge of sorts, a memento of the battles in which he fought. He regaled her with the stories of his bravery behind each scar, inflaming her infatuation. She felt the scars as he talked; he guided her hands along his chest and stared into her ocean blue eyes. She then reached for her scarf and slipped it off, revealing her neck and she collapsed to tears. Annhyicus held her closely and kissed and soothed her neck. Through her sobbing tears she let out a gasp and moan, a mixture of surprise, joy, and pleasure, and then he kissed her open mouth. After several minutes of their kissing embrace, they fell into her bed and finally after so long, realized their enormous and extraordinary love for each other.
                              "I bet Ikarus eats his own spunk..."
                              - BLACKENED from America's Army: Operations
                              Kramerman - Creator and Author of The Epic Tale of Navalon in the Civ III Stories Forum