by ♦Assiduus Victoria♦I can always remember being enraptured by the tales of Acacius my grandfather, as though the very words he spoke were woven like gold into the fabric of time itself. Born in the district of Neapolis in the Sicilian city of Syracuse, he was the son of a Siracusani seafaring merchant who sold fine silks. I had always found great sport in suggesting that he himself was instead a trader in dreams and legends and that, indeed, his wares were crafted with the same undertaking in exquisite quality. In his time, he had kept the company of an abundance of prodigious men and had witnessed the emergence and ascension of Syracuse in those exalted days of mythos. He would himself, I was to find, play a pivotal role in that glorious triumph; the measure of his life stretching from the ravaging of Messana by the Mamertine savages, through the ill-fated reign of Pyrrhus of Epirus, the glorious age of Hiero II, the Roman invasion of our island fair and the unsurpassable genius of Archimedes.
These tales, would I particularly enjoy, when told in the dwindling light of an ebbing eventide as the setting sun would bruise the looming sky with radiant ochre and blushed magenta. It was as though, by the flickering light of the fire, the rhapsody in my heart could nestle in the reticent embrace of an approaching night. There forever could it stay, enshrouded in the innocent reverence of childhood. Indeed, by my adolescence, there were as many tales as there were stars in the night sky.
Nowhere upon this earth did I feel such sincerity and equanimity than in the presence of Acacius, my grandfather. His reminiscences, ebullient and potent in their delivery, bore me through the ages of men and endowed upon me seeming immortality. Battles won and lost, men victorious and defeated, lands conquered and fallen; I had realised them all in my beating heart and racing mind, invoked with such meticulous eloquence as to behold men who not only endured history but were its masters; the very hands who had etched their names within it.
But it was to be the fervently assiduous days of my grandfather in military service to the Kingdom of Syracuse that would forever ignite my own fervour and beguile my heart and mind to the end of infatuation. For within these declarations there resided a man of such towering grandeur, dauntlessness and noble artifice that my very being yearned to abide not in his legend, but in his very making.
That man was Nikomedes.