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Thread: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated July. 24th [ON HOLD]

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    Lugotorix's Avatar non flectis non mutant
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    Default The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated July. 24th [ON HOLD]

    The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR

    Golyamata Mogila Wreath: Odrysian- Sofia

    Replica of piece from Natural Museum of Art and History- Sofia

    Faction: Odrysian Kingdom
    Difficulty: Hard
    Mods: Vanilla + Sebidee's Balkan Unit Roster Expansion from turn 84 onwards

    "Much has been said of the savagery of The Nightmare's conquest of Greece, leading to the great war between Sparta and the Odrysiae. A ruthless man to be sure, one, who, as a Greek at heart, neither understood nor could reign in his soldier's depredations on Corinth, Larissa, Thessaly, and Athens, but perhaps more should be said of Sparatocos' irresponsibility, who had the gall to make an empire of such a concentration of savagery." -Xenokrates of Sinope

    This is the chronicle of the dread kings of Thrace, who would forge an empire to rule the known Hellenic world. It begins with following the conquests and rule of Raizdos Ephialtes, his son, King Diegylis, the long reign of King Sparatocos the Great, and the two Clan Chiefs called Beithys. They would not raid, sack, or pillage. They would rule. They would endure. For the best viewing experience, listen to Anvil of Crom and Riders of Doom from Conan the Barbarian.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Mokasokos- Glue that kept Seuthes Major and Minor together. Witch of prophecy who became a polemic politician in southern Cappadocia.

    Ziles- Noblewoman. Suspected to be the mother of Amatokos II and relation of Olorus. The basis for Amatokos II's manipulations.

    Raizdos Ephialtes- Patriarch of the line of Teres, the Astean Line, and dreadful invader of Macedon and Hellas- Led war against Sparta and Athens

    Abrupolis the Red- High Archon of Sparatocos new order, notorious Edonian warlord and brigand, who helped unite the tribes of Thrace after Tylis' destruction.

    Abrupolis II, the Black- Son of Abrupolis through royal marriage. Admiral of the Thracian fleet of the Black Sea.

    Getas I- King who betrayed the first High King of Dacia, the pirate lord Blegissa. Admiral of Black Sea fleet and Co-Consul of Bosphoran Kingdom

    Blegissa- Dread pirate who consolidated the alliance between the Odrysiae and the Getae. Brash but good-natured to those who pay enough.

    Beithys- Respected Warlord who claimed Kingship of Macedon- Second Citizen of the Odrysian Kingdom

    Diegylis I- Son of Raizdos who plotted for High Kingship during the Time of Troubles- Ruled over a time of relative stability, before being killed during a slave rebellion at Navissos.

    Diegylis, Prince of Macedon- Son of Beithys who plotted for High Kingship during the Clan War. Killed by Macedonian and Thessalian rebels due to intrigue by Sparatocos the Lion, who took his station.

    Diegylis III- Respected warrior who carried on the old guard of Dentuscu and Mokasokos along with Spartakos

    Diegylis IV- Conqueror of Cimmeria and Basileus of the Bosphoran Kingdom

    Beithys II- Beithysian son and capable rising Warlord who inherited kingship during the Galatian war- Fought to a standstill outside of Sinope. Destroyed by the Pontic-Galatian alliance.

    Cetriporos I- Basileus of Bithynia and Ionia- Started the Invasion of Anatolia. Instrumental in the Galatian war in the volatile passes of Sardes and Pergamon. Liberated Pergamon.

    Xenocrates- Most persistent adversary on behalf of Mithridates, and his Greek Prince

    Cetriporos II- Wealthy Syrian merchant and governor of Antioch and compatriot of Roigos.

    Roigos the Eagle- Warrior without equal. Governor of Edessa, and general that assumed command of the Ravens of Teres after Seuthes Major's death. The personal champion of Sitalces, himself a warrior.

    Cotys the Satyr- Court figure and Governor of Ephesus: Troop Mascot

    Ctistae Olorus- Philosopher guardian of Sparatocos and Dentuscu

    Olorus the Serpent- Thin-blooded Astean king who was betrayed during a time of civil unrest. Helped bring Chalcodon to power.

    Janos- Rebel king of the Cypriots who rose up in Cilicia following the implosion of Galatian resources. Led a period of neutrality with the Odrysian occupiers of Cyprus.

    Teres the White Stag- High-King who was killed in the Second Illyrian War by an insurrection of Triballi at Navissos

    Sparatocos the Lion- Protagonist of the Astean dynasty, known for being shrill, yet calmly violent.

    Amatokos II, the Hydra- Wealthy beyond dreams Democratic rebel.

    Amatokos I- Wealthy High Archon and trusted assassin during Confederation period. Inherited wealth from the Beithysian line.

    Sparatocos II- Son of Seuthes Minor. Impressionable and emotional.

    Dentuscu- An amazon employed by Sparatocos, his secret wife and true mother of the continuing line: also his shame

    Spartakos- Caretaker of Mokasokos plans for the will of Sparatocos

    Cersoblepetes I- The Master of horse of Seuthes Major

    Rhoemetalces I- High King and brother of Seuthes Major, Cruel and lazy regarding Sitalces

    Rhoemetalces II- Very capable commander who followed the lead of Sitalces

    Sitalces- Cursed by the stars son of Seuthes- first Vergobet

    Demetrius- King of the Epirotes during the exodus

    Brygos- Later King of the Epirotes during the Italian wars

    Blodus- Illyrian Prince who sized up Cetriporos I

    Monunius- Leader of the Illyrian Confederation. King of Daorsi who changed sides.

    Annaeus- Pirate prince of the Ardaiei

    Acrisias- Third King of the Epirotes after their liberation

    Chalcodon- King of the Sardesian Greeks

    Seuthes Major- The Verehon High King, and legitimate Roman heir of Sparatocos

    Seuthes Minor- The ranking general of Seuthes Major, illegitimate heir of Sparatocos

    Agrippina- Roman wife of the Roman Sitalces

    Zakia- Dacian princess of the Dicomes who traded sides for the Gutones. Unwilling wife of Sitalces

    Appius Drusus- Roman General who attempted an invasion of Pella and Athens

    Fulcinius Vespillo- Commander of the three Roman legions that invaded Thrace and Greece from Epirus

    Sullustius Verres- Roman noble cooperating with the conquest of Thessaly

    Imbetos- Second King of the Galatians

    Rabillios- High King of the Galatians

    Tierenbald- Mysterious High King of the Germanic Confederation

    Cersoblepetes the Boar- Assassin for Diegylis II

    Rhescuporis- Assassin for Raizdos Ephialtes who played both sides

    Bardyllis- Illyrian prince who started the war in a pact with the Celts and Rhesuporis

    Otker the Stoat- Gutones warlord who defeated Sitalces

    Audo- High King of the Gutones

    Damoetas - Last King of the Lacadaemons

    Lykourgos the Tarantine- Magna Graecian mercenary who served Raizdos in the Hellenic wars as a mercenary.



    -Raizdos Ephialtes

    -Two Sieges

    - The Lioness, Dentuscu

    The Battle of the Pineios River

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    256 B.C.- CHAPTER III: Succession and - I, Sparatocos

    The Death of the King Raizdos Ephialtes


    Chapter IV: The Clan War between Beithys and Diegylis

    248 B.C. - Mob Justice


    The Epirot Exiles

    230 B.C. Battles of Dodona
    231 B.C. Second Battle of Larissa


    - Fall of Singidun and Beithys' Legacy


    Burying Beithys in a deep grave

    Epilogue- Lykourgos and Dentuscu


    -Cetriporos, Basileus of Bithynia


    - 209- 205

    Basileus Cetriporos and the Asiatic (Ionian) Campaign

    200- The Great Alliances tip the Scales- Cetriporos is Slain

    196- Chapter VII- Part III- The Death of the First Lion of Thrace


    -Great Siege of Nicomedia by the Pontic Princes Euonomos, Xenocrates, and Socrates

    -Teres, the White Stag- Without Loss there is No Gain

    186 B.C. -Olorus- The Serpent- Army of Lions Led by A Deer

    The Witchcraft of the Brothers of Fire

    CHAPTER IX- Verehon Seuthes Major, THE SECOND LION

    Turning of the Tides in the Pontic and Galatian Wars and The Rise of the Seuthes and the Gallic Policy

    148-145- The Invasion of Italy and the Fall of Galatia



    Second Battle of Antheia

    The North


    The Wedding of the the Leucrotius


    - Making Plans

    - The 120s B.C.


    -Abrupolis is Thankful to be Alive

    120-115- Promotion to High Elder

    The Fall of Cersoblepetes- The Leucrotius


    117-110- Sitalces and Parthia Rising

    115- Autumn- Edessa- Death of A Man and Inception of a God Amongst Men


    110-107- The Danube is crossed, the die is cast

    Spring 107- Battle of Malva

    First Battle of Petrodava

    Autumn/Winter 107- Island Lair of the Circle of the Hydra on Rhodos

    Winter 106 B.C. Second Battle of Petrodava

    -A New Lineage


    96-88- Apologies

    88 Autumn Last Council of Spartakos

    88 December- Battle of War Gull Hill


    Battle of Mazaca

    Autumn 81 B.C. Battle of Samosata

    Thrace had long been an impending dread of the Greek city-states to it’s south.

    Their greatest fear, that of Phillip II, that of Alcibiades, that of Plato, whose two students so shrewdly murdered the Odrysian King Cotys I, was that one day, the Thracians would unite under a single powerful warlord, and bring their warriors to visit Greece, to visit the terrors that had only been whispered from far off lands beyond the Cheronese peninsula, and north to the Danube.

    Our story begins early during the reign of King Cotys I who assumed the Odrysian throne in 384, after slaying the Thracian king Hebryzelmis.
    Soon after, the Athenians made the Odrysian Kingdom their ally. This peace, brokered with the marriage of Cotys’ daughter to the Athenian general Iphicrates, would not last. The Athenians organized a rebellion against Cotys, employing his treasonous treasurer. With the aid of Iphicrates and Charidemus, a treaty was soon brought to the Athenians, and a treaty would endure yet again.

    In 375, the Triballi, a Gallo-Thracian people in Moesia had rebelled against the Odrysian kingdom of Cotys I, under resentment that no trade of luxurious goods from those under the Kingdom’s power in the south, including Athens, was reaching them. Cotys put an end to such a rebellion by rebuilding the Greek city of Pistiros, and a peace began between the Triballi and the Odrysians.

    Still, even as Phillip II’s son Alexander pacified the Triballi under King Syrmus and other Thracian kings, old grudges and fears would not die.
    The warlord that would epitomize these fears was one warlord, the man who would become such a ruthless King, Raizdos Ephialtes , the conqueror of Greece.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    His tale begins as a violent noble of the city of Seuthopolis, in the year 272. The reign of Alexander had passed, and with it, the concessions made by the successors of Cotys I and Centriporos, who had requested that the Macedonians act as a judge in a dispute, and the ‘judge’ had appeared with a Macedonian army at their back.

    Athens was now but a mere vassal of the Macedonian King, their alliance long faded. But with tales of two golden wreaths bestowed to the murderers of Cotys, those students of Plato, the line to which Raizdos traces his lineage, and to that of Poseidon through the Thracian king Eumolpos himself, a tempting target full of riches. Not to be ransacked, or the land near it raided as they disparagingly say of his people, but conquered.

    His ambition, and the intent for his many sons and cousins in the Royal Family, was to become overlords of all Greece, Hellas, Macedon, Thrace, and Illyria, to even hold dominion over the coast of Bithynia, as the Odrysian Kingdom once had.
    He also held great vengeance in his heart against the Macedonian governor Lysimachus, for bringing the last great Thracian King Seuthes III under Diadochi rule, and had long since vowed to avenge such subjugation by the sword.

    Negotiations with Macedon

    He was a tall man, perhaps not as broad as some of his warriors, but towering, with a stern, horse’s face and dead baleful eyes, and a mighty axe tied to his chainmail clad back, not the Rhomphaia most of his elite guard and soldiers carried, but the axe of an executioner, held by thick wooly bear’s arms: To behold the man rage with the weapon inspired blood-lust in others to say the least. It was a hacking dance, a heavy wooden dervish on a strong frame that clove through any armor in the axe’s way, and he would often wail for minutes upon already dead foes, turning their teeth and skulls to paste, and drenching his long soot-worn greaved arms with gore.

    He had been educated in Athens, at the expense of his father Cotys II, and could speak Greek and Latin fluently, as well as read. Though this skin and bones chattel at the table would never know it, he was no barbarian, in fact an employer of philosophers and astronomers, and maintained a library and observatory at Seuthopolis, as well as the finest running water systems, sluices, and he had a rather Hellenistic view of the world, to his men, an extreme one.

    His piqued conical crown lay on a table, he stooped over the Greek letters upon a scroll before him, glaring at the most recent obscenities of Macedon against his friends in the Epirot court, while his son, somewhat of a runt, but showing his father’s stature at 24, stood over Basilius the diplomat, whispering terrors into his ears, demanding to know how many men past the walls of Pulpudeva guarded the six hills, the tepeta. Diegylis was the runt, and Cotys III, was the prince. But Cotys the Third was running the vanguard, to the north, on the banks of the Danube.

    How many phalanx are there between the Maritsa river and the six tepeta of Eumolpias.’ He asked imploringly, full of interest. Vaguely feigned interest.
    ‘You must mean Phillippoupolis, to say otherwise is to speak against my King. And where is the dignified Olorus, Diegylis?’ Basilius said impatiently.
    This Basilius nervously spoke in his queer Greek tongue, stammering, sweating, the pungent salty stench of it offending Diegylis as much as the dignitary’s formerly honeyed manner of speech. His perfumed hair made the rank worse. The piss on the floor where Basilius now sat didn’t help matters. A good thing it was far from the presence of Raizdos.

    Diegylis took a breadth of Basilius’ hair in his hands, and throttled his head down into the wooden table, where sticky blood had crept into the boards in slits. This left crimson tracts on the prisoner’s face. He then pulled the diplomat’s head back and tussled his perfumed hair.

    ‘Olorus is travelling to make gestures of peace to our Gallic neighbors, the Triballi. Why, he’s just left.’

    The table was slick with the blood. ‘But before he did leave, along with Agapios, your King delivered the terms of Eumolpias’ surrender through your comrade to Olorus: call it Pulpudeva, call it what you like, but in Odessos and Seuthopolis, the noble Admiral Sadalas prefers it to honor the great king of a great kingdom that will be once more. A master of your Greek harps and lyre, if I recall.’ Diegylis hissed through his Thracian helm, and took a swig from his drinking horn. He grinned at Basilius with yellow and brown teeth. He offered some mead to the cowering buffoon. He would need it, he thought. You rarely kill the messenger, but his Diegylis was sure to saw one of this one's arms off. And, they did say, between Cotys III and Diegylis, Diegylis was the compassionate one.

    ‘Yes well, I must pardon myself from your further questioning. The King must entertain the threat you propose, here on the plain, so close to the Rhodope mountains: The pass is quite vital to us. My comrade, Agapios, will be accompanying me back to Phillippoupolis. If it’s gold an unwashed stable-hand such as you wants, there’s plenty in the chest I brought to your, encampment, if it could be called that.’
    He looked at the messy scene before him with disgust, hesitantly continuing

    I must argue the point that no such Odrysian Kingdom or army to threaten us remains in Macedon. This, Raizdos, or Roigos, is no king. Thrace has not had such a king since Seuthes III bowed to Lysimachus and pledged fealty to our Antigonos, and the thoroughly Hellenized brat Cotys II your ‘king.’ called father gratefully became a citizen of Athens, our subject city. I’d imagine, being there as a boy, your so-called king has been ‘Hellenized.’ Thoroughly , I might add, as if he were a woman. So I would advise, here, personally, regardless of what Agapios said, that you march back to Seuthopolis, and pray Macedon’s armies do not follow. ’

    Raizdos took attention, and he rose from his papers, ropes of oily black hair swinging from his pale shoulders as he sauntered over to the two of them. Blue and gray stubble garbed the lower parts of his long face in almost a masculine balaclava, with the whiskers of a seal. Gods, it looked as if his facial scars were a tarantula splayed in jagged blue flayed abrasions. His eyes were dead-set on the sitting man, who he stood almost two men over. He spoke.
    ‘But we march south for Eumolpias before any further answer, and you first, my dear Basilius, with your chest of Macedonian coins, and my answer on your face.

    ‘And what of Agapios' terms, generously offered to you?’

    Raizdos answered. ‘First The Ctistae Olorus begged up to the god Kotys, the god of carnage for his will and made sacrifice and then he asked Agapios for an answer to Kotys’ demands.’ Bayed Raizdos, his voice like a booming goat.

    A man must know his place in the universe.

    The man was unseated with trepidation. ‘And what was his answer?’

    Why nothing, you tepid, dolled fool. It was the first sacrifice of our war. You wear his answer upon your face, and you will carry it back to Macedon with your gold bearing the likeness of a soon to be dead king. Now tell me of Eumolpias defenses, before I feel generous to Kotys for the coming siege.’

    The man began quavering, and brought his hands to his blood-printed, upset face.
    ‘The city…’ He fought back a tear or two.
    ‘Yes?’ Raizdos brought a giant leather paw to the man’s chin.

    ‘ The Heralds of Thanatos are far to the south, making ready to march on Epirus, the city has a mere garrison.’ He seethed.

    Whetting the blade- the beginning of the conquest!

    Athens seal their fate with one pen-stroke.

    Last edited by Lugotorix; September 11, 2016 at 06:47 PM. Reason: update

  2. #2
    magraev's Avatar Biarchus
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR

    Great start. Looking forward to more. I haven't bought any DLC yet, but the thracians look interesting.

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    Lugotorix's Avatar non flectis non mutant
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR

    Chapter II: The Wreath of Alexander

    A golden wreath such as the one worn by Alexander

    270 B.C.

    The approach to the battle against Cotys III and Raizdos. Regal horses must do every soldier's work today if anything is to be accomplished.

    Antigonos, Heracleitus, and the Heralds of Thanatos took the field on a sully, black day, that foretold the fate of their Successor State. The Thracians were ravens to a cripple, to the encumbered Macedonians. Their light armor gave them the ability to govern the tactics and rhythm of the battle. When a phalanx would wonder toward the posterior ranks, it would be picked off in numbers until it was ineffective even against the lightest troops. Keeping this pace ensured Raizdos' victory.

    Antigonos rears in battle against the three Thracian lightly equipped armies.

    Antigonos entered the melee once he saw that his pike phalanx weren’t holding up to the manipular tactics of Raizdos’ Thracian warriors. Their horses of the Companions wheeled in terror as they saw what the Rhomphaia were capable of. Still, the two regiments of Companion cavalry inflicted casualties as they crashed into Raizdos’ infantry.


    Raizdos rushed the field and pressed the advantage. The cold man ordered his peltasts to fire into the fray in tandem with his own men’s combat. He resolved to fight in the shade, as the skirmishers rained down on the pikemen. The pikes were too heavily armored to chase the peltasts, and suffered for every effort to confront them, as the warriors tore into their advancing ranks. Throats were torn and heads and limbs cleaved from their berths. But not without a tragic moment!

    The Heralds of Thanatos
    were dealt the cold heavy hand of Raizdos and few survived to tell the tale. Those that did, fled to Pella, along with Antigonos Gonatas, the whipped dog.

    Raizdos legion, the Blades of Teres, named after the great king, Teres II, was victorious in the plains south of Pulpudeva against the Heralds of Thanatos. It had a bloody toll for the three contributing armies of the Kingdom.

    The Macedonian commander Heracleitus, who was strung up by his intestines on a pillar just within view of Raizdos’ perch within the palace, through the fog that had consumed Pulpudeva:

    They had confronted The Blades of Teres while they were mustering an even greater army to march on Pella and Thessaloniki themselves. Proud Thracians looking to free themselves of the Macedonian whip, here in the merchants crossroads of Thrace.
    Now, the Macedonians were gone, and the Odrysian Kingdom had a new capital. A walled city, with bastions that would be upgraded to scorpion towers. And their horde, their horde would march south on Raizdos’ orders, with Raizdos at it’s head.

    ‘We will never abandon this jewel of Thrace we have acquired, Diegylis, my son.’

    Their target: The walls of Macedon, in the port of Pella.

    There, the Antigonid lords, least of them that dog Antigonos Gonatas II no doubt cowered, having learned of their defeat, firsthand.

    The price was grim, ruminated Raizdos, Cotys III had been too brave, and was now dead, pierced by a pike, clean through. He warily traced one of his black leather gloves over the dead prince’s face as he lay upon a slab for examination by the loyal men, and before his beheading by Rhomphaia, the Governor of Thrace, Heracleitus. With his oafish strength, that had gutted the Governor, he did not mean to disturb the dead prince’s slumber, but still the heart of a lion brought trembles to those fingers.

    Of the 740 men he had fielded, only 65 survived the battle against Raizdos 788, the others being cleaved and dismembered there on the green field, with manipular tactics being employed by the Thracians, also flanking the pikes of the enemy in brave charges from all sides, light and un-encumbered in their armor, stabbing up at the two regiments of horse Heracleites had fielded.

    The Odrysian Peltasts had taken the least casualties, peppering the enemy ranks in darting charges to range, and then retreating once threatened, like some adder avoiding capture. All Thracians were renowned for their abilities with a javelin.

    The first sign of the end for a Macedon taken off balance

    Diegylis removed his helm. He had silky black hair that was thicker unwashed, and the blue cheeks of his father. His eyes were piercing gray, but resemblance to the swarthier peoples of the Pontic Sea could be seen easily. ‘You will never abandon it, father. I will march south and avenge him, Cotys, my half-brother. To Hades with what the Spartans say of their rivalry that has caused them to not ally with Athens. I will make a bloody puppet of that Antigonos and his Greek pleasantries, just as we have made of Heracleitus.’

    Raizdos, or Roigos as he was known to the world now, waved his hand.

    ‘I am a friend of Areus, and I am a friend of King Craterus of Sparta, that is what forced them to forsake Macedon, not threats. Athens will not take it’s capture lightly, which is why you will stay here, while I visit this nightmare upon Pella and Thessaly. To Corinth and Athens itself by this dead boy’s blood.’ He said with crazed determination.

    ‘ And who will guard our most valued treasure Eumolpias, Sparatocos? The prince is a mere infant.’ Diegylis offered meekly. It was not rhetorical, it was a serious query. He had no intent of being left out of the fighting to come. He relished battle.

    ‘No, I am unsure of King Biraco of the Triballi’s intentions. I have not heard word from Olorus as to whether Navissos will bring it’s armies against our Dacian cousins, the Biephi, or march here. Which is why you will stay here, Diegylis, as my heir.’
    Diegylis was the son of the King’s third wife. And the King’s first wife had an affair. His first wife’s children were favored, Sparatocos among them. The announcement was as unheralded as it was surprising.
    ‘You honor me, great King.’

    ‘I do nothing of the sort: Clan Chief Beithys is not my kin, nor is Admiral Sadalas. You’re a logical choice due to your age and prowess in battle, and your misgivings with the conduct to be maintained after a settlement of the Greeks is taken, will be better held in one we control already, as to not upset my Spartan or Epirot friends.’

    What have you promised Epirus to safeguard the west of our campaign.’

    ‘The smelted gold that I plan to reap from Pella, 400 sesterces of it, and the promise that we will one day soon, join their war against Rome, the Latin masters of Italy.’
    The King looked away from the dead prince, between the awnings of the palace, into the fog to the south. He had not mentioned yet that Tylis had also agreed to a truce while the fighting against the Greeks continued, he did not have to.

    Those rampaging Celts, who plotted at the moment to make war upon the Greeks in Pergamon, were more brother to the barbarian heir Diegylis than to him, the King. And as for that spirit, the spirit of a war chief and not a conqueror, well Clan Chief Beithys had been given promises of his own. He would be made King of Macedon. In fact, as Raizdos thought of how he would put the Antigonids to the sword, he already was. If not, his political climbing wife would be more of a harpy than Beithys' most trusted swords. The wreath had already been fashioned in Golyamata to the north-east.

    The second man of the Kingdom, Clan Chief Beithys. He would become a mighty warlord, in time.
    Last edited by Lugotorix; November 03, 2015 at 12:26 AM.

  4. #4
    Lugotorix's Avatar non flectis non mutant
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by magraev View Post
    Great start. Looking forward to more. I haven't bought any DLC yet, but the thracians look interesting.
    Thanks. The new chapter is up. I'd recommend playing with one of the roster expansions as a mod. I want to play through fair and square from launch of the DLC, but before the garrison changes, I'd have to admit they were frustrating as heck to play as before you have access to horses. The standard garrison for any city even converted was a mere three Peltasts.

  5. #5
    Stívarđr Reynitré's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR

    Thoroughly enjoying this thus far and hoping it keeps steaming ahead!

    Great stuff!


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    Lugotorix's Avatar non flectis non mutant
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR

    Chapter II: Part 2
    Raizdos Ephialtes

    Out of over one thousand able defenders of Pella, eight hundred and forty lay dead about it’s courtyard and walls. Smoke billowed from the taken city, and proud Thracian banners were carried by horses parading through alleys and streets, chanting slogans, inciting those civilians that remained in their homes to make peace with the occupation of the city, through the crumbling dust and sporadic fires that broke out all across the city.

    But if one were to take the view-point of a scurrying rat, not some noble steed heralding the conquest of a new city into the order of Macedon under it’s new king Beithys, brought to such by the Rhomphaia of Odrysia’s king, up the stairs of the palisade, through halls and tunnels, up broken pillar, through piles of smoldering dead, you would find a more intimate scene, as you took your place in the scaffolds, looking down at the bed-chamber of the man whose Diadochi kingdom had just been brought to ruin.
    ‘ You don’t look much the part of a soldier. Let’s get this over with, you mustachioed hedgehog.’ Said Antigonos II.

    The torches cast red light in the King’s chambers of the highest tower of the palace in Pella. There had been 85 survivors, guardsmen all, who had delivered the terms of surrender. By extension, all the land south to Larissa was now Thracian territory, thanks to the capitulation, but the Athenian armies had seen fit to take them for themselves.

    The door was bolted. The Macedonian royalty of age had mostly died defending in the battle, on their horses as men. Two of the lords had escaped towards Athenian territory. Only Antigonos II Gonatas was left. Him and his wife. Her glazed eyes stared at the ceiling, in the hall where she had gone to investigate the commotion, a suppository of hemlock stuffed in her gullet. The children had fled south to Corinth from the Blades of Teres approach already. Anyone of noble birth. Athens needed legitimate kings if they were to ever liberate the lands of Macedon, as they had done already in Larissa.

    ‘ By Bendis, you don’t look much the part of a King, there, naked, in sheets, far from the siege, with only your manhood as defense. Will you please sit up, legs out, it has to look proper, Antigonos. Be a good boy and do me this.’ Said the infiltrator.
    The great Macedonian king rolled from off his pillow and stooped over from the side of his mattress.

    ‘Do you what? I’ve already offered forth my terms of surrender. Bring me to the King at once. This is madness!’ Said the king, with his hands on his thighs.

    Rhescuporis, the well fed man with the look of a bloated shrew, in a tartan cloak, unsheathed his salphinx and leaned over the sitting man.

    Antigonos looked to the standing man querulously. ‘Well…’

    ‘Well what?’

    I thought you were going to say something there.

    ‘Antigonos II, bearded and lean, looked very confused and bleary.

    ‘Anyhow, where are your shackles, Thracian, if that’s what you intend? I should be ready for dinner with Roigos. He is a reasonable man, I’m sure. ’

    ‘No, not really.’ He pushed the sitting man forward on the salphinx, and had to ease him a bit along the ribs to get the blade to settle in his intestines where it belonged. Rhescuporis slapped a hand on the King’s mouth. Blood flooded from the gut onto the white sheets, seeping all the way through to the marble below. The king looked shocked tried to gasp, but instead wheezed through fat fingers for air he wasn’t going to receive.

    Sparta declares war!

    ‘We regret to inform you, nightmare, Ephialtes, of the slumber of the true king of Macedon, Antigonas II Gonatas, that our learned men do not believe the story you have told of the King falling on his own sword. Although you have treated his body with dignity in state, it has become clear to our scholars and surgeons that one of your agents butchered this man in his sleep. As you now make war on the peaceful city of Larissa, I regret to inform you that a state of alliance now exists between Athens and Sparta, since you have proven yourself Raizdos, king of the northern horde, to be a dishonorable man. Any further aggression against Athens, will be considered aggression against Sparta, ye Ephialtes. Joining us in this effort, will be the armies of the proper Greek kingdom of Cimmeria to your north, which, should you fail to cease your aggression, shall bring the coastline of Thrace under your control to the sword, as you have put Greece to the sword. Come to Sparta for a night's visit, old friend.’

    Rhescuporis, spy of the king Raizdos, handed the letter to the king for his inspection.

    Signed, ‘The old friend of the walking corpse King, the honorable King Craterus of Sparta.’

    Raizdos was not pleased. He had wanted Sparta to serve as allies against Tylis’ dispute with Pergamon. Athens stood no chance against the Odrysian’s might alone, but with an ally, the situation had changed. Now his efforts would be diverted entirely to the south, to dominion over Hellas. With Epirus losing it’s war to the Illyrians who were no friends of the Kingdom, and the Triballi King Biraco still coy to Olorus’ offers, a mess had been made, all by this fool Antigonos’ suicide. Was it honor that had drove him to do it? He would have found a good life in Sparta.

    ‘You are dismissed Rhescuporis. Send word to King Beithys, that I need all of his available men to march on Athens. Once we are behind it’s walls Sparta can do little to push our forces out of Hellas. And tell him to give tribute to Kotys and disparage Artemis at his coronation and to expel any Spartan diplomats. If it’s war the Greeks want, they’ll have it. Send word to Araeus and Craterus that I will meet them in Athens. And summon Sadalas to deal with these Cimmerian fools.’

    Larissa fell to the Blades of Teres the following year. This cult of Teres was becoming quite powerful. As was the honoring of Gebelzelmis because the thunders and the rains often staved off sieges by rebels of captured cities.
    This was not the case with Larissa.

    Athens fell to an un-protracted siege, and attrition had begun to take its toll on the Blades of Teres from reprisal attacks.

    The tables are turned.

    Without a Thracian populace to replenish forces lost in battle, the legion relied on reinforcements from Eumolpias’, which it was becoming clear was not enough to deal with the constant threat of the armies of Sparta, which only diminished the ranks further. It was clear that stability was the path to victory.

    'Rush in and die dogs, I was a man before I was king!'

    Just as Epirus lost Apollonia and the war with the Illyrian Ardiaei, a Hellenic rebellion in Larissa left conquered Athens isolated from any reinforcements. Sparta seized the opportunity and took control of Larissa.

    Several times, they laid siege to Athens and even Pella, but were unsuccessful. More troubling was a mighty horde of the Triballi, who had positioned themselves in what was clearly Odrysian territory just to the north of Pella. Biraco’s silence, it would appear was for a reason. He intended to sack as much of the Kingdom as he could. The lust for plunder can turn men into monsters, and duplicitous ones at that.

    A balancing act between the garrisons of the two cities would have to be played for any hope of victory. Beithys awaited the Triballi’s betrayal. Meanwhile, a powerful alliance of Athens remaining armies at sea, and a Spartan invasion met at the gates of Athens!

    The following Part will tell the story of that siege.

    Last edited by Lugotorix; November 03, 2015 at 01:25 AM.

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    Chapter II: Part 3
    Two Sieges

    258-256 B.C.

    I Lykourgos, the Tarantine. Does the lion respect the sheep. A sheep that had wandered into my den? No more than I hold any respect for these so called bred warriors, the Spartans. I pierce them from a distance, I dance between the javelins that rain upon them, I kick dirt in their faces, my steed bites their faces from their skulls and plants their hooves in their backs, as they lie with their bronze armor gleaming for their Greek gods to piss the stinking mess of King Craterus I’ve wrought off the map of fields and islands that fall to Thrace one by one.
    I left Brundisium poor, and now I am rich, and in that city poor, that the Romans hold, they do well to fear this enemy they have made in the Odrysians. They have chosen when the blood would start falling, but have no say in when it will end, even as the Epirots are vanquished. Epirus will be liberated, a kingdom once more, allied with the Thracians, mine and so many others swords will make sure of that, and it is there that my villa will be erected, and the villas of my men. Then Rome will have no say in Magna Graecia, and men like me will be noble and rewarded. This is why I butcher these ‘professionals’, so that professionals may serve me in the life to come.

    In 256 the Spartan Commander Areus and King Craterus and the Athenian Admiral Okeanos assaulted both Pella and Athens. The force attempting to take Pella was one of many, as was the case with Athens. Athens became known as a dread fortification in these times, with a tabn of human heads leading up to it’s gates, a tactic they had learned from the Galatians and Tylis, as well as the Triballi, to unnerve the Spartans. It was successful, and the legendary Spartan discipline often shattered under extreme duress from the skirmishers and Peltasts positioned on top of the walls in both scenarios, as well as tower fire.

    While Pella had a defensive ballistae imported from Eumolpias in it’s arsenal, the siege of Athens instead relied upon the Tarantine sells-sword Lykourgos to disrupt the approaching ladders of Royal Spartans and Spartan hoplites. Both sieges involved the Spartan commanders being killed, with Craterus being succeeded by Damoetas, the last Spartan King.

    At Pella, four ladders reached the walls, after their main force was bombarded by the Ballistae within the city.

    This initial force of Perekoi were repulsed, but even on the foggy day that it was, the gates were ignited by the Spartan force, and eventually burnt with a portion of the walls. The force outside the city attempted to breached the walls, where they were confronted by the King of Macedon, Beithys and his troops made up heavily of veteran hoplite mercenaries.

    The monumental badass Beithys, seen at home.

    Many Spartans died before they retreated from the field and took refuge in the hills to the southwest of the city. It was a disaster, like the many sieges of Athens.
    At Athens, Lykourgos and his Tarantine mercenary cavalry rode out to meet the heavily armored Spartans, and harried them, starting with Areus himself, and then to the more vulnerable Spartan hoplites.

    Lykourgos the Tarantine in action!

    This was a relative term, and the best the Tarantine cavalry got out of the encounter was that the Spartans left their ladders to confront them. Once their ranks were thinned by harassment and tower fire they attempted to continue with taking the city, but Areus was met atop the walls, by Thureos spears, Athenians who had pledged loyalty to the Thracian army.

    He abandoned the siege and was shot dead at the base of the walls. A friend of Raizdos, and now a dead adversary.

    Lykourgos attempt to shatter the Spartan still approaching was met with a spear point, and only Lykourgos and a few of his men managed to escape.

    Both battles were good examples of the disastrous consequences of trying to take Thracian held cities even with superior numbers, and actually aided the Thracian war effort, which was in bankruptcy by this point, under the weight of their mercenary force, which could then be finally disbanded.
    Any celebrations by Beithys or Raizdos would be premature, as King Biraco of the Triballi entered the war on the side of the Spartans, looking to make gains against a weakened Thrace, and confident of his relations with the Ardaiei, who had just eliminated the Epirot garrison.

    In the following years, the Tribal Council agreed that Raizdos and Diegylis were the supreme and noble High Kings of all Thrace and Macedon.

    Raizdos had utterly defeated the Spartans in the field, and they had no marching armies, but their center of power, Sparta, remained a threat that could not be dealt with yet. It had a very powerful garrison of Spartans willing to fight to the death.

    More re-assuring, was that the friendly Celtic kingdom of Tylis had invaded Bithynia through bustling Nicomedia and was making gains against Pergamon. Although the Balkans were almost bitterly divided between Thracians and Illyrians, the Greeks in Anatolia, were still a force to be reckoned with.

    Last edited by Lugotorix; November 03, 2015 at 01:03 AM.

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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR

    The Lioness

    The bodyguard of cavalry carried lances high at their shoulders through a wintery tree swept scene north of Larissa near the border of the mountains, as they formed around the much shorter one in a breast plate and tunic. His face was masked, with a visor of lion’s fearsome, yet lazy gaze, three feathers supported by cloth headgear in the Thracian style. They moved on their horses to the highest point of a rocky ridge with a tree-line, to overlook a steaming brown village below. A river ran through the village, and across that river, a bridge. The horses stopped abruptly, whinnying and snorting.

    Their riders made no effort to quiet them, in fact one already carried a flaming torch, completely unconcerned about giving away their position. This was Odrysian territory, through and through, it just mattered who was trespassing, and with what brazenness.
    Through the visor, they eyes were cold and grey, like his fathers, but the long hair tied back in braids, grayish brown.

    Dentuscu, would you be as kind to bring me the head of Rhescuporis.’ He said thinly, and a bit unnerved , by the sound of it.
    A cloaked woman with a belt of tools and long reddish hair and a torque around her tight sunned skin began her descent down the ridge, taking cover behind rocks and logs.

    They were all here then, resolved Sparatocos. Biraco’s prince, who had made barter and alliance with Prince of the Illyrian Ardaiei, Bardyllis and Damoetas, now king of Sparta.
    He saw him in the distance, with his gleaming armor and stag figurine helm over a handsome face. Cunix, and he bore a long-sword, in opposition to one of his bodyguards axe, another carrying a Rhomphaia. Still, they were no true Thracians, rather more of the Gallic sort, and were foolish to challenge his father in this pact.

    Biraco, his idiot father, had had the opportunity to sack Pella, but had turned his army at the last moment and marched towards Eumolpias instead. Foolish. There was little room for such idiocy or mercy in warfare.

    They would be no match for the war band that Sparatocos had brought to sort with them. He gave a rough snort, and kicked his horse to a slow trot along a clear path down. It had been Rhescuporis who had killed Antigonos II. His presence here with the Spartan emissary had proven it. The man was a double agent, a traitor, and Sparatocos was here to eliminate him as well as the son of the warlord Biraco.

    The Spartan dignitary, no. He would be tortured of course. Father needed a way to get around Sparta’s defenses, and fast, before the north western theatre of war opened like a wound. But with the Peloponnessus secured, and Tylis on the warpath, the Illyrians would not be so brave. If he could capture Bardyllis, all the better.

    ‘How is she?’ Asked one of the soldiers, a Cetriporos, to his left.

    ‘Like a lioness. Exceptionally feline.’ Answered the young Sparatocos.
    ‘We have all been wondering.’ Said a mustached man further to the left, who was on foot.
    ‘She could lick the bronze off your armor, truth be told, Cersobleptes.’

    The boy, and he could not be called a proper man, had an unhinged tone, as if ever on the edge of going shrill. There was a unstable lilt to it, as if he was ever deciding to make for violence. Yet he didn’t. It was said that the times between battle were marathons for the boy, or fasting.

    ‘You won’t tell her I told you, will you Cersobleptes.’

    ‘Of course not Sparatocos.’
    ‘ Good, now be a good sir and run and tell the inn-keeper he’s harboring criminals.’

    ‘Yes.’ He made for a descent the same way Dentuscu, the war-maiden had been sent, but was halted by Sparatocos voice.
    ‘Pay him well.’ He threw a bag of silver. He didn’t have to say what for. He was going to burn the inn to the ground, as well as the entire town. He couldn’t pay all the witnesses, but an innkeeper, that was a man not to be trifled with or ignored.
    ‘Idle hands make the devil’s work.’ Or some equivalent muttered Sparatocos.

    ‘Ignite your torches and keep tight to me.’ He said aloud. The bodyguards began trotting with him.
    She moved like a cat even when she was killing thought Sparatocos as he watched Dentuscu throttle one of the unaware guards that had approached her on the side of a barn across a stream. Just a trickle of blood. Good no screams. Three kills would be a handsome trophy to bring Beithys, King of Macedon.

    ‘Now you won’t tell your older brother you’re about doing this, will you Sparatocos?’ Asked Diegylis, the son of Beithys.
    ‘If I told Diegylis, his next in line to our kingdom would be you, Diegylis.’
    ‘I am the heir to Pella.’ He laughed.

    ‘So you are.’ Answered Sparatocos.
    ‘Bardyllis flees on horse!’ Shouted Cetriporos.

    ‘He will alert his army. I still want the son of the King, Cunix. Commence the charge.’ He said quickly.

    They charged down through light snow and dirt arriving on the grass and mud and cobble of the town. The first man to be struck rushed at a horse and his head was butted back with a puff of brains and teeth. There were few cries of alert. This was, after-all Thracian territory and they were Thracian soldiers in Thracian garb.
    The two bodyguards of Cunix recognized him immediately while Cunix made an attempt to reach his horse. A javelin stuck to his leg. A few cries of panic now. They the torches were all heaved at once with a cry from Sparatocos.
    ‘Look who it is, the black sea, slit-eyed blonde bastard of the giant.’ Roared Cunix as he brandished his long-sword, backing into the home nearest to him, past bails. It was clear he had earned that sword.
    Crackling, crackling on every building in two more throws to the heavens. Crackling and embers from the building Cunix had entered.

    Sparatocos’ guard pushed a spear into the approaching guard’s side.
    The war-band dismounted and began their slaughter. Two guards beckoned Sparatocos if he wanted to partake as they entered the home where Cunix had fled.
    ‘Do you want to dismount?’ Asked Diegylis with a glint in his eyes as he slashed and hacked at some poor idiot who had taken up a stick.

    ‘No. And give him a sword to the heart. That was his father’s mistake.’ Answered Sparatocos. They looked at him in surprise, as his sinews looked as if they were straining from every instinct to impale them, themselves. He rode for the barn.
    His horse reared a bit as Dentuscu came into view.

    She outstretched the head of Rhescuporis before him. He took up the dead shrew’s head with a hand and attached it by a braid in a quick knot to his saddlebag.
    ‘You are relieved, domina.’ He sighed. He used the word somewhat sarcastically.
    ‘I overhead Bardyllis talking to one of his scouts. He’s going to meet us on the field by the river Pineios. We should leave, immediately.’

    ‘Good. I’ll not make the same mistake twice’ Sparatocos said, looking to Rhescuporis’ head narrowing his eyes.

    Dentuscu’s eyes went wide and she panicked, but he made no effort to attack her from horse back. She screamed and unsheathed her sword.
    He waved his hand to her, took off his visor, and smiled warmly.

    ‘I’ll explain the situation to Beithys and warn the men myself.’ He turned on his horse, and made to ride, but the horse nayed and wouldn't move. He wheeled to Dentuscu 'Oh alright.' Dentuscu ran to his side and planted a kiss on his visor, the lioness, kissing the lion. The horse agreeably started trotting. He rode hard in the direction of his waiting army near Larissa. The town, what was it’s name, burnt behind him.
    Dentuscu ran for the town square. She reached in and saw what looked to be twenty of the fallen. Many had tried to run. Some were still whining, begging, crying.

    ‘Show’s over boys.’ She shouted for all to hear, much to the relief of the dying, or those inside burning buildings.

    ‘Why, it’s just begun.’ Cetriporos marched with two of his soldiers slapping the backside of the captured Spartan dignitary.
    ‘Get him on horseback. I’ll stay and make sure no one’s crying when our army gets here.’
    Last edited by Lugotorix; November 03, 2015 at 01:12 AM.

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    Battle of the Pineios River

    How the Thracians typically do business, in a nut-shell.

    It is with my authority that you tear into this dark alliance’

    Those were the words Beithys had spoken personally to Sparatocos, and that was exactly what he and his two captains, the son of Beithys, Diegylis and the nobleman Cetriporos intended to do. They had acquired two regiments of Molossian dogs during their travels in Epirus, and they would be needed against the well guarded but lightly armored Ardaiei, known to be pirate, seafaring trading partners of the Latin master of Rome, that had taken up residence in the great Epirot city of Apollonia.

    He had spent the night before the meeting of the two armies, making love to his lioness, Dentuscu. He hadn’t spent himself of course, as he was well young, but not well an idiot. He would return to her of course, after the task at hand was finished.
    Perhaps Rome had a hand in the plot. It didn’t matter as Bardyllis tried to cross the river, here in spring. The interrogated Spartan had been very helpful, given the necessary plying, as to the Illyrian armies' capabilities. They had an advantage of about four hundred men. This didn't bother Sparatocos. He had loaded the dice. Much like his men, the Illyrians were lightly armored, and he intended to exploit that to the utmost.

    Sparatocos had taken first blood, and captured the Spartan agent who was being interrogated, Bardyllis would have considered even the action a grave offense, and Sparatocos had made it more stinging by ordering the honeyed head of Rhescuporis brought to him, after it was presented before Beithys.

    Unleash the Hounds!

    The mastiffs were commanded forward to start the bloody affair, the first major engagement of Sparatocos career in doing what was expected of him for any part in the laurels. The dogs had been trained to tear mens throats out. Thracian helms had the ideal padding for such an encounter, Illyrians did not. One Illyrian took a javelin to the chest and they saw a happy puppy coming to make friends with him. Not an amusing last thought, mused Sparatocos. He gritted his teeth behind the lion's gaze and prepared for battle, a real battle. His legs buckled a bit, but once he was moving he found his stride, and whacked an Illyrian so hard on the shoulder with his Rhomphaia it nearly doubled the length of his arm. He had ruined his leather buckler with gore, it would have to be replaced.

    'They just want to make friends, you pansies!'

    The hounds crashed against the spearman as they neared a ford, and began to weaken their morale. Sparatocos ordered his men forward and began the wailing of the war chant, and then blowing on his hunter’s horn.

    Few Illyrians even made it into the shallow water. They were devastated first by Peltasts that took position in files before the river, and then by a frenzied charge of Thracian warriors, all well outfitted and carrying Rhomphaia. The dogs tore at the legs of the horses as the Illyrian cavalry made an effort to disengage from the long piercing and curvical blades.

    These Illyrians broke quickly, Sparatocos noted, but he needed Bardyllis, the prince involved in the pact, to die. This was the King of the threatened land’s wish, and his father’s wish.

    Rather than risking his escape, Sparatocos saw to that matter personally. He ordered a band of Thracian nobles to attack the general’s mounted troops.

    The Illyrian commander escaped this encounter!

    Another noble head for Sparatocos' saddle-bag, and another warm night of youth with his agent and lover were his reward. Cetriporos let out a whoop of joy and the men began rattling their bucklers and chanting victory songs. The goat-skin bagpipes wheedled loudly. Cetriporos looked at his boy commander with a bit of admiration. 'You've killed more men than I have at your age, and you could be eating grapes right now.' He gave him a pats on the back, and then looked perturbed to the sticky blood on his hand.

    Last edited by Lugotorix; November 03, 2015 at 12:44 AM.

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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated Aug.1

    Succession and - I, Sparatocos

    256 B.C.

    Plague had broken out in Antheia on the Gallipoli, center of the marauding allies of Tylis. It spread to Thrace like wildfire, and then into Pella and Athens. It was a pox. Bathing as Romans did was no help, it only sloughed off the skin on the legions, which became infected. Legs and limbs were lost, and even the revenue from the brothels decreased.

    There were other concerns as well, bankruptcy had persisted for five years. The mercenaries in Odrysia’s service would find other masters that paid better, or join the roiling menace of Hellenic rebellion, should the conditions continue, most of them Hellenic Thureos spears guarding vast cities themselves, that were full of discontent.

    The conditions in the Odrysian Kingdom were that of how civil wars start. And already the perfect malefactor had arisen in a the ambitious great deceiver, as despicably false as any Roman, Clan Chief, King of Macedon Beithys. He was a cruel slaver that brought most of his captives to serve him in Pella, and anger was rising amongst them as well.

    As any warlord, feared and respected even by his enemies, the peoples he subjugated now formed vast populaces in his own great city of commerce.
    The Triballi led two failed assaults against Eumolpias, once actually breaching the gates with the majority of their army, before being confronted in the city square in a pincer attack of a siege that would decide the fate of Thrace!

    Thracian cavalry might as well be harpies with their speed and accuracy.

    Thracian warriors meet the enemy in the City Plaza.

    The mercenary Thracian cavalry crushes the surviving pincushion spearmen!

    And that, my son, is why you must accompany him to subdue the Triballi.’ The letter to Diegylis said.

    I am beyond my years, and the Spartans of Damoetas besiege my palace here in Athens every two years, five, going into six of them with our coffers completely exhausted. Our hoplites, Lykourgos the Tarantine himself if he is not granted his estate in Apollonia, the armored men of our armies, will join the Spartans if they are not paid. And to pay them, we need provincial control over all of Thrace for an edict.

    To do that, we need the Thracian province of Moesia. And it is in the vile hands of King Biraco. You did well in repelling the Sons of Smertrios from the walls of Eumolpias, but if our dynasty is to continue You must appear strong in this struggle against them, alongside Beithys and his son Diegylis. You must increase in status and rank Diegylis. Our dear cousin, Rhascus will aid you in this task, but whether by the pox or a Spartan spear, I will not last two more years. Athens will not fall, it has become too loyal, but it’s defenders will, and I am one of them, initiated to be King by the old ways, the ways of battle, the ways of Kotys, Artemis, and that is how I intend to die. Who will oppose this man who would be King of Thrace? Seventeen year old Sparatocos? No, it shall be you, and Rhascus.

    His words could not be misunderstood. When the men had replenished in Eumolpias, now a proper Thracian city, Diegylis led the march into the Triballi’s lands alongside Beithys’ son. He caught them in a forest ambush, rushing to meet him once again, and killed the pig-headed King Biraco. Reinforced by Beithys, and that was the redeeming factor, he sacked Navissos, killed all of the Celt warriors within the city, and all of Thrace was united under a friendly banner.

    The Triballi, for their incompetence and for standing against might, were confined to the annals of history.

    255 B.C.
    Larissa, capital of Thessaly

    Olorus was disturbed by Sparatocos and Dentuscu’s words. The boy spoke of prolonging a conflict that had not yet come, in fact may never come, so that the heir to the dying King Raizdos would be needed more than ever by his subjects, and his greatest detractor would be embarrassed and denied the capital of his own kingdom, also aiding the war effort at once.

    ‘They’re fools for being old men? Then educate an old man.’

    ‘You and my lioness say I will cause deaths, yet I will not. These slaves in Pella, being Greeks, they will keep to the city, a bit of Hellenic revivalism, and never venture from it’s walls. Beithys will be unseated, and will lose influence from being supplanted from Macedon. This will buy my half brother time to consolidate the line of Seuthes III, and keep power from Beithys as we make gains against the Illyrians.’

    ‘Yet you would instigate a rebellion. Such is treason.’ Answered Olorus.

    ‘Beithys will instigate his own damned rebellion with his whips and womanizing, I’ll just give more weapons to the Pellonokoi to defend themselves. If those weapons fall into the hands of slaves. Well fortune favors the line of Teres and not the Warlord Beithys and the slaves will be culled. Theoretically speaking.’

    ‘And who will crush this rebellion and re-take the most powerful city on the Mediterranean.’

    ‘Diegylis, Rhascus, and I, of course, in theory.’ Sparatocos took a swig from his Thracian drinking horn, it was ornate gold with a basin carved into the likeness of a regal stag. The wine had put him in a sweet tizzy.
    ‘You are a modern man. An idiot boy who will get himself killed by great Beithys. But a modern minded man.’ Answered Olorus.
    They laughed.

    ‘ Only an idiot would marry such a fierce woman as Dentuscu, Ctistae.’
    ‘Yet in the eyes of the gods and the Sabazios it is so. Mayhaps she’ll protect you.’ Said Olorus.

    Last edited by Lugotorix; November 03, 2015 at 12:59 AM.

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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated Aug.2

    Chapter III: Part 2 – Ending of Act I
    The Death of the King Raizdos Ephialtes

    The sieges go on, with no coin to pay for hired muscle.

    From the vantage point of the windswept walls of Athens, the Spartans below were like red ants, the most painful. He wheezed a bit of phlegm as the ladders neared. His Peltasts let out war cries and loosed once more. An arrow caught one of the Peltastoi, Cretan by the look of the accuracy. Damoetas was becoming more resourceful. The Royal Spartans were easy to spot, taking their time in their approach, some javelins clanging dully off their heavy armor.

    Their javelins darted in spiraling blurs, bolts of Bendis’ precision. The choking, the acrid smoke, Athens’ walls were burning. Better than offal, decay and excrement indeed. The low tide here in Athens was better than this.

    Far on the horizon were the pikes, Spartan pikes, and upon them the heads of just about every Greek that had tried to take the dread city. It was a ghost town. Boarded up. A city of orphans. Five of the last combatants Raizdos had killed were from a pack of wild dogs. He didn’t greet death but knew what would come after it, just darkness, sleep, and serenity, free from the rat-droppings and their squealing in the boards above his ‘Palace chambers.’

    He coughed raggedly. The sewage hadn’t been working in what seemed like months and there were no words for the putridity mixed with the scent of death that rose, wafted, all the way up here to the walls, but still on the walls, air was clearer and he could breathe a bit easier than when he was in his musty study. Infested didn’t begin to describe the collection that had been festering from his pen, writs, titles, legacies and wills.

    The Kingdom would go to his eldest living son Diegylis. Rhascus, no doubt cradling himself like a babe at the moment in the palace, would act as an intermediary between Pella and Seuthopolis. As for Sparatocos, he was two-faced, at once the bandit and at once the vigilante, and at once the prince, but he was tall, like his father, and had gathered many of his traits and virtues, not least intelligence, but anyone who fancied themselves a lion, was not a fearsome war chief. He would always be his youngest son, and he loved him. The last letters he had read had indicated that King Biraco was slain, killed in an ambush. At least the mute Gallic bastard had given him some satisfaction, on this, what might be his last day in Greece.

    Greece was still beautiful, but the city was no longer. Buildings had crumbled, the only folk the gangs and mobs were angrier with than the garrison were the Spartans for making life so bleak and miserable.
    He blew on a great horn, which echoed with similar ones across the city. The bagpipes played in careening dirges. As he shouted these words, which were repeated: 'Summon Rhascus to the defenses'.

    The first ladder made contact with the wall with a booming crash of wood upon brick. The first man to raise his head had it cleaved off cleanly by Raizdos’ axe.

    Yah! Thracians, nobles, Odrysians, let’s make these stout and sturdy boy-lovers a bit shorter. I’m off to kill a King, by my word!’ He shouted. Several other ladders crashed into the walls, and there was a smoldering battering ram below at the gates. He knew which ladder was Damoetas. If he had one final wish before leaving, and the pox could take him at 67 on any given day, it was to slay the Spartan King and leave the city leaderless.
    To end the line of Craterus.
    The Royal Spartan were already piling up upon the walls. Most excellent, he gave a devilish grin through his spidery scars, and his eyes rolled back into his head as the red mist fell upon him.

    He began dancing with the Royal Spartans. The death dance. His axe cleaved through spear halves, clove spears in half. The executioners axe was brought down on shoulders of three climbing men here, a steady one there, cut nearly in half.

    The executioners axe was lodged in the ribs and spine of the man. He wrenched it free with a bloody tug that caused a hacking grunt of exertion.

    The first spear popped to his armor in a crack. Sparks joined the embers around the giant King as he swung his axe over his shoulder from a sling and punched the offending man in the face with his buckler. Then into a tackle, he stabbed into the throat with the spike attached to his buckler. A Spartan swung franticly on the giant’s back with a salphinx, before Raizdos whirled and punched his buckler through the man’s eye and nose. Un-swinging his axe he clove off this one's leg, leaving a stump at the knee. A volley of Cretan fire arrows sailed over the palisade striking Spartan and Thracian alike.

    One of the arrows caught Raizdos in the side of his bronze cuirass. With his cape still smoldering, he marched to the ladder, back-handing anyone who got in his way, loyal or not, and planted the flaming arrow on upper two rungs of the ladder.
    ‘Towers! Fire upon this ladder, and bring a summolt of pain upon their King .’ Was what some thought Raizdos last words were to be before Lykourgos’ mens javelins were launched from the courtyard and one caught Raizdos in the shoulder, just missing his neck. ‘Surrender!’ ‘Surrender!’ Lykourgos shouted. Rhascus was not far behind and took pursuit of Lykourgos on horseback as he fled to the seaside entrance to the city on his horse.

    ‘ Fight for your lives, Odrysians, they will show mercy only to oath-breakers and their families are forfeit! By order, by order of the King, long may he reign.’
    Bellowed Rhascus, stamping, kicking up flecks and daubs, in a charge across the cityscape.

    The Spartans overcame Raizdos by numbers kicking the howling giant to the ground, where they unsheathed their short swords and began hacking at his arms that flailing up in protest. He bashed several of their heads back, pulling others into his buckler, kicking, howling. Blood sprayed about wildly from severed fingers, and a few of the wiser Spartan began piercing the fallen titan, the grizzled bear, the tree, with their spears.

    The King is dead!!!!
    The planted arrow ignited well, as did the concentrated fire from the towers on Raizdos command. Soon the entire ladder was ablaze and it crumbled. Directly on Damoeta’s cursed head.

    The assault on Athens had failed. As the last Spartans fell to desperate Peltasts, stabbing with short swords, they came upon the remains of the King. He was un-recognizable, not even by the many scar he had labored before. An Orphidian eulogy was in order. What who would give it, now and here.

    Sabazios incarnate!
    Last edited by Lugotorix; November 03, 2015 at 01:01 AM.

  12. #12
    Lugotorix's Avatar non flectis non mutant
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated Aug.2


    They had gathered to commemorate his tomb in Seuthopolis and pay their respects. Surviving nobles from the sieges, all of the heirs of the kingdom, conspicuously absent Beithys, but present with their heads bowed, all of the younger generation. Rhascus held the torch, as was his honorary obligation, noticed from the notes and logs in Raizdos' study. The ashes of the pall disfigured remains of the King would be placed in an urn, himself turned to relics to show his greatness, and his tomb the most magnificently adorned in all of the Balkans. His wives wept and the torch bearers surrounded his bier. Dentuscu began to sing a mournful, morose song of warning to those who would threaten Odrysia

    King Raizdos

    I tell you of the Goliath son of Sabazios and Cotys, Roigos

    Whose marrow The slick drowning rain of Gebelzelmys could not content

    Whom the Greeks called nightmare before they took their posts

    With dead white eyes, their carrion buried and composed

    On their shields they eighth returned, riddled with bolts

    Of the Thrakian hooded darting men

    Oh, mothers would lament

    No brothers would consent

    To meet the pale, bale man, with a face of spider-webs

    Fore in the Pindas and Rhodopes also, is a Lion’s den

    And where he dwells you’re dead and red, and never gone or been
    So do not traipse- Romans and Galatians
    For the nightmare that leaves your bed

    Of the Thrakian hooded darting men

    Or the devotee of Kotys, that giant blood panged Tyrant

    The singer, Dentuscu finished her song, a bard's song, in the Thracian language and tradition, with accompanying Zhamfir bagpipes. The ring of men paying tribute threw their torches to send Raizdos into the next life.
    Last edited by Lugotorix; November 02, 2015 at 08:36 PM.

  13. #13
    Scottish King's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated Aug.2

    Did ye come up with that song yourself? Great story you have here! The fate of Raizdos kingdom I feel is still not secure. Hopefully if doesn't devolve into civil war... + rep
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  14. #14
    Lugotorix's Avatar non flectis non mutant
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated Aug.2

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottish King View Post
    Did ye come up with that song yourself? Great story you have here! The fate of Raizdos kingdom I feel is still not secure. Hopefully if doesn't devolve into civil war... + rep
    Thanks. You would fear right- Sort of. Writing the introduction to the second act now. I just installed Sedibee's Balkan Roster expansion mod, and it's save game compatible so from about 84 turns in, it's going to be with much more diverse units to represent in the battles. Kind of a Marian Reform type change that I'll write into the story. I'm thrilled about seeing this through to the end, now.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated Aug.2

    Act II: The Troublesome Times of The Two Kings
    Chapter IV: The Clan War between Beithys and Diegylis

    Diegylis had returned to his tent after greeting each and every of the funeral attendees at the feast, that had lasted a week. He was spent, and he ate some bread and olives, and washed it down with some wine from a jug. He had his coronation to look forward to, but before than, the bothersome business of assuring his namesake, the son of Beithys, the Prince of Pella, Diegylis of his claims. He would make the meeting short, the epitome of a ‘yes’ man, now as he was King of Odrysia. No doubt Diegylis would make some excuse or another about his father’s more pressing concerns in fighting the remaining Spartan resistance for his absence at the feast ceremonies.

    The entire room glittered. If not from silver wreaths on the entrance to the tent by candle-light, than the trove of gold, gifts from the funeral, they were all horded here. He would give each and every to his men for their continuing loyalty, he thought, what need had a King, a true warlord, of gold? His black, matted hair, dandruff and maggots all, suited him better than any laurel. His father was dead, he thought melancholy, then to the all the times had had beaten him as a boy.

    Every silver lining had a touch of gray. The situation with the rebellion in Epirus, for example. The death of Raizdos had created enough anarchy to revitalize the Epirot loyalists against both King Aplis of Illyria and Thracian forces in the area.

    Soon the new Epirot king Demetrius would be begging for a defensive alliance, lush trade in the Adriatic, all would be granted.

    More important was the time would have to enjoy reading, far from the warrior’s pursuit which was expected as a son, but not as King, education as his father had maintained. He was semi-illiterate, but improving, his father had seen to that.
    Beithys would try to kill him at some point, Diegylis bitterly resolved, the older, more accomplished man always did, but he attributed that to the wine and mushrooms he had been splurging on. And who could forget the dancers. He was still stained with seed.

    So this was the golden Sica of the King. His hand stirred on the sheath, just as Diegylis, Prince of Macedon entered the tent. The music still played. What was curious was that Cersobleptes the Boar, an intelligence man, was at his side.
    ‘Prince Diegylis of Macedon. I am honored, my thanks for attending the King’s funeral ceremonies. Take a seat on that sedan’

    ‘ Hail, Prince Diegylis. I will stand, if you don’t mind.’ Interesting. Insubordination already. Must he refer to he the King as Prince?

    ‘That’s King Diegylis to you!’ He jested in a drunken outburst. No-one, including Cersobleptes, was laughing.

    ‘I have come for your assurances of my rights of ascendancy.’ Diegylis said coldly.

    ‘What’s that? Coldness in your voice. Well, it is a cold night. Snow has fallen already.’ He smiled thinly.

    ‘ Enjoy this Yule night. There will be a time and place after my coronation, worry not. Now please explain to me your fathers disrespect by not attending and honoring King Raizdos, my father.’
    ‘Fighting for the Kingdom on the Peloponnesus while you drink and whore.’ The Prince said to the side of his head, to the Boar. Diegylis’ eyes went wide.

    ‘ Yes, you heard me, and I’ll want them in writing now.’

    Cersobleptes strode to a place behind the bronze throne that Diegylis sat on, golden crafts, vessels, trinkets, and necklaces lay on the table in front of him. And papers.
    Diegylis the King was taken aback at how he should respond. There was ice in this boy, this friend of the vigilante Sparatocos’ voice, but insubordination, was insubordination. He knew at once what to do.

    ‘Why is the Boar here?’ He smiled broadly.
    ‘To stand as a witness to my rights. You must not have heard. Great Beithys has sacked Sparta. Burned it to the ground and taken anything of value.’ His counterpart, the Prince of Macedon said edgily.

    ‘Surely there must be someone here. But why not Olorus. Or Geldas, or Hebryzelmis, my kin? ‘ He urged. Smiling, and pouring a goblet for the Prince.
    The Prince of Macedon kept his silence with a grimace. There was a hint of anger in his eyes. Diegylis looked to his hand, it was forming a fist.

    ‘That’s right, Prince of Macedon.’ The King stood at once. He unsheathed his golden Sica, the heirloom, and before the Boar could protest or block with a hand, his throat had been torn. He collapsed on the table of golden gifts with a tinkling slough, the table weighed under the weight of the fat corpse.
    ‘Guts to your rights, and guts to you, should you approach me Prince. I am King, not you. Who would you think you are, to order a rogue to my quarters. Yes, ye goat, Macedon will go to Diegylis, son of Beithys when he keels and you kneel, but not Thrace, this I swear.’
    The Prince of Macedon trembled for a bit, then unsheathed his short sword, backing away from the tent.
    ‘You are beside yourself and quite drunk, my King. I will press to what is mine at a different time.’ He laughed a bit, and then quickly made his exit. Guards blocked this with spears in a cross.
    ‘Oh, let this whelp scurry away. We must leave now, as well. The air is quite foul in here already.’

    The spears parted. The Prince hushed himself and left into the snowy night.
    ‘Chief of Guard, Geldas, Gebryzelmis, one more thing. Just a moment.’

    He knelt, and reached into the bag at the waist of the dying Cersobleptes. A garrote string, that resembled the silver string of a lyre, with two hooks on either end.
    ‘Yes, I have my possessions.’ Diegylis said urgently. He roughly severed the back of the Boar’s neck.
    He marched as quickly as he could for the exit of the tent. Before they knew what was upon them, he had stabbed both guards through the heart.

    He sprinted for the nearest horse and found it’s horn. He blew as loudly as he could. ‘ A coup! A bloody coup! To me, to your King! As many nobles as we can muster, we must ride from this funeral, and quickly! The traitor Prince of Macedon will move on us tonight!’ He bellowed.

    The nobles who rallied to King Diegylis were ambushed by a sizable force outside of the camp near Seuthopolis in the Valley of Roses. Over one hundred dead, Thracian against Thracian.

    Many riders lost their lives, but they managed to break through and escape to Odessos.

    The King gets his hands dirty! He had always loved a fight. Seen here without his helm. He had been injured, his arm nearly torn off!

    The Kingdom was in an uproar. How would it ever settle, after this!


    Last edited by Lugotorix; August 03, 2014 at 07:03 PM.

  16. #16
    Stívarđr Reynitré's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated Aug.3

    Detailed, engaging and full of intrigue - this is a wonderful AAR so far and I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up to speed with it. The depth you give your events is startling and I love the way that you have presented this alongside some really illustrative screenshots that perfectly capture and add to the narrative sequence.

    I will most certainly be subscribing to this and following as this tale unravels.

    It will be very interesting to see what happens next!

    Your characters are people that have really big personalities and it is exciting to think how they might clash and interact at some points in the future.

    Well crafted!

    (Not that I am the voice of knowledge!)

  17. #17
    Lugotorix's Avatar non flectis non mutant
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated Aug.3

    Quote Originally Posted by esaciar View Post
    Detailed, engaging and full of intrigue - this is a wonderful AAR so far and I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up to speed with it. The depth you give your events is startling and I love the way that you have presented this alongside some really illustrative screenshots that perfectly capture and add to the narrative sequence.

    I will most certainly be subscribing to this and following as this tale unravels.

    It will be very interesting to see what happens next!

    Your characters are people that have really big personalities and it is exciting to think how they might clash and interact at some points in the future.

    Well crafted!

    (Not that I am the voice of knowledge!)
    Thanks so much, man! Those are huge compliments. The next chapters will be interesting, and your encouragement is motivation to make them the best I'm able and act as a director for further depth. This is going to be the longest running AAR I've ever done.

  18. #18
    Lugotorix's Avatar non flectis non mutant
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated Aug.3

    Mob Justice

    PELLA 248 B.C.

    By 248 B.C. The invasion from the north of Ardaiei lands was about to commence, led by the re-cooperating King and his cousin Hebryzelmis. Sparatocos, brother of the king made ready to defeat the Illyrians in the south, so that they would have no where to retreat.

    Sparatocos sat with Olorus the gray bearded Ctistae at the gray marble table on the third story of the governor’s palace in Pella.

    He dared not eat a thing, not a shred. Friendship, good times, boyhood games, like the time they had kicked an inflated angus’ bladder through the boughs of a tree, these things were distant memories. Brothers were brothers, and this Prince of Macedon had a vision of Odrysia without the heirs of the house of Teres II in it. When mettle came to mettle, the girls they had bedded, bedded together, the wrongs they had righted, and the wine they had drank and spillt, danced and laughed, family mattered now, and the Great King Raizdos’ wishes for the future of his kingdom.

    The back door is sealed.

    He had just returned from council with the High King of the Illyrian Daorsi, while on campaign in Epidamnos, the more powerful neighbors of the pirate Ardaiei. Their capital was at the walled stronghold of Delminium, taken from the Delmatae in years past, and Antiphus, the High King had just agreed to a non aggression pact on King Diegylis’ behalf. This would make the trek through Eprius and Epidamnos in Illyria much safer, with bought allies at their backs, and the people of King Demetrius welcoming him as a hero.

    There had been much ado about Bardyllis, that thorn in the Lion’s side, marching on Larissa and Thessaloniki, and so he was here, at least in the formalities of Olorus’ letters to assure his friend, Diegylis, Prince of Macedon, that such a seizure would never be allowed to happen.

    He had met with the rebels outside of Pella first of course. Corinthians, Macedonians, Slaves, Thessalians and other malcontents. It had been declared a slave rebellion, at once encouraged by the common Greeks of the land, with the Macedonians in one camp to the south, and the Slaves in a much larger and more equipped group of regiments in the hills outside of the city. Equipped and outfitted by Sparatocos, just as his youthful fantasy to Olorus, so it was ironic that he was sitting with the elder scribe now, as the plan came to fruition.

    After the sack of Sparta, Craterus II, who could not be called King after the fall, had driven Beithys back to Athens, which was vacant of a governor since the death of King Raizdos. The attempt on Diegylis’ life had been followed by assurances from Beithys that he had nothing to do with it, or the following skirmishes. Disbelieved by the King of course. There were now two Kings of Odrysia, divided into two Kingdoms, Macedon and Thrace, Beithys and Diegylis, and the only thing from biting at each-other was the threat of the Macedonians and Spartans to the south, and this meeting, upon the dreadful, bloody war-torn region of Thessaly. So Spartatocos was here to assure Diegylis, his young friend, that when he rejoined Rhascus campaigning in Epidamnos, The Prince of Macedon’s claim would be secure over the city, indeed he suspected that his old friend had hoped, that Beithys would soon be the new King. Sparatocos had an army to ensure that, and it would do business with the army of the rebels, so Olorus had promised.

    To gain access to this region, that hosted so many armies of different flags, Olorus had threatened Bardyllis himself with destruction , should he attempt to intervene, this, in truth, saving the Prince of Macedon part of his dominion. Such promises were made, and Olorus only had to show the fates of the governors of the lands around Epidamnos to force Bardyllis into a steady retreat at first. Such threats were based on the combined armies of the Prince of Macedon and Sparatocos, and that, spurted Sparatocos from some water in his flask, as if it was a joke, was a hollow threat.

    You can't fight us together, although I'll be alone.

    Such purposes were why he was here, the Lion folded his hands on the table, in the room surrounded by guards loyal to both, but at war with each-other in all but decree.
    By the gods, he was here to flog that whettling of Beithys for his insolence to his half-brother, but he said nothing of that in his letter of invitation.
    ‘Ah, my guests.’ Said the Prince, walking into the room with his guards, mercenary veteran hoplites, well armored and well trained.

    ‘Have you made parlay with the rebels?’ Asked the Prince to Olorus. He was eager, too wanting, this made Sparatocos all too the more confident in his decision. That sour guilt of wanting to get on with things, change the subject.
    ‘I’m afraid they would not listen, as you are beleaguered. We threatened, ahem, the rebels, but their war-chief would hear none of it.’ He clasped his hands and then pointed a finger at Diegylis.

    ‘Yes, we are more beleaguered than you know, Olorus.’ Said Diegylis grimly. He looked outside the great window of the palace where the mid-day sun shone in with rays.
    ‘What of the King’s vengeance, the King’s pressure?’ Motioned Sparatocos. Well, I might as well ask him, he thought to himself.

    ‘He can delude himself only to the point in which he strikes upon me. Then we will show him the power of true brothers.’ Said the Prince a bit un-nerved, sweating, looking desperately to Sparatocos. He held out his hand. Sparatocos swatted it away.
    ‘You tried to kill him didn’t you? Though I swear it, that if my half-brother attacks you, I shall defend you.’ Said Sparatocos quietly.

    ‘And what then. What if it comes to that. Would you support my the claim of a Prince of Macedon after this mess on your way in is sorted out?’
    ‘Surely, my friend. I support the notion of such a Prince of Macedon. But the King Beithys will never be in the position to betray us.’
    ‘As you say.’ Diegylis smiled eagerly, that nervous wheedle, and poured wine for the two of them.

    ‘ I will not be drinking. We will entrench around and fortify the city, as Olorus has promised. And in proper time we will meet the Macedonian rebels.’

    Later that day, as the sun set, and the day was winding down, so that the lights of the city upon the sea could almost be seen, there, far in the hills, not very far from the marching rebel army, Sparatocos was indeed entrenched. The autumn trees opened up on a glade, and within that glade were Olorus, and maidens clothed in white, and there, the one emissary of the rebels, Andradios, who spoke quickly to Olorus and said that after the ceremony, that their army should depart from Thessaly, and rush to confront the Ardaiei if that was their intent. The devotee maidens placed a wreath upon Sparatocos head, bowed, and walked away in procession. Flutes puffed soothingly amid the glade, where a ring of stones with amphorae and urns had been placed. A bull was marched into the center of the ring of attendants, as Sparatocos reclined to a wicker chair and set his eyes on the bull.

    ‘By order of King Diegylis, and for before all the gods, this Sparatocos, third in line after Rhascus the Fertile, to the throne of Teres and Seuthopolis and Odrysia, is now named the King of Macedon. Before Sabazios, damned be the name of the usurper Beithys.’
    In Pella, down from the hills, the watchmen did as they had been paid to do. The lights at each tower could be seen blinking out, in a great ring around Pella, and the gates creaked open. Alarms had not sounded, but the rebel army could be heard marching towards the city from their position.

    Sparatocos, through the slits of his lion mask, kept his thin, heavily lidded eyes, on the bull. Dentuscu wielded the cleaver. And the next, and the next. This night if any, he had never been more in love with her.

    The new King of Macedon

    He fell, as so many proud young men in the flower of his time, died, in your wisdom, Kotys, you took him as you took so many bright young individuals....
    Last edited by Lugotorix; August 08, 2014 at 11:49 PM.

  19. #19
    Lugotorix's Avatar non flectis non mutant
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    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated Aug.8

    The Lion and The Roman Invasion

    He fought like a man possessed against the Illyrians, like a demon, some wild effigy of Pan, giving up offerings to Kotys with every slash, railing at the Gods every time he was touched or nicked in the melee, particularly for the cruel fate that had befallen his half-brother. Death by the lash until his back was broken and then beheading, it was said. Such things put curls into a mane. Behind the Lion’s mask was now a creature as fierce as outward appearances would indicate, with none of the vulnerability that had marked his youth. He showed it in liaisons, he showed it in treaty, and he made no effort to hide it now, as he cut his crimson way towards Bardyllis, with his dread guard. Even his trusted friends King Demetrius and Cetriporos now feared and mistrusted him, and for good reason. He was more of a beast now, and the only humility he had been taught, was that which he would have to overcome, through test and starch, stark battle.

    The time of troubles between the two kings was over, but the trouble was not, indeed that was the meaning of the word 'Thracian' and the meaning of Sparatocos, and he had become it, another headache and terror to give Beithys tremors in his sleep. He would strive mightily to become worthy of the throne and wreath that had forsaken him. If the rumors were true, that the Roman fleet was sailing, all the better. These men Barba and Verres, would make excellent training for his troops. They had good training and were hard to kill. He wished it was the same with these as his warriors closed in on Bardyllis' horse-band, already caught into the fray by Illyrian mercenaries. He needed a professional army to hone his cunning and increasingly violent ways on. An army to abuse.

    Bardyllis is killed by his own people, mercenaries on horse-back!

    The fortifications of Larissa will hold!!!!

    King Diegylis, half-brother of Sparatocos has been slain by the Slave rebellion!



    SPARATOCOS, The Lion

    The nobles in Seuthopolis would not ascent to his claim as High King. He had been King of Macedon for merely five years, of a vacant by default title. His half-brother was dead, unable to escape from the town of Navissos when it was sacked by rampaging slaves, his word, his order voided.

    The burden of the blame weighed down on Sparatocos. If not particularly emboldened by the success of the rebels in Pella, they may never have revolted in Thrace proper and pillage Navissos, beheading it’s King, the one King.

    It would appear there are two lions here.

    Despite his victory over Bardyllis in liberating Larissa and Thessaly he felt hollow and outmatched. Diegylis had given birth to a son, Diegylis, and Sadalas through his marriage to the House of Teres, a son Sadalas. Both his elder cousin Rhascus and Hebryzelmis were slain in battle with the Ardaiei, and now it was Rhascus II who sat as heir to the throne of the King of Thrace, after Sparatocos. Without an heir, the line of true sons would be broken, and who would give it to him, a Spartan of a woman in Dentuscu?

    He had always planned on someone else continuing the legacy, and now that someone else was slain in battle, Rhascus killed by Bardyllis. The royal house dwindled thin and with it, the claim of his house. He was not only out-matched by the force that marched north to liberate Pella, along with the other noblemen from Thrace, he was also outranked. Most favored Beithys as a more experienced and stronger general.

    According to tradition, if a greater warlord existed who did not honor the crown, he would be honored as King. And so he was, thought Sparatocos, as King of Macedon yet again. In his late fifties, there was a possibility he would fall to frailty or plague, but no, not a man of Beithys’ stature. Sparatocos had been disinherited from the crown, and given the stature of King of Thrace. A King of Thrace, that marched south to conquer Sparta, as the King of Macedon marched north to reclaim his lands, to avenge against his son's killers.

    The witnesses to Sparatocos part in this were dead of course, with Olorus dying of old age two years past.
    During those five long years, the armies of the two men had remained opposed, but Beithys’ Followers of Kotys remained so elusive that battle never came between them. Beithys had taken bloody revenge for the death of his son of course. He sent assassins to murder the son of Rhascus who he held accountable for the plot, as at the time, he was closer to the throne than Sparatocos. The assassins had not only failed, but killed Rhascus’ wife in the process, which sated Beithys’ vendetta for a time. Such minor, clandestine offenses were the way of the clan war, and Sparatocos had always remained immune to them, as a paranoid man, with a sixth sense for the plots of others, and with Beithys developing a reputation in Seuthopolis as a two faced puppeteer. Of course, the same was being said of Sparatocos, in Athens, but he remained un-blemished.

    Not until the dark day of Diegylis’ death. And now it had come to this, upon Diegylis’ last orders, to bribe the Daorsi king Antiphus into peace along the northern border, while the Kingdom or Odrysia would survive. Every year, the King of Thrace paid tribute to the Illyrians, and every year the kingdom became less fragile and more cohesive. But this, at the expense of Sparatocos’ stature.

    In 239, the council at Seuthopolis had concluded that the two kings would share power equally, contrary to popular wisdom that there should be one king. Beithys would retake his position as King of Macedon with the recapture of Pella, and furthermore Macedonian rebels in the area, both Diegylis and Sparatocos’ allies, would be destroyed. Sparatocos had not surrendered his claim entirely of course. He planned to both outlast and out-maneuver the old man, even as both were known as strategists. His alliance with Demetrius, king of Epirus was a valuable investment, one he hoped would grow into a powerful counterbalance to Beithys’ reputation as a warlord.

    The Epirot armies crushed a secondary slave rebellion that had overtaken Epidamnos, and had good relations with the Daorsi whom they shared a border with.

    What was a lion, without cunning? He also intended to achieve what Beithys could not, the subjugation of the Spartan people. And in this, he was successful. Contrary to the orders of the council, the King of Thrace had marched south and killed Craterus II and all of his men in Sparta. He occupied the city. A taunt to Beithys, who had previously sacked it, and waited with his army to the north, fearful of the Spartan garrison.

    He had also invested heavily in the outfitting of a Corniculari in every regiment of Thracian troops, a technological achievement taken from the tactics of the Romans and Celtic Nori.

    He also focused on diplomatic strengths, commissioning the most practical and polities of all, ordering his dignitaries to always be calm under duress, turn the other cheek, and never bring trophies to the dinner table.

    His capable and trusted lieutenants the noblemen Cetriporos and Amatokos had rushed into Navissos and crushed the slave rebellion with Epirot aid in the following years. Attrition had taken a heavy toll, as well as the Thracian winters away from the hearth.

    However in 232, he receiving disconcerting news when he learned that Apollonia and Epidamnos had fell to the Roman navy, harboring the Legio Augusta and Geminae, under L. Blandius Barba and Sullustius Verres. Demetrius took safe haven in Larissa while awaiting the approaching Roman storm that marched on Navissos as well! Furthermore- the throne of Tylis had been lost fighting Pergamon, and Antheia descended into anarchy.


    NEXT- At Court With King Demetrius

    Last edited by Lugotorix; September 14, 2014 at 08:25 PM.

  20. #20
    Stívarđr Reynitré's Avatar Domesticus
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Here and There

    Default Re: The Black-Hearted Lords of Thrace: An Odrysian Kingdom AAR: Updated Aug.9

    Some fantastic work going on here, really good stuff.

    The measured and analytical way in which you are approaching this is really adding depth to the intrigue that was already exuding from the storyline. It's a real pleasure to read each update and I'm excited each time I see one in the subscription page.

    Keep it going!

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