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Thread: The Spear of Achilles

  1. #1

    Default The Spear of Achilles

    Around 265BC Philhetairos, a highly influential member of the Attalid Dynasty, was tasked with governing the coastal poleis of Side. It was hoped that his outstanding speaking skills and keen eye for politics will, over the course of decades, convince the partially hellenized population of Pamphylia to upgrade the city of Side into a true poleis akin to the likes of Thermon and Sparta. For a decade, this plan worked well, even sped up by the distribution of land to Kretan mercenaries.

    One day however, an excavation project in the outskirts of the city unearthed an exciting find: a spear purportedly belonging to the legendary Achilles. Philhetairos promptly claimed the spear for the Attalid Dynasty, and made plans to escort the spear to Pergamon to be immortalized in the Great Library of Pergamon. At the last minute, he decided to accompany the escort, and ceremoniously performed the change of hands, which was briefly holding and thrusting the Spear of Achilles before relinquishing it to the librarian.

    In the following year, the once-immaculate Philhetairos was caught in numerous scandals. The first of them was when he dismissed the overseer of the local gymnasium, and then appointed himself a new office position christened "gymnastikos" - overseer of naked women at the gymnasium. The locals of Side, already confused by this suspicious act from an otherwise popular governor, became outraged when multitudes of women came out with sexual assault allegations against Philhetairos. The Attalid royal dismissed their claims as "cancel culture" until gymnasium doctors revealed that many of the women can no longer give birth. His reputation damaged, Philhetairos was no longer capable of manipulating the Pamphylian's trajectory towards Hellenization. Many locals wondered aloud if they should really relinquish their Anatolian heritage to the debauchery of the Hellenes.

    The second scandal occurred in 263BC, when Philhetairos proclaimed himself "The Big Cheese" and began prophesizing about "The Great Wine Pressing". When questioned by his wary subordinates on what policies to enact based on these predictions, he began hooting like a starved owl and everywhere. Rumors of this incident spread from behind closed doors to the public marketplace. Later that week, a peaceful demonstration aiming to replace Philhetairos with a saner relative was quelled in a most bizarre manner - Kretan policemen were ordered by Philhetairos himself to round up the protesters, tied them up in provocative poses, slather them in honey, and display them in the town square. More confused than livid, the populace nevertheless further spiraled into an anti-Hellene stance.

    Already considered politically flaccid by his Attalid peers, Philhetairos sealed his fate when he dressed himself up as a Minotaur and rampaged through the streets, biting men, women, and especially children. Disgusted, his own Kretan lackeys subdued him, with no one, not even pro-Hellene officials objecting. Eumenes, the current Basileus of the kingdom of Pergamon, personally traveled to Side to survey the situation and upon witnessing firsthand the madness of Philhetairos, was forced to exile him to a small island in the Aegean. The hellenization project in Side was put on hold, and Eumenes hoped that with time the locals will forget the great Fall of Philhetairos.

    In 260BC, Eumenes prepared for a campaign to bring the Galatian raids to a halt. His newly raised army, though heavily armed, were rather green. Eumenes pondered on how to raise their morale when a brilliant idea struck him: inspire his men by personally wielding the Spear of Achilles (which was currently residing in a museum subsection of the Library of Pergamon) into battle. The effect was immediate. Upon learning that their expedition was blessed by the spirit of Achilles himself, Eumenes' men - hoplites, phalangites, and lancers alike - all vowed to follow Eumenes to the ends of the earth in order to subdue the rowdy Galatai. His closest officers even remarked that something changed about Eumenes the day he wielded the spear - perhaps it was the glint of courage in his eye? Who knows.

    It was during the battle of Ankrya where Eumenes' men noticed that not all was blessed. Where they expected to be deployed in a manner to faciliate hammer-and-anvil tactics, instead they were deployed in what Eumenes publically declared as "My Mother's Left Titty". A solid mass of phalangites was perfectly bordered by hoplites, with the Lydian Lancers forming a small block right in front of the infantry formation. When the Galatians, who from their higher ground (an entire tactical error by itself on Eumenes' part) could see the resemblance in its entirety, stopped guffawing and began their downhill mass charge, Eumenes' companions broke off and began riding around them. Eumenes, still strolling forward on his steed singing a merry tune, was cut down, the Spear of Achilles leaving his grasp. His frontline troops faltered, but were rallied by the second-in-command Attalos, who dismounted, took the spear, and ordered the infantry to stand firm while the Lydian Lancers completed the encirclement. Surrounded, and their laughs turned to screams of terror and pain, the Galatians were slaughtered. A small collection of Galatian survivors were allowed to return home to spread news of the mad genius who duped their comrades with a novel formation. Such was the reality that Attalos hoped to instill, as he practiced thrusting with the Spear of Achilles.

    In 259BC, while stabilizing the region of Galatia with a garrison force, Attalos began displaying behavior reminiscent of the exiled Philhetairos. He would rant daily about "white women", a disturbing phrase to the ears of the fair-skinned Galatian civilians, and ordered the confiscation of "all their bling", referring to the beautifully crafted gold torques that most Galatians wear. These highly unpopular acts galvanized the province of Galatia into rebellion, with the city of Ankrya spiralling into disorder and a Galatian army being raised in the countryside to expell the Attalid invaders. It was then that an officer of Perses descent staged a coup and removed Attalos from power. The former Basileus was stripped of his titles and armaments, and shipped to Kyrene from the city of Side. Meanwhile, this unknown Perses officer, drawing from his Persian education and heritage, clobbered the Galatian rebels, notably leading the Lydian Lancers in a glorious rear charge. The military rebellion quelled, and the civil unrest in Ankrya sated through appointing a Galatian satrap, the unnamed Perses officer turned to royal affairs. The army is to be reformed to emphasize cavalry, satraps were to be instated in key provinces, and old Perses traditions revived. The era of the insane Hellenes is over - Pergamon will see a bright future under the time-tested eyes of the Perses.

    "Great King, before you lies the fabled Library of Pergamon. The entire knowledge of the civilized world lies at your disposal. From medicine and statescraft to tactics and agriculture, these manuscripts will serve you well in leading Pergamon to greatness. Ah, but there is one thing to discuss in private, which is the recent addition of a Containment Chamber. You see, our historians performed analyses on the actions of the wretched Attalids, and found one common factor - an artifact that cannot be discussed in public. It is currently in containment supervised by our studied priests. Perhaps it is best to not anger - "

    "Are we not the most well-learned peoples in the world? For what reason should we let superstition cloud our judgement? The mere existence of this so-called Containment Chamber is unbecoming of what Pergamon stands for. Allow me to inspect and handle this artifact. You will see that Hellenic myths crumble before the harshness of reality"

    Trigger spear_of_achilles_leaves_side
    WhenToTest CharacterTurnEnd
    Condition Attribute Boldness = 1
    and not IsRegionOneOf 152 ; Side
    and Trait Pragmatic < 1
    and Trait Sane < 1

    Affects Superstitious 2 Chance 10
    Affects Insane 2 Chance 10
    Affects Deranged 2 Chance 10

  2. #2
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    United Kingdom

    Default Re: The Spear of Achilles

    I can see why the populace were confused! An inriguing story.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Spear of Achilles

    Thanks! This story is sorta of an Europa Barbarorum II Pergamon AAR. One of my characters governing Side acquired the Spear of Achilles ancillary, which gives your general +2 morale. Not bothering to read the ancillary description, which implies some sort of divine retribution for taking it out of Side, I transferred it to my leading Attalid general. He fell to madness. Not knowing why, I transferred it to his successor, who too shortly fell into madness. My entire Attalid family tree became deranged and had to be suicided, and my dumbass still didn't know why. It wasn't until I transferred it to a Perses family member and he became crazy did I make the connection. By then the damage was done, and the Perses had to be killed via leaky ship, but I made sure this time that the ancillary sank alongside him. A few turns later the Spear of Achilles reappeared at the side of a new governor stationed in Side. I am convinced that the Spear of Achilles is a Keter SCP

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