Dεαr UO rεαdεrs:

I am currently working on an edited ebook version of Eurylochus' diary during the Trojan War.

I will let you know as soon as it is complete.

In the meantime, I invite you to join me at my current project: http://hubski.com, a community for thoughtful conversation.

I hope all is well.

Dεαr UO rεαdεrs:

Unfortunately, the time I have been able to devote to UO has diminished.

Although I hate to pause here, I'd rather not push onward without giving Eurylochus the consideration he deserves.

Under Odysseus is not over. However, it will be some time before the story continues.

If you're subscribed, please keep UO in your feeds. Eurylochus will be back.



Not good.

More bad weather. Very bad weather. -Everyone aboard has an empty stomach.

I've got to got back above-deck in a moment. -Not much sleep tonight.

I just heard Odysseus outside.



A nice morning and a bad evening.

Some of our men were scrubbing the deck early this morning, and their work woke me earlier than usual. -It was one of those rare days when I open my eyes feeling completely awake.

Deciding to make the most of it, I shared a pot of tea with Baius as the sun came up.

It was another day of clear skies and crisp, steady wind.

As I was feeling a bit restless, I resolved to make the rounds of our fleet this morning aboard the Lil’ Tethys. -I probably should have checked with Odysseus before doing so, but was feeling somewhat rebellious.

After having a nice chat with Baius, I woke Polites and then signaled Antiphus to pick us up. Polites’ mood was matching my own, and he decided to wear a ridiculous over-sized Trojan hat.

As I didn’t have anything specific in mind, I just asked Antiphus to take the two of us from ship to ship. As it happened, we only ended up visiting two.

After a short stop waking up an obviously hung-over Mnestheus, we ended up on Achaemenides’ vessel. -It was still pretty early, and we were surprised to hear cheering as we pulled up alongside.

Climbing aboard, we found Achaemenides’ crew of the newly named ‘Atalanta’ in the midst of an archery tournament. Actually, it wasn’t so much of a archery tournament as it was a duel.

The crew of the Atalanta invented a unique style of archery combat. Replacing the points of arrows with knobs of knotted rags, two members of the crew would stand several paces apart and shoot at each other. As the ends of these arrows had been dipped in inked honey, there was no mistaking when someone was hit.

When we arrived, the rule was that each contestant was given three arrows. A hit was worth one point, a headshot was worth two.

Needless to say, Polites wanted to play.

I was hesitant to join at first, but as Captain Achaemenides’ insisted, I decided to have some fun. -Achaemenides was already sporting a large ink blot over his left eye.

Unfortunately, I didn’t fair too well. As soon as Polites and I had agreed, the crew of the Atalanta decided the two of us should face off.

My first arrow missed Polites entirely. His shot hit me square in the nose.

Apollo’s ass, that hurt.

In fact, I was so stunned by Polites honey-coated arrow that I involuntarily dropped my bow. Seeing stars, I shook my head, and did all I could to keep the tears from welling up in my eyes.

Obviously, the crew understood my pain as an empathic “Oooooh” immediately followed.

Feeling like I needed to make a good show, I did my best to wipe the inky goo out of my eyes and quickly asked for my bow. My second arrow missed Polites by a mile.

To his credit, Polites next arrow was close, but just missed me. My third shot hit Polites in the thigh, and his just grazed me.

Polites won our match, 2 to 1.

Antiphus and Polites faced off next. Polites won again, striking Antiphus hard in the stomach. -I guess his two remaining fingers are good enough for archery.

Anyway, I spent the rest of the morning watching the tournament and talking with Achaemenides.

I’ve always thought Achaemenides was kind of a simpleton. However, I think having command of his own ship has really brought him into his own.

Achaemenides doesn’t command in a manner I am accustomed to, but his men seem very happy and are obviously endeared to him. At one point when a couple of consecutive groin shots lead to a fist fight, it only took a stern shout from Achaemenides to settle the crew.

At any rate, it was an enjoyable morning, and we decided to stay for lunch. This was a roast of the Atalanta’s Ciconian sheep. It was good, but I think I’m done with sheep for a while.

Polites did very well in the tournament, and took third place. Thankfully, I wasn’t compelled to deul again.

As we had such a good time aboard the Atalanta, Polites and I abandoned our idea of rounding the fleet and returned to the flagship (which is now apparently being called ‘The Horse’) just before dinner.

Unfortunately, when we did return, Odysseus was on deck.

It was nice to see the General was feeling better. However, I knew immediately I should have checked in on him before leaving. Odysseus was eating with Biaus, Misenus, Elpenor and Macar, and he hardly acknowledged us when Polites and I enthusiastically stated how glad we were to see him.

It probably didn’t help that our faces were covered in ink.

I decided to skip dinner and spent the evening looking busy.

Just before turning in I ran into Elpenor. I thanked him for looking after the General. To this, he only nodded weakly, and gave me a look of disappointment. -Mother of Zeus, I wanted to punch him.

That guy has to learn some boundaries.


An uneventful day.

I think Odysseus is feeling a little better.

I dropped by the General's cabin this morning and heard the sound of him and Elpenor laughing. I knocked, but Elpenor only opened the door a crack.

He assured me that Odysseus was fine, and said the General would likely be able to take visitors tomorrow.

Of course, Elpenor has no right to tell me when I can and can't see Odysseus. However, it seems he is doing a good job playing nurse, and I didn't really want to deal with the General anyway. -He'd probably just give me extra work to make up for his condition.

Still, it pissed me off that Elpenor pulled that shit with me.

Whatever. -I'll let him play gate-keeper a little longer.

I spent most of the day with Polites and Misenus. -It was good.

I think Polites has more or less come out of his funk, and has forgiven me for the whole 'Laodice' thing.

A large gull has taken to perching on our bow, and has become pretty fearless. Some of our men have been feeding him, and he seems determined to stay with us for the journey. Out of respect, the crew has taken to calling him 'The Old Man'.

Men get so serious about stuff like that at sea.

Anyway, the three of us fed the Old Man some fish, and found we could pat him on the head without scaring him off.

He did bite my thumb, however.

Baius was right about the wind. The sky was clear today, but the wind was steady. -We are making good time.

Odysseus hasn't actually ordered us to head for home, but that's where Baius is taking us.


Odysseus is sick.

The morning started of nicely with a lamb roast, thanks to Elpenor and Mnestheus' sheep.

Elpenor did a fantastic job, and everyone appreciated a lunch of fresh meat. -It seems a few of our ships followed our lead and did the same.

Oddly, Odysseus didn't show up.

In fact, Odysseus hadn't been seen by anyone since yesterday morning.

After it started to get dark, I went to his cabin to check on him. As I knocked, the General quickly opened the door, almost as if he had been standing behind it. -He was naked, looking glassy-eyed and a bit sweaty.

Without saying anything, Odysseus plodded back to his bead and collapsed.

His room stunk.

Leaving the door open, I walked over to his bed. -Odysseus had vomited and I stepped in it.

As I had never seen Odysseus ill before, I was somewhat concerned. However, once I started to speak, the General belted: "I'm fine! I just need some rest. Go away now. -Orders are to go away!"

It was pretty dark, so I stepped out to grab a lamp.

Returning to the General's bed, I immediately saw the cause of his ailment.

Cursing me for the light, Odysseus rolled onto his side, which revealed a nasty looking wound on the back of his ribs. The wound wasn't particularly deep, but it was red and was oozing. -He must have gotten it in Ismara.

I'm not sure why, but I immediately went for Elpenor.

Predictably, Elpenor was distressed at the site of the General. Pacing about Odysseus, he began to shake his head, repeating: "No, no, no."

Elpenor then began to give orders.

He wasn't giving orders directly to me, but I was the only one around to take them.

"More light!" he demanded. "Lots of water!"

I obeyed. -I gathered a number of men, and we provided him whatever he needed.

At Elpenor's behest, we lit up the General's quarters, scrubbed Odysseus and the entire room down with sea water, and for some reason, stacked all the furniture but his bed up against a wall.

Oddly, Odysseus remained silent throughout the whole ordeal. In fact, he seemed almost pleased with all the attention.

Anyway, after about an hour of fussing, Elpenor had Odysseus lying on his stomach, wrapped tightly in a green silk cloth. -The silk was Elpenor's.

By that point the General seemed comfortable, and was snoring loudly as our men filed out.

I intended to stay behind with Odysseus, and started to thank Elpenor. However, he cut me off and escorted me to the door.

"We'll be fine, Eurylochus." he said as he shuffled me out.

Frustrated, I tried to turn the tables. I began to tell Elpenor to stay by Odysseus' side, but he smiled and shut the door as I did.

To be honest, leaving Odysseus with Elpenor made me feel a bit uncomfortable. It's not so much because Elpenor is that way, but because he can get so overzealous when it comes to Odysseus. Furthermore, it kind of pissed me off he had taken such a patronizing tone with me.

Whatever. It's not like I was looking forward to a night of sitting with the General. Besides, Elpenor seems to know what he's doing.

I made a couple of rounds about the deck before turning in.

I saw Baius and related Odysseus' condition to him. -He just nodded in acknowledgement.

Baius then told me it should be windy tomorrow.


Pretty much what I expected.

I didn't see the General for more than a minute today.

Odysseus stopped by my quarters very early to tell me that we needed to redistribute the men, and to make sure every ship had a helmsman.

He said he was going to be very busy and then went back to his cabin.

I ate breakfast with Macar, Misenus, Polites and Elpenor.

Aside from inquiring about Misenus' leg (which had been trapped under a Ciconian cart), we didn't directly discuss yesterday's debacle.

Macar made some suggestions on how we should move our resources about, but that was about it. I'd like to say that everyone just wants to get home, but I don't think that's actually the case.

In fact, I feel like we are in some odd kind of place outside of time.

Speaking for myself, I feel completely detached from anywhere. I'm sure part of me misses Ithaca, but I just can't feel it. To be honest, I probably miss Troy more. Unfortunately, we burned it to the ground.

Despite the fact we are sailing home, I think we are lost at sea.

Anyway, Macar and Polites helped me reorganize the fleet today. I didn't ask for Polites to go, but after I recruited Macar, he volunteered. I think he just wanted to get out on the Lil' Tethys. I don't blame him. -It is kind of refreshing.

Elpenor offered to join us after Polites did, but Polites suggested there wouldn't be enough room if we had to move officers about. That wasn't necessarily true. However, it was good to see some things were returning to normal, so I didn't object.

Elpenor left us soon after.

The rest of the day turned out to be pretty nice.

Antiphus kept us entertained as we spent the afternoon going from ship to ship. Besides some good jokes, he has a pretty good impression of General Thoas. (Thoas was the good-looking Aetolian general that joined us in the Horse.) I didn't realize it until now, but Thoas always had this dramatic way of whipping his hair out of his eyes. Antiphus had it down pat.

Damn, I kind of miss the beachhead.

Antiphus' humor eventually put Polites in a good mood, which was also nice to see. Unfortunately, it also encouraged Polites to do some impressions of his own, including one of Epeius’ mouth-breathing.

Apollo's Ass, Polites sucks at impressions. I really ought to tell him. -I'm just glad Elpenor wasn't there.

The other highlight of our day was due to some sheep Mnestheus and his Samians managed to capture before things went to hell yesterday.

As Mnestheus' Sea Dragon was our first stop, we decided to divide the Ciconian sheep amongst our ships. This meant the Lil' Tethys was packed full of wool.

We had a pretty funny accident on our first delivery. One of our ships had lost its helmsman, and I selected Perimedes to fill in. Thus, after fetching him from the flagship, we delivered both Peremides and a sheep to this vessel. Perimedes climbed aboard first, and after proudly announcing he was to take command, he reached down to the Lil' Tethys to grab a frantic sheep from Macar.

What happened was predictable. Even standing on the Lil' Tethys' bow, it was quite a stretch for Macar to reach the deck of Peremides' new ship. As a result, Macar ended up with a hold onto the sheep's rear legs, and Perimedes had the front. Upon hitting a big swell, Macar either had to let go or be pulled up with the sheep.

Macar let go of course, and the dangling sheep pulled Perimedes in.

Luckily, Perimedes didn't hit our bow on the way down.

As Perimedes had just assumed command, we did everything we could not to laugh. However, once we had dropped him and his water-logged sheep off, we just lost it.

The rest of the day, Antipus kept saying: "Mother of Baaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!"

We used a rope to deliver the rest of the flock.


That was bad.

Yesterday we conducted our Ciconian raid.

We've lost two ships and nearly one in five of our men, and it could have been much worse.

Here's the short of it:

The evening before last, the Lil' Tethys spotted the Ciconian city of Ismara just before nightfall. The Tethys relayed the information to us, and we anchored out-of-sight off the southern shore.

Not long after sundown, our fleet began to slowly make its way towards the city.

It was our intention to embark out of sight of Ismara. However, the city lies at the foot of a mountain, and the coast to the south of it was very rocky. As a result, our fleet crept up along the coast for quite some time before we could find a place to land.

The moon was nearly new, so things were pretty dark. In fact, as we looked for places to land, Polites and Elpenor were on the bow, repeatedly dropping a plumb line.

Even so, if it weren't for the Lil' Tethys guiding us, we would have probably ended up upon the rocks.

I can clearly recall standing with Odysseus and Baius as the lights of Ismara grew closer and closer.

It was a tense moment, and the General was obviously anxious. Aside from Elpenor's whispered soundings, I could only hear Odysseus wrapping his knuckles upon his shield.

Anyway, we were nearly on top of the city before the rocks gave way to a sandy shore.

Here, our first contact with the Ciconians was the Lil' Tethys running into a small fishing boat.

This occurred several yards off of our bow, and we couldn't see what happened. However, we heard a few high-pitched screams and what looked like a torch thrown through the air.

At that, Elpenor shouted something like: "It's begun!"

Odysseus loudly ordered Baius to bring us in. Lighting two torches upon our stern, I signaled for the fleet behind us to do the same.

This was almost comical. As our large ships rushed towards the beach, we had to plow through a flotilla of small fishing boats. Many of these boats contained sleeping fishermen, who were understandably disturbed by the appearance of our ships.

As a result, our stealthy landing wasn't so stealthy.

Although we unintentionally rammed a few fishing boats, we didn't bother to engage the fishermen on our way in. However, once they realized what was going on, the fishermen started throwing what they had at us, and caught the mainsail of one of our ships on fire.

The blaze provided us with a bit of useful light actually, and within moments we were orderly unloading our crews into the sandy shallows to the southeast of the city.

After ten years of war, our troops are incredibly well-trained. -With only minimal orders, our army of over two-thousand poured onto the beach, and then quietly fell into columns.

Actually, aside from the efforts of a few brave Ciconian fishermen, the only real confusion upon our landing was on account of our officers. As several of these men had been reassigned to replace lost helmsmen, they were confused as to whether they should join the raid or to stay with the ships.

Frustrated, Odysseus ordered all of these officers to join us on the beach. -In retrospect, that might not have been the best idea. The men were already falling into formation, and although a handful of soldiers were left to guard each ship, the lack of a helmsman later contributed to an unanticipated problem.

Anyway, within just twenty minutes or so we had gained the beach, and began to advance on the city.

Ismara was only several hundred yards up from the water, atop a gradual sandy slope. We made our way quickly, with officers spread every ten meters or so across our front. I was in the center with Odysseus and Elpenor. Misenus was some distance to our left, and Polites was commanding our rear guard.

I won’t go into too many details, as there's not much to say. -In short, we made quick work of the city.

As we had caused quite a bit of commotion upon our landing, much of Ismara knew we were coming before we fell upon them. In fact, a small contingent of about one-hundred brave souls met us just in front of the city, but they were ill-prepared and obviously untrained.

I was somewhat struck with how efficiently and almost stoically our troops engaged and dispatched these desperate defenders.

Besides this defense, Ismara had a small wall. However, two of the entrances to the city were either left open or were non-existent. As a result, we quickly poured into the city, reformed into twelve separate companies, and then went about raiding the place.

I stuck with Odysseus throughout the sack of Ismara, as did Elpenor. For his part, Elpenor was refreshingly quiet, and helped direct our men with only a minimal amount of kissing Odysseus’ ass.

It wasn't our intention to damage the city or to unnecessarily harm the residents. Thus, we went through the night and early morning with very little fighting. In fact, after a few hours, the Ciconians seemed to become resigned to our efforts, and more-or-less stood aside as we went from house to house, taking what we fancied.

It felt pretty dirty.

Things were also made easy by another circumstance. Shortly into the raid, we were confronted by a group of Ciconian guards escorting the city's mayor. This chubby and swarthy guy named Ennomus, was quick to make it clear Ismara would surrender to our force, and only asked us that his city not be destroyed.

Odysseus obviously got a kick out of this, and he responded by asking Ennomus why he shouldn't do the same to Trojan-loving Ciconians as he had done to Troy.

I guess word had already reached Ennomus about the fall of Troy, and he was immediately dumbfounded to find himself in the presence of "The Great Odysseus, conqueror of Troy."

We were then escorted by the mayor and his small contingent as we looted the city. That was kind of surreal. Odysseus and Ennomus were actually making small talk as we went about our business. –Maybe Ennomus thought it was an honor to have his city sacked by the “Conqueror of Troy.”

Anyway, after several hours of looting, our force began to reassemble near the city wall where we had entered. As the sun rose, we piled our spoils onto Ciconian carts, and prepared to head back to our fleet. At that point I don't think we had lost more than a dozen men.

But then things went very bad.

Standing with Odysseus and the mayor of Ismara at the city gate, we heard a signal horn from down at the beach. Rushing out to see the cause of the alarm, we saw our fleet was still anchored at the foot of the city. A trail of carts linked Ismara to the shoreline, and some of our ships were being loaded in the shallow water.

At first, nothing appeared amiss. However, Polites then stepped up next to me and exclaimed: "Mother of Zeus. We're fucked."

Turning to Polites, I could tell he was looking at something else. Following his gaze over our ships, I then saw why we were fucked. -Almost obscured by the rising sun, a number of large ships were headed towards the shore.

It didn't take long before we realized what we were looking at. It was the Ciconian army, returning from the War at Troy. In fact, these were likely the same Ciconians that shot Odysseus in the leg. -They must have been delayed by the storm, and we beat them to their home.

Why we hadn't considered their return, I don't know. In fact, it actually crossed my mind as we landed, but after I got caught up in the raid, I forgot about it.

Looking at Odysseus, I was stunned by how quickly he reacted to the situation.

The General's response was: "Burn the city. Get to the fleet."

Obviously baffled, Ennomus yelled: "Nooooo!"

To this, Odysseus coldly replied: "Kill him."

Not staying to watch his order carried out, the General began to jog towards our fleet. Polites, Elpenor and I joined him, listening to a quick stream of orders he gave as her ran. -Strangely, Odysseus seemed more pissed off than anything else.

Basically, the General's orders were for us to board as quickly as possible, leaving the rest of our treasure on the beach. Elpenor and Polites quickly dispatched and began to spread the word.

Odysseus and I were intercepted by Macar as we ran to the boats.

Macar brought more bad news.

Unfortunately, while we were raiding the city, the tide went out. Baius had been able to get some of our ships to deeper waters, but without a helmsman in each our ships, things got pretty confused. As a result, our six boats closest to shore were essentially resting on the bottom. -Baius and Macar assumed we'd just have to wait until high tide, but no one anticipated a rushed departure.

At hearing that, Odysseus looked crazy mad.

Grabbing Macar by the shoulders, the General asked him to repeat what he had just said, one more time.

That was the first time I had ever seen Macar look intimidated. However, after making sure Odysseus was serious, Macar coolly repeated the situation, word for word.

Odysseus listened and then nodded. With his hands still on Macar's shoulder, he slowly looked at the situation about us. To the west, plums of smoke began to rise from Ismara. To the east, we could see our fleet, soon to be boxed in by the returning Ciconians. All about us, men and officers ran, both up and down the beach, often changing directions midway.

Looking back to the two of us, Odysseus shook his head, and then broke into a warm smile.

"Macar, Eurylochus. It looks like we're fucked." With that, the General started laughing.

Maybe it was the lack of sleep, but Macar and I immediately burst out laughing as well. -It felt like the funniest thing I had heard in a long time.

Anyway, after a good chuckle, we continued on our way down to the shore. There we met Baius, who was his usual cool self. Baius reiterated what Macar had said, and then suggested we meet the returning Ciconians with the few ships that were free.

Odysseus agreed with Baius, but decided he would stay on shore. Macar and Baius then took the Lil' Tethys out to command our fleet.

Apollo's ass, it's getting late.

Alright, so here's what happened:

There were five ships in the Ciconian fleet. Two of these ships were caught up in a hasty blockade set up by Baius and Macar, and three of the Ciconian vessels broke through to the shore.

These ships unloaded in the shallows amongst our own, where we fought one of the most chaotic battles I have ever witnessed.

Unfortunately, despite the burning of Ismara, soon after the Ciconians ships were spotted, a substantial number of furious citizens began to harass us on the beach. These pissed-off citizens were mostly armed with farm implements and rocks, but they created a second front on our rear, which greatly aided the Ciconian attack.

It took about thirty minutes before the Ciconians had landed. However, due to these new partisans and the confused state of our officers (Polites and Elpenor had just ordered our men to board our beached ships) we were less than prepared when the Ciconians began to disembark amongst us.

I stayed with Odysseus throughout what ended up being a very long battle. Polites joined the two of us after about an hour, and we later happened upon Misenus, who was trapped under an overturned cart of Ciconian treasure. -He'll be alright.

I didn't see Elpenor for the rest of the morning. I guess he ended up on one of our beached ships, fighting a group of Ciconcians that repeatedly set it on fire.

Interestingly, we did happen upon the Ciconian captain that we had met at sea. I think his name was Euphemus, or at least that's what his men called him.

Euphemus and his contingent of troops met Odysseus and our entourage late in the battle. Once he saw Euphemus, Odysseus became very animated, and kept working to engage him personally. However, Euphemus' guard was well-trained, and they fell in tight before him any time we pressed towards their leader.

Even so, I'm sure Odysseus would have eventually gotten to Euphemus. However, that's when Achaemenides appeared.

By noon, things were looking pretty grim. Whenever I had the opportunity, I would look about us and assess the situation. Each time I did, I always saw the same thing: Our Ithacans were spread out along the beach, fighting about one third as many Ciconian soldiers, and nearly twice as many Ismaran citizens. The beach was littered with treasure and bodies. By my measure, we were slowly fighting to a stalemate.

However, at this particular lull, I climbed upon one of the carts to have a look at our fleet. -For the past several minutes I had heard a few cheers come from that direction, and I was wondering what it was about.

Amazingly, what I saw was Achaemenides' ship on the far side of the ongoing sea battle. Apparently, Achaemenides had just rammed into the hull of a Ciconian vessel. -It was difficult to discern what was going on, but there was little doubt things were looking bad for the two Ciconian ships that remained offshore.

I immediately related this to Odysseus.

Hearing it, the General grinned from ear to ear. He shouted: "Get the men on our ships!" and with new energy, he charged towards a skirmish taking place closer to the shore.

With that, Polites, Misenus and I began to spread the world along the beach.

It wasn't a perfect retreat, but it could have been worse.

Fortunately, the tide had begun to come in shortly before Achaemenides' return. As a result, it was easy enough to board our ships, but we didn't have to wait long before they were afloat once again.

We spent nearly half and hour fending-off the Ciconians as our men boarded and waited to embark. However, as the water rose, it became more and more difficult for the Ciconians to attack our ships.

Furthermore, as the Ciconians had concentrated on fighting us as we boarded, by the time we were free, it was already too deep for them to effectively board their own vessels that began floating nearby.

Thus, after several hours of fighting on the shore of Ismara, we were able to escape to sea, taking a number of doomed Ciconians with us. However, we did so with two fewer ships, and many fewer men.

To add insult to injury, we got very little treasure from the bargain.

After we were out of sight of Ismara, Odysseus had Achaemenides brought aboard our ship. The General then made a very big deal about Achaemenides’ rescue. He bestowed Achaemenides the ship he’s been commanding, and presented him with a very ornate sword. -In fact, the sword kind of looked like mine.

How many of these swords does the General have?

Anyway, we had an impromptu feast to honor ‘Captain Achaemenides’, which went on far too late.

We didn’t spend any of the daylight assessing our damages, or redistributing the men. No doubt that will be my job tomorrow. -Without Odysseus, of course.

I have to think Odysseus hoped the Ciconian raid might substitute for our missing treasure barge.

However, although Achaemenides returned, I now have very little hope for that flat-bottomed ship. -Besides, if the Milesian barge is still afloat, they are likely on their way to Ismara.

Wouldn’t that be ironic?

At any rate, I don’t think the General will want to linger in Ciconian waters, waiting for our missing treasure.

No, I think we are going to have to start heading home. -Our fleet is damaged enough as it is.

Odysseus did his best to raise morale with Achaemenides’ feast, but I don’t think our crew can take any more of these adventures.


I was awoken by Odysseus this morning.

Feeling myself shaken, I opened my eyes to find the General's face close to mine. -He had a wide grin, and particularly funky breath.

"We've spotted land, Eurylochus!"

Dressing quickly, I followed Odysseus out to join Baius and a few soldiers at the bow.

It was true; in the predawn light I could distinctly see the dark outline of hills on the horizon.

Moments later, the sun broke behind us and bathed us in a fiery light. -It kind of gave me a tingly feeling.

I suppose Odysseus felt it to, because he raised his arms and beamed: "Helios smiles upon us, my boys!” -This brought a crisp cheer from the few soldiers present.

After basking in the moment, Odysseus, Baius and I shared an early breakfast.

As we ate, we talked about our raid and how we might approach the beachhead. -We are going to land at night, just out of sight of the city. Baius figures we are about a day south of Ismara, but I have no idea how.

Elpenor and Polites walked up before we finished.

It's very odd. Those two have never gotten along at all. -To be honest, seeing Polites with Elpenor disturbed me more than his crying fit did.

Of course, Polites just ignored me.

Anyway, our breakfast was concluded by another fortunate event. One of our missing ships has returned.

It wasn't the barge, and it wasn't Achaemenides' ship. However, I think the appearance of this vessel gave new hope the remaining two might not be lost. -Not to mention that nearly 200 of our men haven't drowned.

Odysseus and I spent much of the afternoon on this ship called the Sea Dragon.

The boat's captain is a wiry lieutenant named Mnestheus. I've met Mnestheus many times before, but don't really know much about him.

In fact, I’m pretty sure he's Samian. At least he hangs out with the Samians that are with us. -They're a clicky bunch.

Mnestheus told us he hadn't seen Achaemenides' ship or the Milesian barge. His crew did see what they thought was a mast-light last night, but lost it soon after. -As it was far to the east, he doesn't think it was us.

Knowing we were headed for Ismara, Mnestheus said he hoped to find us there. He loudly announced he was glad they hadn't missed the fight, and his crew cheered on cue. -This pleased Odysseus immensely.

In fact, the General was in high spirits for the rest of the day.

As Odysseus likes to micromanage when he's in a good mood, we spent the remainder of the day going from ship to ship on the Lil' Tethys. -I took a ridiculous amount of notes that I'll never use.

Antiphus is a funny guy. He did a great job of entertaining the General as he ferried us about the fleet.

I can't remember how it went, but Antiphus told us this hilarious joke about Aphrodite and Hermes. It was something about how Ares was so impressed with how fast his sons Phobos and Deimos were.

Damn, I can never remember a good joke.

Anyway, I guess we could be raiding the Ciconians as soon as tomorrow night.

Oddly, I don't feel nervous at all.


We are missing three of our fourteen ships.

Unfortunately, one of the missing ships is our captured Milesian barge. -That boat contained nearly all of our Trojan treasure.

Thus, after ten years of war, we could be heading home empty-handed. No one is talking about it, but I know it's on every mind in the fleet.

Of course, the greater tragedy is the possible loss of a few hundred of our men. -Or at least it should feel like the greater tragedy.

Achaemenides' ship is one of those absent. As odd as he was, I kind of liked that guy. It's bothered me more than I'd expect.

I'm not so sure Odysseus should have given Achaemenides command of a ship. He did prove himself in battle a few times, but I don't think he was ‘leader material’. -Maybe I should have said something.

Losing men at sea always seems harder for some reason.

At any rate, although the weather has improved, the mood of the fleet definitely hasn't.

I only saw the General for a moment today.

Absent all morning, Odysseus appeared as Misenus and I were having lunch. He inquired about our missing ships (the Lil’ Tethys is still out looking for them), and whether the men were ready for our upcoming raid upon the Ciconians.

I reminded Odysseus that we distributed our arms the day before yesterday, and that I'd see to it the officers were readying their men. -He thanked me and returned to his cabin.

It's a good thing we got our supplies out of that barge. If the storm hit us a day earlier, we’d not only be without our treasure, but most of our weapons too.

Misenus suggested the other ships might have simply headed for home. I thought he was joking at first, but he didn’t laugh. -I'm not sure what I think about that.

Anyway, after returning to my quarters tonight, I spent some time looking at the ornate sword Odysseus gave me. I couldn't stand to leave it on the barge, and have kept it 'hidden' under my cot.

To be honest, I take the thing out almost every night.

I don't think Odysseus would think about it, but if he did, he might consider that I'd lost the sword with the barge. -In fact, I haven't worn it since we left Troy.

This ridiculously expensive sword means I don't ever have to work again.

I don't think I'll wear it on our journey home.

Apollo’s ass. -I kind of hate this sword.


Terrible weather.

I was rolled out of bed early this morning by a pretty nasty storm.

Well, I think it was early. As the sun never really came up today, it was hard to tell.

I just know I was tired.

After coming to my senses, I headed up deck to find Odysseus and Baius shouting at one another near the main.

They weren't angry. It was just difficult to hear above the whipping wind and rain. In fact, despite the weather, the General and Helmsman seemed to be in fairly good spirits.

Falling on my ass in front of them did little to dampen their mood.

Having spent some time at sea, I realized the storm was dangerous. We weren't doomed, but I knew we weren't far from it. Nevertheless, Odysseus and Baius seemed to revel in the uncertainty.

After quickly discussing what needed to be done to secure the ship, I spent the rest of my morning making sure it was carried out.

I ate lunch with Polites, Elpenor and Misenus in the officer quarters.

That was the first and last thing I ate today.

I guess my stomach was better off empty, and it soon had its way. -Maybe it was just sick of fish.

Sailors often talk about their 'sea legs' with pride. To tell the truth, some of the saltiest get sick every time they set sail. I've never been good in rough waters. -Not that I'm a salt.

Anyway, before tossing my lunch, I kind of cussed-out Polites. -I don't think I had ever done that before.

The three of us were chatting about the storm, when Polites suggested it might be a result of sweeping the fish overboard. -He thought Poseidon might have been angered.

I don't recall exactly how I responded, but I lost it.

Polites has been in a funk for several days now, and I am getting sick of it. He's always been one of our most dependable officers and I just can't stand to see him act so pathetic. Furthermore, it seems he's starting to get superstitious on me.

Basically, I just angrily told him the same. Unfortunately, I did it in front of Elpenor, Misenus, and a couple of soldiers. To make matters worse, when he tried to defend himself, I said something about Laodice. -Whoever she is.

What I said didn't make any sense. Polites had responded with something like: "Well, maybe you'd understand if the Gods took your fingers!", to which I hastily replied: "Well, maybe if you hadn't screwed-over Laodice, you wouldn't be looking for such lame excuses!"

I'm not sure what I meant to say. -I was just pissed off and didn't feel very well.

Regardless, Polites looked genuinely hurt. -At that he just lowered his head and remained quiet.

I then went top deck to lose my lunch.

The storm started dying down about an hour ago.

With the little bit of light we had left, Odysseus and a few of us officers tried to spot the rest of our fleet. We located four of our fourteen, one of which was the Lil’ Tethys.

That little boat is amazing.

We've lit a torch on top of the mast. Hopefully, the rest of our ships will remember to do the same.

Macar and Polites joined Antiphus on the Lil' Tethys to continue the search. -As Polites has such keen eyes, Odysseus asked that he go along.

I sent the General's orders through Macar.


I had a bizarre dream last night.

I dreamed I had to take over Polites' job of giving Odysseus his daily back-rub. -Polites couldn't do it any longer due to his bad hand.

Of course, Odysseus doesn't have 'nightly back-rubs', and I doubt Polites would be giving them if he did.

Anyway, I was massaging Odysseus, and Polites was standing by my side, giving me instructions.

It really disturbed me that the General's back was a dark orange, and rubbing it was making my hands orange as well.

Even worse, Odysseus couldn't seem to see or hear Polites, and while Polites continued to give me instructions, Odysseus dictated one of his inane letters to Penelope. -I'm not sure how I was supposed to write it down.

Getting frustrated, and listening to them both talk over one another, I stopped rubbing and asked Odysseus just how Penelope was supposed to get this letter. -I reminded him we were already on our way home.

To that Odysseus flatly answered: "Yes, I know. But Calchas is going to make a bird to carry it, remember. He's going to make a bird out of your liver. You remember that, don't you, Eurylochus? That is good with you, isn't it?"

Despite knowing Calchas isn't with us, I meekly assured Odysseus that it was 'good' with me. I then continued to rub his back.

Polites, however, stopped his instructions.

"What? Your liver?! Are you fucking kidding? Now he wants your liver? You know you have to kill him now, don't you?" Polites asked.

I didn't want to answer.

However, Polites pressed me: "Eurylochus, you know you are going to have to kill him now, don't you?"

Resolved, I whispered: "Yes, yes, I know. -I'll kill him."

At that, the General paused. "What was that, Captain?"

"Nothing, General. It's nothing." I answered.

I went back to the back-rub. However, Polites was no longer giving me instructions.

After a moment of silence, I looked back to see if he was still there.

Polites had been replaced by Odysseus, who was glaring at me angrily.

I woke up sweating.

I'm not so sure I should have committed that to paper.

Oh well. It was just a dream.

Anyway, breakfast today was fish, of course. So was lunch.

I skipped dinner.

I spent a good deal of the day with Macar on the Milesian Barge. We were going through our supplies, and making sure each ship had what it would need for the raid. -I still can't believe the riches we have on that boat.

Baius figures that we are probably three days out of Ismara, assuming our course is accurate. -I never have figured out how to navigate at sea.

I avoided Odysseus most of the day, but had to report to him after returning from the barge. Neither of us mentioned yesterday's catch.

The General seemed to be in good spirits, and was pleased I had taken to readying the fleet.

It surprised me that Odysseus wasn't obviously hung-over, and was already walking about without his cane. That guy has the constitution of a bear. I could spend every day working at it, and still fail to get into the physique he has without the least bit of effort.

Anyway, Polites walked up behind me and patted me on the back while I was talking to the General.

Unbelievably, I broke into a sweat.


I reek of fish.

Polites joined us again for breakfast today. He was obviously hung-over, so I asked Misenus to break out some wine.

As Odysseus happened to walk up as we were pouring, I decided to toast to our Ciconian raid.

The General mistook our good humor for enthusiasm, which pleased him immensely. As a result, we (and Polites) then toasted to the sacking of Troy, the journey home, seeing Ithacan women again, and to a few more excuses to tip the cup.

Polites knew my intent, and shot me a weak but wry smile. He did his best to keep up with us, but after the fifth toast, he lost his breakfast.

In terms of military discipline, things pretty much went down hill from there.

Laughing, the lot of us heckled Polites as he ran to the bulwark. However, our fun was soon interrupted from a shout from the bow.

One of our deckhands was pointing ahead and screaming: Mother of Zeus, a serpent! A serpent to the starboard bow, General!

More interested in a sea serpent than Polites, our breakfast crew raced to the soldier's side.

Not expecting to see a serpent, I was taken aback. -There was indeed something huge in front of us. It was large and dark, and it was churning the waters.

Bravely, Odysseus called for his 'shpear'.

Yet, before Elpenor could retrieve it, Baius shouted: "You'd do better with a net, General! -That's a school of fish!

Squinting hard, the General looked again. Slapping the deckhand on the back of the head, he belted: "Itsh a school of fish, you shtupid sheleni!"

It was indeed a school of fish.

In fact, it was much more than a school. It was more like an island of fish. -I didn't know there were so many in the sea.

Actually, for the next hour or so, our fleet sailed through what seemed to be equal parts fish and water.

Odysseus took Baius' advice, and called for our nets. In fact, he ordered that our deck be filled with fish. In his words, we shouldn't decline such a 'fine gift from Posheidon'.

Odysseus seemed to like saying that, and repeated it many times as we worked to cover the deck.

As the General conscripted about fifty of our men to aid us in the catch, it wasn't more than an hour before we were ankle-deep in fish.

At the same time, Odysseus asked Misenus to tap deeper into our wine. Strangely determined, he made sure the lot of us toasted to 'our gift from Posheidon' several times. -I can't imagine how much wine the General drank.

Anyway, after we had loaded the deck, Odysseus ordered Elpenor to prepare a feast.

A large cauldron was brought up, and Elpenor began directing the preparation of an enormous stew.

By that point, Odysseus was a mess. He was stumbling about the deck, shouting various salty-sounding phrases and slapping anyone within reach hard on the back. -I was pretty drunk myself.

In fact, I don't remember everything after that very clearly.

I do know that at some point, a fish-fight erupted. Lying on my back after slipping for probably the fourth time, I can recall watching a fish sail through the air.

Sitting up, I was struck in the chest. It hurt. -More than I would have expected.

I'm not sure who threw the fish at me, but I remember retaliating against Perimedes. -Now that I think of it, I can't believe he was up and walking around.

Anyway, I then took another one to the back of the head.

Within moments, the air was full of fish.

Oddly, I distinctly remember hitting the General with one. I saw him laughing and tossing a couple, but it didn't seem anyone was bold enough to throw a fish back at him. Thinking it would make him feel better, I lobbed one.

It struck Odysseus the mouth. However, I think he was genuinely pleased. Laughing, the General sent a barrage back at me. -That was painful. I tried to retaliate, but couldn't match the speed or force of his onslaught. Eventually, I just buckled.

Satisfied, Odysseus then turned on Elpenor.

Some time after the fish-fight cooled down, the Lil' Tethys sailed to our side. According to Antiphus, Achaemenides, who has been given command of his own vessel, had requested some of our catch. -Apparently, they hadn't any nets of their own.

Odysseus, who could hardly stand, ordered we fill the aft catapult with our 'gift from Posheidon'.

We shot three salvos at Achaemenides and his crew before the General retired to his quarters. -I hope no one was hurt.

Anyway, I spent the rest of the day dealing with the mess. I instructed Elpenor to cook or begin to dry what fish we could, and had the rest pushed back into the sea.

After dumping our catch, we then had to clean the mess caused by the gulls we attracted. -It wasn't until dark before our work was done.

Every time I passed Baius, he just shook his head.

Ironically, I didn't eat a single fish today.


I'm worried about Polites.

Generally, I eat breakfast with Macar, Misenus, Polites and Elpenor. However, today Polites was absent. -While making my morning rounds, I found him standing at the bow.

Not thinking much of it, I tossed a chunk of salted pork at his head. It hit him squarely, but he only shot me a weak smile.

Taking that as a bad sign, I grabbed some breakfast and brought it to him. He thanked me, but just set it down. After a few moments he turned back to the waves.

I started back to my cabin, but then thought otherwise.

Heading back to the bow, I did my best to break the ice. "What the hell is the matter with you, Polites?" I asked.

Acting surprised, Polites assured me that he was fine.

I just nodded and leaned against the bullwark.

Several minutes passed where we just quietly watched the waves. At one point a seagull shat in front of us, and it almost hit me. -Polites snickered at that, which made me feel better.

We stood for a few more minutes in silence. Finally, Polites raised his bandaged hand and spoke: "They got me again Eurylochus. The Trojans shot my same fucking hand."

"Yeah. That's pretty crazy." I laughed.

However, I then noticed Polites eyes were welling up with tears.

Quickly becoming emotional, Polites continued: "My same fucking hand! It's fucking mangled, Eurylochus. I mean, what is that?! It's some kind of sign, isn't it?"

I have to admit, I was confused. Polites isn't a very religious guy, and I couldn't see why he was so upset. Yes, getting shot in his bad hand sucked, but it could have been much worse.

Trying to cheer him up, I patted him on the shoulder and told him so.

It didn't work. In fact, Polites just completely broke down.

At first he started going off about how he looked like a crab, and then started wailing that he didn't think he was going to make it home. -I couldn't understand everything, but he seemed to have some sort of premonition or something.

I tried to give Polites a pat on the back, but he immediately grabbed hold of me. Clutching me like a baby, he began to sob uncontrollably. -Polites and I are old friends, but this made me a bit uncomfortable.

Considering his emotional state, I didn't want to pry him off. However, Polites was wailing like a little girl, and he was definitely making a scene.

As swiftly as I could, I walked Polites back to my quarters. He didn't try to stop me, but he didn't help me either. The entire time, he just continued crying and babbling about how he knew he was doomed. I think at some point Polites even said that he 'wanted his mommy'. -It was pretty bad.

To make matters worse, we passed Odysseus and Elpenor on our way back.

Odysseus is very uncomfortable about displays of emotion, and immediately turned his attention to cuss out some soldiers who paused in scrubbing the deck.

Elpenor asked if Polites was alright. Frustrated, I told him to 'just fuck off', which surprised us both.

After I got Polites to my cabin, I didn't stay to console him. He had embarrassed me enough, and the last thing I wanted was to spend a lot of time in my quarters with him. I just sat him on my bed, and headed back to the deck as quickly as I could.

Purposefully making myself visible to all, I went to give my morning report to Odysseus. -Elpenor immediately found something else to do.

Anyway, for the rest of the morning, Odysseus and I walked the deck and talked about what needed to be done to prepare the fleet for an attack.

Baius expects it will be five or six days before we reach Ismara. -We'd get there sooner if it weren't for our Milesian barge.

The General doesn't think the Ciconians have any reason to expect us. For that reason, we are going to try to come ashore at night. Thankfully, Odysseus simply intends to raid Ismara and then to leave. I was relieved to hear that. -At this point, I don't think we could even suggest a siege to our men.

Odysseus was obviously pleased to talk to me about his plan and he was in good spirits by the time we broke for lunch. -I didn't bring up Polites, and for that I am sure the General was grateful.

I spent the rest of the day playing Alquerque with Misenus. I hadn't played since I lost to Agamemnon, and I was happy to beat him a couple of times.

It wasn't until late in the evening before I dared to return to my quarters. As I hadn't heard from Polites at all, I was half-expecting to find him dead on the floor.

Fortunately he was fast asleep on my cot. -The bastard drained three jugs of my wine.

On my desk I found a letter. Judging by the handwriting, it was written after Polites had gotten himself very drunk. This is what he wrote:


I remember what you said. You wouldn't be proud of me. My hand looks even more like a claw. Laodice, I saw him on the beach and I let him go. I saw Athena when we ran into the temple down your street. She looked at me like you did. She told me my fate was sealed. Ciconians didn't shoot my hand, She did. I'm so sorry about your husband. About everything. If I get back, I'll go to Athens and kill that bastard myself. If She lets me. It was like a dream. Like a burning dream. You burned, Laodice. I'll drown.

I have no idea what that is all about. -I never heard Polites speak of anyone called Laodice.

Anyway, after hiding his letter, I roused Polites and sent him off to his own bunk.

I was really looking forward to a nice cup of wine tonight.


A bad day.

This morning Odysseus informed the fleet of his plan to attack the Ciconians.

Just after breakfast, the General asked that I retrieve an officer from each ship. -Counting the Milesian barge and the Lil' Tethys, we have fourteen boats.

Baius informed me that we only needed to raise a signal flag in order to recall the ship's liasons. However, only three of the ship's responded when we did, one of whom was the Lil' Tethys.

Eleven of our fleet took no action, whereas one promptly pulled her oars and dropped her mainsail. -I guess we've been on shore too long.

Anyway, with the aid of Antiphus and the Lil' Tethys, we were able to assemble the officers on our flagship by mid-afternoon.

Polites is usually very helpful when it comes to such things. However, today he was unusually scarce. I recall he tried to catch some ropes at one point, but wasn't of much use with his bandaged hand. After that, I didn't see much more of him.

Odysseus remained in his cabin throughout the whole ordeal. Once I informed him all the officers were present, the General dramatically hobbled out of his cabin, striking the deck hard with his Trojan walking cane.

Pacing in front of officers back and forth, Odysseus appeared thoughtful and grave. Finally, pausing in from of one of our sergeants, he turned and asked: "What love do you have for the Trojans?!"

Confused, the sergeant stammered: "Uh... none. I have none. No love General."

At that Odysseus nodded and continued. Several paces later, he wheeled around again, this time in front of a corporal.

"Ciconians spilled your General's blood, have they not?!" he queried.

"Uh, yes they have. …They have spilled your blood Sir.” the officer squeaked.

"And what does that mean?!” pressed Odysseus, leaning into the soldier’s face.

"Um... That... that we... that we attack the Ciconians?" questioned the now sweaty Ithacan.

"Do we?!" asked Odysseus, apparently surprised. The General then turned away, chuckling.

"Do we?" he whispered to himself thoughtfully.

I had almost forgotten just how weird Odysseus can get at sea.

The assembly remained silent as they watched the General slowly pace back and forth across the deck.

Finally, after a painfully long and obviously false deliberation, Odysseus froze. Spinning, he hobbled back to the corporal and clasped his shoulder.

"What's your name, sergeant?"

"Uh, it's Belus, Sir. …Corporal Belus."

Odysseus grinned and belted: "Well, Sergeant Belus, I agree with your advice. We shall attack the Ciconians! Let us show them the price of Ithacan blood, shall we?!"

The General paused for a cheer. However, none followed. Elpenor made some sort of noise, but cut himself short. -For a few moments afterwards, the deck was silent.

Corporal Belus went pale.

Obviously not receiving the response he intended, Odysseus frowned slightly. Without taking his eyes off his men, he shouted to Baius: "Set a course for the shores of Ismara!"

At that, the General nodded to Belus and me in turn, and then hobbled back to his cabin.

I waited a for a moment, and then unceremoniously dismissed the men.

They didn't leave. Immediately the officers began to press me about our new orders. As much as I sympathized with them, I wasn't in the mood to discuss it. I tried to wave them off, but they continued to badger me. -I could hear the blood flow to my head as the rabble on the deck just got louder and louder.

Unfortunately, it was Belus who put me over the edge. -He pushed through the crowd and asked excitedly: "Am I really a sergeant now!?"

In the midst of the torrent of expletives that followed, I think I told Corporal Belus he was being demoted to 'Private Harpy Shit'.

I lost it.

I dressed down Belus for a solid minute, and then stomped off to my own cabin. -I haven't come out since.

I spent the rest of the day carving a knife handle and drinking wine. -I ended up breaking the handle and managed to cut myself twice.

Oddly, I think I heard Odysseus and Elpenor laughing outside my door a few moments ago.

I guess I had better go and speak with the General before I turn in.


Odysseus was wounded today.

He took an arrow to his thigh, but I think his pride was hurt the most.

As planned, Odysseus captained the Lil’ Tethys today in search of the mystery ship.

I thought the General would ask me to stay with the fleet. However, he requested that I join him and left Misenus in charge.

Our crew consisted of Odysseus, Baius, Antiphus, Elpenor, and four of our men.

Elpenor came along at my behest. The General shot me a frown as Elpenor came aboard, but I felt poor guy needed some cheering up. As I expected, he was more than happy to come along.

We set of just after daybreak and sailed to the northwest of our fleet. It was an unusually windy morning, and the Tethys really clipped along. Baius was working the sails non-stop. I don’t think we let any wind pass us that couldn’t be caught.

Due to his efforts, it wasn’t long before we lost sight of our Ithacans. A couple of hours later, we saw the mystery ship once again.

Upon spotting it, Odysseus became very animated. In an oddly salty voice, he shouted: “There she is Biaus, my boy! Don’t let her loose of us this time!”

At that, Biaus gave Odysseus a nod and went to work.

The General then immediately proceeded to the bow, where he conspicuously remained with one foot propped up upon the bulwark while we closed the distance.

Shortly after Odysseus took this dramatic pose, Elpenor walked up and assumed a similar stance close behind. Elpenor shouted something to the General, but I couldn’t hear what it was. Whatever he said, Odysseus didn’t look back to acknowledge it.

A couple of minutes later Elpenor strolled back from the bow and started to look about the boat purposefully.

Elpenor's pathetic behavior pissed me off. I shouldn’t have brought him just because I felt guilty. As his commanding officer, it isn’t my job to console him. No doubt Odysseus would blame me for his lameness.

Anyway, the General maintained his theatrical pose for the better part of an hour. -By that time we had drawn within a few hundred yards of what was a large bireme.

Polites has sharp eyes, and he was the first one to identify the craft to be Ciconian. Odysseus’ suspicions were confirmed, -they were indeed Trojans.

Obviously pleased with himself, the General charged back to Biaus, and ordered to be brought up alongside the Ciconian vessel.

Biaus dutifully nodded. Polites, who was standing next to me whispered: “Oh shit.”

I still can’t see why Odysseus wanted to get close to such a large enemy ship. Nor do I understand what we were supposed to do when we got there. Nevertheless, Biaus carried out the Odysseus’ wish.

As the Lil’ Tethys made it’s way nearer to the Ciconian vessel, my heart sank as more and more faces appeared on her deck. We weren’t flying any colors, and they were obviously curious about our little boat.

When we were no more than ten yards from the Ciconian’s churning oars, a low voice hailed from above us.

“Ahoy there! We travel to Ismara from the shores of Troy. -Be you friend or foe?”

The addressing figure was likely a general. He wore a large feathered hat, and was shouting through an orator’s cone. -He was flanked by no less than fifty Ciconians.

Odysseus asked for our cone, but we didn’t have one.

Frustrated, he waved his hands and hollered: “Friend or foe?! You withered harpy tits, we’re the same Ithacans that ran you out of Troy!”

A sharp silence followed. Obviously no one expected Odysseus’ response. Not us on the the Lil’ Tethys, and obviously not the Ciconians.

After several long seconds, Odysseus got his answer. -This was an arrow in his leg.

As I had been watching for the Ciconian general’s reaction, I didn’t see where the shot came from. Odysseus who was standing next to me just suddenly yelled: “Mother of Zeus! Arrrggh! Shit, shit!”

With that, the General hopped backwards and fell onto a pile of rope. He then screamed at Biaus: “Sail dammit! Sail! Apollo’s ass, get us out of here!”

That’s when a barrage of arrows and spears began to fall upon us.

Given that I wasn’t armed with anything but a sword, I immediately ducked behind a crate near Odysseus. I tried to pull him towards me, but accidentally grabbed his wounded leg. Furious, he screamed: “Fucking Zeus, Eurylochus! What are you doing?!”

Letting go, I forced myself to stand up. I didn’t want to, but I felt kind of dumb cowering while the General lay exposed.

Strangely, for the moment Odysseus was glaring at me, I almost wanted to get hit.

Fortunately, my wish wasn’t granted. In fact, besides Odysseus, only Polites and one other crewman named Perimedes were wounded. Perimedes looks the worst. He took a short spear to the gut. Amazingly, he pulled it out almost immediately after he was struck. Polites got an arrow in his two-fingered hand. -Go figure.

As the Lil’ Tethys is light, it didn’t take much for Baius to break off from the Ciconians. In fact, he simply let out the main sail and turned hard. As a result, the bireme quickly outpaced us. By the time they attempted to come-about, we were well on our way back to our fleet.

Seeing the General was wounded, Elpenor instantly tried to help. Of course, Odysseus wasn’t having it. After several attempts to dress the wound, Odysseus loudly called Elpenor a ‘Nereid’s daughter’, which sent him quietly to the bow.

It took about three hours before we located and caught up with the rest of our Ithacans. I spent that time trying to look purposeful while avoiding Odysseus.

Not more than an hour after we got back on our flagship Odysseus came to see me. By that point he didn’t seem upset at all. In fact, Odysseus proudly showed me his wound, and seemed pretty pleased with a Trojan walking-cane Macar provided him.

No doubt Odysseus’ injury impressed the rest of the fleet more than it did the crew of the Lil’ Tethys.

Anyway, after laughing off our ‘little adventure’ Odysseus informed me that we were changing our course to the Ciconian city of Ismara.

That's right: We are no longer heading directly home.

Instead, we must first undertake a military action on account of our General’s ego. -After all, this is why wars are fought.

Odysseus plans to inform the fleet tomorrow.


I had a long chat with Elpenor last night. -He’s taken Epieus’ departure pretty hard.

I did my best to cheer him up by talking about home. Unfortunately, mentioning his kids didn’t help. -I didn’t bring up the fact he has a wife to come back to as well.

I guess I am fortunate in that respect.

We’ve been gone for about ten years now, and I can’t imagine returning to a family after all that has happened. It would be like going back in time, I think.

No doubt, I’m not the same person that left Ithaca so many years ago. I can’t imagine returning to a family that expected to meet that Eurylochus. -Seeing Mom is going to be odd enough. If she’s still about, that is.

I don’t know why I stopped writing her.

Anyway, I did manage to get Elpenor to laugh a few times before I turned in last night. It must have done some good, because he cooked breakfast for Odysseus and us officers this morning.

Unfortunately, Polites had to tell Elpenor that his eggs weren’t as fluffy as Epieus’ were. -Polites can be such a bastard.

Polites got his due, however. -Odysseus immediately ordered him to surrender what eggs he had left.

The weather was nice today, and we are making fairly good time. If it weren’t for that Milesian barge, we’d be doing much better. -That thing is a log with a sail. We’ve continually had to over extend our tacks just to keep the thing in sight.

Oddly, we have brought the Lil’ Tethys with us as well. Unlike the Milesian barge, Baius’ converted fishing craft can outrun any one of our vessels. I can’t believe such a tiny boat is seaworthy. Still, Baius seems to think so. -I’m sure he’d be sailing the Tethys himself if Odysseus hadn’t made him our helmsman.

Currently, the little craft is under the command of a guy named Antiphus. I haven’t met him yet. Apparently Antiphus is an Aetolian captain, but has a cousin or something in Ithaca. -I guess he’s a mariner buddy of Baius, and the General agreed to take him along with us.

Already, the Lil’ Tethys has been useful for carrying messages between our ships.

Not long after dinner, we sighted a sail far to the north of us. As most of the Achaeans headed to the south or west, we don’t think it’s one of ours.

At any rate, not long after it appeared, we lost sight of it. -Odysseus thinks the ship was avoiding us.

Now it’s too dark to see anything.

Because of that damned barge, we don’t have much chance of catching anything. -It’s either we stay with our spoils or we split the fleet.

Anyway, the General has resolved to take the Lil’ Tethys and to find this ship at first light.

I’d better get some rest.

Dεαr UO rεαδεrs:

This chapter of Under Odysseus has come to a close.

Thank you to all who have followed Eurylochus' story thus far. In particular, I would like to thank those who have taken the time to share their thoughts and feelings along the way.

UO has been a pleasure to write.

Recently, the time I've been able to commit to UO has diminished. However, as you may suspect, we are only halfway through this story.

I predict the second part of this story will begin in the fall. In addition, I plan to make a well-edited version of UO available.

Until then, I will post any additional projects I might have running in the sidebar. Stay tuned.



Homeward bound!

I am writing this from inside my cabin. I haven’t been in this room for almost ten years. In some ways, it feels like yesterday. In others, it could have been a century ago.

My little room, which is just small enough to prevent useful rest, is adjacent to the General’s. -In fact, I can clearly hear Odysseus snoring at the moment. It's almost as if he is timing his snores to the waves slapping upon our hull.

Slap, slap, slap, snore. Slap, slap, slap, snore.

We are making good time.

Today was breezy from the outset.

Soon after we had shoved off, I joined Odysseus, Biaus and Macar on the bow. Odysseus was in a good mood, and his jovial chatter was almost witty.

Macar had brought up a jug of wine. As Odysseus made us laugh, we drank Macar’s wine and inhaled the salty mist as we cut out to sea. By the time I thought to look back, I could only see a grayish plume rising from the smoldering ruins of Troy.

I almost forgot to say goodbye.

I have a strange feeling in me right now. When we first arrived in Troy, I would often wake in the morning, surprised I wasn’t in Ithaca. -Those days have long since passed.

No doubt I’ll wake up tomorrow expecting to be on the beachhead.

Not long after we cleared ourselves from the Achaean fleet, Odysseus ordered Biaus to raise the main sail. To everyone’s pleasant surprise, Elpenor and Epieus had painted a large silhouette of a horse on the sail. In response, a cheer erupted from all on board and from those Ithacan ships nearby. Odysseus’ eyes welled with tears. -To be honest, mine did as well.

Epieus didn’t come with us after all. -I guess he was Phocian.

I saw Elpenor and Epieus saying their goodbyes early this morning. Elpenor has been sitting at the stern all day. -Even Polites has left him alone.

I am going to check on the men before turning in. Maybe I’ll have a chat with Elpenor.

Anyway, it appears we won the Trojan War.

Two weeks of weather like this and we are home.


Last night was nice.

However, I am not sure I will see Aegle again.

We set sail tomorrow.

Aegle is returning to Sparta with Melenaus’ fleet. -I think they are leaving tomorrow as well. Nonetheless, we shared a pleasant last evening together.

Uncharacteristically, Odysseus spent the entire day with us Ithacans. I am glad he did. Much needed to be done today and the General’s presence made the men easier to deal with.

Nonetheless, I feel like I spent the whole day just running from one place to the next. I swear I must have down to the beach and back up again more than a dozen times. -My calves are killing me.

Anyway, a couple of interesting things did occur on our last day here.

Most notably, just after lunch, about two thousand Achaeans, including about one-hundred of our own Ithacans, marched from north of the city and into camp. General Agapenor was apparently commanding them. According to Agapenor, these unaccounted for men had spent the last week chasing a large contingent of the Trojan army up the coast.

I’m not so sure about that story. Agapenor’s contingent returned with three carts loaded with spoils. -I didn’t see any armor or weapons in them.

Nonetheless, Agapenor presented one of these carts to Menelaus and Helen. That seemed to please Agamennon, and everyone more or less cheered their return.

Although we could have punished our truant Ithacans for desertion, Odysseus heartily welcomed them back. -Maybe it’s because they treated him with trunk of goods as well.

Macar wasn’t so thrilled about arranging for one-hundred more Ithacans, however.

The second thing of note was the return of Hermes’ helmet.

Actually, Macar recognized it amidst our spoils as he was doing a final inventory this afternoon. -I have no idea where it came from.

After Macar showed me the winged helm, I decided to strap it on a new goat and present it to Odysseus. We assembled a number of our Ithacans about for the presentation. The General was obviously pleased with the attention.

And, although he appreciated the gesture, Odysseus wasn’t as concerned with the wellbeing of the new Hermes. -In fact, after patting Hermes’ helm, he ceremoniously ordered Elpenor and Epeius to cook him for dinner.

As for the helmet, it went back in the boat.

Of course, Elpenor and Epeius made a delicious meal. In addition to the new Hermes, they cooked some miscellaneous livestock that wasn’t to be loaded, and a goose Polites liberated from the Minyans.

For his part, Odysseus ordered Macar to liberally tap into our stocks of wine. As a result, we Ithacans spent an agreeable final evening on the shores of Troy.

In fact, the men were in such good spirits, that not long after dinner, a sort of impromptu wrestling competition commenced. Epeius was the hands-down winner. -That is, until our men cajoled Odysseus into a match with their champion.

Epeius is wryly. However, Odysseus made quick work of him. -The men loved it.

Come to think of it, I don’t know what is going to become of Epeius and Elpenor. Epeius didn’t sail here with us. I think he’s from Phocis, but now I’m not actually sure. For some reason, I’ve always thought that he arrived with the Phocians. -His breathy lisp sounds a bit Phocian.

Anyway, I don’t now if Epeius has plans to sail back with us, or if he’s going to return to wherever he’s from. Not that Odysseus would mind if he comes along. -He did build the Wooden Horse after all.

Elpenor does have a wife and two kids in Ithaca, though.

It seems the rest of the Achaeans are fractioning into their individual camps just as ours has.

Diomedes and Nestor did stop by a short while ago. Diomedes and Odysseus laughed loudly and slapped each other on their back repeatedly. Nestor gave Odysseus a teary-eyed hug. After chatting for some time, Odysseus informed me that he was going to pay his respects to Agamemnon, and the three left together.

A few minutes ago, Calchas showed up.

Doing his best to appear aloof, he asked me to point him to our flagship. -He’s down there throwing some kind of lucky crap on it right now.

Mother of Zeus. -Tomorrow, we sail for home.


Surprisingly, today was pleasant.

Today, I awoke to a call for an assembly.

It was almost noon, and coming out of my tent, I was embarrassed to find Macar, Misenus, Polites, Euryalus, Elpenor and Epieus having lunch with Generals Odysseus and Diomedes just outside.

Even more embarrassing, I stumbled out brandishing my new sword. -I had meant to discreetly show it to Misenus.

As I staggered out into the glaring sun, Polites leapt up and shouted: “Lead us, and we’ll follow, Captain Eurylochus!” -That bastard.

Anyway, after the crew had a good laugh at my expense, we all left for the assembly. -It was called by Agamemnon.

Nearly the entire army had responded to the call, which meant about eighty-thousand men circled about the Commander-in-Chief’s platform. Taking advantage of Odysseus’ and Diomedes’ rank, we pushed our way to the front where we could hear. In fact, once we arrived, the two generals climbed onto the stage.

Besides Odysseus and Diomedes, Agamemnon was flanked by Nestor, Calchas, Little Ajax, Thaos, Neoptolemus and oddly, Helenus. Incredibly, Helenus was wearing a breastplate with a big ‘alpha’ on it. Neoptolemus kept his hand on Helenus’ shoulder the entire time. -That was sort of creepy.

Still, even more remarkable, sitting on three stools in front of Agamemnon were Cassandra, Melenaus (who was wearing his huge winged helmet), and yes, Helen.

Euryalus was right. She is incredible.

I can’t say that Helen is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. However, she is definitely one of the most memorable. I’m not even sure what it is about her. To me, she looks like a moving statue. -Very cool and very deliberate. -It was an effort not to stare at her.

I’m not sure if that makes any sense. Still, if a war were to be fought over a woman, it might as well be fought over a woman like her.

Today Agamemnon delivered our victory speech.

In a tone of exaggerated pride, the Commander-in-Chief kicked off his oration by announcing that we had indeed won the war.

This immediately fired up the crowd.

According to Agamemnon: “Helen has been recovered from her unjust captors!”, and “Olympus has witnessed the honor and might of the Achaean soldier!”

A deafening cheer followed.

Obviously feeling it, Agamemnon began to loudly list some highlights from our ten-year siege.

Often, this meant recognizing the feats of particular commander. Initially, these acknowledgments were followed by outbursts of enthusiasm from the honoree's respective contingent. -Soon after, the Commander-in-Chief couldn’t be heard above the host's constant roar.

It didn’t take long before the revelry became wholly detached from Agamemnon’s speech. In fact, after a few of these ‘highlights of the siege’, the entire army evolved into an untamed flock of revelry. At one point, I saw a distraught Teucer tossed high into the air.

Even so, as Agamemnon recklessly fueled the crowd’s madness, I couldn’t help but calmly watch Helen. Oddly, she paid little attention to Commander-in-Chief, her husband, or even the growing chaos about her. Instead, Helen and Cassandra casually exchanged the occasional whisper or shared in a polite giggle. -Helen and Cassandra’s behavior gave me the sense they had been through this on more than one occasion.

Anyway, after shouting inaudibly for some time, Agamemnon began to visibly pay homage to those Generals sharing the stage. He did so by grasping the General’s hand, and thrusting it triumphantly into the air.

The men went wild for Nestor. They were even crazier for Neoptolemus who pumped his fists and howled. -Helenus excitedly did the same. However, once the Commander-in-Chief raised Odysseus’ hand, the crowd just lost it.

In fact, the last thing I heard from Agamemnon was “…wooden horse”. -That’s when the crowd surged and I was lifted atop the stage. -I almost fell into Cassandra’s lap.

Before I could stand, I was immediately cast aside by a furious Agamemnon, who didn’t seem to recognize who I was.

A moment of general panic followed.

Fortunately, the crowd behind the platform was less dense, and following Nestor’s pitiless cane, the Commander-in-Chief’s entourage made a hasty escape. -I swiftly followed with Misenus and Macar.

After broking free of the mob, the three of us headed down to the beach. -Odysseus and Diomedes followed Agamemnon, of course.

The army has been in a riotous state since this morning. I did visit our ‘encampment’ a few times, just to make sure our Ithacans weren’t completely out of control. However, most of the day I was down at the water.

Except for a few provisions and our tents, the boats are ready to go. -I suppose we’ll set sail for home in a day or two.

Baius thinks the trip will take just over two weeks. Three weeks at worst. -He says if it weren’t for the Milesian barge we’ve added, we could be home a few days earlier.

Still, the Milesian ship is loaded with a good portion of our spoils.

Macar took me aboard to have a look at them. -It was incredible. We have a fortune upon that ship. I said it looked like enough to buy a kingdom. Macar laughed at that. However, he agreed it would be a good start.

Seeing all those riches, I thought we should increase our guard down at the beach. Macar didn’t think it was necessary. He said our entire army had done well, and that there was little reason for one contingent to steal from any other one in particular. -Not just yet, anyhow. I guess he is right.

After some time, Elpenor and Epieus wandered down to the boats, each carrying a leg of lamb and bottle of wine. -I recognized the wine as the same I had given to Epieus for his buckle some time ago.

The six of us sat on the bow of a ship, eating dinner and talking as the sun went down.

One of those pleasant Trojan breezes was blowing tonight. It was warm, but crisp, and often changed directions.

Every once in a while we’d get a whiff of roasting meat. -Sometimes I think I could smell the smoldering city.

Sitting there on the ship with those guys, I began to feel excited about going home.

Anyway, the sun set a few hours ago, and the army has settled down somewhat.

I just repacked my things once again.

I keep putting my sword away. However, after I do, I think twice about it and put it back on my belt. -It makes me nervous to just leave it in a trunk.

It’s odd: Macar doesn’t seem worried about our entire Ithacan spoils, and yet, I can’t leave this sword unattended in my own tent. -Maybe I should just give the thing to someone else. Or, maybe I should have Achaemenides hold it for me until we get home.

-Polites just dropped in with Euryalus. They are both beyond drunk, but very excited. Polites says he just saw Aegle near Agamemnon’s camp.

Apparently, she was asking about me. Of course, Polites promised to fetch me for her. -I can just picture him doing that.

Those two are laughing like a couple of assholes.



We’ve destroyed Troy.

A strong wind blew all night, and the city burned to the ground.

What’s left of our army is sitting on the Trojan plain, watching an enormous coloumn of smoke rise from within the charred walls.

I don’t know how many Achaeans were lost, but if I had to guess, I’d say at least one-fourth of our army is missing. -That’s about thirty-thousand men.

No doubt some of these Achaeans had followed the Trojan refugees to the north. However, I am sure a number of them burned within the city last night.

Not long after I had gone down to visit Macar and Oineus, it became apparent there was going to be a problem. -The winds about Troy can pick up quickly, and last night they were especially swift to do so.

These heavy winds fueled the fires in the north of the city, and then spread them over the rest of us.

Ten minutes after I had walked into the square, we noticed a warm glow over the rooftops to the north. Ten minutes after that, we were frantically grabbing everything we could carry.

Thankfully, our little neighborhood was just a few hundred meters from the main city gates. As a result, we Ithacans were amongst the first to evacuate. -I don’t think we lost a single man.

Furthermore, as we hadn’t needed many supplies, not much had been brought into the city. -In fact, our Ithacan losses were extremely light.

As soon as the city’s fate was obvious, I ordered Epieus and Elpenor to release the Trojan women.

At that point, I had no plans to reveal Cassandra’s identity. However, once I announced the city was burning, she did it for me.

As a matter of fact, after I related the news to Elpenor, the Princess raced across the cellar, clutched my shoulders, licked my face and squealed: “Really? Is it so?! Oh, please, please tell me it’s so!”

To her impossibly even greater delight, -I told her it was so.

Coyly, the princess then asked me: “You know I am a daughter of Priam, don’t you, Mr. Captain.”

I acknowledged that I did.

“And, you know King Agamemnon, don’t you?” she teased.

Once again, I nodded.

Moments later, Cassandra was gleefully dancing about our little barricaded square.

For all of King Priam’s greatness, he wasn’t so great at passing it along.

Anyway, after the rest of the Trojan woman had scattered, I got to the business of saving what we could.

It wasn’t until we had evacuated the city that I began to consider that Odysseus might not have made it out.

Hours later, as I watched the sun rise with Misenus and Macar, I began to consider what to do with the command of our army.

Our boats were still ready. The city was destroyed. -It didn’t take long before I decided we needed go.

The only question was: How long should we wait for the General?

No doubt, food was going to be in short supply. We were sharing the plain with about eighty-thousand soldiers. Eighty-thousand soldiers without a war. -Not to mention that I good fraction of these men had just lost their leaders.

We couldn’t wait very long.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to.

Just before noon, the 'Helen recovery expedition' returned. -Odysseus, and everyone else, was fine.

Oddly, Cassandra was with them. So was her crazy brother Helenus.

Apparently, Agamemnon and his troupe left Troy soon after setting out. -It seems Helen had escaped the city, and they easily tracked her to one of the small villages to the north.

I never did see Helen, or Menelaus, for that matter. Those of us who received the party were told the ‘happy’ couple was residing within an ornate Trojan coach pulled by a few horses. -Calchas was sitting atop of this carriage.

Maybe Helen and Menelaus didn’t want to spoil their reunion with fanfare.

Anyway, Polites later related the story to me.

In short, Diomedes had payed off a Trojan aristocrat for information regarding Helen’s whereabouts.

Helen was found on a small estate, in the company of a few Trojan nobles, and Paris’ brother, Deiphobus. According to Deiphobus, Paris had died sometime ago and he was Helen’s new husband.

Polites heard that Paris died of an infected hangnail. -I don’t know about that.

In any case, I guess Agamemnon and his men surrounded this estate, and called for Helen to surrender herself. That’s when Deiphobus came out with a few Trojans, and asked them to leave.

Polites said Deiphobus thought a truce should be called, since Helen was no longer with Paris.

Of course, Agamemnon didn’t see it that way.

In response, Deiphobus challenged Menelaus to a duel.

That would have been a joke. No doubt, Menelaus would have been slaughtered. However, before Agamemnon needed an excuse for his brother, Odysseus tossed a javelin into Deiphobus’ chest.

The Achaeans then killed the remaining nobles, and raided the house.

Polites said that according to Agamemnon, Menelaus’ wife was found locked inside a closet, -an unwilling captive of Deiphobus.

Helen’s brother Helenus was found within a closet as well. -A captive of his imagination, I’d guess.

Anyway, most of the Achaens, including Polites, never saw Helen personally.

Euryalus, however, claims to have seen her. In fact, his exact words to Polites were, that he: “…had never seen, nor ever expects to see again, such total hotness”.

Polites doubts Euryalus’ story. I have my doubts as well. -However, maybe Polites is just bitter that he missed out on seeing 'such total hotness’.

In any case, the party found Helen and Helenus, looted the house, and then returned to find the city engulfed in flames.

Oddly enough, Polites said that as the commanders made their way around the city, they came across Cassandra, whom was lying in their path, tending to an injured ankle.

Moved by her plight, Agamemnon ordered her to be put atop his horse. -Cassandra was with the Commander-in-Chief when they arrived.

Strangely, Helenus seems to be adopted by Neoptolemus. -They shared a horse as well.

Of course, Odysseus wasn’t available most of the day. However, I did speak to him just moments ago.

The General dropped by my tent to inquire about the state of our supplies, and how many men we had left.

I told him that it would take me some more time to figure that out. -He nodded and smiled.

Odysseus also asked that Macar see Diomedes’ supply officer tomorrow. Apparently, Diomedes’ Argosians had been looting the Trojan treasury during the last few days. Odysseus wanted Macar to see that our spoils were properly stowed upon our ships.

I was surprised to hear this, but I just nodded without expression.

After that, Odysseus did something unusual.

Just as he turned to leave, the General stopped, turned back, and pulled a large ornate sword from his belt. Odysseus then presented the sword to me and said: “Eurylochus, I want you to have this. -You’ve earned it.”

Somewhat stunned, I took the sword and said: “Thank you, General”.

At that, Odysseus smiled and left.

However, just after he had exited, Odysseus stuck his head back inside my and said: “Could you get me a tent for tonight, Eurylochus?” Smiling, I informed him that his was the next one over. -Odysseus left laughing.

The sword is sitting next to me as I write this. -I’m sure it was the heirloom of some Trojan aristocrat.

It looks old. It’s probably solid gold, and is covered in jewels. -I could probably trade this sword for a few ships, including the crews to sail them.

I wonder if I’ve earned this sword.

I wonder if any of its previous owners ever did.


Today wasn’t any better.

Just after sunrise, Agamemnon called a general assembly in the center of our small barricaded square.

Unfortunately, the assembly wasn’t so general. At best, there might be a dozen of our Achaean commanders now residing within or nearby this center of Achaean command. Of that dozen, seven showed up for the Commander-in-Chief’s rally. Including their aides and some curious troops, about fifty Achaeans were present.

Maybe the turnout would have been better after breakfast.

Anyway, I’ve never been a fan of these speeches. However, today I was somewhat eager to hear what Agamemnon had to say.

During the unabated chaos of these last days, I was certain the Commander’s low profile meant he had been hard at work, formulating some sort of plan. As this was the first time an assembly had been called, I thought this morning’s address might be the first step in setting things right. -Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case at all.

In fact, the subject of this morning’s rally was Menelaus’ estranged wife, Helen.

Agamemnon didn’t mention his brother’s mishap in the Horse. However, it was apparent Menelaus had since recovered, and was now eager to find the wife that walked out on him ten years ago. -Or, likely closer to the truth: Agamemnon was eager to restore Menelaus’ lost honor.

Or, maybe even closer to the truth: Returning Helen is actually about Agememnon restoring his own honor. -It was Agamemnon who convinced Helen to marry Melenaus in the first place, after all.

Maybe the Commander-in-Chief felt that Helen’s elopement with Paris was a slight to him personally.

Mother of Zeus, the egos...

Anyway, the quest to retrieve Helen was announced to excited cheers to all those present.

Yes, most of our army had gone astray. Yes, we had been attacked by our own Achaeans. Yes, a good fraction of Troy was burning. Still, we musn’t forget what this is all about.

Personally, I hadn’t forgotten. I’ve been keenly aware of the pettiness of our objective all along.

Even so, I suppose that deep inside, I’ve unconsciously harbored the notion there might be some rational, or at least nobler, reason for this decade-long war. -Agamemnon’s oration this morning laid those delusions to rest once and for all.

I can’t even say that we’ve actually taken the city. Yes, Troy has been destroyed. There can be no doubt about that. Hell, we’ve even killed old King Priam.

However, in my mind, I always imagined the sack of Troy would be something much more orderly and complete. -I guess I had visions of Agamemnon, sitting upon Priam’s throne, making decrees, and dividing the treasury amongst his generals. -All the while, the Trojans nobles we subjugated would look on sullenly, yet somehow honorably understand.

Instead, we’ve been holed up in an obscure residential district, neglecting the city as it collapsed and burned around us.

Nonetheless, before Agamemnon had finished speaking, the few generals present emphatically proclaimed their support. -Neoptolemus, somewhat gracelessly, declared: “We won’t sleep until the wench is ours!”

At that, most everyone winced. However, it didn’t seem to register with Menelaus. In fact, Menelaus hadn’t said a word. Instead, Agamemnon’s pasty sibling just stood at his side, watching his older brother with a look of uncertain admiration.

Odysseus, who was already armored, broke the silence following Neoptolemus’ declaration, announcing that a party should be assembled immediately. To this end, the General grandly ordered me to gather two dozen of our ‘finest’ men. -I nodded, and thankfully excused myself.

As I left the square, I ran into Polites and Euryalus. -They had just finished their breakfast.

After relating the plan to them, I charged Polites with assembling the party. For some reason, Polites seemed grateful and excited.

The expedition for Helen set out just before noon. Excepting Eumelus, every one of the local generals left. -I suppose this is what they’ve all been waiting for.

All told, about two-hundred Achaens went in search of Melenaus’ wife.

Flanked by his brother and Odysseus, Menelaus awkwardly led this contingent out of the square, wearing a bright red cape and his enormous winged helmet.

Now the sun is now setting, and the search party hasn’t returned.

I can’t help but wonder if they weren’t too late in getting started. Personally, I would guess that if Paris and Helen had not escaped immediately, they wouldn’t have lingered long after the death of Priam. To be honest, I hope Helen did escape.

As for myself, I spent much of the day with General Eumelus. -He was left in charge of defending our camp.

After watching him sitting alone by the fountain for some time, Elpenor and I decided to go down to chat with him.

General Eumelus comes off as a little dim. However, he isn’t such a bad guy. In fact, after talking for some time, I got the impression that he and I shared many of the same misgivings about this whole operation. In fact, I think he volunteered to defend our square for this very reason.

Unfortunately, not long after we began our discussion, the three of us made a grisly discovery.

As Eumelus and I sat upon the fountain, reflecting upon the state of things, Elpenor noticed an unusual number of men had been visiting the residence of Little Ajax. -Since Little Ajax had left with Menelaus’ troupe, Eumelus thought we should investigate.

To our surprise, when we arrived, the Locrian guards outside Ajax’s home warmly welcomed us in. Soon after being escorted downstairs, we realized why. -Little Ajax’s cellar was full of young Trojan women.

Beaming, one of our Locrian hosts informed Eumelus that for him, everything was free of charge.

Dumbfounded, the three of us just stared at each other for a moment. Then, as politely as we could, we excused ourselves.

Two hours later, General Eumelus and I seized the Locrian harem with the aid of a few hundred Pheraens and Ithacans.

Luckily, we took them by surprise, and no blood was shed. -However, the Locrian guards were incensed.

Since then, Macar and one of Eumelus’ captains named Oineus have kept the square secure with a large host of men. -I’m sure Macar will keep a close eye on those Locrians.

As we didn’t think it safe to set the Trojan women free, Elpenor and Epieus have been looking after them in our own cellar. I can only hope that Odysseus does the right thing when he returns. -I assume he will.

Even so, as odd as it seems, I recognized one member of the Locrian harem as the Trojan princess, Cassandra. -I remember Polites pointing her out back when Patroclus and Hector fought. -As no one else seemed to recognize her, I didn’t say a thing.

Now, I’m not sure what to do.

No doubt, the Trojan princess has suffered enough. Yet, I don’t think I can just let her go. Still, I hate to think what her fate might be if the commanders return without finding Helen. -It won’t even matter whether or not she knows anything.

Maybe I can just sneak her out and not mention it.

Apollo’s ass, this sucks.

I’ve watched the sun has set upon the city of Troy once again. The wind is picking up, and it looks like there are more fires burning.

I guess I’ll go down and check on Macar.


Mother of Zeus, everyone’s gone mad.

It’s our second night in the city of Troy. -Fires are burning everywhere and the streets are full of bodies.

Our once disciplined army of over one-hundred thousand Achaeans has transformed into an insane plague of death and destruction. -It’s not even safe for our own soldiers to move about.

In fact, just this morning, Achaemenides and Macar were ambushed by a group of Locrians as they returned from a grainery not more than two-hundred meters off. -The bastards didn’t even steal our carts. The only overturned them, killed a horse, and crushed the leg of one of our petty officers.

Macar believes they would have fared worse had Achaemenides not promptly removed the head of one of the assailants.

It’s complete anarchy out there.

Even so, I only know as much as has been reported to me, as I’ve been cooped up in this house since yesterday morning.

The window I am sitting at overlooks a small courtyard and fountain, centered upon the intersection of five narrow streets. Soon after Macar and Achaemenides returned, barricades were set up around the small square we’ve occupied. -This is now the center of our Achaean command.

Each residence encompasing this square is the headquarters of one or more of our Achaean Generals.

I don’t know all of our neighbors just yet. However, I do know that Agamemnon and Diomedes are residing in two houses across the way. Eumelus and Thaos are sharing the manor to our west, and Neoptolemus and a mixed group of racous soldiers has claimed the apartment complex to our east.

By the way, Neoptolemus was in fact carrying Priam’s head yesterday.

After coming down to see his grizly prize for myself, I asked Misenus to escort the son of Achilles over to Agamemnon’s quarters. As he left, Neoptolemus gave me an intensely cold look that I could only interpret as: “This could be you, asshole.” -I just shook my head.

As Misenus related, Agamemnon didn’t seem too pleased with Neoptolemus’ gift. Maybe it’s because Agamemnon had intended to give Priam quarter. -Then again, maybe that’s because Neoptolemus booted it to him.

Worst of all, Neoptolemus claimed to have slaughtered the King of Troy in the Temple of Zeus, where he and his family had “cowardly” sought refuge. According to Misenus, Calchas really freaked out at hearing this, which in turn got the Commander-in-Chief got pretty worked up.

I guess Odysseus had to escort Neoptolemus out before things got ugly.

Speaking of Odysseus, he soon returned to our quarters after dealing with Neoptolemus.

The General seemed pretty agitated when he arrived, and even though Macar and I had been watching Little Ajax and his Locrians move in three doors down, we didn’t bother to mention the morning’s ambush to Odysseus.

The fact that Macar didn’t betray the slightest bit of indignance shows just what kind of soldier he is. Still, I don’t believe Macar has forgiveness in mind. –No doubt, those Locrians have something coming to them.

Anyway, after Macar stoicly excused himself, Odysseus decided to pen another letter to Penelope.

I really hate when the General does that. For some reason, he thinks writing to his wife is going to calm his nerves. -It always has the same result.

Here is today’s tour de force:

Dearest Penelope,

Guess what my dearest love? We have won! Yes, we have won. Zeus and Ares, and likely Apollo, have smiled upon your General and his good Ithacans. Troy has now fallen.

How is Telemachus?

Now that your General has achieved this greatest achievement, he looks forward to seeing his dearest Penelope. As well as his good son, Telemachus. And his dogs. How is the garden?

At that, Odysseus asked me to toss out the letter and rewrite it myself. -I haven’t yet gotten around to it.

Somehow, after transcribing the General’s letter, my head seems somehow polluted. -I’m going to give it some time before relating our victory to Penelope as Odysseus.

Not that this feels much like a victory.

Anyway, after the dictation, Odysseus asked a few random questions about our Ithacans. -I did my best to put him at ease.

Odysseus then mentioned that Agamemnon had planned on a game of alquerque tonight, and that he was going to see if he was still interested. -At that, Odysseus left.

Contrary to what I told the General, As it stands, I can account for about one-third of our men. The majority of those are more or less concentrated in the tree-lined neighborhood behind us. Polites and Misenus have been my main lines of communication with this contingent. -As for the rest of our Ithacans, I can only guess.

I’ve heard the northern neighborhoods are some sort of hell on earth. It does seem to be the place with the most fires. -I would guess a good number of our missing Ithacans are there.

As for the others, Elpenor and Epieus are living in the rooms below me, as are Macar and Achaemenides. Biaus is down at the beach with about fifty more of our soldiers.

On a positive note, the pantry in this house was well-stocked, and Elpenor and Epeius have been working their magic three times a day.

Across the way, I just saw Diomedes enter Agamemnon’s house with a group of women. -Aegle wasn’t one of them.