I went to a meeting with Odyesseus today.

I guess that Agamemnon wanted some kind of inquiry into the Trojan attack. He called about 20 of the generals together, and Odysseus asked that I come and take notes for him.

It started pretty slow. Basically, each general was given the floor for a few minutes, and they were allowed to comment or ask questions. Most of the generals just expressed how surprised they were by this attack, and how we needed to be much more vigilant in the future. They would then invariably kiss Ajax's ass, and compliment him on his duel with Hector. -Ajax was pretty pleased with these proceedings.

That is, until it was Odysseus' turn.

Odysseus was sitting next to Agamemnon, which made him last to speak. First off, he echoed the other general's concerns about how we should have been more aware and such. But then, he started talking about the Trojan calvary, and how it was so surprising that the Trojans should have had so many horses.

This drew some murmers from the other generals, and many of them thoughtfully grabbed thier beards and nodded.

I knew where Odysseus was going. Apparently, Ajax did too, because he wasn't smiling anymore.

Odysseus did have a big grin however, and making an exaggerated gesture, he signaled to the guards at the entrance. They pulled the flaps open, and Elpenor rode into the tent on a horse.

At that, Odysseus said: "Gentlemen, let me present to you one of the horses captured from the Trojans! -A Salamisian horse!"

All hell broke loose.

Ajax slammed his fists and yelled "Bullshit, Laertes!", then everyone started shouting.

Elpenor's horse spooked, and after kicking a captain in the jaw, charged out of the tent.

It was total chaos. Odysseus began going off about how it was treasonous to trade weapons with the enemy, and Ajax was yelling about how Odysseus had set him up. The other generals were shouting too.

It was apparent that the other generals weren't sure where they stood. No doubt, some of them had been trading with the Trojans as well. Still, it wouldn't look good to side with Ajax in front of Agamemnon. Therefore, many of them were just crying in disbelief, or just making noise.

Anyway, I didn't get to see the resolution. After about fifteen minutes of madness, Agamemnon restored enough order to have us aides escorted out.

I didn't see Odysseus again today.

This evening, Elpenor dropped by my tent. He was worried that Odysseus would be angry at him. I reassured him that he had done a good job, and that he couldn't help what the horse had done.

I wanted to tell him that he probably should avoid doing such favors for Odysseus in the future, but I know that he wouldn't understand why.


I’ve been sick as hell.

I think that it was caused by some oysters from Polites.

The morning after the battle between Ajax and Hector, Polites brought two buckets of oysters over for breakfast. I guess that they were a gift from his girlfriends. -Maybe Polites’ girls aren’t happy with him.

Misenus and I have been puking our guts out for the last two days. Yet, the damnedest thing is that Polites is completely fine. -He thinks it's fucking hilarious. Still, it probably serves us right. It is kind of stupid, eating food from the Trojans.

Anyway, everything else has been going well enough.

Some of the Minyans came back with wood yesterday, and Elpenor and Epieus have gotten work started on the Horse’s base. -It seems Epieus plans to build a big flat cart on which the horse will be standing.

I still can’t believe that we are building a fucking horse.

Odysseus has been pretty scarce. He wanted me to go hunting with him and some of the generals yesterday, but I wasn’t quite up to it. I guess that they didn’t have much luck. The fauna around here has been severely depleted by our army’s extended presence. In the end, Odysseus shot a goat from one of the neighboring villages.

They put these big fake wooden horns on it, and paraded it around camp like he had slain a Gorgon or something. It was pretty funny.

Unfortunately, I missed the ‘Feast of the Hunt’ that followed.


Well, Ajax isn’t dead. Neither is Hector.

About noon, a large congregation of commanders rode up the hill to about halfway between our camp and Troy.

Although our entire army wanted to see this duel, the commanders only let a handful of the senior officers join them for the spectacle. Odysseus, who was in especially good humor, asked that Polites and I join him. –Polites had the wine.

Hector was a little late.

About twenty minutes after we had arrived, Hector rode up with an entourage of about fifty men, one of whom was Paris. The sight of Paris caused some grumbling amongst our generals, but Agamemnon quieted them down, saying something like: “We aren’t here to do battle, we are here for honor!”

It was almost unsettling to see how the commanders of each side were so cordial to one another.

Anyway, there was a big to-do of announcing and posturing between Ajax and Hector that lasted about fifteen minutes. -By that point, our men and Hector’s posse had formed somewhat of a circle around the two, about ten meters in diameter.

There was a lot of shit-talking. Hector kept shouting that Ajax wasn’t much of a substitution for Achilles. Ajax would respond that Hector was just flattering himself.

Some of their jeers were pretty funny. I guess that Ajax was feeling some nerves, because in response to Hector saying “Don’t worry boys, I’ll have you home well before dinner!” he quipped “Yeah, well boys, I’ll have you home well before breakfast!” –Polites gave me such a look that I couldn’t help but burst out laughing.

I guess that it might have been the wine, because Odysseus thought it was pretty funny too. He began to laugh, but checked himself after a sharp look from Agamemnon.

Anyway, just when it looked like they would never fight, Polites had the balls to shout: What is this?! –A fight or a debate?!

Polites had forced the issue. Hector and Ajax both heard him, and at that, they turned and squared off.

The battle was remarkable, and I have to admit that Ajax was a lot tougher than I had expected.

Hector and Ajax rushed at each other. They crashed, swung their swords, crashed, kicked, crashed, tumbled, crashed, punched, and crashed some more. After about ten minutes of this, the two of them rolled away from another, stood up, dusted themselves off, and then went back at it again.

Hector was an extremely offensive fighter. But, Ajax was equally as good at parrying his blows. There were some good hits made on each of their parts, but these were invariably kicks and punches, or bashes with the hilt or shield. -Neither Ajax nor Hector seemed able to really capitalize on any advantage.

The men on the sidelines were going crazy, shouting encouragement and advice.

And the fight went on.

And on, and on…

It started to seem unreal, and the roar of the audience began to die off.

Still, the fight went on.

Eventually, shouts of encouragement turned to whispers of disbelief.

After about forty minutes, the breaks were becoming longer than the struggles, and I seriously began to wonder if one of them would simply expire from exhaustion rather than by the other’s sword.

And then, after an hour of clashing, scraping, punching, kicking, cutting, and yes, even biting, the duel finally ended.

There was no victor. Yet, there wasn’t a loser either. It was a tie.

Regaining some strength from what must have been a solid five minute break, Ajax and Hector rose, and turning towards the other, charged with renewed strength. However, this time as Ajax raised his sword above Hector’s head, his knees -which apparently had been forced to work beyond their threshold of exertion, suddenly buckled.

Hector, who had had some practice by this point, raised his shield to receive Ajax’s blow. But, instead of receiving a sword, he received the full force of Ajax’s face.

This might have been a fatal error for Ajax. However, Ajax’s face struck Hector’s shield with an almost suicidal force, the kind of force that Hector might have successfully dealt with thirty minutes befor. However, after a full hour of battle, Hector couldn’t begin to absorb the blow.

The result was that Hector himself buckled under Ajax’s face, and the two men flopped violently down into the dust.

Hector splayed out flat backwards, making no effort to break his fall. It looked as if a massive dead tree had fallen directly into another massive dead tree and breaking the other’s trunk, brought the second down with it. And, just as the upper part of a tree hits last with a whip, Hector’s head made a hollow thwack as it lashed the earth.

It was this sickening sound that announced the end of the epic fight.

At first, it seemed that Ajax’s face plant might have defeated Hector, however, as he made no effort to rise from Hector’s chest, it became apparent that Ajax had knocked himself out with his blow to Hector’s shield.

For almost a full minute, no one moved. Then, somewhat meagerly, a few orderlies stepped into the circle. Keeping their heads down, they shuffled up to their respective general’s side.

Everyone was spellbound. -You could hear the wind.

Ajax awoke with a gut-wrenching moan. He pushed himself off of Hector, and rolling over, slowly propped himself up. His face was caked in blood.

Looking at the scene, Ajax waved his hand and sent off the orderlies. His men quickly retreated, however Hector’s men seemed a bit reluctant. But Ajax stood up, and they too backed away. Ajax then found his sword and picked it up. He turned to Hector who was now beginning to moan.

It looked like it was the end of Hector. Ajax raised his sword. -Hector opened his eyes.

And then… Ajax started to laugh. Hector started to laugh too. Ajax dropped his sword, and fell over next to Hector, just laughing uncontrollably.

With that, the fight was ended.

Eventually, the two combatants helped each other up, dusted themselves off, and patted each other on the back.

Ajax gave Hector his belt, and Hector gave Ajax his sword. The two embraced like old friends, and then turned and walked back to their men. Soon after, everyone began to disperse.

That was it.

The fight was all the talk around the fires tonight, and Polites had a great time orating his version to an audience of about two-hundred of our men.

As everyone had assumed that there was going to be a funeral for Ajax tonight, the men seemed genuinely pleased with the outcome. -The celebration in the Salamisian camp was riotous.

The only person that didn’t seem to be having a great time tonight was Odysseus.


Zeus' Mother. The Trojans attacked us.

Just before daybreak, everyone in camp was awoken by the shouts of our watchmen, quickly followed by the sounds of battle.

It wasn’t an all-out attack, but rather a surprise charge lead by Hector, one of the Trojan big shots.

From what I gather, this is what happened:

Very late last night, one of our northern patrols didn’t check in. Although I would assume that this doesn’t typically happen, no one panicked, and I guess that they decided to send out another patrol to go look for them.

Well, it wasn’t long before that patrol got out of eye-shot that screams were heard.

Apparently, Hector and his men had caught our first patrol near one of the villages to the north where they either captured or killed them. The Trojans were then able to assemble a pretty large mass of troops and cavalry which marched on our encampment just before dawn.

Our second patrol stumbled upon them en route.

Although it was unfortunate for that second patrol, their screams gave us enough forewarning that we weren’t completely caught with our pants down.

Anyway, by the time I got out of my tent, I was able to see a mass of Trojan troops, probably six or seven hundred men, rushing down onto the northern end of the Arcadian encampment. These were closely followed by a few dozen Trojan horsemen, one of whom was Hector.

I couldn’t help but think that some of those horses were probably ours.

Well, I guess the Arcadians took it pretty hard.

Most of those guys weren’t able to get out of their tents, much less put on any armor before the Trojans were upon them. I heard that something like eight hundred guys were killed or wounded.

Although I grabbed my sword and immediately ran over to the action, by the time I had gotten there, most of the Trojan foot soldiers were already high-tailing it back to Troy. Some of our guys were giving chase on unsaddled horses, but the Trojan horsemen were playing interference for the retreat.

A few of the really brazen Trojan cavalry were still in the Arcadian camp when I arrived. To be honest, I didn’t make such a wholehearted stand against these guys.

These were well armored Trojan champions, one of whom was Hector.

I could tell it was Hector, because he was shouting his name. He kept yelling: “I am Hector! Son of Priam! Bring it you sonufabitches! Ah, Yeah, that’s right, I am Hector, Son of Priam! Where the hell is that sonufabitch Achilles?!”

Then he would cut off some poor sap’s head.

Most of us guys just stood there looking at him and his crew as they ran about swinging on brave but unarmored Arcadians.

Finally, after a few bloody minutes, there was a thunder of horses and a large group of our commanders rode up.

I thought that Hector and his men were screwed. -We had about twice as many horsemen present, including a few hundred unarmored soldiers with more on the way. However, upon arriving, our commanders stopped short and formed a line facing Hector and his men, about twenty yards distant.

I could see that Odysseus, Ajax, and Agamemnon were together in the front. I tried to look official as I walked up to stand in front of Odysseus. -I wanted him to know that I had at least shown up.

Anyway, everything quickly quieted down and Agamemnon shouted to Hector: “Hector, for what do we owe the honor of your presence on this fine morning?!”

Fucking commanders, I don’t know where they get off talking like this. Here there were scores of guys bleeding all about, and Agamemnon is talking like Hector had just dropped by for breakfast.

Hector responded likewise: “Ah, King Agamemnon, I was just returning the visit that your champion Achilles paid on our people two nights ago! By the way, where is brave Achilles? Sleeping?!”

At this Ajax, looking perturbed, blurted out, “Achilles is not here, asshole!”

This brought some laughter from some of our men that were standing about. Even some of the lying wounded started laughing.

Hector looked taken aback and frowned. He then reared up his horse, and shouted: “Ah, Ajax, King of the Salamisians, then you wouldn’t mind fighting in his stead, would you?!”

No one wants to fight Hector. Hector is the Trojan Achilles.

Still, to his credit, Ajax quickly shouted back: “Sure thing asshole! Name the place!”

With that, Hector said: “Ah, tomorrow, tomorrow at noon Ajax! Meet me halfway between camps! C’mon Trojans!”

With that, Hector wheeled around and he and his remaining men rode off. Some Arcadians tried to chase them or throw things at them, but they were soon called of by Agamemnon and his entourage.

The rest of the day was spent assessing the damage and collecting the wounded.

Odysseus stopped by this evening looking pretty chipper. Before he stepped out, he said: “It looks like we are going to have a hell of a battle to watch tomorrow, eh, Eurylochus?”

I nodded.

“Bring some of that good wine of yours, alright?” Odysseus smiled.

“Yes Sir.” I responded.


It seems that I am seeing less and less of Odysseus.

Odysseus has always enjoyed his time socializing with the other commanders and getting involved in their larger-than-life dramas. Now that his Wooden Horse project is underway, the General has become somewhat of a celebrity, and his social calendar is nearly full.

Not only is he scarce, but he never eats with his men anymore. Most nights, he is being entertained by one of the other Generals, or by Agamemnon himself. In fact, I am wasting more and more of my time each day dealing with people who want to meet with him. -No doubt, his star is rising.

I just hope that this Wooden Horse thing works. It sure won't be good for the General if it doesn't.

In other news, there was some skirmishing north of Troy last night.

Apparently, Achilles stirred things up a bit before he left. We have twice as many patrols going out tonight. I have asked Misenus to do the same at the build-site.

-Nice, Elpenor brought me dinner.