King Eumenes was a proud king and once a great warrior despite his unimposing appearance. His golden hoplite armor worn over a blue tunic bore the image of an azure dragon across its chest. The matching billowing blue cape added to the full image. His short black hair and short facial hair gave him a youthful appearance. A stark contrast to his son’s stringy shoulder length hair that was dark blond. A rarity in this region of the world. Before Kreon could greet his King, he had already turned to leave. But this was not before Alexandros noticed his presence.
“Excuse me Kreon.” Leaving to catch up with his father. He wasted no time searching the halls or courtyards and simply went straight to the Kings Chambers. On the eastern most portion of the kingdom, it had a perfect view of the ocean. Climbing the main staircase of a mansion like structure he finds King Eumenes preparing to enter his throne room. “Father!” He exclaims excitedly.
“Yes Alexandros?” Turning to face his son.
“Did you think I was good father?”
“Far better than I could’ve ever dreamed. A true warrior.” His praise distant and hollow.
“I’ll do my best to be a great warrior father!” Hoping for true praise and not simple platitudes. “I’ll protect our home from those Tartarans.” King Eumenes face turning cold the second the word Tartaran was uttered.
“You are never to fight the Tartarans.” He says sternly with a grim scowl.
“I am ordering you as your King Alexandros. You are never to fight the Tartarans.” His declaration made, he enters his chambers.
Alexandros was somewhat shocked by King Eumenes orders. The Tartarans were monsters who served the God of the Underworld Hades. In recent times the Tartarans have ventured out of Tartarus’ borders and assaulted numerous villages. Sometimes simply laying waste to them. Other times capturing its people for unthinkable acts. To fight the Tartarans was almost certain death for anyone who wasn’t a Demigod. But for those who weren’t…those who battled the Tartarans and survived were revered as kings and legends. While the natural choice to make as a father protecting his son. To a warrior it was a fate worse than death. To be denied such glory. Crushed, he leaves and walks the roads of Etenia. The citizens he passed all greeted him with warm smiles and praise but none eased Alexandros’ mind. All it did was remind him how he’d never truly be able to honor their praise.
Before he could wallow in defeat any longer a series of horns sound throughout the city. It was the warning horn of an incoming attack. It had been some time since he warning was sounded and all of Etenia was caught by surprise. Did the Spartans plan on using Etenia as a roundabout way to Athens? Was it Athens who had a similar motive? Alexandros didn’t waste time on such thoughts. He was a warrior not a scholar. Running to the top of the outer walls he stood amongst the guards and saw what had caused the alarm. The Tartarans were attacking with an army of wraiths. Hordes of ghastly specters covered in black shrouds to hide their skeletal frames beneath. Monsters you’d never see in the daytime. It had been years since their last attack so why the sudden offensive? The guards on the walls of Etenia soon knew the answer…and wished they hadn’t found it.
Standing at the front of the legion of wraiths was their leader. A brutal and unrelenting Minotaur, his massive 10 foot tall frame towered above the wraiths and far above ordinary man. He carried a War Hammer just as tall as he was. Brown fur covered in scars from countless battles, he bore a sun branded on his left shoulder and a moon on the right. The brands were only seen on a single person…The leader of the Tartarans in place of Hades who laid waste to entire nations whenever he took to the field of battle…his name was Karaba the Terrifying. By simply being present he made an overwhelming pressure take hold of whoever saw him.
Karaba stood proud in front of his army and looked over the guards along the wall with his blank white eyes. Their pitiful bows and arrows didn’t intimidate him in the least. Their ballistae weren’t even worth scoffing at. Raising his War Hammer high into the air with a single hand he yells loud enough to shake the very ground. “CHARGE! LEAVE NONE STANDING!” He commands as he leads the charge headfirst in a very literal sense.
Alexandros watches as the guards scramble to draw their bows and ready the ballistae to no avail. Karabas presence had struck terror into their hearts and his charge shattered their spirits. The pressure he gave off alone was worth three times as much as his wraith legion. But not to Alexandros, he may still be a child but he wasn’t afraid to fight for his home. “Hand me your sword!” He demands of the closest guard to him. He couldn’t man a ballista but he could still fight with a sword.
“Y-yes my prince.” Stammering as he clumsily hands him his sword. Still reeling from the sight of Karaba. Alexandros sprints to try and get back off the wall but before he can Karaba has already charged through the gates.
Sniffing the air, Karaba looks at Etenia. So feeble these human structures were. His Wraiths slaughtered the civilians and still terrified guards with ease. The unluckiest were devoured while still alive to experience it. Such a boring campaign…even with all their “training” they were barely a match for the Wraiths. “Looks like I overestimated them.” He thought. His very presence eliminated the fun of having to destroy the ballista and maim the archers first. “I can smell you boy.” Karaba says glancing over his shoulder at Alexandros.
Despite having no fear when he saw Karaba on the gate, it was entirely different seeing him up close. His white eyes seemed to be staring into Alexandros’ very soul. The pressure it created was suffocating to him and he could barely stand in the Minotaur’s presence. “I…do not fear you monster.” His voice low and forced.
“Oh?” Karaba turns and walks towards Alexandros who was paralyzed in place. Each step of his hoofs shook the ground beneath him.
“GET AWAY FROM HIM BEAST!” Kreon exclaims. Charging towards Karaba with sword and shield ready. Karaba scoffs and turns to face Kreon. Pulling back his arm, Karaba swings his War Hammer with only the strength of his arm. Kreon blocks the attack with his shield. But even with only using one arm and putting no momentum into the swing, the strength behind it was immense. It had more than enough force to shatter the shield, every bone in Kreon’s arm, and send him soaring through the air. Crashing through a buildings wall would break several more bones in his back.
“Know your place mortal.” Karaba scoffs at the insect.
“R…run…Ale…xandros…” Weakly struggling to his feet. Even if he was battered and broken he wouldn’t allow his prince to die. There was no fear behind his eyes but instead rage.
“You still plan on fighting even with your body broken?” Karaba questions, lowering his War Hammers head so it’s resting on the floor.
“Till my last…breath…monster.” Kreon responds.
Karaba smirks at the defiance. “What is your name?”
“Kreon…I shall remember that name. You are a true warrior unlike your men. It will be an honor to end your life.” His words sincere without an ounce of condescendence. Raising his War Hammer high into the air he prepares to strike down Kreon with all his might. A warrior’s death fit for a warrior who could stand before him fearlessly. Anything less would be an undue insult. Feeling a slight sting in his side, Karaba looks down to find Alexandros stabbing him. Seeing the child’s surprise attack against him made his blood boil in an instant. Letting out an exhale he lowers his War Hammer, removes the sword with ease, and turns towards Alexandros.
“RUN!” Kreon screams forcefully but only coughs up blood from his injuries. The pain made his knees buckle and forced him to collapse.
“Have you no honor child?” Karaba asks. His face disgusted. Veins pulsating with fury across his body, he grabs Alexandros with one hand and throws him into the blood stained streets.
“I won’t let you destroy my home and kill my friend!” With his home and all he knew at stake something snapped within Alexandros. Karaba had now stopped his approach. Without realizing it, Alexandros had summoned a Geist. Taking the form of a muscular crimson armored Spartan, it hovered behind him with Sword and Spear in hand.
“Are you so sure that this is your home?” Karaba inquires signaling to the Crimson Geist.
“What?” Alexandros glances over his shoulder at the Geist hovering behind him. “W-what is this?!” He yells in shock.
“That power is not one a mortal could possess. Are you sure these are truly your people?” Alexandros is unable to find words at the sight of the Geist. Karabas rests his War Hammer on his shoulder and grins tauntingly. “You are one of us child. Do not waste your life protecting people who will sooner sacrifice you than defend you.” He extends his hand towards the child. “Take my hand and this battle will end and you will return to where you belong.”