Zeus and the other Olympians resided on mount Olympus, as they rightfully deserved. Going about their business and life as they normally would. The same could be said for the Mortals, but not all that existed thorough the realms. As this reign of false peace continues, the true chaos slowly begins to unfold.
While those on Mount Olympus and the mortals continued their daily lives; anger and hate boiled and brewed in the underworld. Hades was in the rarest of attitudes, it was excited. His plans were not only working, but at an unexpected rate of success. He may of not directly caused the fall of Greece, but he may as well had been. But that was the least of his actions, the beginning of his terror that would be etched into the mortal realm, once again.
(After a bit of character development and interaction. I will insert and play a few characters that start a very epic chain of events. (The main story/quest.)
A weak shout echoed as he awoke, his breathing was heavy and frantic. Drenched in sweat Theos attempted to pull himself together from the nightmare that awoke him. The same nightmare that has haunted him ever since that horrifying day. After a while of calming down he started picking up camp. Due to his abrupt and somewhat loud awakening, Theos was a little on edge while gathering his things.
Today was one of those rare occasions where Rome would be visited. Not only was his supplies running thin, but A Cyclops head was in need of turning in.
Rome was a place that Theos could hardly call home, due to how often he was really there. However no matter how long he was gone, he was always welcomed with open arms. More importantly, the arena always remembered his name. If it wasn't for earning his freedom he would still be in the damned gladiators arena. But luckily the gods favored Theos' freedom over his gladiator title.
Unlike most, Theos traveled by foot, not often by horse. Many considered him a fool for traveling the distances he did on foot. But he never saw a problem with it. There were a lot of things that he felt, separated himself from the rest of the world. Meaning he never truly found somewhere he could say, he belonged. Except for once, though that time of belonging, was cut short and now is a haunting nightmare.
Quintus Lutatius Catulus had never much liked going to see the Trials at the courts in Rome. He always held the belief that the Law was something sacred, and the idea of people bordered on mockery. This time, however, he had no choice but to go, as he was the accused. His crime? Cowardice on the battlefield. In Rome, a crime like that had the most severe and religious of punishments. Catulus knew he was innocent, but this trial had been demanded by some of Rome most powerful people. The Flavii were just trying to save face, and found their scapegoat in poor Quintus.
Quintus approached the stand, trying to look tall and dignified. He had his armor shined as best as he could, but he knew it still wasn't perfect. Combine that with the fact that Catulus felt woefully overwhelmed. He was a soldier, and that's all he ever wanted to be. This internal politics nonsense was beyond him. Still, he tried to put a good face on it.
"Quintus of the Lutatii, called Catulus. You are accused of sullying the honor of Rome and abandoning your commander on the field of battle. How do you plea?"
"Not Guilty." Catulus replied, with the most dignified voice he can muster. The crowed murmured and gossiped. Here goes nothing. he thought.
Ateret Corvus left her home early in the morning, not wanting to deal with her stepmother or father for that matter this morning. She was wearing her dress toga that brushed the ground lightly and hung off her shoulders. She had her hair up but without any flowers in it like most of the single women roaming the streets, that would then give one of their flowers to men they found attractive and available. She had no interest in seeking out a man for herself and instead thought she should be interesting enough without tricks and false charms.
The day before Crispus’ father had visited and said his brother was privy to a trial going on against a military man. Her father and Crispus’ father spoke for at least an hour about the soldier until Ateret overheard his name and frowned. It sounded so familiar. She wasn’t completely sure though and since most everyone would be observing the trial, she decided to make an appearance. After all, most of her days used to be spent wrestling with young men who were her friends until they married and thus had no time to see a woman as their equal anymore. Nowadays she didn’t have much to do at all.
Upon arriving at the get together, Ateret moved through the crowd, hearing the judge call the familiar name. She frowned again, slightly tanned skin standing out among the high class amongst the crowd, considering they were all rather pale from their canopies and indoor parties while she roamed the streets. She got as close as she could and could see the man’s face. That’s when the name clicked with the face. Though he was older she recognized Quintus from when they were both children. Why was he being accused of this? She didn’t know how he could have changed that much to commit such a crime, and when he said not guilty, she believed him, looking at the others who murmured scoffs of disbelief with anger in her eyes. She hated when politics were unfair and could only hope the judge was righteous.
Helion awoke later than usual this day. He got up and looked around his small, but well decorated apartment. It was a far cry from the dank, rat infested alleyways he had called home when he was just starting out as a thief. Back then he would have awoken before the sun, to better take advantage of the dim light to pickpocket the drunks stumbling home after a night of debauchery. These day's he almost never had to pickpocket for need of money, he only kept it up so as not to lose his edge. Commissions brought in the bulk of his finances now. People from near and far contracting his services to relieve others of their possessions, Connoisseurs wishing to add to their private collections through illicit means. These jobs paid better than the smaller ones ever had. They allowed him to move off the streets and into a relatively nice part of the city. Truth be told though, he was bored as hell.
He might have been on the verge of starvation most of the time in the old days, but there was also more of an element of risk that just wasn't there in the pre planned burglaries that made up his job of late. He made a resolution to have a bit of fun this day. Donning his cloak, he strapped on his dagger and various tools of the trade, he brushed his hand against a small idol of Hermes, the only thing he had left of his mother, for luck, and headed out into the City. After milling around the rooftops, he spotted a large crowd near the senate building. It looked like a trial, but whatever the cause for the gathering, it was filled with nobles and purses ripe for the plucking. Helion grinned as he headed for the crowd.
Despite coming from a well off noble family, Quintus himself had little money. When his father died, his older brother got the estate and all the riches. Lucius Lutatius Catulus, though having not spoken to his brother in many years, was kind enough to send an attorney, along with his best wishes. Quintus was grateful, but ever since father died, he felt like he had been cast out by his family.
His attorney was certainly talking up a storm, doing the best he could to point out holes in the arguments of the prosecution and their "witnesses". while they spoke, Quintus could help but feel his mind start to wander. At first, he looked at the crowd. They all looked on riveted, hungry for justice. For a moment, he thought he saw a familiar face in the crowd. At first, he ignored it, thinking it a trick of his eyes. But then he looked again and there she was.
At first, he didn't recognize her, for the last time he saw Ateret Corvus, she was much younger, and covered in mud. She had always tried so hard to be one of the boys that Quintus found her rather endearing. She was always around his circle of friends, acting tough, spitting whenever they spat and other such nonsense. Looking at her now, Quintus couldn't believe how much she had grown. Now she looked like the epitome of womanhood. Strange times indeed. Quintus thought to himself.
Trying to act casual he looked away, back to the judges. The defense's witness was there now, a centurion that Quintus had recognized as Gnaeus Capito. Gnaeus was old for a legionnaire, but he was good to his cohort and his legion. He had heard someone joke that Capito would follow the imperial eagle up Pluto's ass if ordered. Capito was describing the battle in northern Greece, on the borders of Thrace. His description of events made Quintus think about his own part in the massacre.
The forest was dark, even during the day. Tiberius Flavius Crispus, the local governor, had said it would be a quick an easy patrol. Three legions, the VIth, the VIIth and Quintus' own VIIIth went in. Almost immediately, they were ambushed by what could only be described as monsters. Bull men, goat men and horrors out of man's darkest dreams came out to meet them. The first attack was quick, but brutal. Many men lay dead, with only a few losses to the Beastmen. Flavius ordered a quick meeting of all his commanders. Of all the officers present, only Quintus suggested that they fall back and regroup. Flavius and the older officers immediately shot him down, saying that Roman strength and honor would lead them through the forest and to victory. Thus they continued. What should have been a half a days march turned into 3 days of ambushes and feints. Then on the third day, the legions were at a fraction of their original strength, and Quintus went to Governor Flavius. He told him that the situation was lost, and that the only plan was to double time the legions and get out of the forest as soon as possible. Flavius was furious. "Retreat?! In the face of the enemy? Are you a coward, Catulus?" he asked, his face red. "It's not cowardice, it's wisdom. If we continue at our current pace, we will be slaughtered. We are out of op-" Quintus was cut off. The horns of the beastmen sounded once more and a fresh wave came upon them. Quintus, though tired and battered, fought desperately to protect his commander. Flavius clearly had other ideas. He shouted to Quintus. "I'll tell Rome of your sacrifice. Good Luck!" With that, he took to his horse and fled. "Damn fool." Quintus said through gritted teeth. Flavius didn't get very far before he was struck by a javelin and knocked from his horse. A minotaur with a wickedly bladed axe removed the Governors head and raised it above the field. At this point, it stopped being anything that remotely looked like a battle and became simple butchery. Quintus went to what few men he could find and told them to follow him, double time. Of the original 15,000 men that went into the forest, only about 300 followed Quintus out. The only saving grace of the battle was that all three imperial eagles were recovered, but the loss of their officers and friends caused many of the men to despair. Quintus despaired with them, only hoping he could do more.
Quintus came back to reality just as the judges dismissed the trial for the day, saying that they would reconvene tomorrow.
It took a while before he could even see the massive kingdom known as Rome. Not his birthplace, but a place he could always temporarily call home. A place that always accepted him with open arms. However he felt that was only because of his history as a renown gladiator; that those open arms were held like so. Not yet out of a forest, a strange turn of events occur.
Theos stops dead in his tracks as he hears footsteps or sounds, produced not by himself. He would of instictivly grasped his gladius' sword handle. Though was tackled to the ground before he could do so. Mid air during the tackle, Theos managed to shift his body weight causing him to land on top of his foe, instead of the other way around. He heard the man grunt in pain as he landed on him. Instantly as they landed, a swift headbutt was slammed back into his attackers face.
Quickly regaining composure, Theos stands to his feet and unsheathes his gladius. As fast as he reached his feet, they were kicked out from under him. That was when he heard a familiar voice. "Don't you use your sword. This is a match of fists. You asshole." As he landed the sword planted into the ground not even inches away from the attacker. Focusing and looking at the attacker. Theos starts to bust up laughing. "You are a fool. You could have been killed." Standing to his feet, he helps up the man who recently attacked himself.
The two men shook hands and greeted one another as though brothers. "How do you fair Gannicus?" Both of them proceed to walk towards Rome as they caught up with one another. And as Gannicus told him, the arena once again, called out for his name.
As they entered the great city of Rome, gently pushing aside those blocking their way in the massive crowds. Theos questioned Gannicus. "I know they do, isn't that how it always turns out? I try to better myself and rid the world of these monsters that plague Greece, only to be pulled back into the gladiator games?" Gannicus laughed as usual. Giving the same response. "Well if only you died in the arena, they would quit calling your name." Only for the same classical response to be uttered from Theos' lips. "You know as well as I do, The gods will not simply allow me accept death and enter the underworld." This was about the time the two renown gladiators reached the massive arena, The Gladiator Arena. "I know, but the Gods do not control the roar of the crowd. Only heed their prayers." And with a smack to the back, Gannicus took off as fast as he appeared.
Shaking his head and chuckling, Theos continued walking. As he entered the Gladiator arena, he went to his normal spot. A chamber/room set aside for whenever he would return. A room he would never forget, for it was where he was imprisoned when he held no freedom. He wasn't in the room for ten minutes before a man entered the room. "By the gods themself, Gannicus was right. And here I thought the boy had lost it. But here you are. Right on schedule." Turning to face the heavy set man, Theos' smile weakens. This man was Theos' previous slave owner. If it wasn't for this man, Theos would have never experienced the life of a Gladiator.
"So you will fight today then?" Theos shook his head. "Give a man a moments rest. I do possess freedom you know." The man scoffed. "True, but the crowd still begs your name. They wish for you to prove yourself. Against the newest breeds of legendary Gladiators. Including you vs Gannicus." Theos' expression darkened at the thought. "Fights in the arena are to the death!!!" The heavy set man chuckled. "Unless one of you two surrender. And we both know the answer to that. Anyways, Gannicus holds no freedom, despite how he roams the city. So if you wish to keep your title as a Legend. You will fight whoever we throw at you. Or, whatever we throw at you. Now rest up chump, I will return when it is your turn. To once again, show the arena the might of a warrior. I think you will be truly please, this time around." With a sickening laugh, the heavy man exited the room.
All Theos could do is sit and think. Why Gannicus? A man he grew up with and had never faced in a legitimate arena battle, until now. Another thing haunting his mind, besides his horrid past. What his slaver said, 'I think you will be truly pleased, this time around.' Those words were only uttered, when a battle of epic proportions was going to be witnessed. If he wasn't use to this feeling already, he would be sick to his stomach. However his iron will would not allow it........
Ateret looked back to her old friend Quintus, only to see she had caught his eye. Or at least, by his gaze she thought she had. She stiffened, wondering if he recognized her at all. After all, last he saw her she would never have appeared clean and perfumed, but with a wooden gladius and shield to fight with him. She wished she could be the same as she was then, with a real sword and shield. If only the times would allow it. As it stood, she had to pretend high class appeal to appease her family, and not to mention no one would dare take her serious otherwise. She noticed his gaze shift from her smoothly and again she questioned whether he indeed saw her or was merely gazing into the crowd. With a small frown she listened to the rest of the trial for the day before it was dismissed, shaking her head. As people talked she heard the name Crispus whispered, and moved closer, overhearing her unfortunately relative’s stake in this affair. Scoffing angrily, she knew then she could help Quintus, simply by having a talk with her brother in law.
Finding a little boy covered in dirt, Ateret pulled a coin from her sash and handed it to him, pointing to Quintus. “You see that man? I need you to tell him to meet me outside the house of Corvus before dusk. Can you do that for me?” she asked. The little boy nodded fervently. “Of course!” he smiled, taking the coin and running up to Quintus. Ateret smiled softly as she watched the boy’s mouth move, turning and walking away from the spectacle. She had other things she wanted to do today, including seeing the return of Theos. One of her father’s friends who was friends with a man named Gannicus had informed him the former gladiator would be returning in all his glory and Ateret couldn’t have been more excited. Her father was anxious about it for other reasons. A sea monster was destroying her father’s ships and he was eager to have Theos, now a renowned monster slayer, aid him. Ateret had watched Theos when she was a little girl though and found him fascinating, though it had been a while and she was eager to see if he had lost his touch. Then again, monsters she assumed would be no less brutal than a gladiator at times.
She made her way to the arena, looking for a close seat and forsaking the shade provided for some of the upperclass in favor of sitting with those freedmen who shouted and thoroughly enjoyed the match rather than gossiped with the background noise of death. While Ateret looked for a seat, her father used his powerful name with the guards to get a private audience with Theos before the fight, entering the former gladiator’s chambers with a clearing of his throat. “Theos… So, the rumors are correct. I’m glad to see you are not only alive but in Rome,” he said as a greeting. He had only met Theos a few times before and never for a long conversation. Marcus had never had a monster problem before, but his friends in high places had and he had been present when they made deals with this man. He could only hope Theos survived this match and took up his offer and they could settle on price,
Helion took advantage of the jostling of the crowd to pick a few pockets, stashing what coin he took in the myriad of pockets his cloak contained. It wasn't much though, and before he could make his way to some of the more affluent looking bystanders, the trial was ended for the day. Sighing as the crowed disbanded, Helion prepared to leave, when something caught his eye. A young woman kneeling down to talk to one of the street urchins. To his surprise, he saw her passing the boy a coin. This was a rarity in his experience, those with enough to give away very didn't do so often, charity was a scarce thing here.
His curiosity piqued, he positioned himself where the boy would pass and whispered "Hey you, boy." The child turned around, Helion nodded at him and beckoned him to come closer, the boy warily came within a few steps of Helion, far enough to run away if need be. "I saw that girl say something to you, what was it? The boy said nothing. Helion rolled his eyes and grabbed a couple of silver coins from his pocket and held them out. The boy smiled and said "She told me to tell the man who was being talked at up there earlier to meet her at the house of Corvus before dusk, she gave me this!" The boy held out the coin, it was gold.
Helion had heard of the Corvus family, he knew it was one of the richer merchant families in the city. Helion bade the boy to go back to his task, giving him an additional silver to keep his mouth shut. This was certainly an interesting turn of events, and one that Helion decided merited checking out, if only to satisfy his personal curiosity on what a noble girl wanted with what looked like a military man.
Helion glanced at the direction the girl had gone. No point in following right now, he now knew where she would be going. Helion started off toward the noble district, toward the house of Corvus.
Rome had no official police force, so it had no official jail. However, the hired muscle of the Flavii clan made sure he wouldn't skip time. He was free to go where he wanted, so long as it was still in the city. After the trial, Quintus felt like he needed a drink. Most of the trial was spent painting him in the worst light possible, while Flavius Crispus was hailed as the next Cinncinatus. Still, all wasn't entirely lost. Many of the legionary witnesses spoke well of Quintus and about how he saved their lives. The Flavii most likely attempted to bribe many of them, but honor and duty to your fellow soldiers is far stronger than gold.
His brother might begrudgingly let Quintus rest there for the night, but he'd rather not be a burden to him again. Maybe he could find an inn somewhere on the cheap. Preferably somewhere that doesn't water down their wine.
"Excuse me, sir?" said the squeaky voice of a child. Quintus looked down to see a grimy street urchin standing in his way.
"I was sent by a very pretty lady that she wants you to be at the house of Corvus by dusk. She gave me a whole gold coin, so it must be important!"
"Corvus? So that was Ateret in the crowd today. I wonder what she wants to talk about. It's been so long since we've last me-"
"Mister? Can I go now?" said the kid, clearly not interested in Quintus' ramblings.
"What? Oh, yeah sure. Stay out of trouble." said Quintus, feeling a little embarrassed. That seemed to be the theme of the day so far.
It was quite a while before dusk, so Quintus had enough time to find a nice inn, change into a decent tunic, and get that stiff drink he'd been wanting all day. Before he left, he took his pugio and put it on his belt. The gods protect, but it does not harm to be careful. he thought.
He made his way to the house of Corvus. As he went, he could feel the watchful eyes of the Flavii on him. They stood on street corners mostly, pretending not to be interested, but Quintus knew they were there to spy on him. Still, they left him alone and disapeared completely when he arrived at the very impressive Corvus estate. Quintus had no idea that Ateret had come from a family this wealthy. He begrudgingly knocked on the door, wondering where this all might lead.
He stood to his feet instantly, hearing the words. “Theos… So, the rumors are correct. I’m glad to see you are not only alive but in Rome,” Theos couldn't help but chuckle before his response. "Ahhh yes, Gannicus. His word seems to travel far of my arrival. What brings you to these lowly sleeping quarters?" Marcus' expression was not as bright as Theos' own. This led him to believe Marcus was not here for a simple roman welcoming. "You see, I am A very important man. With an even more important business. Which resides on the coasts and is currently experiencing a rather large threat." Theos' expression was alot more serious now. "There seems to be a sort of, sea-beast......That is ruining business terribly and causing me to loose countless lives of employee's." Theos looked as though he was about to charge to wherever Marcus' business resided. However he was stopped dead in his tracks as he recalled his need to be in the arena very soon.
"Then let us leave our hopes to the fact I will make it out of today's games alive. I don't see it being a big obstical, for I have learn to accept the fact the gods still have some use for me. And I feel that use is to solve problems like your very own. What form of payment will I be receiving?" Marcus smirked at the question. "I have a daughter who has yet to marry. She is still young and would make a good wife, at least to someone with a life such as yours. She isn't made for typical Roman life. But I promise you would be pleased." Theos was not to keen on the response, though should have expected such an offer. "I really do not wish to put anyone other then myself into a lifestyle like my own." He then thought, If marcus was so quick to offer his daughter up for marriage, who would be the next to be given this offer. "But you really wish to give me payment by giving me your daughters freedom?" Marcus nodded his head before he spoke. "Yes, that is how the offer stands. However you will not give her freedom to another without my consent. Do you understand?" Just as he expected, the father had further stipulations to the deal then foretold. "I think I can accept that offer, I would hate for her freedom to be un-righteously owned." Little did Marcus perceive, he was not agreeing with him. More as stating that he would rather have this woman's freedom, then the next man down the line. Who knows how ill they would treat her or how miserable she would be. At least if Theos accepted, he knew he could find some sort of medium to make the girl have a happy life.
Marcus smiled from Theos' acceptance of the deal. "Very good then, Now do me a favor and keep yourself alive. And in a condition to be able to solve my issue at hand. I will be watching you in the Arena, do not fail me." Theos watched as the man took his leave and shook his head. If only that man knew, what real danger he assigned his daughter to. But then again, Theos wasn't even sure if the man cared of anyone but his reputation and himself. When marcus was long gone Theos mumbled. "Failing you is no match to what would occur from failure of the gods." His mind then begun to wander of The Gods, their plan and why he was still so lucky to be living. When others around him were not so fortunate.