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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Story Archives » The Lion And The Hawks - A New Story of Ancient Egypt
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Topic Subject:The Lion And The Hawks - A New Story of Ancient Egypt
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Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 08-02-00 22:14 ET (US)         
TYPE: High Adventure.
TONE: Dramatic with humorous sequences. Nothing silly.
FORMAT: One or more paragraphs per post.
CONDITIONS: Moderate violence is acceptable. No gross violence. Strong character development is encouraged.

CAST OF CHARACTERS:

ALEXANDER (THE GREAT): King of Macedonia
ANKHU: Egyptian, 18, former brick-making slave of the Persians; one of Alexander's Hawks; best friend and companion to Khumnhotep; enamored with Zhuo, a very young married woman of Tyre.
BASTAVAR: Persian Satrap, father of Farida; rules Egypt under the Persian king Darius III.
CHOMBYSES: Persian Magistrate in Asia Minor - now Chief Administrator of Halicarnassus under Alexander; in love with Redsenet.
EKREM: Chombyses' Captain of the Guards; mixed heritage - mother was Carian, father was Egyptian; betrothed to Sutaijha.
FARIDA: Persian princess, daughter of Satrap; served by Henutsen, the slave girl.
HENUTSEN: Egyptian, almost 17, sister of Khumnhotep, Sutaijha and Redsenet; slave to the Persian princess; her husband is Maatkare.
KHUMNHOTEP: Noble-born Egyptian, 18, former brick-making slave of the Persians; one of Alexander's Hawks. Older brother to Henutsen.
MAATKARE: Husband of Henutsen; disappeared during the revolt and rediscovered alive in Caria.
PERSEUS: Commander of the phalanx unit in Alexander's army to which Khumnhotep and Ankhu once belonged.
REDSENET: Egyptian, about 24 years old, older sister of Sutaijha, Henutsen and Khumnhotep and now their guardian. Herbalist, spiritualist, mystic; healer of Egyptian slaves and subtley false healer of Persians; in love with Chombyses.
SUTAIJHA: Egyptian, 16, youngest sister of Redsenet, Henutsen and Khumnhotep; helper to Redsenet; betrothed to Ekrem.
ZHUO: Tyrean wife of Tyrean man; given up by family in payment of debt; attracted to Ankhu, and suspected by a cruel, possessive husband who she does not love.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-30-2000).]

AuthorReplies:
Rosenetka
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-22-00 16:08 ET (US)     101 / 183       
Back in Caria....

A few dozen men from the city of Halicarnassus had enlisted into King Alexander's army. Those that never fought in battle were busy being trained to become hoplites. Among them was Maatkare. Both he and Henutsen came to an agreement that it would be best if he enlisted to help rid of the Persians. Besides he could freely have messages delivered to her without fear of being recaptured. It was also agreed that the messages would not give any information to tip off the Persians....just in case. He had received permission to spend his nights with his wife instead of in the camp.

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-22-2000).]

Rosenetka
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-23-00 19:04 ET (US)     102 / 183       
Khumnhotep and Ankhu were getting hungry so they made a decision to look for a place to eat and maybe have a few drinks. They found such a place. It was not well lit. They found a seat for themselves. When the waiter came over to take their orders, they were able to order their food and beer, because they had taught themselves some Persian, while they were living in Raqote. Especially words that pertained to food and money. The waiter looked at them suspiciously.

They spoke in quiet voices in their own tongue. Throwing in the occasional Persian word that they knew. Their goal was to make it appear that they were working for the Persians. In their minds they were hoping that they were being successful.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 08-23-00 22:29 ET (US)     103 / 183       
Two Persian soldiers, still in uniform, entered the tavern to quench their thirst. They spied the two Egyptians quietly talking to each other and noted they had the look of the road about them. One nudged the other and nodded in the direction of Khumnhotep and Ankhu.

"Uh oh," said Ankhu, who saw them first. "We're in for it now."

The two soldiers walked over and spoke to them. "Are you from the south or the north?" asked the taller of the two.

"The south," answered Khumnhotep in broken Persian. "We are buyers for merchants in the south, in Egypt."

"Are you Egyptian?" asked the shorter soldier.

"Yes."

"What Persian satrap rules there?" asked the tall Persian.

Khumnhotep framed his answer carefully. "In my area, the ruling Satrap is Bastavar. He lives there with his beautiful daughter, the princess Farida."

The two Persian soldiers looked at each other and then at the two Egyptians. "We are told that Egyptians fight in Alexander's army. Do you know the names or whereabouts of any of these men?"

Ankhu answered almost flippantly, frightening Khumnhotep. "I wouldn't know their names because I and my friend will not associate with slaves. And as for their whereabouts, it would seem to me they would be with Alexander wherever he is."

The Persians again looked at each other and even in their seriousness they didn't miss the satiric humor in Ankhu's answer. They nearly laughed, but held back for image's sake. Then Ankhu continued. "As for Alexander, I hope he is far and away. He's been bad for business lately."

This convinced the Persians to leave them alone. The soldiers collected the ale they ordered, emptied their tankards and with one final glance at the two Egyptians departed from the tavern.

Khumnhotep and Ankhu relaxed. They finished their refreshments and exited the tavern to inspect the city and see what they could see in the time left before sunset.

Rosenetka
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-23-00 23:18 ET (US)     104 / 183       
The waiter that had served Khumnhotep and Ankhu had over heard Ankhu's conversation with the Persian soldiers. He grew even more suspicious of them. One question nagged his mind. "If they do not know the Egyptians in Alexander's army, how is it that they would know that they are slaves?"
JW
Pleb
posted 08-24-00 09:20 ET (US)     105 / 183       
Just something I found: Tyre is built on an island, and the surrounding mainland. Alexander spent seven months besieging it and when he finally broke into the city, he destroyed the mainland section and used the rubble to build a causeway to Tyre island. 10000 people from Tyre were executed by Macedonians and 30000 sold into slavery.

After their refreshing drink, Ankhu and Khmunhotep took to strolling around the city. It was a hot day and they kept to the shade.
They went around the fishing wharves, and water supplies; and they took a boat out onto the island where Tyre Proper is located, and took a good look around. They talked casually in Egyptian and Persian, but were careful to memorise the positions of everything.
At night, they took a boat back to Tyre on the mainland and settled down in their rented room. Ankhu took out a piece of papyrus and, together with Khmunhotep, carefully drew a map of Tyre to refresh their memory. After drawing it, they threw it into the fire so that anyone searching the room would not find anything incriminating, and went to sleep.

[This message has been edited by JW (edited 08-24-2000).]

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 08-24-00 15:56 ET (US)     106 / 183       
Rosenetka, JW, Fortuna (hope you're still with us) and Xeno51: Thanks, JW for the information. It really helps. We should apply historical accuracy to the event, but also manipulate the drama and subplots all we want. That's the fun of writing historical fiction. You've anticipated my work with the character of Alexander. He is recorded as being magnanimous and kind to those who cooperated with him, but vicious in battle and violently vindictive to those who opposed him and were defeated. Woe unto Tyre when his siege succeeds. Note: Alexander also was prone to excessive drink, especially when between battles. It is thought his excessive drinking may have helped contribute to his early death.

I certainly don't want to dominate this thread so I'm perfectly comfortable with any of you writing as much as you want about the events before and including the siege of Tyre. And yes, Rosenetka and others, please play up the Persian's growing suspicion of our two Egyptian friends. It would not surprise me if after their mission is completed they left Tyre in a very big hurry because their cover was blown and they were about to be caught. (HINT)

I have no subtle surprises ongoing right now, so have at it everyone. No need to wait for me. I'll add a post periodically just to help out or suggest something to be written about. Cheers.

Civis Romanus

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-24-2000).]

Fortuna
Pleb
posted 08-24-00 16:02 ET (US)     107 / 183       
Hi Civis. I'm still with you, but I'm having trouble keeping up! You guys write so fast! I have yet to read the last page of posts... As soon as I'm caught up, I'll think of something to write.
Rosenetka
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-24-00 19:32 ET (US)     108 / 183       
Glad to hear that you are still with us Fortuna.

Back at Caria in the Palace.....

Chombyses was lying back in his bed with his hands crossed behind his head looking up at the ceiling, thinking. "City Administrator, I like the sound of that. King Alexander does treat those who accept him with open arms very well. It was a smart move on your part Chombyses, to conspire with King Alexander against the Persians. Yes, very smart indeed."

He turned his head and looked at the empty spot beside him. "One day Redsenet you will fill that spot as my wife." He looked back up at the ceiling smiling. That thought pleased him very much.

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-24-2000).]

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 08-24-00 21:48 ET (US)     109 / 183       
Khumnhotep and Ankhu spent three more days in Tyre gleaning whatever information they could. That evening they chose a tavern they had not visited before to complete their day's work with a little supper.

Just a swallow of ale was left in their tankards when the tavern door swung open to reveal a familiar face. It was... no, not Thesroes the Persian soldier in their slave camp. It was his companion, the one who accused Redsenet of poisoning Thesroes. HE WILL KNOW WHO THEY ARE!

Khumnhotep and Ankhu quickly covered their faces with the hoods of their robes. Both rose to leave, ale unfinished. As they walked by the Persian he accidentally bumped into Khumnhotep. The Egyptian's hand was knocked away from his closed hood and his face became fully revealed. Recognition immediately flashed across the Persian's face. He looked like he was about to cry out.

Khumnhotep reacted instantly. He balled his fist and slammed it into the nose of the Persian knocking him backwards over an empty table nearby. The Persian rolled feet over head off the table and onto the floor beyond. It would be quite awhile before he would regain consciousness and reveal their identities. Khumnhotep looked around at the pairs of eyes staring at him. "Clumsy oaf... He didn't even bother to apologise." Then he turned on his heels and both he and Ankhu hurriedly left the tavern. They ran for their belongings, their horses and their lives through the streets of Tyre.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-25-2000).]

Rosenetka
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-24-00 22:22 ET (US)     110 / 183       
Civis Romanus:It wasn't Pishkar that Redsenet was accused of poisoning. It was another guard by the name of Thesroes.

With all the commotion caused by Khumnhotep and Ankhu riding their mounts through the streets of Tyre, people were rushing out to satisfy their curiosity. They passed the diner that they had visited the first day. Outside the diner the waiter, that had over heard them, saw them and recognized them.

"Them!" He shouted at the top of his lungs. "Them! They are Egyptians in Alexander's army! Catch them before they escape! Catch them!" He ran behind them shaking his fist at them.

The Gods were on their side. They made it through the gateway before it was closed on them. Once outside the city they continued down the road as fast as their mounts could go. They didn't stop until they reached Sidon. There they rested their mounts.

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-24-2000).]

JW
Pleb
posted 08-25-00 04:21 ET (US)     111 / 183       
It was not until night when Ankhu and Khmunhotep managed to reach to Macedonian army camp. There, they met Alexander breathlessly, eyes still glazed from the day's events.
-So, my hawks flying far and wide, what news do you have? And oh, were you nearly captured? You look as if you've seen a ghost.
-Well, we ran into...
-No need to explain. Just tell me the layout of the city.
Under the candlelight, Alexander took out a piece of papyrus and a quill. Ankhu and Khmunhotep drew out Tyre for him.
-And sir, there were really a lot of Persian soldiers around. Perhaps they're preparing their defense.
-Really? Mindless fools.
Alexander suddenly turned very grim. He looked out of the tent, towards the general direction of Tyre.
-Those mindless fools. They will pay for not submitting to King Alexander.
Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 08-25-00 16:03 ET (US)     112 / 183       
Drums beat a message to all in the camp. They responded immediately. Armor was collected and belongings packed away. Women scurried to the town and from the town, some carrying supplies, some carrying nothing at all. The men began to take down their shelters. The long march to Tyre would soon begin.

The messenger arrived promptly at the palace of the City Administrator. Chombyses heard the news and then instructed the messenger to tell the three women as well. It was only a brief time later that the three women appeared in Chombyses' hall their minds thoroughly made up. Redsenet spoke for them all.

"We leave with Alexander, Chombyses. It is what we all want to do. Sutaijha follows Ekrem, Henutsen follows Maatkare and I may be needed for healing."

Chombyses looked crestfallen when hearing that Redsenet would depart. "But Redsenet, there is healing needed here."

"Your son is well, Chombyses. You have no further need for me."

"But lady healer, who here after you leave can heal a broken heart?"

Redsenet didn't know what to say so Chombyses asked her once more. "Won't you stay, Redsenet?"

The Egyptian woman looked at Chombyses and said, "I must go with my sisters and brothers; but if you want me to, I will return. Then I promise, Chombyses, I will never leave again."

"Return, Redsenet. I will be waiting," said Chombyses. Redsenet smiled and for a brief fleeting moment regretted her decision; but she knew what she must do. So all three women turned about and left the chamber to collect their belongings and join the army of Alexander.

Chombyses watched the army's movements from his balcony. As the lines of soldiers and camp followers departed, he wondered aloud which small distant feminine clothed figure it was that turned and looked for a long moment in the direction of his palace. Was it some unknown Greek or Macedonian woman, or was it Redsenet? He waved and the figure waved back. Now he knew.

Rosenetka
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-25-00 17:42 ET (US)     113 / 183       
Redsenet's heart skipped a beat when she saw Chombyses waving at her from his palace. She never thought it possible for another man to fall in love with her. The memories of her murdered husband was faint now from the passing of time. Her murdered husband was one of many reasons why she detested Persian guards.

Redsenet and Sutaijha kept an eye open for any plants that they might be able to use for healing purposes and for nourishment. Redsenet did not want to be caught without a good supply of herbs.

A young woman of about aged 15 joined the three sisters and asked if it was okay if she walked with them. They told her that it was okay, that they didn't mind her joining them.

"Thank you. The reason why I ask is because the two of you," pointing to Henutsen and Sutaijha, "look to be about my age and there are no other women my age here. I feel out of place with the other women. Oh. By the way my name is Dionyssia." She was pretty and had her light brown hair tied up in a knot.

"Hello. My name is Henutsen. These are my sisters Sutaijha and Redsenet." Sutaijha and Redsenet both greated Dionyssia after Henutsen introduced them.

It turned out that she was a daughter of one of the commanders. She didn't say the name of her father, but just pointed him out. With the mass of men in their uniforms the three sisters could not really tell which one she was pointing out.

Xeno51
Pleb
posted 08-27-00 12:09 ET (US)     114 / 183       
Dawn.

The huge, monolithic walls of Tyre were set off by the brilliant pale yellow sun rising in the sky. The city was silent. Noisily and jerkily, two hundred wooden siege engines fashioned from cedar wood were lined up against the coast. It was to be a sneak attack.

It took half a hour to load all the engine. Finally, Alexander addressed his roops. "The city of Tyre is richly furnished and poorly defended. Although I will permit no looting, a portion of its treasures will be distributed to you after the citizens surrender. Do not harm them; they will readily accept our hegemony. And now, prepare the katapultoi."

One engine was positioned roughly opposite the landward gate of the city. Two soldiers grasped the capstan and slowly winched the lock back. When it had reached the butt of the stock, one took hold of the cord and yanked the pin out. There was a loud, high-pitced sound like a pebble bouncing off a tiled roof and a wooden SNAP, and a stone sailed over the channel into the city. Moments later there was a dull crash. "That should wake them up," Alexander said with a smile. "Prepare the next ten as I told-"

There was another loud sound of a katapultos being fired. "Who fired that?," said the king, whirling round, annoyed. "I did not give the order." But one soldier in the ranks behind the engine was not looking at Alexander. "Ballousin!" he yelled in Greek. The troops broke ranks and fled in all directions as a stone at least twice as large as the other leapt from the city walls, followed by another, and another and another....

There was no point trying to fire back; the targeting was good enough to render the siege engine positions untenable. When the barrage stopped, an hour later, all the machines were destroyed or damaged beyond practical repair. Some had been burnt by flaming bolts. Alexander gritted his teeth and cursed under his breath, but did not show his feelings to his men. They did not veil their opinions, however.

"Poorly defended, he said. Ready to accept us. I'm more ready to accept going home, if you ask me."

Khmunhotep and Ankhu, watching with the others from the safety of a cliff cave, wondered what to do next. One thing was for sure:they would not be allowed into Tyre again, nor did they want to go there.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 08-27-00 14:06 ET (US)     115 / 183       
Alexander raged on and on in the confines of his tent. "They dare to defy me still, these... these... Tyreans! Don't they understand what will become of them when I finally break their walls down and seize their city?"

Khumnhotep and Ankhu maintained careful silence. "Hawks! Tell me again of their sources of water and food. Leave no detail out!" bellowed Alexander.

The two Egyptians again pointed out the wells they had found and the places where food was stored inside and outside of the city walls. Alexander pondered these facts. "But how do they get to these storage places outside of the city? At night? Under military escort? Tunnels... Could it be tunnels? Hawks, you have been my eyes, you will lead my soldiers to these places. We begin tomorrow.

THE NEXT DAY:

Khumnhotep and Ankhu were at the head of a phalanx of Macedonians followed by a unit of archers with arrows tipped in camphor and pitch and a unit of cavalry. Their promotions to Unit Leaders caught only a few by surprise. The Macedonians always trusted Alexander's initial judgement, only to watch the results and judge after the fact. So far, they had never been disappointed.

"There and there," pointed out the Egyptians. You will find their storehouses there. The horesmen galloped to the structures indicated by the Egyptians. Indeed there had been stores in place. Here and there were fallen bits of grain, corn and other goods. A gaping hole in the ground showed where a tunnel had been. The tunnel was filled in now to prevent easy access to the defenses of Tyre.

The squad leader reported that all stores were gone. Ankhu looked at Khumnhotep. "Not surprised, are you?" Khumnhotep shook his head. "No, not at all. And neither will the King be surprised, I suspect. But let's leave the structures alone. They may have a use later. And so may the tunnels. On to our secondary targets.

Tyre was founded on an island separated from the mainland by a narrow channel. Because the city had outgrown its limited grounds, an extension to the city was built on the mainland side. The two sections of the city were connected by ferrys that shuttled goods and people across the channel. Alexander was forced to lay siege to the mainland section and conquer it before he could hope to similarly attack and conquer the island section. He had not yet determined how he would conquer the island should his attacks on the mainland city succeed.

Khumnhotep and Ankhu led their units to within an arrow's range of the city walls. The city was narrowly situated along the mainland coast. Of necessity the warehouses were close to the walls. Too far from the walls and the structures would have suffered destruction from high tides and storm driven waves.

The Egyptians gave the signal. The phalanx unit strode forward, shields raised above their heads. The archers walked behind the hoplites, one archer to one hoplite to receive the protection afforded by the raised shields. A few archers carried lit torches.

At another signal, torches were touched to arrow tips and fire raced from the torches down the rows of arrows ready to be shot from bows. The phalanx and archers continued to advance. Mounted Macedonians charged ahead of the phalanx to draw the attention of the defenders on the walls. At the last minute they turned away and raced to a position behind the phalanx.

Stones shot from machines behind the walls were ineffective. The phalanx was too close. The defenders didn't dare open the gates for fear the cavalry would rush into the city and attack the small number of defenders present on the mainland. Their walls were their primary defense... and the machines.

Suddenly, the phalanx stopped well short of the wall avoiding the risk of stones cascading from above or boiling oil being poured onto them. The hoplites dropped their shields and knelt. The archers remained standing, pulled back the strings of their bows and released their arrows in a high flaming arc that ensured the arrows would clear the walls and land on the roofs of the storage buildings beyond.
As quickly as their arrows were released an answering barrage of arrows flew from the wall and headed for their position. The hoplites raised their shields as quickly as
they could, but for some it was too late. Screams pierced the air as some of the arrows found their targets.

Khumnhotep shouted a command and the mounted Macedonians again charged the wall, shooting arrows from horseback. The phalanx began its withdrawal, carrying its dead and wounded with it. The horsemen did their job once again diverting the defender's attention away from the retreating phalanx.

As the Macedonians on foot and horse left the field of battle for their camp, they could see the effect of their arrows' assault on Tyre. Tongues of flame were visible above the walls coming from the precise area where Khumnhotep and Ankhu had recorded the presence of warehouses.

"Starvation in Tyre is much closer now," reported Khumnhotep in Alexander's tent. "The mainland warehouses are in flames and the goods stored there surely destroyed. Our siege will end that much sooner."

Alexander nodded his head. "Now we must engage in the most difficult battle of all, my Hawks. Now we must wait for the city to fall of its own weight through starvation. You have done well."

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-27-2000).]

Rosenetka
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-27-00 21:35 ET (US)     116 / 183       
Redsenet had Sutaijha and Dionyssia go out and search for more herbs right after they had their morning meal. Even though they had collected a large supply of herbs during the march to Tyre, she did not want to take the chance and run out of herbs.

After the injured and the dead were brought back to the camp, Redsenet and Sutaijha were busy instructing the other ladies present in the camp on what to do for the injured. For some of the injured it was obvious that they were beyond repair, but Redsenet had a batch of special herbs prepared for them, to ease the pain and their fears. The whole time they were instructing and healing the wounded themselves they said prayers in their minds. The moans coming from the injured and the crying and wailing from some of the women and men who had lost a loved one, caused Redsenet to think about her greatest fear of losing her brother; Ankhu; Maatkare or Ekrem in battle. She forced herself to push that thought out of her mind so that she could concentrate on her work at hand.

Henutsen was ecstatic to find Maatkare not injured as well as Sutaijha for Ekrem. All three sisters were relieved to discover that neither Khumnhotep nor Ankhu were among the injured nor the dead.

J W
Pleb
posted 08-28-00 10:23 ET (US)     117 / 183       
It was a long, hard wait. Days passed, and the Macedonians waited patiently for the starvation and finally surrender of Tyre. Sometimes small groups of Macedonian soldiers would conduct raids on the storage areas - after all, it's better to be safe. But most of the time they just waited...

Ekrem and Sutaijha went to the summit of a hill one evening, to watch the sun set on the Mediterranean Sea. The last rays of the sun were shimmering on the waves, and beyond, they knew, were their home, the rich and fertile plains of the Two Lands of Egypt, still under the iron grip of the Persians.

"I miss home." Sutaijha whispered.

"We will see Egypt again. Then, it will not be a Persian province. It will be an Egypt for Egyptians. We can make that happen." Ekrem said with conviction.

They turned to their left to watch the silent silhouette of the walls of Tyre. What was happening inside those dark, forbidding walls? Sutaijha could almost see the scavengers on the street, catching rats to boil and eat. She could hear the wailing of people dying of starvation, and smell the death and decay. She suddenly remembered a time seven years ago, when the Inundation failed and food was short. The price of grain went up sixfold, and the people ate the bark off trees. That was what was going on inside the walls of Tyre. It didn't fit the description of a fight for glory at all.

They walked off the hill. On the way back, Sutaijha suddenly remembered, very distinctly, a beggar boy from the famine seven years ago, and the glimmer in his eyes, and the frightful thinness. He could not be more than five years old, and yet he was facing the harsh realities of life - and death. Throughout that night, Sutaijha could not push the image of this boy out of her mind.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 08-28-00 16:19 ET (US)     118 / 183       
A Macedonian on a horse galloped up to the tent of Alexander and reined his horse to a stop. Alexander turned in time to see the soldier quickly dismount. The Macedonian saluted and gave Alexander the verbal message his commander wanted the King to receive.

"Sire, Commander Perseus reports that a flotilla of boats has departed the mainland city, crossed the channel and is now on the island side."

"So messenger, and what does the Commander think is so unusual about that?" asked Alexander.

"These boats carry well-dressed Tyreans and nothing else. They did not return to the mainland. Now there are no boats on the mainland side of the channel. Commander Perseus says this is most strange and you should see for yourself."

"If the Commander thinks I should see this sight then there is good reason. After they bring my horse, lead me to your Commander."

The aides to Alexander recognized an implied command when they heard one and soon Alexander's white stallion was brought to him in the company of his elite guards. They galloped off together in the direction they were led by the messenger of Perseus.

What the Commander reported was indeed the case. Alexander could see for himself that the boats evidenced no intent to return. And... there was unusual activity in the city. People could be seen scurrying about. Soldiers disappeared from the walls to be replaced by common citizens dressed in everyday clothes, all of whom simply stared out from the battlements at the camp of the Macedonians.

A white flag made its appearance from one of the high parapets. They wanted a parlay.

"Follow me," was all Alexander said. He, Commander Perseus and his phalanx, and his elite guard made their way onto the plains in front of the mainland city of Tyre.

Rosenetka
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-28-00 18:46 ET (US)     119 / 183       
Redsenet found Khumnhotep and requested that he speak with someone who would allow her to go to Sidon with someone on horse back, so that she could get some salve for burns.

"Why do you expect more burn wounds?"

"I had a dream last night. In my dream a bridge is being built to cross to the Island. The Tyreans set this bridge on fire. There are many who will suffer burns from this. I plead with you not to go on this bridge until after the fire is out. When you rebuild the bridge, then it will be safe to go on it."

"I will ask King Alexander to allow someone to bring you to Sidon to purchase salve for burns. If you have not for warned Ankhu, Maatkare or Ekrem, it might be a good idea to do so while I go and ask for this favor of yours."

Khumnhotep found King Alexander standing by the coast with Perseus. They were looking at the Tyreans who were waving white flags. He approached King Alexander and passed on Redsenet's request to go to Sidon with someone. The request was granted.

Khumnhotep found Redsenet speaking with Sutaijha and Ekrem. "Redsenet, King Alexander has approved your request. I will get someone to bring you to Sidon by horseback. You warned the others?"

"Yes I did and thank you for speaking to King Alexander on my behalf."

Khumnhotep gave orders to one of the horsemen to ride Redsenet into Sidon for supplies. Redsenet got on the back of the stead behind the horseman. They were off to Sidon. Redsenet waved as she disappeared into the horizon.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 08-28-00 22:16 ET (US)     120 / 183       
Alexander watched Khumnhotep ride off into the distance with his approval of Redsenet's request. The woman had done very good work at keeping as many of his soldiers alive as possible and was excellent at healing wounds before they became mortal through infection. He would grant her whatever she wished if it would save more of his men now and in the future.

Then the King turned his attention once more to the white flags. He ordered a similar flag to be tied and waved on the end of a hoplite's phalanx spear. The gates to the mainland city of Tyre slowly opened and a delegation of five men walked onto the plains. The gate closed behind them as a precaution. It was easy to see that the men were unarmed.

Within hearing distance, the man in the lead halted and called out, "We are from the Landside City of Tyre and wish to speak with King Alexander. Will he hear us?"

Alexander replied, "I am King Alexander of Macedonia. Speak."

All five men slowly bowed from the waist and straightened out again. "We are a delegation from the citizens of the city. The elders have fled to the island. Persian soldiers and militia who would not yield have either fled the city or have been, ummm, removed from the defenses. King Alexander, we offer to you the Landside City of Tyre if you will cease your attacks, guarantee the safety of the remaining citizens and allow us the means to feed our children."

"Why have you defied your elders?"

"It is they who defied us, King Alexander. We cried out for the city to be freed from the Persians. Our elders threatened to turn loose the Persians in our midst if we didn't do as we were told and defy Alexander. The elders promised to feed us should you lay siege to the city. They also promised soldiers from the island would come to defend us. But mostly they promised to kill any citizen and his family who defied their's or the Persians' will. For the sake of our children we obeyed."

"Now you wish to accept Alexander. Why?" asked the blond headed king.

"The siege weakened the resolve of the elders. The island citizens sent no soldiers or food. The elders began to fear the citizens, and correctly so; for it was the citizens who removed the Persians from the walls and made the elders and their followers flee for their lives to the island. We are no longer Tyreans. We are followers of Alexander."

"So say you now. How shall I be convinced?"

"At sunrise tomorrow, we shall open the gates of the city to you and as many soldiers as you choose to bring. No Tyrean will harm a soldier of Alexander. You may do what you will with the Persians we have captured or are still at large. Then, at your command, the men of the city will aid Macedonians in building a causeway to bridge the channel. As you can see, there are no walls protecting the island city. What brestworks they build will offer little protection from the Macedonian phalanx. We ask only one boon from our new King."

"What is that?"

"King Alexander, our children starve and are ill with fever and infection. Help us."

The name of Redsenet flashed into his mind momentarily. "I shall do these things as long as you do the things you promised. Not one of my soldiers is to be harmed by a citizen of your city. One soldier dies and your city shall die. Not one of you will be spared. Not you, your women or your children. Is that understood?"

"Yes, King Alexander. We shall do as you request."

The parlay ended and the delegation returned to their city to tell the citizens what they and Alexander had said. Early the next morning, Alexander arrayed 20,000 of his soldiers in tight assault formation. As the sun rose behind them they saw the gates of the city slowly open and stay open. The citizens began walking out of the city and forming into two groups on two sides of a clear wide path leading into the city. They had no weapons.

Alexander ordered his men forward, but the phalanxs marched with spears elevated, swords sheathed and bows down. The columns of Macedonians narrowed as they reached the packs of people. Alexander rode amidst his phalanxs on his distinctive white horse surrounded by his elite guard. When they saw him, a roar ascended from the crowd. Great cheering drowned out the clump, clump, clump of the marching soldiers' feet. Alexander instinctively knew the city was his and there would be no resistance just as the delegation promised. He in turn would keep his word and the people would be cared for and fed.

Through the city streets he could see the island city and its protective channel. For them, thought Alexander, there would be no mercy. Not on anyone's account, no matter the plea. The island city in Alexander's mind was already a city of the dead. He only needed the causeway built to seal its doom.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-28-2000).]

Rosenetka
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-29-00 21:29 ET (US)     121 / 183       
Chombyses was sitting in his Receiving Hall when a courier entered and walked to him. The courier handed over to Chombyses a message. "For you City Administrator."

"Thank you. You may leave now." A faint scent of roses could be detected from the message. Chombyses's eyes lit up with excitement as he unrolled the message. "Could it be..." he spoke to himself

Dear Chombyses,

I thought that I should write to you. So that you would know that I have not forgotten you and I still plan on returning back to you. We are all doing well. I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirit.

With loving thoughts, yours truly,
Redsenet

Chombyses inhaled the scent of the letter and his heart was filled with joy. Tonight he would be able to sleep better than he had since Redsenet left to follow King Alexander's army.

Back at King Alexander's camp...

Redsenet was hoping that Chombyses would have received her letter that she wrote while in Sidon getting salve for burn wounds.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 08-29-00 22:28 ET (US)     122 / 183       
Tyre was renowned for its outer walls. Its masons were recognized as some of the greatest in the Eastern Mediterranean. Therefore, it came as no surprise to the two Egyptians when they entered Alexander's tent to find him in close conference with the Chief Mason of Tyre discussing the engineering of the stone causeway.

Indeed, it was the Chief Mason who led the 5-man delegation that offered the mainland city to Alexander and then made good on his promise that no Macedonian would be harmed by a citizen of Tyre. The message to the two Egyptians was brief.

"Hawks, move your tent closer to this area. I shall have need of your talents once more and want you nearby to hear my call. My Captain of the Guard will show you your new site. Oh, and one more thing... you both are now serving me in the rank of sub-Captain. That is all." With a wave of his hand he dismissed the astonished Egyptians.

As he guided the two young men to their new tent site, the Captain chuckled to himself. "Hawks, he calls you does he; well, Hawks, don't think about it too much. You will never understand his rhyme or reason until after he makes it appear before your eyes. He will do this in good time."

Their new site was only one row away from the King's compound. "From here if the King were to call in his sleep we would hear him, Khumnhotep," observed Ankhu. Then the young Egyptian companion to the noble born Khumnhotep stood stunned by the vision that appeared before his eyes.

She was an olive complexioned, dark-haired beauty with warm brown eyes that were very slightly inclined in the oriental manner of the Chin. Her somewhat slightly built frame lacked for nothing in the way of feminine charm, but she impressed Ankhu more so because she displayed its charms subtley rather than brazenly as some girls were apt to do. As he stared uncontrollably, she paused in her steps and looked back at her unexpected admirer. The weight of the water jug on her shoulder seemed to not bother her at all even as she matched his stare with one of her own.

Then she smiled... Ankhu mentally melted into the ground. He recovered just barely in time to hear himself ask, "What is your name, please, water maiden?"

"Why do you ask, Sir?" came a response as if born of a musical instrument.

"So that I may call for you if ever I want the sweetest, coolest water to be found in this land," replied Ankhu.

Khumnhotep growned silently. First his sisters and now Ankhu. Yet he knew the effect of stunning beauty displayed by a young woman. There was the princess Farida. Once or twice he... but she is Persian and his enemy. He mustn't have these thoughts. He turned his attention back to Ankhu and the water maiden.

They were conversing together a short distance away. She smiled shyly, but smiled nonetheless. She nodded her head and walked away, looking back once or twice over her shoulder and smiling in Ankhu's direction. The Egyptian returned to where Khumnhotep stood with an expression of pleasant distraction on his face.

"Ankhu... Ankhu... ANKHU!" said Khumnhotep trying to get his friend's attention. "Huh? What?" was Ankhu's reply.

"What's her name?" asked Khumnhotep.

"Oh, its... its...; BY THE LIGHT OF RA'S ORB! She never told me!" Ankhu turned on his heels and raced after the girl to correct his near disastrous error.

Meanwhile, in the island city of Tyre, the plot to assasinate Alexander took form and became a plan. The small group of elders were impressed with their ingenuity. Now, if the handpicked assasins do their job well, the siege will surely end in only a few more days. They toasted each other with draughts from their secret cache of wine.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-29-2000).]

JW
Pleb
posted 08-30-00 05:29 ET (US)     123 / 183       
Civis Romanis, it's been a long time since you have updated the cast list! Chombyses still holds Sutaijha hostage!

"Ankhu. Ankhu! Hey!"

"Wh...huh?"

"Ankhu, will you listen to me?"

"Sure..."

"You're not thinking about her again aren't you?"

Ankhu suddenly flushed a shade of crimson.

"No, of course not. Why should I?"

Khumnhotep looked carefully at Ankhu. Then he concluded triumphantly.

"You're in love."

Ankhu finally admitted it. "Yes, I'm in love. I love her..."

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 08-30-00 21:03 ET (US)     124 / 183       
JW: You're right! Consider it done. Thanks for the reminder. Someone name the water maiden please.

____________________________________________________________

The workmen retired for the night from their labors on the the causeway being built to connect the mainland city to the island fortress of Tyre. They were going home to family and meals, unlike the situation only a few day's before.

The rule of Alexander's administrators and army was benign, efficient and friendly. In all of their minds, the citizens of Mainland Tyre firmly believed they were better off under the Macedonians than ever they were under the tyrannical, exploitive Persians. If they were to forever lose their independence as a city-state, let it be to such as the Macedonians than to the Persians.

These thoughts were unlike the thoughts pulsing through the minds of the 5 assassins who entered their small rowboat with the intention of penetrating the Macedonian camp and ending the life of King Alexander. The clouded, moonless night sky helped mask their silent approach to the mainland shore.

Their boat was pulled onto the shore and covered with beach flotsom and jetsom to camoflauge its presence. They were dressed as servants to limit curiousity and alarm. Under their clothes each carried a sword and a dagger. On the round platters they carried would be placed the food items they would pretend to be bringing to the Macedonian king. Each prayed to their god that once they entered Alexander's tent they would be the one whose weapon found the body of Alexander and ended his war on Darius, their true and rightful king over Tyre. But first, they must find the man in Tyre who would help them enter the camp of the Macedonian King.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-30-2000).]

Rosenetka
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-30-00 21:20 ET (US)     125 / 183       
The water maiden was preparing herself for bed, when a Tyrean man walked into the room.

"Zhuo. What did that Greek soldier want with you?" He demanded.

"He wanted my name. He is not Greek, he is Egyptian."

"Is that all he wanted? Why were you talking so long with him then?"

"Yes. That is all he wanted. I asked him about the battle, and he talked about what they did." She was hoping that her lie wouldn't be detected.

"Just remember that you are married, woman. Don't get any ideas about running off with him. Remember you were given to me as wife for payment from your father. You wouldn't want me to go after your family now would you?"

"No. I had no such ideas in my head, Hasdrubal."

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-31-2000).]

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