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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Story Archives » The Lion And The Hawks - A New Story of Ancient Egypt
Topic Subject:The Lion And The Hawks - A New Story of Ancient Egypt
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Civis Romanus
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.


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).]

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-16-00 12:52 ET (US)     76 / 183       
As soon as Redsenet entered Sutaijha's room, Sutaijha sprang from her seat and ran towards Redsenet. They both hugged each other.

"I was so worried about you when I found out that your ship was wrecked. I'm so glad to see you alive. Henutsen is here also. She should be entering the room soon. I missed you."

"I missed you also. Didn't know if the Magistrate Chombyses asked for you or not. I'm glad he did. I hope he'll honor his word to me."

Just then Henutsen entered the room. "Sutaijha!" She ran towards the other two and they did a group hug. "Oh, Sutaijha, I am so glad that you are alive. I missed you so much."

"I missed you also Henutsen."

When they were done with their group hug they each took a seat on the bed. "How do you feel in those cloths?" Asked Henutsen.

"Not bad. Better than slavery clothing."

Where's Khumnhotep and Ankhu?" Asked Henutsen. Redsenet's head lowered. "You know where they are Redsenet, and you didn't tell me?"

"The magistrate just told me before I was escorted to Sutaijha's room."

Sutaijha held Henutsen's hands into hers and told about the two options that Chombyses gave the three of them. Her convincing Khumnhotep and Ankhu to pretend to agree to spy. The marriage that Chombyses has planed for her with Ekrem; his heritage and that he mentioned he is planning a slave revolt. She didn't want to go through with the marriage. Asked if they would like to meet Ekrem."

"Yes, I think that would be a good idea to meet him." Redsenet replied.

"Tell me your update."

Redsenet spoke, she told Sutaijha that in Egypt their disappearance appeared to have gone unnoticed; about the death of Pishkar; their arrival and about Chombyses's son, how he seemed to recovering. She inquired with Sutaijha if she believed that Chombyses would keep his word about allowing them free passage to were ever they choose.

"It's hard to say. If he doesn't then we'll just have to plan an escape." Sutaijha whispered the last sentence so that the guards outside the door wouldn't be able to hear her.

It was getting late, so they all decided that they would go to sleep and talk some more the next day.

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-16-00 19:33 ET (US)     77 / 183       
"Morning already?" Redsenet did not sleep well. The disturbing dreams she had through out the night, kept waking her up. She dragged herself out of the bed and dressed herself. When she was done getting dressed she stumbled towards the door to be escorted to the dinning table. She looked around her room before she exited, and muttered to herself. "There's change coming, I can feel it in the air."

She was greeted by two guards. Henutsen and Sutaijha were ahead of her.

"Good morning. How is my beautiful bride to be doing this fine morning?"

"Would this be Ekrem, Sutaijha?" Inquired Henutsen.


"Have a seat and eat with me ladies." Chombyses motioned for them to sit down.

While they were eating, a man entered the room. He was one of many spies that Chombyses had working for him. The man walked over to Chombyses and bent down to whisper into his ear. "Have received reports that your two Egyptian spies have been excepted into Alexander's army."

Chombyses was very pleased with this news. His eyes glittered brightly. "Today will be a wonderful day. The hawks have landed in the nest. Eat ladies. After you are done, look after my son." He sat back in his chair and thought his plan, his marvelous plan was working out.

When the three sisters were done eating, Ekrem escorted them to Farshad's room. He stood in a corner to watch, especially Sutaijha. Redsenet proceeded to prepare a batch of the syrup mixture, while the other two lifted up Farshad and propped him up against the head board, using the pillows for cushion. Through out the day the three nursed Farshad. Chombyses would pop in to check on things once in a while. In the afternoon during one of Chombyses's pop ins, Redsenet asked him if he could have someone make some vegetable broth for his son. Chombyses gave the order for the broth to be made.

"Your son might be strong enough to feed himself. We'll know when the broth gets here." Redsenet told Chombyses while looking at him.

"Glad to hear that. I'm not doing anything at the moment, would your sisters be able to handle things without you for awhile?"

"Um, yes. Why?"

"I would like to take you on a grand tour of my palace and garden." He reached out his hand for Redsenet to hold. She placed her hand on his.

Henutsen and Sutaijha looked at each other and smiled. They both thought, "Tricky Redsenet. Getting the magistrate to become fond of her, so that he will do as she asks of him."

During the tour of his palace, Chombyses would every so often do a little skip. His plan with the Hawks was working. At each room he would boisterously announce what it was called and used for as well as any incidents that happened that Chombyses found amusing.

"And this is my beautiful garden. Come sit here with me." Redsenet sat down beside Chombyses on the bench. The garden was beautiful. It had a shade tree in each corner, a pond in the middle, flower beds arranged in designs and the pathway was covered in marble. It was filled with every colour you could think of and the smells coming off the flowers was calming.

Redsenet was too busy absorbing the beauty of the garden to have noticed that Chombyses had his hands wrapped around her waist. But she did feel his beard against her cheek. She sprang up from the bench and slapped Chombyses. "What do you think I am? I want to go back inside and continue with what I was brought here to do." Her heart fluttered at the thought of his touch.

Chombyses gave the order to have her escorted back to his son's room. He stayed behind in the garden.

When Redsenet entered Farshad's room, she saw that he was feeding himself the vegetable broth. She was glad to see this, to her it meant that the three sisters would be given free passage out of this place and away from Chombyses before she caved in to her inner desire. "I should feel disgust not excitement. After all he is loyal to the Persian king, a sworn enemy of the my people." She thought to herself.

"Ekrem, go tell the magistrate that his son is on the road to recovery." Ekrem left the room, heading towards the garden.

"Magistrate. Redsenet says that your son is recovering."

"Thank you Ekrem. That news makes my heart sing. I'll be in to see him later."

"As you wish sir." Ekrem returned back to the room.

Later that night Chombyses visited his sleeping son. "He looks so peaceful." He bend down and kissed Farshad on his forehead, then whispered. "So glad to see you looking well. I love you, my son." Chombyses then walked towards his own room. He stopped at Redsenet's room and looked at the door.

"Is there a problem Magistrate?"

Chombyses spun around towards were the voice came from. "No Ekrem. Nothing that I can't handle. Good night." He then continued to his own room.

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-17-2000).]

Civis Romanus
posted 08-16-00 20:55 ET (US)     78 / 183       
The Athenian trireme rowers powered the vessel and the many others just like it across the waters of the Hellespont. Each vessel held as many of Alexander's soldiers as it could. The journey was short and so the discomfort of tight space could easily be tolerated.

At last it was time to leave their vessel and wade to shore. A plainly dressed Greek approached them. "Are you the men named Khumnhotep and Ankhu?" he asked. "Yes," they answered. "I have a message." Without a further word the Greek thrust a small piece of papyrus into Khumnhotep's hand and walked away.

Khumnhotep opened the folded papyrus and read what was written. It was in Greek. 'My tent at dusk. Alexander' was hastily written there.

Dusk fell on the camp and the two Egyptians appeared before Alexander's tent as ordered. The guards dropped their spears and challenged them. Alexander called out from inside the tent. "Let them pass. They are here at my request."

The young men entered and saluted. Alexander considered them and smiled. "Your first orders are simple. If you are approached by anyone who claims to be Persian, tell him (or her) we march on Babylon. If you are approached by anyone who claims to be Carian, tell that person we march on Caria. Do you understand?"

"Yes, My Lord."

"Go, my 'hawks' and keep your eyes and other senses sharp. It's a dangerous game we all play."

The two Egyptians saluted and left Alexander's tent. 'Hawks' again. They looked at each other in silent communication. That sounded familiar. Khumnhotep and Ankhu walked back to their tents to rest for the march that would follow on the morrow.

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-17-00 16:51 ET (US)     79 / 183       
It was the next morning, and Redsenet slept somewhat better than the night before. Chombyses and Ekrem were already at the dinning table eating when the three sisters arrived in the room. The sight they saw before them caused their jaws to drop.

"You shaved your beard." Redsenet managed to say to Chombyses.

"Yes. Do you like it?" Brushing his hand over were his beard used to be, smiling like a child who did a good deed.

"It's.......okay." Redsenet didn't know what to think of it.

"Sit. Eat."

"Papa. I'm feeling great, can I join you?" Farshad ran up to Chombyses and leaped into his lap.

"My son you are up and about already? Yes you can." He gave Farshad a hug. "Sit over there. Henutsen do you still want to see the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus?"

"Yes. I've heard much about it. I would love to see it. Will my sisters be able to go see it also?"

"Yes. That's what I had in mind. Have a sort of field trip to celebrate my son's recovery and to show a small part of my appreciation." He snapped his fingers and ordered that three litters be prepared for their trip. After they were done eating, all six of them went out to were the litters were awaiting for them. Chombyses insisted that Ekrem and Sutaijha ride in one; Farshad and Henutsen in another; himself and Redsenet. Redsenet tried her best to convince Chombyses that she should ride Henutsen and he with his son. But Chombyses didn't budge on his decision, the reason he gave was to keep them from plotting an escape.

The ride in the litter that Chombyses and Redsenet were in was very quiet. Redsenet kept averting her eyes away from Chombyses. Chombyses just watched her, enjoying her beauty. In Farshad and Henutsen's litter laughter and chatter could be heard. In the one that Ekrem and Sutaijha were in there could be heard some soft giggling. Ekrem was tickling Sutaijha with his beard. He was hoping that this would soften her towards him. He was looking forward to their marriage.

The tomb was erected on a hill overlooking the city. When they reached the top of the hill they could see, that the whole structure sat in an enclosed courtyard. At the center of the courtyard was a stone platform on which the tomb itself sat on.

When they arrived at the Mausoleum and were out of the litters, the three sisters stared at the immense structure, it stood at 140 feet high. Chombyses started to tell the story of the Mausoleum as they walked. "20 years ago, the Satrap Mausolus died, leaving his wife Artemisia II broken-hearted. As a tribute to him, she decided to build him the most splendid tomb the world has known. Artemisia II decided that no expense was to be spared in the building of this great tomb. She sent messengers to Greece to find the most talented artists of the time. So four famous Greek sculptors named Scopas, Bryaxis, Leochares and Timotheus came and carved the statues that you see, each responsible for one side. They were joined by hundreds of other craftsmen as well. Artemisia II lived for only three years after the death of Satrap Mausolus. They are both buried in the tomb. When she died the tomb was unfinished so the craftsmen decided to stay and finish the work. They all considered it would be a memorial of their own fame and of the sculptor's art."

When Chombyses finished telling the story, he followed behind Redsenet so that he could watch her movement under her clothing.

As they walked around they saw a staircase, flanked by stone lions, that led to the top of the platform. Along the outer wall of the platform were many statues depicting people and animals. At each corner guarding the tomb were stone warriors, mounted on horseback. At the center of the platform was the tomb itself. Made mostly of marble, the structure rose as a square, tapering block to about one-third of the Mausoleum. This section was covered with relief sculptures showing action scenes from Greek myth and history. On top of this section of the tomb thirty-six slim columns, nine per side, rose for another third of the height. Standing in between each column was another statue. Behind the columns was a solid block that carried the weight of the tomb's massive roof. The roof, which comprised most of the final third of the height, was in the form of a stepped pyramid. Perched on top of the tomb was a sculpture of four massive horses pulling a chariot in which the images of Mausolus and Artemisia II rode.

The three sisters were amazed at the size and craftsmanship that went into building the Mausoleum. When they finished touring the structure and courtyard it was past midday. Chombyses decided that they should find a place to stop at and eat a small meal to hold them over until their last meal of the day. They all agreed. As they left in the litters, the sisters looked back at the Mausoleum in awe. Redsenet yearning to find such love as the Mausoleum represented; Henutsen longing for her husband and Sutaijha hoping that Ekrem loved her, he had won a spot in Sutaijha's heart.

When they finally returned back to the palace they were greeted by a seamstress. She had been waiting since midday to measure Sutaijha for her wedding garments. Ekrem, Sutaijha and the seamstress went to Sutaijha's room. Sutaijha and Ekrem held hands as they walked towards her room. Farshad was tired so Henutsen carried him to his room to rest before the last meal of the day. Redsenet started to follow them to gather her things from his room, but Chombyses called for her.

"Yes what do you want?"

"Come over here, I won't bite you." He couldn't help but chuckle at Redsenet's apprehension towards him.

Redsenet walked closer to him, but still kept her distance. The distance wasn't far enough though, for he reached over and pulled her against him and kissed her on the forehead and whispered. "Thank you for giving my son back to me." Then he let her go and left her standing there in shock.

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-18-2000).]

Civis Romanus
posted 08-17-00 21:40 ET (US)     80 / 183       
Persian and other spies found Khumnhotep or Ankhu willing to tell them what they needed to know. To the man who spoke for Darius Khumnhotep told him Alexander sought to capture Babylon. To the man who claimed to be from Caria, Ankhu told him that Caria was Alexander's target. But since then they were talked to by no one except their commander and his aide. They were not summoned by Alexander again after their meeting with the King in his tent on the shores of the Hellespont.

Alexander welcomed his servant into his tent. Perseus was there as well. "When you told them you were Persian what did they say?" asked Alexander.

"That Alexander seeks to capture Babylon, My Lord," answered the servant.

"Excellent. You may leave." The servant left the tent.

"My lord, how will the Persians be fooled if they have no spy being told Babylon is your goal?" asked Perseus.

"It doesn't matter, Perseus. There is no force between here and Egypt that will stop us, whether Darius knows that's my destination or not."

Perseus marvelled at the overwhelming confidence exhibited by Alexander. Some of it even began to penetrate his own soul...

South along the coast marched the mighty army of Alexander. In two day's time they would be encamped before the city of Halicarnassus. Khumnhotep and Ankhu didn't know what to expect then. All that was on their minds was Sutaijha. They wondered how Alexander could keep his promise while his 40,000 men stormed the walls of the city.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-18-2000).]

posted 08-17-00 21:47 ET (US)     81 / 183       
I posted this just after Civis' post. I suggest - and I think Civis will agree - that the story would work best if this was accepted as coming before his, otherwise it sounds strange.

Far away, however, less sentimental thoughts were busy in important minds.

"Scribe! Take a message. 'To: Chombyses, magistrate of Halicarnassus. From the Office of the Royal Presence. For your immediate attenttion. Alexander the Macedon's fleet has been sighted in the Hellespont, possible objective being the west and south-west coast. The satrap of Lydia is in charge of main defences but you must see to it that Caria is defended.' That should do it. No, wait. Write also, 'Remember that, should your position become adverse, you are to evacuate the city with most of the garrison. All prisoners in this case to be killed.' There, that's it. Send it off along the urgent channel."

"Yes, O Great King."

[This message has been edited by Xeno51 (edited 08-17-2000).]

Civis Romanus
posted 08-17-00 22:01 ET (US)     82 / 183       
Xeno51: Not to worry. I've edited my post to help with the continuity. Your post is fine just where it is, and thanks for staying with the story. I thought we had lost you.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-17-2000).]

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-17-00 23:19 ET (US)     83 / 183       
Civis Romanus:FYI. Caria is not a city it is a country/province (not sure which). The city that Chombyses resides in is the capital city of Caria which is called Halicarnassus.
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-18-00 11:29 ET (US)     84 / 183       
"Wonder what surprises are in store for us today?" Redsenet spoke to herself, as she lay in her bed, face up. She turned her head towards the dresser and saw a wash basin on it. "What's this? I don't remember this being here when I went to bed." She rushed over to inspect. When she got there she saw that it was filled with water and in the water were petals. She picked up a couple of petals and felt them between her fingers and smelled them. "They're rose petals." She saw the sponge on a dish beside the basin. "Aw, it will be nice to be able to clean myself up." After she was done sponge bathing herself she dressed herself. When she stepped through the doorway, she was surprised to find that she wasn't greeted by any guards. She met up with Henutsen down the hall.

"Someone is smelling nice today." With a mischievous smile on her face.

"Did you not have a wash basin in your room? Good morning Sutaijha." Sutaijha had just joined them.

"Yes, but it was filled with just plain water. Smells like roses. I think someone likes you."

"Shut up. No comments from you either Sutaijha." Redsenet spoke with annoyance in her voice. But in the back of her mind she felt special.

"Wasn't going to say a word." Then both Sutaijha and Henutsen giggled together.

The three entered the dinning room and saw that Chombyses, Ekrem and Farshad were already at the dinning table. All three were eating their morning meal. They were still trying to adjust to Chombyses's face without his beard.

"Good morning ladies. Such a beautiful site to behold in the morning. Come sit and join us for your morning meal." Chombyses was smiling as he spoke.

Sutaijha sat beside Ekrem, they kissed each other on the lips. Henutsen sat beside Sutaijha and Redsenet sat 3 seats down from Farshad. "Why do you sit all the way over there? I have a seat for you right here, beside me. Do you not trust me?" Chombyses patted the chair that was between him and Farshad. Redsenet decided that it might be in her and her sister's best interest that she appease Chombyses so she moved to the chair on the other side of Farshad.

"You smell as beautiful as you look, Redsenet."

"Thank you for the wash basin. Was very nice of you."

"So ladies, I guess it's my turn to honour my side of the bargain. Have you decided were you want to go from here?"

"Yes." Blurted out Redsenet.

Sutaijha looked uncomfortable in her seat. "I would like to stay. Since I am going to be wife to Ekrem, it only makes sense." She looked into Ekrem's eyes, and they squeezed each others hand.

"Looks like it will be just the two of you then leaving. So were have you decided to go to?"

"The same place that our brother and Ankhu went." Spoke up Henutsen. Redsenet was surprised with how her baby sister answered.

"Okay. I will check into when the next ship going there will be leaving." Chombyses lied, he had no intention of allowing them to leave his place, at least not for awhile.

"Thank you." Both Redsenet and Henutsen said at the same time. The three sisters proceeded to eat.

"Magistrate." A servant spoke, breaking the silence. "There's someone here to see you. He's in the Great Hall."

"Thank you. I will be there shortly. Servant get me my treasurer for me. You ladies have my permission to go to the market, with guards of course. I will give you some money to spend there. It's the least I can do for what you three have done for my son."

The three jumped in their seats with joy. Henutsen ran over to Chombyses and gave him a hug and thanked him. This action from Henutsen surprised him, but he was a little disappointed that Redsenet didn't hug him. "One day she will." He thought to himself. He sat up. "Well ladies, duty calls. Hope to see you later and enjoy your time at the market. And you my son, I want you to get ready for your tutor. He'll be here his usual time." With that he walked towards the Great Hall.

"I already know what I want to purchase at the market." Stated Sutaijha as she winked at Ekrem. She had something planned for the night with Ekrem. Ekrem smiled boldly, he was looking forward to tonight.

Tears ran down Henutsen's cheeks.

"What's wrong Henutsen?" Inquired Redsenet with compassion.

"Nothing. Just memories of what it was like with Maatkare. I'll be okay." Sutaijha reached over and hugged her and wiped her tears away.

"Were is your husband, Henutsen?" Farshad asked innocently.

"We don't know yet, Farshad. But we will find out soon."

Ekrem recognized the name. He wondered if it was the same Maatkare that was Chombyses's envoy. But he thought it wouldn't be a good idea to bring that fact up just yet, until he found out for sure if they were the same person or not.

They were still eating their morning meal when a man wearing rich apparel entered the room and walked towards the table. In his left hand he carried three small sachets. "I am the personal treasured of the Magistrate Chombyses. Magistrate Chombyses has ordered me to give each of you money, to be used to make some purchases at the market." After he completed speaking he dropped a sachet in front of each of the three sisters. Turned and left the same way he came.

The sisters emptied the contents of the sachets into their hands. They couldn't believe that Chombyses would actually give them money to spend for themselves. They put the money back into the sachets and tied them to their belts.

As Ekrem entered the Great Hall, Maatkare had just left. So Ekrem didn't see him. "Who was here? What news did they bring?"

"I'm glad you decided no to go with the women to the market. It was Maatkare. He has informed me that King Alexander and his army will be upon us in two to three days from now. We must start preparing the safety place. Get my general for me Ekrem."

"As you wish Magistrate Chombyses." Ekrem bowed and left the room, he thought to himself. "I wish I had arrived here sooner, I could have asked him if he was the husband of Henutsen."

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-19-2000).]

posted 08-18-00 19:22 ET (US)     85 / 183       
Henutsen was following her sisters in the market. Her mind was far from the shops offering a rich variety of products. She was going over the events of the morning. Somehow she had trouble recognizing herself since she had arrived in Caria. Where was the level-headed young woman she used to know? Had she become a new person in just a few days?

Her emotions troubled her. Just this morning, she had been overjoyed to the point of hugging Chombyses. Then, she had cried at the thought of her lost husband. And now, she did not even know how she felt.

Her eyes followed Sutaijha and Redsenet as they discussed the purchase of wedding clothes. Redsenet was driving a hard bargain and Sutaijha seemed to thoroughly enjoy the heated debate with the store owner. A new feeling was entering Henutsen's heart. Yes, she was jealous, jealous of everyone she knew. Sutaijha was getting married; Redsenet had the attention of the Magistrate; Khumnhotep was free and fighting for glory and freedom. What had she done to deserve such unhappiness?

Without thinking, she quietly slipped away from the group. Even the guards were busy watching the two women argue over the price of the piece of fabric. Quickly, she found her way through the narrow streets. One could go a long way with all that money, she thought. I will find my husband... The young woman had no idea of the obstacles anyone would encounter in leaving the city.

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-18-00 20:27 ET (US)     86 / 183       
Maatkare mounted his horse. It was an Egyptian Arabian, a beautiful and intelligent animal. Together they galloped off into the horizon. Maatkare not knowing how close he was to his wife.

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-18-2000).]

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-18-00 22:45 ET (US)     87 / 183       
Redsenet saw a dress and picked it up and showed it to Sutaijha. It was made from sheer white linen. Running diagonally across the front were embossed golden lotus blossoms. Sutaijha fell in love with it.

"For your wedding night. What do you think Henutsen." Redsenet turned around expecting to see Henutsen, but she did not. "Henutsen." She called out. No answer. "Henutsen." Both Redsenet and Sutaijha yelled. Still no answer. They yelled out her name again. Still no answer. The guards were looking around as well. The two women were now starting to panic. The eldest of the guards suggested that they should return to the palace and a search party would be created to look for Henutsen.

When they arrived at the palace, Chombyses noticed that Henutsen was not with them. "Were's Henutsen?" He demanded.

"She just disappeared." Was the response.

"You mean she slipped away. You two go to your assigned rooms. Guards, make sure they do not leave their rooms, unless I give permission." Chombyses was upset. "Go find her now." He ordered at the top of his voice.

"What's wrong? I could hear you all the way the other side of the palace." Suddenly appeared Ekrem.

"Henutsen decided to do a disappearing act. I feed and cloth them, allow them outside the palace and this is the thanks I get." He ranted and paced back and forth, almost frothing at the mouth.

Redsenet turned around and yelled at Chombyses. "Did it ever occur to you that she might have been taken against her will!"

Chombyses snapped back at Redsenet. "You better pray that we find her soon." He thought to himself, "There's a battle about to happen and we still have lots to be done to prepare ourselves, plus a missing woman on our hands to look for."

Both Sutaijha and Redsenet were worried for their sister. They hoped who ever took her would be punished. They couldn't picture her leaving on her own, especially when her freedom was so close at hand.

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-19-2000).]

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-19-00 09:23 ET (US)     88 / 183       
It was twilight when the guards finally found Henutsen. She was in a haze. She had been wandering in the streets looking for a way to the docks. Her eyes were bloodshot from crying.

Meanwhile back at the Palace....

Redsenet and Sutaijha were each in there own rooms, both praying to their Gods for the same thing. The safe return of their sister, Henutsen.

In his room, Farshad was also saying a prayer for Henutsen's safe return.

Ekrem stood and watched Chombyses pacing and every so often muttering to himself. Ekrem couldn't make out the words, but he had an idea what it was that Chombyses was saying. Silently Ekrem also said a prayer to the Egyptian Gods for Henutsen's safe return.

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-19-2000).]

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-19-00 12:54 ET (US)     89 / 183       
"Put her in her room." Ordered Chombyses gruffly. "Have Redsenet visit her."

When the guards arrived at Redsenet's room to escort her to Henutsen's room she asked if she could first prepare a glass of water with some tincture of vervain to calm down Henutsen and to help her to go to sleep. They agreed to her request. When she entered Henutsen's room she rushed over to the bedside and placed the glass down on the stand beside the bed. Hugged her sister and with tears streaming down her cheeks she spoke. "Henutsen. Are you okay? What happened? I brought you something to help you sleep. You scared us half to death." Redsenet sat back to take a good look at Henutsen.

"Thank you for the drink." As she picked up the glass and took a sip and placed the glass back down. "I slipped away while you and Sutaijha were haggling with the merchant over the price of a dress."

"But why?"

"I have to find Maatkare. I'm losing myself not knowing if he's still alive or not." She spoke in a panic, then with anguish. "Also because I was jealous of you and Sutaijha."

"Jealous of us? Why?" Redsenet couldn't believe what she just heard.

"Because Sutaijha is getting married and you have the attention of the magistrate. That's why. And I don't know if I still have someone or not in my life." Her voice cracking, and trying her best to choke back the tears that were welling up inside of her.

"It's normal to feel this way." Redsenet hugged Henutsen, you could hear the worry in her voice. "But you have to talk to us. We are both here for you, we love you. I have seen other women from our village lose their selves when their husbands or sons have been gone to the battle fields for more than a month or two. It's the not knowing that makes you lose yourself. You don't know how you should be continuing your life. When your life has stalled and everyone else's around you is continuing, it will have a negative effect on you. It's normal, but you have to talk to us so that we can be there to help you through this difficult time."

Redsenet sat back and placed her hands on Henutsen's shoulders. "I want you to finish this drink for me. Get some sleep and in the morning we will ask the magistrate if he could have his spies keep an eye out for Maatkare. Okay? And we'll also request that we three be able to spend time together. I'm sure we will be able to convince him to allow us to do that. Don't ever do that again. We were both fearful for your life. I'll have to give my thanks to the Gods for your safe return to us."

Redsenet stayed for awhile longer just holding Henutsen in her arms. Henutsen broke down and the tears poured out of her. When Henutsen stopped weeping, Redsenet let her go and reminded Henutsen to finish the drink that she had brought. When the door closed behind Redsenet, Henutsen picked up the glass and finished the drink. She was feeling relaxed and hopeful for the next day. That night she had a peaceful dream about reuniting with her husband.


Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-19-00 12:56 ET (US)     90 / 183       
She bolted upright in her bed. "Who's there?" She demanded, looking around her room. The moon was giving off enough light for her be able to distinguish the shapes in her room. There was no one to be seen.

"Fa ri da." The voice was gentle and compelling.

Farida sprang out of her bed and stood up. Listening for the voice to determine were it was coming from.

"Fa ri da." It sounded like it was coming from her jewelry chest. She slowly moved towards her jewelry chest. When she reached it, she hesitantly reached out to open it. "Fa ri da." She jerked her hand back. Took a deep breath and quickly reached out and opened the jewelry chest all in one motion.

"Fa ri da." Inside she could see that Khumnhotep's amulet was glowing. The glow was a soft blue, if it had been daylight, the glow wouldn't have been noticeable. She picked up the amulet in her hand, the chain dangled between her fingers. The glow ceased to exist. She held if for a few minutes and the voice never returned. She thought to herself, "I must be just dreaming." and then put the amulet back into the jewelry chest. As soon as she let go of it, it started to glow again. The voice started up soon after. "Fa ri da."

Farida picked it back up and placed it on her. The glow ceased again and so did the voice. She decided that if wearing the amulet meant no more voices in the night keeping her up, then that's what she would do. She slept well the remainder of the night.

Civis Romanus
posted 08-19-00 13:36 ET (US)     91 / 183       
Drums beat a near primitive rhythm that penetrated deeply into the minds and souls of the men before the walls and the men on the walls of the capital city called Halicarnassus. Archers lined up behind massed formations of Greek and allied warriors. These phalanx units were bookended by cavalry wearing light armor and carrying lances and shields. Each cavalry man had a more modest sword belted to his side to use should he be unhorsed or lose his lance. Their horses stood nervously knowing some form of battle was imminent.

The city streets were empty of commoners. The Magistrate had warned them of the coming attack and ordered them all indoors. They could not flee the city as the gates were closed and heavily guarded. There was no place to go or hide. Even the palace was no sure guarantee of protection. Most of the Persian soldiers were at the wall. Only a small contingent of soldiers guarded the palace.

The drums continued to beat out their warning of battle and doom, then suddenly stopped. A golden haired warrior separated himself from his army and advanced towards the wall positioning himself within earshot but smartly out of bowshot. "People of Halicarnassus, I am Alexander the Macedonian. Throw off the yoke of the Persian beast. Open your gates to me. I promise you peace, prosperity, freedom, fair law and safety. Oppose me and I shall seize your city and punish all within. You know my reputation, I keep my word. These things I have said are what I promise you today."

Chombyses could see the blond figure in the distance addressing the defending Persian and Carian soldiers. He knew what the man would say even before he said it. Chombyses turned to Ekrem. "Is everything ready?"

Ekrem nodded. "Yes, Magistrate. All are in position."

"Give the word and then see to the ladies. Present each with their weapons. I shall go and arm myself. Be careful, my friend. The outcome is not assured."

Chombyses hurried to his quarters and strapped on an ornate sword. He placed belts holding throwing knives across his shoulders. On his head he placed a polished helm and with his left hand he picked up a black on bronze Persian shield.
Then he sought out his son and with a gesture of ordered silence brought the young boy to his receiving hall. Waiting for him there were his five faithful Carian bodyguards similarly dressed and armed for battle.

Ekrem passed the word and then visited each lady in turn, giving them their knife and specific instructions. Each had the same expression of shock and joy on their face, but Sutaijha beamed one thing more. Ekrem released her from his loving embrace, placed a kiss on her lips, smiled and left her chamber to complete the rest of his duties. The look on Sutaijha's face was something more. Ekrem had not seen its like before, but he recognized true love all the same.

Alexander continued to address the defenders of the city. "I have spoken. Do as you will." He then turned his horse and returned to his customary position at the front of his army. Commander Perseus was nearby. "Do you think they will yield the city, My Lord?" he asked.

"We shall see."

A scream sounded from a point in the wall and a body hurtled to the gound below. Then another and another. Persian soldiers began to fall like rain from the parapets. Now and then a Carian would fall, but mostly it was Persians. "We have our answer, I think," said Alexander to no one in particular. But they all saw with their eyes what Alexander meant. The city of Halicarnassus was in revolt against their Persian overlords.

Slaves sought out Persian soldiers in the streets. Carian militia and soldiers attaced Persians on the walls. The battle before the gates was exceptionally fierce. Then the outcome was decided and the great gates of the city opened before the massed army of Alexander.

He shouted the order and the cavalry rushed forward to secure the path and reconnoiter the city. His phalanx units advanced closely behind. His archers relaxed. There would be little work for them this day.

Alexander motioned to Perseus. "I have promises to keep. Take your unit directly to the palace. See that Khumnhotep and Ankhu come to no harm. Protect our friends there. I place the life of Chombyses and his son in your hands. He has made this possible and must be rewarded accordingly."

Perseus saluted and returned to his unit. The phalanx company with Khumnhotep and Ankhu were among the very first to enter the city. They ran in step down the main street to reach the palace before the Persians understood who had betrayed them.

They were not a moment too soon. The battle in the palace already raged between a contingent of Persians and the Carians loyal to Chombyses. It was not going well for the Carians.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-21-2000).]

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-19-00 14:36 ET (US)     92 / 183       
Among the group of Carians were also Redsenet, Sutaijha and Henutsen. They were placed in the middle with Farshad. Chombyses, Ekrem and the five heavily armed guards surrounded them. The three sisters would thrush their knives into a Persian when one was close enough to them. The men used their swords and shields. The hall was filled with the sound of metal clashing against metal, punctuated with a groan from someone receiving a wound. They were out numbered by the Persians they were trying to fight off.

Henutsen spoke, "This wasn't what I had in mind for our get together today. And why are the Persians fighting against the Magistrate Chombyses?"

Just as Perseus's company stormed the palace, one of the Persians managed to severely wound Chombyses in the side. At the same time from no were it seemed appeared Maatkare, who then killed the Persian who wounded Chombyses. He looked at the three women and that's when he saw Henutsen.

"Henutsen!" She spun towards the voice and saw her husband. She was in such shock that she fainted. Maatkare ran over to her and carried her away from the fighting. Placed her gently down and brushed her hair off her face, and gently kissed her on her lips. "My sweet Henutsen, we finally are reunited again." He paused for awhile then got up and joined in the fighting.

Chombyses didn't let the wound slow him down, he kept on fighting. Unknown to him Redsenet was impressed with his bravery and agility, and that she didn't leave his side for fear that he might collapse from his wound. She asked herself, "Why is he risking his life to protect mine and my sister's lives?"

When the Persians finally noticed that they were surrounded by Alexander's men they surrendered themselves. Perseus and his unit gathered up the Persians. Khumnhotep and Ankhu looked around in search of their sister Sutaijha. Instead of seeing Sutaijha, they saw Redsenet by Chombyses's side, checking out his wound.

"Redsenet! What are you doing here?"

"Khumnhotep! You're safe." She ran over to Khumnhotep and gave him a tight squeeze. "You look like a real man in that uniform."

She then gave Ankhu a hug. "Ankhu, it's good to see you alive also."

"Same here Redsenet."

"Why am I here? Well Sutaijha suggested to Chombyses that he call for us when she found out that his son was ill. In exchange for me healing his son he was suppose to allow us free passage to where ever we wish to go. So he did call for me and here I am, along with Henutsen. And it looks like we have finally found Maatkare also. Do you know why the Persians were fighting the Carians here in the palace?"

"Not sure, but I think that maybe, just maybe, the Magistrate Chombyses was conspiring with King Alexander. The reason I suspect this is because they both called us their hawks. Whether I'm correct or not we will soon find out I'm sure."

Ankhu noticed that Sutaijha was in the arms of another man. "Who's that with Sutaijha?" He asked Redsenet.

"He's Ekrem. Captain of the personal guards of the Magistrate Chombyses. He's half Egyptian and half Carian. The Magistrate Chombyses had made wedding arrangements for them. During her stay here has fallen in love with him. He treats her fondly."

"Oh." Was all Ankhu said. His eyes showed that he was a bit heart broken over this news.

Khumnhotep decided that he would interrupt their kissing. "Hello Sutaijha. Glad to see someone enjoyed themselves."

"Khumnhotep! So glad to see you." She reached towards him and hugged him. This is Ekrem."

"I know, Redsenet told us about him."

"Where's Ankhu?"

"Here." He stepped out from behind Khumnhotep. Reached over and gave Sutaijha a hug. "Glad to see you. Would like to give you best wishes with your future husband."

"Thank you. So glad to see you too." She returned his hug.

"I should go back to looking after the magistrate's wound." Redsenet gave Khumnhotep and Ankhu a hug before she went back to Chombyses.

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-19-2000).]

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-19-00 17:14 ET (US)     93 / 183       
"How are you feeling?" She asked Chombyses with concern. "Are you feeling a bit week, because it looks like you lost quite a bit of blood."

"Actually, yes I do feel a bit light headed. I think I will sit down, before I fall down." With Redsenet's help he walked over to a chair and sat down on it, his son following behind. Once seated he reached out to touch Redsenet's face. "The first instant I saw you coming off that ship, I was under your spell."

"I had prepared a poultice for wounds last night. I will go get some to put on the wound. While I'm gone try to stay still and put pressure here. I'll be back shortly. Farshad you can hold this down for me, while I'm gone. Okay?" She placed Farshad's hand on the folded cloth that was over Chombyses's wound. Chombyses watched Redsenet walk away from him to her room, and her return with the poultice.

She had with her clean cloth as well. She removed Farshad's hand and placed the poultice on the wound then wrapped it securely in place. "That should do for now. I will check up on it tomorrow, if I'm permitted of course."

"You will be permitted."

"What makes you so sure that King Alexander will permit it?"

"Because I was conspiring against the Persians with him. That's why."

Redsenet couldn't believe what she had just heard. Her heart did a little dance. This meant that he was not loyal to the sworn enemy of her people. She could now allow herself to love him. It felt like a monument had been lifted off her shoulder. She bend over and gave him a gentle but passionate kiss on the lips. He returned in kind.

"Is papa in love?" asked Farshad. Chombyses momentarily forgot that his son was by his side.

"Yes. Papa is in love." He ruffled Farshad's hair and then looked into Redsenet's eyes. He liked what he saw in return.

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-19-2000).]

posted 08-20-00 08:33 ET (US)     94 / 183       
Halicarnassus had been won, and Macedonia was victorious. The army of Macedonia rested briefly, camped outside the city, treating the wounded, healing the sick, counting the dead. The sun was setting over the sea, and the silouette of various islands in the Aegean Sea could be seen, eerie dark shadows, and the occasional mast and sail of a fishing boat in the distance...

Alexander the Great was standing on a small hill. He surveyed the land. The quest had only begun. He felt a stirring in his heart, a desire for more adventures. and he could see himself, marching victoriously into city after city, and hailed a hero. Two thousand years hence, people would talk about him, a hero that rose out of Macedonia and conquered the world...

Khmunhotep and Ankhu were with Alexander. They gazed south, towards Egypt, where cruel Persian overlords still ruled the Two Lands.

"My old tutor, Aristotle, used to tell me about Egypt. He called it the gift of the Nile, a pearly strip of fertility and richness in a harsh desert. Egypt has the pyramids that are thousands of years old, built before the time of the Iliad and Odyssey. Aristotle said that of all nations in the world, Egypt is the oldest, and richest."

Ankhu and Khmunhotep reddened slightly at this.

"One day, I will liberate Egypt. Persia is unworthy to rule a glorious nation as Egypt. One day my army will march up the Nile and liberate Egypt."

The Egyptians' hearts swelled with hope. One day...

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-20-00 13:52 ET (US)     95 / 183       
Inside the palace, Chombyses was lying in his bed. Under orders of Redsenet. Farshad lay beside his father. Redsenet and Sutaijha were tending to the wounded inside of the palace.

Later that evening Henutsen awoke in her bed. Sitting by her side was Maatkare. He was looking at Henutsen with great love and admiration. Henutsen reached up to touch Maatkare.

"Are you real or a spirit?"

"Real. It's so wonderful to be with you again. I've missed you so much. Every night I wished you were with me. The sight of you makes my heart sing with joy." As he brushed his hands against her face.

"I've missed you much also." She sat up and fell into his arms, sobbing. "I love you. I've been praying to the Gods for this moment. I don't want us to be apart like this ever again."

"I love you too, my sweet Henutsen." His arms encircled around Henutsen's body. Kissing her face and neck repeatedly. His kisses started out gentle and passionate, they soon became kisses of burning passion.

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-20-2000).]

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-21-00 12:04 ET (US)     96 / 183       
Next morning..........

Henutsen woke up with Maatkare beside her in the bed. That night she slept peacefully. She rolled over to look into Maatkare's face. When she did, she saw that he looked troubled. "What troubles you, my dear sweet husband?"

"I had spoken to King Alexander awhile ago, about joining his army after he had rid this city of the Persians. Since the Magistrate Chombyses would no longer be needing me as an Envoy between him and King Alexander. I didn't even know you were here."

"No. You can't leave me now." Choking back a tear.

"It'll be different. I'll be able to send you messages this time. When King Alexander's army has rid our home land of the Persians, I will come back here to get you personally and we can get a home of our own. Make a family of our own also. Like we planned in the beginning." Holding onto Henutsen and caressing her.

"How long do you think you will be gone for?"

"A couple of months, four at the most." Holding her chin in his hand he looked deep into her eyes, "Smile for me. I'll be back in your arms in no time at all. Then you'll become sick of me." He smiled, trying to cheer up his wife.

She smiled but he could still see sadness in her eyes. He pulled her into his arms and held her. Debating if he should go with King Alexander's army or stay behind with Henutsen.

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-21-00 15:00 ET (US)     97 / 183       
Redsenet checked in on Chombyses, but he had already left his room. She found him at the dinning table with his son.

"Did you sleep well last night? How are you feeling?"

"Sleep okay, have slept better. Not feeling light headed any longer. My side is sore though. You want to check it out?" He said the last sentence with a grin.

"With that grin on your face, I would say that you are doing very well." She walked over the Chombyses and checked the bandage. "Looks like the bleeding has stopped. Just don't do any sudden movements with your mid-section for a couple of days."

Ekrem and Sutaijha joined them shortly there after.

"Henutsen and Maatkare come out of her room yet?" Inquired Sutaijha with a mischievous tone in her voice.

"Not yet." Responded Chombyses winking at Redsenet.

"Ekrem and I were discussing about having our wedding before King Alexander moves on. So that my brother and Ankhu could attend. Has King Alexander spoken to you about when he would be leaving?"

"When he spoke to me yesterday, he was thinking that he would probably be moving on in a couple of days. It would depend on when his men recover from their wounds well enough to march."

[This message has been edited by Rosenetka (edited 08-21-2000).]

Civis Romanus
posted 08-21-00 21:37 ET (US)     98 / 183       
Some time passed while normalcy returned to the city of Halicarnassus. Chombyses' role in making it possible for Alexander to enter the city, cast out the Persians and for the city to avoid the effects of a long siege became increasingly known to the public by word of mouth among the Carians. The former Persian Magistrate became something of a hero around the city. So it was without protest that the citizenry accepted his continued rule over them, this time as the City Administrator ruling in the name of Alexander of Macedonia.

Yet, while things were going well in Halicarnassus, all was not well in the Macedonian camp.

"They dare to defy me?! To Alexander of Macedonia, they dare to say no?! Who are these Tyreans that they can even think of such a thing! BRING ME MY HAWKS!" While his aides scrambled to find Khumnhotep and Ankhu, Alexander stomped around within his tent in a fit of purple rage. Magnanimous to those who yielded to him without protest, Alexander was equally retaliatory to those who opposed him. The messenger who brought him news of Tyre's refusal to open its gates to the Macedonians stood in the corner of the tent trembling in fear as the conqueror raged on about what he would do when he brought the city to its knees.

Some time later Khumnhotep and Ankhu cautiously entered the tent. Alexander sat at his table drinking wine by the cups full. He was not inebriated, but soon would be, as was his way during periods of idleness or inactivity. "Hawks, I want you to do this for me," he began after the formalities of saluting were accomplished. "I want you to take enough supplies and a horse each and ride to Tyre. Wear common clothes so they won't recognize you for what you are. Enter the city and see how it functions. Learn its sources of water and food. Come back here and report what you have learned. Take this, you will need what is inside." Alexander handed to each Egyptian a pouch generously filled with Persian gold coins, no doubt "liberated" from some unfortunate Persian citizens found in the now pacified city. "Spend what you must. I have no concern for its return. It is little indeed compared to the lives of the Macedonians who will be lost in a siege of Tyre." Here Alexander paused and with a melancholy expression drank another large draught of wine.

After swallowing, he spoke again. "Spy out the Lion's lair, my Hawks, and let us hope what you learn makes the siege as shortlived as possible. Tell no one of your mission. There are Persian spies among us even now. I will advise Chombyses of your mission. Go immediately, and may the gods be with you."

"Yes, my Lord, as you command," answered Khumnhotep. Both Egyptians saluted and exited the tent. There Perseus met them and took them to their mounts and cache of supplies. Soon they were gone, heading south towards Tyre.

Some time after their departure Perseus found Alexander staring into his empty goblet, thoughts both glorious and dark racing through his troubled, wine sodden mind. Alexander moved his blurred stare from the bottom of his goblet and looked for the pitcher of wine nearby. He found it and with an unsteady hand refilled his goblet with fresh wine, some of which found the table top instead. He raised the goblet to his mouth and drained half of it in great gulps. Noisely he dropped the cup on the table, spilling what was left of the contents on himself and the wood. Then he rocked in his chair, his eyes closed and he fell forward onto the table top in a wine-induced stupor that would last him until the morning. It was Perseus and an aide who carried him to his bed. Alexander would wake unknowing how he came to be there. There were many nights like this in Alexander's past, and many more to be expected.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-21-2000).]

Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 08-22-00 09:00 ET (US)     99 / 183       
It was quiet in Chombyses's room. Redsenet was quietly changing the bandage and dressing on Chombyses wound. He laid back and watched her. He didn't watch her out of suspicion but because he enjoyed watching her. Her movements were fluid.

Khumnhotep and Ankhu's mounts were swift and beautiful. The ride to Tyre was smooth and without incident.

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

Civis Romanus
posted 08-22-00 15:34 ET (US)     100 / 183       
The gates to the city of Tyre loomed in front of Khumnhotep and Ankhu. They were open for now as no warning or sighting of Alexander's army had reached the city officials. Laden camels and horses streamed into and out of the city. This would continue until upon the least hint that Alexander was approaching the city, the gates would be closed and the walls manned with soldiers.

The city elders were determined to hold onto Tyre for Darius III in anticipation that Alexander's siege would be lifted by a relief force of Persian regulars promised by the Persian king. This is the only reason they planned to close the city gates to Alexander. They believed King Darius would save them if only they held out long enough.

Little did they know that Darius had made an empty promise. There was no relief force available. Even now, Darius struggled to fill the ranks of his army following its defeat in Asia Minor at the Battle of Granicus. There was little support among his generals for a confrontation with Alexander anywhere other than on the plains before the capital of Persia itself. The eastern coast of the Mediterranean was Alexander's for the taking, except for Tyre where led by misguided men with allegiance to a weakling king, the gates would remain closed.

Khumnhotep and Ankhu rode into Tyre and beheld a city frantically preparing for a siege.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 08-23-2000).]

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