Wednesday, 25 June 2014


"The armies of Ptolemy will be at our mercy..."

A Seleucid expeditionary force has been broken in battle against the Ptolemies. The survivors fled the slaughter. Eratosthenes, a low-ranking mercenary officer, managed to collect a small group of soldiers from his shattered company and lead them to safety through the heavy fighting. Some of them are now gathered in a tavern in the Syrian town of Emesa, plotting their next move.

Δικαίαρχος Δικαιοπόλιδος

Name: Dicaearchos, son of Dicaeopolis
CHR: 10  EDU: 11
STR: 10  CON:  8
DEX: 13  FATE: 15
Type: Planos
Silver: 0
Talents: δολιόφρων ('wily, crafty')
Adds: +4
Armour: medium armour (takes 4 hits, enc 2), Aspis shield (hits:6, enc2)
Speed/Encumbrance: 18-8=10
Spells: τύπτω (knock knock)
Equipment: shortsword (xiphos: 3+2, enc 1), delver's pack (enc 3: leather sack, 3 doses of pseudosilphion, 3 torches, tinderbox, 1 Ration, wineskin, 10m rope, clothing), 12 drachmas

Background: Dicaearchos grew up a farmer's son near Delphoi. The Delphic Oracle herself prophesied that he should leave his home and make for Alexandria, there to join the sect of Pythagoreans as a prophet. The Pythagorean sages have sent him on a special mission to Emesa, where his skills are needed by a small group of soldiers to recover a great treasure and defeat a great evil. Well, that's what he tells everyone. But one thing is certain: he does have an old papyrus in his possession, covered in arcane charakteres, and strange Syriac scrawlings besides.


Name: Astyanax
CHR:  6  EDU: 10
STR: 13  CON: 12
DEX: 11  FATE: 11
Type: Polemistes
Silver: 0
Talents: πόδας ὠκύς ('swift-footed')
Adds: +1
Armour: light armour (takes 2 hits, enc 1), helm (takes 1 hit, enc 0/1)
Speed/Encumbrance: 21-5=16
Equipment: machaira (4+1, enc 1), delver's pack (net bag with 3x pseudosilphion, 3 torches, firemaker, 1 ration, wineskin. enc 2), 2 drachmas

Background: Born in a low brothel somewhere near the Alexandrian docks, to a porne of (probably) Libyan descent, Astyanax managed to one day convince the sailors he grew up around to take him away on the sea. After several years of sailing the Mediterranean on mercantile ventures, his ship was boarded by Phonecian pirates. He prayed to Ares for the strength to fight them off, and vowed that he would dedicate his life to the god should he survive. Dichaearchos has confided in him the secret of the strange scroll he carries, as Astyanax can actually read Syriac.

Νοσσίς Ταναγρική

Name: Nossis of Tanagra
CHR: 14  EDU: 27
STR: 26  CON:  8
DEX: 13  FATE: 10
Type: Pharmakis
Silver: 0
Talents: εὐφόρμιγξ ('playing beautifully on the lyre')
Adds: +15
Armour: none
Speed/Encumbrance: 18-1=17
Spells: ἄσκιον κατάσκιον (hocus pocus), τύπτω (knock knock), δέξαι μαστιγία ! (take that, you fiend!), εὕρηκα (oh, there it is / revelation), κάθαρσις [purification: new spell], κληδόνιος (detect magic), κλεῖθρον (lock tight), μέντωρ (teacher), ὀξύς (vorpal blade), φόβος (oh, go away / panic), φλόξ (will-o-wisp)
Equipment: Kore Amulet (60SD, 53+, Min. Fate 10, Bonus 4), iynx, dagger (2+1, enc 1), 7 drachmas

Background: Her family are rich citizens of Tanagra, in Boeotia. They have a large estate and are very important in the Polis. Nossis' brothers were jealous of their sister's talents and independence. They revealed some of her more scandalous escapades to her her father, and she was forced to flee the city in disgrace. She initially tried to set herself up as a hetaira in Thebes, but her rustic dialect found little favour amongst the upper class clients she sought. Disheartened, she struck up a love affair with a mercenary soldier and joined the army's camp followers as they headed east. Her paramour was killed in the retreat, but an acquaintance of his, a young soldier, noticed her in the company of another group that had reached Emesa. He came to her, asking her opinion abut some strange markings on a papyrus. He'd heard she was a witch.

« Τυφῶν »

Name: 'Typhon'
CHR: 10  EDU: 6
STR: 28  CON: 14
DEX:  6  FATE: 11
Type: Polemistes
Silver: 0
Talents: φοβεροωπός ('terribie of aspect')
Adds: +13
Armour: hoplite shield (aspis: takes 6 hits, enc. 2)
Speed/Encumbrance: 16-5=11
Equipment: longspear (doru: 4+0, enc 2), boxing gloves (himantes oxeis, 1+0), knucklebones (astragaloi), wineskin (enc 1), Herakles Amulet (30SD, 55+, Min. Fate 8, Bonus 4), 1 drachma, 1 obol

Background: Euthydemos hails from Baiae in southern Italy. He was sold into slavery as a child, working in the fields of a large estate. By the time he was 12 he was taller than most adults, and by the his 17th birthday he had become an absolute giant. When the master fell on hard times, he sold his slave to a friend in the polis, who trained the young man as an athlete. He picked up a reputation for brutality in the pankrateon, which earned him the nickname Typhon. His new master left Baiae under deleterious circumstances, and assassins struck on the way to Alexandria. Now (essentially) free, Typhon was persuaded by a certain Dicaeopolis to become a fellow mercenary and get a taste of some real glory -- but first they had to get out of Alexandria alive.

Νικίας Καλλίου

Name: Nikias, son of Kallias
CHR: 10  EDU: 10
STR: 17  CON: 14
DEX: 23  FATE: 9
Type: Polemistes
Silver: 0
Talents: ἀδείμαντος ('dauntless')
Adds: +14
Armour: pelta shield with arm strap (takes 4 hits, 3 if objects held in shield hand, enc 1), light armour (takes 2 hits, enc 1)
Speed/Encumbrance: 24-7=17
Equipment: 3 javelins (akontion:2+0), longspear (doru: 4+0, enc 2), delver's pack (enc 3: leather sack, 3 doses of pseudosilphion, 3 torches, tinderbox, 1 Ration, wineskin, 10m rope, clothing), amulet (40SD, 54+, Min. Fate 9, Bonus 4), 16 drachmas

Background: Nikias' family are poor citizens of Pergamon. Nikos was brought up to be a vase painter, and seemed to be turning into a good one, as his detailed 'warriors taking a farewell drink' scenes proved popular locally. His father soon realised why his son painted that same type over and over, and spent the family savings on some arms so his son might some day win glory in battle. He went east to Antioch, and there joined a mercenary company as a peltast. In the army he befriended a giant of a man called Typhon, and even saved his life in their last, desperate battle.

Ἐρατοσθένης Εὐφιλήτου

Name: Eratosthenes, son of Euphiletos
CHR: 15  EDU: 10
STR: 16  CON: 12
DEX: 11  FATE: 13
Type: Polemistes
Silver: 0
Talents: πολύμητις ('of many counsels')
Adds: +5
Armour: Helmet (hits:1, enc0/1) & Aspis shield (hits:6,enc2). Total hits taken (6+1)x2]: 14
Speed/Encumbrance: 21-8(enc)=13
Fatigue: 0
Equipment: long spear (doru: 4+0, enc 2), shortsword (xiphos: 3+2, enc 1), delver's pack (enc 3: leather sack, 3 doses of pseudosilphion, 3 torches, tinderbox, 1 Ration, wineskin, 10m rope, clothing), amulet (3SD), 7 drachmas

Background: Eratosthenes was born in the poor polis of Lebedos in Ionia, but his family moved to Athens as economic migrants when he was very young. As he didn't fancy a following in his father's footsteps as a sausage-seller, the strong and well-liked youth ran off to become a mercenary soldier in the east. There, in Emesa, he fell in with an unsavoury lot...


  1. PS: Jeff, I had to make your character's name less modern.

  2. No problem, sir. I'm looking forward to reading about their adventures.

    -- Jeff