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It's time to start a new AAR. New nation, new mod, new plans.

Mod: Yet nameless mod I've been working on, preview of it here
Difficulty: Normal (or is it medium? Whatever..)

This time I doubt we'll see much of a conquering, my main focus is to write novel-like story about Massilian senate and the people there. I'll try to add as much historical info as I can to keep this interesting. To be honest this is also a bit of a try to earn character writAAR of the week award, let's see how well it goes ;)

Word of warning:
This AAR will be extremely character driven, if you only like gameplay AARs with tons of photos I must say that you're in the wrong place. This AAR will look more like a wall of text, I have 30 screenshots from the first 10 years played and let me tell you, 30 photos isn't much if you compare to the amount of text that is coming.

Start date was 1.1.474, the Pyrrhic wars and I've now played 10 years. I don't have any other plans than keeping populists down, it seems that military faction is rising pretty dramatically due war (45 seats in senate after 10 years) and it's fine with me.

In case you ran across typos, as you'll most likely do, please report them and help me fix them as I want my AARs to look as good as they can and after writing them I just can't concentrate on reading enough to note the fails myself.

Chapters written:

Chapter 1: Smells like a republic
Chapter 2: Unexpected greatness
Chapter 3: Going underground
Chapter 4: Massilian Radicalism

Recap 1 Recap of first ten years

Chapter 5: [url="http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?542937-Massilia-Political-playground-AAR-about-the-life-of-the-senate&p=12765822&viewfull=1#post12765822]Bad Apples[/url]
 
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Chapter 1

Smells like a republic

1st January 474 - 1st January 476

Senate of Massilia was once again gathered together to talk about expectations of next year. Expectations for year 474 AVC weren't as bright as possible, Massilia was strangling into the tribute they had to pay to their Roman allies and right now these said allies had risen anger in all greek states by attacking Magna Graecia, greek colonists who had been living in the southern italy for nearly 500 years.(1) King Pyrrhus Aecidae of Epirus himself sweared to defend Magna Graecia and Ptolemy Keraunos had offered him help by giving more units to already very powerful army that included best of the greek soldiers, war elephants from Egypt and cavalry that had been proven useful by Alexander's mixed arms tactics. Senate knew that Rome most likely will call Massilia to aid in war without realizing that it would probably mean the destruction of Massilia, what could be easier way to break enemies' morale and harass Rome's economy for Pyrrhus than sailing to Massilia and taking over their cities to quit Massilian tribute to Rome.

The senate was lead by Lysimachus Sosiclid, fairly young man who had became Mercantile faction's leader at the age of 24. Not an easy thing for anyone to achieve. Lysimachus Sosiclid really took his job seriously, nobody in the senate had gained such respect as he had. His tactical and warfare knowledge was great, he could lead angry mob of farmers against elite army and win, he was so charismatic that whole senate of 99 men was sitting down silently when he talked. He never needed to shout as everyone were listening to him. If he lacked something in charisma his ability to get everything he starts done helped out. This man wasn't compared to foxes or weasels, his raw cunning helped him out from every situation and senate members from deeply religious senior memebers to young loudmouth populists rather allied this man that stepped against him. Lysimachus had a plan, war was inevitable and there was no time to waste.

Lysimachus Sosiclid(2)
5848107142_d7e440442e_z.jpg

3rd January 474, three days after the senate meeting messenger from Rome arrived. Senate was called for emergency session. Roman messenger loudly read the message to senate, it was simple but had hidden demand. Lysimachus knew that dishonouring the call to arms would upset Romans totally and maybe even cause enough anger to declare war against Massilia, this wasn't said in the message but it was clear. Joining the war against Epirus and Magna Graecia would be political suicide for Lysimachus and cause bad relations around greek because Massilia after all was a greek state; it had been built by colonists that had arrived long time ago like achaeans who had settled in italy and declared themself a nation of Magna Graecia. Senate voted for the war and 46 senators of 99 agreed to honour call to arms.
"It's Rome or me..." Lysimachus was thinking "Voters won't forget soon but if they want to live to remember it's better to honour Romans."

5848107206_ffae19abff.jpg

Wihtout hesitating a bit Lysimachus sent short message to Emporion: Everyone were needed to bring all gold they had to governor who would send it to Massilia for nation's coffers and all men who were able to carry sword or bow were called to Massilia to ensure safety of the capital during the war. Massilia only had small defences; 3000 militia men who kept the city in order and city walls but nothing else, not enough to stop Pyrrhus at all.

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5th February reinforcements arrived to Massilia and everyone were waiting. If Lysimachus guessed wrong and Pyrrhus didn't set his course towards Massilian lands he had 99 unhappy senators to explain his actions. Pyrrhus arrived to Emporion in Summer 474.

Senate was again called for emergency session. Lysimachus was calm which was total opposite compared to other senators. Aesillas Therid, populist faction leader, started argument with Lysimachus. Aesillas was a perfect populist, taking advantage of others' mistakes and simply complaining about everything without thinking further than to next lunch break. People liked this attitude, the senate wasn't in particularly good reputation after joining the war and Aesillas knew that.

"My archon" Aesillas started "I assume that you know what the situation is in Emporion. The city is falling into Epirot hands because all soldiers were ordered to stand here in Massilia. Our national tax income is halved, military spending is twenty times larger than we can afford and the tribute to Romans is still being given. On behalf of populist faction of the senate I demand you to send reinforcements to Emporion!"
"Not bad argument, I would have probably done same.." Lysimachus thought and said "If you allow me to assume more things than Emporion being sieged, let me assume that you know the size of Epirot army and navy that is there. We have total of 13 000 men, which yes, is far more than we can afford during peace, but we lack the triremes to transport them. We could send 5 000 men to Emporion and they would meet almost four times larger army, not to mention they would need to do beach landing which can be compared to suicide. King Pyrrhus of Epirus will eventually attack Massilia, most likely by landing his troops to the harbor gulf(3) and we must repel the attack then. After their troops are pushed back we can go and retake Emporion. This won't be discussed any more."
Aesillas looked angry and sat down, his chances to lead whole senate against Lysimachus failed and archon's charisma really was as great as said.

It was time to appoint general to army and navy. Every faction brought their finest tacticians to in front of the senate. Military faction's Asklepiodorus Theronid(4) won the vote with huge majority of senators willing to make him general. Lysimachus was happy with the choice, this man was appointed to position of Thesmothete in the senate and deserved the position with his great tactical knowledge. Once the senate started voting for admiral of the navy Lysimachus himself stepped to the floor into the line of admiral candidates. Everyone else but Aesillas Therid voted for Lysimachus.

7th October 474 Emporion's walls fell in Pyrrhus' assault and Epirus was in total control of the city. Pyrrhus ordered troops immediately to the ships and sailed to Massilian coast where he arrived 15th February 475. Instead of gathering senate together and discussing about the following actions Lysimachus ordered senators to stay quiet in their houses and let the army do the fighting. Lysimachus rushed down to the harbor and boarded a trireme named Arauris, his new flagship and the future sign of Massilian greatness in naval warfare.

Pyrrhus landed. 17 000 men and war elephants from Egypt were rushing uphill towards the city walls. Asklepiodorus Theronid sent his troops to attack before Pyrrhus had unloaded all units from ships. "This is wild... Oh god, save us today.." Asklepiodorus thought. For a moment he was very unsure but when he saw his men attacking those huge african beasts and Pyrrhus' men without fear he started to feel comfortable. "This is wild.. THIS IS AWESOME!" Later he was almost losing his mind when he was watching the success on the battlefield and started laughing while he rushed to the battle. Pyrrhus' forces were pushed away from Massilia, to Vocontii. "Have fun with the forest animals my dear enemies.."

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Asklepiodorus split his army to two, 8 000 men army and 5 000 men army. The could fit into Massilian triremes so they could go and retake Emporion as soon as Pyrrhus' navy moves away from the coast. With these 8 000 men he marched to Vocontii, not a wise decision but he was over confident from the victory and believed that Pyrrhus' army suffered huge attrition. Success in Vocontii wasn't as good as in Massilia, later history books would write about Pyrrhus' victory but even later it would twist into 'Pyrrhic victory'.. Pyrrhus marched back to Massilia where he found 5 000 men defending the city and after the battle in Vocontii he lost almost all men left. Massilia had repelled Epirot invasion once, Pyrrhus had 17 000 men when he arrived to Emporion, now he had barely 3 000 men when he was leaving Massilia.

15th September Senate was gathered together. Thesmothete Polyphron Xenonid had died. After the required seremony to honour dead senator Lysimachus named yet fairly unknown religious faction member to new Thesemothete. Religious faction had lost one seat in senate but luckily for them didn't lose Thesmothete position.

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It had became a custom in Massilia's senate that current Archon tried to find as successful follower as possible to secure his own future in the senate. Lysimachys Sosiclid had forgotten this due war and when the election was held in December 475 he was shocked. Aesillas Therid, same loudmouth populist who had argued with him many times in the senate had gathered enough support to became new Archon. Lysimachus had several times thought about the possibility to imprison this populist faction leader but he feared civil war as Aesillas had almost 20 friendly senators and his popularity was higher than Lysimachus'. Lysimachus didn't intend to start civil war during the war against Epirus as he had already enough problems to handle.

5847548769_a468b44ac4.jpg

Next two years will be under populist control, expectations are that people notice that criticizing others is heck a lot easier than making things work better..

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes:

(1) First notes about greek colonists show them settling into Tarentum 800 - 700 years before christ which is ~100 years before founding the city of Rome (year 1 AVC)
(2) Lysimachus' stats: Martial 11 (after filling objective to became admiral), charisma 8, finesse 10.
(3) Rocky gulf in satellite image
(4) Asklepiodorus' stats: Martial 10, charisma 1, finesse 1

Yes, this chapter really was only two years and it's long as finnish winter.. This is going to be loooong campaign or just huge updates as I planned posting 10 years per update..
 
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Chapter 2

Unexpected greatness

1st January 476 - 1st January 480

Aesillas Therid woke up early at 1st January. He had became Archon of Massilia and it was first day when he was officially leading the senate. Just like Lysimachus Sosiclid had thought, this populist had no idea how to carry on. Making peace with Epirus would have been great step in his career and Massilian people would have remembered him as a man who ended the war. However, senate wasn't going to accept this peace. Military faction had been gathering more and more seats in the senate and had a lot of power during the war, Mercantile faction was following Lysimachus Sosiclid and if he wanted to earn own reputation with his pesky plans about leading Massilian navy to suicide attacks against Epirus his faction would vote for it.
Nikomedes Zagreid had started releasing Emporion with his army, at least Aesillas could steal the honour from that, he was ruling and he had wanted Emporion to be released since the beginning of the war. Now he just had to blame Lysimachus' actions of the loss of province and make voters understand that he was the one behind the release. Epirus however had sent diplomat to negotiate about peace, with Emporion in their command the situation looked bad and Aesillas was forced by senate to disagree the offer of ceding Emporion and paying huge amounts of gold to Epirus. Civilians who wanted war to end didn't like this and became even more hostile to senate. The palace where senate sessions were held was almost burnt to ground as young activist wanted to revolt for senate's decisions.

Emporion was soon back in Massilian hands, Nikomedes' army defeated last Epirot defenders 27th February 476 AVC.

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Nikomedes marched his men back to ships but unlike senate thought, Lysimachus and Nikomedes weren't going to sail back to Massilia and wait for next attack. Instead they decided to sail along the Carthaginian coast, pass Sicily from south and then head to Argolis past Crete and Sparta. Lysimachus' popularity had took another haymaker hit from the voters as he forced the senate to accept asking military access from Macedonia. He would ship Nikomedes to South greece where he would march his army to Epirus and take over the city. Cunning plan indeed but nobody had thought that Syracusae, even if was under Roman control, was full of people loyal to Pyrrhus and informed their capital of Massilian navy that passed by their coasts.
Lysimachus had anchored his fleet a couple of miles away from the harbor of Malta and sent two men to the island to buy supplies for the rest of the trip. This delayed his fleet's advancing just enough to give Archelaus Helladid, commander of Epirot navy, time to sail to Mare Lybicum and interecept Massilian navy. Lysimachus was badly outnumbered, 5 ships against 17 and his fleet along the load it was carrying, 5 000 finest soldiers Massilia had, was way too precious to be lost. Lysimachus did what he could as Archelaus Helladid ordered all ships to sail straight towards Massilians in order to cause collision damage and attack the ships on-board with huge advantage in men. Half of the Massilian army was seasick as Lysimachus started manouvering and avoiding Epirot ships. After this rest of the army was sick as well but navy was successful; Lysimachus' men managed to board one Epirot ship and gain control of it and even if Epirot navy forced Lysimachus to flee Massilian navy was now one ship larger than before the battle and Epirot navy one ship smaller. 7th September 476 would be once again remembered

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Nikomedes Zagreid had boarded Arauris, Lysimachus' flagship and ran across the board to him. "Lysimachus! I think we should head to Rome to refit and repair the ships, several ships have took damage from collisions and suffered attrition. Enemies are forcing us to north and we seem to be faster than they." Lysimachus quickly looked at the map, Carthage wouldn't let armed forces to step on their precious sand for a second so only possibility was Roman coast or all the way back to Massilia. Defeat in this battle meant months of delay to attack of Epirus and he wasn't particularly happy about the situation. "Tell men that we'll head to Campania.. I need to check the damaged parts of this ship, signal other ships that we're heading to north. After we're far enough from enemy navy I'll board other ships and check the damages."

Back in Massilia the senate was like a pot of porridge boiling all over. Aesillas Therid hadn't won much success from the senate and senators followed his orders only because his archon title. Citizens didn't like him much more, after noticing that this kid with big promises couldn't do half as well as his predecessor only one small failure from the senate could have triggered nation wide revolt.
Military faction was getting stronger and stronger in the senate but it started to suffer problems from inside. One example was seen during a senate session in october 476 when military faction member Demetrius Peneid aggressively started argument with Aesillas and ended up beating him to ground before rest of the senate managed to stop his attack. Later in the same evening he was found dead nearby his own house with a bloody gladius next to him and huge wound in his chest. Officials believed it was a suicide as he had been bit unstable during last months but some were fearless enough to believe it was a revenge from populist faction whose leader had been attacked and dishonoured in front of the senate. Military faction lost one seat but they were still the largest faction of the senate.

5848937041_37ff821eae_z.jpg

When senate gathered together 1st January 477 to talk about next year the situation was following:
Military faction had 29 seats and 70% influence, Mercantile faction had 20 seats and 37% influence, Religious faction had lost some seats and held only 15 seats but had 60% influence and Populists had 24 seats and 64% influence, populist influence was higher due no omen invoked during yet this year but it was going to be invoked which would rise religious faction's influence and lower populists' influence. Nation of Massilia had gold reserves of 25 ducats, maximum number of free manpower was reached because armies had resupplied from battles. Yet no archon had taken tyrant actions.

New year began and Lysimachus' navy had refit, repaired and resupplied in Campania and were now again heading towards Argolis. This time Epirot navy was faced in Mare Siculum. Lysimachus was again outnumbered with 16 ships against 6. While Lysimachus was holding enemy Romans noticed the situation and sent their first navy of 15 triremes to help Lysimachus. This time enemy had no chance. With far superior tactical knowledge Massilian and Roman navies sank 6 Epirot triremes and forced the enemy navy to their home port where they would be for a long time.

5849494288_d45a14fbe2.jpg

According to travelling merchants and trade ship captains Epirus didn't trade wood to their capital so they had no possibility to build more triremes. Lysimachus arrived to Mare Myrtoum to disembark army to Argolis but the sea area was under command of pirate group that was suffocating Crete's income and blockading Argolis. Lysimachus was forced to attack these pirates, short and victorious battle ended in capturing one trireme and driving pirates away to Seleucid coast. 15th July 2nd Stratos was in Thessaly and ready to attack Epirus. They found out that the city was guarded with over 40 000 men, most likely militia with a couple of supporting heavy infantry units. Nikomedes Zagreid had only 5 000 men so he marched back to Argolis and boarded the ships while telling the news to Lysimachus.

5848937567_04bd191103_b.jpg

They set sail towards Massilia and once again faced Epirot navy in Mare Siculum. Result was clear victory but neither side lost ships.

Lysimachus and Nikomedes were chatting in the captains cabin when seas went calm near Campanian coast line; "It's once again time for elections" Nikomedes said. "That's true my friend.. I should have sent letters or something to senate to know what the situation there is." Lysimachus took water from barrel to his cup and sipped it. The taste told that it was same water he had stored there in Malta, about 14 months ago. He spit it out, cursed with silent voice and continued "With another populist archon this country is as lost as Magna Graecia in this war. We need someone who has balls to root out those populists and tell Romans that we can't afford the tribute. This navy alone in full preparations for battle eats up more funds than Massilia produces with tax and trade income. We can't afford this war nor the peace after it if something dramatical isn't done." Nikomedes nod at him and said "You're right. Armies and navies are costing way too much, we're living on debt every day but in this point we can't send men back to their farms and homes because we are at war. Even if we're just a minor piece in this war we cannot count on Roman help. What have they achieved here? They conquered Magna Graecia and have Syracusae under their control but neither they or Epirus can afford attack to enemies' main land. Not to mention that neither side has big enough army to keep situation interesting in Mare Hadriaticum. I think you're the one who should go there and blockade the port of Epirus. That would be a good blow on their war industry if we cut their income." It was Lysimachus' time to nod "That is true, and it sounds good. I'll bring you and your army to Massilia and head there immediately. We can keep them in a strangle hold until they offer peace and they won't be going anywhere with their navy anymore."

5848937643_84be6f0ca2.jpg

1st January 478 Skopas Apollonid from Religious faction was elected to archon. He was just as fed up with populists as almost everyone in the senate. Lysimachus' navy was in Massilia to repair ships and refit until August 478 when senate was voting about the decision to allow him to go blockade port of Epirus. As usually the voting started with archon telling senators what the situation was and then populists starting to scream and shout against archon. It is often thought that senate sessions were well organized, official and civilized. Massilian senate was totally different, thanks to one man who was always ready to start argument. Once again Aesillas Therid stood up and forced archon to give him time to speak.
Aesillas started with typical scream: "Are you people here totally nuts?! Sending a navy to blockade port in the other side of Europe for minimal advantage. Those triremes should be sold to Romans, it's their war and their enemies. Right now the only thing we should do is sue for peace with Pyrrhus instead of idolizing people like Lysimachus Sosiclid who suddenly disappeared with whole navy and half of the nation's army and thought he could go and capture Epirus. This man was away for 18 months without telling where he was going and you didn't complain at all! What kind of order we have here??" Lysimachus himself stood up and replied before archon Skopas Apollonid could "I know I've done things that require senate session, require senate to vote and I should have informed you more. Let me tell you what we managed to do. Instead of the common knowledge that we laid down in Campania for a year and enjoyed wine, women and song(1) we were in tarentum. We we're blockading the port of Epirus and even managed to siege the city for a long time. If their navy hadn't came with 15 units from Syracusae our soldiers would have taken command of their capital. We did hard choice there, either keep sieging the city and fight against their army, which could have lead to destruction of our second stratos, or detach siege, refit in Tarentum and sail back home. Now I'm here and asking permission from the senate to set sail tomorrow morning and go continue what we were doing, blockading the port of Epirus and strangling them to peace." Lysimachus sat down and waited for someone to say something. Everyone were quiet for a moment but then Archon Skopas finally said what he was going to say before this whole argument started. "Aesillas, do you realize that this man here has kicked the ass of Epirot navy so many times that they don't want to face us in naval battles anymore. Epirus had 17 triremes at the beginning of the war, now they have only 8 as they've lost 9 ships, two of them were lost into our control and are now part of our navy. Our navy size has grown to 8 triremes which is as much as Epirus has and with this man controlling them there is no way he will lose. Going there and blockading the port of Epirus is some though balls, something that you don't have. One farmer is worth two politics for this nation, blind one armed farmer is worth 5 populist politics. I've had enough of you right now! You're going to jail!

Aesillas Therid ran. Ran like he never had done, for his life. A couple of militias who were ordered to arrest him were running after him but as they had weapons and were lightly armored they were slower. Aesillas knew that as he had been politician for his whole life he wouldn't be running for a long time, politician job didn't train your endurance if listening stupid religious nutjobs isn't counted as training. Aesillas ran to harbor where he saw trade boats. "Quo Vadis?, where are you going, he shouted to one of the seamen who where removing the ropes from the pier and leaving. To Crete, why you ask? one of the seamen answered. Aesillas didn't answer but jumped onto the ship and said I need to get away from here! Fast! Here take these as a payment for transporting me and now just hurry! Aesillas handled the captain his money purse and sat down with fear in his eyes. The ship left Massilia, Aesillas kept watching the pier all the way out of the rocky gulf that surrounds the harbor. When they were a couple of miles away from the harbor he finally relaxed a bit.

5848937739_c8b4aa3a4a.jpg

Almost whole senate voted for sending Lysimachus Sosiclid to blockade port of Epirus, as a bonus he was appointed to Thesmothete as Skopas Apollonid was former but now he was serving as Archon.

Next morning was foggy and cold, or as cold as it get's in Massilia which isn't particularly cold during any time of a year, and Lysimachus was wondering if it was a bad sign. His navy set sail, next stop: Tarentum!

While Lysimachus was sailing towards Tarentum senate was reorganizing after loss of one member. Kleandros Aratid became new Populist faction leader. Perfect choice from every other faction's point of view, this faction leader wasn't gifted with charisma which would probably help keeping populists down. Skopas Apollonid was fairly well-liked archon, he liked to talk with normal citizens, farmers and freemen. He even used public baths and admitted that it was just fun for him and he liked being on same level as his voters. Senate didn't like him as much due this but he managed to keep everything in order, and did it much better than this former populist archon.

Lysimachus' voyage to Tarentum wasn't very special until the task force of triremes met a trade cog which had apparently broken it's sail and was left drifting with no way to move or control. Lysimachus ordered Arauris to sail next to it and pick up the merchants on it. Aesillas couldn't believe his luck. His arch rival was coming to rescue him. Aesillas had grown quite a beard during the slow voyage with the trade cog and he hoped that it would help so Lysimachus didn't notice him being Aesillas. Trade cog captain thanked Neptune, the god of sea, for this luck and happily climbed on the trireme. When it was Aesillas' turn he hesitated for a while but decided to climb on, he couldn't do anything else if he wanted to stay alive. Onboard Lysimachus was waiting. With his typical calm voice he said Quo vadis Aesillas? and smiled. His smile didn't look happy, it was more like "don't try to run away from me bastard". Aesillas punched him, screamed "BASTARD!!" and jumped to the sea. Lysimachus laughed the evil laugh predator laughs when it knows it has catched it's prey. Trade cog captain was pretty surprised and he didn't know what had actually happened. "Did you... know eachother? he asked. Lysimachus laughed, this time it sounded more like he had just been told a good joke, and said "Ha! Guess! He was a populist faction leader in Massilian senate, he was ordered to be imprisoned but managed to avoid the guards. I'm mercantile faction leader in the same senate and I'm sailing to Tarentum. Is there any particular place, Campania, Lucania or Sicily for example where you want to be left?" Trade cog captain looked at his crew of 3 men. Everyone looked sad and unsure. "I really don't know.. Down there in that cog is everything I own. I beg you, please tow the cog to the harbor you're going or let us join your crew because otherwise we'll became beggars of Rome and it isn't much of a future even for people like we are." Lysimachus turned around and walked to his cabin Let's see what I can do. I think we have some rope so we can tow your boat.

Lysimachus left trade cog and it's crew to Ager Bruttius and continued to Tarentum where they resupplied the ships. Lysimachus allowed his crew to have fun for one night in Tarentum but himself didn't do much else but found a place where he could sleep.

Next day the navy arrived to the port of Epirus. He had been blockading the port before and always it felt like being a pirate, when ever a trade ship, big or small, came he ordered it to stop and pay toll for him. Then he told the captain that he should go and find another port where he could sell his goods and ordered most of the ships to sail to Tarentum. Pyrrhus expectedly didn't like this and sent navy out of the harbor to engage Massilians in January 479. Lysimachus' crew was experienced from the last trip to greek when he had caused losses to Epirot navy and every man did their job just like supposed. Two Epirot ships were sent to bottom of the sea and rest retreated back into the harbour. Epirot navy which had been the greatest of all navies in northern Mediterranean sea was now 4 ships that barely had crew. After this battle Lysimachus' crew started to use saying "Fair as 1-on-1 against Lysimachus Sosiclid" which meant that enemy had no chances. Later this became a joke that was known all around Massilia.

5849494870_a1b92e26c6.jpg

Lysimachus spent rest of the year by blockading the port. Seldom visits to Tarentum gave him important information about the political situation in Massilia. Mercantile faction had started intense campaign to get it's member, current Polemarchos, Agelaos Sosiclid to Archon seat. Lysimachus was happy about the news, this guy was his relative and he thus knew what he was capable of.

When elections were held Agelaos Sosiclid expectedly won the elections.
Senate looked like this in January 480:
Military faction: 36 seats & 69% senate influence, Mercantile faction: 23 seats & 51% senate influence, Religious faction: 8 seats & 34% Senate influence, Civic faction: 7 seats & 46% senate influence, Populist faction: 22 seats & 33% senate influence. Nation's treasury was looking bad, only 2 ducats of gold left.

5848938059_b8d5f28dd0_b.jpg


----------------------------------------------------

Notes:

(1) Wine, Women and Song is a song name (what a surprise) and has been used by many people and bands. Johan Strauss was the first one to use it when he composed a waltz (if I remember right) named Wine, Women and Song. Rock 'n Roll band Whitesnake also has a song named Wine, Women an' Song and it is sure worth listening a couple of times.

WritAAR note: Hopefully there is no limit for post lenght as this is 4 years and it has 19325 characters... (plus these notes) Anyone else thinking that I'm overkilling a bit?
 

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Thanks for comments everyone! I have an update under work and it seems that they're just getting more and more massive every time :D It'll be here tomorrow 24.6 in case everything goes right.
 

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Chapter 3

Going underground

1st January 480 - 1st January 484


Reign of Agelaus Sosiclid began with regular ceremonies and senate sessions, every archon wanted to appoint their own faction members to important positions to gain more influence. Agelaus wasn't an exception, he changed almost every minister in charge of national research projects. Massilian research was advancing well although yet they hadn't achieved anything major.
Once the senate was reformed and cooled off from the change of Archon, which often took longer than it should, Agelaus was ready to held his first speech as an Archon.

Agelaus started more aggressively than many of the senators thought. He was known as calm senator who had learnt alot of things from Lysimachus Sosiclid. "Dear senate. We all know that this war must come to an end as soon as possible. There is simply nothing we can achieve anymore. National treasury is draining faster than we can fill it even if our armies are paid only minimum payment that should be given during peace. Luckily we can do this as our friend Lysimachus Sosiclid is serving his country by blockading port of Epirus and keeping enemies at bay. I want to propose you we'll try to negotiate peace with Epirus as soon as possible."

All senators were turning around and looking at eachother, none wanted to complain about the idea but everyone knew that Massilia would have to demand some war reparations. Finally Military faction leader Aristotle Timolid stood up. He was careful politician, one of those who rather think for a while before saying anything than try to explain his words afterwards. Senate knew that and waited for him to open his mouth. "I think we should ask for regular tribute, it would help paying the tribute to Romans. If they won't agree that peace offer we could demand the rest of their navy to ensure their naval weakness for a couple of years, a few triremes isn't much of a demand when they're utterly losing the war." Aristotle Timolid sat down and waited for someone to reply. As expected populists had to give their opinion. They had surprisingly big influence in the senate, especially when new unexperienced Archon was elected. Populist politician named Neoptolemus Theronid stood up and said "Everyone of us here knows that we can't afford any larger armed forces. Demanding triremes would just make our financial situation worse than it is now. Neither side has won anything if you don't count a couple of naval battles. We should leave this mess to Romans to settle, offer Pyrrhus white peace to keep our national relations good. We can't afford losing any possible support from greek states, Rome won't help us out if we're in trouble. They haven't even been able to help themselves in this war so how could they help us in future?" For the first time in past years in the senate Agelaus was thinking that populist opinion was good. After all he was trying to ensure the financial safety of Massilia as member of mercantile faction. "I agree with this offer." He said and looked at the boy whose job was to write down everything that was said during senate sessions. "Senate, the peace offer that will be sent to Epirus is white peace offer to show our generosity. Those who want to vote for sending this offer to Epirus, please stand up now." Only a couple of old military faction senators staid sitting. "81 Senators vote for sending the peace offer my archon." recorder boy said after counting senators. Agelaus cleared his throat and said "I will send the peace offer in sealed letter to Rome from where they will deliver it to Tarentum and eventually to Lysimachus Sosiclid. He shall bring the peace offer to King Pyrrhus and handle the negotiations. In case Pyrrhus denies this offer Lysimachus shall continue the blockade and inform us about the situation there."

5866332886_6a54cd7072_b.jpg

Lysimachus get the message in April, around a month later than Agelaus had sealed it. 22nd Day of April 480 Arauris softly hit Epirot pier in the harbor of Epirus and Lysimachus landed his feet on Epirot land for the first time in his life. As he expected, local town militia patrol immediately rushed to him. Two young men with light armor and swords followed by four men armed with spears and same light armor which had Epirot flag in it's chest. None of the guards had shield. Something Lysimachus didn't expect was that they immediately knocked him into ground and violently tied up with heavy chains and dragged him to Pyrrhus' palace. "Good way to remove all authority from the negotiator.." Lysimachus thought "Sure shows who's the boss. Too bad that this king doesn't know who he is negotiating with." Instead of bringing Lysimachus to in front of Pyrrhus the soldiers locked him up into a small dungeon. "Well, this is about to be interesting.." Lysimachus said but nobody was listening. Lysimachus knew that his was a simple way to scare the negotiators, they weren't as eager to demand war reparations if they had to fear for their lives. Many people who were sent to negotiate about peace were politicians who had never even seen a dead animal or held a sword, not to talk about being locked up into a dark small dungeon with a couple of skinny rats. Lysimachus' guess was that he would spend a few hours in the dungeon while Pyrrhus was thinking about the rest of his negotiation methods. He was wrong. Pyrrhus went to sleep that night and most likely didn't think about this Massilian war hero any more than of the rats in the same dungeon.

At the morning of 23rd April, just after Lysimachus had finally decided to try sleeping, one of the militias came to his dungeon, removed his chains, just as violently as he had locked them, and said: "Get up, King is waiting for you." Lysimachus was lead to great hall where King Pyrrhus was sitting on his throne. Pyrrhus knew that useless theater such as crowns and capes were useless in this case and was waiting there in a simple light yellow robe. Lysimachus kneeled in front of him, the soldier behind him was ready to kick him down if he hadn't done it and looked a bit surprised when this man knew to do it before a little encouragement from his boot.
Pyrrhus didn't waste time and started "Welcome to Epirus.. you dog." Lysimachus watched this king straight into eyes and knew that he wasn't being insulted because he was Massilian but because Pyrrhus was scared. "Perfect populist.." Lysimachus thought "Blind, one armed farmer is worth five of those." Pyrrhus was surprised. This man wasn't showing signs of fear or uncertainity, instead his eyes were full of disrespect and hate. Lysimachus stood up and grabbed the letter from his pocket. "Your majesty. I bring a peace offer from the senate of Massilia." His job was to enter the Epirot court and lick ass to achieve peace but in this point Pyrrhus hated whole Massilia due this one man in front of him and Lysimachus hated whole Epirus due it's ruler. Not a best possible situation for peace negotiations. For Lysimachus this was a personal challenge to humiliate Pyrrhus in front of his men, this king had thrown him into a dungeon and showing maximal disrespect in the situation where it shouldn't have been done. "Time to strike back" Lysimachus thought and said: "The honoured senate of Massilia, meaning that we negotiate merely on our own behalf, not Romans, has offered you white peace, meaning no tributes or other war reparations are demanded to be paid. However they demand one thing that must be done before we quit the blockade of your port: You have to eat this peace offer text to show your trustworthiness during the time of truce and fllowing years that hopefully will be peaceful." Lysimachus had himself added the last line to the offer "Now or never Pyrrhus, bring it on!" He thought and smiled his evil smile. Pyrrhus looked serious, he knew that he was slowly being strangled to death, his armies were huge and way too costy and his only port was blockaded. "I'd like to accept this offer, senate of Massilia is really honourable in this case but I cannot accept the offer if the additional demand isn't removed or changed." Lysimachus expected an answer like this and said "I'm afraid I don't have right to change anything in this offer, it was already hard choice not to demand any war reparations even if we are clearly winning side of the war. You've lost Syracusae to Romans and now you're sitting duck waiting for enemy army to march into your capital and burn it. I assume that your popularity, honour, or prominence is secondary compared to your nation? Sign the peace with me, eat this paper and let me go." Pyrrhus didn't know what to say. He had very little or no options, Romans eventually would land on his beach and even if he had huge militia army guarding the city it would eventually fell. "Those Massilian bastards.. They'll pay for this, I swear!" Pyrrhus thought. "Let me get the official stamp, it'll work as my signature." Pyrrhus rose from his throne and walked to a big wooden door, opened it and went inside. Lysimachus was worried, kings do not walk themself to find some stamp if they don't have to and this king sure didn't have to, he had 40 000 militians to do the task. Something was wrong. Pyrrhus came back with the stamp and signed the peace offer. He waited for Lysimachus to commit. Lysimachus saw a group of 4 soldiers walking past them while he simply handled the peace offer to Pyrrhus. The paper was thick papyrus, not an easy meal for anything else but egyptian warelephants who were feed with the same reeds this paper was made of. It took twenty minutes for Pyrrhus to rip small pieces of it, put it into his mouth and try bite and swallow them. After this weird snack was eaten Lysimachus left before Pyrrhus ordered him to leave, he knew that Pyrrhus could order him to be jailed as his mood probably wasn't very high after the meal. Lysimachus was happy, almost laughing while he walked towards Arauris. He had made Pyrrhus the great eat his peace offer, a thing that could be considered crime in case it wasn't diplomacy. His smile was freezed immediately when he arrived to his Arauris, the group of soldiers he had seen had went down to harbor and lit his flagship on fire. It didn't took long to figure out why Pyrrhus had gone get the stamp himself. He had ordered his soldiers to go burn the ship in the harbor and then returned with the stamp, he couldn't have given the order while Lysimachus was listening. Where was his crew? Those men in Arauris were experienced seamen who probably could fight against Pyrrhus' soldiers and win as well on dry land. But Arauris didn't have 40 000 men, even these hardened men on the ship would lose a battle against several times larger group, especially if caught off-guard, which was likely as they we're making the peace offer and war was supposed to be over. Lysimachus had spent one night in the dungeon but his men would have waited on the ship instead of trying to find a bar or place to sleep. They we're professionals. Lysimachus knew that he was in trouble if he couldn't get away from this city soon. Epirus wasn't at was with Massilia anymore but now it was personal, assault against one man. Pyrrhus could jail him and come up with any created accusations to keep him imprisoned forever. Lysimachus' nautikon, the Massilias pride in this war, was still waiting outside the port, only a few miles of water between him and the nearest ship. Probably any of his men could have swam the distance but he doubt that his strenght was enough for it as he hadn't eaten anything since leaving Arauris two days ago. Due the blockade the harbor was empty and no trade ships were leaving or arriving, ironically Lysimachus had blockaded himself into the enemy port. He knew that in the west was Macedonian border, he would have been safe there but it meant days or weeks of travelling which wasn't possible now, he had to order his navy back home and get onboard to his ships before they went back to Tarentum for refit. There was one possibility available before Pyrrhus' men would find him again, he was quite sure that the humiliated king did waste no time to catch and punish Lysimachus. Lysimachus dropped his cape and robes and jumped to the sea. Water was warm and seas were calm, at least in the harbour..

Back at home in Massilia mercantile faction was in trouble. Military faction, as a far largest of the senate factions, had demanded sacking Epirot capital and capturing Epirus before 490 AVC. Agelaus didn't remember such demand as it had been made to former archon and nobody had told him about it. By making peace this demand was not fulfilled and senate unanimously demanded mercantile faction to give up some of it's seats in the senate. This was a major strike-back for Agelaus who was mercantile faction member and he had to do something to gain the seats back.

Lysimachus swam, first hundred meters had gone nicely but then the pain began. He was tired, hungry and freezing. And in the middle of the sea. His estimate was that he was somewhere around the halfway. He stopped swimming for a while and floated while the small waves pitched him around. Maybe he would feel a bit better after the stop. Suddenly he saw movement on one of his ships, he wasn't quite sure about its name but as it looked bit different than others in the line he assumed it being Aphrodision, one of the ships captured from Epirot navy. Lysimachus whistled as well as he could and waved his hands. No reaction on Aphrodision. Lysimachus started swimming furiously closer and waving his hands when he could. After a couple of hundred meters needed to stop again as the pain in his stomach was rising again "Should have eaten something.. I guess I'll remember next time if I survive now" Lysimachus whistled again and waved his hands, the distance to the ship was maybe a mile. Now if someone just would look towards the city he would see Lysimachus.. And someone did. Suddenly one hell of a hustle 'n bustle started on Aphrodision and men were running around the decks. Finally Lysimachus saw the ship turning and moving towards him, Epirot ships weren't equiped with smaller row boats unlike Massilian triremes. It had been done on Lysimachus' demand, repairing ships from the outside on the row boat was a lot more comfortable than being in a flooding cargo hold and trying to hammer a board on the hole in the hull, and this had allowed Lysimachus to stay longer on the seas after battles. In case there was no boards that could be used for patching up the holes they were taken from the places they weren't needed as much. Every ship was unique due this, some had captain's cabin door removed and nailed on a huge hole in the bow caused by collision with Epirot ship, some had several long "wounds" in the upper hull as the boards had been taken and used to patch holes in the lower hull where the water would pour in. It wasn't a beautiful navy but it was the best in the world. It could take one-on-one battle with any same sized navy in the world and win.(1)

Lysimachus swam slowly towards the ship. Finally it was next to him, going past him to be accurate as stopping a big trireme isn't as easy as it sounds because they don't have any sort of a brakes. One of the seamen on board throw rope ladder over the bulwark and Lysimachus grabbed it. Captain Pausanias Apollonid was obviously surprised. "S..sir how..?" He stuttered. "Pyrrhus didn't seem to appreciate our blockade and burnt Arauris, I don't know about the men's fate. Probably killed or imprisoned." Lysimachus' voice was calm and stable "Let's go then!" he shouted with his typical voice which sounded like a confident football team's captain before the game. "Ahead to Massilia."

Agelaus Sosiclid needed to do something to gain the lost seats back in the senate, he could alone force some things to happen without having much senate backing him but as the military faction was gaining such power the option was soon out of order. It was a tuesday, only senate session was at the morning and nothing special had happened. Populists had been surprisingly silent for a couple of weeks now. Maybe they were happy with the situation. Agelaus was wrong.
Even if the current archon had only been ruling for a couple of months populists were worried about the future. Religious faction seemed to gain a lot of potential members who could be elected to archons and this was the worst possible case to populists. Military faction member leading the senate you can always argue about military spending and national money usage. Mercantile faction member being archon you can do the same. Civic faction member being archon you can always argue about building policies and amounts of slaves, freedmen and citizens. When religious faction member became archon populists didn't have much options. These guys' policy was about gods and their actions. You simply can't go argue about existence of gods or their signs' power. This had forced Populists to keep down religious faction, so far their success had been good and soon it was time to give the final knockout blow.

When people are asked about secret societies their answer will most likely include free masons, even if the meaning of secret society doesn't really fit their appearance anymore. Probably some will remember Illuminati(2). Both of these however are very modern groups and neither of them invented the secret society idea, it was existing over 2000 years before them. One of the earliest secret societies ever was the Order of Hades(3) which was operating in Massilia as well as in Crete and Rhodes. This order didn't have national borders which gave it surprisingly big power. The origin of this group is unknown, the founders of the Order didn't note anything about it and none of the rumours and stories about it are allowed to be written down for next generations. This ensured, and still ensures, staying secret. When nothing had been noted about the founding it was hard to assume that there has ever been such group as Order of Hades. Exact date of the founding had dissappeared into the changes of history but according to the stories and rumours told by older members to younger, the generation that had founded Order of Hades were born before Alexander the Great, although after Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander.
Name of the group came from the Greek god of underworld Hades and as this group was secret and working underground it was a perfect name for them. The hierarchy inside the order was slightly based on Hades and his "pet" Kerberos(4), the three-headed hound that was guarding the gates of underworld. The Order had one ruler, simply known as Rector, Leader, and three "ministers" like the heads of Kerberos. These ministers, also known as Dignus Tres, Worthy Three, were appointed by Rector and their job was to find potential recruits for the order, thus actually being opposite to the Kerberos who kept people inside the underworld.

Current Dignus Tres were Aracides Aratid, civic faction leader in Massilian senate, Aristonomes Therid from Cyprus, a religious faction leader in Cyprus' senate and Giolchos "Cretan" Alcetid who was Military faction leader in the senate of Crete. The Order didn't care about politics in national level and people rather rarely talked about politics in the secret meetings. Order of Hades was more interested in finances and trading, to be more exact in dominating world trade with monopoly and eventually gaining control in current superpowers like Egypt, Seleucid Empire, Rome, Carthage and combining them into one huge nation. The first generation had seen this happening once when Alexander the Great had unified all known world east of Macedonia but even he was stopped in India. Order of Hades had no interests in going to India or trying to repeat the conquer of Alexander but unifying all rich land around Mediterranean sea, why not?
Kleandros Aratid was member in the order, he also was populist faction leader in Massilian senate and he would find use for the power of the Order.

Kleandros and a man in a grey cape were talking. Men meet in a small basement where was only one torch. Torch was burning behind Kleandros' back and the shadow from it hid half of the other man's face and made him look scary. Even if Kleandros was a member of the same order as the man in front of him he felt some sort of a fear when he was talking to this man. He didn't even know his name but he was buying a service from him, and in this point there was no coming back. Soon his past was past and his future was in hands of the Order of Hades.
"How much do you think it will cost?" Kleandros asked. The man answered with a soft, deep voice "400 Gold denars, 200 now and 200 after the job. 150 Denars goes to the money reserves of the Order, everyone here wins." Kleandros nod and closed his eyes for a moment. After a moment of silence he asked "And you are sure about the target?" Man in front of him looked a bit annoyed. "Yes I do." A short answer with no hesitating. Kleandros took a deep breath and gave the man two bags. One hundred denars each. Man in the grey cape didn't open the bags and check the amount of money inside it, Order members trusted in eachother and if someone wasn't worth trusting he would quickly lose his head, or at least parts of it.

WritAAR note: Four months passed in game and the file size is over 20 kilobytes.. This is about to be one heck of an update.... if it will ever end :D

2nd June, 11 PM (23:00).
A warm summer night was a common thing in sunny Massilia, however this night was particularly warm and surprisingly big amount of people were awoke and outdoors, drinking and having fun with friends. The stars and the moon lighted the night and some houses had torches still burning, create warm orange light and calming sound of burning which was mixed into the talking of people.
It was one of those nights when everyone seemed to be happy. There was about to be a change. A lot more orange light and heat but way less happines as soon as people notice what's happening. The man in the grey cape was walking the street towards the big house of Sosicles Peneid. He had torch in his hand and a flagon of oil in his pocket. Same oil had probably been used in Epirus to burn Arauris, Lysimachus Sosiclid's flagship. The man arrived to the house, walked behind it and looked around. Nobody was watching.
Silently he said "In the name of Hades.." and touched his lips with his right fist. This ritual was like the cross sign for christians two thousand years later. Then he dropped his cape to the ground, poured the oil on the cape, lit it on fire with the torch and threw it inside the window. Man, now without the grey cape, ran for a hundred meters and then walked trough the streets like anyone else. Soon he disappeared into the night and the house behind him was bursting into flames.

Kleandros Aratid was riding towards the countryside, not in a hurry but he wanted to be fast to be not noticed. After a quarter hour he arrived to an old farmhouse. The owner of the farm was also member in the order. Order of Hades didn't have restrictions in their member's status in the society or income so everyone who was considered worthy was invited to the order. The invitation was 'an offer you can't refuse' because they couldn't risk being revealed.

In the farmhouse Kleandros met the man with a new gray cape. Kleandros wasn't happy. "You have failed." he said. His voice was cold. "The target is still alive and gathering more support after having his house burnt." The man in the grey cape didn't believe the news. He was shocked. It was the first time ever he failed his mission. "Have you seen the target?" He asked. "Yes I do." Kleandros said and imitated the man from their first meeting. The man in grey cape was waiting and Kleandros continued "It's too risky to try again now, the target is being guarded by soldiers 24 hours per day and whole senate is becoming worried about their security." The man nod. It wasn't his style to say sorry and in this case it would have been useless and stupid. With a cold and calm voice he said "I offer you my sword to be used twice to pay back this failure." Kleandros nod. "That sounds good, I will contact you if I need your services." Kleandros was quiet for a while and continued "In the name of Hades.. May future be kind to you." Kleandros stood up and left the room, walked upstairs and entered foggy night of Massilia. It had been raining just a moment before and it would probably rain again soon.

25th July 10 AM (10:00).
Kleandros Aratid heard his door being knocked and hurried to open it. For his own surprise he found four town militias there. "We have orders from Archon Agelaus Sosiclid to bring you in front of the judge before midday. I ask you to peacefully come over with us so we won't need to cuff you up and bring you trough the city when handcuffed." Kleandros felt sudden stab of fear. "Did he say any reason for this? Let me tell you, he is just using you in his own smear campaigns and in case you want to keep your jobs after next archon is elected I suggest you to not do anything that makes people remember you." Kleandros hoped that he could solve the case with the soldier, it wasn't very funny to face judge and senate when being accused on something. Soldier responded quickly: "You are being suspected on planning assassination of Sosicles Peneid. We are doing our job and nobody will remember us because of that, people will however remember a dirty politician who tried to kill his opponents. Either walk yourself or be dragged. Up to you." Kleandros agreed to walk with the soldiers.

Kleandros wasn't brought to judge, which actually meant going to archon who acted as judge, instead he was immediately brought to prison. "Not everyone in the senate like killing eachother, I guess you'll learn it here in case you stay alive." Soldier said and smiled evil smile. Kleandros was locked up behind the bars and soldiers left. Not after a long time he was going crazy from seeing rats, bugs, spiders and other nasty stuff walking around his cell.

5865779001_57f8974060.jpg

Populist faction appointed Neoptolemus Theronid to its lead. Neoptolemus wanted vengeance. He wasn't member in Order of Hades and didn't know anything about the assassination plan, he thought that it was all Agelaos Sosiclid's smear campaign on populists which ended in tyrant action of imprisoning populist leader. In the populist faction meeting he started with an aggressive speech and seemed to have only one goal: Civil war and winning it.
"Dear faction members! I have a message for everyone of you. Our leader Kleandros Aratid was tyrannically imprisoned without proper reason. The current archon blamed assassination attempt of Sosicles Peneid on Kleandros and imprisoned him without even hearing his own story. We cannot continue to work for our political views under a ruler like that. Now I propose everyone of you to go to countryside and recruit as much men as you can and bring them all to Emporion. There we will supply them and take over the city. Next generation of Massilia will be under our fine rule!"

Next weekend's senate session was different to many others, over half of populist faction senators hadn't arrived to the session. Agelaos believed that they wanted to boycott the senate after imprisonment of Kleandros Aratid. Good for everyone else if they were away. Archon Agelaus Sosiclid started with normal things about tax efficiency and trade but at the end of the session he came up with a more important thing.
"I have noticed that populist politicians have some interests in Emporion, several of them have been seen there. What is more important is that almost two thousand farmers and men from country side have arrived to the city. Thus I ask you to vote for sending our second army over to Emporion to ensure safety of citizens if these men from countryside are planning a revolt." Senators were nodding and humming acceptably. Only the few populists looked unhappy. Voting was held and 80 senators of 84 who were present voted for sending the second army under command of Nikomedes Zagreid to Emporion.

2nd August 480 AVC Neoptolemus Theronid launched his plan. 2 000 men from the countryside with no real knowledge or skill to fight took control of the city, only to face 5 000 elite soldiers who quickly ended the revolt. However Neoptolemus named himself dictator and took rule of the Emporion which was now being besieged by 2nd Stratos.

5866332964_97138fa64b_b.jpg

The civil war didn't last long. Rebels tried to get a foothold in Massilia but they were quickly repelled. Lysimachus Sosiclid took his nautikon in front of the port of Emporion, blockade would make rebels surrender even faster. Massilian cities had great city walls that were constructed about hundred years ago to fight against the barbarian attacks. Now those walls were Nikodemus Zagreid's enemy.
Before the walls fell Lysimachus had to stop his blockade. He had been on the sea for almost half a year with no resupplying and his men started revolting against him and forced Lysimachus to go back to Massilia. After returning to Massilia Lysimachus' navy didn't go back to blockade again. Ships needed repairing that took months and supplies for men weren't as easy to find as before due the civil war.

20th March 481 Massilia went bankrupt first time. Agelaos had to confiscate money from citizens and farmers to make national treasury look good. Even if it could have been easy money to send triremes to Rome Agelaos didn't do it, navy was Massilia's pride and currently needed.

5866332990_44213e62f9_z.jpg

27th May 481 the defence of Emporion surrendered after over 180 siege days. Several populist politicians were imprisoned and some even executed. Neoptolemus Theronid however did manage to avoid the guards and continue his life normally. For a while.

5866333036_11c84f9d78_z.jpg

Nothing special happened before November. Almost right after Emporion was back under Massilian rule Agelaos managed to get all traderoutes used, as Greeks and Romans didn't have free routes available he ended up trading with an unexpected party.

5866333064_348ab4fa14.jpg

7th November civic party gained unexpected support and thus 5 more seats in senate. This was a lucky event for them as the civic faction had only 3 senate seats. Five extra gave them some more authority that was needed.

5865779187_a51882c0aa_z.jpg

At the same day town militia patrol found Neoptolemus Theronid to imprison him for civil war. The militia patrol was awfully late, Neoptolemus had planned leaving the county for months and started executing his plan. When soldiers finally found him he was already a couple of hundred meters away on the sea from harbor. Neoptolemus had bought a trade cog on his own use and was sailing towards Rhodes. He would eventually manage to get there unlike Aesillas Therid who had met Lysimachus and most likely drowned.

5865779221_68d39666ae.jpg

Elections were close, it seemed that Religious faction would become the ruling faction again; they had two potential rulers and both had more friendly senators and support than military faction's candidate. Whatever happened before the elections is unknown but somehow Aristotle Timolid, the military faction's candidate, managed to beat both of his opponents and gain enough support to become next archon.

5865779287_722d767908_b.jpg

Aristotle's reign was surprisingly calm. Nothing nationwide happened.

30th March 483 AVC Lysimachus Sosiclid married Evgenia Aratid and a large party was held in Lysimachus' house. The night came and party continuedm, Lysimachus and Sosicles Peneid were talking when a familiar face appeared from the shadows. "Congratulations Lysimachus." He said and smiled. It took a while for Lysimachus to notice that this man was Aracides Aratid, the civic faction leader of Massilian senate. "Thank you Aracides. Wait just a second, I'll find something to drink for you." Lysimachus replied and walked away. "Beautiful isn't she?" Sosicles asked and pointed at a black girl over by the door. She was a slave , most likely brought from Africa to take care of Lysimachus' house when he was on the seas. "She's a slave. She's black. And she works for your friend." Aracides said. Those who knew him could hear humor in his voice. "I didn't say I wanted to marry her, I said she is beautiful." Sosicles said and laughed. Lysimachus came back with wine glass for Aracides. "I guess it's a good party if people are laughing before the first glass of wine." Lysimachus said and handled the wine to Aracides. "Thank you Lysimachus. It's not the wine that makes men laugh, it's women. In this case your hot slaves." Aracides said and laughed again. Lysimachus smiled and said: "If someone asks, you didn't hear this from me, but if someone is ever going to outlaw slavery in this country, or in this whole world, spend a night by talking to her and you're another man at the morning." Sosicles emptied his glass of wine and said: "If you borrow her for a night, we would see.." Everyone bursted out laughing.
"Gentlemen, actually I came here to make both of you an offer. Lysimachus, would you dare to let us inside your house where we can talk without anyone else hearing? Aracides said. Lysimachus looked a bit surprised and answered: "Sure. Follow me."

5865779303_ca9a7fb54e.jpg

Three men went inside the house and gathered around a great wooden table. Aracides cleared his throat and started.
"Gentlemen, I'm here to offer you membership in a secret society called the Order of Hades. Order of Hades is international group that has members from Massilia, Crete, Cyprus and Achaea. I cannot tell you much more yet but I ask you to meet me in my house tomorrow evening at nine o'clock. Lysimachus and Sosicles looked surprised. After a moment of silence Lysimachus asked: "Is the group some sort of an rebel group? And what if I'm not interested in joining?" Aracides coughed and said: "Order of Hades isn't such rebel group as you think. Of course we have interests in gaining control of nations but revolting and such actions aren't our methods. You will not regret joining the Order, more you'd regret not joining because we have to keep ourself out of daylight and thus kill those who know about the Order but aren't members." Lysimachus looked worried. "You know that I don't have many options. Hopefully the Order of Hades is as great as you say." Aracides was prepared to this, it is hard to convience people to join group that they don't know anything. "As I said, please meet me outside my house tomorrow evening at nine o'clock. From there I will lead you to our meeting places where you will be told more and joining rituals will be done. Lysimachus, excuse my leaving from your party. Tomorrow you'll understand alot more." Aracides stood up and walked to the door while Lysimachus and Sosicles were rising from their benches. When Aracides had left Sosicles said: "I'm interested but a bit scared, who knows what is going to happen tomorrow." Lysimachus nod and said "Me too, but we'll see. Hopefully our trust is rewarded."
The rest of the party went on quite normally if certain things aren't counted, some people had passed out due wine drinking and some were having fun and doing things that should have waited until getting home to own bedroom.

Next day Lysimachus and Sosicles walked to Aracides Aratid's house. Aracides was waiting for them. Lysimachus and Sosicles saw Aracides rising his fist and touching his lips before walking towards them. "Thank you for coming gentlemen. You'll be a worthy members for the Order." Aracides said. Then he lead the men to an old abandoned house, opened the locked door and went inside. Lysimachus and Sosicles followed him and nobody said anything. In the abandoned house's basement was huge stone door. Aracides knocked on the steel plate in the door and after a couple of seconds they heard a voice asking: "What is the colour of the night?" Sosicles wondered the source of the voice, it was human but how did the voice sound like serpent's hiss trough tin cans? Arasides cleared his throat and said Sanquine my brother. Again after a moment the weird voice answered: Welcome home.(5)
The huge stone door opened. Lysimachus quickly looked at the door when it was closing behind them and noticed it being over meter thick, weight must be several tons. Yet he didn't have time to wonder how they moved it. The hall under the abandoned house was huge, it was well over 10 meters high and probably had several hundreds of square meters of floor area. The hall was like the interior of a huge chapel or castle. Aracides stopped and let Lysimachus and Sosicles look around. "The islands of Crete and Cyprus have even greater halls, this is was constructed in a hurry and not long time ago. Wander around freely but try not to trouble other members, I'll come back soon." Aracides said and walked trough the great hall and opened a heavy wooden door. He looked back and saw Lysimachus and Sosicles still watching upwards and wondering the greatness of the hall. Aracides stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. Lysimachus and Sosicles wandered around and found a huge gateway made of stone. They entered trough it and found a library. Every wall of the library had huge bookshelves that required ladders to reach the books on top shelf. Several men were reading the books but nobody looked at the strangers at the door.
"I doubt that this group's main focus is architecture so I guess we might find some other surprises here.." Sosicles said. Lysimachus nod and said "I guess these guys aren't any rebel group, if they have funds to create hidden places like this in Massilia, Crete and Cyprus they probably have enough funds to pay any nation to agree with them." - "Worlds largest corruption circle..." Sosicles said.

Aracides came back to them with a beautiful ceremonical dagger and a book. He saw Lysimachus and Sosicles waiting and said: "It's time for the ceremony my friends. Soon you'll be official members and then you can ask whatever you wish." Aracides lead men to a room where was an altar. "Remove your capes, robes and clothes and place them on the altar. Here you sacrifice everything from your old life and start a new one.
Soon Lysimachus and Sosicles were naked in front of the altar. Aracides took a flagon of oil, emptied it on the clothes and lit them on fire. Then he placed the dagger next to the burning clothes so the blade would heat up. "Next thing shows do you trust in me, I ask you to do because I don't want to spill any more blood than this ritual requires." - "Doesn't sound good. Not good at all." Lysimachus thought. Aracides grabbed the dagger from the flames and asked: "Who want's to be first one?" Sosicles looked at Aracides and said: "I'm not married, cut off whatever you want. Sosicles laughed and Aracides smiled and said: "I'm not going to cut off anything so don't worry." Aracides walked behind Sosicles and pressed the hot blade on Sosicles' back. By reflex Sosicles moved bit forward off the blade. "Trust in yourself. Trust in me." Aracides said and pressed the blade again on Sosicles' skin. This time Sosicles managed to stay still. Aracides draw two lines across Sosicles' back, from under left shoulder blade to above right buttock and vice versa, and a straight horizontal line in the middle. Lysimachus saw grimace on Sosicles' face. It had been close that he had screamed due the pain during the first line. Now Lysimachus too would need to take the pain without making a noice. Aracides let the dagger heat up bit more in the flames from burning clothes as it had cooled a bit during the ceremony. "Congratulations Sosicles. You're a member in Order of Hades now." Aracides said and handled him dark red robes and grey cape from the nearby table. "Have these, members' robes." Sosicles put the robes on and thanked Aracides. Aracides grabbed the dagger and pressed the blade on Lysimachus' skin. Lysimachus managed to deny the reflex and didn't move himself. Aracides cut three lines into his back. Two longer that made big X and then one horizontal line in the middle. After Lysimachus got the new robes he and Sosiclid were left again to wander around the hall. This time they had rights to touch everything and ask anything.

December 483 AVC came and again every faction was preparing for elections. Clear winner of the elections was religious faction's Sosicles Peneid.

5865778789_0af8f78ddd_b.jpg


Senate in January 484:
5865778851_8d7d246d7e_b.jpg


Map in January 484:
5865778925_988a83195a_b.jpg

-----------------------------------------------------

Notes:

I guess I should write and play more and try to impress less with my latin skills.. Also just realized that Massilia is greek state and speak Greek, not latin.. Well, I guess I won't change the language anymore and go trough this AAR in latin.

(1) Most of the triremes were loyal to Lysimachus and all had 30 - 60% experience which gave nice bonuses. Also 11 martial skill doesn't do anything bad.. :p
(2) If the name Illuminati doesn't ring a bell I recommend to read Dan Brown's book 'Angels and Demons'. Illuminati was originally a group of scientists that "revolted" against the power of church (and christianity) which lead to popes ordering purges against them, thus forcing them underground and becoming a secret society.
(3) I doubt that it's possible (with my modding skills) but I'll try to mod the Order into the game :D
(4) Written Cerberus in latin, Kerberos in greek
(5) This is a bit of an easter egg, does anyone know the origin of this dialogue?

It is a bit of a wall-of-text now, I'll try to make it little bit more reader friendly when I have time but now I have to hurry so I can't check typos and other mistakes..
 

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Just as a warning for those who are waiting next update:

I've been extremely busy at work for a couple of weeks now (Been doing 9 - 14 hours a day, 6 days in a week..) and I really haven't had time or energy to start writing because if I write every evening a couple of lines in the end I won't have any idea what I've been scribbling down at the beginning.

Expectations are to have 2 - 5 busy weeks now so I won't promise updates very soon, we'll see if I spend next sunday by writing..
 

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Thank you alot for support!

I broke my record at work last week, 16 hours in one day (5:30 - 21:30) so I haven't been playing (nor sleeping..) much lately.
Also something I broke was my darn windows.. So at the moment I'm wondering how to remove windows (that doesn't start and thus allow formating) from the hard drive without removing other data to save rome mods and savegames..

Why does this bull-scheiße always happen when I have AAR going on??
 

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Have you got a desktop PC? If so you can remove the hard drive from the tower, plug it in to somebody else's motherboard as a secondary hard drive and you should be able to access your save games and stuff from there? Copy them across to a usb drive or something and they're yours.
 

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Have you got a desktop PC? If so you can remove the hard drive from the tower, plug it in to somebody else's motherboard as a secondary hard drive and you should be able to access your save games and stuff from there? Copy them across to a usb drive or something and they're yours.

That's what I tried once already, the hard drive was "locked" or something and didn't work very nicely but I'll try with other (friends') comps as soon as possible. Also I've been thinking about installing Linux and moving the stuff to my laptop with it. I doubt that I'll lose the data, or at least formating the drive is last thing I'll be doing.
 

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Chapter 4

Massilian Radicalism

1st January 484 - 1st April 484

WritAAR note: This update is totally based on what I remember so mistakes may happen and I'll correct them later, all screenshots are in the broken computer so this will be text only.

The election of Sosicles Peneid couldn't have been better for the Order of Hades, now the Order had two nations temporarily under their command as the current Cretan archon was their member as well.

After getting invited to the Order Lysimachus and Sosicles had became closer friends, now they spent a lot of time together and had a lot of ambitious plans for the future of Massilia. These two men were sitting at Lysimachus' garden. It was late evening and the city started to calm down, perfect time for these men to meet.
- "How does the Consulship feel like?" Lysimachus asked
- "It's quite similar to holding kindergarten to a bunch of conservative scumbags. Not as awesome as it sounds." Sosicles answered
- "Be happy that we aren't at war anymore, it was even worse back then.." Lysimachus said and looked at his wife "Evgenia, would you bring us a jar of wine?" His wife nod and walked inside the house.
- "Where are your servants? Your wife shouldn't be carrying the wine.." Sosicles asked
Lysimachus stretched his arms and said "I give all servants one free day in a week so they can rest. It's easier to do a few things yourself than buy new slaves every year because old ones are burnt out."
Sosicles was quiet and thinking about what Lysimachus had said. It made sense, even if politicians' salary was good it wasn't cheap nor easy to find good servants. Lysimachus' wife Evgenia brought the wine jar and two silver goblets. "Thank you honey." Lysimachus said "You can go to sleep, we'll be fine here."
Evgenia said "Good night", gave her little bit shy smile to the men, walked inside and closed the door behind him.
- "You're a lucky man.. Sosicles said "Wife like that and cute african servants. And not an Archon anymore."
Lysimachus laughed. "The last sentence is the most important, not an archon anymore. And hopefully never again."

Hours passed and the wine jar was emptied several times. Both Lysimachus and Sosicles were feeling little bit fuzzy already when they saw a man walking towards them.

Lysimachus stood up. He realized that his hands were shaking and he couldn't focus on looking directly to the man. "Damn wine..." he scowled. "Who are you?
The man rised up his had and said "Take it easy Lysimachus, it's just me; Aracides"
- "What the hell are you doing here in the middle of the night?" Lysimachus said and sat down.
- "Excuse my timing, you know as well as I do that we cannot talk about the matters of Order in daylight."
- "How did you know that we both are here?" Sosicles asked
- "The Dignus Tres know everything that is happening in the order, I'm one of them as you know and thus I know more than you can possibly understand."
- "Are you saying the order is spying us?" Lysimachus said with cold voice
- "Not spying, but informing us what is happening and if anyone happens to see you it is told to us. I hope it is fine with you."
- "I assume you had some news because you came here?" Sosicles asked
Aracides cleared his throat and said "Yes I had. The order would like to ask for a little favor."
- "Depends on what you want, I am an archon but I can't do whatever I want because the senate has to accept all decisions." Sosicles answered
- "That is exactly why we are asking this.." Aracides said and took a deep breath. "To ensure possibility for the government to do quick decisions, as well as silent decisions that all people don't know about, the Order of Hades would like to see this current republic governmental system dissolved and you becaming the sole ruler. As a payment for this we would fund your interests as dictator and give you all information we have about your rivals."
"Straight and fair." Lysimachus thought "Exactly how all things should be done."
Sosicles was so surprised that he didn't find words. He wanted to answer but couldn't get anything said. Finally he managed to mumble something like "I.. I will do my best.." Right after that he was cursing himself. Being drunk didn't make him sound very official and his stupid answer would give Dignus Tres several good laughs if Aracides told them about his reaction.
- "I thought you would." Aracides said with calm voice "Lysimachus, the army and navy of Massilia will listen to you, I want you to convience them about this upcoming change of governmental system and make sure that they will stay in our side. We don't need a rebellion here."
- "I understand. Navy won't be a problem at all as they are my own loyal soldiers."
- "Good. I assume you can solve the rest of this process yourself, Rector is awaiting things to happen in two months. Please, be worth of his trust." Aracides said and stood up.
- "I think the senate can be dissolved as soon as I have all documents of senate sessions safe, town watch will deal with the senators who are unwilling to co-operate."

When the senate gathered together next time Sosicles' opening made senators wonder what is happening.

- "I want all documents that have been written in senate sessions during last ten years collected on the horse wagon. They will be transported to Roma because our overlords want to know what is being done here. Town militia will help us carrying the documents."

After listening to the complaints from the senators who couldn't believe the Roman request the documents were collected to the covered wagon which started its journey towards Rome.
After arriving to the plains between Massilia and Liguria and finding a peaceful place the wagon was stopped. The two soldiers in it started opening all sealed documents and reading them trough. They had done this for an hour before their help arrived. Twenty town militia soldiers arrived with horses and started doing the same. Every document was opened, read trough and thrown away if it didn't include information that Sosicles had described important.
A hundred-headed senate generates a lot of documents in ten years. It took 3 days for 22 soldiers to read all of them and pile up. When the operation was done the pile was lit on fire and the soldiers were watching all but most important documents burning. After the fire had extinquished and there was no fear for forest fire the soldiers returned back home and parked the horse wagon next to the ruins of Sosicles' burnt house.

Next morning Sosicles took the horse wagon and drove it next to the abandoned house. Alone he carried all documents to the basement of the house and knocked on the huge door in there.
Soon he heard the weird hissing sound saying: "What is the color of the night?"
- "Sanquine my brother" Sosicles said and waited for the door to open.
Sosicles picked up the bag where was all important documents and walked into the great hall. Now he understood how the great libraries of the Order of Hades were gathered. There was writings from almost every nation, when Sosicles looked trough the alphabetically ordered library under A he could find Asia Minor where was all sorts of information of the region. After closer look he could find old diplomat letters that were sent by Seleucid Empire during the Diadochi wars, over hundred years before he was even born. Sosicles hadn't been a member of Order long time enough to understand the greatness of it. He just couldn't understand how it was even possible to have these documents here saved for later generations to read.

Lysimachus and Sosicles met again in Lysimachus' garden. They had to start actively planning the steps of changing government type. People didn't yet know Sosicles well and he wasn't particulary popular, those who knew him knew him because he had ordered raid in populist meeting after he had heard it was them who really had paid for his assassination. Several populist senators had been imprisoned and a few had even died during the raid, not a best possible way to gain popularity during the first days of consulship.

-"We could just throw the senators out, buy them silent and continue without telling anything to the people." Lysimachus said
-"Bribing away 90 senators is quite costy. We need to pick the best of them to help us with the dictatorship. Order could help us a bit, if we scare their asses off they'll be quiet for a moment as well as with bribing." Sosicles answered.
Lysimachus looked confusing. Proclaiming dictatorship didn't sound hard. Nor it was hard, but doing it quietly was harder than it sounds.
-"Maybe you could just play iron-fist dictator, dissolve the senate, end revolts and problems with force, let the streets be painted with blood if you have to. It doesn't matter do the citizens honour you as long as they fear you."(1)
- "Well... Maybe it's the only way... Do you have any ideas for councillors and ministers?" Sosicles asked
-"Nikomedes Zagreid, one of the generals who defended Massilian main lands in the Pyrrhic wars and the one who took Emporion back from Pyrrhus. I believe that he could handle chancellor job and he would most likely stand on our side."
- "Sounds good, who would take the general position if he has to leave it to concentrate on his new job?"
- "I have a friend of mine, Skopas Proticid, who shows pretty good understanding of warfare and probably could handle the second stratos. At least during the peace, and it seems that we aren't going to war anytime soon."
- "I don't know much about him, isn't he that young guy in religious faction?"
- "Yes, he knows you and probably voted for you in this election. There are two men who are really focusing in the future of this nation, Aristotle Timolid, military faction leader, and Pheneos Zoticid they both could be worth some minister positions. These men have skills to get things done, and we both know that it is hard to get anything done in republic as you always have old those conservative guys harassing you."
Sosicles laughed "Yeah, you should have been here during the war... Don't even ask what it was like for archons to let you stay on seas."
- "I never asked senate could I go somewhere, I just went.." Lysimachus said and laughed
- "Well, I think we have this solved somehow. Would you tomorrow go and tell these new ministers that they shall not come to the senate meeting the day after tomorrow. And you should not come either, I'll cause some havoc there with the town watch." Sosicles said
- "I'll ask the new ministers to stay here as my guests for a couple of days so I can inform them about the following things. Meet us here when you've thrown the old farts out of the palace."
- "Don't let them know about the Order, if that happens we'll be screwed."
- "Even my wife doesn't know about it, I told her that the scars in my back are from war. Too bad that eventually she'll realize that the scars weren't there when we met first time but I'll let that not bother me." Lysimachus said and scratched his back
- "Thanks for reminding me, that's a good reason not to get married" Sosicles said and both men laughed.

3nd March 484 Sosicles Peneid arrived to the senate meeting. A large sundial was showing the 11 o'clock in the morning. Sosicles didn't waste time and immediately started his speech:

- "I give you an hour to pack up whatever you need or own here and leave this city. Start moving out in the countryside. I'll give you a week to leave this province. I don't care where you'll go. Those who won't co-operate and leave this city within said hour or are found within the borders of Massilia after a week will be executed because of rebelling against the government."
Senators were standing still. Nobody said anything.
- "Rebelling against me does mean rebelling against the government. I am the government now. Town watch is waiting outside in the streets and are ready to deal with those who cause problems. If I was any of you I'd be moving already, an hour is short time when you have to pack up your things and get outside the city walls."
- "You cannot do this!" Screamed mercantile faction senator. "The senate is ruling! You are alone against the whole senate. You simply cannot do this!"
- "I can do this.. And a lot of other things as well. I can do whatever I want." Sosicles said with very cold voice. "Guards!" He shouted. 4 town watch members, armed with short spears and shields stormed in. Sosicles nod. Immediately one of the soldiers bashed his shield on an old senators chest. The senator fell down and the whole senate started moving like ants' nest. Without mercy same soldier hit his spear trough the fallen senator's chest. Senator screamed as well as he could with the spear in his lungs. He started coughing blood and his white toga was quickly becoming red from his blood. Soldiers moved forward towards the senators and whole senate was in panic.
Sosicles rised his hand and soldiers stopped moving. "You have one hour." he said and left the building.

Outside he walked to Asklepiodorus Theronid who was in command of the army in Massilia.
- "One hour. Then you're free to do whatever you wish." Sosicles said.
Asklepiodorus nod and said "Understood my archon. We are standing prepared."

Sosicles walked all the way trough the city to Lysimachus' house. It appeared that Lysimachus and his guests were inside. Sosicles walked to the door and knocked on it.
No answer.
Sosicles knocked again.
Still no answer.

Lysimachus and his guests weren't inside his house. They were in the harbor, Lysimachus had to give orders to his navy. This man was Lysimachus Sosiclid, the one who wasn't compared to foxes when he started working for himself. He wasn't going to be servant of this clown who now was spilling blood in the senate palace.
Lysimachus saw captain Pausanias Apollonid on the deck of Aphrodision
- "Captain! Order men to gather food for a few months long trip. It may be that you'll need to get on the seas again." Lysimachus shouted and climbed on board of the ship
- "Hail admiral Lysimachus!" Pausanias saluted and asked: "Where are we going sir? We have enough supplies to get on the waves immediately but we'll need to stop at Corsica to buy more."
- "No no no no, we're not going anywhere yet. Due some political changes and unstability it may be that I'm forced to use the navy to give more strenght to my demands. I assume that it is clear that you take orders only from me, not from anyone who claims being ruler."
- "We're under your command sir, if anyone on these ships doesn't agree with that he can leave the ship immediately." Pausanias answered.
- "Good. Now gather the supplies, it may be that you won't need to go anywhere but I want you to be totally prepared to move." Lysimachus said and continued "Any news about Arauris?" Lysimachus had ordered one trireme to be built after losing his flagship in Epirus. This new ship would be called Arauris as well and it would become his new flagship.
- "In theory it is ready for action but it lacks the row boats and all navigation and repairing tools. Pausanias said and turned around to see the docks where one brand new trireme was being built.
- "Great! When it is ready send a word to me. If you have to move on seas before it is totally done take it with you as it can be in danger in the docks." Lysimachus said and snarled: "I don't want to get same ship burnt twice." Then he waved his hand as a good bye to the captain.
Captain Apollonid gave admiral Roman 'Ave' salutation which was quite similar to the salutation that would become known as the sign of evil after being used in 20th century Germany...

Sosicles Peneid looked at the sundial. 12 o'clock.
Asklepiodorus Theronid looked at the sundial too. 12 o'clock. Time to force the senators out of the city. It was the hardest order he had ever given to his soldiers. He had to order these men to kill Massilians, his own friends and workmates.

The soldiers moved out but Asklepiodorus left standing in the forum and watching the sundial. He wasn't needed in this battle, soldiers spread out and started looking trough the city. He had ordered them not to touch on senators who were leaving the city themselves. Only those who didn't do as said after several orders were allowed to be killed.

It wasn't easy to the soldiers either. They were men with feelings and brains, not killing machines that just go to the battle and do their best or die trying. Some soldiers had gone crazy from this easy prey and killed senators without hesitating. That was Sosicles' order but Asklepiodorus wanted to do it clean way and just throw the senators outside the city instead of killing them and then ordering his troops to carry the corpses outside the walls which was the other option.

Sosicles and Asklepiodorus were staring at the sundial. 13 o'clock. The screaming had ended. One hour of madness.

- "Order some of your men to follow the senators and ensure that they're either dead or outside our borders after a week." Sosicles said with cold voice
- "I will.." Asklepiodorus said quietly.
- "I do not like this either.. but it's the only way." Sosicles mumbled.

4th March 484 Sosicles Peneid, Lysimachus Sosiclid, Nikomedes Zagreid, Aristotle Timolid and Pheneos Zoticid arrived to empty senate palace. Sosicles had ordered the building to be cleaned from the blood and everything was ready for these men to start whole new era in the Massilian history.

Lysimachus, as the Grand Vizier, wrote new law that gave all power in the government to its sole ruler, in this case to Sosicles Peneid. All 3 other ministers signed the law and Sosicles was officially the ruler of Massilia. Now it was illegal to stand against him. Lysimachus plead to flexibility of commanding armed forces and convienced Sosicles not to take over military forces, instead the command would be totally on the generals but Sosicles had rights to change generals how- and whenever he wanted without giving any reasons.

Literally below Massilia Aracides Aratid was talking to an old man who was wearing purple toga.
- "Massilia is as good as ours."Aracides said
- "You've done well to make this happen Aracides." old man said with a thin voice "Those two young men did great work too. You shall reward them for it."
- "What shall I give them?" Aracides asked
Old man coughed hard and said "Give them anything they desire. It is their problem if they want something too valuable which gets them killed."
- "Do you think we could replace them this soon if that happens?" Aracides wondered
- "You have seen it. We can do anything we want." Old man said with surprisingly strong voice.
- "I know. I just still can't believe it. Even after these fifteen years." Aracides whispered
- "You're still a young one, even if you may not think so." The old man smiled and revealed his yellow teeth. "Now go, reward those two members for what they've done."
- "I will." Aracides said and left the room.

- "How many senators were killed yesterday?" Nikomedes Zagreid asked from Sosicles while they were having Roman style supper of grapes, wine, fish and bread.
- "Two were slain in the confusion inside the senate palace, around ten in the streets and same amount in their houses after they opposed the order of leaving the town. Over 70 senators were seen coming out of the gates so there was less than thirty casualties." Sosicles answered
- "Your coup d'état was handled pretty nicely I think. It is an honour to serve as your chancellor."
- "Thank you Nikomedes, but please refrain from using sayings that are created 2400 years after we're dead and Massilia is just a small part of Le Blob.."(2) Sosicles said
- "Oh, excuse me. I just... well, couldn't find any better words." Nikomedes said and sipped his wine.

---------------------------------------

Notes:

(1) If I don't remember totally wrong Leopold II of Belgia was know from similar sentence
(2) At least EU3 players know what I mean ;)

I just realized that almost whole chapter is only a dialogue between characters, hopefully it is now easier to read than the older chapters.
 
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thats an impressively organised coup ... so you're a dictatorship with a rather menacing pair of leaders

Yes, at least for now. Depending on the lenght of Sosicles' rest of the life (which hopefully has some dramatical ending, and hopefully relatively soon) it may be long or short reign. Lysimachus is the first one to claim the throne if Sosicles dies and I hope that he is able to reform senate and republic before his death to get usual stuff going.

If it is fine with you great people who read this that I'll write a couple of chapters that aren't anyhow related to the gameplay (as the savegames and screenshots are still lost) I'll do that to keep myself interested. Luckily anything huge shouldn't happen during next couple of years of the gameplay so I can write alternative history for it.

I also have abbreviation of all 4 chapters done so the ones who have drowned to the sea of text already can get back on track, it's just waiting for posting.

By the way, is it just my phone or are the dialogue texts now HUUGE? Times new roman font and size 3 looked fine with comp but now it looks really overkilled...
 
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Because I fear that many people won't stay on track of this AAR (Including myself) due the massive amount of text, which is quite a mess in first 3 chapters and is admittedly hard to read due no line changes in dialogues etc., I'll post an abbreviation between every 4th chapter.

This will hopefully help people to hang on for next four chapters.

Recap 1

First ten years

1st January 474 - 1st April 484

Long story in short

In January 474 AVC Rome expectedly called Massilia to arms against Pyrrhus who had launched his attack on Rome to protect Greek colonies of Magna Graecia. Massilian senate agreed to join the war and all able men were gathered to armies. With the reinforcements from Emporion Massilia was able to field an army of 13 000 men and a navy of 5 triremes. Archon Lysimachus Sosiclid took personally command of the navy and Asklepiodorus Theronid became the general of the army.
Pyrrhus landed in Massilia 15th February 475 but was defeated in the battle and was forced to retreat to the forests of Vocontii. After another defeat in Massilia Pyrrhus and the rest of his army retreated back to their ships and sailed back to Epirus and Massilia didn't have to fight any other battles in their own land.
Lysimachus took his navy and sailed to Ionian sea where several victorious naval battles forced Epirot navy to retreat back to their home port. After realizing that an assault against Epirot capital isn't possible with Massilian army Lysimachus blockaded the port of Epirus for a year before signing peace with Pyrrhus.

After the war Massilia suffered from civil war which was launched by Neoptolemus Theronid as a revenge for imprisoning populist politician Kleandros Aratid. Civil war was quickly over but populists kept causing troubles and several of them were imprisoned, those who weren't catched fled to foreign countries.

The senate of Massilia had became a pot of nitroglycerin which was ready to explode at smallest poke. Rivalries between the politicians lead to corruption and abuse of power, every archon used his position to imprison his rivals and enemies but after next archon was elected these men were freed and other politicians imprisoned. The peak of this was seen when Sosicles Peneid was elected in January 484, he imprisoned and executed most of the populist politicians after hearing that they were behind his assassination attempt. After this he dissolved the senate and almost 30 senators were killed in the confusion, now he is ruling Massilia alone as dictator.

Important characters

Lysimachus Sosiclid


5848107142_d7e440442e_z.jpg


Lysimachus was the archon during the first years of Pyrrhic wars and Mercantile faction leader. His unbelieveable knowledge about warfare and commanding troops gained him the position of admiral in Massilia's navy.
Lysimachus managed to take victories over Epirot navy even if he was seriously outnumbered a couple of times, major vicotry that turned the tide of war against Pyrrhus was the battle of Mare Siculum where Epirot navy of 16 triremes fought against Lysimachus' 6 triremes but with the help of Roman navy the battle was won and Epirus lost one third of their navy and were forced to stay in their home port for a long time.
After the war Lysimachus served his country as Thesmothete, senate position similar to Roman Censor and has been actively taking part in politics and has gained so much influence that even archons can't limit his actions.
With his influence and friendship with Sosicles Peneid he became Grand Vizier, the right hand of the dictator, when Sosicles proclaimed dictatorship.

Sosicles Peneid

Sosicles was religious faction member, elected to archon 1st January 484 AVC. He is close friend of Lysimachus and got invited to Order of Hades by Aracides Aratid. When Order of Hades requested him to proclaim dictatorship to ease the life of the order he didn't hesitate to do it.
The first dictator of Massilia is know from his corruptness and wildly changing mind. His personal doctor has warned him about the possibility of becaming schizophrenic but he doesn't seem to care.

Asklepiodorus Theronid & Nikomedes Zagreid

Generals who kept Massilian lands safe and repelled Pyrrhus' invasion. Nikomedes joined Lysimachus' ambitious plan of sacking Epirot capital but the success of the campaign wasn't great.
After Sosicles Peneid dissolved the senate and proclaimed dictatorship Nikomedes Zagreid gained the position of Chancellor. Asklepiodorus is remembered from the victories of defending Massilia and being the general who Pyrrhus defeated with first 'Pyrrhic Victory'.

Aracides Aratid

Aracides is mostly know from being Civic faction leader in Massilian senate. He also is one of the Dignus Tres in the secret society Order of Hades. His achievements in the senate aren't particularly great but recruiting Lysimachus Sosiclid and Sosicles Peneid to the Order was done by him and he was greatly rewarded by the Order.

Neoptolemus Theronid

Neoptolemus was fanatic populist faction leader in Massilian senate after Kleandros Aratid was imprisoned for planning the assassination of Sosicles Peneid. Neoptolemus used the disorder in the senate to help him and launched civil war in Massilia. Agelaos Sosiclid who was archon during the civil war managed to solve the revolt quickly but Neoptolemus wasn't found and stopped yet. When Agelaos ordered his men to imprison Neoptolemus he managed to avoid the guards and fled to Rhodes.

Pyrrhus Aeacidae

5987066200_f3a69fd303_z.jpg


Epirot Basileus, our dearest enemy who was humiliated by Lysimachus Sosiclid. Pyrrhus burnt Lysimachus' flagship Arauris in the harbor of Epirus as a revenge after being forced to eat Massilian peace offer. Since that those two men have been personal enemies, especially after Pyrrhus realized that Lysimachus could have poisoned the paper and killed him but he didn't even think about such possibility. Until now, and perhaps he'll do that to Lysimachus if he becomes too much of a problem.
 
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