The Egyptians come
A week had come and passed in Sparta, the routine of military life of everyday Sparta had returned for the men of Leontiskos Company. A great festival had gone on for three days upon the return of their warriors. The tales of their exploits in Macedonia spread far and wide as did the rumors of the strange events that seem to be spreading through the known world. The story of the meeting of Poseidon had all the people and priests in absolute awe of the soldiers, though most of them spoke little of it themselves. On their return they sacrificed a great bull to the deity.
It was midday and the sun shone full and proud as Alexipolis led his men through training. His banded leather armor gleaned freshly polished, sculpted to his chest. The leather made like a vest with strips of bronze to reinforce it. It was tied up along the sides bringing the two sides tightly together. His sculpted bronze helm covered his head with its crimson plume that hung down his back and danced upon the light eastern winds that came from the sea as his red cape moved along with his movements.
His helm covered most of his head, coming up to a ridged line on the top from front to the back much like a fin growing larger as it went back then sweeping back down at the curve of the back of the helm. The sides opened to at the ear and into a spear like points on each side his jaw while a nose bar protected the bridge of his nose. Them helm ended at the base of the neck with a then raised plane coming out from there.
Bronze bracers came up to his elbows in long reinforced strips strapped together on the underarm on a brace of leather, a clasp held it together at his wrist, the clasp made of a polished metal. Shoulder guards were made of curved straps of bronze strapped to one another, which allowed it to be easily movable when the arm was in motion. Strips of layered leather bands with thin bands of bronze surrounded his waist and hips coming down to mid thigh atop of a crimson kilt, allowing for swift movement in combat.
His legs were bare only between the waist guards and the greaves, which showed his deeply muscled thighs. Thick greaves came from his ankles up to just over his knees, with the emblem of a lion crouched in the center of the knee guard.
His sword hung just below his left hip, the sheath was made of leather and bronze with the emblem of a lion in an attacking leap. The hilt was small but feathered out like the wings of a bird and in the center was a deep blue sapphire the size of a small egg. The handle was slender and oval slimming as it came to the butt of the weapon. The end of the handle formed into a half circle meeting into the straight edge then circles out where in the center lays an opal.
His shield was currently loosely strapped to his back so that in a moment he could bring to his arm. The shield's shape resembled a figure eight though the two end points came to a bit sharper then on the normal rounded figure eight diagram. On the side of the shield held closest to the body where they curved in this side was curved in even more to allow for the spear to rest and to be move through it. The shield was not flat but curved out a bit to the center of the shield itself. The center of the shield itself was with a fearsome painted lion’s face.
A spear was in his hands at the moment, the length was eight feet long with a long slender blade. The backside of the blade flared out four inches wide and about a foot long. Blade itself is wide at the back end of then slandering down to a fine killing point, just perfect for slipping beneath opening in armor and finding tender flesh. Half way down the shaft was a bracer of bronze, which helped with balance, and thrusting of the weapon. At the end of the shaft was a large decorative counter weight to help keep it level and not to over tip on the business end of the weapon.
He stood looking at his men before him, as the light played on their armor, a feeling of pride a washed him then, knowing he was looking at some of the greatest warriors of Greece. Standing on either side of him was his captains.
Xenippos stood to his right whose armor was almost identical to that of his lords with only a few exceptions. First, was the that plume on his helm went sideways and stood on a staff that was six inches long, and the plume made of very coarse horse hairs, slightly curved on both sides of the helm. He also wore shoulder guards but only on the one side; his sword arm. Next, was his cape was crimson with white trim, marking him senior captain. Finally, he wore sword his near the center of his waist, though it too was sheathed in bronze and leather.
To Alexipolis's left was Andrippos who also wore similar armor but with several differences. First, was he wore no helm at all but instead donned a circlet. A band of folded intertwined bronze encircled his head, ending with two silver balls at his temples, much like the ring of a bull. Also, he wore no shoulder guards of any kind but instead armbands in the same fashion of the band on his head. Instead of one sword he wore two, one on each side of his hips. His cape was white with a crimson trim. It draped over his left side and lower down his back to accommodate the fact he had a quiver of arrows on his back. He wore a large composite bow made in Egypt taking nearly three years to complete, it was attached to a strap to allow it to lie against his back strung. His shield listed to the right side of his back.
The soldiers of the Leontiskos also had just about the same type of armor as their lord but none of them bore a plume of any kind; though all did had a crimson cape. A third of the warriors also carried bows. All carried a spear and sword, with shields. All warriors of the Leontiskos where trained as a Hoplite or Infantry soldier.
Alexipolis stepped forward and held right arm out to full length holding the spear vertically to him as Xenippos shouted.
"At arms!" Instantly the entire front line lowered their shields, which were about three feet long, and coming into a half crouch.
Alexipolis looked on and nodded.
"Rise up!" Xenippos bellowed next as row behind the front stepped forward to stand directly behind the men before them and raised their shield up to a ninety degree angle over the heads of the front row locking there two shields together.
Andrippos stepped forward slowly he raised the bow before him and drew and arrow forth and notched it. Lifting the it up he pulled the string to chin as his first two fingers held the string and arrow, took aim at the wall of shield before him and released the bolt. It arched into the sky towards its target, which was followed by a quick repetition of four more arrows aimed at different sections, all which bounced harmlessly off the shields of the soldiers.
The commander of Sparta nodded once again.
Xenippos leapt forward with a mighty cry covered the twenty feet quickly heading straight for the soldiers, his spear held to his side and just behind him. With a blur of movement whirled and leapt into the air, bringing the spear above his head then as he sailed towards a man, brought it down into a viscous thrust as he came down the tip slamming down into the top shield causing sparks to flare. He could hear the man grunt beneath the blow but held his place neither faltering nor wavering. He repeated that three more times at random points along the front lines. When he felt satisfied he walked back to Alexipolis who nodded to him as he came back. He turned back then shouts more orders,
In an instant the first two lines shields fell to the center of their bodies as a forest of spear tips thrust out and returned back in returned back into place.
The same maneuver was done though to the left of the column.
The center of the lines opened up as the men there stepped into the other ranks turning sideways so that their spears now pointed into the opening they had just made as the men at the back crouched and kept their weapons leveled. Prepared to allow a mounted troop into the lines then cut them to pieces. This happened in one fluid motion without falter.
"Bravo Spartan warriors, the unity of this force is indeed impressive. It is hard to have so many people become one entity, and flow in union." Light clapping sounded behind Alexipolis and his captains as the cultured accented voice ended.
The Spartans turned slowly to the men behind them and took in the sight. Four men stood there, their chests bare and deeply muscled. All had brilliant white kilts with dark black belt about six inches wide and lined with gold trim. With a red band the center and embroidered with the eye of Ra in the center.
All had slender and graceful armbands of a serpent wrapping around their upper arms in gold. The bands ended with a cobra head in the center of the arm, its forked tongue out like it tasted for danger.
The men had charcoal liner around their eyes and also extended slightly past the edge of their eyes. They had another thing in common which was they all had shaved heads. Three of the men also had tattoos of what looked like great black cat stalking its prey across their stomachs. On the right arm was the tattoo of a cobra that wrapped around the entire length of the arm with its hooded head ending on the back of the palm. All also had numerous earrings in each ear made of silver with several that had some kind of black stone in it.
The man who stood in the heart of the assembly had an air of confidence about him. The men held his back straight and chin forward as he stared Alexipolis directly into his eyes. His black eyes never wavering as a faint half smirk came as he stood with an easy countenance.
He wore a shoulder band of gold that draped over the shoulders and hung down just to mid chest back, like a great spiral, interlaced with jade stones. He wore copper bracers with intricate designs in silver and gold on his arms; in the center of both was the ankh symbol on them. He had some kind of symbols tattooed on each check and down the front of his neck. The back of his hands had words writing in red inked upon them, as did the other men. Upon his shaved head he headband of gold with that of a open hooded cobra head in the center with what looked like eye made of rubies that winked in the sunlight
He strode forward with the movement a great hunting cat, lithe sure and proud, and came before Alexipolis; though he was about the same height he was much smaller in girth. He held his arm out to the Spartan, palm up and waited. Alexipolis took the offered arm grasping in the middle of the forearm then nodded deeply.
"I am Alexipolis; I am commander of the Spartan armies and sole commander of the Leontiskos pride." He released the other mans arm and rested his own fist upon his own chest in salute and once again nodded then removed his helm holding it in the crook of his arm.
The two men stared at one another, taking in the other and measuring them against themselves.
"Yes I have heard your name before it has traveled quite far indeed. I look forward to one day being able to compare conquests." He grinned to the man before him his Greek flawless.
He grew serious standing up tall "I am Kamenwati, prince regent of Egypt, leader of the NebiMdjai, under the order of Anubis, Guardian of the light of the dead." He paused turned his head slightly then laughed heartily. "And yes, indeed my people love their titles as you can see. I must stretch to attend court and repeat it over and over."
Chuckles from the men gathered there on both sides came from that jest.
"Well Kamenwati, don't feel too bad, over here, we love to hear ourselves talk and talk. I get tired out sometimes simply watching many of the bureaucrats talk." Alexipolis grinned back to the man before him. "We are in middle of our morning training and it will be some time till we are free. Have you visited the palace and found your quarters yet? It may help pass the time" He asked the man as he looked off to the vestige of the palace on the other sides of the training grounds.
"We stopped briefly to deposit our gear and most of our men, since it didn't seem the best idea to walk the streets of Sparta with an armed regiment of Egyptian soldiers. I think we would have the whole city fall down on us, even the small toddlers, if what I hear about your people is indeed true and not bedtime stories we tell to frighten our children and each other." He arched an eyebrow as he grinned a crooked smile.
Alexipolis laughed at the other mans words shook his head. He looked over at the Egyptian and knew an immediate kinship of him beginning to take shape.
"We are like the idea that by the time our toddlers crawl we will teach them the use of the dagger so they might slay the ankles of our foes. Instead of dolls we hand out slings!"
Kamenwati burst out laughing and patted the man on the back shaking his head as he wiped away a tear.
"You are too much; I see that Spartans train in not only weapons but with words."
The Spartan commander grinned to his new friend then looked back to Andrippos who was also grinning.
"I want you to finish the exercise with the men, and then lead them on a five mile run after that the day is theirs. I will be taking our new friends to the palace meet us back there.
“Yes my lord" He nodded then nodded to the Egyptians.
Andrippos turned back the Spartans soldiers, walked back to their ranks and yelled for them to fall back into their lines.
"Now your majesty, if you will follow me let us head back and set you up."
Kamenwati looked behind himself then back to Alexipolis
"Call me Kamenwati, we are friends and my uncle is not here so you don't need the "majesty" part, I am not ruler, yet."
Alexipolis chuckling as he walked
"If you don't mind would it be alright if we stay and watch for awhile? It would be interesting to witness such legendary training methods for awhile." Said the man behind Kamenwati, the largest of the Egyptians as he looked at the Spartans practicing line formation movement.
"No man is allowed to watch here, he who stands and watches will be pressed into training." Xenippos said as he looked from the men to the Egyptians
"And why is that?" Asked Kamenwati though knowing the answer.
"For every Spartan belongs to the Spartan armies, and besides if he has the time to stand around doing nothing then he has time to help in the defense of our beloved home."
"Indeed, how fascinating that is" Kamenwati replied looking at Xenippos studying him for a moment as his first two fingers traced his chin, "You must be his first captain, though I think you must have come out into this world with full battle regalia on."
He grinned to him.
The grin was returned; "I am Xenippos of Sparta, Captain of the guards and first captain of the Leontiskos. By the way, my mother said I couldn't wait to enter this world, now she knows why, to crush men's heads together!" He laughed with the others.
They all stood for a while watching Andrippos move the men in and out of formations, and then they broke into pairs and began close quarters fighting. A number of men where going through the motions of sparing but were doing the forms pathetically, which made Alexis-polis sigh. He stood and walked slowly over to them as everyone on the field came to a stop to watch him go by. He stopped by them and looked at them, his arms crossed over his breastplate, his eyes moving from man to man.
"What the hell was that? Do you think that what you are doing is going to be effective to anyone other the enemy as you make it easier for them to cut you to pieces??" Alexipolis asked as the look of disgust filled his face.
The soldiers looked down and clenched their jaw muscles for being pointed our and failing their lord. One lifted his head and looked to Alexipolis, then down and finally back up.
"What would you have us do instead? But if we are en masse and down to our swords, what will our form matter that much?"
Alexipolis nodded thoughtfully at the man question, then looked at him and raised his hand with one finger extended.
"That is a valid question, when it comes to the swords it will be tight quarters but your form will mean life or death. It will come down to reflex and training. Not trying to simply guess were your enemy will be and what he will do next. We are teaching both defensive and offensive combinations in every movement."
He stood for a moment looking at all of the soldiers as he placed his hands behind his back, then back to the man who asked the question.
"I want you all attack me. Surround me; afterwards attack me with any timing any from any direction. I will show what I mean."
"But my lord there is seven of us and only you!" The man looked horrified at what his lord asked.
"Then show me that what I teach is wrong and I will allow you to lead the exercises for the next week?" He smirked and arched his brow.
"As my lords says, but I warn you this will be painful." He said as he back away from his lord.
Alexipolis put his helm on his then drew his sword. He slid his shield onto his arm then turned sideways, as he looked somewhat down towards his knees, bending slightly as his legs moved to shoulder length. The other men began to surround him as they drew their weapons and circled looking for the chance to attack.
Suddenly a man leapt forward, from slightly behind and to the left of him, Alexipolis bent straight down at the waist as the blade sailed clean over him. Alexipolis came up in an arch bringing his shield up behind his head as a hissing blade slashed against it. He came up straight and twisted to the left as he brought his left knee up to his chest stopping another blade with his greaves, and then knocked it down into the earth as he lowered his leg as he brought his elbow into the chin of the attacker. The soldier who faced him sloppily lunged at his chest, Alexipolis sidestepped, catching the other man's sword arm beneath his shield where it curved in. With a savage thrust he twisted the arm up and over then pulled the man forward, released the arm as the man continued at him smashed it into the other man's face. A deep snapping sound came, with a shout of pain as the man dropped down like a rock.
Stepping quickly to his right where the other soldiers were he came face to face with the other five men. Two dashed forward attaching simultaneously, one going with an overhand attack while the other dropped low and attacked at his legs. Alexipolis stepped forward bringing his shield up before him smashing the crouched opponent to the ground seeing that he overbalanced himself in the swing at his legs. The other man's swing completely missed as the man also threw himself off balance with the over eager attack making himself step to recover. Now that Alexipolis was behind the man, he turned and smacked the man with the flat of his sword on his head as his kicked the other warrior's legs out from beneath him, falling him to the ground.
The sounds of footfalls sounded behind him, and instantly he spun towards the sound and stepped back. The swing at him sailed harmlessly past him as he had moved back a step, but someone had grabbed onto his shield. Without looking he slid his arm out of it as he stepped back and turned towards the man holding his shield. With a tremendous kick at his own shield, lifting the bearer clean off the ground and sent him a foot backwards crashing into the ground and rolled off. Alexipolis leapt forward going into a somersault lifting a fallen sword with him as he rise from the roll.
He now stood before the last two men. The two men separated and moved to either side of their commander. Alexipolis moved his arms to his sides pointing the tips of the swords towards the ground as he looked forward allowing him to watch both men at once. As he does so the two men simply stood and watched him. In a heartbeat he was whirled to his right leaping at the man, his sword aimed at the others chest. The man whose eyes went wide in surprise brought his sword up to parry as Alexipolis planned, the sword stopping his thrust. In the same instant his sword was blocked his other blade came screaming over his shoulder, as he leaned backwards lifting the other with the blocked sword and in a scissor motion shattered the other mans weapon. The look of absolute awe came over the Spartan's face as Alexipolis twisted bringing one sword back up with the butt of the hilt up turned catching the man under the chin casting him to the ground.
Before the man hit the ground Alexipolis was turning once more, his swords coming up in an X form stopping a strong overhand chop of the man who had asked him the question of forms. He smiled to himself as he leaned in and pushed the man backwards, who staggered for several paces as he was thrown off balanced. Alexipolis rushed forward his body and arm moving like a windmill, his arms extended swords pointed out as he whirled. Blade after blade came down becoming a whirling wall of steel towards the man. The questioner hurriedly brought his own shield up just as the first strike struck the shield. The second slash dented the shield and making his arm go numb, as the third strike knocked it from his arm. The man brought his sword up in a futile attempt to defend him as he saw his master still advancing on him. The fourth strike knocked the weapon effortlessly from his hand as he staggered backwards from the ferocity of the attacking blades. The two sword seemed to become one weapon when suddenly it all stopped and as if by magic the tip of Alexipolis's left hand sword pressed just under the mans chin. His arm extended holding the sword before him, as he stood sideways, his left leg bent slightly his right leg was extended behind him. His right arm over his head and bent at the elbow as the tip of the other blade pointed back at the student. The soldier just stood there for a moment, knowing full well that we were beaten as he looked at his master, for that was what before him. Then fell to his knees.
"Forgive me my lord! You are wise and powerful and I wrong to question you"
Alexipolis looked down at the man and sheathed his own blade, then flipped the other one into the ground next to the man and reached his hand down to him.
The Spartan commander had hardly even broken a sweat.
"Krates, sometimes it is wise to question those around you and not to simply follow blindly. But today, you and the others were lazy and broke conduct. I hope though what I showed you today would change your view on form and training. But now I want you and your cohorts to make nine laps around Sparta, then when that is done I want you all to clean and polish all the weapons used here today." He pulled the man up and thumped him friendly upon on the shoulder as he walked back to gather up the other men.
"Impressive Spartan, though in Egypt we would have had the men whipped for such incompetence," Kamenwati said as he walked towards the Spartan then looked past him to the top of the hill that stood behind him. "Who is that? That is not Hellene, queen of Sparta herself is it?"
His eyebrow arched
Alexipolis turned around slowly his eyes creeping up the hill to see the woman standing there. A slender woman stood there, but she was not a woman of Sparta. A red and gold shawl wrapped around her as the wind made the edging dance over her hands that were holding it in place over her heart. She wore the dress of a Spartan woman though, which was in red and gold, with silver armbands clasps over her upper arms and several slender bracelets of twisted gold. Her light brown hair hung below her shawl and nearly down to her waist. The breeze also made her hair sway to the tune that only the wind could here and perhaps young children. Most of her head was covered by the shawl, which cast slight shadows upon her facial features that seemed to hold a shadow even when the shadows from the shawl moved. Her green eyes watched the men below her then they moved to Alexipolis, for a moment it seemed that the perpetual shadows that seemed to cling to her dissolve as a faint glitter of something surfaced, then the moment faded with nothing coming to pass. The shadows reappeared, as her eyes began to glisten in wetness as she turned away her eyes lingering out to the sea.
"Allow me to introduce you to her" Alexipolis said once she looked back towards them.
He nodded towards her as he laid a hand on the Egyptians shoulder and steered him towards her. She watched them silently as they came towards her, an eyebrow lifting slightly, her eyes moving between the two men. Their shadows stretching out behind them as they came closer to the Spartan queen, smiles upon both of the men's lips.
"Kamenwati, this is Hellene, wife of King Menelaus and Queen of Sparta."
Kamenwati bowed low, sweeping his arm wide while his other hand took hers in it and brought it to his lips kissing it tenderly though he never took his eyes off her. She studied him for a moment then bowed her head to him.
"I have heard rumors of your beauty. I believe that even the most beautiful Goddesses could only weep in contrast to you my lady. And were it not for this valiant warrior by your side I would steal you away in my arms and make you an Egyptian Goddess incarnate and lavish you in the entire splendor that is Egypt. The world I would cast to the torch if you asked it of me, though, that fire would be a candle's light compared to the fire that would burn in our bed chambers!" He smiled crookedly at her then winked.
Hellene’s eyes twinkled at his words and then she laughed, looked over at Alexipolis and arched a brow then back towards the other solider.
"My dear warrior, what is the more dangerous weapon? Your sword or the sugar coated words that roll off your tongue like the scent of rain before the storm? For that I fear what has landed before me, is a rouge wave!" She laughed again as the men before her looked at one another then back towards her and burst into laughter.
"My dearest queen," Kamenwati held his hands over his heart and staggers a few steps backwards "you wound me deeply and swiftly allow me to have at least another minute to bask in your glory before you call me a rouge"
"Perhaps, but I see you do not deny that you are one?"
"A bird must fly and a fish swims, I am what RA has felt confident in a scribing me"
"Perhaps it is unwise to only have one soldier by my side, perhaps I should summon all the warriors of Sparta to come to my aid!" She laughed and her eyes sparkled
"Then I shall have to lay down my arms and only lay enraptured from afar and wait for the right time to lay claim" He smiled and bowed once more
He stood fully upright then crossed his arms over his chest and slightly bowed his head an in courtly voice said "I am Kamenwati, Son of Ramsey the Great, Grandson of Amon Ra, fourth in line heir regent of Egypt, and lord of the NebiMdjai and servant of Anubis. It is my honor and privilege to meet you my lady of Sparta."
"It was a pleasure to meet you Prince regent and I look forward to seeing you again" She bowed then smiled deeply to him then looked to Alexipolis.
"Have you heard word from Menelaus, my lady?" He asked when she turned towards him.
"He has left this morning for Pylos to meet with Nestor." She sighed deeply at the name of her consort as gazed to east her eyes lingering out into the Sea.
Both men give her a moment to regain herself as they notice her eyes began to tear up. But no tears come and with a willing of her soul regain control and lay a hand on Alexipolis's shoulder.
"The King has told me of your quest, and seeing that Kamenwati is here must mean that soon you will set out?"
"Indeed, tonight we will discuss were we should begin. Since events have been happening both here in Greece and Egypt. The hard part is where to start." He exhaled as he finished.
"Indeed, the tricky part will be deciding weather to start in Greece or Egypt and then trying to tie the pieces together. We will have to compile all the information that we have together and see if there is a pattern or an origin and predict where the next attack shall take place."
Hellene brushes a loose strand of hair from her face as the wind picks up for a brief moment. "Perhaps you should go to Delphi. The Oracle could help you, if indeed the gods want this to take place perhaps her advice could lead you upon the true path"
The two soldiers looked at one another then back to her and laughed and shook their heads.
"Hellene you are indeed one of the most intelligent women I have ever met" Alexipolis grinned as he softly grabbed her shoulders, then suddenly remembered his place and let go of her and smile "uh my lady."
She reached up and gently laid her hand on his cheek and looked into his eyes and gives him a breath-taking smile upon him as he leans in and whispered in his ear.
"If men are left to their own devices, they will either talk it to death or simply charge head long into it, either way a man needs a women to steer him so he doesn't hurt himself too badly"
Then she kisses his temple, leans back and smiles to Kamenwati and shakes her head and laughs softly, her laughter sounding like birdsong to the men.
"I hope to see you then in three days down at the ports. That should leave plenty of time to stock your ships and ready the men for sail." A sad sigh escapes her as she gives them a faint smile "For then I leave for Cythera to offer a sacrifice to the children of Leto. And leave Sparta behind for at least a few days anyways."
Before either man could answer she turned from them and walked away silently towards the cliffs that over looked the Aegean Sea then the wind making her clothing dance upon its fingers. Distant cries of the gulls echoed to Alexipolis as he stood there watching her walk away, knowing how much it pains her to be here in Sparta and with their King.
A great warrior having done great deeds carved in blood and stone, a husband though he was not great in. He chose her for her beauty, not for any kind of love, a trophy, like a beautiful wild bird. And like such, the longer you keep it captured and ignored it the more it wilts inside. Nothing he could do for her though, for she was Queen of Sparta and he was captain and steward to its King.
He turned back to the man at his side and nodded to him who fell in line with him as he headed back to the training grounds. Kamenwati remained quiet as they moved towards their men. They came to a stop right on the border of the grounds when Alexipolis stopped and turned to the Egyptian.
"Does going to Delphi sound like a plan to you, Kamenwati?" He studied the other man as he asked his question, trying to push aside all the sorrow he saw on his Queens face and tried to remind him that he has matters of state to concern himself with now.
"It does, she could give us some insights that the supernatural and underworlds may know answers to, that we may miss in this flesh realms." He paused for a moment as he watched the Greek Hoplites train as his soldiers watch on and conversed to each other.
"We should also begin to learn best how to use our combined forces as one unit and have our men become use to each other, Alexipolis."
He nodded at his words and stretched his neck till it cracked then looked at the man next to him out of the corner of his eyes, then out at his men.
"I can see by you and your men that you are not heavy infantry and I have yet to hear of any Egyptian heavy armor. So I can assume that you and your men are skirmishers. Do you have horses with you?" He asked as he sits down laying his helm and shield on the ground besides him and then patted the ground next to him.
Kamenwati nodded and grinned as he sat and leaned back to his elbows.
"Yes we have twenty horses with us. We have fifty men with us. We all can ride and shoot from horse back or chariot if need be. We have a dedicated ten archers with us and the rest can use a bow with proficiency. We generally will use our archers first, either direct contact or use our horsemen to draw out units then ambush them with the archers then send in the skirmishers to finish them off. Or use guerrilla tactics by quick light attacks, moving in hitting them then moving off quickly."
"Interesting indeed. We have something like that they are called Hypaspist. They are our light infantry and usually lighter armored too. Mostly they are javelin throwers with smaller shields. We use them to pull the enemy out so that our phalanx can move and cut them off. This could be an interesting mix if force of arms is needed."
"Indeed. We will need to think of ways to use them to the best of our combined arms. Tonight we should have an informal and impromptu party to allow our men to introduce themselves to each other, and then tomorrow we will have to prepare for our quest. Along the way we will have the time to begin to think of battle tactics, steward." The Egyptian regent said as he watched the clouds drift overhead.
"We should have our captains meet and begin to learn each other" Alexipolis replied then raised his cupped hands to his lips and called forth to his captains to him.
Kamenwati echoed the call and watched his captains run to him. The two lords stood as the soldiers came up and around them. Forming into two groups on the sides of their lords. The two sides stood there for a moment simply studying one another. Alexipolis proceeded to introduce himself and then his captains Xenippos and Andrippos. Kamenwati and the three other Egyptians nodded to the Greeks each in turn.
The first man stepped forward and nodded slightly. He was about the same size as Xenippos, though he was larger then him but not by much. He had a shaved head with a copper headband with a relief of a large cat leaping with many small studs around the rest of the band. He had the shoulder bands of the Egyptian military of branded strips of copper, wicker and gold. On his large arms were bands of gold with copper cobras that wrapped twice around the arm. Two large copper plated belts crisscrossed around his waist, where a two-foot long sword hangs. On his back hangs a large ax, with a pole that is almost like an S with a half oval copper blade that was attached to the shaft in two places. A black kilt hangs down to his mid thighs, while a second kilt hangs over the first one and is plated strips of leather and copper that comes around but doesn't enclose his leg but is instead a few inches opened in the front. On his shins and forearms are copper and gold guards strapped with black leather bands. Kohl lined eyes studied him, though it was hard to tell which was darker.
"I am Nomti, captain of the NebiMdjai, and head of the sword and spear skirmishers." His voice was cavernous and gravely.
The next man then stepped forward; he had a medium build, though he bore the large and immensely defined forearms that cried student of archery. He wore the Egyptian headdress of draped cloth over a headband of gold. He had almost the same shoulder band as did Nomti, but the coloring was darker. Upon his left hip was a large quiver of arrows and a one-foot straight bladed sword. On his right hip was a small gold dagger. A large composite bow was strapped to back. On his upper arms were two bands of silver studded bands. He wore copper and leather guards on his forearms. Engraved on them were the pictures of Anubis with an eclipsed moon behind him. He wore the same kilt as Nomti. He did not wear shin guards but sandals with straps that wrapped up to his calves. He had brown eyes that where lined with kohl also.
"I am Akhom, captain of the archers. And priest of Anubis." He spoke in a soft and low voice. His words measured and sure while his eyes seem to take everything in around him.
The third Egyptian was a slender and sleek woman. Though the coldness in her eyes didn't make any of the Greeks mistake her for a simple woman. Her hair was pulled tightly back and had many bronze clips holding it in close. Her hair was tightly braided into several braids that intertwined down her back. She wore the same shoulder bands of her fellows. A band of leather and bronze held her breasts tightly to her chest that was embedded with ebony in the bronze was the winged goddess Isis. She wore the same pleated kilt as the other men. She bore the same bronze bracers and greaves. At her hip was a long wickedly curved dagger, it's scabbard intricately engraved. On her back she wore twin slender two-foot long straight blades. On her upper arms were bands of gold with sliver inlay of a bird of prey in flight. The same inlay was also upon her greaves and bracers. She stepped forward and lowered her head in the same manner of the other men.
"I am Amisi, captain of the Calvary, and niece of Ramsey the Great, granddaughter of Isis and princess of Egypt." Her voice was soft and rough. Soft in a woman's way but accustomed to barking out commands in the pitch of battle.
Alexipolis leads his captains in a bow to his new comrades in arms. He stood up and looks over the others before him, pauses a moment as a soft gust of wind whispers in from the sea and then smiled boldly.
"Now that we know each other lets us go and drink to our healths and to that of the Gods!”
With that he led both the Egyptians and Greeks up to the palace and to a celebration of hearty drinking and eating for the up coming travels.