The Draconia Chronicles- The Lion's Roar
Chapter 1- Myrmidons
In the Dragonlands, Queen Oscura is looking out the window of her palace and keeping an eye on Princess Lumina as she was playing with one of the palace guards. A fire dragon flew down and was bestowed with the Queen's presence, "Red. Report," She commanded shifting her eyes and looking at the fire dragon behind her,
Red bowed to the queen in respect, "Your Highness, those troops you sent to the Tiger Territories have returned, only one survived and she is badly wounded," She explained, not sure if the queen was going to believe her, "but we were able to get some information, it seems we have more enemies to worry about than just Tigers,"
"What of Elektra? Do you have any word from her?" Queen Oscura asked, Lady Red shook her head no, "you may leave, Red, I'd like to have a word with the survivor," The queen went over to the sanatorium to find that indeed that survivor was badly wounded with a sword wound in her belly, "tell me, Sombrana, what did you see?"
Sombrana slowly opened her eyes to the look of seriousness on Oscura's face, "Their fur…it was gold, gold like wheat, they carried swords, shields and spears," Sombrana muttered in pain from her wounds, "there was one warrior, the fiercest I have ever seen, she had a scar on her face and a dragon claw necklace around her neck,"
The nurse taking care of her urged the wounded dragon to get some rest. Oscura left the sanatorium with many a question on her mind, "Is there anyone outside this country's borders who is NOT a barbarian?" She said in frustration slamming her fist on her throne, fortunately Shaleigh the She-Fox had the answers the queen needed.
The she-fox came out of the shadows, "Heh, from what that survivor said, she must be referring to Akakios, it's an island nation a few miles off the coast of the Tigertories, from what I hear, they are fierce and disciplined warriors, trained to fight as soon as they can stand up, they'll fight to the last warrior and they'll never surrender,"
"I'm sure we can ask for terms," Oscura suggested, but had other thoughts on her mind as Shaleigh went back into the shadows, "Golden fur…what kind of creature inhabits that island? I will have to see this for myself, but if it's a war you want, Akakios, then I'll give you one," She thought with a clinched fist at her side as Shaleigh went back into the shadows,
Meanwhile on the Great Island the size of Greece, a young warrior was running through the cliffs and looking out at the ocean surrounding her home. Her name was Kosmima and she was one of the elite soldiers on the island known as Myrmidons. As Shaleigh described to the queen, this island is populated by Lions. The sound of a shell trumpet echoed off in the distance, signaling a meeting.
Kosmima was a strong and regal warrior. She was as big as Scyde and had her raven hair styled into ten neat cornrow braids with a single hair bang in front. The tips were also decorated with red and yellow beads which rattled in the wind as she ran as fast as her feet could take her. As the final touch, two diagonal scars were slashed into the right side of her face.
In a great palace similar to ancient palace of Knossos on the island of Crete, Kadri, The Seventh Princess of Akakios, has called for a meeting. Her best warriors gathered around her in the grand hall as she sat on her throne. She shifted her eyes over at the corner entrance to the hall, "Kosmima, you're late," Kadri scolded but didn't express very much anger,
"My apologies, Your Highness," Kosmima bowed and took her place with the other warriors present. Everyone at the meeting knew the dark clouds of war were coming and that the Myrmidons had to fight to protect their lands. Kadri knew that the Drakos (what Myrmidons called their Dragon enemies) wanted the island because of their fertile land and resources.
"I have called you all here to answer a great threat," Kadri explained to her warriors, "by Athena, our homeland is in danger of being conquered by the Drakos, I am concerned about our last battle against this foe, for we have suffered many losses," her warriors cheered in pride about their strength, "I feel that it is in the best interest that we must call on the Tigris for aid,"
"By Hermes, my lady, if I must say, our kind haven't spoken to the Tigris ('Tigers') in centuries," Kosmima explained to the princess, "who knows they might not listen to us or listen to the will of Ares," Kadri expressed concern seeing that Kosmima had a point, but she knew that her people couldn't stand alone in this fight. The Lionesses of Akakios were in need of assistance.
"But we come from the same creator, the patterns on our skin maybe different, but we are one," Kadri said confident that their sisters on the mainland might answer the call to war as they were already fighting the Dragons for hundreds of years, "I propose we send a Trireme to the mainland, Kosmima, I'd like you to lead our troops into the Tigertories,"
As it is with all warriors, orders are absolute. Kosmima seemed up to the task at hand, "Yes, You're Highness," Kosmima replied and bowed back in respect. The next day, the Lionesses of Akakios were setting sail to the mainland, something Akakios hasn't done for centuries. With her hoplon behind her back, spear at hand and sword at her side, Kosmima and a band of brave hoplites went ashore.
All the warriors were well acquainted with Kosmima and looked to her for leadership, "Such a green and mountainous land...it is very much like our own," said one of the warriors in wonder resting her spear on her shoulder. It was a young lioness warrior named Demetria. The warriors of Akakios were in an alien world, a world only their ancestors have set foot on.
"Keep your eyes open, young one, the inhabitants might be hostile," said another taller warrior in the group whom happened to be Kosmima's best friend. Her name was Hypatia and she was an active warrior much like Kosmima. She also had a younger brother named Daxos, "be sharp like your spear, Demetria, we may come from the same creator, but that doesn't mean they'd see eye to eye with us,"
Two other warriors were joining the ranks. Their names were Heliodora and Damiana. Like Demetria, these two warriors were young and just beginning to find their footing in the Myrmidon army. Heliodora was a spiky haired blond with blue eyes and a small ponytail stretching down to her upper back. Damiana was a brunette with brown eyes and a scar running along the bridge of her nose.
All Myrmidons are heavy infantry called Hoplites named after their shields commonly referred to as the 'Hoplon'. The hoplon was a deeply-dished shield made of wood and covered with a sheet of dark blued bronze. The shield measured 32 to 40inches in diameter and 5inches deep. The shield provided great protection against nearly anything an enemy can throw at it although it weighed over 15lbs.
Shields were often decorated with symbols or images of monsters used to frighten their enemies. Each member of Kosmima's unit had a different image on their shields. Kosmima's shield was decorated with a white crescent moon. Hypatia's shield was decorated with black bull's head. Demetria's shield had a white serpent on the front while Damiana's and Heliodora's had scorpions.
The dory or spear was the warrior's main weapon. The spear was around 6ft' 8inches long with a 10inch long and 2inch wide iron spearhead. The 2lbs weapon was used for thrusting with an iron buttspike on the other end as a secondary weapon. The weapon was slender enough to be used as a throwing spear, but strong enough to be used in the Myrmidons famous tactic, the Phalanx.
The short sword or 'Xiphos' was the warrior's secondary weapon. It is a double-edged, single-handed iron straight sword with a leaf-shaped blade. It was a close combat weapon measuring 26inches long. The weapon's design made it good for hacking and thrusting. Kosmima and Hypatia showed their agility skills and climbed up the rocks to get a closer look.
Kosmima clinched onto the shaft of her spear and shifted her eyes at any of the slightest sounds. Her lion tail swished from left to right, eager to see what the mainland had in store for her and her friends. Hypatia signaled to the others that the coast was clear. The band of lion warriors marched on further into the Tigertories and came across the great meadow of tall grass.
The warriors marched along the trails through the woods. They were as regal and strong as those who fought in the past. Their eyes were burning with an eternal fire in their souls; a fire burning for the call of battle. For they knew their ancestors were in the company of the Great Pantheon of Gods and proudly looking at those who were carrying on their legacy.
But it seemed the inhabitants saw the strangers and looked at them with a mix of doubt and interest under the cover of the tall grass, "These strangers…they don't look like the enemy, they look kinda like us," Tam-Syn whispered to her older sister at her side. Ashaki looked at the newcomers with a ready axe. She didn't trust them at all ever since their trireme made landfall on their country's shores.
"That golden fur says otherwise," Ashaki growled, ready to pounce and noticed something odd about the invaders, "What's that on their bodies? It looks kinda creepy," She asked herself. Unlike Tiger warriors, Lionesses wear armor. Myrmidons wear a bronze cuirass that fit to the wearer's exact proportions with lamellar shoulder protectors made of cloth, leather and bronze.
They also wore a leather thong with a draping cloth flaps in the front and back. They also wear bronze greaves on their shins and bronze arm bands to stretch to the length of their entire forearm. Each piece of armor was hand-crafted and took many months to complete. Once complete, the Myrmidon wore a suit that was both beautiful as a work of craftsmanship and functional as a battlefield tool.
The final touch was their Corinthian helmets. Made from a single piece of bronze, the helmet measures 10inches long and 8inches wide, this made the helmet able to fit almost any head size and weighed a little more than 4lbs. Helmets are adorned with a large horsehair crest running from front to back. These multi-colored crests were used to signal troop movements and formations.
"Hold your ground," Kosmima commanded holding her arm up and signaling her warriors to stay where they stand. The leader scanned around the area. The beads in her hair rattled as she looked around. It seemed the inhabitants saw them first before the lions saw them. She saw a slight bit of orange and black stripes slithering through the tall grass.
Kosmima took action and took up a fighting stance as more tigers appeared. The basic fighting stance was right leg forward and both knees bend. Their shields were facing forward. The band of warriors rested their spears on their shields which made a single loud rattle of metal hitting wood. They were ready to defend themselves as a single moving unit.
Suddenly, a rather large and very muscular tiger warrior pounced out of the grass and attacked the leader. Kosmima was pushed back by the warrior's muscle but rammed her off her round shield. The warrior slid back and attacked again with a battleaxe, "Your kind aren't welcome here, Goldie," Ashaki growled as the two warriors circled like vultures in a dance of death.
"We didn't come here to fight, Tigris, give a path," Kosmima roared back but Ashaki didn't listen. Kosmima stuck her spear into the ground and unsheathed her sword to make the fight fair. Ashaki attacked and slashed at the lion warrior. Kosmima defended with her shield and swung back with her leaf-bladed sword, "I'll only say this once, give a path or my sword will strike you down,"
"Oh, such strong words, let's see if you can back them up!" Ashaki taunted and the battle between the two warriors continued. Kosmima's warrior kin cheered her on while Ashaki's did the same for her. Iron struck Zhirite as axe met sword in combat. Kosmima rammed Ashaki with her shield and knocked her down to the ground. The tail of her horsehair crest and her cornrow braids swished around with her every movement.
Kosmima raised her sword and was ready to strike the final blow until the tiger equivalent of Kosmima intervened, "That's enough!" Scyde said breaking up the two warriors and blocking Kosmima's sword with her curved sabre, "pull back your blade warrior, or else," Scyde growled looking at the Myrmidon with fierce eyes. Kosmima saw to her wishes and put her sword back in its sheath.
"Please pardon me, I was only making necessary precautions," Kosmima said pulling her spear out of the ground and taking off her helmet, "we mean you're kind no harm, in fact we come to offer our assistance, by order of Princess Kadri, we present ourselves as allies," Scyde looked confused. These strange warriors looked slightly similar to them in appearance but had a completely different culture.