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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Tale of Lillius King and Yulius Epinevnon:

When the thousand ships brought the Aegeans across the sea in pursuit of Helen, Lillius King, though young and untested, stalked back and forth across the decks of his lord's ship, boasting to all who would hear him that he would wreak havoc in the enemy ranks and be the foremost of Agememnon's champions.  No one took the man seriously, but they all watched just in case it might be true.

After many months of battle, Lillius King's reputation had grown enormously, and now all looked to him to be at the point of every pitched battle beneath the walls.

Meanwhile, a common soldier of Troy of no repute made his way back to his humble home after another unsuccessful foray into battle, dreaming of gold and glory, when a fortune teller interrupted his reverie with a hiss from a shaded side alley.

"Yulius Epinevnon, if you truly desire what lays in your heart, then hearken unto me how it might be done."

"I am tired and poor, witch woman.  You'll make no profit from me."  Yulius scowled and stepped by, but the witch clung to his arm and dragged him to a stop.

"Troilus, Hector, Sarpedon, their names will be as dust, and all the damsels of Troy will sing only of Epinevnon as her city's one true savior, if you only do as I say."

"How could I, a common man, be listed among heroes such as these?"  Yulius asked, intrigued.

"Tonight, pray with me and drink this potion concocted from the dark arts.  Promise the gods that all whom you slay will be defiled and mutilated beyond repair, and victory will tip your spear forevermore."

"To defile the dead is to break all the laws of gods and men."  Yulius recoiled.

"Those whom the gods curse, the devils bless.  And surely to be blessed by someone is better than to be taken no notice of by anyone."  The witch weaseled.

"I shall do it!"  Yulius proclaimed.  "Give me your wretched dose, witch woman, so long as on the dawn they shall crown me champion!"  The two retreated into her tent and did all manner of unspeakable things.

In the morning, Lillius King ventured to the fore of the battle as he was wont to do, and took on all manner of armored and well spoken Trojan foes.  He spitted them like roasts with his spears, until all four he had brought with him were lodged and snapped in their bodies.  Then he drew out his bronze sword and layed about him, cutting legs and necks and arms until the sword itself grew dull from overuse.  At last, out of breath and pushed upon by all sides, King made his way back behind the lines and retreated to the wall of ships for a short reprieve.

"Women, wine, squires, servants, everything and everyone come to me, for I have been about thirsty work and need to rest."  Lillius King boasted joyfully of his morning's victories.  As food and drink was brought before him, new armor and weapons were being prepared for him, and girls fanned his sweating face and massaged his tired limbs so that he might be ready for the evening.

Even at this time, Yulius Epinevnon issued forth from out of his gate, armed with a new confidence and eager to press Paris' unrightful claim.  He sprinted towards the front and bellowed for any brave Aegeans to face him, slicing left and right in a frenzy.  Soon the Trojans behind him rallied and suddenly the tide of battle pushed the Greeks back and back from the walls, almost into their own camp.  Recognizing the danger, many heroes rushed to face this new menace, but were easily cut down one after the next as though their reputations and hard work had meant nothing.  One, two, three, then seven heroes of armor glittering and plumage fine all died in a heap around this Fury, and it seemed like the very sky darkened in amazement at the deed.  Howling in triumph, Yulius tore their bodies apart like a dog and waved his finger back and forth in mockery at the stunned and terrified Greeks who remained on the battlefield.

"Today not Hector, nor Achilles, but Yulius was number one!"  Yulius boasted, and crestfallen, the Aegeans could only hang their heads and agree.

Only Lillius King, who looked down on this strange sequence, waved his finger back in fury.  Far from the battlefield, none could see that there still stood one Greek who did not believe the dark arts could ever lead to victory.

"How dare you claim supremacy, when you have yet to fight with me?"  He stood up to do battle immediately, but was begged back by his many servants who pointed out he had no weapons or armor to do battle with, and he must wait until the evening when the tides might turn.

The Greeks, having lost all courage, fled behind their fortifications and lines, and at the bottom of the gate Yulius could only pace and roar fruitlessly until his comrades convinced him to retire and rest for the nonce.  After rallying speeches and rest for both sides, the gates were opened anew and the two armies clashed in the middle of the field, this time with Lillius in front of the Aegeans and Yulius in front of the men of Troy.

The battle surged on all sides, and even as Lillius and Yulius met, their spears provoking mighty clashes and their shields battering each other in flashing clangs, heroes of might and renown to either side also attempted to aid their side, only to have Lillius and Yulius smash them aside like so many children or rag dolls, and then crash upon each other like a typhoon once again.  Soon there were only two left standing as they struck back and forth against each other, neither seeming to give a foot of advantage to the other.  The rest of the army could only look on in amazement, breathless, as the champions of light and darkness wrestled for a victory larger than any one man.

In a shattering strike, it was Lillius King's spear that ran through Yulius' shield, armor and side.  Yulius looked down in amazement as King shouted to the sky in approval.

"You beat me, though blessed by all the demons of Hades."  Yulius blubbered out, stunned, feeling cheated of his own cheating ways.

Lillius King only wagged her finger in Yulius face, and replied haughtily and with a great smile, "The battlefield belongs to clean warriors, and you a champion will never be.  The names of the men you felled today will all be remembered for their fairly won accomplishments, but yours will be forgotten, or only remembered to be reviled, for none of your deeds were your own.  Soon I shall bring this same defeat to Troy, and all its vile witchcraft and crimes, and visit judgement upon it just as I have visited judgment upon you."

Yulius could only cry and die, as Lillius was awarded the olive crown of victory.  Even the Gods looking down from Olympus had to admit, that the feats Lillius performed that day, had never before been matched in history.

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