Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hegemon Book 5 The Humbling of Ideomenus

Agamemon’s diplomacy and strength allowed most of the Hellenes to accept his authority, the Aegeans of the mainland and the Ionians of the Asian coast. Even the wild Thraaki, who were not strictly Hellenes, paid him tribute in horses and barley, but one land that did not was the island of Crete.

For Crete was ruled by the arrogant king Ideomenus of the House of Minos. In the time of Minos, it was the mainland Greeks who paid tribue to this island’s great navy. Though Ideomenus was not as powerful as my brother, he thought it was impossible for the Mycannaens to attack. Surely, the formidable Cretan navy and the island’s geography was protection enough. Ideomenus also housed several pirate bands who looked to him for leadership and did not follow the sanctions of Agamemnon. In war, they would follow his lead to a bitter end.

As long as Crete did not bow down to his will, Agamemnon could never truly be High King of the Hellenes. The bard Homer sang praises to the House of Minos. Did the existence of a Minotaur not show the Minos was the favorite of the gods? Was the labyrinth not the wonder of the Greek world? Even the Athenian hero Theseus himself hath come to this land subservient to the great Minos himself. As heir to the famous king, Ideomenus felt it was he, not Agamemnon, who should be recognized as High King.

But the king of Ithaca hated Ideomenus, and Oddyseus son of Laertes was dangerous man with the mind of steel and it was hi who offered to help Mycananeans crush Crete. The Cretan navy and the pirates sought to block the Straits, but Oddyseus used the fog to maneuver past them. Our fleet stormed the pirate ships and killed many in combat. Many pirates fell to the sword of Agurois in that battle.

Soon, the Mycannaen army landed on the island of Crete and besieged the capital city of Knossos, where Minos himself hath once ruled. Ideomenus knew he was defeated, so he sued for peace and sought the protection of Agamemnon. The victory was a glorious moment, and Ideomenus, like other rival kings before him, pledged to follow my brother to the ends of the earth. The campaign made an important man of Oddyseus and cemented my brother’s influence in the Greek world. Now, we had a great navy to impose our will upon Asia itself.

Oddyseus, son of Laertes, was the weakest of the kings, but his mind was the sharpest and none were his peers in seafaring. The great Cretan fleet was absorbed into that of the Greek alliance, and Oddyseus was made admiral. In this manner, the Hellenic Alliance became a force to reckon with.

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