The Gathering

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Chapter 33

Back at the village, everyone was still reeling from what happened. Margret helped the elders remove the dead bodies and place them outside. In the main hall, the rest of the heroes were stuck formulating how to save the mage. Avalon was starting to lose his patience.

“Dammit, all. It’s no use. We cannot have a direct assault on the castle without jeopardizing the mage’s life.”

“We are running out of options, Avalon. We need to decide now,” said Decimus. As everyone deliberated and argue, Cynbel heard a commotion coming from outside the great hall.

“Guys, quiet. I hear something,” she said. The noise soon gets louder, and it almost sounded like cheering. Just then, the doors opened, and emerging was Amyntas and Richard, arm in arm. Everyone was shocked.

As the two humans walked over, the Spartan handed Richard over to Mori and Kanatakon: ha. Cynbel suddenly wrapped her arms around the spartan, hugged him tightly.

“I thought you were dead,” she said. Amyntas could hear the sorrow in her voice.

“Spartans don’t die. Just missing,” joked Amyntas. She playfully punched him in the arm and went about greeting his friends once again. After that, everyone turned their attention to Richard. Decimus had a hand on his sword, but Amyntas then told him to let go.

“He betrayed us,” said Decimus.

“I know,”

“Then why do you spare him?” asked the Roman. The spartan answered with a question.

“Why did you guys spare Mori and Sparrow?” Decimus could say nothing. Tyra then spoke up.

“Because we gave them another chance,” she said. Amyntas nods his head in agreement.

“I understand what we are all feeling, but right now is time to put aside past feelings and focus on the present. Right now, we need all of us to work together.”

Everyone was moved by the Spartan’s blunt but truthful words. With the seven together and reforged, they went about discussing their next plan. Avalon told Amyntas that they could assault the castle; however, they would need to have the element of surprise and deception on their side. Just then, an idea pops in the spartan’s head, and it involved Richard.

“Richard, is it safe to say that Kairos still believes you and your friends work for him?”

“Yes, I think so? Why?”

“I think I might have a way for us to get inside the castle, free the mage and let our forces in.”

“How?” asked Mori.

“The way I see it, we are the only ones that know Ares is dead. I doubt Kairos has discovered this. Here’s my plan. You and your friends will ride out to the castle and present Kairos the stone. If he asks why the wait, explain what happened in the arena, and tell him about the dragons. I’m sure that he’ll buy that.”

“What if he asks for proof?” The Spartan pulls out a cured claw and hands it to Richard.

“A gift from our savior. Anywho, once you meet him, he’ll ask for the stone. You cannot give him the stone until you ask for the mage. Give your reasons, but do nothing until you get the mage.”

“Where will you all be?” asked Mori.

“With you guys. We’ll wear soldier armor and act as guards accompanying you guys. As for Avalon and Vortiger, they will be waiting with the rest of the army for our signal.”

“What is the signal?” inquired Avalon.

“You’ll know when you see it. Any questions.”

“Since I take it we will not be using the real stone, how will we bait him?” Amyntas explained that they would use the gemstones given to them by Avalon and merge them into a “fake” moonstone.

“One other thing, are we taking Margret with us?” Amyntas nods his head. It was dangerous her in such a position; however, they did not have any other choice. After much discussion, they agree to Amyntas’s plan. Richard then spoke up.

“Just so we understand, you plan hinges off the success of Kairos believe any words I say, and that we get the mage out alive, and kill the tyrant?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Good, no pressure,” said Richard. Just then, the villagers enter the great hall. Margret, the elders, hell, everyone hears Amyntas plan. Soon, all the attention was on him now.

The young Spartan looked around. He saw the look in everyone’s eyes, a feeling of loss and despair, and the same emotion felt by the people of Sparta after losing their king. Breathing heavily, he began to speak.

“I understand you are all scared. You have been under the heel of a ruthless man for many years and have seen champions fall beneath him. He believes he can just do as he wishes and suffer no consequence,” Amyntas pauses. “Well, I think it’s time we send him a message of our own. At dawn, we ride out to face this enemy once and for all.”

He could the expressions on the people’s faces change. The young Spartan continued speaking.

“Tonight, we free this land from oppression and false idolatry, and bring about an era unlike any have ever seen.” His voice grew louder with every sentence he spoke. Each filled the passion and courage to face such an enemy.

“One way or another, even if we die, this tyranny will end today!”

The villagers let out a roaring cry of courage into the night. Their spirits have been lifted and renewed. Finally, their champions had come home. After the speech, Amyntas and the others went to get their gear in the stables.

The older soldiers patted the young Spartan on the back for his speech and rallying the people. Cynbel poked fun at him and said that he would make a great politician. The Spartan laughed and went to his gear when he realized they were gone. He searched all around but could not find his armor, his sword, his helmet, but most importantly, his shield.

“Is anyone else missing supplies,” said the Spartan. Then others began checking for their supplies, and they too could not find them.

“Where are they,” inquired Cynbel. Just then, they heard footsteps coming from behind. They all turn and see the elders once more, this time holding large bundles. The Spartan approached the elder.

“What happened to our supplies?” said Decimus

“We destroyed them,” One of the elders replied in a casual tone. Amyntas and everyone else eyes widen with shock. How were they going to fight without any weapons or armor?

Before any of them had a chance to say something, the elders place the blankets on the floor and revealed new weapons and armor forged by the local blacksmiths in the village.

“While you were giving your speech, we asked our smiths to dismantle and reforge your armor and weapons with Nyron into superior versions of them. These will allow you to face Kairos and the pantheon without fear.”

No one could believe what they saw before them. In front of them were items that would not be invented for several years in their times. As they each get their supplies, the elders wished for them to put them on. They each looked at each other and went to different stables to change. After a few minutes, all the heroes were wearing their new armor and brandishing their new weapons.

“Well, how do you all feel,” said one of the elders. Amyntas turned around looked entirely different. He now was covered from head to toe in bronze. On his head, he wore a Corinthian helmet, the template for all Greek helmets. For his chest, he wore a Cuirass Musculata which was a single sheet of bronze hammered and tempered form the developed bodies of Spartan soldiers.

Bracers and leg protectors protected his arms and legs. His shield, an Aspis, was brought back to its full glory. As for his sword, his xiphos was now a Kopis, a one-handed single-edged curved-forward blade made famous by the future ruler of Greece, Alexander the Great.

Now he felt like a proper Spartan. Though trained not to show emotion, the young soldier could not help but shed a few tears. He had never received such a gift before.

“You look like a proper soldier now,” said Decimus. Amyntas looks and sees Decimus was different as well. The elder Roman wore a lorica segmentata, steel armor that protected the shoulder and torso. The chest protector, made of iron strips and held leather straps on the inside, glisten. He also had metal bracers protecting his forearms and his greaves for his legs.

Also, the Roman now spotted an Imperial Gallic helmet, something that would not be invented for several hundred years. The helmet had a deep neck guard, brow guard, and cheekpieces to protect the wearer’s face.

His sword and dagger sharpened to perfection with both handles now made of bone instead of wood. Like the Spartan, he also brandished a shield, a rectangular/semi-cylinder shield called the Scutum. The aging Roman could not help but admire the way he looked, and he also saw the passing glances of one Tyra looking his way.

As for the others, many looked the same, while others were vastly different. Cynbel had a leather tunic and pants with a sash wrapped around her waist. Various animal bones decorate her clothes. A dagger was sheathed behind her back along with a pouch and her second weapon, a bearded ax. On her head, she wore a metal headband.

For Tyra, the shieldmaiden was covered in a mixture of leather, animal pelts, and chain mail. The chain mail also wrapped her arms, chest, and hips, with a horn hanging off the backside of her waist. Her helmet had a full faceplate. Her weapon of choice was the classic Viking long sword and shield.

As for Richard, the English knight turned mercenary; his armor was improving his old garbs. His new armor was a set of interwoven metal plates over chain mail, topped by a visored barbuta helmet made to protect against a stray arrow or blade strike. The partial plate is segmented along the torso, arm, and leg joints to provide great dexterity while still granting plenty of protection in battle. In addition to his new armor, he was given a new sword, the sword of Joan of Arc. He has also bestowed two new crossbows, each with armor-piercing tips and iron bolt heads.

Mori was very much the same, now resembling a real samurai. His armor was composed of lacquered wood and metal covering most of the body with worn leather, chain mail, and cloth underneath. He wore a traditional kabuto helmet, and his gray mempo was simplistic and covered their mouth and nose. His katana was reformed into two dual katana’s. His, along with Kanatakon: ha flint weapons, were upgraded into bolt action rifles, allowing them more rounds.

Speaking of which, Kanatakon: ha looked very much the same, with the exception to a new war lance, new arrow types, and a more durable tomahawk and knife.

Together, the seven heroes transformed into warriors of legend. Each felt a sense of pride within them. Now they had a chance against Kairos. Before riding off, Margaret enters the barn wearing her suit of armor.

“What are your wearing?” said the Roman. The professor puffed out her chest.

“What, do you have a problem with women wearing armor?”

The Roman stepped off his mount. “I do not have a problem with women wearing armor; why are you wearing armor?”

The professor then tells everyone that she wishes to join them in the fight. Before they could interject, Avalon stepped in.

“I will keep her safe. She will be with Vortiger and me, and the rest of the army, when you give the signal, you have my word.”

“Alright, Avalon. But remember, she is your responsibility, and she must be out of harm’s Way until Kairos is weak enough to use the stone. Now enough talking, we ride.” The seven, along with Avalon, Vortiger, and Marget, saddle up and ride out the village with everyone agreeing.

Surprisingly, as they exited the village, they were greeted by the entire Wendigo army. Amyntas asked how they got here so quickly. One praetorian explained that when he and Richard had arrived back at the village, Lord Avalon sent out a quiet signal, ordering all of them to arrive at the village with haste.

The spartan turned to look at Avalon, who simply smiled and shrugged. Now with an army in hand, they ride out towards Castle Olympus.

Just as he said, one way or another, this ends today.

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