An Oracle's Prophecy (Citizen of worlds & Vacyr)

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  1. Divination! An important aspect to Greek life, seen as a priest or priestess, these men and women were a mediator to and from the wishes of the gods on Mount Olympus. Questions were answered and the wishes of the Gods and Goddesses given through deep connections between mortals and their God counterparts. A specific time, place, and person were needed. Some were just a ravings and others had been divine inspirations. Many were loathed and many were celebrated. It took plenty of time and concentration when revealing bad news for it would shake whole towns and threaten to topple the world as they knew it as a whole. One thing was certain for these Oracles: death is natural and a part of life. They took what they saw and just passed it through Greece.

    So one morning, as the legend goes, one oracle sitting as his temple connected with a real problem. In his meditative state, he saw the world, his Greece, being destroyed by Giants and Titans, chaos ensuing and eating up the world as they know it. Shocked and disturbed, he lit more fires in his temple upon a hill and breathed in more herbs, wishing to find a resolution to this destruction. Finding his answer took weeks but soon enough, the images in his mind started to formulate.

    "Unless the wind, blown by the once mortal God and his four followers, blasts in the right direction with the help of the one who holds his heart, the world shall know only chaotic darkness." Is what he would preach in the cities, countryside and wherever his travels took him. Needing to spread the word across the city-states of Greece. If this man should die, the common people would hear his preached word and spread his prophecy. For no one in their right mind would let the world fall into darkness. Today, the known world is hardly explored. Men conquer all the land they can, the Greeks spreading across their peninsula, finding trouble to the East and West. Not only wars but also environmental troubles for the world, day by day, becomes darker and darker. Crime is high and greed is hot. Not even the philosophers can keep the men and women together. Something in the air has been staling as the years progress and most people think it's just going to get worse without the god and goddesses assistance.

    Aeolus, hearing one of these prophecies in the arts influenced city of Athens, only shakes his head. Moving through the mass of vendors, he hardly listens to what the gray haired man with a crooked cane has to say. To him there were Oracles who resided in crafted temples and then there were brainless fools who stalked the street. Looking up at the sky, all he sees are the tops of temples and ivory or marble. Strong, smooth, and glittering in the summer light. Being about twenty years old, his form is growing in quite well from his time in the sun and on the estate his family owns. Today, he roams around town, searching to find any fun he can manage. For now, his head is up, hardly looking where he is going. Outside of town resides towering mountains of the north and even more to its center. The south is a plateau, fingers stretching out into the Mediterranean Sea. The Persian War rages on, Aeolus well on his way training as a soldier but luckily he has yet been deployed. However, his heart his unsteady and he knows that any day, he will be sent to assist on the great battlefields.
    #1 Vacyr, May 25, 2013
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  2. "Corinna, help me pick olives!"
    The 19 year old Corinna sighs as she gets up from the stool to help Irene, her mother, who is waiting outside. Life in the farm is quite difficult, especially when the males of the family are either in the city or traveling to sell various Athenian goods to the neighboring polis. They leave the women to do the job of keeping the farm in good condition; there was not much land that can be used for farming.
    "Mother, when are they coming back?" Corinna asks as she grabs a hat and a basket.
    "They will be here soon," Irene replies as they head to the olives. They pick olives in silence, and they decide to rest under the olive tree after they have filled up their baskets.
    "We need to go to the temple today to offer to Demeter, you know. We need to ask for her guidance in the harvest," her mother says. "Come on, we do not want to be stuck in the agora like last time."
    They walk in silence as they bring the heavy baskets back to the house. Since they were going to the city, Corinna could not help but feel excitement. She wanted to experience something unusual and exciting today. They were going to the city, after all, and anything can happen there.
    They dress up in their best clothes and make their way to the city of Athens, which was not too far away. Corinna knew a few people in the city, and she could not remember how she met them in the first place, but what mattered was that she had some sort of connection to the city in case they needed anything.
    They pass through the agora, which is quite busy now, and weave their way through the crowd to get to Demeter's temple. They perform the ritual along with several others, and after offering their best fruits, they head to the agora.
    "Go buy something you want," Irene says, handing Corinna some drachmas. "It is my gift to you for all the work you have done. I will just get us more clothes and food."
    "Thank you mother," she says as she makes her way to the side where jewelry was sold. She goes through each stall until she finds a simple and cheap bracelet to her liking. After buying the bracelet, she heads to the side where people were discussing matters on religion and politics. There was one particular discussion, however, that seemed to be intense. She walks close and listens as an old man with a crooked cane said something about a prophecy.
    "That is silly!" a young man exclaims, "how is it possible that a mortal would suddenly become a god?"
    "You have to believe the prophecy, even though it does not make sense just yet!" the old man replies. "Unless the wind, blown by the once mortal God and his four followers, blasts in the right direction with the help of the one who holds his heart, the world shall know only chaotic darkness."
    'Well, that is interesting,' she thinks, 'but I have to go to mother. She might worry.'
    In a rush to look for Irene, she turns around and accidentally hits a man, who didn't seem to be too mindful of his surroundings.
    "I am so sorry!" she apologizes, suddenly stopping as she recognizes his face. Where has she seen him before? Was it he who visited them in the field when he had business things to talk about with her older brother? She could not remember clearly. "You are Aeolus, yes? I think we have met before, but I do not remember how... Does the name Corinna ring a bell?"
    'He looks very familiar,' she thinks, trying to remember how she came to know him.
  3. Every morning, Aeolus rises before dawn, the safety of the stars guiding him. No matter the weather, rain, a soft sprinkle of snow, or chilling wind, he always forces himself out of bed. Making his way out of the U-shaped stone buildings with the servant quarters nearby across the inner courtyard. Having the rocky surface of the staircase mountainside where his family's pavilion plants their grapes down to the evergreen shrubs growing around their boundary lines. The succulent grapes grow a bright green in the ripe months of the season, blanketing the sloping surface, becoming a true marvel in the setting sun. What Aeolus loves the most though, is the autumn season for then the trees will ripen and smooth bark will be a sufficient for Aeolus to lean his back against after days of working in the grain fields.

    Not worrying about his tasks for the day, knowing they're all done, Aeolus lets his daydreams commence. That man -does- have a point though. How can a simple man, let's say just a hard working man, nothing special, becomes one of them? His eyes move up to a temple in it's unworldly elegance. Even though Aeolus lives close to the city, an easy morning ride by horse into town, it's still an honor to be in such a whirl of life. He is used to quiet, rolling fields, only the wind and the beat of his heart to help him. Not knowing his heritage, Aeolus had been welcomed into open arms by a quiet farmer and his dedicated wife who tends her own gardens surrounding the house. But still, he feels closer to the world when this black haired man is alone. A strange sensation trickles up his spine whenever the warm or cold wind wraps its enlightened arms around him. He can't help but feel as though his life will hold great purpose if he just sits and listens.

    A warm weight pushes up against his bare arms, the linen chiton pinned at his shoulders with knotted brooches. Immediately, the sun in his eyes, he reaches out for the shadowed form he bumped into. Shaking his head, his hands grip her biceps, not wishing for her to completely topple over. Most of the commoners hardly notice. There is so much bustling around them, screaming venders, clattering hooves, bickering or conversing commoners. Smiling down to her, he is nearly a head taller, the black hair pushed back by his silver headband. What remains the same though are his eyes, even though his hair was shorter when he visited her home. They're green unlike his parents' who are brown and blue.

    "Corinna?" His eyes narrow, not out of anger but one of concentration and deep thought, "No, no, no, don't apologize. It was my fault you see, I was looking at the stone architecture above the pathway instead of actually -looking- down where my eyes should be." Smiling, his concentration does him well, remembering seeing her across the fields. He did think her beautiful, his thoughts only amplified now that he studies her so close. Talking to her brother all those weeks ago, the two of them have decided to make a consortium. If one farm should be in turmoil, their neighbors stepping in to assist in any way they can. Aeolus' farm has had trouble this past season from the unnatural heat and sticking humidity, making the air dance around Greece as if it were velvet. "But your name does seem to ring a bell. You live by the crescent lake to the northeast of here, don't you? I believe we have met briefly when your elder brother and I were discussing business, yes?"
  4. Corinna blushes in embarrassment as she is steadied by Aeolus, but sighs in relief as she got his name right. She was ashamed for her weakness with remembering names. It's a miracle she remembers his name even though they were merely introduced to one another by her brother.
    "Well, I am not surprised," she says, turning her head to the temple he was looking at. "Their structures truly reflect the splendor of the heavens." She tilts her head to look up at him, and her brown eyes gazing into his green ones; he's a head taller than her and she feels small and fragile next to him. "I didn't expect to see you here, to be honest," she admits, knowing how busy a man like him can be. "Are you on your way to a temple?"
    A gust of wind blows in their direction, messing her neatly-tied brown hair. She brushes it away from her face, slightly thankful for the cool breeze in this hot day.
    She nods at his question. "Yes, I live there, and I only remember Athanas introducing us to one another just before you left."
    Irene finishes buying and she sees her daughter talking to a very familiar man.
    "Aeolus!" she greets. "It is good to see you here! How are you, how is your farm, how are your parents?" she asks at once. 'He is a good man,' she thinks, remembering the time he and Anathos agreed to help one another with the farms if needed. She glances at her daughter, who was looking up at him with red cheeks. The heat is starting to become quite unbearable in these parts of Greece; she thought that maybe that was the cause for her daughter's red cheeks.
  5. "I am glad you think so highly of these lofty structures for many men and women," gesturing to the common folk shuffling around one another in this flock of a marketplace, "just brush past, not giving a second glance or even a first one for that matter. The carvings are so fine and detailed, it really makes you ponder on the splendor of the gods." Moving his eyes back down to the street, he sees stalls suffocating the winding lots. All the vendors are attempting to sell what they have to offer at what they think is a fit price. Aeolus has learned through his weekly visits into town that not everything you see is genuine. There has been jugs that are cracking on the inside sold for a monumental price, vases where the paint is wiped clean off after a single year of exposure to the elements. Turning his attention back to Corinna, he notes her blush, causing him to grin before giving her space between them to breathe. It is a step of admiration for the temple and respect for Corinna's personal space for he doesn't wish to cause unease.

    Shrugging his shoulders and fixing his brooch, he answers her question in a soft tone, "It's comforting to know that one can still find some company in these clamoring streets. To be honest, it still makes me wonder why we don't see more of one another since we live close enough but not too close. You know my father's estate is pretty wide and it would take an hour to walk over to yours, yes? But anyway, the temple. No, I was not planning on heading that way. I'm just admiring the--" the gust of wind wraps around him and he swears he hears a whisper in his ear. Go with her. It tells him and his whole body stiffens as a result, his eyes searching around for any kids playing pranks. Not finding any, he looks back to her brown eyes. "-- city. But I can join you," her mother comes up to the two, greet him with her usual wide smile.

    "Ah, my dear Irene." bowing low to the ground, he respects her and her husband greatly. He has, many times, offered her a ride to town in his cart of surplus grain or fruits that would go rotten or be useless as the seasons drew to a close. On those rides, he would hear many tales of Corinna and her family but he always politely declined invitations to her estate, knowing his parents require his assistance. "It is great to see your smiling face once more, lady." keeping his focus on the mother, he takes his chances for glancing at Corinna, repeating his question from before, "Would you mind me joining you to the temple? I best pay my respects too for the harvest," patting his bag, inside lies some of his families offerings for he was going to eat it for an early dinner. "The farm is doing..." he thinks of lying and saying it's fine but it's really suffering from the scolding heat. "Well, we're doing our best in the heat. Our crops are faltering though. I had to dig more trenches for irrigation to try and get the water flowing to the outer rim of our land. At least my parent's are in good health. My brother is still ... away and I hate to admit that I'll be joining the army soon as well. Do my part for Athens. How is your husband and yourself?"
  6. Corinna sighs as she keeps the hair away from her face. "Oh, you know how hard it is to stay away from the farm, especially when the males are not around. I have not visited this place lately, so it is a relief to have a break for a little while. And about the temple, we actually came from there, but..." She suddenly remembers that she brought something on her way here and smacks her palm on her forehead. "Oh, the basket! I left something in the temple, and since you are going there anyway, we can go together!" She smiles up at him as she hears her mother, and she turns to her to listen.

    Irene laughs a little as she watches Aeolus bow. "My goodness, you do not need to bow! I think I need to bow to you, you know!" When asked about joining them to the temple, she sighs and faces Corinna. "You left the basket, I see."
    "Sorry, mother," Corinna apologizes with a small smile. "I guess I got carried away by the sights and smells in the agora..."
    "Oh, alright then." Irene faces Aeolus, listening as he tells her about their farm. "I know, it is getting really hot! It has not rained in a while and the lack of wind sometimes does not motivate us to work in the fields."
    They begin to walk as she continues to speak. "My husband is still trading with Anathos, I suppose they are doing alright. I just hope they come home safely soon so that they can help us with the farm. They have been gone for almost a month now, and I am beginning to get worried."

    They reach the temple of Demeter and claim their basket as they wait for Aeolus to offer his sacrifices.
    "He is all grown up now, you see," Irene tells her daughter. "I have a feeling he would not stay in the farm for too long."
    "Why not?" Corinna asks.
    "Well, Athens needs men like him in the army," Irene replies. "Maybe he will be asked to join them, or maybe he himself will sign up."
    "You never know until you ask, mother," Corinna says, looking at the people shopping at this hour. It was getting hotter, so she moves her hair over one shoulder and watches as Aeolus and a few others offer and pray to the goddess of the harvest.
  7. Aeolus can't help but smirk a little at Corinna for leaving the basket in the temple. Figuring he shouldn't say anything for he isn't her father, chiding her would only be strange in his eyes. Instead, he starts to walk with them, hearing about Anathos and Irene's husband. "Well, trading takes days just to get there, not to mention this heat is likely to be a problem. The ground is cracked and hard, making the ride bumpy. You never know, a wheel might have broken or they're getting good business in town and just need to stay there a few extra days. I am sure that they'll both be home before you know it." Looking up to the sun, well not directly at the sun but in that direction, he checks the time. "No need to worry." He assures them before walking into the temple with his bag.

    Sighing, he kneels down with the other men and women, offering his grain such as wheat and barely to Demeter. "Daughter of Chronos and Rhea..." He starts, praising her as well as asking as politely as he can, for assistance. "These are hard times for the rivers have nearly all dried up and drought has us in his hold. I beg of you to bring the rain, filling the cracks in our soil for our crops to grow...." and it goes on, his eyes are shut, not hearing what the two ladies behind him are saying. Even if he could hear, his focus in on the welfare of his family. His thoughts soon turn to his brother though, wondering if he will return too from the East. Every night he prays to Ares to bring his brother the strength to return home safely as well as Asclepius to bring him home without harm. But of course, he knows, it's up to the gods to decide the fate of mankind.

    After his prayers have been said, he stands up and starts to make his way back to the entrance. About half way there, someone else waves to him as she makes her way over. "Zel," he starts, clasping her hand in his when she offers it. "It's great to see you again, are you here for prayer or just for-" the girl, no older than fifteen years of age takes his hand and shakes it has hard as she can, adoring Aeolus with wide eyes. Pointing to her own mother, Aeolus nods at the elder woman and she in return bows her head, smiling as she prays.

    "Aeolus! You must come see the mine when you can spare a moment. Father has dug a complete new cavern and he might need your big strong arms!" She giggles happily, reaching up to touch his forming muscles. Hearing her mother call her over, wanting her to stop annoying Aeolus, Zeltivi pouts, not wanting to leave him. "Promise??" She practically whines, "Promise you'll come and visit?"

    Aeolus nods his head, patting the top of her head before swearing he will do so. Giving one last wave, he walks back over to Corinna and her mother. "Shall we? My cart is on the outskirts of town if you wish to ride home with me? Walking in this heat will surely cause you discomfort and I could not live knowing that you both are forced to walk. While I sit on my rear and ride easily home with my own created wind. Come, I insist that you join me."
  8. Irene smiles at Aeolus, grateful for his comforting words. "I hope it is the latter, you know, it would be worth their time if they come back with nice and useful things...."
    Corinna watches as he talks to a younger girl, who looks up at him in adoration. She smiles as she asks him to promise; it was funny and cute to see someone like Aeolus promise to a girl like her. She couldn't stop herself from smiling as he makes his way to them; indeed, things are unexpected when in the city. What she had hoped for has come, thank gods.
    They hear his offer and they silently thank the gods and goddesses, and of course Aeolus, for his offer. "Well... You are too kind, may the gods and goddesses bless you," Irene says. They make their way to the cart, but Corinna slows down and thinks about the mode of transportation.
    She never rode on a cart in all the 19 years of her life. This would be her first time, and she's fascinated at the thought of created wind. There were times when people would say, "Whistle to call the wind", but it did not work for her. The fact that they would be feeling wind that they can generate excites her. She stares at the cart in admiration, smiling at the thought of riding, even just for a while.
    "See, this is what you miss out on when you do not come with me to the market," Irene says.
    "Mother, it is not like I have a choice," Corinne replies. "Someone needs to watch over the farm, you know that. You know, sometimes I wish Father and Anathos did not always bring the cart with them so that we could have our own created wind, too."
    "You know they need it more than we do, and I know that you are riding this for the first time, but you can stop staring at it now. Aeolus is waiting."
    "Oh, right... Sorry," Corinna mumbles, getting the stuff her mother bought and sitting on the edge of the cart. She couldn't wait to feel wind again.
  9. His cart may have come into town full of freshly picked goods, the finest his family could grow, but it leaves town quite bare. What Aeolus could not sell in the marketplace this morning, he has brought back home with him. His family doesn't believe in wasting - every scrap of meat or bushel of fruits can be used for something. Aeolus, fitting the last of the cargo tightly in, offers his hand for Corinna's. "I shall give you the delight of riding in the back for you can have the best of views. There will be no restrictions on your panorama." Her eyes give her secrets away for Aeolus sees both fear and amazement in them. Leading her over to the back of the cart, he shows her the best spot where she can place herself. Picking her up by the waist without warning, he places her on long rectangular area with sidings but no backing.

    "It's the least I can do for your family helping mine in such a dire time of need." Aeolus is not a dumb man, he knows that Irene's husband has done wonders for his farm. Before the consortium, their trenches had been too shallow, their livestock too weak from an unhealthy diet and their crops ravaged by scavengers. Aeolus' father, no matter how nice of a man he might be, was born a miners life. When he married Aeolus' mother, Sella, they both took on the task of running her families farm. Learning under Sella's father was easy but having to work the farm on his own, Aeolus' father, Demiter, lacked the proper wit and adaptation for the land they own.

    Slapping the reigns, Aeolus takes them back to their home. The cart, being old, is very shaky and it seems like the wheels might spin off at any moment. Luckily for them, no such tragedy happens. Aeolus, on the ride back, is questioned by Irene on his elder brother. Pavlos went to war many years ago and Aeolus nor his family have heard of that man since. Figuring the worst, many tried to convince Sella and Demiter that their son had died a heroic death fighting for Athens. The couple, however, didn't listen. Sella is convinced that she would have felt something, the gods would have told her, if her son had died. Turning back to look at Corinna, Aeolus asks how she is doing back there and if she is enjoying the views and the wind.
  10. Corinna places her small hand in his strong one and holds tightly as he lifts her up to the cart. The best of views? That sounded fascinating! Watching the city fade away as she entered the farms while feeling the wind would be amazing. She lets out a small laugh and says a quiet "thanks" after Aeolus unexpectedly picks her up by the waist.
    The conversation between her mother and Aeolus goes to the back of her mind as Aeolus slaps the reins and makes the cart move. She watches as they pass by people who look up at them, wanting to ride and feel the created wind. The sun barely bothers her as she takes off the cloth covering her hair, and soon enough, her hair becomes a tangled mess gently hitting her cheeks. She doesn't mind that the ride is a bit bumpy, so long as she could enjoy this new experience.
    "I have not seen Pavlos in a long time," Irene tells Aeolus. "What is the latest news from him? I hope he is safe, wherever he is right now. I do not believe in the stories they say in the agora about people like your brother not coming back. The war is really affecting us all." She sighs, internally worrying about her husband, Kyros, and her son, Athanas, who were still traveling and trading goods. She sincerely hopes that Aeolus is right about them having good trade. She glances at her daughter, who does not bother to talk to them because of her excitement.
    "Corinna, you be careful back there, alright?" Irene calls from the other side of the cart after she asks about Pavlos, Aeolus' brother. "We do not want you to roll and fall into the dirt!"
    Corinna nods just as Aeolus asks a question. "I love this!" she exclaims. "I love how you can create wind by using this cart. The views... Everything looks better from up here!" She pauses for a while to take in all the sights. "All hail Aeolus, who creates wind from this cart!" She says the last part jokingly of course, offering a silent prayer to the gods and goddesses to forgive her if she offended any of them. She doesn't care if the people think of her as a fool; she wishes to remember this experience and make the most out of it while she still can.
  11. "Pavlos is a strong man and I have no doubt in his abilities to make it home. Many ships carrying men, these transports, are sometimes called back to battle," hoping that isn't the case with his brother, Aeolus is quick to add, "Or, you know, sometimes their ship is knocked around in the winds for the ocean is never calm. It's always alive and Poseidon, as we all know, will have it no other way. When wind is blown in the right direction, it can work wonders and bring men home weeks earlier. if blown in the wrong direction," he frowns, "Well, we don't have to get into it." nodding to himself, the young man looks around the landscape. He wishes to forget about his brother's state for it worries him and his family. There have been many restless nights of tossing and turning in bed - nightmares - about Pavlos never returning home.

    Taking the opportunity, Aeolus changes the subject swiftly, "I am a mere farmer, Corinna. I have not made these winds for the bright soul who thought of traveling by cart in the first place should be bestowed with all the credit." the wind blows again, smooth and warm, the air dry. "There is only a few feet between your daughter and the ground. It's amazing that in the difference, you can see wonders. To our right, you can see the mountains stretching across Greece." smiling, he remembers his first time on a cart and the lasting enjoyment from that adventure. His first ride as well as his first attempt at controlling these snorting beasts in the front of the cart.

    Upon arriving at their pavilion, Aeolus helps Irene down first from the cart with his hand. She doesn't give him much resistance for he is grateful. Some women purposely make a scene, claiming that they are unable to climb safely to the ground without his help. Aeolus doesn't mind it but he is happy that Corinna and her mother are so kind. They're truly a diamond in the rough for many commoners would steal and cheat but not these two. He knows that he can trust them. Her eyes are what tells him that. Helping Corinna from the cart is easy, his eyes brightly lit by the nearby torches. "Well, I bid you two a good night and fruitful dreams." More directly, he turns to Corinna, pushing his hand through his messy black hair. "It's a shame we have only just met. I hope to see you soon." Although fate had another path in mind and Aeolus would soon find himself rowing on the deck of a large ship. Fighting for Athens. Fighting for his family, land, and country.
  12. Irene listens as Aeolus tells her about his brother. She had talked to Pavlos a few times, and she could easily agree with Aeolus: he was strong and worthy to be in the Athenian army. Not wanting to bother him anymore with the sensitive topic, she watches the sun set behind the mountains. 'The view is simply breathtaking,' she thinks
    Corinna thinks the same way, too, and agrees with what Aeolus said about a few feet making a difference in view. She sighs as he says that he is only a farmer; she knows that a man like him is destined for greater things than the farm. Would he really join the military, though? 'He is strong and he works hard in the farm, so maybe the army needs those qualities in a soldier,' she thinks.

    She frowns as they reach their estate, the sun already touching the horizon and leaving the sky a dark shade of purple. It's a great experience, but she doesn't want it to end just yet. Her hair is already messy from the wind, and she begins to feel the heat of Athens once more.
    She watches as Aeolus helps her mother down from the cart, and she hands the bought items to her mother as Aeolus goes to her and helps her down the cart. She trusts him enough that he won't let her fall, so she holds on to him as he brings her down.
    "Thank you once again, Aeolus," Irene says, "and have a good night." She enters the house and sets down the bags of items and prepares dinner with the help of some servants.
    Corinna looks up at Aeolus, his eyes bright from the lights of the pavilion. "Well, that was great," she says, "and I think from now on, when mother goes to the market, I am coming with her." She smiles up at him as he runs a hand through his hair. "I will be forever grateful to you for this experience. I also hope we see each other soon. Good night." She turns to the pavilion, but remembers that "soon" may be a long time from now, what with the lives they lead. "Oh, and take care, Aeolus!" she adds, giving a small wave before entering the pavilion. She really hopes that wherever the Fates would take him, he would stay safe.
  13. The last image Corinna would have of Aeolus is his wave as he hops back onto the cart and slaps the reigns. Heading back to his own farm, he resides peacefully underneath a small patch of trees and sleeps. In the morning, he awakens to the sound of screaming and shouting; both in horror and in shock. His brother had come back from war with a crippled leg. All those years of praying finally payed off for Aeolus. Pavlos is home and that's all that he could ever want. The two of them sit by candlelight all night and speak of his time at sea and the earthshattering experience of war. In another two weeks, Aeolus has mentally prepared himself for war. This land, his Athens, needs men like him. Pavlos is right there to direct him for his older brother, besides the limp, knows that he can take care of the farm. Within a month after his arrival, Aeolus departs much in the same fashion.

    --------- 10 years later... ----------
    "The God of War hates those who hesitate."

    Aeolus is not the man to be hated by the gods. His stories would have been told far and wide, that is if there were enough men to tell them. From the legion of men who departed from Athens on that windy morning, only fifteen arrived home safely. Among these dazed men marched Aeolus. Every blade mark that cut through his skin left a thin or think white line. Most men count these marks as signs of integrity. No matter how many times the enemy tried to kill him, he would not let them have the satisfaction. The once thin frame of his has grown not with fat from fruitful eating but muscle from a hard decade of fighting.

    Tired and hungry, Aeolus wonders his way on the dirt path in the twilight. His sword is around his waist, armor still clasped around his body. Nearly tripping over himself, the warrior stops by the side of the road just to rest. Breathing heavily, he hears a cart clattering along in the distance. Before his deployment, he might have found that very sound comforting. A clatter of hooves and the clean squeak of the wheels. Now, all he can think about are the drums of war. Many come back and are frightened for what they have done. He has killed many in order to save himself. At least it's all over. He reminds himself, looking up at the night sky and then down to his hands. Well, maybe -almost- over. For now, he feels as if he isn't human any more. Events have occurred in that vast ocean, things he couldn't even start to explain. Now his hands are shaking, turning into tight fists before he starts along his way once more.
  14. Several months after their encounter, Athanas and Kyros come home with an empty cart and a few hundred drachmas. The women are excited, of course, and listen attentively as the men tell them what happened during their trip. The war had affected them greatly, and that forced them to stay in the neighboring town for quite some time. They were not able to tell Corinna and Irene what they were going through because they were banned from sending information to outsiders for fear that more Athenian allies would come and defeat the enemy. They barely survived until more soldiers of the Athenian army came over and gave them the opportunity to flee. Athanas thought he saw Aeolus, but he could not be sure; they were running for their lives back to Athens.
    "I hope we will win," Irene sighs, placing food on the table. "I would not want this war to go on for long."

    Irene's wrong, though; the war lasted for ten years and they had a hard time coping, especially with their farm. They were not able to sell as much goods as they wanted to because buyers from other cities did not want to get caught up in Athens. All of them worked all day long, and even with their servants, they still struggled to survive.

    The war is now over. Those from neighboring countries come back for trade, and Kyros and Athanas are off to sell what they have kept for the past months.
    "Please stay safe," Irene says, kissing them goodbye one late afternoon.
    "We will be back next week, do not worry," Kyros replies, riding on his cart. Athanas waves goodbye to his younger sister before riding the back of the cart. They both leave, and the women can only hope that the war is completely over so that they will come back safely.

    As they leave, Corinna remembers her experience ten years ago, when she first rode on a cart. She felt the created air and saw the beauty of Greece from a different point of view, and her thoughts turn to the one who made all that possible: Aeolus. She frowns, worried. She knows that he participated in the war; was he still alive? Is he here now? Did he... die? She shudders as she thinks of the last thought, praying to the gods that he was safe.

    -Later that day-

    It is now nighttime; Apollo has gone to shine the brilliant sun somewhere else in the world. Kyros and Athanas are still in Athens, though they are somewhere near their designated stop. They decided to travel in the late afternoon so that early the next morning, they would reach their destination and immediately start trading.
    "Father, stop, please," Athanas says, for he sees a figure of a man not too far away. He hopes it is not just his imagination, for he is really tired. "I think I see someone... someone tired..."
    "Oh, gods, please bring that man here. We can probably help him out," Kyros replies, bringing the cart to a halt. Athanas jumps out of the cart.
    "Uh... Sir!" he calls, walking to the figure. The man looks like he is tired, and was that armor Athanas saw? 'That's probably one of the fifteen survivors of the war,'he thinks. "Sir, wait, please, let me help you, you look tired." The warrior looks really familiar to Athanas, but he cannot be too sure in this dim light.
  15. Aeolus hardly hears the cart clattering up behind him, let alone the voices coming from it. Looking back over his shoulder, the warrior waves his hand over his shoulder. A long beard now covers his face. The stringy, salt soaked hair is sprawled around his head. Right now, he can't deal with people. All he desires is to make his way home and just see his family. They must be worried for it has been ten long years. Aeolus keeps his course, calling what voice he can over his shoulder at the two men on the cart.

    "May Selene guide your path, friends." Forcing himself not to look at their faces, he stops but still doesn't turn around. "I do not require assistance yet I thank you and your kindness. Nike has guided my path for the war has been won by Athens. Don't think me rude but I humbly ask for my walk home to be alone. It has been ten years since I have walked this path and I crave to be greeted by the trees once again. The mountains are my guide, the valleys comforting my descent to my estate. Tell me one thing... has anything happened to my brother Pavlos' pavilion? Please tell me that they're still alive and well. Our last name is--" Before he can speak of his surname, the warrior keels over and starts to cough. War has taken a toll on his lungs. He is stronger than he ever thought possible, yet, he coughs. Perhaps he swallowed too much sea water.
  16. Athanas stops short in his tracks. He expected that a warrior like him would gladly accept the offer and ride with them. He isn't used to this kind of response.
    "I... I thank you, and may the gods bless you, great warrior," he says with hesitance. "I know that a certain Pavlos, who is the son of Demiter and Sella, is alright. Things are slowly... getting back to normal. Stay safe, please."
    He reluctantly heads back to his father, who watched the scene. "You have to accept what the warrior wants, my son," Kyros says as they prepare to rest. "It's the least you can do for someone who fought for your polis for 10 years."
    "Father, I don't understand why he wants to torture himself when we can give him a ride home!" He exclaims in a loud whisper.
    "Athanas, just leave him be. If that is what he wants, let him have it, and may the gods and goddesses up above guide him."
    "I don't understand why he was asking about Pavlos, though," Athanas thinks aloud. "Is he a relative? Would you know of any relatives of Demiter who went to war?"
    "I only know Aeolus, but that can't possibly be him... Come on, son, let's sleep."
    Night passes, and in the morning, they make their way to the town to trade. Meanwhile, back in Athens, Corinna hears that the warriors have come back, and hoping that Aeolus is one of them, she decides to visit.
    "Are you sure you want to walk in this... Heat?" Irene asks. "I mean, it is not as hot as it used to be before, but..."
    "Yes, mother, I am going!" Corinna says as she carries a basket of fruits, bread, and olive oil. She walks for an hour until she reaches his family's estate.
    "Good day," she greets a servant with a smile. "Is your master Aeolus back? I wish to see him and ask how he is. It has been a long time since we last talked." 'First talked,' Corinna corrects herself. She chuckles as she remembers that day when they said that they would see one another soon. 'Hopefully he is well enough so I can at least give him the food I brought.'
  17. Bowing his head once more, the rugged Aeolus simply thanks them and wishes them well on their journey. He did not lie when he told the father and son that he wished to be alone for it's what he most desires. Remembering the days of walking through his own orchards or past the rolling fields of swaying wheat. Those were simpler times where he could only graze the surface when understanding the world. Now he has seen horrors beyond imagination. Worst of all, he has been a part of those horrors. A key player for the gods. He fought with Athena's wisdom against Poseidon's strength in whirling white of ocean storms. What he is a part of, what he has found, has brought the man a higher understanding. For his job now, his chance to give back to the god that has saved his life, is to protect and assist the innocent. Farming is no longer his life. His responsibility has shifted.

    Coming up through the rows of grapevines, Aeolus sets his eyes on the roughly cut pillars holding his family up. Those walls, built by his grandfather, are littered with cracks and his mother's garden is overgrown with weeds and dead vegetation. The blistering heat of the day has taken its toll once more to his family's estate. Angered by this fact, Aeolus lifts his hand from his side and outstretches it across the patch of herbs. The wind around him picks up, the shadows of the trees howling back in response. Branches sway and leaves rattle but Aeolus keeps his hand steady. Not fully knowing his intentions, the man stops a puzzled look on his face. That won't help anything. He chides himself, his eyes drawn to the flickering lights of his villa.

    Long shadows are cast by the smooth off-white walls in the moonlight. Smiling, Aeolus is not surprised to be welcomed home with open arms and plenty of kisses. Settling themselves in the andron after a long awaited talk with his mother, she slips off to bed and the men get a chance to speak alone. Once there, the men have their chance to hear of the true horrors of war and what their son has proudly done for his country. Jug after jug of wine is brought from the store room by smiling servants for they too are happy to see Aeolus. Passing out on the floor by the fire, Aeolus doesn't awaken until a servant lightly shakes his shoulder.

    "Master Aeolus, forgive me for waking you but a woman by the name of Corinna is waiting in the courtyard and wishes to see you." Aeolus, not getting a chance to clean himself up last night orders the servant to have Pavlos entertain her while he uses the bathroom to wash himself up. Complying and bowing low to the ground, the male dashes from the room and relays the message to Corinna. "If you wouldn't mind taking a seat along one of the two pathways here," he motions towards the underpasses on either side of the courtyard with tall pillars and a statue of Hermes standing proudly by the door, "Pavlos will be right with you."
  18. Corinna thanks the servant, who looks like he is very happy. ‘Perhaps the reason why he is acting this way is because Aeolus is back,’ she thinks. She makes her way to the statue of the god of travel, thanking him for bringing Aeolus back to his home here in Athens.
    She smiles as she feels a strong breeze for the first time in years. How is it that the wind here is stronger? She understands that their place is an hour away from this estate, but she never knew until today that the wind is stronger here. ‘Maybe the reason as to why the wind is stonger here is because the gods are blessing Aeolus for his bravery to fight for Athens.’

    She hears footsteps and looks up to see someone who looks just like Aeolus. ‘Is that... Pavlos?’ she asks herself before standing up and bowing. ‘Good morning,’ she greets, smiling in half-embarrassment.
  19. "I never knew that Aeolus had a lady waiting on his return," the charming voice sounds of his elder brother Pavlos. The large stick in his hand helps his leg balance for it's crooked in the most awkward direction. Still, he doesn't seem in pain. Any noticeable pain, that is. Pushing his combed hair back with blackened fingers, it's obvious he was in the middle of some penmanship. Either that or he was busy dying some linen or wool for a later date. Hobbling up to her, his forest green eyes, a quality him and Aeolus had been blessed with by their mother, smile just as much as his lips do. "Good morning, dear Corinna," placing a hand on her shoulder, he scowls up to the trees lining the courtyard. "What a windy day, please, come in and wait in the kitchen for my sobering brother."

    His features though, are more tamed than his brother. Aeolus likes to keep his hair, when long, as free as possible in the winds. His brother likes to keep less than a centimeter of curling brown hair on the top of his skull. "It's windy, is it not, outside." motioning towards the fluttering trees, Pavlos holds the door for her, leaning more weight than necessary on the cracking boards. Smiling, he has seen plenty of her ever since Aeolus had gone to battle. For whatever reason, she seems very keen on helping out his family with their troubles.

    "I am grateful for your last basket of succulent fruits but, my dear, another whole one? I don't think my family could ever repay you for your kindness." gesturing towards the sea, he asks frankly, "So, why are you here?" Already knowing the answer, Pavlos is known for having people spell everything out. He is not dim in any way but perhaps brighter than most. That way, he never misunderstands what his fellow Athenians are saying. Since he hates to argue, it all works out in his favor.
  20. She smiles as he greets her, walking stick in one hand and black ink smudges on the other. ‘Is this the right time for me to visit?’ she thinks. “Well, I heard the news that there were Athenian warriors who came back, so I decided to see if Aeolus was one of them. I’m very happy that he is here, along with his other companions,” she says.
    “How are you, Pavlos?” she asks as they walk to the kitchen. “I’m sorry if I interrupted you... I mean, you were probably doing work.” She gestures to his fingers. “I also wonder why it’s windier here in your place. It’s not this cool in our estate, even though it’s only an hour away.”
    As they enter the kitchen, she also realizes that she already brought fruits the last time she was here, which was probably two weeks ago. “Oh, I was thinking, since your brother is home and Athens won the war, you would want some of these to eat for celebration, or maybe to offer for thanksgiving to the gods and goddesses for bringing Aeolus home safely. Besides, it’s also the week when mother usually asks me to come here to give your family some fruits.” She places the basket on the table, sighing as she watches the trees sway like they have never swayed in 10 years.
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