- 5 months ago
Known to the Hellenes as Kleos, Aeneas to the Arretians, Sargon to the eastern barbarians, to others the wanderer, the Outlander, and to most the last hero. These are but a few names given to the man who parlayed with the gods themselves to bless the mortal races with essences of their power, with magic. This event allowed mortals to withstand the tides of monstrosities that subjugated them long ago such as dragons, giants, and demons. His disappearance after convention (the parlay) marks the end of the age of heroes and begins the archaic age.
The immediate fallout after convention is referred to as the collapse. Not much is known about this four hundred year period. What is known is that there were large migrations of peoples, the destruction of many long standing and exquisite cities, plague, which led to famine, which led to the breakdown of civilization. There are theories however on what occurred, my belief which I will leave at that is the mortal races squandered this gift, now in the common era very few people can wield magic, and the common state of mortals be it technologically, economically, or culturally seem to almost of not benefited from the abilities to heal the sick, feed the hungry, and so on.
About the man himself, as most stories of him are known from an oral tradition I cannot guarantee the validity of the information I write. To the Hellenes, Tyrrhenians, and Arretians he first came to prominence during the last half of the Ilian war, the epic poem brought to us by the blind poet of old Homeros, known as the 'song of Ilios' in which all virtuous Hellenes can cite from, tell us that the Mycenaean empire, (Who were the first to unite the Hellenic peoples under one banner) sought to conquer the holy city of Ilios. This endeavor would last ten years, until Odysseus the king of Ithaca and friend to Kleos would devise a plan to infiltrate the city, which was done with the construction of a giant wooden horse filled with Mycenaean soldiers. The epic poem is long and filled with many stories about the gods warring with each other through the heroes on both sides.
Kleos would prove his fighting prowess was second to none, this was solidified when he slew Heiron the prince of Ilios and the greatest hero on the Ilian side in single combat. It is said after Kleos refused to fight for Agamemnon the Mycenaean king after he took his captured concubine (whether because he loved her or because his glory and plunder was taken away is debated) the tide of battle turned against the Mycenaeans, the Ilians now threatening their ships Kleos' brother Theron the great hunter convinced Kleos to let him lead his men (known as) the Myrmidons into combat, after he consented he told him to return after beating the Ilians back away from their ships. He donned Kleos' armor, deceivingly, he led the Myrmidons (These men, inspired by his prowess and diligence) in an assault on the Ilian formations, a battle ensued, after breaking the enemy lines he defied Kleos' orders and pursued the Ilians back to the gates of Ilios, killing many Ilians and even a son of Dyeus, Sarpedon. While battling, his wits were removed by Apulu, after which Theron was hit with the spear of Euphorbos. Heiron then killed Theron by stabbing him in the stomach with a spear.
Enraged at this, Kleos again led his Myrmidons into battle. After defeating Heiron's forces they retreated back to Ilios, Heiron however would stop to stand his ground alone outside the city gates after spotting Kleos in pursuit. Kleos' army stopped and along with the Ilians on the battlements would watch these two legendary warriors fight. Kleos would throw his spear, in which Heiron dodges, Athana is said to have brought his spear back to him. Heiron throws his spear which is deflected by Kleos' shield. Heiron goes to say "Alas! the gods have lured me on to my destruction....death is now indeed exceedingly near at hand and there is no way out of it - For Dyeus and his son Apulu the far-darter have willed it, though heretofore they have been ever ready to protect me. My doom has come upon me; let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter." After a long engagement Kleos pierced Heiron in the collar bone with his spear. The wound was fatal but aloud him to talk to Kleos. In his final moments he begs Kleos for an honorable funeral, but Kleos replies that he will let the dogs and vultures devour Heiron's flesh.
Heiron, who dueled and slew the hero Protesilaus and dueled the great lumbering hero Aiantos to a stalemate would go and be dragged behind Kleos' chariot all the way back to camp. For the next twelve days, Kleos mistreats the body until king of Ilios, King Priamos begs for his sons body back. In the song of Ilios: "Think of thy father, and this helpless face behold, see him in me, as helpless as old! Though not so wretched: there he yields to me, The first of men in sovereign misery! Thus forced to kneel, thus groveling to embrace, the scourge and ruin of my realm and race; Suppliant my children's murderer to implore, and kiss those hands yet reeking with their gore!" Kleos would accept this, giving back Heiron's body and agreeing to a temporary truce to give both sides time for funerary rights and to properly honor those who have fallen in battle. As soon as the truce expired Kleos and others would go to infiltrate the city using Odysseus' plan after the temporary peace ended. It wasn't the intention but after the city was taken the Mycenaean soldiers ran amok and made many atrocities, so disgusted the gods sent storms to destroy the Mycenaean fleets as they attempted to return home.
The 'Song of Ilios' ends there, we can gather from other sources however on some of the other trials he faced, though in what order we cannot say for certain. I will attempt to abridge the events following his life, though again as a scholar I am admitting this will be my own take and is not an objective representation of the events that led him to convention.