Hellas: The Black Ships of the Past
Sing, O goddess, the anger of the Hellenes, the warlike race that hath brought countless deaths upon their myriad foes. Sing more of their final struggle against an awesome enemy, terrible and true, when many a brave Hellene soul was sent straight into the embrace of Hadon while fulfilling his destiny, and many an unworthy foe did the Hellenes leave to be despoilt and forgotten, for such was the counsel of the Twelve in those days when kindred set aside differences and united against a common enemy.
And which of their foes was it that set them to this final great task? It was their own people, splinter’d off long since and cast into the bowels of Slipspace, ne’er to return until this return, defying even Hadon their selfsaid master and returning whence they were sent. But did the Atlanteans return, and came they in numbers greater than the stars, greater even than the Hellenes that walked their worlds of sun and stone.Of one voice then were these Hellenic Heroes, as they fought for not themselves but their heirs, and the heirs of their heirs, for generations to come, and in honor and memory of countless generations past, striving to create a legacy and achieve their destiny ere they succumb to a terrible fate. And their voice was echoed by Alchibides, the Athenoian commander as he rallied his navy for their final battle against the Atlanteans.
“Sons and daughters of Hellas,” he cried, “and all those who sail with us — Goregon, and Nymphas, and Zintar, and more — may the Twelve sail with you, and grant you the power and the might to defeat our common foe, to return to your families in safety, and to secure a future for all our peoples. May worlds shake under your feet. May the skies crack apart at your passing. May the universe tremble at the might of our coming. And may the stars weep at the passing of our foes!”
And the Twelve heard his rally and cry, and they did bless the masses each in their own way, Heuson with his thunder and Areson with his blood, each in kind. And thus did the Hellenes depart for their final struggle with the Atlanteans. And thus they did go on board and sailed their ways through Slipspace to find the foe.
And their foes found them three days hence, and it was as if a filth lay upon the Allsea, and the Hellenes knew their foe was upon them, all around. Greatly outnumbered were they, and surrounded, and the Hellenes were as if in a panic until Manchises the Spartan stepped forth before the men and raised his spear.
“Excellent,” said Manchises. “Look how they surround us, like a shell. Like the young chick inside the egg, we cannot miss, and they can only crack.” And with those words, brave Manchises leapt from the bow of the ship….