The Ancient Aegean Campaign
Traveling pit figther in search of sand and sea. A soldier of the gods. A mortal without his humanity.
Anaxalitus of Miletus, when in his fighting gear, is dressed in the manner not unlike your ideal Hellenic warrior. Though without the hoplite helm, it remains obvious to all that he wears the mantel of a soldier at all times. His stance is that of a man sure of himself and his footing, even when placed upon the back of a Pegasus. His character is that of one always respectful. The only apparent flaw is his indifference to human affairs and the tragedies that are bestowed upon mortal men by the gods. Yet his respectable service to the gods continues to place him in the position of Greek hero.
Anaxalitus’ body is weathered with the minor scrapes and scars of battle. His skin is tempered by the harshness of the open sea winds and the brine of the ocean. He smells of sea and sand more often then not. Though the rank of blood, sweat, and dirt is his scent when he is at his blood sport. His eyes and hair are as dark as a moonless night. His jaw stern and angular. The length of his hair is trim and short, the kind of hair that is only as long as dirty fighting can allow.
When in battle, or in the pit fighting’s ring, he bears a bronze helm that comes down over the cheeks, nose, and the back of his neck. It is fashioned with a crest of white horse hair. His armor is a sculpted leather breast plate with obvious pectoral muscles crafted upon the surface. Under it is a bronze chain vest layered in white cloth. White and brown cloth is belted around the waste with more cloth and bronze chain draping down over the thighs. Sculpted bronze plate comes over the shins and down to his saddles. On his left arm he bears a bronze plated shoulder guard leading down to a spiked gauntlet. The shoulder guard is shaped like that of a horse’s head facing upward at the shoulder. On his left arm he bears a golden torque on both his forearm and bicep. The ends of the torques are shaped like horse heads as well. Over the whole dress he often bears a cloak with a silver broach. The fabric of the cloak is feather light, gray, and has a shadowy shimmer. The broach has etched on it a chalice with two spears crossing behind it. The emblem is repeated upon the front of his round shield. The shield is backed with cedar wood and faced with bronze.
Born in Miletus, Anaxalitus was raised into a family of great political power and material wealth. As the first born son, he was bound to the fate of inheriting a great dynasty. A dynasty on the inevitable path to tyranny over the greatest and wealthiest cities in all of Greece.
Trained in all manners of politics, his mind was sharpened from birth. From a young age he embraced what he was to become without any thought. His nature was not truly ambitious, he simply believed he had no other choice then to become embroiled in the balance of power. Power that teetered on petty disputes, traditional alliances, and veiled threats.
It was not until he came of age and had to serve in the military that this all changed. He was placed in a comfortable post away from any real danger. He occupied his time with training and soon found he valued the grip of the spear over that of the pen. He made it a habit to test himself and his abilities against the other soldiers. Then came the hunger for true combat. When a conflict broke out between Miletus and a neighboring Persian settlement, Anaxalitus convinced his officer that it was their duty to deploy to the front and assist in the conflict. Indeed, their presence made a tremendous difference in battle, but at the cost of his entire post.
Upon the field of battle Anaxalitus witnessed a personal vision. He realized the path of his life was no longer in his interest. A bitter distaste for the attempts to control the lives of other mortal men peculated from the back of his mind. He revered mortal combat for its ability to expose the true will of men to live. Only when faced with eminent danger were people truly alive he thought. He immediately cut himself off from the concerns of civilization. He no longer cared for laws, for political power, or even for war itself. War was just a political game played with the lives of another man’s sons. After earning praise that very day, Anaxalitus deserted his country by the dawn of the next morning.
He struck out for the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and onto a new life away from Miletus. Along the way he got lost in a fog that led him off the well trodden road. There, in the mists so thick as to obscure vision and deafen sound, he happened upon a field of blood red sand. Unsure of where he was, he wandered a bit only to find himself on an ancient battlefield. The fog lessened just a bit and a glint of bronze caught his eye. There, on the field of unburied corpses lay a shield with no apparent sign of weathering. It shined as if newly made and had emblazoned upon it the emblem of a chalice with two spears crossed behind it. He took up the shield and continued walking. Soon after he found himself on the road again as the fog departed.
Since that day, Anaxalitus has been traveling from city to city as a sailor. Stopping at each point of civilization for several months to challenge himself against the local fighters in blood sport.