In Leg Post 90, Bremusa has led an attack upon Troy using the information leaked to the Amazons via Hecuba and Telamon in Leg Post 79. The plans had specifically asked that no assault be made upon the city, but the Amazons ignored the request and committed to an all out attack while Bremusa went in to retrieve Hippolyta from the Citadel Chambers. She is almost hurt by Hippolyta upon entering the room but she relents when she sees her old friend. Hippolyta, however, asserts that she doesn't need rescuing and seeing the problem, Bremusa resorts to using a sleeper hold to render Hippolyta unconscious. She looks at the baby Creusa but leaves her behind as she is 'born of man'. With her quarry, she fled the building and mounted her wyvern, Crixus. The wyvern breathed hot white-fire upon incoming Trojans, including Peleus who is burned. The Amazons then left Troy behind and Hecuba observed the ruins that she had caused but is firm in her belief that her happiness must be considered. She hadn't expected Creusa to be left behind and she believes the child to be an utter brat. Yet, even with Creusa still in their care, Hecuba is able to win back her husband with careful planning even to sleeping together again. This results, almost instantly, in her becoming pregnant, thanks to the blessings of Illithyia in Leg Post 79. Priam wonders if he had ever truly loved Hippolyta or if it was just infatuation as he finds himself is a more comfortable and loving relationship with his wife's newfound affections. Hector is born in 1210BC but karma would come swiftly. Thetis, wife of Peleus, falls pregnant but her child is prophecied as the 'scourge of the gods' and thus Zeus and Poseidon condemn them with ill fortune that would lead to the death of the unborn child. Starting, Peleus falls ill with an infection from the old burns caused by Bremusa and is bound for death. Telamon comes to visit him as he lies on his death bed. He tries to confess something to Peleus, who then lists a string of tricks Telamon pulled against him. Telamon admits he was always jealous of Peleus and should have used Peleus as an example to follow instead of trying to bring him down. Instead, however, Telamon must confess that he took the plans to the Amazons that led to the attack and, thereby, caused Peleus' death. He doesn't reveal the role Hecuba had in this, so Peleus dies hating Telamon but not his aunt. Instead Telamon has stopped talking to her instead. He had promised Peleus that he would take care of Thetis and ensure the birth of their son, Achilles. The same night that Peleus dies, Telamon helps Thetis flee Troy in secret aboard a ship bound for Egypt. There she had bargained passage into Duat, by which she would then travel to Hades to give birth in Leg Post 63. He remains in Thebes in case he is needed, where he joins a crook named Pirithous for a time. Eventually a message comes to him that Achilles is born and Telamon returns to Troy just in time to witness the birth of Hecuba and Priam's second child, Polyxena.
Greek Legends: Childbirth
Bremusa quick marched down the corridor of the citadel suites. She had memorised the diagram that had been secretly disclosed to the Amazons by an unnamed source. Though given by a mysterious benefactor, the note had expressly insisted that the only objective of the Amazons in Troy should be the extraction of their kin and not the devastation of the city itself. However, ‘girls will be girls’, as they say.
Outside, the Amazon forces had laid siege to the city of Troy. Flying riders were tearing into the city from the sky with raining arrows of fire. Wyvern riders were the rarest mounted warriors on the planet and only the Amazons were known to be fierce enough to tame the beasts. They were long and sleek and, unlike dragons, more bestial than sapient beings. Of the mere thirty wyvern riders, Bremusa had, recently, been promoted to their captain. Her own wyvern remained clutched to one of the spires of the visitors residencies, waiting for her master’s return.
Bremusa kicked down the door of the room in which Hippolyta ought to be sleeping. A moment later and Bremusa was forced to dodge as a spear hurtled towards her face. She reached out and latched onto the offending weapon.
Bremusa: “It’s me, you daft cunt!”
Hippolyta: “Bremusa! What the bloody hell’re you doing here!? I thought the city was under attack!”
Bremusa: “It is! By me! Come on!”
Hippolyta: “What do you mean? I don’t need rescuing!”
Bremusa was smart enough to gather everything she needed to know about the situation from just that sentence. She glanced over to the crib where she could see the three-year-old baby asleep within, oblivious to the battle sounds beyond the walls of the bedchamber. Bremusa looked back at Hippolyta.
Bremusa: “Cute baby.”
Hippolyta: “She’ll be a great Amazon one day!”
Bremusa: “She’s born of man…”
Hippolyta: “So am I!”
Bremusa: “Sorry, Lyta.”
Without warning, Bremusa punched her friend and liege directly in the face. Hippolyta, made of stern Amazon stuff, reeled but didn’t go down. Bremusa was able to slink in quickly and lock her arm around Hippolyta’s neck and yank on it. Hippolyta flailed and kicked. She tried to bash Bremusa back against a wall but she didn’t have the strength. While Bremusa had been training for this day, Hippolyta had been slacking off and playing happy families with Priam.
It took a long while but eventually Hippolyta slumped like a sack. The African warrior hoisted her fallen comrade onto her shoulder. She gave the baby Creusa one more look before she sneered and marched out of the room with Hippolyta on her shoulder.
One guard happened to retreat inside the building to escape arrow fire from outside but Bremusa already had a knife in hand and threw it straight at the man’s neck. It struck between the helmet and the breastplate and he went down with a gurgle and spurt of blood. She stepped over him and booted the door open. A moment later and her wyvern, Crixus, landed before them. As a wyvern, she had just two forelegs and her rear rested on the ground with her snake-like tail squirming behind her. Her wings were leathery like a bat, rather than scaled like a dragon. She tasted the air with her forked tongue and her snake-eyes snapped shut vertically when light shone upon her. Bremusa threw Hippolyta onto Crixus’ back and pulled herself up too. Soon, they had taken to the sky. At Bremusa’s command, Crixus let loose a torrent of white-hot flame as a group of soldiers charged at her. At the head of the group was the commander of the Trojan forces – Peleus.
Though spears whizzed close to a hit upon Bremusa, the fire forced most of them to throw off course and many of the soldiers, including Peleus, were burnt. The commander had the sense to roll on the ground to put himself out, while others just screamed in agony and burned alive.
She then flew high into the sky and Crixus let loose a loud screech that alerted the other Amazons that the battle was over. The entire military took to a victorious retirement from battle, having wounded Troy and recaptured their princess. The fires continued to rage on into the night and many lay dead, many more wounded and crippled for life.
Hecuba stood upon her balcony in the citadel and watched the wyvern rider soar away before looking down at the burning city. The damage was not catastrophic, Troy would survive easily and recover quickly. She reassured herself of this and tried not to think of the grieving families who had lost sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, friends and lovers. She had to ask, was it fair that she should be expected to sacrifice her own happiness for the sake of others? Should anyone have the right to ask that of her?
She smoothed down her dress and drew a deep breath as she contemplated the future. Hippolyta and Creusa would be gone and she would step up to comfort Priam and win him back. She, of course, hadn’t expected that Bremusa would leave the little Creusa behind…
Creusa was five and she was a brat.
Spoilt beyond belief, indulged at every turn and never pushed to achieve anything so she was as stupid as she was selfish. While she didn’t inherit any of the violence that Hecuba expected she would, she was known to bully the servants at every turn. In Troy, this would be a grave offence as workers had rights. Yet with Creusa, Priam’s golden child, she was permitted to get away with just about everything.
Despite the annoying Amazon-child still being in her life, Hecuba had managed to win back her husband as she had always intended. Without Hippolyta to distract him and prevent him from seeing Hecuba, she was able to make all the dates and dinner arrangements she needed to first win his attention, then his good graces and, finally, show him she was a changed woman and that they would never be estranged again. Though Priam had thought he had loved Hippolyta, he had to admit he was much happier having his true wife back with him and he felt a deeper love for her than the infatuation he had had for Hippolyta. He knew a part of him would forever lie in the arms of that Amazon princess but his true love was the lady Hecuba who had first impressed him so deeply all those decades ago.
When they first spent the night together, five years since his relationship with Hippolyta had begun, Priam was a man of forty-seven. He felt his age and, in many ways, he felt even older. Wrinkles were all over his face and he had lost even more hair. When with Hippolyta, she had made him feel young again, but with his wife he didn’t feel that he needed to be young. Being old was fine. Hecuba was several years younger than him, at forty-three, but she always managed so much grace that she could impress any younger woman and catch the eye of many men.
Nine months later and a new date was stamped into the records of Troy – the birth of an heir.
Priam had almost fainted when Hecuba announced she was pregnant. He was astonished. Aside from so many years having passed since they affirmed she was barren, their age had no favours in the aiding of fertility. Yet the evidence came and the boy was named Hector. The birth had been easy, as though the boy was determined to be released upon the world to leave his mark as soon as able.
A celebration was held in the infant’s name and many were invited to attend, including several of the usual gods. Each noble granted exotic gifts of food, spices, incense, pets. The gods granted their blessings of prowess, vigour, beauty, luck. It was expected that Hector’s cousin, Aeneas, would make a suitable playmate as they grew older since he was just three years Hector’s senior. When Priam suggested that Hector could study some classes with Creusa when they were older, Hecuba shut down the suggestion with little more than an asserted ‘never’.
The year of Hector’s birth was 1210BC and was recorded as a most auspicious year for Troy. Yet, what they could not know was that karma balanced out this great fortune…
Just one year later and a new pregnancy was announced. Peleus’ wife, Thetis, was to give birth to a baby. However the child came with a dark prophecy – the baby would be the ‘scourge of the gods’. He would have the potential to bring about the demise of religions across the world. This naturally brought the ire of the Olympians and ill fortune instantly descended upon the family with every intention of death claiming the unborn child. Peleus, who had been severely burnt by Bremusa during her raid, was suddenly ill with an infection as a result of those burns. He was brought up to the citadel by his adoptive parents and laid in his own nursing room where doctors tended to him day-and-night.
As he lay there, barely able to breathe, he watched Hecuba and Priam weep. They spoke of how unjust it was to claim the life of a son of a father who had sacrificed himself at the gods’ behest already. His wife was silent for most of the time. She was seething with anger, he could tell, mixed with despair at losing her human lover. His brother, Telamon, showed up with his usual carefree, nonchalance that Peleus always reprimanded him for – but now, he appreciated it. Seeing his stupid brother acting as though nothing was wrong was a comforting diversion from the tears of everyone else.
Telamon: “Dude, why’d you have to get yourself burnt in the first place? Was that Amazon you chased really that hot?”
Peleus: “Hot? Seriously?”
Telamon: “Oh! Ha! I made a punny!”
Telamon: “Anything I can get you, buddy? Painkillers? Booze? One last night with a hooker?”
Peleus: “Actually, there is something…”
Telamon blinked with surprise and then leaned over his brother. He could tell this was something of genuine importance and he didn’t want to sully that.
Peleus: “You have to make sure my wife gives birth safely. Our son will, one day, have vengeance for my death, I’m certain. It is Zeus and Poseidon that have done this to me, to our father, and they would do it to our sons. But Achilles, my son, he will not succumb to their tyranny. Being born is that first hurdle. I wish he could have a simpler life but it seems fate is steering him, and perhaps us all, in a way we can’t fathom.”
Telamon: “Peleus… I need to tell you something… I need to admit something…”
Peleus: “It was you that wrote that graffiti. I know.”
Telamon: “What graffiti?”
Peleus: “The one that said ‘Commander Peleus sucks donkey cocks’…”
Telamon: “Oh! Haha! That one. Yeah that was funny…”
Peleus glared at Telamon.
Telamon: “Uh, not funny now. But then… but that isn’t what I meant…”
Peleus: “It was you who told everyone I have herpes. I know that too.”
Telamon snorted but held back the laugh.
Telamon: “That’s… that’s not the one I meant either…”
Peleus: “You’re the one who stole my horse, dressed as me and then buggered a sheep.”
Telamon: “Okay, now, actually, I didn’t really bugger the sheep. I just pretended to bugger the goat.”
Peleus rolled his eyes.
Telamon: “Sorry I made people think you’re a sheep-shagger…”
Peleus: “You should be. People were making baa noises at me for months.”
Telamon couldn’t help but guffaw and then covered his laughing face with his hand.
Telamon: “Okay, okay. You’re right. I’m an asshole. I just… I was always jealous of my awesome, brother. Better, fitter, smarter, stronger. You’ve always been better than me in every way and I just got a kick out of bringing you down to my level. Of course, I never really could. You were still the pristine, golden boy. I shouldn’t have done any of that. I should’ve tried to be more like you instead.”
Peleus: “That’s probably true. Then I could have made you the new commander after me. The next in line is a fool.”
Telamon: “Hey, if you knew it was me who did all that, why didn’t you arrest me?”
Peleus: “You’re my brother.”
Telamon was silent for a moment.
Telamon: “This was all my fault, Peleus…”
Peleus: “What do you mean?”
Telamon: “I… I got you burned. It was me.”
Peleus: “Last I checked, you’re not a black Amazon woman with a fire-spitting wyvern.”
Telamon: “I gave them the details on how to raid the city…”
Peleus was now as silent as the grave and his stare was the most frightful he had ever seen. Even when angry, Peleus still held plenty of emotion and behind the eyes was the kind of anger borne of affection. But now it was a cold, hard anger of righteous fury. He was tempted to instantly throw Hecuba under the bus, whatever a bus was, and blame it all on her but, instead, he decided to take the brunt of the damage and allow Peleus to die with respect for Hecuba. He would take the hatred alone.
Telamon: “I gave them the details to extract that Amazon woman our uncle had shacked up with. I had to do it, you understand that? I didn’t think they would actually hurt anyone. I genuinely thought they’d just take the woman and go.”
None of that was true. He had known it would happen. He was saying what he thought Hecuba would say. When Peleus laid down his head and turned away from Telamon, he knew his time was up. He wished he could let Peleus pass with positive thoughts of Telamon and not this, but Telamon couldn’t let Peleus die without him knowing that he was responsible.
He left the room and saw Hecuba. They hadn’t spoken for several years now. Not since they argued about the devastation caused by the Amazons. She looked hopeful that he might speak to her. He liked that he got to reject her at that moment and he turned from her. She wouldn’t feel the anger from Peleus, but he could direct it on his brother’s behalf.
Peleus died that night.
Just an hour after his death, Thetis was hurrying through the city in a thick cloak to keep herself hidden. She doubted it would protect her from the gods but anything was worth a try. She soon made it to the docks were she found the passenger ship and, outside it, was Telamon. He beckoned her over and helped her get up the gangplank and onto the ship. Telamon had gotten a great packet of money from Priam and Hecuba and bought the captain’s cabin for them. She would sleep on the bed and he would sleep on a mat in front of the door, in case anyone tried to gain entry. The ship was bound for Egypt where a secret pact had been agreed upon with certain Egyptian deities to allow access to Duat without being dead.
When the ship sailed, Telamon went all the way to Egypt with Thetis and delivered her to Duat. But he was not permitted to travel down with her but remained in Egypt in case his help was required. He soon fell in with the gangsters of Thebes and had a friendship with a nasty customer named Pirithous who he worked on many robberies with. Telamon found it easy to steal from the rich folks of Thebes as they seemed to be bursting with artworks – pots, broaches, jewels. By the time he was ready to return to Troy, he had a healthy dose of cash.
He didn’t leave until he received a message that affirmed Achilles had been born with Thetis in Hades. He never liked this plan, but, as always, nobody listened to him and he helped Thetis anyway. He sailed back to Troy at the start of the new year, 1207BC, and arrived just as his aunt and uncle were about to have a second child. Telamon was so shocked that he had to believe his aunt had been right all along – the gods really had blessed her. Priam was fifty and yet they had their first daughter, who they named Polyxena. Telamon reported the news of Achilles’ birth and everyone felt that, despite the death of Peleus, fate was in their favour. Hera had shown her love for Troy and though Poseidon was not to be trusted with Achilles, he was also still a supporter of the city so long as his oceans crashed against their mighty walls.