Section First: Undead Rising Part First: The Coming of the Undead The city-state of Corinth, or Korinthos is not far from Athens. It is quite large, is very wealthy, and has several temples dedicated to Apollo and Aphrodite and other Immortals on Mount Olympus. It also had a marketplace, which was a new edition to the cities of Greece, barracks, which were vital to the training of new troops. And it also had several legions of hoplites and swordsmen to guard against invaders. Yes, Corinth was likable enough, but not for one man. Teothia was born in the city of Corinth. As an infant, he learned quickly. By, the age of three, he was able to string together mature sentences with a high vocabulary. By the age of eight, he could read any work of literature you could thrust onto his desk, including the utterly challenging "Most Powerful Nations of the World," which was a book even great adults could barely comprehend. He also understood these books and extremely well. So, Teothia was a very smart young man. However, he was not quiet and modest as most mentally visualize wise people as. For, Teothia was cruel and foul. However, because his genius plans were perfectly orchestrated, he never got caught. Only those who had a grudge against him ever suspected him. He started small with his mischief. Then, he got larger, until he could rob someones home without them noticing until they woke up the next day. Eventually, Teothia became monstrously rich and was quickly rose to second place in the top five richest men in all of the town. The richest man in the town was the governor. Teothia, being smart, realized that with swordsmen and spearmen surrounding the building, with his current plan, he would only have a fifty percent success rate because one part of the plan depended on a certain spearmen being negligent. And if he was unsuccessful and was caught, he would lose all of the fame and fortune he had worked so hard to attain. Later in his life, the person he had robbed of the second place spot on the rich list was furious. He had completely convinced himself that Teothia was the man who had broken into his home and robbed him of half his fortune several years ago (Naturally, it hadnt been Teothia who robbed it, a petty thief had done it. The house was that pathetic on the security front.). So, he hatched a plan. It was quite simple really. He knew that Teothia was smart. So, he couldnt rob him of his possessions. The only possible way was by force Teothia was walking down the street to the marketplace with his sole bodyguard one winter afternoon. Cirila, the man who formerly held second place on the rich list crouched in the shadows far from any authorities. He produced a bow and placed an arrow in the correct area and aimed. He aimed at the spot where Teothias head would be if the bodyguards head wasnt in the way. He reasoned that eventually one would fall out of step to look at something, and that would be his chance. It didnt take very long. Teothia saw something that interested him and doubled back to make a bargain. He would likely negotiate to a price of his liking, which would take a while. But the window of opportunity was short despite the possible length of time Teothia would be standing in one place negotiating. The bodyguard was almost at his usual spot, in front of Teothia. So, without hesitation, Cirila released. The arrow whistled gently through the air. It assumed an arc. Just as the bodyguard looked up to see the disturbance, it dive bombed and hit Teothia directly in the forehead. Unsurprising, as Cirila was a famed marksman. Teothia fell to the ground, bleeding badly. He grappled for the arrow, and, without success, tried to rip it out. But, he was able to feel the signature grooving on the edge and with his last burst of thought before his brain shut down, realized who his assailant was. He died with fury and hatred, knowing his murderer was the man who was in third place on the Corinth rich list, Cirila. The bodyguard blinked. His charge, Teothia, was lying on the ground with an arrow through his head and was bleeding. He blinked again. How could this have happened? The bodyguards brain seemed to have shut down, just like Teothias. The usual checking and making sure there were no threats routine had halted. His charge was dead. The bodyguard was furious. He was not sad that Teothia was dead, for he was completely and utterly immune to emotion. He was agitated with himself. How could he have possibly allowed his lifelong object to guard die? It seemed impossible. Teothias body was to be carried across the River Styx and deposited in Hades. But, knowing who his assailant was, and having a powerful mind from years of wickedness, Teothias soul was jostled from his body as he was put in a coffin and carried to the river. The soul needed to get out. It was too powerful just to go to Hades and be done with it. It was mandatory that he escape back in the real world. If he had gone to Hades however, he could have very well become a powerful spirit, possible even overpowering Hades himself. But, Teothia had no interest for the underworld. He yearned for the beautiful land of Greece, with rolling hill, expansive fields of grain, and beautiful and breathtaking buildings. Yes, Teothia was determined to stay on earth The boat gently rolled across the waves to the entrance of Hades. Only one person watched the procession. This was because Teothia had only one acquaintance, his bodyguard. The bodyguard stared into space, lost in his own thoughts of fury as the casket calmly rode the river. Suddenly, the small boat began to toss and rock. Teothias spirit was attempting to break free. The ferryman struggled to steady the small boat, but the rocking grew worse. Finally, the boat tipped and the coffin tumbled into the water. Though much airtight, the caskets lid rose half a centimeter, and Teothias soul escaped. Though very weak from dying, Teothia had salvaged his soul, and with months or possibly years of recovery, he could become empowered once again Part Second: The Hero Aheena was born in the town of Olympia. He was raised to a middle-class family. His family was supportive and made sure they educated him well. He was literate and well-spoken. They also disciplined him to be talented with various weapons, such as spear, sword, and bow. Aheenas parents wanted him to succeed. And succeed he did. At twelve, he was commended for saving a flock of sheep when he shot an invading wolf to the head. Throughout his childhood, he earned a total of twenty tetradachms for various good deeds. His parents were so proud that one day they told him that he should take his talent to the next level and become a politician. Aheena disagreed, as he thought that his talent would not be best served by being the center of attention. He wished to be a quiet hero and stay out of site of the national scene. His parents were not pleased. They were furious that Aheena would throw his talent into a river and go the way of a commoner and demanded that Aheena leave at once and never come back. They hoped he would die in the wilderness and never bother them again. However, they were horribly mistaken. Unknown to them, Aheena had succeeded marvelously on his own. He built his own home out of thatched wood, and made a homemade bow and many arrows for hunting. He settled near a field and harvested corn and grapes. He sometimes pounded his grapes to a pulp and used his special wine-making recipe. He sold this in town and was able to buy luxuries for his wilderness home. He became known as Wine-Man in the town. He became famous and some, knowing that he lived far away from the major town, believed him to be a god of wine. Aheena was a very kind men. He always gave people a little more than the actual cost of an item when purchasing and gave good deals on his wonderful and entrancing wine. Aheena was resourceful, kind, and smart. He was ideal for a hero Part Third: Aheena Discovers Teothia While Aheena was living near a cave in the wilderness, the spiritual ghost Teothia flew from the River Styx to the town where Aheena sold wine. He saw Aheenas home as he flew past through the hilly wilderness and noted its interesting material. He looked inside, but saw no one inside. He assumed that it had been long abandoned. He mentally noted to come back to pillage it once he had found a body to inhabit. Teothia flew into the town and, after looking for an hour, found a body that was weak-minded, but physically able and attacked. He used his Spear of Laria to stun the man and attack the body. He easily broke through the defenses, booted out the old mind and moved in with his soul. The body stayed mostly the same, though it became a bit paler, as Teothia was still not mortal. That was how he wanted it. That way, only very powerful forces could kill him. Ordinary bows would go into him, but no blood would spill out. Then, he could simply pull the arrow out and have not even a scratch. He was, to most people, invincible Teothia walked to the edge of the town and trudged into the wilderness. The ground was hard and packed with rich soil. After walking a mile away, Teothia decided no one would be looking at him now, so he gently and shakily took off a few feet off the ground. He may have a mortal body, but he had undead powers that no human could even dream of. He flew through the air, wind tugging at his hair and body lightly. Finally, Aheenas thatched home came into view. Teothia settled on the ground and walked over on the slightly lighter ground. He walked in front of the closed door. He looked in the window, and not only saw luxuries, but a man. He wore extremely different clothes than those who lived in the city. Teothia assumed that he lived here and had been hunting or something related to that while he was gone. Teothia slowly creaked the door open a crack, and with immoral powers, slid through the tiny opening easily. Aheena had his bow raised when Teothia straightened up and looked at him. Teothia snarled and made aggressive movements toward Aheena. Finally Aheena spoke: One more step mister Teothia took the step. With an impressive twaang, Aheena released shooting the arrow into Teothias forehead. No blood spilled out. Not one drop. Teothia smiled and pulled the arrow out of his head, only leaving a tiny indentation behind. Teothia now raised his Spear of Laria and pointed it at Aheena. When blue light began to gather at the tip, Aheena was shocked. It must have been some kind of magic. He gulped. But, he took surprisingly quick action. He hurled his knife at Teothia. Although not hurting him, it did succeed in thoroughly surprising Teothia and making him take an involuntary step backwards. Aheena immediately launched himself upon the undead man and tussled with him, venturing to grab at the spear. Finally, Teothia rolled out and hurtled out the door. He took no time gently gliding. He soared into the air at a speed that would have beaten Zeus, the Immortal king of gods who was now at Mount Olympus. Part Fourth: Teothia Goes To Hades Teothia skimmed up and down through the air like a water bug skimming on top of water. He had taken off from the town of Thebes, where he had been able to inhabit a body and become nearly mortal. However, he was not yet totally mortal. But, that was an advantage. As demonstrated at Aheenas dwelling, Teothia could not be injured by anything but the strong weapons made by immortals such as Zeus and Hera. However, his Spear of Laria had not been powerful enough to take over Aheenas rich mind. This could be problematic, or potentially fatal in an event of immortal conflict. So, as he skated over the lush grasslands, Teothia made minor adjustments to his spear. He sharpened the tip and flowed more of his immortal power into it. He frowned, still displeased that a soul like Aheena could overpower his Spear of Laria. The thought hit him. There was a place where he could power his spear immensely and form his army and conquer Teothia took a detour. He changed directions and flew across back to the place he had started from Teothia hurtled through the air now, excited at his revelation. . He had a plan. It was simple, but genius. With his Spear of Laria, he could break into the realm of Hades. He could crush its walls with a force so large, it could have shattered the Statue of Zeus at Olympia. Recently, he had decided that he could not be content with simply seeking revenge on his murderer. He was a seeker of power, and being undead gave him a great position in that field... After an exquisitely short of flying that could have been accomplished in a much longer period by even Hermes, messenger of the Immortals. Teothia reached his destination. He sat on a large rock for a moment or two to catch his breath and to observe the scenery. Teothia gazed into the gently rippling River Styx. He watched it gently flow down the stream. It was peaceful. Unsurprising, as Hades, being underground, did not disturb the patterns of the water. Teothia abruptly stood up. He had a mission to accomplish. He went to a body of land where iron could be mined. With his Spear of Laria, he fashioned a pickaxe that worked at twenty-four times the speed of a normal one. Then, he began to mine. Before the sun went down, he had harvested enough iron and gathered enough wood to make his intended weapon. He worked carefully, putting each part into its correct position. Finally, after a long period that lasted after the sun set, he had a beautiful, working, catapult. The final step was to come. He used his pickaxe to bring up only a small amount more iron. Then, he used his Spear of Laria to carefully tailor each small bit. Eventually, after a bit more time in which the sky grew slightly darker, he had created twenty catapult balls that, with their undead properties, could smash the walls of Hades like a horse from the chariot of Poseidon stepping on a twig. Teothia wheeled his beautiful creation to the river. He summoned power from his sword of Laria, and the catapult began to float. Teothia carefully maneuvered his humongous weapon across the river without major event. Then, he himself drifted across to the entrance to the realm of Hades Teothia reached the mouth of Hades and stood before the three-headed dog, Cerberus, that guarded the entrance. The dog instantly sprang to life. Its sole purpose was to guard Hades and let no intruder pass into the realm. So, seeing as Teothia was certainly not authorized to enter, it attacked. Teothia was prepared for this. Teothia simply flicked his Spear of Laria. The dog froze. Teothia simply stated I would like to enter Hades, now. Cerberus stepped aside. Teothia wheeled his cart to the edge and brought his spear up to his shoulder. He carefully stepped to the edge. If he was going to bring his catapult down to Hades with him, it would take precision. He carefully took one leg off the ledge, then the other. The moment he went off the platform, he shot a magical burst from the Spear of Laria. It hooked the catapult and brought it off the ledge and down with Teothia. Now came the tricky part. Teothia carefully rose in the air as he flew. If he flew up to prevent him from splattering on the cold stone floor of the underworld, he would have to fly. But if he jerked up too suddenly, his catapult would fall from its magical chain. So, Teothia was forced to rise one foot at a time. Finally, he was above the catapult. He jerked up the catapult slowly. After a moment, it was level with him. By now, they were almost to the floor. With utter grace that would have shamed Hera, Teothia touched down on the stone floor that marked the beginning of the underworld. The great Hades, ruler of the underworld, had seen Teothia from the moment he took off from the platform. So, when he touched down on the ground. He marched over to him. Halt! he commanded. Who dares enter my realm without permission. What mortal shames his species by coming down to the underworld with his soul still intact with his body? How the heck, may I ask, did such mortal escape past the great dog that guards the land of Hades?! Teothia raised an eyebrow. How touching, he drawled. But quite empty. LISTEN HERE, YE FOOLISH MOR-. But it was then that Teothia got annoyed with this gibberish. He fired a blue burst from his Spear of Laria that knocked Hades off his feet and into the liquid that surrounded the throne of Hades. It could not have been water, for it was swimming with the souls that were evildoers, being eternally tortured for their crimes. The sudden burst of pain that enthralled Hades when he hit the water would have killed any mortal. However, Hades was immortal and it simply knocked him unconscious for the next week. Ha ha ha! laughed Teothia. He had been practicing this evil laugh since he had been killed. This was his first chance to deploy it. Bwahaha! I have control of the entire realm of the underworld! Of course, Teothia had no wanting to keep the underworld as his own personal kingdom. As said earlier, he had no intention to stay in the underworld. He yearned for the beautiful land of Greece, with rolling hills, expansive fields of grain, and beautiful and breathtaking buildings. Actually, Teothia despised the underworld. Which was part of the reason he was destroying it. He could complete his mission without destroying it, but who didnt like toppling walls and crushing the palace of the underworld? So, Teothia deposited one magical iron ball in the bowl at the end of the catapult. He strung up the throwing arm. Then, using the Spear of Laria, pulled the arm back, and released. The result was nearly immediate. The ball crashed through a wall and caused a chain reaction in which all of the stone walls crashed into the murky green waters. They created holes in the surface of the water, completely reversing the tension, releasing all evildoers into the air and out of their imprisonment. There was a great uproar of whoops and cries. My friends! yelled Teothia over all of the spirits. The room went silent. I too am like you. I was killed, but refused to come to Hades and become a mere spirit. I seek revenge! Let us all create an army and take over the world that has sent us to these depths! Then, the whoops and cries began again. Teothia marched to just below the ledge and took off. The one gamble with this plan was that he was betting that the spirits could fly. Teothia looked down as he began to rise. A spirit was nearly touching him he was so close. Couldya fla ani fasta? he squeaked. Oh, sorry, said Teothia, and gave a burst of speed. Very quickly, they were at the mouth of Hades. The dog had not awoken from its trance, so they flew over it without trouble. After flying across the River Styx and the 10,000 strong souls gathered around him. He addressed the crowd: We must not be hasty with our attacks. Otherwise, we may be foiled by a simple glitch. So, I have worked out a strategy. We will first make a home camp and make many weapons. Then, we will attack Mount Olympus and immobilize the immortals! Gradually, all cities will fall to our rule and Greece will be ours. Cheers, whoops, yells, cries, screams, and overall excitement burst through the ranks of evildoers. Teothia was sure that this would be an eventful and victorious campaign Part Fifth: Aheenas Investigation Aheena sat in his home, thinking. He had devoted much of the day to this activity. This was because he had been visited, or more accurately, invaded by a hostile spirit earlier that day. He had been wondering what the heck it was and why it was there. From what he remembered from the short thirty-second long incident was that he had been making wine (which he spent a few hours a day doing) and the spirit came hurtling in, firing blue magical shots from his spear. Of course, the spirit looked much like a human, but Aheena had reasoned that it likely was a spirit, considering he had used a magical spear. So, the spirit had flown in and attempted to kill him but he had been able to chase it off Curiously, The arrows seemed ineffectual against the spirit and passed into his body without spilling a drop of blood, or, apparently, inflicting any wound whatsoever. After another ten minutes of thinking, Aheena made a decision. His only voyages so far in his one-year time in the plains had been to the woods and to the city to sell wine and buy newspapers and goods. Aheena decided to investigate. He would travel for a while and try to find news of this mysterious spirit. Perhaps it was a minor god. Or, it could be an evil spirit trying to take over the land. Who knew? But Aheena was going to find out Aheena began to assemble a knapsack. Using the hide of a deer that he caught earlier, he made straps and quickly made a pack. Then, he began to pack. He made many water skins and took them to a nearby river. He filled them, and laid them aside They would go at the top of the knapsack. Then, he folded up and very tightly compressed a blanket and put it at the bottom. He stuffed much of the rest with tools, and his hand-crafted foldable bow. He also decided to take a few luxuries he had made, so he could sell them and gain a few tetradachms and use them to prod peoples memories and buy newspapers. Finally, he put the water skins on top and set off. Aheena went on for several hours, trudging through the lush woods. His plan was to journey across the lands, stopping in towns and ask people if they had any knowledge, and to keep his eyes peeled for any signs of an undead person or any events that would be related to an undead spirit. He hiked through several forests and across fertile farm plain. After four hours of hiking, he came to a town. On the walls was etched the word Thermapolysis. After being checked over by the spearmen guards, he went into the town through the large double doors in the wall. Aheena walked slowly into the town, his sandals gently padding across the stone road that led straight to the palace where the governor lived. Aheena walked down two roads until he came upon two men sitting in the space between two houses. They were playing some kind of board game with fragments of pots, coins, and other things likely found in the streets as pieces. Aheena cleared his throat. The men looked up. They wore reasonably nice clothing, obviously not self-tailored, but not perfectly made tunics that was made by a professional tunic-maker. Aheena could tell that they were men in their senior years, living out the rest of their lives improving their wisdom with strategy games. Yes? said the one on the left, who wore a white tunic with a faded purple stripe on it. This man had obviously once been a senator. How may we be of service to you, young one? Aheena kept his voice steady and polite: Wise gentlemen, I come with a question, Aye, said the one on the right. That is much of what we do. That is why we are still here and not living in the realm of Hades, we live to answer peoples questions and supply wisdom. Aheena nodded. My question is simple. I would like to know where the newspaper office is, The two men looked at each other, and smiled. Young one, the newspaper office is five buildings down, with the large sign that says The Thermapolysis News. Aheena looked down the row of nice-looking buildings. Etched in gold letters on one read: The Thermapolysis News, Quality Newspapers Every Day. Aheena blushed. He had bothered these old and wise men to ask about a building that was very nearby. I apologize for the interruption, gentlemen, he said. The two men laughed heartily, their old skin shaking as they moved. No problem at all! the one on the left said, and they resumed their cackling. Aheena chuckled too. Who could blame these men for laughing? He wouldve laughed too if he were being asked this question. Aheena walked to the newspaper office. A man stood outside. A stack of newspapers sat beside him. Sir, said Aheena. I would like to buy a copy of your newspaper. The man looked up, and nodded. He picked up one copy and held it up. That will be one tetradachm, he said. Aheena nodded, and rummaged in his coin box, which had an etching of Poseidon on it. He took out a coin and placed it on the stack. He took the newspaper from the man and, after a moment of thinking, placed another coin on the vendors knee. A tip, he said. Zeus knows you dont get paid much. Then, Aheena walked away. Aheena had tipped the man because hopefully, he would spread the generosity of this stranger. Then, if he needed refuge from whatever wrath the powerful spirit may attempt to bestow upon him, Thebes would hopefully welcome him with open arms. Aheena sat down in the streets and looked at the front page of the newspaper. The front page read: The Thermapolysis News Road Complete! Thebes has recently completed a road that will link it with much of the rest of the Greek empire. We now have access to much iron, which will allow us to form a group of swordsmen, who may settle the terrain around us. When building the road, we found much game crowding around the area where the road would go through. The towns hoplites stabbed these pesky animals and brought them back to eat. The road has now been completed, and much commerce has brought back. This is a glorious time for Thebes! Aheena looked over the rest of the newspaper, but found no mention of an undead spirit at all. Aheena had not actually expected a lead on this case, but he had hoped. Oh well. Now, he had something interesting to read on his journey. Aheena left the city that evening.