Achilles is back.

This morning I awoke to a bunch of shouting coming from the beach. Achilles’ and his Magensian crew sailed in just before dawn.

It was like a goddamned holiday festival. Guys were running all throughout camp shouting things like: “Achilles is back! Our champion has returned!”

The men’s unfettered glee was a little unnerving, bordering on pathetic. Regardless, I was guilty of rushing to the beach with the rest.

I got there just in time to watch the Magensians finish unloading their boat. -They had been working on stacking a pile of treasure in front of Achilles, who was just staring at them, looking very stoic and cool.

It was obvious that Achilles and his men had spent their vacation raiding some seaside villages.

After the Magnesians had finished piling valuables at Achilles feet, he nodded with approval and started walking up towards the encampment.

The enormous crowd parted in front of Achilles, making his trip to the camp look very regal. Although he wasn’t smiling, you could tell that he was pretty pleased with himself.

Anyway, before he could reach the encampment, Agamemnon and a crew of generals rode up to greet him. Odysseus, Diomedes, Nestor and Ajax were amongst them.

Achilles stopped and nodded.

Agamemnon shouted: “Achilles, son of Peleus, it's a gift to find you on our shore once again!”

At that, all of our men went wild.

You would have thought Agamemon had just shouted “Let’s get this party started!” Men were banging on anything that would make noise and throwing each other into the air. It seemed as if Agamemnon's greeting had driven the men insane.

Anyway, Achilles coolly raised his hands and just as quickly as they had exploded, the men once again fell silent.

Achilles replied: “It is good to see you as well, King Agamemnon. Yes, it is good to be back with the Achaeans!”

With that, the men lost their minds once again. However, this time it was final.

Achilles raised his hands.

Agamemnon raised his hands.

There was no effect. -The army was insane with glee.

Achilles was swarmed.

Agamemnon and the commanders had to fight forward, almost trampling men to get to Achilles.

I couldn’t see much except for the heads of the generals on horseback. The crowd around me became so dense that I was lifted off of my feet.

Eventually, I saw Diomedes pull Achilles onto his horse. With that, Agamemnon and his crew turned around and began to fight their way back to the camp.

Most of the men chased after Achilles and the commanders.

As the crowd began to disperse, I could see that Nestor had been pulled down from his horse during the struggle. He was cursing wildly, and swinging his cane at anyone he could hit. I saw this Athenian captain named Acamas come to Nestor’s aid. -He got it right in the teeth.

A huge celebration has been going on all day.

Odysseus hasn’t been around, and it has been up to me to keep the Ithacan camp under control. -I guess that things over here haven’t been too bad.

I heard that the Magnesian and Myrmidon camps are in total chaos. –Polites went over there with Misenus to have a look. He said that some of the revelers had set their own tents on fire.

No one has seen Achilles since this morning, however.


Odysseus and I had a long chat today.

It is rare that the General drops his airs and talks causally, but he did tonight. -I think that he is feeling restless or something.

After dinner, Odysseus stopped by my tent and said that he wanted to dictate another letter to Penelope. He never finished it. I still have it here.

Dearest Penelope,

Your General misses you a bunch. How is my boy Telemachus? Tell him that his father misses him a bunch. The siege on Troy is going good. This siege has gone on too long. What day is it? How are my dogs doing? I miss them a bunch.

-At that point he just gave up.

I asked Odysseus if there was something that I could do for him.

After a silence, he slammed his hand onto my desk and asked: “Eurylochus, what the hell am I doing?”

“Sir?” I replied.

He went on: “I mean, here we are, attacking Troy. -Building a wooden horse to attack Troy. Troy, Eurylochus! This is fucking Troy! We are fucking Ithacans!”

I didn’t know what to say.

Odysseus just looked at me for a couple of minutes. He then nodded and said: “I know, I know. It’s because we’re soldiers. Isn’t it?”

“I guess so, Sir.” I replied.

With that, Odysseus smiled. He then walked over and sat down on my bed. He asked me how I was doing, and I told him that I was doing well. Odysseus then started reminiscing about his farm, his dogs, and our days back at the Academy.

It was nice to hear about things familiar and nostalgic, and we had a good talk that went late into the evening. -The General left just a few minutes ago.

Anyway, I guess that even Odysseus has his moments of doubt.

I don’t expect to see another anytime soon.


A quiet day.

Elpenor took me over to the build site this morning. The Horse is coming along well. The base has been finished, and they were working on attaching the wheels.

This thing is going to be huge.

The base itself is probably ten meters wide and twenty meters long. Elpenor told me that it is going to be just as tall. He thinks that we will be able to get about one-hundred men in there, but says it will be pretty tight.

Epieus suggested that we could get a lot more men in there if we were to build something fatter than a horse. He thought that an elephant would be reasonable.

I just nodded.

I know that Epieus is dying to ask why it has to be a horse, but he knows that it isn’t his place. -He’s a smart guy.

After they took me on a tour of the site, Elpenor and Epieus treated me to lunch.

It was fantastic. Epieus is an incredible cook. He prepared fried fish, covered in some kind of olive and lentil sauce. With that we had bread, butter and wine. Man, I can still taste it.

I kind of got a kick out of seeing Elpenor and Epieus fixing up lunch together. They were both very fussy, and kept bickering at each other like an old married couple.

There is a rumor running about that these guys are an item, and to watch them, I wouldn’t doubt it. Sometimes it happens to some guys at war.

Hell, there is even a rumor about Achilles and Patroclus. -Mother of Zeus, that is going to be bad if Achilles ever shows up again.

That’s not to say that everyone is cool with that kind of thing. I mean no one would say a word to Achilles about it, but in the case of Elpenor and Epieus, it would be wise for them to keep it under wraps.

It's too bad they aren't Spartans. Those guys are so causal, no one would know the difference.

Anyway, lunch was fantastic.

To show my gratitude, I let Elpenor deliver his progress report directly to Odysseus. He was ecstatic.

I think that he forgave me for pulling him out of the fight yesterday.


The weather has improved.

There was a small funeral service for Patroclus this morning. They buried him down by the beach. It was mostly generals and Myrmidon soldiers in attendance. I didn’t go myself.

Later in the day, Agamemnon made quite a spectacle in the center of our encampment.

Agamemnon brought out the bones. –The bones of his grandfather Pelops, that is.

Actually, the Commander-in-Chief brought them out with his brother Menelaus, King of Sparta and ex-husband of Helen.

Although we are fighting this damned war because Menelaus’ wife left him, we don’t see very much of him. –Truth be told, he isn’t really the kind of guy that inspires men to action. In fact, it’s a common belief that we are actually fighting this war on Agamemnon’s behalf, trying to save face for his brother.

I haven’t personally talked to Menelaus face-to-face, but from what I have seen, the guy is somewhat of a sap. –Menelaus’ demeanor kind of reminds me of a dog that gets hit too much.

Anyway, for some reason, both these mighty brothers think that keeping their dead grandfather’s bones with them is somehow beneficial. Seeing as things have been going pretty poorly as of late, I guess they decided to break them out.

Just after lunch, a bunch of Agamemnon’s aides cleared off a large circle in the middle of our camp.

Agamemnon and Menelaus appeared looking very solemn, carrying a large wooden box. They were accompanied by Agamemnon’s personal oracle, Calchas.

With some instructions from Calchas, Agamemnon and Menelaus started wailing and dumped their grandfather’s bones in the dirt. Calchas then started dancing and chanting wildly, kicking the bones all about.

I have to wonder what makes a king decide to let some delusional maniac kick his grandfather’s bones. I mean, on a bad day, a guy could get killed just for sneezing on Agamemnon.

Anyway, after Calchas deemed the bones to be sufficiently scattered, he frantically rushed Agamemnon and Menelaus out of the circle and began to study their placement very carefully. Calchas studied those bones for the rest of the day.

As far as I know, he is still studying them now.

In other news, Elpenor almost got into a fight with Euryalus. -Apparently, he caught Euryalus in one of his impersonations of Epeius.

Late this evening, I heard a commotion outside my tent and rushed out to see Elpenor and Euryalus squared off, surrounded by a group of shouting soldiers.

I had to pull rank and order them to break it up.

Although I usually let such minor conflicts sort themselves out, I knew that Elpenor was about to be creamed. I didn’t just feel sorry for him. I need him for his work on the Horse.

At any rate, I ordered Elpenor not to get involved in any more fights.

He didn't seem very grateful.


Hector got his horse back.

Today was rainy. I guess that was a bad omen for Patroclus, and a good one for Hector.

The setup for today’s fight was very similar to the one between Hector and Ajax. About fifty of our commanders and aides met with a similar number of Trojans, roughly halfway between our camp and the city.

As it was raining, we set up a few open air tents to cover Agamemnon and the top generals. The Trojans had to stand in the rain.

Paris wasn’t with the Trojans this time. However, a loud mouth guy named Glaukos was. I heard that Glaukos had a personal beef with Patroclus. Patroclus had killed Glaukos’ commander Sarpedon in some previous skirmishing. -So much drama with these commanders…

I guess that Glaukos came, hoping to see Patroclus get beat down.

Aside from Glaukos, Hector’s brother Deiphobus and his sister Cassandra were there. Polites thought that Cassandra was something else. -I didn’t see it.

Anyway, Patroclus made a pretty dramatic entrance. Accompanied by Diomedes, he rode up on Hector’s horse, carrying a golden shield and a Myrmidonian flag. However, what really blew everyone away was that Patroclus was wearing Achilles' armor. It was obvious that it was Achilles' armor because it had a big cheesy ‘Alpha’ on the breastplate.

A loud whisper spread throughout the audience.

Everyone knew that Patroclus and Achilles were close, but not that close. Furthermore, as Patroclus was wearing Achilles' armor, it was clear that Patroclus likely knew where Achilles had gone. -Agamemnon was visibly agitated.

Patroclus would have made quite a sight if half of his head hadn’t been wrapped in bandages.

Glaukos yelled: “Nice armor, Patroclus! Too bad it doesn’t cover your face!”

Patroclus ignored him. Jumping off his horse, he walked up to meet Hector without hesitation. The two men shook hands, and agreed to fight with spears. They didn’t use shields.

When I saw Patroclus retrieve his spear, I immediately thought that he had made a mistake. Hector is great with a sword, but his skill with the spear is almost legendary. I don’t know what made Patroclus so cocky.

Unlike the battle between Hector and Ajax, this one began with very little shit-talking. After grabbing their spears, Hector and Patroclus turned towards each other, bowed and got right to it.

Unlike the battle between Hector and Ajax, this one didn’t last very long.

Patroclus rushed first, and as Hector stepped aside, Patroclus did a fancy move, smacking Hector in the head with the shaft of his spear. This brought a loud cheer from our men.

Hector shook his head, and Patroclus spun around to face him again.

Once again, Patroclus charged.

I am not sure what Patroclus meant to do, but Hector easily stuck him right in the gut. It almost looked like Patroclus was offering his stomach.

Anyway, it was pretty sick. I don’t really want to commit the details to writing, but suffice to say, a gut wound wasn’t enough to finish Patroclus off. He was hurt really bad though, and he made a lot of noise.

Hector kind of finished him off like a skewered pig.

Although it was an audience of soldiers, Patroclus’ grisly death visibly affected everyone. -No one said a word.

After Hector was finished, or rather, after Patroclus was finished, Hector coolly removed Patroclus’ breastplate, walked over to his horse and climbed into the saddle. He gave a polite nod to Agamemnon and rode off.

The rest of the Trojans followed Hector’s lead, except for Glaukos. Glaukos actually ran up to Patroclus’ body and gave it a kick. Seeing that, all of our men, including Agamemnon, drew weapons and stepped forward.

Glaukos looked up, turned tail and ran.

The rest of the day was pretty sober. It is still raining now.

I suppose there will be a funeral tomorrow.


Well, we had another visit from Hector today. -This is getting ridiculous.

Fortunately, Hector didn’t lead a cavalry charge on our camp. This time he rode up with about eight other guys, carrying a flag of truce.

It took awhile to get our commanders out to greet him, and a crowd of soldiers just stood there heckling him and his entourage for about twenty minutes.

Polites told me that Hector had arrived, and I fetched Odysseus. The General was having breakfast with Agamemnon. He hadn’t yet come to inspect our newly cleaned camp.

By the time that I arrived with Odysseus and Agamemnon, Hector was having a conversation with Nestor, the old Golden Fleece guy.

When Odysseus and Agamemnon walked up, Hector greeted them friendly: “Ah, Agamemnon, and ah, General Odysseus! How does this fine morning find you?” Agamemnon and Odysseus exchanged pleasantries with Hector. Everything was very casual.

A few more generals began to walk up and us men of lesser rank were somewhat edged back.

Polites and Euryalus were standing with me, and assuming the role of crowd control, we were able to stay within view of the meeting.

Ajax soon appeared.

Hector looked genuinely happy to see Ajax, and called to him: “Ah, brother Ajax, it’s good to see you!”

Ajax, was pleased with the attention, and loudly shouted back: “Hector, it’s good to see you as well! You look none the worse for wear!” At this they both had a good laugh.

I looked at Odysseus, and could tell that he was perturbed. I then knew that we would fail today’s camp inspection.

It was Ajax who inquired as to why Hector had paid us a visit.

“Ah, Ajax, I am actually here to kill one of you. Hah! Apparently, some of your men have turned to horse thievery, and they took my Lampos, -my best steed! Ah, so yes, I’m here to give the thief what is coming to him!”

At that, many eyes turned to Odysseus. I looked for Diomedes, but couldn’t find him. Odysseus seemed surprised. It looked like he was about to speak, but he was cut off by another shout.

“I’ll shkill you! You shorry eshcuse for a sholdier!” -It was Patroclus.

Patroclus’ head was half wrapped in bandages, and his speech was very spitty.

Euryalus nudge Polites and quiped: “I shtole your shteed!”

Hector, and all eyes, turned towards Patroclus.

Hector laughed. “Ah, shot by shepherd boys, Patroclus? And you were so pretty!”

Patroclus replied, “Fuck off, Hecshtor. You want your Lamposh? If you can besht me, you can havshe him! But, if I besht you, I get your shield!” -Hector's shield was very nice.

Hector nodded. “So be it. Ah, tomorrow at noon again. -If that is well with you, Agamemnon.”

“Sure. Of course, Hector.” replied the Commander-in-Chief.

With that it was settled. Patroclus will fight Hector tomorrow.

We passed our inspection. Odysseus was actually very pleased. I think that dodging a duel with Hector improved his spirits a bit.

After the inspection was done, Odysseus asked me to send some wine over to Patroclus’ tent, and to wish him luck. I let Elpenor do it.