seaborne breeze wafts in from the open balcony, carrying the smell of Citrus and the springtime harvest. Gulls caw from overhead as Androcles awakens within his lavish chambers. His head groggy, he stirs in his fine silken sheets and rolls to the side, gazing past the white stone columns of his balcony. His arm falls to the side of his bed and brushes against two empty wine bottles, remnants of the nights debauchery. The pounding in his 16 year old head fades and he notices another more real pounding, that of his fathers fists upon the door. “Wake up you drunken swine!” His father roars from beyond the chamber. “It is nearly mid-day and you are supposed to be selling my wine at the festival!” Androcles lets out a deep sigh, trying to remember his forays the night before. Rolling off his back his feet find purchase on the cold marble floor and he stretches his back leisurely, his golden hair falling past his shoulders. His fathers wine was legendary in the city of Lindos, the largest settlement on the island of Rhodes.
It had made his family rich and influential beyond measure. Their ships sold wine throughout all of the Aegean, reaching as far as Athens and Corinth in mainland Greece to the west, and the sandy cities of Egypt to the south. This festival would wait as long as he made them for the sweet taste of their families prized nectar, who were they to rush the glorious son of Lindos from his sleep? Then again, if it was truly mid-day then that meant the Spartan officers visiting the island would have the men drilling in the fields, training to face the growing pirate forces in the region. Watching these peerless warriors train was one of the few humbling experiences the boy had ever witnessed, and the Spartans looked down upon those who over-slept… he wouldn’t want to be shamed in their eyes.
Standing at last, he makes his way to the heavy oak door, snatching his robe off the floor and downing the half full glass of wine still sitting on his bed table. Today, he would talk to the captain of the city guard about joining in the naval campaigns next year. There was only so much glory that could be found in the bottom of a wine bottle or the inside of a maidens skirt, and Androcles would have much more than that before his life was done, of that he was certain. His ascent to the deeds of peerless Achilles and Olympus itself would begin today…