I am Leontios Tagaris, of the family Kaleothes, and this is my story.
From the Journal of Leontios
The Aurun Empire is a strange land, nowhere more-so than when it comes to gods. I recognize the faces, the statues, the phrases, identical to the gods of Mycenae, however most of the names have changed.
Ammonar? I know him as Zoraster, Judge and Father, God of the Winged Sun. Even the symbol his priests wear is similar. Once Zoraster ruled over the gods in Mycenae, as he does here.
Ianna remains Ianna. The Dancers of the Blade and the Dancers of the Veil are similar here, however she is but one of the Gods of Order here, no greater and no worse than the others.
One hundred years of war changed that, for us. One hundred years of tithes, dedications, endowments, and tributes. Year by year the voices of the priests of Zoraster grew quieter while the priestesses and Matriarch of Ianna grew louder, more powerful.
Phillipus, who was the wisest of my brothers, once said that it was the Matriarch who kept us at war, pushed us on when all were weary of the slaughter, until the time was right, the armies and cities exhausted, the people starving and homeless. Then they came with grain and honey purchased with our coin, our tribute, the Matriarch and her priestesses hailed as saviours.
Phillipus was the wisest of us all, but he was not the best with the spear and shield. I wish he was here today, I could seek his council, make sense of the chaos around me. I will not see him in the Afterlife, for Exiles have no place among the Sworn and Loyal Brothers. Perhaps I will see Tolmides, who died of a fever in Exile on our trip to this cursed land.
Ah, fair Tolmides, if only you had taken Mother’s offer and bent your knee in supplication. But you were bound by my honour, ever loyal and true. As I chose to enter exile, so to did you. I long to hear your laughter again, but there is no laughter in the place across the River where all souls go.
Ioanna awakens. It is time to prepare for our expedition to the country with these Aurans. On horseback, no less. Tolmides, you would laugh at that, brother, I know it.