Ephiny and the Battle for the Amazons
by AJ Marks
Ephiny looked on at everyone before deciding to change the subject away from Amazons and Centaurs.
“So, what happens to the Roman prisoners?” she asked Valaska.
“Currently the Conqueror’s army is watching over them,” Valaska sad. “They are technically Amazon prisoners that will need to be sorted out as well considering there were two other sides involved in this battle. The only bad news is the Roman prisoner who Komi killed.”
“That must have been their mission before joining Tanis,” Eph stated.
“It appears Elasia and Rita are quite talkative now that Tanis is dead,” Valaska said. “They thought if Tanis got the Right-of-Caste the Romans would kill Queen Melosa and me allowing her to takeover without a problem. That plan took a detour when Terreis gave Gabrielle the title instead of one of you two.”
Ephiny had to think about that for several seconds knowing that if the Right-of-Caste had gone to someone else the Nation probably would have ceased to exist right now. She wondered if Terreis knew how much it meant right now that the right hadn’t been given to her, or Eponin. They would have received no help from the Greek army.
“I’m surprised we didn’t start killing each other in battle,” Valaska said looking at the Centaur.
“We had volunteers, and those who came, most of us have talked with Amazons, or have friends who have,” Marcus replied back to her.
“And the Conqueror demands obedience from her troops,” Eponin said. “She says which side they are on and they obey.”
“You have Amazons fighting for their homes, a strong emotion in a fight,” Marcus said.
“It’s possible in any other situation we’d be bickering among ourselves losing the battle,” Eponin said, something many of them didn’t enjoy thinking about.
“Might be,” Valaska said. “When the Greek army showed up Paleamon took charge telling me the Conqueror had taken off towards the village chasing a few Amazons.”
“That’s when I left the battle,” Eponin said. “I knew if Gabrielle was in trouble then Eph was as well.”
“Gee, thanks, don’t know if I should be insulted or flattered,” Eph replied back.
“I wondered about that,” Valaska said. “But I didn’t have time to give it much thought. Paleamon and I split the army into two fighting forces feigning an attack in the middle while flanking them. The Romans were shocked at the presence of so many Greek soldiers, and shortly after that they surrendered, capturing their general, Bluto. After that Melosa sent me back to secure the village.”
Ephiny knew what happened at the village.
“Well, this meeting should be very interesting,” she finally said.
“Yep, I’ll see you all this afternoon then,” Valaska said walking away.
Eph turned and headed towards her own hut to relax a bit more after everything which happened in the past day with Eponin following.
Eph stretched a bit as approached the meeting hut and stopped seeing so many standing outside. Looking over at Eponin who shared her confusion at the sight before them. She hoped the meeting was still to go on. She knew the queen had planned a part and hoped the meeting didn’t drag on like it could some days. Approaching a bit closer she noticed the table had been set outside as the people stood around, including the Conqueror, Gabrielle, and Melosa.
She then noticed the Centaur delegation, Marcus and another Centaur walking up and realized why the set up was outside, to accommodate the Centaurs. They would have been uncomfortable inside the hut. With one last look around headed over to sit down, joined by the others.
“Everyone is here, we’ll begin this meeting,” Melosa said looking around then at the Centaurs. “First off, the Amazon Nation offers it’s thanks to the Centaurs, and Greece, for their help against the Romans yesterday.”
No one said anything, the Centaurs merely nodded their heads as the Conqueror and Gabrielle waited patiently.
“When I was younger I fought against the Centaurs in our last war, as did Erika. Our young grew up hating the other side due to these differences. I have learned things have changed, the hatred is losing its hold slowly,” Melosa said, looking over at Jana and Marcus.
“Really?” the older Centaur said sounding slightly surprised and looking at Marcus as well.
“Its true father, many of us have questioned this hatred between us and wanted to know more, see this enemy,” Marcus said. “What we found, well, some are very sweet and nice.”
Eph watched as he looked over at Jana ho smiled back at him before the other Centaur seemed to think about this new development.
“I see, then perhaps time does promote change,” he said.
“It’s a start to lasting peace,” Gabrielle said.
“I take it the rumors are true, about you being an Amazon princess,” the Centaur said, looking back at Gabrielle.
“It won’t be all peaceful, some will be against it, but the end result is worth the effort,” Gabrielle said. “Perhaps a village could be built between the two nations where those already involved may stay.”
“”I see the reports of your wisdom are not exaggerated,” the Centaur replied back looking over at Melosa. “I’m afraid some feelings between the two of us may never be resolved. But times do change.”
“Yes, we are now allied with the Conqueror,” Melosa said, everyone knowing how that would have seemed unlikely only a few seasons ago.
“I will be honest, if it had not been for the Conqueror we might not have helped,” the Centaur said honestly.
Ephiny had the feeling there were other, unsaid conversations going on all around her. Melosa had led the Amazons against the Centaurs in the last war between the two. Since that war there had been no fighting between the two, but neither had either reached out for diplomacy until now.
Looking over at Erika and Jana, knowing the elder had fought against the Centaurs yet somehow Jana had managed to rid herself of the intolerance of against Centaurs. The times were changing nad hopefully for the better.
“Perhaps the Amazons can help this process by inviting the Centaurs to our festival tonight,” Melosa replied. “We’re crowning Gabrielle as a princess of the Nation tonight, a reason for celebration.”
Gabrielle suddenly appeared embarrassed by the sudden attention which confused Eph. A woman who walked around nude, did who knew what and seemed uncomfortable at this. Another mystery which she had no answers for.
And this brings up the next agenda for this short meeting,” Melosa said. “Princess Gabrielle.”
Ephiny waited to hear what her queen was thinking. Everyone figured Gabrielle would not stay in the Nation and head back to Corinth when the Conqueror left.
“I have discussed this with the Conqueror, Princess Valaska and Gabrielle and we have come to an agreement of the current situation. Gabrielle will not live in the village, instead she will return to Corinth along with an Amazon delegation and guard. Heading up this delegation will be Ephiny, and leading the guard will be Eponin.”
The statement caught Eph off guard and she almost fell out of her chair. Eponin appeared as stunned as Eph felt before looking back at Melosa who appeared to be waiting.
“I only ask that in all matters concerning Gabrielle’s safety Eponin works with Paleamon,” the Conqueror stated and Eph had a feeling there would be no debate about that. It was odd to have both wanting Gabrielle’s protection to be a top concern. It was Melosa who continued on.
“Eponin you will decide how many warriors to have on hand, each warrior will be assigned to Corinth and will rotate regularly. Ephiny, you are going as an adviser to Gabrielle. She will need to know the laws of the Nation at times,” Melosa said to her.
“Of course,” Eph replied, she could always ask her mother for advice, she knew the laws very well, or someone who did know.
“Now, the lasts time, the prisoners,” Melosa said, looking over at the Conqueror.
“Greece will take the prisoners back to Corinth, we have the facilities to hold them in until such times as Caesar sends a delegation to negotiate their release. Any tribute will be split between all parties involved,” the Conqueror said.
“And how do we know we’ll get our tribute,” the centaur said.
“Because I said so,” Gabrielle stated standing up.
Eph watched as the Centaur moved over to tower over Gabrielle who had yet to move but only stood there. The Centaur bent down until his head was even with Gabrielle.
“You are brave little one,” the Centaur said looking at her, then over at the Conqueror and back at Gabrielle. “You have kept your promises, because of that the Centaurs will accept this. We value our mutual defense treaty which exists between us.”
“Current events have shown such treaties are worthy, the Amazon Nation will stand by the treaties as well,” Melosa said.
“As does Greece,” the Conqueror said. “As long as we all respect each other’s sovereign rights this treaty will last.”
Eph thought it sounded strange to hear such a comment come from the Conqueror. She heard many stories about the Conqueror’s warlord days she conquered Greece. It made her wonder what the real truth was, or how much she had changed.
“I’ll have my scribes write it up and sent out. We might have to meet again over the language of the treaty, but the basics are there,” the Conqueror said. “I’ll put my best treaty maker on it.”
Eph noticed at that comment the Conqueror placed her hand on Gabrielle’s shoulder.
“And is this treaty-maker standing right here,” Melosa said, her voice lightly teasing.
“She is, and the best I’ve seen so far,” the Conqueror said. Eph noticed a slight blush on Gabrielle’s face at the compliment she received.
“I look forward to reading the treaty then,” the Centaur said speaking up.
The meeting continued wrapping up a few other points before Melosa stood.
“If there is nothing else, there is a feast to prepare for. We have things to celebrate,” she said to the group.
Eph stood as no one else said anything before heading away from the meeting and back towards their hut.
“That was, different,” Ephiny finally said to Eponin who walked beside her.
“Yeah, now we’ve go to start packing as we’ll be headed to Corinth for a while,” Eponin stated.
“That was unexpected,” Eph said recalling that bit of news.
“Nope, but should have seen it coming, I mean there was no way the Conqueror and Gabrielle were splitting, it really is the only logical choice, and should strengthen our relationship with Greece,” Eponin stated. “I wonder if I can learn some new movies on the training grounds with the Conqueror?”
Ephiny shook her head at the slight smile on her lover’s face. “Come on, let’s get ready, remember, you talked me into adopting Gabrielle into the Nation.”
“I wonder if you’re mom’s ready for this.”
“Ugh, don’t remind me, I got suckered into this as well, no backing out now,” Eph said opening the door to the hut and following Eponin inside.
End part 5