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Stand a little out of my sun


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It was another sunny day in Athens, however to many it was even more so than usual. The de facto collapse of the Byzantine Empire as well as many of the other organized states in Europe, Africa and Asia had significant effects on society. Many considered it the end of the world however to others it provided a new opportunity. For centuries the Hellenistic Faith had been declared pagan, its followers had been persecuted and it seemed like it would never return. However the followers of Zeus and Pallas Athena were stronger than that. Blaming Christianity for all that had gone wrong in the world it was easy to convert locals back to the faith that had made them all once the greatest power in the world. In the lands of Athens.


Diogenes walked to a large meeting area. Much like before Athens was going to be governed by the citizens first, which based on Spartan values as well as some other schools of thought) had grown to include all free men and women over the age of 25 who had converted to the Hellenistic Faith. Not far behind him were several guards dragging people along with him. As Diogenes turned to the crowds that had come the men were put on display. Their clothes immediately showed they were men of significant standing.


"Athenians, for too long have we been oppressed by those who governed not based on their virtue but a claimed God-given right. Those who would deprive you, free men and women, of their most basic rights and those who would kill you for your faith. Now the roles have been reversed and they are at our mercy! What should we do?" He spoke loudly so even in the back people could hear him. The response was clear "KILL! KILL! KILL!"


Diogenes smiled as he turned to the men. "In due time most likely, but we are not like these barbarians. No what we will give them is something they would never give us, a chance to make their case before a court. Five hundred will be chosen from among you to determine guilt or innocence and pass judgement. Feudalism is over, the Byzantine Empire is over. We are free Athenians and we will join with the other free peoples of the world!"


The developments had not been exclusive to Athens, throughout the surrounding region numerous cities went through similar events. Realizing fully well the risk posed by those who were still tied to the old structure and religion these cities would join together to form a new coalition of cities. The Athenian League.


The Athenian League was also swift to increase its influence, early on during the revolutions it had already become clear brothers and sisters were trying to make change happen in Achaia as well. With the support of the city states Diogenes would be granted an army and navy to proceed against this region and support the people there. A total force of 2,000 soldiers and five Dromons would make their way to the province and provide those rebelling there a fighting chance against their oppressors.


While it would take time the message of the formation of the Athenian League would probably soon reach even the furthest away parts of Europe.

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The additional forces under the command of Diogenes would prove to be decisive in tilting the balance in Achaia to the favor of the revolutionaries and the aid from the League was greatly appreciated by the locals. Within two weeks from the forces arriving only Patras still remained disputed. As Diogenes looked out of the camp he saw the walls of the city. His spies had told him that inside thousands were ready to revolt against their rulers however the nobles there had made sure to keep a strong mercenary army ready to oppress their people. Luckily however the walls were not nearly strong enough to keep the city safe from attack and the Athenian ships made sure there would be no further reinforcements moving in.


Steadily lower commanders would make their way inside the command tent. Once all were inside Diogenes followed them. "The Gods are on our side, the signs are there. Tomorrow we will march" He said as he continued walking until reaching the head of the table that showed a map of the city. Combined with the local forces there were 10,000 men ready to take the city but only the 2,000 that had come with Diogenes had professional experience. What they would be facing was a force of 4,000 mercenaries from various regions of Europe. "It will not be an easy fight but it is a much needed one, for too long have the people of Patras been subject to failed governments and false claims of divinity. Tomorrow we will dine in the castle. Tell your men the following and obey the order yourselves. Go out, drink and live tonight for tomorrow many will die. They will however die as free Greeks fighting for their cities, fighting for the League"


As Diogenes walked out again he could hear the commanders cheering. Unlike his men he was going to rest tonight.




Back in Athens the trial of the nobility had concluded and as expected all of them were sentenced to death. Contrary to fears of Christians still in the city however that was where the retaliation would stop. On the direct instructions of Diogenes Christian churches were preserved and Christians allowed to go their own way. While they were considered inferior and denied citizenship they would still be able to live out their lives in peace.

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Back at the home front it became increasingly clear that for the continuation of the League a new kind of discipline was needed, while faulty in many ways there were structure in Byzantium that made the administration of larger powers easier. Especially the high amount of organizations occupied with specialized tasks was of interest to the new League. Athens, being the capital and strongest power in the League would take the helm of these efforts. This would begin with the formation of the Sacred Band. This would be a group of 500 infantry given the best armour and weapons and being fully trained in the arts of war. Additionally the Bureau of Foreigners, based on the Bureau of Barbarians was formed to support the Sacred Band as well as the other institutions of Athens in gathering information about foreign states. Information would be gained by all available means and ensure the Athenian League would be ready for any threat. In essence this Bureau was to serve as both an intelligence agency in general but also directly involved in foreign espionage activities.


Simultaneously the formation of a courier service was authorized to allow for the quick relay of orders and other important information throughout the League. Certain members of this courier service would be tasked with espionage duties as well so Athens might become quickly aware of any dissenting or rebellious movements within the League.

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