Amazons of Arcadia

Prologue

Long ago the gods of Mt. Olympus ruled over ancient Greece. From the heights of Mt. Olympus they bent mankind to their will. But one day the Olympians looked away from the mortal world, and in the blink of an eye the Earth changed. Mankind forgot the gods and instead called them myths. To their regret the Olympians discovered no amount of manipulation of human history could bring mankind back into the fold, and so they took the only option left to them – they started over.

In the later part of the twenty second century, the Hestia Investment Group transplanted a small number of human colonists to the distant world of Arcadia. There each Olympian reigned over a cult of followers in a personal city-state where their word was law. To promote harmony, the Great Law of the Olympians prohibited all war on Arcadia. For two thousand years the gods and mortals have lived in harmony, although even the Olympians would have to admit that nothing is perfect.

Deidra's Story

Today I am known as Deidra, but to appreciate my story, you must understand that I was actually born Deianeira. I am an Amazon warrior and a follower of the Goddess Hera. My story begins in my ninteenth year - just after I completed the training required of every Amazon. I was better than most in hand-to-hand combat and secretly dreamed of becoming one of the Queen's bodyguards. You can imagine how nervous and excited I was when the Queen herself asked to speak to me.

Chapter 1: The Mission

The musty smell of old books filled my nose as I entered the Queen's private library. The light was dim and it took a few moments for my eyes to find the Queen seated in an overstuffed chair at the far end of the room. She didn't seem to notice me. I hesitated by the door, unsure what I should do.

"So you are the one who saved my daughter's life," the Queen said without looking up.

"Your majesty?"

"Please come in Deianeira, and have a seat." She indicated the chair across from her. "Princess Lyessa tells me you saved her life during her survival training on Mt. Orion. Is this so?"

"I did what any Amazon would do for one of her sisters, your majesty." I replied softly as I sat down across from the Queen.

"Perhaps, but on this day I would acknowledge your Amazon bravery, … and seek your assistance."

In my surprise I finally looked up at the Queen. "I am honored. I live to serve you and Amazonia."

"I hope you mean those words, young Deianeira, because the task I have for you is a difficult one. You see - I need a spy."

"Your Majesty?"

"What do you know of Alexander?"

"He is leader of the followers of Hermes."

"And" she prompted.

"Some say that he is the Son of Ares, …but I hope that is not true."

"Why?"

"A thousand years ago another Son of Ares was responsible for the battle between the Amazons and the Huntresses of Artemis. He brought about the destruction of an entire sect. I would hate to think a Son of Ares was alive today."

"I share your fears, Deianeira. Unfortunately he is alive today. Alexander is the Son of Ares and his reign of chaos has already begun."

"So the stories about the raids aren't just rumors?" I stammered.

The Queen nodded gravely. "Nearly a year ago the Hermians stopped trading with the other sects and began to take what they wanted. They have stolen from the followers of Demeter, Apollo, Aphrodite and Athena. No outer village is safe from their attacks. Two weeks ago they raided the Amazon village of Lotria."

I gasped in shock. "What will you do?"

"What can I do? The Great Law of the Olympians binds my hands. I cannot use force against them without endangering the Amazon nation. It is frustrating." She replied, suddenly rising from her chair and beginning to pace. "I need more information about Alexander. I need to know what he is doing in Metropolis."

"Metropolis?"

"So you haven't heard. Alexander and the Hermians have ended almost two thousand years of nomadic wandering. They are settling in the Valley of Artemis; building a new city in the ruins of Artemis' ancient capital. It is a terrible insult to memory of the Huntresses."

"And the other Olympians allow this?" I asked, unable to imagine why the powerful Olympians who control every aspect of mortal life on Arcadia would not intervene.

"The Council of Athena determined that the actions of Alexander and the followers of Hermes do not violate the Great Olympian Law" The Queen replied incredulously. "and so the Olympians say they will take no action against them."

"The Olympians won't protect us and the Great Law means we cannot fight to defend ourselves." I muttered dazed by her admission.

"That is why I need you to infiltrate Metropolis. I must know more about Alexander and his plans. We must find a way to stop their aggression."

"I understand the importance of this mission, your majesty, but I am not sure I am the right person. I have no idea where to begin."

"I chose you, Deianeira , because you are young and beautiful. You can pass for a daughter of Demeter. I want you to go to the village of Pyrthia and allow yourself to be captured during the next raid."

My mind reeled at such an unAmazonian notion. "I would be some Hermian's slave?" I managed to ask.

"It is necessary. It would allow you to live in Metropolis for as many days or weeks as it takes to gather information on the city, its people, its' defenses. Is this something you can do?"

I paused for moment. Could I allow myself to be slave in order to obtain the information the Queen required? My whole body shuttered in fear and loathing at the thought, but I was an Amazon warrior. I would do my duty. "Of course, your majesty. I will find a weakness that can be used to help destroy our enemy."

"It will not be easy, my child. You will have to fight your natural Amazon instincts towards men. The daughters of Demeter are much more submissive by nature. If the followers of Hermes were to discover you were an Amazon, they might ..."

I fell to my knees before my Queen. "By the Goddess I swear that I will do anything I must to learn more about our enemy and help the Amazon nation bring them low."

Smiling the Queen extended her hand and helped me rise. "Deianeira, I knew I had chosen well. You will be rewarded for your service to the Amazons. When you return, I will make you a member of my elite body guard."

"Thank you my queen; you are most generous."