Now the screams were awful to hear as men burned like candles all along the deck. Black smoke billowed over the sea. Argurios could not believe what he was watching. At least fifty helpless men were dying in agony. One man managed to free himself and leap into the sea. Amazingly, when he surfaced the flames were still consuming him.All along the beach there was silence as the stunned crowd watched the magical fires burning the galley and it's crew.
We are tiny flames, Helikaon, and we flicker alone in the great dark for no more than a heartbeat. When we strive for wealth, glory and fame, it is meaningless. The nations we fight for will one day cease to be. Even the mountains we gaze upon will crumble to dust. To truly live we must yearn for that which does not die.
It seems to me, that you people spend a great deal of time talking about honour, but strip away the high sounding words and you are no different from any other race. Family? Has Priam not killed wayward sons? When a king dies do his sons not go to war with one another to succeed him? Men speak of how you reacted to your father's death. They say it was amazing, for you did not order your little brother's execution. Your race thrives on blood and death, Helikaon. Your ships raid the coasts of other nations, stealing slaves, burning and plundering. Warriors brag of how many men they have killed, and women they have raped. Almost all of your kings either seized their thrones with swords and murder, or are children of men who seized power with swords and murder. So put all this talk of honour to one side.
One day the enemy will cross the Great Green. They will bring war and tragedy to these eastern lands. Such is the nature of vile men. Yet we cannot live in dread of them. We cannot hide behind these high walls, our hearts trembling. For that is not life. We must accept the needs and the duties of each day, and face them one at a time.
Yours is a race whose imagination is limited to its own small appetites. Greed, lust, envy - these are the motivating forces of humankind. What redeems you is that in every man and woman there is a seed that can grow to encompass love, joy and compassion. But this seed is never allowed to prosper in fertile ground. It struggles for life among the rocks of your human soul.