Stephanos' History

Stephanos is a Spartan. And in times like these? That means something. Born and raised to battle, he breathes chaos as well as the very aether in the air.

Born illegitimate, Stephanos passed the tests of the Spartan physicians boldly. As he grew into a young boy, he lived only at the mercy of the slaves and inhabitants of the interior of the city. Not having a simple place as slave or freeman, he lived his first years on charity, taken care, as all orphans of Sparta were, by welfare of the state. As he aged, he was noticed for only one reason – his audacity.

Stephanos was fierce – a lion among domestic breeds. With children twice his age and thrice his girth, he could fight to victory with but his hands or the plethora of weapons around him. Even as a seven year-old, Stephanos quickly gained a reputation as a true Spartan, bullying and earning his way into agoge the only way a Spartan respectfully should – fighting.

Killing, beating, and generally intimidating boys years ahead of him in training, the young Spartan quickly gained an even fiercer reputation as a true warrior – or at the very least as one of great Potential. As he aged in earnest his skills only grew further, but perhaps Stephanos' best kept secret was his incalculably sharp mind. An intellect surpassing that of even fully-grown Spartan men, Stephanos taught himself to read while living as a vagabond among other Spartan boys. Studying obscure philosophers and accepting their views as only limiting for the fully foolish, Stephanos set out on a life dedicated to proving himself.

From the first stage of his training and beyond, Stephanos intimately studied the deceased, looking upon the innards of human and animal corpses as though they were only more facts for him to memorize. As his combat skills became legend among the younger sects, his thirst for knowledge was never sated, and the more he studied, the more inconsistencies he found among the medicinal studies he would pilfer from the Spartan physicians. As he grew, he developed not only his body, but his mind, and as he trained harder every day, he came to be known as the most promising warrior in all of Sparta – and duly all of Greece.

But while Stephanos quickly closed in on the end of his initial basic trainings, approaching the threshold of adulthood, he finally found his calling. Medicine, combat, such things a Spartan craved. But for Stephanos, the world of sciences, physics and natural philosophies were the only mysteries left worth conquering. As he discovered the more forbidden of secrets of the natural world, he continued his training of the mind and body, becoming stronger all the more.

Of course, all things must end, and for Stephanos, the end of the initial stage of agoge meant only one thing: war. As battle beckoned, Stephanos was forced to commit more and more of his precious time to battle training. Not being tempted by fickle things like rank or influence, he eschewed the more common practices of infighting, only proving himself if challenged – and the smart fighters left him untouched. Perhaps the most important part of Stephanos success was his combat ethics, or lack thereof. War was war – pure chaos, death deified. If Stephanos was the only one who saw it in such a way, he was more than happy to come out on top. With a firm knowledge of the weaknesses of the human body as well as the complete disregard for rules of combat, Stephanos found his time in agoge long behind him as he joined the standing, warring Spartan army. While in combat, he was applauded – the Lion of Sparta – he became less respected outside of it, forgoing formality. All were equal, in Stephanos' eyes.

Unfortunately, the est of Sparta grew slowly tired of his attitudes, and as he won glory for his homeland, he discovered the penalties of free thinking in certain city-states. Beaten until he couldn't breathe, and only alive by his own considerable willpower, Stephanos gained many things from his daily beatings outside of warfare. He began lying extensively, began challenging men to honorable combat, and eventually began to become corrupted.

While the Lion of Sparta would experience more and more success on the battlefield, eventually attaining rank and pleasure for his sacrifices and developing a taste for small vices. He found drink and vapor to be particularly pungent in expanding his mind. As he slowly gained friends and fame for his actions, he never saw the fall – and when he descended, he had to fight tooth and nail to get back.

The Spartans have an old saying – with this or upon this. While receiving a shield, and before every battle, a Spartan is told to fight or die – but to never give up their shield. Stephanos was practical, and though he often did lose a shield, there were never a shortage of them among the freshly dead. Forgoing honor in the worst possible way, Stephanos learned that with a bit of lies and a lot of luck, he could do just about anything he wanted, until one day, he simply didn't bother with the shield. In combat, he was graceful, but unencumbered by the Spartan shield, he was pure brutal efficiency. Unfortunately, the Lion of Sparta did not please the council of Sparta any longer.

As he attempted to lie his way out of every accusation finally flung his way in the militaristic trial, he was eventually disavowed and exiled – no longer a citizen, not even a slave. A heretic. As his friends and comrades abandoned him, he swore to himself he would never use lies again. As he wandered once more a vagabond, he developed his own code of honor, more important than ever to his recently betrayed soul. As he thought it out more and more, he realized he could never truly be happy unless he pursued that which had always truly driven him: the future, and the technology he would create. Of course, the knowledge he often sought was heresy in its purest form. Such secrets would have to be kept under wraps.

Stopping in every state that would have him, Stephanos studied medicine, science, philosophies, and the eccentricities of life and man from afar, but always craved the attention he hoped for. Sure, suppressing social sides seems silly, sir, but he became a shut-in, staying only for long enough to exhaust his patience and leaving quickly. Traveling far farther than the boundaries of Greece, Stephanos visited every major – and most minor countries, earning money the only way a Spartan, even an ex-Spartan, need: death-dealing. In war as a mercenary, Stephanos further honed his deadly craft, becoming all the more vicious. As he did so, Sparta began to worry.

If such a fearsome man was cast from Sparta, surely the gods willed it. But as Stephanos made a name for himself as the ex-Lion of Sparta, he was not without enemies. The most impressive of which surely even Sparta could fear. But as he regained notoriety and respect as both a warrior and a scholar, Stephanos never once mentioned Sparta as his home. Infuriatingly, he even denied others his story, only wishing to be known as the man he had made himself. Having grown tired of travel and war, Stephanos settled in Scassos, an understated city-state. He remained there, happy and fast developing a reputation as a man of medicine, tactics, and prestige.

Years pass, and Stephanos only grows better with age. In his late twenties, he is the best of the best. A feared warrior, a respected tactician, and perhaps the foremost scientific mind and philosopher. What's next? Only the gods know..

It used to be about 3000 words longer but I shan't give Ray the pleasure. Edited for your discontent!