The Life of Cladius Maximus
To my father, may he always watch me. To my mother, whom I will never forget. To the Constables of Iridine, for they deserve credit. Finally, to all those I have met in Iridine who have helped me since I arrived.
I am Cladius Maximus of Altene. I am a gentle soul, yet temper mental. I have not led the most extraordinary of lives, a middle class boy from Altene. I was born into a loving family within the city walls. Though a Despotic Military State, a thriving city at the time. It contained close grouped, small, Insulas that all the resembled one another so that you could not tell the difference if you were a visitor to the place. Most homes were red roofed, contained small glass windows for each apartment, and were a light brown in color. Yes, it was rather neat and quaint. Each apartment lined a wide cobblestone street and at each end was a square with a statue, decorated with an important soldier or Monarch. Being the adventurous type, I would run off after my evening meal with my stave in hand and meet friends to spar near the statue of my father. My father you ask? Why a statue of him? Well, Iíll tell you. He much resembles myself to begin with, a tan complexion, brown eyes and the same color hair. He was muscular and tall. Many say I look exactly like him, even at my young age. From what my mother told me, he was a squad commander in the Kingís Guards. He had a prestigious title and lived within a fine home near the palace along with my mother and I when I was a baby. As time went on, he uncovered a plot to overthrow the government and replace it with one that would open the gates of the city (and eventually all of Tucea) to Cinera. At the time, only he knew of it and went through great lengths to stop it. With a small band of men, he marched to the traitors hut on the outskirts of the city and ran into a small army of Cinerans and angry thieves. His men triumphed that night but the leader mortally wounded him, and man named Oxicalius. While still bleeding my father rose up and swung his stave with a blow that snapped the mans neck with an unpleasant, ìcrack!î My father then fell to the ground with his eyes towards the stars with his stave in hand.
I was but a baby when these events occurred, and when told of the day by my mother (who still cries over her lost husband each night), I vowed to always remain an enemy to Ciners and scum that would relate to them. Thus, I began training with the only thing I could really grasp at the time, a small wooden gladius. Unlike my Altene brothers, I became rather good with the sword, as well as the stave. I would train with everyone else all day with my stave, spar with my friends, and run home again after dark and hit a makeshift Cineran Soldier (which more resembled a rag doll with a parchment folded like a dirk) with my gladius. I trained and trained until I was 18, not only in weapons, but also in languages and writing. I loved books and soon became rather good at writing histories. My first being a small red covered book titled, ìA Guide to Altene History,î which of course was never published but remains in my bank account in a small chest.
After the completion of my ìnovel,î I was strolling through the market place searching for some fine Imported Iridine Wine for my motherís birthday when I ran into a soldier whom I had never seen before or heard of. Augustus was his name. He was an average height man with an olive skin color, something that I had never seen before. He wore multiple types of armor and had an iron gladius in a scabbard that was barely visible under a red sash. He was buying apples from a local merchant, and being of the curious type, I walked up to him and said, ìWhere are you from?î He glanced at me with a worried look and tried to say, ìI am from Iridine,î but instead said, ìI rat of Iridine.î I responded with a brief chuckle and told him his mistake, in his own language. He looked at me with a smile and said, ìYou can speak my language?î I had learned it in one of my many books and learned of how many of our men left to that Republic in search of glory and adventure. We inclined to speak and he told me of the land so far away and how he had come to fight in a War Game. I was amazed at his stories and of the battles with Cinera and the vast and wondrous Eternal City.
I couldnít stop thinking about it and I proceeded to speak to my mother about leaving on the next ship to the city. My mother, understanding I was a grown man, sent me off with a few items and a new Tin Gladius, which she had kept as a present for my 19th Birthday. With a long good-bye and a hug, I was off. I have never heard from my mother or seen the city of my birth since that day.
Well, thatís my life, up till now. I have since been living in Iridine and have met some interesting people, some of which are still with us, helping me with that extra thug who decides to waltz in on myself and another thug already at war. A small few have stabbed me in the back for a reason, which I cannot seem to find (his name will remain a secret due to his respectable position). Yet, I still love Iridine and hope I will live a long a prosperous life.