4th Elaphabolion

Abed at rest, nursing a minor wound, and my Bazrin nurses me, taking a certain pleasure in coming to me naked and lying recumbent by my side as she changes the bandage that staunches the seeping, where my flesh was torn by a bolt that wedged between the layers of linen, iron, and cuirass that covered me. An unfortunate wound, but one that happens far too often with this dress in close battle. She does this that I may fondle her, and is curious, perhaps angry, that with a prominent nipple staring me in the face I do not suckle it - I do not inform her as to why, she will learn in due course. I wonder, idly, as I regard the nearness of her firm and flawless flesh, if she will in time attempt to force me upon her breast to suckle, as women seem to inevitably do.

We were at siege immediately upon arrival near to the gate. I led the party, since it was I who had intended to take Myndus by treachery, with letter carried under seal of Ada. But I did not get chance to do so. The gate remained to, and I had no siege tower to mount against their wall. And so, doubling back upon my horse I led a charge of infantrymen with saps to batter them. And with an hour of battering by a thousand men, the tower fell, but we were not breaching them, these walls were fortified beyond anything we used in Pella, and though we were not rained on by bolts, the populace did not surrender or show sign of either struggle or resistance. They remained mute, and soon I learned why.

It is my usual practice to reconnoiter any sally on the field which appears anomalous, and the silence of the city was anomalous. I had not far to go in reconnaisance as I approached the Halicarnassos side of the contiguous wall…. The Rhodian's Greeks! Riding fast from the harbor to engage me when I had no true cavalry to mount, and only infantry and a small cadre of the Companions under Apollion, and we withdrew, the tower broken in our wake, and made distance between us and the pursuing mercenaries. It was time to reconsider the wisdom of Myndus and the distractions from the main action of besieging the great city.

I was ready, and led the first foray the following morn, two hours prior to the sunrising, we raised a siege tower against the shortest wall to the west of Myndus, on Halicarnassos proper. Already, beyond, their own masons are readying vast quantities of stored mortar to build their own wall, and it rises quickly all along the short span leading from the Halicarnassos south Gate to the Mylasa gate. And unlike Myndus, we are rained upon by bolts, and our helmets are bristling with those arrows that lodge in the feathers and headpieces, and occasionally, takes out an eye. One of my companions falls back, screaming, having lost his eye, and I am reminded of single-eyed Philip. He had suffered similarly in battle, but I had no pity for him; believing what my mother had stated, that he had disobeyed Athena in taking a boy as lover, and was punished by losing an eye; she insisted that if he were to take another, that he would lose the other eye, and thus rulership of the entire nation. This did not seem to follow logically with me, but I had accepted it long since as fact. It had schooled me to be more moderate in my behavior. I was recalled to this all of a moment when I dragged the blinded, bleeding peltast myself away from the hail of arrows about us.

I shout, and am engaged against the enemy with the siege tower behind me, and we spend the day battering the wall. By day end, and after ten of ours lie dead, the wall is covered with a swarm of archers who shoot down upon us in hails and volleys, and we must withdraw. We have breached the outer wall, but by the time we broke through, they had fortified a retaining wall behind, and we gained only the stores contained in the side of the wall, two farms with their animals, and a small temple - to Artemis.

We lost a catapult and a siege tower to fire and pitch being hurled upon us, and as we endure the primitive yet effective means of repulsing us, I take an arrow. Screaming incoherently, I drove the batterer myself against the outer wall and it went crumbling into new soft mortar that lay behind. We were held off.