(Iakos the narrator is speaking to his Uncle Aithon)

“The destruction of Ismaros wasn’t your fault,” I said.

“Yes it was,” Aithon answered. “Innocent people were slaughtered. The details don’t matter. In my youth I helped sack Thebes. Were their citizens any different than those of Orchomenos, on whose side I fought? Agamemnon was at my side. Today he was the enemy. When sides are so easily swapped, what justifies the killing?

“Before the second rising of the sun,” he continued, “I’ll sink beneath the waves knowing my life amounted to nothing. My home. My kingdom. Eleni. Punulopeia. Rah-kul. All of it. My own father wanted to kill me. Did he live to regret that? Did he die whispering the name of his lost son? In my whole life, no woman ever cried after we made love. What does that say about me?”