The Greek Situation: April 2012 or July 2382 (Roman Calendar)
For centuries the Roman Empire has kept close tabs on Greece. Greece city states are a major trading partner with Rome and are a continuous source of irritation and delicate diplomacy. Twice in the 2000 plus years of the Roman Empires existence the Romans held Greece as a satrap or more commonly known as a protectorate. Both instances were a disaster. The Greeks always united and rose up against their Roman overlords as a common enemy leaving the Romans with suing for peace at traditional borders making the whole effort a huge waste of time of Roman wealth, blood, and resources. For that reason Greece has been allowed to be an independent collective of city states for the last 800 years. It just didn't pay to deal with Greek nationalistic ideals when it came to controlling them. They were far more valuable as an independent source of trade and very loose buffer from the barbarians. The Greeks being overly independent would rather fight each other than an outsider that didn't trouble them. Any outsider that tried to control them always ended up dealing with the whole of Greece under a unified resistance.
In recent years the Greeks have been in flux. Many of the city states have engaged in cold and hot wars between each other. The two super powers of the city states in this age are Athens and Sparta. Both in the last year have agreed to join forces to conquer the remaining Greek city states. A condition very unfavorable in the eyes of the Roman Empire. Rome does not want a unified Greece. This condition would make them a major threat to the Empire and would likely result in more harsh trade negotiations as well as a more militant stance against Rome proper. This can not be allowed. Not only would trade and Roman Wealth suffer greatly but the security situation would deteriorate dramatically as the primary instigator and the controlling city state Sparta would have much larger designs to take down the Roman Empire and conquer it embroiling Rome into a major war it would prefer to avoid.
After your groups exploits in Tavium located inside Lord Ciruses Province you established yourselves in the Great Eagle Inn in Tavium. You had met some agents of the Imperium there prior to dealing with a haunted and possessed hunting lodge and nullifying it as a threat. The Empire had sent a Curser, Fidelius, to manage the situation and a military commander CPT Orelius who brought a Cohort into town and set up a marching camp outside of town.
You now have assets from not only Lord Cirus but Cursers of the Empire working this mission with you.
The Cursers have assets within Greece and are supplying you with information. They have been told that your team is in charge of the operation and are subject to your orders by order of the Emperor himself. Cursers come in or send messages into Tavium almost daily. It's become the hub of all Roman intelligence on Greece which places you all at the center of not only the biggest Intelligence operations in Rome but international policy with Greece.
According to the Cursers there is an Advisor spuring the Greek King of Sparta Cleon into these actions he has been taking. Not only that, his adviser is supported by an Aes Sedai near as they can tell. Her name is Nuria Thelani - an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. The Kings advisers name is Nearchus and he only came into the court and the Kings ear in the past two years. No one knows where he came from or how he got into the Kings inner circle. Apparently Nearchus has 100% support from all nine Spartan Senators and has the Kings grace to write and enact policy as well as direct Spartan Military Might. For all practical purposes Nearchus is the prime mover in Sparta. It is known that the Queen Calliope is not a supporter of Nearchus but her power is limited and she is largely ignored. It is estimated that Sparta has nearly 80,000 troops not counting potential reserves.
Sparta is currently laying siege to Argos. Argos is holding out fine and their fleet still controls much of the shipping lanes around the city. Argos still is able to maintain trade and keeps it's harbors open. A source of major irritation to Sparta but Sparta was never a naval Kingdom. They hope to nullify Argos by land. What is interesting to your Curser agents is the care by which Spartan forces avoid the Ruins of Caprica. They take the main road well enough but go out of their way to avoid the Ruins of Caprica entirely. No one knows why. The ruins are exactly between Argos and Sparta.
With orders from Sparta and with complete acceptance from the Athenian Senatorial Council, Athens is now laying siege to Hellicon by both ground and naval forces. Hellicon is holding out but their sea ports are closed and will likely be starved out within 1 year.
Troy is calling for other city states and Greek polities to unite but are getting no responses. Troy vows to never be subjugated by Sparta or it's puppet state of Athens. Troy has initiated conscription and is sinking much of it's wealth into military assets and troops. The city is buffing it's walls and resources. Some hundreds of Greeks from rural or other cities every week independently pour into Troy from other regions to join their Army to fight against Spartan and Athenian aggression.
Troy, according to your agents, has nearly 200 warships of various sizes. Their port is open and they haven't been attacked yet. Having said this -their Senate is going through viscous deliberation about subjugating Troy to the Victors of the conflict to avoid damage and death. A small group of Troyan Senators have tried to enact policy to avoid the conflict. It's contrary to typical Troyan society yet such a group is trying to enact such policy though at the moment they are in the minority. At the moment they are outnumbered greatly.
An interesting development has come up within the Roman Senate. There is a movement within the Senate to enact a policy called the Greek Compact. It states that Rome will not involve itself within Greek politics including diplomatic or military engagements. This would leave Rome handicapped from taking any action whatsoever with any outcome of Greek internal politics.
This has raised some questions with the cursors- why? What is the benefit and what is the purpose? Why does the Senate care about this?
it's a small group of Senators that are pushing this but it is a noticeable faction.
Per your Duke and Field Marshal Maethal's orders a battle map has been drawn up thanks to your Imperial Cursers in Tavium and their recent intelligence and assessments from Curser intel coming out of Greece. This situation and operation has been labelled "The Greek Spring".
Remember - Greek City States are gigantic and encompass a very large rural population which are used as cannon fodder mercs in most major military actions. This is why the numbers are large. Many of those troops are untrained or marginally trained.
As stated earlier:
Argos is in an encirclement and siege by Spartan Forces but holding out. These kind of sieges can last for months or years. Helicon is in the same situation against Athenian forces under Spartan advisers. Only Troy appears to be establishing a major reactionary defense though not receiving pressure at the moment. Troy knows it is next and has encouraged Greeks from other lesser cities and rural populations to join them in a stand at Troys walls.
If Argos and Helicon fall - Sparta will control nearly all of the Greek coast and 70% of it's trade and taxes. It would vault Sparta into a super power in the region and give it the wealth it needs to conquer all of Greece and eventually stretch it's military might outward.
Because war is such a tribulation and contrary to trade the Spartan King along with the Athenian Senate has decreed that merchants were to be unmolested and given every courtesy so long as they are trading with Spartan approved merchants and businesses. This being an effort to keep trade flowing despite the large scale war going on. Roman merchants in particular were to be given special easement whenever possible unless clear signs of sabotage or espionage were evident.
In recent months a flood of independent weapons merchants, textile, wine, beer, and armor peddlers have flowed into Greece from Rome hoping to find premium prices for their wares in a war zone.
To the Duke and Council of Lords Victoria Province:
From: High Lord Flavius Faris and High Lady Corinthia Faris
Our dear Duke and Council Lords. We do request your attention and acceptance of some 200 promising students from our Province for acceptance into your academy. These persons are of lesser means and are receiving our patronage for not only scholastic costs but will receive a stipend from our family for living expenses. They have undergone rigorous testing and many have personal letters of recommendation from masters of various trades. We would appreciate some special consideration in their acceptance to your academy this coming Fall.
Please let us know soonest. Their travel will be coordinated by our people when we have confirmation.
Thank you my Lords and Ladies.