Pronunciation: Kalliphoros

Hair Color: Grey

Eye Color: Blue

Motto: The gods will show the way

Desires: To earn a comfortable life through war

Weapon of Choice: Spear


Description: From behind us, a rough voice intruded, “Which of you is the mantis?” My eyes met Diomedes’ briefly as we glanced over our shoulders at the man who’d spoken. Stout-shouldered with a slight paunch and thick limbs, he had a battle-scarred face edged in a neat, tawny beard with broad silver streaks. “Soothsayer, seer, augur–whatever you call yourself,” he said, waving his hand as if sowing the words, “one of you interprets signs I’m told.” Diomedes tipped his head at me. “He’s the one gods speak with, not me.” Pale watery blue, the man’s eyes narrowed as he looked me over and flicked his focus onto Diomedes. “Then you must be the Theban.” Diomedes and I gripped the hilts of our sheathed swords, and the fellow glanced at our hands. “You know much about us,” Diomedes said. “I make a point of asking,” he answered, holding his open palms in front of himself. “I supposed I needed no introduction . . . Kalliphoros of Tegea.” He paused again, watching as if awaiting recognition. “I’m looking for men, good soldiers willing to take Persian pay and a share of whatever loot falls our way. I’d expect a Theban won’t hesitate to split a few Macedonian heads if it comes to it.”

Discussion Questions For Kalliphoros?


  • Does his faith in the gods make hime a better general?
  • Do you have a favorite scene?
  • What’s your best-loved quote?
  • Did you feel bad for how his life ended?

Kalliphoros looked to me. “And, you, I hear you’re weak, but if you’re any good at consulting the gods, you’ll have a fair share.” “I’ve been ill, but I’m mending,” I said, and the old soldier smirked at my scowl. “Who called me weak?” Chuckling, Kalliphoros shook his head and glanced at Diomedes before meeting my eyes. He handed me a skin of wine. “Pray we reach Sigeion safely, Mantis. Please the gods and thus please me . . . When battle comes, we’ll see how mended you are.” I turned and spat over the ship’s side as he walked away. “Weak, am I?” Diomedes caught my sidelong glare and looked away. Silent, he watched the restless sea. I coughed and spat again, tasting salt. Though Kalliphoros may have intended the wine for a libation, I passed the wineskin to my friend, and together we drained it. He slept then, lying on his side with his knees drawn up, but I stayed awake to watch the heavens.



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