A merchant, mercenary and currently, a spy for the Parthian army sat at a table, in one of the darker porticos of the tavern, opposite a noisy group of men who had obviously disembarked, quite recently, after the long sea journey from their homeland. They were in search of food, drink and whatever else was for sale in the establishment.
Kallias was a tall, sallow man with short brown hair. He was the only son of the chief elder of his home village. He spoke several languages, picked up from the many merchants that passed along the trade route between Parthian Merv and distant Kashgar, the westernmost city of the mysterious Han Empire.
Throughout the day, he had been taking note of the numbers of roman soldiers as they took up designated positions in the army compound. He had estimated the latest landing of almost one thousand enemy cavalry, had brought a total of some ten thousand men were preparing to join the main roman army, commanded by Marcus Licinius Crassus that even now, acting on false information, was marching, across the Mesopotamian desert towards the city of Carrhae.
His sources in the Kasbah told him that the Romans were not about to compromise and so it appeared that war would be inevitable. He had decided that this was to be his men’s final battle and that any tribute his father had owed the Parthians would be fully paid at its end, whatever the result. He had already lost a quarter of his men and like the remainder yearned to return to his homeland.
.. excerpt from – A PAWN OF DESTINY – to be published soon