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- "Thermopylai...They say you can't walk this battlefield without getting blood on your toes."
- ―Kassandra upon arriving in Malis.[src]
Malis, known in modern times as Thermopylae, was a region in ancient Greece containing a narrow coastal passage where the Spartan King Leonidas and his Greek forces stood their ground against the invading Persian army of Xerxes in 480 BCE.
Battle of Thermopylae
During the Greco-Persian Wars, the narrow passage of Malis was defended by King Leonidas of Sparta alongside Dienekes with a combined Spartan and Greek army. For seven days, the Spartans defended against the massive waves of Persian army. However, they were betrayed by Ephialtes of Trachis, who revealed a path to go around the passage to the Persians, allowing them to maneuver and surround the Spartans. Leonidas and his men were eventually overwhelmed and perished in battle.
During the Peloponnesian War, the historian Herodotos travelled to Malis with Kassandra to visit the lion monument, suspecting that Kassandra may have a connection to King Leonidas. His theory was confirmed as Kassandra was revealed to be Leonidas' granddaughter through her mother Myrrine.
Malis was comprised of three regions: