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Nikolaos of Sparta, also known as the Wolf of Sparta, was a Spartan general who lived during the 5th century BCE. With Myrrine, the daughter of King Leonidas, he was the father of Alexios and step-father of Kassandra.[1] He was also the adoptive father of Stentor.

Because his step-daughter was descended from Leonidas, Nikolaos had high hopes for her to live up to their grandfather's fame and valor. However, a catastrophe befell the family one fateful day when an Oracle prophesied the destruction of Sparta at the hands of Myrrine's children. Following the apparent death of Alexios as a result of Kassandra's actions, she was sentenced to death. Nikolaos reluctantly stood by this sentence and personally attempted to carry it out, only for Kassandra to survive, and, in exile, grew up to become a legendary mercenary.

Biography

Early life

Nikolaos: "Again! Up!"
Kassandra: "Yes, Pater."
Nikolaos: "A Spartan rises as soon as they've fallen. Ready your staff. Widen your stance. A soldier grounds themselves. Good, good. Approach me."
—Nikolas training with Kassandra, 440s BCE.[src]-[m]

At some point, Nikolaos met and married Myrrine, the daughter of King Leonidas I of Sparta. Myrrine previously had a daughter Kassandra from her past relationship with the philosopher Pythagoras. Despite this, Nikolaos treated Kassandra as his own while keeping it a secret together with Myrrine. In 446 BCE, the two had a son named Alexios.[2] Due to her lineage, Nikolaos would regularly train Kassandra, hoping that she would some day bring glory to the family.[3]

Incident on Mount Taygetos

Stentor: "He... he is to be admired, strong, caring in his way. But sometimes, I -"
Kassandra: "Yes?"
Stentor: "Nothing. Just, he gets this faraway look in his eyes, and I sense a sadness there. He is Sparta's general, but he is also made of flesh and blood. Life cannot be lived without some regrets."
—Stentor to Kassandra, on Nikolaos, 431 BCE[src]-[m]
ACOD Nikolaos Drop Kassandra

Nikolaos preparing to drop Kassandra to her death

That year, tragedy struck when the Cult of Kosmos manipulated the Pythia Praxithea into giving a false prophecy, proclaiming that Alexios would lead to the fall of Sparta.[4] As a result, the newborn was condemned to be killed in order to prevent the polis downfall, a decision which Myrrine opposed.[5]

Nikolaos and his family were brought to Mount Taygetos, where they await the sentencing surrounded by the Cult. Despite pleas from Myrrine, Nikolaos refused to budge, as he was strictly adherent to Spartan law. When Alexios was about to be thrown off the cliff by a priest, he was stopped by Kassandra, who unintentionally pushed both him off and seemingly killing both him and Alexios. As Kassandra's action was considered against Spartan law, Nikolaos was compelled by the Cultists to punish her accordingly. Despite Myrrine's pleas for him to spare Kassandra, Nikolaos ignored and held her up by the hand. After starring at Kassandra for a few moments, Nikolaos then threw her off the cliffs to her seemingly death.[5]

After the incident, Myrrine seperated from Nikolaos and left Sparta, unable to forgive him for the deaths of their children.[2] Nikolaos later met a young Stentor, taking him under his wing after being impressed with his skills. Eventually, he adopted Stentor into his household, taking him with throughout his battles.[6]

Reunion with Kassandra

Nikolaos: "So you are the champion who won the day. Tell me your name, hero, so that I may greet you as a true warrior."
Kassandra: "Chaire, pater. It's been a long time."
Nikolaos: "Impossible. I saw you fall."
Kassandra: "I didn't fall, you fucking threw me to my death"
—Nikolas reunited with Kassandra, 431 BCE[src]-[m]
A Journey into War - Nikolaos and Stentor - Assassins Creed Odyssey

Nikolas rallying his troops

By the time of the Peloponnesian War, Nikolas rose up the ranks in the Spartan Army, eventually becoming a general, helping to contribute numerous victories to his polis. His victories made him a war hero and gave rise to his title as the Wolf. During this point, he also adopted a son named Stentor, who served and fought with him throughout the battles.[6] His abilities became a concern for the informant and Cult of Kosmos member Elpenor, who sought to have him eliminated.[7]

In 431 BCE, Nikolaos was posted in Megaris to conquer the city of Megara with Stentor.[6] The army was later assisted by a mysterious misthios, who sabotaged Athenian supplies[2] and eliminated the Athenian-hired mercenary Hyrkanos the Cunning.[8]

The Wolf of Sparta - Kassandras choice - Assassins Creed Odyssey

Kassandra preparing to throw Nikolaos off the cliffs

When the Spartans succeeded in conquering Megaris, Nikolaos requested to meet the misthios in person, waiting on the edge of a cliff. The misthios revealed herself as Kassandra, who had survived the fall years ago. When questioned by her, Nikolaos insisted he had to do his duty as a Spartan.[9] Though desiring revenge, Kassandra ultimately spared Nikolaos' life. He went on to reveal that he was not her biological father and that her mother was still alive, before abandoning his post.[1]

Nikolaos' abandoning of his post bred rumors, which spread fast in the Spartan army. Most believed him to have died, while others suspected he had deserted his post or simply disappeared.[10] As Nikolaos was never found, he was declared dead by Sparta.[11]

Return to the war

ACOd-AristaiosNikolaos

Nikolaos fighting Aristaios

Two years later, Nikolaos returned to his post, secretly assisting his adopted son Stentor in his efforts to conquer Boeotia. To this end, Nikolaos went after Aristaios, one of the Champions of Boeotia who was stationed at the Military Fort of Gla in Lake Kopais. While finishing off Aristaios outside the fort near the Kopais Perch, Nikolaos met again Kassandra, who had been dispatched by King Archidamos of Sparta to assist Stentor.[12]

Trivia

  • Nikolaos (Νικολαος) means 'victory of the people', from which the English form, Nicholas, is derived.
  • While Assassin's Creed: Odyssey allows the protagonist to choose between sparing Nikolaos or killing him, the official novelization confirms that Kassandra spared him during their reunion in Megaris, and later helped him reunite with Stentor after his 'official death.'[13]

Gallery

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey novelization
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
  3. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyDebt Collector
  4. Assassin's Creed: OdysseySins of the Past
  5. 5.0 5.1 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Big Break
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyA Journey into War
  7. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyPenelope's Shroud
  8. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyHunting Hyrkanos
  9. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Wolf of Sparta
  10. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyDare to Desert
  11. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyPort of Lawlessness
  12. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Last Fight of Aristaios
  13. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey novelization – Chapter 13

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