Sacred Band Featured Character of the Week: Tempus

Tempus is an immortalized military commander and a fictional character in the Sacred Band of Stepsons universe and the Thieves’ World shared fictional universe. Tempus leads the Sacred Band of Stepsons, an elite band of ancient cavalry fighters through a series of adventures spanning seven novels and eleven stories written by Janet Morris and Chris Morris beginning in 1980. Tempus has many epithets, including The Riddler, the Black, Sleepless One, the Obscure. He is a favorite of the storm gods of the armies and serves them in a unique and intimate relationship. Tempus is a warrior philosopher, the alter ego of Heraclitus of Ephesus, who labors under an ancient curse that all who love him die of it and all he loves are bound to spurn him. this, plus his god-given ability to regenerate from any wound he takes, makes him a dark and demanding figure of heroic proportions. Through many of his adventures and military campaigns,Tempus leads the Sacred Band of Stepsons, with its core group of elite mercenary pairs which eventually includes forty-six hoplites rescued from the massacre of the Sacred Band of Thebes at Chaeronea in 338 BCE.

Notable Quotes:
“Grab reality by the balls and squeeze.” -Tempus
“Life was a gift from heaven. How you lived it was your worship. What you learned was your catechism. What you taught was your ritual. What you took was your blessing. What you gave was your sacrifice.” -Tempus Unbound
“Reasons never matter, once Death comes cold and bold and takes the living by the hand. You count up your dead, every one…” -The Sacred Band
“Loyalty must be forged – to him, to his: stronger than iron, from experience, from risk – it can’t be bought, or taught, or promised before the fact. Allegiance must be earned so it will hold, win or lose.” -The Sacred Band
“There must be love, and understanding, to betray. Most men haven’t the wit or the honor for betrayal: not to know it when they see it; not the stomach to apprehend it as they do it. Most men, blind and dumb in their self-centeredness, don’t betray: they merely disappoint.” -Tempus
“In every age he had ever studied, doomsayers abounded. No millennium is attractive to the man immured in it; enough prophecies have been made in antiquity that one who desires, in any age, to take the position that apocalypse is at hand can easily defend it. He would not join that dour order; he would not worry about anything but Tempus, and the matter awaiting his attention.” -Tempus
“It is hard to battle anger, for whatever it wants it pays from the soul.” -The Sacred Band
‎”For Tempus…was a dozen storm gods’ avatar; no army he sanctified could know defeat; no war he fought could not be won. Combat was life to him; he fought like the gods themselves…” -Tempus
‎”Then what difference does human striving make: mortal struggle, valor, pain? If you live, then live for the test of spirit, for the celebration of the heart. Live to fight on other days. Lose your beloveds one by one. And remember. Exalt the kiss of friend and horse and wind and sun, which venality cannot cheapen nor stupidity belittle.” -The Fish, the Fighters, and the Song-Girl

Learn more about Tempus, and all the characters in The Sacred Band universe  at the Freebase info website: Sacred Band of StepsonsFreebase


One comment on “Sacred Band Featured Character of the Week: Tempus

  1. sacredbander says:

    Larry, what a great idea. And concept. The commander is pleased. I can tell because those shadows are dancing at the corners of his mouth….


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