The Oracle's words stand as a warning. A prophecy. Sparta will fall. All of Greece will fall. And Persian fire will reduce Athens to cinder. For Athens is a pile of stone and wood and cloth and dust. And, as dust, will vanish into the wind. Only the Athenians themselves exist, and the fate of the world hangs on their every syllable. Only the Athenians exist and only stout wooden ships can save them. Wooden ships, and a tidal wave of heroes' blood.