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Twin brother of the playwright/producer/actor Joey Aristophanes, cousin to the sophist/lawyer Kritias Aristophanes, and nephew to the Great Playwright himself, Skip's had a strange and twisting life. A pankrationist, he's now retired from the sport and lives more or less quietly with his partner (as well as longtime opponent), Xeo of Sparta. The two are independently "comfortable" courtesy an inheritance Skip acquired from a devoted fan and the string of gymnasia he and Xeo operate across most of Hellenic Greece.

Their home is much more modest than that of Skip's brother Joey and his mate Maxos, but Skip and Xeo arent ones to stand on much of anything beyond "You're here for more than five minutes, you're no longer company; you're family -- get your own wine from now on." Built around an L-shaped atrium, one side holds the kitchen, bedroom, and library, while the other serves as in-home training space.

More Skip and Xeo's homes than their actual house, the gyms are all built along lines of much older gymnasia: a central training space at the end of a bank of rooms that can serve as changing areas, instructional spaces, and storage. The tower at the other end serves for administrative offices and temporary housing for visiting athletes.

Their family and friends aren't quite sure what to make of his and Xeo's relationship -- and neither, frankly, do the two of them: inseperable, they're prone to breaking up the furniture at home or when out socially, but most of their friends have come to learn that this is just how Skip and Xeo tell each other how fond they are of each other (black eyes and bruised ribs notwithstanding). But it's a happily-wrought (and -fought) one, so they don't complain. It's also rumoured that Skip is a little on the "crazy" side, since he sometimes seems to have conversations with thin air... but what folks dont know is that his and Xeo's home is haunted by the spirit of a now-dead tailor named Murray, who counsels Skip through moments of crisis.

And recently, during an adventure in which Skip was murdered and then was subsequently able to stop his own murder, there are now two Skips, with one taking the name of Luke. Although technically the same person, Skip and Luke have started to exhibit slightly different personalities, although both remain hopelessly devoted to Xeo.

Skip (and, by extension, Luke) and Xeo are also adoptive fathers to a boy (now fully grown) they found in one of their adventures in Sparta. Altairos is now living in Daedalidai.

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I loved it. I was totally hooked by the story
Dec 12, 2011 08:11 am
Courage Even Though Terrified
March 2009

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