In 479 BC, one year after the Battle of Thermopylae, Dilios, a hoplite in the Spartan Army, begins his story by depicting the life of Leonidas I from childhood to kingship via Agoge. Dilios's story continues and a Achaemenid Empire herald arrives at the gates of Sparta demanding "earth and water" as a token of submission to Xerxes I—the Spartans reply by 300_(film)#In_popular_culture. Leonidas then visits the Ephors, proposing a strategy to drive back the numerically superior Persians through the Thermopylae. His plan involves building a wall in order to funnel the Persians Choke point: negating the Persian advantage in numbers, and giving Greeks heavy infantry the advantage over the vast waves of Persian light infantry. The Ephors consult Pythia, who decrees that Sparta will not go to war during the Carnea. As Leonidas angrily departs, an agent from Xerxes appears, rewarding the Ephors for their covert support.