Character Creation Contest #123 - Codifying a Legend

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Sundown89

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Humanity is, by its nature, a storytelling species whose imagination is among its most powerful strengths. For its entirety of the species' existence, the first written story the Epic of Gilgamesh was codified in 2100 BCE, oral storytelling was (and still is) the main method of storytelling. For every story codified by a writer, there are thousands of stories locked away in a storyteller’s brain. And for every story codified, there are likely hundreds that have been lost to time’s relentless march.

So that’s what the goal of this story is about, you are writing one of these forgotten heroes, looked over by the founders of written storytelling. It can be a tale of triumph over the most terrible of tyrants and monsters or the hero’s final dark hour when their hubris catches up to them. For simplicities sake, I’m limiting the mythos to the Hellenic (it’s all Greek to me) Mythology (It should be noted that the existing Greek Mythology mentions features as far afield as the Iberian Peninsula, the Russian Steppe and even the British Isles so go nuts), just because that’s among the most well-known of all mythologies.

But what is writing a hero without a marauding monster and so two vile monsters are raising their head; the Time Limit, and the lesser seen but equally devastating Word Limit. The former imposes a looming deadline of 20:00hours BST on the 26th of August, and the latter crushes you with a 2500-word limit.

Good luck and may your stories be truly legendary.

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Sundown89

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@wildvine If you could pin this, it would be most appreciated.

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cbishop

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@sundown89: So, we're making up someone to fit in the Greek mythology?

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Sundown89

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cbishop

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wildvine

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I doubt I'll contribute, but a fantastic idea nonetheless, OP.

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cbishop

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@wildvine said:

I doubt I'll contribute, but a fantastic idea nonetheless, OP.

I kind of figured you wouldn't, but I'd really love to see your story in this. :)

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batkevin74

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@sundown89: "αυτό θα πρέπει να είναι διασκεδαστικό!" declared the writers, who then ran to Google to translate what the Australian had written in Greek :)

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cbishop

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#9  Edited By cbishop
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Sundown89

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Sundown89

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@batkevin74: Here’s hoping. No Google translation needed for me though.

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Well, I needed it! :)

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SpareHeadOne

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mrmonster

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CocaColaMan

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@mrmonster: Sure! Do I post it here under spoiler blocks?

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mrmonster

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@cocacolaman: Yes, you post it here.

Spoiler blocks aren't completely necessary, but please do so to prevent your story from taking up a huge chunk of the page.

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CocaColaMan

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mrmonster

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Anyone else sometimes get the feeling of having a good idea but just getting hung up on the minors details?

I'm having this problem right now; I can't firmly decide if I want my story to be set in the Trojan war or the Greco-Persian wars?

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FicOPedia

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Anyone else sometimes get the feeling of having a good idea but just getting hung up on the minors details?

I'm having this problem right now; I can't firmly decide if I want my story to be set in the Trojan war or the Greco-Persian wars?

Sometimes, yes. My problem right now is I keep thinking of stories for the gods, not for heroes, and certainly not for unknown hero OC's. There's a good chance this is where we find out that Manjaro the Manslayer spent some time in Greece! :}

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batkevin74

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#20  Edited By batkevin74

“…rom clay with a high iron content,” the tour guide gestured at the row of urns against the wall of the Mythsonian Institute’s exhibit on Greek antiquities to the mixed group. There were a dozen kids, their carers and parents, an old couple, a trio of foreigners, and some guy who possibly was on five o’clock news for breaking out of prison. “All of our display is on loan from the Calappa Museum in Athens. Now if you follow…”

The guide paused to see a little girl with her hand straight up, bent at an angle kids think makes them taller. “Question?”

“Who’s that?”

The guide glance in the direction she pointed. “That is the Urn of Hercules also known as Herakles, and it tells the tale of his tw…”

“Not that one!” She whined. “That one!”

“That is the Urn of Thebes which tells the saga of Amphion and Zethus, two brothers born from Antiope and Zeus.”

“NO! The one with the girl on it!”

The tour guide paused and then actually looked. There were over twenty urns, he knew them all like the back of his hand, had read all the curators notes and even gone onto Aidepikiw to double check. He’d even done an online course in Ancient Greek and yerros making. There at the end of the row was an auburn and black urn with a woman on it he’d never seen. Slowly he walked down towards it and looked at it as the group followed him like a shadow.

“I istoría tou orízonta…The story of Orizontas or Horizon…” he said as he picked the urn off the plinth and sat down with it in his lap. The tour group instinctively sat on the floor around him.

__

Zeus turned himself into a cloud and had his way with a fisherman’s wife on a small island south of Crete. He did so because he thought it was further than his wife Hera could see. He was wrong. No sooner than he’d finished she appeared on the island with a clap of furious anger. Zeus lied and placated her with honeyed words, and they returned to Mt Olympus never to return to the island.

The fisherman’s wife gave birth to a girl named Orizonta who was beautiful, strong, and willful, very much like both her father and stepfather. When she came of age and was betrothed to be married to another fisherman, she knocked him into the sea, almost to Crete. This act angered Poseidon who warned her if he ever set foot in his waters, she would pay for her insolence.

Orizontas grew very bored on the tiny island but was trapped due to the curse of Poseidon. So, she cut off her beautiful auburn hair, glued some to her face and stowed away in a barrel of olives hoping her disguise would fool the watery god. Seemingly it did, and Orizontas made her way to Crete, her first time away from home.

Whilst on Crete she traveled the land and dealt with several monsters; a giant crow, a rampaging lion, and a cyclops named Balalaktizon who challenged men to a kicking contest. Balalaktizon would kick travelers in the groin and because he went first most men would double over and then he’d eat them. Orizontas, lacking the things the giant wanted to kick, turned the tables on the giant and kicking him in the sensitive area before throwing him off a cliff to the rocks below.

Soon Crete was too small and Orizontas needed to travel but the seas were forbidden. She met an inventor named Daedalus who was imprisoned by the King Minos of Crete. She collected feathers for him in return she would test his invention of wings. Orizontas was the first woman to fly and took off from Crete sailing over the Myrtoan Sea to eventually Sparta.

In the kingdom of pain and warfare she bested Amyclus the son of the Spartan King in a pankration tournament of one vs one hundred. Orizontas defeated her hundred whilst Amyclus fell short by three. The future king of Sparta wanted to make her his wife, but Orizontas declined as her destiny lay elsewhere, plus he’d lost.

Orizontas headed north to the Isthmus at Corinth where she again ran into her adversary Poseidon who controlled on side of the Isthmus, Helios the other. Orizontas made a deal with Helios if he got her across, she would make sure that he never would go out of view. The sun god, intrigued by the idea allowed her safely across during the middle of the day when he was at his zenith and Poseidon’s waves at their lowest much to the sea god’s ire.

Orizontas ventured through Athens where she spoke to Eratosthenes of Cyrene, a mathematician who calculated the distance of the sun and that the world had to be round for a ball such as the sun to go around. Most people wouldn’t talk to him as they found him crazy, but Orizontas didn’t mind and his genius allowed her to keep her promise to Helios.

From Athens she made her way to Mount Olympus to confront her father. The climb was treacherous, but she clawed her way to the halls of the gods. Orizontas expected a rapturous welcoming but instead she was confronted by Hera, who realized it was another of Zeus’ spawn and smacked the young woman so hard she flew off the mountain and into the Aegean.

It was as she floated down into the briny deep that Poseidon struck. The old god had not forgotten and had been patient. He took the young woman and hung her from East to West, just beyond everyone’s reach but mockingly nearby to Helios who would almost pass by her every evening but unable to help her.

__

The tour guide sighed as he completed the rotation of the urn. The tour group applauded. Slowly he stood and placed the urn back on the plinth and burst into happy tears. Unseen across the room, Orizontas smiled.

Notes:

Orizontas and Balalaktizon are my original characters as is the nameless tour guide

Mythsonian Institute is a play on words, same with Aidepikiw

Calappa Museum is an Impurestcheese reference + from my Shame Faced Crab Man story

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Sundown89

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The Eleusinian Mysteries

Arcadia

The screams of childbirth echoed around the Temple of Eileithyia as the iartenes attended the heavily pregnant woman lying by the alter of the maiden goddess. Watching over the attendants, was a man with wild curly black hair dressed in a wool chiton, his eyes darting over to a woman with the same hair, dressed in the purple robes of Eileithyia’s priestesses. Catching his glance, the woman got up and walked over to him, a worried look on her face.

“Aegeus, you should leave, this birth should only be experienced by the mother and the iartenes.” The woman told him, as she suddenly realized, she had blood on her hands.

“I am sworn to protect her Cynthia, her husband ordered her not to be out of my site.” Aegeus stated as he looked at the screaming woman. “And I will not go against King Tyndareus, even if my sister asks me to.”

“It has been four days with no change to mother or daughter,” Cynthia sighed as she went over to a font and washed her hands in it, “I worry that Eileithyia is choosing to punish Queen Leda, despite the sacrifices made in the Queen’s name to her.” She added as one of the iartenes gasped before pointing to the statue of Eileithyia. Turning to follow her motion, Cynthia and Aegeus saw the statue wrapped in shadowy black coils, a viper’s head resting on the shoulder of Eileithyia, its forked tongue flicking out and caressing the effigies left cheek.

“What in Zeus’s name is that?” Aegeus gasped as the iartenes formed a phalanx of bodies around Queen Leda. Removing the javelin strapped to his shoulder, Aegeus lashed out with the weapon at the viper, only for it to dissolve into purple smoke. “Your goddess isn’t ignoring those who beseech her, she appears to be bound by whatever that was.” He added as he tapped the statue tentatively much to the chagrin of the attendants of the goddess.

“It’s the Macedonian Viper, rumored to be the last child to crawl out of Echidna’s womb before Argus slayed her.” One of the iartenes stated as Queen Leda began to scream again, the others darting to help alleviate some of her pain. “It has been tormenting the people of Thessaloniki with its venomous breath and scales as sharp as a bone saw.”

“If the viper has its coils around Eileithyia then I think its time you loosened them brother.” Cynthia stated as she saw her fellow iartenes dab the blood and sweat that was dripping off Queen Leda.

**

Road to Macedonia

The road to Macedonia was long and hard, the phallic mile markers of the Herma leering as the travelller dressed in a black cloak, face covered in a mask akin to a sneering bull’s face, walked past them.

“I can’t believe he is the one watching the Queen and I am the one looking for a giant toxic snake.” Cynthia grumbled as she stopped and looked down at her feet, dust covering her sandaled feet from the long hard journey. Cynthia was so preoccupied by her own misery that she missed the elderly man and woman, the former limping and hunched other while the latter stood upright, powerful despite her seemingly increased age.

“Please priestess, would you please be able to spare a few drachmae.” The elderly man groaned as he held out a bowl masterfully carved out of olive wood. Grinding her teeth, Cynthia placed five coins into the bowl, the old man passing the coffer to the old woman who inspected the drachmae. “Thank you for your generosity.” He crocked as the woman accidentally dropped her own bowl, the blue powder inside remaining amazedly still when it landed.

“The gods reward those who share kindness.” Cynthia asked as she walked past the elderly couple before stopping. “How did you know…” She began to say turning around to see the couple nowhere in sight, no signs of them ever being present save the bowl of blue powder, “…that I was a priestess.” Walking over to the bowl of powder and picking it up, the contents igniting as the dust reared up to form a serpent that bent itself into a curve before solidifying into a sickle. Looking at the surgical tools she used to assist in delivering babies, Cynthia slotted the sickle next to them before turning the bowl over, the remains of the dust pouring over her face to form two blade-like markings below the eyes.

**

Thessoloniki, Macedonia

Many leagues and many Herma later Cynthia reached the farmland surrounding Thessaloniki, the signs of the Macedonian Viper’s presence obvious even to the untrained eye. Withered livestock and withered herders, their forms blistered and burnt by the sheer toxicity of the serpent lingered under olive trees, their bark rotten and leaves brown, burnt by the venom of the monster who terrorized the community. Even if those were brushed off as symptoms of a plague or a famine, the blackened trail heading into the forest couldn’t be denied.

Gingerly stepping onto the trail Cynthia felt her flesh burn and bubble before a cold wind swept over her body, blue symbols decorating her skin.

“By the gods!” Cynthia swore as she saw the symbols of Hermes, Hephaestus and Athena marking her skin. Drawing the sickle that had been gifted to her, Cynthia headed up the path towards the woodland, the rotting trees looming in the distance.

Almost immediately when she stepped under the canopy of the forest a noxious green fog raised up, one that even the protection of the gods was weakened by, some of the markings and symbols flickering out. Stopping Cynthia gulped as if she was unable to continue, her anxiety rising as she heard a grinding sound that seemed to radiate around her. It was only when the sounds of Queen Leda’s pained screams began to radiate around the trees, shocking her into action. Dashing forward Cynthia smashed into a forest glade before tripping over a fallen tree, the sharp edges slashing through her robe and cutting her leg open, blood dripping down onto the forest floor.

Grunting Cynthia turned round to see a forked tongue dart out of the log and lick up the blood, before the log itself reared up to reveal a jet-black skinned viper, its hateful red eyes glaring down at her. Opening its mouth, the viper lunged towards her, its fangs dripping a yellow venom causing Cynthia to dodge left, the snake smashing into where she had been standing. Spinning around, Cynthia brought the sickle down into the Macedonian Viper’s head, only for the blade to bounce off its thick scales.

Hissing and spitting, the viper turned and headbutted her, the saw-like scales slicing open her arms, although the symbols on her skin remained, contrasting with the raw red flesh. Opening its maw, the viper slammed its fangs down either side of Cynthia, a cage of teeth surrounding her, one that was swiftly closing. Hooking her sickle around one of the fangs Cynthia pulled the blade back, wrenching the sickle out, a torrent of thick yellow venom pooling out as the viper reared up hissing and screeching in rage. Rolling away from the viper, Cynthia looked up as the viper thrashed slamming into a rotting tree with enough force to snap it in two before falling to the ground, the thick green fog venting out of the corpse.

Gasping and wheezing, Cynthia turned away from the Macedonian Viper to see what it had been guarding, a ruined shrine set into a rock bluff. Entering the shrine, Cynthia gasped as she saw the figure of Eileithyia, the flaxen-haired goddess dressed in a dark purple robe, a diadem with a single opal mounted in it bound in black chains with manacles shaped like vipers.

“Goddess.” Cynthia gulped as she bowed, the goddess cocking her head before mumbling something under her breath. “Huh…oh…OH!” She gasped as she took the sickle and slammed the blade down on the chains, the blow shattering them with a single strike, the serpent chain coils dropping off her body.

“Cynthia, my beloved priestess, my blessing will forever be upon you.” Eileithyia stated as Cynthia bowed once again, only for the goddess to gesture for her to rise. “I was not expecting you to be my rescuer after being placed into bondage. But you have questions, some that I can answer.”

“Why couldn’t you escape that viper, we have women who needed your help in childbirth.” Cynthia asked as the goddess took her hand and the pair of them walked towards the entrance to the shrine.

“Hera sent me to the viper’s lair and used her powers to empower the serpent, making it capable of overpowering a god. It appears she is fed up with Zeus siring more illegitimate children and decided that no more of them will be born.” Eileithyia stated as the pair of them stepped out of the shrine and into the forest glade, only for a heavy blow to swing down knocking both of them to the ground. With a rattling hiss, the Macedonian Viper lunged down grabbing Eileithyia and pulling her into its mouth and swallowing her whole.

“Oh!” Cynthia gulped as she got to her feet, just as the viper turned to face her and slammed its head into the woman sending her skidding across the glade. Chocking and spluttering as the fog enveloped her, Cynthia lost sight of the massive snake, even as she stood up and cleared the vile gas. “Where are you…” Cynthia gulped as the ground beneath her shifted and the viper burst out of the ground below her its mouth open ready to swallow her. As she slipped into its mouth Cynthia swung the sickle into the socket where the fang had been dislodged, the blade jabbing into its brain causing its body to spasm, clods of earth thrown up as the serpent’s death throws shook up the glade before crashing back down. With a bubbling hiss, the viper’s stomach was ripped open and Eileithyia emerged, venom and acid dripping down her body.

“So as I was saying,” Eileithyia continued as if she hadn’t been interrupted by being ingested by the monstrous serpent, “Hera won’t let the child be born, she took my right to help Queen Leda and the others give birth, and she has promised to punish anyone; god or mortal alike who assists in delivering the child.” She added as Cynthia glowered at her, before dashing towards the road back to Arcadia.

**

Queen Leda screamed in pain as Cynthia rushed into the temple, the iartenes looking up from attending her at the returning priestess.

“Sister did you…is your goddess free?” Aegeus asked as Cynthia removed the hooded robe and placed her sickle down on the ground.

“The viper is dead and Eileithyia is free, but she dare not assist in the birth.” Cynthia replied as she removed her surgical tools. “Aegeus you need to leave, take the other iartenes and be ready to return as soon as you hear the baby crying.” She ordered only for her brother to begin to protest. “Brother, I will not doom you as I have doomed myself.” Cynthia stated as the siblings hugged before Aegeus nodded and he gestured for the attendants to leave until only Leda and the priestess remained in the temple.

“Your majesty, this will be painful but I will save your baby.” Cynthia told the queen as she brought a pair of amphorae. “You need to drink this.” She ordered as she lifted the first amphora of wine to the pregnant queen’s lips. After messily drinking the wine, Cynthia washed her own hands in the second amphora before removing the knife from her surgical tools and taking a deep breath…before plunging the blade into Leda’s womb.

**

Cynthia coughed as she opened her eyes to see a forest glade…a shrine…and the decaying corpse of the Macedonian Viper, its body a skeleton save for the baleful red eyes that keep its gaze upon her. Almost immediately she saw a peacock land on the head of the viper before spreading its tail, a mirage forming as the eyes wavered and the silhouette of a tall woman appeared.

“Welcome to Tartarus priestess, your punishment for defying the gods is about to begin.” The figure hissed as Cynthia screamed as her belly squirmed, and seconds later pain shot through her body as a black snakelet slithered out of her body. Screaming in agony, Cynthia could feel her snake child crawl up her, passing her breasts slithering round her neck and pushing its way into her mouth. The screams were replaced by coughing and spluttering the peacock flew off, even as the snake slithered through Cynthia’s body, ready to be reborn again.

Notes

The Iartenes were female doctors in ancient Greece who mostly specialized in midwifery. This role often overlapped with religious positions in dedication to healing and medicine gods.

Queen Leda is one of the romantic relationships Zeus had with a mortal woman. In this case the union births Helena, the Spartan princess whose abduction by Paris of Troy kickstarted the Trojan War.

Cynthia is a Greek name and means ‘from Mount Cynthus’. It was also a Romanised epithet for the goddess of hunting Diana/Artemis.

Eileithyia is the Greek goddess of childbirth and midwifery and is part of the trio of goddesses worshiped as part of the Eleusinian Mysteries (the others being Demeter and Persephone/Despoina) in Arcadia. She was often kidnapped and bound by Hera to prevent Zeus’s lovers (or victims) to complicate the birth of their children.

The Hermea were markers the Greeks used to edge roads as a tribute to the god of roads Pan. Eventually, Pan would be separated into two gods; Pan (as we know him from mythology) and Hermes, who take the messenger aspects of the former deity.

The two gods that Cynthia met on the road are Athena and Hephaestus. They along with Hermes and the deities most likely to assist mortal heroes in their tasks.

The Macedonian Viper’s parentage is likely Echidna and Typhon. While plenty of snake monsters appear in Greek mythology, the Macedonian Viper is based on the fossilized remains of Laophis crotaloides from Greece and North Macedonia and is the heaviest venomous snake discovered (25kg in weight and 4m in length). I planned to do a companion piece as part of Oddity Ark for this species but there is no information besides size estimates about it.

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Sundown89

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@batkevin74: Off angering Poseidon not good. On top of that all the lesser Cyclopes (I.e. not the original three) are sons of Poseidon, more reasons for him to hate her.

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batkevin74

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@sundown89: Which is part of the reason for the overly vindictive punishment :)

Reading yours this evening

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batkevin74

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@sundown89: minor error I spotted "out of my site.” Needs to be sight as in seen not site as in work site :)

iartenes what does that mean, I goggled it to no avail

And great story. Liked the ending

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Sundown89

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@batkevin74: Cool thanks for the spot.

I always mess up with site and sight due to how much I type the former for work.

iartenes is essentially a female doctor in the ancient Greek world. I believe I left a note in the notes section regarding it but maybe I missed it.

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#26  Edited By SpareHeadOne

Sarocles.

1. The Nemean Drakon.

No Caption Provided

"Oh what have I done." moaned King Eurystheus rubbing his forehead in his hand. "He is making a mess of the whole world. I feel the eyes of the gods upon me. I fear their wrath for what I have unwittingly unleashed."

King Eurystheus thought for only a moment before calling upon our hero Sarocles, one of his more expendable hoplites, he thought.

"Take this belt," said King Eurystheus "it will protect you and give you the strength of a whole phalanx. Go to Nemea and start fixing the mess that idiot has caused."

" King Eurystheus, May i ask the nature of this mess." questioned Sarocles.

Impatiently the king replied "Oh that idiot has killed the Nemean Lion and now a drakon has come to take its place. For some reason the Nemeans insist that I take care of it. They say the lion was keeping the serpents away and now more may come." The King proceeded to give Sarocles a list of places he should visit in order to set things right. He droned on for aions about all the things this idiot had done and whined about how it had left such a mess for him to clean up. Sarocles could hardly wait to be out of there.

Clad with shield, sword and armour Sarocles made his way to Nemea picking up boulders with his thumb and index finger, crushing some and tossing others stadions ahead, testing the limits of the strength provided to him by the golden belt. "Surely if I kill this drakon more will come anyway." he thought as he punched his whole arm into the side of a hill. "Perhaps I can reason with it."

Before he had even arrived at Nemea Sarocles could see smoke and fire rising. As he entered the city he noted that the drakon was killing much more than its fair share of food. He waved and shouted at the drakon and the drakon was all too eager to punish him for it. It leaped into the air, rolled around to face Sarocles and beat its wings once in order to reach him with its fire. Sarocles held up his shield and hoped he would be protected by the belt. The drakon heaved fire at him but he would not burn no matter how much the drakon tried. Sarocles stood unscathed before the drakon who was now very spooked, thinking Sarocles to be a god. "You like to kill and eat more than you need drakon." said Sarocles.

"I will eat the whole world before I am done." replied the greedy drakon.

"Yes but why waste your time on tiny humans and sheep?" Sarocles goaded.

"What do you mean?" asked the drakon.

"Wouldn't you love to sink your teeth into something with more substance?"

"Like an elephant? I've eaten elephants." boasted the drakon.

"No, an elephant is far too puny for a big strong one with an appetite such as yours."

"Hmm, I must agree." Replied the drakon, not wanting to seem small. "Then what?"

"A god." Sarocles answered.

The drakon was shocked.

"..A god would fill your belly and satisfy your bloodlust for many years. And I hear they are so delicious that they make humans taste like filth by comparison."

Sarocles watched the drakon's eyes light up. He could see the greed on the drakon's face and the scheming begin to dawn in his countenance.

"Will you kill a god for me?" asked the drakon

"No, but since you are so hungry I give you my word that I will make you divinely immortal and able to kill and feast on the gods themselves. "

"How?" the drakon asked.

"If you take an oath to protect this city. I will lead you to a readily available source of divine immortality and power."

"Very well." said the drakon and he joined the company of Sarocles.

2.The Immortal Hydra

No Caption Provided

In the swamp near Lerna crabs burrowed feverishly. They were digging their way to where the decapitated head of their guardian had been buried. An enemy had hidden it under a rock. The crabs had tunneled their way from within the swamp all the way to the head. At last water from the swamp seeped through and made contact with the dry head. Its eyes opened. Limbs began to grow from the head and the once water creature made its way back into the swamp. Its body then began to grow. What had once been a hydra with one immortal head had now become a completely immortal hydra.

Sarocles and Drakon touched down in the swamp.

"I heard you were dead." Sarocles said to the Hydra.

"I can't die." hissed the one headed hydra. "The Idiot who defeated me doesn't know how to kill me. He destroyed my mortality and now I am invincible".

"That Idiot is causing a lot of trouble everywhere." said Sarocles. "We are on our way to put a stop to it. Would you like to come and take your revenge?"

"Take your sword and cut off my head." Hissed the Hydra.

Sarocles did as he was directed. The head hit the bank of the swamp and began to roll toward the water. Drakon stopped it with a claw before it went in.

Two heads grew where the one hydra head had been. "Keep the head dry until you need me, then throw it in the water and I will grow. I would dearly like to see this menace brought to justice."

And the hydra joined the company of Sarocles.

3. The Mistrustful Deer

No Caption Provided

Diana, goddess of wild animals and the hunt was most unhappy. "That idiot has ruined my pet deer. She no longer comes near anyone. Just look at her." Diana said to Apollo. "That is not what I see." said Apollo, god of music and divination.". Sarocles was sitting with the deer, its head resting on his lap and he was stroking her soft red hide.

Diana appeared to Sarocles. "This was my pet deer. You mortal, shall receive it as a gift, for you have been endowed with an affinity for beasts that surpasses my own." And the deer joined the company of Sarocles.

4. The Centaur's Complaint.

No Caption Provided

At Erymanthus Sarocles met a centaur. "A human, a drakon and a deer. What an unlikely company to meet." said the centaur menacingly.

"I also have a hydra in my bag." said Sarocles.

The centaur's face dropped. "I no longer have my company. A thief stole our wine and murdered my herd-mates." he said sadly.

"Come with us, I know who did this to you, my king has told me the stories. He has sent me to put things right." Said Sarocles.

And so the centaur joined the company of Sarocles.

5. The Destroyed Farm

No Caption Provided

As they traveled they noticed the ground had become water logged. A farm had been destroyed. Its fences were knocked over. It's stables were crumbled heaps on the ground. Cattle roamed far outside the bounds of the farm, unprotected.

King Augeas was there speaking to a farmer.

"Hello" called Sarocles "What has happened here?"

"King Eurystheus' Menace has happened here that's what." replied the farmer. "He redirected a river through here and destroyed our crops and now the land is so water logged it doesn't hold up a single post."

"Drakon would you help dry the land?" asked Sarocles.

Drakon began swooping the land near the stables and fence posts, heating it with the fire from his mouth. Soon steam was everywhere.

"That should hurry things along." said Sarocles. "We seek revenge on this menace also."

"Then take my guard with you." said King Augeas as he summoned a huge soldier forward.

And the huge soldier joined the company of Sarocles.

6. The Angry Fishermen

No Caption Provided

The company of Sarocles arrived at the lake of Stymphalos. Fishermen gathered at the docks shouting and stamping their feet. One fisherman stood on a barrel. "We cannot let him get away with this! We will go to King Eurystheus and protest. We will have his idiot hung for this!" "Yes!" shouted the rabble of fishermen.

"What happened here?" Sarocles asked a passing fisherman.

That Menace came here with his stupid noise maker and scared all the fish away into the lake floor. We haven't caught anything for months.

Sarocles reached into his bag, pulled out the Hydra's head and dropped it into the lake. In a while a fully formed hydra appeared. "Please Hydra, will you go and tell the lake creatures to go back to their normal lives?" Sarocles asked. And the hydra disappeared underwater to do as he was requested.

7. Poseidon's Charge

No Caption Provided

That night as the company of Sarocles camped by the lake. Poseidon, god of water and horses came up out of the depths.

"Sarocles, the gods are pleased with you." declared Poseidon. "I give you three charges. Return the Cretan Bull to me alive." Sarocles knew the bull was dead, killed by the idiot, but he already had a plan.

Poseidon spoke again. "The second charge i give you. Dispose of the wild beasts of Olympus for they have been cursed by Hecate goddess of magic and witchcraft.

Sarocles knew the story. Diomedes owned some horses. He had called upon the goddess Hecate to turn them into man-eaters. In granting this favour to Diomedes Hecate also put a curse upon the horses. If the man-eaters should be eaten by anyone, man or beast, the one who ate them would from then on refuse to eat any flesh other than the flesh of gods. The wild beasts of Olympus must have eaten these horses and now they were making a nuisance of themselves attacking the gods. This would be an easier task than usual because the beasts would not be interested in eating any of his company.

A third time Poseidon spoke. "Undo the monuments created by the idiot you are pursuing, for he has murdered my sons in those places. The pillars that guide the way into the Mediterranean ocean must be brought down, for they are a monument to his evil."

Poseidon pointing his huge trident at Sarocles said "A hero's reward awaits you."

8. The Wild Beasts of Olympus

No Caption Provided

As they made their way to the top of mount Olympus Sarocles spied some pieces of dead man-eating horse. "These may come in handy. He thought as he shoveled them into his bag.

Draken took care or most of the wild beasts. Sarocles punched one so hard that its head exploded. The huge soldier of King Augeas slew a beast with his huge sword.

9. Amazons

No Caption Provided

At the bottom of Mount Olympus Amazons had arrived in order to make a complaint to the gods about a thief and murderer who had killed their queen and stole her golden belt of protection and power.

"Where did you get that belt!" called an angry Amazon to Sarocles.

Sarocles explained that his king had given it to him in order to capture the one who had murdered their queen. The Amazon insisted that Sarocles give the belt back immediately. But Sarocles explained the charges that had been given him by his king and by Poseidon himself.

"I will return the belt to you when my charges are complete. You may come if you wish and keep an eye on the belt."

Understanding the seriousness of being given orders by a high god, the four Amazons joined the company of Sarocles.

10. Destroying The Pillars

No Caption Provided

At the straight between Hispania and Africa Sarocles began tearing into the first towering pillar that had been placed there by that murdering menace. He broke the pillar off at the base and threw it into the sea. The hydra then took Sarocles to Africa where he decimated the next pillar. "Well that's two out of three jobs done for Poseidon. Now to raise the Cretan Bull from the dead." said Sarocles to himself.

11. The Eagle of Hephaestus

No Caption Provided

Hephaestus, god of blacksmiths had created a giant mechanical eagle. Sarocles knew that the idiot nephew of Poseidon had destroyed it.

They traveled east to the Caucasus Mountains where they found the eagle ruined with an arrow in its breast. Sarocles opened the giant eagle up and dumped the contents of its stomach into his bag. He knew that the eagle had been feasting on the liver of the titan god Prometheus. He knew that eating the flesh of a titan god would grant its consumer divine immortality. He shared the flesh from his bag among his companions and he ate some himself.

Draken launched himself in the air and hovered over the company of Sarocles, laughing wickedly. "Fool!" he mocked "Now I shall eat Olympus and Hades and the whole world including you!" And he heaved his hottest fiercest fire on the company of Sarocles not stopping until he was sure they would be dead. From the midst of the smoke came a laugh that took Draken aback. Sarocles was laughing and as the smoke cleared the rest of his company joined him.

"We are divinely immortal, only another divine immortal can kill us." Sarocles told Draken.

"Well if fire won't do it, I will rip you apart with my claws and teeth." Draken threatened.

Sarocles laughed "You don't seem to understand little dragon, you are not immortal at all." And Sarocles lept up into the air punching Drakon in the stomach, causing him to hit the dirt.

Sarocles seemed to grow in stature as he stood over the beaten Drakon. "I didn't give you the liver of Prometheus. I've given you horse flesh, but not any old flesh. The one who eats this horse flesh will never crave nor be able to eat any flesh other than the flesh of gods. I wish you the best of fortune in your endeavours to kill one." With that the company of Sarocles walked away leaving Draken beaten in body and soul, doubting that he would ever eat again.

12. Poseidon's Sacrifice

No Caption Provided

Poseidon had once provided King Minos of Crete an extremely beautiful bull for Minos to sacrifice to him. King Minos cheated Poseidon of this sacrifice. Then to add insult to this offense the bull was later captured by the Idiot only to be sacrificed to other gods altogether. Not wanting to remain cheated of his sacrifice Poseidon had charged Sarocles with the task of returning the bull to Poseidon alive.

"We're going where?!" questioned an alarmed Amazon.

"Hades" replied Sarocles "I have it on good authority that the Menace is going there next. We must go on to the place where the lines divinity intersect.

The Amazon replied "How the hell are we going to get into Hades? Don't you know who guards the gates? Cerebrus the half serpent half dog with many heads, eyes that shoot fire and snakes encircling him to do his bidding. A giant viscous beast who none of us could get past, not even you Sarocles.

Ahead of them a black shimmering apparition began to emerge out of nothing. A cave entrance without rock. Sprinting out of the cave entrance came somebody carrying a huge half serpent half dog with many heads. "Cant stop" said the sprinting man before he disappeared into the distance.

The company of Sarocles entered through the mysterious opening and made their way to the river where a ferryman stood. The ferry man held out his hands to be paid for the journey across to Hades. Sarocles, staring at the ferry man, took the hydra head out of his bag and tossed it in the water. Soon they were on their way over the river on the back of the hydra.

They walked through the now unguarded gates and into Hades where they found the Bull and fed it some of Prometheus' liver. The Bull was brought to life. and accompanied them back to earth.

By the time they exited the cave entrance the sprinting man was sprinting back toward them. They managed to dive out of the way just as he tossed the huge serpent dog through the cave entrance causing it to disappear.

"Well that was hairy." said the sprinting man, who was no longer sprinting. "Pleased to meet you, I'm Heracles."

Everyone knew who he was. He was the Menace who had ruined their lives.

Sarocles said nothing, he would wait until after he had received his reward from Poseidon before he would face the evil Heracles.

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Sundown89

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@spareheadone: That’s a lot of build up of your hero. I guess the province of Nemea isn’t going to get a break going from a lion with unbreakable skin to a Drakon. Also RIP Gibraltar and those Barbary macaque’s I guess.

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SpareHeadOne

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@sundown89:

Haha : D

It’s was actually based on the 12 labours of you know who.

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Sundown89

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@spareheadone: Ah yes Herakles the only Greek hero not to be undone by hubris but by his wrath

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cbishop

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Well, those are three amazing tales! I don't know if I can compete this time. I thought I had found the perfect obscure folklore to use, but it turned out to be an original creation of someone who didn't specify it as such (which technically makes it public domain, but I'll be nice). I'll think of something.

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Sundown89

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@cbishop: Unfortunate but understandable.

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batkevin74

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@batkevin74:

Efgalisto :D

Okay, I tried to get Google to translate that one, but no dice. What does it mean?

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#37  Edited By mrmonster

Yiorgos: Hero of the 11th Hipparchia

Many know of Odysseus and Achilles; but sadly, not many know of me, Yiorgos, one of the many unsung heroes of the Trojan war.

_______________

“DIMITRIS, GET DOWN!” I shouted right before my friend was about to take a stone to the back of his head.

Dimitris ducked, and the stone sailed right over him. I then retaliated with an arrow, hitting the attacker right in his eye.

“Thanks.” He said.

“If you really wanted to thank me, you’d keep your eyes & ears on better alert.” I said I readied my bow once again. But thankfully, the battle appeared to be over. The Trojans who had attacked our camp were all dead.

“Excellent work everyone.” Nico, our Hipparchus said to us. “Don’t just stand there, you know the drill.”

He wasn’t wrong; two years into our campaigns to make gains against Troy, and we knew the procedure; heal the wounded first, bury the dead second.

Thankfully, it was still early in the day. If we worked hard, we could have all our dead buried before sunset.

We thought we were safe for the day. And then, I noticed an arrow hit the ground.

"TAKE COVER!" Nico should, and the men ran to safety. I looked up to see a pair of Trojan soldiers riding pegasi, firing arrows from their flying horses.

And then, infantry soldiers came out of the woods to ambush us. It was immediately obvious that the first wave of soldiers was just a diversion, an easy victory meant to lull us into a false sense of safety.

We were clearly outnumbered and taken by surprise. There was one thing I knew could turn the tide of the fight, but I didn’t want to. Nonetheless, I knew it was either do it or die.

"ENOUGH!" I shouted with a voice that could shake mountains. And then, I went invisible.

“Where'd he go?” One of the Trojan officers asked.

I then grabbed him and threw him twenty feet in the air.

“SOMEONE GET THAT…” Another officer began, before I stabbed him through the heart.

The two soldiers on pegasi landed and began to look for whatever was causing the deaths of their officers. That was their biggest mistake, I came up to one, grabbed him by the legs, and used him as a bludgeon to kill the other.

With them dead, my Hipparchia was starting to turn the tide of the battle. Without their officers, the Trojans were leaderless and disorganized, allowing us to pick them off until they all joined the first wave of soldiers down in the realm of Hades.

______

"Yiorgos, are you a demigod?" Dimitirs asked.

"Yes." I answered. "My father is Hades, god of the underworld."

I didn't tell most people. First off, Hades is a generally disliked, distrusted god. Second, when I used my powers, it usually didn’t end well. When I was a child, I accidentally unleashed my powers and killed another child during a pankration match. From there, I promised to keep my powers secret, and for two years of war against the Trojans, I kept that promise.

“Well, we might need those powers of yours again.” Nico said. “We found battle plans on one of the dead officers; General Ioannu is leading the campaign in this region.”

“Oh no.” I replied.

General Ioannou was a feared general. The battalions under his command had won several key victories against our forces.

“One thing is clear here, we need to counter attack, and soon.” He explained. “The General may not immediately know of the Trojan loss today. We need to follow their tracks back to their basecamp, and attack the Trojans before they can find us again. With Yiorgos at our side, I don’t think we can lose.”

________

We attacked their camp under the cover of sunset. First, I snuck in while invisible and killed the guard sentries. Once they were quietly done away with, I gave the signal (a bird call) and the soldiers knew to come into camp.

I could tell just by the look of the tents which one belonged to Ioannu. Generals often can’t help but give themselves the largest, most durable tents. Also, he was the only one with a pet; a five foot tall Erynmantian boar. I was careful to sneak past it on the way to the camp.

I entered the tent while invisible, and saw him enjoying a meal at his private table. I approached him from behind, and tried to stab him. But somehow, despite not being able to see me, he turned around, caught my arm, grabbed me, and tossed me out of the tent with enough force that would’ve killed a regular mortal.

The shock made me lose my powers and go visible again. From there, he ran to his boar, unleashed it from its post, pointed to me and ordered “KILL!”

The beast ran up and started stomping on me. I struggled just to keep it from killing me.

“This is interesting. I’ve never met a fellow demigod before" General Ioannou taunted as I struggled against his boar.

"If you’re curious as to how I caught you, it’s a power I like to call Battlefield Instinct; it lets me know whenever there’s a threat against my life.” He continued. “Just a gift from my father, Ares.”

I felt so foolish. I knew Ares was among the gods who sided with the Trojans, but I had no idea one of his sons was a Trojan general. And now, not only did I have to kill him, but I had to kill his monster as well.

By this point, the camp was flooded with Greek soldiers who were successfully using the element of surprise to eliminate the Trojans before they could even ready themselves for battle.

When Dimitris saw the position I was in, he rushed towards us, raised his spear, and flung it at the beast, killing it with a shot that landed right in its heart. He then picked up another off the battlefield and threw one at the General. Ioannu simply swatted it away.

"LEAVE HIM BE OR I'LL KILL YOU MYSELF!" my friend shouted before turning to his knife.

Ioannu rushed towards him faster than a mortal would ever be able to sprint, and grabbed him by the neck. "You seem to like this demigod. I think I’ll make him watch as I kill you.”

And then, I summoned what little strength I had, got up, and ran towards him. Every ounce of my demigod power went into sprinting towards him before his battlefield instinct could get in my way. Before Ioannu could even do anything to stop me, I punched him in the back of the head, grabbed him around the legs, and tackled him.

I then held my hands around his neck, choking him, but while I did, he drew a knife and started stabbing me in the side. I didn’t stop choking until I could feel his heart stop, but by then, it was too late for me; my blood loss was too much to recover from

“YIORGOS!” Dimitris said as he came to console me. “It’s gonna be alright.”

“No, it won’t.” I said as I took a look at how badly my stomach was bleeding. “It looks like I’m going to be meeting with my father soon enough.”

And moments later, I did.

_________________

Thank you for coming all the way to Elysium to hear my story. Now, I really must be going, Dimitris is waiting for me in the Hall of Heroes. He ultimately died a few years later, as one of the men who invaded Troy from inside the Trojan horse. We may have eternity together, but still, hate to keep him waiting.

Don’t forget to tip the ferryman on your way out.

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Sundown89

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@cbishop: It’s misspelt that’s why. It’s ‘thank you’ in Greek

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SpareHeadOne

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@cbishop:

I spelled it phonically from my Greek classes at primary school.

I see that it is actually spelled efharisto

Thankyou

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batkevin74

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#43  Edited By batkevin74

@spareheadone: The 12 clean up tasks by Sarocles :) That was pretty cool. Minor edit of a grammatical nature is often you have i instead of a capital I, but nothing major

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@batkevin74:

Thanks. Yes I must be less lazy.

And Yes, Sarocles got his name because saro means sweep in Ancient Greek.

I loved “Mythsonian” and I laughed out load at the nut cracker sweet.

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@mrmonster: Nice, I liked it and the ending. You may want to edit the swearing to say $#!+ as it's a FF rule and you don't want a mod to pull your story. I personally swear like it's breathing but them's the f%^&!ng rules :)

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@mrmonster: Nice, I liked it and the ending. You may want to edit the swearing to say $#!+ as it's a FF rule and you don't want a mod to pull your story. I personally swear like it's breathing but them's the f%^&!ng rules :)

Pretty much the only swear off the table now is the F-bomb (even censored), but "creative replacement words" are okay- hence why I use "fug." And swears that refer to anatomy. And of course, no racial slurs, and no R-word (that thing that means someone forced themselves on another sexually).

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#47  Edited By cbishop

This should have been easy, but the story just won't come out of my head. Between all-day shifts at work, and this midday deadline, unless I wake up with an incredible story idea, I'm not making this one. I'm zonked. Going to bed.

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mrmonster

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@mrmonster: Nice, I liked it and the ending. You may want to edit the swearing to say $#!+ as it's a FF rule and you don't want a mod to pull your story. I personally swear like it's breathing but them's the f%^&!ng rules :)

Thanks.

Just to be safe, I did edit out the S word in my story.

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We’re reaching the end of the road. Contest closes in eight hours!

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@mrmonster:

I had eleven c¥^t$

Forty f¥{k$

And nine $h1t$

Oh and twenty eight £@&&0+$

And a woman with huge 8008$