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Calanthian

Gods and Heroes - Diplo [Story Thread 1]

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This is the Story and Diplomacy Thread for the Diplo Game "Gods and Heroes" (G&H)

 

The purpose of this thread is to post in-character story posts and diplomacy for this game. Please discuss all organizational aspects of this game the Organization Thread.

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An empires special..

 

< START VIDEO >

 

 

[video=google;3055266396050669135]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3055266396050669135#

 

 

 

 

The Greeks, a people glorious and elegant, valliant and headstrong...

 

These were the men and women who laid the very foundations of western civilisation.

 

Their monuments still recall perhaps the most extraordinairy two centuries in human history.

 

A time which saw the birth of science and politics, philosophy, literature and drama.

 

Which saw the creation of art and architecture we still strive to equal.

 

And the Greeks achieved all this against the backdrop of war and conflict.

 

For they would vanquish armies, navies, empires many times their size.

 

And build an empire of their own.

 

 

 

 

Upon request the second part of the video..

 

[video=google;-1321149848239933287]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1321149848239933287#

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1321149848239933287#

 

 

 

 

 

WELCOME TO GODS AND HEROES

 

A Civ 4 mod developed by Calanthian, Ozzy KP and DNK.

 

Let the story begin...

Edited by Calanthian

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Beyond nine forests

 

Beyond nine forests, beyond the border between the wild and the civilised, lies a world where dream and reality merge,

where babes suckle on mountain mists, dark blood is spilt upon the earth and spells are woven from the star-spun heavens.

 

 

davidtannerpb22honduras.jpg

 

 

This is a landscape of nature spirits, fierce warriors and strange magic

through which the human soul journeys along the map of the heart

in its search for self knowledge and the wisdom of the great bear.

 

 

THIS IS THRACIA, OUR FOREST HOME

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The nomadic people of Laconice, natives gatherers and hunters of the Eurotas river valley, one day found themselves asking a question:

"Where is this place we stand?"

 

At that time, such names as "Sparta", "Laconice", and "Eurotas" were unknown to them. The first had no meaning; the second could only exist when there was another place to contrast it with, and for now these people knew only of their home; the last was the same, knowing as they did only the one great river. And so the elders answered, "it is the world we are in, there is no further division."

 

spartastart.jpg

 

The people grew weary, however, realizing that in this land there were plentiful grains and animals for pasturing. They demanded to settle and build a more permanent camp for themselves, but the elders, ever wise, decided to forgo such an action until they knew more of their surroundings. "In the next generation, we shall settle," they proclaimed, and sent scouts to the south to see if there were any more resources for the proposed chiefdom. As the scouts headed south, the tribe headed north, up into the hills, and prepared a potential settlement there while awaiting word from their southern kin. From this vantage, they could see the dry, rocky country surrounding them, and the lush river valley below. Although there was little shade from the sun (an old saying at this time was, "we would do anything for some shade"), still the people saw much potential in their lands. Already many of the quick-minded in the band were discussing the benefits of this camp site or that camp site, whether it was best to wait or get going quickly and such delay being wasteful. Some were concerned that where their camp would be there would also be valuable, but hitherto unknown resources. Though the world be undivided, already the Spartans were arguing fiercely among themselves over their future.

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Deep in the mists of time people emerged from the limestone caves in the northern part of Attica, they began to wander the peninsula. After living off the land for many a year they grow weary of the vagrant lifestyle and decided to settle among the rolling hills and plant their crops. The hunter gatherers were now farmers and their city was named Athens.

Edited by Zoid

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7e6d2492ef831c124c5472f1c4b3f54c-d38kytm.jpg

 

Legend tells us a story from the time when the great Macedonian Empire was founded. A small wandering tribe led by the wise leader, Caranus has followed a magnificent bird. The arrvial of this bird was foretold by the tribe's elders and according to the legend it would show the men where they should settle and found their first city.

And the bird came as it was foretold, it was big and colorful, never to rest on a tree until it led the Macedonians to this promised land. Caranus and his people have followed the bird, during their journey they saw green forests, abundant rivers, strange animals in herds.

And after many weeks of tiresome journey the bird finally rested.. on a dead wood.. Caranus has looked around, then on his men.. then on the elders.. then on the land again.. Around that dead tree there was nothing.. no forest, no hills, no wild animals, not even other birds.. just plain, unfertile land as far as their eyes could see.

 

Finally Caranus said:

"&@#& this.. we turn back and keep looking for a better place to settle"

 

And so they did.. not before they had eaten the bird though.

Edited by Seridur

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The Epirians were a tribal people. They had lived a semi-nomadic life for hundreds of years. The gods had been kind to the children of Ambrasia.

 

But it was time. Time to settle. Tine to stop wandering from one hunt to the next. The land was fertile, and the people were tired. Betarius, son of Collagius, and the current ruler of the largest tribe in Epirus, had had his eye on a spot for many years. Overtime, he convinced the tribal elders of the wisdom of his choice. It was on a river, and had access to fresh water. It was on the coast, which would please Ambrasia. And it was near enough to Mount Epirus, the holy mountain which 'centered' the various tribes of Epirus.

 

Yes. This was the place. And this was the time. The people of Epirus created a city, appropriately called Ambrasia.

 

A way of life was changed. Only the future would tell if it was for the better.

 

The sun set was spectacular that evening. Clouds streamed off of Mount Epirus. Ambrasia was indeed pleased with her people.

 

mountainandclouds.jpg

Edited by Beta

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Once upon a time there was a lonely settler he walked for 100 miles and was still lonely until he discovered this little gem of a place to put up his tent he decided to call this place TROY the name seemed to be fitting the area and so began the Legend of Troy!

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sp2.jpg

 

For the longest time, the Spartans considered themselves the children of Nature. They were her greatest children, rulers of the entire world of the river valley. After their long sojourn through the hills, and a very long siesta for 25 years that seemed to accomplish nothing as though their elders had simply gotten lost for a time, their tribe returned to the river valley and set up a permanent camp on the northern bank of the river. "Here we shall stay, to eat the fish, shade ourselves in the sparse trees, and reap the fields of grains that stretch before us. Here we will make our home, and from here we will spread our seed," said the tribe's leader. The people settled in to their paradise and very lazily and slowly grew, not bothering with commerce, dully looking after the secrets of nature, and generally producing and eating little. Though lazy in the valley, they had a hard beginning roaming through the rough, arid hills, learning secrets of minimalist survival, hunting, and rapid and devastating action when needed. But culture, commerce, open minds, these were not the nature of the prehistoric Spartan people. And once settled, their minds turned decidedly inward, focused purely on the development of a way to tap the rugged hills around them for materials.

 

sp3.jpg

 

But as the "old tribe" sat and drank beer and enjoyed their long holiday from toil, the "new tribe" of Spartancus roamed widely throughout their world, realizing in time that not only was the "blue stream" not the only water source in the world, but in fact a much, much, unbelievably and vastly larger source existed, seemingly surrounding their simple valley home. Spartancus' tribe searched for new lands to settle and grow into, as it was his belief that the Spartans existed for a reason: to conquer the world of Nature and bring it to heel, such that no hill would be free from a Spartan mine, no field free from a Spartan plow, and no river or sea free from Spartan boats. Perhaps the mountains, seats of the gods, could remain in Nature's realm, a place from where the spirits could watch the Spartans do their bidding and conquer the lands they had provided for his people.

 

sp1.jpg

 

In his long journey, Spartancus passed many novel places, and found many novel things, like olives and odd ores in the rocks. He saw new and terrifying creatures of the seas, and stumbled through thick forests unlike the sporadic cover of his homeland. Still, convinced in the unquestionable province and purpose of his people, he was never fearful or surprised, but approached every new experience and discovery with the eagerness and enthusiasm of a hunter come across new prey. Assured and confident, he and his smaller tribe continued their wide journey across the hills and mountains of the Peloponnese.

Edited by DNK

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A proud moment in Thracian history

 

As one ancient Greek source tells correctly the very Earth is divided into Asia, Libya, Europa and Thracia.

Thracia is designated as the lands bordered by the Danube on the north, by the Euxine Sea (Black Sea) on the east, by northern Macedonia in the south and by the Illyrian lands to the west.

 

Artanes is set on a hill overlooking the valley of the Struma river, in central Thracia. It dominates this important routeway with spectacular views of the valley and of the mountains to the west and north.

 

Today king Teres has given his master builders and military men an order which will be remembered for many generations to come.

He ordered them to build a hillfort beyond compare. It should consist of a massive stone built rampart with entrances on the west and north-east sides.

The north-east entrance should have guard-chambers built into it and must be protected by a deep ditch.

Round houses of stone or wood should be in the center of Artanes, so the people will be protected.

 

hillfort.jpg

 

"

Let Thrax, son of the war-god Ares, be proud of our hillfort of Artanes.

Let the whole of Thracia be filled with this grand new design, let these hillforts inspire and protect our people.

Let our people be safe from harm, so Thracia can grow.

"

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The two founders of Milete, Milus and Miléen, steeped in legend and mystery, originators of the Miletan civilization are today enigmatic figures of great reverence. Their settlement of the Anatolian coast may have occurred in a lofty and noble manner, a declaration or a great effort of settlement. Though more likely it transpired something like this:

 

Miléen: Nice going dumbass! If we had settled on the north bank of the river rather than the south as I suggested, we could have captured wild pigs and domesticated them.

 

-Am I going to be hearing your nagging about that for the next 4000 years?? If so you can pack your lunch and go settle on the damned pigfarm if you so wish.

 

Well maybe I will!

 

-Then you should! I suppose you feel more comfortable with your own!

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Betarius was pleased. Ambrasia was growing nicely. The location was a wise choice. And reports streamed back from his brother Diogenes, who was leading an exploration party deep into unexplored lands. A map of the territory surrounding Ambrasia was coming together. Yes, Betarius could be well pleased with himself.

 

However, little did he know that unrest was growing amongst the elders, the spiritual and intellectual caste that guided society. With the tribe settling, and farmers and fishermen and builders at a premium, their role had been greatly diminished. They were more than aware of that and sought ways to restore their previous status. Betarius was the obstacle. He was the one who had 'settled' the Epirians. He was the one who would have to go. The elders turned to a particularly cold-hearted and ruthless member of their caste, Rhotharius, to devise a plan. It did not take him long, and later that month, with a handful of accomplices, he headed towards the palace in the dead of night.

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The Athenian warrior scouted the lands surrounding their new home, some plants were easily recognizable and the fish and other animals in the sea were plentiful. This was a good sign he tought, his people would thrive here. There was also some strange trees and bushes with fruit that was either very bitter or had a rock hard center he almost broke a tooth on. Also the hills were alive with the sound of baahing coming from wooly horned animals. He paid no attention to these and continued exploring. He thought to himself, what will I find next?

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After wandering through the hills in a distant great plain between the seas, Spartancus settled down for dinner. His band was mighty, nearly one-thousand men strong, all skilled hunters and men of camp crafts, roughened by aeons spent traversing the hostile terrain. Making camp was not a simple matter therefore. First, the site needed to be chosen by Spartancus himself. If rain was threatening, a place high on a hilltop would be chosen, but if the skies foretold a calm evening, usually the warmer, lower, less windy valleys and draws, where water would be available were picked. Sometimes, however, Spartancus chose a prominent feature, so as to add to the great epic tale being crafted, "and on that night, Spartancus and his men looked up at the skies from atop the Great Pinnacle of Poroitoi, ever vigilant in their watch for demons and cyclops, as Spartancus himself conversed with the local god Poroitoi himself, over the future use and Spartan control of his surrounding lands."

 

Tonight, the sky was ominous indeed, so Spartancus chose a very high spot, something to give a more epic feel to the coming "epic" storm, as he was quite fond of the word, now being in a living "epic" himself.

 

Once the site was chosen, the surveyor would check to make sure the land and spot were suitable for all of the camp's sanitation, habitation, defense, and usage needs. The actual settling down of the tribe was usually a haphazard affair: families would set up their tents clustered around their relatives, with a "family tent" dominating the smaller "atomic family tents" of the individual house[tent]holds. Although the specific layout of each family grouping was a bit random and changed regularly, the various meta-families would generally arrange themselves in a similar manner each night. Each "great family" was comprised at this point of about 50 individuals, with usually four or five such families sharing a common lineage back to the first explorers (which each was always aware of, and for each there were different tales and epics: "and on the last moon of the 83rd year, Teleclus Achlys Lelex fought bravely against a horde of wild wolves and secured for the entire tribe a great bounty of food to last them through the rough winter."). The great lineages were: the descendants of Lelex, those of Lacedaemon, those of Atreid, those of Heracleid, those of Agis, and those of Eurypon. There was some debate over a seventh lineage, but that line ended either way, which decided the case enough for the people of the time...

 

Each of these great lineages had four or five sub-lineages now running, with members placing the sub-lineage between the first and surname. So that "Teleclus Achlys Lelex" would be a man called Tele, of the Achlys sub-group of the House of Lelex.

 

At any rate, the main lineage tent would go up, with the patriarch of the lineage residing within with a wife for each sub-lineage. Then, sprouting from this structure would be lesser copies for each sub-lineage patriarch (who only usually took two wives), and then the individual atomic families (in which one wife and one husband were the norm) and extended families around those. The simple pack animals, sheep, would be used to carry most of the camp's supplies and tent equipment, and periodically they would be killed and eaten when they began to fall behind. This was not the advanced husbandry of later antiquity, but it was the beginning.

 

Camp was usually made around two hours before sunset, so there would be enough time to unpack, settle in, set up sentries and basic defenses against vermin and hostile wildlife, and begin to cook before the sun set and left the camp in relative darkness. Usually, there would be a feast and celebration starting twenty minutes before the sun set properly, lasting for a further twenty minutes afterward, and after this the various families would enjoy relaxing in the cool twilight, drinking what fruit juices they could make from local variants and smoking what herbs were locally available, watching the stars slowly form their brilliant tapestry above, as the dimming sky turned the eternal and unending plains and hills red, purple, and then finally a dark, royal blue, before dropping them into blackness or a milky white. Once proper twilight had commenced, the members would finally retire to the main lineage tents for family rituals and a meeting, before finally turning in within their own tents for the long night.

 

Tonight, however, would be different than all those before.

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After surveying the land, Alex told Spartancus that the site was appropriate, and the families began to unpack, slightly weary from the day, which had seen a rather large amount of uphill hiking and little water or game. Everyone knew that dinner would be light and dry, and there would be little fruit afterward, although the local herbs were made for excellent smoking, which may or may not increase the issues over the lack of a proper meal. Some considered an unusual sheep sacrifice for the sake of the local god to give them more game the next day, but none of the sheep currently were sickly enough to please the gods with their removal from view. So, the tents went up a bit more slowly than usual as the hills turned golden in the late afternoon. Far in the distance, the "Unknown Mountain", the tribe's current destination, loomed. The talk of the camp tonight would be about its god and local bounty, as from this vantage the people could see the sea was nearby it.

 

There wasn't much fuel for the fires tonight either, so it would be a cold night as well. The tribe had spent a long time roaming through these vast plains, and in this particular area there was a decided sparsity of timber or anything really combustible. Sheep paddies, that ever-present backup, would be used instead, but they never made for really enjoyable, brilliant, or remotely pleasant fires, and no one wanted them inside their tents.

 

One of Alex's assistants, Georgios, noted what looked like a large herd of migrating deer to the south, and Alex and Spartancus made plans to send an early hunting party out before sunrise the next morning to begin tracking them, to get rations for the coming week's walk through this arid place into the wetter and more bountiful lands of the "Unknown Mountain".

 

"Any idea what you will call it, Cus?" Alex asked the leader while they waded through the congestion of 1000 people assembling themselves into a communal dwelling.

 

"Oh, maybe this one will be a goddess. I haven't had one of those in a long time. The women are getting tired of talking about their 'Chloe lands', especially given how miserably poor the current setting is," he responded dully as he concentrated on stepping over a pile of poles and sheepskin. "What do you think," he asked.

 

"Female sounds good. What about the name?" with barely a pause Alex added, "I'd go with Alexandra - has a nice ring to it, don't you think?"

 

Spartancus laughed lightly as he maneuvered through the assemblage of the House of Agis. "Yeah, I think I'll choose Kallias instead. More fitting for the place, I think."

 

Alex nodded, "yeah, maybe next time."

 

The two continued to walk through and inspect the camp, making sure proper space was kept between dwellings, and no fights broke out over that spacing between the more quarrelsome families. After an hour of this, the pair walked into the feast circle and began to help prepare for the evening's celebration. The feast fire was set and what rabbits they had managed to catch today were cooked as the dried meat left over from the last week was set out for each family. The sun began to set, and the camp congregated into the circle, squatting on the various grand blankets and beginning to dine and converse. Finally, the sun finished its course, and the paddy fires began to light the group more and more. Around the time "the fires take over" a call came from the southern point of the camp.

 

"Fire! Fire! Plainsfire! To the south! Plainsfire!"

 

Whatever commotion existed before came to a total stop. Spartancus immediately stood up and said loudly, "don't worry, it's too damp for a proper plainsfire. I will go check myself, and I'll be back in five minutes. I'm sure it's nothing." Calmly and confidently, he, Alex, Georgios, and several others followed him, along with the main patriarchs, to the south of the camp. Of course, inside Spartancus was on fire with anxiety. They were in a very dry area without any nearby water or obvious natural boundaries. It was a dry season to boot, and a plainsfire in the darkness spelled disaster, as digging ditches and taking down the tents would be a total fracas at this time. Once leaving the feast circle, the group's pace rapidly doubled, then tripled into an outright run as they clamored to see if their camp might just have found itself in total chaos and ruin.

 

Upon reaching the southern point, however, they all stopped, stunned. This was no plainsfire, nor was it anything really they had seen before, except...

 

No, it couldn't be.

 

But there it was, that sight Spartancus and the others had seen so many times before returning to camp late in the evening, having found it solely by its nature of being so clear to see set against the dark background: a signal fire and glowing structures of skin and fabric presented themselves on a distant hilltop. The reality of the situation set in after a few minutes, and the men began to talk excitedly about this absurd break from history.

 

"A watershed moment like none before. We have entered a whole new era," said the High Patriarch of Eurypon. The others mumbled in agreement, still astonished at what they were witnessing.

 

"This will impact us in ways we do not yet fully understand. Our world has ended, this is the coming apocalypse!" another whispered perhaps to himself, yet still quite audibly.

 

"Are they Spartan or... or are they... what are they?" Alex asked, still confused and puzzled.

 

Authoritatively, Spartancus stated, "they are new hunters, perhaps come to join us on our journey, or perhaps they are missives from the Unknown Mountain God, a test of our faith and bravery."

 

All sounded in agreement; yes, there was a reason Spartancus was leader. Plans were made for an extra large watch force for the evening, and word slowly got out that another tribe had been found, an idea that simply did not compute with many until seeing for themselves the fact. Those of poor eyesight, however, would not believe it until their last days, a passing insanity of the camp is how they would understand it.

 

The next morning, Spartancus led the tribe forward, towards that mountain, undeterred from his task. But around noon, he split off from the main group with Alex, Georgios and other dignitaries and important men to meet this new group. Somewhere in the hills they met their counterparts. These were not Spartans, not long-lost kinsmen or another group sent out from the river valley. These men spoke an alien language, looked alien, indeed were likely not from this Earth, sent by gods or demons. This fact, this alienness, would reverberate throughout the tribe until their end. The one single thing that had kept them confident and serene throughout all their travails was that they alone were the lords of existence, and they alone bore the burden and approval of the gods. Now, they had a competitor, and weak ones at that. These men were not as strong as the Spartans, not as swift nor as handy with weapons. They wore finer cloths, had nicer jewelry, but their demeanor struck Spartancus as hopelessly weak and meek. Where rough Spartan hands had gripped strongly, flimsy pieces of flesh had wagged daintily in their hold. For the Spartans, the stronger the handshake the greater the man, yet for these a strong handshake elicited an effeminate shriek and immediate apprehension.

 

Spartans were no longer alone. Spartans had company in this world. A small group of runners from the House of Heracleid was sent back to Sparta to relay the news, although it would be six months before they made it back. In the meantime, the disposition of all changed. Night watches became a more serious matter. If a man fell asleep at his post before, he would be whipped ten times; now, it resulted in permanent branding and the loss of a finger. The watch was tripled, and more sound fortifications were erected each time. Scouts now searched around the group not only for food and game, but also for signs of others, and for a while they found it: old campsites, dropped goods, stray pack animals still with oddly fashioned and decorated blankets and poles of unknown wood attached. The confidence remained, these new men seeming to be as much prey as the animals of the wild, but prey with their own clubs and implements. Not easy, but difficult prey. Time would only know the eventual fate of both peoples, but Spartancus was unsure of their relations if this prey were to push into Spartan territory. He hoped they had greater expanses to conquer first, in another direction.

 

All he knew was that Spartan warriors would never be beaten by like counterparts in the field, certainly not by these men.

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Heracles and the Lion Nemeisos

 

The Thracian hero Heracles has done one of his great works. He had been ordered by King Eurystheus of Pontius to destroy a huge lion whose pelt was impervious to stone of metal. This lion was NEMEIOS, which plagued the mountain valley of Eastern Thracia.

 

 

knipselix.png

 

 

"See the neck-breaking hand that Perseus' descendant Heracles lays with all manner of skill on the flesh-eating lion;

for the gleaming man-mastering bronze refuses to pierce its unapproachable body: his sword was bent back."

 

The hero cornered the lion in its cave and seizing it by the neck wrestled it to death.

Having wrestled it with his bare hands and choked it to death, he used the beast's own claws to skin it.

 

 

knipsel43234.png

 

 

He then skinned its hide to make a lion-skin cape, a cloak if invulnerable armour, one of his most distinctive attributes.

He then took the lion's head as a helmet.

 

He returned to king Eurystheus carrying the dead lion on his shoulders;

and Eurystheus, frightened at the gigantic strength of the hero, took to flight,

and ordered him in future to deliver the account of his exploits outside the gates of the town.

 

 

(OOC: Yes I killed a lion ;) )

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The story of the great Heracles has spread far and wide and the people of Milete also now enjoy listening to this great Greek tale as it has become part of local folklore here as well.

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Caranus the unwise

 

So Caranus shot down the bird and ate it, ordered their people to turn back and settle close to nice pinky animals. Later when his scouts explored the area which the bird show them they found that under the mist there was actually much more food than they will ever have in Argos, their capital.

Caranus couldn't stand the shame, his name become a jest among the people, so he decided to lead the expedition party by himself. He proved to be a good leader killed lions and wolves and their men hardly got any injury.

One day he spot an other lion, his advisor told him to let the people rest, they can even learn new perks, be promoted if given the time, but Caranus was wiser. He said they have 97% chance of wuiniing anyway, lets use this promotion after the battle so they can heal more.

 

That was the last time Caranus was seen. Let just hope history will forget his name..rightfully..

 

(Argh... 97%.. yeah, sure.. :o )

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The Cattle of Geryon

 

For his next labor, Heracles had to journey to the end of the world. Eurystheus ordered the hero to bring him the cattle of the monster Geryon. Geryon was the son of Chrysaor and Callirrhoe. Chrysaor had sprung from the body of the Gorgon Medusa after Perseus beheaded her, and Callirrhoe was the daughter of two Titans, Oceanus and Tethys. With such distinguished lineage, it is no surprise that Geryon himself was quite unique. It seems that Geryon had three heads and three sets of legs all joined at the waist.

 

Geryon kept a herd of red cattle guarded by Cerberus's brother, Orthus, a two-headed hound, and the herdsman Eurytion. Heracles set off on for Erythia, encountering and promptly killing many wild beasts along the way.

 

Not long after he arrived, Orthus, the two-headed dog, attacked Heracles, so Heracles bashed him with his club. Eurytion followed, with the same result. Another herdsman in the area reported these events to Geryon. Just as Hercules was escaping with the cattle, Geryon attacked him. Heracles fought with him and shot him dead with his arrows.

 

 

knipselw23.png

 

 

The stealing of the cattle was not such a difficult task, compared to the trouble Heracles had bringing the herd back to Artanes. In Liguria, two sons of Poseidon, the god of the sea, tried to steal the cattle, so he killed them. At Rhegium, a bull got loose and jumped into the sea. The bull swam to Sicily and then made its way to the neighboring country. The native word for bull was "italus," and so the country came to be named after the bull, and was called Italy.

 

The escaped bull was found by a ruler named Eryx, another of Poseidon's sons, and Eryx put this bull into his own herd. Meanwhile, Heracles was searching for the runaway animal. He temporarily entrusted the rest of the herd to the god Hephaestus, and went after the bull. He found it in Eryx's herd, but the king would return it only if the hero could beat him in a wrestling contest. Never one to shy away from competition, Heracles beat Eryx three times in wrestling, killed the king, took back the bull, and returned it to the herd.

 

Heracles made it to the edge of the Ionian Sea, with the end of his journey finally in sight. Hera, however, was not about to let the hero accomplish this labor. She sent a gadfly to attack the cattle, and the herd scattered far and wide. Now, Heracles had to run around Thrace gathering the escaped cows. Finally, he regrouped the herd and, blaming his troubles on the river Strymon in Thrace, he filled the river with rocks, making it unnavigable. Then, he brought the cattle of Geryon to Eurystheus, who wanted to sacrifice the herd to Hera. Hera herself intervened and allowed Heracles to bring the herd to Artanes.

 

 

knipsel2431.png

The herd of Geryon near Artanes

Edited by Calanthian

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The Erymantean Boar

 

 

For his next labor, Eurystheus ordered Heracles to bring him the Erymanthian boar alive. Now, a boar is a huge, wild pig with a bad temper, and tusks growing out of its mouth.

 

This one was called the Erymanthian boar, because it lived on a mountain called Erymanthus. Every day the boar would come crashing down from his lair on the mountain, attacking men and animals all over the countryside, gouging them with its tusks, and destroying everything in its path.

 

On his way to hunt the boar, Heracles stopped to visit his friend Pholus, who was a centaur and lived in a cave near Mount Erymanthus. Everyone knows that centaur is a human from his head to his waist, and a horse for the rest of his body and his legs. Heracles was hungry and thirsty, so the kindly centaur cooked Heracles some meat in the fireplace, while he himself ate his meat raw.

 

When Heracles asked for wine, Pholus said that he was afraid to open the wine jar, because it belonged to all the centaurs in common. But Heracles said not to worry, and opened it himself.

 

Soon afterwards, the rest of the centaurs smelled the wine and came to Pholus's cave. They were angry that someone was drinking all of their wine. The first two who dared to enter were armed with rocks and fir trees.

 

Heracles grabbed burning sticks from the fireplace and threw them at the centaurs, then went after them with his club.

 

 

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He shot arrows at the rest of them and chased after them for about twenty miles. The rest of the centaurs fled in different directions. One of the centaurs, Chiron, received a wound that no amount of medicine would heal...but what happened to Chiron is another story.

 

While Heracles was gone, Pholus pulled an arrow from the body of one of the dead centaurs. He wondered that so little a thing could kill such a big creature. Suddenly, the arrow slipped from his hand. It fell onto his foot and killed him on the spot. So when Heracles returned, he found Pholus dead. He buried his centaur friend, and proceeded to hunt the boar.

 

It wasn't too hard for Heracles to find the boar. He could hear the beast snorting and stomping as it rooted around for something to eat. Heracles chased the boar round and round the mountain, shouting as loud as he could. The boar, frightened and out of breath, hid in a thicket. Heracles poked his spear into the thicket and drove the exhausted animal into a deep patch of snow.

 

Then he trapped the boar in a net, and carried it all the way to Mycenae. Eurystheus, again amazed and frightened by the hero's powers, hid in his partly buried bronze jar.

 

 

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After that, Heracles brought the boar to Artanes, where it became the first in a long line of prize boars.

 

 

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The captured Erymantean Boar living near Artanes

Edited by Calanthian

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