A blond lady (first sketch to Hera before I changed her hair colour et cetera)
The threat from old timesIn the year 212 the first warning signals came. There were few who took them seriously. Most people didn't see, or didn't want to see that all wasn't well in our realm. That there were terrible beasts out there that weren't supposed to be around. Creatures living in the wildernesses outside the Union and threatening the outskirts of our commonwealth. They were nothing like lingering Titans or the things Hercules had met in Merioly. They were far worse.
These were monsters thought to be extinguished. Gaianes, the precursors of the Titan race. Or, so was our first assumption. But those 'things' referred to as Giants by those who had encountered them, they bore only slight resemblances to the Gaianes. They were more like defect freak-versions of this old race of large people.
And they were out to get us Homo Sapiens, at least according to Thor of the pantheon Valhalla, who took the stage the first Open Forum of 212.
An Open Forum is a gathering of immortals with traditions going bac
HerculesUpon the first look Dionysos and Hercules seemed very much like the total opposites. But they had one thing in common (beside their dad, I mean) - and that was a mortal mother. Alkmene Akrisian was also a mortal who passed on an immortal gene to Hercules.
First time I met Hercules I had no idea that he was another brother. At that time he seemed just a rowdy and happy-go-lucky immortal, content with partying all night long and working for others and for an income that provided him with his worry-less life. He lived in Doria, employed by the goddess Oshera, a granddaughter to the Hyperpantheon politician Kandrios of Elesios.
Doria was not the safest place back then. Located next to the wastelands of Merioly, where the Titans had lived (and some still dwelled, according to certain sources) it was haunted by outlaws raiding the south-east plains and there were rumours of man-eating mutant monsters who had lone wanderers for supper. The radiation inside of Merioly, caused by Chronos' nucle
DionysosIt was just pure luck that I was in Thebe that evening when Semele went up on the roof of her house, poured a can of petrol over her body and set herself on fire. The distress call that went out from her tormented soul must have woken all immortals in the area, but I was the first one on location. Yet too late. The girl died in my arms. I've never been good at healing other people and there was nothing I could do other than trying to dull her pain and listen to her last words:
"I loved him. But he was... Zeus. The baby... was his." Then her eyes went empty.
"What baby? Oh, dad, what have you done?" I stared into the setting sun trying to understand the girls last words. Then I felt something. Life emerging from the dead womans body. A helpless little one trying to stay alive. She had been... pregnant... Or, rather, still was pregnant. I realised that it was I who had to save this child. Teary-eyed I remembered Demeter's lesson about caesarean and how to reach the womb. I had nothing to
Saving Ares"The enemy lair!" My voice sounded almost celebratory while I pointed out the big structure lying ahead of us. Just like Olympos the home of Oxaroros and his pantheon was located on a mountain-summit, with a big city by its foot. But unlike Olympos this was a highly defended fortress, with high walls and almost no windows facing the outside. Seemed like these gods feared something. Perhaps stray Titans, rumours has it that there were still a lot of them dwelling in Vandrisvia. And the capital, Azelin, was also walled and with a burned perimeter guarded by heavy-armed towers.
Now it was us who were kept outside. Four Olympian deities on a mission to liberate a fifth. Helios, Irdonan and Astraea were waiting behind, in Tarasinallia, the capital of Gatellaria, less than five minutes flight from Azelin if they should be needed.
"And where is Ares?" Hermes pondered, scanning the large structure with the high granite walls.
"You don't sense him?" Arcas asked.
"I sense immortals in there, but
Goddess of war¤ The Vandrisvian pantheon is my own invention
The jungle was hot, wet and filled with all kinds of beasts from roaring feline carnivores to itty-bitty biting insects. The screaming monkeys were stealing our food if we didn't look out and the colourful birds were using our tents and vehicles as toilets.
"The enemy is located south-west of us," the mortal scout reported, wiping sweat off his cocoa-brown forehead. "There is a shallow valley-like pit where the river Gaodanza meets the river Livontos. That's where the main troops are."
"How are they equipped?"
"More guns than us, three Falcon class helicopters. No chariots."
"Those hardly works in the jungle anyhow, I commented, go on!"
"They're about 500 mortals, and I believe two or three immortals."
"Don't think so."
"We could be able to take them. In a surprise attack, preferably at noon, since these people would expect us to come at night or early in the morning." Alxolita, I turned to the mortal commander, "pr
HadesI kept my promise to Persephone, I sat ward on her while she was tripping down in those deep dimensions so far away from the world we can fathom with our normal senses. There were dimensions there which we could hardly figure out, and I understood that some trippers actually became crazy after a while, like Medusa was said to have been. Even I, lending just a piece of my mind, was affected. My cousin held on to that fragment of mind like a security rope, and she was also using it as a telephone line, sending back her impressions. And I was trying to sort these impression with my logical mind, even if everybody said it was futile. Still, I worked that way. I craved logic. I wanted to understand.
This made me change my mind about these trips, and suddenly Persephone and I found ourselves in reverse roles.
"You're just walking around, Athi," she said. "What is it you are looking for?"
"There are no such things down there. It's another world. We can't apply our logic upon i
PersephoneWhile Eleithya went on with soul healing my young cousin Persephone was the one to open my eyes for a new area of research. It all started with me almost colliding with Demeter at the pathway outside my Olympic home. Demeter managed to avoid crashing into me with an odd manoeuvre which almost had her ending up in the thorn bushes instead. I took hold of her arm and noticed that she was pale as a snowman and that her beautiful, dark brown eyes were large and worried.
"Dee, what's wrong?"
"It's Persephone, she hasn't answered her door in 5 days and now she has put a block on the entrance. And I can't get through it. "
"Five days... Well maybe she just wants to be left alone. Maybe she's..."
"No, Athena, there's something wrong. I can sense that. She has never locked herself in before, never refusing to answer the door. And now suddenly "and for five days! Why? I'm getting Zeus."
Demeter started ahead, and I followed her. My first thought was of course that this was false alarm
Another Heart Breaks"Okay, class is over, Athena. You're doing fine, your progress is excellent. That mortal woman really did get a new life." Anaktoron closed his note book and rose. "Let's go for a walk, it's a wonderful evening." I nodded slightly and let him take my arm, as we walked out through the open terrace doors and took a jumping shortcut the five floors down to the wet grass.
It had stopped raining about an hour ago and now the full moon was shining trough rags of clouds.
"Something you want to talk about?" I guessed as Anaktoron and I started to walk down the pebbled path through the Cretan Garden. Crickets and frogs were calling out their mating songs and somewhere more human music was heard. Apollon was playing that lyre again.
"There's some homework I want you to do, Anaktoron said. I'll point you to some books I know are in the Olympic library. But first I want to talk about other things. I want to leave the business part of our life behind a bit."
"What do you mean?" We had stopped benea