The battle for EkarantanniThe war started on a Fall Month Secondday in 221. The real war that is. The skirmishes around the Union borders and over cities like Argos, Edo and Landora had only been forerunners. We knew that the Giants were aiming for a heart-stab. They would be coming for our capital Ekarantanni sooner or later. Apollon's prophecy as well as our spies had given us that much. There were also proof that the Giants were aiming for the other Grand Pantheons, and were planning to take them all out at the same time.
Dad had planted a spy at the Giant high court and was receiving reports of the Giants plans through mindspeech. And together with dad we had been farsighting their leader, the dreaded Porphyrion and his mystery queen, a veiled lady, standing behind and saying nothing.
"She seems subjugated," dad was saying, pointing at the woman. "But don't be fooled by the obvious appearance. I believe she is really the one in control, and Porphyrion only her vessel of speech. "
"Like people say about you
Serious War PreparationsPoseidon and Iris were in charge of the "war games", in which we split up in teams and battled, usually way out over the Central Ocean, to not worry any mortals. I ended up leading the blue team most of the time, came up with strategic plots that had the reds taken aghast plenty of times. Even Poseidon was impressed, asking me where I had learned those skills.
"You've been studying some of those old tactic files of Zeus's? "
"Honestly yes. But not until I found out that I was good at this and wanted to know more. "
In fact 'The Zeus files' was something Hera had told me about when I had had the reds cornered for the umpteenth time, making the red leader Ares really frustrated. Dad was too busy with all the planning and preparations. After his initial months of training us, he had focused on the Divine King's rather different work these days. Including a large propaganda plot to keep the mortals from worrying their butts off. They were to learn that we really were almighty and invincibl
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