The Epic

What Has Gone Before

The Adoniad - PbP Campaign

In which the Heroes embark on the maiden voyage of a ship and sail to find the object of her captain's obsession, the statue of the most beautiful woman he's ever beheld.

Thasios, a shipwright's son, has finished building a ship of his own design and has gathered a willing crew ready to man her. The night before launch, they sit upon the shore and feast on mutton and wine. Apolloxenos, an Atlantean bard, pours out a libation and recites a stirring ode to Apollo Musagetes, his divine patron. In the ensuing talk, Nikandros, son of a rival shipwright, suggests that Thasios's ship is less than seaworthy.

Omens - Tabletop Campaign

In which the Heroes board the Hound and discover a murder en route to the isle of Dardanos.

A sea captain named Stratos searches the Atlantean port colony of Tartessos for heroes. Instructed by an Oracle to find those in the city marked by omens, Stratos first finds seagulls circling over a fighting-pit. There he witnesses an outcast Amazon warrior, Azalia, defeat a hulking Nubian brawler; he asks her to join him on his next voyage. He does not know why he was meant to invite her, but he makes it plain that he would appreciate the presence of a skilled warrior on the pirate-haunted Mediterranean. Stratos also finds similarly circling gulls by the sea shore; amidst the fishermen cleaning their nets, he sees a strangely pale woman swimming in the surf, Olorus Sea-Kin. She also agrees to join him, intrigued by the promise of new experiences. At the end of the day, he meets them at a taverna, the Sign of the Sea Serpent, though he is distraught, since he was instructed to look for three omens. Suddenly, a beautiful young noblewoman introduces herself to the captain and his companions as Phanae of Poseidonis, musician and seeker of lore. Overwhelmed, Stratos names her very appearance his third omen, and thus his third hero.

Stratos is bound for Dardanos, a tiny bluff in the Mediterranean inhabited only by goats and a reclusive order of scholars and magi known as the Grey School. He is carrying grain, wine, and wool to the magi, as well as a robed man to whom they offer great respect. They set sail in the Hound, Stratos's small merchanter; it is a voyage which Stratos believes will take four to six days, dependent upon weather, wind, and the whims of the gods. Aboard the ship, Phanae becomes acquainted with the robed man; he is Simeon, an aloof, beardless young man in a star-spangled Phrygian cap who claims to be associated with the Grey School. He bears an ornate golden box which he will not let out of his sight. Phanae convinces him to tell her what it is he carries - the legendary Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistos, which are said to have been crafted by Thoth and delivered by Hermes to the School, containing the accumulated mystic lore of both man and god. A trusted friend of the Grey School was lent them a time, and now Simeon returns them to their place of honor at Dardanos.

The day passes without incident, and the Hound is pulled to shore at sundown. The following dawn, the sailors awaken to find that Simeon is dead, stabbed in the night, his jewelry gone. The golden box is also missing. While Azalia and Phanae question the sailors and search their belongings - finding one of the sailors to be apparently guilty - Olorus speaks to the trees and birds, learning little of the previous night's events, but also discovering a discarded toga bearing bloodstains. The toga is small enough that it could only reasonably fit a few of the crewmembers: the woman, Hestra; a boy, Mykelos; and a wiry sailor, Demos. Phanae divines the location of the missing box - hidden within an amphora of grain - by using the mystic powers of her Atlantean blood. Blame is shifted around, but no culprit is identified, and the Hound sets sail again. This time, the crew will be sailing through the night, as they cross the Pillars of Heracles to the coast of Dar. Stratos does not believe the murderer will have a chance to escape.

That night, Azalia awakens to the sight of a glistening form creeping onto the ship from out of the water, and awakens the other heroes. Olorus identifies the intruders; they are what her people call sahuagin, but what men call Sea-Devils, man-eating savages who dwell in the darkness beneath the waves. They fight the vile creatures, slaying or frightening them off as the sailors panic in the near-moonless darkness. However, several of the sailors are slain, including Demos, one of Simeon's suspected murderers…

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