Sleep and weariness once more take hold of your tired body. At last you open your eyes, and find that your surroundings have changed. You are no longer in your bed-chamber at Aegeus' place!There's an option to take a hint here, but your good bud Hecate beats you to it. Uh oh.
You are in a circular chamber from which there appears to be but one exit. In the centre is a circular altar, on the middle of which stands an image of the goddess Hecate, carved in white marble, and triple-formed. Another stands at the entrance, while all is lit with an unearthly glow by three torches set in brackets on the wall. You barely have time to cry out against the injustice of your fate, when there appears, as if from nowhere or from the gates of Hades itself, a huge black puppy, froth-dripping maw filled with needle-sharp teeth, eyes ablaze with a dark fire. It bounds towards you, and attacks. It has Might 8, Protection 17.YOU JUST HAD TO SAVE THE FUCKING DOG. This thing is tougher than Antiope, I have to roll a 10 just to hit the damn thing! SCREW THAT, WE ARE TAKING A HINT.
You pray to your patron god, craving succour from the wrath of Hecate. To be saved from the infernal creature you must sacrifice 2 Honour points to your patron, and 3 to Hecate.You're doing it! PROTECTION 17, GEEZ.
Grim-hearted Hecate herself stands before you; the statue on the altar has disappeared. She stays the assault of the infernal beast.
'Do not think, Altheus,' she says, 'that you have escaped my wrath. The Olympians have stayed my hand this once, but next time you will not be smiled on by Fate.'
The room seems to spin round and round, Hecate disappears and you are engulfed in darkness.
Sweating and trembling at the terrible experience you have just undergone, you open your eyes, only to find that you are still in your bed-chamber. Could this be a message from the gods -- a dream sent from high Olympus, or perhaps from the dark depths of Hades? You rise and don your armour, for it is now dawn, and crimson trails light up the early-morning sky. It is time for you to set off for the Piraeus. You stay only a short time to say farewell to Aegeus, and, documents in hand, you set forth on the final stage of your journey to Crete. At the gate the guards salute you, but after a while you become lost, and have to ask a peasant the way to the harbour.One more hint for the road.
It is not good to question the motives of the gods. Have 1 Shame point.
At long last you reach the Piraeus, the well-built harbour of Athens. A host of people are assembled there, busily loading and unloading goods from the islands. Your ship is obvious: a great but weather-beaten pine vessel with sails of deep black, draped in cloths of black, its crew dressed in sombre robes.
A small man in a white-trimmed cloak beckons to you. He is the captain, and they have delayed sailing for you. They must leave within minutes, or the tide will prevent them for another twelve hours. You rush aboard and are shown below decks to a large room where the crew sleep and keep their possessions. Here you stow your weapons, and go to join the captain.
The ship has already cast off and the rowers are at their benches, heaving hard at the smooth wooden oars. The overseer has no whip, for all are volunteers, but a regular beat is struck on stretched-hide drums. The Athenians destined for sacrifice speak little, keeping to themselves, but every so often cast you hopeful glances, as men appealing to high Olympus for succour. 'Altheus, breaker of horses, will save us,' they say, or 'Altheus will storm the great-walled citadel of Knossos, and bring us back to Athens.' One girl looks remarkably like your mother Aethra, and puts you in mind for a moment of the home you left so many days ago.
The voyage continues, and the sun and moon take their turns at lighting up the weary world. Sometimes the ship goes under sail; at other times oars are needed. You are seasick often, as the swell rocks the boat, and so unable to help in the necessary tasks of the journey. Your stomach feels as if trampled by the Marathonian bull; your head reels as if being caught a glancing blow by a straight-flying spear. You are dimly aware that the ship, having hugged the coast of Attica, now approaches rugged Ceos. There are shouts and noises above.
'Altheus,' you hear the captain cry, 'come quickly!' You stagger to your feet, and lurch unsteadily to the deck, wondering at the ways of seafaring folk.
When you look out to where everyone is pointing, you see -- and horror grips your mind -- a great sea-monster, shaped like a serpent, with slimy spines sticking from its head, huge beyond imagining, eyes sparkling with the glint of the deeps, jaws wide and ravening, its body shining blue, green and yellow under the summer sun.This one looks to come down to your relationship with Poseidon, so at least you haven't pissed him off like you did Hecate. IT COULD BE WORSE.
The sea-serpent is Might 20, Protection 12.
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