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Thread: The Blind Bard, "Legends of Terracles"

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    Community Manager Cleomedes's Avatar
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    The Blind Bard, "Legends of Terracles"

    The Blind Bard, Legends of Terracles

    A Goddess’ Vengeance

    For all their great might, their immortality and divine powers, the gods are in many ways little different from mortal men and women. When they meet in the celestial dining chambers, their tongues loosened by wine and nectar, they often squabble and argue. So it was on the occasion which would lead to the birth of Terracles.

    The gods began to discuss who might be considered the greatest amongst them, a common topic of conversation for beings accustomed to receiving worship, and invoking fear and awe in the mortal races. The deities of war and elemental might made their claims, as always, and it appeared that the debate would devolve into one of the drunken brawls in which divine banquets so often ended. But on this occasion the conversation took a different turn. For Brough the Trickster, wishing to end the monotony and cause mischief, asked a different question: “Who is the weakest among us?”

    That question gave them all pause. The feebler gods grew nervous, for none wished to be shamed by being dubbed the weakest heavenly being. A babble of celestial voices arose, as each god either named another the weakest or else desperately defended themselves against that label. But one name began to win out through the divine din, yelled first by Detsaal and then echoed by those around her: “Rassys!”

    The hideous and hate-filled Detsaal had always despised Rassys, the goddess of love. Thus she took the opportunity to make a mockery of her before all the gods and goddesses. And moments after the name had passed from her cracked lips, almost all those present cried out in agreement. Who could be weaker, they argued, than the slender Rassys, who possessed neither the mighty thews of a warrior deity nor the destructive arcane powers of a sorcerer god?

    With the raucous laughter of gods and goddesses ringing in her burning ears, Rassys left the dining hall, vowing that she would have her revenge for this slight and demonstrate her power to those who mocked her.

    Rassys descended to the surface of Tor’gyyl, and scoured the land for Detsaal’s favorite mortal. At last she found her, a crone named Grotlag whose ugliness was second only to that of the vile goddess herself. As Grotlag slept, Rassys worked her magic upon her, shaping flesh and bone until she became the most beautiful of mortal women. The goddess of love went further still, weaving enchantments so that any man or even god who gazed upon the woman would be filled with uncontrollable lust until he lay with her.

    The following day, Rassys visited the hall of the gods, ignoring the snickering which flitted around the chamber at her entrance. She approached the great pool of scrying in the middle of the hall, which the pantheon used to oversee important events on Tor’gyyl. The other gods drew close, curious to see what she intended to show them.

    Rassys’ fingers gently brushed the surface of the pool, and upon the ripples which spread from her touch appeared the image of Grotlag in all her glory.

    Detsaal shrieked when she understood whose face she gazed upon. Her most treasured mortal had been made the epitome of everything she loathed. To the amazement of all the goddesses present, Detsaal dropped to her knees and wept. But the gods paid her no heed, for they were unable to look aside from the image on the water.

    Rassys smiled, and dispelled the image, breaking the spell. And before the rippling water had grown still, only the goddesses remained in the chamber. The gods were on their way to the mortal realm, in search of Grotlag.

    Thus Rassys proved that she was by no means the weakest of the heavenly immortals, for she had controlled all the gods as easily as one might pull the strings of a puppet. As for Grotlag, she had awoken that morning in great confusion, which only intensified when a series of divine suitors appeared at her door…


    The Tree Falls Far from the Apple

    Once each god had lain with Grotlag, and thus broken the enchantment’s hold over him, he fled from Tor’gyyl in shame. For though it was not unheard of for a god to take a mortal as a lover, to be forced to share a woman with half the pantheon was humiliating indeed. Rassys’ victims wished only to forget, to allow the episode to be eclipsed by the countless squabbles and celestial adventures which constitute divine existence. But they were destined to be reminded of it years later. For Grotlag had been left with child.

    ***

    Some say that those to whom the gods reveal themselves are blessed, that they should be honored to come to the notice of such powerful beings. In truth it is more often a curse. So it was with Grotlag, used as a pawn in Rassys’ games and then forgotten about.

    Though the goddess of love’s plan had been fulfilled, the enchantments she had placed on Grotlag remained. Every man who gazed upon her was filled with uncontrollable lust, and she was forced to leave her village to escape the men who pursued her and the jealous women who sought to tear her limb from limb. She sought refuge in the town of Pella, where she had kin, and took to wearing a veil – knowing that her visage was now as destructive as that of a gorgon. It was in Pella that she gave birth to the child placed in her belly by the procession of amorous gods. She named him Terracles.

    Grotlag hoped to live in obscurity, and keep the bizarre circumstances surrounding Terracles’ conception a secret. But this proved difficult, for she discovered that her son possessed brawn beyond that of any normal child. Even as a young boy his muscles were almost as strong as those of a full-grown man, and he became stronger with each passing year. Grotlag could only do her best to conceal this from her neighbors, and admonish Terracles to hide his abilities from others. She forbade him from wrestling with the other boys in Pella, lest he snap their spines. And when she saw him lift a marble statue off its plinth by the roadside, because he wished to take it home with him, she forestalled this theft before anyone could witness it. Grotlag lived in constant fear that the truth would emerge, that they would be driven from Pella.

    For eighteen years fortune smiled on them. Terracles loved his mother, and did his best to hide his inhuman might at her behest. He knew that she enjoyed living a peaceful life in Pella, and would be grieved if they had to leave. As a young child he managed to keep his temper in check when other boys provoked him, even at the risk of being called a coward. And as he grew older, his frame filling out with thick muscles, no one sought a quarrel with him. It seemed as if all would be well. Until the incident of the apple orchard.

    Each day Terracles toiled in a field, and walked home along the road which led past Lord Eurymachus’ orchard. Sometimes he would pick an apple from one of the trees, to eat as he went on his way. But one day Eurymachus went to inspect his orchard, barbed whip in hand, to make sure his slaves were working hard enough. Thus he arrived in time to catch sight of Terracles picking his apple, whilst his slaves stood by and did nothing – for they had no desire to antagonize someone so powerfully built over a mere apple.

    Filled with rage, Eurymachus whipped his slaves, sending them screaming back to their dwelling. Then he strode up to Terracles, who had turned around when he heard the screams, and looked on as Eurymachus took his whip to the slaves.

    “Wretch! Hound! Thief!” yelled Eurymachus.

    So great was his consternation at the thought that someone would dare to steal from a lord of the realm that he could do little more than spit single words from his red face. His angry tongue simply couldn’t fashion a meaningful sentence, one capable of encapsulating the true measure of his shock and fury. Thus he relied upon his whip instead, and lashed Terracles across his face.

    Terracles had been nervous at the lord’s approach, for he knew that Eurymachus was an important man in Pella and the surrounding land. He knew too that he had done wrong to take an apple from one of his trees, and an apology had been ready to fly from his mouth. But when the whip struck him, the words died upon his lips.

    “You’ve stolen from me!” said Eurymachus, gaining mastery of his voice at last. “From me! Do you know who I am, boy? Do you think I’m some peasant to be robbed with impunity?”

    Again the whip lashed out, and again, each vicious stroke ripping the flesh upon Terracles’ arms as he raised them to shield his face. Years of restraint, all of Grotlag’s admonitions, were flayed along with his skin. Rage flooded through his body, and blazed within his eyes. Eurymachus had drawn his arm back for a fourth lash of the whip, but it fell to his side as he saw the murderous expression upon Terracles’ face. The lord was no brave man, and he realized that he had driven away his slaves. He stood alone before the powerful and now furious youth.

    “To hell with you,” growled Terracles, “and your accursed apples!”

    With that he seized the trunk of the tree, and yanked it from the ground as easily as another man might pick a flower. The tree’s roots emerged into the light, dirt flying from them. Eurymachus’ jaw opened in a noiseless gasp, like the gawping mouth of a fish. He stood frozen at the amazing sight before him.

    Terracles lifted the uprooted apple tree above his head and hurled it into the distance as if it were a javelin. The throw was without aim. In his anger he only wished to cast it as far as he could. But it so happened that the slaves’ dwelling lay in that direction. And when the tree struck one of its rickety pillars, propelled by all the force of the demi-god’s arm, the pillar toppled. The roof followed, collapsing and crushing the slaves within.

    The sight of the crumbling building brought back all of Grotlag’s warnings to Terracles’ mind. The fury left him immediately, as he realized how displeased she would be. He turned, and ran back to his home.

    As for Eurymachus, when it was clear that Terracles did not intend to strike him down, he became angry once more. His slaves had been valuable, and now they were all dead. The ruined dwelling would cost money to replace as well. So Eurymachus ran back to his villa, yelling for his retainers to arm themselves and gather. Then they mounted their horses, and rode for the town. Someone would pay for this outrage!


    Bastard of Heaven

    Eurymachus and his minions arrived at the town of Pella. Once there, the lord leapt down from his horse, seized the nearest peasant by the throat, and questioned him. Thus he soon learned where Terracles lived, for no other youth in the town resembled him in stature.

    The men approached Grotlag’s home, many of the townsfolk gathering around them to see what would happen. Eurymachus called out for Terracles to emerge and face justice. A moment later the door opened, and both Grotlag and Terracles came out to stand before the irate lord and their fellow townspeople. Grotlag sighed as she looked round at the crowd, knowing that there was no longer any hope of keeping their secret.

    “Milord,” began Grotlag, “I-”

    “Your son killed my slaves!” said Eurymachus.

    “I’m sorry”, replied Terracles, his eyes downcast. “I… I acted without thinking…”

    “Sorry?” Eurymachus snorted. “What good is your sorrow? Can I purchase new slaves with it? I demand restitution! You must pay me for my loss.”

    “But my son cannot afford to pay the value of your slaves,” said Grotlag.

    “Then the law is clear,” said Eurymachus. “If he cannot make good on his debts, I am entitled to take him into slavery.”

    As soon as the words left his lips, Eurymachus saw Terracles’ eyes flash. He understood that even if the powerful youth accepted the law’s judgment, and became his slave, he would forever have to be wary around him. For if the boy’s anger took hold of him once more, as it had in the orchard, he might tear Eurymachus’ head from his shoulders.

    “But I am a just and merciful man,” said Eurymachus, as those thoughts flew across his mind. “Perhaps there is some relative who could pay his debt.”

    “My kinsfolk who once lived here, my aunt and uncle, are dead,” replied Grotlag. “We have no other kin.”

    “What about the boy’s father?” asked Eurymachus. “Does he still live?”

    “His… father…” Grotlag looked around, glancing from face to face, like a cornered animal seeking somewhere to flee. But there was no escape. “Yes. He still lives.”

    “Splendid! A father may be called upon to pay his son’s debt. That’s the law. Tell me where he lives. I’ll send a man to demand payment.”

    “But… my lord…” Again Grotlag sighed. “If I must speak the truth, then so be it. Terracles’ father isn’t a man. He’s one of the immortal gods.”

    Laughter rippled across the crowd. But Eurymachus did not laugh. He had seen Terracles throw the apple tree, with more might than a mortal man should ever possess. He raised his hand, and the crowd fell silent.

    “Very well, woman. Then I will demand restitution from that god’s temple. When Sarathon borrowed his divine father’s flaming chariot, and crashed it into the city of Aeops, the lawmakers decided that Karuss’ temple could be made to pay. Which god sired the boy?”

    The crowd leaned forward as one, in eager anticipation. Though they had mocked Grotlag’s claim, some were persuaded by Eurymachus’ earnestness. Surely if a great and respected man such as he believed the story, there must be some truth in it? Others remained unconvinced, but were interested to see which deity she would name – and whether the god in question would strike her down in vengeance for such a falsehood.

    “I… I don’t know, milord.”

    A murmur swept across the crowd. Eurymachus frowned.

    “How can that be? Did the god wear some disguise? Did he take on the form of a bull, or a shower of gold? I have heard of such things.”

    “No…” Grotlag began.

    “She lies!” called out one of the townspeople. “She says she lay with a god, but doesn’t know who he was? A likely story!”

    Terracles growled, and strode towards the crowd. It parted before the furious youth, men, women, and children pushing their way out of his path as they saw the anger in his face. The man who had spoken stood alone as Terracles walked towards him.

    “My mother lies, does she?”

    “Well… I mean to say…” murmured the man, fearful now that he was no longer hidden in the crowd.

    Terracles grabbed the man by his throat with one powerful hand, and hurled him as if casting aside an unwanted garment. The man screamed as he flew high in air, and came down with a great splash two dozen feet away in the town pond – where he was promptly attacked by ducks.

    “Does anyone else doubt my mother?” asked Terracles, glaring at the crowd.

    The crowd collectively shook their heads, and mumbled their acceptance of her word. His display of strength had proven to most that divine blood ran in his veins. And the others, if not convinced of that, were at least convinced that they didn’t want to be thrown into duck ponds or worse.

    “So…” began Lord Eurymachus, who had also been cowed by the spectacle, “you were saying that you don’t know which god it was?”

    “No, milord. You see… there was more than one god… I don’t know which one fathered my son.”

    The crowd looked on with great interest once more, and gasps passed from many throats. It was not unheard of for a mortal to be blessed (or otherwise) by a god’s affections. But what mortal woman could claim to have lain with more than one?

    “Which gods?” asked Eurymachus. “If you tell me their names, I shall petition both of their temples.”

    “All of them,” Grotlag replied.

    For a moment there was complete silence. The townspeople and Eurymachus were dumbfounded.

    “All of them?” echoed the lord.

    Grotlag nodded, eyes downcast.

    “Oh…” said Eurymachus. “Then… then I suppose we must go to the pantherium…”

    ***

    A pantherium, or temple dedicated to all the gods, stood in Pella as in most towns. For temples were expensive, and building one for each god a costly affair better left to wealthy cities. Instead a town would build temples to the gods most relevant to them, and then erect a pantherium to avert the wrath of any deities who might otherwise be angered by their exclusion.

    Thus Eurymachus entered Pella’s pantherium with Terracles following behind, stood under its domed roof, and asked the white-robed priestess to communicate with the gods on their behalf.

    “Have you brought a sacrifice?” she asked.

    “No,” sneered the lord. “I always carry this chicken under my arm.”

    With that, he broke the bird’s neck and tossed it onto the altar.

    “The gods do not respond well to sarcasm,” the priestess replied. “But you have made your offering.”

    The priestess closed her eyes. When she opened them again, their entire surface glowed the color of gold. And when she spoke, it was in a booming voice that seemed to come from the walls themselves.

    “What do you ask of us, mortal?”

    “This boy was fathered by one of your number,” said Eurymachus. “We… we wish to know which one.”

    The booming voice was silent.

    In the hall of the gods, the immortals looked at one another in consternation. The humiliating episode of Grotlag had passed from their minds, and now they were reminded of it. What would their mortal worshippers say if they learned the tale, and knew it to be true? And they surely would if the gods accepted Terracles’ claim upon them. Yet deities could not lie within their own temples, and the pantherium was dedicated to all of them.

    In Pella, the priestess opened her mouth and the voice boomed once more.

    “How do you know this boy is truly of divine lineage?” it asked. “Many harlots attempt to conceal their… their harlotry… by telling their jealous husbands that some god seduced them with celestial powers.”

    Terracles’ eyes blazed as they had done in the apple orchard.

    “Then you deny his claim?” asked Eurymachus, who knew enough of holy lore to know the gods incapable of the lie direct within the walls of the pantherium.

    “We...” The booming voice paused for a long moment, as the gods conferred. “We require proof. If the boy is to claim one of us as his father, he must perform a labor worthy of divine blood.”

    “I’ll do whatever you ask of me,” snarled Terracles. “I will prove that my mother tells the truth, and one of you will acknowledge me as your son!”

    “And pay for my slaves!” added Eurymachus.

    “Then you must…” Again there was silence in the pantherium, as the hall of the gods was filled with babble. But at last the immortals agreed upon a task, and the voice spoke once more. “You must slay the Faedark bear, a beast which no mortal man could overcome!”

    “Very well,” said Terracles. Then he turned, and stormed from the temple.
    Last edited by Cleomedes; 25th July 2010 at 00:37.

  2. #2
    Not so fond of this one as I was of the other 2. Still an interesting read though.

    Feel free to add me on Facebook, Click HERE I am currently level 539 and Leader of the Dragon Dynasty Guild

  3. #3
    Community Manager Cleomedes's Avatar
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    Second chapter added.

  4. #4
    Oooo, now that was a good read. =3

    Feel free to add me on Facebook, Click HERE I am currently level 539 and Leader of the Dragon Dynasty Guild

  5. #5
    Community Manager Cleomedes's Avatar
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    Added a new chapter (Bastard of Heaven).

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    Farmhand Espoira's Avatar
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    Very nice. My first read here, nice details

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    Farmhand Jagang(the Just)'s Avatar
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    Nice story, now you have me wanting for more.


    ~ A GUILD THAT WORKS TOGETHER in Unison, Heart, Trust and most of all: HONOR ~
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=...98471526850905

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    Sister of Radiance The Gnome's Avatar
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    "– where he was promptly attacked by ducks." ... had me rolling... that is a great line...

  9. #9
    great reading...you have a gift of writing. I look forward to the next episode.

  10. #10
    Silver Arrow
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    if you haven't noticed
    this is a parody of the 12 labors of Hercules

    this one involved slaying the Faedark bear which is a parody of the Nemian lion
    as both had hide that no man could pierce and both terracles and Hercules strangled their foe to death and made their hides into helms

  11. #11
    this is my first read so whats the other 2... i kinda like this so i guess i want to read more

  12. #12
    Community Manager Cleomedes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazler View Post
    this is my first read so whats the other 2... i kinda like this so i guess i want to read more
    Angelus was referring to the previous background story - the one about the Red Prince. You can read that here:

    http://www.dawnofthedragons.com/foru...ed-Prince-quot

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Cleomedes View Post
    Angelus was referring to the previous background story - the one about the Red Prince. You can read that here:

    http://www.dawnofthedragons.com/foru...ed-Prince-quot
    wow thanks.. just finish reading... is there some more like this? could you pls post the link? really aprreciate it... yeah thanks to the author...

  14. #14
    Farmhand Andlat's Avatar
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    I hate reaching the end of a story that isn't finished.

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    Farmhand †ALL˚Eyes˚On˚Me†'s Avatar
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    very absorbing... i was lost right there... traveled to another dimension...

  16. #16
    Sister of Radiance
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diablop View Post
    if you haven't noticed
    this is a parody of the 12 labors of Hercules

    this one involved slaying the Faedark bear which is a parody of the Nemian lion
    as both had hide that no man could pierce and both terracles and Hercules strangled their foe to death and made their hides into helms
    I'm not sure you understand the word "parody":
    1: a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule
    2: a feeble or ridiculous imitation

    Whilst this work is surely based upon the 12 Labors of Hercules, it is by no means a "parody". Inspired by, a tribute, an homage, a salute, yes. A Parody, no.
    There is only...

    ONE

  17. #17
    DotD is one of the best games I've ever seen, even if it has a lot of references to mythology and folklore; the fact that the Dev's can compile all this, create a chain of stories and make an epic game on it makes DotD one of the most original and fantastic game/story ever.

    I love the humor that you add in those little details too. Makes it very realistic.

  18. #18
    Sister of Radiance Bailey Boy's Avatar
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    Wow. I very much enjoyed this one. I enjoyed all of your other stories as well Cleomedes. If you already have or ever do publish any works drop me a line and I will def check them out and spread the word. You've got talent. Keep up the good work

  19. #19
    Community Manager Cleomedes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bailey Boy View Post
    Wow. I very much enjoyed this one. I enjoyed all of your other stories as well Cleomedes. If you already have or ever do publish any works drop me a line and I will def check them out and spread the word. You've got talent. Keep up the good work
    Thanks. I had a book published a few years back - The Monster Hunter's Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Saving Mankind from Vampires, Hellhounds, Zombies, and other Mythical Beasts. But that was pseudo-non-fiction, rather than a story.

  20. #20
    Sister of Radiance Bailey Boy's Avatar
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    I will look into it. Sounds interesting.

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