Heroes of Mythic Greece

Copyright © 1999 by Daniel Myers

Edited by Lowell R. Matthews for The Guild Companion

1.0 Introduction and Overview

The descriptions of the heroes are divided into three sections. The first provides a brief history of the hero. Please note, however, that there are numerous variations upon and holes within the myths. Where variations differ and holes appear, logic, imagination, interpretations of various variations, or even pure fantasy are used to file in the holes. Therefore, if some fact or detail about a hero seems implausible, it should by all means be changed. In addition, the history of the hero is just a summary of events with many details being left out. For an in-depth character overview of a particular hero, consult any Greek Mythology book. All references to years parallel the Mythic Greece timeline. The suggested year for playing is 296.

The second section provides the heroes' personal traits, such as appearance and personality. This section also details what the hero is doing in Year 296, the year recommended for adventuring. In a few instances, the hero has died, retired, or is too young to adventure with the PC party.

The third section provides MERP and RM game statistics. Due to the nature of Special Powers, unusually high stats are common. In MERP statistics, when a hero is using his Statistic Power, affected stats are modified in parentheses. For example, when Meleager is using his Great Vitality, his OB changes from 122 to 165, denoted 122 (165). For RM, the situation is slightly different, because RM handles Statistic Powers by using the stat potential rules and thereby makes an accounting for them.

2.0 Autolycos (Very Wolf)

Autolycos, born in Year 207, is famous for his skill in trickery. He is the son of the god Hermes and the princess Chione. Throughout his life, Autolycos has performed many amazing feats of thievery. His specialty is to magically alter the appearance of stolen cattle and horses, which he later sells to unsuspecting customers. Sometime around Year 240, Autolycos, along with his brothers, decides to make Mount Parnassus his permanent hideout. In 296, Odysseus, his grandson, visits Autolycos. While hunting with Autolycos' brothers, Odysseus is severely injured by a boar. Autolycos cares for his grandson and brings him back to health. In the interim, he bestows on Odysseus many gifts.

2.1 Autolycos: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

In 298, Autolycos is of average appearance and appears as a stocky, red-haired man with an easy going smile. Like his father, Hermes, Autolycos is a shrewd man who enjoys a good thrill. He has already amassed a large quantity of wealth, but still goes on raids where he performs feats of thievery just for the adrenaline rush. He has become a legend and the mere mention of his name sends chills to kings counting their treasure. Due to his fame, Autolycos has made many enemies. Others who have never met him in person are immediately suspicious of him once named. This suspicion has earned him Helios as his "Hunter"; he fears that Autolycos is looking for a way to steal his prized cattle.

Autolycos is something of a magician, and uses magic to his advantage while adventuring. He is often seen carrying a dirk and a spear and wearing Achaean leather armor. By 298, Autolycos appears as a man in his mid-forties. He still partakes in adventures, but his age is beginning to show. Despite his mischievous ways, his family plays an important role in Autolycos' life. They are his pride and joy and he remains closely bonded to them. He loves very much his grandson Odysseus, whom he named. Barring the intervention of Fate, Autolycos will die of old age in 311.

2.2 Autolycos: MERP Statistics

Profession: Thief Hero Status: Greater Hero Watcher: Hermes
Race: Achaean Home: Mt. Parnassus Hunter: Helios
Level: 17 Special Powers: Metamorphosis
Hits: 115 AT/DB: RL/55 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 130 sw Missile OB: 90 sp MM: 20

2.3 Autolycos: Rolemaster Statistics

Profession: Thief Hero Status: Greater Hero Watcher: Hermes
Race: Achaean Home: Mt. Parnassus Hunter: Helios
Level: 17 Special Powers: Metamorphosis
Hits: 115 AT/DB: 9/55 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 130 sw Missile OB: 90 sp MM: 20
2.4 Autolycos: Items 3.0 Bellerophon (Bearing Darts)

In about Year 240 a son named Hipponous is born to the queen of King Glaucus of Corinth, son of the crafty Sisyphus and Eurymede. Favored by Athena, Hipponous grows up gifted with charm and masculine beauty. He excels in sports and becomes a favorite at sporting events. In 261, Hipponous accidentally kills a man and is forced to leave the city of Corinth. He travels to Tiryns, where he is purified of his crime by the king and changes his name to Bellerophon. Initially, the king of Tiryns is delighted to host such a charming man. However, with time, he grows jealous as his citizens to pay more attention to Bellerophon and his prowess in sports than to him.

In 264, the Queen of Tiryns falls deeply in love with Bellerophon and attempts to seduce him, but he turns her away. Insulted and humiliated, she falsely accuses Bellerophon of trying to seduce her. The king, upon hearing the story, grows incensed, but dares not kill his own houseguest for fear of breaking xenia. Therefore, the king sends the young man to his friend, King Iobates of Lycia, with a sealed letter, which asks the Lycian king to kill the bearer of the letter.

Upon receiving the letter, King Iobates refuses to kill such a polite young man outright. Instead, he challenges Bellerophon to destroy the Chimera, a terrible monster ravishing the kingdom—hoping that the monster will kill him because no man had ever fought the monster and lived. With the advice of Polyeidus the seer, Bellerophon captures and tames Pegasus, the flying horse. Riding Pegasus high above the Chimera, Bellerophon riddles the monster with arrows from above and kills it.

Astonished by Bellerophon's success, King Iobates sends him against the Solymians, who are threatening his kingdom—hoping that they will rid him of Bellerophon. However, Bellerophon riding Pegasus defeats the Solymians. In the following year, 266, Iobates sends him against the Amazons, whom he conquerors. In 267, the king commands him to go against the mighty pirate Cheimarrhus and his band of Carian pirates, who were threatening Lycian trade routes. Again, Bellerophon defeats the pirates and Cheimarrhus in single combat.

Showing no gratitude to Bellerophon for ridding his kingdom of all its monsters and threats, King Iobates sends his palace guards to ambush Bellerophon, who happens to be returning on foot. Bellerophon kills all the guards. At last, Iobates, now convinced of Bellerophon's innocence and virtue, produces the letter and demands an exact account of the affair. Upon learning the truth, he asks for forgiveness and offers his daughter, Philonoe, to Bellerophon in marriage and makes him heir to the throne. Together, Bellerophon and Philonoe beget many children.

In 278, at the height of his prestige, Bellerophon undertakes a flight to Olympus to reside with the gods, but Zeus sends a gadfly. It stings Pegasus, making him rear, sending Bellerophon crashing to the earth. Ashamed, lonely, and disdained by the gods, he begins roaming Hellas as a beggar, dreaming of his glory days.

3.1 Bellerophon: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

During his youth, Bellerophon appears as an attractive man with a muscular build, blond hair, and light blue eyes. He is very confident in his abilities, to the point of being boastful. Ironically, when it comes to women, he is terribly modest, which has earned him Aphrodite as his Hunter. In 296, he is nothing more than a bum begging for alms, lacking the confidence that he once had. With some work (on a PC's part?) and reevaluation of his life, Bellerophon could again join the adventuring arena.

During his adventuring days, Bellerophon wears Achaean clothes and is always seen with a sword, although he normally fights with Achaean armor and a bow while riding on the back of Pegasus. His old friend, Polyeidus, a seer who gives him counsel, aids him. He possesses the magical Golden Bridle that was given to him by Athena to tame Pegasus. However, he loses it when he falls from Pegasus and Zeus recruits the horse as his carrier. In 296, Bellerophon is dressed in rags and his only weapon is a long knife. In a few years, barring the intervention of Fate, Bellerophon will die from loss of spirit.

3.2 Bellerophon: MERP Statistics

Profession: Warrior Hero Status: Demigod Watcher: Athena
Race: Achaean Home: See below Hunter: Aphrodite
Level: 18 Special Powers: Great Prowess, Resist Elements
Hits: 147 AT/DB: CH/50 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 150 (190) sw Missile OB: 143 (185) lb MM: 30 (60)
3.3 Bellerophon: Rolemaster Statistics

Profession: Warrior Hero Status: Demigod Watcher: Athena
Race: Achaean Home: See below Hunter: Aphrodite
Level: 18 Special Powers: Great Prowess, Resist Elements
Hits: 147 AT/DB: 16/50 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 190 sw Missile OB: 185 lb MM: 40


3.4 Bellerophon: Items

4.0 Chiron (Hand)

One day, the Titan Chronus saw the lovely Nereid Philyra and fell into a raging lust for her. She found the Titan equally attractive, and they lay together. However, Chronus' wife Rhea caught the two in the act. Chronus turned into a stallion and galloped away, leaving Philyra pregnant with Chiron, a creature half horse and half man. This event happened on the isle of Philyra, named after Chiron's mother, in Year 150.

During his childhood, Chiron encountered Apollo, who saw great potential in the child. Apollo and his sister Artemis began teaching the child the arts. After his tutelage, Chiron decided to leave Philyra and reside in Thrace. There he lived for a few years, until at last he moved to Thessaly, where he established a Centaur kingdom of his own on Mount Pelion in Year 184. At first, he began to teach the local human monarch's sons in an effort to establish warm relations with his human neighbors. As time went by, word of his knowledge and skill in magic began to spread. He soon began attracting many sons and a few daughters of all the prominent monarchs of Hellas. He taught some of the greatest heroes of Mythic Greece, including Jason, Asclepius, Heracles, and Achilles. Not only did he teach human children, but those of other races as well.

In 273, a terrible event happens (barring the intervention of Fate). Heracles, returning from his fourth labor, gets into a fight with the local Centaurs. During the melee, he accidentally wounds Chiron with one of his famous poison arrows. Any mortal would die from the wound, but due to his divine heritage and skill in magic, Chiron manages to live—albeit with pain. Heracles, a former pupil of Chiron, apologizes sincerely and promises to right the wrong. Many years later, during his eleventh labor, Heracles frees the Titan Prometheus, who agrees to make Chiron mortal so that he can die peacefully. However, Prometheus will not meet Chiron to fulfill his promise until Year 313. In the interim, Peleus, a pupil and friend of Chiron, asks Chiron to care for his son Achilles. He stays under the tutelage of Chiron for many years until Thetis, Achilles' mother, takes him to the Scyros Islands.

4.1 Chiron: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

Known best for his skills in medicine and magic and his knowledge on a variety of subjects, Chiron is considered to be the greatest Centaur of the Age of Heroes. As King of Mount Pelion, Chiron rules with wisdom. His kingdom interacts peacefully with many human kingdoms and has developed close ties of friendship with them. Chiron is wise, virtuous, and tolerant of others. He is respected as a great sage by all including the gods for his knowledge and sincerity. Many of his pupils have become his closest friends. Heracles, Peleus, Teleamon, and Jason all have strong attachments to Chiron. Ares is Chiron's Hunter because of his aversion to Chiron's integrity and virtue.

Chiron is a Centaur. He appears to be a chestnut stallion with brown, almost auburn, hair and dark green eyes on his human parts. He is quite tall for a Centaur and has a hardy physique and constitution. Throughout his long life, Chiron appears to be a middle-aged Centaur. He is a very thoughtful Centaur who thinks carefully before doing anything rash. He does carry weapons, usually a bow and a spear, and loves to hunt or meditate on his studies while wandering. He fathers numerous children, most of whom become Seers or Animists. In 296, Chiron still lives at Mount Pelion. Although he will generally not venture far from his mountain, he may assist PC's by either giving them an item or, more probably, healing or advice. Barring the intervention of Fate, in 313 Prometheus will agree to take Chiron's immortality from him, allowing Chiron to die.

4.2 Chiron: MERP Statistics

Profession: Animist Hero Status: Demigod Watcher: Apollo
Race: Centaur Home: Mt. Pelion Hunter: Ares
Level: 20 Special Powers: Great Vitality, Great Vision
Hits: 161 (227) AT/DB: NO/15 Shield No
Melee OB: 90 (139) sp Missile OB: 100 lb MM: 15
4.3 Chiron: Rolemaster Statistics

Profession: Animist Hero Status: Demigod Watcher: Apollo
Race: Centaur Home: Mt. Pelion Hunter: Ares
Level: 20 Special Powers: Great Vitality, Great Vision
Hits: 227 AT/DB: 1/15 Shield No
Melee OB: 139 sp Missile OB: 100 lb MM: 15


4.4 Chiron: Items

5.0 Crotus (Rhythmic Beat)

In 187, the lustful god Pan and Eupheme, a Dryad and nurse to the Muses, mated to produce a Centaur named Crotus. Soon the Muses discovered that Crotus had a knack for music and other arts. Therefore, they took it upon themselves to teach him. Crotus was an avid pupil, but what he loved most was to hunt during the day and to sing at night under the stars. Still, he was the darling of the Muses. He was loved so much that when he died of old age in Year 330, he was put into the sky in the form of the constellation Sagittarius the Archer.

5.1 Crotus: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

Carefree and easygoing, Crotus is a tall, strongly built Centaur with exotic features. He has a milky, grayish stallion look with gray human hair to match. His complexion is pale and his eyes are a cool steel-gray color. He can be easily found near Mount Helicon, where the Muses live, hunting or singing in the forest. His favorite activities are hunting, singing, and playing the lyre. When hunting or traveling, he commonly carries a bow, at which he is very skilled, and a staff. Ares despises Crotus because he fails to live up to the stereotype of the barbaric Centaur. Therefore, Ares is his Hunter. His close friends are the Muses, various Centaurs and Satyrs, and Chiron, whom he visits on occasion. Muses do not actually "watch" heroes; instead, they plead with Apollo for his intervention. Thus, Crotus' Watcher is Apollo.

5.2 Crotus: MERP Statistics

Profession: Ranger Hero Status: Greater Hero Watcher: Apollo
Race: Centaur Home: Mt. Helicon Hunter: Ares
Level: 11 Special Powers: Great Vitality
Hits: 140 (206) AT/DB: NO/25 Shield No
Melee OB: 110 (153) st Missile OB: 120 lb MM: 20


5.3 Crotus: Rolemaster Statistics

Profession: Ranger Hero Status: Greater Hero Watcher: Apollo
Race: Centaur Home: Mt. Helicon Hunter: Ares
Level: 11 Special Powers: Great Vitality
Hits: 189 AT/DB: 1/25 Shield No
Melee OB: 146 st Missile OB: 120 lb MM: 20


5.4 Crotus: Items 6.0 Meleager (Guinea Fowl)

Born around Year 256 as the son of the war god Ares and Queen Althaea of Calydon, Meleager will become one of the best-known heroes of Hellas. On the seventh day after Meleager's birth, the Fates appear to Althaea and point to the log burning in the fireplace. "When that log is consumed," they say, "your son will die." Quickly, Althaea takes the log and keeps it safe in a chest.

As the years pass by, the child Meleager becomes a pupil of the great sage Chiron. While still a teenager, Meleager joins the Argonauts as the youngest member of the expedition. Returning a hero, he marries Cleopatra, daughter of Idas, a companion and friend from the Argo. Together, they have one daughter.

In 277 (barring act of Fate), a terrible event takes place in Calydon. Oeneus, Meleager's foster-father and King of Calydon, unwisely forgets to offer Artemis a harvest sacrifice. The angry goddess sends a huge boar, called the Calydon Boar, to ravish the kingdom. The fiery boar destroys much of the countryside and kills several innocent people. Unable to stop it with his own guards, the king calls for help. Many heroes, including Jason, captain of the Argo; Theseus, King of Athens; Atalanta, the great huntress; and Peleus, father of Achilles; answer the call. The heroes nominate Meleager as leader of the hunt, afterwards called the Calydon Hunt. During the hunt, several heroes fall, some to the tusks of the boar, others to their companions' spears gone astray. But after Atalanta draws first blood, Meleager finally throws the killing blow.

Later that day, a dispute breaks out between Meleager and his uncles, who had also joined the hunt, about to whom the boar's pelt should be awarded. Meleager contends that the pelt should belong to Atalanta, since she had drawn first blood by shooting out the eye of the beast. But the uncles, not wanting a woman to win the prize, declare that Meleager should win the prize for the deathblow—and if he were to refuse the prize then they, as his relatives, should claim it. The debate turns ugly and Meleager is forced to kill some of his uncles.

The next year, the surviving uncles declare war on Calydon and march into the city. Meleager valiantly defends the city and kills his remaining uncles. His mother Althaea, grieved by the loss of all her brothers, rushes to the magic log and angrily throws it into the fireplace to be consumed. So dies the hero Meleager.

6.1 Meleager: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

Meleager is a strikingly beautiful and youthful-looking man. Tall in stature with a lean, athletic build, Meleager has curly brown hair and stunning green eyes. He typically wears Achaean leather armor and can be found hunting in Calydon with a spear and a dagger. During times of war, Meleager wears typical Achaean war-gear. A free thinker with fiery, individualistic traits, Meleager is unusual for an Achaean in that he lacks any of the prejudices common among Achaeans. He judges people based on their merits and honesty. Meleager allows Atalanta to join the hunt despite objections from his uncles and other expedition members. He is also a very passionate person about his beliefs. Meleager lacks a true Hunter. Since the magic log determines his fate and life, it acts as his "hunter." (Therefore, the Fates can be called indirect Hunters.) Meleager has many friends, including Atalanta, Idas, Heracles, Theseus, and Peleus. In 283, Heracles will encounter the ghost of Meleager during his 12th labor in the underworld. Meleager will persuade Heracles to marry his sister Deianara.

6.2 Meleager: MERP Statistics

Profession: Ranger Hero Status: Greater Hero Watcher: Ares
Race: Achaean Home: Calydon Hunter: (Special)
Level: 12 Special Powers: Great Vitality
Hits: 114 (180) AT/DB: RL/35 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 122 (165) sp Missile OB: 137 sp MM: 20


6.3 Meleager: Rolemaster Statistics

Profession: Ranger Hero Status: Greater Hero Watcher: Ares
Race: Achaean Home: Calydon Hunter: (Special)
Level: 12 Special Powers: Great Vitality
Hits: 156 AT/DB: 9/35 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 154 sp Missile OB: 137 sp MM: 20


6.4 Meleager: Items 7.0 Nestor (Newly Speaking?)

Nestor, the oldest active warrior during the Trojan War, is the youngest son of many siblings. Born in Year 255, Nestor's parents are King Neleus and Queen Chlois of Pylos. Of all his siblings, Nestor is considered to be the best warrior and the most virtuous. Taught in the art of war by Chiron, Nestor is quite the adventurer during his youth. He is active in nearly every major quest or event. He sails on the Argo, hunts the Calydon Boar, and attends the wedding of Piritheus, which leads to a famous fight between the Lapiths and the Centaurs. In between all these adventures, Nestor marries a beautiful and witty princess by the name of Eurydice. Together, they have many children, including the great Antilochous, who dies defending his father in the Trojan War, and the lionhearted Thrasymedes.

Barring an act of Fate, Nestor's life changes dramatically in 298. Heracles, in revenge for Nestor aiding Heracles' enemy King Aegeus, attacks Pylos with an army while Nestor is away. During the attack, Heracles kills King Neleus and his many sons. When Nestor returns, Heracles installs Nestor as king. Heracles' attack has left Pylos weak and in a shambles. The King of Elis takes advantage of the situation and imposes his rule by military might on Pylos. Nestor retaliates by raiding Elis' herds. Angered by Nestor's rash raids, the king assembles a large army championed by the mighty warrior Amerynceus. Nestor gathers an army from what men and funds he can find and confronts the Elean army. With Athena's aid, Nestor single-handedly routs the Eleans and kills their commander, saving his kingdom from subjugation or destruction. He returns to his kingdom and spends the next few years rebuilding Pylos to its former glory.

7.1 Nestor: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

In 296, Nestor appears as a man in his thirties. He is tall and thin, with a strength that defies his thin appearance. His hair is dark brown and his eyes are bright green. Nestor is a well-liked man because of his honesty, fairness, and wisdom. He rules his kingdom fairly and wisely. He loves to chat about past deeds and is considered long-winded by some, but his advice is constantly sought even for the smallest of matters. He has many friends, but some of his closest include Heracles, Theseus, Pirithous, Peleus, Diomedes, and Odysseus. He is very close to his sons, especially to his firstborn, Antilochous. In public, he always wears his armor and carries either a spear or a sword. In 296, Poseidon is his Hunter because Nestor badly defeated the Eleans, of which city Poseidon is patron. However, by the time of the Trojan War, Poseidon has forgiven Nestor, so the identity of his Hunter is subject to GM discretion. Nestor fights in the Trojan War and (barring act of Fate) returns safely to Pylos, where he lives out the rest of his long life until Year 360. Agamemnon, the supreme commander of the Achaeans, constantly seeks his wisdom and advice.

7.2 Nestor: MERP Statistics

Profession: Warrior Hero Status: Greater Hero Watcher: Athena
Race: Achaean Home: Pylos Hunter: Poseidon
Level: 16 Special Powers: Great Vitality
Hits: 120 (186) AT/DB: CH/50 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 133 (176) sp Missile OB: 120 sp MM: 10 (25)


7.3 Nestor: Rolemaster Statistics

Profession: Warrior Hero Status: Greater Hero Watcher: Athena
Race: Achaean Home: Pylos Hunter: Poseidon
Level: 16 Special Powers: Great Vitality
Hits: 177 AT/DB: 16/50 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 176 sp Missile OB: 120 sp MM: 20


7.4 Nestor: Items

8.0 Odysseus (Angry One)

In Year 279, Laertes, King of Ithaca, a great fighter in his youth, and his wife Anticleia have a son, Odysseus, so named by his grandfather, the great thief Autolycos. A slave, Eurycleia, raises Odysseus. In 296, while on a boar hunt, Odysseus is badly wounded. He recovers and his grandfather bestows many gifts upon him. In 298, Odysseus is sent on a mission to Messene and encountered Iphitus, son of the famous archer Eurytus, who befriends him. Iphitus gives Odysseus his father Eurytus' great bow.

Later that year, Odysseus, like so many of his fellow princes, seeks the hand of Helen in marriage. However, being a prince from a poor kingdom, Odysseus realizes his chances of marriage with Helen are small, so he arranges a deal with Helen's foster-father Tyndareus. By its terms, Tyndareus will aid Odysseus in his pursuit for the hand of Penelope in marriage. In return, Odysseus advises Tyndareus how to give his foster-daughter to one prince without the others becoming jealous and declaring war on Tyndareus' kingdom. Following Odysseus' advice, Tyndareus forces Helen's suitors to pledge an oath to defend Helen's chosen husband in time of need. This oath will later haunt Odysseus because it will force him to leave his kingdom and family to rescue Helen from Troy.

In 298, Odysseus becomes King of Ithaca and with Tyndareus' aid marries the intelligent and pretty Penelope, daughter of the Spartan King Icarius. Their marriage produces one son, Telemachus. In 313 (barring a major act of Fate), Paris of Troy kidnaps Helen, which ignites the Trojan War. Although not eager to join the war, Odysseus does so with great reluctance. An oracle tells him that if he goes to Troy he will not return until the 20th year afterwards.

Odysseus plays an important role in the Trojan War, which lasts ten years. Troy ultimately falls due to Odysseus' wooden-horse scheme, and at last the Greeks depart for home. But for three years, Odysseus is blown around the Mediterranean, experiencing many adventures with the Cicones, the lotus-eaters, the Cyclops, Aeolus the wind god, the Laestygonians who destroy much of his fleet, and the sorceress Circe, who transforms his crew into animals and sends Odysseus to the Underworld. When Odysseus leaves Circe, he encounters the singing Sirens, monsters that lure men to their deaths through singing. He also escapes the wrath of the sea-monsters Scylla and Charybdis and finally arrives on Thrinacia, the isle of the sun god Helios. There, his men, despite Odysseus' warnings to the contrary, feast on the sun god's cattle. He flees the isle and his last ship is destroyed by a storm. He survives the storm to land on the island belonging to Calypso, where he is marooned for seven years.

In Odysseus' absence, suitors from the lands surrounding Ithaca begin to take up permanent residence in his palace in an effort to persuade Penelope to marry one of them. Penelope delays their advances through her shrewdness and tricks.

In the twentieth year of his absence, Athena demands that Calypso release Odysseus. He sails away, but Poseidon, who is still enraged over Odysseus' rash comments (which got him cursed in the first place) and the blinding of Poseidon's son the Cyclops creates a storm, which sweeps the exhausted Odysseus to Scherie, home of the Phaeacians. There, Nausicau, daughter of King Alcinous, saves him and brings him to her parents' palace. After he reveals himself to be the famous Odysseus, the Phaeacians provide him with a ship and gifts.

Odysseus returns to Ithaca in Year 333. Athena warns him about the suitors and disguises him as a beggar. After many cautious doings, Odysseus reveals himself to his son Telemachus, who is now a young man. Together, they plan on how to take revenge on the many suitors. Still disguised as a beggar, Odysseus ventures to the palace, where the unsuspecting suitors abuse him. His nursemaid Eurycleia discovers his identity, but she promises to not reveal it and to aid him. Through her advice, Penelope announces that she will set up a test: whichever suitor can string Odysseus' bow (originally the bow of Eurytus) and shoot an arrow through twelve axe-heads will win her hand in marriage.

With that contest in mind, Odysseus and his son plot the destruction of the suitors. During the contest, none of the suitors prove able to string the bow. Odysseus persuades the suitors to let him, a beggar, take the test. He strings the bow and shoots the arrow through the axes. Helped by his son and a few trusted servants, Odysseus locks the door to the chamber and slaughters the suitors. Odysseus then reveals his identity to Penelope and the two are reunited. The next day, Odysseus makes plans to forcibly repel the suitor's gathered relatives. After a brief engagement, peace is restored, and Odysseus' family and kingdom are restored to him. In 342 (barring act of Fate), Odysseus is accidentally killed by Telegonus, his son by Circe.

8.1 Odysseus: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

Odysseus is a Machiavellian personality to whom the ends justify the means. Because of this, he has been called ruthless and uncaring. He is a very crafty and clever man who at the same time is very proud and takes insults personally. He often exacts terrible revenge for minor insults done to him, while at other times he acts rashly to boost his own ego. The result of all of this causes him many problems and makes him few friends but many enemies. He even makes disparaging remarks about Poseidon, for which Poseidon later makes him pay dearly. Still, Odysseus is a thinking man. He prefers to use his wit to reach a solution than brute strength. In appearance, Odysseus is a short, stocky man with fiery red hair. His eyes are blue and gleam with intelligence. Although his appearance is average, he possesses a natural charisma that causes other men to listen and to admire him. He is always seen wearing Achaean armor and carrying a sword and a bow. He has few true friends, but they are close. They include Diomedes, Nestor, and Eurycleia, his nursemaid and caregiver. Penelope, his wife, is strongly devoted to him. In 296, Odysseus is a young man who will not reach his full potential until the Trojan War.

8.2 Odysseus: MERP Statistics

Profession: Thief Hero Status: Demigod Watcher: Athena
Race: Achaean Home: Ithaca Hunter: Poseidon
Level: 20 Special Powers: Great Cunning, Swimming
Hits: 124 AT/DB: CH/45 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 136 sw Missile OB: 114 lb MM: 20


8.3 Odysseus: Rolemaster Statistics

Profession: Thief Hero Status: Demigod Watcher: Athena
Race: Achaean Home: Ithaca Hunter: Poseidon
Level: 20 Special Powers: Great Cunning, Swimming
Hits: 124 AT/DB: 16/45 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 136 sw Missile OB: 114 lb MM: 20


8.4 Odysseus: Items 9.0 Orpheus (Of the River Bank)

In Year 245, Orpheus is born to Oegrus, King of Thrace, and Calliope, Muse of Poetry and Eloquence. Apollo gives him a lyre and the Muses teach him how to use it. Orpheus' singing becomes so sweet and beautiful that even the trees and rocks are said to bend down to hear his songs. In 207, Orpheus goes to Mount Pelion to learn how to use a sword and other arts from the great teacher Chiron. After completing his lessons, he leaves Mount Pelion to live in Egypt, where he entertains the Pharaohs with his music. A few years later, Orpheus returns to Hellas and, at the urging of Chiron, volunteers to be an Argonaut. On that quest, Orpheus performs many deeds, including overpowering the Sirens' magical songs with his own, causing a few Sirens to commit suicide. On his return to Hellas, Orpheus marries the Dryad Eurydice and becomes King of the Cicones in Thrace.

For many years, Orpheus is a very happy man. His songs reflect his happiness and make his Dryad wife happy. However, in 282, a terrible mishap occurs, barring a major act of Fate. While gathering flowers and herbs, Eurydice encounters the beekeeper Aristaeus, a famous magician. Upon seeing the Dryad, Aristaeus attempts to rape her, but Eurydice flees. While fleeing, she accidentally steps on a snake. The snake bites her, and subsequently she dies shortly thereafter. Orpheus hears her screams from a distance and chases after her. Upon seeing his beloved die, Orpheus boldly descends to Tartarus, the underworld, to fetch his love back. With his lyre in hand, Orpheus sings his way through the dark chambers, charming the ferryman god, Charon, to take him across the River Styx. Still playing the lyre and singing, he calms the three-headed dog and guardian of the Underworld, Cerberus. Upon reaching the palace of Hades and Persephone, he asks Hades to give him leave to bring his wife Eurydice back to the world of the living. Hades, charmed by his music, agrees to Orpheus' demands, on the condition that he cannot look at her until they have both reached the upper world. Orpheus agrees, and Eurydice, hearing his music, follows him. When they have nearly reached the exit of the Underworld, Orpheus wonders if Eurydice is following, he turns back to see if she is following. But as soon as he does so, she vanishes back to the Underworld.

Orpheus is devastated. He abdicates from his kingship and begins to wander throughout Thrace, singing sad songs of lost loves. A few years later, in 298, Orpheus begins preaching the glory of Apollo. About that same time, Dionysus comes to Thrace seeking followers. However, Orpheus holds sway over many people. Angered by Orpheus' ignorance of him, Dionysus sends his Maenads, crazed women, to attack Orpheus, who caught unaware and unarmed, is ripped from limb to limb. Dionysus' fellow gods are angry at his rash action, but before they have a chance to destroy the Maenads, Dionysus turns them into oak trees.

Now it is said that Orpheus' head floated downstream to the sea, then landed on Lesbos, where it prophesied until Apollo tired of it; then some of Apollo's followers on Lesbos buried it in Year 300.

9.1 Orpheus: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

A tall, lanky man with unkempt hair and a wild look in his eyes, Orpheus is commonly clothed in a robe and sandals. He is always seen carrying his lyre and a shortsword for protection. He studied music and the lyre under Chiron, and he knows how to use it. Considered to be the greatest bard of all time, Orpheus' magical voice can sway even the despondent Hades. Orpheus possesses a moody personality subject to extremes. At one moment, he can be seen joyously singing away, and in another, he can seem sullen and cool to others. While married to Eurydice, Orpheus is a cheerful person. After her death, Orpheus becomes despondent and sings songs of sorrow. His eyes and his voice project the pain he endures. After Eurydice's death, Aphrodite becomes Orpheus' Hunter because he rejects the love of other Dryads and human women. His friends include Chiron, local Dryads, Idas, Jason, and Peleus.

9.2 Orpheus: MERP Statistics

Profession: Bard Hero Status: Demigod Watcher: Apollo
Race: Thracian Home: Thrace Hunter: Aphrodite
Level: 20 Special Powers: Great Hearing, Great Skill (15 ranks in music)
Hits: 110 AT/DB: No/50 Shield No
Melee OB: 97 ssw Missile OB: 88 lb MM: 10 (25)


9.3 Orpheus: Rolemaster Statistics

 

Profession: Bard Hero Status: Demigod Watcher: Apollo
Race: Thracian Home: Thrace Hunter: Aphrodite
Level: 20 Special Powers: Great Hearing, Great Skill (15 ranks in music)
Hits: 110 AT/DB: 1/50 Shield No
Melee OB: 97 ssw Missile OB: 88 lb MM: 10 (25)


Orpheus: Items

10.0 Perseus (Destroyer)

In Year 157, Acrisius, King of Argos, fathers a daughter, Danae. He desperately wants a son, so he consults an oracle who tells him, "You will produce no son, and your grandson will kill you." Frightened, he attempts to forestall Fate by building a dungeon to house his daughter. This dungeon was locked from the outside and prevented anyone from ever going to see her. Zeus, witnessing the events as they unfold, falls in love with Danae. In Year 186, Zeus takes the form of a shower of gold, enters the dungeon, and approaches Danae, who bears Perseus.

When Acrisius learns that his daughter has borne a male child, he flies into a rage. He immediately orders them into a large chest and cast into the sea to drift aimlessly. Danae and Perseus do not drown, but are rescued by a fisherman named Dictys who encounters the floating chest while fishing off the coast of Seriphos. There, Dictys cares for Danae and Perseus.

It so happens that Dictys' brother, Polydectes, is king of the island. He falls in love with Danae. Initially, he accepts her refusal of his advances, but as time goes by, Polydectes becomes impatient and his advances become forceful. However, Perseus always defends his mother. Polydectes therefore pretends that he wishes to marry Hippodamia, daughter of a great king. As a wedding gift, he demands a horse from every young man on the island. Perseus, being a fisherman, has no horse. Instead, he declares in public that he will bring anything else the king wants; as an afterthought (act of Fate?) he includes the words, "including the Gorgon's head." Immediately the king replies, "Fine, get that for me."

No one had ever returned from an encounter with the three Gorgons. These hideous creatures had once been beautiful maidens, but they had been transformed for some past insult to the gods. (One version of the legend says they had been priestesses of Aphrodite, but dared to compare their beauty to hers.) The Gorgons were so hideous that their gaze alone could turn a man into stone. Only the Gorgon named Medusa was mortal; her two sisters were immortal (see Mythic Greece: The Age of Heroes). It was said that even if a person did succeed in destroying Medusa, escape from her evil sisters would be impossible. Therefore, Polydectes thought that ordering Perseus to obtain the Gorgon's head would be a sure way of getting rid of him.

In 210, Perseus sets off, not knowing where the Gorgons live nor how to kill one. The gods look favorably on him, however. Athena, at the request of Zeus, appears to Perseus and advises him on his best course of action. Following her advice, Perseus seeks out the three Wise Hags called Graiai who live "Beyond the Ocean." After a lengthy dispute, the Graiai tell Perseus where he can find the Stygian Nymphs, who will aid him in his quest. He then travels to the Nymphs, who gave him several magical items, including winged sandals that enable him to fly, and Hades' helmet that makes him invisible. (Some versions add a magical sword and mirrored shield.) Perseus flies to the Gorgons' home and chops off the head of Medusa. Made invisible by Hades' helmet, he escapes from the Gorgons' palace or temple while Medusa's sisters howl, scream, and search desperately for their sister's slayer.

At sunset, Perseus grows exhausted and decides to land near the palace of the Titan Atlas. But Atlas is rude and insolent to Perseus, so Perseus shows him Medusa's head, which turns him into stone. Being a Titan, Atlas recovers in a few years.

Perseus then flies to Ethiopia, to the city of Joppa. There, King Cepheus' daughter Andromeda has been chained to a rock to be killed by a sea serpent. Andromeda's mother Cassiopeia had boasted that her daughters were more beautiful than the Nereids were. Insulted, the Nereids complain to Poseidon, who in turn sends a sea serpent to ravish the city. An oracle tells Cepheus that the sacrifice of his daughter will end the onslaught of the sea serpent. This is the circumstance in which Perseus sees Andromeda. Immediately, he falls in love with the woman. He flies to her parents, who are watching from a nearby cliff, and offers to save the woman in exchange for her hand in marriage. They accept. Perseus then beheads the monster. Afterwards, the king and queen have second thoughts about marrying their daughter to a stranger, but Andromeda insists on fulfilling her side of the bargain.

Unfortunately, King Cepheus had already agreed to offer his daughter's hand to a powerful noble named Agenor. During the wedding, Agenor and his supporters storm into the proceedings, denounce the wedding, and attack Perseus. He fights valiantly, dispatching several supporters, but they are too great in number. Perseus therefore takes out the Gorgon's head, and Agenor and his supporters are all turned to stone.

After the wedding, Perseus, taking Andromeda with him, hurriedly returns to Seriphos. There he finds his mother and Dictys threatened by Polydectes. They have taken shelter in a nearby temple. Perseus goes to the king's palace claiming to possess the Gorgon's head. Polydectes and his companions, not believing his story, insult Perseus, but he shows them the head and turns everyone, including Polydectes, into stone.

Perseus then installs Dictys as King of Seriphos and sets sail for Argos with his mother, his wife, and a party of Cyclopes. (He had befriended a group of skilled Cyclopes while a teenager.) King Acrisius hears of Perseus' approach to Argos. Remembering the oracle, he flees from Argos to Larissa. Perseus is named King of Argos in his grandfather's absence in 210.

In 215, Perseus is invited to a funeral game in Larissa, where his grandfather is unwittingly attending. In the disc event, Perseus' disc flies off course and strikes Acrisius, killing him instantly. Too full of remorse to rule his grandfather's kingdom after accidentally killing him, Perseus exchanges the rulership of Argos with King Megapenthes of Tiryns. Afterwards, Perseus rules Tiryns while Megapenthes rules Argos. In the following years, Perseus enlarges his kingdom through wars and colonization. In 215, Perseus founds Mycenae, where the Cyclopes build its massive walls. A few years later, Perseus takes the great city of Troezen in war. During the intervening years, Andromeda and Perseus have three sons, Electryon, Alcaeus, and Sthenelus; and a daughter, Gorgophone. Around 240, Perseus abdicates from the throne and retires from public life, then dies many years later. The gods love him so much that his image and his wife's are placed in the constellations.

10.1 Perseus: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

Perseus is a handsome man; he sports a deep tan from all those years spent fishing for Dictys. Of average height with a muscular build, Perseus has dark brown hair and gray eyes. In his youth, Perseus typically goes bare-chested with a cloth covering his loins. When adventuring, he typically wears Achaean armor and a sword. The magical items he carries on the Gorgon quest are returned shortly after he leaves Seriphos. Perseus is a plain man with a down-to-earth personality. He is very honest and hard working. For an Achaean, he is quite modest. As a ruler, Perseus is fair and conservative. Among his friends are Megapenthes, Dictys, and a group of skilled Cyclopes. By Year 296, he and his wife have already died and their images have been placed in the night sky as constellations. (Their spirits reside in the Elysian Fields.)

10.2 Perseus: MERP Statistics

Profession: Rogue Hero Status: Demigod Watcher: Zeus
Race: Achaean Home: Seriphos, Tiryns Hunter: Poseidon
Level: 20 Special Powers: Great Vitality, Predict Storms
Hits: 130 (196) AT/DB: PL/70 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 155 (198) sw Missile OB: 125 lb MM: 25 (45)


10.3 Perseus in Rolemaster Statistics

Profession: Rogue Hero Status: Demigod Watcher: Zeus
Race: Achaean Home: Seriphos, Tiryns Hunter: Poseidon
Level: 20 Special Powers: Great Vitality, Predict Storms
Hits: 196 AT/DB: 18/70 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 198 sw Missile OB: 125 lb MM: 35


10.4 Perseus: Items

Perseus carries the following items during the Gorgon Quest. They are given back to Hermes and the Nymphs after its completion.

After the Gorgon Quest items are returned, Perseus carries the following:

11.0 Pentheselia(Forcing Men To Mourn)

Pentheselia was born around Year 265 as one of the daughters of Ares and the Amazon Queen Otrere. Later one of three Amazon queens, Pentheselia rules Chadesia. She is the most beautiful of all of her sisters. In 284 (barring an act of Fate), Pentheselia accidentally shoots one of her sisters while hunting. The Furies punish her, forcing her to seek refuge in Troy. There, King Priam of Troy purifies her. Later, to return the favor, Pentheselia leads a force of Amazons to aid Priam during the Trojan War. After performing many exploits, she dies there by the hand of Achilles.

11.1 Pentheselia: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

Proud and strong of character, Pentheselia is a strikingly beautiful Amazon, tall, with dark hair and a warlike spirit attributable to her father Ares. Her eyes are a shocking sea-blue color. As is also true of her sister Orithyia, Poseidon is Pentheselia's hunter. She wears typical Amazon armor and carries a spear, an axe, and a bow.

11.2 Pentheselia: MERP Statistics

Profession: Warrior Hero Status: Greater Heroine Watcher: Ares
Race: Amazon Home: Amazonia, Troy Hunter: Poseidon
Level: 16 Special Powers: Resist Elements
Hits: 135 AT/DB: CH/40 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 141 sp Missile OB: 95 lb MM: 20


11.3 Pentheselia: Rolemaster Statistics

Profession: Warrior Hero Status: Greater Heroine Watcher: Ares
Race: Amazon Home: Amazonia, Troy Hunter: Poseidon
Level: 16 Special Powers: Resist Elements
Hits: 135 AT/DB: 16/40 Shield Yes
Melee OB: 141 sp Missile OB: 95 lb MM: 20


11.4 Pentheselia: Items 12.0 Bibliography

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