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MYTHICAL GREECE FOR MERP
Supplement: Heroes of Mythical Greece, Part II

Copyright Daniel M. Myers1 ©2000

Edited by Lowell R. Matthews for The Guild Companion

Editor's note: This article is a supplement to the article "Mythic Greece for MERP" and its addendum on the Trojans, which appeared in the May 1999 and December 1999 issues of The Guild Companion, respectively. Two bestiary articles, "Natural Fauna of Mythic Greece" and "Fabled Monsters of Mythic Greece," appeared in the March 2000 and July 2000 issues, respectively. The first "Heroes of Mythic Greece" article appeared in the November 1999 issue.

  1. Introduction
  2. This article recounts tales of the deeds and exploits of the second group of legendary Heroes of Mythic Greece. The Guild Companion published the first article last year (November 1999), which contained descriptions of ten of the greatest early heroes. Some of the eight described in this article served in the Trojan War or were the fathers of other heroes. Many of them will be very young or not yet born if the Gamemaster plays in Year 296, as is suggested by Mythic Greece. However, the GM's world is his own; he could have the PC heroes play at a later period to meet the Trojan War heroes or to participate in the war themselves.

    The descriptions of the heroes are divided into three sections. The first provides a brief history of the hero. Please note 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 fill the holes. Therefore, if some fact or detail about a hero seems implausible, feel free to change it. In addition, the history of the hero is just a summary of events. 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. 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. For more information on the Special Powers, please read the first "Mythic Greece for MERP" article (May 1999).

  3. Ajax the Greater (Of the Earth)
  4. Second only to his beloved cousin Achilles, Ajax is considered the greatest fighter on the Greek side during the Trojan War. Ajax, born in Year 287 on the island of Salamis, is the son of the great hero Telamon, King of Salamis, and his wife, Queen Periboea. While visiting his great friend Telamon, Hercules swaddles the infant Ajax in the hide of the Nemean Lion, which makes Ajax's flesh impenetrable except at the neck and armpits.

    Ajax grows to be a very tall, well-built man. Like many of his peers, he seeks the hand of Helen hand in marriage, so he takes the Oath of Tyndareus. When Helen is kidnapped in 313, Meneleus calls upon all of the Oath-takers to help him rescue his wife. So compelled, Ajax sets off with his half-brother Teucer—who is sent to watch him—and many ships. Ajax is by far the tallest man on the Trojan field. His size alone is enough to make Trojans scramble away from him, but it is his huge shield and partnership with Teucer that make him famous. The shield, famous for its size, conceals Ajax and Teucer from enemy arrows and spears. The two become a fighting team; Teucer shoots arrows from behind the shield while Ajax fights those who come close. The two commit many exploits and deeds.

    Ajax plays an important part in the war. Before the final assault on Troy, he commands several raids against the towns of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) allied to Troy. He lays waste to the Thracian Chersonese, which is ruled by a son-in-law of King Priam of Troy. He attacks a Phrygian town belonging to King Teleutas and carries off his daughter, Tecmessa. She bears a son, Eurysaces, to Ajax during the war. Ajax also hunts the Trojan flocks on Mount Ida and in the countryside. He even fights the mighty Hector to a draw in single combat.

    Ajax is very close to his cousin Achilles; the two have hunted together since childhood. When Achilles dies in the heat of combat, Ajax charges in, picks up Achilles' body, carries it to safety, then stops to mourn for his cousin. Meanwhile, the Trojans and their allies, who surround Achilles' body and attempt to despoil it, shoot a hail of arrows at Ajax and nearly succeed in killing him.

    After Achilles' funeral, his armor is offered as prize to the "next best warrior." Many of Ajax's soldiers and friends think Ajax should automatically receive the armor because Ajax and Achilles shared a great bond of friendship and were family. Nevertheless, a contest is held to determine the best warrior. Through trickery and politics, the judges award the armor to Odysseus, who later gives the armor to Achilles' son. Upon hearing the result of the contest, Ajax flies into a fit of rage, vowing that the Achaeans will regret their decision. Later that night, he sneaks about the camp, planning to slaughter the Achaeans while they sleep. However, Athena hears of the plan and casts a spell on him. Ajax goes about hacking and thrusting at what he thinks are the Achaean captains. When the spell lifts later in the morning, he realizes that he has slaughtered a whole flock of sheep instead. Totally ashamed of what he has done, Ajax walks to a secluded cave near the shore and throws himself on his sword. Thus ends the tragic life of the Great Ajax.

    2.1    Ajax the Greater: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

    In 296, Ajax is a small, chubby child with a mop of hair who lives with his father, King Telamon of Salamis. When he grows up, Ajax is a very tall, handsome man with curly brown hair and brown eyes. He is by far the tallest man on the Achaean side during the Trojan War. He has lily-white skin with a very powerfully built body, wide shoulders, and thick arms and legs.

    While living in his father's kingdom, Ajax dresses as a typical Achaean prince in robes and sandals. Shades of purple and bright blue are his favorite colors. During his hunting trips with his brothers and cousins, he sports leather armor and a mighty ashen spear, which is given to him by one of Chiron's Centaurs. During the Trojan War, in addition to his ashen spear and Achaean war gear, Ajax carries his famous shield, which is huge by Achaean standards, large enough to protect two men. Due to its size, the shield actually works as a wall against Ajax's enemies.

    Ajax is not a very clever or intelligent man. He prefers to bash his enemies into submission than to try using trickery or smarts. He prefers wrestling and hunting to reading poetry or playing a lyre. He is the archetype of the Achaean hero, good-natured, boastful to the point of offending the gods and others, straightforward, down-to-earth, and loyal to friends and fierce to enemies. He dislikes political intrigue or sly persons. His closest friends, most of whom are also brothers or cousins, are Teucer, Peleus (his uncle), Achilles, Patroclus, and Ajax the Lesser. He is not fond of Odysseus, Meneleus, or Agamemnon. Since Ajax governs an island, his Watcher is Poseidon, who admires his strength and down-to-earth nature. Ajax lacks a constant Hunter; however, in the end, the goddess Athena tricks Ajax, which event ultimately causes his doom. Therefore, Ajax's Hunter varies.

    2.2    Ajax the Greater: MERP Statistics

    Profession:

    Warrior

    Hero Status:

    Demigod

    Watcher:

    Poseidon

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    Salamis

    Hunter:

    Varies

    Level:

    17

    Special Powers:

    Great Strength, Impenetrable Skin

    Hits:

    160

    AT/DB:

    CH/10

    Shield

    Yes (+40)

    Melee OB:

    145 (211) sp

    Missile OB:

    120 sp

    MM:

    10 (40)

    • Stats: ST 100 (120), CO 100, AG 78, IT 58, IG 62, PR 88, AP 92. All stats in parentheses denote value when using Special Powers.
    • Skills: Wrestling 104, Climb 90, Foraging 30, Gambling 25, Tracking 48, Tumbling 40, Swimming 88, Sailing 35, Boxing 86.
    • Spell Power: Impenetrable Skin {Level 5AnyAnyContinuous}: Grants the hero tough skin that acts as chain armor. The hero's skin also acts as a continuous "Resist Elements" spell from the "Protection" list. There is, however, a drawback: Ajax's armpits and neck are unprotected areas that if hit (as specified in the critical table or a 10% chance) add +10 to the attacker's critical roll. These areas cannot be covered with armor (this can be explained as a magical or psychological limitation). They are located near a weak point and are at least 3" in radius.

    2.3    Ajax the Greater: Rolemaster Statistics

    Profession:

    Warrior

    Hero Status:

    Demigod

    Watcher:

    Poseidon

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    Salamis

    Hunter:

    Varies

    Level:

    17

    Special Powers:

    Great Strength, Impenetrable Skin

    Hits:

    160

    AT/DB:

    CH/10

    Shield

    Yes (+40)

    Melee OB:

    206 sp

    Missile OB:

    120 sp

    MM:

    10 (40)

    • Stats: CO 100, AG 78, SD 74, RE 68, ME 62, ST 117, QU 75, PR 88, EM 57, IN 58, AP 92. Special Power stats are included in Rolemaster potentials.
    • Skills: Wrestling 104, Climb 90, Foraging 30, Gambling 25, Tracking 48, Tumbling 40, Swimming 88, Sailing 35, Boxing 86.
    • Spell Power: Impenetrable Skin {Level 5AnyAnyContinuous}: Grants the hero tough skin that acts as chain armor. The hero's skin also acts as a continuous "Resist Elements" spell from the "Protection" list. There is, however, a drawback: Ajax's armpits and neck are unprotected areas that if hit (as specified in the critical table or a 10% chance) add +10 to the attacker's critical roll. These areas cannot be covered with armor (this can be explained as a magical or psychological limitation). They are located near a weak point and are at least 3" in radius.

    2.4    Ajax the Greater: Items

    • Ashen Spear of Sharpness: This +10 enchanted spear is given to Ajax during a visit to his cousin Achilles at Mount Pelion.
    • Shield of Ajax: This huge +40 shield has seven layers of ox-hide and one of bronze. Geometric designs cover its face and it has a picture of Athena in its center. Ajax later removes the image, thus incurring Athena's wrath. It is so large that it requires a +30 strength bonus to carry. It is built specifically for Ajax and is large enough to cover two individuals.

  5. Achilles (Lipless)
  6. No hero is brasher, more frightening in combat, and more skillful than Achilles. He is the greatest hero of the Trojan War; only Hector the Trojan prince is more feared on the battlefield. Achilles comes from a mighty lineage. His father is the hero Peleus, who marries one of the most powerful Nereids in Mythic Greece, Thetis. Achilles is born in Year 298. One story claims that, a few days after Achilles' birth, Thetis takes the infant in the night to the fireplace to burn his skin. Thetis is mighty in magic and wants to perform a magical ritual to make Achilles immortal, like her. However, Peleus awakes upon hearing the cries of his son and begins searching for the infant throughout the palace. To his astonishment, he sees his wife holding the baby Achilles by the ankle, slowly dipping him into the fire. Peleus, not knowing what his wife is doing, angrily snatches the infant from Thetis' hands. Thetis becomes enraged that her husband, a mere mortal, has interfered with her ritual; without a word, she vanishes before Peleus' eyes. Thus, the child is named Achilles, which means "lipless," because he never placed his lips on his mother's breasts. Peleus is left to raise the child. However, Peleus sends Achilles at the age of five to Chiron to be raised by the master teacher. Chiron instructs the young Achilles in the arts of riding, hunting, pipe playing, healing, and the strategy of war. The Muse Calliope teaches him how to sing, which he does at his father's banquets when he comes to visit. It is said that the young Achilles marks himself a great warrior at an early age. By the age of six, he has killed his first boar, much to the surprise of Chiron. Since then, Chiron allows the boy to hunt with the Centaurs. He is further impressed with the young child's speed, because he keeps up with the Centaurs.

    Meanwhile, Thetis, possessing the skill of prophecy, knows that if her son should ever go to war, he will never return alive. In 313, the call of war spreads across Hellas. Meneleus' wife Helen is kidnapped, and he calls upon the swearers of the Oath of Tyndareus to retrieve his wife from Troy. Several kingdoms respond. Partocilus and Ajax, cousins of Achilles, have taken the Oath and are obliged to go to war. Thetis, fearful that her son might want to go with his cousins, takes Achilles, now a young man, from Chiron. She disguises Achilles as a girl and leaves him at the court of Lycomedes. During his stint as a "girl," Achilles has an affair with one of Lycomedes' daughters, Deidameia, which produces a child first named Pyrhus, later to be named Neoptolemus.

    Seers and wise men foretell that Troy will never fall without the presence of Peleus' son. Therefore, Odysseus, Nestor, and Ajax are sent to find the young Achilles. Eventually, after a long search, they are told that they can find Achilles on the isle of Scyros. Upon their arrival, King Lycomedes agrees to allow the heroes to search his palace. They never detect Achilles, but Odysseus conceives a plan to bring out Achilles from his hiding place. He lays a pile of gifts in the middle of the court. Most of the gifts are jewels and beautiful dresses, but he also leaves a sword and spears among the jewelry. Then Odysseus orders a trumpet blast and a call-to-arms to sound an attack by pirates on the palace. As soon as the trumpet sounds, one of the "girls" seizes the sword and spear, yelling for the would-be pirates to come in. Of course, this is Achilles in disguise. Once discovered, Achilles, who had wanted to join his cousins anyway, agrees to join the expedition and promptly sends a messenger to Phthia to call the Myrmidons to battle.

    At Troy, Achilles proves to be the mightiest warrior on the field. For nine years, Achilles goes about sacking towns and cities allied to Troy. Achilles' mere presence on the battlefield brings terror to the Trojans and their allies.

    In the tenth year, the Achaeans concentrate their efforts on Troy. Agamemnon, commander-in-chief of the Achaean forces, takes the beautiful seer Chrysies in a nearby raid. Agamemnon refuses to ransom her to her father, Chryses, who is a Trojan sage of some importance. Chryses in turn invokes Apollo for aid. Apollo responds and begins shooting the Achaeans with deadly arrows, killing hundreds. Agamemnon relents and returns the young woman to Chryses, but he recoups his loss by seizing another beautiful woman, Briseis, who had also been captured during that same raid. However, Achilles had taken Briseis captive, and she was in his care. Agamemnon's actions infuriate Achilles, who announces that he will withdraw his forces from the battlefield until Briseis is returned. All the Achaean leaders worry because Achilles is their best warrior and his Myrmidons are legendary for their fighting prowess. They plead with Agamemnon to return Briseis, but he still refuses to return the woman.

    When the Trojans hear that Achilles and his Myrmidons have withdrawn, they are ecstatic. Hector, commander-in-chief and champion of the Trojan forces, assails the Achaeans with a vengeance, nearly succeeding in burning the Achaeans' ships. At this point, Patroclus, a cousin and dear friend of Achilles, begs him to return to the battlefield with his troops. Achilles refuses but agrees that Patroclus can wear his armor and command the Myrmidons in his stead. Thus, Patroclus, disguised in Achilles' armor, returns to battle leading the Myrmidons. Patroclus is able to turn the tide of the battle. He nearly captures Troy by himself, but Hector rushes to stop him at the gates and kills him. The battle swings to favor the Trojans once more.

    It takes some time before Achilles hears of his dear friend's death. When he does, he rolls in the dust in grief. He vows vengeance on Hector and makes peace with Agamemnon. Thetis gives Achilles a new magical suit of armor made by the god-smith Hephaestus, since Hector has stripped Achilles' own weapons and armor from Patroclus. After several other exploits, Achilles eventually defeats Hector in single combat before the walls of Troy.

    After Hector's death, Achilles sallies forth onto the battlefield of Troy, destroying the Trojans' champions one after another, including Pentheselia, the Amazon Queen, and Memmon, Prince of Ethiopia. However, Achilles the mighty warrior will also meet his end. Paris, brother of Hector and abductor of Helen, shoots an arrow at Achilles' ankle, which strikes his vulnerable spot, killing the young warrior near the gates of Troy.

    3.1    Achilles: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

    Obviously, PC heroes adventuring in Year 296 will never meet Achilles, as he is not born until 298, two years after the suggested game time. However, the GM could have the PC heroes play at a later period so as to meet the young Achilles at Mount Pelion or Achilles the mighty warrior during the Trojan War. (For their sakes, if they do meet him during the war, the PC heroes had best be on the Achaean side!)

    Throughout his relatively short life, Achilles appears as a very attractive man with an Olympic-class muscular build, strawberry-blond hair, and deep blue eyes. He is very confident in his abilities, which could give others the impression that he is thick-headed or arrogant. The truth is that he is very proud and trusts only a few important individuals in his life. He has been secluded from the human world for much of his life and has therefore developed a Centaurish opinion of men in general. He is prone to mood-swings. When angry, he can be quite barbaric and destructive. When happy, he can be the most generous and warm-hearted of persons. He holds true to his convictions regardless of the consequences. His true friends are those from his childhood, Patroclus and Ajax who visit him during his stay with Chiron and hunt with him. Chiron and the other forest creatures with whom he grows up and from whom he learns so much are also close to him. His other close friends are his uncle Telamon, his father Peleus, and his advisor Phoenix. He is not fond of Agamemnon.

    Achilles is unusual in that he has two Watchers. Thetis, his mother, Watches Achilles, but also sways Zeus to act on her behalf, since she is a minor god and was once Zeus' lover. She has other friends among the more powerful gods and gets them to act on her behalf also. For example, she requests Hephaestus to quickly create armor for her son. Thus, Zeus and Thetis are listed. Achilles' Hunter is Apollo, who grows tired of Achilles' brash ways and eventually aids Paris in defeating him. Achilles is a priest of Apollo, but during the Trojan War, Apollo forsakes him and he cannot cast any spells.

    During his time in Mount Pelion, Achilles is clothed in typical Achaean garments. When hunting, he carries an ashen spear made by Chiron. During the Trojan War, Achilles acquires much of his father's magical equipment and horses (see Peleus). Hector takes this equipment when he slays Patroclus. At Thetis' request, Hephaestus creates a new set of armor and weapons. In addition, Hephaestus previously constructed his father's chariot and his horses are Great Horses (Poseidon's Horses). The Poseidon's horses were given to his father when he married Thetis. They are wise, immortal, and able to talk and to run across rough terrain as if it were smooth. Their stamina is much greater than that of any mortal horse. On occasion, they counsel Achilles.

    3.2    Achilles: MERP Statistics

    Profession:

    Warrior

    Hero Status:

    Demigod

    Watcher:

    Zeus, Thetis

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    See below

    Hunter:

    Apollo

    Level:

    20

    Special Powers:

    Great Prowess, Impenetrable Skin

    Hits:

    140

    AT/DB:

    CH/60

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    160 (209) sp

    Missile OB:

    110 (153) sp

    MM:

    25 (50)

    • Homes include Phthia and Mount Pelion.
    • Stats: ST 100 (112), CO 94, AG 100 (110), IT 60, IG 81, PR 100, AP 94. All stats in parentheses denote value when using Special Powers.
    • Skills: Ambush 5, Animal Handling 35, Boxing 82, Foraging 40, First Aid 40, Gambling 20, Dancing 30, Jumping 35, Lyre 45, Tracking 88, Perception 40, Priest 10, Riding 79, Running 30, Sailing 20, Singing 48, Swimming 91, Weather Watching 40, Herb Lore 20, Geography 20, Animal lore 20, Centaur Lore 30, Greek 5, Luwian 4, Minoan 3.
    • Spells: Patron: Apollo (Calliope). PP 20 (×2). Knows the Bard list "Controlling Songs," the Animist list "Bone/Muscle Ways," and the Open Channeling list "Surface Ways" to 5th level.
    • Spell Power: Impenetrable Skin {Level 5AnyAnyContinuous}: Grants the hero tough skin that acts as chain armor. The hero's skin also acts as a continuous "Resist Elements" spell from the "Protection" list. There is, however, a drawback: Achilles' ankles are unprotected areas that if hit (as specified in the critical table or a 10% chance) add +10 to the attacker's critical roll. These areas cannot be covered with armor (this can be explained as a magical or psychological limitation). They are located near a main artery and are at least 3" in radius.

    3.3    Achilles: Rolemaster Statistics

    Profession:

    Warrior

    Hero Status:

    Demigod

    Watcher:

    Zeus, Thetis

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    See below

    Hunter:

    Apollo

    Level:

    20

    Special Powers:

    Great Prowess, Impenetrable Skin

    Hits:

    140

    AT/DB:

    CH/60

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    209 sp

    Missile OB:

    153 sp

    MM:

    45

    • Homes include Phthia and Mount Pelion.
    • Stats: CO 94, AG 110, SD 60, ME 62, RE 72, ST 112, QU 109, PR 100, EM 68, IN 68, AP 94. Special Power stats are included in Rolemaster potentials.
    • Skills: Ambush 5, Animal Handling 35, Boxing 82, Foraging 40, First Aid 40, Gambling 20, Dancing 30, Jumping 35, Lyre 45, Tracking 88, Perception 40, Priest 10, Riding 79, Running 30, Sailing 20, Singing 48, Swimming 91, Weather Watching 40, Herb Lore 20, Geography 20, Animal lore 20, Centaur Lore 30, Greek 5/5, Luwian 4/4, Minoan 3/3.
    • Spells: Patron: Apollo (Calliope). PP 20 (×2). Knows the Bard list "Controlling Songs" and the Closed Channeling lists "Bone Law" and "Muscle Law" to 5th level.
    • Spell Power: Impenetrable Skin {Level 5AnyAnyContinuous}: Grants the hero tough skin that acts as chain armor. The hero's skin also acts as a continuous "Resist Elements" spell from the "Protection" list. There is, however, a drawback: Achilles' ankles are unprotected areas that if hit (as specified in the critical table or a 10% chance) add +10 to the attacker's critical roll. These areas cannot be covered with armor (this can be explained as a magical or psychological limitation). They are located near a main artery and are at least 3" in radius.

    3.4    Achilles: Items

    • Ashen Spear of Sharpness: Its shaft was created by Chiron and polished by Athena, its tip was cast in gold by Hephaestus, and its handle has been engraved with golden leaflike designs. This +20 spear was originally given to Peleus as a wedding present but has been passed on to Achilles.
    • Golden Armor. Hephaestus, god of smiths and fire, created Peleus' armor. All armor equipment is half the normal weight and is +30. The golden armor acts as plate armor but weighs as chain mail. This set of armor was given to Peleus as a wedding gift, then given to Achilles for the Trojan War. Achilles loses the first set of golden armor, which Hephaestus replaces with a lesser set, +20. (He has only a few days to complete the second set.) This set includes armor and shield.
    • Hunter's Sword: This sword was forged by Mythic Greece's greatest smith and inventor, Daedalus, and was first given to Peleus who later passed it on to his son. Geometric designs and images of sea life with gold and blue coloring decorate this +20 magical sword. It was created to aid hunters in their hunts. It provides the hunter with a tingling sensation that directs him towards any one typical prey animal (i.e., a large mammal), adding +40 to his Tracking skill.
    • Golden Chariot: This magical chariot was also given to Peleus by the gods as a wedding present. It is made of a light golden-color metallic alloy with flower and horse designs marked on either side in silver and white colors. It was made in such a way as to ease the handling of horses and adds +20 to Riding (i.e., Charioteering) to the charioteer.
    • Muse's Ring: This beautiful jeweled ring was given to Achilles by the Muse Calliope. Unbeknownst to Achilles, it is magical, acting as a ×2 PP multiplier and adding +10 to Singing activity.

    3.5    Achilles: Great Horses

    Name

    Lvl

    Size

    MM

    Hits

    AT

    DB

    Shld

    Melee OB

    Notes

    Balius

    9

    L

    45

    165

    No

    30

    N

    75MBa

    Hellas Lore/History 50

    Xanthus

    8

    L

    40

    177

    No

    30

    N

    80MBa

    Hellas Lore/History 55

    Both Great Horses are intelligent and have the ability to speak Greek. They can run across rough terrain with no difficulty. They are essentially immortal, although violence or depression can kill them.

  7. Diomedes (Godlike Cunning of Argos)
  8. Born into exile in the city of Argos in Year 280, Diomedes is the son of the great warrior-king Tydeus, once King of Calydon. When his son is four, Tydeus leaves to adventure in the famous military expedition called "The Seven against Thebes." There, along with many other heroes, Tydeus dies in battle. Deipyle, Diomedes' mother, raises the child under the care of King Adrastus of Argos. Adrastus is a returning hero of the failed expedition; he raises the child as a member of his own family. Upon approaching manhood, Diomedes, now a young prince of Argos, vows revenge for his father's death.

    In 298, with the backing of King Theseus, Diomedes and the seven sons of the famous Seven assemble a small army to capture to Thebes. They call their expedition "The Epigoni." Where their fathers failed, they succeed; Thebes falls with much bloodshed. Diomedes performs many exploits and becomes famous for his valor and prowess with the spear. During the siege of Thebes, Adrastus and his son Aegialeus die in a battle. Upon Diomedes' return to Argos, the people name him King of Argos. He marries Adrastus' daughter Aegialeia.

    Barely a man, Diomedes is now king of one of the more powerful cities of Hellas. For fifteen years, Diomedes reigns as King of Argos, bringing much wealth and stability to the city. However, Diomedes will be drawn into war again—he will bring his kingdom into the Trojan War.

    In that war, he distinguishes himself as one of the best strategists after Nestor and Odysseus. Diomedes is the usual companion of Odysseus in most of the latter's important undertakings in the final stages of the war. Among his more spectacular feats are single combats with the love-goddess Aphrodite and the war-god Ares. He sends both home wounded to Mount Olympus.

    After the fall of Troy, Diomedes, who has earned the hatred of Aphrodite, struggles to return safely. During a terrible storm, his fleet of ships is marooned on the Lycian coast. King Lycus, an ally of Troy during the war, captures Diomedes and his crew. Lycus intends to sacrifice Diomedes to Ares, but the princess Callirrloe helps him escape with a few of his men. After a series of mishaps and adventures, Diomedes finally returns home to Argos, only to learn that his wife Aegialeia has lived in adultery with one of the local nobles named Commetes. With the help of Athena, Diomedes defeats Commetes and Aegialeia to regain his kingdom.

    Soon afterwards, Diomedes hears that his grandfather, Oeneus, at the time King of Corinth, needs help in subduing a rebellion. Diomedes, along with a small army, assists his grandfather in successfully putting down the rebellion. For a few years thereafter, Diomedes reigns in peace. However, Argos never fully recovers from the Trojan War and the wars fought at Diomedes' return. In Year 350, a roving tribe called the People of the Seas begins to besiege much of Hellas. Argos is one of the first cities to be assailed. With a portion of the population, Diomedes flees to Italy, to an area called Daunia, where he marries King Daunus' daughter Euippe. He builds a city there and establishes a kingdom. He dies at a very old age.

    4.1    Diomedes: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

    In 296, Diomedes is a young noble of Argos who is famous for being the son of a great warrior. He is constantly reminded of his father's exploits and tries to live up to the expectations that arise from his being the son of a great warrior. He travels frequently and loves to hunt boar and to raid other cities. Diomedes is not what most would call an attractive man; he is rather average looking, with brown hair and eyes and medium build and height. For much of his life, he fights in wars or participates in raids. He knows military strategy well and becomes famous for his skill in fighting. He beats Ares, the god of war, in single combat. He is a man of war, not slow to anger, though a fluent speaker.

    He is an intelligent man with an eye to exploit any opportunity. In combat, he carries his father's sword and possesses golden armor with the crest of a boar. He has many friends and is on a friendly basis with most of the neighboring kingdoms. His close friends are Theseus and Odysseus, with whom he shares many adventures. His Watcher is Athena; she values his prowess in war and his military cunning. His Hunter is Aphrodite; she detests Diomedes for attacking her and her lover Ares in the war.

    4.2    Diomedes: MERP Statistics

    Profession:

    Rogue

    Hero Status:

    Greater Hero

    Watcher:

    Athena

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    Argos

    Hunter:

    Aphrodite

    Level:

    14

    Special Powers:

    Great Vitality

    Hits:

    125 (191)

    AT/DB:

    PL/30

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    126 (164) sp

    Missile OB:

    100 sp

    MM:

    15

    • Stats: ST 100 (110), CO 100 (120), AG 88, IT 92, IG 90, PR 82, AP 78. All stats in parentheses denote ability when using Special Powers.
    • Skills: Ambush 10, Animal Handling 30, Boxing 68, Disguises 34, Foraging 23, First Aid 20, Omen Reading 30, Public Speaking 35, Seduction 30, Stalk/Hide 66, Tracking 58, Politics 35, Perception 38, War Tactics 35, Wood Crafts 35, Hellas Lore 25, Leadership 25, Minoan 4, Pelasgian 5,Thracian 3, Greek 5, Latin 2.

    4.3    Diomedes: Rolemaster Statistics

    Profession:

    Rogue

    Hero Status:

    Greater Hero

    Watcher:

    Athena

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    Argos

    Hunter:

    Aphrodite

    Level:

    14

    Special Powers:

    Great Vitality

    Hits:

    161

    AT/DB:

    18/30

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    161 sp

    Missile OB:

    100 sp

    MM:

    15

    • Stats: CO 108, AG 88, SD 90, ME 95, RE 94, ST 109, QU 88, EM 98, IN 87, PR 82, AP 78. Special Power stats are included in Rolemaster potentials.
    • Skills: Ambush 10, Animal Handling 30, Boxing 68, Disguises 34, Foraging 23, First Aid 20, Omen Reading 30, Public Speaking 35, Seduction 30, Stalk/Hide 66, Tracking 58, Politics 35 Perception 38, War Tactics 35, Wood Crafts 35, Hellas Lore 25, Leadership 25, Minoan 4, Pelasgian 5,Thracian 3, Greek 5, Latin 2.

    4.4    Diomedes: Items

    • +10 Ashen Spear.
    • Sword of Tydeus: A skilled smith created this sword for Diomedes' father Tydeus. It bears designs of a lion and a boar. It is of magical make, +15.
    • Golden Armor: This golden armor bears a crest of a boar on the breast. It protects as Plate Armor but encumbers as Chain Armor and is magical, +15. It was created by a mortal smith but blessed by Athena, who gave it to Tydeus. When he dies, it passes to Diomedes.

  9. Iolaus (People of the Land)
  10. Even before the concept of "the sidekick" is conceived, Iolaus is faithfully helping his uncle, Hercules. Whenever Iolaus is near, one can guess that Hercules will shortly follow. Hercules, not Iolaus, will gain all the glory and fame of their deeds. Iolaus, throughout all of his life, will be under the shadow of Mythic Greece's greatest hero. But he could care less, as the two become more than just family, but steadfast friends.

    Born in Year 264 in Thebes, Iolaus is the son of Hercules' half-brother Iphicles. Iolaus spends his childhood in Thebes. Although he is not gifted with great muscles or speed, Hercules will continuously ask Iolaus to assist him in his labors. On several occasions, Iolaus acts as Hercules' charioteer; he becomes known for his riding abilities. During Hercules' second labor, Iolaus faces the Hydra and sears its many heads as Hercules chops them off. On the fifth labor, Iolaus aids Hercules in cleaning the stables of the rich King Augeus by rerouting the nearby rivers into the stables. On Hercules' ninth labor, Iolaus sets sail to Amazonia to aid Hercules in capturing the magical Girdle of Ares.

    After Hercules' labors, in 287, Hercules again calls upon Iolaus for assistance in avenging King Laomedon of Troy. Again, Hercules' nephew complies and sets sail for Troy, which they sack. On his return, Hercules divorces his wife Megara, who has borne him no more sons, and gives her in marriage to his nephew Iolaus. Sometime after the wedding, Hercules sees an omen in a dream. He insists that Iolaus lead forty of his sons (fathered on the Thespian princess, among others) and their families to Sardinia to settle it. Iolaus does so, after defeating the local king. Iolaus founds the city of Olbia, where he is named king.

    5.1    Iolaus: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

    In 296, Iolaus is King of Olbia. His followers hold him in great respect because he actually adventured with Heracles. He is considered by many to be among the best charioteers to have ever lived. He won the prize at the first Olympic Games and at the funeral games in honor of Pelias. A relatively good-natured man, Iolaus is really modest and unassuming. Like most Achaeans, he enjoys a good adventure. He loves his wife Megara. He appears as a thirty-something man with blond hair peppered with white at the temples. He is always clean-shaven, which is unusual for an adult Achaean male. His followers hold the same custom. Compared to the average Achaean, Iolaus does not have the same stereotypical attitudes about women that his contemporaries have. In fact, Iolaus is very progressive, and rules his kingdom in much the same way. He is a Lesser Hero; as such he lacks a Watcher or Hunter. His friends are Telamon, Peleus, Chiron, Daedalus, Theseus, and of course the mighty Hercules. He has also made friends with several of the forest races in Sardinia. He is often seen wearing a leather cuirass with a spear that was given to him by Hercules. When at war, Iolaus wears chain armor and a shield. Like Hercules, Iolaus has learned many different skills that have proven useful at odd times.

    5.2    Iolaus: MERP Statistics

    Profession:

    Rogue

    Hero Status:

    Lesser Hero

    Watcher:

    N/A

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    See below

    Hunter:

    N/A

    Level:

    11

    Special Powers:

    None

    Hits:

    101

    AT/DB:

    RL/25

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    90 sp

    Missile OB:

    88 lb

    MM:

    20

    • Homes include Thebes and Olbia.
    • Stats: ST 88, CO 92, AG 93, IT 78, IG 88, PR 72, AP 78.
    • Skills: Wrestling 55, Cooking 15, Engineering 15, Foraging 20, First Aid 30, Public Speaking 20, Music 25, Riding 89, Singing 35, Stalk/Hide 56, Tracking 58, Perception 32, Trap Building 15, Storytelling 20, Omen Reading 26, Wood Crafts 35, Hellas Lore 20, Geography 30, Law 15, Leather Working 25.

    5.3    Iolaus: Rolemaster Statistics

    Profession:

    Rogue

    Hero Status:

    Lesser Hero

    Watcher:

    N/A

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    See below

    Hunter:

    N/A

    Level:

    11

    Special Powers:

    None

    Hits:

    101

    AT/DB:

    RL/25

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    90 sp

    Missile OB:

    88 lb

    MM:

    20

    • Stats: CO 92, AG 93, SD 80, ME 74, RE 78, ST 88, QU 91, PR 72, EM 78, IN 76, AP 78.
    • Skills: Wrestling 55, Cooking 15, Engineering 15, Foraging 20, First Aid 30, Public Speaking 20, Music 25, Riding 89, Singing 35, Stalk/Hide 56, Tracking 58, Perception 32, Trap Building 15, Storytelling 20, Omen Reading 26, Wood Crafts 35, Hellas Lore 20, Geography 30, Law 15, Leather Working 25.

    5.4    Iolaus: Items

    • +10 Sword: Picked up during one of Iolaus' adventures with Heracles.
    • +5 Spear: Also picked up during one of his adventures.

  11. Hector (Stay)
  12. The warrior more noble and just than Hector has never lived. The strongest and eldest of King Priam's fifty children, Hector is also considered the most noble, valiant, and courageous of all of his siblings. As a youth, Hector shows great promise as an athlete, winning several athletic events during Troy's annual sporting events. By the time of the Trojan War, Hector's fame as a brave and just warrior has grown so great that several of the Achaean heroes avoid him on the battlefield. He is considered by many to be the second-greatest warrior of the Trojan War, the first being Achilles. For ten years, Hector is the commander-in-chief of the Trojan army. He performs many feats of valor, fights the mighty Great Ajax in single combat to a draw, lights the Achaeans' ships on fire, and kills Achilles' cousin and best friend Patroclus the spearman. For this act, Hector incurs the rage of Achilles, who subsequently seeks him out on the battlefield and kills him with the aid of Athena.

    6.1    Hector: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

    In 296, Hector appears as a strikingly beautiful and youthful-looking man with an Apollonian body. Tall in stature, with dark features, Hector has jet-black hair and dark eyes. Hector is extremely honest, noble, and, more than any hero except for perhaps Theseus, he is a true leader to his people. He is one of the few men to give a commoner, Polydamas, a voice in his city council. During the Trojan War, he fights reluctantly, more out of duty to his city and people than to his royal family. He is married to a very forward-thinking and intelligent woman, Andromede, who bears him a son late in his life. He loves his family very much and is every bit the family man. The people of Troy admire Hector for his virtues and his charisma. He has many friends among the Trojans' allies, such as Sarpedon and Glaucus. He strongly dislikes his brother Paris, whom he feels is the cause of war. His Watcher is Apollo and his Hunter is Hera.

    While not at war, Hector favors the bright colors of the traditional Trojan costumes. He hunts often with spear and bow. While at war, Hector carries a round shield and a bright silver helmet, a gift of Apollo. His two horses, Xanthus and Podargus, are considered by many to be the best bred and trained in Troy. Xanthus is seventh level while Podargus is fifth level. By the time of the Trojan War, Hector has not aged much due to the noble bloodline of the house of Priam. He appears as a strong twenty-five-year-old man during much of his life.

    6.2    Hector: MERP Statistics

    Profession:

    Warrior

    Hero Status:

    Greater Hero

    Watcher:

    Apollo

    Race:

    Trojan

    Home:

    Troy

    Hunter:

    Hera

    Level:

    18

    Special Powers:

    Great Prowess

    Hits:

    148

    AT/DB:

    CH/50

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    136 (181) sp

    Missile OB:

    107 (150) sp

    MM:

    25 (50)

    • Stats: ST 100 (110), CO 96, AG 90 (110), IT 88, IG 80, PR 82, AP 88. All stats in parentheses denote ability when using Special Powers.
    • Skills: Administration 20, Ambush 10, Animal Handling 55, Boxing 65, Climb 90, Foraging 55, First Aid 15, Javelin 121, Hunting 55, Running 25, Stalk/Hide 86, Sailing 20, Swimming 88, Trap Building 55, War Tactics 25, Wrestling 80, Animal Lore 20, Horse Lore 20, Trojan Lore 40.

    6.3    Hector: Rolemaster Statistics

    Profession:

    Warrior

    Hero Status:

    Greater Hero

    Watcher:

    Apollo

    Race:

    Trojan

    Home:

    Troy

    Hunter:

    Hera

    Level:

    18

    Special Powers:

    Great Prowess

    Hits:

    148

    AT/DB:

    CH/50

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    178 sp

    Missile OB:

    147 sp

    MM:

    40

    • Stats: CO 96, AG 109, SD 82, ME 86, RE 82, ST 109, QU 98, PR 82, EM 88, IN 83, AP 88. Special Power stats are included in Rolemaster potentials.
    • Skills: Administration 20, Ambush 10, Animal Handling 55, Boxing 65, Climb 90, Foraging 55, First Aid 15, Javelin 121, Hunting 55, Running 25, Stalk/Hide 86, Sailing 20, Swimming 88, Trap Building 55, War Tactics 25, Wrestling 80, Animal Lore 20, Horse Lore 20, Trojan Lore 40.

    6.4    Hector: Items

    • +10 Spear.
    • Silver Helmet: Given to Hector by Apollo, it is made from a silver alloy. The magical helmet protects as +20 to DB and negates 60% of all neck and head injuries. It also negates all penalties associated with wearing a helmet.

    6.5    Hector: Horses

    Name

    Lvl

    Size

    MM

    Hits

    AT

    DB

    Shld

    Melee OB

    Notes

    Xanthus

    6

    L

    35

    155

    No

    30

    N

    60MBa

    +20 to Riding/Charioteering

    Podargus

    5

    L

    35

    145

    No

    30

    N

    55MBa

    +20 to Riding/Charioteering

  13. Patroclus (Glory of the Father)
  14. Patroclus is the cousin and inseparable companion of the great Achilles. The two men are happiest in each other's company. Patroclus shares Achilles' passions of the heart and adventure but lacks Achilles' strength and speed. Although not as gifted as Achilles, Patroclus is a formidable warrior in his own right. Through his years hunting and practicing with Achilles, Patroclus becomes one of the best spearmen in Hellas. The only area in which he beat Achilles is in his age; Patroclus is older than Achilles. He was born as the son of Prince Menoetius of Opus, but early in his life, Patroclus accidentally kills another young prince over a game of dice. In 304, Patroclus flees Opus to go to King Peleus' court. He has already visited Achilles at Mount Pelion often, but at Peleus' court, the two become almost inseparable. When Thetis takes Achilles to the isles of Sycros, Patroclus goes also, but as a houseguest. When Achilles is discovered, Patroclus agrees to be Achilles' charioteer in the Trojan War. Together, Achilles and Patroclus sack many cities during the war and perform many wondrous feats.

    In the tenth year of the war, Achilles grows angry with King Agamemnon and refuses to fight. Patroclus begs Achilles to let him fight in his place and lead the Myrmidon contingents into battle. Achilles agrees reluctantly. Patroclus dons Achilles' armor and weapons and ventures forth into battle. Prior to that time, the Trojans have been routing the Achaeans. No sooner does Patroclus step onto the battlefield than the battle turns to the Achaeans' favor. The Trojans, who think that Patroclus is Achilles, flee back toward the city. Patroclus is intoxicated by the possibility of victory. He races towards Troy and attempts to sack the city; he almost breaches the city wall. Hector rushes to stop him at the gates and kills him. The battle swings over to the Trojans once more; Patroclus' body is despoiled of Achilles' weapons and armor.

    7.1    Patroclus: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

    In 296, Patroclus is a young man. He looks much like Achilles but has dirty blond hair and is not as tall or as muscular as Achilles. In fact, an observer might mistake the two for brothers. He shares Achilles' temperament but is a bit wiser. He also shares his love of hunting. Patroclus has many friends, but his closest include Ajax, Antilochous, Peleus, Telamon, Nestor, and Diomedes. In battle, he wears the traditional Achaean gear. Patroclus is a Lesser Hero; therefore, he lacks a Watcher and a Hunter.

    7.2    Patroclus: MERP Statistics

    Profession:

    Warrior

    Hero Status:

    Lesser Hero

    Watcher:

    N/A

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    Phthia

    Hunter:

    N/A

    Level:

    12

    Special Powers:

    None

    Hits:

    121

    AT/DB:

    CH/30

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    110 sp

    Missile OB:

    88 sp

    MM:

    15

    • Stats: ST 94, CO 100, AG 87, IT 68, IG 70, PR 82, AP 80.
    • Skills: Ambush 8, Animal Handling 50, Boxing 35, Cookery 30, Gambling 20, Climb 80, Foraging 15, Riding 77, Stalk/Hide 56, Tracking 58, Perception 34, Public Speaking 20, Swimming 48, Weather Watching 40, History 20.

    7.3    Patroclus: Rolemaster Statistics

    Profession:

    Warrior

    Hero Status:

    Lesser Hero

    Watcher:

    N/A

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    Phthia

    Hunter:

    N/A

    Level:

    12

    Special Powers:

    None

    Hits:

    121

    AT/DB:

    CH/30

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    110 sp

    Missile OB:

    88 sp

    MM:

    15

    • Stats: CO 100, AG 87, SD 67, ME 72, EM 70, ST 94, QU 88, PR 82, EM 78, IN 68, AP 80.
    • Skills: Ambush 8, Animal Handling 50, Boxing 35, Cookery 30, Gambling 20, Climb 80, Foraging 15, Riding 77, Stalk/Hide 56, Tracking 58, Perception 34, Public Speaking 20, Swimming 48, Weather Watching 40, History 20.

    7.4    Patroclus: Items

    • +10 Spear.
    • +10 Shield and Armor.

  15. Peleus (Muddy)
  16. Peleus is best known as the father of the greatest hero in the Trojan War, Achilles. However, during his youth, Peleus is a sacker of cities and performer of many great deeds. Peleus is born to King Aeacus and Queen Endeis of Aegina in Year 240. He grows up on the isle with his two brothers, Telamon and Phocus. In 273, Peleus and Telamon join the crew of the Argo. (Phocus was away with his mother.) It was on this voyage that the two brothers meet and befriend the mighty Heracles. When Heracles searches for his friend Hylas, Peleus and Telamon advocate waiting for the mighty hero. However, their counsel is not followed and the Argo leaves Heracles behind. Nevertheless, they develop a lifelong friendship with Heracles. From time to time, Peleus and his brother assist Heracles in his adventures.

    When they return to Aegina, they are heroes to the local population. However, Phocus is the favorite of Aeacus. He is gifted with beauty, athletic ability, and integrity. During athletic events, it is Phocus who wins the majority of the events, stealing the spotlight from the other brothers. As time passes, Peleus and Telamon grow envious of their brother Phocus, and they plot to kill him. It is not known whether they actually go through with their plans; what is known is that in 277 Phocus dies of foul play and the two brothers flee the island in fear of their father's rage.

    Peleus goes to the court of Actor, King of Phthia, where his adopted son Eurytion purifies Peleus from the murder of Phocus. Later in the year, Actor, impressed by the young man, gives Peleus his daughter Polymela in marriage and a part of the kingdom. Their union produces no children. Soon after, a messenger comes to the court requesting the services of the kingdom's greatest warriors to hunt the Calydonian Boar, which is wasting the countryside of a nearby kingdom. Peleus and Eurytion agree to go. During the hunt, Peleus accidentally kills Eurytion. He is forced to flee again to Iolcus, where King Acastus, whom Peleus had befriended as an Argonaut, purifies him.

    In 280, Heracles visits Peleus and asks for assistance with his ninth task, to fetch the Girdle of Ares worn by the Amazon Queen Hippolyta. Peleus and Telamon agree to help and journey with Heracles. In 287, Peleus agrees to again help Heracles in a major expedition to sack Troy to avenge for an insult given by the Trojan King Laomedon. On his return, Acastus' wife, who has fallen deeply in love with the young hero, attempts to seduce Peleus. When he refused her advances, she goes and tells his wife Polymela, "He intends to leave you and marry my beautiful daughter, who will give birth to a heir." Soon after, Polymela, who has not given Peleus any children, commits suicide.

    But Acastus' wife does not stop there; she goes and tells her husband that Peleus attempted to seduce her while Acastus was away during one of his hunting trips. Angry that his guest would insult him such a manner, Acastus challenges Peleus to a hunting contest on Mount Pelion, a dangerous place because the Centaurs often kill trespassers in their mountains. Acastus plans to leave Peleus there during the night to fend for himself. Peleus is in a state of shock and thinks that the hunting trip is to keep his mind off his wife's tragedy. Both hunters are well known for their skills; they have hunted together several times. So, Peleus is keen to prove who is the best hunter. In the contest, Peleus is able to beat Acastus. However, during the night, Acastus takes Peleus' magic sword (forged by the great inventor and smith Daedalus), hides it, and leaves him asleep. Peleus awakes unarmed, alone, and surrounded by hostile Centaurs. They intend to slaughter him then and there, but Chiron, their king, stops them. Chiron befriends the young man and finds his magic sword. Peleus finally recognizes the treachery of Acastus and his wife when Chiron tells Peleus the truth behind his wife's suicide and Acastus' actions. Peleus vows vengeance for his dead wife.

    For many years, Peleus lives on Mount Pelion, befriending the Centaurs and Nymphs that live there, even assisting the Centaurs on their raids on nearby human kingdoms, especially Iolcus. From these raids, Peleus acquires a large herd of cattle to send to Phthia as an indemnity for his accidental killing of Eurytion; King Actor refuses the cattle, leaving them to roam the open fields. In 290, Peleus, with the help of Chiron, recruits some Myrmidons from Aegina and sacks Phthia, killing Actor. He becomes its king. During his rule, Peleus allows Myrmidon immigrants from Aegina and the surrounding lands to settle Phthia to strengthen his hold on the kingdom. Henceforth, he is referred to as the King of the Myrmidons.

    While Peleus was enjoying his stay on Mount Pelion, a gorgeous Nereid named Thetis was being courted by several gods. Upon hearing a prophecy stating that Thetis was fated to have a son who would be greater by far than his father, the gods agreed to stop courting the Nereid. They feared that a son sired by one of them might challenge the rule of the gods, just as Zeus and his brothers and sisters had challenged their parents' rule.

    Around Year 297, they agree to pair Thetis with the noblest mortal. At the time, Peleus is considered the noblest man in Hellas. Chiron foresees that Thetis will resent marrying a mortal; therefore, he suggests that Peleus ambush the Nereid as she lies on the beach. This he does; Thetis resists mightily, changing into various forms—a bull, lion, fire, and water. But Peleus holds fast to her, having been warned beforehand by Chiron what to expect. Eventually, impressed by the mortal's strength, determination, and persistence, Thetis agrees to marry him. Their wedding is celebrated outside Chiron's cave on Mount Pelion. All the gods, Nereids, and centaurs attend the ceremony and shower many gifts upon the newlyweds. It is at this wedding that Eris, goddess of discord, throws the golden apple, which begins the Trojan War.

    In 298, Thetis has a child, Achilles. She begins the process of performing a magical ritual to make the child immortal. Peleus, thinking she is harming the child, disrupts the ritual, angering Thetis. She leaves him to raise the child by himself. He does until Achilles grows to a young boy, then sends him to the care of Chiron. (See Achilles, §3.0.)

    In 300, Peleus returns to Iolcus to avenge himself with an army of Myrmidons and some friends. He captures the city and slays King Acastus and his wife in single combat. He then becomes King of Iolcus. In the succeeding years, Thetis, regrets her rash actions and visits the now aging king every so often, never to stay for very long. Even so, in those years, Thetis and Peleus live happily for some time.

    In 313, the call of war spreads across Hellas. Too old to fight in the Trojan War himself, Peleus gives his son Achilles his golden armor, ashen spear, and magical talking horses, all of which had been his wedding gifts from the gods. He sends a large Myrmidon fleet with Achilles to command. However, he faces political instability at home. With most of his army overseas and Achilles and Thetis in Troy, Acastus' son begins to openly revolt against Peleus' rule. Eventually, Acastus' sons expel Peleus from Iolcus. When word comes of Achilles' death, he is expelled from Phthia as well. He flees to Mount Pelion where the Centaurs grant him refuge.

    Soon after the sack of Troy, Thetis hears of her beloved's plight. She sends a message to him instructing him to visit the cave where he had first mastered her, and wait there until she takes him away to live with her forever in the sea. Peleus goes to the cave and watches the passing ships, hoping one of them might be carrying his grandson, Neoptolemus, returning from Troy. Peleus grows impatient and charters a ship for a voyage to Molossia, where he hears his grandson might be. However, a storm drives his vessel to the island of Icos. There he dies and is buried, thus forfeiting the immortality Thetis had promised her beloved. Thetis cries again, losing her second love in life.

    8.1    Peleus: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

    In Year 296, Peleus appears to be a youthful, thirty-something-year-old attractive man, although really fifty-six years old, with bushy dark hair and eyes. Peleus at this time is King of Phthia. At court, Peleus treats all guests with respect and entertains visiting Nymphs, Centaurs, and such Heroes as Heracles, quite regularly. Peleus prefers being in the outdoors enjoying a hunt or sleeping under a tree than being constrained in a palace. His prowess in hunting is renowned throughout Hellas. He allows the Myrmidons much leeway in running the kingdom, which will prove to be his downfall when the majority of them are sent to fight in the Trojan War, allowing Acastus' sons to take over. Peleus is an agreeable person with a natural charm that puts people at ease. He is thrifty, patient, and possesses a tenacity that would make a Centaur proud. He makes fast friends and is very loyal to them. He is also not a person to double-cross, since he tends to hold a grudge for a very long time. At present, he has no wife and is feeling a little lonely, which may account for his many adventures and trips to Mount Pelion.

    He is always seen carrying his magical sword and a spear. He favors outdoors garments with a leather jerkin as protection. He has many friends whom he has made during the course of his adventures and travels. Among the more famous of them are Chiron, to whom his fortunes are tied, Telamon his brother, Heracles with whom he adventures, the Dioscuri, Jason, and Iolaus. He counts many forest races as friends as well. All Centaurs consider Peleus a friend. Centaurs sometimes give him the designation "Centaur friend." Peleus will never harm a Centaur or let others harm them in the presence of his court. He will always attempt to aid Centaurs. As he is the grandson of Zeus (Zeus fathered Aeacus) and is closely associated with the Myrmidons, Peleus' Watcher is Zeus. Because Peleus does not call upon Aphrodite during his blessings, Aphrodite is his Hunter. His failures in his love life and his problems resulting from women derive from Aphrodite's interventions.

    8.2    Peleus: MERP Statistics

    Profession:

    Ranger

    Hero Status:

    Greater Hero

    Watcher:

    Zeus

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    See below

    Hunter:

    Aphrodite

    Level:

    13

    Special Powers:

    Hunter

    Hits:

    124

    AT/DB:

    CH/45

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    122 sw

    Missile OB:

    102 sp

    MM:

    20

    • Homes include Aegina, Mount Pelion, and Phthia.
    • Stats: ST 90, CO 95, AG 90, IT 87, IG 78, PR 90, AP 85.
    • Skills: Ambush 8, Animal Handling 30, Boxing 52, Climb 90, Foraging 25, First Aid 20, Gambling 25, Riding 68, Stalk/Hide 70, Tracking 88, Perception 48, Priest (Poseidon) 20, Omen Reading 35, Sailing 25, Swimming 78, Trickery 20, War Tactics 20, Woodcraft 15, Wrestling 78, Centaur Lore 30.
    • Spells: Patron: Poseidon. PP 13 (×2). Directed Spell 20. Knows "Path Mastery," "Nature Ways," "Nature's Guises," "Moving Ways," and "Nature's Law," to 5th level.
    • Spell Power: Hunter {Level 5 • Earth, Underworld, Sky • All Except Satyrs and Sileni • Once a Day}: Hero is surrounded by a 1' radius field through which sound cannot travel. The field is centered on the Hero and moves with him.

    8.3    Peleus: Rolemaster Statistics

    Profession:

    Ranger

    Hero Status:

    Greater Hero

    Watcher:

    Zeus

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    See below

    Hunter:

    Aphrodite

    Level:

    13

    Special Powers:

    Hunter

    Hits:

    124

    AT/DB:

    CH/45

    Shield

    Yes

    Melee OB:

    122 sw

    Missile OB:

    102 sp

    MM:

    20

    • Homes include Aegina, Mount Pelion, and Phthia.
    • Stats: CO 95, AG 90, SD 70, ME 88, RE 80, ST 90, PR 90, IN 78, EM 84, AP 85.
    • Skills: Ambush 8, Animal Handling 30, Boxing 52, Climb 90, Foraging 25, First Aid 20, Gambling 25, Riding 68, Stalk/Hide 70, Tracking 88, Priest (Poseidon) 20 Perception 48, Omen Reading 35, Sailing 25, Swimming 78, Trickery 20, War Tactics 20, Woodcraft 15, Wrestling 78, Centaur Lore 30.
    • Spells: Patron: Poseidon. PP 13 (×2). Directed Spell 30. Knows "Path Mastery," "Inner Walls," "Nature Ways," "Nature's Guises," "Moving Ways," and "Nature's Law," to 5th level.
    • Spell Power: Hunter {Level 5 • Earth, Underworld, Sky • All Except Satyrs and Sileni • Once a Day}: Hero is surrounded by a 1' radius field through which sound cannot travel. The field is centered on the Hero and moves with him.

    8.4    Peleus: Items

    • Ashen Spear of Sharpness: Its shaft was created by Chiron and polished by Athena, its tip was cast in gold by Hephaestus, and its handle has been engraved with golden leaflike designs. This +20 spear was given to Peleus as a wedding present; it will pass on to Achilles.
    • Golden Armor. Hephaestus, god of smiths and fire, created Peleus' armor. All armor equipment is half the normal weight and is +30. The golden armor acts as plate armor but weighs as chain mail. This set of armor was given to Peleus as a wedding gift; it will be given to Achilles for the Trojan War.
    • Hunter's Sword: This sword was forged by Mythic Greece's greatest smith and inventor, Daedalus, and was first given to Peleus, who will later pass it on to his son. Geometric designs and images of sea life with gold and blue coloring decorate this +20 magical sword. It was created to aid hunters in their hunts. It provides the hunter with a tingling sensation that directs him towards any one typical prey animal (i.e., a large mammal), adding +40 to his Tracking skill.
    • Golden Chariot: This magical chariot was also given to Peleus by the gods as a wedding present. It is made of a light golden-color metallic alloy with flower and horse designs marked on either side in silver and white colors. It was made in such a way as to ease the handling of horses and adds +20 to Riding (i.e., Charioteering) to the charioteer.
    • Enchanted Armband: This decorated Cretan band was given to Peleus by Chiron. It acts as a ×2 PP multiplier for Rangers.

    8.5    Peleus: Great Horses

    Name

    Lvl

    Size

    MM

    Hits

    AT

    DB

    Shld

    Melee OB

    Notes

    Balius

    9

    L

    45

    165

    No

    30

    N

    75MBa

    Hellas Lore/History 50

    Xanthus

    8

    L

    40

    177

    No

    30

    N

    80MBa

    Hellas Lore/History 55

    Both Great Horses are intelligent and have the ability to speak Greek. They can run across rough terrain with no difficulty. They are essentially immortal, although violence or depression can kill them.

  17. Telamon (He Who Suffers)
  18. Like Peleus, Telamon is best known as the father of two of the greatest heroes of the Trojan War, Ajax and Teucer. However, during his youth, Telamon is a sacker of cities and performer of many great deeds. Born to King Aeacus and Queen Endeis of Aegina in Year 237, Telamon grows up on the isle with his two brothers, Peleus and Phocus. In 273, Telamon and Peleus join the crew of the Argo. (Phocus is away with his mother.) It was on this voyage that they meet and befriend the mighty Heracles. When Heracles searches for his friend Hylas, Peleus and Telamon advocate waiting for the mighty hero. However, their counsel is not followed and the Argo leaves Heracles. Nevertheless, they develop a lifelong friendship with Heracles. From time to time, Telamon and his brother assist Heracles in his adventures.

    When they return to Aegina, they are heroes to the local population. However, Phocus is the favorite of Aeacus. He is gifted with beauty, athletic ability, and integrity. During athletic events, it is Phocus who wins the majority of the events, stealing the spotlight from his brothers. As time passes, the Telamon and Peleus grow envious of Phocus; they plot to kill him. It is not known whether they actually go through with it. What is known is that in 277, Phocus dies of foul play and the two brothers flee the island in fear of their father's rage.

    Telamon goes to the court of Cychreus, King of Salamis, a nearby island. There the king purifies him from the murder of Phocus. Telamon sends a message denying any part in the murder; nevertheless, Aeacus forbids him from setting foot on the island of Aegina, although he does permit him to plead his case. Prohibited from landing on the isle, Telamon sets about to build a mole in a harbor from which he pleads his case. Still, Aeacus rejects his persuasive plea that Phocus' death was accidental. Telamon returns to Salamis.

    Later in the year, a messenger comes to the court requesting the services of the kingdom's greatest warriors to hunt the Calydonian Boar, which is ravishing the countryside. Telamon goes and hunts with his brother Peleus. When he returns, he marries Glauce, the king's daughter; the marriage produces no children. In 279, King Cychreus dies and Telamon rules. Years later, Glauce falls ill and dies. Telamon, who loved both Cychreus and Glauce very much, becomes depressed.

    In Year 280, Heracles visits Telamon and asks for assistance with his ninth task, to fetch the Girdle of Ares worn by the Amazon Queen Hippolyta. Along with his brother Peleus, Telamon agrees to help and journeys with Heracles. On his return, he marries Periboea of Athens, who bears him the Great Ajax in Year 287.

    Later in 280, Telamon agrees to again help Heracles in a major expedition to sack Troy to avenge for an insult given by the Trojan King Laomedon. Telamon first breaches the walls of Troy by picking up a huge stone and flinging it at the walls. This breaks down the wall. Telamon races to be the first to enter Troy. He nearly succeeds, but sees Heracles racing behind him angrily drawing his sword. Realizing he is in mortal danger, Telamon stops then and there and begins to raise an altar of stone from the crumbled wall of Troy. Heracles, with his sword drawn and anger in his voice, cries out, "What are you doing?" Telamon replies, "I am building an altar to you, the Sacker of Troy." With that, Heracles hurriedly thanks Telamon and sacks the city. For his valor, Heracles gives Laomedon's daughter Hesione to Telamon; she bears him a son named Teucer.

    Years later, when Troy has regained its former wealth and power, a delegation is sent with Prince Antenor and Anchises (father of Aeneas) as its leaders. They demand the return of Hesione, who is now the sister of the king, Priam. Telamon refuses and sends the delegation away. It is this event that allows Paris of Troy to kidnap Helen with the full support of the Trojan court, sparking the Trojan War. The following year, Hesione flees Salamis, pregnant with her second child by Telamon, to Miletus on the coast of Asia Minor, where the local king finds her and raises the son as his own. Ironically, this child will be killed by none other than Achilles and Ajax, his cousin and half-brother, during the Trojan War.

    In 290, Peleus asks Telamon for help in attacking Phthia. He agrees to go and asks other heroes to help also. Together, they sack Phthia and install Peleus as king. Telamon helps his brother again in 300 in plundering Iolcus.

    In 313, the call of war spreads across Hellas. Too old to fight in the Trojan War himself, Telamon sends his two sons to war wage war in Troy. Of the two, Teucer returns alive; Ajax commits suicide. (See Ajax, §2.0.) Like Aeacus forty years earlier, Telamon flies into a rage and accuses Teucer of committing fratricide and leaving his grandson (and Teucer's nephew) Eurysaces behind. Telamon expels his son from the island. Like Telamon, Teucer pleads his case and sends messenger after messenger to regain his father's favor, but to no avail. Eventually, Eurysaces does reach Salamis and stays as heir to the throne. Telamon dies in Year 335 at the age of 98. Eurysaces is named King of Salamis.

    9.1    Telamon: Personality, Appearance, and Notes

    In 296, Telamon appears as a tall, fair-looking man of thirty, although he is more than forty years old. Telamon favors bright colors of purple and blue in clothing when at court and wears traditional Achaean armor when adventuring. He often carries a Cretan battle-axe and a sword, both of high quality. He has two sons, Ajax and Teucer, whom he loves very much. He has suffered a great deal in life: He was banished by his father, whom he loved very much; Cychreus, whom he treated as an uncle, died; and his first wife died an early death. These experiences have humbled Telamon and he realizes that life can be difficult. He understands that the gods' whims and wishes dictate life. However, he is a very passionate man when it comes to his family and close friends. He helps Peleus in all of his trials and helps his good friend Heracles whenever he has the chance. Telamon is on good terms with Theseus of Athens, Chiron, the Dioscuri, Heracles, Iolaus, Jason, Phaidimos of Phoenicia, several of the former Argonauts, and of course his brother Peleus. Through the years, he has been on unfavorable terms with King Acastus, who wronged his brother, and his father. As he is the grandson of Zeus (Zeus fathered Aeacus), Telamon's Watcher is Zeus. Like his brother, Telamon's Hunter is Aphrodite. His failures in his love life and problems resulting from women have been the result of Aphrodite's interventions.

    9.2    Telamon: MERP Statistics

    Profession:

    Warrior

    Hero Status:

    Greater Hero

    Watcher:

    Zeus

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    See below

    Hunter:

    Aphrodite

    Level:

    10

    Special Powers:

    Great Vitality

    Hits:

    100 (143)

    AT/DB:

    CH/30

    Shield

    No

    Melee OB:

    110 (153) sw

    Missile OB:

    75 sp

    MM:

    10 (25)

    • Homes include Aegina, Phthia, and Salamis.
    • Stats: ST 100 (110), CO 100 (110), AG 90, IT 80, IG 85, PR 81, AP 88. All stats in parentheses denote ability when using Special Powers.
    • Skills: Acting 30, Animal Handling 40, Boxing 65, Cookery 20, Climb 67, Foraging 15, Lyre 20, Omen Reading 15, Riding 50, Stalk/Hide 56, Sailing 40, Tracking 34, Perception 44, Public Speaking 40, Swimming 78, Hellas Lore 30, Leadership 35, History 30.

    9.3    Telamon: Rolemaster Statistics

    Profession:

    Warrior

    Hero Status:

    Greater Hero

    Watcher:

    Zeus

    Race:

    Achaean

    Home:

    See below

    Hunter:

    Aphrodite

    Level:

    10

    Special Powers:

    Great Vitality

    Hits:

    143

    AT/DB:

    CH/30

    Shield

    No

    Melee OB:

    134 sw

    Missile OB:

    75 sp

    MM:

    15

    • Homes include Aegina, Phthia, and Salamis.
    • Stats: CO 110, AG 90, SD 87, ME 80, RE 81, ST 105, QU 90, PR 81, EM 70, IN 82, AP 88. Special Power stats are included in Rolemaster potentials.
    • Skills: Acting 30, Animal Handling 40, Boxing 65, Cookery 20, Climb 67, Foraging 15, Lyre 20, Omen Reading 15, Riding 50, Stalk/Hide 56, Sailing 40, Tracking 34, Perception 44, Public Speaking 40, Swimming 78, Hellas Lore 30, Leadership 35, History 30.

    9.4    Telamon: Items

    • +10 Shield and Armor acquired through his adventures.
    • +10 Sword and Cretan battle-axe.
1Original material copyright © 2000 by Daniel M. Myers. Rolemaster™ and its component parts, including Mythic Greece: The Age of Heroes, are the property of Iron Crown Enterprises. Fantasy Hero™ and its component parts are the property of Hero Games. Both are used by the author in the context of producing a role-playing game supplement.
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