Serprion Hunt

Copyright Daniel M. Myers © 2006

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

"The year is 296 during the Age of Heroes: Mighty Heracles has completed his twelve labors and recently retired; Princes are courting Helen, fairest woman in all of Hellas; Theseus, the minotaur slayer, is occupied with ruling the mighty city of Athens; And in the small island of Serprios, King Adrasta's kingdom is in peril. It is time for a new generation of Heroes to rise to the challenge!"

The year is 296 during the Age of Heroes: Mighty Heracles has completed his twelve labors and recently married Princess Deianara of Calydon. Eligible Achaean and Minoan princes are courting Helen, daughter of the powerful King of Sparta and the fairest woman in all of Hellas. Theseus, the minotaur slayer, is occupied with ruling the mighty city of Athens. And in the small island of Serprios, King Adrasta's kingdom is in peril.

King Adrasta has been Serprios' monarch for more than a generation and the kingdom has seen its share of ups and downs during his rule. Recently, Poseidon, the patron god of Serprios, has sent a terrifying beast to lay waste the countryside as punishment for a perceived insult. Several farms have been destroyed. Peasants have been eaten. The kingdom is in disarray.

It all began on a cool mid-summer night during a rowdy banquet at the king's palace. King Adrasta, drunk beyond belief, rose his cup to toast his guest, Idomen, a Cretan Prince. "By the will of Poseidon, may you have a prosperous life! Now look," turning to his sons, he rose his cup once more, "at my sons. How tall and graceful they are. Not even Poseidon could have sired sons as fine as these!" With that he downed his cup in one big gulp, wine slipping down to stain his white toga. The crowd stood still with alarm. Had the King blasphemed against their patron?

Poseidon had been admiring from afar the comical, inebriated King Adrasta with great glee until he heard the sacrilegious boast. With a lightning flash, Poseidon blinded the feast's attendees and shook the earth underneath them. "How dare you, Adrasta, a mere mortal? Forget you that it is I, Poseidon, who granted your people prosperity? How dare you think that you are superior to any god? For this insult you and your people shall suffer a grand calamity." And in another flash, he was gone. Of course this broke the attendees' high spirits and everyone whispered as to the significance of the event.

But a week went by, and then a month, and nothing happened. The king and the people began to think that nothing was going to happen. It appeared that Poseidon had forgotten or forgiven the king's blunder. But it was not to be so. That autumn, while harvesting the olive and wheat, something happened—something terrible, the king dispatched a group of armed men to stop it. Many good men died in the attempt...

1.0 Guidelines

This adventure is broken into several sections. This section provides references that may be useful for running the adventure. Section 2 describes the Island of Serprios. Section 3 enumerates important NPCs. Section 4 provides a key to the accompanying maps. Section 5 describes the encounters and adventures the PCs can have while visiting Serprios. Section 6 provides game statistics for the beasts and inhabitants of Serprios.

Section 1.0 deals with guidelines regarding the use of the adventure. Section 2.0 describes the adventure. This adventure is set in the Cycladian Isles but can be placed anywhere in Mythic Greece. Section 3.0 consists of Beasts and NPC tables.

This adventure is designed for use with the Mythic Greece: Age of Heroes, a Rolemaster Classic. Guild Companion articles relating to this setting can be found using the archive located at www.guildcompanion.com. The May 1999 and December 1999 contain "Mythic Greece for MERP" and "Mythic Greece for MERP: The Trojans," respectively. Although the adventure is intended for the MERP and Rolemaster systems, it is adaptable to most other major FRP games. (Note that in MERP/RM, all statistics and skills are expressed based on percentiles.)

This adventure takes place in Mythic Greece, a generation before the Trojan War. Great heroes such as Heracles and Theseus, are still about but most are at the end of their adventuring careers. It is time for the Player Characters to make a name of themselves.

2.0 The Isle of Serprios

Serprios is an imaginary island placed in the Cycladian chain of islands, which extends from the eastern coast of Hellas and beyond to Crete. For game purposes, Serprios is a small oval shaped island located near the isle of Delos. The island contains two population centers. The larger of the two is called Serprios. It has about 700 inhabitants and is located on the isle's northeast side. The other is a fishing village of 150 named Pisces that is located on the opposite end of the island. The inhabitants are of Achaean origin.

The island is hilly and somewhat forested. In grottos deep in the forests dwell dryads (wood nymphs). They tend to shy away from humans and are unconcerned with human affairs unless the humans threaten their habitat. Unlike modern-day Greece, Serprios possesses some of the more exotic animals of ancient times, such as monkeys, seals, ibex, and leopards. The island's commodities are fish, goat products, and some lumber and olive products.

2.1 History of Serprios

A few years after the Deuclanian flood, one of Adrasta's ancestors, a shepherd named Argos, fell in love with a wood nymph on the island. Together they had several children, including Serprios who grew up to be a strong man and a good shot with the bow.

It so happens that the king at the time had forgotten to promptly sacrifice the finest bull to the gods and a mighty sea serpent was sent to eradicate many of the island's inhabitants. It attacked the city and ate several of the city's prominent citizens including its king. Serprios, who happened to be at the city to deliver the family's finest goats, shot and killed the sea serpent with his bow. The remaining inhabitants promptly named him King of Serprios. Ever since, Adrasta's family has ruled the island.

In recent years, Adrasta has initiated a series of raids against other islands in the hopes of acquiring booty. Some of the islands would like to repay Adrasta for his unwelcome visits. King Adrasta does have a few friends. King Anius of the nearby isle of Delos is one of them (see Mythic Greece: Age of Heroes for more details). Many of the island's inhabitants journey to Delos to visit the temple of Apollo for divine guidance and to visit family they have on Delos.

3.0 Major NPCs

3.1 King Adrasta

Adrasta is a tall, well-kept man who appears to be in his forties, but due to some divine blood he is actually sixty. He is the direct descendant of Serprios, the archer hero. His dark black beard is starting to gray and he is realizing that he is getting old. He dresses in relatively plain Achaean clothing and normally carries a dirk, which was a gift from his grandfather who received it as reward for helping a young upstart named Perseus to become king of Mycenae. It acts as a family heirloom. The Cyclops that helped Perseus build Mycenae crafted the weapon, which confers +10 bonus to OB.

Adrasta loves his family very much. He has been a widower for the past fifteen years and lives with his two sons and one daughter. Despite custom, he has not taken up another wife in respect for their love. His daughter, Arne, cares for him. His favorite pastimes are listening to stories, reviewing the kingdom's treasury, and resolving disputes among his citizens. He is accounted to be a fair ruler, although recently, his people bear some resentment due to the lost of life resulting from the raids.

He would love to relinquish the throne in favor of this eldest son, Hippolyus, who he knows is more than ready to handle the responsibility. He was about to announce his abdication when the disaster struck. He is truly baffled by the situation he has created. The inhabitants are terrified; his island is in disarray. He fears for the safety of his people and for his sons who eagerly pressed their father to allow them to face the beast. He would be readily hospitable to any PC. He will be appreciative of any help the PCs provide and will be very grateful if they succeed in ridding the island of the beast.

3.2 Prince Hippolyus

Hippolyus is a dashing, charismatic young man with chestnut hair and eyes. He has the physique of an Olympian and he is just old enough to start growing a beard. Hippolyus loves the hunt and participating in athletic games. His favorite event is wrestling: he is considered to be one of the best wrestlers on the island. The guards admire him for his skill and bravery in battle. He values his men and it pains him whenever a man goes down. The arts bore him. He does not disdain those who excel in them; he simply does not care for learning. He realizes that craftsmen and sages help keep the kingdom running smoothly. He will look to the PCs as friends and will assist them in every way possible. Despite the objections of this father, he will most definitely act as the party's guide and will partake in the hunt to rid the kingdom of the beast.

3.3 Prince Castor

Castor is the second oldest sibling and is Hippolyus' opposite. He is a scholar rather than an athlete and prefers to satisfy his curiosity about the world. He is rather average looking except his eyes shine with confidence and intelligence. He really does not care being second in line to the throne; his interests lie in mathematics and trading. He acts as the King's treasurer and negotiator for trading with other kingdoms.

He often travels to Pisces to visit his friend and cousin, Talos, who manages the village for the king. On one of his many treks to Pisces, he encountered a woman of exotic beauty. Though he was a bit timid at first, the two have become quite good friends and he has fallen in love with the woman. He has failed to realize that the woman is a dryad. He has not told anyone about his love but is contemplating telling his cousin. Castor will be polite to the PCs and will partake in any expedition against the beast. Though not as athletic as his older brother, he is a good shot with the bow.

3.4 Princess Arne

Her mother died while giving birth to her; Arne is the youngest of the siblings. Although but a girl of sixteen, the citizens say she is the spitting image of her mother. She is as tall as her father with fiery red hair. Unlike Achaean women, she takes an active role in the domestic affairs of the kingdom—she counsels the king on disputes between the citizenry. She is athletic and partakes in running events against the men during the annual games. She has even won a couple of races. Hippolyus and Arne possess a friendly rivalry. Despite the wishes of her father, she will want to partake in the hunt with the PCs. If the PCs treat her as an equal, then they will earn the goodwill of Arne and Hippolyus. She will not allow the PCs to treat her as second class. She might even challenge an offending PC to a footrace. She has some skill with the bow.

3.5 Captain Lycoon

Lycoon acts as captain of the palace guards and is the King's cousin. He has seen action a couple of times and is very cool-headed during the heat of battle. The king and his sons seek Lycoon's advice on military matters. He is a grizzly, short man in his mid-forties with more white hairs than dark. He is widest at the shoulders due to muscular body. His physique is more for bashing than for turning heads. As captain, Lycoon will assist the PCs in their quest to rid the beast but will not partake in the hunt of it. He is on unfriendly terms with Fanuas who he thinks is too brash for his own good.

3.6 Uncle Fanuas

Fanuas is arrogant and rude. He is the king's younger brother and secretly covets the kingdom. He is tall and barrel-chested with black hair and a bushy unkempt beard. He owns a farm with many retainers outside Serprios. Fanuas will be more than willing to join the PCs on any expedition. He will brashly try to take charge of any expedition against the beast and boss the PCs around. He has some skills as a warrior and possesses a finely made dirk (+5 OB), which he acquired on one of his raiding ventures. He has two sons, Talos and Icarnus.

3.7 Talos

Talos is the cousin of, and a good friend to, Castor, with whom he shares a passion for learning. He often debates Castor on metaphysical matters. After the death of King Adrasta's uncle, he entrusted Talos with lordship over Pisces, the small fishing town on the southern side of the isle. He has proven to be a very good manager and has acquired considerable wealth for the kingdom. Although a proven hunter, he shares neither his father's ambitions, nor his warlike personality. Should the PCs journey to Pisces, Talos will be very polite and will treat the PCs with the utmost respect. Talos spends all of his time at Pisces and will not be involved in the expedition.

3.8 Icarnus

Icarnus is like his father, warlike and brash. He is still smarting over the fact he was overlooked for the lordship of Pisces. For this reason, he has not gotten along well with Talos. Icarnus is a lean, agile man with a hooknose and beard. Despite his looks, many consider him to be the best wrestler on the isle having won the title for the past five years in Serprios' annual games. He is often at the King's palace chasing women and otherwise neglecting his duties at his father's farm. Like his father, he also secretly aspires to be king one day. Castor and Arne find Icarnus annoying at best. Hippolyus enjoys his company since the two are always competing in athletic games or hunting together. If Hippolyus ever learns of Icarnus' aspirations to be king their friendship will sour quickly.

He will be brash with the PC, and he might even challenge one of them to a friendly wrestling match to prove his worth. Should the PC lose, Icarnus will act arrogantly towards the PCs. However, should the PC win, Icarnus will treat the PCs respectfully, although he will still hold a grudge. He will eagerly want to partake in any expedition with the PCs. Icarnus carries a spear, which he uses with great skill.

3.9 Tyarnus, Priest of Poseidon

Tyarnus is an old, fragile man with a long gray beard. He needs a staff to help him walk about. He never leaves the confines of the city and advises the king on all sorts of matters ranging from managing the city to interpreting the signs of the gods. The city folk look favorably on him since they also come to him for advice. A great shadow has fallen on Tyarnus since the arrival of the beast. He says that Poseidon no longer speaks to him. The PCs will find Tyarnus very put out over the whole situation. He will give the PC advice whenever he can.

3.10 Idomen Merchant from Crete

Idomen is the distant cousin of the King of Gyrophn, a large city on the island of Crete. He was sent by the king to the isle of Serprios to barter dye and cloth for pottery and other goods. He is a young man dressed in colorful Minoan clothes. Like most Minoans, he is dark skinned with dark features but with a ready smile. He and his men are staying at the palace as the king's guests. He carries a weapon unfamiliar to Acheaens, a battle-axe, with which he has unparalleled skill. The battle-axe is a family heirloom passed along for many generations. It was blessed by Poseidon (treat as Holy) and confers a +10 bonus.

Idomen is cheerful and possesses great business stratagem. When the PCs arrive, he will be conducting negotiations with Castor. Should any of the PC be from Minoan lands, he will certainly warm up to the PCs. Should the GM need additional NPCs to assist the PCs in their quest, feel free to use Idomen.

3.11 Mellonia

Mellonia, the dryad that Castor has fallen in love with, is ancient. She has lived on the island since before the arrival of humans. Among the island's dryads, she is the oldest and considered their leader in times of crisis. Looks can be deceiving; her appearance is anything but ancient. In height and stature, she is smaller than an average human female. She appears as a youthful, buxom, exotic woman with unkempt long, dark emerald hair and bright jade eyes. Her skin is ivory. She wears a dress with geometric designs made from fine silk.

Although she is normally aloof towards human men, she is fascinated with Castor and enjoys chatting with him over the silliest things. She feels very much at ease with him and is unaware that he is the son of the king. However, she will uneasy around other men. Since the beast has troubled neither her, nor other dryads, she is unlikely to intervene. However, should something happen to Castor and she to learn of it (for example, from a bird or other small animal) then she would immediately come to his aid. It is perhaps ironic that it is when Castor is injured that she realizes how much she cares for the 'funny' mortal.

3.12 The Great Lion

The beast is none other than a Great Lion which locals will soon call the Serprion Lion. Ten feet long, weighing in at over 900 lbs, its hide as hard as chain mail and with five-inch fangs, this great beast is more than a match for any warrior. It has a ravenous appetite, which it has temporarily sated by devouring a couple of the island's inhabitants. The local farmers have already formed a doomed hunting party in a vain attempt to exterminate the beast. Only two members survived and fled to Serprios to ask the king for assistance. Farmers and herders have refused to venture outside, preferring to stay inside in the safety of their homes. Even experienced hunters have decided to stay indoors. The people of Serprios are scared and anxious. The Great Lion has taken up residence in a grotto between Serprios and Pisces.

In game terms, the Great Lion takes Large criticals. Its skin is as tough as chain mail and it takes damage from piercing weapons. Moreover, the beast is immune to heat- and cold-based attacks. Both his night-vision and sense of smell are superb.

4.0 Maps and Layouts

The following sections describe the maps of the island, the town of Serprios, and the fishing village of Pisces.

4.1 Serprios—Island

Serprios is a small island in the Cycladian chain just north of Crete. The island has two main population centers, one on the northeast coast and the other on the southwest. It is a somewhat hilly with thick forests. Dryads and other forest-folk dwell in the grottos to the west. Most of the farms and homesteads lie to the northeast, near Serprios, where the terrain is less hilly and the forests have been cleared. The following descriptions correspond to the island of Serprios map.

1. Lion's Den: The beast currently resides in a large cave strategically located near the main road between Serprios and Pisces. The lion has being attacking nearby farms and travelers on the road.

2. Mellonia's Grotto: Mellonia lives deep in the forest in a massive ancient oak tree. Numerous other Dryads also live in nearby trees. During clear nights hunters can hear the melodious sound of dryads signing drifting on the wind. Occasionally, a human will spot a dryad dancing through the forest.

3. Ruined Temple: Many years ago during the reign of Serprios' son, the gods razed the temple after a crazed priest performed human sacrifices. None of the islands' inhabitants venture to this cursed place. Harpies inhabit the temples debris, which reeks from their defecation. They guard the bow of Serprios—the bow Serprios used to kill the dragon has been lost for decades.

4. Major Farms: These are major farms owned by either wealthy families or a small community of unrelated families. The farm near Serprios is owned by Ibus the Mean and his family.

4.2 Serprios—Town

The walled town is home to about 700 inhabitants and serves as the kingdom's capital. Compared to most Achaean cities, Serprios is very small. The major edifices are a) the palace, which functions not only as home to the royal family, but also as the administrative center of the kingdom, and b) the temple of Poseidon where Tyarnus resides. The following correspond to the town of Serprios map.

1. Stonewalls stand 15 feet high and surround the southern section of town.

2. Towers stand 20 feet high and one guard per tower is stationed at all times. Normally they look to the sea for any incoming raider ships.

3. Palace: This is where the adventure begins for the PCs. The palace doubles as the administrative center for negotiating trade terms, settling disputes, and governing the kingdom.

4. Temple of Poseidon: This is the town's place of worship and where Tyarnus resides.

5. Smith: Argos the Smith lives here in a cozy hut with his family. He and his four sons serve as the town's smiths. He is a tall burly man with a thick beard. Although a craftsman, the King gives Argos respect and pays him well for his goods. Rumors have it that he is the illegitimate son of the King.

6. Gates: The gates are made of wood and can be torn down by a Hero with a strength of 110 or more (Medium maneuver). The gates are flanked by one tower on either side, each of which is guarded by two guards. Another two guards are located below to open and close the gates. The gates close at dusk and open again at dawn.

7. War Galleys are beached on the fine white sand, as are fishing boats. The island of Serprios lacks a deep-water port. Each war galley can carry fifty men.

4.3 Pisces

The small fishing village of Pisces contains 150 inhabitants. Small fishing boats line the beach. The town is considered too small to merit any fortification. Located on the southern side of the island, Pisces is situated between two dense forests. Most of the town's agricultural goods (apart from fish) come from the farms near Serprios. Talos, the king's nephew, represents the King in all matters. Ten guards who maintain peace and justice are under his authority.

1. House of Talos: This house functions as Talos' living quarters and the village's government. The village tithe, which is sent on a monthly basis to Serprios, is collected and stored in the back rooms.

2. House of Antenor: Antenor is a wealthy man distantly related to the king's family. Antenor is head of his family clan. He owns four fishing boats and a small farm outside the village, all of which are operated by relatives. The king and his sons are often entertained at his house when they visit the village. He has very good relationships with the king and his sons.

3. Herbalist: Cathrisis is a local priest of Poseidon and serves under Tyarnus. He also functions as the village doctor. His skill and knowledge of infirmities are such that folk from Serprios travel to seek his services. He cultivates a small herbal garden, which supplies his needs. He only seeks a small donation in return for his services.

4. Fishing Boats: Talos manages three large fishing boats. The town has no port; the fishing boats are run aground on the fine white beach.

4.4 Lion's Den

Rough forested terrain surrounds the lion's den. Currently, the lion resides in a cave at the bottom of the hill.

5.0 Starting the Players

The PCs could be staying at the island for the night on their way to their palaces on the mainland or visiting their friends Talos and Hippolyus. Whatever the reason, the PCs will be invited to the King's Palace for supper. (Remember that in Mythic Greece, the PCs are more often than not members of royalty and thus treated accordingly by the local inhabitants.) The mood of the visit should be somber because the kingdom will have already suffered several casualties. Everyone from the guards to the cooks will be anxious. At supper, all the major NPCs will be in attendance except for Talos, who is in Pisces, and Mellonia, the dryad.

Give the PCs a chance to interact with the various NPCs while they wait for the food. Icarnus could challenge a member of the party to a wrestling duel, or Idomen might sing a story about Crete and his home city. Whatever the GM does, the PCs should experience subdued hospitality from the king and his sons, and pointed antipathy from Faunus and his son.

The king will begin supper with a long, drawn-out prayer asking the gods for help in ridding the island of the beast. At this point, the PCs should come out and state that they will help the king and his people to destroy the beast. Well that's how the heroes do it in the myths anyhow!

The kings' two sons will immediately pledge their support. Fanuas and Icarnus will also publicly offer to join the PCs. However, when Princess Arne states she wants to join the expedition, they will scoff and feel insulted. Eventually Princess Arne will recant due to pressure from her father and uncle. Idomen the Cretan will also join if the GM feels the PCs need help.

Captain Lycoon will supply the PC with any equipment they might need. He will also indicate the general location of the lion's den based on previous attacks. Inevitably, word will slip out about the expedition and people will be excitedly talking about tomorrow's hunt.

The next day, a throng of people will greet the members of the expedition (PCs and NPCs) to cheer them on. At the city's gates the king will say a few encouraging words, the people will respond with one last hurrah, and the city gates will close behind the PCs.

Now it is up to the PCs to work with Fanuas and Icarnus who will argue with practically every decision. They will try to assume control of the expedition and become overbearing. At some point during the trek, the group will encounter Princess Arne who is dressed in men's clothing carrying a bow. Fanuas and Icarnus will make a big fuss, but it is up to the PCs to determine if Princess Arne joins the expedition. Her brother will have no objections, but he will warn her that it will be dangerous.

The whole trek should take one day, or at the most two. The PCs should not encounter any fauna unless it is a surprise encounter with a large whip snake (a detailed description of the Large Whip Snake can be found in Mythic Greece series presented by Guild Companion and Mythic Greece: Age of Heroes). The local residents, upon hearing of the expedition, might wave to them from a distance, but they will remain near the safety of their farms. The PCs will need to pick up the lion's track, which will be a medium tracking maneuver. The beast is not too concerned about hiding its tracks. It wants to be found...

Unless the PCs are careful, the lion will pick up the expedition's scent and will begin stalking it waiting for an opportune time to pounce on the biggest member of the group. It will continue to attack that person until its victim appears gravely wounded. It has learned from previous experience that where there is one human, there are always others. It will concentrate its efforts on one victim at a time. Should the PCs hurt the lion enough, it will race to its lair where it will make its last stand. The cave itself is only wide enough for three PCs to enter at a time, so the lion will have some advantage. This could be potentially dangerous for the PCs unless they managed to coax it out of the cave where the PCs will be able to strike at it from all sides. The lion is not dumb. It will soon learn what the PCs are up to and retreat back to the cave if it is able to.

5.1 Usurper!

Assuming that the PCs succeed in killing the beast, the GM can make things interesting for the PCs. Traditionally, the hunter drawing first blood from a prey gets first dibs on the prey. Should Princess Arne (or a non-Achaean/Minoan human among the PCs) draw first blood from the Great Lion, they will be given the lion as a prize. Fanuas and his son will protest stating a woman's place is in the palace (or if that a primitive's place is in the woods) and that a Man (Achaean/Minoan) should get first dibs. This will result in a fight amongst the expedition's members. The GM should take care to let Fanuas and his son escape alive.

Should the PCs need healing, the GM can have Mellonia enter the scene. She has heard about the great hunt from other dryads and forest animals. She became concerned when someone mentioned that young Castor was involved. Being a dryad she will appear before the group as if walking out of thin air. She will appear nervous, but as soon as she sees Castor, she will relax.

When the PCs return to the city, they will find that war has broken out. King Adrasta has been murdered. Fanuas is king (or if he is killed during the hunt, then Icarnus is king) and is preparing his revenge on the PCs. Lycoon and the rest of Adrasta's retainers have fled south to the fishing village, Pisces, where Talos openly received them.

Of course the PCs will not know of this, they are marching north to what they believe will be a victory parade. Regardless, the GM should not allow the PCs to walk into an ambush and almost certain death. As they return to Serprios, they will notice that the gates are closed and the city is silent. Hippolyus (or Castor, if Hippolyus is dead) will approach the gate calling out for his father. His answer will be daunting laughter from the walls. A voice from atop the city's wall will shout, "Be gone, dog! Dogs are no longer wanted in Serprios!"

The large gates will begin to open, revealing a band of armed men rushing out to meet the surprised heroes. Should the PCs choose to stand and fight rather than run, guards along the wall will let loose with a volley of arrows. Either Castor or Hippolyus will urge retreating to the woods. The armed guards, fearing a trap, will not stray far from the city's walls.

Note: If a player has a watcher now is the time for the watcher to intervene by blinding the armed men and telling to the PCs to run south to Pisces.

Once in the woods, the PCs should begin discussing what to do next. Castor will urge the party to travel south to Pisces to seek the aid of Talos. Should the PCs require additional persuasion, Mellonia will enter the scene (out of thin air, of course) and suggest that the heroes go to Pisces. She can also indicate that Lycoon and his men have sought refuge with Talos.

News of the King's murder spreads like wildfire. Faunus (or Icarnus), they say, is now King of Serprios and Lycoon, the King's Captain, fled to Pisces with those men loyal to Adrasta. Faunus and his supports are said to be organizing an army to march across the isle to capture Lycoon. The mood has turned to abject terror with the talk of civil war.

The hurried journey to Pisces should be uneventful. Once at Pisces, Talos and Lycoon greet the heroes with open arms. They will definitely look to the PCs for guidance and advice. From this point on, there are multiple options. The PCs could a) plan an attack by sea using the available fishing boats, b) take a direct route by marching the army to Serprios via the road, or c) sneak to Serprios through the woods. Faunus (or Icarnus) will wait for the heroes to attack him. He has the advantage of more men and time. The longer he is King, the more the populace will accept his reign.

5.2 Assembling an Army

Whatever the heroes decide, relevant details are listed below. GM should consult Mythic Greece: Age of Heroes for conducting mass combat in the Age of Heroes.

Lycoon and the loyal guards are well-equipped with shields and chain mail, but they number only twenty men. Talos has ten guards lightly equipped with rigid leather, and the house of Antenor has pledge their support with twenty-five men. These men have no experience in warfare and are lightly equipped with rigid leather as well. Talos also has three large fishing boats that will carry twenty men each.

Faunus and Icarnus have the support of forty well-equipped men with shields and chain mail. In addition, Faunus has forty farmers supporting the usurper; they are lead by Ibus, a fiery redhead who was promised the hand of Princess Arne. They are lightly equipped with soft leather. Faunus has two war-galleys at his disposal, each capable of carrying fifty men. One war-galley will easily be able to sink a fishing boat by ramming it.

Argos and his five sons are known to be close to the late king. They have not left Serprios and could be persuaded to help the heroes. The usurper has not taken to watch over lowly craftsmen. Perhaps someone can slip in to Serprios at night and persuade Argos and his sons to open the city's gate at night to let the heroes slip in.

Tyarnus has shut the temple doors, preferring to remain neutral until the crisis has passed.

Mellonia will not overtly assist the heroes. However she will provide them with healing herbs.

No one-will voluntary enter the ruined temple as it is guarded by harpies.

Hopefully the PCs will be successful in returning the rightful king to the throne! Long live Hippolyus!

5.3 Divine Inspiration

The PCs may turn to Tynarus for advice. He will only state that since Poseidon began his revenge, he (Tyranus) has lost touch with his divinity. Tynarus will remain neutral throughout the civil war preferring to embrace the victor as Poseidon's choice.

5.4 Dealing with Royalty

Fanuas and Icarnus will contest every decision the PCs make. The PCs will have to deal with them in a politic manner while trying to find the lion. After all, they are royalty and the PCs are guests in a foreign land. Once Fanuas has usurped the throne, he will let nothing stand in his way for complete dominion of the island. The PCs are then justified in treating him most harshly.

5.5 Rewards

The chief reward is fame. They will receive the gratitude of the new King and will receive an ally in war. Other than that, what more could the PCs, members of royal families, be asking for?

A smart PC, in the tradition of Heracles, could claim the hide of the lion to craft into armor. In game terms, the lion's hide will act as Chain Mail with a +15 DB, but encumber as Soft Leather Armor. There is enough skin to produce two suits of AT13 or one suit of AT16. The lion's head could be used as a helmet with an additional +10 to DB.

6.0 Encounters

The table below represents the natural fauna that PCs would have faced some 4,000 years ago in Ancient Greece.

Natural Fauna of Mythic Greece

Name Lvl Size MM Hits AT DB Shld Melee OB Notes
Bear, Brown 4 L 20 160 SL 30 N 65/LGr 80/LCl
Bear, Brown, Cub 1 20 34 RL 20 N 55/MGr
Boar 3 L 30 110 SL 40 N 55/Lho
Bull 4 L 20 160 No 20 N 60LHo/55Lba
Cat, Wild 2 S 40 20 No 50 N 35MCl/40Sbi Lynx and other wild cats
Chamois 2 M 40 55 No 35 N 40MHo/50MBa Goat; adept at climbing
Deer, Red 3 L 30 90 No 25 N 50LHo/40Mba Only males get antlers
Deer, Roe 2 M 35 70 No 30 N 40MHo/30MBa
Dog, Large 3 L 30 70 No 25 N 70Lbi
Dog, Medium 2 M 30 50 No 25 N 50Mbi
Dog, Small 1 S 30 30 No 20 N 40Sbi
Eagle, Golden 4 M 30 50 No 30 N 50MCl/35Spi
Horse, Large 3 L 30 110 No 30 N 45Lba Foreign horse
Horse, Small 2 M 30 90 No 30 N 30Mba Domesticated horse
Ibex 3 L 25 105 No 25 N 60LBa/40Lho Large goat
Large Whip Snake 3 M 25 35 No 30 N 45Sbi
Leopard 4 M 30 100 No 40 N 40MCl/80Mba Adept climber; Ambush +10
Lion, Barbary 6 L 25 140 SL 20 N 85LCl/90Lbi Larger than African cousin
Viper 1 S 20 5 No 30 N 35SSt Venom with A crit or better
Wolf, Gray 3 M 15 95 No 30 N 65Lbi Hunts in packs; smell

Table of Major NPC of the Island of Serprios

Name Lvl MM Hits AT DB Shld Melee OB Notes
King Adrasta 5 5 48 CH 15 5Y 58ss 47sp Achaean, Warrior. King of Serprios
Carries a Cyclops-crafted dirk +10. It is a royal heirloom.
Hippolytus 3 10 55 CH 15 5Y 63sp 54sp Achaean, Warrior. Eldest Son of King Adrasta, loves horses
Wrestling +55, Tracking +30.
Castor 3 5 41 CH 10 5Y 43sp 52Lb Achaean, Scholar. The scholarly son of King Adrasta, in love with Mellonia
Arne 3 10 45 RL 15 N 40sp 60lb Achaean, Warrior. Princess and very athletic.
Athletic games +20.
Lycoon 5 10 55 CH 25 N 75sp 65sp Achaean, Warrior. Captain of the Guards
Faunus 4 15 50 CH 20 5Y 65sp 60sp Achaean, Warrior. Brother to King Adrasta and Lord
+5 Spear.
Talos 2 20 38 CH 20 N 40sp 45sp Achaean. Warrior. Lord of Pisces and friend of Castor.
Icarnus 4 10 50 CH 15 5Y 70sp 57lb Achaean. Rogue. Brash son of Icarnus.
Wrestling +65.
Tynarus 5 5 29 No 10 N -- -- Achaean. Scholar. Very old Priest of Poseidon
Weather Watching +45, Omen Reading +35
Idomen 3 20 55 RL 20 N 60ba 40sp Cretan. Rogue. A visiting Prince attempting to negotiate a trading deal.
Carries a +10 battle-axe Poseidon-Blessed (Holy)
Mellonia 10 20 75 No 40 N +75wrestling Dryad. Animist. Greater Hero. Dryad Special Power. Forest walking. Enjoys chatting with Castor. Chief Dryad on the island.
Possesses numerous herbs and poisons. PP30. Knows 6 Enlightening Spells to 10th lvl (includes Animist Enlightening spells).
Serprion Lion 11 30 200 CH 40 N 100Lcl 130Lbi Great Lion, impenetrable skin, Immune to heat and cold attacks

Table of Minor NPC of the Island of Serprios

Name Lvl MM Hits AT DB Shld Melee OB Notes
Argos 4 5 52 RL 15 5Y 58ha 50sp Achaean, Smith. A bastard son of King Adrasta
Uses a hand axe as a weapon. Has five sons who will follow him. Very sympathetic to the king.
Sons of Argos 2 10 35 RL 15 5Y 47sp 54sp Achaean, Smiths. Five sons of Argos.
Uses a hand ax as a weapon.
Ibus 3 5 41 CH 10 5Y 47sp 52Lb Achaean, Warrior. Wealthy mean-spirited farmer who only cares for his well-being.
Antenor 4 10 55 RL 15 N 55sp 60lb Achaean, Ranger. A distance relative of Adrasta and wealthy land owner in Pisces.
Possesses a large extended family.
Cathirisis 3 10 32 SL 5 N 25sp 15sp Achaean, Healer. Priest and Healer at Pisces. Will venture with Talos and support King Adrasta

Table of the Military forces of Serprios during Civil War

Name Lvl MM Hits AT DB Shld Melee OB Notes
City Guards 2 10 35 CH 15 5Y 45sp 50sp Achaean, Warriors. Typically 80 guards are stationed at Serprios
A total of 60 remain of the 80 guards. 20 guards are with Lycoon and 40 guards are with tentatively with Fanuas or his son.
Guards of Pisces 2 10 35 RL 15 N 40sp 54Sb Achaean, Warriors. Protect Pisces. 10 in all.
All have short bows.
Farmers 1 5 25 NO 10 N 25sp 25sp Achaean, Warriors. Typical farmers and citizens.
25 men from Pisces are under Antenor and Talos. Another 40 from Serprios are under Ibus.

7.0 Gamemaster's Notes

In the Mythic Greece setting, PCs often possesses extraordinary powers as compared to the normal MERP/RM PC. In order to balance the play of the game, Hunters (gods who dislike the PC and attempt to foil or embarrass the PC) often pester the PC. Greater Hero PCs should be bothered at least once during this campaign while Demigods should be bothered at least twice. Incidents can be anything from having their weapon break in the middle of combat or slipping on a rock. The GM should use Mythic Greece: Age of Heroes for ideas on how to frustrate PC.

The tables below are copied from the May 1999 issue of Guild Companion and provide the GM with a resolution table for Watcher Intervention.

Watcher Intervention Attempts

Every time a Greater Hero or Demigod PC attempts to channel his Statistic Power, he must roll on Table 0-A below to determine his degree of success or failure. Some modifiers are permanent (e.g., modifiers accrued from past absolute successes or blunders); others are temporary as described in Table 0-B.

Table 0-A: Resolution of Watcher Intervention Attempts

Result D100 (OE)
Spectacular failure—your Watcher thinks of you as a dishonorable coward. You are at --50 in all future attempts due to your Watcher's lack of confidence in you. Loss of confidence reigns for 1--10 days. --26 and lower:

BLUNDER

Your Watcher is off in Elysium. You are at --30 in future attempts for the next 1--10 days. --25 to 04:

ABSOLUTE FAILURE

Your Watcher is busy watching over someone else. You may try again in 24 hours. 05 to 75:

FAILURE

Intrigued by your situation, your Watcher begins to pay attention to your petty concerns. Roll again in three rounds. 76 to 90:

PARTIAL SUCCESS

Other Olympians are showing interest in your situation, thereby drawing your Watcher's attention. Try again in three rounds with a +10 bonus to see if you can win your Watcher's attention. 91 to 110:

NEAR SUCCESS

Well done. Your Watcher urges you forward and grants you the Statistic Power. 111 to 175:

SUCCESS

Astonished at your feats of bravery and cunning, your Watcher grants you the Statistic Power and gives you full attention for the next 1--10 days. You are at +30 to all future attempts. 176 and higher:

ABSOLUTE SUCCESS

Table 0-B: Modifiers to Watcher Intervention Attempts

Condition Mod.
When was the last time the character asked for the Statistic Power?
Over a month ago +20
Over a week ago +10
4--7 days ago +0
1--3 days ago --20
Within the last 24 hours --40
What is the character?
Greater Hero +10
Demigod +20
What is the character confronting? (Or a monster of equivalent status to one of these four categories)
Lesser Hero or below --15
Greater Hero or Demigod +10
Minor God +15
Major God +20
Is the character performing a maneuver?
Extremely Hard (--30) +0
Sheer Folly (--50) +10
Absurd (--70) +20
Anything Less --15

Original material copyright 2003-6 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 adventure.