The Histria Devil

Sextilis the 20th — Year of the Seal

The following is a documented account from Thurdan Iansalor, a paladin from the Order of the Owl and confirmed by Tugos, an agent of the Divine Council. The report is of an encounter with an unknown creature deep within the forest near the small town of Histria.

I was dispatched to investigate the emergence of a creature that has been terrorizing the citizens of Histria, a small farming community near the edge of the Empire. The reports and description of this creature do not match any known beast or animal. The Order is sending Tugos of the Divine Council along with me to document the investigation. My orders are clear, to investigate, locate and determine the intent of the creature. If this creature is a danger, then it is to be put down. By Athena’s grace, this shall be done.

We arrived in Histria and began our investigation. There were multiple reports of livestock and citizens being attacked and killed. We started out the investigation by speaking with Antia Silvana, the slave of a local farmer. Antia was attacked by this creature while tending to her master’s crops. Her body literally shook in fear as she described the creature and recounted the event. It was as tall as two gladiators, the head of a horned goat, leathery bat-like wings, small arms with clawed hands, cloven hooves and a forked tail. The woman was out in the field when she heard a loud, blood curdling scream coming from the the treeline. Panic stricken, she looked around and could not see anything. After a few moments had passed, she cautiously went back to her task. Then the scream came again, but this time she seen the creature flying above her. It dropped down and started to attack her. She was able to fend off the attack and fleed for the nearby villa, but the creature gave chase. Her cries for help had aroused the villa guards, who came to her aid and the pair of soldiers engaged the creature. Unfortunately, the creature killed the guards, leaving their eviscerated bodies in the field. After the interview, we searched around the fields and treeline where the attack occurred, but no further evidence was found.

After we left the villa, we went to the town’s mill. There was a report that the creature was flying around the building and harassing the workers. The report goes on to state that when the workers at the mill seen the creature, they threw stones at it to keep it at bay until the guards arrived. When the guards moved to engage the creature, it fled back into the woods. However, when we arrived at the mill, the workers refused to discuss the events of that day with us. I was getting the distinct impression that they were fearful of this creature and possibly thought that if they spoke of the incident, then it would happen again. We left the mill without pressing the issue further.

Disappointed in the progress we have made thus far, we grabbed a room at the inn for the night. We reviewed the reports and stories we have received and started to notice a trend. Luckily, the inn had a map of the area that we could purchase. We laid out the map on the table and started marking out where the attacks and sightings took place. Based on these locations, we determined that the creature may have been holed up in an old house in the woods just outside of town. I asked the innkeeper about the house and he told of the local legend about the place.

According to this legend, the family that lived here was a large one. The matriarch of the family had twelve children already. Most of these children were sold off to slavers as a way of making ends meet. When she was with her next child, the thirteenth one, rumor has it that she was cursed by Hera for her actions with her previous children. The child was born on a stormy night and after it was born, it changed. The baby rapidly grew and taking on its hideous form. It killed the midwife that helped to give birth to it, fled out of the chimney and into the woods. Shortly after that, the residents of the home were found slain, presumably by the creature. We decided that our next step of the investigation would be that home and will head there in the morning.

That night, Tugos woke me from my sleep. We heard the loud scream that the town folk have reported to come from the creature. It was a sound that I have never heard before and there really is no way to accurately describe the sound. However, the night was dark and we were unable to see the creature. I decided to let Tugos sleep while I kept watch the rest of the night, though I doubt the mage slept much. When the dawn came, we packed up and left for the house in the woods. For a farming town, there was very little activity that morning. It was eerily quiet. Perhaps this creature has indeed instilled a greater fear than I had originally thought. I said a little prayer to Athena as my resolve strengthened to free these people from this terror.

The trip was much longer than I had anticipated, taking many hours. The terrain through the woods was dense and impassable in some places. After many detours, we were finally able to reach the house. It has become decrepit due to the lack of maintenance and upkeep. The yard has become overgrown with weeds. The house itself had started to fall apart. Ivy has crept up the side of the stone walls, which were starting to crumble, while the wooden support beams have succumbed to rot. Parts of the shingled roof were missing and the rest was covered with moss growth. The chimney, which the creature escaped through, was still standing. The top of it was damaged and missing bricks, lending credit to the legend. The windows were broken, along with the door, allowing easy access inside. The steps up to the doorway creaked and seemed close to giving way under the weight of my armor. I drew my sword while Tugos illuminated the inside of the building with magic. I said a prayer of protection to Athena and entered the building.

The building was a one room house and the floorboards moaned as we walked through it. The furniture was still here, but were mostly rotted. The couches were torn and moldy, the wooden tables had either already collapsed due to rot or was about to and the hearth was nothing more than a rusted shell of its former self. On one of the tables in the corner of the room, there were some books. Tugos inspected them and they were pretty much ruined, but were still salvageable with his magic. A quick cursory look into them revealed that they were accounts of the family’s history, including the birth of the thirteenth child. Tugos stowed these tomes away in his pack and continued searching the building with me. Then we heard the scream of the creature. The sound sent shivers of fear up and down my spine that seemed to affect me to my very core. We quickly exited the building, but in our haste, I didn’t see the spot on the floor where the boards were severely rotted. I crashed through the floor and into the dirt cellar below.

The screams of the creature persisted, with its shadow skating across the floor, as it flew overhead. Tugos grabbed a length of rope from his pack and used himself as an anchor. He tossed the end of the rope down to me. The impact of the fall injured my shoulder, which hampered the efforts to get out. After some excruciation moments, I was able to reach the floor and climb out of the hole. Just as I gathered my footing, the creature crashed through the ceiling and landed on the floor before us. The grotesque, hideous, monstrosity of a creature screamed. It’s ear piercing sound struck a fear into me that I have never known before. We both stood there, frozen from the fear, as the creature paced back and forth. Its cloven hoofs causing the floorboards to bend and creak, its leathery wings were outstretched and its deadly claws were in full view. The dark brown fur, with mottled patches of a lighter grey, stretched from its goat-like head all the way down to its feet and along its long forked tail.

When we came to our senses, the creature was still pacing the floor. It seemed that there was some hesitation in attacking us. Unsure of why this is, we launched our attacks on the creature. Tugos launched his magical attacks while I closed in to engage it. After going a few rounds with the creature, it became apparent that we were outmatched. The magic seemed to just wash over it and my sword would just bounce off its hide, leaving only mere scratches. Furthermore, its claws ripped and tore at my armor and dug into the flesh that it protected. Fearing that the tide of this battle was against us, I called upon Athena to bathe us in her glory. The room filled with a soft glow that both healed and empowered us. Likewise it seemed to weaken the creature. With a final scream, it flapped its bat-like wings and flew out of the house. The burst of air from the flapping wings kicked up the years of dust in the room, temporarily blinding us as its escaped. We rushed out of the building, but careful to avoid the gaping hole in the floor, but only seen the shadow of the creature as it fled into the woods. Since it was in flight, it was impossible to give chase.

We entered back into the room to continue our investigation. Close inspection of where the fighting took place revealed that my sword did take chunks of the creature’s hide. I collected the pieces while Tugos sat to capture the likeness of the creature on a sheet of parchment while the image was still fresh in his mind. Weary from the fight, we decided to head back to town. We followed the same path we took in, so the travel was much faster.

This was the end of the account with Thurdan Iansalor. However, the report continues with an addendum from Tugos of what happened next.

I felt, due to the events that occured the night after we fought the creature, that my recount of what had happened is needed for the Council. In the case that I do not return, this will also be sent via courier with the hopes that it arrives.

Thurdan and I came upon the town of Histria after leaving the house in the woods. There were screams of terror from the villagers, mixed in with the telltale, ear piercing sound of the creature. We rushed into town to see what we can do to help, when the creature ambushed us on the road, which was littered with the bodies of the town folk. Men, women and children were indiscriminately strewn about. There were some that were hidden within the safety of the walls of nearby buildings, but this didn’t seem like it was enough as the creature would grab and drag individuals out to their death. I lost sight of the creature as it rushed around the building. Its speed was incredible as it pounced on Thurdan before either of us knew it. The cloven hoofs knocked him down as those sharp claws punctured his armor and lacerated his body. It seemed within seconds, the paladin of Athena was torn to pieces and killed. I could only helplessly watch as the creature went from building to building, killing everyone it came across. I used my magic to hide from the creature in order to survive the onslaught. By the dawn’s early light, the entire town was decimated. After the creature left back into the deep woods, I searched for survivors of the attack. I was able to find only one. A young child, not more than 6 years of age, was hiding in a cabinet of the bakery.

After providing a proper burial for the paladin, I took in the child and began making my way back to the Divine Council to report the incident. In hindsight, the creature seemed to possess great intelligence and cunning to craft an ambush like that. Combined with its superior speed, ability to fly and an innate resistance to both magic and weapons makes this creature exceptionally dangerous. One bright spot is that the creature seemed to weaken when exposed to the paladin’s divine influences.

Included with this eyewitness account was testimony from the child survivor, the books salvaged from the home, the likeness that was drawn and the preserved chunks of flesh that were cut from its body during the fight. While the creature did not seem to match any other known creature of record, it was classified as a unique devil. Since this account, the reports of attacks by this devil have diminished and further investigation attempts have been fruitless. This account and the details of, what is now known as “The Histria Devil”, has been logged in the annals of history by the Divine Council.

~Gaelan Milonas, Chief Historian for the Divine Council

Beginnings of Stewart Pompilio

Stewart Pompilio sat in the wooden chair on the porch where he could see out over his villa. It was located along the outskirts of the city and overlooking the bay. In the courtyard was a partially completed statue to Janus. The artisan, a dwarf slave that he recently purchased specifically for his skillset, was building the statue in the center of the courtyard as the centerpiece for the new fountain that was being put in. Stewart owned many slaves now, most were humans, but others were dwarves and elves. He sat there rocking, the creak of the wood instills a sense of nostalgia as he remembers back to a time in his past. He wasn’t much older than 24 years old at the time; the city of Arcadia was nothing more than a small port town then. The smell of the salty sea water permeated his senses, along with the creaks of wagon wheels and the shouts from the local bars. The Rose Petal has seen its fair share of Stewart, and vise versa. The brothel was located near the docks and was busy most nights. The brothel held fond memories and a special place in his heart. Steward worked on the docks, mending fishing nets and traps during the day, and would visit the brothel at night to spend away his wages. By the end of the night, he would stumble out of the bar and be found the next morning passed out somewhere. This night seemed to be no different, though this night will change his life forever.

The other dockworkers, mostly slaves owned by local families, headed back to their master’s villas with the day’s catch. Some headed to the bars and brothels. While the rest went to other shops before they closed up. He would greet the other dockworkers that he knew or stop and chat with them about the day: “Today can suck Poseidon’s limp cock!“, was the phrase of the day. The fishing boats came back with mostly torn nets that were caught up in the rocks offshore, but not much fish was caught. The ships have been reporting this alot lately. Even though the fishing was slow, Stewart’s job was steady due to the damaged nets and traps.

When Stewart finished his work for the day, the young man made his way to his favorite brothel with denarius in his pocket. The clothes he wore were mostly tattered hand me downs or cheap bargains; they were soaked in saltwater and covered in the fish guts that were left in the nets which he mended. He wore a black bandana on his head to keep his hair back, cheap leather gloves hung out of his back pocket and rubber boots to keep his feet dry. He pulled out a coin and started flipping it as he whistled a tune.

As Stewart walked into the brothel, the smell of cheap ale wafted up from the floorboards. The madame, Mistress Leticia Caressa, was also a priestess of Aphrodite. The older heavy set human woman, dressed in fine clothing, scoffed at the young man as he walked in. She covered her face with a cloth to block out the smell, but it was useless. Stewart just simply smiled as he walked by her. He loved the way she would crinkle her nose just at the sight, and smell, of him. Most of the dockworkers that came in here smelled the same, which permeated the whole place. Stewart, however, was a steady customer and he didn’t mistreat the girls at all, so this raised her tolerance level for him. Walking over to the bar, he called out the girls by name as he passed. Then there was Samantha. She was a petite young woman, just out of her teens and slightly younger than Stewart, dressed in next to nothing but lace lingerie and carrying a peacock feathered fan. Stewart swooned and melted at the sight of her. When she smiled back he swore that she was the only girl for him. Sadly though, she was not one that he could afford. But, this time, he saved up enough of his wages to be able to spend some time with her. He plopped down on a bar stool and ordered a mug of ale. He tossed the denarius on the bar and started in on the drink.

After a few hours of drinking, he built up enough courage to finally be with Samantha. His walk had turned into a slight stumble as he made his way, over to the Mistress and proclaimed his love for Samantha and that he wanted her. He reached into his pocket to pull out the fee, but there were no coins. All of the money he had earned was gone. Dumbfounded, he just looked at his empty pockets, No way, he thought to himself, I couldn’t of spent it all at the bar. The Madame just looked at him with pity in her green eyes. She knew how much he liked the girl and it seemed every time he had the chance to finally be with her, something went awry.

She leaned in close to him and whispered, “You know you need to pay, right?

Of course I do,” he whispered back, “I have the money for her right …

“Did you spend it all at the bar?”

Hell no!” he exclaimed, possibly a little too loudly. The bouncer, a burly bearded dwarf that seemed to take perhaps too much pleasure in his job, glanced over their way. He was waived off by the Madame’s hand and resumed his post. Stewart glanced back at the dwarf with a drunken gaze.

I think it’s time for you to go home, Stewart.” She told him quietly while slowly moving him towards the door, “Maybe after you sober up, you will remember what you did with your money.” By the time the sentence was completed, the pair were already out the door and Stewart was being ushered on his way.

Yes … Yeah …” He stammered as he stumbled out onto the street and off into the night. The moon was full tonight and the streets were bathed in its light. There was almost no need for torches, not that Stewart had any.

Do Not Leave Me,” he heard spoken in an unfamiliar voice. He stopped and looked around, but didn’t see anybody. The moonlight was bright enough to see the street, but it was still very dark near the buildings and in the alleyways.

Hello?” he shouted out, getting no response. He squinted his eyes to look in the shadows, but there was nothing there. He continued on down the street.

Do Not Leave Me” he heard again. This time it was as if it was right next to him. He spun around, nearly toppling over, but only heard faint giggles.

Who … who goes there?” He said, again with no response. Getting a little scared, he regained his footing and ran, right into the side of the fish market. He hit the wall with a smack and he dropped to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Before he passed out, he heard “Do Not Leave Me” again. This time he saw a face. The face of a middle aged elven man with piercing ice cold, light blue eyes was looking down on him as the world turned to black.

Certainly this wasn’t the first time he had passed out drunk before. Usually, he ended up caught in some netting on the dock, or on the deck of a boat. He had even fallen straight into the water and washed up under the docks. This time was different though. Stewart woke up in a bed with a splitting headache. He stirred for a few minutes before realizing that this was a fancy bed, not like any he has even slept in before. The bed seemed to cater to his body in a comfort like he had never known. It was almost too hard for him to get up. He cleared his mind trying to remember what had happened the night before, but it was no use. He remembered going to the bar to spend some time with Samantha and that he had lost his money, so how did he end up here?

He mustered up the willpower to sit up on the side of the bed. The room was well lit from the wall sconces. A large, furry, animal skin rug was on the floor. The oak four post bed was as sturdy as they come. The posts had very ornately carved details that were expertly done. The covers on the bedding were layers of soft animal furs. Stewart noticed some of the furs as wolf, mink and bear. The nightstands, dresser and cabinets were all made from solid wood, also had ornately carved details. Along the walls were tapestries depicting historical figures and moments. One in particular caught Stewart’s attention. This particular tapestry was above the dresser and has candlelight sconces on both sides of it. The scene depicted was that of a naval battle. The ships were triremes that were positioning themselves for ramming attacks. Stewart was entranced with the image that he did not notice the figure enter the room and stand behind him.

Beautiful, isn’t it?” A voice from behind him said. Stewart nearly jumped out of his trousers and fell into the dresser at the sudden intrusion. He turned to see an elf standing there. He had a slender build and was dressed in fine clothes. His hair was pulled back into a ponytail that revealed his elven ears and his eyes … There was something familiar about the piercing, light blue eyes.

uh … yeah … yes it is” he responded back as he looked back at the image. “Who are you and where am I?

Relax friend, my name is Ailduin and this is Carcus Villa.” The elf said in a soft voice. “I found you unconscious and injured, so I brought you here to recover.

Stewart brought his hand up to his head and noticed that it was bandaged and sore to the touch, “Well that would explain the massive headache I have.” He replied. He was still a little shaken at the sudden appearance of the elf, but he started to relax a bit, “What battle is this?” He asked the elf and nodded to the image on the tapestry.

Ahh yes. It was the Battle of Deep Point during the Titan Wars, nearly a thousand years ago.” Ailduin stated as he moved closer to the tapestry, “These ships here were commanded by the Titan general Olander. Olander was instructed by Oceanus to take his ships and destroy Poseidon’s fleet that were docked at Deep Point. Olander’s ships attacked the fleet as they were positioned in the harbor, but Poseidon had been tipped off and had a surprise in store for Olander.” The elf noticed that the young man seemed captivated by the story and was staring at the image. Ailduin continued, “You see these ships here with the markings of Poseidon and these ones here with the markings of the Titan?” He asked. Stewart could only nod while he looked at them.

What is the difference that you see in them?” The elf asked, pausing for a response

Stewart stared at the tapestry, looking from ship to ship for a good long time, the elf merely waiting. A sudden look of surprise and understanding flashed across Stewart’s face, “These ships here,” he said as he pointed to the ships for Poseidon. “They seem to be flatter than the other ships,” he paused, “The Titan ships here, the tapestry is detailed enough to show that they had depth, they and shadowing, they look like ships. But Poseidon’s ships look flat. They don’t have the depth that the other ships have.” He looked to the elf, “Why did the artist do that to Poseidon’s ships?

The elf chuckled for a moment, “No, no, the artist had it correct.” Noticing the puzzled look on the other man’s face, he continued with the explanation, “You see, Poseidon was tipped off that the attack was coming. He ordered his ships away from the harbor and had craftsmen build him fake ships. He didn’t have enough time to build actual ships, nor did he want to waste the resources if he did. Instead, the craftsmen used sheets of wood, had them cut and painted to look like ships. They were anchored to buoys so they would float like real ships. He knew the attack would come at dawn, when the light could play tricks on the mind. He planned on drawing the enemies fleet into the harbor with the fake ships. The harbor was narrow and once the Olander’s fleet was in the harbor, they would be more or less trapped in there. Poseidon’s gambit worked. He watched as Olander’s fleet sailed into the harbor and rammed the fake ships, destroying them. Once the whole attacking fleet was in the harbor, Poseidon ordered his fleet to sail in and join the battle. Archers and mages launched volley after volley on the fleet from the shores as his ships blocked the harbor from escape. Poseidon’s forces destroyed every ship in Olander’s fleet that day.” He paused for a moment and looked like he was in deep reflection. Stewart just looked at him in awe as he described the battle.

I remember hearing the screams from the sailors as the boats caught fire from the arrows and Magic.” The elf paused again, “We killed every soul that attacked us that day. They would jump ship and swim away and we would pick them off as they reached the shore.” He looked up from his his reflective look. “Well then. Now that the history lesson is completed, you should rest a bit longer before you head down for dinner. Go ahead and lay down and you will be summoned once the meal is ready.” Steward nodded absently as he soaked in the story of the image on the tapestry. He turned around and the elf was gone, just as quickly and quietly as he appeared. He rubbed the bandage on his head and winced at the pain. Laying down in the soft, comfortable bed, he tried to recount the moments of the night before, but could not remember what had happened. He drifted off to sleep.

Do Not Leave Me” He heard again in his sleep. He woke up, again sliding over to the side of the bed and sitting up. He slowly stirred, rubbing his head. The pain wasn’t near as bad anymore, but his head was still slightly sore to the touch.

What the hell happened last night?” he mumbled as he got off the bed. He hadn’t realized that his boots were off until he felt the fur from the animal skin poke between his toes. When he looked down, he noticed that his clothes were changed as well. Instead of the rags he was wearing, he was now dressed in a green tunic and brown leather trousers. The clothes were slightly bigger than his size, but they fit pretty good. Then he saw a set of leather sandals next to the bed. He slipped them on and looked around the room again. The door next to the dresser looked like a solid wooden door. There were iron adornments around the door, hinges and the handle. Stewart walked up to the door and reached for he handle, but paused just before touching it, Why am I so relaxed in a place that is unfamiliar to me? Why am I not freaking out? He asked himself silently. He looked around the door and felt a panic start to rise up in him.

Where in the hell am I?” This time he said it out loud. The young man grabbed the door handle and swung open the door. He immediately bolted down the hallway. The room he was staying in is at the end of the hallway. Along the walls were more paintings and tapestries detailing historical events. The lit candles in the sconces swayed as he ran past them. The thud thud thud of his footsteps on the wooden floor as they echoed down the corridor. Then he stopped.

Stewart turned and looked back down the hallway. The walls were painted a light green that was a close match to his tunic, the baseboards and floor were a dark stained wood. His eyes traced the path he ran, not that it could have varied since there were no other doors, but the path was only about 20 feet. How could he be out of breath after that? He turned to see what stopped him and he was at the end of a spiral staircase that led down into a great hall. There was a large table with chairs set up in front of the fireplace. He could smell the fire going and something cooking. His mouth started to water and his stomach growled as he realized just how hungry he was. The elf from earlier stepped out of the kitchen with a platter of food.

Ahh you’re awake!” The elf said at the sight of him standing at the top of the stairs, “Please, come down and have a seat. Dinner is ready to be served.

Stewart moved slower this time as he walked down the staircase. At the landing, there was a young woman waiting for him. She was a human, like he was, and roughly the same age. She was dressed in a dark blue tunic and a white toga draped over it. Her blonde hair was styled, curled and seem to perfectly frame her face, no matter which direction you looked at it. She had the same piercing, light blue eyes as the elf did. The young woman held out her arm to escort him over to the table. When the pair got to the table, he sat in the chair. The chair was wooden and solid. As he ran his hand on the table, the craftwork became apparent in the subtle details that were carved along the edge. There was a green table runner, the same green as his tunic, that ran the length of the table, which must have been about 30 feet. More people came out and started serving dinner. The platter was filled with a whole roasted pig that sat on a bed of root vegetables. The food smelled of the smoke from the flames, mixed with the various seasonings. Then came the rest of the food. There was mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, beans, salads and mugs of ale. His stomach rumbled at the thought of a hearty meal. It was a meal fit for the high and mighty and he was about to enjoy it.

The woman that escorted him to the table began to serve him. His plate quickly filled with pork, potatoes, veggies and all the fixings. His mug was constantly kept full as he ate. About halfway through the meal, he noticed that he was the only one eating. The staff, who were also dressed in the same dark blue tunic and white toga, stood along the wall. The host, the elf that gave him the history lesson, was silently sitting at the head of the table with no food in front of him. He stopped eating, took another gulp of ale and looked about some more.

Why is nobody else eating?” He asked with a pause.

The elf stood and looked at the young man, his eyes showing a quick, fading glint of sharpness, “Because, young man, the food is here to feed you. I am sure that you are still weak from your injury, so I had this meal prepared just for you.” Pausing for a moment, he continued. “Is it not to your liking?

Stewart looked around at the spread, unsure of what to say next. The food was delicious and he had never had a meal like this before. “Yes .. Yes, it is to my liking. But all of this food, just for me, is too much.

Ahhh, now I see.” The elf said,. “Yes, this is a lot of food, but anything left over is handed out to others that need it. There’s no need to worry about any wastes. Please, please, sit and eat.

Still not sure if he is doing or saying the right thing, he simply responded that he was full. It seemed the last thing he wanted to do was to offend his host. This elf brought him into his home while he was injured and gave him a place to rest and heal. Then a thought crossed his mind, “How long has it been?” he asked. “Since you brought me here?

It’s been 3 days.” The elf kept his gaze on him.

Dumbfounded and panicked, Steward started to scramble, “Shit, my job, my friends … do I still have my job … SHIT!” He yelled.

Now calm down, there’s nothing to worry about. If you are finished with your meal, then there is business that I would like to discuss with you in the other room.” The words were calm as he said them and his arms motioned to the other room. As they walked over into the sitting room, there were a pair of leather chairs that were overstuffed and covered in animal furs. Lined along the walls were numerous books. There was another fireplace here that was burning and he could see another large fur rug that covered the floor. Stewart started to get a feeling that something was off about this place. The room, the foyer, the great room, this library: none of them had windows open. All of them were closed with heavy wooden shutters. Still, he sat down and sank into the comfortable chair.

Then he heard it again as the elf sat in the chair across from him, “Do Not Leave Me.” The soft, barely audible, whisper was in a female’s voice, just as before. Now nervous, Stewart looked around the room, but it was just the two of them. The elf was already seated, but never took his gaze off Stewart. Once the young man had sat down, the man asked him simply, “If you could have anything in the world, or if you had all the time in the world, what would you want or do?

Unsure of what the elf was asking, Steward held his gaze and thought for a few minutes. He snapped out of his thoughts and answered in the same simple voice, “Well … money, of course. If I could have anything in the world, then it would be cold hard denarius. With that, I would be able to get everything I wanted.” He paused a few more moments before continuing, “Now with all the time in the world, well then I would learn more, maybe even take up some lessons in practicing magic.” Pausing once again to look around at the books on the walls. Bringing his gaze back to the elf, Stewart noticed that he was looking at them as well. He also noticed that the beautiful woman that met him at the bottom of the stairs was standing next to him with her hand on the back of the chair, “Maybe even read all these books?

I have read them. All of them,” the elf stated in a flat voice, “What if,” now it was the elf that paused. He eyed the young man up and down before continuing, “What if I could give that to you but the gift would come with a price. Would that be interesting for you?

Yes!” he said without hesitation, “It will likely take time to pay any debt that I would owe you, but I would welcome such tutelage.” His eyes were now big with excitement as he looked between the elf and the woman. Then it struck him. The woman’s visage changed to that of one that was almost demon like. The same with the elf. He also noticed that their hands were clawed. His eyes darted between the two. Their eyes were squinted in an evil glare. Their mouths opened to reveal a pair of sharp pointed teeth. Before he could react, with the exception of a scream, the pair sprung on him.

Stewart was back in the creaky rocking chair on the porch overlooking the villa again. There was a slight wind blowing that night and the black sky was just starting to show the hints of the approaching dawn. The young man stood and surveyed the villa and nearby buildings. Arcadia has changed in recent years. The harbor has grown bigger, more shops and residences have been built. There is even a gladiator arena that is nearly completed.

Do Not Leave Me” he heard in the soft whisper. The same voice that has touted him for decades. Stewart shook his head and with one final look as the burning sun crested the horizon, Stewart closed the door to the villa.

Athena – Goddess of Wisdom

 

athenaAthena – Goddess of Wisdom

  • Alignment: LG
  • Favored Weapon: Spear
  • Favored Animal: Owl
  • Symbol: Owl perched on an olive branch
  • Portfolio: Goddess of wisdom, reason, handiwork, and strategy in battle
  • Domains: Balance, Knowledge, Law, Meditation, Mentalism, Mind, Planning, War
  • Favored Race: None
  • Description: Goddess of wisdom, reason, intelligent activity, literature, handicrafts and science, defense and strategic warfare. Symbols include the owl and the olive tree. Daughter of Zeus and the Oceanid Metis, she rose from her father’s head fully grown and in full battle armor after he swallowed her mother.

Born of Zeus and Metis, Athena was born in the halls of a monastery on the shores of the sea. Unfortunately, Metis was killed during childbirth. Athena remained in the monastery and learned with the monks. The monks accepted her as one of their own and taught her the knowledge that was kept within the walls. She learned the basics of knowledge and wisdom, along with basic tactics and warfare. When she came of age, Athena was gifted with the Heart of Metis. With the heart of her mother in Athena’s possession, she was now able to realize the full potential of her heritage. She absorbed the wisdom that her mother possessed and gained access to her innate dragon form. After many decades of training, she was able to control her new abilities and tap into her newfound knowledge. She willing shared this wisdom with the other monks and recorded it in tombs that were kept deep within the monastery’s librium.

Athena joined her father’s army, reluctantly, and brought along her 10,000 Fists. She fought along side Zeus and was crucial in the planning of the Battle of Ithytos, which led to the death of the Titans Themis and Theia. Unfortunately, the battle also claimed scores of her monks. Athena mourned their deaths for 6 months before rejoining the war. However, there were only a few skirmishes that remained before Zeus, Poseidon and Hades slew Cronus and ended the Titan Wars.

After the war was over, Athena returned to her monastery to teach and has set up many many more across the lands. The remaining members of the 10,000 Fists dispersed and took up leadership positions at these monasteries.

Hermes – Messenger of the Gods

hermesHermes – Messenger of the Gods

  • Alignment: NG
  • Favored Weapon: Staff
  • Favored Animal: Ram
  • Symbol: Winged Boots
  • Portfolio: God of Travel, Mischief, Thieves, Commerce, and Language; Messenger of the Gods
  • Domains: Celerity, Commerce, Greed, Trade, Travel, Trickery, Wealth
  • Favored Race: Kitsune
  • Description: Messenger of the gods; god of commerce, thieves, eloquence and streets. Symbols include the caduceus (staff entwined with two snakes), winged sandals and cap, stork, and tortoise (whose shell he used to invent the lyre). Son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. The second-youngest Olympian, just older than Dionysus.

During the dead of night, Maia gave birth to Hermes, whos father was Zeus. Fearing the wrath of Hera, she hid Hermes in a nearby cave. There she raised the boy as a herdsman. He raised cattle and chickens and traded them in nearby towns. The boy grew much faster than normal children and soon the boy was a man. He invented the lyre from a tortoise shell and then traded that for more cattle. Soon, he had a large farm and herd that was enough to support his family. However, this was not enough for the son of Zeus. After he matured, Hermes found he had the power to shapeshift and was conscripted into his father’s army.

He held the position of messenger and would carry messages and communications between the armies. To help in this task, Hephestus crafted a pair of winged boots that would allow him to move faster than any bird.

A young Aphrodite caught the eye of Hermes and he pursued her. At first she rebuffed his advances, but eventually she gave in. The two would often shift into fox form and chase each other around the woods. After such an encounter, Hermes and Aphrodite were intimate and conceived a child. Thier child was the first of the Kitsune, of which the race was created. Unfortunately, their son was killed during the Titan Wars. With the death of thier child, the Kitsune worship Hermes, and to a lesser extent, Aphrodite.

After the Titan Wars, Hermes continued to be a messenger for the gods. He also became revered as a patron of travellers, theives and merchants. He contined to bear children, including Pan and Tyche, and continued his relationship with Aphrodite.

Followers of Hermes are, of course, Kitsune, merchants, travelers, thieves and those with a little mischievous in their hearts.

Demeter – Goddess of Agriculture and Soil

DemeterDemeter – Goddess of Agriculture and Soil

  • Alignment: NG
  • Favored Weapon: Scythe or Sickle
  • Favored Animal: Pig
  • Symbol: Cornucopia
  • Portfolio: Goddess of Agriculture and Soil
  • Domains: Cavern, Creation, Earth, Feast, Gluttony, Good, Plant
  • Favored Race: No Favored Race
  • Description: Goddess of fertility, agriculture, nature, and the seasons. Symbols include the poppy, wheat, torch, cornucopia, and pig. Middle daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

Demeter was born to Cronus and and Rhea, however, she was promptly devoured by her father after childbirth. She was freed when her brother, Hades, poisoned Cronus and caused him to disgorge her and Hestia. Demeter landed in a field of grain and was found by a farmer. The farmer raised Demeter as his own and taught her about farming and agriculture.

Hades, Zeus and Poseidon searched out Demeter and found her among the fields of grain. They convinced her that she needed to join thier fight against their father and the other Titans. She agreed and gathered an army of farmers. Her brothers laughed at her army, after comparing them to thier own. However, it was Demeter and her farmers that spread the knowledge of farming to everyone. This knowledge is what kept the other armies fed during the war.

Demeter married one of her commanders, Karmanor and bore children for him. She is also the mother of Persephone with her brother Zeus.

Her followers are generally farmers.

Apollo – God of Light and Prophecy

apolloApollo – God of Light and Prophecy

  • Alignment: NG
  • Favored Weapon: Longbow
  • Favored Animal: Wolf, Raven, Lizard
  • Symbol: Sun bathed lyre
  • Portfolio: God of the sun, archery, athleticism, prophecy, the arts, and good health
  • Domains: Celerity, Competition, Destiny, Fate, Good, Oracle, Sun
  • Favored Race: Elves
  • Description: God of light, prophecy, inspiration, poetry , music and arts, medicine and healing. Son of Zeus and Leto. Symbols include the sun, lyre, swan, and mouse. Twin brother of Artemis.

 

Apollo and his twin sister, Artemis, were both born from Leto and Zeus. Leto, fearing the wrath of Hera, gave birth to the twins on the back of an enormous turtle. Apollo was born second, with the assistance of Artemis, who was his mother’s midwife.

After Apollo was born, Hera sent the dragon Python to kill Leto. However, the young Apollo went to protect his mother. He begged Hephestus for a bow, like the one he gave to his sister Artemis. Hephestus finally gave in and crafted him a silver bow. The bow was enchanted, or cursed, with the ability to impart disease and sickness on its arrows. Apollo cornered Python in a cave and slew the dragon. Afterwhich, Apollo recevied the gift of prophecy.

Apollo had a vision of the death of Orion, companion of Artemis, and joined with her after the event. Together, with their army of elves, launched an assault on the Titans Selene and Helios. Artemis slew Selene at the same time Apollo killed Helios.

When the Titan Wars were over, Apollo received the portfolio of Prophecy, The Sun, Athleticism and The Arts. The messenger of the gods, Hermes, also gifted him with a special Lyre that was crafted from a tortoise shell. The lyre was a gift to remind Apollo of his roots. Since then, he has gathered quite a following of musicians and poets. As with the other gods, Apollo had a great number of lovers that bore multiple children. This includes taking many of the Muses as lovers.

Followers of Apollo are the Elves, athletes, philosophers, musicians and poets.

Artemis – Goddess of the Hunt

artemis

Artemis – Goddess of the Hunt

  • Alignment: CG
  • Favored Weapon: Bow, Pike
  • Favored Animal: Boar, Bear, Deer
  • Symbol: Moon bathed bow and arrow
  • Portfolio: Goddess of the moon, archery, hunting, childbirth, and virginity
  • Domains: Animal, Chaos, Liberation, Moon, Passion, Planning, Pride
  • Favored Race: Elves
  • Description: Goddess of the hunt, virginity, archery, the moon, and all animals. Symbols include the moon, deer, hound, she-bear, boar, cypress tree, and bow and arrow. Daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister of Apollo.

Artemis and her twin brother, Apollo, were both born from Leto and Zeus. Leto, fearing the wrath of Hera, gave birth to the twins on the back of an enormous turtle. She was born first and then assisted in the birth of her twin brother Apollo as her mother’s midwife.

As a young child, Artemis frequently caught the wrath of his stepmother, Hera. After she was beat by her, the young child would climb into Zeus’s lap and weep. As she got older, the thrashings would subside and Artemis would amuse herself with archery. She befriended the ancient elves of the mountains and forests during her escapades and shared her knowledge with them. To this day, the elves are some of the greatest archers in the land and they have Artemis to thank for this.

She was gifted with a golden bow that was crafted by Hephestus.

Artemis made an oath to always remain a virgin when she was a child. However, may had interests in her. Only her hunting companion and commander in her army, Orion, won her heart. She led an army of elves during the Titan Wars and fought along side her father’s army. Sadly, Orion was slain by the Titan Selene. Enraged at the killing of her love, Artemis joined with Apollo’s army of elves. The twins engaged Selene and Helios. Artemis killed Selene with an arrow, crafted by Hephestus and forged from her tears.

After the Titan Wars, Artemis was bestowed with the portfolio of The Moon, Archery and Virginity. Even to this day, Artemis remains true to her oath to remain a virgin. She keeps a contingent of warriors, which she calls her Companions, that are loyal to her and have pledged to protect her with their lives.

Her followers are, of course Elves, but virgins, midwives and hunters as well.

Hera – Queen of the Gods

hera

Hera – Queen of the Gods

  • Alignment: CG
  • Favored Weapon: Mace
  • Favored Animal: Cow, Peacock
  • Symbol: Spread out peacock feathers
  • Portfolio: Goddess of family, marriage, and children; queen of the gods
  • Domains: Charm, Envy, Family, Healing, Law, Nobility, Protection, Retribution
  • Favored Race: Hera has no favorites
  • Description: Queen of the gods and the goddess of marriage and family. Symbols include the peacock, pomegranate, cuckoo, and cow. Youngest daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Wife and sister of Zeus. Being the goddess of marriage, she frequently tried to get revenge on Zeus’ lovers and their children..

Hera was a daughter of Cronus and Rhea. She was saved from the fate of her sisters when her mother snuck away and gave her to a family of ranchers. She was raised by them, knowing who she was, but did not share this information with her until she was much older. Upon hearing of her true parentage, Hera lashed out at her adopted parents and left. She was a rebellious youth and met her brother and future husband, Zeus. The two fell in love and he courted her. Finally, Zeus proposed marriage to Hera. However, she did not say yes the first few times. Eventually, the pair married.

Hera was hesitant to support Zeus and his idea of war against their parents. She finally came around to the idea after learning of her sisters that were freed by Poseidon. She took up arms and gathered her own army of medics and healers, including Zeus’s grandson, Asclepius. She and her army would assist the wounded on the battlefield. But still, if forced to fight, Hera taught them to how to fight and they held their own.

Hera bore the children of Zeus during the war, but was angered at him for taking lovers that also bore his children. In particular, Zeus took the Leto as a lover. When she found out that Leto was pregnant by Zeus, she convinced nature spirits to prevent her from giving birth on land or island. Griefed by this, Leto searched and searched and was not able to find a place to give birth. Poseidon took pity on her and he had an enormous turtle surface for him. The turtle provided his shell as a place her Leto to give birth to the twins Apollo and Artemis.

Zeus attempted many times to deceive or distract Hera in order to complete his conquests. His servant, a nymph named Echo, was often put in the middle of these and he was instructed to be a distraction for Hera. However, she did not fall for his flattery and discovered the distraction. Echo was cursed by Hera to only repeat the words that others say. He could no longer speak his own thoughts.

After the Titan Wars, Hera continued to serve as the Goddess of Women and Family. Her portfolio that she adopted complimented this. She continues to thwart Zeus’s conquests and interfering with his lovers and their children. She and is often called upon for revenge against husbands that go stray.

Followers and clerics of Hera often preside over weddings and ceremonies. She presides over women, and jilted lovers, of all races.

Monetary System

The money system on Imrallon follows the same base 10 system that regular Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder follows.  The main difference is that Gold Pieces are generally called Denarius.  However, in less civilized portions of the world, the standard is still Gold Pieces.

  • Platinum Pieces
  • Gold Pieces — “Denarius”
  • Silver Pieces
  • Copper Pieces
Exchange Value cp sp gp pp
Copper piece (cp) 1 1/10 1/100 1/1000
Silver piece (sp) 10 1 1/10 1/100
Gold piece (gp) 100 10 1 1/10
Platinum piece (pp) 1000 100 10 1

Hades – Lord of the Underworld

HadesHades – Lord of the Underworld

  • Alignment: LE
  • Favored Weapon: Helmet
  • Favored Animal: Snake
  • Symbol: Three-headed cerebus
  • Portfolio: God of the Underworld, Death and Mortality
  • Domains: Darkness, Death, Earth, Evil, Law, Repose
  • Favored Race: Hades has no favored race as Death does not play favorites. All are equal in the eyes of Hades.
  • Description: God of the Underworld, the dead and the dying; he was born into the first Olympian generation, the elder brother of Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Hestia and Demeter.

Hades is the eldest son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. During the Titan Wars, Hades fought on the side of the Titans with his armies of the Underworld. However, during the war, he watched Cronos devour his sisters Hestia and Demeter. After this event, he sought after his younger brothers Zeus and Poseidon. He offered to switch sides and fight along side them under the condition that he remain the ruler of the Underworld and that he would be free to impose his own will upon his Realm. Zeus and Poseidon agreed with the caveat that Hades free thier sisters first.

Hades agreed to this and proceeded to craft a poison from a mix of poppy seed and cyprus root. The poison would cause his father to disgorge his sisters. Immediately afterwards, Hades swooped them up and fled to be by Zeus’s side. Once he rescued them and the three brothers were together, Hades drew up a contract for the division of the cosmos for after their victory. In this contract, Zeus would rule the heavens and air, Poseidon would rule the seas and Hades would remain as lord of the Underworld. The contract went on to state that they were forbidden from taking any actions in the others respective realms. Just as the contract was agreed to and signed, Cronos struck down his eldest son and sent him back into the Underworld.

Once again, Rhea interceded on her son’s behalf. She travelled to the Underground and revived Hades. He retured to the earth with a vengeance now. His contract was validated and he joined the fight against his father and the other Titans. His army, as with the other Titans, mainly consided of other dragons and drakes. However, his daughters, the Erinyes would soon join his side as well.

During the war, Hades battled with the Titan Lapetus on multiple occasions. In their final battle, Hades in dragon form, tore the heart of Lapetus from his chest and ate it. With this act, Hades exercised his power as first born Titan to absorbed the portfolio of Mortality that Lapetus once had. This assault on Lapetus was intentional and he was targeted by Hades specifically due to this portfolio. With the control over Mortality and as Lord of the Underworld, Hades indeed had power over the dead and dying.

When the Titan Wars was over, the contract took effect. Hades became Lord of the Underworld. One of his first acts, based on actions during the war, was to construct the Veil. The Veil is a barrier between the land of the living and the dead. It prevented those that have parted from coming back. This upset Prometheus since it obstructed his Magic. In turn, he allowed Magic to bring back the dead by temporarily perforating the Veil. Although angered by this act, Hades eventually agreed and now allows this. However, he loathes the Undead and the use of them. He is in constant conflict with Hecate, the Mistress of the Undead and his occasional lover.

Followers of Hades are undertakers, dealers in dead, death cults and enemies of the Undead.