Larger than life16. Larger than life
It was unusual to wake up earlier than Ares. He was almost always up and around when I woke up. Either that or he woke me with kisses and cuddles, wanting to start the day with affection. But today it was the sun which woke me up and I found my love still sound asleep next to me in the bed. Rising on my left elbow I regarded him where he rested - convinced that very few people had actually seen Ares when he was sleeping. His parents of course, some lovers. Some men he might've shared tent with at the front. But Ares never wanted to be caught with his guard down so he was very aware with when and where he slept. Thus others never got to see the difference. How smooth and relaxed he had become in both body and aura, his face soft and devoid of the plethora of emotions always showing there during the hours of awakeness. He looked younger too - boyish. At that moment I really saw the resemblance between Kalian and his father. The same kind of cheek, chin, nose a
Under AttackArmy Postal ServiceUnder Attack3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
When the Greek Army swept like wild fire trough the city all I could do was run. Run with my son in my arms, trying to save us from the Greeks and most of all from the terrible Ares himself...
(A kind of steampunk take on the mythology - for those who claim ancient accuracy - sorry it's not to be found here, I've taken quite a few liberties with the timeline and geographic characteristic)
1. Under Attack
"Mommie, are we going to die?" Kalian looked at me with his big, brown eyes filled with fear.
"No, dearest, we're not." I lied. "We're not going to die. We're going to make this; we just have to get away from the men chasing us."
"Can we do that?" my son hiccupped.
"Yes, yes, dear, we can do that!"
Nevertheless I was beginning to have my doubts. After all I was alone, carrying a five year old in my arms. A heavy five years old, and the Dark Warriors who persecuted us were plentiful. They were huge and lethal and well armed. Even if I could get o
Achilles' ChoiseAfter Patroklos' death Achilles had been beside himself. To put it mildly. Or to put it more correctly, he had become a berserking madman, crazier in battle than Ares himself. To avenge his beloved cousin Achilles had sought out the Trojan Hector and slaughtered him brutally. Hector, who had generally been considered Achilles' superior when it came to fighting skills, hadn't stood a chance against the infuriated Greek. Achilles had attacked Hector with murder in his eyes, not seeking a battle kill but pure and hot blooded murder, the war forgotten; avenge being the only thing that counted. As if that hadn't been enough Achilles had defiled and desecrated Hector's body severely and humiliated the Trojans by tying Hector's dead body to his chariot, driving it around the sieged town. Still that hadn't been sufficient; Achilles' deeds of bravery and madness couldn't heal his shattered soul. It couldn't cleanse the deep grieve he felt; it couldn't remove his painful sadness - and most of alAchilles' Choise2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Athena18. AthenaAthena3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Ares!" my voice almost got stuck in my troth and with a shiver of terror running down my spine I pulled Kalian towards me, holding him close and hard and wishing there was a way for me to stop him from seeing his father becoming attacked. Because this was no Anatolian god, this was something far worse, a deity with an aura burning almost as red as Ares' own and radiant with an invincible force. I had hardly seen anything more powerful in my whole life, this god in his cover-all tar-black leather outfit held as much strength as Ares himself - if not even more.
Still my beloved was not resource less, far from it. He kicked into battle mood with an almost unbelievable speed, and ducked the attackers attempt with a swift and agile move. The leather clad god turned and attacked again, and this time Ares blocked the sword arm with his own left elbow and at the same time he reached for the arm with the axe and somehow managed to wrestle that weapon away from the adversary. Spinnin
Welcome to Olympos19. Welcome to OlymposWelcome to Olympos3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I had expected Olympos to be magnificent, but my fantasy had not been able to fully envisage its grandeur, and I was breath taken upon coming nearer. We were riding Ares' flying chariot, propelled by divine magic, so we got to see the whole wonderful vista from above. At first there was just this imposing mountain which side we were ascending. It was steep and the summit appeared like just another snow-clad peak halfway hidden in clouds.
But as we were sweeping over the pinnacle we passed a kind of a borderline where the snow was traded into grasslands and meadows. There were small rivers, tiny lakes and waterfalls cascading down the rocks, painting rainbows in the sky. There were pretty houses making up a neat little village hardly larger than Salenda and there were delicate bridges spanning waters and canyons. I spotted large tended gardens and meadows where the most splendid horses were gracing and frolicking around.
In the middl
Goddess' pledgeAchilles was kissing her with the same poignant intensity as he had fought her earlier, and Penthesileia tried to gasp for breath, surprise and consternation getting the better of her. Now what? Was that some kind of way to distract her from claiming her victory?Goddess' pledge3 months ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The very next second she understood was he was up to, she was no adversary anymore, she had shifted to ally against one of the onlookers, and she would have laughed, had he not been busy with her mouth. With a part of her mind she recognized some kind of commotion over by the edge of the training pit, but she couldn't care less, she started to kiss him back.
Now, Penthesileia had to admit, she wasn't the most skillful kisser, she had never really had the use for that kind of expertise. Those men she had been with, she could count them on the fingers of one hand – and she would still have fingers left. The interactions had brief and unfulfilling, transitory encounters with other people who wanted nothing but an int
Rhodos"So what about Rhodos?" Hebe asked. "Are you coming with me or not?" Herakles turned around in bed, still a bit weary and fuzzy-eyed after their love making.Rhodos1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"When are you planning to go there?"
"Uh-hm. Have to start as soon as possible if I should be able to accept pupils at the start of the next spring semester. Sweetie..."
With the gentlest of touch Hebe stroke Herakles' whiskered chin, feeling its warm and rogue texture against the tip of her fingers. His thoughtful green eyes were regarding her where she laid resting in the hook of his left arm. He could be mistaken for Zeus, she though. And yet not. There was something more mellow over Herakles. More relaxed and easy-going. Then again Herakles didn't have to worry about the millions of things which kept Zeus busy all the time. Herakles could follow his whims if he liked. He could come with her to Rhodos should he so desire. And decide such things on a short notice, something Zeus with his full agenda would
The path of two hearts"We can't pretend this never happened," Herakles said as he was handing Hebe her towel. Of course, being gods they could simply dry off just wishing themselves dry, but that was not as cozy as to snuggle up inside a warm, fuzzy textile.The path of two hearts1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"I know." she replied, looking at the tall, beefy god out of the corner of her eye. Herakles was even heftier than Ares, although not as tall, and he was hardly graceful in his moves. Instead his body language was utilitarian and straightforward, as if he had never bothered to use it to create an appearance, but simply to acquire what he wanted. He used his body so totally down-to-earth that it was almost funny to see. And still, it was that uncomplicated way of carrying himself that made him so completely attractive in her eyes.
"So now what?" He looked at her for guidance.
"We try to use some common sense, Herc. I'm not going to insult your intelligence by pointing out that we can't even begin to ponder a relationship. We are simply not meant to be."
Porphyrion"How long will it take 'till Dionysos returns?" Herakles asked and Hera shook her head slightly while wrinkling her brow.Porphyrion1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Impossible to tell, since time runs differently down under," she replied. "He might be here any minute, then it might as well take days. It all depends on which way down he takes and then, when he's done, which way up he can chose."
"And the time spent negotiating with Hades and Persephone I take it," Herakles guessed.
"Not really, that'll be a rather simple affair since they know he's coming," Hera said. "Don't look so surprised, Hades has known all the time that Dionysos would be coming down for his mother. In his world it has already happened. More or less. I don't really understand how they function these time-space clusters, that's part of the physics Athena is working with and which nobody else really grasps. Now, come on, let's have dinner while we wait. At least I'm starving after having conjured up so much magic."
As they started descending the rock, Hebe
Blood in the hot sandSweet Artemis, but was that man huge? Huge and scary. Biting her lips, Penthesileia regarded Achilles from a far, scrutinized his six foot five bulk, clad in shining armour of the kind that was professionally molded to leave as little openings as possible and still not hinder the user too much or being too heavy or cumbersome to wear. Achilles' bronze helmet covered his face and was crowned with a notable red, white and black crescent and he carried a long sword and a ditto spear, both weapon looking really heavy, still he treated them as if they were wooden toys, swung them with such quick ease that they almost appeared harmless - until they bit into the enemy. And the enemy in turn bit the dust.Blood in the hot sand6 months ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
He had still not seen her yet, but she knew it was only a matter of time before he would. But when he did – that would be it. Penthesileia would do what she had come here to Ilium for, she would fight Achilles, and she would do her very best. Perhaps she might even get the smallest of c
Hera speaks"This is how it'll work", Athena began and sat down opposite of Herakles and Hebe in the latter's living room. It was raining hard outside and a large fire was burning in the hearth to chase away the autumn chill. Hebe had just learned to make multicoloured fire, and now blue, red, yellow, green and purple flames were splashing its light across the cozy room, gleaming in items of copper and brass. It was odd, just a few days back the Indian summer had been in full swing, and now it was definitely autumn with cold weather sweeping down from the north. Zeus was apparently too busy to do anything about it and besides the rains were much needed.Hera speaks1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Dion is going down to Argos to talk to Hera and I will accompany him in disguise to make sure he'll do fine - which I have no doubts he will," Athena went on. "I've told him roughly what to say to Hera. No speech, just some ideas to ad-lib on. That'll make it sound more convincing and from the heart. When he's done I'll..."
"So you ARE setting up
Re-encounterDawn was breaking, pink sunlight sneaking in trough narrow slits in the tent, like spears of light, waking her up as they tickled her eye-lids. Out there the sounds of the day had begun, horses were neighing, dogs barked and people walked to and from, talked, the rattling and clinking of their arms and the creaking of leather, heavy-shoed feet crunching against the gravel. There were also the smells, scents of newly baked bread mixed with the less pleasant reek of garbage and dirty dog.Re-encounter3 months ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Yawning, Penthesileia crawled out of the sleeping bag, swung her legs down on the cold and clammy, trampled ground and stood. Quickly she made it over to the commode, poured ice-cold water in the sink and splashed it in her face. For a moment she missed Hephaestos' plumbing, then she reminded herself, she was a warrior, she shouldn't spoil herself with such commodities. Besides, being here in the New Country by the river of Tiber, where things were really happening, was so much fun. Never a day like the
The twilight of war7. The twilight of warThe twilight of war3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"What did you really say to Taniroth? Before you killed him?" I asked. We had just finished lunch and Kalian had run off to pester some of the soldiers with his millions of questions. Ares and I sat by the corner of a big table, he was leaning against the wall, apparently satisfied with the large meal. I was going to learn that he ate as much as three men, and I understood where Kalian's large appetite was coming from.
"I told him that I was not going to humiliate him by asking him if he wanted to beg for mercy."
"Do they do that often?"
"It happens. Some act so brave and stubborn, but when facing death they often back off."
"Do you - show mercy then?"
"Sometimes. When I know that I have made a point with my fighting and they won't come after me later, seeking some stupid kind of revenge. As if they thought they could beat me a second time when they failed the first! Most of the times those duels are unnecessary though. I had to challenge Taniroth, because
A call out in the night8. A call out in the nightA call out in the night3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The same evening as my failed try at reconciling Ares with Xena the peace treaty between The Hellas Commonwealth and the Kingdom of Anatolia was signed, in a sacred place not far from the city of Darangorlad. The Litvinia hill held a temple to The Eternal Zeus, a god held in revere by both Greeks and Anatolians, and in consequence a place where both groups could meet without anyone feeling lesser or intimated by the other party. The event - which was more like a ceremony than anything else - took place in the grand hall of the temple, beneath the inscrutable face of a marble statue of the great god. The large hall lay in dusk in spite of the many burning lanterns and the air was reeking with incense and lack of oxygen.
It was amazing how those magnificent temple halls seemed to look more or less the same wherever you came. From Karkheidon to Kolchis to Inthorergon to Darangorlad. Same rows of pillars, gilded ornaments, marble statues and uncomfortable
Never abandon a friend9. Never abandon a friendNever abandon a friend3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Ares was never the man of pointless questions. As soon as I had told him my dream he brought out a brass bowl and filled it with water he conjured up. Then he put it between us in the bed so we could use the water as a scrying device and see what had happened. Xena had not been kidnapped against her will as I had first thought. There had been no abduction of a kicking and screaming friend. Instead she had been approached by a tall, bearded elderly man in a long dark-blue coat and toppy hat who had offered her a large sack of money for her services.
"You'll have to come with me to Rhembosia because the patient is there and cannot be moved" the tall stranger said, his voice oddly pitched for a man and with that guttural, edgy lilt I had come to connect with the Anatolians. "And we'll be travelling immediately, time is dire."
"I'll have to pack a few things." Xena replied.
"Make it fast. And remember we can get you almost anything you need in Rhembosia, so
Hera's daughter"The arrogant BASTARD!" Hera roared and threw a pottery plate into the wall so it smashed into a million pieces, her dark brown eyes flaming like hot coals. Somewhat startled, Hebe looked up from her writings and at her mother who was shaking with anger where she stood in the middle of the airy office, her cheeks almost the same colour as her ankle-long dress, and even the ruby gems adorning her elaborated hairdo seemed to glimmer angrily. Her mother could have her tantrums all right, but this was worse than ever. What had now gone wrong? Hebe toyed with her quill as she regarded her mother with a bit of worry in her eyes.Hera's daughter1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"How DARE he? And without even consulting me?" the Queen of the Gods went on, talking to none in particular, but Hebe enquired:
"What happened, mother? Something Zeus did again?"
"Head on spot, but how hard can that be?" Hera turned and looked at her daughter who pushed back strains of bright red hair behind her ears. Her young daughter was pretty and even if she was
The city of high spires11. The city of high spiresThe city of high spires3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Ares and I flew the few miles to the city perimeter and there we touched ground again, in the dark among some trees in a park, and from that point we started walking. The walled-in park rested mostly in darkness and seemed neglected, with its overgrown paths and dried up fountains filled with old leaves and broken marble statues regarding us with empty eyes. At the end of the park were some buildings, covered in graffiti of the kind you saw all over the world, dirty words mingled with slogans proclaiming the other teams' death. In this case it was not surprisingly the Greeks. None of us chose to comment it.
Between the buildings were two rusty gates locked with a chain and a huge padlock. Ares didn't bother with the chain though; he went directly for the weakest point, the hinges of the left gate. A pull and the gate fell inwards with a large crash which made me hope no one had been around to hear. At least no one who would consider caring. But there
Observations from a borderline10. Observations from a borderlineObservations from a borderline3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"A god!" I heard myself blurt out, almost spilling my juice. I had to look again at the fragile-looking patient in the four poster bed, to make sure I was not mistaken, but the aura gave the man with the wax-coloured skin away. There were yellows and orange in that faltering aura, telling me it was a ruler- and city god lying there. As well as some white hinting at weather abilities. A once powerful god no doubt. But what could harm a man like that and put him on the brink of death? And how could they possibly expect Xena to help him? Or was it...?
The swarthy and slender man who was sitting next the dying god rose from his chair, he seemed to echo my doubts, a confused look upon his comely face as he scratched his beard.
"Chizay, what have you been thinking? This is but a mortal medic. She doesn't have what it takes. I told you we're going to need a..."
"A god, yeah. A healing god. And she will be on her way soon."
"What do you mean?"
Duel6. DuelDuel3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I woke up in the middle of the night, not really sure about where I was. The dreams had been full of war. Of smoke and fire and terror. And of - Arian. He had come for me, hadn't he? In the middle of all the mayhem he had been there.
And was still?
It was completely dark, and I was hot and sweating with a sticky feeling between my breast and under my neck. I found myself lying spooned up against a warm body. A man with his arms around me and his breath against my neck, making me feel warm - and safe. So very safe. Arian? Ares!
Yes, it all came back to me like a bucket of water had been poured over my head, all the pandemonium of yesterday. And Arian - my wonderful Arian had been Ares the war god. He had appeared out of smoke and fire and saved me and Kalian when I thought all was lost. Then he and I had made love here in this dark room, I still felt my lower lips contract when I recalled the bliss. I couldn't even begin to describe the ecstasy he had brought me into. The
Through the grapevineA/N Priapos was a garden god and mostly known for his large private parts. He was the son of Dionysos and Aphrodite.Through the grapevine1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
No secret can remain forever. Sometimes the cover unfolds, often by mistake and a tiny bit of the secret slips out in the open. Slips out and awakens curiosity and thus entices people to pull at that piece, trying to uncover more of what's been hidden. Herakles got drunk one night at a party over at Dionysos' and when most people had left Dion and Herc started to talk about something more or less insignificant. Then, somehow, the drunk god told his half-brother about his devotion for Hebe. And Dionysos may be good at a lot of things, but keeping secrets was never really one of them. Soon he has told his young wife Ariadne. And not long after that he let the secret slip to both Athena and Hephaestos. Not out of malice but carelessness, as well as not really understanding that Herakles' confession was supposed to remain a secret. Or rather - Dionysos seldom t
Redemption of the exiled one"Herc, I want you to sit in on the interview with this man," Hebe asked of her beloved who looked up from the wall he was bricking. She smiled, Herakles sure loved to work with his hands, and no matter that the man was a god, an Olympian god, no task seemed too menial to him. In that sense he reminded her of her beloved brother Hephaestos.Redemption of the exiled one1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Okay," Herakles dried off his hands on a rag, not that it helped much, it was as grimy as everything else around. Another Hephaestos deja-vu. "Tell me about him!"
"Ehrm…" Hebe began, a bit distracted. "He's… I've seen him once and I asked him to come back today. He's… peculiar in a way that I find… I don't know how to describe it, but the man is intelligent and he carries wisdom of the ancient kind. He seems… old."
"He's a god?"
"Yeah – well – he's immortal, if that's what you mean. He's…"
"I have a feeling there's something familiar with him. As if I ought to know him for some reason. Or at least recognize him. Perhaps he has been a
The eye of the stormSuddenly Ares called out as he turned around. The next second Herakles could hear a rasping voice as he too looked behind:The eye of the storm1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Now what do we have here? Intruders! Some stray gods a long way from home I presume!"
"We got company!" Nemesis warned and within a heartbeat all four Olympians had their swords ready in their hands.
"The more the merrier!" Ares replied as he slit the troth of the first ogre in a shower of hot, burgundy blood. However the second foe swiveled around the War God and attacked Herakles, who in turn finished it off by pushing his sword into the ogre's belly and spilling the guts on the stone ground before he engaged the next beast and almost cut it in half, starting in the crotch. Next to him Nemesis simply kicked out and as her steel-clad boot connected she showed her attacker down in the caldera and the beast fell with a terrifying scream. At the same time Athena engaged two ogres and decapitated one while she grabbed the other one by the chain it had decorated itsel
Five days2. Five daysFive days3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Our little village of Salenda lied a bit off the main roads. It wasn't a regular tourist area even if it had a nice beach and a scenery well worthy of any paradise. No, Salenda was a small village of farmers and fishermen resting in a slow-paced time where the sun came up and went down over a few changes.
It was a silent place and it fitted me all too well after the turbulent years in Intorergon. Inthorergon, the city that never slept. Inthorergon, the city of light and excitement, a vibrant place which boosted your soul and made you feel so very alive - made you feel like you had become put down right in the middle of the world, such an action filled adventure was it to live there. Inthorergon was a city which assaulted its visitors with its noise, its colours and lights, its smells and its everlasting motion. A city which left no one unbothered - either you loved it or you hated it. A city which during my third year there handed me Lothan - not on a pla
Prologue 1 - Zeus and AlkmeneAt first glance she could have sworn it was Amphitryon standing there over at the bar. After all he had the same kind of broad shoulders, the same kind of healthy and thick, blond locks falling down his brawny back. And he too wore a long, worn and black leather cloak. Yet upon a closer inspection Alkmene noted that this stranger was taller than the husband who had left her so abruptly to go off to war for more than two years ago. Since then there had been no words of Amphitryon. No one seemed to know where he had gone, what he had done, to be true Alkmene didn't even know if he was alive or not, and it grated at her heart. She missed him so much, his enchanting smile, his joyous eyes, his strong, calloused hands, his furry beard, his corny jokes...Prologue 1 - Zeus and Alkmene1 year ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
On top of that she didn't want to end up a childless widow with no one to take care of her when she got old. No one to miss her when she left this life. She wanted a child; she wanted to hold a baby in her arms. She wanted to look into th
Remedy13. RemedyRemedy3 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I lost almost all perception of time; it felt like I had been pulling at that spiritual thread for hours - days - perhaps even weeks, when the alien undercurrent suddenly started to yield. When that happened my own feeling of control started to return slowly and at the same time Ikaton's thread of life begun to snake itself back again, out of the hole, inch by inch. Or whatever it was, I had no clue about how to measure these things. Still I knew I was - winning this. But it was far too early to triumph. Ares had taught me that, told about the importance of not celebrating until the last enemy fortress was taken. Because there might still be surprises lurking out there, concealed secret weapons.
Yet this could be done. I steadied myself and tightened my pull at the thread and began to really haul it in. As the time went by I managed to pull the energies of Ikaton back into this world. Finally, when the last strand passed through the hole, it collapsed with a frighteni