Under Feet of Clay
After purging a cemetery of a goblin necromancer, liberating the town of Timaedius, and winning an archery contest in Pittacae, the band of Nicanor Agiadis, Haemon, Gwenynhad, Jerem ben Abdel, and Raxya laid siege to the fortress of Kuklodomus, and slew the half-demon cyclops Galateush within, ending a rising threat on the coasts between Periandropolis and Cleobonomos. In so doing, the party became heroes to the people of the village of Timaedius.
Timeline of Events, a bardic reference guide for dramatic recreation of the Tale of the Cyclops-Slayers:
Cast: Eunomia, Patroness of Timaedius. Duandraxis, the Barbarian servant of Eunomia. Nicanor Agiadis, Pittacan hoplite and Cyclops-Slayer. Raxya the Scythebearer, prophet and Cyclops-Slayer. Gwenynhad the Sage, Cyclops-Slayer. Jerem the Spherewalker, Liberator and Cyclops-Slayer. Haemon Teknothalattos, monster-hunter and Cyclops-Slayer. Galatheush, the half-demon Cyclops and Goblin King.
Pallastide 1 – The Cyclops-Slayers, save Haemon, are gathered by Duandraxis on behalf of Eunomia at the crossroads, and they undertake their first trial against Galateush.
Pallastide 3 – At midday, the Cyclops-Slayers find the lost shrine of Eleusinia, and tend it. Nicanor’s daughter receives her first visions as an oracle this night.
Pallastide 3 and 4 – The Night at the Crypt unfolds, and the Cyclops-Slayers kill one of Galateush’s chiefs.
Pallastide 7 – The Cyclops-Slayers arrive in Cleobonomos, turning over the staff to Osteomortis, High Priest of Thantadeus in Cleobonomos.
Pallastide 9 – The Cyclops-Slayers depart Cleobonomos for Timaedius.
Pallastide 13 – The Cyclops-Slayers arrive in Timaedius to discover the Titanichi Pirates have installed themselves
Pallastide 15 – The Cyclops-Slayers are joined by Haemon, and launch the Battle of the Crystal Cove, dropped by Laylissa of Timaedius. Lukeon is forced to flee in disgrace while wounded.
Pallastide 18 – The Cyclops-Slayers challenge a Minotaur north of the city, naming their ship after their victory, the Minotaur’s Bane
Pallastide 20 – The Cyclops-Slayers meet Eunomia in Timaedius, and make preparations to visit Pittacae to return Dorikas Zeuxedamus.
Pallastide 26 – The Cyclops-Slayers arrive in Pittacae
Pallastide 29 – The Cyclops-Slayers arrive in House Zeuxedamus, Haemon wins an archery contest against three prominent members of the House, Nicanor makes his overnight ride to see to his family
Pallastide 30 – The Cyclops-Slayers arrive at House Agiadis after a full day’s forced march on horseback, discover Nicanor’s daughter is an oracle of Eleusinia. Plans are made to send her to Periandropolis with her grandfather to house her in Temple Top.
Pallastide 31 – The Cyclops-Slayers return to House Zeuxedamus and acquire their small hoplite force.
Xiphion 3 – The Cyclops-Slayers depart Pittacae.
Xiphion 9 – The Cyclops-Slayers make port in Timaedius for the night. The Song of the Romance of Jerem is to be performed at this juncture.
Xiphion 10 – Cyclops-Slayers depart Timaedius for Kuklodomus. Suggested instrumentation here is the Scythebearer’s Dirge.
Xiphion 15 – The Minotaur’s Bane makes landfall on the coast south of Cleobonomos.
Xiphion 19 – The Cyclops-Slayers arrive in Kuklodomus, besting Likaku. The Cupbearer’s Revelation is given. Gwenynhad makes his refusal of the ambrosia. The Cyclops-Slayers descend to face Galateush, and Dorikas Zeuxedamus makes his Wilderness Stand (reports from his men indicate he slew seven wargs before his spear shattered, and another five with his sword).
Xiphion 24 – The Cyclops-Slayers return to the Minotaur’s Bane.
Xiphion 28 – The Cyclops-Slayers return to Timaedius, restoring the Demarch’s wife and the surviving citizens.
The Song of the Cyclops-Slayers
Penned by the Bard Ovus Lorentius, 1138
O Muse of song and legends sweet, my mouth
reach down to loose! I dain to sing of thee,
O Gwenynhad, ever the sage, and with
you Nicanor, the Shield of battles bold,
the Scythebearer call’d Raxya the scaled,
O Jerem, Abel’s line so sprung, your heart
so stout and true, and how you four of our
fair shores, with Haemon ye did meet, as five
with favor from the gods, Galateush
did slay, and free Timaedius again!
A crafty mage of foreign blood at noon
was met by ye, a quest to free a crypt
was pledged, for elusive ever was she
whom our odd mage was bound to serve at whim.
“Be pledged, shall ye, to causes just and true?”
The mage did ask, his horns as dark as yew.
“Shall we indeed,” said he of Harvest’s grace,
“This scourge no more will stand upon the graves
of honored dead.” In unity they swore,
those three, a death mage they would at once slay.
Two days they walked, until a cave before
them did yawn wide. And lo! A sign appear’d!
The daughter stolen down to death now stood
in marble old. And touched the stone did they,
so penitent and pure. So far away,
in Pittacae, a destiny was born.
A ring he took, O Abdel’s son, and strode
they on their way, to thorny walls of old.
The dead, they walked, and goblins called in spite
To glory in their ways. And heroes bold,
in truest heart, struck forth against the dark!
But Mothers stand with children born to them,
and fortune was not kind! That night they fell,
into a tomb were sealed for darkest rites!
Woke first the Shield of our fair four, so stout,
so brave, so bold! For Gwenynhad he called.
The counselor did answer swift all that
he could report. So Raxya did rise
and say, “The wrath of gods upon them pours!”
With Jerem’s hand they wrestled free to face
a faceless foe, with powers fell and dark.
But oil had they, and magic earn’d of gods,
With prayer and luck, they ended fast a lot
which few could dodge! But yet there stood their foe.
Now necromancers are a blight to all
who cherish life, who know the dues to pay
for taking that from Death’s own throne He claims
with rod and blade! O Thantadeus, King,
He watch’d as blood was shed of goblins frail
and creatures fell, until the whole was cleansed!
In triumph made they for the sea, and end
so sweet and pure, and kissed the dawn anew,
in dark, wet earth, they needn’t lay, alive!
A staff with skull they took with careful hands.
They grac’d the shores of Cleobonomos,
a day or two was spent, and finally
they made to leave for shores that waited them.
Timaedius was under curse, a plague
of hate and greed: O Lukeon the Beast!
The heroes four to five would be, given
to them the son of Thalattos, his blood,
unknown, to them called Haemon was his name,
his bow was true and swift, and with his aide,
a trial made, to free the honest land!
The caves were dark, the waters cold, the Moon
she hid from fog. Late Pallastide it was,
when from the foam the five did storm to dock,
from Thief of Flame they carv’d their aim: a ship
would burn in dock! The wretched scum poured forth,
and slavers who freemen they pressed to chain
made try to quench the righteous tongue of flame.
With smoke and soot as cover fair, the five
did earn their name, a ploy so bold they stepped
with care right under noses, black and bare.
To Lukeon our heroes stepped, with him
a witch most foul, but Gwenynhad, his mind
so sharp, caused weeds themselves to snare the foes!
With bottled flame the Beast did fight, a sword
and bow forgot, and hippogriff did land
but by Haemon was shot and slain, escape
denied their prey! Maliarae, the hound
most swift, most bold, most true, her nose found blood,
her teeth found bone, and Jerem, he struck true!
“O Jerem,” Lukeon did cry, his teeth
began to gnash, “a curse upon your house!
All days and nights, hunt you will I, unless
this blade means death!” But freedom found the Beast
that night, he swam to shore, he cursed again,
and bound his wounds and pride. Into the dark
he walked away, as Titans’ ship was burnt!
So with the dawn, sweet laurels earned, by blood,
by fire, by blade, the five return to town.
From slaves they learned of deals he made, the Beast
with greater foes, Galateush the name.
The goblins spared from crypts of old did tell
them all the tale, a one-eyed king in halls
of stone, more ancient than they knew, and three
with him who stood once with a goblin mage,
the very same, a necromancer slain!
But hold! Among the slaves was found a boy,
Zeuxadamos his house, a Pittacan,
a noble born, of fame to Nicanor!
To home they flew, when ship arrived once met
with her they did, she with fair name and voice,
Their patroness, Eunomia the Young.
Timaedius she made her home, the five
she paid in gold, in gifts of arcane pow’r.
These three who stood in far Kuklodomus,
and under Wicked King Galateush:
“For die they must, the gods demand,” she sang
In sweetest song, “O heroes of this land,
O just once more, please heed will ye my call?
A chest of gold, a span of land, for arms
as brave as yours?” Then Gwenynhad the Sage:
“O keep the gold, and keep the land, fair maid,
for honor has no price. What value does
your gold have when my bees their honey make?
Are both not gold, unspoiled, true, and yet
just one you eat.” Two goblin guides took they,
a pirate now remorsed, a crew once slaves
would ferry them across the Winedark Sea.
In Pittacae they made their birth, to bring
the noble home. They earned their rings, they play’d
their games, and Haemon won the show; “A shot,”
said he, “with moving mark, an arrow notched and loos’d,”
With Jerem’s aide he won the night, but lo!
The news reach’d fast to Nicanor of dark
his daughter’s fate, he took a horse of black.
He rode all night and through the morn, to her
he made all haste, he found her in a bed.
She told him of the dreams she bore of death.
With heavy heart, sent was she to the shrine
at Temple Top, ne’ermore again to stand
among her kin in Hall Agiadis.
From here they flew on crested seas of green,
and under clouds of gray. They crossed the dark,
and entered in, a forest lost to age.
Kuklodomus, by name is called, the home
of beasts and kin, in which the five did fight.
First Likaku, the archer bold, did yield.
And in the walls a summoner of fiends,
This Shenna-Chunn so named did fall to shots
from arrows rung in Haemon’s quivered rage.
“O ye who stand with blessings hung, and acts
enrolled in lyric song, drink deep and long
of sweetness from on high: Ambrosia born
in fields of green above this lofty sky!
The gods do give a blessing now, a word
of truth to each.” But Gwenynhad refused.
“With grace, O Goddess Pure and Cupbearer,
my truth must come from minds of mortal men.”
And tread they now that deep abyss, that dank
and rotten place; Galateush did wait.
Above the five, there fought that Dorikas,
Zeuxadamos his fame, and earned he there
an honor born in battle’s fiery rage.
Below, the King, he lifted fast the axe
of wicked pain, but fearless Jerem rode!
They say his blade shone gold and white, a gift
from Thesmaphora, O Desponia!
The flesh from bone was carved, the crimson blood,
it flew! But Gaia’s son was strong, and fast
he answered blade for blade, and blood for blood.
When Jerem fell to ground, brave Nicanor,
in tears of holy rage, grasped fast his spear,
and through the dark felt truly in his blood
that now was not the day of death for him!
No, Jerem still would walk again, but first
the Cyclops still must answer for
a wicked act, injustice never more!
“Galateush, you wicked fiend,” he cried,
“Now shed your last of blood Calopian!
O nevermore will stand your like on stone
or far below, I pour my wrath into
this spear, and pray by gods, a righteous blow!”
The heart he pierced, O Nicanor, and fell
the wicked beast, as Raxya did cleave
in twain the feathered menaces he bred.
With haste did Haemon rush to doors where cries
and weeping he had heard, while Gwenynhad
did lift the corpse of Thesmaphora’s First.
Yet lo! His heart did weakly beat, but how?
His sickle broken cross his chest had spared
him from the grave! The slaves were freed, the gold
was won, the goblins were dispersed, the five
returned, Timaedius with open arms,
embraced her heroes: pure and rare and true!