Kria flies back towards her master in an explosion of feathers as the whirlwind rises near her perch. For his part, Elymas severs the connection so he can see properly again, and sits up, catching the frightened bird. Standing, he holds Kria and tries to soothe her nerves, though his own confidence is draining fast.
He watches as the gods appear one by one, apparently marking out people in the crowd as their own. Sensing an otherworldly presence, yet one that is oddly familiar, Elymas looks up. The pale lady is standing above him.
He had long paid homage to Athena. But this felt right. Yes, he would walk the liminal passages for her, his lady Hecate.
Transferring Kria to his shoulder, Elymas gathers himself physically and mentally. [Come little crooner, we have a goddess to represent.]
He begins a dignified walk towards the king.
The irritation that Manos feels from the bickering quickly fades to astonishment as the Gods begin to appear.
His hand reflexively grasps his hammer as he is filled with the sense that anything could be made or unmade. He looks at his hand, his knuckles white from his grip, and the reflection of Hephaestus shines across the crystal that resides within his hammer. The crystal that he found the day magic returned to the land of mortals. The crystal that he now realizes was sent to him by Hephaestus himself.
His eyes drift upward to view the majestic form above him. The frame of a smith stands before them, lean and hard; with the strength beyond that of an average man. A strength that comes only from countless hours of work. A frame, not unlike Manos' himself.
Manos fails to see any other God's beyond Hephaestus, though he feels their presence. He is overcome by all the emotions and sensations, just like all others here, but his eyes never move from his God. It takes him several moments to realize that Hephaestus has vanished; and that only comes because a small child had touched his hand.
He blinks his eyes several times, still staring at the space above him. Slowly he lowers his head and begins to look around. He sees the parted crowd before him, he sees the small child next to him touching his arm. He feels other hands upon him and even hears some voices urging him to advance forward.
He looks before him, a clear path to the kings, and finally realizes what has occurred. He is walking forward before he is aware of it; his eyes cast downward to his hammer. "Anything can be done." He says to himself.
A smile comes to his lips. He thinks to himself; "I knew it." His smile widens. "I knew I was going to be the best. And now I posses the blessing of the smith God himself." His strides become more even and more sure. His hammer rises and rest on his shoulder.
He looks around once more, seeing several praising him as he passes, but others cowering away. His smile widens slightly more, with a strong sense of pride filling his face. He has seen fear on the face of many a man that had crossed him and regretted it. It is just another way of praising him in his eyes.
He reaches into his satchel, placing his hand upon the plain worn leather of his spellbook. He gives both the book and his hammer a slight squeeze, thinking to himself; "We have an amazing adventurer before us." His hand slips along the leather until it finds one of the many pieces of hay stuck between the pages.
He pulls the piece out and pops it into his mouth. He tips his strawhat backwards as he stands before the kings. His attire far from what one would call formal; from his worn saddles to his soiled robes. Patches of dust cover sections of the robes, intermixed with bits of dried mud, hay and straw, and possibly even specks of horse manure.
His stance is relaxed, yet bursting with pride. He looks up to the kings and says; "Your majesties," before bowing.
Edited: Robertreaper on 5th Sep, 2017 - 5:49am
Tellias listened to Pausanias as he delivered his welcome and subsequent speech to the thousands gathered. It was no surprise what he had to say, as Tellias had heard many times the words he now used, having been part to most of the script in private. However, he was caught off guard greatly when Pausanias displayed his secret magical power.
He wasn't sure if he was more surprised that he had powers or that Pausanias had not shared this secret with him. After all Pausanias was the only person Tellias had told about his gifts from Ares, that surely helped him achieve victory in the arena.
As his thoughts drifted back to the night he received the gifts from Ares in his temple, a little over 12 months ago, he felt a presence and a voice in his head. He watched as the whirlwind took shape and spoke to him, but without sound, instead into his very thoughts.
The presence he now felt brought back even stronger visions of the night his gifts were bestowed upon him. A presence he respected and knew well in his heart. He felt the presence of the mighty god Ares fill him and surround him. He did not need to look up to know he had been chosen. It all made sense to him now. Ares had not gifted him the magical hoplon & doyu so that he might simply win in the arena, he had gifted them to him for this very day. Testing him to see how he would use those gifts and his success and obviously proving his worth to Ares in the 12 months hence.
He was dumbfounded and awed by the public display of power by the gods, as they had been somewhat quiet over many years. Making themselves known in subtle ways or in his case not so subtle with the gifts he'd received.
He smiled inwardly when he saw the tall, athletic woman had been chosen, and as the crowd parted around her he saw the magnificent beast that accompanied her. He was also pleased to discover the owl keeper had been chosen too, he would enjoy finding out more about the pair of them.
However, the gods had also shown their mystery, as always, picking what seemed to be a peasant, who looked more suitably dressed to shovel horse manure than to attend to the gods. If that wasn't strange enough the fact that a fool was now being picked made even less sense. He was armed with instruments rather than weapons, and people laughed at him rather than cheering him with admiration and respect, perhaps his singing was that bad he would kill any beast with boredom, or maybe any monster would die laughing?
His faith was restored however, when one of Sparta's finest was chosen. He had heard tell of the paladin that not one, but three of the gods now appeared above. He was pleased that someone he "Knew" and could respect as an equal would be chosen alongside him.
Then another worthy choice was made. A battle priest of Helios would be most welcomed into a conclave of the gods. He knew all to well of their powers to heal even the most grievous of wounds, from his time on the gladiator circuit, and was sure he would be of great use in whatever their task might be.
Finally, and perhaps the most intriguing choice in his mind, was the northern savage that had been chosen. She looked almost feral & wild in his eyes. Something he could respect, but only if it was tempered with restraint and tactical awareness. He had only encountered one other Celt? At least that is what he thought they were called. That man was a fierce beserker indeed, and had caused the scar on his face, in one of his toughest arena combats ever.
He reached up to feel his scar momentarily, remembering the thrill of that fight and the roar of the crowd at his victory.
Pausanias beckoned the chosen forward, and almost before he had finished, Tellias strode confidently forward to the spot indicated, taking the first place in the chosen. He saluted his kings with his closed fist and forearm bashing across his chest, shouting "Sparta" in a clear and loud battlecry, one he had used many times in the arena. A response came from the gathered Spartans, king, soldier and civilian alike.
His gladiators began chanting his name loudly and the crowd of adoring fans joined in. Pride swelled within Tellias and the look on the kings in front of him and his gladiators gathered nearby meet his look with equal pride, but none more so than his good friend Pausanias. Tellias ripped off his Ekklsia attire, revealing his armor beneath, something that morning had compelled him to come to the meeting prepared, and so he had.
Exadius had been instructed to equip all the gladiators in his stable to bring the traditional wargear of Sparta, hoplon & doyu. As was Exadius to carry the same, but instead of the usual weaponry, Tellias had given him his own hoplon & doyu to carry. Exadius now threw these items to Tellias, along with his black plumed helmet. Tellias caught them and donned the shield and helmet. He slammed his doyu against his hoplon, in Spartan tradition, and a thousand replies came from the gathered soldiers. He awaited the arrival of the others chosen before his kings.
Edited: Glarion on 5th Sep, 2017 - 8:28am
Pausanias' greeting and words seemed agreeable, though the bickering that nearly broke out was met with quiet disapproval of Keitha as she felt it unbecoming of representatives of different lands or nations to act in such a way. Thankfully such was cut off before it became too great a problem. On what happened next though will greatly surprise the druid.
Keitha watches as Artemis shows herself with the deer by her side, choosing the young envoy from the Celtic tribes. Yet, she also took note how the goddess' image did not take form right away, and wonders what that means. Still, from what she had heard of the Huntress it seemed appropriate if still a bit unfamiliar. She took in with a soft smile the familiar scent of nature, as well the impression of shared respect for the land.
She felt a sense of awe and wonder, perhaps also curiosity, despite the deities of this foreign land not being of those she worshiped. Perhaps though, Keitha considered, Artemis may well become the goddess she looks to most of all on her journey and in fulfilling responsibilities given to her. The woman decided that it was prudent to learn more of the Huntress given how she had been chosen by her.
With such, as well a bow of her head, Keitha steps forward as she moves towards Pausanias and gathers with the others so chosen of the gods and goddesses of this land. Yet the woman does so in silence, still processing the events that had taken place as she wonders what the Huntress had in store for her and what this will mean on what will come.
Once before the rulers of this land, she will offer her respectful bow and greats in her native tongue before translating, “Tá áthas orm buaileadh libh. It is a pleasure to meet you.” Yet, while polite in her manner Keitha didn't behave in quite the same manner or with the same tradition of those from Sparta would. This showing her unfamiliarity of the land and even somewhat of its customs.
Edited: Thomaslee on 5th Sep, 2017 - 9:04am
Briadia watches the events unfolding with wide eyes. She has never seen a gathering like this. As the Spartan King begins demonstrating his power her jaw drops. She had heard of the gods but never had she seen them actively involved like this.
The young Amazon tried not to look too amazed. She understood that she probably looked unused to cities. As the various gods and goddesses began appearing above their chosen' heads she gapes again. What a marvel! She isn't surprised to see who Ares chooses as he seems to be a great warrior. The Spartan Hoplite is chosen also which is to be expected. She looks to her companion. " Arcad, stay calm. It's okay. " She knew her bear was growing restless as tension built.
Looking at the others she notices the crowd backing away from her and Arcad. She looks up and sees the image of Athena. While being a worshipper of Ares she recognizes Athena and has great respect for her. Falling to a knee in surprise, she feels immense peace and happiness. " Lady Athena, you truly honor me with this choice. I will give my last breath to honor you. "
She stands up tall and straight and advances slowly towards where the other chosen are gathering. She tries not to look wide eyes as the large crowd bothers her. Arcad shuffles behind her apparently not too impressed with the events. His snout wrinkles up as he smells for some food. They walk slowly up to the king's chairs. She feels as if her feet aren't touching the ground. Briadia glances from side to side at her fellow chosen but focuses on the kings. She bows low before them before rising.
Edited: Kyrroeth on 5th Sep, 2017 - 11:36pm
The demonstration of power by king Pausanias had more than intrigued Photokles. As the various envoys began their bickering, he was reaching up to the gem kept strapped to his forehead. "Was this merely an illusion? Was this Spartan king more than he appeared?" the Rhodian thought to himself.
However, as soon as he was about to pull the gem down over his eye, an incredible sight broke out! Several aspects of the denizens of Olympos were manifesting above different individuals within the gathered crowd. It was then Photokles felt the burning presence he had not felt since the temple back in Rhodes. The priest looked up as those around him were bathed in a brilliant radiance, and he saw Helios above him.
Photokles then heard the outcry by someone and heard him quickly silenced as well. "Could he be here?" he questioned. It wouldn't be impossible for Lykourgos to have journeyed here, after all, many others had come from farther away. Although, the high priest was not one for subtlety, so perhaps it was another sent on his behalf? Either way, what could not be questioned was the image of the sun god and all his glory. Photokles was once again humbled, and fell to his knees, giving a quiet prayer as he did so.
Photokles then took to his feet and began moving toward the others that had seemingly been chosen. The people parted as the priest moved through them, and he could see in their eyes, and those of the other priests, that they had no words for immense display they had just witnessed. Even more confounded seem to be the priest of Apollo, with whom Photokles had only received a sneer from earlier during the day. Photokles lifted his head a bit higher at that sight and now stood before the two kings, awaiting whatever was about to come next.
Edited: Brandonfett on 5th Sep, 2017 - 11:42pm
It took a minute or so before Nikalus realizes that he is meant to join the others who have been marked by the avatars of Olympus. He strides before the crowd and bows to acknowledge them, almost by reflex, then turns and bows to the kings, and his fellow… gods-touched? Then he speaks in a clear voice, though his Greek is obviously accented by the Germanic background.
"Good day, Your Highnesses. My friends, or so I hope to call you soon. My name is Niklaus, sometimes known as the Jovial. I know not why one of your gods has deemed me worthy of his notice, but I shall do my utmost to record whatever shall transpire on what I assume will be the task you give us of following your previous expeditions to Mount Olympus."
All the heroes make their way to the appointed spot. In one particularly embarrassing encounter a women of Rome throws herself at Nicklaus, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and kissing him hard upon his lips. It takes him a minute to extricate himself from her embrace, although if he tried harder he might have been able to extricate in half the time.
Pausanias looks at Arcad and smiles slightly, offering his hand for the bear to sniff. Then he leans back and one of his three hundred moved forward. Pausanias whisper to him and the hoplite takes off at a dead run, dory and hoplon still in hand. He come back moments later bearing a helping of the black gruel Spartans are famous, or perhaps infamous, for. They say the reason Spartans are such good warriors is so they can get away from their own cuisine. The bear sniffs at the gruel, wrinkles it nose and starts to turn away, thinks better of it, and then starts lapping at the food, its long tongue slurping up the food no others in Greece can eat.
Pausanias and Agesilaus laugh and Agesilaus finally speaks, "It appears we have a Spartan bear here." Then Agesilaus stares hard at one of the chosen and whispers to Pausanias. Pausanias nods in agreement and then rises.
Again, in typical Laconic fashion Pausanias cuts directly to the point. "The gods have chosen. These are ta epilegména, the chosen ones. Then he looks at the foreigners, there is no need to bow to me. I am no god king like the one we chased out of here from Persia some 50 years ago. I am a man. My burden is being king. Spartans bow to none and we expect none to bow to us except in defeat on the battlefield."
Then Agesilaus rises and says, "A home has been prepared for you this day. You will spend today here getting acquainted. This will be your house while your quest lasts. Then he looks at you all, anything you store there will be safe. Even you Brathark, though my family is not part of this." He says that sternly, no hint of joking in his voice.
Then Pausanias continues, "You will be provided supplies to last for the first part of your trip. While you remain in Greece you under our protection. We have mules for you to carry you and your burdens." Then he looks at you sternly, "Plan this first part well, for it will influence the rest of you quest. You will start by visiting the Oracle at Delphi. Three questions you have. These are left to you. The fate of the world… is left to you. You must find out what is happening and why. You are the new heroes of the gods, like my ancestor Herakles, Jason, Achilles, Odysseus, Perseus… " he pauses for a moment and then looks at the women in the group, "... And Atalanta, the only women to travel with Jason. You are called on to set things aright."
With that, both kings leave with their bodyguards as escorts. Then, a tríto of twelve hoplites escort you to your abode as honor guards. The non-Spartan people still gawk at you as move, but the honor guard keeps them all away. The Spartans look, but they are more reserved and go about their business. Yet even they greet you with a touch of awe.
The house you are brought to is not grand by Persian, Egyptian, or Athenian standards. But by Spartan standards it is a mansion. Set well outside of Sparta proper, overlooking fields of olive trees, it was made of sun dried mud bricks, with a red clay tiled roof. Two stories tall, uncommon but not unheard of in Sparta, it was shaped in a U. There was a courtyard in the middle of the property, and it was painted white to reflect the heat and keep the property as cool as possible in the hot Greek sunshine. Inside you find a well stocked kitchen, a common room with sturdy if plain chairs and a sofa, a large dining area with a rough wooden table and chairs for ten, an office area with a sturdy desk and chair and six other chairs positioned throughout the room, and twelve small rooms for sleeping. In the desk is parchment and writing instruments. Laid across the top is a map of ancient Greece
Hellas with some battle sites marked on it.
The guards station themselves outside, standing like statues for six hours and then a new shift arrives. They will talk to you if questioned.
Out of Character: Getting mules is a high honor. Horses were rare in Greece but mules were considered the greatest of animals. Smarter and less stubborn than a donkey and less skittish than a horse. They were the animals of kings. The guards are an honor guard, not prison keepers. You can go where you want.
The house you got would be nearly equal to one of the king's homes. Those of you from Sparta would know this belonged to a well off family who owned much land and many helots… and they handed it over for your group.
Okay, time to get to know each other and come together as a group. You all have planning to do. The morning will come quickly and the first part of your journey to visit the Oracle will start.
Edited: Abnninja on 6th Sep, 2017 - 2:38am