Forums >> Legends Awaken Campaign Reports >> Dreams and Omens Campaign (Garden of Athena Realm, Suzerain) (4 total posts)

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The Vision

The Temple of Ouranian Zeus is famed throughout the Garden of Athena for the high quality and practical usefulness of the symbolic insights that supplicants are routinely granted, some say by the Thunderer himself. As its reputation grew, so did the fees of its attendants, temporary housing costs, transcriptions, sacrificial rituals and other incidentals. Those who are blessed with wealth vie for the honor of amazing visitors with the extravagance of their gratitude-gifts. 

 
Heracles, former leader of the doomed Seventh Parshua Phallanx, hid his bulky frame in a white hooded robe that covered him from crown to ankle.  Though far from Astom, he had no desire to be recognized. His once impeccably groomed hair and beard were now long and unkempt. Surviving in the rebel filled hills had chiseled his physique into the semblance of a living statue. 
 
The Methonian provinces had finally quelled the slave rebellion led by Hamazi, though the hate-filled barbarian leader somehow managed to escape. Presumed dead, Heracles had been blamed for the disaster. Though that was not technically true, Heracles did feel responsible. His arrogance led him to underestimate Hamazi and the Seventh was lost. He had much to atone for.
 
Though he personally believed that this Temple was a tourist trap, and perhaps a pious fraud perpetuated to boost the local economy, Heracles was a penitent and the myth associated with this structure was of Zeus repenting of his destruction of humanity, and thereafter granting forgiveness - and a new start - to all who had transgressed. 
 
Ascending the white marble steps, he passed the colorful statue of the All-Father and entered the jewel encrusted doors. Handing his (very expensive) token to the attendant, he was bathed, purified with incense, sanctified through sacrifice, given a steaming, scented beverage to drink, then directed to a small cell.
 
Heracles had been asked to fast and meditate for three days before the ceremony, so he was hungry... and more than a bit grumpy. Sleep came slowly and fitfully.
 

In his dreams Heracles saw the peak of a mighty mountain shrouded in dark clouds. The rumble of thunder and the flashing of lightning. deafened and blinded him. Then the lightning seemed to be warring... with itself? There was then profound silence and a vision of the a golden ram with wings standing before a Heavenly Throne.


Edited: 25-Aug-2017

The Sacred Relic

Euthalia, High Priestess of Love's Goddess, was troubled. Her morning ritual of prayers and devotions left her feeling anxious rather than elated. Something was definitely wrong... but what?

 
This unease remained with her throughout the public ceremony through which she greeted each new day and blessed the faithful. 
 
Her mid-day bath and meditations did little to ease her distress. Then the unthinkable happened. 
 
According to the herald, someone, or several someones, had defaced the temple of Aphrodite with lewd phrases and images. They were crudely written and rendered with body fluids and radiated primal malice. What could this mean? Who would be foolish enough to risk the total loss of love in their life? Who would brave a deific curse affecting matters of the heart? Certainly no one she knew, or wished to know.
 
The afternoon and evening hours were spent cleaning and purifying the temple, then the acolytes who performed the work, and then herself. It was exhausting.
 
That night she had a dream of dueling lightning and clashing thunder. As their fighting threatened to engulf  the cosmos, it was quelled by a mighty warrior wearing something she recognized.
 
Euthalia awoke with a start, and with a vivid image of Zeus' nearby temple. She quickly got up, got dressed and made her way to the Holy of Holies, where the sacra of Aphrodite were housed and venerated. She grabbed a rectangular metal box of beaten gold, then exited,
 
Not bothering to be quiet, the High Priestess had disrupted the sleep of those who dwelt in the temple precincts. Waving away her nervous acolytes and attendants, she grabbed a cloak and, box in arms, made her way into the night.

The Sacred Relic

Thunder battling thunder, lightning battling lightning... what was being communicated? Unless there was an apocalypse awaiting them all, this enigmatic occurrence did not make sense. The Temple of Ouranian Zeus was a feel-good place, a happy place where one could obtain positive, practical and life-affirming insights. It was a place of forgiveness, a place of letting go, a place of fresh starts and new beginnings.
 
Theosophos, the grandfatherly High Priest of Zeus assigned to this Temple, was at a loss as to how to interpret the omens appearing in the dreams of dozens of individuals, both clergy and lay folk. All who had these visions were being carefully questioned in an attempt to gain a greater understanding of what Father Zeus may be telling them.

The only unique vision was experienced by an scruffy giant named Acides, who saw a winged golden ram before the Throne of Zeus after the assault of sight and sound. And Alicides did not seem happy about being detained.

Theosophos wondered what he should do. Contact the authorities? Keep this under wraps? Pray for guidance?

His assistant, scribe and one day successor. Maskas disturbed his thought process by informing him that Euthalia, High Priestess of Aphrodite sought audience.

"At this hour?" Theosophos inquired.

"Indeed," replied Maskas, "it seems she's had a dream".

Atypical for high level clergy of the Twelve, Euthalia and Theosophos exchanged truths for nearly an hour and trafficked in knowledge previously obscured by colorful legends. Maskas occasionally contributed to their discussion and at one point offered intelligence that silenced them both. When Euthalia asked to see the giant, Theosophos complied.

Alcides was fully riled and ready for a fight until Euthalia greeted him as Heracles. He glared at her in defiance but restrained his fury - and listened.

Euthalia confessed that their paths had once crossed at the palace and that she recognized him right away. She put down her golden box and opened it, removing a wide belt. She approached Heracles and placed it around his midsection.

"This is the Zona" she informed him, which some call the Girdle, or Belt, of Aphrodite. It has chosen you to serve it. It is the only item forged by Hephaestus that can withstand the Thunderbolts of Zeus."

"I am a fugitive, disgraced and presumed dead", replied Heracles.

You have asked for and have been granted forgiveness by Father Zeus," added Theosophos, "and you have been given a task to perform. If you accept this task on behalf of the Temple and succeed you will be hailed as a Hero and all past wrongs will be erased."

"What would you like me to do?" asked Heracles.

"Isn't it obvious?" Euthalia offered, "you must locate Chrysomallos, the golden ram with wings."

"But that's a fairy tale!" barked Heracles.

"Not so," added Maskas. A flying golden ram was recently spotted in the border lands, near a village called Shepherd's Rest."

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