style="font-style: italic;">By Darkgolem
Gods and Heroes is steeped in Roman (and, by inheritance, Greek
culture). The Etruscan, Greek and href="http://www.gods.tentonhammer.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=92">Roman
traditions had many mythical beasts and creatures that (in fiction and
art, at least) you might recognize today. However, often some
might have only a passing understanding of the stories behind these
creatures (or more accurately, the stories these creatures are in, and
by understanding what these ancient cultures believed about these
monsters, you gain a better idea of what the games feel is meant to be,
and consequently you can get greater immersion in the game.
Here are just some of the monsters
in Gods and Heroes to be found, many detailing their Greek heritage
(since it is so related to the Romans). There are many more, but
this might be a good start to go by. One note I would like to
mention, many of the monsters listed below are noted as being children
of Typhon and Echidna. These godlike beings were famous for their
children. Echidna, after Zeus (or to the Romans, Jupiter) gained
control of the world, was said to be allowed to live, so that heroes
would have monsters to strive against.
size="-1"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://tth.tentonhammer.com/modules.php?full=1&set_albumName=album113&id=squad_battle_hydra_torvus_png_jpgcopy&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php"> alt="Hydra breathing fire"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 250px;" align="left"> size="-1">Cerberus style="font-family: tahoma;">: Fierce, flesh eating watch dog,
stationed by the river styx, whos job it was to keep the living from
entering the land of the dead (Hades). Hercules (Heracles) was
tasked to kidnap Cerberus and bring him to King Eurytheus. In the
Aeneid, Aeneas drugged Cerberus by feeding each head poison meat.
Cerberus was described as having three dog heads, the tail of a dragon,
and the heads of snakes upon his back. Cerberus is related to the
Chimera and Hydra, Sphinx, and many other monsters, a child of Echidna
(the mother of all monsters) and Typhon (a fire breathing giant).
Cimex style="font-family: tahoma;">: Simply the genus of the bed bug..
evidently big bed bugs. No description in myth regarding these
creatures is seen in any ancient cultures. Mentioned here because
it is featured in Gods and Heroes.
Chimaera style="font-family: tahoma;">: Another child of Typhon and
Echidna. The Chimaera is a very old mythical creatures, found
among the Etruscans as early as 400 bc. In myth, Homer describes
it as having three heads, a lions, a goats and a fire breathing
dragons. The body has the forepart of a lion, middle of a goat,
and the rear part of a dragon, with the heads not always found in the
front. Generally they are considered female, despite the lion
manes. Perseus is a hero of Greek mythology, and he slayed the
Chimaera by riding the winged horse Pegasus, keeping out of reach of
the monster and its breath, and using a spear to lodge a large piece
of lead in Chimaeras throat, where (due to the dragons breath) it
melted and killed it.
Crocodile style="font-family: tahoma;">: pretty standard creature here, but the
name is Greek in origin (it was originally called krokodilos, meaning
worm of the stones. Crocodiles were worshipped as a deity Sobek
by the Egyptians, a feared demon who later became seen as representing
the "products of the Nile" in a more benevolent sense to the Egyptians.
Cyclops style="font-family: tahoma;">: Primordial giants, each with a single
eye in their forehead. The name means round or wheel
eyed. There are at least two groups of Cyclopes. One group
of three was released from Tartarus (a dungeon or pit in hades) which
provided weapons to the gods to defeat the titans. Another group
is encountered by Odysseus, one of whom was Polyphemus, a son of
Posieden (or Neptune to the Romans) and a neiried.
Dactyli style="font-family: tahoma;">: Dactyli (or Dactyls) are a small race
associated with Rhea, the mother of the gods. They were created
by Rhea while she was in labor (though not by her labor, instead from
her digging her hands in the earth). Dactyli are said to have
invented metal working and discovered iron. These creatures had
their land of origin in Phrygia, but are said to have traveled to
Samothrace (an island) and Rhodes (the mythical home of the Telchines),
plus Crete and other places.
Daemon style="font-family: tahoma;">: Daemons are supernatural beings, not
quite mortals nor quite gods, of all sorts. Daemons can be the
spirits of dead heroes, or weak deities (perhaps without
worshipers)? They are not considered to be evil or good, but each
an individual with their own traits. Later their nature was
considered differently, more malevolent, and being thought to be
masters of divination (more accurate in their understanding of flights
of birds and such).. but able to mislead by controlling the same signs
in others attempts at divining the will of the gods.
Hydra style="font-family: tahoma;">: Hydra (or Lernaean Hydra) is another
child of Typhon and Echidna. Dwelling at lake Lerna, located near
Argos, in Mycenaea, it guarded an entrance to the underworld.
Hydra was said to have many heads (how many is something that is
unclear), and breath poisonous gas. Furthemore, each head of the
hydra grows back 2 heads if it is severed. Hercules (or Heracles)
burnt the stumps of heads to defeat hydra (with the help of his nephew
Lolaus). The blood of Hydra eventually killed Heracles when he
touches a shirt tainted with it (it's a long story).
style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://tth.tentonhammer.com/modules.php?full=1&set_albumName=album113&id=medusa_stone_png_jpgcopy&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php"> alt="Medusa in Combat"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 250px;" align="right">Medusa style="font-family: tahoma;">: the original gorgons were three
sisters, one of whom was named href="http://gods.tentonhammer.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=48">
Medusa, the other two being Sthena and Euryale. Children of
either Typhon and Echidna or Phorcys and href="http://gods.tentonhammer.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=172">Ceto
(an ancient sea god and a sea monster), Medusa was punished by Athena
for mating with Poseidon (Neptune) in her temple by being turned into a
hideous monster with her head covered by serpents instead of
hair. Medusa was known to be so hideous than men turned to stone
when looking at her. Eventuallty, though the manner it happened
is different from tale to tale, she is beheaded by Perseus, and when
this occurred the winged horse Pegasus and the giant Chrysaor sprang
from her neck. Eventually her head was placed upon the shield of
Athena, which was called the Aegis.
Minotaurus style="font-family: tahoma;">: Minotaur is a singular creature created
as the result of an angry curse from the god Poseidon (or
Neptune), and he looking like a hulking, dangerous man with the
head of a bull. On Crete, the king Minos asked Poseidon for
assistance with a political struggle, promising to sacrifice the bull
he requested sent to him by Poseidon as a sign of the gods
favor. However, upon seeing the bull, Minos instead sacrificed
another of his herd (because the bull was, evidently, impressive by
bull standards). Poseidon was offended because of Minoss failure
to fulfill his failure, and cursed Minoss wife into falling in love
with the bull. The resultant offspring was the Minotaur. In
time, after advice from the Oracle at Delphi, Minos imprisoned Minotaur
in a labyrinth near Knossos. Eventually, the Minotaur was killed
by Theseus to prevent sacrifices to the monster being given by King
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