The Chryson Rhapsody

Lyssa is a slave to the service of Hera. She has the power to heal any aching heart by the touch of her hand. The Gods become envious and send Chryson, a Demi God, to abduct her. He becomes victim of her power and defies the Gods. In turn, they succeed in getting her, despite Chryson's best efforts. A search ensues, where both go on separate directions. They will face all the horrors the Gods present them. Ultimately they will find that their biggest foe is within themselves.


1. Therapne

By the shores of the Messenian Sea, Pytrion once lay
A glinting Mycenaean port, during the golden age of heroes and legends
When mortals defied deities for the sake of glory and love
It was there, over long gone streets covered in cobblestones
That ruin fell upon the city and of all of those who dwelled in it
For countless winters, as a center of trade Pytrion had stood
The riches that passed through it were carried over river coiled mountains
The passageway to Sparta, it fondled with the sea, carefree as the sand from its shores
For the Gods had given bliss to all of those who their stood
Despair was born on a warm spring morning, in a doera, a simple slave
Once she were to come of age, as all her like, was to be the Gods servant
Yet sparked by divine envy, she would doom those she embraced
Unequaled in beauty, as pure as rain, her name was Lyssa
Her hair was the Sun's reflection, golden rovers undulating over breasts full of life
Olive oil colored skin, delicate and soft as new flower's bloom
A voice like seabirds melodies, brown eyes glance as gentle as neap tide
Hidden, tempting secrets within carnation lips
A smile as welcoming as a full moon light
She was loved by all, from royals to slaves
They adored the hand of the young maiden
For it was said that her touch could heal any broken heart
This adulation was the cause of one God's envy
And thus, a day came, when Hera sent a messenger to be feared
Phix, the young daughter of Orthus and Chimera
A beautiful woman, with the body of a lioness
A tail holding the spirit of a snake
And the wings of a mighty eagle
She landed softly at Pytrion from a clear morning sky
Fright struck to those who set sight on her eyes
She walked leisurely, careless and chesty
While commoners ran away, and soldiers shyly faced her
She reached the main building and lay down on the entrance terrace
A crowd gathered around, quietly, in astonishment drowned
Phix defiantly looked at those around...
"I come not to harm but to warn, those within this land
You must retrieve your most precious charm
For she shall be offered to Hera in rejoice
To pay for the good fortune your city has enjoyed
Yet do not try to be astute, for we know what's in your hearts
This is what we want, and that is in your hands
Your faith shall come not by your actions, but decisions
As she will be Hera's, regardless of your visions
For at the third night you shall surrender her to us
Or she and your city shall be taken from this coast."
Phix stood up as serene as she had come
Silently, her tail guarded her steps from those close
She took flight, leaving silence in hope's hold

There was no doubt of whom the Gods desired. There was no doubt she was not to be surrendered. After all, Pytrion had stood for over a thousand winters: When all flowers whispered their new found perfumes to all creatures newly born; When the Titans still bled from their fresh wounds. The Gods were not going to take away their one true treasure. They were Mycenaeans, conquerors of King Minos Empire - the Keiftu. They were convinced they could withstand the wrath of the Gods. Just not at Pytrion as it was no citadel but a port of commerce. Thus the council decided to seek refuge at Therapne, where they had a better chance to make a stand.

The walled city stood on a ridge on the left bank of the Ervotas River, overlooking the river's valley and Sparta. It was buzzing with activity; kilns for smelting bronze; villas built over terraces, defense towers with outside stairs spiraling all the way to their top; shrines to King Pelops and his father, King Tantalus. Finally, there was the megaron, were Lyssa and the rest of Pytrion's doeras had been gathered. Tall, thick walls provided shelter while bronze armored soldiers guarded the only entrance gate, which hid behind a pair of stone lions quietly standing tall. The walls and ceilings were adorned with graceful murals that paid homage to nature and its wonders. Simplistic scenes showing plastered silk like white petals over rainbow like colors from clouds as light as mountain air. Olive trees and grape vines growing from the marble, rising in search of the glow from the golden vaulted ceiling. A central circular fire pit emitted smells of aromatic oils from burning grasses. Cornering the pit, were large, downward-tapering ivory colored pillars. Everything reflected over black marble floors, as if a ghostly underworld lay just below everyone's feet.

Within the megaron, the royal guard was ever present, with their highly polished weapons and armor. Most of the soldiers had their bodies protected by smooth bronze armor: thick torso plates, guards for shoulders, under and upper arms and throat; six bronze belts attached to the bottom edge of the cuirass: three in front and three in back. All armor parts threated with leather laces to a leather cuirass. Their bronze conical helmets were decorated with an upper knot and tin rivets. All of them had a long nose, neck guards and chin straps to secure them. Their shields were as individual as the soldier who carried it. Some were tower rectangular shields, others were circular and of various shapes, while a few still used the old traditional eight figure-shaped shields. All of them had one thing in common. How they were made: a wooden or metal frame with layers of animal hide fastened to it. Some had attached gold or bronze plates embossed with decorations depicting images of strength and valor. All of them were painted in dark colors. The final highlight was their smooth metal rim, made of gold, silver, bronze or copper depending on how rich the owner was. The leaf-shaped spear heads were mostly made of copper, while some were of bronze. Their swords were the soldier's prized possession. The richest swords had elaborate handles made of gold, ivory, bone and stone. The blades inlaid decorations were made of gold, silver and nickel with painted depictions of animals, warriors or creatures such as Griffins. Some soldiers preferred the long swords which showed ornate gold hilt revetment, decorated with spirals. Others swords were decorated with gold revetment on the hilt, gold nails and ivory or agate pommels. Mycenaean swords had no equal in battle.

The doeras were like children, ignorant of life's concerns. Toying with triviality brought forth by the total and absolute care from their benefactors. Lyssa was no exception. She had no conception of things past or yet to come. To her and the rest, this was just a visit, an excursion for their amusement.

She perceived a faint scent, which invited her. Like a murmur, it called upon her. Attractive, inviting yet subtle, Lyssa urged to follow it. A game of hide and seek for a child eager to play. She pursued it in silence, unaware, drifting away from the crowd onto a flower arrangement that surrounded a fountain that brought inside the megaron fresh water from afar. The sound of water overcame all others in her mind. Like a bee seeking the nectar from a freshly bloomed flower, her eyes explored them. Which one was calling her? No two were alike, diverse colors and shapes coming from all the corners of the known land: purplish-blue wolf's bane, blood-red windflowers, pale-pink-grey asphodelos, krokos, Narcissus and Lenten roses among many others. Then, she found it.

It was luscious, with spirally arranged long and broad leaflets radiating from the base of the petiole. It was immaculately white, with four petals and six long stamens, which danced like butterflies at the slightest touch of a gentle breeze. Its stem was covered with stinging hairs. Its exotic perfumed yelled for her attention. With the anticipation of discovering something pleasantly new, she picked it up. Immediately, her hand burned and itched as if a thousand hair thin needles pocked her. She did not care. She closed her eyes as she drowned in some sinister yet divine fog. The scent was as sultry as a summer evening, making her sweat in forbidden thoughts. She was becoming one with the flower, as if it was holding on to her. The flower was feeling, exploring every part of her. Lyssa was in a cloud of bliss, floating in midair with no conscience of time or space. It was as if her body was wrapped in a leather glove, keeping her away from all external stimuli. She felt wrapped within a smooth, dry, silky, satiny enclosure. The stem wrapped itself around her wrist. She slowly opened her eyes. The flower was no more.

A white snake, the size of a man, had wrapped itself around her. Its yellow slit pupil eyes stared at her in cold determination. Before she could scream, the viper opened its mouth and softly exhaled a scent which reminded her of putrefied eggs. It knocked her unconscious. Out of the lower half of the creature's body, a pair of human legs protruded. The abomination prevented her fall.

It was then that some of the maidens noticed what was going on, and with collective terror, screamed, alerting the guards. They quickly surrounded the creature, which was swift of movement. Its hiss was deep and dark, as if they were the last breaths of dying lost souls. The chill of death ran under everyone's skin. Large, curved hollow fangs out of its open mouth threatened those near. It constantly moved, as if floating over the floor, not letting go of its prey, while avoiding the menacing spears.

The guard's men fought their inner fear the way men do when they jump off a cliff towards the sea against their better judgment. Timidly, they looked for an opportunity to wound or kill the abomination. Yet they were as fearful of harming the doera as being hurt by the creature. Like a winter flock of starlings, the soldiers moved in precise choreography to the orders from their captain. As moments piled up, their collective valor grew. Until, as if anticipating the soldiers' intent, the creature lunge its head towards some close guards and sprayed venom through its fangs. The toxic droplets made waste of shields, reaching amour. The metal melted as if exposed to a furnace fire, yet there was no heat. Deprived of protection, skin and muscle burned as if the sun itself had touched it, exposing bone through the wounds. The stricken guards threw themselves to the floor: rolling, shaking, twitching, and screaming, as the megaron's empty space was instantly filled with the sounds of death. The remaining soldiers retreated to a safer distance. The creature moved closer to the one exit, which was barricaded by more fully armored soldiers, with spearheads and arrows pointing towards it.

The snake's head was no more. It now resembled to that of a man: hairless, scaled skin, no nose or ears. Its yellow slit pupil eyes continued to gaze upon those around it while its tongue still savored the smell of burned flesh in the air. Human arms protruded from its upper torso, and what was now a serpents tail wrapped around Lyssa's fragile thin neck. The creature, half human, half snake, stated with a hissing voice, "Let me passss or sssshhhee will die."

The voice was like the cold wind from Mount Pelium, were no clothing could protect men from freezing. As those wounded now lay dead, the running water from the fountains was the only sound that dare break the silence.

"LET IT GO!" the captain of the guard ordered.

With their weapons still held high, the soldiers retreated. As the creature and its captured doera exited the megaron, a pair of large, white feathered wings morphed out of the creature's back. The sun now warmed its scaled skin. The serpent tail released its deadly grasp off Lyssa's neck and coiled around her legs. The wings, strong and majestic, flapped gracefully with the might of the north wind. A dust cloud rose from the flapping, temporarily blinding those who were close. The creature, without hurry lifted flight. Chryson, the son of the old shape shifter God of the elusive sea change, Proteus, had just completed his first task. He would take his prisoner, Lyssa, to face her fate with the Gods.

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