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The Road to Troy

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Title: The Road to Troy


1
The Road to Troy
  • A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Story

Start your journey
This takes you back to Arcadia?
2
Its a beautiful day in Arcadiathe satyrs are
frolicking, the Maenads are going berserk, and
Hyperion is positively glowing with
happiness! Thats why I love this place so much
oh, you might not know who I am. Where are my
manners?! I am Hermes, messenger of the gods,
and patron of travelers, merchants, thieves, and
boundaries. You may have seen my likeness at the
city gates yeah, I know, Ive shaven since
then. Oh, thats not what youre nevermind, it
was a different time in my life. Ive grown up
a little and dont do anything obscene like that
anymore. Thats why youve got to make good life
choices, or theyll come back and haunt
you! Speaking of choices, how would you like to
come along with me? I could use your help making
the right choices in my travels (Im not exactly
known for being well-behaved). So what do you
say? Yes, Ill come along! It sounds like
fun. No, Ive got to go see Aphrodite about this
nymph Im kinda into
3
Fantastic! Let me just strap on the old winged
sandals, and well be on our way to
Prometheus. Is it far, you ask? Well, not for
me, but it might take you some time to get to the
Caucasus Mountains. Well, I suppose I could
hold your hand and fly you with me, but dont
think our friendship will go any further than
that. Youre certainly no Ganymede. Gr
ab Hermes hand WHOOSH!!!
4
Ah, look! There he is, that old brute. Now,
when we land, make sure you dont let his words
get to you. Hell certainly light a fire under
anybody if he can get the chance. Watch this
messenger work Hermes Prometheus, you are
hereby instructed to divulge the secret which
endangers the supreme power. Zeus, you observe,
is not intimidated. Prometheus What a stern
announcement! Upstarts parading in your citadel
as though it were impregnable! I have seen two
tyrants tumble already from that throne. Do you
imagine that these new gods can make me cringe?
Tell your master there is no reply! Hermes It
almost seems you enjoy your punishment. Prometheu
s I hate you all, the gods I served so well, who
treat me so unjustlyhate you all! Listen to
more
5
Hermes My words are wasted, all my remonstrances
fall on deaf ears. Prometheus I knew this
message would come. Unashamed I defy him. Zeus
can do what he wishes to me except kill
me! Hermes approaches you, frustration clearly
etched on his face. He is mad, stark mad, you
can see for yourself. So now, stand clear!
Having offered your sympathy, hurry away! Stand
clear from the volley of thunder!
(Aeschylus) No, Hermes! He must be
softened so that hell tell us the prophecy! You
say nothing and prepare for the fireworks.
Better him than you!
6
Well, lets go tell Zeus that we couldnt get
anything out of him. Hes going to be so upset
with me Hermes whisks you away to Mt. Olympus.
Zeus in his rage sends out a massive volley of
thunderbolts to strike Prometheus LOOK
OUT!!! But its too late. A rogue bolt strikes
you, sending you into Deaths cold
embrace. Go to the Underworld.
7
Youre right, friend. Perhaps I am too close to
the situation to get anything out of him. But I
know somebody he might listen to. Hermes
disappears for about an hour and then returns
with a cow. She is a sad-looking cow with many
itchy bumps down her back. You also hear the
annoying buzzing sound of a gadflyugh, gadflies
are so awful! Whew! That Argus guy was
difficult to put to sleep. I almost fell asleep
myself with my own talking! But, I at least
brought her Oh, you may not know who this
is. This is Io, an unfortunate cast-off of Zeus.
And that crazy wife of his sent this little
nuisance to tail her all up and down the coast
for daring to play mistress to her husband. Io
whips her tail at the gadfly, mooing softly in
anguish. Hermes whispers something in her ear,
and she perks up slightly. She then quickly
trots over to Prometheus to chat with him. You
follow at a safe distance to listen. You sit
quietly with Hermes until she returns.
8
You softly follow Io, making sure to hide behind
boulders so that Prometheus does not see a
servant of his hated rivals trying to listen in
on the conversation. Io Woe is me! This is the
worst fate in all the world, to be pressed by the
ghost of Argus and driven mad by the sting of
this wretched gadfly! Oh! Hello,
Prometheus. Prometheus My dear Io, what have
the gods done to you?! Which of the mighty
immortals has seen fit to subject you to this
ghastly punishment? Io I dare not speak ill of
the ox-eyed one, but she has brought this upon
me. Prometheus Why do the gods torment us, so,
Io? Io I know not, Prometheus, but I have come
to seek your wisdom. You see all that is before
you, and so I wish to know my fate and the fate
of the immortal ones. Its finally getting good!
Listen to more
9
After a few moments waiting with Hermes, you see
Prometheus nod his head to Io, and she trots
back. Hermes Did you find out? Io Yes, he
told me everything. Hermes Youre sure? He
wasnt just tricking you? I can tell if hes
trying to trick you, you know, so tell me what he
said. Io Yes, he told me, Zeus will lie with a
woman whose son will be mightier than his
father. When I pressed him for more, he
eventually said it would be a sea goddess, one
who nursed Hephaestus after being cast into the
waters near Lemnos for his ugliness. Hermes
looks to you quizzically. Do you know who that
is? Why, I believe it is (Amphitrite, Thetis,
Scylla).
10
EWW!!! Who would ever go near that thing and try
to procreate?! You are one sick mortal, you know
that? Then perhaps its
(Amphitrite, Thetis).
11
I dont think Zeus would ever go near his own
brothers wife. I know his amorous ways have led
him astray without regard to anybody elses
pleasure except his own, but youve got to give
him more credit than that! Then
perhaps its actually (Thetis, Scylla).
12
Of course! Zeus has always had a thing for
Thetis. This must not happen, but how to prevent
it! Eros has a penchant for making Zeus fall for
all the wrong women, but this would be
disastrous. What do you think we should do to
combat this fate? Im not sure.
Just tell Eros to stop shooting Zeus, I guess. We
could follow Zeus everywhere he goes and stop him
and Thetis. Maybe we could get her hitched to a
mortal.
13
Okay, suit yourself! I dont know what you have
time for in life, but I dont want to follow him
around all the time. Besides, his own wife cant
even keep track of his amorous love affairs.
What makes you think I could stop him? Dont you
have a better idea? Im not sure.
Just tell Eros to stop shooting Zeus, I
guess. Maybe we could get her hitched to a
mortal.
14
Please! I grew up with that guy. He wouldnt
stop playing those games on Zeus if you promised
him a thousand Psyches in his bedchamber fawning
over his beauty. Dont you have a better
idea? We could follow Zeus
everywhere he goes and stop him and Thetis. Maybe
we could get her hitched to a mortal.
15
Hey, thats a great idea! Marry her to a mortal,
and her son will be nothing more than a demigod.
Even if he is more powerful than his father, at
least his father will be a puny little mortal no
offense. But which mortal, I wonder
Im thinking Orpheus. He seems calm. Maybe
Peleus. Hes a good enough guy.
16
Hmm hes not bad, but he was able to spring
Eurydice out of the Underworldalmost. I still
dont know that I trust that kind of
power. Besides, I think hed rather marry Apollo
at this time in his life anyway, so thats a no
go on that idea. Maybe Peleus.
Hes a good enough guy.
17
Yes, hes not really all that famousor strong or
handsome or brave, being just some mortal
kingbut hes immensely devoted to us. If Thetis
gave birth to somebody more powerful than that,
he would pose no threat to us on lofty
Olympus. Im so glad I brought you along for
this. Youve been very useful to me, and Im
sure youll be rewarded eventually, somehow, in a
way, maybe just dont really count on anything,
okay. Now, grab my hand, and well go off and
make the wedding plans. You grab
Hermess hand again, and WHOOSH!!!
18
Its been two days, and Hermes has already run
you ragged dragging you on all of the errands to
prepare the wedding of Thetis and Peleus. All
the gods on Olympus have expressed their
excitement at the marriage (that is, except
Thetis, of courseshe is not pleased about this
arranged marriage to a mortal). Ah, so we have
the bouquetsnarcissus, hyacinth, and sprigs of
adonis. The music will be provided by my good
half-brother, Apollo, and the Muses. Food will
be provided by Demeter, drinks by Dionysus.
Aphrodite is doing make-up and hair, Hephaestus
is making the dishes, and Hestia is preparing the
candle centerpieces. All that remains now is the
guest list. I was thinking of making sure Eris
did not get an invite. The last thing we need is
for chaos to debunk this wedding and send Thetis
and Zeus straight to each other in the back room
while we try to clean up the mess that shell no
doubt cause. Thats not very nice. She might do
something worse if shes not invited. Great idea!
I wouldnt want her anywhere near my wedding.
19
I mean, I suppose if you want the goddess of
discord to show up to a wedding, go ahead and
invite her. On second thought,
perhaps its better not to. Perfect! What should
I do next?
20
Alright, then I need you to get cracking on
writing the invitations so that they can get out
as soon as possible. After several days and
hand-cramps later, Hermes whisks you on his
mission to deliver the invitations. The day of
the wedding arrives. Everybody looks beautiful
and shining, and you feel so privileged to be the
only mortal attending such a grand event among
the immortals You glance over to see that Eris
thankfully got her invitation (imagine the havoc
she would have caused!), though you dont much
trust the grimace across her facelike shes
bored and itching to do something. Slowly, she
begins to sneak out of the wedding chamber, which
piques your curiosity Ignore her and
continue watching the wedding. It would be rude
to leave. Follow Eris. What could she be up to
now?
21
Alright, then I need you to get cracking on
writing the invitations so that they can get out
as soon as possible. After several days and
hand-cramps later, Hermes whisks you on his
mission to deliver the invitations. The day of
the wedding arrives. Everybody looks beautiful
and shining, and you feel so privileged to be the
only mortal attending such a grand event among
the immortals But you see a shadow lurking in a
corner of the room. After staring at it for a
while, you realize it is Eris! She looks none
too pleased at being excluded from the wedding of
the century, and you start to quake in fear of
what she might do. She eventually leaves the
corner, to your relief. But you realize that
something is still afootthe goddess of discord
does not leave a room peacefully. Ignore her
and continue watching the wedding. Follow Eris.
What could she be up to now?
22
You quietly follow Eris out of the large wedding
chamber. She lurks silently amongst the shadows,
clinging carefully to the wallsunnecessarily,
too, because everyone was at the wedding (she
just wishes to create dramatic effect, you
suppose). Swiftly and silently, Eris ducks into
the banquet hall where the wedding feast is going
to be held. The door is thankfully open a crack,
so you sneak a peak inside. But all you see is
Eris standing in the middle of the hall, stooping
over. As she steps aside, you notice something
glimmer, but you dont clearly see what it is
because she turns back towards the
door. Frightened at the prospect of being caught
by such a heartless, wicked daughter born of the
discordant relationship of the king and queen of
the gods, you retreat very quickly to the wedding
hall to resume watching the wedding. Run back
to Hermes.
23
That was certainly a beautiful ceremony, dont
you think? I know, Thetis had that sour look on
her face the entire time, but at least we all get
to keep our jobs! Lets go to the banquet hall
now and get some wine. Im thirsty after
Aeoluss long-winded speech about the
practicalities of marriage. You both enter the
banquet hall and notice in the center of the room
that some of the goddesses are squabbling. As
you and Hermes get closer, you see that Hera,
Athena, and Aphrodite are clutching furiously at
a golden apple inscribed with To the
Fairest. Obviously this is not going to go
well. Well have a war yet if this fighting
doesnt get resolved. I shall ask Zeus what we
should do. Come along before they involve
anybody else in this battle. Follow
Hermes. Stay and watch. After all, why pass up a
good girl-fight?
24
Hera starts wrestling Aphrodite. Athena grabs
her shield and conks Hera on the head. Aphrodite
pulls at Athenas battle skirt, revealing
Athenas bare bottom to the rest of the
crowd. Athena jabs her spear at Aphrodite to
cast her off, but Thetis grasps it, offended that
they would fight so soon after her wedding
(albeit, a wedding she did not want, but
stillits the principle of the
matter!). Thetis Ladies! Perhaps a great judge
might determine who deserves this luscious golden
treasure. Hera Why are you talking to me?! Go
to your mortal husband, and leave these affairs
to more powerful goddesses. Athena! Let
GO!!! Heras diadem flies off her head towards
you, but you duck quickly out of the chamber
before you can be struck deador worse, accused
of trying to steal it!and begin running towards
the throne room, thinking, Hermes! Please help
me get away from that crazy gaggle of
women! Sprint to the throne room.
25
You find yourself in a marvelous chamber of
perfect marble and glittering gold, more
spectacular than sunlight. Zeus Go away! I
will not make the decision for you! Hermes pulls
you out of the way just as a thunderbolt zings
past and slams into a column. Hermes Mighty
Zeus, I come to offer my advice. Zeus Thank
myself, I thought it was my shrew of a wife
coming to demand that I choose the golden apple
for her. I high-tailed myself out of there
before being roped into that spider web. Hermes
I understand completely. So, I thought I would
help you resolve this matter in a way that kept
you from having to deal with their nagging. Why
not give the task to somebody less consequential
like a mortal? Then, the scorned goddesses
anger will fall on him and not on you. Zeus
Like this mortal? (He gestures towards you) You
quiver in fear, not desiring to be a tool of the
gods at least, any more so than you already are.
26
Hermes Of course not! Im thinking of somebody
far more useless. This mortal is my own protégé
whos been following me and doing my will. You
breathe a sigh of relief, though you still feel
uncomfortable with the king of the gods eyes
boring into you. Zeus Then who might you
suggest? Hermes There is a young boy, a Trojan
prince, who is tending a flock of sheep on Mt.
Ida. His name is Paris, son of Priam and
Hecuba. Zeus I know that boy. Ive watched him
a time or two, playing around with the sheep,
lying under a mighty oaks shade, bathing naked
in the Scamander Hermes Ahem! Zeus Sorry!
You know my affinity for Trojan princes. Take
your companion here and lead my wife and
daughters to Paris. Let him be their fateful
judge. You grab Hermes hand yet again, and
WHOOSH!!!
27
Alright, so were here on Mt. Ida. Hera,
Athena, and Aphrodite should be following
shortlytheyre nowhere near as fast as I am. I
see Paris over there frolicking idiotically on
that hill. I must warn you that hes not exactly
the brightest person in the world, so he might
get to be a bit of a gadfly, if you know what I
mean. Oh, look! I see the goddesses have come,
having bathed their dazzling skin in the gushing
mountain spring of wooded Ida. Now, they seek
the son of Priam, who will judge their rival
charms (Euripides). The three glorious goddesses
approach you and Hermes. Hera looks at you with
condescending contempt Athena glares at you
with her studious, gray eyes and Aphrodite scans
you up and down, shrugging her shoulders in
disappointment. Hermes Great goddesses three,
welcome to Mt. Ida. Hera Cut the trivialities,
Hermes, I am in no mood (when is she ever in a
good mood?). Lets just get this ordeal over
with so that this tart and this tomboy know my
beauty. Follow Hermes and the goddesses to where
Paris is dancing.
28
Hermes Paris, son of Priam and Hecuba,
greetings. Paris stares dumbfounded at the small
party of divinity approaching him. He awkwardly
falls prostrate onto the ground, whacking you
with his shepherds cane in the process. The
gods, of course, think nothing of it. Paris How
may I be of service to the mighty gods who
approach me? Hermes Zeus, in his wisdom, has
selected you to be the judge in a matter of
utmost importance. Hera brusquely shoves Hermes
out of the way, smiling at Paris in an
uncharacteristically kind mannerlike the
sinister smile of a serpent. Hera Paris, my
dear Trojan prince, if you select me, I promise
you the most powerful throne in the world. You
shall have rule over all of the Asias beyond the
eastern horizon. You will no longer be the ruler
of a small town in this savage and ruthless
land. Continue watching
29
Athena gently shoves Hera out of the way with her
spear, pleased at the flash of anger and hurt
pride on that cow-like face. Athena I offer
something grander. Rule on a throne not won will
hardly give you the glory of a hero. Instead, I
promise that you will be victorious in all
battles. You can fight for the rule of the
entire world with the guarantee of my protection
and triumph supporting your troops. Slowly,
Aphrodite peers around Athenas daunting helmet,
smiling sweetly with those swallows eyes.
Athena, showing discomfort at the love-goddesss
closeness, marches to stand next to
Hera. Aphrodite Sweet, handsome young man. I
love the Trojans with all my heart, and I offer
you the finest gift. Not all men crave power or
victory or glorybut all men crave the soft touch
of a gentle woman. I promise you the most
striking, the most beautiful, and the most
devoted woman in all the world. Paris looks to
you, the only other mortal, and scratches his
head like a foolish ape. While the goddesses
arent looking, you point to the one he should
choose Hera Athena Aphrodite
30
Paris dances awkwardly towards Hera, to whom you
vehemently pointed, knowing the power of the
queen of heaven, but he trips over a stone in the
earth and stumbles towards Aphrodite. Crashing
at her feet in a position resembling a bow, Paris
unknowingly makes Aphrodite believe he selected
her, to her delight and to Heras disgust. You
whisper to Hermes, What a fumbling
idiot! Hermes nods his head in complete
agreement. Wait for it
31
Paris dances awkwardly towards Athena, to whom
you serenely pointed, seeing as how she is the
favorite daughter of Zeus, but he trips over a
stone in the earth and stumbles towards
Aphrodite. Crashing at her feet in a position
resembling a bow, Paris unknowingly makes
Aphrodite believe he selected her, to her delight
and to Athenas righteous disappointment. You
whisper to Hermes, What a fumbling
idiot! Hermes nods his head in complete
agreement. Wait for it
32
Paris I love all three of you dearly, and you
offer a man the most wonderful gifts he could
ever dream of having. Hermes (aside to you)
Im so glad Im not him right now. (You nod in
agreement). Paris Too long I have tended these
flocks to know what it is like to be a ruler.
Instead, I have decided to dedicate my life to
Sapphos lyric art. I want to make poetry and
music and dance with the women. At this, Paris
begins to prance around, singing a poorly written
song that hurts all of your ears. Hera stamps
her foot, shaking the earth and tripping you and
Paris to the ground. You get up to dust yourself
off, losing interest in Pariss fatigued attempts
to put off his decision. Paris So, because I
have resolved that I will never be a ruler or a
warrior, I will choose what is nearest and
dearest to my heartAphrodite, I choose your gift
of the beautiful woman, with whom I may share my
deep songs of love and beauty. Wait for it
33
Hera and Athena both stare at Paris, awestruck at
his stupidity. You turn away, afraid of seeing
Paris become the object of fury for the scorned
goddesses, but also being relieved that you are
not in his position. But a promise is a promise,
and he has to live at least long enough for
Aphrodite to give him his reward for having
chosen her. Hermes grabs you, and you both flee
back to Arcadia to avoid seeing that awkward
scene. Hmm, it seems odd that they didnt even
let me mention the golden apple. Hermes tosses
the apple into a nearby lake. Ah, well! I guess
that wasnt really the point anymore. I just
wouldnt go anywhere near Olympus right now. But
I do wonder which unfortunate woman will be
involved in Aphrodites scheme. Who do you think
it is? Helen of Sparta, of course! Iphigenia,
daughter of Agamemnon, of course! Atalanta, the
famed runner, of course!
34
Shes a tad young, I think. Agamemnon is hoping
to save her for a more lofty marriage. Besides,
he has no desire to join himself to the house of
Priam, I can guarantee you that! T
hen perhaps Helen of Sparta. Then perhaps
Atalanta, the famed runner.
35
In case you havent noticed, shes kind of a lion
these days. Imagine trying to get involved with
that! Pyramus and Thisbe probably came the
closest, but we all know what happened to
them. Then perhaps Iphigenia,
daughter of Agamemnon. Then perhaps Helen of
Sparta.
36
Yes, but isnt she the wife of Menalaus? Who
cares! Whats it to us? Come, I hear hes
throwing a party soon. His parties are always as
swinging as Ixions wheel. We should
go! Absolutely! I love a good
party. I would rather face Medea than be involved
in that crowd.
37
Medea Did somebody call for me? Where did she
come from?! You shake your head violently. You
actually would never want to face Medea. Medea
Good. Ive got some errands to run now.
Dragons! With her black chariot pulled by two
enormous black dragons, Medea flies awayto your
relief! On second thought, Hermes, Ill
go to that party after all. Why is that woman
so creepy?!
38
Wonderful! You know, youre not so bad for a
mortal. Maybe one day youll get a place in the
stars or just a little poem written by you that
gets destroyed through history. Either way, Im
sure youll be remembered somehow. After a
while, Hermes takes you to Sparta. You cringe at
the openly violent manner of the men and women as
you approach the banquet hall of Menalaus, King
of Sparta. When you enter, you see Helen sitting
serenely amidst the crowd while everybody toasts
to her beauty and Menalauss good fortune for
winning such a wife. Hey! Theres Paris. And
theres Hector, his famousand more
manlybrother! It looks like all the Trojan gang
are here. But you notice that Paris and Helen
are locking eyes with one another. You ignore it
for the time-being and enjoy the
festivities. Drink until you pass out on top
of a filthy Tyrean woman named Kore. Dance until
you collapse into the arms of a smelly Thracian
named Iakos.
39
You wake up in the morning light, a painful
headache subduing you. Aurora is not your friend
today! Whoah! That was some party. I think
everybody enjoyed themselves. You were crazy,
thats for sure! Wait a minute why is Menalaus
in such a huff? He had the best time out of all
of us, and he looks as angry as the Erinyes.
Menalaus WHERE IS SHE???!!! Uh oh! It looks
like Aphrodite made good on her promise. I dont
see any sign of Paris. He must have fled with
Helen hours ago before anybody awoke. Lets get
out of here. You grab Hermes hand, and
WHOOSH!!!
40
Its been a few months since Hermes dropped you
off at your home. Youve been enjoying a calm
existence without him, but you sort of miss the
adventures. That is, until one day while walking
along a path through the woods Hey! Its been
a while! I have use for you now. Ive been
speaking with Artemis about his business in the
Aegean. Apparently, shes upset about Agamemnon
killing one of her sacred animals in Aulis. So,
shes calmed the winds to prevent the Greek ships
from sailing to Troy. Come with me so you can
watch me plant this wonderful idea into her
head. Follow Hermes into the woods to speak
with Artemis. Turn and run away you take back
what you thought about missing adventures.
41
And where do you think youre going? Did you
think it would be a fun game to outrun the
fastest of the gods? Now, I can ignore your
little attempt to undermine me, or you can
continue to try to run and meet a most
unfortunate accident. Which would you
prefer? Continue running youll take
the chance! Of course, Hermes! I was just
excited and wanted to run around.
42
Good! Shes back this way. You and Hermes flit
into the woods and see Artemis in a
clearing. Artemis That will teach you to watch
me bathe naked, pervert!... Oh, Hermes, Im
sorry. I was just teaching this Actaeon guy a
lesson. Hermes So I hear. His own hunting
dogs? Nice and ironic. Artemis I know. Now I
just wish I could come up with something to teach
those Greeks a lesson for killing my prized deer
at Aulis. Hermes Perhaps you could ask for a
sacrifice of retribution, one that they would
never perform. Then, theyll be unable to sail
to Troy and just go home, leaving your brothers
precious city alone. Artemis But what could
they sacrifice? You saw how they didnt care
about my precious animal what would they not be
okay with killing if it meant getting to conquer
Troy? You ponder this question as well, but
Hermes cracks a knowing smile
43
Hermes Its not what they wont sacrifice its
whom they wont sacrifice You and Artemis look
at each other, both realizing the implication of
his words. Artemis Ah, I think I understand.
You, mortal! Tell me whom I should have them
sacrifice. Um perhaps Agamemnon?
Theyd never sacrifice him. Maybe Agamemnons
daughter, Iphigenia? Hed never sacrifice
her. Im thinking AchillesIve never liked him
much.
44
Agamemnon would be someone they would definitely
sacrifice. Have you met the man? Hes coarse
and crass and all-around grumpy. Id slit his
throat regardless of whether it was for sacrifice
or sport. Maybe Agamemnons
daughter, Iphigenia? Hed never sacrifice
her. Im thinking AchillesIve never liked him
much.
45
Unless they have a skilled podiatrist on hand,
which I sincerely doubt, they wont be able to
come near him with any sharp weapon of
sacrifice. Nobody likes him, but that doesnt
mean anybody can do anything about
it. Um perhaps Agamemnon? Theyd
never sacrifice him. Maybe Agamemnons daughter,
Iphigenia? Hed never sacrifice her.
46
Artemis What a fantastic idea! And how
appropriate that shes a virgin girl Now I just
have to find that idiot Calchas and tell him to
pass on the message. Hopefully he doesnt screw
it all up with his stupid auguries (Gross and
Grote). Hermes Good luck! Artemis runs swiftly
away, leaving you alone with Hermes. Ah, now
that thats taken care of, we can relax Wait,
nevermind! I forgot that we still need to fetch
Odysseus. The clever fools pretended to go all
cuckoo so he can avoid joining the war against
Troy. Cometo Ithaca! You grab Hermes
hand reluctantly, and WHOOSH!!!
47
Alright, were here in the rocky region of
Ithaca. Ah, look, I see Palamedes staring at
Odysseus. Hmm, he seems to be plowing the fields
randomly with salt. You both approach
Palamedes. Palamedes Ah, Hermes and whoever
you are I am trying to convince Odysseus that he
needs to go to Troy in fulfillment of his oath.
But I dont know if hes really crazy or just
faking it. Hermes Perhaps my traveling
companion here can offer some advice. Just
bag him and force him onto a ship to sail, crazy
or not. The Greeks need fighters no matter
what. Promise him gold and women. No sane man
would pass that up. Throw his baby in front of
him. If he swerves, hes not insane.
48
Palamedes Ill leave that up to you then,
whatever your name is. Go get a sack strong
enough to carry that lumbering brute, snatch him
upwithout getting killedand trap him onto a
ship. Ha! Youll have to be cleverer than that
to trick wily Odysseus over there. P
romise him gold and women. No sane man would
pass that up. Throw his baby in front of him. If
he swerves, hes not insane.
49
Palamedes You think I havent already tried
that? Thats the first thing my mind went to.
Apparently, hes still spouting the insane idea
of being with only his wife. Have you ever heard
such nonsense?! Just bag him and
force him onto a ship to sail, crazy or not. The
Greeks need fighters no matter what. Throw his
baby in front of him. If he swerves, hes not
insane.
50
Hmm, thats not a bad idea. If he runs
Telemachus over, then well know hes either
crazy or took his pretending too far. In either
case, he would be hounded by the Furies and be
out of our hands. Palamedes, following your
advice, takes Telemachus and tosses him
nonchalantly in front of Odysseuss plow. You
watch, wringing your hands nervously, and as he
approaches closer, you worry that you might be
responsible for the death of this innocent
child But at the last moment, Odysseus turns
his plow. Palamedes I knew you were faking,
Odysseus, you stupid king of swineherds! Drop
this pretence, and come and join the oath-takers,
which, by the way, you so cleverly devised
(Hyginus). Odysseus But I dont want to be gone
for twenty whole years! Palamedes Quit your
whining. We all have to sacrifice. And besides,
Troy will be overrun quickly anyway. Have you
met Paris? Those girly-boys will fall against
our virile prowess. Hermes, please take me away
Im tired of listening to this tomfoolery.
51
Alright, we need to get you away anyway. You and
Hermes prepare to depart, but Odysseus shouts and
waves his hands at you. Hermes sighs and turns
reluctantly to him. You glare at Odysseus for
keeping you in that rocky wasteland. Odysseus
Hermes, could you please tell Athena that I would
really like to not be away from home for twenty
years? Hermes Odysseus, you know that cant
happen. Its been fated for you to fight in this
war and wander around aimlessly for many years
before you can see your home again. Odysseus
But thats not fair. Hermes Who cares? Charon
once reminded me that youre all going to die
anyway, so what does it matter (Lucian)? Odysseus
But Achilles is getting out of fighting. Hes
hiding among Lycomedess daughters. Perhaps you
could convince him to come.
52
Odysseus And how might I do that? Hermes
(Aside to you) I feel like you have to do
everything for these people. And Athena brags
about this guy being the cleverest trickster in
the world. I bet he amounts to nothing in this
war! Odysseus I know! I hear hes decked
himself out in womens clothing to avoid being
drafted, but if I know Achilless heart, he wont
be able to resist a good set of battle
gear. Hermes Yes, and we can come along, too.
My acolyte here can carry those weapons for us.
What do you say? Sure! I dont mind
carrying the load and being your puppet. Id
rather not. I need to go get suited up with my
own armor for the war.
53
Odysseus Ah, I can sense the Arcadian cowardice
in you. What good would you be in a fight
anyway, you plaything of Hermes?! Those words
sting your prideespecially the plaything of
Hermes thingand you lunge after Odysseus,
shouting about the stupidity of Ithacans
scratching an existence out of the rocks and
lacking true Greek civility. He throws you over
a cliff with easy strength, and you get dashed on
those rocks you just insulted. Ironic
much? Go to the Underworld.
54
Right answer! Lets head out. Hermes takes you
and Odysseus to the house of Lycomedes. Dressed
in the finery of merchants, the three of you lay
out jewels and precious fabrics for the true
women to admire. Next to those, however, you
place the swords and shields and other battle
equipment fit for the finest heroes. Now, we
just see which of these ladies ventures over to
those manly wares. You watch as the women admire
the costly jewels and trinkets, but one of the
womena bulky creature with facial hair poking
out from beneath her veilwalks over to your
display. You know this to be Achilles Hey,
Achilles! I knew that was you. You need to
fight in the war. Odysseus! I found him!
55
Odysseus You did well, Arcadian. Now, let us
approach him and out him from his clever
disguise. You and Odysseus approach
Achilles. Odysseus Achilles! I know it is you
under that delicate veil. Come, fulfill your
oath and go to Troy. Achilles Damn you,
Odysseus! I ought to run my sword right through
your gut for your lily-livered attempt to drag me
into a war that you yourself avoided. Odysseus,
afraid for his own life, points accusingly
towards you. Odysseus If you must run your
sword through something, run it through the one
who truly discovered your identity and wished to
force you into this war. Uh oh!!! Try to run
56
Unfortunately for you, Achilles rage at being
tricked into revealing his identity led him to
take one of the fine swords and stab you straight
through the guts. As you fall, painfully
clutching your stomach as your entrails begin to
seep out of the deep wound, Hermes grabs you up
gently and whisks you away to Arcadia. Well, it
looks like you werent fated to actually get to
Troy. But you have been most faithful. As a
reward for your service, I shall ensure you a
special place in the Elysian Fields. Right now
its sparsely populated, but the fallen heroes of
the Trojan War will join you soon enough. You
close your eyes and succumb to the overwhelming
sense of death as Hermes takes you along on one
last journey to the Underworld Go to the
Underworld.
57
Suit yourself. Just be careful in your
travels! Hermes swoops off. As you walk back to
your home, a band of brigands come along and robs
you blind. You cry out for help, but you are
silenced by the brutal blow to your head. As you
draw your last, painful breath, you hear as
sadistic laugh and a tinkling voice
whispering I told you so Go to
the Underworld.
58
Really? Dont waste your time with those
nymphs! Besides, Aphrodites busy with Ares
right now. Interrupting those two will just earn
you another kind of adventure with me anyway but
to a darker place. So are you still
sure? No! Im too young and beautiful
to see Persephone now! Yeah, yeah, I just dont
really want to go.
59
Charon Welcome to the river Styx. Two coins,
please. You search frantically for some money,
but you realize you have none! You look to
Hermes, your ever faithful guide, for
help Sorry, shade, not my problem!
Orphic route Credits
60
Works Cited Aeschylus. Prometheus Bound.
Mythology Images and Insights. 4th ed. Eds.
Steven Harris and Gloria Platzner. New York
McGraw Hill, 2004. Euripides. "Judgment of
Paris. Andromache. Book Rags. 11 Oct. 2009.
lthttp//www.bookrags.com/wiki/Judgement_of_Paris
The_storygt. Hamilton, Edith. The Trojan War.
Mythology. New York Grand Central Publishing,
1999. Hyginus, Gaius Julius. Ulixes. 11 Oct.
2009. lthttp//www.philipresheph.com/demodokos/hyg
inus/ulixes.htmgt. Lucian. Charon. Selected
Satires of Lucian, trans. Lionel Casson. New
York Norton, 1962.
Picture Credits
61
Prometheus Whats your angle? To know your own
fate, that is understandable, but the other
request I cannot give. How dare you attempt to
work for the very gods who scorn you! Io I wish
to know for my own sake the fate of the gods.
Will they ever forgive my transgression, though
it was not my choice to be the object of desire
of the mighty king? Prometheus I fear that the
gods are not so quickly inclined to forgiveness,
as you can see, but rest assured that you will
die eventually. Me, I must endure my suffering
eternally, for I cannot die. Io So that is my
fate? To suffer until my death?! Prometheus
But look on the bright side. At least Zeus will
get his come-uppins one day. He is destined to
have a son who will be powerful enough to
overthrow him, just as he did to his father and
as his father did to his father. Ooh! Even
better! Listen to more
62
Io Can he avoid this fate? Prometheus Not
likely. For that to happen, one of your
descendants will have to free me. Since youre
probably not going to become a woman anytime
soon, you might not want to count on that. Io
Well, I suppose weirder things have happened in
my life. Anyway, with whom will Zeus have this
most powerful son? Prometheus One who nursed
the Lame Blacksmith in the watery womb near
Lemnos. I refuse to tell you the name, though it
would not truly matter since nobody, not even
Zeus, can escape his fate. You will have to have
Hermes figure it out for himself, since I know
you will go back and tell him everything. Uh-
oh. You decide to sneak back and avoid this
awkward moment.
63
Picture Credits Scylla-http//blogalice.com/engl2
30spring2007/files/scylla.jpg   Ancient
Herm-http//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons
/e/ed/0007MAN-Herma.jpg   Cow (Io)-http//www.clke
r.com/cliparts/a/0/e/1/1216139760278927551lemmling
_Cartoon_cow.svg.hi.png   Ios Gadfly-http//socra
tes.clarke.edu/fly_1_co.jpg   Amphitrite-http//ww
w.theoi.com/image/P14.7Amphitrite.jpg   Thetis-htt
p//www.clas.ufl.edu/users/jmarks/epic/epic_images
/images3_iliad1/thetis.jpg   Orpheus-http//homepa
ge.mac.com/cparada/GML/000Images/oim/orpheus5125.j
pg   Eris-http//ht.psdr3.org/teachers/7north/gree
kProjects/miranda/images/eris20pic   Heras
Diadem-http//www.pricescope.com/idealbb/files/mar
ie-louise-emerald-and-diamond-diadem.jpg   Zeuss
Thunderbolt-http//themushroomkingdom.net/images/m
kdd/mkdd_thunderbolt.jpg   Hermes-http//www-uxsup
.csx.cam.ac.uk/fanf2/hermes/doc/talks/2004-01-tec
hlinks/hermes.jpg Athena-http//www.cambridgescp.
com/images/ws2_mas_gods_photos/Athena2.gif Aphrod
ite-http//www.cambridgescp.com/images/ws2_mas_god
s_photos/aphrodite2.html Hera-http//upload.wikim
edia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Hera.png Iphegeni
a-http//www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/creativedevel
opmentprogramme/productions/Iphigenia/images/iphig
enia.jpg Atalanta-http//www.culturacampania.rai.
it/site/_contentimages/00037800/37846_atalanta20f
oto.bmp Atalanta Lion-http//www.clker.com/clipar
ts/1/2/9/f/1237098554716641563StudioFibonacci_C ar
toon_lion.svg.hi.png Helen of Sparta-http//www.p
racticalpainting.com/images/PreRaphael/EvelynDeMor
gan/Evelyn_DeMorgan_Helen_of_Troy.jpg Iphegenia-h
ttp//www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/creativedevelopm
entprogramme/productions/Iphigenia/images/iphigeni
a.jpg Medea-http//www.theoi.com/image/img_drakon
esmedea.jpg Agamemnon- http//img2.allposters.com
/images/BRGPOD/96500.jpg Achilles-
http//www.1st-art-gallery.com/thumbnail/132630/1/
Achilles-In-Armour,-Costume-For-27iphigenia-In-Au
lis27,-From-Volume-II-Of-27research-On-The-Costu
mes-And-Theatre-Of-All-Nations27.jpg Laughing
Face- http//3.bp.blogspot.com/_tGXydrnpO8Q/SfmIyk
RJqLI/AAAAAAAAC2I/eW45eB8iC4s/s320/cartoonlaugh3
.png Gold Coins- http//www.clker.com/cliparts/7/
2/a/6/11949889842140432868gold_coins_in_a_stack_jo
_01.svg.hi.png Pretty Greek Woman-
http//www.edupics.com/greek-woman-with-chiton-t13
309.jpg Baby Telemachus- http//buckeyepsych.file
s.wordpress.com/2009/05/baby_clipart_5_rr20.jpg P
low- http//www.clipartguide.com/_named_clipart_im
ages/0511-0903-2002-4320_Old_Fashioned_Plow_clipar
t_image.jpg Odysseus- http//swinemoorprimary.eri
ding.net/My_Homepage_Files/Download/Greek20man.gi
f Cross-dressing Achilles- http//images.cliparto
f.com/small/17740-Hairy-Blond-Male-Cross-Dresser-W
ith-Facial-Arm-And-Leg-Hair-Wearing-A-Pink-Dress-A
nd-High-Heels-And-Carrying-A-Purse-Clipart-Illustr
ation.jpg Achilles Sword-http//www.coolnotions.
com/ClipArt/Sword_06.gif Brigands-http//cn.dk.co
m/static/cs/cn/11/nf/clipart/greece/images/image_g
reece005.jpg
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