Read through Agon recently and absolutely loved it, so I wanted to play a bit to get my head around the rules and the flow. Thought I would write it down and share it with folks. Might just be a one-off, might be a bigger thing.
Gather around everyone, and hear the tale of the heroes of the Triton. Come hear of Clear-Voiced Agathon, scion of Agamemnon, favoured of Hermes, and blessed in arts and oration! Come listen to the tales of Bloody-Minded Zenobia, daughter of Zeus, favoured of Ares, and gifted in blood and valor! Come learn the lessons of Shadow-Wise Tychon, student of Circes, favoured of Hekate and renowned for his resolve and spirit!
Come hear their great deeds and misfortunes as they found themselves lost at sea, trying to find their way home after a great battle.
Trail of Leadership (Craft & Reason): 6
Zenobia attempted to invoke Zeus, her father and king of the Gods, to point the way for them. But nothing happened, and no one aboard the Triton believed that Zenobia was a descendant of the great Zeus.
Clear-Voiced Agathon prevailed. He invoked the hunter Artemis to lead the way, and with a mighty voice, made a beautiful prayer that parted the mists and revealed Artemis’ constellation in the sky.
But Shadow-Wise Tychon was best. He conducted a ritual to part the mists, burning food, spilling wine on bones, and speaking in tongues. The waters rose and carried them to solid land.
Tychon elected himself to lead the party, casting a suspicious eye upon Zenobia, as the island of Kryos came into view.
Kryos was a cold and rocky isle, fabled for its gold mines. Legend says that the island was protected by a ring of everlasting storm clouds that kept the land’s riches safe from marauders.
Tychon looked upon the remains of his ritual and reported signs from the Gods. He said that Hera’s peacock led those who were faithful to restore something that was lost. He saw signs from Zeus, and looked once more at Zenobia, who looked away. Tychon said that Zeus showed him broken pillars descending into the sea. Finally there were signs from Hermes, that there was great wealth to be found on this island.
When they arrived at the mining settlement on the island, the infamous storm clouds were nowhere to be seen. All was in turmoil—people rushed to and fro, wailing in panic. “It’s gone!” they cried. “The pirate queen has stolen the Pillar of Storms! We are defenseless! The harpies shall slay us!” The two leaders of the land recognized the three as great heroes and each entreated them to hear their words. Meletia the mining chief wanted to be rid of magic and the whims of the gods—she said that it’s good the Pillar of Storms was gone. Now the people would learn to defend themselves. Ionestes, priest of Hera knew that without the blessing of Hera, the island was doomed. The temple and its sacred pillar would need to be restored—even improved!—to show the greatest piety.
Tychon took the lead, arms folded beneath his white robes and asked of Ionestes, “By what manner does the Pillar protect the people of Kryos? What power drives it?”
Ionestes was quick to answer, “It was infused with the power of storms by mighty Hera herself! But we have become complacent. The people do not make offerings! The temple is in ruins! I know you, Shadow-Wise Tychon, please lead us in pious action before the dreadful harpies descend upon us!”
Meletia scoffed, and Tychon turned to her. “What say you to all this?” he asked.
She looked passed Tychon to Zenobia and said “We have a new pillar! Bloody-Minded Zenobia, I have heard of your many exploits. Head the charge against the harpies, help us make sturdy defenses against them.”
Zenobia laughed and roared, “I have never killed a harpy before, it would be my pleasure!”
But then Tychon took Agathon and Zenobia aside and said softly, “Something is wrong here.”
Agathon scoffed, “Yes, pirates, bloodthirsty harpies, and some miners who got lazy with their offerings. What shall we handle first?”
“Not that,” Tychon shook his bald head. “Harpies don’t attack people for no reason. Their essence is tied to wind, to the sky. Perhaps this pillar is an affront to them.”
Agathon nodded, remembering the sign from Zeus.
“There is more to this story.” Tychon said, and turned to Ionestes. “If you want our help, you will tell us the whole story. What is really happening here?” The group engaged in a trial of arts & oration to discover the truth of what was happening on Kryos.
Trial of Ionestes, Priest of Hera (Arts & Oration): 9
Bloody-Minded Zenobia prevailed by intoning the name of her father Zeus and demanding that the priest tell them the truth. Again, nothing appeared to happen, no divine powers manifested. And then a peel of lighting lit up the sky and the island shook from the thunder. Ionestes shrank under his robes, eyes wide at Zenobia, who grinned wide and shouted in triumph.
Tychon prevailed by locking eyes with the priest and intoning the divine name of Apollo, God of knowledge. He was Shadow-Wise, and knew when secrets were being kept, and the truth of things obfuscated. Ionestes quietly begged Tychon not to use his rituals on him.
But Clear-Voiced Agathon was best. He was well-practiced in oratory and bombarded the priest of Hera with questions and rhetoric until he broke.
“Alright! Alright!” And Ionestes explained. “The pillar it… Hera ordered us to… The priests who served before me, who built the temple to Hera. When they read the signs they saw… they saw conflict between the Gods. Hera and Zeus. Hera wanted… Hera demanded that one of the Harpies that nested to the south be entombed in the temple. The priests said the island would be protected forever. So that’s what we did. And ever since we have been safe.”
Tychon walked closer to the priest and said, “But then the people became complacent.”
Ionestes nodded. “They stopped giving offerings, I tried to want them but… when the pirates were trying to approach I thought… I thought I could show them. Show the people what would happen without the protection of the Gods.”
The mining chief Meletia turned to Ionestes, “You did what?”
Ionestes looked away, “It was for your own good.” Meletia charged the priest and began kicking and hitting him. Tychon turned away and led Agathon and Zenobia from the scuffle.
“We’ll need to deal with the Harpies next,” Tychon conspired.
Zenobia looked to the miner and priest struggling on the ground, “Uh shouldn’t we…”
“You’re not going try to talk to them as well?” aked Agathon.
“No,” Tychon shook his head. “No, we shall rely on our new pillar instead.” He patted Zenobia on the shoulder. “Take up your spear, daughter of Zeus,” he said with a smirk. Tychon slowly made his way to where Meletia was on top of Ionestes. “I trust I can count on you to raise the town’s defenses?” he asked.
The two disantagled themselves and nodded like scolded children.
And so the three heroes returned to their ship and set sail for the stoney pillars south of the island. They could not see the top of the pillars, for the caves where the harpies lived were above the clouds, but they planned for an ambush using Agathon’s falcon, Scipio.
The Trial of The Harpies (Blood & Valor): 13
Clear-Voiced Agathon suffered. He used his mighty voice and fighting pet to lure the Harpies, but it worked too well, and his skin was torn up by razor sharp claws as he was swarmed.
Shadow-Wise Tychon prevailed. He used his sorcerous powers to draw in the mists from around the island to obscure their ship. He appealed to Hekate directly for the power to control the mists, and she granted him a vision of the pirate queen mastering the Pillar of Storms in the seas nearby.
Bloody-Minded Zenobia was best. She exploded from the mists created by Tychon and lanced two harpies in a single strike. She used her shield to defend herself from the harpy’s talons and screamed Ares’ name to fuel her spirit as she fought against the harpy’s great numbers.
The battle won, the Harpies retreated to their caves in the stoney pillars above the heroes, and the heroes themselves retreated back to the mines of Kryos. The mining chief and priest of Hera had made good on their word. The people were well-armed, and sturdy fortifications were being constructed. As they looked over the defenses Tychon spoke in hushed tones,
“Now we deal with those pirates. Hekate gave me a vision during the battle, their leader Thesekyra may have already meddled with it.”
“Maybe we should lure her back to Kyros,” suggested Agathon.
“No,” said Tychon, and he looked hungrily to the sea. “No these people do not deserve such a boon. You see what happened. They would rather dig in the dirt for treasures than maintain an artifact from the Gods.”
“I see,” Agathon said, studying the white-robbed figure. “And what happens next time someone comes to take their gold? Or the harpies regain their strength?” Tychon looked up at Agathon, as if he had awakened from a dream.
“They shall do what mortals can,” he said. “Say a prayer for them if you want, but they have written their own destiny here in Kyros.” And with that Tychon walked away from Agathon and called out to Zenobia. “Daughter of Zeus! Have you ever killed a pirate before?”
And so the heroes boarded the Triton and attempted to track down the Pirate Queen.
Battle Against the Pirate Queen Thesekyra
Clash (Perilous): 14
Bloody-Minded Zenobia suffered. She stood as a figurehead on the ship and called on Poseidon’s name to point her spear towards their quarry. But the seas became violent as storm clouds gathered above them and a bolt of lightning struck Zenobia, sending her careening across the deck.
Clear-Voiced Agathon also suffered. He led the sailors in song and composed his own tune. He asked the crew to imagine the beating of Hephaistos’ mighty hammer on his anvil. But the wind was too strong, the sound of thunder too great, and without the sound of his words, Agathon appeared to be berating the crew.
Shadow-Wise Tychon was best. He stood on the deck of the ship and carefully peered out at the horizon. Even as mighty waves breached over the deck, he did not move. He stood like a statue, whispering prayers to Athena to give him the foresight to see Thesekyra’s ship in the storm. And there it was, perilously close to them.
The Trident and the pirate ship crashed together, the winds and waves of the storm tangling the oars and sails. There, in the middle of the deck, Thesekyra put her hands on the Pillar of Storms as her crew drew swords and spears.
“Kryos shall fall into the sea!” she cried. “With this pillar I shall bury that island in waves as high as the sky. Your crew shall be gutted and fed to the sharks! All is lost heroes! You have come too late!”
Threat (Epic, Perilous): 14
But Clear-Voiced Agathon prevailed defending the crew of the Triton. He inspired them with a grand speech and reminded the sailors that surely Hermes would be looking down upon them now. Zenobia bolstered Agathon by leading the charge against the pirate crew.
And that Bloody-Minded Zenobia prevailed in separating Thesekyra from the Pillar of Storms. The two battled around the marble column as a storm raged around them. The pirate queen’s sword and the daughter of Zeus’ burnt spear danced back and forth, but with the help of Agathon’s hawk Scipio, the pirate queen could not complete her ritual, and the storm around them ceased.
Finally, Shadow-Wise Tychon was best, and seized the moment with his incantations. All looked in wonder as his voice drowned out the wind and the sea. He strained to remember every lesson Circe, daughter of Hekate, had taught him, and by his will the Pillar of Storms cracked, and blood appeared from within, burning the deck of the pirate ship, and causing the sea around it to boil.
“You have not earned the right to wield what the God’s have wrought, Thesekyra!” Tychon shouted. “I have! And I shall send you and your ship to Hades if you do not relent your control.”
Finale (Resolve & Spirit): 11
Agathon and Zenobia looked at each other and silently nodded. Zenobia leaped to the Triton and pushed the pirate queen’s ship away with her spear. Agathon lead the crew in untangling the ships’ rigging. They would support Tychon rather than get mixed up in this duel of wills.
Shadow-Wise Tychon was best. His knowledge of the arcane was greater than Thesekyra’s, and he used the power and hate embedded in the Pillar of Storms to set the pirate queen’s ship ablaze. Thesekyra herself was turned to ash, and blew away in the gathering winds.
Agathon, Zenobia, and the crew began to celebrate, but the deed was not yet down. Tychon was drenched with sweat, his wide eyes fixed on the boiling sea where the pirate ship was sinking. A whirlpool was starting to form, the power of the Pillar of Storms was seeping into the sea, and threatened to drag everyone aboard the Triton down into the deep. But Tychon had other plans. Tychon thought he could wield the Pillar of Storms and bring glory to his God Hekate.
The Trial of the Pillar of Storms (Mythic): 13
Clear-Voiced Agathon suffered. As the pillar ascended from the wreck and floated toward the deck of their ship he saw what Tychon intended. He pleaded with the student of Circes to see reason, that he would bring the wrath of Hera, Zeus, and all the other gods upon them. But Shadow-Wise Tychon refused to heed Agathon’s consul.
Bloody-Minded Zenobia also suffered. She tried to put herself between the Pillar and the ship as it drew closer to the deck. The stone burned her flesh until finally Agathon pushed her out of the way.
And Shadow-Wsie Tychon was best. Through his will he brought the Pillar of Storms onto the deck of the Titan where it smoldered and became black and hideous. Bones stuck out of the burnt marble, and rivulets of blood poured ceaselessly from it’s many fractures. The ritual completed, Tychon grinned to himself before collapsing on the deck of the Triton.
The heroes had angered Zeus, for they usurped his power, and refused to release his favored harpie from it’s prison in the Pillar. They had angered Hera too, for removing the blessing she had given to the people of Kryos, and leaving her temple in ruins. But they had much impressed Hekate, Goddess of Magic, for their growing power and Tychon’s sorcery. Hermes too showed them favour, for stealing from the Gods. The people of Kryos were left to defend themselves against thieves, pirates, harpies, and worse.
From that point on, Agathon was known as World-Wise, for he knew the ways of men & Gods, and how best to please them. Zenobia was remembered for her great deed defeating the pirate queen. And Tychon, well Tychon for a time kept the Pillar of Storms, but would sood learn that the relics of the Gods have a cost.