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Aug 13, 2020 8:06 PM
James is left for dead on a deserted island right before the Trojan War
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The ways of the gods are mysterious indeed, and mortals are but motes caught in the gales of their fickle whims. Dragged into a judgement of the fairest between the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, Paris of Troy did not realize just what kind of storm would ensue when he handed the golden apple marking the winner to Aphrodite. He might have started to realize when Aphrodite stole Helen, demi-goddess and widely agreed to be the most beautiful woman in the known world, to be his bride as reward for his good judgement. Or when he realized that she was already married, to King Menelaus of Sparta, also known as the one city-state most devoted to martial arts and warfare. Or perhaps when he realized the oath sworn by everyone that had petitioned to marry the most beautiful woman in the world, to defend anyone that tried to cheat her father's decision of who she would marry. Being the most beautiful woman in the known world, that was approximately every single vaguely important of-age man on that side of the Aegean Sea. Who were now honor bound to go put their many differences aside, and go attempt to retrieve Menelaeus's prize of a wife from the villain that had her now. That being, naturally, Paris. It didn't help that the two goddesses proclaimed to be not the fairest, Hera and Athena, also had reason to be very, very upset with Paris. Those being the queen of the pantheon of the gods themselves, and the goddess of knowledge, wisdom, and a smattering of warfare, respectively.

Suffice to say, quite a storm of shit was about to ensue, with lots of the meddling of the divine, and lots of blood and battle and many chances for dashing young men to prove their valor and heroism in what would no doubt be a very one sided war that would be over in a year at most, certainly. Maybe two.

Complicating this for any dashing young men looking to make some kind of name for themselves, apparently Hera holds grudges about one's choice in friends. She would not like any friend of the recently deceased Herakles, especially not one that is as... himself as this man is, to gain glory and fame and have anything to do with any war that she means to win. He is summarily bitten by a snake. On the ankle, so he would have time to think about his mistakes. Like not immediately renouncing all loyalty to the dead bastard son of Zeus and throwing the bow and arrows that were a keepsake from him into the sea the minute he saw Hera's instrument of wrath. Maybe then she'd have spared him.

Well, this man's comrades have decided not to make the same mistake. At the wise counsel of Odysseus of Ithaca, they summarily dumped the young man on the nearest available uninhabited island, to sort out his divine snakebite problem on his own and not drag his fellows down with his clearly cursed nature. They were kind enough to leave him the bow and ten arrows of Herakles, since he was so attached to them, and since they want absolutely nothing to do with anything that might upset Hera. Nonetheless, this likely wouldn't feel like much of a kindness, to someone waking up from a drugged stupor, watching the ship that once held him sail off into the horizon without so much as a parting word or apology.

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His first thought is that this is a very unpleasant dream.

His second thought is that he does not usually realise dreams are dreams while they're going on and also he is in quite a lot of pain.

His third thought is to remember the fucking snake. That bitch.

His fourth thought is best summarised as a howl of pain and rage. And they took his horses.

He does not have a fifth thought as he returns to the land of oblivion immediately after.

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The ship that abandoned him (and took his horses) does not make any attempt to turn around. It disappears into the horizon while he is indisposed in the land of oblivion.

His ankle is kind enough to wake him just as dusk begins to fall. At least the pain is useful? And also killing him?

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Yeah fuck that. "Ow," he complains to, uh, literally no one. Then he opens his eyes and looks around to take the island in more properly.

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The island had been one they'd stopped at in order to get fresh water, so it's likely got that going for it, at least. It's definitely a proper island, not a glorified sandbar. There are trees, and it sounds like there are at least some birds on this island, for game. If he'd like to find or make some arrows that haven't been dipped in very deadly hydra blood and would therefore actually be safe for eating.

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Game has to wait until he can figure out whether he'll even be able to survive the snake bite. Water is a higher priority. How bad is the wound, can he stand at all?

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If he puts as little weight on it as possible, but it really hurts. It's looking uncomfortably swollen. Also yellow, it's looking very yellow.

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...okay, change of plans, he'll see if he can suck the venom out himself, at least a little bit, before he goes looking for water.

It's probably been long enough that that will not do anything but.

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He does not get a mouth full of venom! He does get a mouth full of pus, though! It is even more disgusting than it sounds! This is probably a step in the right direction, though, this looks like it's helping with the swelling.

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Okay? Okay. Okay. That... is probably better than nothing. He has put his mouth in much more disgusting places and put much more disgusting things in his mouth, this doesn't really compare, so he'll keep doing that for a bit.

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Eventually the injury drains a mixture of blood and pus, and a little more eventually after that it's just bleeding. That seems like something of an improvement; it certainly hurts less, now. It's less swollen, too.

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Some water to wash all that yuck off will probably be useful. He'll try the walking thing again, mostly resting his weight on his good leg and hands, finding places to hold onto - trees and rocks and the like - wherever he can. He's not above just crawling for a bit if he has to.

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He can in fact walk! It still hurts a bunch, but it hurts less than it did! Progress.

It might not be immediately obvious where the fresh water on this island is, except for the fact that there are all of these tracks left by his former comrades. There is a very large set of them going back and forth in a very purposeful direction. Water is probably that way.

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Yeah he has any sense and follows those tracks as best he can. Though his vision darkens a few times, he stops to catch his breath and will himself awake whenever that happens.

Onwards.

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Onwards!

The tracks lead deeper into the trees for a while, and then down into what looks like more of a glorified muddy hole than a spring. There's a pool of very muddy water, if he'd like some.

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...is this better than seawater? He's not sure. But he's come all this way.

No tracks leading anywhere else, perchance?

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Nope. Just the very muddy water. It looks like it might have been less messy at one point, but has been dug up in order to get at as much water as possible.

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Well.

He's here anyway.

He'll try to use his hands to sieve as much of the mud out as possible then with the rest of the muddy water he will try to rinse off the disgust out of his mouth, spitting it away from the muddy hole. After doing this a few times, he will wash his wound- damn Hera to the pits of Hades that bitch is going to get what's coming to her fuck fuck fuck-

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- okay. He's okay. It just hurts like a motherfucker but he's okay.

Mostly.

He should probably drink some of that water. He leans closer to it and tries to sieve the mud away again but the movement causes his pressure to drop and he's again out like a light.

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Plop. Into the mud goes the wayward Spartan.

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When he next wakes, he is.... no longer in the mud. He's back on the beach. There's some sort of seaweed wrap... thing... around his injured ankle. Next to him is a ceramic pot of some kind, filled with clean, fresh water.

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What.

.....he only "what"s for a second though because water and he is very careful not to drop a single drop because he wants all of it and he mostly manage to not drop a single drops so he's satisfied. "Thank you!" he calls out loud, raising the ceramic pot to the air, hoping whoever did this is still around.

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No reply. They might be around, or they might not be. It's very mysterious.

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No looking at gift horses in the mouth (until he's back home and can inspect said gift horse thoroughly to see whether it's worth bringing to battle).

How does his ankle feel?

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It still hurts a bit, but it hurts less. The seaweed wrap thing looks like it's doing its job.

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Okay! Maybe he is not in fact meeting Hades today! ...if it even is the same day. It might well not be.

What other signs has his mysterious benefactor left him?

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