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▶  More from Histories Off Stand the Wolves
God-Blooded Heroes of Destiny
Off Stand The Wolves: 3
Came Orpheus, his wonder song enchanter of stubborn rocks, tamer of swift streams, his lyre craft beckoning the mountain oaks of Pieria—marching in soldier-like ranks—down to the place called Zone on the sea.
Came Asterion, fathered by the far-flowing stream Apidanus, at the root of Mount Phylleium, [1]
Also Erytus and Echion, guileful sons of Hermes, [2]
And their unblooded [3] kinsman, Amphrysus, son of a daughter of Python.
Herakles, son of Thunder-chief and the wrathful Shield-mother, hauling the Boar of Lampeia across his mighty shoulders, heard of this gathering of chiefs, tied up the boar at Mykenae, asking no permission of its cringing king and came for glory,
With him, Hylas, his youthful slave, attending his arrows and keeping his mighty bow.
Came the Heavenly-Twins, Sons of Thunder-chief, Polydeukes the mighty boxer and Kastor, master of chariot and sword, up from Sparta, from whence their proud mother sent them forth.
Came Augeias, Son of Helios, out from sacred Ellis to see the world,
Euphemus, fastest of feet, son of Europa and Poseidon, able to run across the roiling waters of the grey seas,
Also two more sons of Poseidon, Erginus and Ancaeus, able seaman and brave warriors,
And Palaemonius, powerful but lame—son of Hephaestus, the stunted god,
Came Zetes and Kalais, sons of the maiden Oreithyia, who, caught dancing on the banks of Ilissus, was abducted by the North Wind, taken to Sarpedon’s Rock in the wintry lands above Thrace and ravished in his dark, cloudy embrace. Now these Sons of the North Wind had golden-winged ankles, able to soar into the sky with their black locks flowing. [3]
Lastly came Idmon, son of The Shinning One, auger of birds, seer of burnt offerings, last to come, for his bird-lore had told him it was his doom to take hold the excellent oars of Fate and fare across Her dark depths.
1. The deep shamanic roots of Hellenic paganism can be traced to beliefs in the agency of streams, such as the river of crickets that fathered Grace-speaker and the heroic river that girded Troy and fought the maniac Achilles out of rage, when the doomed warrior choked its waters with Dead.
2. Hermes was the god of travelers, wrestlers and searchers for the truths normally veiled by men. Most important, he was the Psychopompus, or Escort-of-Souls. Hermes lent his name, sometime after his extinction, to the gnostic disciplines in late antiquity and into the early modern era.
3. Since the bastard children of the gods were mortal, their kin of purely mortal origin are referred to as un-blooded, or lacking the residual powers implicit in divine conception. Divine conception was a core Hellenic superstition from earliest times.
4. In heroic times, black hair was regarded as unusual among heroes and demi-gods, with the majority being described as golden-haired.
A Well of Heroes: Two:
Literary Impressions of the Prose and Verse of Robert E. Howard
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