The Mediterranean in antiquity is littered with small islands inhabited with strange and exotic people and creatures, each offering the chance of glory and adventure.
Our heroes sail amongst these islands at the command of the gods doing their bidding and serving their will.
The reward on offer is glory, each hero adding to their individual legend with their deeds and hoping that their name will echo down the corridors of time forever more.
Sharp-eyed Socus played by Giro
Alexis the swift played by Karl
Chevin the industrious played by Michaela
Lycomedes the wanderer played by Mark
The Ionian Boar
“Heroes. I require the tusks of the Silver Boar of Ion to adorn my new temple in Selinus. The boar is sacred to me and must not be harmed or made to suffer. Remove its tusks with a smile taken from my own face by the Cyclops Arges and all will be well.”
The gods are never as direct as they could be are they?
Our heroes had stopped briefly on their journey to admire a statue of beautiful-haired Selene the goddess of the moon when the goddess herself chose to address them through her stone likeness.
Oh well, the goddess has spoken and must be obeyed. Our heroes set sail for the island of Ion without delay.
Lycomedes had wandered far and wide in his youth and learned much about the islands of the tide-less sea. He informed his companions that the island of Ion was a mountainous island whose peaks were covered in forests and jungles. The people of the island lived only on the coast and were mostly fishermen.
Thus prepared our heroes crowded the prow of their ship competing to be the first to spot the green slopes of Ion as their oarsmen swept them forward with the steady rhythm of their work.
Of course it was Sharp-eyed Socus who saw it first.
The ship beached on the golden sands of the large crescent shaped harbour amidst the numerous fishing boats and our heroes made their way up the slope to the town of Selinus itself.
The town wasn't large but it was prosperous and the houses were well built and maintained. On a rise behind the town a temple dedicated to Selene was under construction.
Many of the towns people came out to greet the newcomers. Some were arrayed for war in case this ship and its crew proved to be hostile but our heroes introduced themselves well and the people were mollified.
The leaders of the town welcomed the travellers warmly.
Our heroes spoke openly and boldly about their quest on the island and their words were greeted with amazement and horror.
Did the heroes not know that the Silver Boar of Ion was immune to all weapons? Did they not know how many had sought to kill or capture it in the past and how all those had died without succeeding?
The forest was home to the Children of the Forest, a fierce race of creatures that lived in the trees and ate the people they captured.
Worse yet, high up on the mountain was a giant that hurled rocks at the moon.
Satisfied that they had arrived at the right place our heroes loaded up with a day's worth of food and headed into the forest.
There were no visible paths so travelling was tough. It took our heroes a long time to penetrate even the lower slopes of the Ionian hills. As the jungle increased in density the going got worse.
Tempers were fraying and everyone was concentrating on just hacking a way through the undergrowth when Sharp-eyed Socus spotted tripwires and traps amongst the foliage.
The party was warned just in time and were ready for the onslaught of the fierce creatures that descended on them.
Aware that their traps had been spotted a party of Children of the Forest, hairy hominids of great size, leapt from the tree canopy into the midst of our heroes.
Lycomedes met one with his spear and pierced the monster through, killing it instantly. Chevin struck another one wounding it badly and both Socus and Alexis warded off their attackers with their shields.
Lycomedes, standing on his fallen foe, addressed the creatures hoping to prevent further bloodshed.
Moved by his words the Children of the Forest retreated a short way into the trees and agreed to listen to what the heroes had to say.
It transpired that the Children of the Forest knew quite a lot about the Silver Boar. They knew it only hunted at night and that during the day it slept in a burrow where, it was said, nothing could disturb its sleep. They agreed to show the heroes where the resting place of the Boar was in return for a service.
High on the mountain was a creature that the Children of the Forest both feared and hated. A giant cyclops that hurled rocks at anything that came near and raged at the moon.
If the heroes killed this monster the Children of the Forest would help them find the Boar.
Our heroes agreed immediately, they were keen to meet this Cyclops and see if he was Arges whom they sought.
They headed onward up the mountain.
The way grew steeper and the going grew slower. At a particularly steep part of the journey as the heroes were hauling themselves up a steep incline using creepers Chevin grabbed a viper instead of a vine and was bitten. Lycomedes cast around for the correct healing herbs he needed to stop the poison and was rewarded by finding some nearby. The gods clearly favoured him that day.
With Chevin saved from a lingering and painful death our heroes continued.
Their way was made more perilous by rocks that began to fall from the sky, seemingly at random. Every so often a boulder of prodigious size would crash down into the trees and roll away down the mountain. Some of these boulders came close to the party but none struck them.
Darkness had fallen long before our heroes emerged from the forests on to the bare rock of the highest slopes of the island.
They were confronted by a plateau bordered by tall rocks with a deep pool nestling at one end.
Everything seemed quiet.
Alexis moved off to the side and began to scale the rocks hoping to use the higher vantage point to his advantage. The others moved cautiously forward.
Suddenly a huge Cyclops rushed from cover roaring and bellowing like an angry bull and hurled a rock at the group of heroes.
The heroes scattered and avoided the rock but it cracked apart as it struck the ground where they had stood and razor sharp splinters of stone cut into both Socus and Lycomedes wounding them both.
Chevin, who had jumped in a different direction snatched his bow even as he was in mid air and sent an arrow winging towards the cyclops.
The arrow struck the creature fairly in the centre of its great eye, piercing both the eye and the Cyclops' brain behind it so that the monster fell, already on its way to Hades before it hit the ground.
Lycomedes moved forward to cut off the Cyclops' head as proof of the kill for the Children of the Forest. Meanwhile Alexis had completed his climb and could see far down into the deep pool of still water below him.
The crescent of the silver Moon overhead was reflected in the calm water but below it, deep in the pool, he could see a matching crescent of something else.
Unhesitatingly he dived into the pool plunging deep beneath the surface. The surprising coldness of the water shocked him but he remained calm and swam for the bottom to where he could still see the mysterious object.
He grabbed it and made for the surface with powerful strokes.
As he climbed out of the pool he realised that the thing he had grabbed was a crescent of grey stone. It was incredibly sharp. So sharp that it had cut deep into his hand when he'd grabbed it and he, like all his companions, was bleeding heavily.
The heroes made camp in the Cyclops' cave, tended their wounds and rested until the morning when they began their journey back down the mountain.
After a day's hard travelling they met with the Children of the Forest and presented them with the head of Arges as proof of his death. The Children of the Forest took our heroes to the cave of the Silver Boar.
They were just in time, the chariot of Helios was dipping below the horizon and soon the boar would wake up.
Swiftly our heroes entered the cave where they found the great Boar sleeping and severed its main tusks with the sharp stone crescent. The Silver Boar didn't stir and, even as they cut one set of tusks, the heroes saw a replacement set beginning to grow.
They left the cave and retreated from the area hastily not wanting to be around when the Boar awoke.
Back in Selinus the tusks and the crescent stone blade were placed in the new temple to Selene and our heroes offered appropriate prayers and offerings to the goddess.
Finally they made their farewells to the townspeople and their ship slipped from the harbour threading its way between the fishing boats that were out catching the strange squid that fluoresced in the light of the Moon, the local delicacy that brought the town such wealth.
Our heroes gained much glory from their exploits on the jungle island of Ion and the legend of their names grew.