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Leg Post 70 opens with a brief Non-Story Note warning of the profanity used throughout the post, which is expressly done by one particularly Character named Red. Cadmus, a middle-aged man and farmer, has experienced a dream from Astarte seeking to help him on his quest to rescue his missing sister, Europa. When he reaches the Temple of Astarte she explains that Europa was taken by Zeus to the island of Crete and that Cadmus must travel to Thebes in Egypt to seek help from a mysterious auger. When he reaches the dock of Tyre he places the dragon teeth that Astarte gave him on the ground as requested and from them sprout ten little girls that all look like miniature Astartes, each with their own unique colour. The leader of them, Red, is extremely abrasive and rude to the other girls, known as the spartoi, and to Cadmus himself. They are dragon essences, so she took the personality of the dragon from which the tooth was taken, and imbued with power from Astarte. Navy enccourages Cadmus of their loyalty, even Red, despite his misgivings. The ship they man is a magical ship of rippling light which they use to set sail for Egypt where Astarte could no longer influence his life.

Post

Greek Legends: Cadmus' Beginnings

Non-Story Note: I want to expressly warn readers that this post contains a fair bit of bad language, a lot more than I would usually write into a post.

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Cadmus was a middle-aged man with a nice, quiet farm in the countryside on the outskirts of Tyre in Lebanon. He would spend most of his days tending to the crops, feeding the cattle and kicking chickens. Who doesn’t love kicking chickens? Just be prepared for their chickeny revenge as a certain popular, green-clad warrior could attest to.

Cadmus, however, was no warrior. He was strong from the hard labour of farming but his body was not attuned to the rigours of combat and he had never wielded weapons. He never even hunted, his cows and chickens right there ready to be slaughtered when necessary. He did, however, wear a green tunic and a little green hat.

Today, however, he was kitted like a one-man army. He went to the local blacksmith and bought as much weaponry as he could. Unfortunately he had no money left for armour but he figured with enough weapons he could kill everything before he would need armour. A bow and quiver on his back, a short sword to his right and a scimitar to the left, daggers in a row around a belt on the leg, a short axe attached to the other leg and even a blow gun tucked behind the bow.

He trekked through the streets of Tyre, which got him a lot of odd looks. When the guards approached him he assured them he was on a quest from the gods. Dubious, they escorted him to the Temple of Astarte who was the god he claimed to have seen in his dreams. When there the guards dropped to their knees as they beheld the deity herself. She then shooed them like a couple of pests and they ran away.

Astarte was coloured stark white from head to toe with an uncanny marble-like sheen to her skin. Her hair was also white and worn in a complex weave and was so long that it reached the floor at her feet even tied as it was. Light seemed to have no hold over her physical aspect as she was never in shadow and cast none of her own upon the ground. She appeared like a bright ghost through the darkness. Her eyes were bright red like a couple of headlamps that even left light trails when she turned her head quickly. She had no clothes, which was expected as a deity of sex, but she represented the appetite of women and not of men so she was demanding and expectant rather than alluring or seductive. ‘You don’t fuck Astarte, she fucks you’ as the common saying in Tyre went.

Breaking up the white were a few spots of red. Her sexual organs were in colour – the nipples of the breasts and the crevice between her thighs but also the bellybutton. Because she thinks bellybuttons are sexy.

Cadmus was completely undistracted by the sex god before him. His worries weighed too heavily on his mind to leave room for other pleasures in life. She measured at a similar height to himself, six feet, which was tall for the period.

Cadmus: “I’m ready.”

Astarte’s white lips cracked into a smile, showing the red inside her mouth.

Astarte: “Your vessel is ready. Take this bag, it contains dragon teeth. Place them on the ground, next to the ship. Heed my advice and you shall find your lost sibling.”

Cadmus: “Thank you, my lady. I am honoured with her aid. But I must ask…”

Astarte: “Ask away.”

Cadmus: “Why? Why would you help me find my sister? The gods are usually silent on such matters that are… beneath their notice.”

Astarte: “The affairs of mortals are none of our business, Cadmus. If bandits stole your sister, I would not interfere. If she was taken by your neighbour, I would not interfere. But she was taken by a divine being and that makes it my business.”

Cadmus: “I guessed as much from the dreams you sent me. But tell me who is this deity? I did not recognise him.”

Astarte: “He is a foreigner, making this an even greater quest. Had your sister been taken by another of my pantheon, we could resolve the issue within moments. But she was taken to the island of Crete by the king of the Greek gods. His name is Zeus.”

Cadmus: “Then to Crete I shall go!”

Astarte: “Not yet. You must follow my advice. It may take many months, even years, to reach her.”

Cadmus: “But that is too long! She is in danger now! I must save her!”

Astarte: “Do you think you can fight a god?”

Cadmus shook his blowgun.

Cadmus: “I am well-armed!”

Astarte laughed, genuinely amused. She liked this. Usually she was dealing with young, strapping warriors for quests to slay monsters. But here she was dealing with a desperate but earnest man, well out of his depth but determined to do anything to play heroics. He would be entertaining to watch but he would need all the help he could muster in his adventure.

Astarte: “If a god were to apply themselves sincerely to battle, a single one, could destroy an entire battlefield of warriors. One farmer with zero training would barely be noticed. No, Cadmus, you must get help for your quest. The best man to aid you now is a genius tactician with the added benefit of augury. Travel to Thebes in Egypt. There you will find the man who will lead you on the path to victory.”

Cadmus: “…very well. If that is the only way, I shall do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.”

Astarte: “I wish you luck, Cadmus! But remember, I cannot come to your aid beyond the shores of my domain. While you explore the lands of Egypt and those of Greece, you will have to rely on your mortal allies.”

Cadmus sucked in his breath and tried to put on a brave face. He knew she could probably see straight through it, even without being a god, but he made the effort anyway.

Cadmus: “I can do this!”

Astarte: “I know you can.”

She reached over and caressed his face.

Astarte: “But do not be afraid to experience life while you are journeying, Cadmus. You should remember not to deny yourself friendship or even love. I know your heart is heavy, but if you heed my advice and the advice of your allies then you are assured of success in the end. But I guarantee that Europa will not want to be saved by a broken, hollow man who has worn himself cold in her name.”

She drew close and kissed his lips lightly. It was not a romantic kiss like the movies, but a simple kiss of admiration and a blessing of good fortune. He bowed his head and retired from her temple.

The temple itself was small, especially compared to the temples of deities in other lands, and made of simple sandstone. It might have been mistaken for any other building next to it if not for the statues of lions on either side of the door, asserting the dominion of Astarte. Away from the temple he was soon at the dock where the vessel granted to him was waiting.

He could tell, instantly, which ship was supposed to be his. It was the bright, glowing ship that looked like it was birthed from moonlight. He touched it and saw the magic ripple from contact. He was instantly terrified at the idea of trying to stand on it. He looked back to see a large crowd had gathered to see the odd ship and to see what was about to happen to the guy who stood on it.

Before he got onto it, he remembered the bag he still held in his hand and opened it up to find the massive dragon teeth within it. He mused for a moment, wondering what possible use it could be to put these on the ground. They’d probably be worth a lot of money and he could buy even more weapons! But he knew he had to do as Astarte demanded. Her power would be a greater benefit in his quest. He tipped over the bag and scattered the teeth around the dock. The onlookers were bewildered by the experiment.

And then became more bewildered as the teeth started to grow into people!

Ten little girls popped into being, all miniature versions of Astarte in different colours and each with her own hairstyle. Fortunately, unlike their ‘mother’, the girls were clothed, albeit they were clothed in lycra sportwear, as though they were all about to go cycling, looking like an all-female Power Rangers[Ext 1] convention. The red one stood firmly, legs apart and one hand on her hip with her back rigid. She pointed at Cadmus.

Red: “Listen up, troops! Your orders are to help this sad sap sail the ship across the waves whenever and wherever we need to! No ifs or buts!”

A green girl, whose hair was cut into a short ‘pixie style’, snickered.

Green: “Butts.”

Red: “What are you, a fucking Minion[Ext 2]!?”

Cadmus’ eyed bulged to hear this little girl’s voice using such bad language.

Yellow: “I love Minions!”

Red: “Shut the fuck up, I didn’t ask you!”

The yellow girl growled, albeit very cutely, at the red girl but the leader of these little demons just thrust her finger at the ship.

Red: “Get on it, you asshat!”

Cadmus: “Okay, okay. I think, first, you could tell me who… or maybe what you are. And please, less of the swearing.”

Red: “Don’t tell me what to do, old geezer!”

Green: “I thought we were supposed to do what he says?”

Red: “Don’t backchat to me, you little—”

Cadmus: “Whoa, whoa. Calm down.”

Red: “My tits are calm! You calm yours!”

Yellow: “He doesn’t have any. Actually, neither do you for that matter!”

Red: “Hey! Minion-tard, you want a kiss!?”

Yellow: “Oh! Yes please!”

Red: “From my fist!?”

Blue 1: “Why is Red always such a bitch?”

Blue 2: “It’s the dragon she came from.”

Cadmus blinked. He was not a stupid guy and, for a farmer, people considered him pretty smart. He looked over the ten girls. He hadn’t noticed any difference in the colours of the teeth but from that girl’s words he deduced that each of them were part of the essence of the dragon from which they came. There was Red, who seemed to be the leader and had a nasty attitude. So too, then, probably did the dragon from whom the tooth originated. There was Yellow and Green, who both seemed pleasant. Two of them were blue, the very same shade. He calculated then that the two were ‘sister teeth’ from the very same dragon.

Cadmus: “So a part of you is from the dragon you came from, and another part of you is from Astarte herself?”

Red: “Everyone give the old man a round of applause. He ain’t so dim as that last twat we worked for. He was all, like, grunt, grunt, me hit man in face with stick, grunt, grunt.”

Yellow started giggling at Red’s impression, but this only provoked the red-coloured girl’s attention;

Red: “What’re you laughing at, retard!?”

Cadmus: “Do you have to be so… confrontational?”

Red stomped over to the man that towered over her, yet she stood as straight-backed and intimidating as if she were double his height.

Red: “I’m a badass motherfucker, you got a problem with that sucker!?”

Cadmus: “Well… yes actually.”

Silence fell over the girls. Apparently not many would defy the little red monster. He suddenly stamped on his foot.

Cadmus: “Yeowch!”

Red: “Take that, buttmunch!”

Yellow: “Hahaha, butt.”

Red: “Say anything again, you—oi! Where the fuck are you going, you dweeb!?”

Pink: “Setting sail! Ahoy, my mates! Avast there my landlubbers! Shivering in my timbers! Land ho!”

Red: “That’s you. A land hoe! Get away from that wheel, I’m captain!”

Red angrily marched onto the ship and the other girls followed her. Green looked at Yellow;

Green: “Isn’t a hoe what people water their gardens with? Why is that an insult?”

Yellow: “It’s Red, watering gardens is probably a bad thing for some reason.”

Cadmus watched in despair as the girls started ‘manning’, or ‘girling’, the ship. They were hoisting sails and swabbing the deck and generally seemed to be doing a competent job of being sailors, but he still couldn’t understand if there was some mistake.

Cadmus: “Did I do something wrong? Should I have planted the teeth instead? Maybe water them for more growth? Did they need good soil? Why are they children!? And why does she have to be so mean!?”

Red leaned over the shiny railing.

Red: “Are you coming or what, you fucking meff?”

Yellow: “He seems nice. I think he’ll be fun to travel with!”

Red: “I told you to shut up, retard.”

Cadmus: “Am I being punished? Did I upset Astarte somehow?”

Red: “Come on, you dweeb! Hurry the hell up! What’re you waiting around for!?”

Cadmus: “Astarte, have mercy…”

One of the girls then appeared at his side and took his hand. She was a deep, rich navy blue. Her eyes were bright white, like Astarte’s skin, shining from within the darkness of her skin and clothes. Her hair was ornate, much like her ‘mother’s’ had been, but worn up and around her head to hang loose around her neck and ended at her shoulders. She appeared much like a miniature queen. A blue miniature queen.

Navy: “Don’t worry. She’s mean but strong.”

Cadmus: “Yeah, that makes it worse not better.”

Navy smiled in such a way that he could see Astarte in her.

Navy: “Not like that. She will be strong and fierce for you. She will be far more loyal to you and your quest as any human sailor you could hire.”

Cadmus: “I hope you’re right. What do I call you by the way? Are you really just called colours?”

Navy: “We are the spartoi. Dragon essences, as you said, infused with the power of Astarte. I suppose we’re a kind of elemental in a way. But our names… our identifiers that we would use beyond the physical world are unpronounceable. So we just use our colours.”

Cadmus: “What about the two Blues?”

Navy: “Blue 1 and Blue 2.”

Cadmus: “Ouch. Do they fight over who gets to be one?”

Navy: “Can you tell them apart?”

Cadmus: “No?”

Navy: “Neither can they.”

Cadmus: “They can’t tell themselves apart?”

Navy: “They’re both the same dragon.”

Cadmus nodded slowly with sudden understanding, though it strained his brain to try to think in this way.

Cadmus: “Okay, Navy, let’s go.”

He put a foot on the gangplank and found it was entirely solid, though the light rippled around his shoes as though he were stood on water. He started to walk up and reached the top.

Cadmus: “To Thebes!”

Red: “You heard the lanky twat! Get your butts in gear!”

Yellow: “Hahaha, butts.”

Red: “I swear, I am going to throw you overboard and feed you to the damn sharks you--!!!”

Cadmus turned to watch the dock as his ship set sail from the distant lands of Egypt. The people there were still watching in dumb horror at what they had witnessed but nobody was brave enough to even faint. He watched them watching him and grew uncomfortable. So he waved.

Someone waved back.

It was Astarte, stood at the back of the crowd who were too busy looking at the retreating mini-Astartes to notice the tall one behind them. She was smiling serenely and Cadmus hoped she knew what she was doing when she placed him into the care of the little spartoi. The gods were not simple or easy to understand so he had to trust in her judgement. He just hoped this genius auger was not so insane.

Notes

Britt's Commentary

"The green-clad warrior and the vengeful chickens is a reference to the character Link[Ext 3] from The Legend of Zelda[Ext 4] series. This opens the mini-arc of Cadmus, set prior to previously written events, to add further backstory to certain characters that would reappear later and have impact on future narrative. I also really wanted to introduce the Middle-East as a prime location as later Troy would be the centre of the Greek Legends Chapter and that is in the Middle-East. The story of Cadmus is very loosely based on some of the original source material but the majority of this post is linking various unrelated materials, including the real goddess Astarte[Ext 5], Cadmus[Ext 6] himself and the kidnapping of Europa[Ext 7] by Zeus[Ext 8] to Crete[Ext 9]. The Spartoi[Ext 10] are also from Greek mythology[Ext 11] though there they turn into standard soldiers so I wanted to do something weird and funny." ~ Britt the Writer

References

External References

  1. Power Rangers article, Wikipedia.
  2. Minions (Despicable Me) article, Wikipedia.
  3. Link (The Legend of Zelda) article, Wikipedia.
  4. The Legend of Zelda article, Wikipedia.
  5. Astarte article, Wikipedia.
  6. Cadmus article, Wikipedia.
  7. Europa (consort of Zeus) article, Wikipedia.
  8. Zeus article, Wikipedia.
  9. Crete article, Wikipedia.
  10. Spartoi article, Wikipedia.
  11. Greek Mythology article, Wikipedia.
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