Chapter Three - Perseus
Perseus was famous and well known throughout the land as the slayer of Medusa. He killed her when she became too bug a nuisance for the rest of the world to handle. He hacked her head off of her neck, and carried it about with him as proof of what he had done. Many times he was let into foreign kingdoms, because of this token that he carried. When Perseus was a child, his uncle hated him for reasons that I won't mention. He was packed away in a box with his mother when he was only a babe and set in a stream that carried him off. The chest, that was thought to be pirate treasure, was brought to the king of those parts. When he found live people in side, he heard their story and gave them a place to live. After Perseus had become a full grown man, the king started to take an interest in his mother. Perseus told him to back off. The king replied that he was in love with a maiden named Hippomedes, and that everyone in the kingdom had to give her a gift. Perseus and his mother had no money or riches, so this was a slight obstacle. Perseus said that he would do anything to keep the king off of his mother he would swim the seas, capture the wind, ban the sun, even bring the head of Medusa to the king. The king said it was a deal. But our hero was confused. What was a deal? The deal was that he had to bring back the head of Medusa on a platter, and the king would never think of Perseus's mother alone. And so it was that Perseus was to embark on the quest of his life, that might cost his life. Lucky for Perseus, that Athena had a thing for him. With her on his side, at least he had a chance. It also helped that she had been trying to kill Medusa for a number of years. This meant that she had a number of battle tactics. Athena told him to search out the nymphs of the helmet of invisibility. Athena gave Perseus a mailing list of the people who would help him throughout his journey. I'm sure this made the load on Perseus a little bit lighter. Athena held in her possession a mirrored shield. She gave it to Perseus as a gift for his journey that lay ahead. The first person on his list was Atlas. Atlas held the world on his shoulders. Sounds fun doesn't it! Perseus asked Atlas where he could find the Graeae, who were born old hags, and were sadly lacking in the eye-ball department. There were two myths about the Graeae sisters one that although they were old the were lovely and graceful, and version two happened to be the one that our friend was playing a part in and that happened to be the old, fat, and ogre looking myth. The Sisters did of course know where the nymphs were located. They just decided that that was for them to know and not for Perseus to find out. No thanks to the Graeae sisters our hero found the nymphs bathing in the River Styx. There they gave him the gear he needed to kill the Gorgon Medusa. He decided that he needed to get out of the Gorgons lair after he slayed her, because her equally ugly sisters would be after him in a heartbeat. Well, at least after they realized what happened to his sister. Perseus snuck into her lair, and was even lucky enough to find her sleeping. at least there was not as much of a threat as long as her eyes were closed. He closed in on his opponent and when the opportune moment came along, he cut her head off. The winged horse flew out of the Gorgon's severed and bleeding neck. This really helped Perseus to get out quickly. He really didn't want to meet up with Medusa's sisters. Even after death , Medusa's gaze could turn to stone, so he stowed it in a special pouch made for this exact purpose. While flying through, he was enjoying the view. From this aerial perspective, he noticed a beautiful maiden tied down to a rock by the sea. Wandering what was happening, and full of himself for killing a monster, he descended onto the scene. The girl was named Andromeda, and she was being sacrificed to a sea monster to keep the kingdom safe from the God's wrath. Perseus bartered with the nearby king until they came upon this deal: if Perseus saved her, then he could have her hand in marriage. He saved her by stabbing the monster until it succumbed to mortal pain and died. The king's daughter was then led off to her wedding feast. In the middle of the meal another man walked in and said that he had all of the legal rights to the maidens hand in marriage and brought a group of witnesses with him. In the end, bloody war broke out between the guests. Perseus, who had had enough hacking and hewing for the day, and the rest of his life, took to using his secret weapon. He drew Medusa's blood caked head out of its carrying case, turning to stone all of the people around him. Phineaus was the only one of his followers left standing. Phineaus pleaded that he did not fight out of hatred towards Perseus but out of his love for Andromeda. Perseus told Phineaus that he was right, and that Andromeda needed a lasting memory of her fiancée. Therefore he turned him into a stone statue, in his mind a good enough memory. All this time the king had taken to pestering Perseus's mother again. When Perseus returned he walked into the king's court. The king asked him in a sneering manner what he had returned with. Perseus told his his tale of killing the Gorgon. The king made the mistake of asking to see the head. He was deservingly turned, along with all of his noblemen, into stone. Perseus and Andromeda were married, and lived happily ever after. Perseus decided to return to his home town, Argus. His grandfather, ever mindful of the oracles warning, left town upon hearing of Perseus's coming. Perseus was asked to compete in a discus throwing contest in his honor. Somehow the wind blew his shot off course and killed his evil grandfather, the king. Perseus ended his life by being placed along with his wife, mother, and the sea monster he slayed, in the sky as constellations where they would be remembered forever.
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