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Hercules, the strongest man alive
with a mighty heart to match.
Orpheus, charmer of nature and master of music.
Castor and Pollux, the twin tricksters hatched from an egg.
The Boreads, sons of the North Wind
who could hurtle through the air.
For untold times these heroes had roamed ancient Greece,
creating new legends wherever they went.
But none of their adventures was so great as when they joined forces
for the sake of a young man named Jason.
Years before,
Jason’s uncle Pelias had ruthlessly usurped
the throne of Thessaly from Jason’s grandfather.
When Jason returned to his father’s stolen court,
the cowardly king set him a seemingly impossible task:
cross the teeming seas to Colchis,
and steal the golden fleece of a flying ram
under King Aeetes’ nose.
If Jason retrieved the Fleece,
Pelias promised to relinquish the throne.
Touched by his heroic mission,
the Gods spread Jason’s call for help,
and soon he had assembled a not-so-motley crew.
These heroes,
alongside countless sailors, soothsayers, and rebel demigods,
named themselves the Argonauts after their sturdy ship.
But the path ahead was marked with untold terrors–
enough to test even the fiercest heroes.
Their first stop was Lemnos,
an isle of women who had killed all the island’s men.
As punishment,
Aphrodite had cursed them with a sickening stench–
but that didn’t stop Jason fathering twins with the queen.
The rest of the crew also found themselves embroiled in new romances;
until Hercules chastised them for not behaving like heroes.
Eventually, they sailed on to the Mount of Bears,
an island where a group of ancient, six-armed monsters
lived alongside the peaceful Doliones.
While the clan welcomed the Argonauts with open arms,
the monsters surged down from the mountains
and hurled rocks at the docked ship.
Hercules held them off single-handedly,
before his comrades joined the fray.
Bolstered by their victory, the triumphant heroes sailed onward–
only to be blown back to the island several stormy nights later.
In the tempest,
the Doliones thought these new arrivals invaders.
The Argonauts were similarly unaware of their surroundings,
and fought blunderingly in the dark, slaying wave after wave of foe.
But the morning light revealed a horrible truth:
their victims were none other than their previous hosts.
Yet again,
Jason had allowed the crew to be distracted,
this time at a terrible cost.
Ashamed at his conduct,
he resolved to focus only on the Fleece,
but even this haste proved ruinous.
When Hercules’ squire was abducted by a water nymph,
Jason sailed on–
oblivious to the absence of his most powerful crewmate.
The remaining Argonauts continued their quest,
until stopping at the sight
of an old man surrounded by a swirl of harpies.
This was Phineas, a seer cursed by Zeus
to endure old age, blindness, and endless torture
for giving away his prophecies.
Moved by his plight, the wind brothers set upon the flock,
providing Phineas with a brief respite from his punishment.
In return,
the seer told them how to overcome the terrifying trial that lay ahead:
the Symplegades,
a pair clashing rocks that reduced ships to splinters.
But first,
the Argonauts would have to maneuver past the mouth of hell,
around the island of the bloodthirsty Amazons,
and under psychedelic skies.
These adventures cost the crew both in men and morale–
and some feared they might be losing their minds.
Upon reaching the clashing rocks, the exhausted crew quaked with fear.
But Phineas’ advice rang in their heads.
The Argonauts released a single dove
and sped through in its wake to emerge unscathed.
With this narrow escape,
the Argonauts finally had Colchis in their sights.
Yet while Jason rested and celebrated with his crew,
he could feel his time among them was drawing to a close.
As the fleece gleamed in his mind,
he knew he would have to retrieve it alone.
But he could not guess that this final task
would have the most horrible price of all.
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The myth of Jason and the Argonauts - Iseult Gillespie

20 分類 收藏
林宜悉 發佈於 2020 年 3 月 28 日
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