Friday, March 10, 2017

Faith of Sublanarya: The Epic of Bellero, Patron God of Heroes

The epic story of Bellero begins in a land and time far away from Sublanarya, a mythical place of heroes and monsters, and with King Acrisius of the city state of Korind in the lost sea of Geleda ["hel-eh-dah"]. King Acrisius was a powerful and proud warrior king but he had a problem. Despite having several wives and many daughters, he had no sons. Without a male heir, he felt as if the Geledan gods had turned against him. And so, as Geledan kings did since ancient times, he sought out one of the Geladan oracles for the truth behind his misfortune. The oracles were virgin priestesses, chosen by the gods to be vassal for their holy words, and provided kings and heroes with glimpses into the past, present and future with their divination.

After facing many demons and troubles to reach the cave of the oracle, the king had been impatient in his quest. He left his offering by the wayside, attacked the guardian priests of the temple when told he needed to wait his turn, and even threatened the oracle herself. This impatience angered the gods but the oracle agreed to tell him his fate:

The next child born to King Acrisius would be a male heir, by the queen of the bleeding isle, but his daughter Danae would also give birth to a hero who is destined to kill Acrisius's heir and become the king.

Hoping to avoid this tragedy, Acrisius sent his daughter to live in the Tower of Rowa, a prison for one, well-guarded by a group of all female mercenaries, on the island of Rowa which is surrounded by sharp rocks and waters filled with horrible sea monsters. No mortal could conceivably reach the island or escape. Only the light of the sun could touch the top of the tower. And it would and did.

Perhaps as divine retribution for Acrisius insulting his oracle's temple, as it was Aurelion that grants them their visions, or maybe it was just his displeasure for the Tower of Rowa as a symbol of mortal man's arrogance, but Aurelion's attentions turned to the tower. When he saw the beauty of Danae he visited her, in a beam of radiant light, and took her as his consort.

It didn't take long for the princess to become heavy with the divine child and, noticing their failure, the female warriors took her back to Korind to face her father. Seeing his daughter pregnant, Acrisius realized he had to kill her but, knowing the child was the son of a god and not wanting their further ire, he decided to leave her fate to the sea.

Acrisius took his daughter, locking her in a wooden chest, and pushes it out into the sea where he expected Danae and his unborn grandchild to drown. Yet, he had not the foresight that Delphina would hear the prayers of Danae to save her and Delphina's unborn nephew, and the box was carried to safety by a pod of dolphins to Seriphos, the island of the fisher king, Polydios. The fisher king saw the dolphins as a sign from the sea goddess and quickly, with the help of his young son Dyrus, worked to pull the wooden box from the sea. Polydios took Danae in, hiding her from her father and the world, and when she gave birth to a son, dying in childbirth, he adopted and raised the boy who was named, with his mother's dying breath, Bellero.

Meanwhile, on the island of Kaptora, their king, Minos, had his own trouble. He sought out help to have his own male heir from the oracle. In fact, he had been the one seeking assistance from the oracle when Acrisius interrupted. The oracle told him to seek a small island near Kaptora and find a large white bull. If he sacrificed it to the gods, they would reward him with a male heir. He sought out the bull but, when he found it, he was so impressed that he refused to kill it. As punishment, the gods cursed his wife to fall in love with bull. His wife Skora forced Yollo, a prisoner of Minos, to build her an apparatus to mate with the bull. The resulting child grew quickly into a blood thirsty monster. Minos sought help again from the oracle and she instructed him to contain the beast but dare not kill it.

And so, Minos had Yollo build him a maze to contain the monstrous "Minotaur" before having Yollo locked away in the recently vacated Tower of Rowa. He then sent his wife, who had gone mad, to live on the cursed red island of Moro. To contain the beast and keep it alive, Minos was forced to demand a tax from the islands surrounding Kaptora:

Each week he demanded virgins to be sent to Kaptora from other islands of Geleda and forced to enter the maze. If they survived the maze, they were chosen by the gods, and would be rewarded. He did not tell them of the beast in the maze but it was known that none left the maze alive.

Polydyos reluctantly agreed to sacrifice his son, refusing to let some other father or mother of his people make such a sacrifice without doing so himself, and he sent Dyrus to "visit" Kaptora without telling him what would become of him once he arrived. When King Minos told the fisher prince he would have to enter the maze, Bellero stepped forward and pleaded to go in his place. He loved Dyrus as a brother and believed he could solve the maze. Dyrus would have objected but Bellero said Dyrus, as the prince of the fisher people, was too important to lose his life.

Minos's daughter,  Adrian, was touched by the young man's bravery and gave him warning of the beast and, with a stroke of brilliance, gave him a basket filled with balls of yarn. She recommend that he leave a trail of yarn as he trekked and that maybe he could solve the maze rather than becoming lost in it and becoming food for the Minotaur. And so, young Bellero was lowered via a trapdoor into the maze and to face his first tests.

Inside the maze, Bellero left a trail behind himself as he walked and pray he find the end of the maze before he met the beast inside. He first heard the heavy falls of the Minotaur's steps during the day, some wall or two away, sniffing and grunting, as it searched for him. He swore to kill the Minotaur and be free. He was glad not to find it that day as he found a nice corner to hide and sleep. But he couldn't. As he tried to sleep, he heard wailing and cries. To his dismay, he discovered the Minotaur was crying out for its mother, crying "Skora!" in its loneliness and hunger. With that, Bellero realized he had no choice but to face the beast and free it from the proverbial hell in which King Minos had trapped it to suffer and survive off of the innocent.

Bellero knew the beast was tracking him and so he set about making his own trap. He made sure to leave trails in the dirt and make noises as he walked. And so, when the beast followed his trail, it would walk right into his trap. He created a mess of yarn across the floor, that tripped and tangled the beast, before setting it upon it and, with a single blow, put out of its misery.

With the poor beast slain, Bellero was able to find his way out of the maze and confront King Minos with his crimes. King Minos denied the boy's claims and demanded that he be seized and slain for his crime against the gods. Dyrus came to the boy's defense and pushed the mad king into the trapdoor of the maze where he fell to his death.

With Minos dead, Adriana took the throne and married Dyrus. Bellero was hailed a hero and asked to visit the temple of Aurelion in Korind to seek forgiveness for killing the divine monster. After all, Minos himself had been warned of the consequences of harming the divine bull incarnate. Bellero agreed and made his way to Korind.

When he arrived at the temple of Aurelion, he discovered the prince of Korind, Kalibos, sacking the temple and planning to harm the priestess Andromeda.

The mad prince took pleasure in cruelty: he murdered his enemies, humiliated his rivals and took all that he pleased without challenge. He claimed that his gods were mightier than those of the people. When Bellero arrived, he stopped the prince from defiling the temple's priestess Andromeda and challenged him. He demanded to be given an impossible challenge and that, if Bellero succeeded, his gods were mightiest and the cruel prince would cease his mayhem. The prince agreed to the game but if Bellero failed he would sacrifice Andromeda to one of his gods. He had been sacrificing virgins to it and would sacrifice Andromeda next if Bellero failed. Bellero agreed and he was given his task:

To kill one of Kalibos' gods: the Cetus Hydra.

The Cetus Hydra was an eldritch horror; a mass of writhing tentacles and screaming maws driven by hunger and madness. It is said that the tentacles of the hydra are covered in the heads of the sacrificed that scream, forever in unision, in the same breath as their last. It was a nightmare that sunk ships and dragged men to their dooms. And Kalibos had been summoning it, feeding it, and perhaps even drawing power from it.

And no mortal man could hope to wound it. For each of its writhing arms that were cut off was quickly replaced by two more. Many heroes had tested themselves against the ancient eldritch god but they too were said to become another screaming face on the pillar of eternal torment known as the Cetus Hydra.

Kalibos knew this. And so did Andromeda.

 She had a vision, a nightmare, that haunted her dreams for years. She was strapped to a rock and sacrificed to the Cetus Hydra. But, in a flash of light, she was saved and the beast crumbled into the sea. The only thing she knew that could turn another into stone was the Medusa. The Medusa was a cursed goddess who could slay any mortal or god with a mere glance, turning them to stone if they gazed upon her head of coiling serpents, and none knew of her location or how a mortal could survive an encounter with such a horror.

None knew, except the Graeae.

Andromeda told Bellero to seek out the Grey Mountain and to find their cave. She forewarned him that they were dangerous witches, as well as seers, and that they often demanded a heavy price for their knowledge. Their knowledge, as it was told, came from their possession of the Mimian Eye. All three sisters were blind but whichever sister held the eye could see the past, present and even the future.

When Bellero reached the cave and the floor was littered with human bones. Realizing the price for their knowledge, he made his way to the three sisters. The three were bickering among themselves when he sneaked into their midst, snatching the eye, and threatened to crush it in his palm unless they gave him the knowledge he sought and allowed him to leave in peace. They agreed but he could tell they would try to kill him the moment he turned over the eye.

He asked what tool a mortal would need to retrieve the head of Medusa and use it in his battle against the Cetus Hydra. They cackled and told him to seek the Pool of Twilight on Atlas Mountain. The nymphs of the Pool guarded many treasures and granted a single boon to any Geledan hero on a noble quest.

As soon as they imparted the knowledge, he fulfilled his side of the agreement. He returned the eye by throwing it into the deep end of the cave. The three witches ran after the eye and he escaped. Some say they still seek out the eye and a great reward awaits any who would find it for them.

He then made his way to the Pool of Twilight, overcoming many trials along the way, until he arrived at the Pool of Twilight. He expected to be greeted with suspicion as he had heard the nymphs killed anyone foolish enough to try and approach the pool without a pure heart. They were warriors who wielded great magic and wielded vicious spears. And yet, when he arrived, they were unarmed and welcomed him graciously for a meal. As the twilight hour came to an end, he asked for a boon to help him on his quest. And they laughed at his request.

"None are more worthy of gifts from the gods than this son of Aurelion"

He received a gift from each of his father's parents and sisters save Delphina who had saved him as an infant:

From Aurelion's twin sister Fiona of the Moon he received the hunter's sandals that would make his footfalls silent and a golden bow in the make of his father's that could fell a titan, Terra of the Earth and his grandmother Kleeona of the Heart wove him a cloak of protection that would shield him from mortal weapons, from Pyra of the Flame he was gifted an admantine vorpal blade that could behead the Medusa, and from his grandfather Grimnir the All-Father he was gifted a helm of wisdom that would protect his mind from evil thoughts.

Sophia herself appeared before the hero and granted him a silver shield of mirrors that would give him the edge over the Medusa.

The nymphs gave to him a bag that could carry the Medusa's head.

Bellero then began his long journey to the island of the Medusa with the tools to defeat the Medusa, take her head, and slay the Cetus Hydra. But Kalibos would not wait for his return and prepared to summon the eldritch god and sacrifice Andromeda. The treachery was seen by Aurelion and, finally, he decided to give his son a gift as well.

As Bellero walked along a road he saw an old beggar on the side of the road. The beggar asked for some food and, despite the journey ahead and his haste, Bellero gave the beggar half of his dinner. The beggar thanked him for his kindness and gave him a bag of bird seed. The beggar then told Bellero to throw the birdseed into the air off of a nearby cliff.

Bellero thought the beggar's request strange but he agreed to it. Bellero went to the cliff and, as he threw the bird seed into the air, the Pegasus appeared and caught the seeds in mid-air. The Pegasus was a divine beast, a flying stallion, that only the pure of heart could tame. The steed landed before the hero, lowering its head, and allowed him to climb upon its back.

As Bellero flew towards the den of the Medusa, he could feel the warmth of the sun's rays and, for the first time in his life, he knew the affection of his father who had disguised himself as a beggar to test Bellero's goodness.

His heroism would be put to the test in the den of the Medusa.

The cursed Medusa lived in a temple that more of a mortuary or stone garden, filled with corpses of arrow-slain heroes and the grimacing frozen visages of the petrified few who met the serpent woman's deadly gaze, and was guarded by beasts. With his gifts, Bellero had no difficulty entering the temple, leaving the Pegasus outside, as he crept through the winding halls and catacombs and, much like his trial against the Minotaur, he detected loneliness, sadness, and murderous intent. As he crept, he was distracted by the sound of shifting scales and rattling bones, as the Medusa moved with terrifying speed for the size and strength of the beast.

And yet, Bellero was cunning and remembered that Sophia had gifted him the shield with the intent of guarding his gaze from the beast. He used it to catch glimpses of the beasts around corners before he finally came up with a plan to distract the Medusa and overcome her speed.

As Medusa came around a corner, she stopped in her slithering tracks. Her eyes met a strange sight-- in the arms of one of her victims was the mirrored shield. Upon seeing her own reflection, she slithered close and dropped her bow, transfixed by her own horrific image. As she stared at the sight, Bellero crept behind her with Pyra's blade in hand and the Medusa caught sight of him in the shield. She could have slain him with ease but she was finished.

The Medusa was tragic creature. She had once been a mortal princess whose beauty and adoration made a deity jealous. In retribution for the idolatry of her people towards the princess, the deity cursed her so that she would be repulsive, with hair of snakes, and any that she looked upon would be killed in a single breath. Over the centuries, the Medusa had become the monster to survive. But, after seeing herself again, her own face, she was reminded of her humanity.

She begged the hero to kill her. And he tried to refuse. It seemed dishonorable. She then threatened to kill him if he did not, moving to quickly turn her head in his direction, and forcing his blade. As he scooped her head, he thought he caught a glimpse of the Medusa's face, and his heart was moved by her beauty. The tragedy of the Medusa was not lost on Bellero.

But he had little time to contemplate his actions. Instead, he climbed atop his Pegasus and flew back to Korind.

When he flew over the city of Korind, he discovered it had fallen to chaos as the members of Kalibos's cult to Cetus Hydra fought against the guards of the city and the people rioted against the Prince's evil. As he arrived in the bar, he saw the sea roil around a rock and upon it he saw that Kalibos had chained Andromeda.

Before the Cetus Hydra could lay a poisonous tentacle upon her, Bellero made battle with the eldritch god. He slashed away at its limbs, stunning it with golden arrows, and fighting his way towards on of its massive eyes. When he found it, he lifted the Medusa's head from the sack and the god's gaze met with oblivion.

It quickly turned to stone and, just as in Andromeda's vision, crumbled like sand into the sea.

After freeing her from the rocks, Bellero took Andromeda back to shore. There he was met by Kalibos who, once again, moved to harm the priestess. This time, Bellero was quick to act, and with a swing of his blade took the bastard prince's hand. With a horrible cry, Kalibos fell back off the cliffs of Korind and into the sea. The people of Korind rejoiced and celebrated as Bellero freed them from terror and tyranny.

The king of Korind, lay dying in his bed chambers, and upon hearing the death of his son and the arrival of Bellero, he called the hero to his chambers. He confessed to his crimes, thanking Bellero for stopping the evil Kalibos, and, with his dying words, named his grandson, Bellero, as his heir.

With that, Bellero became the king of Korind, marrying Andromeda, as justice and peace were restored to the city state. But happy ends are rare in Geledan myth.

Kalibos was not dead. He washed ashore on an island where he was nursed to health by a hag who found him on the shore. As he lay in her hut, having been transformed into a form befitting his hideous nature, she told him the truth: she had known his father Acrisius and that Kalibos was her own son.

The hag explained that she had once been Skora, the Queen of Kaptora, but her husband had exiled her to live among the criminals of the island. Luckily, she was a powerful witch and managed to survive and conquer the island. There she, like all on the island, exposed their "true natures" and she was transformed into a hideous hag.

She then explained that not long after the would-be execution of his daughter and grandson, King Acrisius had sought out the bleeding isle and, with some help, found it. After becoming victim to the madmen and monsters of the island, he believed he would die. Instead, he was brought before their queen at her palace. She was a beautiful temptress and, knowing his fortune, he told her that if she would bare his child that the boy would become king of Korind. The queen agreed to lay with him but, when he awoke from his drunken horror to discover his bedmate has transformed into a hideous hag and the palace transformed into a filthy hut, he fled from her side and escaped back to Korind.

But, some months later, he would go back to the island and return to Korind to raise Kalibos as his heir.

The news, combined with his defeat, drove Kalibos into further madness and the hag twisted his madness and hatred into a focused malice powerful enough to challenge the champion of the gods, Bellero. She promised that she could give him the power to conquer the Bleeding Isle's madmen and turn them into an army. Then, with his army of raiders and the other teaching the witch could provide, the bastard prince would be able to defeat Bellero.

And he tried. Kalibos's raiders attacked villages and cities all across the Geledan sea but he knew that would not be enough to draw out the hero. He took the form of shadow as a disguise and kidnapped Andromeda, dragging her to the den of a beast that Kalibos had taken under his dominion, the legendary Chimera of Lycia. Bellero flew to the cave where Kalibos's army lie in wait for him but, before he could land, the Chimera set upon him.

Bellero faced off against the Chimera and it was the most intense battle of his life: the beast had the head and forelegs of lion, also with the head and back legs of a goat and a third head of a fire-breathing dragon, with bat-like wings, and finally a venomous serpent for a tail. He did battle with the beast for a day and a night, both becoming weary and traded blows, when his helm of knowledge gave him an insight. The Chimera was a female who had recently given birth. Realizing the meaning of this revelation, he searched the battlefield below, even as the Chimera chased him.

Bellero saw that Kalibos men were guarding a cage and so, with the deft precision of his bow, he knocked the cage open and let the prisoner free. It was the Chimera's child, which flew to its mother's side and to safety. The Chimera turned on the army, immolating them with its flaming breath, before fleeing with its child in tow.

As Bellero landed on the ground to go into the cave and rescue Andromeda, he was set upon by Kalibos. This time, Kalibos was far mightier, able to shape shift into monstrous forms and was overwhelming Bellero. Finally, Bellero pulled out his trump card: the head of the Medusa, turning Kalibos to stone, before severing his head from his body. Kalibos was defeated, for now, and Bellero was victorious.

The hero ran to his queen's side, freeing her, and, as they embraced, Bellero collapsed. In the battle with the Chimera, he had been mortally wounded by the venom of the serpentine tail, and had only managed to stave off death long enough to complete his final quest. Andromeda wept for her king as she held his body. The Pegasus approached the two of them, bowing its head, and the queen knew what she must do. She lay Bellero's body across the back of the Pegasus. The loyal steed knew where to go.

Bellero was carried to heavens and received by his family. And there he was given new life but not as a mortal. Bellero had earned the mantle of godhood, inheriting the birthright of his father's divinity, and became the ideal that all heroes would forever aspire to be: courageous, honorable and kind-hearted.

Andromeda would remain the queen of Korind and would soon give birth to Bellero's only child. Bellero's bloodline was strong, watched over by the hero god, and would rise, time and time again, to stand against great evil in Geleda and across the world of Narya.


The Paragon, The Saint of Heroes, The Monster Slayer, The Pure-of-Heart, The True Heir


Power Level
Greater Deity

Lawful Good

A pegasus

Mount Olympus

Heroism, athletics, survival, courage, cunning

War, Protection


Athletes, heroes, guards, volunteers, warriors

Favored Weapon
Swords and Shields

Holy Day(s)
All Heroes Feast

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