- Hesper sneaks out of of the hotel the next day with her illicit winnings, carefully avoiding the proprietor.
- Journeying to the temple moon of Hermia, she spends some drachmas on trinkets sold by the priests and pays the requisite bribes for access to a private shrine to leave her votive of 2000 drachmas
- Her prayer is answered when the god possesses the idol in the shrine. She gives Hesper a clue that the one she seeks to aid her can fly as swift as a falcon. Hermia takes the hand from behind her back, revealing an ancient coin, which she throws to Hesper telling her to use that to buy her passage.
- Hesper returns to Korinthos. She decides the under city of Korinthos is a place of “eternal night” spoken of in the prophecy. There she finds a ship docked in one of the lower platforms called The Halcyon Falcon and decides she must be on the right path.
- The captain of the ship, a Myrmidon named Solon, suggests his ship is for hire, and that it’s the fastest in the region: it can do 2.5 in the Open Sea and made the Hermian run in less than 12 parsecs! His price, however, is exorbitant. His first mate, Karbacchos, a large, fierce goregon who refuses to speak the Hellenic tongue, stands prepared to enforce the terms.
- Hesper decides that the Myrmidon is the “one who is many” from the prophecy.
- Hesper hands him the coin given to her by Hermia. He seems to recognize something special about the coin, questioning Hesper where she got it and if she knows how to reach “it”. She bluffs her way through the conversation and it’s agreed that he will take her in return for “the rest”, with Hesper receiving only the pearl she seeks and her first choice of one other treasure.
- They depart soon after, and during the trip Hesper spends much time antagonizing the goregon, whom it is revealed does not like Hellenes, by making it point to make him her best friend.
- Hesper is awakened at the end of the journey by the ship shaking violently and the power fluctuating. Racing to the bridge, she sees the ship in a holding pattern far above a vast slipspace vortex extending for as far as the eye can see. If it’s a storm, it’s the largest yet. Solon identifies it as The Eye of Hoseidon, from which none have escaped.
- Captain Solon demands that she offer her plan of how they’ll manage to get safely into and out of the vortex. He refuses to fly his ship in without knowing her plan.
- Hesper tells him to wait a moment, goes and opens one of the ship’s hatches and, fighting the gale force winds, walks to the prow of the ship. She waves goodbye and leaps over the side into the depths of the swirling vortex.
- Relying on her divine gifts to see her through to her destination, she loses consciousness, only to awaken on an island of black rock somewhere in the deep void of Slipspace. The island is covered with dark black roots. She notices a few of the tendrils slowly snaking their way towards her and gets to her feet. She decides to keep moving to keep them at bay.
- She quickly discovers that this island is a graveyard of ships. Apparently the void had been collecting them for millenia. Most are old and rusted and decayed beyond hope, overgrown with the black roots. She spies a spine of low hills bisecting the island and decides to head there.
- She comes to a tunnel, the arch of which is overgrown with roots. At this moment, a foul cry is heard and four black winged shapes take flight from the hill above the archway. Harpies!
- Hesper fights the Harpies, relying on her own prowess, but also using the gift Apollon gave her at the Temple Moon to dispatch them quickly.
- Once the foul creatures have been defeated, Hesper cuts her way through the vines blocking the tunnel. To her dismay, the cut roots leak blood.
- Inside the tunnel she finds some remains of Hellenes whose skeletons have been overgrown with the roots. The roots seem to all have grown inward towards where the heart once rested.
- One skeleton lies where the roots could not reach. Hesper climbs up on this outcropping to investigate and is greeted by a Phasma. The Phasma relays what it can remember of it’s tale to her. When asked, it suggests the pearl she seeks may have been taken by some creatures which live here, although it can’t recall which. It begs her to take it’s remains and give them a proper Hellene burial so it may rest. She gathers it’s bones into her pack.
- Emerging from the other side of the tunnel, Hesper finds a high point from which to view this side of the island. She spies more ships in all directions, and notably one vast, gigantic black ship in the far distance. While roots grow out of the prow of the ship, none grow on it’s surface. That is where she decides she must go.
- Creating a makeshift torch, she decends into the depths of the black ship. The halls are overgrown with roots, like some kind of mockery of a circulatory system. More disturbingly, the walls and components of the ship seem almost organic themselves.
- She notices the root tendrils respond to her presence, growing rapidly as she passes by, aching to reach her and making turning back difficult.
- She spies a small creature, about the size of a cat, scurrying through the passages. She elects to follow the roots to their source.
- As she goes deeper into the bowels of the ship, the roots become large and thick, some larger around than a man’s body, making the passage difficult. It does, however, not have as many tendrils seeking her flesh as the rest of the ship.
- Hesper detects a hum coming from the depths of the ship: the engines are still running!
- The Engine room shows a huge black plant has grown around the engine, no doubt for it’s warmth and the eerie light it provides. Her investigation is interrupted by a loud keening: A group of Lamia have made a nest in this area of the ship! They swarm Hesper and she desperately tries to fight off the small horrible creatures.
- Hesper shoots one of the many vein-like conduits running to the engine, having correctly guessed it’s a promethium fuel line. Burning promethium expels out of the side of the tube.
- Hesper grabs the tube and pulls it free, swinging on it to spray promethium all over the engine and the plant, as one of the lamia muckels onto her arm, gorging on her blood.
- Once all the engineering room is in flames she drops to the ground. A large explosion creates a hull breech on the other side of the area. The noise sends the rest of the Lamia fleeing.
- Hesper pulls the feasting abomination from her arm and throws it into the flames. Noticing the creatures’ reactions to the noise, she bangs her sword against a nearby console as she quickly searches their nest.
- Finding the pearl amongst the detritus, she runs for the breech, fending Lamia off as she goes. Diving through the breech and running as fast as she could, the ship’s engines finally explode, taking the plant and the lamia with it, the shockwave sending Hesper flying.
- She binds her wounds as best she can, and searches the ships for food and water, albeit little is found. A week is spent exploring the rock, during which her wound where the lamia suckled on her arm grows foul and decayed.
- Eventually she finds a relatively undamaged ancient ship of unknown design with a similar interface as The Ash Spear. She learns it’s name is The Icarus and it has been here for 947 years.
- The ship reveals it is in poor condition. It asks for confirmation that it’s captain and crew are dead. Once received and confirmed by a neural scan of Hesper’s memories, the AI states it believes it could make one final voyage, but it’s systems are minimal: a translation back to realspace might in fact cause the engines to explode. Environmental systems are also damaged: there would be no food or water during the trip!
- Hesper takes her chances and orders the ship to take her to Stymphalos. She loses consciousness long before the ship arrives, with hunger, thirst, and a fevered infection from her festering arm causing her to be overcome.
Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone
Hoseidon's Tear, Act II
The Eye of Hoseidon