Prelude to Death
Some say an army of horsemen, others
Say foot soldiers, still others say a fleet
Is the finest thing on the dark earth.
I say it is whatever one loves.
Athens, Greece – 403 BC. Four souls living in Athens depart from the Cave of Schist, the initiated members of Nýx Latreía—a cult dedicated to the primordial god Nýx. Over the next four years the Cult will bring them fortune and fame as we watch their lives unfold along with lessons taught by the High Priest Kékrops.
Verse Nulla: Five Questions
Where does your character come from?
Consider your character’s initial roots, these times are what shape your character the most. Are you an Athenian Citizen? Who were your parents? Where did you live? What was your family’s economic and social status? Were you educated?
Aristides. From Attica; Athenian Citizen. Born in or near Athens. Common roots. Family were Athenian citizens. Owned a farm. No formal education. Moved to the city to make a life for himself.
Eukleides. From Athens; Athenian Citizen. Born to a family with wealth. Raised in Athens. Family has a tradition of military service. He was the first one to be more social in his professional pursuits. Family is still alive in the city.
Ikaros. From Attica; Slave Family. Born in or near Attica to a slave family. Worked as a runner. Taught to read and write. Still has a sister somewhere in Athens. Purchased his freedom.
Phaidra. From Athens; Slave Family. Born to a slave family in Attica. She was seperated from her family and sold to another master to pay a debt. She was taught to read /write to serve the family. She was traded between families as she came to be progressively odder.
How does your character dress?
Start generally with an overall statement of the quality of your character’s appearance, such as projected social status, trade, common activities, or how groomed or slovenly your character is. Begin to hone in on telling details, especially those things that most people take for granted. How exactly does your character style his or her hair? What decorative articles does your character wear, such as jewelry, decorated buttons or buckles, a belt, gloves, etc.? One especially telling detail is footwear. Describe in detail what your character wears on his or her feet, including cut, tightness or looseness, heel height, sole hardness or softness, lacing/buckling/tying or lack thereof, toe shape (square, round, pointed…?), color, material, shininess, cleanliness, repair or disrepair, and any other details you can think of.
Aristides. Plain and ordinary dress… forgettable. His clothes show off his physique. Robes with no sleeves. When he competes, he wears bright clothes with ornate patterns that help him stand out against the rest of the field. His hair is ignored… it tends to grow long… just past the shoulders. He pushes it back or ties it back when it gets long enough. He may chop his hair off or shave it before a competition. He wears thin cut dark leather when hunting. Limited ornamentation- hunting trophies.
Eukleides. Well dressed. Not overly formal, but respectable. Tunic. Sandals. Clean. Carries a dagger at times when it is appropriate – a holdover from military service. Not necessarily a functional weapon… maybe more ceremonial. He may have attendants with him.
Ikaros. He dresses as well as he can… middle class. Favors pouches/pockets… places to store things. Good shoes.
Phaidra. Beautiful, but unkempt. Her hair is long and unbraided. She wears simple clothing. It is not dirty, but it is unkempt. She is typically barefoot. She wears crude handmade decorative items with religious significance.
Name at least three things your character enjoys for no reason other than personal preference.
A good place to start is with each of the five senses. Consider a sound, smell, taste, feeling, or sight that is uniquely pleasing to your character. Also consider activities such as hobbies or habits.
Aristides. 1. He enjoys hunting as a calming/relaxing activity that allows him to bond with his son; 2. He likes to swim because he likes testing his limits and challenging himself; 3. He loves poetry and music even though he has no talent for it himself.
Eukleides. 1. The thrill of the hunt… the joy of hunting something down… the thill of the chase; 2. He loves the smell of sea water; 3. He loves the feel of silk on his skin.
Ikaros. 1. He likes to spend evenings by the cliff shore/sea; 2. He enjoys plays/dramas – particularly comedies; 3. He enjoys exotic food – coffee.
Phaidra. 1. She enjoys eating sweet figs as a rare and special treat; 2. She enjoys spying on the philosophers when then are debating; 3. She enjoys being “flirted with by the gods.”
Who has had the biggest impact on your character’s life?
Name and briefly describe at least one person who had a significant impact on how your character perceives the world today.
Aristides. Angelos, His son – Before his son, he was self-absorbed. When his son was born, Aristides began looking beyond himself to build a future for his child. His son’s birth was the first step in his journey to become a mature adult.
Eukleides. Galenos – His commander from the military. His commander taught Eukleides that the path of the soldier is not for the thinking man. Eukleides realized he wanted to be the one making the decision instead of the one acting.
Ikaros. His last owner before Ozias. His owner was accused of a crime and Ikaros was asked to be a witness. They tortured Ikaros so is testimony would be true. This taught him that the rich get richer and the rest get crapped on.
Phaidra. Kekrops – the leader of the mystery cult. He was the first person to treat her as an equal… listen to her… take her seriously.
Aristides, What caused you to lose your temper so badly that before you knew it, you had broken someone’s nose?
Aristides overheard a priest blaspheming against the priest’s own god. When Aristides confronted him, the priest accused him of lying and then blasphemed again. Aristides lost his temper and hit the priest.
Aristides, What childhood hero has let you down?
The inspiration to become an athlete was Draco… He was a competitor and champion 5-10 years past. When Aristides challenged him, it was the most important match of his career. When Aristides won, Aristides offered his hand in friendship. Draco spurned him. Aristides has pledged to beat him again and force Draco to acknowledge his superior skill.
Eukleides, Where did you get that scar?
Eukleides has a scar up the right side of his body from a hunting accident. He was hunting a board, but he drank too much before the hunt and got sloppy.
Eukleides, What is that thing, and why do you have it?
Eukleides keeps an arrowhead and typically wears it as a necklace. It is the arrow he used to make his first kill in war. It reminds him not to do it again if possible.
Ikaros, What would ruin your reputation if anyone ever found out about it?
Ikaros gives money to the homeless… he goes out of his way to treat slaves with kindness and regard.
Ikaros, Why were you thrown out of the military?
Theft… He stole slaves to set them free.
Phaidra, What’s the most regrettable thing you’ve ever done due to being drunk?
Phaidra got drunk, broke into the house a citizen, raided the larder for figs and wine, and then got sick in the bed. She embarased her owner and was beaten publically as penance.
Phaidra, When your last ship was destroyed, what did you risk your life to save?
She had a dream that she was sailing with a fleet to some unknown location to do some unknown task, but she knew it was very important to succeed. The key to accomplishing the task was a mystery that she carried with her – an unopened bag. She instinctively knew that she would be cursed if she ever looked at what was in the bag. When the Titans attacked and sank the fleet, she risked her life to save the bag. When she woke from the fever dream, she had a small bag in her hand. She now wears the bag on a thong around her neck and she has never looked inside of it.
Verse I: The Initiation (403 BCE)
Nýx Latreía [Nigh Lee-a-tree-a], the Cult of Night, has been operating in Athens for the last 24 years. Every year, on the last day of the month of Pyanepsion [Pie-a-nip-see-ohn] (October/November), you gather in the shadow of the Parthenon, at the entrance to the Cave of Schist [Sh-ist]. You wear robes to disguise your form and a mask to conceal your face. You bring an animal with, one to offer the High Priest of Nýx. Tonight, on the last day of Pyanepsion in 403 BCE, is no different. You are ushered into the darkness of the cave.
Aristides wears a panting dog mask. His robes are large and billowing to disguise his form. His first offering was one of his prized hunting dogs, he brings one every five years and this year he brings another.
Eukleides wears a simple black jackal mask. His robes are silken, expensive but not ornate. His first offering was a live bear, every year he brings a dangerous and exotic animal, this year he brings a venomous snake.
Ikaros wears a simple bull’s mask. His robes are patchwork and worn from years of repair. His first offering was a simple gray dove, every year he brings something nicer that shows his growing prosparity, this year he brings a grown bull.
Phaidra wears a medusa mask she stole from her master’s home. Her robes are a simple and unremarkable shift dress. Her first offering was a snake and smashed idol of Apollo, every year she brings whatever the Gods lead her to, this year its a simple stray dog.
The ritual begins as soon as you step into the darkness of the cave’s antechamber. Your fellow Initiated help you disrobe and unmask, for in the darkness there is no longer a need for secrecy. You will wait for several hours as warm salt water pours into the room, cleansing you and the room. You let the water wash over you without concern as it does not pool at your feet.
Aristides meditates, kind of. He toys with his emotions. Works himself up and calms himself down.
Eukleides prays solmonly, thinking back to ceremonies past and the advice of the High Priest.
Ikaros seeks out another of the Initiated, an intimate friend, and allows himself to feel companionship.
Phaidra sits on the floor and talks to herself, to her sacrafice, and to her Gods.
After several hours the High Priest emerges from somewhere deeper within the cave, his torch illuminating a small alter. The rest of the room is still punishingly dark. One by one the sacrificial animals are placed on an alter and an Initiate is called forward. Everyone else turns to face the wall, this part of the ceremony is for the High Priest and the devotee only. While you made your offering the High Priest quietly tells you a story of Nýx or her children. You will then confess any crimes you have committed or and blood you have shed.
Phaidra: The High Priest, Kékrops, bows to you as you step up to the alter. The sacrificial dagger lays next to your offering and Kékrops gestures to it. As you take it into your hand he speaks softly to you; “Your gifts are about to attract more attention. It is time for you to decide how you will be using them.”
Phaidra never hesitates to make her sacrafice, but is almost always too weak to control the animal. Her ritual is messy, bloody, and often violent. She leaves battered, bruised, and bitten. She never confesses to any crimes, as her actions are all willed by the Gods and, therfor, can not be wrong.
Eukleides: The High Priest, Kékrops, bows to you as you step up to the alter. The sacrificial dagger lays next to your offering and Kékrops gestures to it. As you take it into your hand he speaks softly to you; “Your hatred of outsiders is blinding you to oppertunities. If you do not overcome your predjudice you will miss something important soon.”
Eukleides does his best to minimize the suffering of the animal and preforms his kill in a way that the creature can be used completly after the ritual. His crimes are almost always those of passion and adultry.
Ikaros: The High Priest, Kékrops, bows to you as you step up to the alter. The sacrificial dagger lays next to your offering and Kékrops gestures to it. As you take it into your hand he speaks softly to you; “You are about to be betrayed. You must use your skills for yourself before you find yourself cast into the light.”
Ikaros does whatever it takes to make his sacrafice; simpler acts with smaller creatures but elaborate guttings with large offerings. His confessions take the longest of the Initiated, often lasting well beyond the time it takes for him to make his offering.
Aristides: The High Priest, Kékrops, bows to you as you step up to the alter. The sacrificial dagger lays next to your offering and Kékrops gestures to it. As you take it into your hand he speaks softly to you; “You son is of the age to compete in the Panathenaic games. Ensure that he competes, and if he can win then the Gods will smile upon your family.”
Aristides started unsure of how to make his sacrafices but has grown confident over the years. He also works to minimize the animal’s suffer, and will often sooth them as they die. He has few crimes to confess to; often acts of violence against Priests who blaspheme.
When the last animal is dead the High Priest extinguishs the torch and silence fills the room. You can hear the High Priest moving around you, and then you feel a hand on your shoulder. The High Priest will help you put your robes and mask on before sliding a ring into place on your left index finger. After the High Priest leaves the cave a door to the outside is opened once more and you walk into the blinding light of morning.
On your finger is a single green chalecedony gemstone. Other previously initiated look down to see similar green stones and appeared disappointed. Everyone is hoping to receive the red stone that marks them ready for the épopteia. The group disperses, their identities never revealed to each other.
Verse II: Personal Priorities (403 BCE)
In the days leading up to the 42nd annual Panathenaic Games the characters have various situations they are forced to deal with.
Aristides still needs to secure his patron for the Panathenaic Games and ensure his reluctant son competes in the Boy’s Athletic Contests. Luckily, Eukleides son wants to compete in the Panathenaic Games but Eukleides would like to convince him not to. Eukleides agrees to sponsor Aristides and the two convince their sons to train together.
Phaidra is approached by a priest of Athena with an opportunity to hear prayers for Metics and a Foreigners. While serving in the temple she has a cryptic vision of Posiden; During the boat race a storm will cost lives but glory will be found in the chaos. The Priestess of Athena then “buy” Phaidra from her master.
Ikaros is told by his handler to kill a new slave aquired by the Temple of Athena. Ikaros quickly realizes that slave is none of ther than Phaidra. Ikaros heads down to the dock to see if he can book passage out of Athens for Phaidra.
Ikaros learns that a ship is set to arrive four days before the games. It’s captain is from Delphi but he changed ships in Corinth. He has paid an extra fee to hold his dock indefinitely, but will be staying at least through the Games. The ship is a luxury, opulent ship. Clearly, it belongs to someone wealthy.
Once the ship arrives, Ikaros heads to the docks where he is confronted by two men; Sarpedon & Ithamar. Sarpedon commands him to leave but Ithamar commands him to stay. After a bit of toying with Ikaros they realize he’s a member of the Cult of Nyx and send him back to Kekrops with a warning: Death is coming for him.
Ithamar then arrives at the Temple of Athena where he seeks out Phadria. The two share a conversation laces with deeper meaning but the just of Ithamar’s advice is clear; Stay away from Delphi and do not trust Kekrops.
Verse III: The Great Panathenaia (402 BCE)
Today starts the 42nd Panathenaic Games. These contests have been held every four years since 566 BCE. While the competitions draw people from all across Greece, they are only a part of a much larger occasion; The Great Panathenaia. In honor of the contest between Athena and Poseidon to win the hearts of the Athenians, Greeks offer sacrafices and participate in contests in their honor. The competitions are the most prestigious games for the citizens of Athens, but not to the level of the Olympic Games.
Just prior to the games Aristides’ son, Angelos, agrees to compete. But not in wrestling.
Day 1: Musical and Rhapsodic Contests
The Panathenaic Games include contests in a number of musical, athletic, and equestrian events. Prizes are also given to runners-up, not just the lone victor. The first day starts with the Musical and Rhapsodic contests; recitation of the Odyssey and Iliad, playing various musical instraments, singing both to music and acapella, and the production of selected plays.
That evening the women’s contests are held in private. Aristides sneaks down to the agora to listen to his wife preform. There he crosses paths with two mysterious forigners; Atropos of Crete & Kyrillos of Sparta.
Day 2: Boy’s Athletic Contests
Day two is reserved for the Athletic Contests for Boys and Beardless Youth; any males under the age of 20. Races, wrestling, discus throwing, and end with a massive pentathlon; long jump → javelin throwing → discus throwing → a foot race → wrestling.
Aristides’ son, Angelos places well in the Discus, but wins the Javelin by a wide margin.
While traversing Athens that evening Ikaros glimpses a monster… And then runs into Kekrops who warns him that the streets are not safe.
Day 3: Men’s Athletic Contests
Day three is for the Men, those over 20 years old. Races, wrestling, discus throwing, and end with a massive pentathlon; long jump → javelin throwing → discus throwing → a foot race → wrestling.
Timaeus pulls from deep within himself to steal the win in the footrace from Aristides.
Aristides faces Draco in a very close match. The match takes twice as long as most matches. Draco does not tap out, but Aristides manages to win by taking advantage of a small mistake that Draco made during the match. Draco acknowledges Aristides victory before the crowd even though he was not happy with the outcome.
Aristides faces off against Xenon in the final. It becomes clear right away that something is wrong with Xenon. Aristides wins, but he is not happy with the victory. He wanted the match to be more challenging/fair.
Artistides faces off against Timaeus in a late evening “Biathlon” involving a foot race and wrestling. A crowd gathers to watch the two athletes. The “odd people” are all present – Sarpedon, Ithmar, Atropos, Kyrillos. Eukleides chats with another odd woman; Xanthippe.
Day 4: Equestrian Contests
Day four is for the equestrian events. Only men, those over 20 years old, can participate in these events; two-horse chariot race, horse race, and javelin throw on horseback.
Day 5: Tribal Contests
Day five sees the various Tribal Contests. These are full armor fighting scenarios using blunted weapons. The teams are determined by a citizen’s tribal heritage, or place of birth. The ten tribal teams are:
- Erechtheis, named after Erechtheus (Founder of the polis of Athens)
- Aigeis, named after Aegeus (The “goat-man” who gave his name to the Aegean Sea)
- Pandionis, named after Pandion (The two legendary kings of Athens, Pandion I or Pandion II)
- Leontis, named after Leos (Son of Orpheus who sacrificed to relieve the city of famine)
- Acamantis, named after Acamas (A hero of the Trojan War)
- Oineis, named after Oeneus (Learned wine-making from Dionysus and introduced it to Greece)
- Kekropis, named after Cécrops (The first king of Athens
- Hippothontis, named after Hippothoon (Son of Poseidon)
- Aiantis, named after Ajax (A hero of the Trojan War)
- Antiochis, named after Antiochus (Son of Heracles)
Day 6: Torch Race and Sacrifices
Day six sees the Torch Race and the ritual sacrafices to Athena and Poseidon.
Day 7: Boat Races
Day seven features a boat race. The weather in the morning is poor but the contestants head out anyway. As the race is starting the winds pick up and slam the boats together.
That morning Euklides’ son left the house early. Petros is set to compete in the boy’s race against his father’s wishes. Eukleides runs to the shore to stop his son.
Aristides watches the boat race from the roof of a home owned by a well off family. They are hosting all of the champions from the prior events. Aristides socializes with his peers.
Ikaros is running a book on the boat races. He stays cautiously far from the shore. Ozius comes to find Ikaros and tells him he is taking too long to do “the job”. Ikaros goes to the temple to find Phaidra
Phaidra wanders down to cliffs and throws a statue that belonged to her former master, Ageus, into the ocean as an offering to Poisdon. “Too little, too late.” She is hit by a crashing wave. She apologizes to Poisdon and says “I am sorry. I hope the lives you take today will sate your appetite.”
Ikaros finds Phaidra when she returns to the temple. He tries to tell her that Ageus may have hired someone to kill her. He encourages her to run, but she is reluctant to leave the temple. She prays to Athena and Nyx to determine what to do. Afterwards, she suggests hiding in the Cave that is sacred to Nyx.
Euklides’ son, Petros, mistakes his father’s frantic waving as being enthusiastic support rather than concern for his son’s safety. Eukleides wants to go get his son, but he is already in the water and there are no spare boats. Aristides is the only one who might be able to reach Petros without a boat. Eukleides is desperate to find Aristides and ask him for help. Aristides is reluctant to swim out and retrieve Petros. Eukleides gets on his knees to beg for help. Aristides agrees to help if Eukleides agrees to look after Aristides’ family until either they die or Eukleides dies.
Aristides prays to Posidon before jumping in to the water. Just before he reaches the shore, a terrible storm begins to roll in to Athens. Lightening strikes Artistides rock and splits it. Aristides skids to a halt and is frozen with fear. Aristides explains to Eukleides that if he goes into the water, Posidon will take both him and his son.
Eukleides goes onto the dock. “If you take my son Posidon, I will find a way to undo you! Let him live! Bring him to shore and we will have no quarrel.”
The storm hits the larger boats first. Men are thrown from the ships into the water and vanish into the sea. Sharks are drawn to the commotion and begin feasting on those who have fallen into the water. The races are called off and the boys start to return to the shore, but Petros’ boat continues to head into the storm.
Ikaros delvers Phaidra to the cave of Nyx while she babbles about how Zeus sent the lighteing to warn his bastard son and how “the proud man tries to bellow more loudly than the wind… he threatens the sea… what will happen if he will not change like the water… water cuts stone.” He covers his cult ring in Phaidra’s blood and sends her into the cave. Inside the cave, Phaidra discovers that the alter to Nyx is designed to collect blood. She encounters an elderly slave who warns Phaidra that she should not be in the cave. Phaidra refuses to leave.
Eukleides stands on the docks and watches as the storm seeps into the bay. Aristides cheers as they watch the boat that Petros was in return to shore. When the boat returns, however, Petros is not in the boat. His fellows say that he insisted on trying to save others and drown trying to help others. Eukleides tries to take the boat out into the water to find his son, but no one will help him. Aristides tries to gently tell Eukleides that he needs to accept that his son is gone… he tries to prevent Eukleides from trying to go into the water after his son. Eukleides remembers how Posidon took his son until the storm subsides.
Ikaros goes to meet with his boss as the storm sets in. The rain is coming down so hard it washes the paint from the statues in Athens. The meeting occurs under an overhang (very noire for ancient Greece). Ikaros shows his boss the ring covered in Phaidra’s blood. Ikaros tells his boss that he murdered Phairdra, but his boss already knows that Ikaros delivered her to the cave of Nyx. “Who were you when I found you?” “You sent me to kill a girl who speaks to the gods.” “I had to see where your loyalty was…. Do you think I am some villain in some play? Do your think I am going to tell you what my plan is? When some crazy bitch is threatening one of our most loyal patrons, something has to be done. I wish you the best of luck in whatever life you have next. You will find no home to return to… no help in the shadows… no love from the family… You threw it away for a touched woman and god no one ever sees.” “I did it because it was right.”
Aristides’ wife is angry that he ran off during the storm. Aristides explains that he left to try to help Eukleides. Angelos is upset that his friend Petros died. Angelos has difficulty accepting that Petros is dead. “It will only be luck and the favor of a god who sees him through that.”
Verse IV: Courtship with Death
While Phaidra is waiting in the cave of Nyx, a monsterous being carrying a child without one leg arrives seeking Kekrops. Phairda goes to find Kekrops. A beautiful woman tells him that she should not be there. Phaidra insists on speaking to Kekrops. When Kekrops comes out, Phaidra tells him what happend. He sends Phaidra to find Eukleides.
Phaidra finds Eukleides waiting for the storm to end. He is reluctant to leave with her, but she tells him “You have already angered one god, would you task a second.” He reluctantly comes with her after writing his son’s name in the dirt. When they reach the cave of Nyx, Kekrops sends Phaidra away. He tells Eukleides that his son is maimed, but still alive. Kekrops said he took precautions to protect Petros because Phaidra warned him about the storm.
Kekrops tells Eukleides that he can save his son, but only by sacrificing everything in his life. He shows Eukleides a room with 13 doors, each marked with a symbol. He tells Eukleides that if he walks through a door, he will lose everything but he will be able to save his son. He says not all 13 doors are options, but he explains a little bit about what the meaning of the symbols on the doors mean for the doors that are options – Ajax, Helene, Hektor, Memnon. Kekrops tells Eukleides to walk through one of the four doors. He steps into the door of Hektor.
Eukleides finds a naked man waiting on the other side of the door. He tells Eukleides that he will die, but it does not have to be painful. He makes an offer to Eukleides which is accepted. Eukleides is intimate with the man who proves to be an incredible lover. At the height of ecstacy, he shows his fangs and embraces Eukleides.
When Eukleides wakes, he is ravenously hungry. There is a young woman with a stylus, but all Eukleides can think of is how much he wants the blood in her veins. He is now a VENTRUE.
After being rejected by his criminal family, Ikaros goes to tell his only friend that he is “out”. He arrives right after Aristides has told his family that he believes Petros is dead. “If it isn’t urgent. This is a bad time for a visit.” Ikaros tells him that he is no longer associated with the criminals and he suspects his former associates may kill him soon. Ikaros tells Aristides “you’re free now.” Aristides argues that the crime family will just find someone else to handle him.
While they are talking, Kyrillos walks up to Aristides home carrying a bloody spear and shield. “Arstides, step forward!” Artistides does so. Kyrillos wants to know where Aristides wife and child are. Kyrillos shows Aristides that he wears a gold ring with a red gemstone. Aristides tells Kyrillos that his family is inside the house. Kyrillos says " i fear they are not." Aristides finds his family is missing. Kyrillos sends Ikaros to find Kekrops and warn him “his enemies strike tonight.”
Ikaros goes to the cave of Nyx where he finds Phaidra and the elderly male slave. Eventually, Ikaros is able to meet with Kekrops. He tells him that “the angry spartan with a blood speak told me to come find you.” “Is it beginning? I thought I would have more time. Ikaros, will you stand by my side? I need loyalty. I need people who will help me save Athens.” Ikaros says “I need honesty.” “If you put your loyalty in me, you will serve Nyx directly. You will see nothing but darkness for the rest of your life. Is that a fair price to pay for truth and power.”
Ikaros agrees. Kekrops leads him to the room with 13 doors. He has options for the doors of Kalkas, Helene, Ajax. He picks the door of Kalkas. “Once a rat, always a rat. Besides, I always did love a good tragedy.” On the other side, he finds a monster – Iraklis. Iraklis explains that Ikaros will be deformed. As soon as the door is closed, Iraklis pounces on Ikaros with fangs bared. He tears Ikaros’ throat out and it is over quickly. When he wakes up, Ikaros finds an old man siting in the room. Ikaros is ravished and is very aware of the blood in his veins. He is now a NOSFERATU.
Aristides runs into the cave where he encounters Kekrops. “I apologize that you have been brought into my war. I wish to give you the strength you need to face our foes. You will die, but in death you will be able to deliver the retribution of the gods onto them.” Aristides is quick to accept.
Kekrops leads Aristides to the room of 13 doors. His options include Achillius, Memnon, Helene, Ajax. Aristides asks “which one is Kyrillios?” "He has the blood of Achillius. Aristides nods and walks through the door of Ajax. “Child of Athens, are you willing to run into the Wilderness with me?” “I am ready to hunt the enemies of Nyx.” Xenphidi introduces herself as the guardian of Olympus. She tells Aristides that once he has the blood of Hercules in him, he too will become a guardian but he will never walk the city as a man again. She tells him to sit and close his eyes. He does so and then she asks him if he picked the right door because “a predator would not so easily walk into another predator’s lair.” “It would be hard for others to see, but I haven’t missed your strength.” “I was hoping for more of a fight.” Before Aristides can react, he is beset by a mouthful of fangs. Aristides fights back. “Good,” She says, “Show me you are a monster.” She overpowers him. Aristides fights the whole time. He wakes up in a room with a middle age man who reeks of saltwater and fish. The man is resigned to his fate. He is now a GANGREL.
Kekrops summons Phaidra into the cave. "Are you ready to leave the world of light behind for the darkness? “I have been ready for a long time.” He leads her to the room of 13 doors. “You have only two choices.” – Kassandra or Pandarus. She stumbles through the door of Kassandra. She finds an empty room. Kekrops guides her in. “I am not who you think I am. Do you remember hearing about the tyrnaus Peracles? When I ruled Athens I learned of monsters acting aganst our city and I was chosen to stop them. I need help to stop them now.” She removes her robe. He caresses her head and then embraces her. She wakes up next to a man who looks confused, but delicious. She becomes a MALKAVIAN.
After their embrace, all four are greeted by Kekrops. He tells them that they are now creatures of darkenss whom he has recruited to fight aware against the monsters that threaten Athens and the cult of Nyx. He tells them to pick up their swords to fight to save their families, children, gods, etc. “You hunt the enemies of Greece.”