The Seven Suitors Tasks

Now, Memnos didn’t like taking second seat to Hathonae and so decided to make her his bride, believing she would then be subservient to him. At this time, though Torinos had also been pursuing Hathonae. Though she never returned his interests, Torinos had declared that she was his bride to be. Hathonae told Memnos and Torinos that the man who took her as bride must complete the greater of seven tasks. She would tell them each in turn as the prior was finished, so they wouldn’t conspire to have others complete them for them.

The First Task: Test of Wits
Hathonae’s first task for the two gods was to bring her the Net that Morda had used to draw in the tides. Morda, Titan of the Sea, had born the net into battle with Amal and it still lay there where he fell. Both Torinos and Memnos knew the story well, and knew that the net must be found at the head waters of the river Kamor. They both arrived at the mountains that marked the place where the epic battle had taken place and took to searching for the net. Torinos was first to find it. The net, which was huge, was buried beneath the mountains. Torinos called upon his mighty rains and winds to hammer the mountain side. He struck at it with Lightning, but could not clear away the stone. He pulled and yanked upon the net and yet it would not break free. As he struggled, Memnos went out and found a great tortoise from the lands to the east and made a shovel from its shell. He returned and began digging away at the earth, trying to find a way to free the net. It was then that he discovered it to be encrusted with diamonds from the depths of the sea. Galur, Titan of the earth who took possession of all minerals, had bound it to him. Memnos knew that no amount of strength would free the net from the grip of the great-elder Titan. So, instead he left his efforts there and sought Galur, who could be reached by way of a great crevice in the earth far to the north. When he found Galur he asked what he must do to obtain the net. Galur said he didn’t care about the net, only the Diamonds and was already angry with Torinos for striking him with lightning. Galur told Memnos he could have the net, but must leave the Diamonds behind. So when Memnos returned to the spot and yanked on the net, Galur released it to him, but all of its diamonds broke free of the net and were left beneath the desert sands. Torinos raged in anger, and swore to Galur that day forward he would endlessly rain his lightning upon him. That not a day would go by that he would not strike the earth with is bolts. Memnos gave Hathonae the net, and though she was pleased to have it she disappointed that it lacked its diamonds.
(1st Task: Memnos wins)

The Second Task: Test of Skill
Torinos demanded that Hathonae set their next task immediately and that this time it should be something to test their skill with the spear, a weapon they both wielded. Hathonae decided that the best way to test such skill was to pick a target that was nearly impossible to hit. In XXXXX there was a renowned Bronze Foundry. There all forms of bronze wares were forged; pots, swords, buckles, helms, breast plates, statuary, and other art objects. Hathonae commissioned the crafting of a Bronze Stag, and asked Ilnos, the hunter, to put into it the spirit of a stag. She gave it a powerful protection, such that it had only one weakness; a soft spot at the nape of its neck. Otherwise no weapon, mortal or divine could harm its brazen hide. Hathonae set the stag loose in Narvonis, the dark forest west of Sartha. It dashed off so quickly that even she wasn’t sure which way it went. Then she told Memnos and Torinos that they must hunt the Bronze Stag. They should wear no armor or garment, and bear only their spears. They were to rely upon their skill alone, and not attempt to cheat through use of divine power. The one who killed the Stag would be the winner of this task.
So it was that Memnos and Torinos, naked save their spears, set off into the forest, seeking the Bronze Stag. Despite their quarry’s bulk it seemed to leave little in the way of a trail. They both did their best to track the beast, but Torinos spotted it first. It heard him coming, though, and dashed into the wood. That was when Memnos saw it and hurled his spear. It bounced harmlessly of the shinning hide and the deer disappeared into the woods. Memnos and Torinos pursued at a mad dash. They followed it on and off like this for days, each attempting to strike and kill their prey repeatedly, and each time either missing or finding their weapon in-effective.
Finally Naeja grew tired of watching her children compete so foolishly and she sent a messenger in the form of a small bird to tell them the secret of how to kill the Stag. The bird first fluttered to Torinos, landed on his shoulder and whispered to him the secret of the weak point in the stag’s neck. It then flew to Memnos, but every time it tried to approach him he swatted at it, and drove it away, not recognizing it for what it was. And so, Memnos in his blind pride never got the message. When next they encountered the Stag both gods threw their spears. Memnos’ struck the stag in the chest and was deflected. Torinos’ struck the exact spot, a patch in the base of the neck. The Bronze Stag fell to the ground lifeless, steam issuing from the hole. Torinos recovered his Spear and stood triumphant. Memnos was enraged, though. He took up his spear and smashed it over his knee, hurling the parts afar. When they returned Hathonae declared Tornios the winner of that task.
(2nd Task: Torinos wins)

The Third Task: Test of Heart
Hathonae decided this time to set a task that she was sure Memnos could win. The third task was a test of heart. She assigned them each the task of creating a sacred animal that all the people of Sartha could honor. Each would then present their animal before the people, and that which the people chose to worship rather than fear would be the winner of that task.
Memnos was perturbed by this and so went to Myrrae to ask her advice. She told him that the gift should come from his love for Hathonae and thus represent what he saw in her. He tried to think, but the truth was that he had no true love for her, only a desire to make her his. He realized that he saw her as a mighty creature that needed to be conquered. He went out and found a lioness who was with cubs. He took the coat of the black lion he wore and threw it over the lioness, calling out to Naeja, “Gift these cubs the strength of the lion who I once fought and coats as black as night.” Naeja heard and approved. When the cubs were born they were black as night, with eyes like stars and grew to be powerful creatures. These were the Memnian Lions.
Torinos knew immediately what he would create. He was well known for his love of horses and had created the race as a gift to mortal man. He thus had experience in the creation of great animals. He knew, though, that creating a horse would only show Hathonae love of himself, and he wanted to create something as regal and beautiful as her. Thus he created the Eagle, a creature that dwelled in the sky and yet needed the sea to live. It drew sustenance from Hathonae’s waters, diving from the sky to the sea for fish, and nesting in the cliffs along the rocky shores. The Eagle was strong and could fly in great storms and was as fast as lightning when it struck. Most of all it was a beautiful and proud creature, and the male and female were equal.
When the day came to present their sacred animals, the people were left in awe at the beauty and grace of the Eagles. Yet, they were also transfixed with the glorious might and nobility of the Memnosian Lions. Hathonae herself had to admit that both were equally impressive. Yet she was most surprised by the Eagle, as she had never expected such a beautiful gift to come from the storming war god. She also realized that Memnos’ gift honored himself and not her. She was displeased but could not deny it met the conditions of her task.
As the people deliberated over which they would revere more, the Memnosian Lions caught sight of a flock of goats coming up from a valley, led by their shepherd. The Lions immediately rose from their lolling and raced for their prey, pouncing upon the helpless livestock and the shepherd just the same. They tore them all to pieces, and left their bloody coats strewn across the field. Then, in their blood lust they roared with such ferocity that the earth shook and the walls of Sartha cracked. People were thrown to the ground and in the Temple of Hathonae a statue of the goddess fell and was ruined.
The people screamed and turned in terror, so it was that Hathonae named Torinos’ Eagle to be the sacred animal and she demanded that Memnos drive away his Lions.
(3rd Task: Tornios wins)

The Fourth Task: The Test of Intellect
Hathonae now worried that Torinos might actually win this contest. So for her third task she gave one she thought likely more difficult for the Storm God. There was a young hero in Galus named YYYYY who had served Hathonae well. There was a sea passage between two islands that was guarded by two giant brothers, each with one eye. Hathonae hated the giants, but they never touched the water so she could not harm them. Whenever a ship came upon the passage and tried to sail through they hurled rocks upon it and sank it. No matter how devout the sailors were to her, she could not save their vessel from the pounding rocks from above. When Galus went to war with XXXX, though, the young sailor YYYY came up with a bold plan to win a decisive blow against the enemy by sailing through that passage and surprising the enemy from behind. He prayed to Hathonae for help and she had decided that he needed an unsinkable ship. If he could get one ship through to the far side of the passage he could land and slay the giants. She sent him to a great inventor named Anthrus with instructions that the figurehead of the vessel should be devoted to her, and sail should carry her symbol of the great wave. Anthrus designed a ship that he thought would withstand the hail of stones and Hathonae blessed it, thus making it truly unsinkable. YYYYYY sailed to the passage, and successfully made it through. Though the ship was badly damaged it did not sink. He and his army ran ashore and slew the two giants, thus freeing the way for the rest of his navy to follow through. This is how Galus defeated XXXX in the greatest sea battle ever fought.
Now, YYYYY, lived for many years after this and became brazen in his victory. He declared himself a great sailor and forgot to pay homage to Hathonae for the gift she had given him. This incurred her wrath and so every time he sailed on his great boat she made attempts to sink it. She had capsized it repeatedly, and even submerged it a few times, but every time it came back right side up and YYYYY survived. However, he lost so many men this way that he dry docked the boat and vowed never to sail it again. Hathonae wanted revenge on the man, though, but would not destroy Galus to get it.

She gave Memnos and Torinos their task. They had to find a way to sink the vessel and YYYYY must be given over to her wrath.

Now, Torinos thought for sure he could do this, because he could summon storms far greater than anything Hathonae could summon. He intended to drive the vessel into the depths by wind and waves, lightning and water spouts. Yet, he had to get the vessel into the sea first, and here he was at a loss.

Memnos, though, recalled the Wall of Storms upon the far western side of the sea (Vas-Morda). He believed that there the vessel could truly be destroyed, if run up upon those deadly shoals where fire rises from the ocean depths at the edge of the world. No man, though, dared make such a journey. Memnos had to convince YYYY to make the most dangerous journey ever. So, he went to YYYYY’s , disguised as a wandering minstrel, and asked if he could stay a night in exchange for a grand story. YYYY agreed and listened to the man’s tale as they feasted. Memnos wove a tale of the dangers beyond the islands, at the edge of the world, but also of the riches there. He spoke of how all sunken ships eventually wash up upon those treacherous shores and they are so plentiful that the sand is actually golden coins from their holds. He told of how no mortal man had ever survived making the trip before, and that now, for hundreds of years no man had tried, simply out of fear. His words struck a cord in YYYYY, and though his wife protested, he decided he would reach the Edge of the World and bring home a fortune. Under Memnos’ guidance he gathered 17 of the best and strongest warriors and seamen to travel with him. Memnos went with them, too, in his disguised as a minstrel. They sailed beyond the sea, with many adventures left before them. It is said he fought many monsters, saved a demi-goddess, and even killed the king of another island.
During their journey Torinos threw all he had at the vessel. He capsized it with repeated waves, smote its mast repeatedly with lightning, blew it thousands of miles off-course with incredible winds, and at one point even lifted it out of the waters in a mighty typhoon. But, alas, he could not sink the boat, and always YYYYY seemed to survive.
In time, they reached the edge of the world. Against all other terrors they had held their courage, but here his remaining men fell to their knees and cried. They couldn’t believe what they saw; the earth rose from the sea in huge jagged mountains that spewed black smoke and fire. There were shores of gold, but they were surrounded by waterfalls of lava. The ocean ran up on upon the rocks with a mighty irresistible current, and turned to steam, bursting into the air, forming the great thunder clouds that roll out to the east. YYYY, though, tried to hold his courage, and ordered his men to make for a cove he thought might be safe. However as the ship tried to make it ashore Hathonae’s waves smashed it against the blade like rocks and drove it into a river of burning. The ship that could not sink was shattered upon the earth, engulfed in flames, and began to sink to the lava. His men died, and YYYYY himself leapt into the sea, seeking escape from the fire. There he met his fate, as Hathonae grasped him in her clutches and dragged him into the boiling sea to drown. Memnos, though, was impressed by YYYYY and his comrades and gave them a special place in the afterlife for the courage they had shown. Thus it was that Memnos won the fourth task, and the contest was tied.
(4th Task: Memnos won)

The Fifth Task: The Test of Might
On the island of Idolakai there was a monstrous child of Sirithreia that terrorized her worshipers there. The great serpent was made of lava and lived in a cave in the fires of the mountain. If often times came out to spew its toxic breath upon the people and shake the earth. Many heroes had try to slay the serpent and died trying. Hathonae tasked Memnos and Torinos to slaw the serpent. He who struck the killing blow would win the task.

So it was that Torinos and Memnos both hasted to the island. Torinos went headlong to the mountain and began striking it with lightning, to draw out the serpent. Memnos, though, knew there was a Oracle within a village at the shore. He went there first and spoke with the Oracle. He asked her to tell him how to slay the creature. She told him that no weapon of man or god could harm the creature, for it was made wholly of fire. But that instead it could only be subdued by when its flame was doused. Memnos thought he knew the answer and so he went to the mountain and found Torinos there battling the serpent. Torinos stood upon a chariot of black clouds and struck it repeatedly with his javelins of lightning, yet the serpent ignored the bolts and lashed out, striking the clouds and igniting them. Tornios’ feet were wreathed and flames and the two fought on. Memnos rushed up the mountain side and grabbed the great serpent by its tail. He began dragging it down the mountain. Torinos struck at Memnos with his lightning and Memnos was forced to let go. The two gods struggled for a time, and finally Memnos threw down Torinos. When he did, though, the serpent turned on him and lashed out. Memnos grabbed it by its neck and dragged it down the mountain side, leaving a flaming path behind it. When he got to the sea, he doused the fire serpent into the ocean, subduing it. It petrified in his hand and when he drew it out of the water he found it had turned into a blade of steel, winding like a serpent. He brought it to Kalos who forged it into a sword for him to carry as a reminder of his victory. Thus it was that Memnos won the fifth task.
(5th Task: Memnos wins)

The Sixth Task: The Test of Horsemanship
In the hilly lands to the north and west of Yarlus there are a people who revere the beautiful creature that Torinos created, the Horse. They so loved these creatures that they made them the center of their life. They worked with horses, hunted with them, fought with them, and even lived with them amongst their homes. These were the Pyrrae.
Hathonae decided the next task should be another test of skill, but this one to test their aptitude with the mighty horse.
Hathonae ordered Torinos and Memnos to go down to the people and pick a mortal horse that they would have to ride in a race. The race would set out from the gates of Yarlus and lead them around the coast line, up the western coast line to Moar lands, around their coasts to the mouth of the great river YYYYY (Sylvarin). They would then turn around and have to ride back the same way they came. The first to make it back to the gates of Yarlus with their horse living would be the victor.

(6th Task: Torinos wins) Tied.

The Seventh Task: The Test of War
Battle and Defeat the people living north of Sartha (worshipers of Torinos).
(7th Task: Memnos Wins, Victor)

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