One of the purposes of this writing is to connect the stories of the mythical heroes in my campaign world. Cecilia’s story connects to Jovy’s because they both had adventures in the Caspian Sea. Thus, I’m also going to repeat verbatim a few of the paragraphs from Cecilia’s story in Jovy’s. No apologies!
Jovy followed the guidance of Hermes to become the first captain to sail the Caspian Sea. Hermes gifted Jovy with the first double masted frigate capable of tacking against the wind. Jovy along with his friend and companion, Cecilia, rid the Caspian of monsters making it safe for other voyagers. Jovy declared himself King of the Caspian, exacting tribute from coastal settlements and pillaging those that did not comply with his demands. He named and colonized Those Blasted Islands in the sea and fought to protect the colonies during the Dragon War. He imprisoned the gold dragons. When Jovy retired he beached the Mira Miro at the mouth of the Aractrash River to found the city of Lordodo. Jovy joined the other heroes of the Dragon War in their slumber beneath the earth, awaiting the destruction of the Orbs of Dragonkind and the return of the dragons.
Jovy was born to a group of farmers living in the area around what is now Jipangu. Jovy was a rebellious child, often shirking his duties to swim in the river, whittle toys out of wood, or steal eggs from the hen house. His father arranged an early marriage for Jovy, hoping that the responsibility of a wife and family would straighten Jovy out. Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect. Jovy skipped town the night before the wedding.
He journeyed west to the Caspian and then south following the shore. Along the way Jovy earned money by working odd jobs or more often by stealing. By the time he reached the sea he had himself a nice pair of clothes along with a good set of armor and matching sabers. Jovy found that his natural charm and his wanderer’s mystique attracted many of the young women in the villages he passed through who were bored of their provincial lives just like he once was. In addition to leaving a trail of theft and robberies, Jovy also left a trail of broken hearts and pregnant teenagers.
Throughout his journey, Jovy made offerings to the patron god of thieves and vagabonds, Hermes. Joy saw his life as a dark place with only toil ahead, but for the grace of Hermes who led him towards a full and joyous life. Jovy often spoke to Hermes and as he went south towards the Aractrash River, Hermes spoke back to him. The god of travel told Jovy, “When you reach the Aractrash River chop down the five largest trees. Use the wood of these trees to build a large bowl, as big as a room. Then get the bowl into the river. Do this and I will turn the your life’s fate from woolen thread to cloth of gold.”
Jovy followed Hermes’ command. When he reached the River he located the five largest trees and cut them down with an axe he’d pilfered from a farmer’s woodpile. He bought a saw with stolen gold to make planks out of logs. He boiled water in a large soup pot and painstakingly bent the logs, inch by inch. Jovy nailed them together to make the largest bowl he had ever seen, rounded with a rough bottom. Undoubtedly any soup the gods wished to drink from it would leak out the sides, but Jovy had done it! Hermes’ bowl was completed.
Jovy strained and pushed to get the bowl into the river. He pushed, he pulled, he tied a rope around it and put his back into it. Nothing worked. Then a woman showed up wearing fish scales for armor with a golden sword slung at her hip. She introduced herself as Cecilia the daughter of Zeus and asked his name. Jovy said, “Me name is Jovy. Apollo told me to build this here bowl and put it in tha’ river. He promised a reward. Perhaps iffen you help me we can share it.” Cecilia shrugged and shoved the bowl into the water with a single push.
The bowl splashed into the jungle water and began to grow. It lengthened and tapered at the ends, forming a streamlined structure. Huge poles grew out of the bottom rising up into the sky. Wooden slats protruded from the internal sides and then joined together to make two decks. Ropes and sails appeared from nowhere to fill out the rigging of the ship. An anchor and chain grew out of a whorl on the wooden side. Lastly, the steering wheel slowly rose from the upper deck at the rear of the ship. Floating on the river before Jovy and Cecilia was the first sailing ship complete with two masts, a forward boom for a jib and almost a dozen sails. A crew of sailors stood at attention on deck, summoned by the same magic that created the ship.
“Are you to take that into sea against the monsters? asked Cecilia.
“Aye lassy, and I’ve a mind for you to come along too iffen you be willing,” said Jovy.
“An adventure on the open water? I’d like that.”
Jovy named the vessel the Mira Miro and he took his place at the steering wheel as Captain. Cecilia joined him, wearing her fish scale armor with her golden sword always at the ready. After sacrificing a bull to Poseidon, Jovy’s command set the sailors to work taking the Mira Miro downriver. Fresh water turned to salt as they reached the Caspian Sea. Almost immediately something rocked the ship. A great tentacle rose out of the depths and attempted to drag the ship down into the water. Cecilia called out her father’s name and jumped into the water with sword in hand. Her fish scale armor allowed Cecilia to swim through the water with ease and breath it as well. She sliced off the monster’s tentacle with her golden sword, then followed the beast into the deep as it retreated. She slew it and reemerged with a giant octopus eye to document her achievement. Jovy congratulated Zeus’s daughter before setting sail once more.
The heroic duo traveled across the width and breadth of the Caspian, slaying monsters as they went. Cecilia slew monsters through brute force, but Jovy had more finesse. He tricked monsters into giving him their treasure without a fight. He snuck into their caves and grottos at night to slay them in their sleep. He convinced them he was a god and that they were better off swimming ashore than facing his wrath. Jovy hoped his accomplishments would impress Cecilia and win her heart, but she never looked at him with the doe eyes he had come to recognize in his conquests.
Once while sailing Jovy asked her, “Why ain’t a lass such as yerself married?”
Cecilia said, “I vowed to Zeus that I would give my virginity to no man who could not take it for himself.”
“Aye. I’ve seen ye fight. Twould ‘ave to be a mighty man indeed who can claim yer maidenhood.” And I am not that man, thought Jovy to himself. He gave up any hopes of winning Cecilia. They had passed the time on deck by arm wrestling many times. He had never beaten her.
When the pair had defeated most of the monsters in the Caspian they parted ways. Cecilia returned to her village to make it the first fishing town on the Caspian. Jovy stayed upon the water in the Mira Miro. He traveled across every inch of what he called Those Blasted Islands in the sea. He named each one according to who he thought best suited to live there after exploring them. Jovy went to the Caspian’s rapidly increasing coastal population to gather colonists for Those Blasted Islands. The islands were soon inhabited with Jovy proclaiming himself King of the Caspian.
Jovy took tribute from more than just the colonies on Those Blasted Islands. He also claimed all the towns and villages within 10 miles of the sea as his own (excepting those close to Cecilia). Those who would not submit were pillaged.
Jovy took some time off from sailing and became good friends with the Hill Dwarves of Jord. Some say he was even buried in Jord. Others say he was buried on Jovy Isle where his pleasure mansion once stood.
When the Dragon War started, Jovy joined up along with Cecilia. He imprisoned the gold dragons. When the time came for the heroes of the Dragon War to sleep, Jovy beached his ship at the same location he first made the large bowl for Hermes. The Mira Miro remains there to this day, now serving as the city hall for Lordodo.
To be continued