16). The Blood of Medusa
The Hellenic people came to Hyperborea long ago. They came in single galleys and large fleets, the greatest were those lost coming home from the ruin of Troy swallowed by the capricious will of the Gods and the dark waters that separated the living world from the realm of the dead. They found a land much different than their sunny warm homeland but they also found other Hellens and they found both their monsters and their Gods. It is said that Apollo has walked in Hyperborea since the dawn of time and wild Pan has left Old Earth to dwell here for long ages. So too dwells the Medusa or the Gorgon as they call her here.
The Medusa in Hyperborea is not she of Old Earth legend, but these Medusae are her kin. Her sisters or her children. They are found on the many islands which dot the cold Hyperboread sea, they inhabit the peaks and passes of the great mountains which split the continent and rise toward heights greater than man has ever climbed. As deadly as their Old Earth namesake, they leave the smashed fragments of common men and heroes, frozen by their gaze, amid their lairs and hidden dens.
The bravest of men hunt these fiends, fair in body and face, but foul in spirit with a nest of vipers for their hair. To slay a medusa is to earn more than fame. Even dead the power of their gaze remains in their own cold, dead eyes. And the blood of a medusa will grant a man flesh that can turn a blade, healing that can return a man from death, or reflesh men turned to stone.
It is said in Ptolemides that the son of the last Hellen king is a frozen statue in the lair of a Medusae Queen and that to free him will see the lost glory of the Hellenic people and the fortunes of Ptolemides return to a golden age not seen since the coming of the heroes in the long ages past. Much gold and much more speculation is now spent on where this Queen may reside but the common belief is that the great captain Eudoxus and his expedition is bound for an isle shown only on a parchment-skin map held in trust by the priests of Apollo.