Day 24 - Hecatonchieres Picture

Greek mythology holds that in the time before humankind, the primordial deities Gaia and Uranus gave birth to three giants. Each had fifty heads and a hundred hands. They were strong, fierce, and quite ugly. The Hecatoncheires, as they were called, aided the Gods in their war against the Titans, and little else was said of them.

They did not disappear.

Hilda, pictured here, was a Hecatonchire-blooded shieldmaiden in medieval times. Although the similarity to her Primordial ancestors is clear, she has but a single head and lacks legs entirely. Archaeotheogenealogists familiar with the case say that the loss of certain divine or human traits is common in such a bloodline.

The Hecatoncheires' bloodline was protected and closely studied by an order of ancient warrior monks. The traits of the Hecatonchire were not expressed in every generation of offspring, so many Hecatonchildren lived normal lives, unaware of their divine heritage. When a monk discovered a child with a hundred arms, it was believed that this heralded a great battle. Such children were spirited away from their parents at birth, to be educated in philosophy and the ways of war.

Hilda, in particular, was trained in all weapons common in the day: swords, axes, archery, polearms, and the like. She could fire thirty to forty longbows at a time, and her arms were stronger than those of other warriors, giving her increased accuracy and range. She could wield a phalanx of shields on her own, and still strike over them with polearms and javelins.

This said, Hilda was more than a warrior monster. She knew and was prepared for her role in history and life-- to fight a great battle, and then fade into memory. The monks trained her both for war and for afterward. Once the war was won, she discovered that she enjoyed climbing great mountains (having a hundred hands helps), where she could look out at the horizon in quiet contemplation.

It is said this was where Hilda met a shepherd named Erik, who became her companion. His journals write of her amazing appetite, her kindness and gentleness, as well as her other obvious physical attributes.

Might the blood of the Hecatoncheires persist even today? Only the monks know.

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