Mares of Diomedes

The mares of Diomedes. Mad horses which craved the flesh of man and breathed fire. Holdovers from when the world was young and wild untamed by man. Podargos, the Swift. Lampon, the Shining. Xanthos, The Yellow. Deinus, The Terrible, made up the ferocious beasts maintained in the stable. Some believe the craving for flesh drives them to madness. But it is the madness that drives them to crave flesh. Chained and controlled by King Diomedes. The son of Ares, who had no problem chaining and quartering guests in his city.

Diomedes men were ready, alerted by the arrival of Heracles. Swords were quickly thrust at Heracles and Azeus. Heracles shrugged off glancing blows from the swords. Unafraid of the men, he managed to catch one. A curdling scream cut through the night's air as Heracles squeezed him tight in a bear hug until there was nothing but silence left. Heracles had made his point, but the men were not afraid. They had been enlisted by a man some would call a mad king. The fighting continued.

Azeus did his best to defend sword blows. He couldn't manage to down a single opponent, nor would he fall. It seemed the numbers were too large to overcome. Heracles considered retreating to strategize. In the deciding moments speed matching Heracles strength helped to over come the odds. The men were not fast enough to defend the blows from the fast mystery man using only a small knife to take down opponents. Nor could they manage to match blows with Heracles using only a club made from an olive branch. Soon the men retreated to the city, no doubt to bring their own Demi-God to do battle.

"Good to see you cousin," their savior hugged him.

"Azeus, this is Abderus, my friend. Although I am not sure when he became so fast," Heracles made the introduction.

"More than friends, we're cousins. My father, my true father, is Hermes. It was an ordeal but I am stronger for it. He sent me here, said you would need my help. I suppose he is watching you," Abderus suggested.

"It seems the Gods have all been watching me. To see if I should fall victim to Hera's deadly games," Heracles responded.

The men caught up as they waited for reinforcements. No soldiers came. Instead it was a possession meant for a king. Diomedes marched naked in front of the chorus of horns and drums. He had come to challenge Heracles to do battle with him alone. Two Demi-Gods set to battle with nothing but their strength, wit and experience.

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