the artistry and psychology of gaming


Argolis (The Battle of Olympus)

Argolis (The Battle of Olympus)

Today, we’ll be visiting a representation of the real world in Ancient Greece: Argolis.  Though less known than Crete or Peloponnesus, it is certainly no less worth exploring.  This representation of Ancient Greece is very likely not the first one that springs to mind, but it is certainly more engaging on an intellectual level.  That is to say that you’ll need to be intelligent in more areas than just combat in order to survive here.  You’ll have to know what your equipment does and have a fair knowledge of Greek Mythology.  The Gods and many other inhabitants will provide you with many cryptic hints that you’ll need to decipher.  To those who know the natures of the Greek Gods, it should be obvious that killing them can be much easier than working with them.

Argolis is reached through an underground tunnel beneath a rather inconspicuous looking house in Arcadia.  Upon passing through it, you emerge from a cave in a rocky hillside to a sunset that gorgeously blazes its was through the evening sky, giving the brown rock caverns a slightly reddish hue.  Along the way to the main caverns, you’ll run into a Monument of the Sun, a strange stack of rocks, each of which has a representation of the sun carved into it.  Those fortunate enough to possess Apollo’s Harp can play it here, to call upon the mighty Pegasus to whisk them away.  The view from the winged horse’s back is nothing short of breathtaking.

The interior of the nearer of the two main caverns is of green rock with a slight tint of blue.  The cavern is rather deep and there are many naturally formed pillars of stone of varying girth throughout the background, leaving one to wonder how they were formed in such a way.  At the back of this cavern is a particularly scenic area where the Lion of Nemea makes its residence.  Rumor has it, though, that this cavern holds a secret.  Near the entrance, it is said that there is a hidden tunnel to another cavern with formed with magenta stone.  This secret cavern also supposedly leads to the sea.  Explorers from Phrygia tell tales of this cavern, but they have no way of being certain of exactly where they were.  Is it true, that a third cavern exists in Argolis?  Only those with a way to see through illusions know for sure.

The further of the two main caverns is similar in makeup, but the stone within is a strange blue color with a slight hue of purple.  Like the other main cavern, it contains small chambers were people make their homes.  Even Hermes, messenger of the Gods lives here in his temple.  The entrance to his temple is near an outlet to the sea, which leads to the island of Crete, known for its labyrinth.  This cavern is far more dangerous than the other, for it has more crevasses, one of which leads to a nest of salamanders.  These formidable creatures slither along the ground and attack anything that falls into their nest, sometimes in groups as large as five.  Given that they are of a considerable length, they have taken down many humans, and evidently do so often enough to sustain this habitat.  It will take quick reflexes, steel nerves, and sharp eyes to make it out alive, though there is no better place to gather salamander skins, which are said to resist fire.

For the sharpest of survivors, Argolis is one of the loveliest locales in Ancient Greece to explore, take a stroll, or even just gaze out into the sea as the twilit sky paints its waters a shimmering reflection of evening colors.  You can see a sunset nearly anywhere, but there are very few places that it causes the land beneath it to glow so vibrantly.  It reminds me of the village in which I grew up; another place that loved to bask in the glow of a sun crossing the horizon, but now I’m waxing nostalgic.  Argolis features a beauty like no other, but one that must be earned.  It almost makes one wonder if it’s just a ploy to net the land another victim, like a siren luring in her prey.  Of course, rock and sky are anything but sentient beings, so such a notion is ridiculous.  Regardless, you have to have an experienced adventurer to take in the beauty of an area like this.  Worry not, I’m sure you’ll get there someday.


  1. While I agree that working with the deities of myth was difficult, killing one of them wasn’t ever in the stories.

    • Oh, I’d said that for emphasis; to kill a god in the Greek Pantheon – or most any polytheistic religion, for that matter – is to kill a very force of nature, which, of course, is nearly impossible. In that light, the Greek gods are so sadistic that what I was saying is that it’d be easier to kill the ocean with a sword than to get Poseidon to not betray you just for fun.

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