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The Hesperides

This is Twisted Mythology

History

 

Origins


Aigle, Erytheis, and Hespera slept in their simple home within the orchard. Theirs was the task of tending the trees and fending off anything, or anyone, who would take their fruit before the sisters could get them to market. As they slept, they dreamed.   In their dreams, they shared a vision of trees blending together to grow new fruits. One was so yellow it was brighter than gold. It would have a more bitter, even sour, taste. The other was darker than gold. This darker fruit was sweeter and more complicated to blend. It would take generations to get right.   "Daughters," a voice whispered through their dreams with immense yet soothing power. This, was the voice of Nyx, goddess of Night and Crafter of Sunsets. "I have shown you the way to bring forth the most vital of fruits that need to someday grow all around the world. If you work upon this task for one year, I shall grant you the power to continue to do this for ages untold."   Each of the sisters, in her own dream, agreed to take up this task. They became the first Hesperides.
 
Also known as the "Daughters of the Evening", The Hesperides began as a trio dedicated to protecting their new precious tree of "golden apples". As their tree matured and bore fruit, they obtained seeds. Chosing only the very best and most perfect seed from each batch to plant, they ever so slowly grew their precious tree into a grove. Overtime, their grove grew. To tend the growing number of trees, there needed to be more daughters.
 
  The three daughters prayed to Nyx. During their prayers, Nyx came to their grove and tasted the fruit of their trees. Pleased with this fruit, she drew upon Erebos and crafted for them the Circle of Night. The Hesperides could now have a mortal woman willingly stand within the circle and accept the power, becoming a Hesperide.
 

314 BC


  The "golden apples" called hesperidoids, became well known in their hidden lands. Nyx came to them and asked for them to start a new grove in a place called Lixus. Seven daughters were chosen. They took with them a seed pouch and traveled under the protection of the night.
 
  Once they arrived in Lixus, a town on the right bank of the Loukkos River, they took a boat out into the sea and followed the guiding star to an island. They planted their seeds around a new Circle of Night.   Breaking their boat, the sisters then climbed to a peak on their island where a villa blessed with comforts from Nyx awaited them.
 
by Pexels
As they had in their hidden land, the seven tended the seeds that grew into a fine grove.   In between their nurturing of the grove, they learned to play music on the wonderous array of instruments Nyx had gifted them within the villa.   Over time, these Hesperides came to be masters of music and song.
 

Hera


      Once the trees began to bear fruit, Hera swooped in.   She proclaimed it HER garden though she allowed it to continue being called the Garden of the Hesperides.   To ensure the garden remained hers, she placed Ladon, a many-headed dragon, to protect the trees.   This prevented anyone but her harvesting the fruits, including the Hesperides.
 
  Unfortunately for Hera, dragons may be mighty and terrifying but, unlike hydras, they loved to sleep.   They also loved music. It did not take long for the Hesperides to figure this out.   With beautiful music, they sooothed the dragon to sleep while they worked within the grove, collecting their fruits as they always did.
 

Nesoi


  After the Romans defeated the Greeks, they had little interest in the mysterious island and its "golden apples".   Over time, few people came to think of it as precious or even beyond normal and the island vanished from mortal ken, becoming a Nesoi.   Ladon dug a lair that went deep beneath the grove where he could sleep without interruptions.
 
When the Roman gods withered in faith as the new religions of the world rose, the Garden of Lixus became one of the hidden Nesoi islands. Sailing grew about the world. As it grew so did the realisation that the longer a sailor was at sea the greater the risk of dying by sickness. Nyx came to the Hesperides and told them it was time to spread more groves about the world so their fruits would be plentiful when the time was right.
 
And so more Hesperides were 'made' with the two circles and groves of their precious fruits, in an ever growing variety, spread about the world, some only tended by a lone Hesperide.   When the Revelation happened, the Hesperides were ready with their groves. To this day, they defend hidden groves all over the world, ensuring the power of citrus will thrive forever.
The Inner Workings

Unlike most organizations, the Hesperides do not have a formal leader. What they do have are wise ones like The Trio. Aigle, Erytheis, and Hespera are the original trio and considered the most wise.   After the Trio, as they are called, come the four who complete The Seven with the Trio: Arethusa, Asterope, Chrysothemis, and Lipera.   Finally, the brave Hesperides who journeyed to Lixus are considered the third tier of wisdom. They are: Aiopis, Antheia, Donakis, Calypso, Mermesa, Nelisa, and Tara.  
The Revelation

In 1747, a mortal named James Lind discovered that adding the juice of the bitter variety of "golden apple" he knew as a lemon, warded off scurvy, the teriible disease of sailors.   This revelation proved to be so vital that lemons, and the other variety of "golden apple" were treasured for their medicinal powers even more than for their flavors.

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Cover image: by chenspec

Comments

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
7 Jul, 2022 12:13

Great article! I love the idea of lemon as golden apple XD And I love how you've used Greek mythology in this :D

To see what I am up to, see the list of my Summer Camp articles—my favourite is Sentient Cells.
7 Jul, 2022 16:38

Thanx.

Come vist my world PANGORIO for exciting tales, world lore, and RPG adventures ! HYPNOSIUM is my new world I am trying to fill for Summer Camp.