The Pivot

Hercules Meet His Match: A Short Love Story About Olympic Glory

Excerpted from

The Mythoversal Newsletter

The Mythoversal Newsletter brings author commentary, mythological movie reviews, and occasional essays to your inbox.

Something big is on the way…

There was no new Rage this past Sunday. As announced last week, I’m pivoting away from retelling Epic Cycle works to focus on an original work of serialized fiction set in the world of Mythoversal Hellas.

This will be a new adaptation of a manuscript I’ve been developing for years, based on stories, settings, and characters from the Theban Cycle. I’m very excited about being able to finally release this story in a new format.

Sometime “in the next few months,” the Amazons at Amazon will complete the construction of their Kindle Vella story delivery platform. When they flip the switch that sets the gears in motion, the initial batch of new serials will include Becoming Hercules.

Until then…

In place of weekly Rage episodes, I’ll be updating the Mythoversal site weekly with reader references, resources, and teasers related to the upcoming story. These will continue to be updated and integrated into the site.

Here are the first:

Character of the Week

This week’s character is Pyrrha, daughter of Creon and Eurydike. Pyrrha appears in several ancient sources in connection with her better-known relatives. But there’s also evidence that Pyrrha once starred in a story of her own and was the subject of a hero cult in the Theban tradition.

Pyrrha’s family descend from one of the Spartoi warriors who were grown from the teeth of a slain dragon. She comes from a line of elite warriors, has dragon-blood in her veins, has a name that means “fire,” and a younger sister whose name means “female charioteer”—which led me to wonder how a character with so much story potential could have ever been erased from the received canon?

Although her original story no longer exists, Pyrrha will be a main character of Becoming Hercules.

Setting of the Week

This week, I started outlining the basic geography of Boeotian Thebes. The city was nicknamed “The Seven-Gated City” to distinguish this Thebes from the larger and more famous hundred-gated Thebes of Egypt.

The actual ancient (and modern) city of Boeotian Thebes has a fairly well-esbablished geography that I’ll be deviating from for storytelling purposes and to play up its mythic qualities.

Mythology describes Boeotian Thebes as a diverse and cosmopolitan kingdom. In addition to the Boetian natives and Spartoi-spawned dragon descendants, there were settlers who arrived with Cadmus from the Levant, followers of Dionysus from India, a Corinthian-born king, and an army led by a general from Tiryns.

This multicultural city promises to be the ideal backdrop for an epic adventure.

Object of the Week

Last year, as a joke, I invented the Hecatite Cheesecake Festival for the followers of Hecate to blow off a bit of steam. Also, yes, there were witches in Greek mythology, famously including Circe and Medea, and there will be an especially active coven depicted in Mythoversal Thebes.

The object of the week is melopita, an Ancient Greek dessert that was history’s earliest known cheesecake and was also used to establish the wedding cake tradition that survives to modern times. There are recipes online. If you try them, let me know how your melopita comes out.

—Greg R. Fishbone, Mythoversal Author-in-Residence