Tell me, oh muses, daughters of that primordial origin, of that fated stage where the children of Olympus waged dire battle upon the fields of distant Ilium. The story of those brought by the fair promise made in honor, and the many tragedies and glories that came of it. Come far and wide to flock beneath the banner of plunder and obligation, oaths fulfilled and ruin enacted.
Iliad Quest is an online forum quest written by user Teh Chron on SpaceBattles.com using elements from Sage_Of_Eyes AGG (A Geeks Guide) system to tell an alternative story based on the events of The Iliad by Homer in a condensed form with a somewhat Animesque bent, bearing mild references to the visual novel Fate/stay night.
The story so far revolves around Nikolaos, an Ithacan slave dragged into the battlefields of the Trojan War after his master and owner was recruited for the Achaean warfleet by his king Odysseus after the Oath of Tyndareus was invoked in response to Paris of Troy making off with Helen, the Queen of Sparta, after his run-in with the three goddesses and the Apple of Discord.
Iliad Quest can be read here.
Iliad Quest contains the following tropes:
- Action Dad: Odysseus and Agamemnon are both fathers, as well as two of the greatest heroes of the Achaean side. Palamedes counts for this as well, to a much lesser extent.
- Adaptational Badass:
- King Priam is an embittered, ferocious man and a diplomatic monster whose feat of negotiating the world's first peace treaty earned him a Compelling Voice.
- His son Prince Troilus, known mainly for being murdered young, is similarly socially talented and a Champion of Thanatos.
- Alone with the Psycho: Damianos was captured and left with a child expy of Johan Liebert for an unspecified amount of time.
- Any Last Words?:Hector: Y-yeah. L-later.
- Asshole Victim: It really shouldn't be so cathartic to feel extremely relieved about a drunk man belting a young child over some bars. Exceptions can be made for certain people.
- Back from the Dead: Argos pulls this off several times, through sheer loyalty. Now that's one Good Dog.
- Badass Teacher: Set, Egyptian God of the desert, storms and violence. He knows how to throw sand.
- Berserk Button: For Diomedes, harming children. Hence his working with Odysseus to kill Palamedes, and his contempt for Kratos.
- Bling of War: Palamedes demonstrates a quite literal example in the form of defensive serpents made from his material wealth.
- Canine Companion: Argos is the hound of Odysseus, this time accompanying him to the Trojan War. He would go so far as to die for his master. And Nikolaos. Multiple times.
- Captain Oblivious: Damianos has a massive blind spot in regard to just how Nikolaos might be expected to feel about their relationship. Years after (reflexively) pressing a spear to his throat hard enough to scar, it's never occurred to him to give a verbal apology. Exemplified in their first meeting, where his reaction to a malnourished boy is to babble about all the amazing treats he ate that day.
- Cassandra Truth: Given the setting, it's fairly obvious who this refers to.
- Comically Small Bribe: Odysseus convinces a thirteen-year-old Damianos to run off to war and seals the deal with loukoumades. Eight years later, he does it again to borrow Nikolaos.
- Crash-Into Hello: The first encounter with Achilles and Cassandra.
- Crime After Crime: Nikolaos assists Odysseus and Diomedes in their revenge plot to murder Palamedes for endangering Odysseus' son's life to get him to answer the call to arms in the First Mustering. When Palamedes' father Nauplius comes calling to investigate the death, he gets killed off as well.
- The Dreaded: Diomedes, Son of Tydeus, the Fury That Warps the Loom, is one of the most feared Heroes in the Achean army. He has an immense intimidation score, enough to make a son of Heracles falter with only a glare, and has access to War Cries, an ability that can strip Blessings through pure fear.Diomedes: If I have to let go of any one of these things that I am holding to deal with you, I am going to be very, very annoyed.
- Epic Fail: Medea loses the Test of Wisdom to Nikolaos and a dog. The dog (Argos, to be fair) understands better than her that killing children is wrong.
- Expy: More than you can shake a stick at.
- A number from the Fate franchise. Aside from people "played by" characters, like Odysseus and Nikolaos, characters that resemble their Fate counterparts include Medea, Hector, Penthesilea, and William Shakespeare.
- Telemonian Ajax is one of Gaston and Philoctetes is similar to his own Disney incarnation.
- Agamemnon seems to be getting in on this as well, with his character profile based on Ganondorf.
- The Mysterious Mask Merchant reminds one of a certain Happy Mask Salesman.
- Seems like Hades looks and acts like his Disney version, too.
- During the assault on the gates of Troy, Diomedes faces off against the Champion of the God of War.
- Fate Worse than Death: The Mysterious Mask Merchant explicitly suggests dying and plummeting to the underworld might be better than living under Sets tutelage.
- Fiery Redhead: Downplayed with Nikolaos, a redhead who seethes with repressed anger. Achilles's hair is actually green, but he still has a reputation as "flame-haired," which Odysseus exploits when he has Nikolaos impersonate him.
- Flat "What": Damianos breaks out in memes at the end of the first event.Damianos: But you know... Cute is Justice.
Damianos: I have decided. That on my name, I shall protect that smile.
- Guile Hero: Odysseus, par for the course.
- Hidden Depths: Spoofed and subverted with Nikolaos's first impression of Little Ajax.[He] had an air of...reluctant command to him. As if everything he was doing was some great chore, but he did it anyway out of necessity. No, wait. He was just arrogant.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Nearly all of the Achaean camp's internal intrigue, including the attempted harm of his son by Palamedes, is a consequence of Odysseus trying to skip out on the Oath of Tyndareus. He's the one who proposed the oath in the first place.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: After Nikolaos takes a hostage.Odysseus: Doin a little, plowin the new fields, eh? Eh, Nikky-boy? Sowin them royal oats? Eh? Eh? Doin a lil sacking in the sack? Eh? Am I right? [Argos bites him]
- Identical Stranger: Crops up a lot due to the writers affection for a certain visual novel series. Odysseus and Argos appearance is lifted from Caster Cu Chulainn in Fate/Grand Order, and the same is true for Nikolaos, who uses Robin Hood's picture from the same game.
- Imagine Spot: Played for Black Comedy when a thoroughly outmatched Nikolaos, contemplating retreat, pictures explaining to Agamemnon and Hector that he left their daughter and sister to die.
- Name's the Same:
- Locrian Ajax is a reedy, fresh-faced teenager, which would net any Achaean soldier strange looks for getting him confused with Telemonian Ajax, who is a mountain of muscle and every inch of hims covered in hair.
- Argos is the name of both Diomedes's kingdom and Odysseus's dog.
- Nerves of Steel: Nikolaos. He always keeps his wits about him, even when brought to the brink of death.
- Nice Hat: Nikolaos is bemused by the amount of feathers the Trojans wear in their hats.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Happens more than a few times, usually at the hands of Odysseus. starting with Agamemnon angering Artemis with his boasts on a hunt and the subsequent attempt to sacrifice his daughter, where Medea intervenes and kills the Achaean prophet Calchas and destroys their army's divine assurance of victory in the process. It only escalates from there.
- No Sense of Direction: When they first set out for Troy, the Achaean fleet sails right past it and into Mysia, whereupon they essentially shrug and sack it anyway. Then they turn around and overshoot again, somehow ending up in Egypt. Odysseus is one of the absolute worst cases.
- Only Sane Man: Nikolaos is one of the few in possession of a potent skill known as Common Sense.
- Outside-Context Problem: Both the Trojan and Achaean forces encounter an unknown third faction of skeletal warriors and wolfmen.
- Papa Wolf: When Calchas demands he sacrifice his daughter, Agamemnon has Medea disembowel Calchas and sacrifice their destined victory instead.
- Passed-Over Inheritance: Priam anticipates handing off the throne to Hector only so he can keep it warm for his favorite son, Creepy Child Troilus.
- The Power of Hate: Nikolaos earned a heroic Feat, Vendetta, after witnessing the death of Argos at Amphilus hands. It gives him the edge when fighting enemies he has a grudge against, and can be upgraded to draw more power from his ire.
- The Promise: The Oath of Tyndareus, sworn by all the Achaean kings among Helen's suitors to defend her chosen husband against competitors. It's the reason they're all going to war with Troy in the first place.
- Redhead in Green: Nikolaos, for practical reasons. He's one of the Achaeans best scouts, and presumably wears his green mottled cloak to better sneak around.
- Refusal of the Call: Odysseus tried to avoid the mass recruitment of the Achaean kings who swore on the Oath of Tyndareus by faking madness and salting his own fields. Palamedes didn't buy it.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Cassandra begs Nikolaos to kidnap her.
- Shout-Out: Plenty can be found in the story.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Sets training regimen involves tossing his pupils into a desert and forcing them to learn how to fight venomous animals for food.
- Spanner in the Works:
- Nikolaos has a special quality known as Fateless, where he cannot be seen by the threads of Fate, but can act as he wishes in it. The changes he makes to the story of [The Iliad] are counted as "Ripples", and range from things such as getting Philoctetes healed and joining the offensive from the beginning, to killing Palamedes.
- The Meta faction also counts as well. Though their designs are as of yet unknown, their actions to change the script to their suiting is guaranteed to change the tapestry of Fate.
- Palamedes himself, in a meta sense. The randomized aspects of his build gave him the exact skills needed to avoid Odysseus and Diomedes's assassination attempt, leading to an extremely close battle where Nikolaos ended up landing the killing blow. The resulting experience gain shot him all the way up to level 21 without the skill training to match.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Dante Alighieri has this reaction to Odysseus, who he'd consigned to a circle of Hell in The Inferno.
- Time Skip: In the prologue, eight years pass between the First and Second Mustering.
- To Be Lawful or Good: Word of God has it that Palamedes is a good man, though what the quest sees of him falls toward Lawful; he threatens the infant Telemachus to force Odysseus to honor his oath, and gives Damianos a rationale for why attacking and pillaging hapless Trojans for the sex scandals of their leadership is totally okay.
- Uriah Gambit: After the questionable deaths of Palamedes and Nauplius, Agamemnon puts their remaining troops in the most dangerous part of the assault on Troy and then runs them over with sea serpents for good measure.
- Weak, but Skilled: Nikolaos. He's merely a slave amongst an army of professional warriors, starting off with one combat skill that was incredibly weak by any standard. However, in the face of men far his greater, his scheming disposition comes to fore. He's very good at setting up his opponents for failure, finding and creating openings to exploit.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Called out in the event title, "The Gang Murders a Grieving Father." Nauplius, rightfully thinking something is fishy about the death of Palamedes, challenges his killers to a Trial by Combat. To avoid this, they sneak onto his ship in the night and murder him in his bed. In the epilogue, Agamemnon covers it up by setting the ship on fire and killing everyone else on board. It's hammered in by the interlude covering Achilles' reaction to the aftermath.
- Worthy Opponent: As one of the few also in possession of Common Sense, Hector seems to consider Nikolaos this after the Test of Wisdom.