CERBERUS, THE HOUND OF HADES
Cerberus is brother to the Hydra and son of Typhon himself, the inconceivable creature who single-handedly challenged all Olympians and almost defeated them. It is said that Cerberus is in fact a hundred-headed beast, yet no more than three of his heads can be perceived at any one time.
Still, he howls and groans with the throats of all the shades which have well and truly lost all sense of selfhood since laying eyes upon him at the gates of the Underworld. Such shades are forever bound to the Guardian of the Gates.
No one really knows what could happen once Cerberus and his shades have well and truly crossed over into the lands of the living – only that when souls flow out, other must flow in, and that wherever the Hound is, Hell is there, too.
Revel in Death – Cerberus becomes more powerful as a battlefield becomes more chaotic, feeding from the energy of the newly-stocked Underworld and the souls of his prey.
Fires of Phlegethon – A large, firey explosion straight from the river Phlegethon that can scour enemies and destroy their armour.
Summon Shades – There are always more dead, and Cerberus can bring them to the battlefield. As he grows in power and becomes used to his place on the battlefields of mortals, this ability will increase in strength and power of the units it brings forward.
Howl of the Underworld – Demoralising for all, the Underworld stakes its claim on all mortal souls and tells them that they will die – perhaps sooner than later.
Out into the sunlit world, Cerberus is made uneasy by Souls still attached to their bodies, and will ensure that proper balance is restored. The more Souls he sends back to Hades, the more could cross over, under Cerberus’ merciless gazes, and be made useful as Shade Labour, increasing productivity through their tireless, uncomplaining effort.
Of course, some Shades are better suited to bloodier work. Though many of them would come to the battlefield angry and confused, and therefore little more than fodder, some step out from The Fields of Elysium where only true warriors roam, and are capable of humbling any living soldier.
Souls – Cerberus’ power comes from his connection to the Underworld and his power over the souls of the dead. This is a new resource that is gathered from winning battles and Cerberus agent actions, as well as generated by unique Cerberus-specific buildings.
Shades – Cerberus’ unique units are the dead themselves. They are recruited instantly, and have no upkeep or replenishment. They require the Souls resource to bring to your side.
Shade Labour – A unique edict that increases resource production for all settlements in a province while locking Happiness at 0.
Offering Pit of Hades – This building passively generates souls, as well as allowing the recruitment of shades and the use of the Shade Labour edict.
Post battle options and agent actions – If Cerberus takes part in a battle, unlucky captives may be offered up to Hades to generate more Souls. Cerberus can also individually attack a garrison or army to reap rewards for his master.
It is cruel indeed to have to witness Cerberus himself at the threshold of Hades, sapping any hope of respite in the afterlife; and it is doubly cruel for the unburied dead who mill around the gates for all time under the gaze of the terrifying Hellhound. As men, in life, leash their dogs so they would not escape, now in death they are leashed to Cerberus so they do not fly back to the world of the living – not without their bestial overseer, at any rate.
Long-dead heroes of the bow, their deaths came with a chance at glory and rest in the paradise of Elysium. By the power of Cerberus they return to destroy the living with expert aim and deadly, ghostly arrows.
Legendary warriors one-and-all, experts in the field, their skills, ferocity, and power have only increased from the years spent dead. They will enter a rage on the battlefield, expending their time back amongst the living for even more power.
The fiercest ghosts of the Underworld, returned to re-wreak havoc on armies the world over. Like their three-headed guard, they revel in battle, powering up as more death feeds the Underworld.
It is extremely difficult to gain a quick advantage over Cerberus and his forces in battle. The Shades will never break – and the more bodies litter the battlefield, the more unstoppable the wave of bloodthirsty undead becomes. In time, Cerberus’ victory becomes as inevitable as every mortal’s descent to the shores of the Styx.
The greatest guardian in greek myth is best employed by the hero who looks to hold the line until the very end – then returning from the abyss to do it again.
The Mythic Expedition for Cerberus will, unsurprisingly, take you to the very threshold of the Underworld. The journey there will make you follow in the footsteps of myth and meet with obstacles both mundane and divine.