New Mythic Location: Sacred Band of Thebes

This was used in a recent campaign, and I thought I would share it with the Forum in case anyone found it useful:


The Sacred Band of Thebes was a fighting force made up of pairs of male lovers. It was referenced in Against Demosthenes by Dinarchus, and the Symposia of both Plato and Xenophon. They expelled the Spartans from Thebes, and were brilliant strategists and formidable warriors. They were eventually defeated by Philip of Macedon (Father to Alexander the Great) in 338 BP.


Near the Covenant of Epidauros (Sundered Eagle page 63) is the Greek City of Thebes. In the adjacent countryside lies a giant statue of a Lion which legend says marks the polyandron (mass tomb) of the Sacred Band.

On the mundane level this is just a statue which is in a state of advanced disrepair. However there is a Fae Regio of level 1 accesible from the mundane. A covenfolk of the name Leonidas knows the trick (tracing the name of thebes on a certain part of the statue) He knows because of stories passed down through the citizens. Most don't recall it but he always paid attention to stories involving lions when he was a kid because of his name.

On the first level there is a just a small clearing with another copy of the statue. On this level the statue is not just stone but a broken Mechana of Heron. It can talk and move around, but the effect that is necessary to access the next and final level (A massive roar singing the praises of the warriors) is broken. If the Lion can be persuaded it can teach the roar (which has to be magically amplified) or if Mechana of Heron is an ability that has already been discovered it can be repaired as a CrAu 20 effect.

The final level is a Fae level 4 aura.

On entering the characters see a battle in progress. All warriors seem dressed in the same (greek-style) uniform but the two side sport either a red or blue arm-band.

The Blue leader is currently Solon partnered with Nikon a scout, the Red leader is Phaedrus partnered with Timon a spearman.

Each day they draw lots to see what side they are on, and then they fight to the death! Everyone is ressurected on sundown, and then spend the night in revelry, singing about past battles.

The charcters can impress them by demonstrations of martial prowess (any weapon skill) or tactical awareness (leadership)


If a character spends a year in training with the band they gain the following minor virtues: Puissant (weapon), Cautious with (weapon), Puissant Leadership. In return the gain the Major Flaw True Love, where one of the Fae leaves the regio to become their inamorato. This is a fae creature who will actively try to get their lover into scrapes for honour. This interpretation assumes that an ensouled mortal can be in love with a philosphical zombie. I personally have no issue with this but for those who feel (perfectly reasonably) that this is against the paradigm, an alternative rule suggested my Raccoonmask is that they acquire a Faerie companion who grants these virtues in exchange for vitality.

They will only train people who demonstrate an aptitude for war, i.e. a skill of 5+ in a weapon skill or 3+ in Leadership, People who already have True Love (either as a virtue or a Flaw) are not eligible. They will not train anyone who give any indication of a treacherous soul or cowardice.


One of the first people to benefit from the training was Alexander the great, and his Hephaestion was a companion from this regio.

Originally the Lion on the first level was a Fae creature, but was somehow destroyed. Later a disciple of Heron of Alexandria discovered the broken lion and crafted a mechanical replacement, This was also later damaged. (currently the lion does not recall how or by whom, but maybe repairing it can bring back that memory?)


Over the years the warriors have become concerned that they are not in the Elysium fields as there are no other warriors there. They seek their eternal reward, and worry that they have not been sufficiently heroic. They have asked previous supplicants to seek answers from the spirits of Achilles and Patroclus as to what they should do, but none have returned. According to the Illiad Achilles and Patroclus are buried at the Hellespoint.

Storyguide hints

The Future quest to seek out the spirirts could be moved to a prerequisite to allowing charcters to train with the Sacred Band. Maybe the Sacred Band is being kept from finishing their story because they are being saved for a future battle? Ragnarok/The Mongols or some other calamity forseen in the distant past.

Discovery of the site can be found in writings a Mechanist of Heron noting the creation of the replacemant lion, or maybe from any of the many greek texts mentioning the Sacred Band.

The behaviour of these warriors is not exactly Fae, How did they survive without interactions with mortals. Perhaps some of the inhabitants are the souls of the warriors, and the rest are Fae that have learnt how to extract vitality from these souls? Maybe over time the two types of beings (Ghosts and Fae) have fused, and would provide insight for researchers trying to investigate links between the four traditional realms, after all Love conquers all....



Only flaw I see is that faeries require human interaction to gain vitality, and being secluded like this is something they would despise.

Hmm. Two reasons I don't like this writeup, and they're both based on my interpretations of the rules (rather than strict RAW).

I would argue that True Love isn't appropriate in a situation where one half is a faerie - but that's a problem with my interpretation of True Love as an essential gift from God, and faeries are just phantasms made real by story and interaction. True Love has to flow both ways, and faeries are not capable of true love due to their facsimile of human existence.
You present this, somewhat, as a mystagogue process where someone spends a year in training and gets 3 minor virtues in trade for a major story flaw. In my sagas I also wouldn't allow this because I don't like the idea of someone taking an additional story flaw as part of the mystery initiation.

I don't have a problem with the faerie origins of the band, but I believe a better way to build it would be souch that completing the story of joining the band and training with the band will create a faerie lover for the hero of the story; This lover will have appropriate Grant Minor Virtue powers, and will use the power on their partner for as long as the mortal hero fills their end of the story as the lover of the faerie soldier.


Actually, I prefer this version to the "take one major story flaw gain three mechanical minor ones".

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Raccoonmask has the better solution. when I have time I will edit the original to reflect his excellent suggestion.


I have edited the original to reflect the above points. I still like the idea that they are able to form true love bonds so I have left it in as an option, whilst calling out the rules issues.

thank you everyone!