Monday, May 03, 2010

fear the Solymi

So over the past week or so I've been reading the Iliad as translated into English prose by 19th century poet Samuel Butler. I spent a fair amount of time back in college with Richmond Lattimore's poetic translation, as I minored in Classic Civilizations. But I've been meaning to get around to re-reading the Iliad ever since I bought a set of the Britannica Great Books series over a decade ago. Those babies ain't gonna read themselves.

Anyway, book VI mentions in passing the three great deeds of the hero Bellerophon, who got a write-up in the original Deities & Demigods.  Bellerophon's deeds include defeating the Amazons, slaying the Chimera (which Butler describes as a fire-breathing 'goddess' with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a serpent) and fighting the "far-famed Solymi".  No explanation is given for what the heck a Solymi is.  A quick googling suggests 'Solymi' was the name given to a tribe of people, but I decided it needed to be a variant chimera.


# Encountered: d2 (d4)
Align: Chaos
Mv: 120' (40')
AC: 4 [15]
HD: 9
Attacks: 2 claws (d4+1/d4+1), bite (d10), gore (2d4)
Save as: Fighter 9
Morale: 9
Treasure: XVII - F

The solymus (pl. solymi) is a magical hybrid creature with the body of a lion, the head and tail of a great serpent and the horns of a wild goat or ibex.  Thrice per day a solymus may vomit forth a glob of poison 5' in diameter, which may be directed at one foe or two standing side-by-side up to 50' away.  Those attacked by the poison glob may save versus breath attack to dodge it, otherwise they suffer 3d6 poison damage.


  1. GameDaddy8:13 PM

    That's an interesting critter.

    A bit of Google-Fu brought the following to light on
    from Tacitus Histories 5.2-5:

    The Solymi are mentioned by Homer in the Iliad 6.184 and 204 and in the Odyssey 5.283. They were brave warriors from Lycia. The word Jerusalem was read as 'Hiero-Solyma' or 'holy place of the Solymi'. So... not just any people.

    More on Lycia here:

    Word Verification: Mulamica
    For the game this is what I would call the boats the Solymi or Lycians use in the Mediterranean

  2. GameDaddy8:15 PM

    I'd totally let the Solymi have pet Solymus....