On the island of Icaria, some ten miles northwest of Samos, in the town of Oenoe, lived a most accomplished metal smith, known as Dysmas. As his renown spread, the ruler gave him an order to produce new gates for the town. These must be the strongest and the most elaborate gates that had ever been seen.
For twenty-two days, he labored, day and night, hardly stopping for an occasional cat-nap, and eating almost nothing. On the twenty-third day, his daughter Eftychia (whose name translated to “Happines” or “Good Luck”) brought him a bowl of warm soup, a loaf of bread, fresh from the oven and a piece of her best goat cheese.
“You must eat, Father, or your strength will fail,” she said to him.
He turned to his beautiful daughter and smiled. “I will rest now, and eat, for the gates are finished and workers are coming from the palace to take them. By tomorrow they will be in place.”
The next day, the entire population was on hand for the unveiling of the gates. They were not disappointed. As the covers were drawn from them, a collective sigh went up from the observers. One man was heard to say, “They are beyond mortal beauty, as if made by the hand of the god Hephaestus, himself.”
On Olympus, Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the gods was resting in his palace, and heard that pronouncement. His consort, Aphrodite, having just returned from yet another of her “diversions” smiled a cat-like smile and said, “It would seem that a mortal has equaled your skill. Perhaps you'd better look to your laurels.” Hephaestus flew into a rage (more at his wife than the mortal, he knew his own worth as a smith) and set out for Icaria.
Hephaestus stood looking at the infamous gate; it was indeed wonderfully wrought. Still, he could see the difference between mortal work and his own – it was comforting. His anger, however, still simmered and he sought out the smith.
At the forge, he found the hearth cold and the place empty. The smith was being feted by the local ruler. On the point of departing, Hephaestus heard a sweet voice, singing in the garden. Following the sound, he beheld a maiden, lovely enough to rival his own unfaithful Aphrodite. His anger firing anew, he approached and seduced her.
Hephaestus knew, at the moment of conception, that he had created a child. As he left, he took his own hammer from his belt and laid it beside the sleeping Eftychia. In the dust of the courtyard, he wrote “This gift is for my son, whose name shall be Sotirios (salvation). He is half immortal and will someday be your salvation.”
Challenge: Take a known Greek god/goddess or create a new one and tell us the story that created a child. The baby part's very important because next week's challenge will involve this baby. The child can be purely mortal, but in some way, a god/goddess should play into the story.