Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1): Fountain of Hippocrene

Castle in the Mountains by Gray Artus

Castle in the Mountains by Gray Artus

Welcome to Olympus, where the Muses of Greek Mythology are charged with the responsibility of discovering, inspiring, and guiding the young incarnations of legends past until they once again take the form of greatness.

Embark on an enchanting journey through Architects of Illusion (Echoes of Olympus, #1), a YA fantasy novel series inspired by my backyard neighbors, Biltmore Estate, in honor of George Vanderbilt‘s extraordinary legacy. 

Join me, and a cast of brilliant film composers, as we awaken your imagination to the magic of the mountains during this year’s international A to Z Challenge (representing #TeamDamyanti).

For a detailed PHOTO TOUR of Biltmore Estate, including the Satyr fountain adorning the wall of the South Terrace, click HERE! Want to read more? Visit my A to Z “Sneak Peeks” page!

Fountain of Hippocrene

THE SATYR’S face was frightful. A wicked set of goat horns curled past large pointed ears that protruded from tufts of hair, twisted and tangled around a wreath of wild grapevines. A strong, flat nose perched above stained lips, his matted beard bubbling beneath a rivulet of glistening gold that pooled at my feet.

“You want me to drink from that?” I asked Tari, my voice tinged with more than a little doubt. “The water doesn’t look very…sanitary,” I added, glancing at the wrinkled patina brow of the fountain’s head, as if he, too, was skeptical.

Tari rolled her sea-green eyes in a tide of irritation. “This is the Fountain of Hippocrene,” she sighed inwardly, “the entire student body drinks from it. As far as I know, there’s never been a casualty,” she smirked, sweeping her hand towards the crowded lawn, a hundred different fingers gripping cups of the liquid in question.

She held a crystal goblet underneath the shimmering patina mouth, droplets spilling onto the brim, and pressed it into my palm. “Is this like, special Greek lemonade, cuz I’m not nearly drinking age,” I quipped, sniffing the swirling liquid.

Tari shot me a disapproving glare. “The waters of Dionysus can taste like lemons, or wine or a million other things, depending upon who drinks it. It imparts a gift of divination in the realm of romantic relations—one only you can experience.”

“So it’s a hallucinogenic aphrodisiac punch?” I clarified, eyebrows raised. I’m not into mind-altering substances, regardless of the perks.

“It lasts all of five seconds,” Tari reasoned, “and, according to the Turtles, it may help you find answers,” she coaxed the cup to my mouth.

I took a tentative sip. It tasted like warm cinnamon and cloves mixed with honey. The edges of my vision blurred. The background noise faded into floating flutes and wispy wind chimes. The silvery pool shimmered, replacing the curly ginger hair and pale skin of my reflection, with that of another.

A boy with striking almond eyes of sparkling slate smiled back at me, a shock of raven hair falling over the flawless sandstone skin of his Asian heritage. The boy who could steal the breath from my lungs without even trying.


Between heartbeats, the phantom image shifted, the boy’s features crumpled with agony and despair.

A deep voice drummed from the mounted head of the satyr, his iron gaze fixed on mine. Whispers of a warning floated from whiskered lips, humming with urgency.

“Beware the spirit of stone.”

© 2014 Samantha Redstreake Geary


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