Calliope is the beautiful daughter of Zeus, and the muse of laughter, entertainment and light. Long ago when the world was still young, Calliope fell in love with the powerful war god Ares. At his request, she gathered up and brought to him all the stars from the heavens to prove her love. Once Ares had the glittering constellations in his hands, however, he cruelly locked Calliope in a golden cage and used her gifts as weapons of war. In time, Calliope freed herself from Ares’ prison, knowing that the stars Ares had stolen were forever lost. That very moment, she embarked on a long journey to refill the dark heavens by crafting new stars and constellations from the inspirations of all the people who lived in the human world below the clouds and the moon.
On magical nights like tonight, Calliope soars through the sky in a musical chariot given to her by a kindly circus ringmaster, whom she once rescued from a floating desert island among the clouds. Even now, she follows a chain of paper lanterns across the sky, each one lit by sparks of inspiration from people all around the world. Each lantern is a vessel of creativity formed from paper and die, pawn and spark—and is destined to soon become a star!
Calliope enjoys several allies in her quest, and two of the greatest are the Pegasus and the Dragon. The mighty Pegasus draws forth her sky chariot without complaint; he also knows many things that she does not. He gleaned his knowledge by spending a great deal of his time in the human world, often featured in circus tents, and remembers well the nature of man and what it feels like to be beheld with awe and wonder. He knows that the power of wonder and play will allow Calliope to one day complete her quest.
The Dragon at Calliope’s side is also a friend and trusted companion. Originally one of Ares’ finest generals, the Dragon now serves as Calliope’s guide to finding the lanterns she seeks. Clever and mischievous, he playfully nips at the trailing scrolls that flow from her skirts when she isn’t looking. A single shake of the muse’s dangling diamonds always distracts him, their melodic chimes inspiring the world below and sparking lanterns anew with every tale told of victory, trickery, and luck!
Though she draws ever closer to completing her epic task, Calliope’s journey is not yet over—and jealous Ares follows closely behind! And now your journey as a star-maker, my friend, has just begun.
Long Ago, before Ares betrayed Calliope and imprisoned her, the Pegasus—strong and witty but full of love and devotion—had narrowly avoided being enslaved by the war god himself, to be used as a flying warhorse in battle. When the Pegasus learned of Calliope’s capture, he knew that he could never let someone so important sit for all eternity in a cage. Realizing his superior strength, but looking to avoid violence, he cleverly concocted a game of dice and cards that balanced wits and luck. He confronted the muse’s guards and challenged them to Roll For It! The prize at stake? The magical key that would open Calliope’s cell. Using all of his strategy, skill, and just a bit of luck, the Pegasus completed the 15-pointer he needed to win the key—and with it, Calliope’s freedom as well!
Let it be known that I am the teller of this tale: a bird of prey, fast and free and quick of thought. I have the ability to hear and repeat any news spoken or whispered from anywhere around the world. I am a Kite and once was one of Ares’ most precious possessions; you see, he had me imprisoned in a pale white cell! As fate would have it, I first met Calliope during her escape as she made her way through Ares’ fortress so long ago. Seeing me trapped, she courageously freed me from those bland white walls. I have been in her debt ever since we escaped together from Ares’ twisted castle of traps and apparating walls. In fact, we even imprisoned Ares and his guards for a short time within the war god’s own maze . . . indeed, we Got ’Em! Now, I serve as Calliope’s advisor, spy, and tale-teller as she pursues her quest to sprinkle new stars amid the heavens.
While Calliope was a prisoner of Ares, she struck up an unlikely friendship with the Dragon, who would sneak up to visit her and pass the time. As they spoke and played games through the golden bars, Calliope learned that the Dragon had a hidden weakness: a fierce love for treasure and shiny baubles. One fateful day, Calliope and the Dragon played a high-stakes game of Double Double Dominoes, where she bet all of her magical diamonds and other jewels against the Dragon’s assistance as a navigator of the skies—should she ever be freed. In the end, when the dust settled and the dominoes lay still, the Dragon had lost. He kept his word and joined her cause, but to this day he still desires all of her glistening, shimmering treasures for himself!
The Dragon’s playful exterior hides a heartbreaking secret from his past. From the beginning of time, the mischievous Dragon and the beautiful Phoenix were charged with overseeing the winding paths that lead to divine wisdom—even though precious few souls ever reach this utopian destination. For eons, the Dragon and Phoenix performed their task nobly as masters of the hidden paths known to the ancient ones as Tsuro. One dark and gloomy day, Ares arrived seeking the power of Tsuro, driving away the Phoenix and enlisting the Dragon as a general of war. When Calliope was freed, the Dragon joined her, not only to assist her in her quest, but also to find the path that would lead him back to his beloved Phoenix. Even though the Dragon frequently uses his mischievous enlightenment!
One Magnificient midsummer night as she went about her quest, Calliope was summoned to the palace of a great Emperor, who demanded to know what she was doing flying so high over his domain. The ever-humble goddess told him about the stars that she had lost and how she wished nothing more than to bring new constellations to the sky. Impressed by her bravery, the Emperor awarded her his personal seal, which bestows free passage across his vast oceans. He also warned her about monstrous creatures called Daikaiju as well as other dangers of the Mystic Seas. Grateful for his help, Calliope now bears the Emperor’s Seal proudly on her calliope chariot—not realizing that the gift comes with a hidden cost. . .
The Komainu, giant lion-dogs who can assume any shape they please, are well known as ferocious guardians and as sworn enemies of the Daikaiju that terrorize the Mystic Seas. The three fearless Komainu that protect Calliope’s gathered stars are the last of their line, having lost all of their brothers in terrible battles over the ages with the Daikaiju. Just as their friend the Dragon knows the secrets of hidden paths, the Komainu have long sailed the seas with the Emperor’s fleet of Red Seal ships, skillfully guiding sailors safely to port. To Calliope’s advantage, the Komainu provide her with powerful magic and fortified steel to defend her in her quest, for many of the star-lanterns she seeks are found only within the embrace of the Mystic Seas.
Early in Calliope’s quest, as she began to gather stars into her chariot, she sought new sources to rebuild the constellations. She found one such source in an unlikely place: a primitive land of fire and stone filled with people who loved to yell, “Ugh!” After Calliope saved one particularly gruff little man from a terrible flood, he nervously presented her with three magical gems—the essences of volcano, ice, and wind—that would forever fuel her chariot’s lamp and keep it aloft and capable of sustaining her quest for all eternity. Calliope’s experiences in that perilous land will always remind her that the most wonderful gifts can come from the strangest of places!