The heir and herald of Poseidon
Triton was the only son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, the god and goddess of the sea, and Triton himself acted as his father’s herald. That was why he was often called the messenger of the sea. When depicted artistically, Triton was usually painted as a classic ‘merman’, although this was mere symbolism. He was also supposedly the color of the sea, although this may be a better depiction of the color of his eyes, and his shoulders were pocked with barnacles and shells.
He defended his father, ruled on his behalf, and acted in his name.
He was fully his father’s son and heir.
Poseidon was widely associated with his mighty weapon, the trident, and Triton also carried one of the rare, albeit a lesser, three-pronged spears. Triton was also in possession of a tool gifted by his father. He carried a gnarled conch shell that had the power to summon, quiet or enrage the monstrous creatures of the sea when he played it as a trumpet. It was said that the sound was so loud and threatening that even the giants would flee, fearing some invincible beast from the wild was about to emerge.
The Lord of the Sea, Poseidon laid by his three-pronged spear and calmed the waves and, calling from the deep Triton, sea-hued, his shoulders barnacled with sea-shells, bade him blow his echoing conch to bid the rivers, waves and floods retire. He raised his horn, his hollow spiralled whorl, the horn that, sounded in mid ocean, fills the shores of dawn and sunset round the world; and when it touched the god’s wet lips and took his breath and sounded the retreat, all the wide waters of the land and sea heard it, and all, hearing its voice, obeyed.Ovid
Triton and the Argonauts
When the Argonauts first arrived at the island of Lemnos, they were met by a group of women who had killed their husbands and were ruled by Queen Hypsipyle. Jason and his companions stayed on the island for a time, and some of them formed relationships with the women. One of the Argonauts, Euphemus, fathered a son with Queen Hypsipyle named Nebrophonos.
As the Argonauts were leaving Lemnos, they encountered Triton, who was angry that they had not paid homage to his father, Poseidon before taking their leave. Triton attacked the Argonauts and their ship, but they were able to defend themselves with their weapons and drive him away.
In retribution, Triton set the creatures at his command to chase the Argonauts throughout their entire quest for the Golden Fleece. Although Triton did not play a major role in the story, his appearance served as a reminder of the power and unpredictability of his father Poseidon, and the need to pay respect to the god of the sea and he who controlled it.
The Court of King Triton
Triton’s court was located in the city of Tritonis, which he named after himself, near the kingdom of Libya. Tritonis was a powerful and prosperous city, with impressive architecture, well-tended gardens, and richly adorned palaces. The inhabitants of the city were said to have been skilled craftsmen, artists, and warriors. While an impressive kingdom, it was a far second to that of his father’s.
Triton had a child of his own named Pallas, and he also served as a foster parent to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war. According to legend, Athena accidentally killed her foster sibling during a friendly sparring match. Following the death of Pallas, the goddess Athena became the patron deity of the city out of guilt, offering her blessing and protection. Triton had at hundreds of known half-siblings from his father’s many conquests, though he never formed any attachment to any of them.
As Triton became more ingrained within ancient Greek culture, it eventually became known that he was the source of an entire race of beings, the sea-demons known as Tritones, which he also named after himself.
The tritones were creatures similar to mermaids, could be either female or male, and were typically used to escort the sea gods wherever they needed to go. According to Pausanias, a traveller from Greece, the Tritones had dull green hair that was horribly matted, and it was impossible to separate a single hair from the rest.
Their entire body was said to be covered with tiny scales, and they had gills behind their ears. Their mouths were wider than that of a normal human, and the teeth were sharp and beast-like. They had sea-blue eyes that were dark and menacing, and their fingernails were as sharp and strong as a sea shell. Instead of legs, they had a tail similar to that of a dolphin beneath their belly.
It is said that Triton spawned the entire race of the sea-demon tritones, but they were only one of many such creations.
The Creations and Monsters of King Triton
With Poseidon’s blessing, Triton had complete freedom to experiment on any manner of creature, reptile, fish and human. He often created monstrous hybrids or used prisoners set to be punished by one or both of his parents in his experimentations. Many of his creations were unique specimens resulting from mutilations of different species that could not be reproduced. Some were utter failures, but he found everything to be beautiful.
When his mother, Amphitrite set him to the task of punishing Scylla, he used her body in grotesque ways. The outcome was a highly mutated and deformed creature. They were controlled by the power of his magical trident and as a result were fully obedient to the will of their overlord, Poseidon, god of the sea.
- The Kraken – a giant sea monster, often depicted as a squid or octopus.
- The Charybdis – a sea monster that created whirlpools and sucked in ships.
- The Sirens – creatures who lured sailors to their deaths with their enchanting voices.
- The Tritones – sea creatures with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a fish, often depicted as trumpeters in Poseidon’s court.
- The Hippocampus – a sea creature with the upper body of a horse and the lower body of a fish, often used as a symbol of Poseidon’s power.
- The Sea Serpent – a giant serpent that lived in the depths of the sea, often associated with Poseidon’s wrath.
- The Scylla – a sea monster with multiple heads that preyed on passing ships.
- The Cetus – a sea monster that was sent by Poseidon to terrorize the kingdom of Ethiopia.
- The Aspidochelone – a giant sea turtle that was said to have been mistaken for an island by sailors.
- The Ichthyocentaurs – sea creatures with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a fish, but with the addition of horse-like legs.
- The Mermaids – sea creatures with the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish, often associated with Poseidon and his realm.
- The Sea Dragons – serpentine sea creatures that were said to be Poseidon’s pets.
- The Selkies – sea creatures that were partly formed of a seal and a human, often associated with the power of the sea and the unpredictable nature of Poseidon.
1st Age – Genetic engineer, Kaelan Müller
2nd Age – The renown biologist and father of Shadowspawn, Ishtar Korat Muael
3rd Age – Emerges from the bore as the Forsaken, Amogorath