The heir of the deed must be of human parents. Asterion's father was a bull, and his mother was a nymph, neither human. Therefore, Asterion cannot be the heir of the deed.
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It was stated in the transcripts of the trial by multiple gods that Athena has been zealously wiping out Poseidon's entire bloodlines. I think it's because he keeps leaving demigods all over the place.
Small update on this, I actually just discovered more story I was not aware of prior. I don't do datamining unless it's for convenient access to ingame text (as you can't copy paste in the game).
Turns out Hestia's vote was discarded as she is no longer of Olympus, and Hades' vote got discarded because he sent it by letter. Which means the trial was, generally, rigged by Athena. Asterion is innocent, the court is not. So disregard my point about it not making sense, with Asterion being punished anyway.
I'm not quite sure what Hermes' goal was with the letter either, if he made it.
The letter was described as being indecipherable, save for a sentence at the bottom, the rest was just scribbles and unreadable as described by the flavour text. "I'm sorry for not being good enough. .P" is specifically what it says. After you read out the letter, Hermes says Clement was the name mentioned by Headquarters.
Hermes said it was from headquarters, and, since he is an Olympian, I would interpret that as the letter being from Poseidon, who in the story is technically Asterion's father/grandfather. He voted in favour of Asterion, but we have no transcript of it yet, that content isn't in the game currently.
The only other Ps we know of are Pedro, and Pedro's father.
As for it being a ploy to get Asterion and MC even more intimately involved, I don't think that is the case. Why would Hermes interrupt the happiness by making Asterion distressed? Just so MC can emotionally support them? Perhaps it is some kind of test? But letting Asterion know that Clement is still alive seems more like some form of torture than anything else. Hermes is clearly in Asterion's side of the ring, too. However, he did succeed in making MC and Asterion talk more about their feelings. But it could equally just be Olympus making sure Asterion suffers a little more.
It's tricky, with what little information we have. Poseidon may be a stretch, but we are limited on choices regardless. I feel that the story of Clement may be somewhat related to Tithonus, a man who was given eternal life, but not eternal youth, and went mad as his body refused to die. The main takeaway from that story was that Asterion ended the man's life with the Threadcutter labrys, a weapon which can kill the immortal, and that "to free somebody from their shackles, you take on your own". This is also shown in the Ruthless ending where Asterion leaves the hotel, and only Argos stays behind, his pelt turning him into the new minotaur.
Perhaps we simply don't have the information required to solve this mystery yet? Or maybe it is as simple as Hermes screwing with us for fun?
In one of the Ruthless endings, the old man is in fact the MC, passing the deed on to a younger person, in almost direct mirror of the usual opening scene. I'm not sure if this is to be considered canon however, but it's worth mentioning.
Jean-Marie was stated to have brothers, so multiple, though the age of them is quite vague.
The old man being one of the gods is something that came across my mind several times throughout the story. You raise a good argument with the Zeus theory though, definitely adding that to my Minotaur Hotel thesis. :p
So, order of Master being handed down is:
Oldest male offspring
Oldest male sibling
Oldest living nephew
Oldest ascending male
Overseer, who picks a new Master
The Olympians had to vote to pick an Overseer, and in addition, only that Overseer may enter the hotel, while all gods are banned from entering it. This leads me to believe that, Hermes, himself, is the old man, simply disguised. I believe he was pretending to be Clement (just like how his human name is groanworthy, Jean-Marie Clement).
So, my theory is that Hermes is the Overseer, selected by the gods of Olympus. I don't believe the old man is anybody else.
Poem, of Asterion under Clément
Head crooked, sunken blue. Spine fragile and greeting the knees.
Restrained muscles suppressed by mind and mercy.
Do you not see, Master? How frail I truly am?
Blue in my skull obfuscated white, wrapped in red.
Blue, white, red, medals laureated by the Master’s words, else blackening fists.
Blue, white, red. Black, the endurance and memories, oh reprieve must violet be for a crooked head.
Fruit green-stemmed, golden, ripening.
A hybrid of impatience. Hunger pains.
Wilting leaves, yet ever present.
The things I want answers for are why Athena seems to have such a grudge against Asterion, why the Threadcutter was placed into the realm with Asterion, as well as why Aphrodite and Hephaestus did not vote on the trial. There's a few more too, such as how Asterion was stolen away from Hades despite the court being in favour of him staying. Another thing I would find very interesting is discovering more peacock feathers, which contain glimpses into the past. How amazing would it be if a peacock feather from one of P's ancestors had witnessed something vital to the story?
And yes, a satisfying ending is something everybody wants. Though, this is a heavily Greek inspired tale, so I fear for the worst. Memories can grow fonder when there's no more to be made, but as long as there's memories to be made, unfinished strings, there will be much more of Asterion to see. I think I mentioned it previously, that MC and Asterion reaching Asphodel together would be a wonderful happily ever after. Although, Luke and Kota are unlikely to go there, judging by what little we know of the afterlife and how you get assigned to a relevant place.
While I do enjoy the idea of having the full story, I'm also enjoying being part of the community as it grows and has portions of that story revealed. Not everything lasts forever, but we can enjoy it while it does - the main theme itself can be a metaphor for this!
But, that aside, there's lots of questions to ask, and I hope we get answers to many, and some are left mysteries. Minotaur Hotel is quite rich for fan-fiction potential. I really liked reading through the stone tablets, too.
I hope you enjoy them. I will be making minor adjustments (such as the adjustments I did today, darn eyebrows!), and in the future adding more stickers to it. The pack may be small now, but I intend on making one of every Asterion expression. Then maybe make some new ones.
Now that you mention it, it's certainly strange that the Threadcutter's blade was placed with Asterion. Presuming the handle had no significance of course. It was last seen, as far as we are aware, by Asterion's beheaded corpse once Theseus had shown mercy. It was in close proximity to Hestia's shrine, too. Perhaps it was a gift from her? Although, I'm yet to figure out Hera's 'gift'. Every other god which supported Asterion left something behind, or was implied to. Poseidon's escape orb, the shrine to Hermes, etc. Perhaps Hera, using her influence, had it left behind for Asterion? It could also simply be a plot point we don't have the details for, after all, the novel is unfinished.
I don't remember too much about the Hinterlands, I haven't played through it again in quite a while since I didn't like Storm or P very much until the Hinterlands was finished, due to being impatient to see more of the main cast. I think the implication of the Tapir's salt was that it was specifically pure salt, and not tainted salt. Or perhaps the spirits in the Hinterlands aren't inherently malicious like P mentioned, which is why the salt doesn't affect them?
It certainly would be very interesting if the stipulation was exclusively that living things created by the hotel were hostile. I think Asterion would look very cute, tending to a garden, perhaps this will be addressed in the future by the writers. There certainly isn't any confirmation I'm aware of between a difference of "imported being aggressive" and "native being aggressive", the application of it to guests not being aggressive to Asterion certainly is a good argument.
As for the afterlife, I think that's a question that Hermes could answer. After all, isn't he supposed to frequently visit Hades to deliver messages? Wasn't the letter delivered by him alluded to have been from Poseidon?
Tonight I started work on a Minotaur Hotel sticker pack for Telegram. It's still a work in progress, and I will be adding more stickers over time.
I'm hoping it might help bring some people together, as discussion about the novel isn't particularly active currently during the downtime between updates.
I tried to stay close to the original art style, hope you enjoy :)
Oh, it's not in any chapter specifically as far as I know, I can't recall what was done exactly to get the stone tablets and god transcripts from the trial. I actually ended up looking in the files while doing it for ease of access due to how ingame they seem to be random.
My notes say it was Apollo's trial that mentions Asterion mastering the Threadcutter. It got that name from cutting the threads of the Fates, ones they would not touch, which left people immortal. He was trained to use it by Laomedon, who carried his father Tithonus to the labyrinth where Asterion resided and begged him to use the axe to end his father's life. Tithonus' father was given immortality, but not eternal youth, so he turned into a frail old man, undying, but unable to live.
The fear of the gods was not expressly stated, that much I am simply interpreting from the tablets.
I found it interesting that Asterion was taken despite the votes in his trial being in his favour. Hades himself said that Asterion had already died, and been judged in Hades, and that the trial was a farce with no jurisdiction over the underworld. Asterion is feared by many of the gods due to his mastery over the Threadcutter, a labrys enchanted by Zeus' ichorous blood (the black stuff dripping from the axe head in the basement), which can kill immortal beings.
I think the Threadcutter will be a central plot point, as Asterion was mentioned to have mastered it, which makes the gods afraid. Interestingly, it might be one of Asterion's only ways out too, since he, himself, is an immortal being. However since it burns any mortal who touches it, Asterion might once more need to die in a rather 'unworthy' way.
As for a happy ending, that's actually something I'm writing currently, a fan fiction. It takes place in Asphodel, Asterion and MC sitting side by side at the river Lethe, weaving flower crowns for each other, having a soft argument about drinking from the river. But it would also mean forgetting his friends and the joys he had in life, as well as his suffering.
At times through the story, accents are mentioned, namely in later chapters. It would be safe to presume that accents still apply, relative to your original language. I'm unaware of any examples of spoken ancient Cretian language currently, but I presume Asterion would have a Greek accent, if only due to lack of ancient Cretian examples.
I may be biased in that cows are my favourite animal to begin with, but the thing I appreciate the most about Asterion isn't strictly 'Asterion' himself. There are many traits of him that I relate to, such as a past of abuse, and learning to love again in the process of recovering from said abuse. The anxiety and fears of figuring out when it is okay to 'want' something. Mentally, he is very relatable.
However, my favourite thing about Asterion is his hybrid nature. He is a man, wonderful in conversation, with a rich history and secrets lost to time. These things make him fascinating to me from the perspective of a friend, and I can picture myself spending hours, just talking, and talking.
He is also part beast. A wild thing, but a wild thing that I can hold in my hands. The comforting warmth of his fur, the softness of his eyes, the tenderness of holding his hand and feeling just how much stronger he is than me.
These things combined form an ideal companion. One that can fit the needs of body and soul. That need to socialise, combined with the need for physical comfort.
The Labyrinth's Constitution dictates: "The Labyrinth shall not materialize salt, gold, silver, tyrian purple, spices, saffron and other such objects which are currency or analogous to it."
This is significant due to salt itself. Salt has recurring relevance throughout the story. Primarily, the Hinterlands were described as being lousy with salt mines. It is mentioned by P that salt wards off 'bad magic', it is a purifying powder that cleanses, and is of particular use to Mythicals, namely in helping break cycles of Recursion.
Perhaps the hotel is denied from producing salt due to its potential of interfering with the implied recursion that causes Asterion to experience his tortures?
Through creating a swimming pool, it is shown that the hotel is capable of materialising large bodies of water. This got me thinking - could the hotel potentially produce weather, or some interpretation of it? By all accounts, the land around the hotel is desolate, nothing is permitted to grow, save for the asphodel flowers by the statue of Hades. It leads to the idea that it is eternally sunny around the hotel.
But if a contract was created, with specific instructions on the function of rain, or god forbid snow, would the hotel be able to manifest weather around itself? How high up does the reach of the hotel's influence go? It's shown to go quite deep underground, but aside from the balcony, there seems to be no established upper limit.
Conversations with Robert imply various forms of the afterlife exist, and Asterion has literally been to Asphodel, so we know for certain that there is a cthonic option there. However, what dictates where you go? Where do atheists go? If you were a believer in the traditional Christian system of heaven and hell, would you go to either depending on your actions in life?
My theory is that, by showing mercy upon Asterion, and our presence in all of the rites he has performed in the names of Greek gods and goddesses, our part in his punishment, may be viewed favourably and send the MC to Hades upon their death. However, abusing loopholes in the hotel's constitution may be viewed unfavourably by the gods that deemed Asterion worthy of suffering for his meekness. What do you think? Would Hades take pity on us and allow us to stay in Asphodel when we die? Would Asterion ever meet us there?
Thank you for the advice over these several writing manuals. Ever since I finished Minotaur Hotel for the th time, I've been pining for more Asterion, and it has led me to writing fanfiction. Editing ingame scenes with new dialogue. Drawing the characters and thinking about the world whenever I am elsewhere.
Getting advice from the people who have written this world I've found myself immersed in is tremendously helpful. I hope we might see more of these in the future.
Personally I feel that Asterion would avoid anything relating to bondage, chastity, or actions and fetishes otherwise relating to previous torture and abuse. Being sexually exposed to another person is a very vulnerable state, and my interpretation of Asterion views him as inexperienced at best. However, while Asterion can be shy, he also has moments of confidence and will even physically overpower the Master.
If Asterion were to flirt, I imagine him doing it through his poetry, getting ever-more erotic with his descriptions, but I wouldn't be surprised if he has little to no knowledge of current-day slang in relation to sex. It's hardly something I think guests would be openly talking about, but perhaps Luke would have taught him some things over time? Maybe Asterion would even end up teaching us, like the route with his project teaching us obscenities from the past.
For Master flirting, there's many opportunities to grab Asterion's tail already throughout the story, I wouldn't be surprised if that became their personal way of flirting and hinting at Asterion that it's time for a private moment in the bedroom. He gets bashful and shy when the Master grabs his tail, and it's been shown to happen with his horns too.
I'd very much like to see Asterion and Master in more of a playful relationship than a very serious one. The way Asterion bounces around happily like a calf when excited, and that smile, are some of the most warming parts of his character.
For fetishes, that is a difficult question on Asterion's side. As I mentioned, I doubt he would be into anything adjacent to things he has been tortured with in the past. But since he is forbidden from being naked around guests, it would be quite fun to have the Master declare Asterion as unable to wear clothes when in the Master's quarters, either as a nudge towards humiliation, exhibitionism, or the Master's own voyeurism. There's also a rather abundant use of scent-based commentary throughout the story, Asterion knows you love to smell him, perhaps that would be taken a step further, after a gym or swimming scene.
Overall, one scene I would definitely love to see between Master and Asterion is the two exploring each other's bodies. Asterion is forbidden from becoming intimate with guests, and it's very doubtful any Master in the past has allowed Asterion to see much of their body, let alone touch. He would certainly enjoy the opportunity to simply feel a human body, feel the Master. Realise that, despite his bullish features, parts of him are simply human. He isn't so different. He is normal, and healthy. It would be very reassuring to him.