Pandora's Box
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Basic Information

According to Classical Mythology, Prometheus stole fire from the gods in order to benefit mankind. The gods decided to get back at mankind by creating a woman. Pandora was created by the gods as a gift to Epimetheus, the brother of Prometheus, and endowed with all manner of gifts and desirable qualities. They also gave Epimetheus a sealed container with instruction to NEVER EVER OPEN IT NO MATTER WHAT.

Well, wouldn't you know it, one day when Epimetheus was out, his curious wife couldn't resist taking a peek in the container. As soon as she lifted the lid, all manner of ills and misfortunes came flying out; the very evils which have afflicted men ever since. But at the very bottom of the box was one thing more: Hope.

Although the container is popularly known as "Pandora's Box", in the original Greek it was a jar or a pot. The word "box" was a mistranslation made by Renaissance writers.

The story has parallels with the biblical story of the Fall of Man

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Game and Story Use

  • Pandora's Box could make a dangerous artifact for your players to find.
    • If you make it a jar instead of a box, they might not get the reference right away.
    • A good gimmick for something like Hades' Vault from The Dresden Files … 'an empty clay jar, scored around the mouth with a label in archaic Greek "(not to be opened under any circumstances)"'.
  • Like the biblical story of Adam and Eve, the story of Pandora could make a good model for an old legend explaining the origin of Evil.
    • Or why women can't be trusted.
  • As Nietzsche might have pointed out, the last and most terrible evil to emerge from the 'box' was hope.
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