odysseus

Welcome to Messina!

The game formerly known has Kepler has a new name and a new home… During early playtesting, the game was named after the scientist who described the basics of planetary motion, in keeping with the tradition of naming exoplanets Kepler-X, where X is a letter-number combination.

Another board game is being released with a similar name, so I figured it was time to choose a name that can see this project through to completion.

Messina is the name associated with the legendary straits in Greek mythology that Odysseus had to pass through on his famous journey, described in Homer’s Odyssey, Book XII. The straits were guarded by Scylla and Charybdis, two immortal and irresistible monsters.

odysseus
Henry Fuseli’s painting of Odysseus facing the choice between Scylla and Charybdis.

According to Wikpedia:

Scylla was rationalized as a rock shoal (described as a six-headed sea monster) on the Italian side of the strait and Charybdis was a whirlpool off the coast of Sicily. They were regarded as a sea hazard located close enough to each other that they posed an inescapable threat to passing sailors; avoiding Charybdis meant passing too close to Scylla and vice versa. According to Homer, Odysseus was forced to choose which monster to confront while passing through the strait; he opted to pass by Scylla and lose only a few sailors, rather than risk the loss of his entire ship in the whirlpool.

Like Odysseus in the Straits of Messina, life on the planet Messina faces perils on either side: the northern hemisphere is tidally locked to the planet’s sun, and is scorching hot; the southern hemisphere lies in perpetual dark, and is frozen. Between them lies a narrow equatorial band with conditions suitable for life. The human settlers of the planet Messina have also honoured Homer’s monsters by naming the two Poles: Charybdis (in the north), and Scylla (in the South).

 

One thought on “Welcome to Messina!”

  1. While the site is being built, you can expect to see the names Kepler and Messina being used interchangeably.

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