The winged serpent before you crouches upon hairy paws and is the size of a large cottage.  Its pointed tail wavers in the air like an eel in the sea. It has the face and head of a bearded man with a cat’s yellow eyes.

What do you do? 

Geryon first appeared in the ancient legends of Hercules as a giant with three bodies and one pair of legs. Dante Alighieri, for the Inferno, changed him into a manticore-like beast.

I prefer the latter, along with Gustave Dore’s illustrations of the monster.

 

What does Geryon want? [Roll 1d6]
1. To eat: humans, elves, gnomes, whatever.
2. To make a bargain: if the characters go find the Pouch of Vitaliano in the nearby Fields of Despondency, Geryon will answer a question about the character’s quest.
3. To destroy and shatter every single one of the characters’ arrows and spears, but he’ll let the characters go free afterwards.
4. To be left alone, approach with extreme caution.
5. Geryon speaks a riddle: “Frozen but ruling, wings still beating, betrayal still consuming, in a river of wailing. Who am I?” Geryon offers to let the characters ride on his back to a location of the characters’s choice.
6. To complain to the characters about the inaccuracy of his statistics, abilities, and history as portrayed in the various editions of Dungeons & Dragons.

inf.17.7.dore
“Behold the beast who bears the pointed tale!” Inferno 17.1

inf.17.7.dore

inf.17.121.dore
“Slowly, slowly, swimming, he moves on; he wheels and he descends, but I feel only the wind upon my face and the wind rising.” The Inferno 17.115.

 

 

 

You can find more illustrations of Gustave Dore and other cool stuff at The World of Dante.