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Greek Mythology

 

To the Greeks, man was the measure of all things, and gods mirrored them faithfully. Like men, the gods were noble and proud, but they were also quarrelsome, scheming, lecherous. These deities appeared in more or less human form, though they were always more beautiful than any mortal could hope to be. Invariably, the gods suffered from human faults and engaged in very human behavior, such as falling in love, resorting to treachery to win a cherished goal and hungering for power. Unlike the gods of many ancient civilizations, the deities of the Greeks were far from remote or mysterious. Their motives could almost always be understood in human terms. There were two important differences between the gods and men, however. Although the gods were moved by the same emotional forces that ruled the lives of men, they were not expected to follow the rules of human behavior. Were free to engage in all sorts of conduct that would not be tolerated in human society: thievery, lechery, gluttony, adultery, and so on.

The second important difference between gods and men was power. The Greek gods were all, to some degree, embodiments of power, whether in the physical world or in the minds of men. They controlled literally everything, from storms that ravaged the seas to the love that bound men and women together. It was because of this power that the Greeks sought the favor of the gods through prayers and sacrifice. When the Greeks honored excellence in any domain, it was the gift of some of this godly power that they were praising. The Greek gods, who were thought to live atop the heights of Mount Olympus, were ruled by the mighty Zeus. But this was not always so, for the Mycenean gods were older than the Greek gods, and the Minoan gods were older still. Thus, the Greek gods had a history of their own, just as Greek culture did. In the beginning, there was only Chaos, from which formed Gaea (the earth), Tarterus (beneath the earth), many other primeval gods such as Eros, Night, and Day. Gaea created Uranus, the Mountains, and the Sea, then married Uranus and gave birth to the Titans, the Cyclopes, and the Hecatoncheires.

Uranus turned out to be a harsh and jealous husband who cruelly kept the Hecatoncheires prisoner inside their mother. In retaliation, she called upon her other children to avenge her, and the Titan Cronus wounded his father so severely that the cruel Uranus was vanquished. The Furies, the Ash Tree Nymphs, and the Giants were created when the deposed rulerís blood fell to earth. After assuming his fatherís reign, Cronus married Rhea.. But, fearing that one of his offspring (who were the gods) would usurp his throne as he had his fatherís, he swallowed all of his children as Rhea gave birth to them. The furious Rhea managed to hide her sixth born child, Zeus. After growing to manhood on the island of Crete, he returned to his father disguised as a cupbearer. Zeus served Cronus a potion that caused the Titan to vomit up the young godís siblings and the gods united to overthrow their despotic father.

The task was far from over, however. After their victory over Cronus, Zeus and the other gods had to battle the rest of the Titans. After more than a decade of cosmos-shaking warfare, in which the elements of nature raged unchecked, the gods finally managed to confine the Titans to Tartarus, the Greek underworld. Next, the gods had to fight a similar battle against Typhoeus, a hundred-headed dragon that Gaea had created to attack the gods after the defeat of her Titans. The gods had no sooner buried the monster beneath Mt. Etna than the Giants challenged their rule. It required all of their prowess and the assistance of the mortal Heracles to kill the giants. Finally, after vanquishing the Titans, Typhoeus, and the Giants, the gods were at last the unchallenged rulers of Olympus and the earth. Their domain was far different than the world we know today, however. The home of the gods, Mount Olympus, stood at the center of the earth. Around the earth ran a limitless river called Ocean. On the far shore of this river lived the Hyperboreans, a race of blessed men who did not know care, toil, illness, or old age. Their home was isolated from the rest of the world, being completely unapproachable by land or sea.

To the West was Hesperia, populated by such monstrous beings as the Cyclops, the cannibalistic Laestrygonians, Scylla, Charybdis, and the Sirens. Beyond Hesperia lay the Elysian Fields, where certain favored heroes went when they died. To the South were the Ethiopians, the lucky, virtuous people with whom the gods banqueted. In the East were the barbarians, fierce peoples who could not speak Greek and did not know the blessings of civilization. Directly beneath the earth was the kingdom of Hades, where the dead went to fade into nothingness. Below Hades was Tartarus, the vast realm of nebulous darkness where the gods had confined the Titans.

 

Achelois

A moon-goddess, she who drives away pain

Sphere

Night

Alignment

Scrupulous

Bestowed Major Powers

Alter Physical Structure Shadow, Healing Touch
Bestowed Minor Powers Ghost Stealth, True sight

 

Aphrodite

Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, was born from the foam of the sea. She was married to Hephaestus, the god of fire and smithy to the gods. Sacred to her are the myrtle, rose, apple, poppy, sparrow, dove, swan, swallow, tortoise, ram, the planet Venus, and the month of April. Eros was produced from a liason with Zeus. Her favorite lover is the god of war, Ares. She represented sex, affection, and the attraction that binds people together.

Sphere

Love

Alignment

Principled

Bestowed Major Powers

Divine Aura, Empathic
Bestowed Minor Powers Extra MA, Extra PB 

 

Apollo

One of the most important Olympian gods; son of Zeus and Leto, twin brother of Artemis. He was concerned with prophecy, medicine (he was the father of Asclepius), music and poetry (he was associated with Orpheus and was the patron of the Muses). He was also associated with law, philosophy, and the arts. He sometimes gave the gift of prophecy to mortals whom he loved, such as the Trojan princess Cassandra. He was a master archer and a fleet-footed athlete, credited with having been the first victor in the Olympic games.

Sphere

Sun

Alignment

Anarchist

Bestowed Major Powers

Alter Physical Structure Fire, Alter Physical Structure Radiation
Bestowed Minor Powers Fire Expulsion, Solar Expulsion

 

Ares

His name means male warrior. Son of Zeus and Hera, Ares was the bullying god of war. He was considered to be overly fond of looting and slaughter, and cowardly besides. Always represented as armed, he was prone to launch himself into a cause without thought as to its validity. The Greeks looked on Ares as a quarrelsome god who sent war and pestilence and delighted in destruction. Aggressive and bloodthirsty, Ares personified the brutal nature of war. He was unpopular with both gods and humans. Most of his children by mortal women were of a violent nature. Although fierce and warlike, Ares was not invincible, even against mortals. Ares was not widely worshiped by the Greeks; there were no cities dedicated to his worship as was with the rest of the gods. His bird, appropriately, was the vulture.

Sphere

War

Alignment

Diabolic

Bestowed Major Powers

Photographic Reflexes, Harm Invulnerable and Psi Weapon

 

Arete

Arete is the goddess of justice, and teacher of Heracles

Sphere

Justice

Alignment

Scrupulous

Bestowed Major Powers

Telekinesis, Telepathy and Teleport

 

Artemis

Twin sister to Apollo, she was goddess of chastity, virginity, the hunt, the moon, and the natural environment. She was chief hunter to the gods and goddesses, especially of bears. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto. Even though she is a virgin goddess, she also presides over childbirth. Sacred to her are the laurel, fir tree, fish, stag, boar, bear, dog, goat, bee and other animals. Although traditionally the friend and protector of youth, especially young women, Artemis prevented the Greeks from sailing to Troy during the Trojan war until they sacrificed a maiden to her. According to some accounts, just before the sacrifice, she rescued the victim, Iphigenia.

Sphere

Skill

Alignment

Unprincipled

Bestowed Major Powers

Photographic Reflexes
Bestowed Minor Powers Animal Abilities Bear, Canine, Fish and Hoofed

 

Athena

Sometimes Athene, the daughter of Zeus and the Titaness Metis, was the virgin goddess of wisdom (in war, especially), intelligent activity, arts and literature, and crafts. Although a fierce virgin like Artemis, she did not shun men but on the contrary delighted in being a city-goddess, most notably at Athens. This city adopted her cult when an olive tree grew on its acropolis; the other divine rival for worship was the god Poseidon, who produced only a spring of brackish water. Athena sprang into being fully grown and armored from the head of her father Zeus, after he had swallowed her pregnant mother, Metis (according to some myths, other myths say she was the daughter of Pallas, a winged giant, who tried to rape his virginal daughter, so she killed him). The smith god Hephaistos assisted the birth with a blow from his axe. Quite likely this intervention accounts for her title of Hephaistia, the companion of the smith god. Athena was always regarded by the Greeks as an active goddess, involved in the affairs of men. She helped several heroes such as Bellerophon (with a gift - the bridle with which to tame and mount the winged horse, Pegasus), Jason, Heracles, and Perseus. Perhaps Athena's most significant aid was given to the matricide of Orestes. Not only did she offer him protection, but she also arranged for him to be tried and acquitted of his terrible crime by the ancient court of the Areopagus, in Athens. The verdict meant an end to the blood-feud, not least because for the first time even the Furies accepted Orestes' deliverance from guilt. She is Zeus' favorite and is allowed to use his weapons including his thunderbolt. The goddess was usually shown wearing a helmet and carrying a spear and shield. Like her father, she also wore the magic aegis, a goatskin breastplate, fringed with snakes, that produced thunderbolts when shaken. Athena was very different from the war god Ares. She represented the intellectual and civilized side of war; she was not so much a fighter as a wise and prudent adviser. Athena's symbol was the wise owl, which was featured on Athenian coins. Sacred to her are the olive, serpent, owl, and crow. She invented the bridle, the trumpet, the flute, the rake, the plow, the yoke, and (in some myths) the chariot. The Romans identified her with Minerva, a goddess of wisdom and the arts. Athena is the Greek virgin goddess of reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature. She sprang full grown from Zeus' head. She is Zeus' favorite and is allowed to use his weapons including his thunderbolt. She was usually shown wearing a helmet and carrying a spear and shield. Like her father, she also wore the magic aegis, a goatskin breastplate, fringed with snakes, that produced thunderbolts when shaken. Athena was very different from the war god Ares; she represented the intellectual and civilized(?) side of war. She was a wise and prudent adviser. Sacred to her are the olive, serpent, owl, lance, and crow. She invented the bridle, the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow, the yoke, the ship, and (in some myths) the chariot.

Sphere

Knowledge

Alignment

Principled

Bestowed Major Powers

Cosmic Awareness
Bestowed Minor Powers Language, Radar, Precognition and Xray Vision

 

Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos

The three powerful goddesses who determined the lives of men

Atropos; Oldest of the Fates, and the most feared, for she is the one who cuts the thread of life

Clotho; She who weaves the thread of life

Lachesis; The one who measures the thread of life

Sphere

Fate

Alignment

Unprincipled

Bestowed Major Powers

Spontaneous Mutation Others, Karma, Overload

 

Demeter

She was sister to Zeus, and goddess of fertility. She had various lovers, including her brother Zeus. Her name means "barley-mother" or "mother earth"; "mother earth" is only one of the possible meanings of Demeter's name. The second part of the word unarguably means "mother." The first part, however, translates as easily into "cereal" as "earth," making her the goddess not of the earth's surface but of cultivated, food providing plants, parallel to the Roman Ceres. Whether she symbolized all the earth or just its edible plants, Demeter was worshiped in fireless sacrifices, demanding all offerings in their natural state. Honeycombs, unspun wool, unpressed grapes, and uncooked grain were laid on her altars. Not for her the offerings of wine, mead, cakes, and cloth, for Demeter was the principle of natural, rather than artificial, production. Her greatest festival, shared with Persephone, was at Eleusis, where the Greeks annually celebrated mysteries that brought the initiate into a gracious and grateful relationship to the Mother. At the three-day festival, the mystai imitated the searching Demeter and rejoiced as, once again, she was reunited with her daughter. In their mimicry, they were at first Demeter Erynes ("angry"), furious and sad at the loss of Persephone; then they acted the happy role of Demeter Louisa ("kindly one"), the mother transformed by reunion. Demeter is the goddess of the earth, of agriculture, and of fertility in general. Sacred to her are livestock and agricultural products (with the emphasis on corn), poppy, narcissus and the crane

Sphere

Earth and Nature

Alignment

Unprincipled

Bestowed Major Powers

Alter Physical Structure Stone, Terrakinesis and Animate I

 

Dionysus

He was the god of fertility and wine, later considered a patron of the arts. Dionysus was one of the most important Greek gods. He was thought to be the son of either Zeus and Persephone or of Zeus and Semele (and born from Zeus' thigh after Semele's death in this version). Dionysus was attended by a carousing band of satyrs, maenads, and nymphs. He was good and gentle to those who honoured him, but he brought madness and destruction upon those who spurned him. He taught humans viticulture. 

Sphere

Vice

Alignment

Miscreant

Bestowed Major Powers

Insanity, Control Minds, Empathic

 

Eris

Eris is the goddess of discord and the daughter of Zeus and Hera. She is obsessed with bloodshed, havoc, and suffering. She calls forth war and her brother Ares carries out the action

Sphere

Evil

Alignment

Diabolic

Bestowed Major Powers

Absorb Life, Deathstare and Insanity

 

Hades

Hades means sightless or unseen. He was the son of the Titans, Cronus and Rhea, and the brother of Zeus and Poseidon. When he and his brothers drew lots to divide the world, after they had deposed of their father, Cronus, Zeus won command of the heavens, Poseidon of the sea, and Hades of the underworld. He became known as Pluto (people didn't even want to say the name Hades as they thought it might bring bad luck), the god of wealth and riches, because both crops and precious metals were believed to come from his kingdom below ground.It was rare for him to leave his realm to visit the Earth or Olympus. (His most famous visit to Earth was the time he saw Persephone, Demeter's daughter and his own niece, and carried her off to be his wife.) Appropriately the planet named for Pluto is the one farthest from the sun. Although he was a grim and pitiless god, unappeased by either prayer or sacrifice, he was not evil. The world of the dead was ruled by him and Persephone. Hades was mostly faithful to Persephone, although once he became enamored with the nymph Minthe. Persephone in a fit of jealousy turned her into the sweet-smelling herb, mint. Hades was also known as Polydegmon (means "receiver of many guests") because of the multitudes who have died and ended up in his realm.

Sphere

Death

Alignment

Anarchist

Bestowed Major Powers

Healing Factor Immortal, Control Undead

 

Hephaestus

God of fire and metalwork, the son of the Zeus and Hera, or sometimes the son of Hera alone. In contrast to the other gods, Hephaestus was lame, unseemly, and awkward. Shortly after his birth, he was cast out of heaven, either by Hera, who was repelled by his deformity (she threw him into the sea to drown but he was rescued by sea nymphs), or by Zeus (as a result of which he became lame), because Hephaestus had sided with Hera against him (most popular of the two stories). In most legends, however, he was soon honored again on Olympus and was married to Aphrodite, goddess of love (who cheated on him often), or to Aglaia, one of the three Graces. As the artisan among the gods, Hephaestus made their armor, weapons, and jewelry. His workshop was believed to lie under Mount Etna, a volcano in Sicily. He worked at huge furnaces, aided by Cyclopes. Originally he was a Middle Eastern fire god. 

Sphere

Fire, Creation

Alignment

Unprincipled

Bestowed Major Powers

Genius, Matter Manipulate
Bestowed Minor Powers Fire Expulsion and Microwave Expulsion

 

Hermes

The son of Zeus and Maia, one of the Pleiades. He is the messenger of Zeus to gods and men. He is the god of wealth, good fortune, travelers, wind, commerce, thievery, manual arts and eloquence. He brought the souls of the dead to the underworld, and was honored as the god of sleep. He was the cleverest of the Olympian gods, and renowned for his mischief-making. On the day after his birth he stole the oxen of Admetus which Apollo was guarding. He is credited with the invention of the lyre, which he gave to the irate Apollo as a peace offering. Hermes greatest passion was for Aphrodite. Attributes: winged with hat and sandals (talaria), the herald's wand (caduceus) with/without entwined snakes. Zeus rewarded him with the winged helmet and sandals because he was adept at acting as an intermediary between Zeus and his various lovers. He was also god of roads and fertility, as represented by his wayside shrines which were square pillars with a bust of him on top and a phallus carved below

Sphere

Speed

Alignment

Anarchist

Bestowed Major Powers

Sonic Speed, Lightspeed Flight, Spin

 

Pan

He was the son of Hermes and Penelope (later married to Odysseus) in some myths and the son of Zeus and the nymph Callisto in others. He was the god of flocks and shepherds. He had the head and torso of a man, but the hindquarters and horns of a goat. He was a great musician with the pipes. He was considered a symbol of fecundity because of his lustful nature.

Sphere

Animals

Alignment

Miscreant

Bestowed Major Powers

Alter Physical Structure Animal, Control Animals
Bestowed Minor Powers Animal Abilities Hoofed, Chameleon

 

Poseidon

God of the sea, protector of all waters. Powerful, violent, and vengeful, he carried the trident, with which he caused earthquakes. The son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and the brother of Zeus and Hades, Poseidon was the husband of Amphitrite, one of the Nereids, by whom he had a son, Triton. Poseidon had numerous other love affairs, however, especially with nymphs of springs and fountains, and was the father of several children famed for their wildness and cruelty, among them the giant Orion and the Cyclops Polyphemus. Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa were the parents of Pegasus, the famous winged horse. The Romans identified Poseidon with their god of the sea, Neptune.

Sphere

Water

Alignment

Unprincipled

Bestowed Major Powers

Alter Physical Structure Liquid, Hydrokinesis
Bestowed Minor Powers Acid Manipulation and Ice Expulsion 

 

Tyche

Goddess symbolizing fortune and prosperity

Sphere

Luck

Alignment

Scrupulous

Bestowed Major Powers

Karma, Divine Aura and Backfire

 

Zeus

His name means bright sky. He was god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods. He was considered the father of the gods, and of mortals, although he did not create either; he was their father in the sense of being the ruler both of the Olympian gods and of the human race. He was the rain god, and the cloud gatherer, who wielded the terrible thunderbolt. His breastplate was the aegis, his bird the eagle, his tree the oak. Zeus was the youngest son of the Titans, Cronus and Rhea, and the brother of the Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera. According to one of the ancient myths of the birth of Zeus, Cronus, having heard the prophecy that he might be dethroned by one of his children, swallowed them as they were born. Upon the birth of Zeus, Rhea wrapped a stone in swaddling clothes for Cronus to swallow and concealed the infant god in Crete, where he was fed on the milk of the goat Amalthaea and reared by nymphs. When Zeus grew to maturity, he forced Cronus to disgorge the other children, who were eager to take vengeance on their father. In the war that followed, the Titans fought on the side of Cronus, but Zeus and the other gods were successful, and the Titans were banished to Tartarus. Zeus henceforth ruled over the sky, and his brothers Poseidon and Hades were given power over the sea and the underworld, respectively. The earth was to be ruled in common by all three. He is represented as the god of justice and mercy, the protector of the weak, and the punisher of the wicked. As husband to his sister Hera, he is the father of Ares, the god of war; Hebe, the goddess of youth; Hephaestus, the god of fire; and Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. At the same time, Zeus is noted for falling in love with one woman after another and resorting to all kinds of tricks to hide his infidelity from his wife. Stories of his escapades were numerous in ancient mythology, and many of his offspring were a result of his love affairs with both goddesses and mortal women.

Sphere

Sky

Alignment

Anarchist

Bestowed Major Powers

Alter Physical Structure Air, Celestialkinesis and Sonic Flight

 

 

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