Olympian Pantheon

Olympian Pantheon

Name Portfolio Rank Alignment Favoured Weapon Domains
Zeus Sky, air, storms, fate, nobility G CG Shortspear or halfspear Air, Chaos, Good, Nobility, Strength, Weather
Aphrodite Love, beauty I CG dagger chaos, charm, good
Apollo Light, prophesy, music, healing I CG composite longbow good, healing, knowledge, magic, sun
Ares War, killing, strife I CE shortspear chaos, destruction, evil, war
Artemis Hunting, wild beasts, childbirth, dance I NG short sword animal, good, plant, sun
Athena Wisdom, crafts, civilization, war G LG shortspear artifice, community, good, knowledge, law, war
Demeter Agriculture L N spear earth, plant, protection
Dionysus Mirth, madness, wine, fertility, theater I CN quarterstaff chaos, destruction, madness
Hades Death, underworld, earth, wealth G NE longsword death, earth, evil
Hecate Moon, magic, abundance, undead I NE dagger creation, evil, knowledge, magic
Hephaestus Smithing, crafts I NG warhammer artifice, community, earth, fire, good
Hera Marriage, women, intrigue G CG light mace community, nobility, protection, trickery
Herakles Strength, adventure D CG greatclub chaos, good, luck, strength
Hermes Travel, commerce, thieves, gambling, running I CG quarterstaff chaos, good, luck, travel, trickery
Hestia Home, hearth, family L NG dagger community, good, protection
Nike Victory D LN Light mace Law, Nobility, War
Pan Nature, passion, shepherds, mountains L CN unarmed strike animal, chaos, plant
Poseidon Sea, rivers, earthquakes G CN trident choas, earth, water
Tyche Good fortune L N short sword luck, protection, travel

Olympian Theology

The Olympian pantheon is a tight pantheon, with almost all deities related by blood or marriage. Many share a planar home (Olympus) and are united under the kingship of Zeus.

The current gods of the pantheon are the third and fourth generation of deities. Gaea (the earth) and Uranus (the sky) were the first deities, parents of the Titans and a number of other monsters, including the Cyclopes and the Hecatoncheires (hundred-handed giants). The Titans rose up against their jealous and tyrannical father, and Cronus vanquished Uranus and seized his throne. Cronus married his sister Rhea and she bore six children: Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter, Hestia, and Zeus. Cronus devoured his first five children, but Rhea hid the sixth, Zeus, who eventually returned to kill his father and free his siblings from Cronus’s belly. Repeating the cycle of divine history, Zeus and his siblings took Cronus’s place as the head of a new pantheon of gods.

Zeus and Hera were married and had two children, Ares and Hephaestus. Zeus is famous for his many dalliances with Titans, gods, and mortals, however, and has many other divine children: Apollo and Artemis, twin children of the Titan Leto; Dionysus, son of the mortal woman Semele; Hermes, son of the minor goddess Maia; Heracles, son of the mortal woman Alcmene; and Athena, who sprang from Zeus’s head with no mother. Aphrodite, created from sea foam and the blood of Uranus, rounds out the major gods of the Olympian family.

Four minor deities complete the core pantheon: Hecate, Tyche, Pan, and Nike. Hecate, Nike, and Tyche are the daughters of Titans - Hecate of Perses and Asterie, Nike of Styx and Pallas, and Tyche of Oceanus and Tethys. All three goddesses sided with Zeus and his siblings against the Titans, and share an honored place on Olympus. Pan is the son of Hermes and a dryad, and he holds great power over the forces of nature.

Olympian Cosmology

At the center of the world stands a great mountain called Olympus. This mighty peak rises so far above the world that its heights are actually a distinct plane of existence: Olympus, the home of the gods of the Olympian pantheon. With just one exception, all Olympian deities call Olympus their home plane, and each one has a personal domain on the plane. Some few mortal souls actually find their way to Olympus after death, particularly those who have a special tie to a deity or are members of a mystery cult. Olympus has no alignment dominance, because deities of widely different alignments share it. It has a minor positive energy dominance, however.

Below the mortal world (the Material Plane) in the Olympian cosmology lies the realm of Hades, which shares its ruler’s name. Hades is the land of the dead, where most mortal souls linger on as insubstantial shades until they eventually fade into nothingness. Hades is mildly evil aligned and has a minor negative energy dominance.

Below even Hades is Tartarus, the vast realm of nebulous darkness where the Olympian gods confined their forebears, the Titans, to eternal imprisonment. Tartarus is strongly evil aligned. Far to the west, beyond the mythic land of Hesperia, is a fourth Outer Plane: Elysion, or the Elysian fields. To this blessed land the souls of certain great heroes find their way after death. Elysion is mildly good aligned.

The transitive planes are slightly altered in the Olympian cosmology. The Ethereal Plane coexists with the Material Plane as normal. The Astral Plane connects only to Olympus and Elysion. The Shadow Plane connects only to Hades. The only way into Tartarus is through Hades.

Pantheistic Faith

Because the Olympian deities form a tight pantheon, mortals acknowledge all members of the pantheon. In fact, all mortals are required to revere all twelve Olympian deities (Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, and Poseidon) as a pantheon. For many this is a natural thing - the pantheon is a family, and each member of the family has its strengths. It is more than appropriate for a person to pray to Poseidon for calm seas before traveling by boat, to Hermes for fair dealing when at the market, and to Hera and Hestia to help make his wife's childbirth safe… all in the same day.

Clerics of Olympian deities must select a single deity as the focus of their devotion and source of their power. Despite this, and in keeping with the pantheistic nature of the Olympians, a cleric may find themselves accepting, cooperating with, or even actively aiding clerics of other Olympian deities. After all, it is difficult to denounce the temple across the street if it reveres your deity's brother. More so, certain duties, rites, and festivals may require a combination of clerics from different specific deities for success.

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