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The Olympian Pantheon Part II: The Gods of Olympusby Jonathan Becker
In the beginning, there was Chaos, and Chaos gave birth to many including Gaia (mother earth) and Ouranos (father sky). Ouranos was not fond of their children the Titans, and forced them deep beneath the earth in the plane of Tartarus, causing Gaia much pain. Kronos, son to both, castrated his father to stop the propagation of his race, and ascended as the new lord of all. With his sister-wife Rhea, Kronos had many children, each of whom he devoured to prevent an uprising against him as he had rose against his own father. But Rhea saved her youngest child, Zeus, who rose up and cast down his father, freeing his siblings from his father's belly and creating the divine pantheon of Olympians, so named for their home at the peak of Mount Olympus.
That is the creation story of the Olympic pantheon in brief. From Zeus and his siblings, many other gods are descended. They form one large, dysfunctional family, squabbling amongst themselves over mortals and various mortal domains. To those that worship them, they are often fickle and all-too human...for weren't humans created in their gods' image?
The following list of Immortals is based on the gods and titans of Greek mythology. In OD&D terms, these are all ascended mortals. "Parents" of particular divine children are actually Divine Sponsors in OD&D terms; however, most mortals are unaware of this relationship (until reaching 30th level or so...see WotI), and so they create stories of a divine family. In addition, some of the Immortals (like Heracles), may well be the actual progeny of the Immortal who later acted as a sponsor; this is for the DM to decide.
Each Immortal has been assigned an arbitrary level rank based on their place in Greek mythology. DMs wishing to emphasise different deities over others are welcome to adjust any and all stats; this is simply my way of using them. Note also, that actual age has little relation to Power level of the Immortals, for example Rhea and Ouranos are far older than Zeus and Hera (Immortals they each sponsored) but are far below them in power, due to being supplanted by their "children." In game terms, this reduction in Power is due to a number of strokes due to the loss of both authority and mortal followers. In some cases, a particular Immortal has not pursued a very ambitious career among the Olympians (Hestia is an example); as such their growth may have topped out earlier than their compatriots.
Only stats not derived from Level are listed in each Immortal's description. Hit points, attacks, saves, etc. can all be figured based on the information listed as necessary. Unless otherwise noted, all Olympian Immortals appear on the Prime Plane in human-sized form, but appear on other planes as giant-sized (generally, the Immortals don't throw rocks, so it doesn't matter what size they are; their stats remain the same in both forms). Olympians with the Call Other power may call any non-Titan Olympian to their aid, regardless of Sphere. Whether or not they can (or would) call non-Olympian Immortals of their own Sphere is up to the DM to decide.
"Mystery" explains any special abilities or restrictions that are available to clerics that specialise in the worship of a single particular Immortal (see Part IV note #1). If a cleric simply follows the Olympic Pantheon, then there are no restrictions: the cleric can be of any alignment and must simply treat all deities with respect. These latter "generalists" are considered to receive their spells from Zeus, or whosoever is the reigning "king of the gods," and only Zeus can restrict the clerics gaining of spells (though he might do so at the intercession of another god or goddess that the cleric offends). Zeus is fairly easy-going himself but can be moved mightily when his family is troubled!
APHRODITE (28th Level Eternal of Energy) AL C, Str 20, Int 55, Wis 25, Dex 35, Con 35, Cha 100, Powers: Call Other, Groan, Leech, Thief Abilities
History/notes: Originally sponsored to Immortality by Ouranos and only slightly younger than the Titans, Aphrodite has always been able to ingratiate herself with whatever Immortals are in power, and thus finds herself amongst the Olympians. A lustful and vain Immortal, she governs love in its strongest and most passionate form: that which drives humans to act without care for their own self-preservation or the consequences of their actions. In many ways she is a kindred spirit to Ares and has had an off-again, on-again love affair with the war god, in addition to numerous romantic trysts with mortals and Immortals alike. A major source of strife both on and off Olympus, Aphrodite is still one that is most fervently venerated by mortals.
Mystery: Charisma raised +2 and may be raised above 18. Clerics must be non-Lawful, female, and have a minimum Charisma of 11 to be accepted.
APOLLO (21st Level Empyreal of Thought) AL L, Str 25, Int 35, Wis 55, Dex 50, Con 35, Cha 65, Powers: Call Other, Extra Attacks, Turn Undead, Weapon Mastery (Long Bow, Short Bow)
History/notes: Brother of Artemis, he is an acknowledged master of music and archery and is associated with the Sun. He and Artemis were sponsored by Zeus together, and both achieved Immortality at the same time. Friendly and gregarious, Apollo is well-loved by the other Olympians.
Mystery: Clerics learn to master the harp and lyre and may use these instruments to cast one charm person or sleep spell (either or, not both) per day. To cast, the cleric must play for a minimum of 3 rounds without interruption. Clerics of Apollo also gain a +2 to Turn Undead. Clerics must have a minimum Charisma of 13 and must rise every day with the Sun.
ARES (27th Level Eternal of Energy) AL C, Str 59, Int 35, Wis 16, Dex 65, Con 65, Cha 32, Powers: Call Other, Extra Attacks, Fighter Options, Increased Damage
History/notes: An Immortal of war and slaughter and the strife of bloodshed, Ares is the bully of the Olympians. He has a quick temper and is the first to jump into a fight, but he has been known to flee when an opponent gets the upper hand against him, or even bloodies him moderately. His Immortal sponsor was Hera, the first such mortal that achieved ascension, and she has regretted it ever since. Ares is loud, abrasive, uncouth, and totally preoccupied with dominating those beneath him. Perhaps because of this, Aphrodite's longest and most prolific relationship has been with Ares, which has caused conflict and jealousy with other Olympians (most especially Hephaestus, her one time spouse). Ares greatest rivalry is with Athena, whose clever tactics usually defeats his impetuous style of combat.
Mystery: Clerics may use any edged or piercing, one-handed weapons. Clerics must be non-Lawful in alignment and may never back down from a fight (though they may flee once wounded in battle).
ARTEMIS (20th Level Empyreal of Thought) AL N, Str 25, Int 20, Wis 30, Dex 88, Con 48, Cha 52, Powers: Call Other, Detection Suite, Thief Abilities, Weapon Mastery (Long Bow, Short Bow)
History/notes: Sister of Apollo, she is the mistress of hunting, the woods, and archery and is associated with the Moon. A stand-offish Immortal, she would prefer to hunt in the forests of Olympus and the Prime Plane rather than form deep relationships with other Immortals. She gets along best with her brother and her Immortal sponsor Zeus (who dotes on her as a father would a daughter). She is very protective of forests and woodland creatures, and for this is looked after by Gaia as well.
Mystery: Clerics may use any short or long bow, and may speak with animals at will. Clerics must be female and must remain virgins (i.e. never marry); in addition, they may not hunt or harm woodland animals except for food.
ATHENA (30th Level Eternal of Matter) AL L, Str 34, Int 41, Wis 85, Dex 34, Con 40, Cha 52, Powers: Call Other, Fighter Options, Summon Weapons, Weapon Mastery (Spear, Sword)
History/notes: Long after the ascension to power of Zeus and the Olympians, Gaia sponsored Athena to Immortality, much to the surprise of the Olympians whom thought the Titan long removed from the Sphere. Seemingly springing "full grown" on the scene, Athena quickly joined the ranks of the Olympian Immortals, forming a welcome contrast to the young Ares with her shrewd tactics of war, her wisdom in strategy, and her polite conversation ability. Although, she bears no ill-will for her patron, Athena has thrown her lot in completely with the Olympians and is completely loyal to them and Zeus.
Mystery: Clerics gain a +1 to Wisdom and a +1 to AC. Clerics must be Lawful in alignment and may never refuse help to those whose patron is Athena (including cities who name Athena as their patron).
CHIRON (4th Level Initiate of Matter) AL L, Str 17, Int 25, Wis 18, Dex 13, Con 20, Cha 16, Powers: Call Other, Detection Suite, Fighter Options, Improved Saving Throw (Spells)
History/notes: See the notes in WotI. Chiron was a centaur and scholar sponsored to Immortality by Athena, who admired greatly his breadth of knowledge and his ability to impart teachings to others. Although Chiron is the most recently sponsored Immortal of the Olympic pantheon, his Path was that of the Polymath, and his deeds are not known to the general public the way Heracles' is. Chiron always manifests as a normal-sized Centaur, though he may shapeshift as any Immortal.
Mystery: Clerics gain a +2 to Intelligence and a +1 saving throw versus poisons of all kind. Clerics of Chiron may not be Chaotic in alignment and must abstain from all alcohol.
DEMETER (29th Level Eternal of Time) AL L, Str 29, Int 48, Wis 65, Dex 25, Con 60, Cha 49, Powers: Call Other, Detection Suite, Howl, Turn Undead
History/notes: One of the original six Olympian "siblings" (and sponsored by the Immortal Kronos), Demeter concerns herself more with the ordering of the seasons for the Prime Plane than in petty infighting and politics on Olympus. However, Demeter does carry a grudge against Hades for his abduction of her daughter Persephone whom she hoped to sponsor to Immortality in the Sphere of Time, and for this she often will hinder him when the opportunity presents itself. Demeter is much venerated by mortals at harvest time, and her avatars are sometimes mistaken for Gaia, though she always appears garbed in robes the colour of particular season. During Winter months, Demeter locks herself in her chambers in Olympus and refuses congress/communication with anyone, even her mortal followers (although she still grants spells to her clerics).
Mystery: While on land in a region that worships the Olympian pantheon, and during any time of year but Winter the cleric of Demeter need never fear bad weather (drought, flood, hail, etc.). Clerics of Demeter must be non-Chaotic in alignment and may never refuse requests for aid from farmers or those that till the land.
DIONYSUS (16th Level Celestial of Thought) AL C, Str 18, Int 12, Wis 32, Dex 22, Con 50, Cha 48, Powers: Call Other, Enhanced Reflexes, Improved Saving Throw (Physical), Leech
History/notes: One of the youngest Olympians, this fun-loving Immortal has inherited more of the lustful side of his father and sponsor, Zeus. He is almost as likely to be found on the Prime Plane as in the halls of Olympus, always with a drink in hand and a celebration surrounding him. Dionysus is the party planner of the Immortals. He is great friends with Pan.
Mystery: Clerics gain a +1 Constitution, a +1 to Charisma, and never suffer negative effects from drunkenness. In addition to celebrating all feast days, Clerics of Dionysus must be non-Lawful in alignment, and should never turn down the opportunity for a party, feast, or celebration.
HADES (35th Level Hierarch of Entropy) AL N, Str 65, Int 50, Wis 54, Dex 38, Con 99, Cha 74, Powers: Control Undead, Fighter Options, Groan, Increased Damage
History/notes: Although the reigning Hierarch of Entropy, Hades takes a non-nonsense approach to his duties as lord of the dead: all mortal things dies and break down and is a necessary process to make way for the new. Even as the universe will eventually break down and be destroyed, it is only to make way for next universe to appear. That being said, he approaches his duties with an iron fist and brooks no interference with his role as lord of the underworld; mortals "rescued" from his realm will suffer his ire and those doing the "rescuing" will suffer his wrath; though occasionally his queen (the Immortal Persephone) may intercede on a mortal's behalf. Hades is an Olympian, but almost never leaves his realm to visit Olympus; in his own realm, Hades possesses immense wealth and power, and even Zeus might bow before him...were the sky god ever to vacation in the underworld! Hades Immortal sponsor was Nyx.
Mystery: Clerics of Hades may use all types of swords and daggers. Upon reaching name (9th) level a cleric of Hades may control undead as a liege of HD equal to his or her level. While they may be of any alignment, they may never use any spell that raises the dead back to life.
HEBE (6th Level Initiate of Energy) AL N, Str 13, Int 19, Wis 15, Dex 12, Con 13, Cha 24, Powers: Call Other, Enhanced Reflexes, Improved Saving Throw (Physical), Thief Abilities
History/notes: Hebe is the youngest Immortal sponsored by the Hierarch Hera. Similar to Aphrodite, Hebe's main domain of interest is love, though this is the romantic love that can grow out of friendship and hopefully lead to a happy marriage. While Hera sometimes feels Hebe takes too lightly her responsibilities as an Immortal (as an Initiate, she mainly runs errands for her sponsor), Hebe is actually the child Hera most cherishes of her sponsored mortals, certainly the one closest to her heart. Hebe, for her part, dotes upon her Immortal sponsor, obeying her in all things.
Mystery: Clerics gain a +1 to all reaction bonuses with NPCs, in addition to any Charisma bonus (note: this bonus is to reaction only and does not affect morale or number of henchmen). Clerics must encourage love and love affairs whenever possible.
HEPHAESTUS (14th Level Celestial of Energy) AL L, Str 45, Int 50, Wis 25, Dex 10, Con 35, Cha 13, Powers: Call Other, Detection Suite, Increased Damage, Improved Saving Throw (Mental)
History/notes: Hephaestus was the second Immortal sponsored by Hera, and only after he had created a great gift for her. Upon his ascension to the divine realms however, he proved wilful and stubborn, concerned more with his own projects then in the projects of the sphere (i.e. in Hera's plots and schemes). Because of this, Hera attempted to have Hephaestus expelled from Olympus, but failed as the young Immortal had already ingratiated himself with the other gods through his creation of magical gifts for them. As the smith of the Immortals, he resides happily on Mount Olympus, working at the forge with his Cyclops and Dwarf assistants.
Mystery: Clerics may begin manufacturing magic items upon reaching name (9th) level and are not restricted in the items they can create (i.e. they may create any magic item, not just items useable by clerics). All other restrictions with regard to level, chance of success, and cost still apply. Clerics of Hephaestus may never harm, nor refuse aid to a dwarf or smith in need.
HERA (33rd Level Hierarch of Energy) AL L, Str 45, Int 99, Wis 64, Dex 45, Con 35, Cha 82, Powers: Call Other, Detection Suite, Groan, Improved Saving Throw (Power)
History/notes: Originally sponsored by Ouranos, Hera is one of the six Immortals to first reign as Olympians after the over-throw of the elder Titans. The eldest of the six, she was quickly enamoured of the young Zeus and happily agreed to be his queen and wife. Unfortunately, she is much more serious about monogamy and marriage than her husband, and his philandering with both mortals and Immortals has motivated her to terrible action at times, using all the might at her disposal. Although Hera is "Lawful" this is only in the strictest sense of the term; she is not "good" or "compassionate" and is quick to smite those that would break the law or their word. However, she is as easily flattered as any of the Olympians, and prizes loyalty greatly, lavishly rewarding her truest followers.
Mystery: Clerics gain a +1 to both Charisma and Wisdom. They must always cherish the sanctity or marriage, and may never refuse counsel to a married couple in need. Likewise they may never allow harm to come to a married couple, their home, or their marriage. Clerics may not be Chaotic in alignment.
HERACLES (9th Level Temporal of Thought) AL C, Str 36, Int 16, Wis 8, Dex 18, Con 25, Cha 20, Powers: Fighter Options, Increased Damage (x2), Weapon Mastery (Great Club, Long Bow, Wrestling)
History/notes: The youngest Immortal sponsored by Zeus, Heracles is an actual child of the sky king. His Strength is greater than the maximum of a normal Temporal but was this high as a mortal (see WotI, page 76, regarding children of Immortals). Should he achieve the rank of Celestial, Heracles will have to spend Power Points to raise his Strength higher, just like any other Immortal. Being the most recent Epic Hero sponsored to Immortality, the tasks of Heracles are well known throughout the Known World (other Immortals of Thought are so old that their trials are all but lost to legend). Heracles admires strength, courage, and heartiness in his followers and expect them to live up to his reputation as best they can. Even in Olympus, Heracles manifests as human-sized, albeit an exceptionally large human!
Mystery: Clerics of Heracles gain a +2 to Strength and automatically start with Wrestling at the "Skilled" level. To join this mystery cult, a cleric must have a minimum Strength of 11 and Constitution of 13, and must never back down from a fight or refuse a challenge of physical skill.
HERMES (23rd Level Empyreal of Thought) AL N, Str 20, Int 63, Wis 33, Dex 72, Con 18, Cha 41, Powers: Call Other, Detection Suite, Increased Movement Rate, Thief Abilities
History/notes: Originally sponsored by Zeus, Hermes is one of the most restless and well-travelled of all the Olympian Immortals. He has acted in the capacity of messenger and "cosmic delivery boy" for Olympus, mainly due to his willingness to go anywhere and discover new things. He is a patron of knowledge and lore and many mortal magic-users ascribe their powers to the knowledge Hermes has discovered in his travels. He is well-known for his cleverness and skill in the art of deception.
Mystery: All clerics that follow the specialist mystery cult of Hermes are magic-users. Their character should create their characters as magic-users, not clerics, with all the abilities and restrictions (d4 hit dice, no Turn Dead ability, etc.).
HESTIA (17th Level Celestial of Matter) AL L, Str 15, Int 35, Wis 50, Dex 25, Con 35, Cha 30, Powers: Call Other, Improved Saving Throw (Spells), Improved Saving Throw (Physical), Turn Undead
History/notes: Originally sponsored by the Titan Gaia, Hestia is one of the original six Olympian "siblings" that took power from their elders after the war of the gods. Unlike her siblings, Hestia has relegated herself to a very passive role in the hierarchy of Olympus, and has done nothing to promote herself past the Celestial level. She is the patron Immortal of home and the hearth and is concerned with good housekeeping and happy residence for all mortals on the Prime Plane...even ones that do not naturally venerate the Olympians. Her proscription against the violation of hospitality applies even to those that do not follow the Olympic pantheon.
Mystery: Clerics may purify food and water or cast protection from evil (not both) once per day. To do this, they must be comfortable and relatively secure (i.e. not in combat). Clerics may not be Chaotic and may never initiate an attack in any being's home, if they have been invited into it.
PAN (11th Level Temporal of Matter) AL C, Str 18, Int 12, Wis 8, Dex 25, Cha 35, Powers: Detection Suite, Howl, Increased Movement Rate, Thief Abilities
History/notes: As Faunus in Wrath of the Immortals; Gaia was his sponsor. He is counted as an Olympian god because of his great friendship with many of the Olympians, namely Hermes (to whom he taught magic), Apollo (to whom he taught music), and Dionysus (to whom he taught the secret rites of wine). Zeus also has a soft spot for the little Immortal. Pan never appears as giant size, even in Olympus.
Mystery: As Faunus.
PERSEPHONE (15th Level Celestial of Entropy) AL C, Str 22, Int 20, Wis 35, Dex 21, Con 25, Cha 50, Powers: Call Other, Control Undead, Improved Saving Throw (Power), Leech
History/notes: Once the daughter and follower of the Immortal Demeter, her mother's dreams of sponsoring her to Immortality were crushed when she was first kidnapped, then seduced by the Entropic Hierarch Hades. Now Persephone rules by her husband as the queen of the underworld, though she spends much more time in Olympus than the taciturn Hierarch, and is still quite close to Demeter. Mortals respect her and sometimes pray for her to intercede on their behalf with her husband, but many fear to speak her name aloud as she still represents the finality of the kingdom of death.
Mystery: Clerics of Persephone gain a bonus of +2 to their rolls to Turn Undead until reaching name (9th) level, at which time they may control undead as a liege of HD equal to his or her level. Clerics of Persephone must never harm or allow harm to come to Clerics of Demeter, as the mystery cult teaches the honouring of the divine mother.
POSEIDON (34th Level Hierarch of Time) AL C, Str 70, Int 35, Wis 55, Dex 65, Con 80, Cha 70, Powers: Call Other, Fighter Options, Increased Damage, Weapon Mastery (Trident)
History/notes: Poseidon is the ruler of the sea and the waves, the patron of mariners and merchants, and the creator of many monsters of the deeps. Strangely enough, he is also credited with the creation and domestication of the horse. He is older than Zeus, having been sponsored by Kronos but does not begrudge his brother's rulership of the pantheon. Poseidon has little interest in the sky, and while he spends time in Olympus he prefers the deeps of the sea. Being Chaotic in nature, he prefers storms to calm waters, but his chosen followers trust him not to drown them. Poseidon always manifests as Storm Giant size, even on the Prime Plane, and his avatars are similarly large, though he may use spells to shapeshift should he so choose.
Mystery: All clerics of Poseidon may cast water breathing once per day on themselves only; upon reaching name (9th) level the cleric may cast this on another person; they may learn to use the trident as a weapon. Clerics must be non-Lawful in alignment and must live within sight of the sea (any large body of salt water). Temporary inland excursions are possible, but the cleric must return to the sea within one month.
ZEUS (36th Level Hierarch of Thought), AL N, Str 95, Int 25, Wis 78, Dex 77, Con 85, Cha 95,Powers: Call Other, Enhanced Reflexes, Extra Attacks, Fighter Options
History/notes: The Immortal king of the sky and ruler of the Olympic pantheon, Zeus was the youngest of six Immortals sponsored at a time when Kronos feared his own over-throw. Zeus banded his "brethren" together (Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia, and Poseidon) and led an assault on the elder Titans replacing them as the lords of Olympus. Since that time, he has ruled in what can mostly be described as a "laid back" manner, enjoying the benefits of kingship, and mostly having fun with his own Immortality. As lord of the sky, he is both highly regarded and widely venerated by mortals, plus he is likeable guy...bigger than life and twice as loud. A lustful Immortal he has sired many children (both with mortal and Immortal partners) and sponsored many of his offspring to Immortality (including Hermes, Apollo, Artemis, Dionysus, and Heracles). While he can be irritating to other Olympians at times (especially his queen-wife, Hera), none seek to replace Zeus.
Mystery: Cleric gains a +1 to Charisma and +10% on any Confidence checks for a dominion the Cleric rules. The cleric ma be of any alignment but must stay neutral in all conflicts between other Olympian deities. In addition, the cleric may never turn down a damsel in distress.
This list is by no means exhaustive: there are plenty of minor Immortals and elder Titans that exist in Greek mythology and such are readily utilised as antagonists or allies for PC Immortals when necessary. Wikipedia, for instance, lists nearly 50 "children" of Poseidon alone...any one of these would be considered appropriate fodder for an Immortal campaign.