Hera is Queen of the gods and the First Lady of Olympus. Her
special stature doesn't make her the most pleasant of goddesses
as her husband Zeus constantly tests her limited patience.
She is the mother of Ares, Hebe, and Hephaestus but is known
in our world more for her spectacular temper than for her
motherly virtues. Her piercing gaze is uncomfortable at best,
deadly at worst. Her symbol is the peacock.
Ares is the god of war and as such, enjoys the noise and confusion
of battle. He encourages the attributes of a strong warrior
-- passion, bloodlust and ferocity -- and rewards those who
exhibit these traits. His favored companions include Discord
and Strife, who often accompany him into battle, or instigate
mischief for his amusement. Ares' symbol is the spear.
Dionysus is the god of wine. He is renown for giving man the
merriment and freedom from care that accompanies intoxication.
More than a god with a taste for grape juice, Dionysus travels
the world with his entourage to spread the vine and to inspire
music and song. He is a casual deity, usually wrapped in a
loose robe. His symbol is the grape vine.
Tall, dark and handsome, Hades is Lord of the Underworld.
With business-like briskness, he tallies the dead and notes
whether they have fulfilled any vows taken during their lives.
His helmet makes its wearer invisible, allowing Hades to roam
unseen. His symbol is the scepter.
Zeus is the King of the gods and Lord of Olympus. His special
weapon is the mighty thunderbolt. Zeus is the husband of Hera,
the Queen of the gods (and his sister!). Zeus is not above
extramarital relationships, however, and is father by mortal
women alone to more than twenty of Greece's most famous heroes
(Heracles, Perseus, Helen, and Minos among them). Zeus is by far
the powerful of the gods, if not always the wisest. Zeus's
symbol is the lightning bolt.
Apollo is the Lord of Truth and Light. He is a master musician
and storyteller. Apollo is the twin brother of Artemis and
like his sister, is an excellent shot with his bow and silver
and gold arrows. A musician, doctor and prophet, Apollo is
the son of Zeus and Leto. His holy city is Delphi, where his
oracle relates his commands. His symbol is a crown of laurel
Aphrodite is the goddess of Love and Beauty. It is said that
she bubbled up out of the sea foam, and floated on a gentle
breeze to the island of Cyprus (a place that is sacred to
her). It is unclear who her parents are. The wife of Hephaestus
and the mother of cupid, Aphrodite can sometimes be rather
shallow. Her symbol is a swan.
Hermes is the god of safe travel, good fortune, trickery,
messengers, and truth. While due to an oath he swear for Apollo,
Hermes can never tell a lie, he may not always tell the whole
truth. Hermes escorts the dead to Hades. He carries the caduceus
(a staff twined with serpents) wherever he goes. Portrayed
with wings on his feet, Hermes is unequaled in speed by any
of the Olympians; thus his role as messenger. The patron of
thieves and heralds, his symbol is the caduceus.
Poseidon is the lord of the ocean, which, it is said, reflects
his mood. Temperamental and easily angered, he has also earned
the name "Earthshaker" from the trident he carries.
Earthquakes are said to be started when he strikes the trident
against the ground. The brother of Zeus and Hades, Poseidon
prefers his underwater palace of coral and gems to the lofty
peak of Olympus for his home. His symbol is the trident.
Demeter is the goddess of harvest and agriculture, as well
as civilization. It is Demeter who taught mankind how to sow
and raise grain, thus ending man's nomadic existence. The
mother of Persephone by Zeus, it is by Demeter's will that
crops grow during the spring and summer. Winter is caused
when Persephone goes to Hades to spend time with her husband.
It is said that Demeter's grief is so great, she will let
nothing grow during that time. Her symbol is a sheaf of grain.
Persephone has a dual role as both the Goddess of Spring,
and the Queen of the Dead. She is often an advocate for the
unfortunate souls who face her husband, Hades, King of the
Dead, and she cheers him up during the time she spends in
his kingdom. A beautiful and glad goddess, her symbol is a
Iris, the goddess of the rainbow personified, is a beautiful
winged woman and Hera's favored messenger. Iris, unlike the
Queen she serves, is a gentle and kind divinity, even though
she shares lineage with the hideous Harpies. Carrying a herald's
staff and dressed in fantastic, multicolored robes, her symbol
is a water pitcher.
Pan, the god of all things wild and untamed, is the ugly-faced
child of Hermes. A shepherd and a musician, his pipes can
cause insanity when he plays them (thus the origin of the
word "panic"). Depicted as a satyr (half-Human,
half-goat), Pan can be found in the wild woods, either dancing
to his own music or chasing after the latest nymph to catch
his eye. His symbol is a set of panpipes.
Artemis the chaste goddess of the moon, hunting and (oddly)
childbirth, is the aloof huntress of the woods. Eternally
virtuous, she is the twin sister of Apollo and the patron
goddess of the Amazons. Artemis guards women during childbirth,
perhaps due to her own mother's trials while she carried the
twins. Her symbol is the crescent moon.
Athena is the goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, justice and
skill. The favored child of Zeus, she is also guardian of
the city of Athens. Athena is honored among the Olympians
by being the bearer of the protective Aegis. A strong and
just goddess, Athena is, like Artemis, chaste. With her flashing
gray eyes, long robe, and helmet fashioned by her mother Metis,
she is a powerful figure among the gods. Her symbol is the
Hestia is the third of the virgin goddesses of Olympus. Hestia
tends the eternal hearth in the center of the great hall where
the gods wile away the days. Originally one of the twelve
ruling Olympians, she gave up her seat when Dionysus arrived,
in order to avoid the unlucky number thirteen. Patron of domesticity
and the hearth, she is the eldest sister of Zeus. Her symbol
is a flame.
Hephaestus is the god of fire and blacksmithing. It is said
that his features are so ugly, that his own mother, Hera,
threw him out of Olympus when he was born. Consigned to walking
with a limp ever since then, Hephaestus has a powerful upper
body, but weak and twisted legs due to Hera's harsh treatment.
Hephaestus is the husband of Aphrodite and the patron of all
smiths and clever inventors. His symbol is the hammer.
Hebe is the goddess of youth, and is daughter of Zeus and
Hera. Her special tasks are pouring the nectar of the gods,
preparing Ares' bath, and helping Hera to her chariot. Her
symbol is a cup.