“From the Forest of Satyrs ot the Harpies’ Nest, Greece brims with an infinite possibility for pain, but also infinite wonder. It is up to you to decide what the dawn brings. “
– Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, Daughter of Ares –
After the fall of Egypt, and the destruction of the Babylion Civilisation at the hands of the Olympians, Greece reigns supreme at the heart of the world. However, it is anything but united.
The Greeks are overseen by the Twelve Olympians, the mighty gods of the Greeks, and the nation is split into twelve seperate kingdoms, each ruled by one of the Twelve Olympians. These kingdoms are in a constant state of flux, growing and shrinking as the Olympians’ wage war on eachother, snatching away land or watching it fall between their fingers.
Often, those that see success in the Pantheon are those whose empires see success. Empowered by a high placing in the Pantheon, the Olympians in turn empower their subjects with immense power, and this is a deciding factor in many conflicts.
The Greek world may be in constantly changing, but the system enforced by Zeus sees the old maps dusted and smoothed out, as a newly triumphant god wrestles back what was stolen from them, and the cycle begins anew.
“My predecessors used to speak to hundreds of devout. So many there were, that the temple steps could not hold them all. Now, I orate to fifty-four devout and two cats. But I will keep speaking, I will keep praying, I will keep shouting the will of our lord to all to hear. They will listen, for every mortal is in service of the sun.”
– Perdix, Herald of the Sun –
Apollo’s temple at Thamryis is the sun god’s only temple that still remains untouched by the ravages of the past two hundred years.
A stunning fortress of sunset-tinted marble, topped with exquisite statues and a tympanum depicting Apollo’s triumph in the first ever Pantheon. It is guarded by two immense statues: Apollo’s two mightiest sons, Asklepios stands upon the right, beckoning the devout into Apollo’s embrace, and Orpheus, clutching his lyre with the promise of paradise for all those who come into their father’s light. This should inspire wonder, but in truth the statues carry an air of tragedy about them, for Orpheus has long fallen from his father’s favour, yet still he stands at the forefront of Apollo’s final bastion.
Befitting a temple almost one thousand years old, history seeps from every block of marble, but there are a great many secrets hiding in the cracks. Very few mortals ever face them, but the ones that do have their lives, and eyes, changed forever.
“I’ve always enjoyed walking between the pillars, topped and encircled with snakes, tridents, waves and leopards. The closest we’ll ever get to the personalities of the gods. I wonder what I would have atop my pillar?
– Achilles, Memoirs of Immortality, Chapter XI –
Most temples in Greece follow a standard formula (visible in Apollo’s temple at Thamryis above). A squat, wide structure of marble and limestone, raising on thick cut steps and guarded by awe-inspiring masonry. This is as far as the similarities go; for every god, and their architects, have their personal tastes, and the Olympians are certainly not without flair.
Enter into the interior of Dionysus’ temples and you will be faced with immense rooms dedicated to pleasure, filled with rattling drums and whimsical panpipes. Take the plunge into Poseidon’s houses, and you will walk between shimmering pools of crystal water, swimming with all manner of ocean life. Hephaestus’ temples ring with the sound of forges and the sharp scent of charcoal and smelted iron.
The pillar is another example of this individualism. A simple design dorned with a huge variety of creatures, symbols and fetishes, all unique to the god that commands them. They are also excellent indicators of a god’s wealth. The fancier the pillar, the richer the god. Currently, Ares’ devout have fashioned some of the most lavish designs ever seen, bristling with spears, wrapped in crimson cord and gold. Since only the followers of the god are permitted to enter into their temple, the pillar is often the only part of a temple that an opposing devout sees.