Name and Description: (Balance, agathocacological, chaotic) Zeus (G) or Jupiter (R) was the king of the Olympians, fearsome in his fury but amazing in his wisdom. He is married to Hera, although he had consorts before the marriage and has been unfaithful since. He rose to his position by defeating his father, Kronos, with the assistance of his mother. After he freed his siblings from his father's stomach, he, Poseidon, and Hades drew lots for their dominion, and he won dominion over the sky. He is a fearsome figure, commanding lightning, thunder, and storms, and he is possessed of great wisdom.
Fickle and drawn to beauty, he is known to dally with beautiful mortals and other deities with surprising frequency, fathering heroes, monsters, and more gods.
Symbols, Rituals: Zeus is often symbolized by an eagle, although lightning bolts or a representation of the aegis are not uncommon. The oak is of particular importance to him as well, and nearly all of his clergy and many of his followers will make a pilgrimage to Epirus to visit his holy oak.
Sacrifices to Zeus generally include the burning of the fat, skin, and entrails of an ox, as well as supplications following the sacrifice. Depending on the region, these may take place at sowing and harvest, or monthly.
Description of the Clergy: Zeus' (G) priests (there are no priestesses allowed) form the backbone of the Grecian Synod, and his temples are generally foremost in any city that worships the pantheon (save perhaps where there is a god of particular local importances, such as Ares in Sparta, in which case Zeus' temple is either first among equals, or a close second). Most of his clergy take up the spear for the chosen
weapon, and universally wear white (sometimes adorned with golden trim, or various appropriate symbols). Priests of Zeus will generally disdain the use of a horse (being a creature of Poseidon), although they are willing to learn to ride aerial mounts of various sorts. When the Grecian Synod meets, the Archpriest of Zeus presides (who is, by definition, the Archpriest of the Synod as well).
Jupiter's (R) priests are similar to those of Zeus, although their prominence is marginally less (due to the pantheon being considerably less organized).
Priestly Castings: Most of the Castings which follow deal with infidelity, thunderstorms, lightning, and the like. Despite the political power of the clergy as a whole, and the other traits of the god, most clergy tend to focus on the former aspects.
E/F/M: This fifteen minute ritual calls upon Father Jupiter's aspect as a grain god, and it is often requested by farmers who follow 'the Father of the Sky' (as Jupiter is sometimes known). The ritual will result in a 10% increase in the crop grown on the field, provided that the farmer makes a suitable sacrifice to Jupiter shortly before harvest time (else his fields will likely be stricken by a fearsome storm). The ritual itself consists mainly of questions asked by the priest and promises made by the farmer.
Roll of Thunder Charm
Area: See below
Distance: See below
Other Heka Costs:
Other: 10:1 per additional thunderclap
E/F/M: By means of this Casting, the priest is able to cause a thunderclap to sound, as if there were a storm approaching or already upon the area. The sound can be heard normally, as if the storm really were there, yet there need not be a cloud in the sky. This is occasionally used by priests of Zeus when coordinating something, or when demonstrating that they really are priests of Zeus. The Casting will cause most normal animals to immediately seek shelter from the "approaching storm", regardless of other indicators, and it has been known to spook some particularly easily frightened animals.
Additional thunderclaps can be summoned at a rate of 1 per 2 CT's, at an additional cost of 10 Heka per additional thunderclap. The Caster has control over the sound of the thunder (i.e. if it is a deep, rolling sound or if it is a sudden, cracking sound, or somewhere in between). Multiple thunderclaps do not need to have the same sound.
Time: 1 CT per 10 STEEP
Area: One object
Other Heka Costs:
R&D: 10:1 per additional D3
E/F/M: This Charm allows the priest of Zeus to add a slight spark whenever the weapon strikes an opponent. The sparking will cause an additional D3 of electrical damage, and this may be increased to a maximum of 1D3 per 10 STEEP possessed by the Caster, at a cost of 10 Heka per additional D3. The weapon should be appropriately consecrated to Zeus.
E/F/M: This Casting will allow the priest of Zeus to break down normal inhibitions concerning fidelity and infidelity in marriage, and even encourage it if the natural inhibitions are not particularly strong. While originally intended to mimic one of Zeus's natural tendencies, some priests have used it to assist them in bedding any female they choose, regardless of current state. The priesthood is working on supressing the Casting in order to not make their reputation any worse than this Casting has made it.
Time: 1 BT per 10 STEEP
Area: One creature
Other Heka Costs:
E/F/M: This Casting allows the priest to make someone's voice as loud as thunder, deep, rolling, and capable of being heard over great distances (although with some delays due to the speed of sound!). It has been used to allow generals to speak to the entire army, or priests to speak to really large gatherings. It has no significant effect on those nearby the speaker, although some people's ears will ring for some time afterwards if they stand too close.
E/F/M: This Casting causes a lightning bolt to fall from the sky at a designated target, and then speed along the ground for a distance of up to 25 yards. The bolt is around 2 yards wide, and can be summoned to any point up to 1 chain per 10 STEEP away from the Caster. The base damage is 1D6 points of electrical damage, which can be increased to a maximum of 1D6 per 10 STEEP at a cost of 20 Heka per additional D6.
Mask Adulterer Formula
Time: 1 AT per 10 STEEP
Area: One creature
Other Heka Costs:
E/F/M: The Priest using this Casting can make an adulterer temporarily appear as someone else, a stranger, thereby making an escape easier, or a search more difficult. There is rumored to be a higher-grade version of this Casting, intended to be used to mask someone intending to perform adultery as an appropriate person (such as the woman's husband) for the evening, not unlike the legend of Uther and Ygraine. Note that this disguise, while very good, lasts barely long enough to make an escape and can not be placed on the priest performing the Casting.
E/F/M: By means of a lengthy ritual that takes half an hour to perform, and includes many acts taken from legends and myths, a priest is able to cause a goodly rainstorm in the region that will last at least one hour
per 10 STEEP. If the area is particularly prone to rain, and was on the verge of raining anyways, this time may well be tripled, and if in an area that is very much not prone to rain, it may be halved. The Casting is capable of easing the effects of droughts, and often can restore normal weather patterns to an area that is experiencing unusual weather (JM's option), although the rain gathered will not be enough to make a very dry area bloom into a very wet area. The Casting is fickle, though, and repeated use in the same area may result in the storm's effects being malevolent instead of benign, or perhaps a drought extended. The ritual is completed by sprinkling specially-blessed water over the area that will serve as the center of the storm.
Special materia cost: 10,000 BUC consecrated water vessel, plus other special accoutrements amounting to an additional 5,000 BUCs
E/F/M: This Ritual, which requires a full hour to work to maximum potency, is much like the Raincall Ritual (q.v.), but it causes a full, raging thunderstorm to sweep across the area. This deluge will relieve droughts of up to two months long, and can provide enough water for a desert settlement to last for several weeks. In areas particularly prone to storms (such as semi-tropical coastlines), this can build to a full hurricane that could take weeks to run its course. It will never disrupt the normal weather patterns for an area, but it has been known to restore them to their normal cycle after being tampered with or in an unusual year, perhaps because of a metaphysical "cleaning" effect.
No priest of Zeus can call this Casting forth without adequate justification, because it is releasing a significant amount of Zeus's fury upon the world for a time.
Special materia cost: 20,000 BUC consecrated ritual accoutrements
E/F/M: This half-hour ritual, which calls upon the greatest blessings Zeus can offer, causes the priest of Zeus using it to be transformed into another form. This form is chosen at the time of the ritual, and the priest must be preparing himself to seduce a particularly attractive female (preferably virgin as well). Unlike Zeus, the priest may only do this once in his lifetime. Sample forms include a bull, a slithering shower of gold, a gentle rain shower, or any of the other forms that Zeus has taken in his many conquests.
Special materia cost: 30,000 BUC consecrated ritual accoutrements
E/F/M: This hour-long ritual, like the Transformself Ritual, will result in the subject being transformed into a shape pleasing to the person he is planning to seduce. The only marked difference between the two Castings is that the Alterseducer Ritual may be performed on any male follower of Zeus, provided that (a) the follower has demonstrated the utmost faith, (b) has an extremely passionate love for a beautiful virgin woman, and (c) holds his thoughts on her for the duration of the ritual. The shape is chosen when the ritual is performed.
Servants and Avatars:
Terminus (minor god of boundaries and endings)
The Aegis: This legendary shield is often entrusted to Athena, although Zeus does take it upon himself when necessary (or grants it to one of his avatars). It is occasionally entrusted to a particularly favored mortal, which is an event of great portent. Being of tremendous power and the implement of a god, the Aegis is known to take several forms:
Goat-skin shield: When in the primordial form of a goatskin shield, the Aegis is most powerful (being the original, so to speak). It can turn aside nearly any thrust, it grants immunity to lightning and other electrical attacks, and when shaken at a foe it will cause instant terror. In the hands of a Potency or greater, it can route entire armies.
Blazoned silver shield: Perhaps the most classical depiction, the Aegis in this form is still tremendous shield, rendering virtual immunity to weapons, but it less effective as a symbol of terror. When forcefully presented towards a mortal by any powerful being, it will cause the mortal to flee in terror, but it cannot be used on such a grand scale.
Fringed goat-skin armor or cloak: The least common of the forms in artist's renderings, the Aegis conveys near immunity to weapons, and total immunity to lightning and electricity. When the fringes are shaken at a foe which knows itself to be weaker than the wearer, the foe will probably turn and flee.
Thundercloud: This manifestation of the Aegis is only available to Zeus' avatars (although the previous three might be lent to Athena or particularly favored mortals). It appears as a dark cloud, either around the head of the avatar, or hanging at his side. In addition to incredible protective abilities, it can release thunderbolts and lightning bolts, and those hearing the sound of its thuder are struck by great terror.
Zeus was born the son of Kronos and Gaea, and he narrowly escaped being swallowed (like his six older siblings), being raised apart and eventually rising and overturning his father, and releasing his brethren. Modern scholars, more aware than the primitives who initially wrote the legends of the actual levels of power and spheres of influence of the gods, have ascribed the 'swallowing' as confining the Olympians within Non-Dimensionality, and Gaea tricking him into imprisoning a false Zeus while the real Zeus sought a way to free his brothers and sisters. Later, the division of Kronos' kingdom left Zeus with the Sky (held to be the Upper Planes by scholars), Poseidon with the Sea (Material Planes) and Hades with the Underworld (Lower Planes).
The Olympians and the Titans, myth holds, are in a constant state of conflict and often outright war. Again, scholars ascribe a subtlety behind the legends, claiming that the Titans were more primordial influences and powers, and the 'upstart' Olympians displaced them. Further, the Titans are weakened by a general lack of regard from the worshippers of the Roman aspect of the pantheon (the Numina being occasionally mentioned, but almost never worshipped as such), thereby explaining their imprisonment, weakening, and general lesser stature in the myths.