Profiles in Heroism 5#: Athena
Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, is a woman that has always struggled between her divine nature and her desire to help mortals. The daughter of Metis and Zeus, she was born from an act of violence that has always separated her from her father. In Ancient Greece, there was never any question that she might eventually inherit the throne. As time passed, now Athena has come to worry that her father may fear her attempting a coup. As he presses his tests upon her and humanity to prevent such an occurrence, she is starting to wonder if she should.
As a being who is older than modern civilization, Athena has a different perspective from most mortals on the planet. She has no fear of death nor does she place much value on things like nationalism or race. For a woman worshiped as a goddess, she cares little about creed and considers any act of goodness to be something that is done in her name. This has, nevertheless, made her deeply unpopular with the religious segments of the world who view her claim to be a goddess to be offensive. In fact, she knew Rabbi Joshua Ben Joseph and largely approved of his message. It's some of his sucessors that she's disagreed with.
Ultimately, it was her brother Ares that compelled her to take human form in order to do battle with his forces. His contempt and outright defiance of the other gods leaving humantiy to their own devices was nothing new. What was different was that humanity would soon discover atomic power and biological warfare, weapons that would allow them to totally destroy themselves. This was something Athena was sworn to prevent and she became a human being to do battle with Ares. Otherwise, Zeus would limit the amount of action she could take. As a parting gift; her fellow gods gave her gifts that would allow her to match the mightiest mortals in power.
Zeus has since modified the terms of his agreement with her. Athena has been given back some small fraction of her original power and is roughly the equivalent of a Demigod. Still far weaker than what was once the strongest of the Olympians after Zeus, it is frustrating that Athena has still defeated many full blooded gods in her reduced state. Zeus is reluctant to allow her back the full measure of her power because she would undoubtedly be strong enough to defeat him. If this means risking the entire world of mortals, so be it.
In the meantime, the Goddess of Wisdom uses her great knowledge to bless mortals with understanding and patience. Athena has served as a Ambassador from the United Nations to war torn countries and also as an adviser to countries undergoing severe strife. She cannot make people take her advice but has resolved many terrible disputes that lead to atrocities in our world.
If Athena has one flaw, it's the fact she *IS* a goddess and expects to be treated that way. She does not ask to be worshiped and is able to get along with religious super heroes of other denominations but blatant disrespect will arouse the fury of Zeus' Daughter.
Los Dios: Athena lives in Los Dios, alongside Ymir and is the city's other major super heroine. Athena does not get to spend much time patrolling her city but is always there when it needs her. They've already built her a statue outside of Valleywood and are even considering a new acropolis for her. Athena loves the adoration but still has a special place in her heart for Athens (that she saves whenever it has any supervillain trouble).
Warren Trevor: A Foundation for World Harmony pilot. He is Athena's former boyfriend and lover, when she maintained a mortal identity. While he still carries a torch for her, they broke up with the revelation of who she was. Warren would still die for her and pilots her around in their stealth plane whenever she needs to go someplace that the Patriots teleporting her would seem unseemly.
Aegis Girl: Lisa Trevor is the kid sister of Warren Trevor and was empowered by Ares with a portion of his divine essence to force Athena to kill her. Lisa, instead, broke free of Ares' influence and turned against him. Now Athena's new kid sidekick, she is a bright spot in Athena's life and a passionate enemy of Ares.
She hasn't taken to full time super heroing but its only a matter of time.
The Pallas Charity: A Charity devoted to finding wise solutions to world problems of disease, domestic violence, land mine proliferation, and so on. The Pallas Charity is filled with intelligent and loving types that are drawn to Athena's charisma. It has frequently been targetted by super villains and religious fundamentalists for the charges of promoting paganism.
Angel Girl: Tends to think of Athena as a second mother. Athena was to give her away at her wedding to Alex. The rather disastrous wedding day that never occurred, is something Athena wished that the pair could have gotten over. Still, Athena dotes upon Angel Girl and is there to provide female advice to her whenever it is not possible.
The fact that Angel Girl is now Jewish doesn't seem to really register with either of them as a matter of dispute (mostly because the Mithran have always known that the Cosmic Eternals are servants of the Hidden Light).
Ashley Morgan: Grew up in the Silver Age with numerous comic loving brothers, so she's perfectly accepting of Athena as a goddess. It's just one of the other whacky things expected of this team. Athena appreciates that and treats the Deadly Naga as a full member of the team. It's something she appreciates greatly.
Black Wing I: George Timons and Athena were lovers for a time, something that would have shocked many Greeks of Athens. George still considers her one of the great loves of his life but was unable to reconcile himself to the fact that he would age and she would not. Athena still visits him and has conversations with the old man. Privately, she hopes to reconcile him with his son.
Black Wing II: Athena personally believes that the Moriarty bloodline must be extremely close to that of Odysseus (in fact; there is a distant blood kinship). She recognizes most of the major qualities of intelligence, leadership, and self-satisfied smugness inside him that was in her "favorite" mortal. Athena has thus been the most willing to accept Black Wing II as a full member of the Patriots. Alex, on the other hand, tends to become tongue tied and extremely differential around her. He's never quite stopped viewing her as the "Mom" of the team.
Dawn Wing II: She and he haven't interacted much. Bluntly, Brick puts her on the same pedestal as all the other "A-list" heroes. A list that includes her, Divinos, and the original Black Wing. If he's being generous, he'll include his mentor. To be blunt, he's a bit in awe of her.
Divinos: Athena and Divinos seem matched in every respect. She adores him, he adores her. If there is any man fit to be the husband of a goddess, it is undoubtedly the man closest to the Angels. Unfortunately, Athena has precious little tolerance for Divinos' brooding and he certainly enjoys doing that a great deal. It has stalled their relationship to a great amount. Privately, Divinos still views himself as a "normal" guardsman and the idea of wedding a Cosmic Eternal is overwhelming to him.
Splotch: Splotch still recalls his first visit to Olympus. "Hold on, you're actually THE Athena. Like, really really, the REAL Athena?" He's still in awe of her and treats her differently than he did before, something she rather regrets. Still, Athena dotes upon Splotch and treats any serious attack against him personally.
Steel Commando III: Athena and John Shepherd don't get along very well. Fundamentally, he tends to mentally file her under the label of "Alien" and gets annoyed when she corrects him that she is a goddess. He's fundamentally too grounded in the 'real world' to view her in the fantastic terms that Black Wing II can (ironically; Black Wing II and Splotch are the only religious members of the team). Still, he's been humiliated enough times in battle to take her leadership and advice seriously.
Ymir: Athena is a friend to the Asgard but, honestly, can't help but favor Ymir. Unlike what one would suspect, she doesn't believe he's a god (but senses something has changed within him-unaware of Idun's Golden Apples). Instead, she tends to view him as one of the myriad mortal heroes of legend who struggled against the gods like Sigmund. Athena would personally love to remove Ymir from the toxic influence of Loge and reconcile him with the Asgard.
She suspects that's about as likely as herself reconciling with Ares.
Ares: The Lord of War has changed a great deal since Greek times. He changed his attitude a great deal in Ancient Rome and is now the suave, calculating, brutal Lord of Arms and Destruction that people remember him as. A bit like Vandal Savage, Ares doesn't particularly care about the Illuminati or massive corporation he's founded. Instead, it's important for him to keep the pot stirring of conflict and bloodshed since that feeds his power. As powerful as Zeus is, Ares is remembered better and being a supervillain just adds to it. He's not powerful enough to seize Olympus....yet. Athena has defeated him enough times to do so, but he's coming close.
Time isssssss on my side. Yes, it is. Timmeeeee isssss on my side.
The Dark Undermaster: The Dark Undermaster is actually a Ymir villain rather than a Athena villain, but he's faced against the Gray Eyed Pallas on enough occasions to be counted in her Rogue's Gallery as well. Science Fiction/Fantasy author Robert Kingsley was given the Rhinegold as a gift from Morgana Le Fey and this bestowed upon him nearly unlimited supernatural powers. Now ruler of nearly half of Otherworld, the Dark Undermaster routinely tries to ensnare the citizens of Los Dios in his fantasies.
Athena still bears a grudge for his attempts to make her his bride, though the whole thing came off like a weird courting than anything else. Athena takes Kingsley more seriously than most since the Rhinegold bestows him power nearly equal to a Gods and mysteriously returns to him even when its seized. The Dark Undermaster is a fairly stereotypical Dark Lord figure with hordes of undead, Redcaps (Orcs), and Dragons under his command.
Eriynes: The Furies have a serious issue with Athena, primarily for the crime of Patricide. Which, she hasn't comitted yet. Athena routinely finds herself confronted by the beautiful winged tormentors who genuinely love inflicting pain and misery on pretty much everyone they can lay their hands on. Athena, unlike the other gods, has stood up to them and driven them back several times against unjust punishments. This only increases their utter disgust and distaste for her.
Hecate: Athena's adopted daughter. She attempted to keep her from the toxic influence of Ares. Unfortunately, this lie destroyed the trust between them when it came out. Athena feels every ounce of pain that her daughter does but all attempts to speak with her have resulted in violence. Athena would do anything to save her, even submit to her brother.
Louhi: The beautiful, sensual, and mysterious Finnish Goddess of Pain's mortal incarnation. Louhi used to appear often as an old Crone but has traded up repeatedly. Louhi is the enemy of both Ymir as well as Athena but tends to be almost playfully flirtacious with the former while she desires nothing more to humiliate then destroy Athena. Louhi taught Hecate her dark magics and has tried several times to do things like destroy the Sun (and place her own Dark Shadowy orb in its place). This is believed to be the revenge of herself against Helios and Apollo for an ancient snub.
Phantasm: The Greek God of Dreams, Morpheus, Phantasm hates Athena for reasons that are somewhat unclear but seem to be related to the fact that he is just following orders from Zeus to test her and inhibit her whenever possible. Morpheus sends all manner of nightmarish beasts into the mortal world and frequently attacks her insecurities. Athena has outright KILLED Phantasm on several occasions but like the Fates, there's really no way to kill Phantasm since he's truly immortal as long as Dreams exist.
Thanatos: The Greek God of the Dead is better known by many as the Grim Reaper. He is a half-Cosmic Eternal and half-Entropic Master. One of a little known triumvirate of Greek Deities in Hades, himself, and Charon; Thanatos is the most malevolent of them by fire. Thanatos is just plainly evil and sends huge amounts of the undead and similiar horrors onto mankind in hopes of destroying them. Oddly, this isn't entirely his own doing, Thanatos was long ago enslaved by Orkus and is widely viewed as his catspaw in many things. Though Thanatos desires some way to overthrow his true master.
Toldaz the Destroyer: The Entropic Master known as Typhon. Toldaz basically just appears, smashes stuff, and then something eventually banishes him. Athena is desperate to discover some way to destroy the creature permanently but it seems to draw power from Gaia herself. Something that confuses and frustrates Athena.
Last edited by Charles Phipps
on Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:01 am, edited 2 times in total.