re: tartarus

Tartarus- it was the prison the titans used for the monsters which came before them, it is the prison the Gods of Greece use for the titan, and in Christianity it is either where fallen angels are imprisoned or where some of the fallen angels are imprisoned. So where is it? What is it? Faerie, magic, infernal?

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I would assume all three if not more- that multiple regiones of every realm exist where a being or beings are imprisoned, that some of those are known as Tartarus, that some of the imprisoned beings are titans, fallen angels, and/or primordial monsters, and that all of these categories overlap to varying degrees. TSE and Mythic Places (and probably other books, but Serf's Parma on which) both mention places where specific, individual Titans are imprisoned- notably, multiple different places.

On the other hand, I rather doubt there's a single Tartarus where all the monsters or all the titans are imprisoned. If there is, it's probably a Faerie one, with all the roles being played by various faeries and no genuine titans or primordial monsters (either of which would be beings of Magic) at all.


Well, it does tie in to the question of the titanomachy- namely how and where are the titans imprisoned, and what does that mean if titans are Daimons?

How about this? The magical prison holding the Titans is nothing more than the twilight void, which keeps its inhabitants (all of which are Daimons) unable to leave except by sending an Aspect.


Perhaps the Titanomachy was the sundering of the Realm of Myth into the Realms of Magic and Faerie?


Neither of those really fits the canon or mythology in any way. I mean the Greek titanomachy was an intergenerational revolution with a literal imprisonment into the same prison as the hundred handed ones had been confined to previously, and certainly the idea of the twilight realm as tartarus fails when you include Luke's writings that fallen angels are in Tartarus... I mean either of them could work for a given saga if you are willing to hand wave or throw out an awful lot, but I'm looking for something that can incorporate the totality, not throw out most of it.

I don't think you will be able to incorporate everything, while keeping in line with Ars Magicka canon because of the mishmash of realms and mythologies involved. There's a lot to put in - Tartarus is technically is a primordial deity, which makes Tartarus by RoP:M canon a Protogonoi of the underworld with Vim might. It is also a realm, like Hades. I really can't imagine Tartarus being, by those definition, anything but a province or portion of a province of the Magic Realm, incidentally because I don't think a might 75-100 entity can be anywhere but in the magic realm without losing its very essence.

It's also a place that symbolises unique punishments. By that definition, it could very well be a binding technique, or a place that is constantly morphing to accomodate new prisoners. And there's all sorts of mythos, some of which places souls awaiting to be purified in Tartarus, rather than just the eternally condemned or the former titans. This makes it very close in concept to purgatory, albeit a pagan version of it. But of course, when preeching to the greeks, the name Tartarus may have come down as a useful word to name a place that is close to in concept to a place they've known through their own myths. Christiniaty has constantly recouped ancient words and myths to make their teachings more understandable.

If you're looking to incorporate the totality, because somebody said something in the preeching which today is understood as a footnote or pseudoepigrapha, then you may end up with something like archangel Uriel guarding a prison of the Magic Realm, where the prisoners may be titans, humans, or fallen angels, and maybe the titans were the fallen angels described in the jewish bible all along and the faeries were just god's pawn in overthrowing them, and that place may also be a gateway to actual hell, and perhaps god was having pagan souls go through his purgatory all along. Whether you think that mishmash of realms makes sense is up to you. I tend to prefer to think that Christian theology makes sense as applied to the Dominion and Hell, while the Magic and Faerie realms should be seen on another axis by looking at pagan myths from a more unified perspective (on the magic side), and not through the prism of missionaries looking to recoup ancient pagan tales to spread christianity, although yes, Ars Magicka has a fair bit of stuff where the missionaries were right after all. Personally, I'm not so keen on Herakles being a local version of Samson.


Admittedly the Christian aspect is the most troublesome, the main issue I see is that it is holding magical beings (titans/Daimons) which cannot exist in an insulae except as aspects, but which are somehow bound to faeries to empower the faerie gods. I can wrap my head around the entity/insulae concept rather easily- a sentient insulae must inherently exist in the twilight realm. Binding daimons inside of it to faeries is the mechanism that is really twisting my mind.

There's a few elements about it in sundered eagles:

  • Hades, as god of the underworld, is believed to have power over the prison of the titans;
  • Hedyosmos has a labyrinth which is believed to lead to the prisons of the titans in the underworld;
  • Minthe, a magical daimon and lover of Hades, guards the entrance to that portal to Tartaros;
  • Tartaros is where Typhon was bound, incidentally, volcanoes were believed to be connected to him, the underwater one at the bay of Thera may be a portal to Tartaros;
  • I like this part: "Having secured three victories over the progeny of Earth, the gods now reigned supreme. By overthrowing the titans and imprisoning them in the Underworld (that is, the Magic Realm), the gods usurped their power. The titans still represent the primal forces of the universe, but they do so at the behest of the gods." Drawing on what is written about the the prison of Klymene, which is not about Tartaros, but could be an inspiration for how to gain power from binding a titan. If it can fuel hermetic rituals, perhaps the faerie gods can also use the bindings on other titan to fuel the costs of activating ritual powers and other effects that would otherwise deplete their might score. The faerie gods who bound the titan probably know how much power they can tap before there is a risk of release.
  • Kampe as the embodiment of the chains of Tartaros.

Perhaps the victory is fundamentally about the nature of the realms. Before the victory, the titans could walk the earth. Magic doesn't act to shape the world anymore, unlike the faeries who are fighting for vitality and influencing the mortals, before the Divine took over. Magic is a passive tool to be used, nothing more. It lost, therefore the only thing the Daimons can do is hope to be summoned. Perhaps imprisoning the gods is what, as psybord said, actually sundered Magic and Faerie into two realms, and by virtue of the faerie's victory, Arcadia can channel power from the Magic Realm's imprisoned Daimons - this much is hinted on p. 124 which discusses the titanomachy. Perhaps the same principle can be applied to Arcadia by the Dominion, and the casting down of oracles and the silencing of the gods by God. From a non-monotheist perspective, I could see the faeries sundering Arcadia away from the Magic Realm, thus gaining control over it and creating their Realm, before God did the same to Arcadia, creating the Dominion by becoming more powerful than any other Faerie by refusing that worship could be shared among many. A monotheist would explain things differently, from the start of biblical creation, of course. Tartaros may be a place, but perhaps the bindings you're looking for is done in the metaphysical relationship between the realms, and at the functioning of the realms themselves. Perhaps the binding is also what weakens a being's magic might when it exists outside an aura - something no faerie has to worry about, provided there is still a source of vitality. The more powerful a magical being is, the less useful they actually are, hidden in their remote lair, impossible to call...


I like the explanation, aside from the fact that it is in nearly direct opposition to the canon references which describe tartarus as an actual place guarded by faerie gods. Though I suppose Tartarus could be a faerie manifestation of the allegorical story humans have told- or tartarus could be part of some older realm or pocket of something outside the normal realms... where perhaps the daimons are bound by inscriptions of their true names upon the rocks of tartarus...

Where is that Kampe reference?


There can be more than one place that is called "Tartarus". They don't all have to be the same place.

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Main book? page references without books is like a street address without knowing the city.

You asked him which page it was on for a reference from Sundered Eagle.


I asked where it was, i did not know it was the sundered eagle.

I like the idea that the titans are imprisoned in the Twilight Void in the Magic Realm, and that no time passes for them, literally, so that's why they cannot "escape" their prison. Time can only pass for them by contact with the mundane realm, i.e. by extending their Presence onto the mundane world. It is this Presence that the Faerie Gods stole from them in the Titanomachia and its aftermath, by breaking it up to lesser Genii Loci/Nature Spirits and usurping these into Faerie auras. Through their emissaries, such as the Muspelli, the titans can stirr into slumber, experiencing shards of consciousness and time. And gradually, as the old Faerie forests and holy places lose their auras and the spirits of Magic re-assert themselves and unite into greater spirits, the old titans can awaken again.

Inspired partly by Heprion, by John Keats:

Deep in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve's one star,
Sat gray-hair'd Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair;
Forest on forest hung about his head
Like cloud on cloud.
No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer's day
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass,
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.

A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
By reason of his fallen divinity
Spreading a shade: the Naiad 'mid her reeds
Press'd her cold finger closer to her lips.
Along the margin-sand large foot-marks went,
No further than to where his feet had stray'd,
And slept there since. Upon the sodden ground
His old right hand lay nerveless, listless, dead,
Unsceptred; and his realmless eyes were closed;
While his bow'd head seem'd list'ning to the Earth,

It seem'd no force could wake him from his place ...


I too am planning a Thebes based game where the titans will feature. I am still undecided how I will portray tartarus, but I like the idea that the bound titans are both still on earth AND bound in Tartarus. But the very nature of their binding in Tartarus makes them powerless on earth unless that power is summoned FROM Tartarus, as a daimonic aspect for instance. That way I can have Typhon causing volcanoes at it thrashes unconsciously at its bounds and mountain ranges being the debris left over from when the gods cast the titans down.
The faerie gods of Olympus have weakened due to the dominion and their control over Tartarus and the Titans bindings has weakened. Now some of the titans stretch at their bindings, various weaker monsters of Tartarus slip through the prisons metaphorical walls and act as warnings to the PCs that all is not well in Tartarus.
Eventually of course I might just unleash something like Typhon to ravage the world. Zeus shows up to battle it again and, weakened as he is, this time he gets curb stomped. Its up to the PCs to bind Typhon again the save the world.
Maybe they can find a new equilibrium where the titans are still restrained and the bindings of Tartarus are restored.
I like the idea of Tartarus being unknowable to mortal minds. It remains a Magic aligned prison, a faerie aligned god and a metaphor for the bindings that restrain the power of the titans while their bodies slumber of earth.


In my game the Titans are active and aware in the Magic Realm. The thing stopping them from emerging is that the ancient gods of Faerie bound them in such a way that escape requires that they travel through Arcadia. As inhuman beings of vast outlook, the Titans are unable to navigate any story to satisfaction and are driven back into the Magic Realm.

One tried and got stuck, which discouraged the others.

The faerie gods of old stole several powers from the Titans, as well, to shore up their own strength. Many of these still exist as either parts of ancient panoplies or in the hands of the remnants of faerie gods.

In my saga, Tartarus is a place in Faerie. It acts in accordance to the beliefs about it and contains many faerie acting out the roles of those punished by the gods. It also once contained one Titan, but no longer.