The Island of Delos

For those of you without the Sundered Eagle, the island of Delos is a floating island in the Tribunal of Thebes that serves as the tribunal site, where magi dump vis into a lake as a means to feed the sponsor spirits of their respective covenants. Zeus has forbidden births and deaths there and everything suffers from feelings of restlessness, so nobody stays for long. It has a mostly Magical Aura throughout and houses the tribunal's treasury and is guarded by Magical Nymphs.

Mythologically, the island is actually the transformed state of the titaness Asteria. She was fleeing Olympus from Zeus (she sided with the gods during the Titanomachia), flying down in the shape of a quail, tried to hide in the Aegean sea, got chased by Poseidon, and then turned herself into an island to escape him. Later her sister Leto, who was less successful in escaping Zeus, was being hounded by Hera, who forbade anyone from sheltering her, but Asteria ignored Hera and Leto gave birth to Artemis, then Apollo, on Delos. As a result of the twin's births some pillars grew to anchor the island (in The Shattered Eagle, these pillars have crumbled and Delos is free to roam again). Delos was then an important center of the worship of all 4 gods.

Note that Hera basically forgave Asteria for doing this on account of the fact that she refused Zeus's advances in the past, proving that Hera was willing to let some things slide if you didn't sleep with her husband when you got the chance.

Okay, so on to the mechanics. What is Delos? I can see several options:

1.) Straight up Aspect of the Titaness Asteria. Which would mean the island has Might and powers. But the tribunal has been using the island for centuries and you think they would have noticed that. Delos was a barren floating island for some time, however, so maybe the soil that's built up isn't part of the island's Might and thus magi would be less likely to notice (i.e. it's just the underlying rock that's the Aspect).
2.) Island created by Asteria to hide from Poseidon. Pretty straightforward, but seemingly outside her purview - but then turning into an island also seems to be outside her purview, so either way makes equal sense.
3.) Star pulled from the heavens for Asteria to hide on. This would be more in keeping with her powers, as she's the Titaness of Shooting Stars. It might also explain why it floats, being a rather unearthly chunk of rock and why it's got a big honking Magical Aura that causes restlessness.

The reason I'm asking is I'm noodling with the idea of a Mystery cult descended from the Delian priesthoods (probably Leto and Asteria based, given how Artemis and Apollo's priests probably fled to Hyperborea) and what Delos actually is sort of relevant to any cult centered around the island. So opinions and ideas are welcome!

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According to Hesiod, Asteria is - by Perses - the mother of Hekate. That should make her interesting for magi.

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Yes, I left that part out simply because Hekate wasn't really considered part of the Delian gods, though she's arguably quite relevant to Hermetic Magi.

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I don't know a lot about this, but please keep posting your ideas and what you do. :smiley:

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Well, Merinita was a priestess of Diana - therefore Artemis, and her lineage probably descends from Delian origins, though probably centuries back, as Diana had temples all over the Roman world. This is a strong reason for the Delian Cult to have Nature Lore, especially when you consider that Island Lore would allow the cult to directly commune with Asteria, as she is certainly the guardian spirit of the island, whether or not the island is actually an Aspect of hers.

The next initiation would probably be Divination and Augury using Astrology. That only makes sense as Asteria was the titaness of Nighttime Oracles, though she was also associated with Dream Interpretation so that's probably another initiation. Three initiations is probably enough for a small cult. Flaws are probably Visions and some sort of Vow or Dutybound involving Delos and/or the Sybils, whom Asteria protects.

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Did you ever come up with an answer to this? I'd be interested both in your view on Delos, and details on the mystery cult you built, if you made it, since my game is in the Theban Tribunal.

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I didn't do much more on the subject; a bit of background for the cult, but it's on a disconnected/shelved PC at the moment, as the end of service for Windows 7 forced me to upgrade to a new machine.

If Delos was an aspect of Asteria, I think the Order would have noticed, and the Delian nymphs certainly should know the truth. So I think it's far more likely that the Island was created whole cloth by Asteria, but the most interesting option would be that Delos is actually a shooting star pulled from the heavens by Asteria.

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If the island was originally a shooting star (either a meteorite or a comet), then you could have small hidden caves or hollows on it that are still considered part of the lunar sphere for magical purposes, putting them beyond hermetic magical effects. These places may be considered sacred by the cult and kept from the uninitiated.

Even if you don't like the Dies Irae scenario, it adds flavour. I also prefer the idea that the Magic Realm doesn't expand when magi develop a new Form, (something I have seen suggested somewhere when others were discussing new Arts) Rather the Order can suddenly notice the boundaries of the Realm that were governed by the new Art. So an Aether-Might Titan makes sense to me.

On the other hand, the Hyborean Nymphs could actually know how to perform initiations for Hyborean magics (see Ancient Magic) and the cult could be a screening process to identify worthy Gifted. This could be a corruption of the cult's original purpose, or not as required. Or, this could be connected to the Makhai (see Rival Magic, pg 81) with Divination as one of Asteria's favoured Supernatural abilities; without any Gifted initiates, this could be what remains of her followers.

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