what are the Greek Gods in Ars Magica?

My group has begun a Saga on Crete.
In legend and Greek Myth there are many fun options to explore for potential Regios on Crete and the various Myth Stories of the "pagan gods" of the Greeks - the Olympian Pantheon! Zeus and all the gods!

My question.
How would you present these:

Greek Gods
The pagan/old gods of Greek culture... How are they represented in Ars Magica? I've not seen any suggestions in any sources. Are they of Faeire? Or are they of Divine nature? Or a combination? Or something other? If so (for any of those) how would they DIFFER from the normal? How would they interact with Magic and Magi and Men? Are there any resources for making these ideas? Any cool ideas for presenting them?

potential Regios
Locations from Myth and Greek Legend that are located on Crete, for example: Zeus was rumored to have grown as a boy in a cave on Crete. As with my question for the Greek Gods, what REALM are these sites from? Or are they a combo? If they're "in" any Realm where and how deep? How would they differ? Any resources? Etc... Any cool ideas for presenting them?

Any general advice for dealing with Greek Myth, Stories, Legends and the interactions of all of the above with Magi or mortals?

Rule of thumb on greek mythology:
Gods = Faeries (in at least one sense of the word)
Titan = Magic.

some deviations and overlaps are bound to occur.


Good to know, but...
How do you know this? Is there source that fills me in a bit more that I can reference?

And can/should their be a combination of the two Faerie/Magic Realms when it comes to the Greek Gods?
I am not yet familiar with Ars Magica rules and/or in-story possibilities. So I'm asking for what would be likely, and possible. And if there's any Ars resource talking about it or giving example of a Greek God, or Myth, or Monster, or Legend, or site (Regio). Or anything as an example to even base ideas off of as resource.


The semi-official answer is that they're Faerie, but this is qualified somewhat in that the Faerie realm deliberately apes human behaviour to acquire vitality. Therefore, the versions present in 1220 may be fairies who are mimicking beings that were originally affiliated with the Divine, Infernal or Magic realms...

I think the answer is very official as presented in TSE (The Sundered Eagle).

The issue is also addressed in the Muspelli chapter of Rival Magic albeit in relation to the Norse Gods rather than Greco-Roman deities. That being said, however, it's not made clear where the Faerie Gods came from in either Chapter. I think my hypothesis is reasonable, but the matter is one that each SG should probably address on a case-by-case basis...

Gods frequently require worshipping. That's a faerie behaviour, not a magical entity's.

It is explicitly stated in The Sundered Eagle (the tribunal book for the Tribunal of Thebes) that the 12 olympian gods are faeries. The titans are of the magical realms. If you are running a saga in crete, I'd strongly suggest buying the book, BTW.

It's effectively spelled out in RoP: M (in particular the box on p. 108).
It is spelled out in Sundered Eagle, but Noble's Parma.
It's quite clear, if not entirely spelled out in Rival Magic (RM?), p. 81

Short answer: No, entities belong one realm each.

However, there could easily be both a magic and a faerie version of the same entity - think of it as an actual entity, which has pcked up worshippers, probably by accident. Being magical, it ignores them, but a faerie jumps in and claims the name, title and plausibly actions of the magical entity.
This would also explain why so much mythology is inconsistent.

It has also been explicitly stated that some of the 'minor' deities (Helios is given as an example) are magical beings.

Not as such, though RoP: Magic deals with them to some extent as examples of spirits - I'd imagine that so does RoP: F, but I never finished reading that one.
Maybe I should.

Not quite.

See Mysteries: Revised Edition Ascent to the Halls of Heroes and Hermetic Theurgy.

Magic Daimons, who are described as being the pantheon of Magic-affiliated spirits, heroes and "gods" require sacrifice in order to grow in power.
Here the ancient pantheon is explicitly Magic, not faerie.

Also, we have to consider Verditius's forebearers in the Cults of Vulcan and Haesphestus, where enchantment magic has its origins. Clearly, these are better envisioned as being of the Magic Realm.

As a rule, beings of the Magic Realm are archetypes of a thing, somehow embodying a higher order of perfection of a principle or form. In this case, it makes perfect sense for some of the Roman Pantheon to be Daimons of Magic: Vulcan as the epitome Craftsman, Demeter as the paragon of Fertility etc....

Perhaps the gods went faye as they began to grow beyond the bounds of their archetypal natures and became warped by the stories told about them.

Perhaps this is the origin of the Sundering of the Realms.

But certainly, there's no one, clear-cut, absolute answer. Affiliations of the old gods cross the realms, sometimes explicitly Magic, sometimes explicitly faerie, sometimes both.

(Good story -- the gods of Olympus have been trapped and emprisoned and replaced by faerie imposters. Though the faye have weakened with the falling of their stories, the daimons of old remain as powerful as ever. What rewards or perils might there be for springing the ancient rulers of earth and sky from their dungeon beneath Olympus?)

Unfortunatly, as indicated, this is contradicted rather explicitly by later publication.

Indeed, too bad the mystery books are slightly at skew with the RoP series, however, as mentioned, there need not be a contradiction.

The embodyments of Greek and Roman mythology could go either way or exist in multiple version.
There's no need to ram them into a single category.

This is indeed suggested as a storyseed in RoP: M.

And there are other thing, Faeric Gods awere who controlled the powers of the Magical Gods and other beings.
The Viktir,whose Runic Magic is affiliated to Magic and the first practitioner and original master was Odin, he was a Faeric god, the First of Aesir. On Ancient Magic, Apollo was a Olympian God, faeric too, but the Hymnist that worshiped him they had magical powers. Before Christ and after,the Faeric Gods were the administers of the powers of Magical Powers.

Honestly, not to derail the thread, but it's discussions like this that reaffirm my long standing house rule that the faerie and magical realms are one and the same. In my saga, faeries are simply a specific category of magical creature and the convoluted explinations to define these realms are unnecessary.

As other posters have said, AM5 canon is pretty clear that "Gods" are Faerie, "Titans" are Magic, and the two realms fought an enormous war at some point in the distant past.

I don't find it a satisfying definition however. I prefer the version offered in older editions of Ars Magica, where the pagan gods are the source of Magic. The explanation of Faeries provided in AM5's RoP:F works ok for the creatures of "fairy tales" but fails completely to capture the essense of the beings of Greek myth.

I like these points quite a lot, and it does make for an excellent explanation of the inconsistency of myths. It would be a lot of fun to try and find the original magical beings that inspired their faerie usurpers, assuming any survived.

It makes me wonder . . .

Many mythologies have two group (represented here as the faerie Gods and the magic Titans/Jotun) and at some previous point there was a war between them. Wouldn't it be interesting if this was actually a civil conflict rather than a fight between different domains, and faerie interlopers jumped in to the roles of the fallen. For a moment the Titans/Jotuns were actually the victors, but then the Faerie appeared having stolen the image of their fallen foes and in a surprise assault imprisoned them. It seems that Faerie beings are able to more directly benefit from human worship, which could explain their rapid ascent to power, and the Magical beings were no doubt severely weakened from the civil war.

A fun thought at the very least. :slight_smile:

I don't have my copies of the sources sites earlier in the chapter in front of me... how do they handle the notion that a decent chunk of the Hermetic traditions sprang from the Cult of Mercury, which sprang from the Cult of... Thoth, was it? Is it just assumed that all of these magic-realm-gifted guys worshiped these faerie-realm-affiliated entities?

Indeed. I noticed that as well. Basically it is just like that. One of the reasons why I do not like this strong and clear cut division of the realms :frowning: In fundamental cases like this one it does not make much sense. IIRC they placed mercury as a magic creature to avoid that mess, but I can't recall exactly wehere it is or HOW it was, so I'd better not enter here.


I don't think it was every really answered, at least afaik. There's a certain amount of highly contrived explanation, like the two Grugachan gods (one Faerie, one Magic, with I think someone shifting realms if I remember right) in Hedge Magic. The old edition origin story for hermetic magic (Atlantis -> Thoth -> Mercury -> Bonisagus) is hardly mentioned in 5th edition and may not reflect current thinking. It's still to my taste though.

IIRC not all Gods are Faerie. Apollon is clearly Magic, both in Ancient Magic and TSE...