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Basic Information

Apollo is one of the sun-gods of Greek Mythology (he shares this duty with Helios and the titan Hyperion). Appropriately enough, one of his titles (or epithets at least) was Phoebus - "he who shines".

Apollo is god of Archery, Healing, the Laurel Tree, Light, the Lyre, Medicine, Music, Poetry, Prophecy, Purification and Truth. He drives a golden chariot that is actually the sun. Despite being a god of healing, he was also the god that sent madness1, plagues and miasmas. Apollo was an athlete, and winners of important athletics competitions would be crowned with the leaves of the laurel tree in his honor.

Apollo is the twin brother of Artemis. He's the son of Zeus and Leto and the grandson of Phoebe (from whom, presumably, he might be thought to have inherited part of the mantle of prophecy and oracular wisdom).

Apollo's mortal servants included prophets (such as the Pythia of the Oracle at Delphi, and the Sibyls), and special priests who had the right to pardon and cleanse murderers.


1. Non-Fiction Book: Mythology for Dummies by Blackwell and Blackwell

Game and Story Use

  • The PC's city is suffering from a great plague. The oracles say Apollo is displeased, because of a great murder that has happened there, and sent this miasma to punish the city. If the PCs can discover and apprehend the killer, the city will be spared, purified, and pardoned.
    • So of course the killer is someone powerful that it won't be easy for the PCs to expose or accuse. If it wasn't someone important, Apollo wouldn't punish the whole city, would he?
    • This is where the two sided nature of a lot of ancient gods and goddesses becomes blatant: Apollo the healer is also Apollo of the locusts, sender of plague and disease; Apollo the master of the muses is also Apollo of the torments … divine benevolence is not a big thing in classical religion. The gods are what they are and mankind must learn to live with it - Apollo may be furious at the act of a non-entity and concerned only with the magnitude of the crime (and recall that he skinned a satyr alive for nearly beating him in a music contest … after making sure that he won with a last minute rules change).
  • Two sun gods for the Greeks? The GM should decide if this means anything, or has any effects on the game mechanics. Do Apollo and Helios work together, compete, or contemptuously despise one another? Does this make light-based spells easier or harder to cast? Do they share a single sun-chariot, or is it possible for two suns to be in the sky at once?
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