The Immortal Game
MERCURY, TURMS, Keeper of the Flocks, Ram Bearer, of the Market Place, Of Crafts, Three-headed One, Slayer of Argos, The Messenger of the Gods,Slayer of Oxen, Giver of Joy and Good Things, The Guide
Epic Dexterity, Epic Intelligence, Epic Wits, Arete, Magic, Psychopomp
Athletics, Awareness, Larceny, Occult, Stealth, Survival
Lithe, tanned, dark-haired Hermes is the swift-footed messenger of the Gods. He has gone everywhere and done everything. A master trickster and illusionist, he tricked Apollo out of his cows and paid him back with music from a harp made from the cow-guts. He stole his magic from Hera, wealth from Pluto, and his traveler’s wits from Artemis. The other Gods are not always fond of him, but they can’t deny he has a certain playful usefulness. Hermes more often plays tricks on Titans and titanspawn than on his fellow Gods, and that makes him useful.
In modern life, Hermes has been an upstart head of a computer start-up, a three-card Monte con man, a bicycle messenger, an M&A lawyer and the man who sold the Eiffel Tower—twice. The herald of the Gods also makes a good diplomat and trouble-shooter, both for Gods and mortals, and he enjoys making deals that leave everyone but the Titans happy. As a God of merchants and travelers—concepts unfamiliar or even alien to the Titans—Hermes loves the mortal World and travels in it far more often than the other Gods do. He serves as the principal agent of the Dodekatheon in delivering Birthrights and is often a Scion’s first contact with the divine hierarchy.
Hermes’ Scions are often impressed into similar roles. In a world where communications are frequently intercepted, mouth to ear becomes the safest form of information dissemination. Therefore, the children of Hermes risk life and limb to become couriers and spies for their aunts and uncles among the Gods. Not accidentally do the Scions of Hermes also run life insurance services for the God-born. They are well aware of the risks of being a Scion in the first place.The most multi-faceted of the Olympians fills many roles; he is the psychopomp who guides the dead to the underworld, as well as being the messenger who bears all the gods’ missives as quick as the wind. He is the patron god of commerce, trade, and haggling, and, perhaps ironically, also the patron god of thieves and liars, well-known for his sly humor and quick fingers. He protects shepherds and orators alike, known to enjoy the countryside but to enjoy a battle of wits even more, and is the god of boundaries and travel, a true mover between the realms and a trickster who is nevertheless necessary to the smooth running and peace of Olympus.
Hermes and Apollo
The first day after his birth, the infant Hermes crawled away from his mother to a nearby mountain, where he found a herd of the finest cattle in existence. Quickly, he rounded them up and hid them in a cave; when Apollo, the owner of the cattle, found them gone the next morning, he accused the young god of their theft. Though Hermes’ mother tried to protect him by claiming he had been with her the whole night, Zeus agreed that Hermes was the thief and ordered him to return the beasts to Apollo. Hermes, seeing that the sun god was growing angrier with every passing minute, contrived to gently strum the strings of his lyre while they argued; when Apollo heard this wondrous new instrument, he was so enchanted that he offered instead to let Hermes keep the cattle if he would give the lyre to Apollo. They agreed, and Apollo received the first lyre, which he used to make the most beautiful music the gods had ever heard.
Hermes and Pan
Hermes begot Pan with the nymph Dryope, but when he was born he was so frightening looking with his goat-horns and shaggy fur that she ran, afraid. Pan grew up in the wilderness, constantly shunned for his looks; in particular, he loved the nymph Echo, an attendant of Hera, but she fled from him whenever he tried to woo her. When Hermes saw that his son was so lonely, he taught him the art of masturbation so that he would never feel the want of companionship. Pan, not satisfied with being the sole possessor of this secret, in turn taught it to mankind, who loved him henceforth.
Hermes and Aglaurus
Hermes fell in love with a beautiful priestess of Athena named Herse; however, her older sister Aglaurus was jealous and wanted the god’s love for herself, and attempted to keep the two apart. Hermes turned her to stone, and then impregnated her statue as revenge, so that she should bear his child but never feel the warmth of his love.
Hermes and Apollo
Apollo is the God of Arts and Music, yet he is not the one who invented his trademark instrument. Hermes did that for him. After completing his new ritual, infant Hermes headed back home where he stumbled upon a tortoise shell which he took home. He then took leather strips from his brother’s herd animals and strung the tortoise shell and created the lyre. He was playing it when his big brother found him and became incredibly angry when he realized what the instrument was strung with. Realizing that there would not be a common ground, Zeus stepped in and ordered Hermes to give the lyre to Apollo to make amends. Realizing that Hermes invented stuff to do when left to his own devices, Zeus made Hermes the god of trade and commerce, which took up almost all of his time. Adding to his workload, Zeus also made Hermes the Messenger God, which he is most famous for.