Apollo
Apollo
ApolloIcon.JPG When Apollo was born the world trembled with fear that he would overthrow his father Zeus, as Zeus had overthrown his father, and so on and so forth into infinity. But no, he made it very clear that all he wanted to do was to let mankind know about the will of his father. Nothing to fear, here! So he takes his place in the heavens, associated with the sun, but also is tied to the chthonic site of Delphi, and the Omphalos, the belly-button of the world, from which he utters things which were, and are, and are yet to be. The Pythia is the mouthpiece of Apollo at Delphi, and the closest thing the Colonies have to a single religious leader. apollo.jpg

Common History

A beardless, athletic youth, Apollo has been variously recognised as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Widely considered one of the most complex and important gods, and is the god of many things, including: music, poetry, art, oracles, archery, plague, medicine, sun, light and knowledge. Both medicine and healing are associated with Apollo and were thought to sometimes be mediated through his son, Asclepius. However, Apollo could also bring ill-health and deadly plague. He also became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. He was the leader of the Muses, functioning as the patron god of music and poetry. The god Hermes created the lyre for Apollo and this instrument became a known attribute for him. When hymns were sung to Apollo they were called paeans.

Related Colony

Caprica - While not the only Oracle site in the Twelve Colonies, Delphi is certainly the most celebrated and reveered. It's location on the peaceful Ionian Islands allowed to to become both relgious temple and retreat, where the powerful and the pious could mingle. As such the proclaimations from the Oracle would go a long way to shaping the will of the people, and it is no mystery why Caprians adopted Apollo as their patron. His presense is in everything they do, and if he happens to be a 'perfect kouros', then that just plays nicely into the colony's long held superiority complex.

Common Rituals

Armilustrium: Shared with Ares, Artemis, and Athena, this holiday is a blatant celebration of war and warriors in all forms. The festival is a week-long affair that occurs in mid-July, with commemorations centered primarily on Picon, the home of the Colonial Fleet. There is a seemingly endless parade of the best and the brightest among the Fleet, including almost all of its display units. Drill teams, demo units, and formation flights are staples of the day, as are expos of both the latest and the most historically significant military gear. (This also serves as something of a recruitment drive, as well, and allows the tax-payers to see exactly where their money is being spent.)

The highlight of the event is the formation flyover by the Colonial Knights, weaving colored streams of smoke through the air. This serves as the commencement of Armilustrium Games, in which athletes from both branches of the Colonial Fleet and the police forces of all the Colonial worlds compete. These games are dedicated solely to the military arts — fencing, wrestling, archery, etc. Those who triumph can expect their names to go down in history — and to have their images splashed across cornflakes boxes all over the star system.

Cults and Sects

The Orders - Among them many cults and sects dedicated to Apollo were the Doric order, Ionic order and much later the Corinthian order. These cults or sects evolved around architecture and mathematics. As issues and conflicts arose, patrons of some orders would migrate or defect to other orders. In the end the previous two orders more or less vanished leaving only the Corinthian order in later times. Functioning part as religious group, part social club for the well educated, these orders were often seen as elitist by those not able to participate, and it's a fairly even split between those who see them as centres of learning, and those more inclined to think on them as centres of snobbery.

Arrows of Apollo - taking their name from one of their God's favourate weapons, the Arrows dedicate themselves to his worship in and around oracle sites. Their main base is at Delphi, but anywhere there's an Oracle, even if it's not one of Apollo's, you'll likely find an Arrow or several. They guard pilgrims, and temples in these locations during peak times such as festivals, although they have no direct sanction from The Temples directly. Not quite vigilanties, but certainly dedicated to their cause they'll give directions, help reunite lost children with their familes, and (if they can get away with it) break the hands of thieves and otherwise discourage behaviour unfitting for such holy sites.

Hymn

Blest Pæan, come, propitious to my pray'r,
Illustrious pow'r, whom Memphian tribes revere,
Slayer of Tityus, and the God of health,
Lycorian Phœbus, fruitful source of wealth.
Spermatic, golden-lyr'd, the field from thee 5
Receives it's constant, rich fertility.
Titanic, Grunian, Smynthian, thee I sing,
Python-destroying, hallow'd, Delphian king:
Rural, light-bearer, and the Muse's head,
Noble and lovely, arm'd with arrows dread: 10
Far-darting, Bacchian, two-fold, and divine,
Pow'r far diffused, and course oblique is thine.
O, Delian king, whose light-producing eye
Views all within, and all beneath the sky:
Whose locks are gold, whose oracles are sure, 15
Who, omens good reveal'st, and precepts pure:
Hear me entreating for the human kind,
Hear, and be present with benignant mind;
For thou survey'st this boundless Æther all,
And ev'ry part of this terrestrial ball. 20
Abundant, blessed; and thy piercing sight,
Extends beneath the gloomy, silent night;
Beyond the darkness, starry-ey'd, profound,
The stable roots, deep fix'd by thee are found.
The world's wide bounds, all-flourishing are thine, 25
Thyself all the source and end divine:
'Tis thine all Nature's music to inspire,
With various-sounding, harmonising lyre;
Now the last string thou tun'st to sweet accord,
Divinely warbling now the highest chord; 30
Th' immortal golden lyre, now touch'd by thee,
Responsive yields a Dorian melody.
All Nature's tribes to thee their diff'rence owe,
And changing seasons from thy music flow:
Hence, mix'd by thee in equal parts, advance 35
Summer and Winter in alternate dance;
This claims the highest, that the lowest string,
The Dorian measure tunes the lovely spring.
Hence by mankind, Pan-royal, two-horn'd nam'd,
Emitting whistling winds thro' Syrinx fam'd; 40
Since to thy care, the figur'd seal's consign'd,
Which stamps the world with forms of ev'ry kind.
Hear me, blest pow'r, and in these rites rejoice,
And save thy mystics with a suppliant voice.

Characters with this Patron

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