Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Personnel Files: Athena

Hephaestus has no section within this chapter of The Reaper’s Handbook, as he needs none. The entire armory of The Bureau of Death serves as his biography. As the God of The Forge, it is by his hands that the most powerful artefacts of The Hellenistic Pantheon are wrought. Yet it is not entirely accurate to say that they are of his design. For even if you can play the lute skillfully enough to make Hades himself weep, it is quite a different matter to compose a masterpiece. In much the same way, Hephaestus’s aptitude for turning ideas into reality is unparalleled, but his capacity for coming up with those ideas is limited. The task of invention falls to Athena, Goddess of wisdom, crafts, and tactical warfare. The irony of Athena’s role as Inventor of The Gods is that she herself was invented by the Gods. She is unique in all the Hellenistic Pantheon, for she was not born of natural processes, and later assigned a domain by We, The Moirai. Her domain was preordained, and it is the very reason for which she was created. In truth, Athena is a living weapon: a second God of War.

There came a time in The Divine War when it was clear to all that the contest could not be won by brute strength alone. All sides had their champions, their paragons of strength, and none could ever definitively best the others. Mighty though Zeus and Ares were, even they were matched by Thor and Odin, Take-Mikazuchi and Izanagi, Metatron and Michael, and myriad adversaries besides.  We, The Moirai, realized that a new approach to warfare was needed, and with it, a new God of War. Yet it would not do to have this new God of War be anything less than perfect. All our hopes rode with him or her, so it was decided that it would not be enough to merely bestow the title upon an existing God. Only by creating an entirely new being from scratch could we ensure its perfection. We, the Moirai, decided that the one to shift the tides of Fate in our favor must be Goddess, in every way the counterbalance to Ares, so that their combined wisdom and might could topple even the most formidable opponents. With our final reserves of Quintessence, We, The Moirai, wove a thread of immeasurable length, that even Atropos’ own shears would have difficulty severing. Her mind is sharper yet than The Grim Scythe, and her body as resilient as the very Aegis she carries. The former was accomplished in part by the unusual circumstances of her birth: she incubated within the brain of Zeus. His cerebrum was her womb, and his brain stem was her umbilical cord. The latter is the magnum opus of The Lame One. (Look, I know he isn’t the prettiest dude, but you don’t have to call him out like that –Sis) (I cannot be faulted for using his official epithet –Chloe)

The secret of her origin is secret to most, including her “Father” Zeus, her true father, Hephaestus, and even Athena herself. Zeus was tricked into believing he’d impregnated Metis, and further tricked into believing he’d swallowed her. One may wonder what Athena had to gain from the mind of one so easily deceived. But it is not wise to underestimate the mind of one who is deceptively simple. Though originally privy to his own greatest creation, Hephaestus’s knowledge was stricken from him, following an incident that deserves no further description within these pages. Athena herself is ignorant to her own nature, though she is clever enough to figure it out. Thankfully for us, she is also wise enough to know that there are things she is better off not knowing. It is for this reason that Lethe is no stranger to her, though she be a stranger to Lethe.

(This section contains the following violations: explicit names of Divine War Criminals, information that Reapers do not have clearance to access, graphic and misleading metaphorical imagery. Editor, see to it that this section is not published in this state –Atropos)

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