Campaign of the Month: February 2017
The Theoi god of messengers, thieves, and merchants
Tricky. Gray area. You can. But Fate is weird. It can get hairy. Too much too soon. All that. Ooh, sorry, bad pun. No one’s stopping you. Be careful.
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.