" Now then.. Most of you already know 𝑚𝑦 story..
But for the sake of the few witless mamals in attendance who do not, I shall astonish you with my biography. Please, hold your applause until the end. Now, in the beginning of the beginning, there was a great cosmic egg-- and this is way too far back to begin our little adventure together! However interesting your reptilian precursors were before we destroyed them. "
" About.. 5 300 years ago, give or take a few hundred years in either direction; Maia, the eldest of the Pleiades, lover of Zeus, goddess, and my mother. Secluded herself within a cave on Mount Cyllene in green Arcadia where she would give birth (in secret, of course) to little 'ol me. Cyllenius Atlantiades. Oh, what? You didn't think I was born with a name meaning "messenger god" did you? Well, I've got news for you. Gods are made, not born. "
" Anywho; before my mother could even recover from giving birth to yours truly, I was already starting to formulate a plan to get the both of us up and into Olympus. Your species can't even properly formulate words, let alone walk at that age, but I was coming up with a divine coup! How's that for dedication? "
" The first thing I did, after taking my first breath of the world, of course-- was find and kill a tortoise. I hollowed it out, and used it's shell and guts to create the body and chords of the musical Lyre. Then I stashed it away and set out to pilfer Apollo's fields for 50 of his sacred Cows! Enchanting their hooves, I eschewed any sign of my being there at all-- and led the Cattle across sandy stretches back to Arcadia, back to the Mountain that had become my home. My poor mother was terrified that the Olympians would wreak vengeance on her-- on us. But I wasn't about to waste my immortality away in some cave just because my father couldn't control his divining rod. "
" Slaughtering twelve of the Cattle--one for each of the Olympians, and one for myself. I created a roaring fire and tossed the meat into the flames, thereby sacrificing it-- both to myself and the Olympians from the next world over. Then I put myself back into my own cradle and pretended to fall asleep while I waited. I knew it wouldn't take my older brother long to figure out his precious bovine were missing. "
" And I was right. Apollo appeared on our little mountain in a brilliant pure white flash of raw divine power, demanding Maia return his cows. My mother of course did her part, playing innocent. She didn't know where I stashed the creatures, anyway! And so Apollo came to me, angrily demanding I return his property! Now just take a moment to appreciate this-- a full fledged god, yelling at a sleeping infant in their cradle! And you know what I did? "
" Nothing at all. Didn't even crack an eye to see what all the noise was about, if only because I already knew why he was here. So he raged and shouted and toppled a few trees in the area, before finally returning to my cradle. I, in all my infantile glory, smiled charmingly at my older brother and saw his frustration return almost immediately. But rather than vaporize me or my mother, Apollo decreed that our father would sort out the mess I had created before whisking me away to Olympus."
" I was brought before Zeus and set upon the ground as Apollo digested his frustrations to the King of the Gods. He had never seen me before then, and had no way of knowing who I was. But as soon as his eyes touched me, he knew without a doubt that I was his son. A low rumble resonated throughout the palace. At first, I thought it was thunder-- a by product of Zeus' anger, perhaps? And then I realized that he was.. laughing. The rumble grew as Zeus tossed back his head and started to laugh in earnest. Once the walls had finished shaking and my father had thrown off his bout of laughter, he turned to me and kindly asked that I guide Apollo back to his Cattle. He said, If I did that, and I promised never to trick him as I tricked Apollo, that I could serve as the personal messenger of Zeus and the other Olympians. And they would honor me and my mother. "
" So lead him I did; down from Olympus and to the grove where I'd hidden the Cows from them. As he was busy herding them away, I retrieved my lуяє from it's hiding place and plucked at it's chords. Apollo was halted in his tracks by the sound. Child-like wonder filled his eyes as he swarmed me to investigate the instrument-- the first of it's kind! He fell so deeply in love with it that he forgot all about my theft of his Cattle and propsed a trade-- the remainder of his cattle for the lyre, and I happily agreed. But I had another idea as we were passing by a marsh; I plucked a reed and fashioned from it a musical pipe. The moment the instrument touched my lips, Apollo proposed another trade-- his Caduceus for the reed-pipe. But I wanted more-- I wanted to learn the art of prophecy. My brother hesitated, and while he did I continued to play my second invention, all the while Apollo grew more and more jealous. Eventually, he agreed to the terms of my deal-- because of course he did! But he was only willing to teach me a smidgen of his prophetic art. Take what you can get, right? "
"Once we were back upon Olympus, my father kept his word. He appointed me the official Herald of the Gods and bestowed me with the ability to move freely between all the realms in the cosmos. I quickly became accustomed to my job. My realm-shattering speed makes it so easy to zip from Olympus down to Earth, then to the Underworld, and back again it would honestly turn most mammals I know inside out. That's not just a boast-- I'm the fastest of the Olympians. Okay, sure. Apollo "beat me" in a foot race. He sits in a retired Titan's sun chariot all day long. He's not beating anybody in anything. Sorry big bro! "
" 𝔖𝔬𝔪𝔢 𝔬𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔟𝔢𝔰𝔱 𝔰𝔱𝔬𝔯𝔦𝔢𝔰 𝔞𝔯𝔢 𝔩𝔦𝔢𝔰 "
Hermes is the second youngest Olympian.
A shapeshifter like the rest of his family, he can look like whatever and whoever he wants, but he has mostly retained the form of a young man throughout the ages.
He is the only god who didn't flee from Typhon; and also responsible for rescuing Zeus and healing him after his confrontation with the same beast.
Contrary to popular belief, he does not wear winged sandals-- but has wings actually growing from his ankles. Although he did invent a pair of winged shoes that gave the wearer the ability to fly.
Like all the Olympians (and most gods who can claim descent from the formless ancients) Hermes is immune to time itself-- after all, the only reason there is a such thing as time at all is because his incorporeal ancestors coiled themselves around the cosmos and literally force it to move forward.
Even in his mortal form, his aura will always be pure gold
He is worshipped in many forms; both as a protector and a destroyer in cattle-herding, sheperding, goat-herding, and the breeding of horses and mules. Not only does he control the flock; but the predators who constantly prey upon them. Ironically, he also serves as the patron of cattle-thieves and thieves in particular. It's all about the cycle. The cycle is good.
He is the author of the Hermetica; a collection of texts thought to be mere philosophocal conjecture in these days. It is, in truth, Hermes first grimoire. In it, he wrote of the time before time, the stars, the world, the gods, divine wisdom, and the power wielded by the gods. There was even a recipe stored upon a tablet to create the prima materia and forge the Philosphers Stone. Many Sorcerers who got their hands on it simply used the Hermetica as a spell-book, but it was always more than that. Hidden within is the secret to ascending to god-hood, a secret that Hermes is happy to tell-- because no one has figured out how to read between the lines since he wrote the damn thing.
He is also a many faceted inventor; first inventing the lyre, then the reed-pipe, then he crafted the "fire-stick" a primitive invention not unlike the lighters of today; he created withers for binding animals (by happy accident, mind you! Apollo sought to bind him, but Hermes easily escaped the binds and enchanted them to wrap around his bovine instead.) And not only items to be used; he was the inspiration and the author of numerous poem's and fables.
Among the Olympians, he was without a doubt the most cunning-- and the best speaker; he is the personal Herald to the King of the Gods, Zeus himself. At least.. he was. Times have changed, but he remains a patron for any heralds who remember his name. ("It would be harder to forget it, my brand has been splashed across advertisements and company logos for generations.") To this day, he continues to serve as a guide for the souls of the dead-- helping them with their journey through the Underworld. When he's not doing that, he's blessing the mortals who remain faithful to him and his family with the darkness of sleep, as his role demands. Whenever necessary, he will mediate dream-omens between sender and recepient, usually popping in to deliver it personally.
Omens audible only to the seers following Apollo's teachings; the birds of omen fly through the world chattering Apollo's prophecies as they arrive to him. But the birds ultimately fly and serve at Hermes' leisure. He is the only reason they're capable of broadcasting anything at all.
Master of lies, deception, and clever words. He can influence the cunning of thieves and merchants for either good or ill.
And there is another sphere of influence he resides over. Trade, and commerce. The market, if you would. In ancient Greece, it was the Agora. Then it was simply the market square, and then it became the mall-- and then it became the fucking Stock Market. Rise or fall baby, either way-- Hermes wins.
He taught ancient humans how to speak like the Gods, how to write, and read, and how to navigate using astronomy and astrology. He hasn't stopped inventing in five thousand years-- so many things he's actually lost count. ("Don't even get me started on the Hermetica, I was going through some things.") In the modern era alone, he's responsible for the invention of fax machines, telephones, and even the internet. With a snap of his fingers, he could plunge the world into another dark age. The only thing stopping him from doing so is the burden of a conscience and his appreciation of the human race.
Finally, he is the inventor of the Gymnasium and athletics! He taught humans how to wrestle and how to box, and how to race eachother. As time stretched on, he invented more and more games. And like all his inventions they have changed and blossomed over the years-- instead of gymnasiums, they've become arenas and stadiums. But it's all the same to Hermes; he loves it all, his love brings in more people, and more people equals more horse-power.
From Greece, to Rome, To Byzantium, to Britain and then finally America; Hermes has followed his worshippers across the globe, happy to set up shop wherver they do. Today, his power base is America itself-- big daddy capitalism! As the walking-talking personfication of the Stock-Market, when these big businesses invest, they are literally investing in Hermes himself. When the market crashes, it's because Hermes wants it too. It's not about the amount of money at play-- but the interaction between mortal and semi-divine construct, not unlike a prayer.
He is not directly involved in any businesses in America or anywhere around the world, but he does provide finances for a jarring amount of them from his palatial tower plopped down in the center of New York City; it is only visible a few times a day, and accessible to maybe three people in the world outside of Hermes, his employees, and his servants. Perhaps another god could find it, but hexing sigils drawn on the outside of the tower make it clear that trespassing would be a very poor idea.
Between meetings with young gods seeking a celestial yet high-tech edge over their fellow gods, his role as the literal Stock Market and the source behind the Internet, he's a pretty busy god. So naturally, he divides himself, and divides himself again, and again, and again. One may never know if they're talking to the real Hermes, or one of his identical copies.
The many powers of Hermes; the God of Communication.
Transcendent Physiology: This ability is not necessaraily unique to Hermes; most gods exist in this state-- outside out reality, free from the boundaries of the material world. Neither affected by time or death. In order to enter the "physical world" he has to likewise become material, a state that is far from invulnerable. But even were his mortal form to be destroyed his true form would remain unscathed.
Beings of equal station or higher could definitely pose a threat, but Hermes' status as an Olympian is well earned. Were he, however, persuaded to breach the material world in his true form like his father did a few thousand years ago, one might see a flash of golden light before they were vaporized.
True Sight: In short, a simple glance can reveal a beings true essence to Hermes. No matter the layer of glamour or magics involved in hiding ones true form, they will be rendered utterly inert to his eyes alone.
Omni-Psionic: The Olympian carries with him the potential to use every psychic power known to the universe, but he isn't one to flaunt his power like other gods. His most common use of his arsenal of psychic weaponry is telepathy, and even then his status as a literal god of communication allows him a slew of options to send a message that doesn't involve probing someones brain. Like astral projecting himself through a camera phone as a hologram. Always fun.
Shapeshifting: Self explanatory; tying into his transcendant physiology. Again, not at all unique-- even most hermits can shapeshift these days.
Supernatural Physique: Hermes isn't a "brute force" kind of god, but he's still strong-- strong enough to maintain his position as one of the Twelve ruling Olympians. And at least as strong as the average Greek God, allowing him to lift dozens of tons at a time. But by far his most powerful weapon is his cunning mind, which never ceases turning. Secondary to that would be his influence over the divine force of speed that makes him the fastest among the Olympians--if not the fastest creature in the cosmos. His potential for pure speed is limitless. To date, he's run at speeds of Mach 4.8, enabling him to travel a mile per second. And he has on numerous ocassions traveled the millions of lightyears between Earth and the Olympian realm in the span of a few seconds.
He can fly 99.65% lightspeed; covering nearly 200 000 miles per second. He can even reach warp-speeds, both on the ground or in the air. The tissues and cells of his mortal body, as well as it's reflexes and agility have been dramatically altered compared to a humans; his cells and tissue in order to withstand the devestating friction and velocity of his own speed. Reflexes and agility so he can coordinate and adjust his trajectory midflight.
He doesn't need to eat or sleep, although he certainly can if only for the pleasure of it. Were he to actually "sleep" in the same way a mortal did, every communication network in the world would go dark. The internet would cease to function and satellites would plummet from the sky. For every waking minute of his existence he is providing divine inspiration to keep his domain afloat.
Magics: If you asked Hermes what magic was, he would say "It's a science focused on understanding the laws of reality." It is not some obscure, unattainable thing. His methods are usually more ritual than combative.
The many names
In just five thousand years, Hermes has never once bothered to try and take a human name-- he knows he is not human, and to try and be anything but what he is would be a disastrous mistake that the universe would surely correct with it's usual subtlety. That being; none at all. Ever single name listed below has been thrust upon him, either by his family or by the various mortals he has encountered through the span of his long, long life. No new names have been added to his roster in hundreds of years.
Acace'sius - The God who does not hurt
Age'tor - more of a job description than a name; but most prominently associated with Hermes 'conducting the souls of men to the lower world.'
Ago'nius - this was again more of a job description than a name, assigned to multiple gods, but mainly associated with Hermes who served as a judge and mediator for all kinds of contests; mortal and divine.
Agoraeus - A title of Hermes given to him by the people for his protection of the Agora in ancient times; some of his closer servants still warmly refer to him as such.
Aipytos - Hero of Arcadia
Angelos Athanatôn, Angelos Makarôn - Messenger of the Gods, Messenger of the Blessed.
Akakêsios - Of Arcadia. He was born there, so this one is pretty straight-forward!
Akakêta - Gracious
Argeiphontes - meaning "Slayer of Argos," it was given to the god in his younger years, after he was commisioned by Zeus to recscue his lover Io from the hundred-eyed Giant. Hermes entranced Argos by playing music, lulled him to sleep, and then cut off his head.
Archus Pheleteon - Leader of Robbers and Thieves.
Athanatos Diaktoros - Immortal Guide
Bouphonos - Slayer of Oxen
Cte'sius - "The protector of property," another title given to any god who served as a sentinel to humanity.
Dais Hetairos - Comrade of the Feast; named so for his role as protector of feasts, and the sheer fact that he loved to particpate in them personally.
Dôtor Eaôn - Giver of Good Things
Dolios - Of Crafts and Wiles
Enagônios - Of the Games
Epimêlios - Keeper of the Flocks
Eriu'nius - "The giver of good-fortune," is a name frequently used in modern times by those who seek Hermes' favor. It's a little more personal than 'Hermes' and bound to get his attention much faster.
Eriounês - Similar to Eriu'nius, this is another name that meant "Luck-Bringing" for his habit of doting on his followers, giving them numerous favors and plenty of attention.
Euskopos - Keen-Sighted, Watchful. Named so for Hermes quiick reflexes and sharp eyesight.
Hermêneutês - Interpretor, or Translator -- the name he taught to humanity upon teaching them the divine art of speech and language, how to properly communicate.
Hermes Trismegistus/Hermes the Thrice-Greatest: He went by this name when creating the Hermetica. Sorcerers that follow him still refer to him by this name.
I'mbramus - an ancient name once used by his cult; it's means something along the lines of "he who travels" most likely because of his incredible speed, or his ability to cross boundaries of any kind.
Klepsiphrôn - Deceiver, or Dissembler
Kriophoros - Ram-Bearer
Khrysorrhapis - Of the Golden Wand. A name referring to Hermes wielding the Caudeuces.
Kharidôtês - Giver of Joy
Kharmophrôn - Glad-Hearted
Maiados Huios - Son of Maia
Mêkhaniôtês - Trickster, Contriver
Mercurius/Mercury - meaning "who wore winged sandals"
No'mius - Both Hermes and Apollo were given this name by the farmers whose flocks and pastures they protected from harm. Hermes is still known by this epithet even today, as he continues to perform many of his ancient duties.
Oiopolos - Shepherd
Poikilomêtês - Full of various wiles; Hermes always has a trick up his sleeve.
Pompaios - The Guide
Promakhos - Champion
Pronaos - Of the Fore-temple -- "Don't judge me humans, I didn't make these names. You did. Using a bastardized version of the language I taught your ancestors to kick our asses out of the Stone Age."
Propylaios - Of the Gateway
Trikephalos - Three-Headed, perhaps awarded to him for his role as God of Crossroads or for his multi-faced nature.