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Characters

At ‘On the Styx’ we work with pre-written characters, with extra material and relationships added during the workshops and by the players as desired. Our casting process consists of every player sending us a top-5 of their preferred characters. We will use this information for casting, of course trying to keep everybody happy to the best of our abilities.

Please note: if you see somebody on the participant list that you prefer not to play with, please let us know. Then we can make sure you are not cast as characters that have very intense relationships. We try to challenge you, not frustrate you. However, since it is a small larp you can not avoid occasionally having to play with everybody. The casting form also has ample opportunity to flag themes you do not want to play on.

We will let you know which deity you will portray as soon as possible after sending us your preferences. After that the full character descriptions will be available to all players. They will contain more information about your Olympian’s place in the mythology, their daily occupation in their current ‘mortal’ lives and their relationships with the other gods. During the workshops you will get opportunities to build on these relationships and create new ones, so that you will have even more play options available.

Artemis goes hunting with some nymphs

Available characters

There are 16 available characters: the twelve Olympians and some of their primary family members. These characters have literally known each other for millennia. But the nature of a god never changes: despite what their intentions may be, the core of their personality has remained the same over countless centuries and a major factor in their tragedy is that they are forever stuck in the same conflicts.

The following characters are the cast of ‘On the Styx’:

Aphrodite
Goddess of love and beauty
Apollo
God of music and medicine
Artemis
Goddess of hunting and the moon
Ares
God of war and battle
Athena
Goddess of wisdom and tactics
Dionysos
God of wine and licentiousness
Demeter
Goddess of harvest and fertility
Hades
God of the dead and the underworld
Eris
Goddess of strife and discord
Hephaistos
God of fire and smiths
Hecate
Goddess of magic and witchcraft
Hermes
God of trade and messengers
Hera
Goddess of marriage and birth
Poseidon
God of the sea and earthquakes
Persephone
Goddess of the underworld and curses
Zeus
Supreme god of the Greek pantheon and god of lightning

Short character descriptions

Aphrodite ♀

Mythology

Whether Aphrodite is a daughter of Zeus (and so a half-sister of Hermes, Artemis, Dionysos, Apollo, Athena en Ares) or not is a topic of discussion. What is clear is that she takes her portfolio to heart and will flirt with anyone, and in particular with Ares. After all, Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty and desire and nobody, mortal or immortal, should try to resist her charms.
Aphrodite was married to Hephaistos, a union Zeus arranged as a 'welcome back to Olympos'-present for his son. Hephaistos has eventually dissolved the marriage, since it was impossible for Aphrodite to love him or be faithful to him. In a way she is responsible for the Trojan war, because she needed to be crowned the most beautiful goddess by the mortal Paris at all costs.

Central concepts

Image is everything, self-torment, just drawn that way, yearning

In modern times

Aphrodite is an Instagram-influencer and camgirl. Her energy comes from the adoration of others: you should either want her or want to be her, or both.

She has over 800.000 followers so maintaining her good looks and health is pretty much a full-time job. At least, that is how it seems to the outside world. She flirts easily and is desperately searching for something real and genuine, but has never been able to find it. It is hard for her to be genuine: she will always crave the attention and appreciation of others. Despite her apparent abundance of sex, beauty, love and flattering camera filters she is very unhappy.

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Artemis ♀

Mythology

Artemis is the goddess of the hunt and chastity, and Apollo’s twin. As befits her portfolio she is forever virginal, though to her this is a source of regret and frustration.
The only man she ever loved was Orion, her hunting companion, but he died. Some say Artemis killed him herself. That story is factually true, but people often fail to mention it was not deliberate: Apollo, who felt insulted by Orion and was on one of his revenge sprees, tricked Artemis into taking the shot. She did not know that the man she was shooting was Orion. She cried for years and placed his body among the stars, where she would always be able to see it. She never forgave her brother for what he did to her, though her anger seems to have calmed down over the millennia.

Central concepts

Marathon rather than a sprint, avenging angel, time will not heal all wounds, longing

In modern times

Artemis is a forester. Her energy comes from nature, but also from sacrificing people to her cause. People who deserve it, of course.

She sometimes frightens people, including her family, with her slightly creepy staring and ‘off’ vibe. She is very intense and will suddenly snap at people. She is aggressive like her brother Ares, though hers seems to be a more smouldering sort of anger. She is really bad at forgiving and forgetting, though she would love to be able to: she longs for love and connections but is simply too damaged to easily engage.

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Athena ♀

Mythology

Zeus’ daughter, born from his head in full wargear. Athena is the goddess of wisdom and believes that any problem can be solved when approached with a calm analytical mind. It however takes her some effort to explain her ideas to the other gods, who are not as exceptionally intelligent.

Athena praises Artemis and herself as pure goddesses, the only two in the pantheon to never take a lover. Aphrodite especially tends to get on her nerves: though they keep trying to get along it always ends badly because they are simply too different. Besides that Athena is still angry about the Judgement of Paris, when the mortal Paris decided that Aphrodite was more beautiful, despite Athena’s attempts to bribe him to pick her.

Central concepts

Genius, weirdness factor, desire to belong, socially inept

In modern times

Athena is a professor in theoretical archeology.

Her energy comes from the internet as an information highway, and from correcting Wikipedia entries in particular.

She is always five steps ahead of everybody else in the thought process and that sometimes makes it tough for her to connect to people socially. She cares about her family but struggles to really talk to them: she is always the person to make a joke that nobody gets and then make it worse by explaining. It is not easy for her to access her feelings: she is one of the few gods to be able to keep up with the pace of the world on an intellectual level, but most definitely not on an emotional level.

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Demeter ♀

Mythology

Demeter is Zeus’ sister and the daughter of the Titans Rhea and Cronos, whom he saved from her father’s stomach together with their other siblings. She is the goddess of fertility and crops and the mother of Persephone, fathered by Zeus. For an unknown reason this has never made her a target for Hera’s legendary jealousy and revenge plans, like other accomplices in her husband’s infidelities always were.

After Persephone was abducted to the underworld by Hades, Demeter refused to bless the land with fertility until her daughter was safely returned to her. Eventually Zeus sent Hermes to barter for a compromise. Persephone spends part of the year with her mother, and part of it in the underworld. This is the cause of the seasons: when Persephone is away from her mother, the earth is infertile.

Central concepts

Disappointment, Mother of All, control, you hurt the ones you love

In modern times

Demeter runs an adoption agency.

Her energy comes from mentoring and mothering other people, whether they realize they need her or not.

She never recovered from the incident with Persephone, even now that it has officially been ‘resolved’. It changed the relationship with her family. She feels unable to rely on anyone and that has made her slightly neurotic: if you can lose everything with one poor decision you have to manage life carefully. Demeter is ever-changing like the seasons: the best friend you will ever have and the most annoying helicopter parent you’ll ever see.

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Eris ♀

Mythology

Goddess of strife and discord. She is ultimately responsible for the Trojan war because she introduced the golden apple ‘for the most beautiful’ that Paris ended up giving to Aphrodite, thus infuriating the other goddesses and leading to the abduction of Helen.

She was also employed by Hera to drive couples apart who claimed that their love was greater than that of Hera and Zeus.

In most stories there are two sides to Eris: the destructive aspect represents strife, ire and jealousy, while her dynamic aspect stimulates free thinking, creativity and progress.

Central concepts

Controversy, you love to hate me, steering, duality

In modern times

Eris is a beauty pageant organizer, specializing in children’s pageants.

Her energy comes from escalating internet discussions and breaking stagnant conventions.

She is not very popular among her family members, and it is not certain whether that is because she will indeed cause strife wherever she goes, or if over time she has just started to behave as is apparently expected of her. In any case it is never boring around Eris. And it’s clear to her family she is the goddess of all outcomes of strife: if you gained (self)knowledge in the process Eris is your biggest cheerleader.

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Hecate ♀

Mythology

Hecate is not an Olympian and may possibly be much older, but no one really remembers. She is associated with magic, the moon, knowledge of poisons and medicine, crossroads and borders, and the veil between life and death. She seems to have a fondness of dogs.

She is said to have warned the city of Byzantium of an incoming attack by the light of her torches and barking dogs. She also helped Demeter to search for Persephone all over the world when she was abducted, and is said to keep her company in the underworld when she gets lonely.

Central concepts

Adaptable, it’s a kind of magic, moving up in the world, bluff

In modern times

Hecate is an air traffic controller and runs an esoteric webshop.

Her energy comes from interactions with practitioners of any form of magic.

The most important aspect of Hecate in these modern days is that she still has many active followers. She is very important to wiccans and other new age practitioners, meaning that rites and prayers still take place in her name. This gets her a lot of respect from her family, and she enjoys her newfound leadership position. But it also makes her lonely and insecure: she likes to pretend this was all part of a plan of hers, but in all honesty she has no idea why this all happened. Will she choose "fake it 'til you make it" or should she be honest with her family?

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Hera ♀

Mythology

Hera is Zeus’ sister and wife, and the eternal jealous victim of his infidelity and anger. Ironically she is the goddess of marriage and wives, who punishes cheating and rewards devotion and chastity.

She spent a lot of her time coming up with elaborate punishments for the women her husband cheated on her with, but despite her vengeful spirit she was widely worshipped and appreciated as the queen of the gods. Many Olympians, among them Aphrodite, Hermes, Artemis, Dionysos, Apollo and Athena, have a strenuous relationship to Hera: because they are children of Zeus and other women, Hera is generally not on their side. But a lot of time has come to pass, they are family now and in some ways she can not live without them either.

Central concepts

Control, complicated relationships, self-made woman, don’t get mad - get everything

In modern times

Hera runs a divorce mediation agency 'Olympos' together with Zeus.

Her energy comes from pushing others towards assertive, successful relationships.

She wants to safeguard other people from the mistakes she has made, and will always try to make sure that they steer away from unhealthy relationships and situations. Hera has started to take lovers too over the years and has become more assertive, but she still loves Zeus and he is and will always be the most important person in her life. This is confusing to her. She distracts herself from this by being highly successful and enjoying life to the fullest: she is done with being the wifey. This is the Era of Hera.

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Persephone ♀

Mythology

Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, resides part of the year with the other gods and part of the year in the underworld with her husband Hades. Because she both loves her husband and misses her mother this solution is both ideal and painful. Her palace is the most beautiful and intricately designed part of the underworld as she needs something to spend her time on.

Persephone was mainly worshipped because people hoped for a better treatment in the afterlife through placating her, a hope that turned out to be substantiated on multiple occasions where she pleaded for the fate of some mortal. And usually successful too; her husband has a hard time denying her anything. But Persephone also has a cold side as the aloof queen of the underworld, a persona the punished souls know all too well.

Central concepts

Future, identity crisis, pleaser, still your queen

In modern times

Persephone is a career advisor.

Her energy comes from helping people to discover who they really are.

One of the largest conflicts her family has ever known was centered around her, but she feels like people were mainly fighting over her, a pawn in the game of others. Ever since she has felt overshadowed by both her mother and her husband. She loves them both and she hates them both. Is it too much to ask to let her make her own decisions for a change? Persephone has trouble profiling herself and will sometimes do strange and unexpected things in her journey of self-discovery. She tries to help people find their best qualities, but is quite desperate about succeeding at this herself.

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Apollo ♂

Mythology

Apollo, another son of Zeus and Artemis’ twin, has a very busy schedule indeed. He is the god of a great many things, including music, light, philosophy, prophecy, art and medicine.

Apollo is vain, even arrogant, if you ask the others. He has a great many talents but can become disconcerted by competition. Apollo tends to take many lovers of all genders, but it always ends badly. And when it does, he almost always takes revenge by terrible curses and punishments. After all, it is highly unlikely that any relationship issues are ever his fault.

Apollo has tricked his twin sister, causing her to shoot and kill her true love Orion, because he felt threatened by him. Orion was also one of his own ex-lovers.

Central concepts

Golden boy, Renaissance man, pompous, romantic

In modern times

Apollo used to be a pop singer, but his fame is greatly diminished. These days he mostly gives seminars on pick-up techniques.

His energy comes from turning people into their best selves: by teaching them, inspiring them or daring them.

Apollo actively seeks out places where he can inspire people. Over the years he has taken the form of many artists, trainers, and mediums. As the god with the most diverse portfolio he is made to feel welcome in most spaces and that has affected his psyche. Whether he is an arrogant poser or a likeable bon vivant depends on who’s talking about him. He is on a perpetual quest for true love but has no idea how to approach that goal - or what went wrong when another relationship inevitably fails.

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Ares ♂

Mythology

Where Athena is in charge of the rational, strategic side of war, Ares represents the violence and slaughter. Zeus has never been too fond of him because of his inclinations towards war, strife and killing, but Ares will always be his son. Besides, Hera would never forgive him if he turned against one of the few children that he actually fathered with her.

Because opposites attract, Ares used to have a stormy relationship with Aphrodite, but they were fire and water and in the end just turned to steam. It did not help that Hephaistos, at the time still married to Aphrodite, greatly humiliated them both by catching them in the act and in an unbreakable net, and displaying them to the other gods.

Central concepts

Strength, still waters run deep, life is a battlefield, PTSD

In modern times

Ares is a personal trainer.

His energy comes from war and battle. At least, it used to. It's complicated.

Over the millennia he has always been a soldier: he would go wherever a war would erupt. But the last fifty years or so have hit him hard. Not only is there significantly less war to be had, he does not recognize the conflicts anymore. Using a drone to drop a bomb on children at the other end of the world is not battle. There is no honor. The state of modern warfare has broken his spirit and the horrible memories of previous wars are catching up with him. It is suddenly too much, he has to reinvent himself.
Ares is a loyal friend and a classical macho (he is still totally into Aphrodite) who likes to say it as it is.

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Dionysos ♂

Mythology

Dionysos is the god of wine and abandonment, who was fathered by Zeus on the mortal Semele. The jealous Hera convinced Semele that she was being tricked, causing Semele to demand that Zeus would show her his true form. Zeus initially declined this, knowing that it would instantly kill her, but relented after she kept insisting. After Semele’s death he saved the unborn Dionysos and let him come to full term, and eventually gave birth to him out of his own thigh.

As a demigod Dionysos would not automatically have a place among the Olympians, but Hestia offered him her spot. Followers of Dionysus will completely abandon themselves to drunken ecstasy, sometimes with horrible consequences.

Hera looks down on him for being a demigod, but is also grateful that he succesfully mediated after Hephaistos trapped her on a golden throne.

Central concepts

Party boy, aimlessness, addiction, man of the hour

In modern times

Dionysos is a bartender and party-DJ.

His energy comes from the fact that the party never stops.

He will always be the one to set the tone of the room. The best music, the most unexpected stunts, the funniest jokes. He just wants everybody to have a good time, making it very easy or very hard to hate him, depending on one’s own disposition. In the modern era’s party culture it is easy for him to be a success. Beneath the surface he is mainly tired. Addicted to everything, done everyone, seen everything. What’s left?

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Hades ♂

Mythology

Hades is Zeus’ brother and the ruler over the underworld and the dead. Long ago he fell in love with Persephone, the daughter of his sister Demeter. He abducted her to the underworld, causing Demeter to demand the return of her child and threatening to let the whole world starve until it came to pass. This meant that over time more and more gods turned against Hades. He used a trick to keep her with him at least part of the year.

The Greek afterlife is not a cheerful place. Those among the dead that are the worst off often blame Hades for their eternal punishment and torment. This is usually incorrect - he simply carries out the punishments other gods have decided on. After all, he is not the creator of the Underworld, he just manages the place.

Central concepts

Misunderstood, thinking in absolutes, good intentions, white knight

In modern times

Hades is an insurance agent and volunteers at a hospice.

His energy comes from things that develop as they are intended to.

Hades likes order and predictability and thus has a tendency to clash with his more wild and hedonistic family members, though he is usually highly appreciated by all. After all he is dependable, even-tempered and can always be counted on. He is however also very frustrated for that reason: the more he tries to steer things the more they get out of hand, it seems. Case in point is his relationship to his wife and mother-in-law. He has difficulty understanding humor and irony, causing him to take things like his Iron Maiden cover band much more seriously than he should.

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Hephaistos ♂

Mythology

A son of Hera, possibly also of Zeus. Hephaistos is a cripple, which caused his mother to banish him from Olympus. He is the god of blacksmiths and fire.

He used his extraordinary skill to make a throne for Hera, but when she sat down on it she could not get up again. Hephaistos refused adamantly to free her until Dionysos, who he trusted completely, got him drunk and took him to Olympos.

Hephaistos was married to Aphrodite but knows that she never stayed faithful to him for long, to his ongoing regret and frustration. He was responsible for creating and smithing anything the gods needed for a comfortable existence, from weapons to tables and chairs made out of massive gold.

Central concepts

Master craftsman, comeback king, traumatised, improvement

In modern times

Hephaistos is a tech-innovator specializing in prosthetics, nano-materials and 3d-printed body parts.

His energy comes from maker-culture and modern days’ emphasis on the cerebral.

Hephaistos turned out better than expected. It is the "age of the nerd" and where he used to struggle to keep up with his brothers he is much more suited for the modern era: he is a frequent guest in talk shows and is a famed tech innovator and paralympian. He is proud of who he is now. That does not mean it will erase the rejections in his past: the more members of his family get together, the more he struggles with his self-confidence. Maybe that is why he will still do all the dirty work the other gods throw at him.

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Hermes ♂

Mythology

Hermes, again one of Zeus’ children, almost beats Apollo when it comes to the busiest portfolio: he is the god of thieves, trade, travel and athletes. Besides that he is the guide into the underworld for all the dead and the messenger of the gods.

Hermes is also a bit of a rascal with a charisma that lets him get away with almost anything. He is for example good friends with Apollo, based in a fight about Hermes eating part of Apollo’s herds and a particularly successful attempt to make amends.

Hera hates Hermes for being Zeus’ wingman in covering up his many infidelities. Like many other gods Hermes has a romantic history with Aphrodite.

Central concepts

Smooth operator, wolf of wall street, melancholy, addiction

In modern times

Hermes is a shady stock trader.

His energy comes from winning.

He has always rubbed plenty of people the wrong way, but he always managed to soothe the situation with his affable charm. That never changed, and Hermes remained a success story in almost every way. But placating people all the time is tiresome, and he misses the times when he had worthy adversaries dearly. The age of heroes is long gone and his family is burning itself up at an increasing rate. He fills the void with a sly grin, an Armani suit and big rolls of cash. And cocaine. Loads of it.

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Poseidon ♂

Mythology

Poseidon is one of the first gods, the brother of Hera, Hades, Demeter and Zeus. As the god of seas and oceans he rules the depths and threatens the lands near the water. Poseidon had many mortal and immortal lovers of all genders.

He once fought Athena over patronage of the city that would later be called Athens. The fight got so heated that the other gods were fearing disaster and they proposed a contest. Both gods had to create something that would both be beautiful and useful for the citizens. Poseidon created a river, but the water turned into salt water, rendering it useless. Athena created the olive tree, winning the contest and making Poseidon petulant towards her for life.

Central concepts

Capricious as the ocean, Rainbow Warrior, solid, explosive

In modern times

Poseidon is a ship captain for Greenpeace.

His energy comes from the sea, but also from things that remind him of the sea: might, change, singing sea shanties out loud.

He is not the biggest fan of crowds of people, but he has missed his family dearly in his own way. He is a surly activist with a good heart but an unpredictable temperament: all can be well one moment and the next he'll be raging against you. He misses nature and the world as it used to be and that often makes him depressed and emotional.

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Zeus ♂

Mythology

Zeus is the king of the gods, one of the children of the Titans Cronos and Rhea. Because of a prophecy claiming one of his children would usurp him, Cronos ate all his children. Rhea managed to spirit Zeus away, and he grew up to fulfill the prophecy, freeing his siblings Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon en Hestia.

As he was the boss of the gods and could do as he pleased there was one constant in the marriage of Zeus and Hera: infidelity. Zeus is the father of countless minor deities and heroes, of which only a few are also Hera’s.
The fact that he is volatile, moody and in control of lightning made it very easy in the past to keep humanity in awe of him. But those days are now a distant memory.

Central concepts

Badass, father, ‘redemption arc’, boss

In modern times

Zeus runs a divorce mediation agency 'Olympos' together with Hera.

His energy comes from being recognized as the man in charge and being looked up to.

He has had to reinvent himself for the modern era. The dynamic between Hera and Zeus has shifted a bit over the years, and in his own way Zeus is genuinely trying to be a better man. He is still indisputably the boss and the others tend to follow his lead, but he is intent to focus on other things than sex and conquest. Or at least, he is working on that. For however long it may last. Zeus also very much wants to be a good father and a trustworthy advisor. As long as nobody forgets who’s king. It is good to be the king.

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