|Lesser Power, "Venerable Ones, Kindly Ones"|
|Pantheon: Olympian Pantheon|
|AL: LN||WAL: LG,LN,LE,N|
|Symbol: Three scourges|
|Home p/l/r: Grey Waste/Pluton/The Underworld|
|Favored Weapon: Scourge|
|Domains: Community, Darkness, Earth, Law, Rune|
|Subdomains: Caves, Family, Metal, Modron, Night, Wards|
|Known Proxies: None|
The Furies — individually known as Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone, but rarely if ever called upon individually — are among the oldest deities in the Olympian pantheon, daughters born from Gaia and the blood spilled by Ouranos after the attack on him by Kronos. Chthonic powers, their skill and importance is proven by their continued acceptance by the other Olympians despite their origins.
In their first days, the Furies were deities of vengeance, known as the Erinyes (or "Avengers"), seeking out those that called for their name and avenging them, with a special focus on sins within a family. However, after Athena brought tribunals and justice to her people (and after having ruled against them and for Apollo in the first trial she led), in speaking with the Furies she convinced them to change their ways, and redirect their focus to justice, to punishing those that violate the most treasured laws of society. It was this "purification" that led them to abandon the name Erinyes, and take up the names they are better known by Olympians today: "Semnai Theai" (venerable ones) and "Eumenides" (kindly ones).
Those that worship the Furies themselves, as is somewhat self-apparent, tend to put themselves in the roles of judge or investigator, with a number taking up the duties of paladin or inquisitor in seeking out those that violate the law. They also have a number of historians and genealogists in their number, tracking the great events of the past and ensuring that things are occurring as they must. There are more than a few oracles in their ranks as well, for one can best know the ways of Fate if one feels them themselves.
Being chthonic deities, the Furies' are most powerful in the dead of night, or the depths of the earth. As such, those that follow them tend to hold ceremonies in late hours, near midnight or (in realms that have them) the darkest of new moons. Prayers to the Furies tend not to be out loud, either day-to-day requests or beseechments for spells, but rather, like many of the deeper Olympian deities, engraved on defixiones.
Justice above all, for all. None are free of the strictures of law, and justice comes to all that violate it in time. None can avoid us forever, and few would be foolish enough to try.
As seen here, the Furies are more concerned not with any individual mortal conception of law, but the deepest nature of it. The very existence of society, and ensuring punishment for those that would potentially cause it harm. Murders, revolutions, anarchy, these are the things the Furies fight against. Their followers tend to have a broader scope of things, indeed pursuing those that violate less universal concepts, but the powers themselves direct their personal attention only to the especially heinous miscarriages of justice.
Of course, one must consider that Olympian justice does not always fall along the nature of justice as it is known by most planar citizens. For one, the duty of the Furies is not just to punish lawbreakers, but to punish those that go against the way of reality, with special focus on Fate. Those that do not do what is necessary to do, that attempt to break their fate or the fate of another, are just as guilty in the eyes of the Furies as those that violate a law of mortalkind, for good or for ill. Those that attempt to bring prosperity to a nation fated with ill tidings and woe are set to suffer equally to those that attempt to slay as a child one fated for great, wondrous things in his life. And the gods are just as bound by the looms as mortals, and just as well a target for punishment. Lucky for many, the strands of the Three Fates are rarely revealed blatantly to either mortal or godly eyes, with much room for interpretation; still, Olympian tales are rife with examples of the Furies meting out punishment on those that try to break the weave. Because of this incorporation of cosmic law into their purview, the Furies keep close allegiance with the inevitables, even keeping many in personal service to dispatch as needed.
Second, one needn't merely have committed an act themselves to be considered guilty of it. For especially severe acts, the guilt of an ancestor carries through the line, tainting the lineage until paid for with a proper sentence. Death does not avoid the reach of justice, and the sins of the father are believed to stain the child not just with guilt, but with actions; it is often noted by followers of the Furies that the children of individuals guilty of such great sins themselves tend to act contrary to law, and they claim this is merely a manifestation of the truth of their beliefs.
- The Art of Ancient Greek Theater, pg.68
- Guilt by Descent
- Light and Darkness in Ancient Greek Myth and Religion, pp.133-141
- On Hallowed Ground, pg.123