|Intermediate Power, "The Bloodstained, The Brazen, The Terrible, He Who Rallies Fighting Men"|
|Pantheon: Olympian Pantheon|
|AoC: War, violence, bloodlust|
|Worshippers: Warriors, bandits, barbarians|
|AL: CN(E)||WAL: CG,CN,CE,NE|
|Symbol: A spear|
|Home p/l/r: Arborea/Olympus/Olympus|
|Allies: Aphrodite, Enyo, Eris, Loki|
|Enemies: Athena, Bahgtru, Gruumsh, Maglubiyet|
|Favored Weapon: Spear|
|Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Fire, Strength, War|
|Subdomains: Blood, Catatstrophe, Ferocity, Fist, Rage, Smoke|
|Known Proxies: None|
God of war, bloodlust, rebellion, siege, and brigandry, Ares is one of the most violent figures of the Olympian Pantheon. He is most commonly honored only by two types of people: those that wish to make war, or those that wish to avert it. He represents war in all its most unthinking aspects, the purity of violence without tactic or forethought. In this, he often stands against Athena, goddess of tactical war. Though not particularly stupid, his tendancy to act on first impulses without thinking has led him to carrying a reputation of idiocy, though it has also led many of the Transcendant Order to come to his service. He is most commonly depicted and seen as a massive bronze-skinned human figure, muscular yet lean, with gleaming bronze armor and helm and a great spear as tall as he; often-times, he is shown driving a golden chariot pulled by four ferocious fire-breathing horses. It is said that Ares manifests upon all battlefields beyond the sight of mortal eyes, though many consider this merely a fanciful claim of his power.
On the planes, though he himself dwells solely on Arborea, worship of Ares can be commonly found throughout the planes of Chaos (excepting Carceri, home of the Titans): many of the Abyss and Arborea alike see much in Ares to be honored. He finds himself at odds with most all other gods of war, seeing them as competition for his title much as Athena; while he has few friends amongst the gods, those devoted to warfare find especial ire from him.
Ares was the first son of Zeus and Hera, triplet to the goddesses Hebe and Eileithyia. Even in childhood he was a violent figure, attacking travelers from afar with arrow and spear purely to revel in the scent of their blood, to his father's great disgust. As he grew, he was involved in many significant battles, and was a major force during the Gigantomachy. In that war, he personally slayed the giants Ekhidnades and Mimas, but eventually was overpowered by the sons of Aloeus and trapped within an urn for 13 months; near broken by the end of his imprisonment, he was released only when their stepmother Eeriboia sent word to Hermes who managed to free him from his bondage. Still, this did nothing to lessen his fury, and it was only a short time before he returned to the field once more.
At some point, it is known that he and Aphrodite — equal in inflamed passion, if towards differing ends — sought to wed, only to be thwarted when Hephaestus, seeking vengeance for being cast from Olympus due to his infirmity, tricked Hera into wedding him to Aphrodite instead. Still, they continued an affair for some time, one that resulted in a number of offspring: his attendants Phobos and Deimos, gods of fear and dread; Harmonia, goddess of concord; Adrestia, goddess of revenge; and the Erotes Eros, Anteros, Himeros, and Pothos, winged gods of love in its various aspects. Their affair ended only when Hephaestus managed to trap them mid-coitus within an invisible net and suspended them within the air for all the gods of Olympus to see and mock; so shamed were the two that they fled to distant lands for nearly a year before once more showing their faces upon Olympus. Following the end of his relationship with Aphrodite, Ares pursued a number of other partners; most fervently Enyo, another Olympian goddess of war and sister of Eris, with whom he fathered Kydoimos, god of battlefield din, and Enyalios, yet another Olympian god of war. However, he is also known to have pursued at varying times Eos, Persephone, a number of spirits of nature, and various mortal figures that caught his eye.
Many figures of the Olympians are associated with Ares. The most fervent in reputation are the Amazones, a fierce band of female warriors renown for their skill in combat. Also well-known are the Spartoi, violent beings arisen from the fangs of his draconic children. He often finds favor with various mortal warlords and combatants as well, though as with all Olympians, his favor is quick to turn should they cross or forsake him by even the slightest means. Those that still have his blessing, however, are often gifted with aid by his more powerful offspring, including a number of great dragons and the arean birds, vicious arrow-shooting creatures distantly related to the much more legendary stymphalian birds.
Amongst the animal kingdom, Ares is most associated with the serpent; unsurprising as many of his mortal offspring have been draconic in nature. Many birds also find association with him, given that some of his kin were their progenitors upon the original homeworld of the pantheon: specifically, the vulture, barn owl, eagle owl, and woodpecker are all as holy to followers of Ares as the snake.
Temples to Ares are rare, as most worship either takes the form of battlefield prayer or shrines at the walls of cities beseeching war to not befall them. Writings are also rare, with little beyond certain traditional prayers or tales of Ares to offer. Priests, however, are common, most often either wandering fellows seeking to join in warfare and bloodshed whenever possible or military clergy aiding in combat both directly and through battlefield support. Such priests tend towards blood-red garb, usually well-armed, and often with at least some martial training in addition to their religious studies (such as they are). Somewhat surprisingly, many of Ares' clergy can also be found in the ranks of town guards or the like, looking to convince the strife of Ares to overlook their home in favor of their enemies' through their honoring of his name.
- Deities and Demigods, pp.107-108
- On Hallowed Ground, pp.119-120
- Theoi - Ares