operation: zeus

Thinking on it, Loki should really have just dropped the whole Asgard thing and moved to Greece to hang with the Olympians

Like, Loki’s worst bits of mischief, up to and including murder, is just Zeus’ casual Tuesday. Plus everyone is always busy either fucking with someone if not actually fucking them. There’s a god of drinking and theatre (professional artful lying, holy shit). Also a god of chilling in the woods and banging nymphs and/or lonely shepherds (ideal). Two love/beauty/lust deities (doubly ideal, good on Mama Aphrodite and Son Eros, great family tradition). No prophesy of an apocalyptic showdown to look forward to–or any kind of narrative to bind the gods, period (Fuck Yes). The local mortals are all nerds in togas or oiled up muscle men (c:). Balmy weather, access to spices (C:).

Honestly, it’d just be

Zeus: What convinces you, god from the north, that you have a place here among my family? Among the gods of sky and sea and earth, the gods who are all the power and inspiration of the world? What right have you, foreign trickster, to the gates of Olympus?

Loki: Oh, is this the job interview? Damn, and here I am without my power suit. Let me change real quick

Loki, naked: So my work history is,

Zeus, naked: Hera, have someone clear out the guest room

to my aro/ace friends and smols: if you’re ever feeling undervalued, remember Hestia

You know, Hestia. The greek Goddess of the hearth and home. simultaneously the oldest and youngest of the Olympian Gods. Hestia turned down marriage propsals from both Poseidon and Apollo, two of the arguably most desirable gods in the hellenic pantheon. Instead, she asked her brother Zeus, king of the heavens, for permission to never marry and never have to take a lover or anything. Which he granted. Without question. Zeus, lord of sleeping around, did not question his ace sister when she said that’s who she was. That is some divine allyship, yo.

She went on to be the Goddess of the Hearth. For ancient greeks, the hearth was the center of the home and the center of worship for the family. In ritual practice, Hestia always recieved the first (best) and last part of any sacrifice. Put that in context of patriarchal societies where the “father” of the group “always” recieved the best part of a meal. But not Hestia. No, your friendly hometown goddess was venerated before the king of the heavens, without question or anything. Hestia was the center of the family, the center and grounding point of the home, and was treated as such. 

The lesson for aces here is that you are worthy of being yourself without question. You are a valuable member of your community, a most valuable member of your family, and if you are not treated like it, maybe take after Hestia, and burn those motherfuckers to the ground.

8

Zeus, the fierce one, was the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings. In most traditions, he was married to Hera but nevertheless was also infamous for his erotic escapades. After reaching manhood, Zeus saved his siblings from their father who devoured each of his children as they were born in fear of being overthrown. After the fall of the Titan-gods, Zeus and his brothers, Hades and Poseidon, shared the world between themselves. Zeus got the sky and air.

2

Hermes is supposed to be smart and all, but…

We’re so close to the goal! Go get yourself a copy of Persephone on Kickstarter!

EDIT (11/19/17): I’m getting the same question every day now and this appears to be where people are finding me, so I’ll say it here: The book will be available for purchase from the Hiveworks store once backers get their rewards. I will be posting all about it once it becomes available for everybody else. Thank you!

I don’t see why they say the gods are gone

The gods were never gone, they were never dead. The only thing that changed was that we stopped listening.

We still have the weather, thunder and rain. Zeus calls down his storms both in peace to keep our lives safe, and in anger to wreak destruction. We might be better at predicting what is coming, but if the rain stopped coming, what would we do? We depend on the rain, and fear the storm.

More than 90% of the world’s trade comes by the sea. Poseidon watches over the sailors on the oceans, gives to fish to those who hunger, and gives protection to more than half of the life on the world, guarding the oceans and rivers.

Death is still is a part of our lives. When we die, Charon takes us across the rivers of the Underworld, and we face our fates. Hades still watches over the sick, giving strength and life to those still with work left undone, and guards those who find their end, judging them as befitting their deeds.

Love is as strong as before. Love still finds it’s way, no matter how we might try to crush it under a world of apathy and industry. Aphrodite finds those that need love in their lives, and she gives them the courage to take their leaps. Young couples still find Eros, families find their Storge, and marriages find their Pragma.

Homes are still as strong, and as broken as ever. Hera gives lovers the strength to overcome their problems, the endurance to see past the faults in those they love to find the perfection inside. She guards the children of broken homes, and shows the light to those that need it in their lives, to build their own families.

Warfare has changed drastically, coming at longer ranges, but war is as terrible as ever. Ares gives his strength to the weary legs of a soldier on march, and stills the nervous hands gripping at a rifle. He gives life to the wounded, and courage to the broken.

War is bigger now, more complicated. General staffs spend years drawing and redrawing their plans, preparing the perfect ideas to spare the world as much horror as they can. Athena gives wisdom to her field marshals, her officers, that they might know the best path.

Food is needed for every single person in the world. Demeter gives us a bountiful, full harvest so that we might not starve. She holds the hand of those working in the scorching fields, that their work may not be for nothing. She protects the abused animals in the factory farms, and she feuds with her brothers and sisters so that their wrath may not destroy the harvest.

Creation is an essential part of life. Hephaestus watches over not only the smiths, but the writers, the artists and every other smith of creation. He watches men build their battleships, lay the bricks of their buildings that might touch the sky, and the production of that which might not only keep us alive, but to make us prosper.

The gods aren’t gone, and they haven’t forgotten any of us. Even if we stop listening, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there.

master-sass-blast  asked:

Right. So. Might be mildly addicted to your 'Gods and Monsters' series. Definitely need an intervention, but I'll prolly ignore that anyway, so... anyway, can you do something with Zeus and Hera? I've always thought it was massively whack that the goddess of fidelity was with --according to Greek mythos--one of the biggest adulterers on Olympus. Definitely smelling a bit of an abusive relationship there, if you catch my drift... okay byeeeee

Hera, the young goddess of marriage and family, is only unfaithful to her husband once.

She seduces Zeus first, right as the war ends and they’re all pain and ash and thrumming with the excitement of victory. She smiles just so and touches his bloody chest, her hand pale against the dark copper of his skin and, and when he looks at her his eyes spark with the lightning he so easily commands. She is named his wife that very night, her body littered with bruises from his rough, eager hands, and she tells herself the bile at the back of her throat tastes like victory.

She is queen of the gods. This is what she wants.

They’ve all claimed their domains and gone their separate ways, Demeter to the earth, Hades to the underworld, and Hestia to Olympus where they plan to build their palace. But Poseidon still lingers. “Don’t you have an ocean to conquer?” she asks.

He looks at her, then behind her to where Zeus is busy sketching plans for Olympus. “You don’t have to do this,” he says softly, “you – you can come with me if you want. Or I’m sure Hades would take you.”

Hera has no time for Poseidon and his soft heart. “I will only belong to the best,” she says, tossing her head so her crown of curls fall over her shoulder. “You should go. You have work to do.”

“There are more important things than power,” he says uncomfortably, shifting from foot to foot.

“No,” she says, “there aren’t.”

~

Hera would not mind Zeus’s women so much if they were not constantly giving him children, something she has been unable to do.

She is an obedient wife. She does not turn her powers against him, and she’s tolerant of his mortals at first, but the longer she is empty of child the less patience she has. How can she be the goddess of family without one of her own?

Her spite gets in her way, and she hurls every kind of obstacle and curse she can at the woman her husband lies with. At first he is angry with her, and bruises litter her throat and wrists. Then, as her wrath and powers grow, he is afraid of her. He watches her warily, sneaking to the mortal realm when before he wouldn’t even try to hide it. He submits when she pins him to the bed and rides him hard, desperate for a child of his, desperate to fulfill the perfect image of wife and mother she’s built for herself.

No matter her magic, no matter how many times they lie together, Hera does not get with child.

She goes to Hestia, and her sister presses a hand to her stomach and purses her lips and says, “Must it be his child?”

Hera stares. She’s the goddess of marriage and family. She is not capable of infidelity. “I – I can’t.”

“Just once,” Hestia says, “the problem is not with you, nor with him, clearly. Only the combination of you both. Lie with any other man, and you will have your child.”

So Hera, just once, puts on a disguise and goes to the mortal realm. She finds a man with skin darker than Zeus’s, a rich warm brown that matches his soft eyes. She lies with him, and it hurts. He is kind and patient and kisses the edge of her jaw, her shoulders, her navel. But to be unfaithful grates against her very nature as a goddess, and every moment is agony. He finishes, his mouth whispering kind things against her own, and she leaves as soon as she can.

It works. She becomes round with child, and is happier than she’s been in a long time. She does not mind Zeus’s mortals, and he even becomes kinder while the baby grows inside of her. His hands become softer, and he spends less time away from Olympus.

The baby is born, and Zeus is furious.

The child is too dark to be his, and he tears it from Hera’s hands while she lies exhausted from the birth. “What do you care?” she cries, struggling to stand, “You have dozens of children. What does it matter if I have one?”

He holds the baby in one hand and grabs her jaw with the other, pulling her to her knees. “You are my wife,” he hisses, “the goddess of marriage and family. You will have my child, or no child at all.”

He throws the baby from Mount Olympus. Hera screams, pushing herself away from him and attempting to jump after it. Zeus catches her around the waist, and with a crackle of power and roar of rage, he sends a lightning bolt after the baby.

The child may have survived the fall, but not the lightning.

“NO!” Hera screeches, clawing at his arm as she struggles to escape his grasp. Normally she’s not this helpless against him, but delivering her baby has left her weaker than she’s ever been before.

He presses the flat of his hand against her swollen womb, adding pressure until she cries out in pain and tries to squirm away from him. “My child,” he repeats, voice low and terrible, “or no child at all.”

He lets her go, and she collapses, grasping out a hand over the edge of Olympus. But the blood between her thighs is still wet, and she can’t find the energy to stand. She wonders if she’ll have to crawl down the mountain to retrieve her baby’s corpse.

“Sister!” Soft hands grab her shoulder and gently roll her onto her back. Hestia’s face fills her vision, and Hera has never seen the older goddess of hearth and fire look so cold. “I’ll kill him,” she says, hands hovering over Hera like she’s not sure where to begin. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t think this would happen, I didn’t think he would – I didn’t think.”

Hera curls on her side until she can place her head in her sister’s lap. She’s not sobbing anymore, she’s never been one to fall into hysterics, but she can’t stop crying, a steady stream of tears dripping silently down her face. Hestia runs trembling hands through her hair. “Don’t,” she whispers, “I did this, this is my fault. I – I should have known better.”

Hestia’s hand cup her face, leaning over so she can look her in the eye. “This is not your fault.”

Her sister stands and picks her up in her arms. Hera tries to tell her to put her down, that Zeus will be angry if she leaves, that she did this to herself. But she falls unconscious before she can get any of it out.

~

Hera awakens someplace soft and warm. She opens her eyes, and she’s inside Hades’s palace. Her confusion lasts only until her memories come rushing back, and then she has to bite her lip until it bleeds to stop herself from crying out.

“Hestia brought you here. She’s returned to Olympus to cover for you both. Do not worry – Zeus doesn’t know where you are.” She turns her head, and sees the goddess of magic at her side. Hecate smiles, “I have mended you, do not worry. All is well.”

All is not well. That statement is so far from true, and her instant urge is to crush Hecate to dust for the audacity. Before she can make up her mind one way or the other, there’s a soft knock on the door. It opens to reveal her elder brother. “I have something that belongs to you,” he says, and Here focuses on the bundle in the crook of his elbow.

Her baby’s corpse. She’s relieved someone thought to get it. Her heart feels like lead, and all the control she’d had over her emotions is gone instantly. She hopes they’ll leave her alone to hold the body of her child and weep.

Hades gingerly sits on the edge of the bed, and Hecate rises to help Hera prop herself up so she’s at least sitting. “He’s a strong little thing,” Hades says, and Hera doesn’t understand.

Then a warm, wriggling baby is placed in her arms. He’s got great big eyes and his mouth splits into a toothless grin when he sees her. “He’s alive,” she says numbly.

“Not without sacrifice,” Hecate says softly, and reaches over to undo the blanket he’s swaddled in.

Her son has no legs below his knees.

“Zeus’s lightning bolt didn’t kill him, but we cannot return what was lost,” Hades says, pained. “When he’s older, maybe we can do something, give him something in place of legs. But for now, there’s nothing I can do.”

The king of the underworld is the most powerful god after her husband. Hera knows that, even if Zeus doesn’t. If Hades can’t do anything about her son’s legs, then no can. But he’s alive, Zeus didn’t manage to kill him, and Hera finds herself so grateful that she’s holding a smiling, living child that she can’t be anything but relieved. Her son is alive, and happy. He doesn’t need legs.

“I can’t bring him back to Olympus,” she looks up at them, “Can you find someone to raise him? Someone you trust?”

She doesn’t trust anyone, so it can’t be her choosing.

“You’re going back to him?” Hecate demands, “Hestia said – but I thought for sure – you don’t have to! Don’t go back to him!”

“I must,” she holds her son to her chest, and he reaches out with chubby hands to tug at her hair. “I am the goddess of marriage, and he is my husband.”

Hecate stares, aghast. “Don’t – don’t, Hera. Please. Stay here. Hades will protect you.”

She looks up at her brother, and he raises an eyebrow. He would protect her, he would put himself in between her and Zeus’s wrath if she asked him to. But she won’t, and she thinks he knows it. She says, “I am Hera of the Heights, of Argos, of the Mound. I am the cow eyed, white armed goddess of marriage and of family. I am Hera, queen of the gods.” She looks down at her son, and her heart clenches, because for now a title that cannot be afforded to her is that of mother. “I will not abandon my dominion, nor my husband. I will return to Mount Olympus.”

“But you don’t love him,” Hecate says helplessly.

Hera stares, baffled that anyone could think her marriage had anything to do with love. “Of course not. But this isn’t about love. It’s about power.”

The goddess of magic swallows, then says, “I will raise him.”

Even Hades is surprised by that. “Hecate?”

“I will raise him,” she repeats, “He will stay with me, safe in the underworld where Zeus cannot find him, until he’s old enough and strong enough to protect himself.”

“Thank you,” Hera says, and lowers her head enough to kiss the top of her son’s head. “Tell him that I’m the one that threw him from Olympus.” When she looks up, Hades is resigned while Hecate looks on in horror. “Tell him, tell everyone. I gave birth to a hideous son, and I threw him from Olympus. His legs were crushed in the fall. I did this. Zeus tried to stop me, but could not.”

“Why?” Hecate asks.

Hera smiles down at her son, her heart full with a helpless sort of love. “So that when he ventures from the safety of the underworld, Zeus will have no reason to hurt him. So that when he comes to Olympus, Zeus will be unable to hurt him without explaining he was the one that tried to kill him in the first place.” She runs the back of her finger down his cheek, and he grabs it, his little fist holding onto her. “Blame me, and he will be safe.”

Hecate looks like she wants to argue. Hades puts a hand on her shoulder and asks Hera, “What’s his name?”

Her son smiles, and tugs at her hand, the beginnings of a giggle gurgling in his throat.

“His name is Hephaestus.”

~

When she returns, she no longer has any patience for Zeus’s mortals. When before she had only inconvenienced them, now she’s not playing any games. Those that do not die end up wishing they had, and she’s especially vindictive to any mortal carrying her husband’s child.

She sits on her throne, waiting, a smirk curled around the corner of her lips.

Zeus barges in and charges towards her. He’s so angry smoke is rising off his skin. “You,” he hisses, “this is your doing.”

“Whatever do you mean?” she asks, unflinching when he slams his hands on either side of her head, crushing the back of her throne with the force of it.

“She and the children are dead,” he snarls, “my children are dead! I know this is your doing, it reeks of your handiwork.”

Hera slides forward to the edge of her throne, their faces nearly touching, and spreads her legs. He flexes his hands, because even at his most furious he still wants her. She is his wife and his queen. She banishes her clothing so she’s spread out before him, hair piled high and jewelry glinting around her neck. “What are you going to do about it?”

He kisses her hard enough to bruise, and Hera crosses her legs around his back, urging him closer. “Why are you doing this?” he hisses, mouthing at her neck, because he hates her even as he loves her, hates her because he loves her, and loves her because he hates her.

She waits until he’s inside her to lick the shell of his ear and whisper, “My child, or no child at all, husband.”

When he breaks her skin with his teeth, she only laughs.

They do this to each other. Maybe they are meant to be together.


gods and monsters series part xv

read more from the gods and monsters series here