Mars, Ethereal God

By Moe Lane


Ethereal Spirit

Corporeal Forces: 3 Strength: 5 Agility: 7
Ethereal Forces: 3 Intelligence: 7 Precision: 5
Celestial Forces: 4 Will: 8 Perception: 8

Vessel: human male, Charisma +3

Skills: Acrobatics/2, Chemistry/1, Dodge/2, Emote/5, Fighting/3, Knowledge (Cosmology/1, Physics/1, Literature/2, US Space Program/3), Large Weapon/1 (Sword), Piloting/3 (Space Vehicles), Savoir-Faire/1, Seduction/1

Songs: Dreams (All/3), Motion (Corporeal/2, Ethereal/1, Celestial/3), Possession/6, Shields (All/1)

Once upon a time, there was an ethereal named Ares. He didn't survive the Purity Crusade - and, frankly, it wasn't much of a loss. Ares was vain, boastful, crude, violent and had a certain streak of cowardice to him. The only one that missed him much was Aphrodite, mostly because he was pretty good in bed.

Time passed.

People have always looked up at the sky. It's only been in the last few centuries that they were able to improve on the naked eye. Naturally, they looked at the planets, especially that red one over there. And, of course, they began to dream. Mars owes his existence to those dreams. But the dreams and wishes that make him up are completely different than that of his predecessor.

He is Barsoom. He is Doorsha. He is Northwest Smith. He is both John Carters. He is the tragically doomed race of the Martian Chronicles. He is Valentine Michael Smith and Podykane. The face that some have seen in the sands is his face. He knows every eddy and wave of the canals that never graced the Red Planet, and has sipped imaginary wine in Helium's nonexistent towers. Mars is Mars as modern humans have dreamed it. All of this was enough to create him, but it took the dreams of those who wished to go there in fact, rather than in fiction, to make him strong. The ethereal has watched humanity take its first stumbling steps out of the playpen, and cheered them on every step of the way.

But, recently, it would seem that the steps have been faltering, and humanity seems to be wondering whether the playpen isn't so bad, after all. This distresses Mars - and not just because he will be weakened if humanity stops dreaming these particular types of dreams. The ethereal seems to be better disposed towards humans than almost any other of his kind, and wishes only the best for this mad, contradictory, wonderful species. They should go out there. That's where they belong. That's where they'll be safest. Mars cannot stand by and do nothing.

Understand the above, and you'll understand why Olympus is a hotbed of controversy these days. Mars just walked in and started ... well, 'preaching' isn't precisely the right word, but it will do. Mars wants the Greek pantheon to stop languishing around interestingly and weeping for their lost glory, and instead get up and actually do something useful with their lives. They're supposed to be gods, right? Well, they should cease feeling sorry for themselves and act like gods. There are people out there who desperately need inspiration and assistance. It's not like the Olympians had anything better to do with their time, anyway.

Now, 'imitations' (if the word means anything in this context) of the Greek and Roman gods had appeared in the past, and not a few of them came in out of the cold raving about this or that. However, very few of them were as potent as Mars (really, he's just got enough Essence coming in to stay stable, but compared to the half starved Olympians, he's almost indecently healthy).

The mere fact that he obviously was doing something right was enough to convince others to follow or ally themselves with him. Athena and Vulcan were the first to welcome him - ironically enough, in the case of the latter - and even Juno has warmed to Mars, no doubt out of sentiment. Frankly, this version of her son is an improvement over the last one.

Of course, he's not universally beloved. Apollo can't stand him, for one (the feeling is mutual), and Bacchus thinks that following Mars will get the rest all killed posthaste. The more traditional spirits follow these two's lead (many Olympians are actively afraid of the modern world - and more importantly, Heaven and Hell). Of the others, well, Neptune does not care much and Venus is too busy trying to seduce her 'old' lover to care much for politics. Their neutrality has kept consensus from forming, but the situation isn't stable, however. If nothing else, Venus will finally get it through her head that Mars really could care less about reenacting old myths (frankly, Pallas Athene is more his kind of girl, but Vulcan seems to have that one sewn up, not that either of them have realized it yet). There may be war in Olympus soon - or at least a final break between the two unofficial leaders of the pantheon.

Incidentally, Blandine knows all about this, and actually wants Mars to succeed in his quest to reinvigorate the Olympian pantheon. The Archangel of Dreams has never been happy with the rest of the Host's policy in the Marches, and this could be the catalyst for getting some real changes made. Blandine is so quiet that her peers forget how tenacious she can be - and how much power she can wield in Council, should she so choose. Considering that she might just get Lightning and the Wind on board on this one, in addition to her regular allies, that power may be even greater than usual. And, if worse comes to worse, there's always the Archangel of the Sword: when push comes to shove, he won't oppose her.

Yes, Blandine knows.

After all, even Archangels Dream.


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