Ariston

ARISTON
Power: LG
Alignment: NG
Pantheons: The Parthan Order
Titles: The Sky Lord, the Philosopher-Hero, the Peerless Athlete
Portfolio: The sky, athletics, culture, philosophy, personal excellence, heroism
Symbol: An eagle sitting atop a pillar
Constellation:
Note: The Star of Eraston has a similar name but is not connected to Ariston. The star existed long before he did.
Description: Ariston (A-rees-ton) is the son of Salix and the titan lord Strathose. Unknown to those who worship the Kamoran Pantheon, among the Parthans he is revered and celebrated as a peerless athlete, as a bringer of culture, and as the driving force to excel. It was he, along with Salix and Kionanthos, who brought the gifts of civilization to the Parthan people.
Appearance: Ariston is ever-young in appearance, resembling a Parthan man in his early twenties, with bronzed skin, golden hair, and sky-blue eyes. He is shaped like a great athlete, flawless in his symmetry, and handsome.
Personality: Despite his youthful countenance, Ariston is remarkably mature in his demeanor, possessed of great eloquence, and obviously very intelligent. He is nonetheless gripped by a great melancholy due to the dark times his people are undergoing. Statues of Ariston always depict him with his head titled slightly toward the sky, a yearning look in his eyes.

History/Relationships:Ariston maintains strong relationships only with his mother and siblings. He respects Memnos, grudgingly, and then only for his power, cunning, and obvious ability. He interacts little with Hathonae or Ishobel, but gives both the due that they deserve. He shares his family's loathing for Kraetis, and the two have often clashed in the past.

Ariston loved Polynikia, but was unable to reconcile with her love for war and glory. He has sought to steer their son, Tharos, closer to his own way, but the Far-Darter is as much his mother’s son as he is his father’s. Like his brother Kionanthos, he is totally committed to his mother, Salix, and lives for the day when they can bring their mother’s light back to the Parthans.

Finally, Ariston and Torinos maintain a tenuous, uneasy rivalry. The sky god is a symbol of the harmonious skies, which the Westerly Wind of Torin often disturbs with his beloved storms.

Powers:
Children: Tharos, with Polynikia

After life:

Servitors:

Worshipers: (Athletes, philosophers, idealists, the young) Ariston is worshipped throughout Parthus as one of the Pillars of the Citadel. He is most often seen as a patron for the gymnasia where young athletes and warriors train, and of circles of philosophers as well. Though his mother, Salix, is the goddess of Wisdom and Truth, and his brother, Kionanthos, is the god of Knowledge, philosophy is seen by Parthans as a discipline of excellence, wherein one focuses knowledge to become a better person. As such, Ariston is seen as the natural conduit for this. Athletic festivals are dedicated to the “Peerless Athlete” as well.
Worshiper's Ability:
1/Round Ability:
1/Day Ability:

Priests:
Spell Domains: Air, Celerity, Competition (the last two are from Complete Divine)
Favored Weapons: Javelin
Cleric Alignments: CG, LG, N, NG
Dogma: Work earnestly to be the best you can be. By achieving excellence through your body and your mind, you will create an excellent soul. Heroism is personal greatness achieved through excellence—and is shown as much by the great sprinter, the unbeaten wrestler, and the spiritual man as it is by the slayer of monsters and the breaker of armies. Becoming great is not enough; one must inspire others to do so as well.
Clergy and Temples: Ariston’s priesthood is primarily made up of those who believe that their exceptional physical and mental traits are a blessing of the Philosopher-Hero. Almost entirely male, they are not part of orders, per se, and do not have individual temples. Rather, they congregate in those places loved by the god (gymnasia, academies, athletic fields—but not arenas) and perform the rites and rituals during appropriate events. The most daring openly question the status quo by challenging the authorities to philosophical debates, but the majority choose instead to “steer the ship better” by using their keen minds and benevolent souls to advise the powers-that-be.

Priests of Ariston perform their prayers at the dawn and dusk of the day. They do not have recurring sermons at specific churches, but shrines of his can be found in various locations throughout each Citadel (again, gymnasia, etc.) and his priests are sought for their blessings enough that they are among the busiest.

Notes:

CHALLENGES OF CHAMPIONS
Before their civilization became militarized under Memnos and his children, most Parthan warriors followed Ariston’s precepts of personal heroism. Under his watch, warfare among Parthans had evolved into a ritualized matter—still a clash of two armed hosts, but more defined by duels fought by individual champions and their retinues. It came to be considered an archaic and obsolete practice, but Ariston’s followers prided themselves in deciding matters of necessary violence nobly and without pointless bloodshed. Nonetheless, there always have been a few Citadels where his martial influence maintained some sway, and they looked to "Challenges of Champions" as a way to settle differences with their foes. Ironically, the shortages in manpower the Great War inflicted on Parthus have brought about a broader resurgence of such practices.

"Challenges of Champions" tend to fall under two categories. One involves each Citadel choosing a Hero from its ranks; the two Heroes are then given a quest to accomplish, and the one who returns to his Citadel with the prize earns victory for his people. This sort of Challenge is exceedingly rare, as it leaves much to chance, and not many Primi are willing to commit to such a risk.

The second involves a grand melee between two bands of Champions. Each Citadel selects a numerically identical picked force, and those men, armed and arrayed as they so choose, meet and do battle at an appointed time and place under the watch of priests from a neutral Citadel. They fight until one side's ranks are either dead, incapacitated, or forced to surrender. This sort of Challenge is found much more agreeable, and is often invoked by smaller Citadels when confronted with a threat from a larger foe.

Links:
The Gods
The Parthan Order

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