Galatea (ˌɡæləˈtiːə / gal-a-TEA-a)

Goddess of battle and strength, the greatest god of war in the Empyreal pantheon, patron deity of the amazons

O tender mother of battle! Look upon your desperate children! Take us in your loving embrace!
— Prayer to Galatea uttered before battle
  Galatea is the Goddess of Battle and Strength, mightiest of the three Empyreal war gods. She is the indiscriminating patron of all warriors that shows her favor to anyone that demonstrates her virtues in battle -- a dualistic deity worshipped by barbarians and military professionals alike. Hers are the domains of bloodshed, brutality, and ferocity but also of combat prowess, mastery of weapons, and martial proficiency.    

Religious knowledge

The gods of war of the Empyreal Faith are known as the Bloody Triumvirate: Galatea is the Goddess of Battle, his brother Aegir the God of Valor, and their father Maelach the God of Warfare.   Maelach is the supreme Lord of War, the patron of generals and leaders, while his children embody the virtues of the soldier: Galatea represents unconquerable power and mastery of arms while Aegir is the dauntless spirit of bravery and self-sacrifice that drives warriors to legendary deeds. Of these three mighty gods, Galatea is arguably the most widely worshipped due to the universal applicability of her domains to the needs and wants of every warrior.   Although Galatea is not one of the eldest deities amongst the Empyreals, she is one of the most powerful -- and definitely the most violent. Empyreal mythology describes her as an undefeatable warrior that has slain many a godly opponent in battle. While her father Maelach is the principal god of war, she is widely considered to be his superior in terms of divine power. This belief arises not only from mythology but also from the overwhelming popularity of Galatea as an object of worship: the Empyreal Faith accepts it as fact that the more a god is worshipped the stronger that god becomes.  

Worship

Galatea is worshipped all across the world and even in the wide cosmos beyond, and so the practices of her followers are extremely varied. She grants her followers blessings of strength and ferocity as reward for deeds of battle, bloodshed, and bravery. All manner of cultures worship her. Her paladins and clerics can be found amidst barbarians, mercenaries, soldiers, and adventurers.   The worship of any god of war is traditionally a bloody affair and the recent centuries of peace in the Heartlands have seen the Bloody Triumvirate dwindle in popularity. Even so Galatea remains the most popular of the three deities for her domain of strength neet not be associated with battle at all -- and even battle can be conducted with non-lethal consequences.   In these modern times Galatea is worshipped relatively peacefully by brawlers, athletes, gladiators, and performance duelists -- as is her brother Aegir, the God of Glory. Their father Maelach, however, holds dominion over war and war alone; he is the God of the Greatest Sacrifice, unappeased by nothing less than full-blown martial conflict.   Galatea is the sole deity worshipped by the Amazons of Achillonia.  

Iconography and religious symbols

The many religions that worship Galatea use various religious symbols. As a rule it can be said that Galatea's worship has little to no need for paraphernalia. There are no religious trinkets and accesories -- only weapons and armor. Indeed, the goddess's sacred icons and symbols are always displayed on either equipment or one's own body: etched into weapons, carved into shields, embossed on armor, painted on faces, and tattooed on skin.  

Alpha

Galatea's sacred symbol is Alpha, a primordial glyph that represents superiority, power and victory. It encompasses many ideas and concepts from being the best to being the first, from conquering all enemies to conquering one's own weakness, from being stronger than everyone else to also being faster, cleverer, harder, and more skilled.   The glyph Alpha is derived from Thurs -- the symbol of Neptunus, the God of Sea Giants. He is the mightiest warrior amongst the giant gods, stronger than even Oberon, prone to destructive rages and undefeated in battle. Ancient cultures first developed Thurs into Thurisas, a glyph that represents Galatea herself, the greater child of a great sire, the daughter-of-giants that would eventually overshadow her parent. Thurisas was further developed into Alpha sometime in the Arcane Age, thousands of years before the Egean Reckoning. Nowadays, the symbol of Thurisas is used exclusively by the Amazons.   Later forms of Alpha have come to resemble an axe in both shape and sound. Weapons are indeed sacred to the Goddess of Battle and the axe is often the foremost choice for Galatea's devotees.  
Thurs

Thurisas

Alpha

Alphaz

Weapons

Weapons are sacred to all gods of the Bloody Triumvirate. Galatea is seen as a master of all forms of combat and thus all weapons are equally preferable in her worship -- perhaps with the exception of the axe, which is exceptionally sacred. In Achillonia, the most important of Galatea's holy symbols is the double-bitted axe, known there as the labrys. Achillonian worship of Galatea is known as Pelekism or the Axe Faith, and it differs from the canon of the Empyreal Faith to a significant degree.  
The axe is thought to be an expression of strength, a weapon that can crack the strongest of shields. It is a symbol of great superiority in skill. It is a weapon that is disadvantageous in a duel against many other weapons, but with which a great warrior can nonetheless triumph against lesser foes. To knowingly choose the wield an axe against an opponent with a sword is to make it known before the fight has even begun that which fighter is more confident in their abilities.   The sanctity of weapons makes their mainteinance of paramount importance. Steel can lanquish with ill attention, drawing the angry eye of the Goddess of Battle. The displeased deity can then make a blade stick or break or not cut when there would be need for it, condemning a lazy warrior to a deserved death.
 

Fist

The fist is commonly used as a symbol of strength, violence, and resistance all across the world. Galatean devotees like to say that the fist is sacred simply by the virtue of being the simplest and most archaic of weapons.   In the peaceful modern age, churches of the Empyreal Faith in the Heartlands have replaced traditional galatean imagery of weaponry, e.g. the axe, with various symbols of fists. The worship of Galatea and her brother Aegir has moved from deadly combat to good-willed alternatives like sports. Some cities and temples have gone as far as to disarm the statues and pictures that depict the Goddess of Battle.
 

Bull's head

Bulls, oxen, and aurochs are considered sacred to Galatea. The great beasts of burden are universal symbols of strength and endurance for they are usually the strongest common animal known to any culture. Galatea herself is sometimes pictured as a bull or referred to with names such as She-Bull and The Aurochs of Ulthgard.   In galatean imagery bulls, oxen, and aurochs are typically pictured as only busts or heads. Clerics and paladins in service of Galatea often paint the aurocs's head on their shields or etch it on the pommels of their weapons. Pictures and symbols of whole aurochs are rarer but not entirely unseen.
 

Thorns

Although natural imagery is largely reserved for deities of nature such as Melora and Silvanus, some Empyreal sects associate Galatea with thorns. This harkens back to ancient times when the Amazons still dwelt in Tyria and their Primordial language strongly influenced the Tyrian language that is still spoken in the region today.   The amazons believed -- and in fact, still do -- that Galatea is present everywhere in the world and that it is her that gives even the most meager of plants a way to defend itself -- thorns. Amazons have ever had a myriad names for their multi-faceted goddess; Thorn, Black Thorn and Dark Thorn among them.  
In galatean worship thorns are thought to symbolize relentlessness and determination -- the strength of will that never gives up no matter how unlikely victory might seem. Thorns can also represent a kind of last-minute retaliation -- the final insult or desperate blow that should be dealt to your opponent even at the brink of defeat.  

Incarnations

Galatea's dualistic nature is reflected in her appearance. Savage cultures often depict her as befits her savage nature; a tall and muscular woman with freely flowing hair clothed in leathers, furs, and rags, anointed with warpaint and the blood of her enemies. More civilized and developed cultures depict her as the ideal soldier -- clad in the finest armor, bearing the finest of weapons, and carrying herself with the greatest degree of martial discipline. Galatea's incarnations are almost always armed with some weapon or another -- and sometimes even numerous weapons.  
Below: Galatea the Savage.
Below: Galatea the Soldier.
 

Mythology

Birth and parentage

Galatea appears in some of the earliest myths of the Empyreal Faith although she is not present at the creation of the world nor in the Dawn Wars. She was born from the amorous union of Maelach and Neptunus shortly after the Dawn Wars had ended.   Maelach has ever been the greatest military mind amongst the Empyreals -- greater even than wise Oberon or conniving Loviatar. He is a capable warrior as well, of course, but so too are many other Empyreals. None, however, are as fearsome on the battlefield as wrathful Neptunus, the God of Sea Giants. In the ancient days of the early Dawn Age the Empyreal Gods yet held the allegiance of the giant deities, and Neptunus was Maelach's greatest asset as he directed the forces of the Empyreals in the Dawn Wars.   After the terrible evils of the Outer Planes had been banished and Amanor was safe once more, both Maelach and Neptunus were exhausted from long years of war. They sought respite in each other's company and in their union conceived two children -- twins born from different parents. Neptunus gave birth to Galatea and Maelach to Aegir -- both children blessed with the gifts of both parents but showing more strongly the aspects of the one that had birthed them. Galatea was strong and fierce where Aegir was careful and clever; where Galatea sought only victory and superiority, Aegir gave consideration to things like honor, heroism, and the art of war.  

Wars of the Dawn Age

After her birth myth Galatea appears next in Fimbulwinter, the godly war fought between Loviatar and the rest of the Empyreals following the First Treason. Galatea stands with Maelach and the Empyreals against Loviatar who calls to her aid the undefeatable Neptunus. However, the great sea giant god is persuaded to lay down his arms, avoiding a fight between him and his daughter.   The many myths about Ragnarok feature Galatea heavily, telling of the many great deeds she accomplished on the endless battlefields of the thousand-year-war and the many great foes she slew during that time. Among such tales is "Surtur's Fall" in which Galatea slays the dreaded God of Fire Giants in single combat, avenging the death of her half-brother Fritjoff.  

Current day

Galatea is the ruler of Folkvangr, the Realm of Heroes, a mythical land where the souls of the mightiest warriors go after death. No paradise of endless feasts await them there but a place in Galatea's divine legions -- an eternity of battle and bloodshed on the endless battlefields of the Divine Conflict. And what greater reward could there be for a true devotee of the Goddess of Battle?  

Miracles

Galatea is one of several gods that has passed from mythology to recorded history. Besides countless tales of hearsay about Galatea appearing on Amanor to defend this devoted paladin and that chosen cleric there are also a few divine miracles that she has delivered that are well-known and well-documented.   The most recent of these was her appearance in the Battle of Torgal Plains that ended the Demon War in 2344 ER. It was a colossal military engagement where the assembled might of the Heartlands clashed with the seemingly endless hordes of demons under the command of the renegade pit lord Asgaroth. So great was the seething warhost he had gathered that the united armies of Caraegwyn, Aredhen, Egea, Baruk-Tel, and Tyria were poised to suffer a harrowing defeat despite being bolstered by their Nergali allies, wood elven rangers from a dozen clans, high elven hunters from several lodges and even four of the legendary Dragon Knights of Eledor.   The day was saved only by Galatea's divine intervention. Her avatar vanished from the battlefield after her bloody work was done, betraying no hint of motives or the reason why she had appeared only towards the end of the bloody battle. Most modern historians and imperial churces agree that it was the great courage of mortalkind that perservered on that day despite mounting casualties that earned the world Galatea's protection on that day.  
It was in this hour of need that Galatea appeared, coming to the aid of her mortal servants, and giving bloody testimony to the extent of her power.   First there was only a mortal warrior maiden. Her lonesome figure broke from the soldiers' wavering ranks and drove headlong into the demon horde. Such was the fury and might of this strange warrior that no demon could stand against Her. The villain Asgaroth had to intervene himself, smiting the maiden to dust with hellfire and shadowflame. It was then that the Goddess's true form appeared. A golden aura of divine radiance fell upon the beleaguered mortal armies then, and their hearts much filled with fervor most holy they charged at the demons with determination.   Galatea wrought untold havoc amidst Asgaroth's horde. The movement of Her form was lightning fast and every swing of Her blades tore apart demons by the score. Such was the force of Her blows that the earth cracked beneath them. Rocks went flying and demons went tumbling. Streams of water surged from the broken earth to drag demons down into the depths. Asgaroth himself fared no better, and his annihilation was swift, brutal, and absolute. After the demon lord had fallen, the terrified and scattering horde fell to Galatea like the grass falls to a scythe. In a storm of blood and fury She scoured the Torgal Plains of demonkind until the ashes of their remains rose to the skies in billowing clouds.
— "Great Battles of the Age of Strife" by professor Augustus Eilhart (2450)
Titles
Goddess of Battle
Goddess of Strength
Goddess of War
Goddess of Soldiers
Goddess of Warriors
Goddess of Weapons
Axe Maiden
Crimson Blade
White Aurochs
She-Bull
Black Thorn
Lady of Victory
Sea-Calm Goddess
She Who Is Milk-White
Mother Prime, Prime Mother
Domains
Strength
War
Weapons
Affiliation
Empyreal Gods
Aliases
Turisas, Thurisas
Alpha, Alephia
Status
Alive
Origin
Daughter of Maelach and Neptunus
Age
ca. 25,000 years
Relatives
Maelach (parent / father)
Neptunus (parent / mother)
Aegir (brother)
Fritjoff (half brother)
Atrain (daughter)
Religions
Children
Related Myths
Maelach's not going to help you. See that big tent up the ridge there? He's in there right now with the king and the marshalls. Aegir? He's no use to anyone but the dead. But Galatea! She's the god of warriors. She will be with us on that battlefield tomorrow. With you and me. And with our enemies as well, have no doubt about that, boy. But show her you're worthy of her blessing and you just might make it through alive. You just might see another sunset! Hah! But dissappoint her and the best you can hope for is a talk with her brother at the end of the day...
— Grizzled veteran talking to a fresh recruit
 
Below: Alpha, Galatea's sacred symbol.

Below: The Alpha constellation, set upon the firmament directly above the land of Achillonia.

by CraniumBeaver

Your body is your temple

It is said that a warrior's greatest weapon is their own body. This is dogma in Galatea's worship. Physical fitness, strength, agility, endurance -- all these attributes are greatly loved by the Goddess of Battle, and improving oneself through rigorous exercise can only bring one closer to the goddess's favor.   The sanctity of the physical body and the idea of worshipping Galatea through one's own physique is central in the modern, peaceful practices of the Empyreal Faith. Athletes seek the goddess's favor during training to make themselves stronger and to bring them victory on the day of competition.   The sacred nature of strength and fitness can also give rise to darker forms of worship. Some sects and cultures see the body as the ultimate weapon in Galatea's worship -- the only possible choice for a weapon to be used in sacred combat. Bloodsport to the death is enacted man-to-man, body against body, fist against fist. For to kill another using nothing but your own body -- can there ever be a truer demonstration of one's strength?

The White Aurochs

The aurochs is Galatea's sacred animal. It is a half-wild species of great bovines herded as cattle and bred as beasts of burden in nearly all the distant corners of the world. The aurochs is not naturally encountered in the Heartlands where it is replaced in galatean imagery with the bull, i.e. the oxen, the males of the domesticated Heartland cattle species.   Especially sacred to Galatea are white aurochs -- a color that is very rare in the species. Various Empyreal myths describe Galatea manifesting herself in the avatar of a white aurochs (or ox) to appear before mortals as well as to conceal her identity from other gods. It is in this form that Galatea couples with other deities in Empyreal mythology, such as with Hesiron, the God of Beasts, after the two had spent an entire day racing and cavorting in the woods.   Rituals and sacraments that honor Galatea can involve live animals -- oxen in the Heartlands and aurochs elsewhere. Some cultures perform ritual sacrifice on animals but others use them as so-called divine witnesses. Displaying sacraments to a sacred animal is likely to draw the eye of the god in question.
Below: The heraldic shield of Orithynia, one of the twelve Amazon Temples of Achillonia, showing a black aurochs head against a field of red.

by CraniumBeaver

Galatea's colors

White. White is the principal color of The Aurochs of Ulthgard. It is the color she has chosen for herself and the color that most pleases her eye.   Red. Red is the color of blood and meat, of violence and anger. Bloody is the worship of the Goddess of Battle and bloodier still the fruits of her blessings.   Black. Black is the color of death -- the dark embrace of Anthos that awaits those that challenge Galatea or her champions.   Grey. Grey is the color of metal. Grey is the steel of the blade -- the tool that the warrior uses to do her good work.
Below: The heraldic banner of Achillonia. It shows Galatea's sacred symbol in red against a white field with a black division.

by CraniumBeaver

 
Pelekism
Religion | Oct 2, 2022

Galatean religion of the Amazons.

Cosmic knowledge

This section describes Galatea with absolute truth rather than descriptions from religious canon.   The many myths about Galatea land very close to truth as do descriptions of her in the texts and teachings of the Empyreal Faith; she is an absolutely undefeatable warrior with a long history of vanquished foes. She is the single most powerful asset available to Ulthgard in the Divine Conflict -- a weapon that Maelach and Oberon deploy to devastating effect on the grand, cosmic theatres of war. Before her might entire armies are laid to waste and the evil Outer Gods steer far away from her. Indeed, not even mighty Gruumsh or dreadful Artemision dare face Galatea in battle battle, making her not only a weapon but also a deterrent.  
To flee before the White Aurochs of Ulthgard is not cowardice but good sense.
— A common saying across the cosmos, repeated by dark gods and their minions alike
  Galatea presides over the realm of Folkvangr, the Realm of Heroes. Souls of the strongest and most skilled warriors go there in the Afterlife to serve the Goddess of Battle as soldiers in the Divine Conflict. Folkvangr is one of the Inner Planes, the sister world of Valhalla, the Home of the Courageous Dead ruled by Galatea's brother Aegir. The two worlds are the most important military strongholds of the Empyreal Gods.   Despite her station as master of Folkvangr, Galatea shirks away from military command. She assigns her legions to the command of either Aegir or Maelach, much preferring to take to the battlefield personally.   As one of Ulthgard's most important assets Galatea is protected by a throng of Valkyrie bodyguards -- or at least she would be if she didn't force them to stay behind every time she charges into battle.  
Cry about it to my father again if you must. I couldn't care less. But set even a single foot onto Niflheim while I am there and I will kill you myself!
— Galatea to her valkyrie escort
 

Personality and traits

It is said that Galatea is equally strong in both body and spirit. She is proud, determined, and fearless -- a woman of sheer will that speaks her mind bluntly and loudly. She is unshaken by threats and persistent to the point of stubborness. Her temper is short and hot, but she keeps it well in check. Despite her disagreeing with many of Ulthgard's political decisions, she treats both her superiors and fellows with a cordial manner. She is not friendly -- not by a long shot -- and one has to squeeze hard to get a decent conversation out of her, but she is polite and respects social protocol.  
Below: In the never-ending battles of the Divine Conflict, Galatea fights with the finest of legendary armaments and carries with her the blessings of every Empyreal deity.
There are, however, times when cracks appear in her calm exterior. To lose herself in the thrill of battle is one thing, of course, but even within the tranquil halls of Ulthgard many have glimpsed the terrible menace that lies behind Galatea's eyes. She has little patience for the demands placed upon her by her station as Goddess of Battle and ruler of Folkvangr, and she disagrees with most of Ulthgard's political decisions. She remains a loyal servant, but she does not accept every command without protest -- and she has clearly inherited a measure of Neptunus's wrathful temper. To call Galatea unhinged would be an exaggeration, but there is a certain volatile unruliness inside her that has yet to fully manifest. One should hope that it never does, for the results could be disastrous to the martial prospects of the Empyreals in the Divine Conflict.  
Galatea has a very callous attitude towards the wellbeing of others. She respects only the strong and cares nothing for the weak. She has trouble understanding the need most Empyreals seem to have to protect their mortal creations. Death is no stranger to her and the loss of compatriots rarely if ever moves her to grief. She has no qualms about dealing death either, accepting every murderous quest and genocidal assingment that the Empyreals give her.
Why do we have to do everything for them?! Shouldn't they be able to protect themselves? And if they die -- so what? Just create some more!
— A young Galatea talking to Oberon and Seldariel
  Galatea is a weapon and she knows it -- a tool of the leaders of Ulthgard. It is, indeed, the most pure fact of her existence and her deepest point of pride. "It is not for a weapon to question," Maelach once told her. "It need only perform its task." There is solace to be found in that brutal simplicity; a weapon does not need to bother itself with what is right and wrong, with what is good or evil. For Galatea the only questions that need answering are those of life and death. And because the line between the two is so incredibly thin, the Goddess of Battle is willing to use any dirty trick to defeat her enemies. Everything goes in war. And honor is useless to the dead.  
The Goddess of Battle is a hard character with barely a softer side. She cares about her family, small that it is, but has little sympathy for anyone else. She finds the traditional pastimes of the Empyreals tedious at best, and although her loyalty to Ulthgard is unwavering she cares nothing for the great causes of her masters. She has defined herself by her strength and skill. Battle is where she comes alive and battle is where she proves herself -- proves that she is the best, the strongest. But despite her superiority being unquestionable, she, at times, struggles to find meaning. What is the purpose of being the strongest if there is nothing else that drives you? Troubled thoughts lurk in the back of her mind, remaining unspoken until poked at by other gods -- such wise and compassionate individuals among them that have come to care for Galatea and have learned to notice her bouts of misery.
A song? You know no tunes that would please me, bard. Can you sing to me the sweet song of war? The clash of blades, the battlecries? Come come, o great minstrel! Play to me the din of battle, make rhyme the screams of the dying! For those are the sounds that put me at ease. To my ears such noise is the sweetest music.
— Galatea to Corellon, the God of Music
 

Powers and abilities

Galatea is a god, inheritor of the power of two great gods but also allowed to harness the power of Divinity -- a cosmic mechanism that grants increasing magical power to gods based on the degree of their worship. It is a way for the Empyreal Gods to ensure their superiority against their cosmic opponents in the Divine Conflict, although it has also been stolen by many villanous deities over the ages.   Galatea is one of the most powerful Empyreal Gods. She is younger than any of the Twelve Sovereigns but her vast amounts of worshippers have granted her incredible amounts of divine power in a relatively short time.   Might. Galatea is the possibly the greatest warrior in the universe. Her strength is unopposable, her skill with weapons unmatchable, and her strength of will unshakeable. Her mighty fists can shatter stone, she is seemingly immune to pain, and her endurance is great enough to fight for years without tiring. But she is not a brutish thug that simply smashes all opposition; she knows all the tricks and tactics of combat, approaching every engagement with careful consideration. She finds and exploits each and every weakness of her opponents, prevailing as much through cleverness as sheer power. So great are her talents at battle that she often puts herself at some disadvantage or other when facing opponents just to make things even mildly interesting for herself.   Magic. Galatea is a sorcerer like all Empyreals Gods and her magical talents are made ever more potent by Divinity. She greatly dislikes spellcasting as you might expect, always favoring such solutions to problems that she can reach with physical means -- the only tools she should need are her body and her blade. Despite being capable of much more, she uses spells mainly for transformation and transportation. She is freely able to shapeshift, teleport, levitate, and fly, but rarely uses these tricks in combat. The only spells she uses in combat are telekinetic, such as calling misplaced or discarded weapons back to her, or levitating her various pieces of wargear around her at distance to form several shields into walls or to make her weapons strike as if wielded by unseen hands.   Shapeshifting. Like most gods, Galatea likes to shapeshift into different kinds of avatars when dealing with non-godly creatures. Her signature form is a white aurochs. In combat, she is known to sometimes transform her body into a larger size to deal with colossal enemies, like she did when fighting the giant Surtur in Ragnarok. This is a rare occurence, however, for she is perfectly capable of defeating gargantuan monstrosities in her normal form -- like she did with the dreaded Hekatoncheiron, pounding the multi-armed giant into submission with her comparatively tiny fists.   Auroch's Fury. Galatea's greatest and most terrible ability is a rarely seen berserker state. It is only against the strongest of opponents that Galatea comes close to defeat and in those moments she draws upon a deep well of fury. In the throes of her rage she can power through any level of pain or injury and becomes infused with terrible might, falling upon her foes with earth-shattering screams and tearing into them with her bare hands.   Unstoppable and Immovable. Galatea's boundless willpower is a weapon by itself. Once she sets herself to a task that task will be done. She in an unstoppable force on the field of battle, immovable by persuasion, absolutely immune to bribes, devoid of sympathy, and entirely incorruptible by tempation. The only way to stop Galatea is by going through her handlers, the Empyreal Sovereigns of Ulthgard -- masters that she has not changed or betrayed for tens of thousands of years.  
They don't send me to talk. Draw your blade and FIGHT!
— Galatea
 

Appearance

Galatea is a powerfully built woman, tall and brawny with long, dark hair. She carries herself proudly with her head held high, shameless of her physical superiority over anyone and everyone she meets. She is never not wearing armor.  

Equipment

Galatea has accumulated an astoundingly large inventory of wargear over her life. Her arsenal of weapons, shields, armor, and accessories is large enough to contain multiple choices for solving any problem in any combat scenario. Galatea is able to summon and banish her equipment on a whim, making them appear out of thin air to her waiting hands and then dissappear again into safety once the need for them has passed. With this ability she is able to change weapons mid-maneuver, summon shields to block attacks at the last moment, execute ranged attacks from the midst of a heated melee -- and, in general, react with peerless flexibility to the unpredictable ebb and flow of battle.   Galatea's arsenal is the stuff of cosmic legend. As the favored champion of numerous gods of Ulthgard she has been showered with divine artifacts each mightier than the last. Godly artisans have clad her in armor tailor-made for her needs; deities in need of aid have given to her trinkets, charms, and keepsakes imbued with their blessings in preparation for trials to come; appeased gods have gifted to her one mighty weapon after another as reward for services rendered. Some of her armaments are plunder, the spoils of war, while others are trophies taken from vanquished enemies or mementos of fallen comrades. Other still have been received as tribute from cowed enemies -- paltry gifts meant to stay Galatea's mighty hand.  

Melee weapons

Nike. Nike -- Victory -- is Galatea's signature weapon: a short sword made by the great smith god Hefaetrus according to her specific instructions. Forged from a pearly white metal and glowing with magic, the weapon is impossibly sharp and absolutely indestructible.   Kratos & Via. Kratos and Via -- Strength and Force -- are a pair of thin metal gloves that Galatea uses as fist weapons. Kratos -- wielded on the left hand -- enhances Galatea's already great strength to awesome heights. Force -- on the right hand -- can project great fields of magical force with each punch, allowing Galatea to hit enemies from far away.   Krakenbreaker. A two-handed axe forged and originally wielded by Galatea's mother, Neptunus. It passed on to her when Neptunus surrendered to the Empyreals in Fimbulwinter and swore never to do battle again. The weapon holds power over water and the seas.   Skirrhjor. A massive greatsword taken from the dead fire giant god Surtur who once forged it in the volcanic fires of Muspelheim. Also known as The Bright Blade. Produces devastating conflagrations at short intervals.   Kairnir. A monolithic maul of stone and metal, forged and wielded by the great Karcheus, the ancient God of Earth that perished in Ragnarok.   Carcerix. A chain of abyssal steel that can magically lengthen and shorten itself, with viciously barbed flesh-hooks on both ends. Used by Galatea to shackle foes as well as to traverse environments. Stolen in battle from Asmodeus himself.   Severance. A huge broadsword that once belonged to Ianna, an ancient yanni that assisted Galatea on numerous quests before falling in battle. When swung, the blade is able to project crescent-shaped arcs of raw magic that cut through anything in their path. Galatea mostly scoffs at weapons that so strongly rely on magical energy but has nonetheless made use of the weapon's incredible capacity for mass destruction when faced with overwhelming numbers of enemies.   Giver of Rest. A two-bladed spear forged by Umar and blessed by Anthos to smite undead. It is capable of instantly seperating the soul of a soulbound undead from its body at the lightest touch, instantly slaying creatures such as vampires, wights, and ghouls, sending their spirits from the state of Undeath to the Afterlife.   Bloodculler. The legendary scimitar of Khaine, the first vampire, stolen from him after a duel. Khaine was able to regenerate his body afterwards but has not managed to reclaim his blade. Bloodculler is an unholy weapon that temporarily strengthens its magical enchantments as it tastes the blood of its victims. Some of the other Empyreals would wish to destroy such an abominable item but Galatea has simply refused to part with it.   Cortana. Also known as the Sword of Mercy, Cortana is a sentient weapon given to Galatea by Bahamut. It is a one-handed sword with only one sharp edge and a blunted tip, making it very inflexible in combat but adequately usable against defenseless opponents. Within the blade dwells an advanced simulacrum that is constantly counseling Galatea to mercy and restraint. Who knows how many times she has heeded Cortana's advice -- and how many times she has ignored it?   Starscream. A meteor hammer with a very long chain. The ends of the weapon are axe-like blades forged in the heart of a dying star, once wielded by the dark planetar Jupiter. The blades make an eerie howl as they pass through the air, an unearthly screaming that drowns out other sounds and makes one's ears bleed. As the weapon is spinned around it gains magical charge from its momentum, glowing brighter and brighter with magic the longer it stays in motion. Even the chain can glow white-hot, passing through flesh, bone, and metal with no resistance.   Hundred Blade Lotus. A set of a hundred identical demonic swords. Taken from the bodies of a two dozen mariliths -- the elite guard of the demon lord Var'ganas -- and imbued with telepathic magic by Galatea herself. She wields the swords with mental commands, making them levitate and fly through the air as she wills, creating veritable storms of blades around her and mutilating entire hordes of foes with intricate geometric shapes of blades that pulse with flesh-rending beauty. The sheer deadly power of the Hundred Blades makes Galatea consider them a boring choice of weapon but their effectivenes against large hordes of enemies is unquestionable.   Personal Defense Modules AB-03 and AS-01. Appearing to be nothing more than a pair of mundane bracers, the Personal Defense Modules -- or PDMs -- are actually highly sophisticated clockwork contraptions that contain dozens of triangular sheets of metal. At Galatea's command the bracers open up to expel these sheets that then form into specific shapes in the blink of an eye: AB-03 produces a long and sharp blade that serves as a wrist-mounted sword while AS-01 forms a small round shield. The bracers are non-magical and thus function even within anti-magic fields. They were gifted to Galatea by the modrons of Mechanus.

Ranged weapons

Thorjótr. A javelin forged by Hefaetrus and blessed by Zehir, originally wielded by the Empyreal warrior goddess Arna-Zeus. After her death in Ragnarok, Thorjótr was given to Galatea. It strikes with the fury of a thunderbolt and returns to its owner's hand after hitting its target.   Dawnstar. A great warbow stolen in battle from archangel Uriel. It fires burning streaks of white light and requires no ammunition.   Bloodwrack Knives. A set of a dozen small daggers made from the scales and bones of dragons, enchanted with demonic magic to produce unbearable pain to anyone they draw even a single drop of blood from. Received as tribute from the demon lord Ugonath. Used as throwing knives and dual wielded in melee.   Aquila. A set of three large throwing weapons, each shaped like a three-prong star with talons of giant birds as their blades. A gift from the god Amon-Shikaar, the Aquila brim with freezing elemental power. They are able to phase in and out of material form to pass through obstacles and always circle back through the air to Galatea's hand, ready to be thrown again into teeming hordes of enemies.   Silvanvölr. A staff made of a living piece of wood. Given to Galatea by Silvanus to use against the dreaded giant Geirröd. Serves as a bludgeon but also fires sprays of magic-infused needles in a scattershot pattern.  

Armor and trinkets

Aegis. A mirror bright round shield once carried by the goddess Cerys, it's edge inscribed with astoundingly powerful runes of protection. Myths describing the so-called Mirror Shield have inspired numerous blacksmiths amongst mortals and eternals alike.   Scales of Jormungändr. A set of a dozen scales taken from the body of the World Serpent slain in Ragnarok. Each kite-shaped scale is large enough to serve the goddess as a tower shield and the whole set can be combined to create a shield wall or a tortoise-like shell.   Lidless Wall. An oblong bulwark made from an alien metal and fixed with the petrified eye-stalks of Zirnysch and Simlorq, two ancient beholder tyrants that Galatea slew in the Wars of Madness. The shield is capable of dispelling spells and magical energy, storing their magical energy within itself. The energy can be later expelled through the beholder eyes, unleashing torrents of widly chaotic spells.   Elixir of Life. A gift from Seldariel, this simple vial holds within it a potion poured from the Grail itself. It is capable of healing Galatea from the direst of injuries in mere moments.   Hourglass Talisman. A gift from Arath-Sodan, this protective charm can slow down and speed up the flow of time within a short radius around Galatea. It activates its effects only by its own will, seeming to be able to sense when Galatea is in mortal peril. Several times it has been the difference between victory and defeat for the Goddess of Battle, allowing her to dodge out of the way of an attack just in the nick of time.   Raven Figurine. A gift from the goddess Alar, this tiny keepsake summons a thick flock of magical ravens around Galatea. These help to shield the goddess from overwhelming amounts of attacks such as a volley of projectiles or a swarm of trivial minions.   Spellmirror. A gift from the goddess Vaane, this small but intricately detailed trinket is able to reflect spells away from the wielder. Used by Galatea to level the playing field against spellcasters.   Shackle of Pain. A gift from the goddess Hygemene, this trinket was intended to mirror any wound its bearer suffers upon the flesh of the opponent that dealt it. Galatea has, however, modified the Shackle to be able to also mirror upon herself the wounds she deals to others. She uses these two effects to turn fights into sinister contests of endurance -- masochistic games won by the one with the higher tolerance for pain. Her victory in such a game is, of course, a foregone conclusion.   Brooch of Vengeance. A gift from the Allfather Oberon himself, this delicate piece of jewelry is enchanted with the most deadly of elemental magics. It unleashes terribly powerful elemental evocations against any creature that manages to land a blow upon Galatea's form. The goddess mainly uses the trinket to easily dispose of large hordes of mindless opponents that pose no real threat to her.   Overflowing Cup. A gift from the god Corellon, this magical drinking vessel produces endless amounts of ambrosian wine. More curiously, it is also able to intoxicate Galatea without her needing to drink. By Corellon's cruel design, any such intoxicating effect clears completely when the goddess suffers even a single hit. She uses this trinket in battle as a sort of fun, self-imposed challenge -- and outside battle just to get shit-faced.

Comments

Author's Notes

I've always thought it odd that the "god of war" in any intellectual property is always somehow the best fighter in that entire setting. My interpretation of godly archetypes and divine domains doesn't really gel with that notion. "War" is not the same as "combat." Especially not total war. Surely there must be some other more specific domain that makes a god the greatest warrior.   Much of the details in this article only took shape very recently. I was deeply inspired by the newest God of War on PC. It rekindled my love for spectacle fighters like Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, God of War, Dante's Inferno, Darksiders, Heavenly Sword, Hades, and so on. I've played a lot of those, and the thought occured to me that "What if all those games had the same protagonist? And what if her arsenal of weapons did not reset between games?" It was just plain old fun to mix, match, and invent my own version of a godly weapon cabinet.


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