Cross of Athena
The Cross of Athena is an enchanted necklace and holy item of the Goddess . It is held in high esteem by members of the church of Athena, and the one that wears it is normally given some form of blessing by the Church as Athena's Chosen.
The NecklaceThe Cross of Athena is called by many outside of the Church "the shiny necklace" as its importance is often downplayed. Members of rival churches, or those that do not follow Gods at all, have been known to say there is no reason to exalt those that wear the necklace. Members of Athena's Church think otherwise. The Cross necklace itself has much significance even in just its design. The design is initially based on a simple cross, but each initial tip of the cross branches out into another cross, creating three additional crosses. This design is meant to represent the domain of Civilization that Athena lords over, as the cross serves as a foundation that builds further crosses. The cross itself is made of gold, which holds no great significance other than the Church's love for the material. Then, rubies dot the points as well as the centers of each cross. On the points are circles, and in the center of each of the three additional crosses are ovals. This is meant to represent the great variation and diversity of Athena's followers. At the center of the initial cross is a triangular sapphire, which is meant to represent the Holy Trinity. Some of the edges are triangular and sharp, and it is stated that it could be used for self-defense if necessary, though the priests often dissuade people from thinking about it. They do not want their holy artifact to be viewed as something dangerous.
PowerThere is another reason that the Cross of Athena is worshipped, though. The holy enchantment placed on it is said to grant Athena's Chosen the power to shape the law. When one fights the wearer of this necklace, the wearer is allowed to set rules before the fight which they and their opponent(s) are forced to follow until the fight is over. An example of this is a fight between two Ancient Giants, where Athena's Chosen set the rule where both combatants had to fight with only their feet. The result was a kicking match that shook Totania itself, as the two Giants hopped around trying to kick each other.
CreationThe necklace of Athena is believed to have been created by the original creators of the Church of Athena, The Giant Kingdom. Many have found it laughable that Giants created such a small necklace, but the few records that remain state that it was meant to be small so other Giants would not know exactly who had it and would fear fighting anyone who had any necklace. This was known to prevent fights from breaking out very often. The creation process is stated to have been done around the finger of a giant, rather than around their neck. Legends state that the finger which the necklace was made around had a face drawn on it because the Giant that created it was looking at their finger for so long that they nearly bored themselves to death before it was created.
Athena's ChosenAthena's Chosen is the title of the one that wears the Cross around their neck. Many ceremonies in the Church revolve around Athena's Chosen, including the Holding of the Cross, where the Chosen stands on an altar as the followers all take hold of the cross for a moment and kiss it. Many outside of the Church wonder how they can call this person the chosen one of their God when an outsider could get their hands on the Cross, but this has often been rectified when the wearer is either "coerced" to join the Church, or mysteriously goes missing before the necklace is found on a loyal member of the Church.
The most famous wearer of The Cross of Athena is the Head Priest of her church during the 540s, Ram Rodraz. Ram is a very divisive figure amongst the Church of Athena, as he is known for being a religious zealot, as well as his heterochromia mutation. Despite this, most worshippers of Athena follow him either out of love for Athena, fear of Ram, or some other misguided feeling. Ram recently graduated from the Draconian Magic College, and was even a semi-supporter of the Grand Wizard in the recent Chief Crisis, though his true goals in the conflict were unknown. When asked about the necklace, Ram has said
"Of course I wear it. I am Athena's Chosen. Any who wishes to say otherwise is a heathen, and must be purged to become the foundation of the great civilization we are living in and maintaining."
Religious / Ritualistic
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