Characters of Cimmeria: Dionysus

Dinonysus had a special birth. Zeus and Persephone had a son named Zagreus. Hera hated him as she hated most of Zeus’s children and she released some Titans to go kill him. They caught up to the infant and ate him. Zeus came down from Olympus and threw the Titans back into Tartaros. He managed to save the heart of Zagreus. This heart he gave to his current lover, Semele. She ate it at his request and became pregnant. Hera jealously struck down Semele. The premature baby survived due to its divine spark. Zeus took the fetus from Semele’s ashes and put it into his left thigh until it was mature enough to come out. Thus Zagreus was born from Persephone, eaten by a Titan, eaten by Semele, incubated in Semele, and incubated in Zeus’s leg before being born again as Dionysus.

One of Dionysus’s titles is twice-born. Dionysus invented wine from grapes and shared it with gods and men. He consorts with satyrs and fauns. He eventually rescued his mother Semele from Erebos and made her immortal with ambrosia. He is an excessive and wild god and is also responsible for the maenads, wild women who roam about the country tearing things to pieces and drinking anything they find. Dionysus is the god of wine, luxury, reckless action, and theatrical performance. His sacred animal is the leopard.

Dionysus’s sacred city is Satronwook. The city became such at the end of a tour Dionysus and Pan made around the Caspian. Pan blessed the city and Dionysus did so in turn. A magical fountain erupts in Satronwook, dispensing a different kind of alcohol each day. Bacchanal rites are observed every month to the pleasure and detriment of the citizens.

Dionysus’s most faithful follower is the Björn of Dalleer. His devotion to Dionysus earned him special recognition and the deity replaced the Björn’s blood with wine. This granted the Björn unusual magic powers, eternal life, and complete insanity. Still, the Björn had enough sense to keep this gift a secret. In the tradition of Dalleer he named an unknown young man as his successor. This stranger was in fact, the Björn, using his new magic to disguise his appearance. When he “died,” he replaced himself and continued to rule. Unfortunately, Dionysus’s gift would impede the Björn’s decision making ever after.

Mars’ Oasis also hosts a large number of Dionysus’s followers. A temple was established there to protect the city from the formian hives that Mars’ Oasis competed with. The end of the war with the formians may change how accommodating King Mero II has been towards the temple. Dionysian rites can be tough on a city, especially in the desert.

Recently Dionysus abstained from drink while Zeus was poisoned. This peculiar behavior for the god of alcohol affected many of his followers as well. He did not give them any command to moderate themselves, but many did regardless. This most affected the Björn who awoke from his madness for a few years. With the revival of Zeus, Dionysus has uncorked the everflowing bottle once more. His followers celebrated with a grand party across Cimmeria and the Björn returned to his familiar insanity.


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