I thought I’d have more time to explore Innistrad before information about Theros started coming out, but I was wrong. So I’m going to have to jump ship on the Innistrad posts and focus my attention on Theros. There is definitely not as much known about Theros yet, but that makes it more exciting! There are two parts published from the Planeswalker’s Guide to Theros, but it’s different reading them before the set is released — all the art could be on cards, but maybe not. And all the names and places mentioned could also be found on cards… but then again, I have no idea. It’s almost like a fun game. But one thing that we do know: the gods will actually be cards. So that seems like a good place to start looking at the Vorthos of Theros.
There are five main gods on Theros: Heliod, Thassa, Erebos, Purphoros and Nylea. Each of them match up with a color in MTG. They are said to live in the Land of Nyx, where humans sometimes visit in their dreams. The gods are also believed to be living enchantments, so both enchantments and dreams are seen as gifts from the gods. Enchantments are seen as a special, more divine form of magic, which makes sense since Wizards has said that Theros is going to be an enchantment-based block. The one god card that has been spoiled is Thassa, and she her card type is a legendary enchantment creature, which seems like it could be really cool to play with, but also definitely goes along with the Vorthos aspect of Theros, which is really cool. I’m excited to see what the other god cards are like. For now, I’ll just speculate based on the descriptions of the gods released…
Heliod, God of the Sun — Heliod is associated with justice, and his domain includes family honor, morality and even marriages. He wields Khrusor, the Sun Spear, and it’s said that he can throw it down from Nyx and hit any point in Theros. Apparently there are legends that say Heliod destroyed a whole city, or Polis, with Khrusor. Heliod’s personality is self-assured and proud, and he has an aura of brilliance. But Heliod is said to be very fickle… “Heliod’s greatest ally today might be the target of his retribution tomorrow.” That doesn’t stop almost everyone from worshipping him at least a little, even if it’s just a wink in the direction of the dawn light in the morning as a sign of respect. The summer solstice is dedicated to celebrating Heliod, and is three full days of feasts, weddings and declarations of devotion.
Thassa, God of the Sea — Along with the obvious domain of the sea, Thassa is also said to be the god of ancient knowledge, introspection and the passage of time. She is discontent with how things are, but isn’t one to act quickly or rashly. She is dedicated to gradual change. She wields Dekella, a powerful bident that allows her to control the tides and whirlpools. But there is a legend that she turned a sailor’s whole family to eels after he stole Thassa’s bident to destroy an enemy fleet. Thassa is hard to anger, but impossible to placate once she is. Tritons are Thassa’s biggest worshipers, but she shows no favoritism to them. Anyone traveling out to sea also makes a point to honor Thassa.
Erebos, God of the Underworld — As Heliod is the god of the sun, Erebos is the god of the shadow. Erebos accepts his role, and even stands behind Heliod. Erebos is the god of death, obviously, but he’s also the god of misfortune, envy, wealth and other vices. Erebos carries Mastix, an impossibly long and powerful whip that is more often used to keep reluctant dead in the underworld than actually inflict pain. Even though Erebos daydreams about the sun, he finds peace in the fact that every mortal will join him eventually. And suffering doesn’t bring him delight, but he knows it brings others understanding of him and his position in the world. His worshipers belong to three groups: “those who exalt death, those who desire wealth, and those who pray for acceptance of their fates.” The first is the most dangerous, the second is the largest, but the third group is closest to Erebos’s heart.
Purphoros, God of the Forge — Purphoros’s domain is over fire, the forge and “restless earth”. “[Purphoros] rules the raw creative force of heat and energy that fills the souls of sentient beings. His energy emerges as chaos, something to be harnessed and shaped by labor and passion.” Because of this, he’s also the god of creation and destruction, artists and obsession. Purphoros’s signature item is really cool — he wields Akmon, a hammer that is insanely powerful. A blow from Akmon can reduce earth to its molten form and when it strikes metal each spark becomes an enchantment. Purphoros inspires those who come into his presence. He creates beautiful items, but immediately destroys them to start again. He always thinks there is something more to be said or created and he is forever stretching the “bounds of mortal imagination”. This can leave him frustrated, though, and he can lash out with raw power and destruction. His main worshipers are smiths, who brought both bronze and iron to Theros, but he is also worships by artists when they’re creating pieces of work and warriors when they’re lighting fires.
Nylea, God of the Hunt — Nylea controls the seasons and the forests. She is seen as the god of rebirth because of her control over the seasons, and the god of predation and hunger because of her control of the forests. She is Theros’s finest archer, wielding the shortbow Exphixis. And although Nylea has no problem with hunting for food, she does not allow hunting for sport. If you don’t ask for her blessing to hunt the animals in the forest, she will hunt you down. Nylea is easy to anger if humans are interfering too much with her realm. She allows Puphoros to unleash fires in parts of her realm, if she doesn’t like what’s going on. Nymphs and humanoid creatures, like Centaurs and Satyrs, worship Nylea for the most part, but humans do as well, especially when they want the seasons to cooperate. There are no temples built in her honor, and she hates sacrifices. In fact, Nylea is very hard to please. But Nylea is not always mean — she is often playful and joyful. She just likes things happening in their natural order.
So there you have it. Theros’s five main gods. In the guide there was another god mentioned: Karametra, god of the hearth (who doesn’t get along with Nylea), so I think there will be demigods, which makes sense since Theros is MTG’s take on Greek mythology. And looking at the gods, you can definitely see the inspiration. I love Greek mythology, so I’m really excited to learn more about Theros.
All for now,
Which god do you like the best? What do you think of Theros so far?