Once, the Kingdom of Olympene was once one of the great states in the Ancient Greek period. The people of Olympene were known not only for their violence and battle wit, but also their counsel and intricate strategies. Easily a forerunner in the development of the world today, the Kingdom seemingly vanished into thin air - perhaps akin to Atlantis. Many people of the time correctly guessed that the Kingdom had faced the wrath of the Gods and all its achievements, technologies, inhabitants and legacies were wiped from the Earth. Over the years, the once great Kingdom of Olympene that so many of the Ancient Greek peoples had experienced became a rumour, a folklore that eventually was erased from memory. The supposed fate is only somewhat true, but to understand it one must look further back in the Kingdom’s history.
Even to the modern day, the origins of the Kingdom is debated with common myth believing that it was the result of a union of Athenians and Spartans banding together and stumbling across an island and, under the blessing of the Gods, creating Olympene, honouring them through its name. Others believe that a band of demigods ventured out and created a haven for all demichildren, one where people could mate with the gods and raise their children with their knowledge. Ultimately, an amalgamation of the two boasts the right to call itself Olympene’s origin. Demi-brethren had came together from both Athens and Sparta to found the city of true greatness, one that would uphold the Gods in a manner unparalleled. Sparta’s military prowess paired in union with Athens’ counsel created a seemingly perfect state. In its early days, Olympene was known for the extravagant festivals and parties it threw to honour the gods, the main focus being on the Olympian Twelve, celebrating them as the rulers of the Greek world. Although the gods had a minor interest in the Kingdom due to the concentration of demichildren, the grand festivals truly caught their attention and thus received blessings of prosperity and having one of the most profound legacies of all time. The only thing the Kingdom had to do was ensure that the extensive worship of the gods never faltered, nor would they succumb to greed and boast excessively about their advancements.
For years, Olympene obided by what the Olympians had asked of them; they remained humble in their achievements and acted as a peacemaker nation amongst the ancient Greek world. Throughout this period, temptation was forever close as deities such as Eris and Apate found the Kingdom to be like a playground - forever pushing the limits and seeing which ruler would crack. The Kings and Queens of Olympene for many generations were able to ignore the temptations and please the Olympians but a slip up was inevitable. During the reign of King Eumastas, the goddess Eris was successfully able to seduce him and tempt him into going against what the Olympians had laid out for Olympene, telling him that the aim was to suppress the greatness of his people, also telling that all of his ancestors were just puppets and, should he go against the Olympians, he would be hailed as one of the greatest kings of all time. The goddess’ temptation, paired with an internalised need to live up to the image of his father who ruled before him, King Eumastas broke the guidelines of the Olympians. Through greed, he led Olympene to countless wars, conquering smaller islands around them and being merciless to the people of said islands. In regards to Olympene’s advancements, instead of bartering with the other city states for knowledge in exchange for other valuable things, Eumastas offended the other states, citing that they weren’t worthy enough of Olympene’s godly knowledge, referring to the people of city states such as Athens and Sparta as peasants whilst elevating the people of Olympene.
Naturally, the Olympians were enraged by Eumastas’ behaviour and gave him a single chance to turn his reign around and be the model ruler they wanted him to be. For a week he was plagued with dreams and visions of what could happen to his people should he continue. Visions of eternal darkness, an illness wiping out most of the population or unwinnable wars were all Eumastas could see for a week and he nearly gave in, had it not been for the tempting words of Eris. During her visit to him, Eris told Eumastas that she could bear him a son that would lead Olympene against the threats of the Olympians, lead it to conquest the Hellenes and rise as one of the greatest states of all time. Now that his internal need had grown into a desire to prove how bad of a leader his father was, Eumastas gave into Eris’ words and continued to go against the Gods. True to her word, Eris reared him a son, Alphesiboeus, and continued to promise Eumastas that he would grow up to champion the gods. In reality, the birth of Alphesiboeus marked the downfall of Olympene’s greatness.
Each of the Olympians cursed the Kingdom of Olympene in various ways to ensure that it would never reach the status it once was able to boast. In a war where Olympene should have triumphed easily against Athens and Sparta, Ares turned the battle tide and the Kingdom suffered a momentous defeat. Whatever men did survive weren’t able to return home as Poseidon enchanted the seas around the isle of Olympene to be forever stormy and unnavigable, further stopping any trading to and from the island. Hermes ensured that no forms of communication could be sent by the Kingdom and, should some be able to, due to the god’s mischievousness, the message would have no importance and be redundant. As festivals were still part of Olympene’s culture, Dionysus cursed the island whereby whenever a festival went on, an extremely negative thing would happen to the Kingdom - ranging from the destruction of key buildings to widespread over-intoxication leading to death. Whilst Hera placed a curse on the Kingdom whereby, at any given time, there would be no more than half of the female population that would be fertile, Aphrodite placed a curse whereby the other half of the island, the fertile half, would have extreme difficulty in finding someone to mate with, thus stunting Olympene greatly. Demeter cursed the island so that only the bare minimum of harvest would be produced every year, ensuring that Olympene would never experience the lavious lifestyles they once led.
Athena, on as was expected, revoked the extreme wisdom the Olympians had given the Kingdom, replacing it with subpar knowledge instead, additionally causing any person who was perceived as being smarter than the rest to be feared by the population of the Kingdom and be heralded as a bringer of the Olympian’s wrath. Hephaestus rendered most of their weapons created in their forges useless, meaning that should Olympene ever attempt to wage war (not that they could, given Poseidon’s curse), they would fail miserably. As Apollo and Artemis were the bringers of disease for their respective genders, Olympene experienced waves of disease - some incurable and some not. The final curse, of Zeus himself, was that the island would never be remembered in time to come and, when the name Olympene meant nothing to anyone outside of the island, the island would be subjected to a curse of forever moving and being unable to communicate with the outside world. For extra, concluding measures, the gods ensured that Eumastas’ son, Alphesiboeus, was weaker than his father but had a strong sense of devotion to not commit the same mistakes he had done, ensuring that Olympene would fade.
Over the next hundreds of years as Olympene vanished from outside memory, the various curses of the Olympian’s began to fade. Demeter slowly allowed more harvest to be produced, allowing the Kingdom to flourish somewhat. Apollo and Artemis stopped the relentless waves of diseases, instead making it that the inhabitants of Olympene had a resistance to healing techniques. Hephaestus made their weapons somewhat stronger - not that they needed them. Hera and Aphrodite’s curses remained but, as time went on, the number they affected got smaller and smaller. Athena allowed some knowledge back and Hermes’ curse was removed as it wasn’t needed due to Poseidon’s. Dionysus stopped the wave of bad events with each festival, allowing the people of Olympene some joy in their situation. Coming into modern times, only Poseidon’s and Zeus’ curses remained, ensuring that Olympene would never have contact with the outside world. In the past hundred or years or so, given the very ancient feel of Olympene as the Kingdom hasn’t experienced the same modernisation as the world, Olympene has become a breeding ground for the gods - a traditional solace in the modern world.
The overthrow of House Therabes by House Ayteria led by Penthylos was a defining point in the history of Olympene. For generations, House Ayteria believed that the Therabian rulers were damaging Olympene, not learning from the mistakes of their ancestors and condemning the island for a Tartarus live above the Underworld. The House of Ayteria was always favoured by the Gods, both Olympian and minor. Many of the House belonged to the small circle of Olymepians who were gifted with intelligence and knowledge far beyond that of the population, something they used to their advantage. Penthylos was within said circle and, paired with blessings from Ares and Hephaestus, he was able to overthrow the elderly king; Eumastas VI. Upon Penthylos' ascension as Penthylos I, reform was widespread in the Kingdom and marked the kinder cheek of the Olympians being shown to Olympene - a thing many Olympenians were grateful for, ensuring House Ayteria's long and fruitful reign.
Queen Arethusa, a daughter of Khione and member of House Ayteria, is the currently ruling monarch and holds the morals behind the Ayterian Rebellion close to her heart; for repent, for the Olympenians and for Olympus. In fact, Arethusa has gone further than the monarchs before her, pouring her everything into restoring Olympene's status amongst the Olympians. That's partially down to the fact that she never thought she'd reign, having lived in the shadow of her older brother Prince Laertes, a son of Hades. Laeretes was always more willing to test the curses of the Olympians out, eager to see if they were still in tact and how many more festivals would appease them and this was his downfall. In a test of Poseidon's raging seas, his ship was destroyed by the waves and his body was washed up days later. That event sparked Arethusa to become as close to the model leader in the Olympian's eyes as she could; something she's succeeded in so far.
King Perikles IV had nine children – Laeretes, Arethusa, Zenicetes, Therapon, Oreithyia, Hippocoon, Chremonides, Cyrene, and Olympias. His fourth-born child and third son, Therapon, was a son of Hercules. Growing up, he had always been closest to Laeretes and also his older sister, Arethusa, and the three of them almost made their own little 'trio', with his older siblings acting not only as his siblings, but as his parents too (sans the discipline part, for much of the time they found it too difficult to discipline the cheeky little thing – the impact of this never really faded.) However, upon Laeretes' death when Therapon was aged just twelve, their dynamic was changed quite permanently. As he was a child of Hercules, his father selected him to watch and protect Arethusa, now the heir apparent, even if the line of succession didn't necessarily work that way. This, too, changed their relationship, becoming more like a guard and his sovereign than the close-knit loving sibling relationship he had had with her before. Even now he would have no qualms laying down his life for his sister, partly because he loves her in his own right, and partly because she is among his last links to his deceased elder brother.
Despite the loss of Laeretes, life had to continue on and, eventually he, as all of them were, was set up to marry. He ended up being arranged to marry Lady Myrine of House Phociri, the second most powerful house after Ayteria itself. However, it is quite expected that people living on Olympene will lay with gods as well as their spouses, and Therapon did – bucking the trend somewhat of them rarely laying with Olympians, as he had three children by them. His eldest daughter Demetria, with Dionysus; and his two sixteen year old daughters Atalanta and Theia by Apollo and Ares respectively. He also had two children by Myrine before her death in 2007 – her death was the result of a freak illness, and due to Artemis' curse that rendered the women resistent to healing techniques, nothing could save her. Therapon had never been wholly close to his children, being too focused on his role in defending Arethusa, but after the death of Myrine the distance only increased. Therapon believed that his children required a maternal role in their lives rather than his presence, though his role as protector impeded efforts to find one for them. Thus, the role of protector of the younger children largely fell to his eldest child, Demetria, who had been eight years old upon Myrine's death.
Out of Myrine's children, biological and not alike, Atalanta was the most impacted. She grieved her mother for months, and to this day she truthfully still isn't over her abrupt demise. Myrine had helped raise her and had loved her as her own, though she had, admittedly, not been aware that she and her "twin sister" Theia were demigods. You see, the night in which Atalanta and Theia had been conceived, it wasn't exactly a one on one. It was a threesome between Therapon, Ares and Apollo. A night between the sheets was enough to conceive a child with the Olympenian prince, but because neither Olympian was willing to deal with the gossip and snide comments that having the child of an Olympenian brought, they both came to the decision that it'd be for the best to have Lady Myrine carry her to term. Thus, the family was always led to believe Theia and Atalanta were normal mortals, exempt from the line of succession. Oh how fucking wrong they were.
Growing up, Atalanta was already showing a keenness for the art of healing. Many wrote it off as wanting to protect other children from losing their mothers, like her, when in reality it was the first passive manifestation of her heritage. Day in, day out, the time her royal cousins spent learning how to be royals, Atalanta spent either in the library or in the infirmary, helping the healers where she could and brushing up on the history of Olympene and the Olympian Curses. Perhaps this is why, well into her teens, she was often proclaimed the public's favorite royal. She was devoted to the public, even before her true heritage was discovered, and strived to be the ideal role model for all Olympenian children. She spread hope where desperation once lived and extended help where resources were scarce. She let her love for her people define her before all else, and that, at the end of the day, is what made Atalanta so unique.
She was around eleven years of age when the truth of her heritage came spilling out, during what continues to be one of the most awkward conversations she has ever had with any living relative. Because Atalanta had shown so much potential in the field of medicine, and she was showing a clear devotion to her Olympian brethren (she made it a point to pray at least three times every day, to as many deities she could in a half hour), Apollo had taken pride in his child - or at least as much pride as he could have for any of his demigod children. Recognizing her as his daughter, Apollo claimed her. The timing didn't work out as best as it could have, however, as she was claimed right in the middle of a family meeting - a very particular meeting, involving the birds and the bees. Imagine the surprise the family felt when that golden orb appeared atop her head.
Because Therapon had been led to believe Theia and Atalanta carried his and Myrine's blood, he was equally as surprised when she was claimed, followed by her pseudo-twin as a daughter of Ares. The weeks that followed were long and confusing, and she relied more than ever on the support of the Olympians. Even amid her confusion and this weird sense of horror that in some twisted way she might have tainted her mother's honor, she was still devoted to her gods. She needed them now more than ever, as a source of hope and reassurance that everything would be okay. Now that she knew she was a demigod, she had to catch up on years worth of training to prepare her for what was to come. Monster attacks.
The first monster attack she experienced was when she was thirteen years of age, and it wasn't even because of her scent. Though she conceded the point that her scent was stronger because she lived so close to other demigods, and she was well aware of her godly heritage, she had a swarm of guards and demigods well-versed in swordsmanship to protect her while she continued to train as much as she could. However, training with blunted weapons was futile, and they knew this, so the palace reached out to the one person that could help her: a demigod son of Asclepius. Because Atalanta was the only recorded child of Apollo in the island, it was uncharted territory, and much of what she did learn was from the journals of her ancestors, one of which was, as a matter of fact, an Asclepius legacy and a child of Apollo. Nevertheless, she trained as much as she could in an effort to train her powers, but it wasn't until she was around 15 or 16 that she truly felt like she could properly defend herself against close to anything. (She continues to prefer playing defense, though. Violence? Who she?)
The first time she encountered a monster that she had to fend off for herself was when she was 15. She didn't have her sister Demetria to protect her, or her cousins Lykon and Alektyron. It was her and nobody but her, facing off a harpy. Of course, blunted weapons could only do so much damage, but she was able to distract the monster long enough to make a run for it, arriving at the palace gates just in the nick of time. This, however, was her limit. Olympene, she felt, wasn't progressing as much as she'd have liked it to. She healed the sick where she could, using her official title as healer to ensure they lived to see another day, but the curses overpowered her by a lot. So she turned towards her two oldest cousins - the ones who would one day become her Kings. The conversation was short and sweet, right to the point as all three parties shared a goal: find a way out of Olympene. They created a prayer circle with many of their cousins, but it took a long time for the gods to take them seriously, let alone concede one blessed boat to get them out of Olympene. Atalanta is sixteen now, freshly arrived at Camp Half-Blood and hoping to learn other ways to help her island, once she returns.