Heliod, God of the Sun | Jamie Jones
Understanding the plane of Theros
The plane of Theros is inspired by Ancient Greece and thus is incredibly similar to it. Ruled by the Gods of Nyx, it is the site of epic adventures, brave heroes, formidable monsters, and devoted worship.
The plane is comprised of three different realms:
- The normal, sun filled world of the living
- Nyx, the starry world where the Gods reside. From Nyx, the Gods send down dreams to sleeping mortals.
- The Underworld, the realm that lies beneath the “Rivers that Ring the World”. Here, the dead dwell governed by the God of the dead, Erebos. The Underworld is not connected to Nyx, as it lacks the sun as much as it lacks the darkness. lacks the darkness.
Theros also consists of three cities, or “poleis”
Meletis was born from the downfall of tyranny and thus became a polis of scholars, architects, and oracles. Meletis is also the home of the Dekatia, the greatest academy on all of Theros that houses the greatest scholars and mages.
Akros, a polis high in the mountains of Theros, is the home of the fiercest warriors of the plane. Akroans live and die in the name kings and queens, hardening their armies generation after generation. Akros is currently under the rule of King Anax and Queen Cymede. Akros is also the birthplace of the planeswalker Gideon Jura.
When looking at Setessa from the sky, the polis resembles the rings of a tree that stretch outward from its heart, the temple of Karametra, God of Harvests . Setessa is mainly comprised of forests, small villages, and civic structures. Here, Anthousa leads Karametra’s Council of Warriors. Anthousa is considered to be Karametra’s closest advisor and ruler of the polis.
Art by: Jamie Jones
Heliod is the God of the sun. The sun God represents law, justice, retribution, and the bonds of kinship. Heliod directly oversees matters of family honor, questions of morality and virtue, speeches, marriages, and self-sacrifice.
Heliod’s presence alone fills the sky with sunlight, blocking access to the starry realm of Nyx. Even in person, Heliod radiates powerful rays of light. Heliod believes himself to be a friend and ally to all, but it is known that his loyalty is to be taking very lightly; someone can be his ally one day and his target the next.
Art by: Jamie Jones / Eric Deschamps
“In our war Heliod gave mortals some favor, yet other times he withheld aid. Are we still no more than game pieces to him?” -Polyxene the Doubter Dictate of Heliod
Despite holding honor and justice in high regard, Heliod demonstrates incredible arrogance throughout the “Godsend” saga. Heliod convinces himself that he is the rightful “lord of the pantheon” and the greatest of all the Gods of Theros. Because of this, Heliod demands praise and submission from the rest of the Gods. Heliod’s arrogance directly causes conflict between himself and the, Purphoros, God of the Forge, who challenges Heliod’s assertion. The challenge introduced by Purphoros created a divide between the pantheon and created great chaos, resulting in Heliod going a bit mad. Heliod’s need and want for adoration leads him to hate Xenagos, whom he accuses to be an usurper, and partially leads him to kill Elspeth Elspeth, Sun’s Champion due to his envy of her.
Heliod wields Khrusor, the Sun Spear, a spear blessed with the powers of Heliod himself, allowing its power to be cast from any point in the heavens.
Art by: Zach Stella
“Heliod’s blessings are apparent for all to see” -Heliod’s Pilgrim
Heliod quite literally brings the light of the sun down onto the plane of Theros, therefore everyone pays some form of tribute to him. It is said that some wink in the direction of the morning light as a nod to Heliod’s luminous eye. Heliod’s main worshippers are humans and Lagonna-Band centaurs. At the first clear-skied morning of every month Heliod is worshipped in the sun temple that contain stairs leading up to an open courtyard, thus enabling the worship of the sun.
Art by: Jason Chan
“Mortal strength, like mortal hope, is so easily crushed.” -Thassa, God of the Sea
As a God of the sea Thassa is associated with creatures of the sea, the passing of time, ancient knowledge, and long voyages across the waters. Thassa is responsible for the gradual changes of the world’s coastlines. Thassa’s worshippers are mainly comprised of Tritons and the humans of the city off the coast of the Siren Sea, Meletis. These worshippers all make it a point to pay tribute to the God before heading to sea, whether it be for war, trade, or voyages. These tributes are paid by fish, salt and pearls.
It is said that when Thassa speaks, she rarely speaks in the present tense but rather speaks in the future sense, referring to what tomorrow will bring as she is often uninterested in the reality of today. Dekella, the bident of the sea, was the weapon wielded by Thassa before it was stolen by the planeswalker Kiora. Thassa is slow to anger but once roused, her anger is uncontrollable and untameable. Thassa’s anger often takes the form of powerful hurricanes, sending out raging waves and often times leveling entire villages to the ground.
Art by: Chris Rahn | Thassa’s Ire
“Those who incur Thassa’s anger will be swallowed whole by her waves, or torn asunder by her bident.” -Thrasios
Art by: Peter Mohrbacher
“Phenax offers the hope of life, while Pharika grants the solace of death. Between them stands Erebos, who promises nothing but eternity.” Extinguish All Hope
As the God of the Dead, Erebos is naturally associated with all the bad in the world. Things such as envy, bitterness, ill fate, sickness, misfortune, and of course, death.
Erebos is the lord and warden of the underworld. He knows that at some point in time all mortals will find their way to his realm and this provides Erebos with a twisted sense of pleasure. Erebos is not without compassion however, for when a mortal suffers alienation and banishment he sympathizes with them, remembering how he became the God of the Dead.
Erebos is worshipped by beings from three distinct groups: those who exalt death, those who desire wealth, and those who pray for their fates. The first group is the smallest but is also the most dangerous. The beings who exalt death wish for nothing more than for a clash between Heliod and his shadow, Erebos. The second group is the largest. The third group is to the most precious and dear to Erebos because these beings simply want acceptance of their fate.
Erebos wields the great whip, Bastix. The whip if often used as a weapon and to inflict pain but its main purpose is to pull those who are reluctant to face death into the underworld.
Art by: Chris Rahn
“Some of my kin dance for themselves, without greater purpose. Nylea gives me purpose, and with it strength.” -Satyr Grovedancer
Nylea is the God of the Hunt, seasons, and forest. Due to her reign over the hunt and seasons, Nyela is often associated with predation, hunger, metamorphosis, and rebirth.
Wiedling a shortbow by the name of Ephixis, Nylea is the plane’s most talented archer. Even though Nylea is the God of the Hunt, she loathes and hates those who hunt purely for sport. Nylea displays a feral and animalistic personality when she is not with her companions and carries the responsibility of keeping the wild as a safe haven for all animals and keeping humans away from her forests. Unlike Thassa, Nylea is incredibly quick to anger whenever something or someone threatens her realm. Because the seasons change based upon Nylea’s will, Nylea can halt the change of the season as an act of vengeance. Nylea shares a tight allegiance with the God of the Forge, Purphoros, and allows him to unleash fire into the forests, whether it be to cleanse the forest or when humans approach too close.
Nylea also has a conflicted relationship with the God of the Hearth, Karametra: Karametra resents Nylea’s control of the seasons, and Nylea sees agriculture as a corruption of nature.
Unlike other Gods, Nylea doesn’t have any temples built in her honor because she isn’t fond of their construction. Her worshippers are Nymphs of all kinds, satyrs, centaurs, and many citizens of Setessa. As a replacement for temples, her holy sites are usually small fields surrounded by trees and butterflies. It is said that if a tree around the site is spotted, Nylea is nearby. The God of the Hunt hates sacrifices of any kind and is known to be incredibly hard to please.
Art by: Ralph Horsley
“It is not yours to hunt, mortal. Be content with its beauty alone.” -Nylea, God of the Hunt
Art by: Eric Deschamps
“Purphoros is god of creation and destruction, which makes him the most creatively destructive god in the pantheon” -Fearsome Temper
The restless earth, the raging fire, and burning forge. These are all under the rule of Purphoros. He oversees the raw creative force that fills all sentient beings. The God’s energy emits as chaos, a force to be harnessed and shaped by labor, and because of this, Purphoros is also the lord of artisans, obsessions, and the cycles of creation and devastation.
Purphoros wields the mighty hammer Akmon, whose head slightly resembles an anvil. A single blow from the mighty hammer can melt the earth and each spark becomes a brand new enchantment. Some of these sparks even become sentient.
Art by: Mathias Kollros | Fall of the Hammer
“It is unwise to insult the god of the forge. It is also unwise to stand near anyone else who has insulted him” -Fall of the Hammer
To be allowed a seat in front of Purphoros is to be inspired like never before. Seeing the god of the forge create the most beautiful items only to dash them into flame again and begin forging anew fills any mortal with an immeasurable sense of will and inspiration. The god of the forge also loved the god of the hunt, Nylea, once before. His love for Nylea led to some of the most extraordinary works of art ever seen: Opaline Unicorn. Purphoros can be reasonable but he does not follow any rules and is lead by his own creative and destructive influences and often times this can mean the destruction of an area just to make way for something entirely new. The biggest flaw Purphoros possesses is that of frustration. The god the forge is always trying to push himself beyond mortal imagination, believing that there is more that can be expressed and discovered. This belief in the things beyond often sends Purphoros into a blinding rage, unleashing his rage upon the world.
Thanks to Purphoros, his worshippers introduced the element of bronze to the Theros, allowing the forging of stronger objects. The god’s worshippers are comprised of not only smiths, but of artists, warriors, and satyrs as well.
Art by: Ryan Barger
“She asks pointed questions of the dead who wait for Athreos, learning of life from those who are about to leave it” -Scholar of Athreos
When mortals pass, their souls are required to make the journey across the Rivers That Ring the World to the Underworld. Here Athreos, God of Passage acts as their humble guide, leading the souls of the dead to their eternal rest. Athreos pays no heed to the troubles of other gods and their quarrels with mortals, his only concern is to safely lead the dead to the Underworld. The god of passage does his best to ease the dead’s transition from life to death, using his renowned staff of wood as a barge for the dead to cross.
Across Theros, it is customary to create a mask of clay and place it upon the faces of the dead. In doing so, the dead are framed for Athreos and the god of passage is able to mark the proper passage for the soul. On the shores of the Rivers, the wardens that patrol the Rivers’ banks ensure that only the dead pass.
Art by: Ryan Barger | Grim Guardian
“Occasionally the living wander to the Rivers, but the wardens of Athreos ensure that only the dead pass” -Grim Guardian
Art by: Eric Deschamps
“Civilization is the sum of Ephara’s gifts.” -Olexa of the Twelve
Ephara, God of the Polis represents city-states and buildings of all kinds, but she is particularly worshipped in Meletis. Ephara also oversees industry, architecture, and societal progress, ensuring stability and protection. It is believed by worshippers of Ephara that her presence keeps away the dangers of the wild.
Art by: Slawomir Maniak
A constant beacon of glory in combat, Iroas, God of Victory represents valor and bravery in battle. Iroas is the twin brother of Mogis, God of Slaughter, who commands the brutal and terrible side of war and because of the this the two brothers are always at odds.
Art by: Chase Stone | Dictate of the Twin Gods
“Iroas and Mogis are as different in appearance as they are in personality” -Dictate of the Twin Gods
The god of victory encourages the honorable aspects of war. He favors the militaristic city of Akros and has established the Iroan Games in the Akroan arena. The Akroan arena is home to the main temple of Iroas, and during the height of summer athletes and soldiers alike travel from all across Theros to participate and compete in the games. Winners of the Iroan Games receive no medals or trophies, instead, they are granted a visit from the god of victory himself. Iroas’ worshippers are mainly champions of the games and soldiers.
Art by: Eric Deschamps
“The strength of the people comes from the land. And the bounty of the land comes from Karametra” - Reap What Is Sown
Karametra, God of Harvests represents harvest, stability, balance, community, agriculture, maternity and protection. As such, Karametra is worshipped mostly in Setessa. But despite what she represents, Karametra is far from a pacifist as she oversees defense and the guarding of territory.
Karametra appears on the throne of Abundance, a throne woven from nature and with her sable curled at its base or around it.
Art by: Mike Lim
“A prayer answered by Keranos is clear for all to witness” -Stormcaller of Keranos
Those that gaze upon the ferocious lightning that strikes in the sky understand that the bolts may be both devastating and inspiring. Keranos, God of Storms embodies those traits. Keranos is a god of little patience and even less mercy.
The god of storms also embodies wisdom and thus, is intolerant of mortals as he sees them as reckless and incompetent. Despite this, Keranos respects those who act with a clear purpose in mind, most notably when they ask for permission first before executing their actions. Individuals who are granted permission are bestowed with glimpses of the future - a future that is unsusceptible to change.
The greatest worshipper among the mortals is Queen Cymede, who spreads the worship of Keranos across her entire city.
Art by: Peter Mohrbacher
Even in the best of times, Mogis is always looking for a fight in the mortal realm
The dark twin of Iroas is the god of brutality, wrath, malice, pain, and revenge. Mogis, God of Slaughter Mogis, God of Slaughter receives satisfaction only when his opponents suffer and his ultimate pleasure is the fear of the weak. Because of his polar opposite personality to that of his brother, Iroas, the two gods are always battling one another.
Mogis favors the savage and sadistic minotaurs of Theros.
Art by: Mike Lim
“Knowledge is cruel. It will break your heart and test your allegiances. Are you certain you want this curse?” -Dictate of Kruphix
The oldest and most mysterious god on Theros is Kruphix, God of Horizons Kruphix, God of Horizons and he holds dominion over the cycles of time, the unseen, the distant, and navigation.
Kruphix rarely ever speaks and only a few mortals worship him. His temple is built over a waterfall on the edge of the world where he appears only as a silhouette of Nyx-filled space in the sky. Being the oldest god, Kruphix is the only one who knows the origins of Theros and all its deities, thus, he understands the price that must be paid in order to slay a god.
Art by: Peter Mohrblacher
“The venom cleanses the sickness from your body, but it will not be pleasant, and you may not survive. Pharika’s blessings are fickle.” -Solon, Acolyte of Pharika Pharika’s Cure
Pharika is a fearsome enemy as she rarely engages in conflict directly but instead uses her cup to poison her enemies and strengthen those who worship her. Throughout Theros, it is believed that Pharika withholds ancient medicinal knowledge from the world and no one knows whether it is purely to toy with the mortals or to reward those who quest to find them.
Art by: Ryan Barger
“Only a fool takes Phenax at his word. What do you expect from a god born of lies and betrayal?” -Verenes, priest of Iroas Spiteful Blow
- “GameLore Wiki.” - Wikia. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2016.
- “Planeswalker’s Guide to Born of the Gods.” MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Wizards of the Coast, 8 Feb. 2014. Web. 10 July 2016.
- “Planeswalker’s Guide to Theros, Part 1.” MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Wizards of the Coast, n.d. Web. 10 July 2016.