The Muses

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These are not quite the muses of classical Greek mythology, although they are based upon them and adjusted to fit certain D&D/Pathfinder concepts. Some of the names have been adjusted as well. Their heritage is not clear, as they predate the development of the separate “races” of dwarf, gnome, etc. Each of them shows characteristics that may be associated with one of today’s classifications (Clio, for example, may well be a “proto-halfling”), but any of them could pass for human.

A quick reference to the alignment ranges for each of the muses:

Muse Alignment Quick Reference


Calliope 

They will write songs and epic poems about me. Let me tell you about it…

Primary Passion: The glorification of heroism and overcoming adversity; epic poetry.

Alignment Range: No neutrality. Take a stand! (LG, LE, CG, CE).

Totem: Scroll

Anathema: Obscurity, timidity, cowardice, mental weakness.

Philosophy: Make a difference. Do things. Own your actions. Don’t hide in the shadows. Don’t back down!

Physical Description: Calliope has auburn hair cascading untethered over flowing white robes that are tight enough in just the right places to highlight her female characteristics. She is short, just under five feet, with a muscular build more reminiscent of a toned marathon runner than a burly weightlifter. In any tavern, she’ll be the one telling the tales of her own exploits or someone else’s. She appears human.


Clio

Knowledge is power, and both will be mine.

Primary Passion: Knowledge and history.

Alignment Range: Knowledge itself is neutral, but it must be recorded accurately. It can be used for either good or evil. (LG, LN, LE, N)

Totem:  Book

Anathema: Uncertainty. Lies and liars. Sloppy research. Bad planning.

Philosophy: Knowledge requires truth. Do your research, make a decision, and stick with it. No waffling. Always be the strategist, the one everyone looks to for a plan.

Physical Description: Clio is pale-skinned with jet-black hair and piercing green eyes. She is small in stature, and more than a bit pudgy. Her clothing is clearly unimportant to her, except that she prefers yellows. Her hair is short and generally unkempt. She is probably a halfling.


Erato

All you need is love! We can all get along if we just try hard enough.

Primary Passion: Love and love poetry.

Alignment Range: Others are more important than self. Erato is good. (LG, NG, CG)

Totem: Rose

Anathema: Apathy, selfishness, ego, betrayal.

Philosophy: Look for the good in people and you will find it. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but don’t ever forget a betrayal, or trust a betrayer. If you have a score to settle, do it quickly and with honor, and then move on.

Physical Description: Erato is tall and lithe with skin the color of chocolate milk. Her almond-shaped eyes are large and deep brown, and her hair cascades to her shoulders in silvery-white waves. Her body and her forest green clothes are decorated with tasteful jewelry and subtle tattoos. Her subtly-pointed ears give a hint of elf.


Euterpe

Music can change your mood, give energy, take energy; music is control.

Primary Passion: Music, performance, improvisation

Alignment Range: Performance exists outside the boundaries of society. It is ethically neutral, though there is goodness in music. (LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN)

Totem: Aulos (double flute)

Anathema: Surliness and anger.

Philosophy: Always stay in control. You don’t have to be the leader if you can pull the leader’s strings. When you perform, give it your all! Always smile; don’t let them see how you really feel. If you make a mistake, keep right on going and hope nobody noticed.

Physical Description: Euterpe’s appearance says comfortable and practical: soft flowing clothes, brown hair pulled back in a bun, no jewelry, a smile on her face, and a twinkle in her eye. When performing, though, her look changes with the performance, ranging from androgynous to overtly feminine or masculine. She is the perfect prototypical bard, able to sing and play her aulos, recite a play or poem, and control a crowd with her performance. She can sing or play a tune that will fill you with energy and confidence, and then another that will leave you shaky and weak.


Melpomene

It sucks. Everything sucks. I may die, but I’m taking you down with me.

Primary Passion: Revenge.

Alignment Range: True neutral. She just doesn’t care. (N)

Totem: Tragic Mask

Anathema: Happiness, inaction.

Philosophy: Don’t go looking for fights, but if you end up in one, finish it quickly and with no regrets. If you need to do something, just do it. Don’t wait or the situation will just get worse. Never trust happy people; they’re probably hiding something.

Physical Description: A gray mask covers the top half of Melpomene’s face without hiding her amber eyes or her black-stained lips. Her black hair with its dark red highlights cascades to her tightly-cinched waist, over a long ornate black dress. The sheath of her dirk hangs low on her hip, its black leather carved in a pattern that allows the blade to show through.


Polyhymnia

My faith can move mountains, grow gardens, and kick your ass.

Primary Passion: Nature, growth, gardening, and good fresh food

Alignment Range: Good and evil don’t matter in nature. What is, is. (LN, N, CN)

Totem: Grapes

Anathema: Anything loud or boisterous, bad food, unnecessary killing.

Philosophy: Believe in yourself and you can do anything or grow anything. Better a small excellent meal than a large mediocre one. Strength comes from harmony and quiet meditation.

Physical Description: Polyhymnia is tiny in stature, usually in a corner alone rather than in the center of a group. Her flaxen hair is usually pulled back, and a pale green veil covers her face, with her oversized eyebrows and delicately pointed ears. She dresses in pale green, usually trousers with many pockets and a blousy shirt rather than a dress. She moves confidently and quietly, and is most at home in nature. Her appearance is reminiscent of a modern gnome.


Terpsichore

Combat is a dance. If done right, it is as beautiful as it is deadly.

Primary Passion: Martial arts and dance

Alignment Range: A rigid adherence to the rules makes her lawful, but she’s willing to use those rules to her own ends. (LG, LN, LE)

Totem: Lyre

Anathema: Reliance on weapons, lack of discipline.

Philosophy: Weapons are for the weak; be the weapon. Never wear anything that’s easy for an opponent to grab in a fight. Follow the rules because it makes you a better and stronger person, not because it looks good to others. Dancing and fighting are two sides of the same coin.

Physical Description: Terpsichore has a lithe dancer’s body, with wavy shoulder-length golden hair and intense icy-blue eyes. She favors lightweight neutral-colored clothing that allows maximal freedom of movement. Her fluid movements are beautiful to watch on a stage and deadly in a fight. She appears human.


Thalia

You’re going to die, but at least you’re going to die laughing.

Primary Passion: Comedy, strong drink

Alignment Range: Chaotic all the way (CG, CN, CE)

Totem: 2-Handled Wine Cup

Anathema: Sadness and anything boring.

Philosophy: Never be as drunk as they think you are. Everyone underestimates the class clown. The harder they’re laughing, the less likely they’ll see your knife coming. Predictability is vulnerability.

Physical Description: There is nothing in Thalia’s looks that would make her stand out in a crowd. Ten minutes after she leaves, you won’t remember her autumn hair, average height, brown eyes, gray clothing, and lightly-tanned skin. The ivy wreath in her hair is the only distinctive thing about her until she opens her mouth or assumes one of her comic personas.


 

Urania

If you seek it, I can find it. If it is locked, I will open it. If it is concealed, I will reveal it.

Primary Passion: Discovery, astronomy, logic

Alignment Range: Urania cares only about herself and her never-ending quest to unlock the secrets of the world. (N, LE, NE, CE)

Totem: Globe & Compass

Anathema: Emotion, wasting time, games.

Philosophy: True understanding stems not from knowing what happens, but why it happens. Search for it. Find it. Unlock it. Take it apart. Rebuild it so it’s better … and it’s yours!

Physical Description: Urania’s black hair is curly and short. Her robes are midnight blue, covered with stars, and bound with a silver belt. She moves quietly on her soft-slippered feet. Her dark chocolate skin, short stature, and stocky build hint at the look of a modern dwarf.

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