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FURIES

Real Names: Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaera

Occupation: Goddesses of vengeance and retribution  

Legal Status: Citizens of Olympus

Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of the Furies except as beings from ancient mythology.

Other Aliases: (group) Erinnyes, Eumenides, Semnai Theai, (Alecto) Ember, The Maiden, (Megaera) Lady Ash, Crone, (Tisiphone) Blood Avenger, Dark Lady, Matriarch,

Known Relatives: Ouranos (father, deceased), Gaea (mother), Argus, Briareus, Brontes, Cottus, Cronus, Crius, Coeus, Gyges, Hyperion, Japet, Nereus, Oceanus, Ophion, Phorcys, Steropes, Typhon (brothers), Ceto, Dione, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Rhea, Theia, Themis, Tethys (sisters), Atlas, Eprimetheus, Hades, Helios, Hestia, Menoetius, Poseidon, Prometheus, Zeus (nephews), Calypso, Demeter, Eos, Hera, Metis, Selene (nieces), Hercules, Apollo, Ares, Hephaestus, Hermes, Dionysus, Triton (grand-nephews), Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Persephone, Eileithyia, Hebe, Discord, Helen, Pandia (grand-nieces),

Group Affiliations: The Olympian Gods, ally of Black Rose,

Base of Operations: The Land of Shades, formerly Olympus

First Appearance: (comics) Avengers I #50, (television) Xena TV Series, Episode "The Furies," (9-29-97)

History: The Furies are the daughters of the primeval gods Ouranus and Gaea. Among the few gods active before and after Zeus conquered Olympus, they punished offenders who turned against blood kin. Their principal function was to avenge fathers or most often mothers against their undutiful children. Often when a son failed to avenge a parent killed unjustly, the Furies haunted him until he made retribution on his parent’s death. Althaea, Queen of Calydon, called upon them to avenge her brothers after they were killed by her son Meleager. The Furies then reminded her of the link the Fates had made to a cord of wood that was burning when Meleager was born. Burning the wood resulted in the death of the young man who had once been an Argonaut.

The Furies also drove mad the warrior Alcmaeon who had been commanded by his father to kill his mother. He fled to Delphi trying to rid himself of their power and eventually came to the newly sifted delta of the river Achelous. The Furies could not affect him on land that did not exist at the time of his mother’s murder and he remained there until Achelous, the river-god who controlled the river there, could expunge him of his sins.

The Furies are best known for their torment on the Mycenaean prince, Orestes, whose mother had slain his father, King Agamemnon of Mycenae, for being unfaithful. Orestes sought resolution from Apollo through his temple at Delphi, but Apollo told him to seek solace in Athens. Standing at the Areopagus located there, Orestes pleaded his case directly to the Olympian Gods, and Athena voted for acquittal of his persecution. The Furies refused to stop tormenting him, but then Apollo promised to call off the Furies if Orestes stole the wooden statue of his sister Artemis from the Taurians and returned it to Athens. Orestes would have died in the mission had he not been recognized by his long lost sister Iphigeneia whom Artemis had spirited off years earlier to prevent being killed by their father as a sacrifice for favorable winds to Troy. With her help, Orestes returned with the statue and his sister to Mycenae to placate Apollo and escape his punishment from the Furies.

In later years, Hera sought Alecto without the assistance of the other Furies to initiate hostilities between King Latinus of Latium against the Dardanian prince, Aeneas. Hera hated Aeneas because the Titaness Themis had predicted that his descendants would destroy her favorite city of Carthage. King Latinus, however, refused to see Aeneas as a rival to his kingdom and instead offered his daughter, Lavinia, as a bride to him. Aeneas, meanwhile, increased the size of the city and founded what would become Rome. In the First Century BC, Carthage was sacked by Romans just as Themis had predicted.

Athena, the goddess of wisdom, eventually persuaded the Furies to surrender their primitive functions as bringers of retribution in favor of new roles as the gracious Eumenides. In this role, they were worshipped in various Greek cities and insured the fertility of the earth. Ares, however, manipulated them against the self-styled warrior-goddess Xena, by claiming that she had never lived to successfully avenge her father's death. The Furies drove Xena mad as a result, but she escaped their spells by insinuating that her gifts were not mortal by nature and that Ares was her true father. Establishing a probable cause, Xena escaped the wrath of the Furies, but whether Ares ever was her true father has never been confirmed.

The Furies again sought Xena out after she seemingly killed the Olympian gods using objects from the arch-angel Michael. Under Michael's spells, Xena used her chakram to slay all three of the Furies by decapitation. The Furies were restored to life afterward. In Pannonia, controlled by the Romans, they collided with the Finnish gods Vainamoinen, Ilmarinen and Lemminkainen, refusing to believe they were gods until Vainamoinen used a spell to banish them from his sight.

In recent decades, the Furies overheard the cries of vengeance from the gypsy woman Magdalena as she was accused of being a witch and burned to death by Pastor Noble Kale. For seven days afterward, they make it rain blood and even killed the young brother of Noble Kane. To stop them, Noble's father made a pact with the demon Mephisto and bartered away Noble's soul to rid himself of the Furies and bind them from Earth to protect his descendants. Noble became the first Ghost Rider and slew the physical forms of the Furies. Since the Furies could not be truly killed, their souls ended up in the Land of Shades, a shadowy plane of existence connected to Olympus, the home of the Olympian gods. When the Titan Typhon escaped from Tartarus from where he had been imprisoned and returned to Olympus, he extinguished the Promethean Flame which sent the Olympian gods to the Land of Shades for themselves. When the god Hercules was sent to the Land of Shades himself, he recognized the barely human form of one of the Furies resulting from Noble Kale's magic.

In 1941, a Greek nationale named Michael Kosmatos colloborated with the Nazis againsts his Greek countrymen. The shock of his sin felled his mother by a heartattack and alienated him to his sister, helen Kosmatos. At the site of the Areopagus, the site where the god Ares had been tried for crimes against mortals, Helen cursed out at her brother and encountered the spirits of the Furies somehow projecting from the realm they were bound. Unable to leave the Land of Shades, Tisiphone gave Helen a part of her life force, granting her the power of a god to battle the evil of her brother and the Nazis, before departing earth again with her sisters. Calling herself the Fury, Helen later became a member of the All Star Squadron.

In modern years, while using mystical means to learn the identity of the Spirit of Vengeance inhabiting Danny Ketch, Doctor Strange and Jennifer Kale accidentally destroyed a cloaking spell around it and attracted the attention of the Furies from their eternal slumber in the Land of Shades. They then encountered Danny Ketch in the extra-dimensional void he entered when the Spirit of Vengeance took his body on earth to become the Ghost Rider.

The Furies accosted Daniel Ketch in trying to learn the location of Noble Ketch, the Spirit of Vengeance. Jennifer Kale left her body in astral form to meet them in the void as she used her power to exile them from the void. The Furies then went looking for Mephisto to help get them to Earth, but instead they encountered his children, Blackheart and Black Rose. He gave them the ability to appear on earth through three host bodies.

Tisiphone appeared on Atlantic Airlines Flight 47 from Miami to New York to Paula Harris, a former girlfriend of Danny Ketch, the Ghost Rider. Claiming she was present to kill everyone on board, she told Paula that everyone would live if she were allowed temporary possession of her body. Offered the love of anyone she wanted, Paula gave in as Tisiphone took painful possession of her and called herself Dark Lady. Megaera meanwhile took possession of SHIELD member, Agent Uno, suffering from body wide burns in New York City’s Our Lady of Mercy Hospital. Taking possession of her pain-filled body, she began calling herself Lady Ash. Alecto took possession of a woman named Carrie being intimidated by her shiftless boyfriend, a hood named Choocho and made her over into Ember. Reuniting with her sisters, they sought out and attacked Danny Ketch as the Ghost Rider.

The Furies eventually turned their attack on the Ghost Rider toward his half-brother, Johnny Blaze, in order to wipe his bloodline from the earth. The debacle attracted the attention of the Asgardian goddess Valkyrie who then laid siege into the Furies and proved to be more than a match for them. During the distraction, Jennifer Kale theorized that Blaze must have been of Magdalena’s bloodline as she called upon her spirit to revoke her call upon the Furies. The invocation released the Furies from their human hosts and removed them from the earth.

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 325 lbs.
Eyes: (Alecto) Blue, (Tisiphone) Brown, (Megaera) Red
Hair: (Alecto) Blonde, (Tisiphone) Brown, (Megaera) Green

Strength Level: Each of the Furies possesses superhuman strength enabling them to lift (press) 40 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: The Furies possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Olympian gods. Like all Olympians, they are immortal: they have not aged since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. They are immune to all Earthly diseases and are resistant to conventional injury. If they were somehow wounded, their godly life force would enable them to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of their bodily molecules to cause them a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as Zeus or Poseidon or for a number of Olympian gods of equal power working together to revive them. The Furies also possess superhuman strength and their Olympian metabolism provide them with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Olympian flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the Olympians' superhuman strength and weight.)

The Furies have certain mystical powers in carrying out vengeance upon mortals. They can conceal themselves from mortals except a person of their choosing and fly through the air. They can send their voices across time and space telepaticly to be heard only by the person of their choosing. They can command powerful winds and channel energy similar to hellfire through their weapons. They can mystically move matter around as when Dark Lady caused a van to lift into the air and fall on Ghost Rider. In ancient Greece, they could inflict violent headaches, seizures and hallucinations.

Weaponry: The Furies are also brutal and merciless warriors in both armed and unarmed combat and often fight with swords or any weapons of their choosing.

Comments: In Greek myth, the Furies were born from the drops of the blood of Ouranus that fell to Earth and impregnated Gaea. The Giants and Meliades, faeries/nymphs of Earth, were also born in this manner.

In the Gods of Olympus, there is also Nemesis, goddess of vengeance and punishment and daughter of Erebus and Nyx. She is sometimes described as being responsible for keeping the Furies in check. Zeus fell in love with her, but she avoided his advances by changing herself into animals. Some myths claim she was the true mother of Helen of Troy, but this is contradictory to the official account of the myth. Subsequently, it was claimed that Leda, Helen’s mother, was taken into the gods and became Nemesis to explain this version. Nemesis was portrayed by Karen Witter and Teresa Hill in the TV Series “Hercules, The Legendary Journeys”.

In the “Xena” TV series, the Furies were portrayed by Asa Lindh, Sela Apera and Anne Marie Deis, possibly local actresses in New Zealand much like many of the actors playing extraneous characters from the series.  

Clarifications: The Furies are not to be confused with: 

Alecto the Maiden is not to be confused with:

Megaera the Crone is not to be confused with:

 

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