Themyscira (DC Universe Supplement)
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Themyscira (pronounced Them-mes-skera) is a island nation in the DC Universe, and place of origin to its princess, Diana (better known as Wonder Woman). It is also known as Paradise Island.
Originally a city state founded by Amazons three thousand years ago. It is said that "the skies above fair Greece yawn wide pouring thousands of souls from Gaea's womb", thus placing the nation's original location somewhere in Greece. Later in issue 17, Diana first visits Greece (after living her entire life on Paradise Island) with her mentor, Julia Kapatelis, and at the end of a tour of her ancestry in that country, she reaches the island of Lesbos where she contemplates in solitude the fates of her Amazon sisters who once flourished at that site.
This ancient former city state of Themyscira was destroyed and later abandoned after the arrival of the demi-god Heracles. When the Amazons lose favor with their gods they are given immortality and sent to a far away island. Beginning in a parted Aegean Sea, it takes three months before the Amazons arrive at the hidden Paradise Island, later retitling it "Themyscira" after their fallen home. While on the island they are assigned to guard a doorway to Tartarus which lies beneath the island for the rest of their lives.
The Amazons are the reincarnated souls of women slain throughout pre-history by men and given life by five Olympian goddesses -- Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hestia, and Aphrodite. Created over 3,000 years ago to teach the merits of virtue, love, and equality to the men of “Patriarch’s World”, the immortal Amazons are the primary residents on the island of Themyscira.
The Amazons were given gifts of great physical strength, beauty, wisdom, love, and highly acute senses. Being formed from clay, they share a unique oneness with nature. They were ruled by two sisters, Hippolyta and Antiope. The Amazons founded the city- state of Themyscira, in ancient Turkey. Ares, the God of War, a chief opponent of the Amazons, manipulated his half brother Heracles to gather forces and attack Themyscira. Heracles subdued and ravaged Hippolyta, and his forces succeeded in ransacking Themyscira and making the Amazons their sex slaves. Hippolyta pleaded with the goddesses for help. The goddess Athena agreed to aid the Amazon but only if they did not go against their purpose of creation by seeking revenge. Agreeing to her terms Athena then released the Amazons from their chains and drugged state. However, once freed the Amazons then scoffed at their goddesses, slaughtering most of their captors. Soon after, Antiope lead a force of Amazons off into Greece, seeking vengeance on Heracles. As decreed by the goddesses, Hippolyta lead the remaining Amazons to a remote island, where as penance for their failures as teachers they became guardians of Doom’s Doorway, preventing the escape of the monsters beneath. Renaming the paradise island Themyscira after their fallen capitol, the Amazons began their new lives, erecting buildings and monuments, perfecting their skills as artisans and warriors.
For centuries the Amazons lived in a perfect state of harmony with their surroundings. They knew no racism, although many treat the Lost Tribe of Amazons as little more than savages. They did not think in terms of male gender -- the word “policeman” was alien to them until Diana’s departure into the outside world. They live in a world where homosexuality is completely accepted -- while some Amazons are chaste, others have loving consorts. They live in a city composed entirely of Greco-Roman architecture from 1200 BC. They wear Greek garb, togas and sandals, and the appropriate warrior clothing -- shields, breastplates, helmets. They all wear the Bracelets of Submission as constant reminders of their past, though these bracelets cannot deflect bullets like Diana’s. They are fervently religious, worshipping their gods as living deities. Artemis is their primary goddess, and they worship her with a sacrifice of a deer. The Amazons celebrate their creation each year in a Feast of Five, remembering the goddesses who brought them to life.
Occasionally, the Nereides would bring to the shores of Themyscira young infants who would have drowned otherwise in accidents. Called "sending forth", these infants would wash up on the shores of Paradise Island, be tutored spiritually in Amazonian ideals, and then sent back mystically to the place of their disappearance. [ulia Kapatelis, Diana’s first friend in Patriarch’s World, was one such infant.
Enter Wonder Woman
In recent times, Hippolyta’s daughter Diana, also known as Wonder Woman, has become an ambassador to the outside world. With Diana’s help, the Amazons have opened the shores of Themyscira to dignitaries of “Patriarch’s World”. The creatures beneath Doom’s Doorway were defeated, and for a time the Amazons destroyed their battle armor as testament to a new period of peace. The Amazons opened up their shores to dignitaries from Patriarch’s world, female and male, but that exchange was almost destroyed by Eris, Goddess of Discord. The Amazons even conducted their own tour of the United States, where they were framed for the murders of several people by Antiope’s descendants, the mercenary assassins of Bana-Mighdall, and Circe. It was during the War of the Gods that the Amazons recrafted their armory, vowing to once again become warriors. Circe would transplant many of these mercenary women of Bana-Migdhall, called the Lost Tribe, to Themyscira, where, after warring with the Amazons already there, joined forces to stop Circe herself. The two sects of Amazons forged an uneasy truce, living at opposite ends of the island.
Later still, Darkseid’s forces ravaged Themyscira during a search to locate the Greek gods, killing nearly half of the Amazons there in the process. As they began rebuilding, the Amazons found themselves reverting to stone. This was as a result of the gods’ departure from the mortal plane, and the Amazons’ connection to their creator beings so diminished as to revert their bodies to their primordial state. With the gods returned to Olympus, the Amazons were once again transformed into their flesh and blood state. Yet more Amazons were killed in a confrontation with the demonic entity known as Neron.
With Diana and Hippolyta adventuring in Patriarch’s World as Wonder Woman for longer and longer periods of time, the Banas and the Themyscirans were manipulated into a bloody civil war at the hands of Magala, who had been possessed by the spirit of Antiope’s murderer, Ariadne. Using the pre-existing disdain of the tribes against each other, Magala used allies among both Amazon cities to spark the vengeful conflict. The island was left in ruins, and the war was only stopped when Hippolyta abolished the royal family, renounced her throne.
Left at odds but on even political ground, the Bana Amazons and the Themyscirans joined forces against the alien forces of Imperiex. Themyscira, mystically moved into outer space, was destroyed, and hundreds of Amazons from both tribes died. When Wonder Woman led each tribe of Amazons into an ecumenical prayer, funneling power into the new god Darkseid, the warrior women helped destroy Imperiex and its ally Brainiac 13.
After the island had been destroyed by Imperiex, Themyscira was rebuilt and relocated once again, this time to the Bermuda Triangle. Designed by the likes of Julia Kapatelis, the Martian Manhunter, Steve Trevor, Canadian architect Jean Claude Tibet, and Amazon master designer Kaleeza Fashed, the new Themyscira was built with the help of alien technology. Adding to the re-creation of the islands, Themyscira was restored by the combined might of the Greek and Egyptian goddesses the Amazons worship. Transformed into a mighty series of floating islands dedicated to the free exchange of information and ideas, the new Themyscira was governed by members of both tribes of Amazons. After some time Themyscira was nearly destroyed in a jealous fit of rage by the goddess Hera. Because of her actions the islands ceased to float in mid-air under their own power and instead resumed being a cluster of traditional islands once more.
Recently, Themyscira was under attack by OMAC forces. Due to this attack, as well as the many various other attacks the island has suffered through since Diana became Wonder Woman, the Olympian and Bana-Mighdallian goddesses would transport the island and its inhabitants (sans Diana) to an undisclosed location to live in peace.
One Year Later
The Amazons attack Washington D.C. At the end the Amazons have their memories erased by Granny Goodness who is posing as the goddess Athena and are scattered throughout the world with false personas. Only Hippolyta and four of her original Royal Guard remain on Themyscira.
The Amazons hold several customs and observances. Some include:
Feast of the Five
One of the most revered observances the Themyscirian Amazons hold dear is called The Feast of the Five. On this day the Amazons pay homage to the five original goddesses who took part in their creation. Aside from constant prayer and worship the occasion begins with a hunt in honor to the goddess Artemis. A harvest is also celebrated in honor of the goddess Demeter. A feast is then held in honor of the remaining goddesses. This is said to be the Themyscirians' most holy holiday.
Originally a cavern was built under the Amazons' Temple of the Dead, which is where those dead are remembered. After an Amazon's funeral is completed the body is lowered into the cavern where it is laid to rest in a city of the dead. Queen Hippolyta assigns the chief temple priestess to remain alone in the city to watch over the dead for a thousand years before a replacement is made.
This tradition was later changed as the Amazons discovered that the priestess often went mad in their solitude. One such priestess brought the dead to life through the use of magic during a mad outburst. The Amazons soon after burned their dead during which the souls of the slain Amazons took form among the flames before traveling onto the plane of afterlife called the Elysian Fields.
- Acantha -- a senator
- Aella -- a warrior with a particular affinity for hawks; died during the Amazon civil war
- Antiope -- Hippolyta’s sister and an Amazon queen; she lead a tribe into Greece to seek vengeance on Heracles and Theseus after the Amazons’ capture; she eventually married Theseus but was killed by his former lover Ariadne. Antiope’s descendants became the Lost Tribe of Amazons.
- Calyce -- carpenter
- Clio -- royal scribe
- Consivia -- chief architect, slain defending Doom’s Doorway
- Cydippe -- aid to Princess Diana
- Egeria -- a lieutenant in the Amazon army and Captain of the Guard; died defending Doom’s Doorway
- Epione -- chief healer
- Euboea -- a warrior and companion to Diana
- Eudia -- helped Diana unlock the secrets of the Amazons’ reversion to stone
- Hellene -- a senator and historian, a close friend to Diana who opposed the opening of Themyscira’s shores to Patriarch’s World; she was murdered by the Cheetah during the War of the Gods
- Hypsiple -- former queen of Lemnos, mother of Phthia, the martyr of the Lost Tribe of Amazons
- Io -- blacksmith in love with Diana
- Iphthime -- sculptor and lover to Anaya of the Lost Tribe of Amazons
- Magala -- the court sorceress; she appears as a cavewoman in Greek garb; she is responsible for casting the spell which transferred a portion of Wonder Woman’s powers to Artemis, and for the creation of Donna Troy. Magala was possessed by Ariadne, the woman who murdered Queen Antiope, and used Magala to start the Amazon civil war. Magala was killed by Fury.
- Mala -- close friend to Diana, and a competitor in the second Contest
- Menalippe -- high priestess, a favored of Hermes, slain by Circe
- Mnemosyne -- chief historian
- Myrrha -- chambermaid of the Royal Palace; died during the Imperiex War
- Nione -- a priestess
- Nu’bia -- guardian of Doom’s Doorway who can turn human beings into stone.
- Oeone -- a botanist
- Pallas -- forger of arms and armor, created Diana’s Eagle armor
- Penelope -- high priestess and oracle of Themyscira, former lover of Menalippe
- Penthiselea -- a mighty Amazon captain and the daughter of Phthia, the Amazons martyr; died in battle with Achilles
- Phillipus -- the Captain of the Guard. Strong, decisive, and a powerful Amazon who was the young Diana’s principal trainer and has served as Queen during Hippolyta’s journey to Patriarch’s World.
- Pythia -- silver haired spiritual mother of Julia Kapatelis
- Timandra -- chief architect
- Trigona -- Amazon athlete
- Venelia -- a warrior and competitor in the second Contest
Powers & abilities
All Themyscirian Amazons possess various degrees of superhuman strength, speed, stamina and extraordinarily acute senses which were gifts blessed to them by their gods. They have developed high levels of hand-to-hand combat training and are masters at various hand held weapons. It has been shown post crisis that they still have bullet deflecting bracelets though the only Amazons with enough inherent speed to accomplish this feat are Diana, Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark. It was a mainstay within Pre Crisis canon that in Amazon society every Amazon could deflect bullets.