|Goddess of the Hunt|
|Goddess of the Moon|
|Goddess of the Wilderness and Wild Animals|
|Goddess of Maidens, Virginity and Chastity|
Artemis (Άρτεμις in Ancient Greek), is the virgin goddess of the hunt, the Moon, chastity, animals, and the wilderness. She and her twin brother Apollo are known as the "Twin Archers." Artemis' handmaidens are chaste maidens who have turned their back from the company of men and have taken a pledge, which if Artemis accepts, to be part of the Hunters of Artemis, and will become immortal and serve her for eternity, most especially during a hunt. Her Roman counterpart is Diana.
Artemis was the first born child of Zeus and Leto. Her mother was forbidden by a jealous Hera to give birth anywhere on earth or anywhere the sun shines, but the floating island of Delos. Immediately after her birth, Artemis helped her mother deliver Apollo for which is why she is sometimes called a goddess of childbirth even though she is a virgin goddess.
When she was three years old, Artemis asked her father to grant her a wish. She desired (among other things) a silver bow and to be called many different names. She held a passion for hunting and wanted to roam the wilderness forever. As Artemis was Zeus' favorite daughter and he held a special pride for her, Zeus granted her wish. He also took a vow on the River Styx that he would never force her to marry or have children.
Artemis once befriended a huntsman named Orion. Orion was a man who had broken the hearts of many women. Apollo knew of his treachery, but Artemis didn't. Apollo decided to kill him. While Orion was bathing, Apollo challenged Artemis to shoot Orion in the head, which was bobbing above the water. Not knowing it was her companion, Artemis shot him. Other versions say that Orion was escaping from a scorpion, sent by Artemis and Apollo, towards Eo's island, Eos being his current girlfriend. Artemis had already found out when Orion tried to seduce her hunter Opis. The scorpion never caught him in this version, but he was shot by Artemis who had been challenged, once again, by Apollo to shoot the bobbing object in the distance. Orion died, but Artemis put him in the stars with the scorpion constantly chasing him. But According to Homer and Hesiod, Gaea, not Apollo, had sent the giant scorpion to kill Orion because he threatened to kill every beast on earth. The scorpion succeeded in doing its job. In a version by Aratus, Orion took hold of Artemis' robe and she killed him in self-defense.
Many stories were told of Artemis defending her virginity from others, including the giant Otus, who had tried to seize her for his wife. Others such as Actaeon were punished for accidentally seeing her nude. Many of Artemis' myths placed her in the role of an avenger. She is said to have caused quick deaths to her victims with her silver arrows.
Artemis possesses a deep caring for maidens, especially for maidens whom she presides over. Unlike her twin, she is less "easy-going" and more focused with a much greater understanding of mortals than most of the gods. Although she is reasonable, Artemis holds a general dislike of men, only acknowledging and respecting those who prove themselves. Artemis is shown to be an independent goddess who prefers the company of her hunters to even that of other gods. She loves hunting and is associated with the moon.
Though claiming that she weighs individuals by their actions and choices, she is known to judge people on their gender more then their own merits. Although less easy-going than her brother, and despite her general disapproval of boys, she is one of the more sympathetic of the Olympians.
She can appear as whatever she likes, being a goddess, but chooses to be the average age of her Hunters, which is around twelve. She has auburn colored hair and eyes as silvery yellow as the moon, and is incredibly, even breathtakingly beautiful. The more people hate her, the less appealing she becomes to them.
- Main Article: Diana
Artemis can change her appearance into her Roman counterpart of Diana. As Diana, she becomes more disciplined, militaristic, and warlike. The Greeks envisioned Artemis as an independent and vigorous goddess of the wilderness while the Romans depicted Diana additionally as the goddess of the moon.
- Main Article: Artume
Artemis can also turn into her Etruscan counterpart as Artume. She is a more adventurous goddess in this form.
- Main Article: Relationships
Artemis, along with her twin brother, Apollo, showed great love for their mother, Leto. An example of this is shown when Queen Niobe insulted Leto and Artemis and Apollo sought revenge. They killed Niobe's seven daughters and seven sons. It is said that Artemis spared the youngest daughter of Niobe. It is said that the gods took pity on Niobe and turned her into a stone.
Artemis is mostly seen as to be annoyed and distant from Apollo, maybe because of her strict attitude towards men and him for being so carefree. Though in The God of the Eclipse, Apollo says that he acts this way because he likes annoying her, and that he is a disciplined and fartherly leader to the archers. Their relationship took a big toll because of Orion being in his group, and that he didn't tell Artemis in the first place. Though in most parts they are shown to be arguing, Artemis and Apollo show a strong bond between siblings.
The Hunters are Artemis' handmaidens, young maidens who are given the gift of immortality, the skill of archery and strength. The Hunters had a choice whether to be this way or remain normal. A hunter must not fall in love or rather more specifically, lose her maidenhood, for she loses her immortality as a result dies, or she will die in battle. They are the closest thing to children Artemis has. While the Hunters are immortal, they can still die in battle or if they break their vows, the gift of immortality can be lifted.