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"[I'm] a demigod. Worshipped and feared by the Cult and all the Greek world."
―Deimos to Kassandra, 431 BCE[src]-[m]

Alexios (451 or 446 BCE – 422 BCE), also known as Deimos, was a member of the Cult of Kosmos, a organization based in ancient Greece

Alongside his sister, the famed misthios Kassandra the Eagle Bearer, he was a grandchild of King Leonidas I of Sparta through his mother, Myrrine, and a Tainted One. His unique heritage made him the target of the Cult of Kosmos as an infant and a false oracle delivered by the Cult deceived Sparta into believing he had to be thrown off Mount Taygetos to his death. Although he survived the fall, he was abducted by the Cultist Chrysis and forced to endure a cruel and torturous childhood. His harsh upbringing warped his mind, brainwashing him into becoming a weapon of the Cult convinced that he was their champion, Deimos. In reality, the other Cultists only saw him as a deranged beast which served their purposes.

Not content with their control over Alexios, the Cult sought the assassinations of the rest of his family: Nikolaos, Myrinne, and Kassandra. At a conclave assembled by Deimos, he met his long lost sister for the first time while she was masquerading as one of the Cultists in order to learn the whereabouts of their mother. Over the next several years, as the Peloponnesian War raged, Deimos continued serving as Cult's brutal instrument all while his sister assassinated its members one after another in a desperate attempt to protect her family and redeem him. Her efforts ultimately fell short when Deimos, guilt-ridden over his monstrous actions, forced her to kill him in a final confrontation atop Mount Taygetos.

Biography

Early life and incident

Born to Myrrine during the mid-5th century BCE in Sparta, Alexios was the younger sibling of Kassandra and a grandson of King Leonidas I of Sparta.[2] Not long after his birth the Pythia at the time, Praxithea, prophesied that the grandson of Leonidas would lead to the downfall of Sparta. It was unknown to those involved at the time that the "prophecy" had been concocted by the Cult of Kosmos[3] in order to cull the bloodline of Leonidas as retribution for his defiance decades earlier.[4] Thus, despite his regal blood, the Elders of Sparta demanded the boy's death: to be thrown from the summit of Mount Taygetos.[5]

At the summit, he was carried off towards the precipice by a Spartan elder while his family and the rest of the Spartan elders watched. Protests by his sister Kassandra fell on deaf ears, for even their father Nikolaos sided with the elders. Desperate to save his life, Kassandra rushed at the elder carrying Alexios in desperation, inadvertently pushing not only Alexios off the cliff but the elder as well.[5] Though merely an infant, Alexios miraculously survived while the elder did not; he was found, badly injured and near death, by Myrrine and taken to the Sanctuary of Asklepios in Argolis for healing.[6][7]

While in the Sanctuary, Alexios' injuries were deemed too severe for him to survive despite the priests' best efforts. Myrrine was convinced to leave the child to perish from exposure at the altar of Apollo nearby. Unbeknownst to her, Chrysis, a priestess of Hera and a member of the Cult of Kosmos, took Alexios as she had taken a number of children before.[6] Against the priests' predictions, Alexios made a full recovery without any lasting handicaps.[7]

Weapon of the Cult

"The Cult is nothing without me. Even the gods cower in my wake. Kneel or die."
―Deimos[src]

Under Chrysis' care, Alexios grew up to become a weapon of the Cult and was named Deimos after the Greek god of terror in order to inspire fear in the Cult's enemies.[8] For the next fifteen years, Deimos served at the Cult's behest until, in 431 BCE, his first true test came in the form of his estranged sister.[9]

With the knowledge that his sister was alive, the Ghost of Kosmos manipulated Deimos into casting aside any feelings of love and to disbelieve anything "the other child of the bloodline" said to him. He was not instructed to kill her, but rather to hurt her.[10]

Deimos challenges the Cultists.

In 431 BCE, Deimos interrupted a Cult conclave in the Sanctuary of Kosmos to reveal that one of them, Elpenor, had been murdered. Deimos alleged that one of the gathered was a traitor and demanded that each in turn place their hand upon their pyramidal artifact, so that he might know their true intentions. This relic allowed him to view the memories of those he interacted with upon its surface. It was at this point that Deimos first came into contact with Kassandra, who had indeed infiltrated the conclave disguised as a Cultist.[11]

Recognizing Kassandra's memories of Mount Taygetos and her murder of Elpenor, Deimos demanded to know who she was, quickly realizing she was his sister. Confused and enraged, he allowed her to leave and summarily executed the next Cultist, Epiktetos, to touch the artifact, falsely claiming him to be the traitor instead.[11] Shortly thereafter, he pursued Kassandra to the island of Andros, and there accused her of throwing him from Mount Taygetos when he was a child, a charge that Kassandra denied. After a tense exchange, he departed.[12]

Two years later, Deimos struck at the heart of Athens. In the midst of a great plague, Deimos hunted down and murdered Athens' leader, Perikles in order to weaken the city's standing in their conflict with Sparta and pave the way for Kleon, a Sage of the Delian League branch of the Cult of Kosmos, to take power.[13]

War

Deimos facing his sister at Pylos

In 425 BCE, Deimos took part in the Battle of Pylos fighting for Kleon's Athens. There, he engaged his sister in combat, with her having joined sides with Sparta's Peloponnesian League at the behest of Brasidas, a commander in the Spartan army. During the battle, Deimos was very nearly killed by a falling tree before being pushed to relative safety by Kassandra.[14]

Taken back to Athens, Deimos was drawn to Kassandra. He waited outside her cell for her to wake up, and when she did, confronted her. Suspicious of everything she said, Deimos rebuffed Kassandra's attempts at reconciliation. When Kleon interrupted them, and told Deimos to leave, he also verbally challenged Kleon's presumption of power of him.[15]

Some time later, Deimos interrogated and tortured the sculptor Phidias for information on three mysterious symbols, carrying out the assignment that the Cultist Brison had been unable to. The only things Phidias was able to say about the symbols was "Itira! Korgath! Metin!" for that was all he had been able to glean in the short time he had studied them. Unsatisfied with his constant blubbering, Deimos beat the sculptor to death.[16]

In 422 BCE, Deimos and Kassandra met each other once more on the field of battle—this time at Amphipolis in Makedonia. There, Deimos killed Brasidas, impaling him through the chin on his own spear before engaging his sister in combat. The duel looked to be in his favor when, suddenly, he was mistakenly struck from behind by an arrow fired by Kleon. Kassandra subsequently pursued and killed Kleon before returning to the battlefield to find Deimos gone.[17]

Death

Myrrine: "Think of what could lie ahead for us. A family as we were meant to be."
Deimos: "I cannot be what you want me to be. The weeds burrow too deep."
―Deimos' final words, 422 BCE.[src]-[m]

Deimos' death

In August of 422 BCE,[1] Deimos returned to Mount Taygetos to challenge his estranged family one final time. It was here that he was confronted with the truth of his actions and the manipulations of the Cult over his entire life.[18]

Despite Myrrine and Kassandra's pleas, their words fell on deaf ears, for his convictions would not change; he knew that he could not change for them. Striking out at his mother with a concealed blade, Deimos was fatally stabbed through the neck by his sister wielding their grandfather's spear.[1]

Legacy

In 2018 when Layla Hassan relived the memories of Kassandra via a degraded genetic sample found on the Spear of Leonidas using her Animus HR-8.5, it simulated an alternate version of events. In it, Kassandra could save her brother, leading to him surviving beyond his historical death on Mount Taygetos and joining the crew of the Adrestia alongside Myrrine, Nikolaos, and Stentor. Alternatively, Deimos could kill Myrrine leading to Kassandra killing him in a slightly different manner.[18]

Personality and characteristics

As Deimos, Alexios possessed a messiah complex, believing himself to be a demigod due to his Isu blood, someone who would bring order to the Greek world. Due to his harsh upbringing by the Cult of Kosmos, he displayed no empathy for anyone and a strong lust for violence and warfare. His nature was extremely intimidating, to the point where even the Cult feared his unpredictable wrath.[11] Having a fiery temper, Deimos kept a weapon on him at all times.[19]

Equipment and skills

Thanks in part to his bloodline and the Isu sword he possessed, Deimos displayed powerful feats in combat. He was able to thrust his sword into the ground to release blasts of energy and could even project beams of energy from the tip of his sword. His combat prowess was so vast that he was even able to slaughter Brasidas, one of the best Spartan commanders at the time, within a few seconds as well as go toe-to-toe with Kassandra and her Spear.[14][18]

Behind the scenes

Etymology

Alexios (Αλέξιος) is an Ancient Greek name meaning 'defender'. Deimos, (Δεῖμος), meaning 'dread', is also the name for the deification of terror, regarded as the son of Ares and Aphrodite and the twin of Phobos ('fear') in Greek mythology. 'Deimos' and 'Phobos' are also the names of Mars' two moons.

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey

Alexios is one of two selectable protagonists in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, alongside Kassandra. Regardless of whom the player chooses, the two protagonists share the same story. However, the novelization of the video game confirms that Alexios is not the canonical protagonist.[20] If the player chooses Alexios as the protagonist then his and Kassandra's roles in the story as Deimos and the Eagle Bearer are reversed, with Kassandra becoming Alexios' younger sister. Regardless, both characters share the same romance options.

Appearances

Notes

  1. The Assassin's Creed: Odyssey novel and game provide conflicting information for a year of birth, with the novel stating 451 BCE and the game implying 446 BCE.

References

Animuslogowhite.svg An image gallery is available for
Alexios

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