Pythia — see also: Pythia Court and Pythia Mansion

Introduction Edit

The Pythia is the final arbiter of disagreements within the magical community—something like their version of the Supreme Court.[1]

✥ "The Pythia was the name of the ancient Seer of Delphi, Apollo's greatest temple. For two thousand years, the women selected for the position were considered the oracle of the world, with kings and emperors deciding policy based on their advice. The position lapsed with the decline of Greece, but the term is still used out of respect. It is the title of the world's chief Seer, a strong ally of the Circle. She is one of our chief assets, since nonhumans do not have the gift." — John Pritkin [2]

How a Pythia is Chosen Edit

"Every time a new Pythia is chosen, a sybil—our name for a true clairvoyant—is selected as her Heir. She is carefully trained from childhood to understand the burden and how to bear it. The Pythia is old and her control of the power is failing. It should pass to her heir. The Pythia's power has passed in an unbroken tradition for thousands of years.[2]

The Situation at the Start of the SeriesEdit

The Pythia wants the rogue back and sent Pritkin to fetch her. He invokes the Treaty between the Senate and the Silver Circle.[2]

The Heir was kidnapped by Rasputin and the Dark Circle more than six months ago. The Pythia's power has passed in an unbroken tradition for thousands of years. But now the succession is doubtful. Pritkin thinks the heir must be dead, which would explain why the power come to Cassie, even in part. A rogue with no training, no understanding of what the position entails?[2]

About Edit

Alternate TitleEdit

  • The Gurardian of Time [3]

Function / DutiesEdit

  • The Pythia is the final arbiter of disagreements within the magical community,—their Supreme Court.[2]
  • Pythias are supposed to guard the Timeline from alterations by others—not change it themselves.
  • One of the many duties of the reigning Pythia is to make sure no one (especially former Pythias) ever tries to live through many lifetimes by taking whomever they wanted, whether they were doomed or not.[4]

Perimeters of the JobEdit

  • if someone from The Pythia's own era was messing with the timeline, it was her problem, and she'd have to fix it. [5]
  • if someone from another time was trying to interfere, that was the province of the Pythia from that person's time. [5]

About the Pythia PowerEdit

  • The power chooses the Pythia. ~ Chance's Ramblings
  • The Power directs the Pythia to where someone is attempting to tamper with the Timeline.[3]
  • If the ritual not completed, the Pythia will you have imperfect control of the Power, AND the mages will consider her only the heir and she can be deposed.[6]
  • Nonhumans do not have the gift. [2]
  • The power won't work in Faerie, or it works unreliably—Pythias stay away as a rule. [7]
  • The power won't go to an assassin of another Pythia or heir designate—it's a old rule, to keep the initiates from slaughtering each other. [7]

List of Powers / AbilitiesEdit

  • Shifting through Time or Space
  • Time Travel: It is believed that the Pythia experiences all times at once, instead of traveling only in one direction as everyone else does. [2]
  • Pythia can stop time. [6]
  • Pythia can learn how to manipulate her spirit-form to look any way she wants after a while.[6]
  • Restrict a sybil's abilities—used for training purposes, to permit a Pythia to retrieve a sybil from the Time Line if she falls into difficulties. [7]
  • Pythia can possess people according to Agnes—they don't tell the mages everything.[4]
  • The ability to take her own form with her on shifts.[5]

Time TravelEdit

  • They go back to their bodies at almost the same moment they left them—their bodies don't die, because as far as they're concerned, they never left. [4]
  • Time-travel in spirit form (before power transfer): 1-energy drained very quickly, could hardly do anything; 2-targeted by ghosts for food
  • Time-travel with own form: injuries


  • Use of the power is draining.
  • The Pythia cannot possess anyone—according to John Pritkin.[2]

Selection Edit

  • The final selection is made by the Pythia power itself. [8]
  • In most cases, over thousands of years, the Power has selected the designated heir, the one groomed as a successor by the old Pythia.[8]

Clairvoyants Edit

  • There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of unknown, untrained clairvoyants in the world—the Pythia power could go to one of them, and possibly the Black Circle could get to them first and control that Pythia.[9]

Pythian Rites: How Power Passes, or Not Passes, to the HeirEdit

  • According to Pritkin: the Heir must be a virgin.[2]
  • According to Mircea: The chosen sybil, the heir to the Pythia's power, must remain chaste during her youth to avoid someone gaining undue influence over her. No one is sure why, but the power will not pass in full to a virgin.[10]
  • According to Agnes: One of the ancient Pythias got tired of the code that said a priestess had to be a virgin, so she had the priests change it saying that her vision told her power would be much stronger to an experienced woman. It doesn't make a difference—the Power will transfer regardless, but control will be a problem until the ritual is completed. [6]
  • The power doesn't seem to care that Cassie is untrained, or that she would be a disaster as Pritkin suggests.
  • Agnes kissed Cassie on the cheek and the power passed to her (See author comments below)).[6]
  • If the sybil has gone dark or been killed, the power will pass to someone else.[10]
  • The unfinished ritual will draw the Heir to men to complete itself. [11]
  • The man chosen for the ceremony becomes Apollo's avatar temporarily. His union with the heir consummates our marriage and confirms her in office.[4]

Pythia's Place in Hierachy in Supernatural CommunityEdit

  • The Pythia outranks the Silver Circle—the Silver Circle has charge over all magic users including all members of the Pythia Court—excluding the Pythia herself.[10]
  • The Pythia can't be deposed, but the heir certainly can.[6]

Political PowerEdit

Silver Circle and the PythiaEdit

  • The Circle can command a rogue sybil, but not the Pythia.[10]
  • The Silver Circle has indoctrinated all the the Pythia Initiates since birth for centuries.[10]
  • The Silver Circle is bound to protect her, even to obey her in some things.[2]
  • Cassie is the first one to potentially hold the power in centuries whom they have not indoctrinated by the Circle since birth.[10]
  • The Circle is in a bind—they don't want the power to pass to Cassie, who they see as an untrained rogue at best, but they fear who else it may pass to—possibly and Adept or possibly another rogue.[10]

Rules, Lessons of the JobEdit

  • "Any being that travels in linear time is defined by its past. Take that past away, or change it, and you redefine that being. Or do away with it completely.” [12]

List of Character Possessions Edit

Tears of ApolloEdit

  • The Tears of Apollo are an ancient concoction used to aid in meditative trances for centuries. They help maintain energy


The Pythia is rewarded at the end of her service with another life-a type of compensation for the one she gave up. The Pythia finds someone slated to die young, and cut a deal with them—the Pythia's spirit possesses them and feeds off their energy—in return they help them to avoid their early demise. It can only be done one time—once they lose their power, there's no way to know who is slated to die and no way of choosing another body. [4]

Current PythiaEdit

Previous PythiaEdit

Original PythiaEdit

  • The Pythia was the name of the ancient Seer of Delphi, Apollo's greatest temple

List of Pythias through HistoryEdit

Positions, Titles, Terminology of the Pythia CourtEdit

Known Pythias, Sybils, Acolytes, Initiates, Heirs Edit

Allies Edit

Other DetailsEdit

  • Silver Circle exists, to intervene in cases where the Pythia Power choses the wrong Heir, according to Pritkin.[2]
  • Because Cassie has not been indoctrinated by the Circle, she would not be their puppet as so many Pythias have been. Cassie would use the power as she saw fit, and that might mean in opposition to their wishes at times.[10]
  • The mythical Cassandra was the only Seer who steadfastly refused to be under the control of anyone. She ran from Apollo to avoid having another dictate how her gift should be used. The Circle is afraid that you will be true to your name.[10]
  • The gift may have been showing Cassie where the problem lies, where someone is attempting to alter the Time Line. Which is why she keeps getting sent back to the same place.[3]
  • When shifting through time she free-floats about in that cold, gray area between time.[5]

Other Associated Characters, Places, Groups etc. Edit

Events in the Series Edit

The purpose of this section is to be able to find things in the series. Please use References. This section may have spoilers. If you want to avoid spoilers, please don't read the summary for a book that you have not read yet. Think of the book title as a "Spoiler Warning".

1. Touch the DarkEdit

Mircea, Louis-Cesare and Rafe believe that part of the power the Pythia holds has leaked to Cassie, and therefore probably to the other heir as well. It is thought by the Senate that she may be using the power she has for ill by breaking the bonds between Master and vampire so that Rasputin may control them in his aim to take over the Vampire Senate.[9]

2. Claimed by ShadowEdit

Cassie shifts back into the past, the power chosing to shift for her. The Pythia power shifts her to the Lyceum Theatre in 1888 London where she learns from a female ghost carrying a ghostly bearded head, that another like her has poisoned Mircea's wine—which means that she's there to save him.[13] The Circle has a new candidate for Pythia, one of the more docile Initiates. They believe that if both Cassie and Myra die, they believe she'll inherit. [7] The unfinished ritual is drawing Cassie to men to complete itself—and the geis is torturing her and anybody who gets near her.[11] Cassie's power shifts he rback in time to London 1888, this time to vampire Convocation, to save Mircea from Myra She encounters: Dmitri, Augusta, Jack, European Vampire Senate, European Consul, Mircea, and a Spirit Creature. Myra uses her power to go back to 1888 London to kill Mircea so he won't be around to protect Cassie.[12] Back again to the Lyceum Theatre in 1889, the site of the Convocation, Myra informs her that she is using the European Senate to get Mircea killed by defending his brother, Dracula from them. [14]

3. Embrace the NightEdit

4. Curse the DawnEdit

5. Hunt the MoonEdit

6. Tempt the StarsEdit

7. Reap the WindEdit

8. Ride the StormEdit

Quotes Edit

"There is nothing to discuss. The Pythia wants the rogue returned to her. I have been sent to fetch her, and by our treaty you have no right to interfere. She belongs with her people." — John Pritkin to the Consul about Cassie, in Touch the Dark[1]
"They hate you because they fear you. No one can command the Pythia. The Circle is bound to protect her, even to obey her in some things, and you are the first one to potentially hold the power in centuries whom they have not indoctrinated since birth. You would not be their puppet as so many Pythias have been. You would use the power as you saw fit, and that might mean in opposition to their wishes at times." — Mircea about the Silver Circle [1]
"The more I talk with you, the more I'm convinced that you'll either be the best of us all, or the very worst. If I had another choice, believe me, I would take it. But I don't. The power wants to come to you. Take some advice and make it an easy transition. The more you fight it, the more trouble it will give you." [6]
"Who do you think told them that? One of the ancient Pythias got tired of the code that said a priestess had to be 'pure and untouched, to use your phrase. So she told the priests at Delphi that she'd had a vision. The power would be much stronger if it came to an experienced woman. They bought it, and she got her lover. But it doesn't make a difference. Well, not about obtaining the power, at least." ... "It means that I suggest you complete the ritual as soon as possible if you expect to control the gift instead of vice versa. ... if you leave the ritual half done, not only will you have imperfect control, but the mages will consider you only the heir. The Pythia can't be deposed, but the heir certainly can. Your position is vulnerable until you finish this." — Agnes to Cassie, Touch the Dark [6]
Time shifting is supposed to be under the Pythia's control, not vice versa, but someone needed to tell my power that. — Cassie, Claimed by Shadow [5]
"What geis? You're under a geis?" Mac asked. ... "Her vampire master put her under a d'uthracht. It is conflicting with the Pythian Rites, which have yet to be completed," Pritkin said curtly. ... "Oh, bloody hell." Mac sat down on his stool, looking shell-shocked.[11]

From the Author Edit

4. Why did Agnes decide to transfer the power to Cassie? I assume at some point she found out Myra was evil, knew she herself was dying, and decided to transfer the power to a better candidate. But why, specifically, did she choose Cassie? As she wasn’t even an initiate, how did she know about her?
The power chooses the pythia. Agnes received a vision about Cassie, which is how she knew who she was and that she was in trouble. But she didn’t transfer the power so much as make sure that Cassie was still around to receive what was already headed her way. ~ Cassie Palmer | Karen Chance's Ramblings

Book References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Touch the Dark, ch. 3
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Touch the Dark, ch. 11
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Touch the Dark, ch. 13
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Claimed by Shadow, ch. 12
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Claimed by Shadow, ch. 2
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Touch the Dark, ch. 14
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Claimed by Shadow, ch. 5
  8. 8.0 8.1 Claimed by Shadow, ch. 1
  9. 9.0 9.1 Claimed by Shadow, ch. 11
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 Touch the Dark, ch. 12
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Claimed by Shadow, ch. 6
  12. 12.0 12.1 Claimed by Shadow, ch. 7
  13. Claimed by Shadow, ch. 2
  14. Claimed by Shadow, ch. 13

See Also Edit

External Links Edit

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