The Furies, also called the Erinyes or Eumenides, are the goddesses of vengeance and punishers of humanity in Greek and Roman mythology.
Appearance: The Furies appears as winged women with snakes in their hair, tears of blood streaming down their faces, and carrying torches and brandishing whips.
Lore: The Furies were said to be either the daughters of Nyx (Night) or else were born from the drops of blood that fell upon the earth when the god Chronus castrated his father Uranus. Some, however, believe the Furies to be the daughters of Hades and Persephone, however that divine couple is generally believed not to have produced offspring
The role of the Furies is to punish crimes and wrongdoings, especially that of homicide and the breaking of oaths. Because of their birth, the Furies hold a incredible passion for torturing people who commit parenticide, the murder of one's parents.
The Furies have as their main dwelling, Tartarus, the hell of Greek myth, where they continue to torment evil doers for all eternity. However, the curse or cry for vengeance of a victim of a crime or wrong-doing is enough to summon them to the surface world. Once invoked, the Furies show no mercy.
The Furies are the handmaidens of the goddess Nemesis, and though infinite in number are generally portrayed as three beings. The names of the three are Alecto (Unceasing), Megaera (Grudge Holder), and Tisiphone (Avenge Murder).
Powers: The Furies punish their victims by driving them insane, inflicting painful wasting diseases upon them, and by destroying the fertility or prosperity of the land or city in which the victim dwells.
Defense Against The Furies: Victims of the Furies must right the wrongs they have committed and undergo extensive purification rituals in order to stand a chance to survive. Death itself is not an escape or end to their torment, as the Furies will follow their victims to the underworld.
The Furies In Culture: In the t.v. series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the character of Anya was a former member of a sect of demons called Vengeance Demons, whose job entails the punishing of mortals for their crimes, a role similar to that of the Furies. Anya's speciality was for helping women get revenge on the men that jilted or harmed them. Anya's best friend Halfrek had as her speciality the avenging of abused children, though Halfrek claimed to be more "well rounded" than Anya.