Chapter 1: Chaos Learns the Consequences of Bad Parenting
In the beginning of time, when the Titan Lord Chaos ruled over all in heaven and on earth and under the earth, a great evil stirred in the accursed depths of Tarturus. The spirit of Death, black and wicked, raged at the upper world that so dared to restrain it. It swirled like a deep mist, filling the whole breadth of the pit with its hideous presence. The scent of sulfur roiled in Tarturus. Death shrieked aloud, the mist coiling, lashing against the door of the pit, taking countless shapes in its wild attack – jagged claws, vile beasts, and horrors that are better off shrouded in mystery (things too terrible to describe) – but alas, the malevolent spirit was contained. The mist of Death rolled back, biding its time.
And its time would come.
There came a time when the womb of Chaos' wife, Gaea, bore great, monstrous sons – the Cyclopes, a trio of brothers whose names were Lightning, Thunder, and Thunderbolt. The Cyclopes were skilled blacksmiths, terrible beasts of great power, each with a single, bloodshot eye planted in the center of his face. Alas, these monsters failed to please their father, and Chaos secretly loathed the hideous sons his wife had brought forth.
When Gaea again bore children, the creatures possessed fifty heads and a hundred mighty arms. Their massive stature was strong and imposing, but these sons Chaos despised all the more, repulsed by their distasteful forms. The passage of time only served to fuel the Titan Lord's hate all the more, and eventually, he could hide his disdain no longer.
Chaos, Lord of the Titans, burst forth with a roar like the tumult of an army: "I feel nothing but disgust at these sons of mine! I must begin my family anew, in the image of my own might and glory; but these monsters, these unholy creatures Gaea has born to me – they must be cast into darkness, out of my sight! I cannot to bear to look upon them; I do not call them my own. The hundred-armed warriors, the Cyclopes, these are no longer my sons – they are a disgrace to the reign of the Titans, a stain upon creation! – they shall be cast into Tarturus until the end of time, or until the Fates bring destruction on my deathless throne."
Furious words; and the Titan Lord soon turned them to action. He seized his sons – the hundred-armed warriors, and also the Cyclopes – and their father dragged them to the edge of the great pit called Tarturus.
The pit rumbled as though with an earthquake that shook the very foundations of heaven earth. With a shout, Chaos seized the boulder that sealed the ancient prison, hurling it aside with his bare hands. The Titan Lord's sons clawed at the edge with their hundreds of arms, and the Cyclopes, half-mad with rage and fear, rushed their father together – but even together, it was not enough. Chaos lashed out with one giant fist, crashing forward – brilliant strength; flashing power! – and his immortal children tumbled back, crying out. All fifty heads on each warrior let loose with terrible wails, all hundred hands flailed for something to hold on to, but in vain.
Darkness swallowed whole the Titan's sons.
Suddenly, something stirred in the blackness below. A mist began swirling up, like serpents coiling from the depths. Chaos stared, wordless, unable to comprehend what this entity, this shrouded wraith, could be.
It was the spirit of Death, so long unknown, now rising from what had been its grave since before the beginning of time.
The spirit's form, a sulfurous mist, gathered into the spectral shape of a dragon. The wraith's wings beat the air with violence, its spiked tail smashing against the sides of Tarturus. It opened wide its gaping maw, letting loose with a keening wail that rapidly deepened into a deep, rumbling battle cry. Then the mist dispelled, formless once again. Before Chaos could restrain it, it soared out of Tarturus and into world above, the land of mortals: man's dominion.
The Titan Lord, Chaos, quickly fled back to the seat of his reign – Mount Orthys – to meet with Gaea and his sons, bursting forth with winging words: "A deadly spirit from before the dawn of time has awakened – its name is Death, and its power is too great to be killed, even by our deathless hands. Come, my brothers, my sisters! Rise, Gaea, my bride! Quickly, we must bind our powers together; a barrier may yet be possible. Our power and magic can keep the spirit down on lower earth – but alas, I fear that earthly flesh shall feel the spirit's vengeance. A curse falls on mortal man, a stain too deep to be cleansed. But hurry; there is no time to waste! The seconds pass, with or against the will of the immortals – and now Death brings a curse upon it. But yet, let the Titans preserve our own. Our age will not fall today."
And so, the Titans combined their strength. A barrier formed 'round the realm of the deathless, forever banishing Death from its hallowed halls. Never would gods or Titans feel the sting of the spirit's curse – it was bound to lower earth forever.
Below, in mortal earth, all hell had broken loose.
Dark mist spread like evil itself, leaking into every crevice, reeking with the stench of sulfur. The spirit whose name was Death filled the whole earth, poisoning every living thing with its presence. The strongest men simply began to age. The weaker ones – youths, women, children – keeled over in agony so deep, not a cry came from their lips. Wails rose from most every home as Death struck for the first time in all history. Even the most hardened hero felt his eyes stream with tears of bitterness and sorrow. Whole villagers gathered, mourning together, holding funerals for the endless, endless dead. Mothers clutched their sons' cold bodies against them, but in vain. Children lie still and lifeless. Villagers' corpses were strewn lifelessly about the streets.
Thus, Death descended upon mortal earth, although it was cast out from the heavens. But even the worst of curses must bend before the axe of deadly Fate. There would come a time when Chaos would further bind the spirit, sealing it within a prison forged by the very sons he banished. Yet, though the wound of Death's spirit ceased to bleed, scars would remain.
And Kronos had other plans for the spirit called Death.
Plans that would damage the future beyond what even the Titans could repair.
A/N: To those of you who haven't yet reviewed (but have read), please leave us some feedback. This is our first collab, so reviews mean the world! To those who have reviewed, thank you so so so much! You're awesome!
Forgive the bulkiness of this chapter; this will descend back into traditional narrative soon, but we're trying to build the mythology that will culminate in the creation of Eternal, which will take a chapter or two. The origin of death is never addressed in the myths, save for the fact that the Fates control it, Fate itself/destiny dictates it, and the gods can't stop it. So if the gods/Titans can't stop it, it must be something that they never intended to exist in the first place. Basically, it has no origin. It resided in Tarturus from beyond eternity into the infinite past. Then Chaos let it loose!
Again, please review. We apologize for Chaos' miserable parenting skills. xD Poor Cyclopes…