"The second child of Metis shall overthrow The King of Olympus"
This ancient prophecy raced through my head as I ran through the winding corridors of Olympus. The existence of this very prophecy had filled my cheating, lying bastard of a husband into a frothing rage, just because he knew, that in a millennia, another god would take his place, just because he knew that, that child would be borne by me.
Suddenly Zeus appeared before me, his lightning bolt and Aegis in hand. I recoiled in fear, as a blinding light hit me and I flew back into one of the stone pillars. And out of my half-conscious eyes, I saw Zeus walk towards me. And at that moment, slipping in and out of consciousness, I prayed. I prayed to my father for the prophecy to come true, at that moment, I prayed for for the unborn goddess inside of me and for the king that was to come.
And when I woke again, I was no more.
Blurred images all around, a deceptively calm atmosphere. The only place he had ever known, spoiled forever, his own father looking down at him with pure disgust, loathing evident on his face. He raised his arms as if to smite him, but was interrupted by the other gods’ arrival at the council room.
The man put on a façade of happiness when he saw the gods as he gently cradled his baby God.
This was the first thing Adderou had ever witnessed, yet, it was all only mild negligence compared to what was to come. His own family had alienated him, thrown him away like a rag doll, all due to the influence of one god.
He had misled the family of gods, making himself the king. A Council had been formed, a Council of twelve gods, with six males and six females to symbolize equality.
Yet, that equality did not last long.
Zeus's son, Dionysus, came along. Given preference as the son of the king of the gods, he was added to the Council. Why? Because he saved some demigod son of Zeus. Due to this, Hestia, the Goddess of Fire and the Hearth, the firstborn of Cronus, had to give up her seat in the Council for an inferior god of wine and insanity. This tipped the scales of equality in the Council and suddenly, there were five females and seven males.
As the world of mortals mirrored the gods in all that they did, the women on Earth were soon considered inferior to men.
Even Hades, Zeus’s eldest brother, was not acknowledged because Zeus feared his power and banished him to the underworld. Only Poseidon, who submitted to his brother, was given a seat on the Council.
Soon all the gods were against Adderou, but the turning point came when his heritage was revealed and Zeus started to grow desperate.
It had been a hundred years since I was born and have been made an outcast, but this was a special day. The hundredth birthday was when a god awakened his powers; he just had to go to Olympus.
My family was hardly a family, everyone was involved in their own petty feuds over little things. Only a few had remained rational over the centuries, and amongst those were Hestia and Demeter. Hestia rarely visited Olympus but was a great friend of mine, I often talked to her how petty our family could be.
She was the one who revealed to me the reason I was made an outcast.
I was too strong, she said mournfully, and that had always been the problem with their family – they were far too power-loving. Their lust for power and supreme innate gifts had taken them to great heights, allowing them to win the throne of the Titans, but it would take them no further.
The Olympians were paranoid, guarding their treasures jealousy and blaming people without the slightest bit of evidence.
As it was my hundredth birthday, I went to Olympus, back to where it all started, back to where I had erupted from Zeus's back in full battle regalia, dressed like a king.
The only question I had as I travelled there was, who was my mother?
I had my suspicions but I wasn't sure.
I had reached Mt. Olympus, which, to most humans, would appear as a barren peak. But the primitive, ignorant mortals did not notice the hidden portal on the other side. Who would? The domain of the gods belonged solely to the gods for a reason.
Entering Olympus, I went straight to the council room.
There, I saw an unusual sight, the gods sitting quietly in the throne room, talking in hushed tones. Hmm, something was not right, the Council was always quarrelling, and I had never seen them having a civilized conversation.
I inched closer to hear what they were saying.
"Adderou should not be allowed to receive his powers, he is already as strong as one of us." Zeus thundered.
"I agree with your decision, father," Artemis concurred. “He is too great a threat.”
The rest of the Council agreed unanimously.
I rubbed my moist eyes, stunned, as the Council tried to decide how to deprive me of my birthright.
I was heading away when I saw flashes of light in my peripheral vision. I turned around and saw two fair ladies and an old woman appear in flashes of light.
"Who dares!?” Zeus roared.
"We are The Moirai," they said coldly, their voices resonating oddly, their words strangely cadenced.
The room chilled.
Atropos, Lachesis, and Clotho.
Zeus seemed taken aback but asked, "why have you come here?"
"To tell you of young Adderou's heritage."
"Bah,” Zeus said, waving his hand dismissively around the council room. “That insignificant speck is not here."
The Morai ignored him and spoke,
"When power grows out of hand,
Then does the son of Metis stalk the land,
Avenging himself and his friends,
He will not stop till it ends."
“Adderou, the God of Pain, Loyalty, Secrets, Darkness, and Night. The son of Metis, and..."
The Fates turned to look at me, their dispassionate eyes boring into mine.
"The Destroyer of Olympus."
All gazes turned to me.
I froze, like a deer caught in the headlights. There was so much fear, hate and loathing in the gazes of the Olympians that I wanted to bow down my head and run away from my family, which was already contemplating how to dispose of me.
Zeus rose from the throne, spluttering, as he tried to comprehend the world-shattering knowledge he had been given.
Then, with an almost strangled shout, he commanded, "Capture him."
The Olympians jumped into action.
My mind was reeling with raw, unadulterated emotion as I tried to make sense of what the Morai had said.
The son of Metis.
I finally knew my mother.
Destroyer of Olympus.
I clenched my teeth. Only if I am given a reason to.
I was brought in chains to the feet of my father.
"Adderou, you have committed treason of the highest kind, plotting against the Council and perpetuating the demise of Olympus itself. Do you plead guilty?"
"Not guilty!” I shouted. “You are trying me for a crime that I have not committed! This is both unfai-"
I was cut off by Zeus.
"I am protecting Olympus." His eyes flashed with literal lightning. "For treason against Olympus, I hereby consign Adderou, son of Metis, to the deepest depths of Tartarus. All in favour?"
He waved me off like I was nothing. I was internally burning with anger and hate at my father. I had never taken a step against Olympus. Sure, I had been an outcast, but it did not make me resent Olympus.
He was convicting his own son for so-called treason, and trying to set it up as a righteous action, when really he was just afraid because of what the Fates had said. He had put the words of strangers before the life of his own son.
Except for Demeter, the entire Council raised their hands.
The last hope I had of coming out of this unscathed disappeared instantly. Zeus's look of maniacal glee removed any thoughts of my escape.
As the other gods left, Zeus clapped his hands and whispered into my ears-
"Finally, I get some time with my son."
He picked me up and started to drag me back down – back to Olympia.
The world of man.
I had spent almost my entire life down on Olympia and I was rather familiar with the continent. Elves, orcs, and humans lived mostly in harmony, save for the occasional scuffle over territory.
Even so, the path Zeus dragged me through was one I had never seen before, but soon I realized where he was taking me – the Bloodbark Forest. A place of horror, none ventured into the Bloodbark forest, and those who did never came back. Soon, the tall, gnarled trees of the Bloodbark forest loomed over us.
Zeus stood there, momentarily in indecision, but then he turned back to me and said, “You're in for a treat, boy.”
He turned and took another path, moving right between the narrow strip of barren land that marked the end both lush and withered forest. On the left was lush and green, but Zeus turned the other way. He continued onwards till the surroundings grew barren once again. Finally, they reached a barren field. The only thing there was an enormous black whirlpool of sand and mud.
Zeus picked me up and threw me into the whirlpool, a sadistic smirk playing on his lips.
It was Tartarus.
The whirlpool was the giant opening to a deep abyss named after Tartarus, a primordial who was one of the strongest beings to walk the realms.
I started to sink and suffocate, as mud and dirt clouded my vision. Just when I could breathe no more, I was falling through open air, smothered by the surrounding darkness.
It took me nine days to fall, just as Hesiod would go on to predict. I managed to roughly land on the ground, yet breaking several bones in the process.
Thankfully, the chains that were binding me took up the brunt of the impact, shattering in the process.
I groaned, wincing as my godly essence started to heal my bones. After I was reasonably healed I gently extricated myself from my chains and stood up.
I looked around and spotted dark forms lurking in the dark mist.
I was in Tartarus.
The only question that ran in my head was,"Why?"
What had I done to receive such treatment from my very own father himself? Why did the Fates decree that I was to be cast into Tartarus. The question resonated inside my very being.
And I collapsed into a heaving, sobbing wreck. Wallowing myself in self-pity. I sat there, sobbing for what seemed like hours but time in Tartarus works differently. In Olympia, it could be seconds that passed or years. This led me to think about how I am gonna survive down here much less get out of this literal hellhole.
After there was no more salt left for me to cry out, I built up enough courage to raise my head up and take a look at my surroundings. The air was thick with the smell of blood and the blood red mist rolled over the looming hills of Tartarus. Everything was in a reddish tint, it was almost as if Tartarus is the very embodiment of anger, death, blood and fear.
Then I remembered that it was.
I immediately got up after remembering the tales about this place that I was told by the Elves who once raised me. They told me “If you ever end up there boy, better remember to never stay in one spot.”
I asked “Why?” and they said “Cause you'll be impaled, tortured and finally killed.”
So I set out to explore the legendary abyss, keeping in mind that there are monsters around every corner, over every hill and lurking in every shadow.
And there were shadows everywhere.
Since I was the god of pain, darkness and all things that belonged to the night, I quickly found allies in some of the hideous hearts of the monsters I came across. None were to be trusted fully, whether friend or foe. Some monsters fought alongside me and some against, but, the tables could turn at any time.’
In Tartarus you were alone, no trust was to be vested in anyone and you always had to watch your own back.
All the time I spent fighting for my survival almost drove me to insanity. I had to kill everything that I met with my bare hands, I felt the breath draining out of their bodies and along with their life, some of my Humanity. I had to get rid of all living things, whether ally or not as you never know who’ll stab you in the back or not, just like my Bastard father. I had to live on monster carcasses and demon blood because there was nothing else to eat or drink. There was no one to talk to and no one to listen to except the whispers drifting in the blood-like mist, the whispers of the souls of all the things I’ve killed. These voices were my only companions down there.
Out of these dreadful months in Tartarus, only two good things emerged. I learned how to be a cold stone killer with no feelings except those of hatred and indifference and also, I became a fully-fledged god.
A god’s awakening is influenced by his surroundings, since we have to absorb the atmospheric essence. That’s why gods usually awaken on Olympus, whose atmosphere has near-infinite godly essence. I figured that since I awakened my powers in Tartarus, instead of Olympus, its primordial nature made my powers rougher, stronger and more primal than those of any god's. And I could feel the difference.
Now I was a true god with primordial, rougher powers, stronger than any other god. And I had a thirst for revenge.