Under Feet of Clay
Before the Titans, all Gaia’s children were content to exist forever in eternal chaos. Then came The Fourth Children, the Titans, those mighty creatures of astonishing humanoid shapes warped in strange ways. There were those with horns, and wings, and a hundred hands, and millions of eyes. Among these was one named Chronos, who was ill content to watch the eternity of time churn without direction. With his sisters Rhea and Ulana, he fathered the Fifth Children, the Gods.
When Gaia saw the Fifth Children, she was angered. Their forms were pure and they were made not by her. She directed her Second Children, the Archbeasts, and her Fourth Children, the Titans, to strike the Gods from the universe. However, Purosphuros had made mighty weapons for the Gods and they fought back with a few titans who were loyal to their desire to overthrow Gaia and the heavens. With them was their father who forsook the name Chronos and became known as Grandfather Time, his sisters who had birthed his divine children, and another titan whose name is lost. The other titans cursed his name to never be spoken, but we know this titan as the Fire Thief. And so the Titans moved to strike down Gaia‘s first lover, Heaven, lead by Grandfather Time carrying a mighty scythe with which he castrated Heavens and showering his ichor across the cosmos. With this blow, Ladon retreated from battle, knowing that the Gods would be victorious. With the death of Heaven, Gaia’s favored son Proteus took his father’s place as her lover.
Xiphios, firstborn son of Grandfather Time, carried the mighty Thunderbolt, striking down Archbeasts, Titans, and the other Primordials. His wife and half-sister Aedai bore a great shield and glimmering sword. Thalattos rode into battle on a mighty chariot of silver on which were leashed a score of pure-breed stallions, reins in one hand and the great three-pronged trident in his other. Though she desired only to cultivate her plants in ordered rows and had no taste for combat, Thesmaphora struck with her sickle of cold iron against the Primordials. Parthaenae strode into battle with her winged spear and shield and helmet. From his fiery chariot, Pallas fired his flaming arrows of disease, wasting the bodies of his foes and burning their flesh, while his twin sister Sylvia moved silently through the darkest forests and struck with her arrows of silver that froze Primordial flesh like stone, forcing them to keep but one shape. Polumachos charged into battle with his death-dealing greatsword, and Seaborne Cytherea who rose from the waters where Heaven’s ichor fell to the seas joined the Gods with her whip of hair and armor of shells. Purosphuros marched with his great shield and warhammer, hunched by a deformity of birth. Zagrius, youngest of the Gods, did battle with a battleaxe. Thantadeus did battle from atop his skeletal steed with the dismal lance. Eleusinia, his wife and daughter of Thesmaphora, fought with the Morningstar. Asklepios tended what wounds the Gods suffered, and struck with his serpents and quarterstaff. The strange god with the feet of a goat, Anxi, did battle with a pickaxe and sewing discord. Twin cupbearers of the Gods Hebe and Ganphoros fought with the falchion and halberd, respectively. Finally, triumphant Vikae struck with the glorious longspear, banner of her brethren trailing from the head.
It was during this mighty battle that the Fire Thief sculpted from Gaia’s clay the mortal form, and descended to the heart of existence to steal the fire of the soul and civilization. Though he kept the knowledge of civilization restricted to seven tablets, and imparted souls to mortalkind. So animated, the first mortals without minds of their own watched as Gaia was bound, and Proteus escaped, and the last of the Archbeasts were destroyed. And the triumphant gods divided their domains. When Grandfather Time refused the central throne, Xiphios, Thalattos, and Thantadeus all vied for the greatest seat of power over the heavens. However, there were three realms to divide: heavens, sea, and underworld. So divided, Parthaenae prevented a civil war among the gods by devising a contest of chance. And so she cast the bones, and Xiphios won the throne of heaven, Thalattos won the throne of the seas, and grim Thantadeus won the throne of the underworld. Departing from the heavens and denied a place among the thirteen thrones, he vowed the day would come when the throne of the heavens would be his, and took his wife to the darkness where the shades dwell and the bodies of the Titans and Archbeasts rotted.
And so, the Gods set to awaken for themselves a generation of Children, and saw the infant mortals on the face of the world. So they reached down and gave to them minds like the Gods’ own, but bodies weaker than their lest mortals rise up against the Gods the same way they overthrew the Primordials. And the Sixth Children were raised up and worshipped the gods, burning sacrifices of sweet smoke as the Gods feasted on ambrosia in their celestial palaces.