Under Feet of Clay
Dead, sealed away, or banished from reality, the Titans were a threat from the age of Primordials that ruled over the cosmos. Their number is unknown, but they were immense, towering figures of untold power. Born from Gaia, the Titans were her loyal children, defenders, and squabbling heirs. They battled one another for supremacy, establishing ever-shifting domains for themselves on the face of the chaotic, disordered expanse. Some were humanoid in their form, others looked more like monsters. Some had one hundred hands and fifty heads, others were serpents with numberless tails.
Perhaps it was inevitable that the endless infighting of untold myriads of progeny would produce one that would betray their mother. Grandfather Time issued forth with his titan wife a brood of gods, and they overthrew the Titans. The Trisdekatheon was faced by seemingly insurmountable odds, but somehow they won the day.
Some theologians believe that there were once more gods, and many perished in the battle. Others believe that the deities recognized their position, and used their superior cunning to create alliances with certain Titans, only to later forge other alliances and betray their former allies. The question of how one kills a Titan is still unanswered, though divine power is often the answer given. Many monsters with sapient minds and language claim lineage from the Titans, despising the gods and mortalkind for usurping their inheritance.
There were many various sizes and powers of titans, and not many are named. Those whose names are remembered are often known as the Grand Titans or the Hyperian Titans. They are as follows:
Okeanos : Primordial lord of the seas and the depths, Okeanos did battle with Thalattos for dominion of the seas. Using clam shells as shields and a whip with sharks instead of lashes, Okeanos was a cruel and ruthless lord. Under his watch, the tides had no set rhythm, and vortexes could swallow any ship. He is often depicted as humanoid, though his lower half is sometimes that of an octopus, and sometimes a shark’s tail. His face had gnashing teeth like the shark, and he has four arms instead of two.
Tethys : Also known as the Startreader, Tethys ruled from on high with trickery and sheer force. His body was as changing as the winds, and lightning danced in his veins. Tethys is depicted with five heads, and three tails like a scorpion, with four legs supporting an otherwise humanoid torso. Tethys would permit nothing to tread his domain, so the twins Pallas and Sylvia would combat and slay him for the right to establish the tracks of sun and moon.
Iapetos : The mighty titan of metal and stone, Iapetos is credited as the first to fashion weapons and armor. His torso is said to have been like three torsos fused at the shoulders, giving him three arms, three chests, three necks, and three heads. He had four legs beneath, and skin of mighty stone scales that no weapon could pierce. In his arms he carried a spear, a sword, and a cudgel, all of stone with raw metals laced within. Purosphuros considered this titan a rival, and worked metals to new forms. The innovation of the Thunderbolt he would grant to Xiphios was the only object that could pierce the immortal stone scales and harm Iapetos, finally toppling the horror.
The Fire-Thief : His name long ago stolen by the titan of memory for betraying his kind, the Fire-Thief was one of the first titans to join the Trisdekatheon. He was unmoved by the call to order, and instead was enamored with mortals. Some say he fashioned them from clay, firing the wet forms and breathing life into the dolls. Others say mortals already existed, but he granted us minds and spirits. Whatever the case, the Fire-Thief’s love of the races doomed to die would be his undoing, as he would betray everyone for their benefit. By his gift, the tablets that awoke the Sages were written and hidden while the Trisdekatheon drank in celebration at the end of the Cosmomachy. And he would steal the fire from the gods to inspire and awaken mortals, earning his name. For many mortals, this kindly titan is the worthiest of worship, but to do so would infuriate Xiphios who rules the world as it is now.
Mnemosyne : Titan of thought and memory, Mnemosyne crafted the Cyclopses and dug the trenches for the rivers Styx, Acheron, Phlegethon, and Lethe. She was a cruel master of her dismal domain, and a primary antagonist of Thantadeus in the war. It was she who struck the Fire-Thief’s name from all minds into eternity, and her veil cast upon the stars is what prevents most from seeing the future. It is said that she appeared as an elven woman, but with skin the color of the night sky and wielding a bow whose arrows struck not the body, but the mind.
Atlas : Tallest of the titans, and by many accounts the strongest, Atlas was said to have a head that scraped the sky when standing, and so hunched constantly. He was fond of the ocean, where he could sink into the waves and see other titans at their own height. Unable to destroy him in a fair fight, the gods instead destroyed his great hall, a pillared temple that held up the sky, forcing Atlas to protect his domain by hoisting the dome upon his shoulders. Unable to move under the tremendous weight, he was slain and his body propped up to maintain the size. Some say that the endlessly high mountain of Ladon is actually the carcass of its dead brother, Atlas.
Gorgon : Mother of Medusa and all other manner of foul beasts, Gorgon is considered the architect of death itself. It was her desire to change the living to the inert that created poison, disease, aging, and ultimately death. It is said that she was her own first experiment in death, but she failed, instead turning to an undying skeletal form of her own being. Before the transformation, she had a dozen heads, serpents growing from her hunched back, six arms, and five tails. But when she cast her failed death upon herself, the bones twisted and broke and reshaped themselves, such that she covered herself eternally. Only her faces, a circular disk of twelve interlocking skulls, remains visible, though skeletal claws reach out from under her robe. What she learned in creating death was handed down to her offspring, granting them a variety of ways to end others; poison, disease, petrification, and evisceration.
Nyx : Perhaps the smallest titan, but by no means the least feared, Nyx is the child of darkness and cold. Little is known about this creature, save that she was no larger than a human is today, and she bears in her wake the chill of a thousand winters. Ever cloaked in shadows, it is only known that she has at least two hands, long enough to reach out to caress her victims, black as night but with red-tipped fingers.
Xaos : Often considered the first titan, or by some accounts the brother of Gaia herself, Xaos was a raging, living storm of fire, ice, and cloud. There is no known form of Xaos, only his endless issue of servant beings in the form of elementals. Many now think that Xaos is merely the name given to endless generative power of Gaia, though the oldest texts on the matter clearly believe Xaos to be a unique being. When he lumbered, Xaos is said to have a dozen legs, each a pillar of some other element, and in place of a torso or head, he was a vortex of energy in eternal motion.
The Servants of the Titans
Hekatoncheires : Commonly called the Hundred-Handers, these titans were a common workman and warrior for the grander titans. Gigantic creatures of epic proportions, these guards and troops of the grandest titans feature prominently in the works of the myth-writers. Many were slain, others were banished to other realms, and few were defeated by outright strength. No, it was cunning, trickery, and careful plotting that ensnared these juggernauts. Capable of throwing whole mountains by some accounts, the Hekatoncheires are a terror in memory, and particularly mighty ones could rival their makers for power.
Cyclopses : The one-eyed warriors and inheritors of the titan’s wrath and enemies, the Cyclopses are regarded as the cowards of the war in for the heavens. While most of the titan’s living weapons fought to the death, the Cyclopses were granted a weak amount of foresight, initially intended to circumvent the machinations of the wily gods. But when defeat was promised, wise leaders about the Cyclopses lead their kind underground to endure the scouring they foresaw. Few remain, and many are believed lost in the endless caves of Gaia, but on occasion one arises from the depths and might seek to start the war once again. Others hope to carve out a kingdom for themselves, enslaving the mortals in the region and hoping to discover lost titanic power.
Giants : While Grandfather Time begat his progeny with his wife who died in the war, other titans preferred to sculpt their own followers. These were the giants; often infused with elemental power based on the whims of their makers, the giants were a race given over to mortality. Like the Cyclopses, the Giants were crafted not as worshipers or children, but weapons. Perhaps with a sense of irony or out of generosity, the Fire-Thief also gave over some reason and intellect to the giants, but they have turned this to cruelty and war. There are reports of giants who survived the war. Terrible as they are, they are no titans, though there are powerful leaders among them who will claim that title. And perhaps in the mythological era these greatest of giants would be considered Titans in their own right, but even the titans of fire, frost, and storm that sometimes are glimpsed in stories or the horizon are but flickering candles compared to the fiery strength of the Hyperian Titans.
Chimera : While many monsters from hydras to manticores served the Titans, the Chimera is the symbol of their twisted power. With blended elements of a goat, lion, and serpent, the Chimera is a terrible beast, cruel and deadly in equal measure. Any monster might be subject to a Titan, but the Chimera were a particularly beloved and favored pet. Only one outstripped the Chimera in the titan’s favor.
Tarrasque : Mighty terror of the young realm of mortals, the Tarrasque was crafted by the Titans as a living weapon against the gods and their worshipers. Full of fury and seemingly invulnerable, the Tarrasque is said to have merely burrowed into the bosom of Gaia to sleep until the new war began. Some say that the Cylopses seek the resting place of this hulking beast to awaken it and begin the war anew.