The Hand of Olympus
Apollo, the god of the sun, once lay in bed with a woman in the town called Aphixia. The woman was as radiant as Artemis, but never boast and kept modest. Artemis never became angry and allowed Apollo to take the innocence of such a beautiful woman. 9 months later, twins arose from her womb. While the first-born child had the golden radiance of his father, the second that came out was more mortal in appearance.
Apollo disliked the youngest twin, naming him Gideon, which meant "Destroyer". The oldest was named Phaeron, also being the target for nepotism. While Gideon and Phaeron were young, none of them realized their different levels of respect Apollo gave. While Phaeron was taught how to use a bow and swing a sword, Gideon was left in the dark. Phaeron became strong and fit whilst Gideon was left weak and frail.
One day. the mother called upon Apollo and demanded that he respect Gideon. In anger, he stated he could never love a son whom did not have power. Afterwards the brothers and mother left Aphixia as Apollo scorched it into dust. This being a lesson to the mother's defiance, he demanded she never enter a city that worships him. Only Phaeron was not punished, being left with a bow and arrow made by Hephaestus himself.
Years later, Hades plots to use the hate Hera built for Zeus and a demi-god as a vessel for his power. Only the dark affection of a demi-god could be compatible for Hades' gift. As Hades plot the fall of Olympus, Gideon continued to grow resentment for his brother and father. Hades used the souls in Tartarus to blend a poison which could curse Zeus and "hand" his power to anyone.
The Destroyer (The Call)
Phaeron dashed through the gloss-green forest, bow and arrow in hand and pursuing a racing deer. It has been more than a day since he and his mother and brother last ate, so he needed this opportunity. Vexed by the chase, Phaeron ascended up a collapsed tree and jumped, bringing the arrow down on the deer and killing it with his weight and the arrow's broad tip. The arrow plunged into the late deer, slicing cleanly into the flesh and impaling the heart. He pulled the arrow from its side and wiped it with a rather filthy rag.
An axe strapped to his side was pulled from its loop, allowing him to gut the deer and take the meat. He placed the meat into a large, leather bag and he took the horns so he could make a spear and arrow tips later. On his way back to the camp he and the others set up, he noticed a crackling of twigs nearby. Striking a look at the 8 o'clock angle, he just shrugged and carried the bag over his shoulder. Phaeron returned the axe to the loop and quickly returned to the camp.
"Hello mother, Gideon. I have returned with enough food for the next few days. A heavy deer, he was." he rest the sack of meat onto the ground and nodded his head towards his mother, whom smiled warmly back.
"Hello, Phaeron, I take it the hunt went well." the mother responded, standing up and preparing the meat for dinner. She cleaned the meat, chopped it up, and took a few vegetables she had harvested earlier from someone's territory and placed them in a pot full of water. She chopped up the vegetables and then cleaned her hands which had been dirtied by the raw meat.
"Yes indeed. Gideon, how has your training come along? Maybe you can start hunting with me soon." Phaeron tried being warm as possible, but knew Gideon would never be any good in a hunt. Gideon stood up after inspecting a few arrows he had carved for his brother.
"You and I both know we would never work well together. Now, mother, I am going to go visit the next camp over and take some of the meat. Maybe they will be willing to trade." Gideon's voice seemed to trigger a mode of foreshadowing from his mother, whom had a grim face.
"Yes, we'll see you by dinner, no?" she threw on her warm expression once more and then put some of the extra meat into another sack for Gideon's use.
"Ah, it is good that we will have something other than food. We've been running deathly low on bandages and poultices. Those are of more importance to trade for. Thank-you for the arrows, by the way." Phaeron nodded his head, smiling with his eyes shut as he picked up the fifteen freshly carved arrows from the ground and placed them in a quiver of its own, made from deer skin.
"Goodbye mother, goodbye brother. I will return soon." he said his goodbyes, setting off for the next camp with the sack of venison that he was given by his mother. He took his spatha with him, a sword he had stolen from the blacksmith before Aphixia was burned to the ground. After Gideon left, the mother looked at Phaeron with a grim face.
"Tonight is the night you must keep awake. Please, keep awake." she would not speak after that no matter how Phaeron questioned her meaning.
"Mother, what ever do you mean?" he crouched next to her, placing his hand on her shoulder and feeling her ice cold flesh. She wasn't speaking...she was silent. She was so silent, her breath wouldn't even be felt. Feeling a cold sting, Phaeron took his hand off of her. Her body began developing frost and the skin began turning more and more pale by the second. Eventually, a thin layer of ice prevented any part of her body from moving out of place. The ice began darkening and eventually, the mother's body was encased in ice.
The ice began developing a more stone-like appearance, the mother going from frozen to petrification. "Apollo. My mother...she has been taken...Father please answer my cries..." Phaeron kneeled and prayed to his father, tears forming strings of beads down his cheeks. The tears felt salty as they where absorbed by his dry lips. His mother...was dead. Her soul was lost to the underworld and she was dead.
His brother was gone and her final words asked him to stay away, had she known this was going to happen? Why did she allow herself to die? Phaeron was afflicted by questions that only brought anger, confusion and melancholy. He went over to his tent and grabbed a sharpening stone and two of his finest swords, sharpening them fine and waiting for his brother to return. It was night time and the soup had finished slow-cooking. Phaeron had made himself a bowl and sat there, anticipating his brother's return. Hours passed and his brother still had not returned.
Slowly, his consciousness waned, his eyelids becoming heavy like the handle of a blade. Everything darkened, and eventually he fell asleep by the fire next to his petrified mother. His golden presence lit up by the flames. His golden-blonde hair given a red tinge from the fire and his skin made out to be moist from sweat. Not long after he fell asleep, Gideon trailed away from the shadows of the forest and into the camp. In his hand, he held a poison-tipped dagger. The orange fluid stained the silver daggertooth, excess poison dripping from the tip. Slowly the drops fell onto the ground, a sizzling sound being made. Only silver and glass could carry the poison, for it melted whatever it touched.
Making his way towards his brother, Gideon's smile stretched into a wicked curve. "Tonight, it ends here brother...I'm going to be the favorite now." Gideon was a few feet away from his brother, slowly moving so he could savor the moment. He noticed his mother was petrified and paused, a horrified face replacing the heartless expression he had before. "Did he...?" turning back towards his brother, Gideon rushed forward. A blinding light came from a distance, disrupting his movement and causing Phaeron to rise from his slumber. The blinding light ended and concentrated into one thick beam of flames.
Protruding from his chest an arrow of intense inferno could now be seen. Gideon fell to his knees, looking down upon the arrow. Apollo appeared in a bolt of fire that struck the ground. Any excess flames formed yet another arrow. Apollo stood tall, his radiant body covered in armor riddled with symbols representing the fact he was the God of the Sun.
"You dare attack my child? Abomination. I will send you to Tartarus right here! You will burn in the underworld's infernos, become Hades' toy!" Apollo bellowed, drawing the gleaming arrow of inferno on his bow of light. Firing the arrow, it overlapped the one already planted into Gideon's chest. The former was forced from his body and the new had began torching Gideon's body. Apollo collected fire from the campfire and formed a more minor arrow of fire. "The very day you were born, you didn't deserve life or love! Your mother died because you wanted Phaeron to die. Your mother didn't love you enough to allow it, no. I have waited for the day I can finally wipe the abomination I made from this world!"
Apollo planted his foot against the back end of the arrow within Gideon's body, pushing it slowly as he drew the arrow of fire he held. Firing it into the shoulder of his hated son, it was wide enough to automatically tear his arm off and burn the wound shut. Gideon took a long time to die, for he was a demi-god. The arrow within Gideon's chest finally fell out, and Apollo collected the fire from all three arrows, placing his drawn arrow of finales against his son's face.
"You don't the revenge your brother wants to cast upon you. You only deserve a fiery death." Apollo let the moment sink into Gideon's mind before he spent his last moments being burnt to nothing. Firing the arrow point blank, Apollo incinerated his son's head, leaving nothing left and even incinerating the upper half of the torso into nothing. The wounds burned shut and only beads of un-dissipated blood were left behind. The arrow fired automatically dispersed upon eliminating Gideon. Phaeron watched in awe as his brother was incinerated almost completely. He backed up, dragging his body backwards on the ground as he crawled.
"Father? Father! You...killed him! Why father? What has he done? Did he want to harm me?" Phaeron pleaded to his father for answers, curious as to why he incinerated his only sibling.
"Yes, son. He was planning on using a poison from the demons within the Underworld. I burned the camp that had it, they worshipped Hades and he granted them the power to carry out his will. I saved you, for you will be great one day. I know of Hades' plans, some what. He wants to end Olympus, but I do not know how he will do it...Journey to a village by the name of Dersues. Seek out Yevon, a scholar whom carries a scroll that will give further details. Go. Go and be swift as if this was a hunt!"
Apollo shooed his son after having him round up supplies. Phaeron made a long journey, traveling from camp to camp, village to village. He once passed Athens, meeting a great inventor by the name of Daedalus, whom had crafted him a shield of gold that collapsed into a smaller disc, usable as a buckler or a full-sized round shield. Daedalus had done this by the request of Apollo, whom wanted his son to succeed. Weeks later, he finally arrive at the town before Dersues, a small, small village by the name of Fione.
Phaeron needed to rest, so he sought out an inn and spent what little coin he had left for a room. He slept and slept, resting for days so he could have enough energy to make it to Dersues. His journey was far from over...
Chapter 2: The Gauntlet of Yevon (The Tests)
Phaeron awoke from his final stay in Fione, grabbing his two fine-crafted swords, his masterwork bow and arrows, and his shield from Daedalus. The swords and bow (plus the quiver) had been strapped to his leather armor, the shield placed on his wrist in its smaller form. He grabbed his bag of rations and made his way for Dersues, waving good bye to the people who gave him great hospitality.
"I thank you for the bed and bread, I will hope to visit Fione again some day!" he bellowed, walking down the main road of Fione and into the wilderness. The brick road ended, and bare ground riddled with spaced out patches of grass replaced it. As he walked away, a young boy ran up behind him.
"Mister! Mister!" the boy yelled, bringing a rosen brow from Phaeron. He placed his hand upon the hilt of his sword strapped to the left side of his waist. When the boy finally came into sight, Phaeron flash his hand forward, unsheathing the blade and placing it in the boy's path. It halted the quick-approaching boy, the tip a foot away from his throat. "Mister Phaeron, I am not here to do harm...I want you to take me."
"Why should I take a young boy with me. You probably can't even wield a sword, and you'll need one if you were to come with me." Phaeron had an angry yet cocky attitude, mocking the lack of ability he assumed the boy had.
"I don't need a sword, I am of the age of 16 and well-fit. I can use a bow like no other my age and I am but a shadow in the night," the boy boasted, showing his short whitewood bow with his silver arrows to match it. "I even have vials of demon's blood I had stolen from merchants that crossed through this town days before you. I will of more use than you think," the boy was proud of his ability it seemed. Phaeron thought differently.
"Boy, that poison will get you killed if you're not careful. Have you ever even hunted?" Phaeron still mocked the boy's boasting. "Even if you're skilled, I don't know you or your name," Phaeron did not trust the boy yet.
"I understand you don't know me or my name. My name is Cirsus Acrux d'Fione. I am the village's thief. I don't steal from fellow citizens, but those they don't trust they have me take from them. They banished the merchants and kept their poison. They seemed to be heading this way, this is the path toward Dersues. Is that where you are heading?" Cirsus' words struck Phaeron like a sword, whom had a grim face.
"We need horses. Now. Can you get us some?" Phaeron ignored his previous opinion over the boy, and he needed to get to Dersues fast.
"Yes, just wait here and I will get my parents' finest horses." Cirsus left, moments later returning with two radiant-white horses. The horse left of Cirsus had instantly warmed up to Phaeron. An automatic connection formed between the two, as the horse knelt down fro Phaeron to climb. "Beautiful...Now we must go," Phaeron jumped onto the horse he bonded with, and Cirsus jumped onto his. Both had saddles and a quiver full of arrows. The two road the horses, using the pair of horses' peak of speed.
It only took a day and they were almost to Dersues. They passed a wagon of merchants, ignoring the reason why they rushed their so quickly. Cirsus made sure his horse approached Phaeron's horse's side carefully. "Shouldn't we check to see if those were the merchants I stole the poison from?" Cirsus inquired.
"No time. In fact, I expect that they are. We need to get to Yevon before they do, what if they are camping there and sending some of their own in their stead?" he countered his ally's inquiry with his own, silencing Cirsus as they approached the gates of Dersues. The gates were wide-open and the guards did nothing about them entering. Rushing into the stables, Cirsus paid the stableman to hold the horses for them. Phaeron walked up to the stableman with a threatening stance, "If I find out these horses are gone, and I will know if they are, I will gut you". Phaeron rushed alongside Cirsus towards the Temple of Apollo, gladly not running into any of the merchants' henchmen.
The two was granted entry into the temple, hastily searching for Yevon. When directed into his room, Yevon was calmly conversing with a man whom wore a robe similar to the robes the merchants wore. Drawing his sword, he placed it against the man's throat. "You. Are you here to kill Yevon?"
"No, no. I am a friend of his. Gregus. I am a friend from his childhood." the man made sure Yevon could not see his face, the face that held a deadly smile.
"Oh yes, Gregus. In fact. Cut his throat." Yevon's words sent chills through the three others' spines. Phaeron followed, pressing against Gregus' throat and pulled back hard. Blood stained the ground in Yevon's room only slightly, the robe absorbing most of it. Constantly Gregus bled as his throat gaped. "Good. Now I can explain. I know he was from my childhood, but to say he was my friend would mean he thought I was a fool. He vowed to kill me one day. I know he was a child, but he returned. He came to me, and I knew time became of the essence. I expected you too, Phaeron," Yevon grabbed a cup of tea that rested on a plate behind him and drank.
"I see...so you're Yevon. The scholar whom holds the scroll I need." Phaeron did not put his sword away and let the blood slide down the blade. Cirsus stood in awe...someone died in front of his own eyes.
"Yes. I understand that you need it, but let's play a game. I keep it in a maze, a gauntlet of puzzles. Five trials, the difficulty drastically varying. If you can pass through the trials...alone," Yevon struck Cirsus a look of shooing, "...then I will hand you the scroll". Yevon continued to sip his tea, ignoring the blood staining his floor. "Oh put that away. You don't need it as of yet," Yevon beckoned Phaeron to sheath his sword, which he followed.
"So you're telling me in order to retrieve this scroll I need to go through this gauntlet? I thought you'd just hand it to me," Phaeron seemed quite disappointed, even sighing heavily.
"Well It is never that simple. Did you think I'd hold on to something that could get me mugged, killed and have it stolen by acolytes of Hades?" Yevon seemed to make his point in the eyes of the other two. Yevon ordered one of the scholars to dispose of the body, acting as if it wasn't the first time. "This is common. They want the scroll, I have them killed one way or another. They usually pretend they are old friends or admirers of my work," Yevon shrugged, knowing the only thing he ever made was the Gauntlet. Yevon stood up and brushed off his robes before walking over the pool of blood from Gregus' body.
Yevon lead the two down a hidden set of stairs adjacent to his room, down and into a room that held the entrance into the Gauntlet. "Here we are. You there, boy-"
"It's Cirsus" Cirsus grunted.
"Yes, well, anyways, you stay here. Cirsus. Go on, Phaeron, enter the gauntlet." he pushed Phaeron towards the entrance and pulled a lever. Below Phaeron, the ground opened up and he fell on top of a metal slide. When he reached the bottom, he instantly drew his pair of swords. The room was dark, no fire to illuminate it. A low growl could be heard from the distance, signifying the room was rather large. When he stepped towards the middle, the what now appeared to be a round room lit up with a circle of torches high on the wall. It revealed a shackled minotaur whom had been almost in reach of a gigantic axe.
Once it saw Phaeron, its rage pumped it full of adrenaline and it broke the chains easily. Grabbing the giant axe, its blind rage caused its judgement to fail. It threw the axe, quite well and deadly fast. The drawback was the distance and Phaeron was able to dodge the axe as it blocked the way back by plunging into the wall, causing it to collapse on the entrance. The minotaur charged Phaeron, whom had feared for the worst. The minotaur charged, rushing towards the small demi-god. Due to the gigantic size, the steps were spaced and that allowed Phaeron to roll inbetween the minotaur's legs.
Upon getting behind the minotaur, Phaeron climbed its back by stabbing his swords like they were ice picks for climbing mountains into the minotaur's back. Climbing and leaved grave wounds behind, he impaled one sword into the back of its neck and used the other to carve it out. When the minotaur fell, it fell straight down. A voice echoed through the room, one that could not be followed nor understood. In a blinding light, Phaeron appeared in a room with three torches. One torch had a regular fire, one had a black fire and the other had a radiant gold-silver fire. They rested on a table within the small, but yet again round room. Circling around the table, voices came from the torches.
The voices echoed throughout his head, beckoning him to touch the torches. I am good. I am evil. I am pure. Which one speaks true in this world of evil? Phaeron barely understood the riddle, thinking the dark flame was evil, the radiant flame was good and the regular flame was pure. When he touched the radiant fire, it did not burn him. He only said, "Good." and the radiant fire died out. He looked at both flames and stood. As he made more sense of the riddle, he knew no matter how evil the underworld seemed, it was a pure truth. Touching the dark flame, he spoke, "Pure," and the flame died. He repeated this process with the regular fire and said the final word, "Evil".
When Phaeron saw the room split in half, he though the floor would go too. Just the walls and they split just enough to reveal a stair case on both sides. Ascending up one of them, Phaeron found himself in a room of inferno. A bridge full of fire and under the bridge was a pit of acid. Alarmed by the stalemate he has been put in, a voice echoed in his head. You are the sun of fire. You are a pheonix, accept it. Listening to the voice, he took a few steps towards the inferno-riddled bridge. Soon, he started running.
Phaeron dashed across the bridge, the inferno simply passing through him like he wasn't even there. When he reached the exit, he placed his hand on a seemingly frozen door and sparks sprouted. The door's ice casing melted away and it slid open. Once he passed through, he knew he was only on the fourth trial of the Gauntlet. The room was ice-cold, the ground was frozen but not slippery. He sheathed his swords and awaited for his challenge. Phaeron noticed the increase in moisture as the ice slowly melted and the heat rose.
Startling Phaeron, the heat jumped in amount, the ice flash-melting into water and smashing onto the ground. Gallons of water came from above Phaeron, but heat from his body turned it into steam. From the ground a great plume of fire burst, a trio of phoenixes sprouting from the plume. The plumes pathway reversed, and the fire was sucked into the ground. "Apollo's golden arse. What the hell am I supposed to do?" one phoenix rested next to him as the other two came soaring down for an attack. In haste, he rested himself on the phoenix as he flew away, avoiding the missile-like attack the other two made.
The phoenix flew high, the ceiling now gone unlike before. The other two chased it and a voice beckoned him to draw his bow. Once he drew his bow, fire came from the phoenix's body and formed an arrow. Holding it, Phaeron looked at it in awe. He could draw upon the flames? Drawing his bow while flying vertically, he fired and arrow and it planted itself into the chest of a phoenix, acting as if it was a normal arrow hitting a human. The phoenix fell as if the arrow hit a vital, even though the beast was made out of fire. Drawing from the dead phoenix, Phaeron formed a giant arrow which he shot effortlessly into the second phoenix, causing it to burst into loose flames from the massive size of the flaming arrow.
Reaching the top, the phoenix dissipated and turning into a frost-like mist as the ground from below rose fast enough to catch Phaeron. He put his bow away and walked towards the gate to the final trial. When he tried opening the gate, it would not budge. Instead, he felt heat behind him, turning to see it was a pair of blades and a bow. He had to choose between the two, obviously. Catching fire with fire, but executing ice with inferno. What do we want? The voice spoke the riddle within his head.
"Well...The only part of ice used was to seal the trio of flaming beasts...So it must be the bow. But the one turned into a mist of frost...Hmmm," Phaeron placed his hand on the bow, the two swords coming together and a bright light blinding him. A sealed scroll encased by metal floated in front of him and the bow made from fire was absorbed by the bow granted to him the years before when Aphixia was burned down. Grabbing the scroll, it shined brightly as he lost consciousness. When he awoke, Yevon stood beside him.
"You have passed the gauntlet. You have received your gift. I want you and your pet to leave Dersues and never return. Understand me?" Yevon was emotionless and cruel towards Phaeron, but it seemed as if something happened. What was it? What had been so dear that he was forced to leave? Phaeron walked outside of the Temple, met by a grand shroud of darkness as Cirsus followed him quickly. From the great Shroud, Gideon stood.
Chapter 3: The Dark Devour
Gideon rode the ferry with Cheron, the ferryman of the underworld, across the river Styx, resentment enveloping him. The darkness of the underworld accepted him with warm arms and gladly caressed him. Cheron spoke no words for he need not. Once Gideon was brought to the level Tartarus, he resided in the hell that tortured him. I could've killed him...I could've ended his life then and there! No matter if I wasn't going to be the favorite, at least Apollo would lose his.
He dreamed of slaying Apollo no matter how impossible it was. He dreamed of killing all those who had wronged him because he hated everyone. He hated his mother for betraying him, he hated Apollo for how he trated him, and he hated his brother for Apollo's gift of nepotism. He hated the men who traded him for the demon's blood, for they knew he'd fail. They were acolytes of Hades, they anticipated many possibilities.
He couldn't avoid all of the exaggerated hate he had built for people, he just couldn't resist it. But then, a dark shroud engulfed him and he was suddenly in a room where Hades sat on a throne.
"Ah...Gideon. Destroyer. What a wonderful and soon to be true name. I have a proposition for you. That hate, it's more tool than emotion...How about you do a favor for me," Hades had a dark voice, deeper than any Gideon had ever heard.
"I'd like you to expand on that, if you would please," Gideon did not trust Hades, but he knew he'd be tormented for not accepting. He had nothing anyways.
"Well...I want you to kill your brother. I'll give you a piece of my power and you make sure his soul gets to me and five vials of his blood. Simple enough, right?" Hades laughed demonically, standing up and summoning a scythe made from his dark cloak.
"Kill Phaeron? Impossible, unless I have this power you speak of," Gideon struck immediate interest in Hades' power and the death of his brother. He took a step forward and Hades halted him.
"Ah...ha...ha. You are one angry kid. I will grant you this scythe, it is imbued with my power and the blade is double-sided. Use it well to slay your brother. Upon killing him, it will harvest his soul into it. You'll have free access to Cheron's ferry but you have to journey to the river Styx yourself. Touch the scythe, Gideon," Hades beckoned Gideon and he did so. Gideon placed his hand upon the scythe and darkness enveloped him, transforming him into something similar to a grim reaper. His body was now made out of diamond-strong bone and the scythe was now a regular size. The scythe was completely black and made of metal, event he handle. The handle was smooth but had a notch in the middle for stronger swings.
Gideon now wore a black robe with a symbol representing the helmet of invisibility covering the mid-back of the robe. He felt the power of Hades become one with him, feeling the power of necromancy flowing through his bones. Manifesting darkness in the form of a pool, he fell into it, diving deep into the darkness and heading for Dersues. An acolyte warned Yevon that he was coming, and the true battle between him and hjs brother would begin.
Chapter 4: The Blackened Sun (The Rest)
Phaeron looked at his brother, recognizing him even though he was made of bone. He activated his shield, the shield growing to full size so he could block easily. Drawing on of his blades, it radiated with sparks before becoming encased with radiant flames. Gideon laughed as he saw his brother encase both his shield and sword in these radiant flames. From the darkness he pulled out the scythe Hades granted him. Stabbing the pommel into the ground, Gideon allowing souls from Tartarus to released and enter the brick surface. From the ground, the undead rose.
Various different undead creatures arose, consisting of nine undead knights, two undead minotaur and a giant undead lizard that sprouted from below Gideon.
"What is wrong, brother? Am I still an abomination? Are you still going to leave me in the dark while you prance about and finish your quest just like that? No...I have plans for you...Prepare to die!" Gideon beckoned bones to tear from out of the ground, forming a gigantic winged beast with fierce some talons and a powerful build. Flapping its wings, it soared away from the city. Darkness released from the scythe, destroying any and all vegetation and killing everyone in Dersues with this darkness except Cirsus, Yevon and Phaeron.
"Gideon, what the hell are you doing?" Phaeron walked down the steps but was met by a perfectly mobile undead knight. It wielded a claymore with two hands, fiercely attacking Phaeron. He rolled, using the shield as a fulcrum before impaling the head of the undead and turning it to ash from the intense inferno his blade was encased in. "Why do you follow Hades?" his voice grew and a yell was shot right at Gideon.
"Because brother! I have power, and now I am invincible. What, did you think I was going to be killed by our father and allow my destiny to end? No, my revelations were grand and dark. I now have enough hate to fuel this power, I am almost a god myself! I am no immortal, but my power bests yours...Just watch!" Gideon lifted the scythe and all those who recently died rose from the dead, their souls returned to them but not their control. Their flesh rotted away and the bones began developing larger sizes. From the ground swords of bone were gifted to them so that they may fight.
After a few minutes the Temple of Apollo was surrounded by hundreds of undead warriors. Gideon laughed maniacally as he brought the undead to the holy grounds of Apollo. "You cannot defeat me. I'll just rise like a pheonix...You may represent Apollo's chariot, the sun itself...But I follow the black chariot, the blackened sun! The world will be enveloped by darkness and you cannot stop it. I will envelope it in darkness!" Gideon struck the ground and the hundreds of undead warriors collapsed, the bones collecting into one giant undead skeleton. The bone swords formed one giant sword for it, whom proceeded to destroy the Temple of Apollo with the blade.
Phaeron fell to his knees as the sky blackened and rain began to fall. The flames died down and he felt as if his power was slipping away. "Where is our father?" his words were met by melancholy, which was challenged by the evil happiness of Gideon.
"I don't know, I don't care. Just remember, I am the destroyer," Gideon spoke with a low tone, most definitely grim in terms of attitude. He walked up to Phaeron and lifted the scythe, ready to bring it down, but instead put his foot on Phaeron's chest, forcing him to the ground. "Today...You die. Today I get my revenge for being left in the dark all those years. You blackened my sun, you made me resent everyone. Oh, 'Let's go on a hunt, Gideon.' No, this never happened, you never wanted me there. You let our mother die! You allowed her to perish and petrify just so she could save you! Of all the people!"
Gideon touched Phaeron's throat with the scythe's blade, burning his flesh only slightly with the dark aura of the scythe. Cirsus, knowing Gideon was distracted, grabbed one of his vials of demon blood and dipped a silver arrow in it, drawing his short bow with this poisoned arrow and firing it. As it ran towards Gideon, the reaper's robe sprouted a wing that was cloth in appearance, light as cloth, but hard as steel. The arrow struck, not even denting the protection of this wing. The wing retracted and Gideon walked towards Cirsus.
A long hand from the ground sprouted, grabbing Cirsus and forcing him to the ground. Stomping on Cirsus' chest, Gideon almost killed him. Bringing his scythe up, he began chanting, "Watch him! Watch him die! Watch him die at my hands," before plunging the tip of the scythe into Cirsus' skull. Instantly the soul was harvested and Gideon continued to through the scythe, making it spin like a disk as it cut Yevon in half, harvesting his soul as well. Once the scythe returned to him, he turned back towards Phaeron and laughed as his now weak brother cried. "No demi-god should cry at the sight of death. You certainly didn't cry at the sight of mine."
Gideon finally resumed the position he had Phaeron in before, putting the scythe back against his throat. "All of those years. All of those years I was the one who was hated. Mother barely loved me, fathe disowned me. I am the reason our original home was burned to the ground. Of course no one had any care for me. They always praised you. They always loved you, everyone welcomed you. Well Hades welcomes me now and guess what, only Tartarus can welcome you now!" Gideon when from a low voice to yelling as he brought the scythe up slowly, ready to bring it down.
"Every ally you had remaining is dead. The Acolytes burned down Fione, I have annihalated every single resident of Dersues, Daedalus has met an awful fate in Athens. Our father isn't here to save you this time...I'll finish the job!" Gideon finished speaking, bringing the scythe down with much might and decapitating Phaeron. But what Gideon didn't know is that Phaeron died from taking the arrow Cirsus shot and stabbing it somewhere where Gideon couldn't see and breaking it off.
This was after he witnessed Cirsus' soul being harvested. The poison took effect right before Gideon could decapitate him, his soul not able to be claimed by the scythe Gideon wielded. The only thing he could claim was five vials of blood, which Hades needed. Once Phaeron was sent to the Underworld, Cheron would not allow him passage upon request of Apollo. A radiant beam of light gleamed from the sky, revealing to be Apollo whom had come down to the mortal world to help his son.
"I was right...Hades had planned to make Olympus fall. He succeeded...For he now has rendered Zeus incapable of fighting back. Olympus has been blackened, the radiance gone...He has taken it over and there is nothing we can do about it. He wields the Hand of Zeus, replacing his own hand and casting his own hand into the mortal world. Phaeron, Olympus has fallen...But Hades has yet to gain control of his new hand, which contains Zeus' power." Apollo grabbed the shoulders of Phaeron, tears in his eyes as everything he has known has collapsed.
"Hera stands by his side and the other gods cannot win against him. Poseidon has hidden himself in Aegea, we are nothing without the likes of Poseidon. You and I are all that can face him. Hephaestus has crafted more lightning bolts, but not for Zeus. He has not betrayed us, but he did craft a bow that could nullify the capability of using Zeus' power. I have it here for you." Apollo summoned a composite bow that had a mystical appearance of wood with runic symbols all throughout it. The symbols glowed with a white and orange glow, as if it was the sun's light.
Phaeron took the bow, feeling the power of Apollo himself infuse itself into him. His demi-god level of power became something much more, it was as if he was a god himself. He felt the grand power and even a horse cam from a pool of inferno next to him. "I have been killed by my brother, but brought back to kill those who stand against Olympus. I will bring him down. My steed and I will have to kill Gideon before Hades harvests his soul. Father, will you follow me?"
"I cannot follow you into battle this time. I have given you my power through this bow. Combined with yours, you are the only one who can defeat your brother now and the same for Hades." Phaeron was ridden with fear, but nodded his head and mounted the horse, which sprouted wings that resembled a pheonix's. As the horse rose, he flew away, determined to find Dersues in time. He was able to soar fast over the lands and seas, only taking mere hours rather than days and weeks to reach Dersues. The city had been reduced to rubble, the undead still invading it. Manifesting an arrow of radiant inferno, the remaining giant undead was slain easily as its body was exploded and turned into ash, enveloped by the inferno of the arrow.
Riding lower, Phaeron made it rain arrows as he destroyed the majority of the undead. Following him, Gideon rode the undead bird and fired waves of darkness that sliced like blades. Phaeron flew upwards and behind Gideon, destroying his brother's mount with one arrow. As Gideon fell, Phaeron jumped from his steed, charging an arrow of fire. "The very day you were born, you didn't deserve life or love, you abomination!" a paraphrase of the words Apollo said when he slew his child. Phaeron fire the arrow as Gideon yelled, weakened from the exploding mount. The arrow impaled him, sending him to the ground and exploding with great force, essentially burning the town in the explosion and causing the rubble to burn into ash.
Gideon, strengthened by Hades' power, burned slowly and did not die. Caught by the fiery mount, he landed safely and dismounted. Charging yet another arrow, he said his final words to his brother. "You were born an abomination," Phaeron leaned in, "You will DIE an ABOMINATION," Phaeron leaned back and let go of the arrow, finishing his brother for good. The darkness that engulfed Dersues was lifted, but the sky remained dark and the rain did not stop. Mounting his horse once more, he took one last look at his brother before riding away.
Flying towards Mount Olympus, Phaeron had to fend off many mythical beasts sent by Hades. But he realized that he had the scroll and had never read it. Putting his bow away, he pulled out the scroll and read it. It described that it was prophecy that he turn Hades mortal and slay him after Hades turns Zeus mortal with a black lightning bolt. Then, using the hand that cast the lightning bolt, bring the immortality of Zeus back and give him his power. This scroll also stated that in order to make Hades immortal, a great sacrifice must be made. Phaeron could not figure out what this sacrifice was, but assumed it was power.
Once he entered Mount Olympus, he was met by Hades whom had a giant scythe in his right hand and a black lightning bolt in the other; in the hand blackened and corrupted and stolen by Hades from Zeus himself. He laughed deeply, amused by the present of Phaeron.
"Ah! Graced with your presence, I am! So what have you come here for? To defeat me? Your mortal, I am a demi-god. You will just be erased by my lightning bolt. I have finally gained control and now, Zeus." Hades looked to his side towards Zeus before throwing and striking Zeus with a lightning bolt. This bolt engulfed Zeus with darkness before returning to Hades' left hand, which absorbed the darkness. Using the power he had obtained from Apollo, he drew his bow and drained every last drop into one arrow, even adding his life force to it and firing. Hades was so intent on killing Zeus that he had ignored the arrow flying towards him.
The arrow absorbed his bow, taking all of his god-like traits away and rendering him a mere mortal, not even a demi-god. The blood of Apollo was sacrificed to make Hades himself mortal. Apollo appeared in a burst of flames, an arc of fire severing the hand of Zeus from Hades as he grabbed it, bestowing it upon Zeus. Once Zeus took the hand, he became immortal again and his power was returned. Hephaestus handed Zeus a lightning bolt, proceeding to strike Hades with the bolt and killing him in his mortal state. To kill a god was impossible, or so it was thought. Now that the underworld was no longer ruled, who was it that would take Hades' place who was one of the thousands of souls in Tartarus?
Zeus approached Phaeron, turning into his human-form and greeting him with a warm smile.
"You...You have saved Olympus and all of the mortals' lives. Everyone should be in debt to you. As a reward, I will grant you the power of a God and three reasonable wishes. Tell me, what is it you desire?" Zeus grabbed Phaeron's shoulder, before being met by a scowl.
"Why did my mother die? What was it that caused her death?" Phaeron was angry, but not at anyone, just angry in general. Zeus sighed, knowing he would have to explain.
"Now I understand that you want to know, but I can't count that. You do deserve to know. She was cursed by Hades a long time ago, who prophesized Gideon's assassination attempt and that it would be successful so long as you or Apollo didn't know. If she were to warn you, Apollo would instantly know but she would turn to stone and her soul would be transferred into the underworld to a point where no one can find her." Zeus sighed, shaking his head for the curse was an evil necessary.
"I see...Then here's what I desire. I desire Dersues and Fione to be restored, along with anybody wrongly murdered during this time." Phaeron and Zeus both knew and without saying it, agreed that that was two wishes instead of one.
"I see...one more." Zeus was intent on hearing the final wish.
"I want to be sent to the deepest level of the Underworld. The true paradise." his choice shocked everyone, something so powerful. He wanted the greatest wish of all, paradise.
"Granted. Thank-you for helping us...Good-bye Phaeron." Zeus summoned a runic symbol on the ground next Phaeron. Apollo could no longer look at his son. This was not understood by Phaeron, did his father hate him or did he hate himself? No, he wasn't hated. His father did wrong him, and he acknowledged that.
"Good-bye father. Good-bye Gods and Goddesses of Olympus. I wish you well." Phaeron said before stepping onto the rune and being transported into the Underworld, tricked by Zeus. He was granted his god-status but he could never leave the Underworld, ever. He was bound to the underworld as the new God of the Underworld. He would forever remain in a castle surrounded by great infernos, still controlling his world of darkness. This was not paradise, it was only hell. This was the hell cast upon him by the Hand of Olympus. Zeus was the fire, the one that wasn't dark nor did it radiate. He was evil, not pure, and not good for humanity. So Yevon's Gauntlet did reflect off of the gods in a way.
He was a prisoner and pressed down by the thumb of the one and only Hand of Olympus.