Before they could enact their plans to overthrow the Titans, the three brothers — Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades — first needed to discover somewhere they would be able to secure their predecessors indefinitely. Research and natural talent led Hades to legends of an old prison located deep in the bowels of the earth. Its entrance was located within what is now the Negev Desert of modern-day southern Israel, and inside it was vast and labyrinthine, a remnant of the previous Age. He determined he could expand it for their purposes, and took its technology into the very farthest reaches of the world, where the Titans could be contained far from humanity.

Thus was the beginnings of the great infernal prison of Greek myth, Tartarus.

The work drew the attention of the ancient, primordial goddess Nyx, who wished to study the old prison’s remnants and in return lent her expertise to Tartarus’ construction. While Hades’ great power and skill shaped it physically, she consulted on the manner in which the Titans could be successfully subdued and imprisoned, though she otherwise played no part in the Titan-Olympian war — just as she had neither interfered with Kronos’ previous overthrow of Uranus.

At the conclusion of the war, the Titans were imprisoned by magical bonds that chained them in both body and soul for eternity. Each was a personal prison and punishment, designed solely for the Titan it held.

When the brothers later divided up the spoils of their great victory, Hades was unceremoniously banished to the underworld, whereupon he claimed modern-day Antarctica and began to build his realm above the underground prison of his own creation.

Nyx and the Hekatoncheires

It was Zeus’s control of the genetic abominations the Cyclopes and Hekatoncheires which in the end won the Olympians their war. In order to retain any of their freedoms, the three creatures — called Cottus, Aegaeon, and Gyges — were afterwards bound to serve as the Titan’s jailers in Tartarus. Thus, alongside responsibility for the Titans themselves, they also became a part of Hades’ poor inheritance.

They were violent, monstrous creatures, amongst the last to be made in the 5th Age before the act of such creation had been forbidden. Hades’ fearsome will kept them in check, but there was only one goddess willing to work alongside them, let alone dwell in the infernal pit of the prison — Nyx, whose ancient presence even Zeus both respected and feared. She became the custodian of Tartarus so that she might continue her own secretive work, living there more than she ever spent time in Hades’ court.

Soon, as the new world order flourished and grew, Zeus and Poseidon began sending the worst of their criminals for Hades to contain. And so the prison was required to grow.

Expansion and Soul Cells

Bind Azazel hand and foot and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert – which is in Dudael – and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there forever, and cover his face that he may not see light.”

The underground prison Hades originally discovered was Sheol, used to imprison and punish the fallen Watchers of the 5th Age, and the cell Nyx studied once belonged to Azazel. It is unknown whether Nyx ever came to realise this to be the very same soul as her grandson Morpheus, but she did have a marked interest in souls and the turning of the Ages, and her vacuole research stations on the edge of the Pattern were all coded to recognise those she admitted on a soul-level.

It can be conjectured from etymology that Sheol itself was built over an even older site, suggesting it may have originally been picked for a particular sense of evil that contributed to its early infernal connotations. In any case, such did the realm of Tartarus grow, it became possible to traverse the entire way between the site of Sheol to that of Tartarus. Should you manage to navigate its vast and maze-like structure, at least.

With the expansion came a requirement for additional jailers. At Nyx’s direction the Hekatoncheires’ genetic material was used once again. Triton performed the work, and Nyx did the binding. Each ‘hand’ was first bound to its Hekatoncheires master, who could direct and communicate with it at will. Secondly it was bound to the cell it was created to individually guard. These 100-hands, also called warders, were engineered to recognise the soul of the person contained in their own cell, ensuring incarceration really did mean for eternity.

They had a rudimentary intelligence of their own, able to speak and reason, and could call upon their Hekatoncheires master through a psychic link. All ultimately answered to Hades and responded also to the command of Nyx. Thus they could never be used for rebellion.

When an individual warder’s cell was empty, they remained dormant.

Between the construction of the soul-cells and the warders that were coded directly to them, these prisons were self-contained and engineered to react to their inhabitants. In this way they created the most personal and horrific punishment for those chained within them.

Infamous Inmates

  • Prometheus, Titan of Fire, imprisoned for treachery
  • Typhoeus, mate of Echidna, who was imprisoned for attempting to overthrow Zeus


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