The End of An Age

Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 200 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) : “When first the heavenly powers Titanes and the Olympian gods were moved to wrath, and mutual dissension was stirred up among them–some bent on casting Kronos from his seat so Zeus, in truth, might reign; others, eager for the contrary end, that Zeus might never win mastery over the gods..

The 5th Age, the Age of Gods, was built upon foundations of powerful groups of Channelers who monopolized the world and became worshipped as all-powerful beings. Towards the end of the Age, tension rose across the globe both between the so-called God’s subjects – dissatisfied with the growing oppression they suffered – and between the Channelers themselves.

It began in the heart of what modern scholars describe as the Greek Pantheon, where a rift formed between two schools of thought. It is not known precisely why or what created this tension, nor with whom or when it originally manifested, but it came to a head when the Three Brothers – Zeus, Poseidon and Hades – took the reins of the controversial Olympian faction. The Olympian movement promoted a more daring advancement of power and technology, believing that the rulers of the world had become complacent and stagnant.

During this time malcontent subjects of the channelers began to gather as their grip tightened on the populace at large. Both Greek factions prepared for conflict at the cost of the people. The rulers of the other Pantheon’s looked on with uneasy apprehension and bolstered their own defences, which began the world-wide spread of discontent, the seeds of which would eventually grow and bear the fruit that was the Atharim Legacy.

However, it was not the actions of the populace that ushered in the new age. They were as yet weak and the Channelers overwhelmingly dominant despite fractures forming. Somewhat ironically, it was the ‘Gods’ themselves that sparked the end of their dominance and began the downfall of channelling oppression. Specifically, it was the outbreak of civil war between the Titan and Olympian parties who had contended for decades, perhaps centuries. Peace had been kept – if barely – until the actions of the Three Brothers sparked the flames of war in the form of what is only known as Operation Kronos.

Operation Kronos

Hesiod, Theogony 390 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) : “The Olympian Lightener Zeus called all the deathless gods to great Olympos, and said that whosoever of the gods would fight with him against the Titenes, he would not cast him out from his rights, but each should have the office which he had before amongst the deathless gods; he said, too, that the god who under Kronos had gone without position or privilege should under him be raised to these, according to justice.”

Details about this daring operation are scarce and often contradictory. This is believed to be a product of the extreme danger that the operation put the world in and both Olympian and Titan strove to destroy any record of these plans so that future generations could not attempt it.

What is known is that the Olympian faction under Zeus, Poseidon and Hades made a pact to enact Operation Kronos, a plan that would in theory make them truly immortal.

The audacity and danger of this plan was so great that it plunged the Titan and Olympians and – as it was later revealed – the entire world into an era of war and destruction.

Civil War

Hesiod, Theogony 617 ff: So they, with bitter wrath, were fighting continually with one another at that time for ten full years, and the hard strife had no close or end for either side, and the issue of the war hung evenly balanced.

The civil war between the two factions that ensued was chaotic and terrifying. Not only did channelers and their courageous armies tear and scorch the earth, there are some few, and mostly secreted, records that suggest the fabric of the universe itself was strained by the ongoing efforts to enact Operation Kronos. However, at some point in the 10 years of war, Operation Kronos was abandoned. Unfortunately the Olympian and Titan factions were too far embroiled by that point that neither peace nor mercy was an option.

Neither side would back down and after 10 years, neither side could be forced into submission. To end the war, something more was needed and it was with this in mind that Zeus made a decision that may well have proved fatal to all.

Zeus’s Gambit

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 6 – 7 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) After ten years of fighting Ge (Earth) prophesied a victory for Zeus if he were to secure the prisoners down in Tartaros as his allies Kyklopes and Hekatonkheires. He thereupon slew their jail-keeper Kampe, and freed them from their bonds. In return the Kyklopes gave Zeus thunder, lightning, and a thunderbolt, as well as a helmet for Plouton Haides and a trident for Poseidon.

Sometimes, fact is more horrifying than fiction. This can be said of Zeus’ decision that ended the war against the Titans. By general agreement, tests regarding mutation, genetics and creation of life were forbidden under the 5th Age Pantheon after a series of literal monsters were created in what men now call the Cyclops and even more dangerous, the mysterious Hekatonkheires, the Hundred-Handers. Little is known of the actual creatures themselves beyond the fantastic tales recorded in popular myth.

Although such projects were shut down, they were not forgotten. Zeus and his brothers made the decision to delve into the forbidden realm of One Power science to continue these experiments and create up to hundreds of creatures and humanoids to aid them in the battle against the Titans. Although Zeus made the first move, it is extremely unlikely that the Titans held their stance on experimenting with evidence suggesting clashes between two groups of monsters or humanoids occurred at some point.

While a catalogue of what or how these creations were born is lost, one thing is clear – the Olympians gained victory over the Titans with this move. The decisive blow being Zeus’ drive to secure the Cyclops and Hundred-Handers – whether in stasis or simply the information needed to create them, it is unknown – research facility.

Fall of the Titans

Hesiod, Theogony 715 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.)the Titan War, Zeus and the Hekatonkheires launched from their strong hands and overshadowed the Titenes with their missiles, and hurled them beneath the wide-pathed earth, and bound them in bitter chains when they had conquered them by their strength for all their great spirit, as far beneath the earth as heaven is above earth; for so far is it from earth to Tartarus.

The stories concerning the fall of the Titans are problematic for the modern mind. While many of the Titans were killed in this time, the mythological recordings hint at a darker end to the war. Some speak of enslavement of the Titans, mind control, extended punishment. It is indicated that the defeated Titans were given over to a cruel jailer, however the truth of these fragments and guesses have not been found.

The Olympian Dynasty

Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 907 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) : “Prometheus: Yes, truly, the day will come when Zeus, although stubborn of soul, shall be humbled, seeing that he plans a marriage that shall hurl him into oblivion from his sovereignty and throne; and then immediately the curse his father Kronos invoked as he fell from his ancient throne, shall be fulfilled to the uttermost . . . Such an adversary is he now preparing despite himself, a prodigy irresistible, even one who shall discover a flame mightier than the lightning and a deafening crash to outroar the thunder; a prodigy who shall shiver the trident, Poseidon’s spear, that scourge of the sea and shaker of the land. Then, wrecked upon this evil, Zeus shall learn how different it is to be a sovereign and a slave.”

When the Titan-Olympian war finally ended, the Greek Panthenon was rebuilt by the Three Brothers and for a time the Olympian dynasty thrived in peace and prosperity.

However, the people had not forgotten the war. A seed was planted in their collective minds. Many of their supposed Gods had fallen to enlisted soldiers. The Gods, they found, bled like the mortal man – they created and destroyed, just as their inferior brethren did. It took many centuries, but when the Gods had been reduced by mutual destruction and old age, the people saw their chance to free themselves of the oppressive yolk. It is a testament to the Olympian might that they lasted so long after having engaged in so brutal a purge of their own kind, but fall they did in the middle of the Age, where Pantheons rose and fell around them.

The people had defeated one enemy, but freedom was still far off.



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