top of page

August 7, 2017

Creetus

It is no secret that the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece bore many children during their time. Zeus and Poseidon alone were each rumored to have had hundreds of children, pursuing any woman that would catch their attention. Nonetheless, there is no record of Hades ever producing a child of his own, most likely due to his residing in the Underworld. One day, however, he caught the view of a naiad by the name of Creusa. Creusa was rumored to have been so beautiful, her appearance rivaled that of Aphrodite herself. Although he was already married to Persephone, Hades knew that the naiad had to be his.

After some time, no longer able to hold back his interest, Hades rose from the Underworld to claim was he believed was rightfully his. Startled by the dark god’s presence, Creusa changed form into that of a dove, trying to escape as quickly as possible. Hades was both determined and equally as skillful. With each form she took, he would take one just as versatile. As she flew off, he continued his pursuit in the form of a raven. As she shifted into the shape of a doe, he too transformed into a mighty buck.  Despite her best efforts, Hades eventually subdued her. Not wanting her to be discovered by his wife Persephone, he imprisoned Creusa in a cave on the island of Crete. She was also pregnant with his child.

Over the next few months Hades would visit Creusa from time to time bringing her food and water as she grew larger and larger. With each passing day the water nymph complained of more and more pain, swearing to the Fates that she had been cursed. One day, just when the pain was almost too bearable for her to take, a boy was finally born. Upon learning the news, Hades quickly traveled to Crete to claim his son. Due to his Olympic heritage, the boy was nearly fully grown by the time his father had arrived. He had skin as white as the snow itself, with spiky hair that resembled that of icicles. However, the two things that stood out the most were his eyes and his hands. His hands were absolutely freezing, the skin on them possessing a subtle hue of blue. With one touch he could freeze a man to their very core. His eyes on the other hand, looked like two pools of darkness. It was like looking into the very eyes of death himself.

“You shall be called Creetus, named after the island of which you were born!” Hades exclaimed. For a moment, silence filled the air. 

“You are nothing to me…” Creetus whispered in a hush tone. Immediately he conjured a spear of ice, lunging it at his father. Caught by surprise, the spear impaled Hades and nailed him to the cave wall. 

“HOW DARE YOU ASSAULT ME! I BROUGHT YOU INTO THIS WORLD!” screamed Hades as he struggled to free himself.

Before he could do anything, Creetus took the form of a gust of wind and flew from the cave, taking shelter at the northern pole created by the son of Apollo in the Tale of Phaethon.

Bored of the barren landscape, he created the first beasts able to withstand temperatures so low. It was at this point that creatures such as penguins and polar bears were brought into existence. Still desiring more, Creetus began to abduct the Oceanids and Naiads, the nymphs that inhabited the oceans and rivers of the world. Knowing that they would not come willingly, he took to the custom of freezing them in blocks of ice before returning them to his arctic fortress.

Conflict began to ensue, as creatures of the sea were under the jurisdiction of Poseidon, God of the seas. Before Poseidon had a chance to react to what the young god had done, Creetus plunged the world into an enormous blizzard, freezing the tops of the sea and trapping Poseidon in his own domain. Outraged at the disregard for natural order, the remaining gods and goddesses took to Olympus to demand that Zeus do something about the dilemma. 

“Why should I help?” asked Zeus as he looked down at the other Olympians from atop his throne. “This is of no concern to me, why must it be my responsibility to clean up after the mistakes of my brothers. It is Hades who fathered this boy, talk to him if you want something done about it.” 

Athena looked up at her father, a bit of bewilderment spread across her face. “Father, you are the strongest of us all, if one of us could do something about it we would but it is wisest that we have you handle this. If we do not act soon, the very world we govern will be nothing more than an arctic tundra.”

“There are far more of you than there is of I, I still stand my ground.”  Zeus remarked, giving little thought to Athena’s plea. Just as the last syllable bounced off his tongue, Demeter snapped.

“Do my ears deceive me? You actually are going to do nothing about this? Our scum of a brother already has taken my beautiful daughter and corrupted her into being his ghastly wife, and now you are just going to stand by as his bastard son plagues our land. Zeus I swear on the Fates themselves if you do nothing to solve this problem, you will have much more to worry about than a small blizzard.” 

Caught off guard by the reaction of the normally calm and collect earth goddess, Zeus took another second to to ponder the severity of the issue at hand. With his mind finally made up, the king of the gods finally agreed to stop his nephew, even if it meant locking him in the darkest depths of the Underworld.

During his journey to Creetus’ fortress, Zeus finally began to see the state the world was truly in. Humanity everywhere was nearing a mass extinction as temperatures lowered to be uninhabitable. Rivers began to turn to veins of ice, the sky filled with screeching winds so cold that they would cause frostbite on impact. Those humans that were strong enough to withstand the subzero temperatures found themselves huddled in caves for warmth as they prayed to the gods for help. The most troubling thing was the sheer force of Creetus’ power for the closer Zeus got, the more severe the storms above began to get. This was the first time in ages that the king of the Gods began to really worry if he actually could do anything to end this. 

“NEPHEW, SHOW YOURSELF!” Zeus cried as he blasted open the doors to the arctic fortress. He was dumbstruck at the scene before him. Row after row stood countless magical and mortal creatures alike, completely encased in individual blocks of ice. As he gazed into an unknown satyr’s eyes, he swore a small bit of life still remained with.

“Who’s hiding?” a voice whispered from behind Zeus. 

Suddenly a barrage of ice spears rang through the air, just missing Zeus as he spun behind a column of ice. As he peered from behind cover, there stood Creetus, donned in a set of black robes and a pair of black gloves, covering his arctic-like hands.

“Enough of this madness, you are causing a rift in the very fabric of order itself.” Zeus beckoned, trying to convince his nephew to see the error in his ways. “Why must you cause so much chaos to a world that has done nothing to you?”

“Nothing to me? I was born of a creature who possessed no love for the demon that impregnated her. I was given life I did not ask for. You Olympians have done nothing positive with this world, interfering with the very lives of the mortals themselves. You do not deserve to be worshipped as all powerful beings. I will put an end to your corrupt reign.” 

Just as Creetus began to conjure up another barrage of ice shards, Zeus thrust a thunderbolt directly at his icy core. The power of the lightning was more than Creetus had expected, causing him to crash through the wall of his ice fortress and plunge deep into the sea. Almost immediately, the temperature began to lift and the sky began to clear. Just as Zeus had thought, the frozen creatures began to thaw, oblivious at the events that had transpired. 

 

It is said that whenever a blizzard happens, it is really Creetus, still angry at the gods for bringing him into a world he never wished to be a part of.



(Photo by Akira Hojo on Unsplash)

akira-hojo-toCZrY7jRtY-unsplash.jpg
bottom of page