After Apollo has a vision of Zeus' imprisonment, Poseidon must venture down to the underworld where he learns the of Hades' plans which leads to a feud between the three brothers.
Meanwhile, in the mortal world, Demigod Alistair is chosen to partake in a quest given to him by the Oracle of Delphi to aid the Gods of Olympus.
Poseidon walked from the council chambers, anxious to return to his home. He had not wanted to come to the summer council, but Zeus had of course made it mandatory. He didn’t want to be here on Olympus, not now. He had more pressing matters to attend to within his own kingdom. Triton was working hard to defend it against the shadowy dangers that plagued the waters of the Aegean, but it wasn’t enough.
He turned a corner, ignoring the gold statues he had seen for thousands of years that depicted him and the gods of Olympus. He was needed to return home, especially after what he had learned only moments ago. Hades had not appeared for the council, which never boded well for Olympus. The suspected Hades was up to no good once again.
Zeus was off to the underworld that evening to check why he had not attended. He usually attended for the sheer joy of returning to Olympus. He hated being in the underworld, whenever he was allowed back to the palace brought joy to him. For him not to attend…
Poseidon found his chambers and immediately began to shed his platinum plate armor he wore to council meetings. He replaced it with his simple bronze armor he wore in his home. He looked at his appearance in the mirror. Gray had appeared in his hair. He concentrated on it, trying to change it back to its original black color. A few strands turned, but the majority remained.
He sighed. The new threat to the world was taking its toll on everyone. The gray was only a sign of stress for Poseidon. When the threat passed, he would return to normal, Poseidon was sure of it.
He had not heard his door open or the man enter, but he had no doubt who it was without even turning around. “What is it, Apollo?”
Apollo stepped forward, quiet as a mouse. “Where is Zeus?”
Poseidon was taken aback by the question. He turned to face the god. His face looked wise, but behind it were very childish features. His hair nearly reached his shoulders in strong, golden waves. He wore the clothes of a peasant. He adorned only a tunic so white it nearly shined like the godly armor they wore to the council, and a pair of worn sandals. To a god, it seemed like a peasants clothes, but to a mortal it would seem he had a bit of money, but not much.
“Where is Hera? Surely she would know better than I.” Poseidon told him. He didn’t think Zeus would have left to Hades for a few more hours at least.
“She told me to seek you.” His face was troubled.
“Well then, if he is not in his chambers, surely he has already left for his brief visit to our brother. He may well have left early.” Poseidon shrugged. He was not worried about his brother, Hades would not dare do anything to Zeus.
“That is what I have feared,” Apollo murmured. “I was hoping to catch him before he left for the realm of Hades.”
“And what is so urgent that it cannot wait until he returns?” Poseidon pondered.
Apollo turned toward the door as if contemplating leaving without answering. Poseidon took a step toward him in case he decided to do just that.
“I believe that Zeus is in terrible danger if he goes past the River Styx.” Apollo told him.
Poseidon frowned. “Hades would never dare do anything to Zeus. He knows our brother could best him.”
“But is Zeus passes the River Styx, he is on a ground that affords Hades. Hades would be at an advantage, especially after what I have just witnessed.” Apollo explained.
Poseidon took another step forward, doing all he could not to run at him and demand what he meant. “What have you witnessed, future-seer?”
Apollo turned, true sorrow crossed his face. “I have seen your brother, our King, captured and tortured within the halls of Hades’ palace. The Furies will have at him. He will suffer the tortures of the River. He will have the hounds drawn from Hell itself set upon him. His trip to the underworld will not bode well for our leader.”
Poseidon turned and braced himself on his table. “Can you tell me what Hades is planning?”
“I cannot say,” Apollo sounded disappointed.
“When did you have this vision?” Poseidon wanted to know, his voice accusing.
“I only just exited the council chambers when sought out Hera. I didn’t realize the council had concluded until minutes afterward.”
Poseidon finally turned back to Apollo. “Does anyone else know of this?”
Apollo shook his head. “Not even my oracle.”
Poseidon looked back at his godly armor. He closed his eyes and tried to think of his palace in the Aegean Sea. He needed to return, but if this had something to do with Hades’ plans, he needed to find his brother so they could put a stop to this madness.
“Have the Fates anything to say about this? Will my brother die?”
“I have not looked at the eternal thread of Zeus in a long time. I do not believe they have cut Zeus’ thread yet. He is still a god, you remember that Cronus is far from dead.”
It was a name Poseidon had not thought if in countless centuries. After his defeat at the hand of his three sons, he was banished to the depths of Tartarus. Since then he has been trying to break free of his prison.
“Cronus is a Titan, Zeus could not kill him. We all tried.” Poseidon told his nephew. “Go to the Temple of Fate. Find my brother’s thread and come back to Olympus. I will be back here in three days.”
Apollo looked uneasy. “It’s not that simple, Poseidon.”
Poseidon gave him a fierce look. Apollo seemed immune.
“The Sisters of Fate…they’re missing.”
“What?!” Poseidon exclaimed. “How is this possible?! How long have you known this!”
“I sent Hermes to the temple a month ago, he came back with the news only a few days ago.” Apollo explained.
“And neither of you spoke of this during the council!” Poseidon exploded. He was now furious. If the fates were missing, this could well mean the end of the world.
“I was hardly conscious during the council.” Apollo shot back.
“But Hermes was not!” Poseidon fell silent for a moment, listening. Then without warning he bolted out the door and caught the small man who was standing around the corner. His winged sandals told Poseidon who this was. He had an impish face with wiry, dirty blonde hair. He wore a tunic similar to Apollo. He threw the man into the room fast enough he could not catch flight before crashing against the wall.
“Hermes!” Apollo gasped. Hermes fell to the floor, wincing in pain.
“How much have you heard, thief!” Poseidon bellowed.
“Now, there is no need to get angry, Lord Poseidon.” His high-pitched voice pleaded. He stood slowly, looking fearful before the gaze of Poseidon. “I have heard nothing, I was merely walking by.”
“Liar!” Poseidon bolted forward to catch the messenger by the throat and slam him against the wall again. “Confess, Thief! What have you heard?”
“I have only heard Apollo tell you about the fates, My Lord.” Hermes pleaded, straining for breath.
“Why did you not bring this up during the council when Apollo obviously could not?” Poseidon demanded.
“Forgive me, I had forgotten.” Hermes said.
“How do you forget the divine sisters have gone missing when you were the one to discover this? Did you not find this information important?”
“Of course I did, Lord Poseidon!” Hermes begged. “With all the messages I have to deliver, it is easy to forget.”
“Poseidon, release him!”
Poseidon only released him for the sheer shock of the fourth voice in the room. It was female, and one he usually did not permit in his private chambers.
“Athena. What are you doing in here?” Poseidon turned. The goddess of wisdom looked stunning in her flowing blue robes. A purple sash draped around her shoulders. He round face was framed by her thick, black hair. She stepped closer, reaching Apollo. Her head only reached his shoulder.
“I heard your shouts from my own chambers. Why were you attempting to murder our poor messenger?” She shot back.
“He would not have died, and he seems to have forgotten to bring up a very important piece of information during the council meeting.” Poseidon shot a nasty look at Hermes.
Athena took another step forward. “And what, might I ask, was that?”
“The Fates have vanished, Athena.” Apollo told her before Poseidon had a chance to. The look Athena gave to Hermes made him cower in fear. But then she turned to Apollo.
“What are you doing in Poseidon’s chambers?” She asked him. She placed her hands on her hips, her face twisted into a deep scowl.
Apollo opened his mouth to answer, but Poseidon beat him to it. “He is here by my leave, unlike you.”
Athena took a step closer to Poseidon. “And it is a good thing I am here otherwise we would have to find another messenger.”
“He would not have died,” Poseidon insisted. “I know how to control myself.”
“Do you?” Athena’s eyebrow arched.
Poseidon’s anger peaked. “Yes, I do! Now leave my chambers at once! You are not permitted here!” He pointed toward the door.
“You are only cross because the people of Athens chose me.” Athena grinned smugly.
“OUT!” Poseidon bellowed. Athena bowed her head in mock respect before turning on her heel and glided from the room. Poseidon took a deep breath before turning back to Apollo and Hermes. Poseidon strode over to Hermes and knelt down in front of him. “If I hear you have breathed a word of this conversation to Hades or anyone else for that matter, I will have you sent to Augean Stables where you will clean the stables of the livestock for a hundred years. Do you understand me?”
Hermes wore a look of terror. “Yes, Lord Poseidon.”
“Find Zeus, tell him to meet me on the Banks of the Acheron. Tell him do not cross by any means. Tell him I have grave news about Hades. Do not under any circumstances tell him what the news is or about what you think you have heard about the fates. Do you understand?”
Hermes nodded. “Yes, Lord Poseidon.”
Poseidon unwillingly allowed him to leave. Hermes stood immediately and left the room at a sprint. Poseidon turned back to Apollo, a troubled expression on both of their faces.
“Do you believe Hermes will deliver the message?” Apollo asked.
Poseidon sighed. “If he does then it proves he is not working with Hades. If he doesn’t, I will do as I told him. He will be banished from Olympus and forced to work for Phyleus.”
“Do you believe working Phyleus a worthy punishment for such treachery?” Apollo arched an eyebrow.
“No, I do not,” Poseidon told him. “But since Heracles killed his father it is the best I can do. A century looking after the immortal livestock will teach him his lesson.”
“And if he delivers the message, but Zeus does not listen?
Poseidon laughed darkly. “It will not be the first time. Zeus does as he pleases.”
Apollo grinned. “And what to you want me to do while I await your return?”
Poseidon thought for a moment. “Return to your duties, if Hermes is not in Augea I will send him with your summons.”
“Yes, Poseidon.” Apollo bowed his head and turned on his heel to leave.
“Apollo,” he turned at the sound of Poseidon’s voice, “send your sister to me before you leave.”
“I will,” and with that, Apollo left.
Poseidon turned back to his mirror. The gray in his hair had now fully returned and seemed to be multiplying. He sighed, grabbed his trident that rested on the wall, and left his chambers.