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Phaesus and Pyro; Volcanoes and Earthquakes

By: Bethany J.
Arkansas, Age 13

Before the battle, before the hero, before the creation of volcanoes and earthquakes our story began. Deep in the heart of our world, there was an ugly, crippled, blacksmith god, Hephaestus, who lived and worked in the fiery pits of the earth. His armor and weapons were favored by the gods and most famous of heroes. Now Hephaestus was a lonely god for few visited and none stayed. For this reason, HephaestusĂ mother, Aphrodite, brought to him the radiant Aglaia, the Grace of Splendor, to be his wife and to sing and comfort him. Aglaia was a pure blessing to Hephaestus, but she could not help manage the enormous furnaces. So Hephaestus created himself an assistant, Pyro. Based of fire, molten rock and metal cleaved together, and smelting in the furnaces in the heart of the earth Pyro was made, but he was not a man. Pyro was a serpent like lizard engulfed in fire. He could breathe molten rock and had multiple tails with torches on the end of each. Little did Hephaestus know that when his back was turned, his creation would sneak out into the world above him There would Pyro wreaked havoc and terrorized mankind. Thus our story began.

The Myth
Long ago in ancient Greece, there lived a happy couple, Protarius and Andromena. Protarius was a favored servant of Poseidon, God of the Sea. Andromena was the daughter of Terpsichore, the Muse of Dance. Protarius and Andromena had a son, Phaesus, just barely four years of age. They were not wealthy, but they lived happily. Until one day, a massive, enraged, savage lion killed Protarius and Andromena.
Poseidon was much grieved over the loss of his favorite servant and his servantĂs lovely wife. So he took the now orphaned Phaesus who just barely remembered his parents and adopted him. Poseidon brought Phaesus to his splendid palace under the sea and raised Phaesus with as much love as a father raises his own son.
Phaesus was sent to the finest tutors in the world. He excelled in the arts and philosophical matters, but he most gifted in the art of battle. Phaesus spent most of his childhood traveling. Of all the places he visited though, PhaesusĂ favorite place was in his home in PoseidonĂs palace under the sea at his foster fatherĂs side. They were as fond of each other only as a true father ad son could be.
This why Poseidon grieved when his foster son presented his plan to Poseidon. Phaesus had gone on many adventures. He had slain the lion that had devoured his parents. Phaesus had completed many of the tasks an average hero did, but this one was the adventure that would set Phaesus apart from any other hero. Phaesus wanted to slay the deadly fire monster Pyro. Pyro had burned his way through the countryside of Greece and had begun to attack towns and cities. He had to be stopped!
Poseidon knew that the journey itself would be dangerous, and battle would surely be fatal. Many a hero had attempted and failed. Poseidon worried that this would be PhaesusĂ fate as well. He tried and tried and tried to dissuade Phaesus, but Phaesus would not relent. In the end, Poseidon had to give up, but he could at least prevent Phaesus from going unarmed to meet this great evil.
So Poseidon presented Phaesus with gifts. Being the God of the Sea PoseidonĂs gifts were of water. First, he presented Phaesus with a sword coated in water and as strong as any sword ever made with a shield slender and light to the touch but would absorb an opponentĂs attack and not just blocks it. The next gift Poseidon gave was a pair of sandals made of water that turned to vapors of water to carry Phaesus over land and sea. Last of all, Poseidon presented a helmet to Phaesus, which not only protected the user, but also guided him to his destination. With these new gifts in hand Phaesus thanked Poseidon and sadly departed.
Phaesus traveled by day with his water vapor sandals and helmet to guide him. He rested at night in the closest city or town. When he rested, he encountered many inhospitable hosts, scavenging thieves, and deadly perils. But with PoseidonĂs gifts these dangers seemed oblivious.
After several weeks of travel, Phaesus finally found his destination. The Pyro lay below him. He was resting on the ruins of a beautiful town he had destroyed. As soon as Phaesus neared him in the air, PyroĂs keen lizard senses told him there was an intruder. When Phaesus landed, Pyro was waiting for him.
There they stood ready. Phaesus was brandishing his sword. Pyro was flaunting his flame intimidatingly. Phaesus made the first blow right towards PyroĂs neck, but the monster quickly dodged the blow as he spewed molten rock at Phaesus. Phaesus shield soaked up the molten rock and remanded cool. On it went dodge and block, dodge and block. When, finally the exhausted hero landed a blow on the even more fatigued monster. The water on the sword instantly extinguished the fire on Pyro where the drive had fallen. Shocked, Pyro let his guard let down. Phaesus seeing his opportunity down poured the monster with smite after smite. PyroĂs flame began to dim, his speed diminished, and his fierceness dwindled, until the monster collapsed to the ground ready to die. In a final effort the hero raised his sword to finish the enemy off.
As Phaesus was about to land the fatal blow, Hephaestus, having discovered his creationĂs wrong doings, came forth and implored for Phaesus to spare the monster. Phaesus agreed and returned home a hero to finish out the rest of his thrilling story. First, he made Hephaestus swear by the river Styx, the black river that binds all godsĂ to their oaths, that Pyro would never see the light of day again.
For punishment, though it broke his heart, Hephaestus bound Pyro in iron shackles and makes Pyro work night and day heating the furnaces. Whenever the earth trembles, we know that Pyro is trying to break lose and escape into upper world. Whenever a mountain erupts as a volcano with lava spewing from itĂs top, then Pyro is breathing his molten rock like a howl in longing for the earth he once knew. Thus volcanoes and earthquakes were created.