Hades, home of the dead and the damned, where a never-ending bronze wall surrounded a place eternally covered by three layers of night. It was these boundaries, along with the river Styx, which separated the Underworld from the Upper Realm.
Despite the darkness that surrounded the Underworld, it had an eerie blue glow, provided by thousands upon thousands of floating balls of hellfire. There was no breeze, no noise of animals, just the dismal groans of the Shades of Asphodel, and the tormented screams of the damned that populated Tartarus. The Underworld was covered from edge to edge in a thick fog; a person would have to know the realm intimately in order to get anywhere safely.
Out of the fog, in the east, a pillar of rock rose up, and at its summit sat a dark and imposing, gray stone castle. This was the home of Hades and Persephone, King and Queen of the Dead. From there Hades saw everything that went on in his domain, and made sure that everything ran smoothly. The castle faced west and south, looking towards the center of the Underworld. For it was at the center that the elliptical shaped entrance to Tartarus was located. Tartarus was located far beneath the Underworld, and the tunnel like walls amplified the screams and moans and complaints that issued from it.
Walking around the entrance were the three Hecatoncheires, the hundred-armed giants, the ones who were tasked by Zeus to guard the dismal prison, making sure that the Titans imprisoned there never escaped.
From deep within the pit, the cries of the damned wailed, calling out for forgiveness, screaming in pain and terror, or cursing their fate as they were forced – once again – to push a boulder up a steep hill.
As the curses died down, and the unfortunate soul went back to his punishment, three cloaked and hooded figures – coming from three separate directions – stepped out of the fog to stand at the lip of the pit, looking down at those ignorant enough to earn the wrath of the gods.
After a few moments of silence – watching what was going on beneath them – the figure on the far left spoke, “Do you think it will work?” Even though his face was hidden it was obvious he was nervous, one could just make out his fidgeting hands from beneath the billowing sleeves of his robes.
“Well I don’t see why it shouldn’t. We’ve taken all necessary – and unnecessary – precautions we could think of…” answered the one on the right. He stood with the confidence that his fellow lacked, head held high and posture proud.
“And some we even made up.” agreed the one in the center. The third didn’t seem as confident or as nervous as his fellows did. It was almost as if he didn’t care which direction their scheming went. He crouched down over the edge of the pit to get a better look at those inside.
“Exactly, so there shouldn’t be anything we haven’t thought of.”
“Yes but Th-“
“Do not say my name you fool! Someone may very well be listening.”
“…My apologies, br… forgive me.”
“Just don’t do it again, understood?”
“It’s not like anyone will be able to hear us over Sisyphus’ complaining anyway,” muttered the figure in the middle, tossing a rock into the pit, but neither of his companions heard him. The cloaked figure snickered as he listened to the man once again curse the gods and walk down the hill to retrieve his boulder.
“Good. Now, we all know what must be done?”
“Yeah whatever,” The center figure’s attention had moved on to a man being spun on a fiery wheel. He put a hand to his mouth to stifle his laughter, not wanting to bring the wrath of the guards, or the man on his right, down on him.
“Good. Just remember redirect the Forgetful one first. Let me know when it produces a strong enough affect, and I will start on Phase Two.”
“Excellent.” The man on the right rubbed his hands together gleefully, “By the time the His Majesty realizes what is happening here and in the Upper Realm he will be too late to stop it.” As he was turning to leave he paused. “Oh and one more thing, make sure that our dear baby-brother does not do anything out of the ordinary that will tip-off those in power, or else it will ruin everything.”
“Right, I’ll make sure he knows his role.” The one in the middle cracked his back as he stood up from his observations, and mocking, of the damned. What fun was being a god if you could not mock those beneath you, anyway?
“Good. Now let’s go before someone discovers us here.”
Just as quietly as they had arrived the three figures faded back into the fog, retracing the way that they each had come, to avoid the notice of the guards. It would not do if someone could place them at the scene, then all their planning would be for naught, and they could not have that.