The Titans

Atlas, the most famous Titan in modern mythology

The Titans were the gods that came before the Olympians. Their origin story is similar to that of the Olympians. They were created by the union of Gaia and Uranos, Earth and Sky. Uranos hated his children and refused for them to be born. Gaia created an adamantine sickle and snuck it within her body to her child, Cronus. Cronus used it to castrate Uranos, who retreated away from the earth forever, residing as the sky above. Uranos’s retreat allowed the Titans to finally be born. Cronus emerged with his five brothers, Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, and Iapetus, and his six sisters, Rhea, Theia, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, and Tethys. Together they ruled creation for a time with Cronus and Rhea as their King and Queen.

The Titans intermarried and bore several Titan children. The Titans each had an aspect of reality they oversaw, just like the Olympian generation. Cronus oversaw time and the passing of seasons. Rhea oversaw rebirth. Hyperion was intelligence, Oceanus was uncontrolled water, Coeus was madness, Iapetus was hunting, Theia was sight, Themis was justice, Mnemosyne was memory, and Tethys was controlled water. Of their children Atlas was strength, Prometheus was foresight, Epimetheus was hindsight, Helios was the Sun, Selene was the Moon, Eos was dawn, Pallas was war, Leto was peaceful solitude, Eurybia was storms and stone, Astraeus was dusk, Perses was black magic, and Menoetius was anger and pride.

Eventually, the story of their origin repeated. Cronus feared his children would overthrow him as he had overthrown his father. He ate them to keep them from attacking him. Rhea tricked her brother-husband and fed him a stone instead of Zeus. Zeus was able to free his brothers and sisters and led a rebellion against the Titans known as the Titanomachy. This ten year war ended the Titans’ reign over the earth and many of them were imprisoned within Tartarus.

After the Titanomachy the Titans that fought against the Olympians ended up in two different positions, imprisoned within Tartarus or punished upon the earth. Cronus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus, Theia, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Pallas, Eurybia, Astraeus, Perses, Menoetius, and Anytus were held within Tartarus. Atlas was forced to eternally hold up the sky. Oceanus and Tethys were banished to the outer ocean. Helios and Selene were banished to their palace in eastern India. Prometheus and Epimetheus fought on the Olympian side of the war, but both were punished for their role in tricking the gods to improve the position of mortals. Epimetheus was imprisoned in Tartarus and Prometheus was shackled to Mount Elbrus where an eagle ate his liver every day. Prometheus was later freed by Heracles, but remains in hiding from Zeus.

Five Titans fought with the Olympians during the Titanomachy and were welcomed onto Olympus afterwards. These five were Rhea, Themis, Leto, Eos, and Asteria. Rhea, Themis and Leto have retired upon Mount Olympus. Eos went to live in the east with her banished siblings, Helios and Selene. Asteria slept with Zeus and fell victim to Hera‘s jealousy. The Titaness was turned into the island of Delos.

The Titans are seen as evil gods by the people of Cimmeria. Their world was a harsher one with dangers lurking around every corner for mortals. Fire and civilization only came to mortals after the Titans were removed from power. The return of the Titans would destroy everything that has been built throughout the land. Evil cults meet in secret to orchestrate the Titans’ resurrection. The cultists hope that they will be rewarded by their dark masters for their service.

The Goblin Pantheon was similarly deposed by the Olympians when they came to Cimmeria. This animalistic pantheon is now associated with the Titans through syncretism. Those who worship the Titan gods sometimes pay homage to both the Titan and the Goblin animal halves of their psyche.