Chapter 1

The Seat of Zeus

The peaks of Olympus rose high into the clouds, home of the gods and goddesses who watched over and ruled all of Greece. The majestic halls and temples were built on the highest cliffs and peaks of the great mountain, and extended to the clouds around it. Few mortals have ever caught glimpse of this divine place, and few ever would.

Zeus, the God of Thunder, the king of all deities, now sat upon a golden throne atop one of the highest, far-reaching peaks on the mount. This was the Seat of Zeus. It was where he came to escape his governing of the gods and goddesses and to watch the people below.

On this day, however, his attention was not focused on a mortal, but instead on one of the immortals of which he ruled. He was looking down on the Mediterranean Sea, where dwelt the Nereids, the easers of storms. He watched one in particular, a strong and beautiful Nereid known as Thetis.

As Zeus watched her from his seat, he was visited by his trusted messenger, the god known as Hermes. Hermes was skinnier than most gods and always wore a nervous look which really only hid his cunning and mischief. However, he was very loyal to Zeus and never failed as herald.

"Lord Zeus," Hermes announced his presence, "You called for me?"

"Ah, Hermes, good of you to come," Zeus's voice boomed, "I have a problem."

"And what problem is that?"

"Do you see her down there? The Nereid known as Thetis?"

"She is one of the most beautiful of the Nereids," Hermes nodded.

"The most beautiful," Zeus said, "Yet she has repeatedly denied my advances towards her."

"Oh, I see," Hermes said, "But you are Zeus after all, you will get her eventually."

"No," Zeus said with resolute sadness, "I wish to, but it cannot be. I have spoken with Themis, the greatest of oracles. I have been warned. This simple sea nymph we see before us is a danger. Her powers of motherhood are strong, too strong. If someone as powerful as I were to give her a son, that son would be so powerful, he would destroy me. I cannot let this happen."

"So then leave her be," Hermes suggested.

Zeus laughed in response to this. "You know my lust for all things woman. Such a thing will not be easy for me. Yet," he stroked his snow white beard, "Perhaps I can make my dear wife happy. She believes in the sanctity of marriage very strongly. I know she wishes I believed in it a little more too. Perhaps we should give Thetis a husband, to set her out of my reach."

"But who? One of the younger gods here?"

"No," Zeus shook his mighty head, "Any son of hers will be powerful, and more so depending on the strength of the father. For her to have a son from any immortal would be too dangerous. Only to a mortal can she be married. Hermes, my trusted son and messenger, I need you to find a good husband for her."

"I may know just the man," Hermes thought aloud, "He comes from a line of long years. He is very devoted to the gods, especially yourself. His name is Peleus, son of Aeacus."

"Excellent!" Zeus boomed, "Present both Peleus and the beautiful Thetis with this good news, and inform my wife. This should make her most happy. She may even give them the wedding herself."

"It shall be done Lord Zeus."

"Yet this does nothing to suppress my lust," Zeus said to himself, looking down around him. His eyes fell upon one of the most beautiful mortal women he had ever seen.

"Hermes, one more thing. Please send for my grandson, Eros. I have need of him."

"Yes sir."

"Thank you Hermes." And with that, Hermes took off on his winged sandals, leaving Zeus alone to watch this gorgeous woman.

She was Leda, the Queen of Sparta. Leda was sitting alone in her royal garden, when suddenly she felt a wave of sexual lust wash over her. She found it almost uncontrollable, even though she already slept with her husband Tyndareus earlier that day. But he was not around now, and she needed sexual release immediately.

And so it was that Zeus came down to her, yet in the form of a great white swan. It was only because of her intense lust, brought to her by the arrow of Eros, that she did what she did. She made love with the swan there in the garden, not knowing that the swan was in fact the king of the gods. And never before had sex been as pleasurable to her.

And so it was that Zeus sewed the seeds of the greatest events in the history of the Greeks.