In Betrayal, Book One of the epic fantasy series, The Crystal Crux, we learned that infamous Bellerophon ‘was spurned from heaven by the decided bite of an inspired gadfly.‘ The ‘mad and murderous Greek warrior‘ fell back to earth, carrying ‘in his grasping frantic hands a host of esoteric particles from the swirling nitrous clouds surrounding paradise.’ Crippled and exiled, ‘Bellerophon took his bitter claim for a kingdom‘ to Hephaestus, ‘the volcanic metalworking god of both fire and brimstone, a son of Zeus and Hera.‘
Hephaestus is ‘a vengeful angry beast‘ who busies himself beneath ‘the loam of the earth eternally creating magnificent crystals and dazzling diamonds, colorful gemstones, tempting glittering gimcracks that served as the perfect catalyst for coveting and murder in the human world.‘
Hephaestus is actually one of the twelve Olympian gods. He was born a cripple, a bad leg. His mother, Hera, embarrassed by this, threw him out of heaven as a child. Nice Mom.
Hephaestus was saved by Thetis, a sea-goddess (and more famously known as the mother of Achilles. Who can forget about her dipping her infant child in the River Styx, leaving only his heel unprotected?)
Hephaestus practiced and perfected his craft serving Thetis and Eurynome.
Hephaestus continued on and off to work for the gods of Olympus. He designed and forged nearly everything of value and strength there, from the palaces themselves to the weapons they wielded. Hephaestus is the Master Blacksmith, god of metalworking, capable of crafting exquisite pieces of jewelry. He even fashioned robots and immortal silver dogs, a bronze man, and bronze fire-breathing bulls.
Hephaestus not only works from his forge on Olympus but from a network of underground tunnels leading in and out of the various volcanoes of the world, especially Mount Etna in Sicily.
I have taken poetic license and installed his home forge in Vesuvius.
Hephaestus surrounds himself with master craftsmen including Cyclopes and Dwarves. The work tirelessly for him, forging weapons and crystals and anything else Hephaestus can imagine to create.
I also decided to make Hephaestus a less than likable sort, an angry vengeful god who takes pleasure in the death of innocent souls.
‘The mindless slaying of humans gratified Hephaestus to no end… The precious red liquid of life from countless innocent souls seeped down through the dust and mud and painted the cave walls, coating and sealing the stalactites and the stalagmites with liquid ooze, transforming these pillars into blood-stained pylons, trophies for the King of warrens.’
Hephaestus, with no other real ambition but the suffering of humanity, takes the particles of heaven from Bellerophon and fashions five crystals that contain the properties of heaven and the elements of earth – ‘a fiery bridge uniting the world of angels and demons, with the world of men and monsters.’
Said to be ‘conscious,’ any of these five crystals can make mortal men powerful. Together, however, they make the possessor a soul reaper – capable of looking into the hearts and minds of all, strangle and oppress them with the guilt of their secret sins.
‘For everyone is a sinner with shame to misuse.’
In the new book I’m currently working on, a Prequel to The Crystal Crux series, the protagonist must venture into Hephaestus lair to secure a weapon for fighting a wizard. I’m quite excited about the direction the story is going. The tale is evolving every day. growing deeper and more mystical, more emotional and powerful. I can’t wait to release it like a kracken on the world. LOL
In the meantime, don’t forget about the first three books in The Crystal Crux series – Betrayal, Blue Grotto and Cold Knight. A self-published authors best form of promotion is Word-of-Mouth from those who have read and loved the books! Share them with your family and friends. Go on Amazon and other sites and give the book a short review – and if not a review, just some stars, anything to boost its ranking and recognition.
After I complete this Prequel, I will be returning to the series and start working on Book Four. I thank you for your patience.