The messenger in her throne room very clearly stood out. His clothes were little more than freshly washed rags, of dull brown and matte green, covered in a thick smattering of dirt. His shoes were old and tattered, and his muddy footsteps trailed a subtle path to him; staining the bright and shining marble tiles that made up the floor of her throne room.
Truly, such a vagrant speared especially uncouth in the presence of the literal goddess before him. Whilst he blended in perfectly with the rabble that infested the impoverished districts of lands far away from this paradise that was home to the goddess, she was very clearly divine in nature. Whereas he was dirty, dressed poorly and little more than skin and bones, her complexion was flawless, accentuated by a long flowing white toga comprised of the finest silks in the land.
His hair was browned because of mud and dandruff, but hers was a rich dark chocolate brown and styled to fall into curls, with gleaming golden ornaments and gemstones adorning her head. Among the ornaments was a laurel wreath, of purest silver.
Most stark in these obvious differences were the differences in size. To the goddess, the messenger was less than an ant. To the messenger, the goddess would have dwarfed any building he had ever seen before this enormous palace he found himself in now.
Nevertheless, he delivered his message. He had no idea if Goddess Tethys could hear him or not, considering the astounding difference in size. At first she did nothing, and continued to stare down at his pathetic being from what seemed like miles away.
Her expression was unreadable, completely devoid of any emotion. Perhaps she had not heard him? The messenger had been warned that the rage of the Goddesses was not quite as fierce as that of the Titanesses, perhaps Tethys was more amicable to the idea of an independent Asylius than her predecessor was?
When the goddess finally spoke, she did so in a voice that could have shattered the moral of the most battle-hardened army in the whole world as if it was naught more than glass. It was distinctly feminine, with an upper class accent that further emphasized her natural superiority and as melodious as it was harmonious with her unrivalled beauty. However, it was the volume that truly shook the messenger. Louder than any horn, or shout in his life, but to her it was a quiet and gentle tone.
"Independence." She said simply, acknowledging that she had indeed heard the messengers report that one of her vassal states sought freedom. "The kingdom of Asylius wants to be independent from this great empire?"
She leaned back in her throne, contemplating the situation. She imagined the land of Asylius. A rather docile place at first glance, well known for its beautiful rivers and abundant forests that were the attraction of hunters and travelers. A land where the sun had always shone and the harvests always been bountiful.
Yet Asylius had always been an irksome land. One of the very few human nations allowed to keep partial autonomy under the rule of their own kings. Little men playing at godhood, Tethys thought. Men who placed their family names on golden currency and called it their own. As if the gold reaped from their land belonged to anyone but herself, and her ilk. Men who had the audacity to challenge her authority less than a year into her reign as goddess.
Perhaps they thought her weak? Or maybe they doubted her divinity? Or perhaps they had gotten so used to the slothful thousand years of Phoebe, her glorious predecessor who had been so kind and just in bettering the lives of mortals?
Whatever the case, this was a test. The first test Tethys would face as Goddess of this little world and its little inhabitants. However, it would be the last after today.
Tethys finally rose from her throne, in a single graceful motion. Like this she now made the messenger look more like a flea than an ant. He quivered in her wake as she began to walk towards him, her long, purposeful strides covering several hundred feet effortlessly.
Her bare feet thundered across the tile as she approached him, each appendage was the width of a small town, and her toes were bigger than the homes that the richest men of his village had lived in. Each foot came closer and closer, and for several moments the messenger thought they were going to crush him.
He was paralyzed with indecision and fear, so much so he could not even close his eyes. He simply kept staring at the lovely feet headed towards him.
Rather than turn him to a stain on her divine sole, Tethys stepped over him. It was not a conscious decision, she hadn't even looked to see if she would hit him or not. He was too small to be worth considering stepping on or not. Like all humans by themselves.
The messenger looked upwards, catching a brief and once in a lifetime look at the womanhood of a goddess as she extended her leg forward to step over him. He looked on in awe at her intimate parts, before her other leg flooded his field of view. This foot landed hundreds of feet away, as she left her throne room. He watched in a mixture of fear and arousal as he watched her large and shapely derriere sash away.
The citizens of Asylius assumed it to be a surprise storm at first. Most of the two hundred million or so populace of the prosperous nation were farmers of some sort, taking advantage of the naturally fertile lands of their beloved country.
Storms were not uncommon, and not unwelcome, as the rain aided in their agriculture. But then there was the rumbling. Stones and pebbles shook and shifted, and horses reared in panic on the dirt roads of the peaceful land. Earthquakes were very rare this far west, but not unheard of. But one of this magnitude? Children ran to their mothers arms, and city guards tried maintaining order in the few claustrophobic metropolitan cities of Asylius.
That is when the brightest light any of the people of the country had ever witnessed blinded them. The brave and curious few who did not turn away looked up into the sky to see the source of the light. With the perspective, it appeared as if the moon had descended from the heavens to greet the earth.
As the light dimmed, it gave way to the form of a beautiful, otherworldly looking woman who was clad in the fine raiment of a goddess. She floated just above the land, looking down at her disobedient subjects with a passive expression.
It was hard to say just how massive she was, but the greatest mathematicians in the educational spires would have surmised that Goddess Tethys was hundreds of miles tall. Her visage could be seen clearly and succinctly from every part of the country. She could also be seen from nearby Iortha, an island that was one of the smaller nations in her empire. The island was smaller than she was, much smaller. They too looked in awe at the Goddess from their humble little island just of the coast of Asylius.
After the several minutes of ensuing confusion and shock at the Goddesses sudden appearance, Tethys broke the silence that gripped an entire country with her voice.
"Asylius. The proud nation that has flourished under millennia of rule has asked for it's independence." She stated. This caused a huge murmuring amongst the smallfolk. They had mixed opinions on the matter, but the vast majority agreed on that mentality of freedom. As did the nobles and kings.
"Asylius has prospered under the rule of Goddess Phoebe, and before her Goddess Atheria." She said. "Perhaps you all seek to defy me out of the belief that I am soft?"
Tethys looked down at her disobedient subjects with disdain.
"I deny your claim of independence, and declare Asylius in open rebellion to my empire." She stated.
Before the people of Asylius could comprehend it, Tethys descended from her position a few miles above the country. She landed gracefully, as would be expected of a lady. But the landing sent vibrations stronger than any earthquake through the country as a whole.
Her titanic feet decimated four regions of the country each, and ended the lives of hundreds of thousands instantly. Her toes created valleys and canyons in the earth, sparing not even the subterranean miners who were oblivious to her presence.
The shockwave was strong enough to send a small tidal wave smashing into the coast of Iortha. Fortunately for them, it did little to no damage to the nation save drown a few swimmers, who perished from the force of the wave alone.
Back in Asylius, Tethys let her displeasure be known to the land itself. She spied the greatest city in all of Asylius, and without a second thought, began to walk towards it.
With each step, she turned mountains, hills and any other geographical feature save the flattest of grassland into little more than pieces of rubble. She extinguished the lives of untold numbers of citizens with every single footfall.
The strongest building couldn't stand against her size and power for a moment, so at the very least their deaths were instantaneous. Each time she stepped down, she erased them from existence, smashing them into gravel on the ground and covering her soles.
Stopping for a moment to examine the earth beneath her, Tethys bent down. Her fingers punctured the ground, and tunneled deeper than any well or any cistern dug by her rebellious subjects. The pads of her two middle fingers just so happened to casually flatten a fort under each. The last thing those soldiers saw would have been a sky comprised of flesh, the lines making up her fingerprints being equitable to small valleys.
Her fingers went far enough into the ground that some of the fleeing onlookers at the rim of where she was reaching couldn't see the bottom of the shaft.
After going knuckle deep in the land, Tethys began to separate the kingdom physically, literally tearing Asylius apart. It took little to no effort for the Goddess, who carried out the apocalyptic deed with a cold and unrelenting gaze.
The action created mountain ranges from where she had stopped pulling, and the center would eventually fill with water to create a lake. But for now, it was a massive scar in the center of Asylius. An eternal reminder of what happens when you protest against the power of a goddess.
Tethys stood, and resumed her march towards the capital city.
When she finally reached the city after a very swift eleven or so painfully drawn out and purposefully heavy steps, she got on her haunches to examine the metropolis.
To her, the greatest city in all of Asylius was little more than a grey speck in a field of green grass and tan wheat. She did not know it, but the king of Asylius looked directly into her enormous eyes that could have accommodated his majestic castle several hundred times over. He thought for a moment she was staring at him, but decided she was simply so large even folk a mile away could say the same thing.
She was beautiful. Much more so than the queen, who he had long thought to be the most gorgeous woman on the planet. However, Tethys wasn't a woman, she was a Goddess, so the king supposed it was to be expected.
He stood on his balcony, and pondered his incoming death. Looking beyond her on the horizon, he could see the trail of devastation that made up part of his great country. He couldn't tell how many of his subjects were most likely dead, stuck to the soles of her feet. He didn't want to know.
The king knew in his heart that this was his fault. For months he had convinced the court that the tales of the Pantheon were just stories to keep nations in check. He told them that the accounts of Goddesses and Titanesses obliterating nations were just myths to keep gullible kingdoms in line.
He realized that in a few thousand years, after humans had forgotten about the events transpiring today on account of their short lives and natural propensity for disbelief in what was not right in front of them, that another Goddess would make a similar statement to a similar defiant country.
As Tethys lowered her finger to his city, and totally annihilated the entire western half, creating and endless abyss where it had once been, the king leapt from the balcony. He hoped at the very least choose how he went out. On his own terms, not at the feet of this goddess.
Yet she took even that away from him. Tethys raised her hand into the air, blocking out the sun to every person in a ten-mile radius. She brought it down with great force, atomizing the king before he could get very far down the way to hitting the ground.
She did not stop there. Digging her fingers into the earth, Tethys began to lift a copious amount of land and Asylius into the air, before dropping it, ensuring the deaths of any who had survived her initial smack.
Standing at her full height, Tethys decided the country understood her. But that was not enough. She needed to make a bigger statement. One that would burn a hole in the lives of any who dared question her divine right to rule.
Channeling the magic and power of her godhood, Tethys raised her arms into the air, which caused entire volcanoes to spring from the earth. They erupted from the spots where her feet had landed, before a cacophony of lava and magma spewed from dozens of these volcanoes.
To the survivors of her brutal onslaught across the country, they had thought they'd gotten a moments rest. One can only imagine their reaction to massive volcanoes larger than they had ever seen in their lives sprouting from the ground like flowers in spring. Several found themselves hopelessly trapped on top or inside of these flaming structures. Even more suffocated slowly from the noxious fumes that leaked from the center of the planet.
Those who were lucky enough to not be in the immediate radius of the volcanoes were still in danger of the fast moving rivers of lava that were over taking the land. The vast forests of Asylius that had stood proudly for hundreds of years acted as kindling to ignite the countryside in a blaze.
In moments, the entirety of Asylius was burning, with her cruel and unrelenting gaze watching the whole display without a hint of remorse or regret. If she listened carefully, she could still make out the cries of millions of her own subjects begging for mercy. It was a pointless effort.
She turned her attention now to Iortha, the little island that watched the destruction with terror in their hearts. She approached them now, continuing to crush the broken and beaten nation under her feet.
Tethys stopped short of Iortha, allowing her toes to rest on the beached of Asylius. She could easily step from Asylius all the way to Iortha with little difficulty, a fact that was painfully clear to the people of Iortha. With a single step, she would not just wipe them out as she had the people of Asylius, but also remove evidence that the island had ever existed in the first place.
So when Tethys began to raise her foot, the people of Iortha got down on their knees and prayed for salvation of any kind. To both Tethys and those who came before her.
Her foot hovered above the island. The sole was covered in a film of land, buildings, and the tiny remains of people unlucky enough to have found themselves in her path. Flecks of this debris fell from her sole onto the island, injuring a few and destroying some buildings.
"People of Iortha. Observe." Tethys commanded. "Behold the fate of those who question my authority. The dirt on my feet."
The King of Iortha gulped. Was he doomed? As the fires raged in Asylius would she erase his people from the earth forever?
Tethys considered simply destroying the island. She could do so very easily, and place them at the bottom of the ocean with no effort whatsoever. But what kind of goddess destroys those who have done her no wrong?
She set aside her foot, and showed them 'mercy'.
"The judgement is complete. Remember the events of today and never dare forget. Not this day, not on your last days."
With that Goddess Tethys disappeared in a flash of light, leaving Iortha to watch Asylius burn. Among Iortha, there had been some talk of rebellion, on a lesser scale than that of Asylius. Those dissenters never spoke again of their ideas. Future generations looked to the wasteland of Asylius whenever they thought of independence.