ACHLYS
Story by Brandon L. Parsons (2015)
ACHLYS: Goddess of Misery
ACHLYS: Goddess of Misery

If, as they say, misery loves company, then sadly human beings are a very friendly and close bunch. Being miserable is one of those things that swallows each of us up once in awhile and makes us question everything we are. Sickness, heartbreak, loneliness, depression; all things that can haunt a person from time to time and in different degrees. Humans haven't changed much in thousands of years; the ancient Greeks had their brushes with suffering and misery (in fact, probably even more than we did), and as with everything in their world, they had an answer as to who or what caused it for them. In their zapped-up, crazy mythological ideas on the world, there was one being who brought down the net of misery and made life less than fun; ACHLYS (ock-lees), the mini-goddess of misery and sadness, who was such a figure of suffering that she found herself engraved on the shield of the Greek hero Hercules.

Letting loose the mists of death...
Letting loose the mists of death...

Achlys was no good looking character, and certainly not the girl you would ask out to the prom; sickly pale, emaciated (scrawny from lack of food), and openly weeping, with chattering teeth, swollen knees, long, ragged nails on her fingers, bloody-cut cheeks, and her shoulders thickly covered with dust. Achlys was responsible for dropping the Mist of Death (a mist of total darkness) before the eyes of those deathly ill right before they finally get taken away by Thanatos, the god of death. For that reason, the Greeks called her "the Eternal Night," being the one who brought on a persons everlasting darkness at death. The ancient Greek poet Hesiod described her like this: She was "dismal and dejected, green and pale, dirty-dry, fallen in on herself with hunger, knee-swollen, and the nails were grown long on her hands, and from her nostrils the drip kept running, and off her cheeks the blood dribbled to the ground, and she stood there, grinning forever, and the dust that had gathered and lay in heaps on her shoulders was muddy with tears." A real looker, right guys?

posion-creepshow.jpg
Achlys was a daughter of Nyx, the goddess of night, lived in the raging hell-hole of Tartarus when she wasn't out promoting misery (which was often), and may have been one of the Keres, one of the Greek mythological death daemons (spirits). She may also have been known to the Greeks as the goddess of poisons, becoming the inspiration for many a magical potion used to harm the health of one's enemies!


Return to Greek Pantheon Return to MythopediaGo to Mythopedia Facebook Page
The eyes of Misery...
The eyes of Misery...