Persephone; Goddess of Spring and the Underworld
The tale had been told many times, and in many ways. Did anyone really know the truth?
Had she been kidnapped? Tricked into the Underworld and forced to wed the God of the Underworld himself? What if it hadn't been as tragic as everyone made it seem?
Persephone was one of the lovliest Goddesses to come from Olympus since Aphrodite. Her innocence and beauty were adored by those around her since she had been a small child, running in the fields of flowers, growing more at her very own bare feet. Her father, Zeus, had one of his many affairs with the Goddess Demeter, who bore the child happily and doted on her only offspring. So much so, she became the overly protective mother that she was. She had strict rules for Persephone.
Never was she allowed to be alone with a man; Human or otherwise.
Never was she to go unaccompanied and without her mother to the banquets and balls
Never was she to be alone with her father, Zeus, or his wretched brothers Posidon or Hades.
Persephone grew up adored and blossomed into a beautiful young woman. She made friends with the nymphs of the fields and often spent her time frolicking around with them in the beautiful sunlight.
Persephone had many admirers, even among the Gods, but this knowledge was kept from her. To keep her innocence and youth and kind heart, Demeter demanded that all business regarding Persephone go through her.
On days where he could spare to be away, Hades would arise from the Underworld, hidden in shadow, and watch the youthful Persephone play in the fields with the nymphs, animals and the human children. His cold heart had softened at the sight of her and one day he asked Demeter for her daughter's hand in marriage. Demeter was furious. She said there wasn't the slightest chance of that happening. Heart-broken that he had been turned down by one of his brother's conquests, he decided that Persephone would be his-- no matter what.
One day the young girl was playing and picking flowers with her friends when she found the most beautiful Narcissus flower she had ever seen. When she kneeled down to pick it up, Hades emerged from the Underworld in a chariot with black horses. Now, some say that Persephone was whisked away before she could scream.. but the real story was, Persephone was stunned to see the beautiful dark horses and to meet the man-- recognizing him from the shadows on days she would play in the sun, that she willingly accepted his offer to go down and see the beauties of the Underworld.
When Demeter came to collect her daughter, she found the nymphs were confused and in a frenzy because they had no idea where Persephone had gone. She was no where to be found! Demeter became extremely upset. However, two people had indeed witnessed what happened. Zeus, and Helios-- god of the Sun. Zeus decided to keep quiet; for he saw how his brother's cold heart changed around the maiden and didn't want to risk a fight with his brother.. while Helios decided to stay out of it, as this did not concern him.
Demeter wandered the land looking for her daughter, heart-broken and distraught until one day her good friend Hecate told her that she should seek advice from Helios, the all-seeing Sun God. Guilt-ridden by seeing the mother's tears, Helips explained that Hades had her daughter. Demeter, furious, wanted revenge but Helios tried to convince Demeter that Persephone being Hades wife and Queen of the Underworld would not be a bad thing.
Demeter, however, would not have it. She was furious at this insult and deeply believed Hades, who after all had only dead people for company, was not the right husband for her sweet and kind-hearted daughter. To punish the Gods and to grieve, Demeter decided to take a long and indefinite break from her duties as the Goddess of the Harvest and Fertility-- with devastating consequences. The earth would begin to dry up, harvests failed, plants lost their fruitfulness, animals were dying for lack of food and famine spread to the whole earth, resulting in untold misery. The cried of the people who were suddering reached Olympus and Zeus knew somethign had to be done. He had been keeping an eye on his brother and he seemed to truly love the young girl down in the Underworld so he tried to find a solution to work for both parties. He promised to restore Persephone to Demeter if it could be proven that the maiden was there against her will, else she could remain with Hades and her hand would be his.
Hades, learning of the plan, did not want to see his beloved leave him. Persephone was not in despair in the Underworld but in fact had been able to give mournful spirits peace and the Hellhounds such as Cerberus adored her. Not wanting to risk losing her-- knowing that Persephone would see the suffering above and choose the happiness over others before her own or his, he fed Persephone a Pomegrante fruit-- knowing full well that once someone ate the food of the Underworld, they could only last so long away from the Underworld before longing to return. Persephone, unthinking, ate six seeds.
Upon hearing that her mother was searching for her and wanted to force her to return with her, Persephone got very upset. She had fallen in love with Hades and the dark world below just as much as she loved the world above in all of it's sunlight and stars. Why did she have to chose one or the other? Or why did she have to return home just to make her mother happy? When gathering in front of Zeus, Persephone was asked where she wanted to live. She said that she wanted to remain by Hades' side and become his wife for she loved him. Upon hearing this, Demeter was furious. She was convinced somehow Hades had tricked her and turned her only child against her.
A great fight followed and Demeter threatened that she would never again make the earth fertile and everyone on Earth would die. This caused Persephone much sadness. To put an end to the battle, Zeus took his knowledge of Persephone's tasting of the Pomegranite into consideration and decided that Persephone would spend six months with Hades and would be allowed to court and marry him, and six months with her mother on Olympus. This alternative did not please either party but brought comfort to Persephone's heart which was more then enough for Zeus. She would be able to help Earth, and pass the knowledge to others during her time on Earth of how to survive the harsh winters and then she would be able to be with her future husband in his own realm to live her own life away from the harsh and protective nature of her mother.
In the Underworld, Hades created Elysium for his new bride. A place where the kind souls Persephone had comforted could go and be happy. So she would have a touch of happiness and Spring in the dark Underworld where he ruled.
OOC: This story can be played in many ways. From the first meeting of Persephone and Hades, her youth in the fields, her time in the Underworld bonding and getting to know Hades. This could be played medieval or perhaps in a more modern-world setting. Many options. However, I will only pair Persephone with Hades, it is not out of the question that we roleplay her interacting with other gods or goddesses. Also willing to play her as a custom character in the anime Kamigami No Asobi)