The Battle For Control of the Doors of Death was fought on two fronts. The first and most difficult was in Tartarus who had to set out on foot to make it to the doors.
Arrival in Tartarus and Healing
The first major danger that occurred before even reaching Tartarus. Annabeth and Percy were in a free fall. They were going to land in Cocytus (the river of lamentation and misery). Under normal circumstances the combined distance and speed would have caused the two to sink to the bottom of the river and drown. Percy however was able to summon some of the water to form a geyser slowing down their fall. Percy and Annabeth landed in the river which was not only freezing cold but made her hear voices telling her to give up and just let herself drown. When they made it out of the river they realized there was a field of jagged black glass shards. The air in Tartarus itself was making the wounds already sustained worse rather than starting to heal as well as causing blisters to form. Annabeth remembered that the River Phlegethon (the river of fire and blood) while it burned, it also had healing properties. This led them to having to walk down a cliff. The water burned to the point she threw up and shed tears, but it healed her. Percy did the same.
The First Monster Confronted In Tartarus
Despite having learned drinking fire water was the way to survive the wounds that Tartarus' atmosphere created Annabeth and Percy knew little else. They were not sure that monsters could even die in Tartarus or how to get out. The idea came from Percy. The Doors of Death could bring them out to the surface in Epirus and since they had to close the doors on Tartarus' side anyway it was inevitable. The conversation that they had however attracted the attention of Arachne who at first was a dark shape. Percy drew Riptide which gleamed bright in such darkness and he cut through Arachne. This let the two know that not only could monsters be destroyed but that there was now a source of light.
Empousai and Bob
Percy and Annabeth had only traveled a few hundred feet when they heard the sound of five female voices and the clump of a bronze leg. This was a signal that the creatures coming were empousai. Annabeth recognized one of the voices as being Kelli who two years ago Annabeth had stabbed. Based on the conversation Percy and Annabeth overheard that Gaea had summoned them Percy deduced the empousai were heading towards the Doors of Death. Percy decided the best strategy would be to follow the River Phlegethon so they had a way to occasionally heal themselves. At the same time they followed the empousai keeping out of sight so not to be attacked. They followed the empousai for miles until they came to a ridge at the edge of a cliff where the Phlegethon met the Cocytus, creating a black fog. The fog made Percy and Annabeth lose sight of the empousai, but by now it was clear where they had to go. Briefly Percy and Annabeth stopped and talked about how it could be worse they could have fallen into the Lethe and lost their memory. This led to the story of how about a year and a half earlier Percy had sent Iapetus into the River Lethe and when he came out he renamed him "Bob." Percy and Annabeth continued their route, temporarily forgetting why they had taken it. Percy saw shapes but did not know what it was realizing too late; it was the empousai who circled around and trapped them. Outnumbered, Percy and Annabeth knew trickery was the best option. They mentioned that Kelli was leading them to a disaster and that her job during the Titan War had been to keep Luke loyal to Kronos, and that she failed and that was why the Titans lost. Kelli was able to convince the other empousai that the Titans' loss was part of the plan to wake Gaea. Next Percy tried to convince them that Romans and Greeks had united (using the brand on his arm as his evidence). Kelli was able to convince them that two demigods lost in Tartarus were not a threat. As a final effort, Annabeth brought up that the empousai were servants of Hecate and that Hecate was on the side of the Olympians. This tactic nearly worked because when they heard this they asked Kelli if it was true. One of the empousai, Serephone who was older, said she would not go against Hecate. The others were about to follow Serephone away when Kelli attacked Serephone, destroying her and once again convincing them to follow her lead and kill Percy and Annabeth. Percy cut one of the empousi in half but Kelli dodged him and attacked Annabeth, while the other two attacked Percy (one jumping on his back the other grabbing his sword arm). Annabeth was doing fairly well avoiding Kelli's claws then hitting her with a rock and throwing gravel in Kelli's eyes, temporarily dazing her. Kelli however lunged and raked Annabeth's arm. Percy tried to make it towards Annabeth but was bitten in the neck by the Empousai on his back and the one holding his arm bit his arm. Kelli and the other two took a moment to savor their victory. In that moment a war cry came and Bob the Titan arrived on the battlefield broom in hand. Bob stomped Kelli flat. One of the two remaining empousai attacked while the second tried to run. The attacker was destroyed when a spearhead emerged from the end of Bob's broom. Bob then turned his attention to the fleeing empousai throwing his broom in a boomerang style, killing her. Bob healed Annabeth and Percy instantly and then explained his presence saying that he had heard Percy call his name earlier and knew he needed help. Bob then informed Annabeth and Percy that they had to move because monsters were coming for them.
Stopping At Temple of Hermes
There was a brief rest stop in The Temple of Hermes. Annabeth had a dream in which she was told that Renya was going to have to be the one to return the Athena Parthenos. Apparently food dedicated to Hermes arrives at this temple. They had food and realized that this could be used as a way of sending a message. They used the flame to send a message to Camp Half-Blood saying that Renya had to be the one to take the statue. It was also at this point that Iapetus came up with the idea to have Percy and Annabeth receive the Death Mist from Akhlys whom he referred to as "The Lady."
Along the way to see Akhlys, Bob, Annabeth and Percy encountered The Arai (spirits of curses) who were spirits that when destroyed the one who destroyed them receives a curse that had been made by the fallen. The first after the first Aria was destroyed Percy bled on both sides of his body as Geryon had done when at the Triple G Ranch. The Arai mentioned being crushed like Kampê, disintegrated like telkhines in Mount Saint Helens. Annabeth attacked and lost her sight which apparently was a curse brought on her from Polyphemus. Bob used his broom to sweep away Arai. When he mentioned that he had received no curses, the Arai announced Bob was already cursed and that Percy was the one who took Bob's memory leaving him to scrub the floors of Hades' Palace. The Arai attacked again, but Bob, who had felt betrayed did not interfere. Percy began cutting trees which fell on the Arai crushing them but avoiding being cursed himself. Percy towing Annabeth made it through the forest only to find the edge of a cliff. One attacked Annabeth, who while blind, judo-flipped, it breaking its neck and receiving a curse that Calypso had apparently made to Annabeth making her feel the despair and abandonment Calypso felt when Percy had left her to be with his friends, especially Annabeth. Percy used Riptide to cut down numerous Arai, receiving curse after curse, including stabbing in the gut, a burning sensation like a blowtorch, chill in his blood and a tic in his eye. No matter how many he brought down, more kept coming. Eventually his vision blurred, his sword arm got tired and his body ached. The final Arai he destroyed brought down the curse Phineas had made which was associated with Gorgon's blood. Nearly unconscious, Percy muttered to Bob that he was sorry and should have told the truth and asked Bob to protect Annabeth(though he doubted Bob could hear him). Percy lifted his blade once again to face the Arai who suddenly disappeared into smoke, courtesy of Bob's broom. Percy wished to say thank you but had lost his voice, his legs buckled and ears rang. Bob then retrieved Annabeth who was about to walk off a cliff and cured her of the two curses but told Annabeth too many curses had been brought down on Percy and he could not cure him. There was a call not too far off from Polybotes saying he smelled the son of Poseidon. Thinking hard and quickly, Bob said there might be one place and that there is one good giant and that he would take Annabeth and Percy there finishing off with "unless Polybotes and the others catch us first."
Damasen and the Maeonian Drakon
Bob carried a half-dead Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase made their way to a swamp where there was a cottage with two torches made of bone. There was a tree impaled on the skull of a Drakon. Annabeth heard a Drakon which charged towards their location. Damasen uprooted a tree, threw it down the gullet of a Drakon and then beat the Drakon which dissolved leaving behind some bone, meat and hide. Iapetus then introduced Annabeth who said that Bob had informed her that he could help then stating "or did Bob overstate your talents." Damasen then began creating an antidote to Gorgons Blood muttering about how it was hardly a challenge for someone with his skills. Percy was revived and then passed out.
Akhlys and The Death Mist
Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase then meet Akhlys so they can hide themselves in Death Mist. She gives them some but betrays them, however, and chucks poison at the pair. Percy uses his powers over water to will the poison back to her, which causes her to flee from them. It is during this that a darker force in Percy's personality reveals itself. A terrified Annabeth starts to cries causing Percy to snap out of it.
Nyx, The Mansion of Night and The River Acheron
Nyx was the final challenge between Percy and Annabeth and getting to the Doors of Death. The two convinced Nyx that they had come for a tour stating "Mt. Olympus is a tourist trap. The Underworld is overdone." They informed her that she was not featured or spotlighted suggesting that perhaps she had not done anything important. She began summoning all her children, Eris, Geras, The Arai etc. Annabeth said we could get a picture for the scrapbook but it could not be a group shot and asked her to pick her favorite child. At this point all her children tried to prove how dark they could be. Nyx's children made it so dark even Nyx could not see so Percy and Annabeth escaped. The two jumped over Chaos and ran through the Mansion of Night then jumped over The River Acheron, getting to the Heart of Tartarus.
Battling Gaea's Army In Tartarus To Get To The Doors of Death
Having finally arrived at the Heart of Tartarus Percy and Annabeth were able to see how vast Gaia's forces were. They saw the Doors of Deaths which looked similar to the doors on the Empire State Building to get to Mount Olympus. Iapetus' brothers, Hyperion and Krios, were guarding the door letting monsters in.
Escape From Tartarus
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