The Oracle of Erythaea is one of the four oracles which are associated with Apollo. The oracle was known for giving prophecies out in the forms of acrostics (word puzzles).
Apollo mentions the Erythaean Sybil liked to give acrostics (word puzzles) for her prophecies. Based on the lines of the prophecy from The Oracle of Trophonius, Apollo was able to determine that the Oracle and Sybil of Erythaea would be in the Southwest because that is where the third emperor would be. The Erytraean Sybil was referred to as the crossword speaker.
The Erythaean Sybil in the form of Herophile first appeared in a dream of Apollo's, they were on a stone platform above a pool of lava and her hands were cuffed with molten chains attached to glowing red iron cuff anchoring her to the platform. When she speaks a crossword puzzle, she chokes as if glass was in her throat.
A prophecy was made by Apollo when he solved the puzzles after he walked in the Labyrinth using Caligula's caligae. There were a series of chambers with glowing golden inscriptions on the wall, some in Ancient Greek some not. Apollo had to choose the path with the square tiles that match the amount of the letters in the correct answer. Clues:
- Python-slayer, golden-lyred, armed with arrows of dread
- Herald of new entrances, opener of the softly gliding year, Janus, of the double.
- But the highest god, mighty with his thunderbolt, sent Hypnos and his twin from snowy Olympus to the fearless fighter Sarpedon.
- Now must I tell of the flight of the king.
The last to reign over the Roman people
Was a man unjust yet puissant in arms.
- Leaves, body-leaves, growing up above me, above death,
Perennial roots, tall leaves – O the winter shall not freeze you, delicate leaves
- Named for Apollo’s fallen love, this flower should be planted in autumn.
Set the bulb in the soil with the pointy end up. Cover with soil
And water thoroughly … you are transplanting.
So far that makes Apollo faces death in Tarquin’s Tomb unless. Then Herophile says more words in crossword-like clues. Each answer creates a bridge of tiles.
- Seven letters, ends in Y.
- Nine letters. Fifth letter is D.
- Three letters, middle letter is O.
Now we have Apollo faces death in Tarquin’s Tomb unless the doorway to the soundless god is opened by.... Finally, when Apollo takes Herophile's place in the chains, he began the following lines:
Bronze upon gold
East meets west
Legions are redeemed
Light the depths
One against many
Never spirit defeated
Ancient words spoken
Shaking old foundations
Destroy the tyrant
Aid the winged
Under golden hills
Great stallion’s foal
Turn red tides
Harken the trumpets
Enter stranger’s home
Regain lost glory
While those words illuminated the floor tiles, Meg noticed that they were an acrostic that spelled out "Bellona's Daughter" making the full prophecy the following:
Apollo faces death in Tarquin’s Tomb unless the doorway to the soundless god is opened by Bellona's Daughter
Unraveling the prophecy
Bellona's daughter refers to Reyna Ramírez-Arellano, the senior praetor of the twelfth legion. It is believed that Apollo would die in the tomb of Tarquin Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the final king of Rome, unless Reyna releases some soundless god. Great stallion's foal may refers to a foal son of Arion, the imortal horse son of Poseidon and Demeter, who is also Meg's brother and one of the fastest beings.