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 while walking though the Burning Maze using Caligula's caligae, the sibyl was trying to guide them to her. There were a series of chambers with glowing golden inscriptions on the wall, some not in English. Apollo, Meg and Grover had to choose the path with the square tiles that match the amount of the letters in the correct answer. Each answer forms a word in the prophecy. Clues:
- Πύθων-φονιάδα, χρυσό-λύπη, οπλισμένοι με βέλη του φόβου. (Python-slayer, golden-lyred, armed with arrows of dread.)
- Herald of new entrances, opener of the softly gliding year, Janus, of the double.
- Όμως ο ανώτερος θεός, δυνατός με τον κεραυνό του, έστειλε τον Υπόνο και το δίδυμό του από τον χιονισμένο Όλυμπο στον ατρόμητο μαχητή Σαρπιόν. (But the highest god, mighty with his thunderbolt, sent Hypnos and his twin from snowy Olympus to the fearless fighter Sarpedon.)
- Dico autem non est ex fuga a rege. Ultima regere populum Romanum Virum injustum fortis ad arma tamen.
(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.
Assuming the small words, that makes Apollo faces death in Tarquin’s Tomb unless so far. When Herophile is reached in the heart of the maze, she then has a conversation in crossword-like clues. Each answer creates a bridge of tiles leading to her.
- "I thought you would come through the other ... Seven letters, ends in Y."
- "This is my curse! It’s either talk like this or stay completely ... Nine letters. Fifth letter is D."
- "But, please, you must hurry if you wish to stop Caligula from becoming a ... Three letters, middle letter is O."
- "Some days, I wish prophecy was a present I had never ... Six letters. Last letter is a D."
- "Small word, across. Starts with Y. Small word down. Near or next to."
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 spouting 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
Harken the trumpets
Turn red tides
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.