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This article is about the gorgon. You may be looking for the similarly-named genetic memory.
"It's a cycle. Kill the creature, become the creature."
―The Immortal Coil[src]-[m]

The Writhing Dread

The Writhing Dread was a Gorgon, a type of hybrid beast created by the Isu as part of the Olympos Project.[1]

A human was transmuted into this creature upon contact with the Prize of the Medusa, one of the four Atlantis artifacts, which it was meant to guard.[2] Upon being slain, the artifact seized and transformed the next human who touched it into the beast.[3]


The most distinctive mutation upon transforming into the Writhing Dread was the subject's hair turning into a nest of fearsome snakes, the artifact itself hiding among them. The subject also grew in size, surpassing human standards.[4]

Far deadlier than the serpent strands were the eyes which were capable of projecting a beam that gradually petrified its targets, transmuting their tissue into stone. Despite their calcified bodies, these victims could be remotely controlled by the Writhing Dread as her own minions who fought on her behalf.[4]

Equipment and skills

Through the power of her sword Ligeia as the Writhing Dread was capable of shielding herself with a barrier, teleporting, and firing energy blasts.[4]



The Writhing Dread, alongside the rest of the creatures in the Olympos Project, were considered pets by a certain Isu faction that saw themselves as gods.[1]


The most famous of the Writhing Dread's incarnations was Medusa in Greek mythology. In the legend, she was slain by Perseus with his Sword of Eden.[5]

End of the "curse"

During the Peloponnesian War, the latest victim of this mutation resided in the Petrified Temple within the depths of the Petrified Valley on Lesbos. At some point, an expedition of mercenaries hired by the Cult of Kosmos traversed the Valley and was ambushed by the creature. All but one of the expedition party members were turned to stone by the Writhing Dread, with only Zetes surviving, having used his spear's length to avoid her petrifying gaze. In the end Ligeia, a Daughter of Artemis arrived and dealt the final blow to the creature. Afterwards, Ligeia touched the artifact and transformed into the new Writhing Dread.[3]

At the height of the war, the Spartan misthios Kassandra, along with Ligeia's lover Bryce, gained entry into the Petrified Temple with the Gorgon Disk obtained from the Daughters of Artemis, during their search for Ligeia. Encountering Ligeia, now the Writhing Dread herself, Kassandra was forced to kill her after she petrified and destroyed Bryce.[4]


After killing the final incarnation of the Writhing Dread, Kassandra claimed the artifact in order to seal off Atlantis. Despite this, Medusa's incarnation as the Writhing Dread and her encounter with Perseus endured as a myth into the modern day.[5]




  1. 1.0 1.1 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
  2. Twitter.png Mel MacCoubrey (@melqartiii) on Twitter "Yeah it's [the Writhing Dread] a person that comes in contact with the artifact and then their image manifests as one of the guardians based on which artifact they hold." (screenshot)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyHeavy is the Spear
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyWrithing Dead
  5. 5.0 5.1 Assassin's Creed IIGlyph 5: "Instruments of Power"