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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, in a letter looted from his corpse, c. 422 BCE[src]-[m]

The Writhing Dread

The Writhing Dread was a Gorgon, a type of hybrid beast created as part of the Olympos Project by the Isu Aita and Juno[1] along with a number of others who saw themselves as humanity's gods.[2]

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.[3] Upon being slain, the artifact seized and transformed the next human who touched it into the beast.[4]



The Writhing Dread was created by Aita and Juno as part of the Olympos Project, in the Isu city of Atlantis. Alongside the rest of the creatures in the project, it was considered an instrument to strike fear in humanity if they ever revolted against their creators.[1] The creature was meant to guard the artifact hiding itself in its body,[5] the Prize of Medusa. In order to help it in its task, it was given a Sword of Eden to protect itself with. The beast was then relocated to the Petrified Temple, an Isu vault in one of the islands of what would be later become Lesbos, Greece. Throughout millennia, its various incarnations made the place its lair.[6]


The most famous of the Writhing Dread's incarnations was Medusa in Greek mythology. In the legend, she was slain by Perseus with a Sword of Eden.[7]

End of the "curse"

During the Peloponnesian War, the latest victim of this mutation still resided 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.[4]

At the height of the war, in 422 BCE, 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 the woman, now the Writhing Dread herself, Kassandra was forced to kill her after she petrified and destroyed Bryce.[6]


After killing the final incarnation of the beast, 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.[7]


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.[6]

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.[6]

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.[6]




  1. 1.0 1.1 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: Judgment of Atlantis - Deadly Little Secrets
  2. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey - The Gates of Atlantis
  3. 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)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyHeavy is the Spear
  5. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey - A Family's Legacy
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyWrithing Dead
  7. 7.0 7.1 Assassin's Creed IIGlyph #5: "Instruments of Power"