- "It's a cycle. Kill the creature, become the creature."
- ―The Immortal Coil[src]
A human would transmute into this creature upon contact with the Prize of the Medusa, one of the four Atlantis artifacts, which it was meant to guard. Upon being slain, the artifact would transform the next human who touched it into the beast.
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.
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.
Equipment and skills
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.
End of the "curse"
At some point an expedition traversed the Valley and encountered the creature. All but one of the expedition party members were turned to stone by the Writhing Dread. Only the mercenary Zetes remained, 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.
At the height of the war, the 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.
After killing the final incarnation of the Writhing Dread, Kassandra claimed the artifact in order to seal off Atlantis.
Medusa's incarnation as the Writhing Dread and her encounter with Perseus endured as a myth into the modern day.
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (first appearance)