In the time after the forming of the earth, the Titans ruled over and mastered the monsters and giants that walked its lands and swam in its seas. The glorious deeds of the Titans were surpassed only by the glory of the Titans themselves. And so the world remained for an age, until the fateful day that Rhea joined herself to Cronus in wedlock and brought forth the destruction of the Titans.
For by Cronus, Rhea gave birth to six gods, each more shining and powerful than the last: Hestia… the keeper of hearth and home, Demeter… the mother of the harvest, Hera of the golden sandals, pitiless Hades who dwells below the earth, Poseidon… the earth-shaker, and Zeus the father of both gods and men who makes the earth tremble by his thunder.
Cronus, knowing well what befalls a father by his son, swallowed each child within the very hour of their birth, deaf to the wailing cries of their beautiful mother. His deafness would be his downfall, for he had forgotten who had called to him and who had made the silver sickle with which he had betrayed his father. And so, like her mother before her, Rhea conceived a plan to save her child and take vengeance on her wicked husband.
Calling on her great father and beautiful mother, Rhea learned that the fates had spoken. Zeus, the child now in her womb, was destined to overthrow his father and end the age of the Titans. Gaea and Uranus sent their beloved daughter to fertile Crete where Rhea gave birth to Zeus in secret. Gaea carried the boy in her arms, hid him in a cave on Mount Aegeum. Then, she wrapped a stone in swaddling clothes and placed the stone in the arms of Cronus – the fated son who would overthrow him, eat him quickly she said.
The very moment the stone was in his arms, he devoured it. The thing he though to be his son he consumed wholly, not realizing that the boy still lived deep in the heart of the earth – growing more powerful day by day as he prepared to fulfill his fate.
Tricked by the guileful Gaea, Cronus grew ill and over time brought up the rest of his offspring from his stomach. Finally, vomiting up the stone he had mistaken for his son. As the children were wretched up from the gut of their father, Zeus came to them and took them away. Gathering his brothers and sisters together for the day he would challenge his father and raise a new age of the gods.
When the stone came forth, Zeus took it also with him. Setting the great stone in the earth at Pytho under the valleys of Parnassus, the place now called Delphi. He set it to be a sign, an oracle to marvel at for the sons of mortal men.