Medusa is the youngest of the three Gorgon sisters; nonetheless she is the most infamous. Her two sisters were born to Ceto and Phorcys, a pair of ancient sea monsters; she was originally an attractive mortal woman with long, flowing hair and piercing blue eyes. All the men in Greece wanted Medusa's hand in marriage, but as a priestess of Athena, she was unable to wed.Medusa's vow of chastity, however, did little to deter the advances of one of her suitors: Poseidon, god of the sea. In a fit of lust, Poseidon entered the temple at night where he came upon the virgin Medusa and proceeded to rape her.
Medusa screamed and prayed to Athena for deliverance. The goddess soon appeared and was furious; however, instead of punishing Poseidon for his actions, she turned her anger on Medusa. The priestess's skin became cracked and scaly, venomous writhing serpents sprouted out of her head to replace her silken hair, her teeth became sharp fangs and her eyes, which once charmed men, became deadly to look at.
After being transformed into a horrendous freak of nature, Athena then had Medusa banished to a barren, desolate island to spend the rest of her life; people who traveled there would be turned to stone.
Encounter with PerseusEdit
As Medusa and her sisters languished on their barren island, little did she know she would become the target for a warrior determined to break her spell. Perseus, who was the son of Zeus, had been sent to retrieve the head of Medusa by the lecherous King Polydectes, who wanted to marry his mother Danae.
Perseus headed off into the wilderness, where he encountered Hermes, the messenger of Olympus. He gave the hero a pair of winged shoes and advised him to track down the Stygian nymphs, the goddesses who held the magic weapons Perseus needed to kill Medusa; however, the only way to find them was to first track down the Grey Sisters, a trio of hideous witches who were born old and shared an eye and a tooth between them.
Perseus travelled to the Grey Sisters' home, a desolate swamp where not even the moon shone. He ambushed the Witches and stole their eye and tooth while they were passing the items between each other; he ransomed them and threatened to destroy the eye and tooth if they didn't reveal where the nymphs lived.