When the Greek god Zeus created the very first woman, he made her charming, graceful, and beautiful. He gave his creation a very special mission. Pandora’s objective was to inundate the world with mischief and misery and bring suffering to man. Zeus gave Pandora a gift to help her accomplish her mission. A jar (box) full of evil spirits.
Of all the spirits who lived in the jar the Keres were among the most vile. They often inhabited battlefields. In Hesiod’s Shield of Heracles they are described as “Black Dooms gnashing their white teeth, grim-eyed, fierce, bloody, terrifying (creatures who) fought over the men who were dying for they were all longing to drink dark blood. As soon as they caught a man who had fallen or one newly wounded, one of them clasped her great claws around him and his soul went down to Hades. And when they had satisfied their hearts with human blood, they would throw that one behind them and rush back again into the battle and the tumult.”
While they enjoyed the battlefield, the Keres didn’t discriminate. They brought panic, dread, and gloom to any place they could find suffering. The Keres visited cities devastated by plague and famine as well. Whenever the Keres came to town, they left a trail of gore and decimated bodies in their wake.