|XVI. The Tower|
Important piece of lore today. Today's post isn't in the current draft but will be in the new version I'm uploading Friday, which you can get hold of early if you support Chariot at http://igg.me/at/ChariotRoleplay.VII.CHA.BE.CHA
Chalidocean, City of the Golden Gates
Ruler: God-Emperor Assumed His Might and Mastery the Perfect and Infallible Rai Oduarpa, Avatar of the Black Sun, Voice of Incal
Population: 8,000,000 Atlanteans, 10,000,000 slaves and unpeople, 200,000 free foreigners
Jewel-studded clockwork butterflies, each imbued with an artificial soul, tend the vibrant flowers of the ringed gardens of Chalidocean, the lush, warm vineyards, the orchards with their rainbows of sweetly perfumed fruits.
Chalidocean, City of the Golden Gates, Jewel of Atlantis, Dream of Empire: a metropolis in concentric rings, divided by a system of crystalline, glittering canals drawn from the great river Chalid, all palaces, gardens, mansions, temples. Titanic statues of the ancestral Gods of Atlantis stand in the central ring, overlook the heights, visible for miles: voluptuous Dannuih, arms raised in embrace; slim Pheleyia, looking to the sky; leonine Khiyet-Shyin; grim Akhantuih, pointing out to sea. They overlook the twisted, treelike spires of copper, bronze and gold, the avenues lit so brightly by ten thousand singing sky-lamps.
They overlook the Golden Gates of Incal that guard the Temple-Palace of Helio in his avatar as the God-Emperor, vast edifices inscribed with five million years of Atlantean history.
This is Chalidocean at its height. This is Chalidocean in its decadence.
Here the people are themselves wonders, their nakedness bedecked in paint and ink, glitter and gold, glorious peacock people whose bodies are a canvas for the arts and a testing ground for the sciences, their skins a riot of colours and textures, bestowed with extra limbs and faces, third eyes and snaking tongues, the freedom to traverse the artificial boundaries of sex and gender without guilt or discrimination or disease. For them this is paradise.
Nothing touches the Edenic bliss of the nobles of Chalidocean. Everything is made of magic here. Everything shines.
This has a cost.
Outside of the Chalidocean's gleaming rings stands the Great Enneagram, that latticed ring of nine colossal vril-batteries, great crystalline machines in factory plants themselves the size of cities. They provide the soul-energy, the light and life, that keeps the blessed precinct of the God-Emperor's city clean and bright and safe, and have done for a million years.
And the Enneagram, run by the toil of hundreds of thousands of workers, slave and free, draws more power each year, directly from the surrounding land.
A few centuries ago, Chalidocean began to sink.
It couldn't happen, couldn't be allowed to happen. Chalidocean meant too much, was too precious. It was the dream of Atlantis's hope, the dream of Empire itself. So the Enneagram began to draw its power from the generative potential of the Earth itself. The roots of these massive crystals are deep. They stretch through the web of life and into the Akâsha, the very life-force itself. If the Inland Sea is drying out, if the vineyard produce shrivelled grey fruit, if the wheatfields are sour, it is because the inevitable result of the dream of Empire is this: it takes until there is no more life to take, and then it eats itself.
Chalidocean, in its drive to survive, is taking the rest of Atlantis with it.
Oduarpa knows this is happening. It was his discovery that the city was dying that caused the Menocean to awaken to his fate and usurp the throne, and his understanding that nothing he could do would save Atlantis and that Atlantis's doom was her own fault that drove him mad.
He no longer cares. Like so many of his contemporaries, he calls himself a monster, the better to hide from the smallness of his desires, sating his whims and lusts any way he chooses, allowing his aristocrats free rein for good or ill. He allows the Throng of Bestials to run wild through the trackless slums that stretch a hundred miles out from the city; he commissions the creation and sale of thralls; he allows the scientists to do whatever they want, and compassion be damned. And soon his whim will drive Atlantis to war.