|XVII. The Star.|
In the meantime, here is an assessment of where Atlantis is going at its end.
Why the Black Sun is Winning
It'd be easy to mistake the White Sun for the good side. The Incalix Priesthood of the White Sun names the Great Good in every litany they chant, every sermon they give.
The White Sun is profoundly moralistic. For the Great Good, you must sacrifice yourself. Be austere, be firm. Be unsmiling, accepting of your station in life. Give. Allow yourself no weakness. Accept no temptation.
The White Sun allows little space for self-actualisation, affords little chance of happiness. The Great Good is all.
The Black Sun's entire ethos, on the other hand, is freedom, is license. Freedom of self, freedom to do whatever you will, however you will. And yes, that allows for terrible abuses of people at the hands of the powerful (the creation of the thralls of Leagh and the Throng of Bestials for example) but that is the price of freedom, the freedom to do evil as well as good.
And the thing is, the Black Sun gives hope to the poor, to the slave. The Black Sun's ethos, do what you will, is open to all.
The Black and White Suns are two halves of the same religion. Before Oduarpa, they worked side by side, not exactly friends but understanding that each was one side of a coin, each offering a curb to the other's excesses.
When Oduarpa raised the Black Banner and declared that only the Black Sun had the right to worship in his new Atlantis, the priests of the White Sun fled to the north or died; Helio Arcanaphus, on the back foot and reasoning that the Black Sun's priests posed a threat to his rule, returned the favour and ejected the Black Sun's adherents.
And so the faith of both empires became impoverished. The Black Sun requires the discipline and limits of the White; the White needs the hope of freedom and joy that the Black Sun offers. Without the Black Sun, the White Sun speaks only to the powerful and established. Without the White Sun, the Black Sun is open to appalling abuse.
But with each side deprived of its counterpart, freedom will always be more attractive than discipline. Joy will always draw more adherents than duty. Agency will always find more followers than a creed of patience. Appropriated and abused by Oduarpa and his followers, the Black Sun will win, when the final battle comes. It's inevitable.