Saturday 4 April 2015

Atlanteans, the Third People

Kuiorih ka Akhantuih, Black Atlantean priest
What is there to say? The Atlanteans, for good and ill, are arbiters of all there is. They are the explorers, scientists,  philosopher, discoverers. No one is close to them in wealth and achievement.

Clean water. Healthy people who can read and write. Lights on the streets at night. Peace, for the Atlanteans at any rate.

Theirs have always been the most stately of kings. Theirs are the weapons that can, and some say will, destroy the world. No culture is like them, and it has been a given for a hundred thousand years that Atlantis proper is not to be judged by the standards of other cultures. 

This exceptionalism governs all of the Fair Land's dealings with the outside. If Atlanteans are arrogant, it is only because they know that no other nation holds the keys to enlightenment, no other nation is (barring occasional errors and missteps) so justly governed. No nation so deserves its empire.

Not the Tlavatlis, pirates and thieves all. Not the Rmoahals, who, as the Atlanteans have scientifically proven, only evolved to serve. Certainly not the Muvians, brutal savages whose government is an abomination (do not speak of the Lemurians, for they are not people at all). 

The dream of Atlantis is in danger.

In recent years, Atlantis has been sundered. A century ago, the usurping emperor Oduarpa raised the Black Banner over the city of the Golden Gates and now above the palace the sun shines black where once it was white.

Oduarpa's loyal vassals - Eojora the Queen Mother of Leagh, Marrowgaunt the Viceroy of Kudra, Mêrina of the Blue Women, and the others - have freedom now to perform all the experiments and magics they wish: all that was once forbidden is permitted. All that was once called evil is policy. 

Helio Arcanaphus, the White Emperor, watches from Keriophis, Capitol of the North, his court wracked with horror. Every day the Emperor-Adept consults the Manus and the Lhas for aid and nothing is heard. In his paralysis, in his absence the generals of the White Sun wage a gradually losing war against the Black Banner. 

Outside of the courts, outside of Atlantean borders, few have really noticed. As far as the poor are concerned you can starve under a black flag as easily as a white. The millions upon millions of slaves yet feel the whip. The Black Emperor deals with the Muvians and the Tlavatlis exactly as the white does. 

And for all the horrors of the new regime, this lack of change has awoken many. Each new atrocity, and more Atlanteans begin to question their lot. The rest of the world hates us, and perhaps we have a responsibility,  they say. True, for some it's lipservice to a kind of guilt. And to be fair, why would they really want to give up the wonders of their science, their full bellies?

But the system they have can't survive, can't simply be extended to the foreigner, the slave and the poor without change. And some of the Third People are willing to give it up, even fight and die for people who,  with good reason, hate them.

Time is short. The catastrophe - the Atlanteans' own doing, although few admit it - will soon descend.

Is it too late to bring justice to Atlantis?