Atlantis: The Rise and Fall

Overview

Most cultures have legends and myths derived from what amounts to a genetic memory of the Great Talisman and associated events on Atlantis. The vast island-continent of Atlantis represents the Garden of Eden for a majority of the races living on Gaia. The fall of Atlantis is much like the Great Flood that is found in many cultures of Earth. Even though the Menfolk races did not evolve until long after the destruction of Atlantis, many of their myths and legends reflect details of that period.

Historical Periods

  • Age of Dreaming (aka the Dreamtime): All history up through the fall of Atlantis.
  • Age of Wandering: The period of approximately 1,000 years that the Chimera searched for a land to settle.
  • Hyborian Age: Period between the the Age of Wandering when the northwest region of Aereth is settled by the Cymry and a very small number of Wyr and Sea Folk. Most of the Wyr’s ships were swept away and they eventually settle the Amber Islands in the far east.
  • Age of Steel: Modern period of history.
  • AD: Age of Dreaming (the Dreamtime)
  • AW: Age of Wandering (Wandering Times)
  • HA: Hyborian Age
  • AS: Age of Steel (modern history)

Atlantis Rising

In the beginning, there was Atlantis and all the Chimera (Atlanteans) of Gaia originated there. They thrived and developed into massively powerful cultures. At the same time, in other areas of the world, the Sidhe also rose to prominence. Atlantis was a massive island continent that dominated the planet. It consisted of a wide variety of geological features from vast rolling plains to great forested mountains.

Legends say that Atlantis was an idyllic place, an utopia where life was rarely harsh and there was an abundance of wealth and well-being. Of course, this did not last. Someone had to screw it up.

The Great Talisman

In scientific terms, the Great Talisman was a powerful energy force and source that acted as a convergence for the Ley. It held the immense energies flowing through the Ley Lines in balance. The physical convergence of these energies was on Atlantis and could be sensed and felt by the Chimera.

Eventually, a piece of the essence of the Great Talisman was captured by Cymry archadepts and housed in very large moon globe (one of the light emitting crystals found on Gaia) that was burned out. This became the physical manifestation or touchstone representing the Great Talisman in physical form.

The globe, roughly the size of a large beach ball, was inset into the back wall of the Sanctuary, the place of learning and training in all things arcane.

Guardianship of the Sanctuary and the Great Talisman was the province of the High Elder and his Coven of Power which was made up of twelve of the most powerful Cymry and Sidhe archadepts. It was a great honor to serve the Talisman and this became the basis for the ruling class of Atlantis. It also became a bone of contention with the Cymry and there were arcane duels to unseat the current High Elder and install a new one. Despite these small and rather petty wars which occasionally involved the other races, the stability of the Talisman and the Ley Lines continued unabated for many millennia.

During this period, there is evidence in the form of ruins both on Gaia’s surface and deep underground and texts created in odd stone-like or metal books that at least the Cymry rose to great heights as far as power and arcane technology was concerned. A little of that knowledge remains to them such as how to create the transfer portals. Most of it, however, has been lost leaving many to feel the Cymry are a shadow of their ancient selves and some to fear they might rise to those heights again.

Technology

Gaia literally does not allow advanced technology as we know it. If a Traveler comes through one of the ancient portals carrying a cell phone, it will evaporate. They cannot create such tech either. Gaia only allows that which is created using her natural gifts of magic, metals, stone, water, etc.

Our general guideline is if the Romans or earlier civilizations had it, then it is likely acceptable in the Chronicles of Aereth.

Exceptions are the byd golau (moon globes), a natural crystal that when exposed to sunlight will store its energy and emit it as light, and geothermal hot water. Denizens of Gaia have discovered how to plumb their homes and businesses to take advantage of the massive reservoirs of geothermally heated water lodged within the earth. Likewise, they use similar methods for heat.

Atlantis Fallen

At the height of their power, many of the Derwydd (archadepts) – Cymry who were extremely advanced in the use of the arcane – sought even more power for themselves. Some built and opened arcane portals that became the door to their own doom. Others, while experimenting with these doors and portals allowed monstrous creatures loose on Gaia. Archadepts also toyed with nature by using arcane means to force evolution forward. One of these adventures into arcane genetics resulted in the creation of the Ddraig (dragons).

Control of the Sanctuary and physical access to the Convergence (the Great Talisman) led to duels and even wars between archadepts who led vast armies against one another. All the while, neglected and badly constructed portals allowed a dark energy to seep in and taint the Ley. This Darkness grew and became a great and unspeakable evil that gained an essence or spirit. From that dark spirit grew an even darker intellect. The Cymry had created Yr Un Cysgodi (The Shadowed One).

One of these archadepts, Taramúr, the son of the reigning High Elder, was lured away from the Light by the promise of even more power. Swayed by the Shadowed One’s lies, Taramúr turned on his father and attempted to take control of the Great Talisman. Their battle, fought in the Sanctuary’s Shrine of the Talisman, was fierce, brutal and, ultimately, tragic.

Taramúr and his father brutally killed one another, their blood spraying on the Talisman, tainting it and awakening the Ley. The great Lines of power and magic seared their power into and onto the world. The very earth trembled, earthquakes shook the land and great volcanoes rose to the sky belching fire and acid. Massive tsunamis rose from the seas to drown the land and still the Ley burned and the land tore itself apart in a final cataclysm.

Although the Cymry banded together into Grand Covens and fought together to restore the Convergence, there was nothing that could be done. Atlantis was being engulfed by their folly!

As the continent of Atlantis tore itself apart so too did the Convergence. Without the Great Talisman to hold the Ley in check, the balance was forever destroyed. The Light and the Dark vied for dominance and would do so from that time onward. With the final destruction of their homeland close to hand, the Chimera took to the sea in great fleets of ships, fleeing the dying continent and fanning out across the globe to seek new homelands.

The last ship to sail from the waters surrounding Atlantis, the Golden Rose, carried the last of the Council of Power, a powerful archadept of House Azarov. Upon this flagship of refugees, a lone figure stood at the prow clutching a dagger shaped crystal in his hand. Through the blood that flowed from a deep incision on his hand one could see the faint pulsing of light. High Elder Nikolai Azarov held the last bit of the Great Talisman in his hands. Tainted with his blood and tears, it would become known as the First Shard.