In the game of Atlantis, vital silver is earned by writing articles for the Atlantis Times. This is the first few episodes of the adventrues of Glod and his friends - is roughly following my progress in the game and is the first time I`ve ever really attempted to develop character in a story. Early days yet but nice to get some cogs turning.....
Glod and Friends and the Legends of Atlantis
A Developing Tale of Atlantis
Legends of Atlantis
Lexicon Lexicon to the Legends of Atlantis Echelon
Legend 1 Atlantis Echelon
Legend 2 The Second Age of Magic
The mages of Dilmain are abroad once again as rumour has it. Deep rumblings, stirring the spirits of the learned and the wise have foretold wondrous events. The dwarves of the north, not known for their spiritual leanings, have withdrawn and shake their heads with much muttering. To guard against future fear and trepidation, clean you armour with Albright.... aak the parrot squawked as Glob swiped at it.
`Nothing but damn adverts on these emergency transmissions` he moaned. He sat and sulked, as only dwarves can sulk - in fact a lifetime of practise (brief though it had been, at least by dwarven standards) had prepared him well for professional sulking. Born lacking two major qualifications for exalted dwarfhood status - a fetid obssesion with gold and the decapitation of enemies - he was singularly unsuited to the dank underground life of his comrades. In search of the more eldred knowledge that only vague rumours of had reached his young ears he had set forth in search of fame and fortune that could perhaps not be numbered in gold pieces - in fact to his own reckoning he was fitted as a fine and future kin, perhaps of a vast empire to the east, or dwelling in the forest. All he had plenty of now, was mud - and not even particularly good grade mud (believe him, as a dwarf he was an expert on mud).
His last contact with home, had been reduced to a series of homing parrots running commercials, and his subscription was soon up.... What he needed now was an ally.... but hmmm... the world of politics was dangerous. He sulked some more. Who knows what the future would hold, certainly no crystal ball would be needed to see that in this yound dwarves case a great deal of sulking and certainly copious quantities of mud would be involved.....
Glod picked himself up and dusted himself off. He`d wasted far too much time doing nothing, sulking he was good at but even the best dwarf got fed up of it before too long. Having received message parrots from a couple of fellow inmates of this muddy land he was displaced to call home he felt his need for allies might just be met - what he needed now was a bit of help - life just got too complicated to face without it. What he needed was one of those newfangled personal organiser parrots - you know the ones that squawk the day if you hit em just right and help you to remember where you left that crossbow.........
He`d put a request in for one on his last parrot. In the meantime he was headed for the nearest town. Rumour had it that the place was filling up and lots of recent arrivals could be seen flexing their muscles and trying on armour in the marketplace. Heck, Glod hadn`t been around too long himself and wasn`t one for watching the catwalk - but he was curious nonetheless. He passed various small shops selling strange and esoteric objects, mages could be seen huddled in the corner studying away - and it looked interesting... but he carried on walking, now wasn`t the time. Magic hmm... his mind reeled - the world didn`t seem a fair place when dusty old men could whirl away everything you thought was real, but then if he could harness it himself... Maybe it was an impossible dream - but it sure beat banging rocks together like his brothers.
SQUAWK - a parrot circled in overhead. Glod looked up, yes - his last message had come through (must renew his subscription,these parrots were damn useful - need silver) - yes "Little Helper" with 3 giga-squawks of internal memory, state of the art - fantastic. His first magical item (ok - so I`m exaggerating and you can download it from the website - buts its damn helpful.)
Hmmm.... as he was contemplating his next move another parrot circled in - `damn adverts`, Glod complained and tried to swipe it out of the way- but this was one insistent parrot. It landed on his shoulders - a couple of tail feathers gently to the mud as a disgruntled parrot glared at glod. This parrot was nearly as good at sulking as he was - he was impressed. The parrot shook itself, puffed up its chest and `SQWEEEEEEEEEEEEK` oops, the parrot looked embaressed, coughed and out flew a couple more feathers. `You have have received a legacy of 8000 silver pieces from your dear deceased granny, please pop in to your local branch of Azthars Trusty Bank to ......` the parrot squawked and squeeked its way through the rest of its message and a few more adverts for armour polish and garuanteed muscle enhancements but Glod wan`t listening - he`d got as far as 8000 silver and sort of stopped. His mind reeled with possibilities - visions of world domination popped fleetingly into his mind, only to be replaced by visions of lots of armour clad warriors running towards him waving swords and assorted body parts of his men and he dismissed them... Hmmm... world famous wizard, summoning entities from the void, international tradesman, master politician hmm... perhaps just a comfortable castle and a few maidservants... hmmm with leather `SQUAWK`, thankfully his train of thought was interrupted by the parrot glaring at him one last time and vanishing off to wherever it had flown in from.
`Well, first things first` said Glod, to no-one in particular (which is handy - as that kind of sumamrized the list of people listening) `come on you` he mumbled to his organiser (which didn`t listen and would have followed him anyway) `lets pop into the bank and then try the market. Time to explore a bit`.
Glod sat at the table of the inn, a foaming mug of beer in front of him. The low ceiling and dark, damp atmosphere reminded him of home. This thought cheered him up, no matter how bad things were at least he wasn't back there.
Around him a swarthy bunch of vikings and barbarians mingled. This large city drew people from all across the land, through the smell of sweat and manly violence he could even catch a hint of spice from the tropical regions he'd only heard of in stories.
To pass the time he flicked through a book he'd picked up in one of the flea markets. One off these travel guides written by another newcomer who'd obviously tried to pay off his gambling debts by throwing together a book. More time than sense probably Glod mused. 'don't bother with entertainers' the book warned - Glod sighed, he knew the band of juggling monks had been a waste of money but the merhant had seemed so genuine.
At that moment a lean Sea Elf broke off his fervent negotiations with the robed horse trainer in the corner, an angry glare in his eyes as he came toward Glod. 'Robbers' he cursed 'robbers, horse traders my foot, horse thieves I'll be bound'. He sat down. 'I'm trying to get horses for my men against the winter months. We can't shift the timber and trade has almost ceased'. The fierce glow in his eyes subsided, elegant like all elves but with the sinewy look of a bowman Glod couldn't help liking him - this was the first friendly face he'd seen since arriving here.
The sea elves were generally a peacable bunch and less prone to bouts of unnecessary mysticism than their cousins in the forest regions - dwarves rarely had much to do with them but respected their honour. 'You must be Glod' the elf said extending his arm 'I'm Breeni' and so the introduction was made.
Breeni was from a small coastal town, in the past they had made a living fishing - but hard times (progress I think it was called) had forced them to come to the cities more and trade. Warnings of troop movements to the south had reached him and his people needed allies as badly as Glod did. 'The warwolves still post their warnings' Glod answered to a question of Breeni. 'I hear of murdered scouts almost daily'. 'There are stealthy assasins on the move too' Breeni added 'but a marked increase in traders also in recent days, many we have not seen before. I have heard of one, maybe two new trading guilds starting'.
'Perhaps this is the way forward' thought Glod, for times were not just hard, but dark too......
Glod passed the door twice before seeing the tarnished brass markings next to the shiny plate with the name on it. Odd that he hadn't noticed it before - it was a dark battered door in a cramped, cobbled alleyway but the plaque was obviously new. He paused before knocking - Breeni assured him these guys were fine and he was certain you wouldn't find a more genuine Sea Elf this side of Vermark. But on the other hand he'd been just as certain about the merchant selling those juggling monks and remember how that had turned out.....
Anyway, what sort of serious organization went about with the name Strange and Noble - I ask you....
The door had creaked opened of its own accord and so up he'd gone. Behind a desk a wizened, white haired old man shuffled papers. 'Ah, you must be Glod' the man said, without even looking up. Glod sighed, wherever he went people knew his name before he met them - he permanently felt like he was missing half the story.
Before he knew it, without even appearing to move, the man had swept him up and into an armchair and pressed a brandy into his hands and was back shuffling papers.
'Yes, yes...' the man coughed, the noise startled Glod who was still thinking about the maps and lists of figures the man was poring over.... 'look, I don't mean to be rude... but who are you. I can't carry on thinking of you as "the man"' said Glod. 'Oh botheration' the man exclaimed 'we haven't got enough to pay the quarrymen in the north. The winter does slow everything down so and the wagons won't be arriving 'till next month'. He sighed, leaning backwards, Glod wasn't at all sure he'd even heard him, 'I don't suppose you've got some scouts up there he asked' brightening momentarily 'otherwise the blighters'll only have to work for the natives and we do need the stone so, I'm Gerrond by the way' and he thrust a hand forward 'accountant come mage for the strange and noble. The three gentleman who retained me asked me to get in touch with you.' Handshaking was concluded and Glod and Gerrond settled back into their chairs.
'Not that they haven't changed name four times since I've been here' Gerrond indicated a small pile of plaques in the corner of the room - each bearing a different name. 'Ancient order my foot, just 'cos one of thems inherited some old papers - which they're leaving me to sort out I might add' Gerrond snorted 'not one of them been in this city more than six months by my reckoning, still their moneys as good as the next man and when that stone arrives from the mountains I'll have a tower to complete my studies - better than this poky dust hole' he glanced up with a sneer of contempt at the offices and then buried his head in the papers again.
In point of fact Glod thought the offices quite plush (although Gerrond had a point about the dust) but he was more than a little confused about his role in the whole affair. 'ahem' he started in embarressment 'and how do, uh, I fit into all this'. 'Oh sorry, old chap - didn't I mention that, have another brandy by the way.' 'Well, uhm...' Glod hesitated, 'anyway' continuued Gerrond, throwing a paper full of crossed out numbers and scrawled workings into the small grate beside him. 'bloody maths. Job for dwarves if you ask me, present company excepted of course. Anyway other than the mining contingent we're all square for another month'. Gerrond smiled. 'I believe you've already met one of our founding members, came across him trying to buy horses in the inn I believe'.
'Well' said Glod, 'all I know is Breeni reccommended you folk to me, said I might learn something to my advantage...started to get a bit cagey as a matter of fact'.... 'Breeni, thats the fellow' said Gerrond 'excellent fellow, for an Elf. Anyway, the long and short of it is they're asking you to join'
'Do I have to learn any funny handshakes' sighed Glod..... 'read this' said Gerrond......'sign anywhere at the bottom when you're ready'.
Glod read the papers and then signed, it didn't amount to much more than the press release he'd already read in the times, with a note from Breeni saying it was alright really and just to sign he'd explain later.
'Course it makes it a nightmare for me' Gerrond was explaining as he shuffled yet more papers and tied the red silken cord over one bundle as he slid them away. The afternoon outside had slipped into dusky evening and the stars had started to peep between the leading of the high window. 'Some days they're just trading partners, next it seems like they've amalgamated all their interests, and they expect me to do the paperwork of course and sort out the supply routes. You heard of 3M ?' Gerrond changed tack midstream as it were and pointed this question at the bemused Glod - who would have been keener to leave if the wind wasn't whistling out in the alleyway. 'Uhm, the tape manafacturer down Magneto Street' Glod said... 'no, no' said Gerrond impatiently 'the trading agglomeration' 'agglomo what' asked Glod.
'Like us only more so - reckon one of our bods knows one of the big-wigs on their council, worth watching anyhow'. Gerrond instead of shuffling papers was now shuffling Glod back down the stairs, out through the battered doorway and into the alley beneath.
Glod wondered home (well to his rented room anyway - most unlike home, much less mud) - his head spinning somewhat. He wasn't sure if it was the days events or the brandy ! He smiled and glanced down at the paper he was still clutching. Just visible by the meager light of the stars and the gloomy incandescence of the tallow lamps was the title 'The trading guild of the ancient order of the strange and noble foresters'... so he'd joined an alliance - whether it would be proof against the cold cry of the wolves or the stealthy stroke of the assasin only time would tell - he was proving to be no diplomat and really preffered an honest days trade to conquest - but somehow life never proved that simple. Still, Breeni seemed a good man (or elf) and handy with a bow - all for one and one for all hey, oh and pass the brandy...... wonder who the others are....
Breeni looked out across the hill down to the men working below. They were hauling lumber and stockpiling it by the rough track that led to the city, the smoke of which rose dimly on the horizon and whose effluent surely floated in the waters to the north.
He sighed, it had been a hard and long winter but it was slowly drawing to an end and the faint voice of spring could be heard calling. Breeni felt a vague sense of unease about his new alliance with Glod the dwarf. After the initial optimism and enthusiasm communication had been sparse. Although the city was some way off these previously empty lands were starting to fill with rumors and hints of activity.
Time was coming when the tribesmen would have to spread further afield and learn new skills, but Breeni was postponing the moment as long as possible. To be honest the winter had made the decision easy, the lumber was piling up but there was precious little they could do with it. The desperate need was for new leaders to arise from amongst their ranks.
He walked down the hill, treading carefully to avoid the soggiest, muddiest patches. He never understood how the grass survived the winter - but it always did, tough like the natives, around him he could see the green and soggy brown - separate yet the same......
The rough hut had a strange green efflorescence around it - as sure sign that Gerrond was in. Now there was a man (or creature of indeterminate race - but somehow man was easier) that Breeni trusted utterly. He could be thoroughly cunning when it came to strstegy but somehow lacked the imagination for deceit - a man born to be second in command he was a genius with the numbers and magickal essence that was his stock in trade. Despite these worthy qualities he managed to maintain a fair degree of repugnance...
Despite the whistling holes in the rough hut it was warm inside. Breeni still drew his elven gown around him - Gerrond barely acknowledged his presence but chuckled away to himself. 'Oh yes, oh yes' he chuckled and looked up 'ever heard of mithril have you ?' he paused for a second 'no I don't suppose you would have done, more in the line of that muddy dwarf I should think. Speaking of which have you heard from him lately ? Going through money like water according to these papers' Gerrond indicated one stack amongst the mounds of yellowing papers that seemed to flourish everywhere he settled for more than a few minutes. Breeni opened his mouth to speak, but before words could actually emerge he was being shepherded back out the door by Gerrond. 'Get in touch with that dwarf, he ought to be producing iron by now and if these legends are correct....' Gerrond was murmuring as he pushed Breeni out - there was an excited look in his eye and Breeni could have sworn the glow he'd seen earlier was shining around him.
Like Glod, Breeni had a natural distrust of things magickal - he preferred honest labour or a solid bow, but he was pragmatic enough to see that times were changing. Several new rumours had reached him that day. Woodland around the city had been exhausted, this meant lumberjacks from the city would soon be travelling further afield. Glod had also been busy and by all accounts had teams in the northern mountains digging for iron and small troops of men who might soon be bringing in an income. How far he could trust this naive dwarf he wasn't sure - but if he was sound then maybe he had a way forward for his tribe - into the scary future and the unexplored frontiers of the world beyond the woodland.....
The sun peered hesitantly round the corner of a cloud, as if uncertain whether it was in the right place. The land too carried an air of uncertainty - as if, like the bears and badgers it was emerging from a deep hibernation and was unsure if it was the right time or not yet....
For Glod the winter had been a nightmare - struggling to get to grips with running an empire and full of naive dreams he'd almost blown his entire bequest before Gerrond (the wizened wizard and accountant) and his friend Breeni the sea elf had straightened him out. He'd overstretched himself severely and struggled to support his teams - but now the weather was clearing and the rush was on to get them producing and earning their keep. All this was severely bending Glods head and he'd gone down to the 'frog in the swamp' in the Atlantis Marketplace for a quick jar.
The atmosphere in the pub was awful. You could've cut the tension with a knife, in fact it looked like some of the more swarthy characters were about to do just that. From what Glod could pickup, without getting too involved... it seemed that one of the of the more hardened characters of the Echelon drinking scene had got into a discussion with one of the newer but learned gentleman who frequented the bar. The darker character, long black flowing hair and cloak had issued dire threats and the place was on tenterhooks...... time for another beer thought Glod. Bloody politics, not only was the pub crowded but the city was crowded too..... the next few months would be interesting but why wouldn`t Breeni get in touch.....
Gerronds eyes gleamed almost as much as the metal around him, a fierce gleam from his pinprick pupils that glowed with the reflected light that jumped from his hands to the swords. 'Yes', he exclaimed, his whole body trembling with excitement and exhaustion 'its bloody mithril'. He shook again as green fire doused the pile of rough swords in the centre of the shack, the desk with the pile of papers (already accumulating dust) for once pushed to the side and ignored. The eary luminescence illuminated the shack out of the half light of dusk for a second - revealing the intense concentration on the face of Gerrond and a smile of Glee. But to Breeni the swords just looked like swords.
'This is what you've been studying for three months' he asked sceptically 'and what is it again ?'. Gerrond straightened up, his eyes still shining. 'Mithril' he said 'I've turned those swords to mithril'. 'Oh' said Breeni 'uhm... thats good then', as he picked up one of the swords - still warm to the touch and sparking slightly. It was lighter than before, but the edge was keener and metal infused with a supernatural sheen... the legendary mithril. 'Yeah great' thought Breeni, his men were unused to swords (not that it took great skill to wield one) and transporting them to Glod could be a pain - his first priority was shipping his timber to the markets... 'damn'. He'd never asked to be a politician or a strategist but severe times meant sink or swim...... Gerrond was back to shuffling papers, the gleam fading but still visible in his eyes.
Breeni walked back from the hut to his horse, Aleesia was waiting by it, her long brown hair sweeping up to her waist. The hard times had put a sterner look in her eyes but her face was just as fair. As he approached the horse his heavy trudge spoke more than words. 'The mage' she said and laughed, 'why the laughter' Breeni demanded - feeling in need of consolation not mockery. 'You always wear that grim expression after visiting your pet wizard' she smiled and swung herself onto the dappled mare that champed to be off. Breeni smiled faintly and pulled himself onto the horse. 'Squawk' the parrot swooped in at him.... 'damn thing' Breeni swore and ducked, swiping furiously at it.'bloody things' he moaned ducking again as the parrot circled and came in again - talons bared. He drew his knife - 'I had to get Dornus to shoot the last one. They're vicious, I suspect assassins'. 'With parrots' Aleesia exploded with mirth 'by all of Nakoor, why would assassins use parrots you foolish sea elf' she scolded. 'don`t you ever keep up with the news'. 'What are you talking about woman' cried Breeni, ducking again and swiping at the parrot as it turned once more squawking as furiously as Breeni swiped. Aleesia turned, shaking with laughter and proceeded to beat Breeni with her fists, the mare slowed to less than a stroll and turned her head to look at them too. Breeni was livid 'you mad woman' he cried and struggled to escape her whilst still swiping at the parrot. 'stop, stop' tears streaming down her cheeks as she tried to catch his knife hand, and they both collapsed to the floor.
After disentangling themselves they sat on the damp grass, Breenis cheeks red and the parrot resting on Aleesias shoulder. She was still shaking with laughter and wiping away the tears as the parrot delivered its message. "Squawk, message from Glod to Breeni... carrier parrot class three SQUAWK how are you old chap... why don`t you reply to my parrots.....'
Breeni and Glod had been communicating fervently by parrot over several weeks now. The loathsome, but ever cheerful, Gerrond had hidden himself away in a rough shack for days now - his eyes glowing green as he danced over stacks of freshly hammered swords that he was transforming from steel to mithril. The small empire that the members of the trading guild of the ancient order of the strange and noble forsters (*phew*) presided over had grown quicker than they`d expected. Although still tiny by comparison with neighbouring kingdoms they were already pressing the boundaries of the locality and distant scouts brought back news of more territories to the south and east almost daily. Far from feeling the oppression of the dark times, Breenis tribe had flourished in the roles of explorers and kingdom builders and they were in danger of overreaching themselves.
Glod too felt he had reason to be pleased. "Ahh the duties of the statesman" he sighed as lit another Drubokon cigar and leaned back in his leather chair. Since he`d taken for the field Gerronds office had made a marvellous study for him. His feet up on the table Glod relaxed and waited for the news to come in. Glod had been studying the legends of Atlantis Echelon. Gerrond had some very old parchments buried in the office and it seemed like the 'Ancient Order' he had joined were as old as they claimed. Although recently re-formed they hada very interesting history and once Glod had secured the lands around the city he would do some more delving......... He was pondering this when the study rang to the thump thump on the door. "come in, come in" said Glod, spluttering as he did, unused to the thick acrid smoke of Drubokon cigars. There was a pause, and then another thump thump. "@*#%$£#" Glod cursed as he struggled to swing his feet over and get up without falling off the chair, which wasn`t really made for stout dwarves."wretched @#$%# locks" and he pulled open the door. The messenger greeted him with a salute, "yes, yes" mumbled Glod "come in".
The messenger brought him up to speed, in between gasps for breath -"troops in forest", "land occupied", *wheeze*, "plans delayed", *gasp*. "calm down" said Glod, who though irritable was a kindly soul really. "Damn. So the land in the east of the town is occupied. Do we know by who", the emssenger shook his head, "rats, hardly a troop of the town guard though. Still its only a small contingent you say but our guard troop is smaller still. Wonder who it is - none of the twits round here have the strength to march against the town and those that do haven`t the sense. Damn" he cursed again. "Get me a parrot and we`ll see what Breeni thinks, he`s so much better at all this than me....". The trouble was the land occupied was fertile and the GLod needed the income to support his lads. Possibly there wasn`t a problem, if the occupiers didn`t stop him gathering the income he needed- Glod drew his breath in, that was a big if at this stage....
Breeni too sat back, but on a wooden stool they had brought from the town to the camp. The tent was as tall as he, but no more, and made of a rough skin dyed pale hues and shades by the hand of Aleesia. Breeni had been concentrating on the lands to the west beyond his home village. He felt himself much more the people person than the strategist and preffered to be in the field - quite literally in this case, a muddy field full of encampments, horses and noise. Despite his naivety and bouts of blind stupidity, usually co-inciding with raucous evening in the frog and fiddler, Glod was a sharp dwarf with keen business acumen (the incident with the juggling monks aside) and Breeni had left him to sort out the lands to the east. Besides he couldn`t do much harm, the mountains made challenges from the west unlikely. But this last parrot had brought sore news. "Aleesia where's my ale" he thumped the table again and looked up at the light coming through the transluscent folds of the tent above. "Get it yourself you lazy pig" came the cheerful reply "I`m uhalf covered in tanners grease". Breeni paused for a second, images springing unbidden to his mind *ahem* before he shook them away and went to draw himself another ale from the barrel. Wiping foam from his mouth he turned to tell Aleesia he was off and then strode on his way, pushing the rough goats hair flap aside.
The men in the fields below the camp had done well, the lumber was clear to the city and production was flowing again. Other trades too had sprung up. Hopefully soon they would have a trade route to the north and more horses than they could eat, "Seero, Frimbon" he called, two lean elves paused from their work and looked up. "You two come with me, how far out are the western scouts". "They`ve reached another town, Breeni" one of the elves wiped his hands on his apron and walked up to the taller of the three elves - who still had his ale in hand "they`re three months ride out by now and the news is sporadic but they`ve made contact with our far allies". "Damn" cursed Breeni, a seriousness flashing to his eyes that easier days and ale had driven from him "we need those weapons- how many do we have". "weapons" exploded the smaller but worse tempered elf who had not yet spoken "that wretch mage goblin of yours", Breeni smiled for he recognised the description "takes all we make for cursing and muttering over with his green eyes and you instructed us to train. We`re months off full production and must move nearer the mine", spittle danced from his mout has he talked and marched toward Breeni. "and the mines not finished either yet" interrupted Frimbon, the grease on his apron matched only by the grease on his long straggly hair. "come" said Breeni, putting his arms round the two elves and walking with them towards their forge "and bring me weapons" he finished and knocked the heads of the elves together - his ale swinging out in a foamy arc onto the muddy grass. "owww" and "arrk" cried Seero and Frimbon and bent over in pain their heads spinning, whilst Breeni nearly doubled up with laughter. "Its not that serious lads. But still bring me weapons I`ll be taking the smaller division on a journey. We`ve some cleaning up to do......."
The Legends of Atlantis
Legend 1 - Atlantis Echelon
The molten rock cools slowly as the world, freshly forged by the heat of Isruu spins and ponders slowly the coming ages. The seven stars of light fall to Atlantis in the shape of echelon and round the scars of entry where they hit the first plants grow and the first magical gates arise. Legend says that in the mingling wreaths of smoke were born the first dragons, even before vegeation itself and they breathed purely the fire of Isruu. These dragons now mainly inhabit the underworld but the scars of echelon are still to be seen on the surface of Atlantis by those who know the signs and the places.
Aeons later as the races of men dwarves and elves separated from the beasts that roamed the land, before the first tribes peace and friendship ruled - the seven stars rose again and the age of magic began. The dragons awoke and with them the fire of Isruu. Some of the men and dwarves and elves breathed the fire and brother was set against brother. The seven stars cast their light to the skies and the people of the land gave names to them and prayed to them as Gods and tribes appeared. Dwarves and memen and elves no longer dwelt with one another - but some had learnt the secrets of Isruu and some sought the secrets of the stars. More, for the stars could be seen, or at least their reflection in the heavens. But some felt the power of the dark fire and an equal number sort the lore of the stars in the land not the reflection in the heavens.
Aeons later all this is lost and the people follow the seven Gods. Even the name of Isruu is lost but the fire is still honoured as dragonlore and the ruler of the demons the Elderbane Ashnar.
Now in the wars of the people, they think the Gods their tools and the Gods amuse themselves by passing time in the affairs of men and the stars sleep in Atlantis and the echelon dream.
Now, it was the time of heroes - when the lives of men were long and the great mages walked Atlantis and struggled with the Gods for the power they held. This was the time that shaped the continents and from when all the legends came.
At this time the mages of dunbain sought the favour of Nakoor in the battle of Umrage. The Elder Demons had emerged from the underworld, at the behest of the nomads near the land that would bring forth Turturn. They consorted with Ashnar and in a tumult of flame and darkness the land drunk much blood of the tribes of Umin and Arsis.
The darkness lasted 3 months, but the fire and smoke of the demons was not the only fire and though Nakoor was but a reflection of thr fallen star who was the eastern tip of echelon (who is called his crown), still his power was mighty. In those days the land was scorched and much of the desert still exists today. The elf mages of dunbain raised the fire of Nakoor and drove back the elder demons, but many men had perished and the tribes of Umin and Arsis were lost - not wholly in numbers but from the fight. The nomads pressed their leaders, who consorted with Ashnar, and some became the barbarians and wild clans of the north who still plague wearisome travelers in the region.
Battle was neither won nor lost in these days for the lands were but barely peopled and the tribes would oft retreat and seek the mages to renew their allegiance and refresh their strength. And so the wars of one year would tarry to the next as alliances waxed and waned as they are bound to do in the affairs of men. This was true until the great truce of Madessa when the many tribes of men and elves and dwarves held council and rebelled against the Gods who would have them still fighting. This peace, though an uneasy peace between the races, lasted half an age and the land was peopled as it is today - though it no longer amuses the Gods to meddle in the affairs of men it is said that the mages are on the rise again and some learn the ancient lore. Even the name of Isruu has been whispered and some say the entrance to the underworld is open and many beasts are summoned for the treasure they bear. But such is the way of legend and rumour, they never wholly die but like the spirit of the great mages they ever walk the surface of the land until they find a vessel that will carry them forth back to the land of men.
This is a tale of Atlantis, but there are many and many more have been lost than will be told. If all that the mages told was true, and all that they believed had passed, then Atlantis is thrice historied for the paths of legends cross many different paths and not all can be true. But for all that the magic still bathes its heady glow across the land and our world is echelon, Atlantis Echelon.
Legend 2 - The Second Age of Magic
The giant dragon that endlessly swallows its own tail in the heavens, breathes out the fire of Isruu infinitely into the aether. Badar the lesser beast rides upon this fire and in turn has spilt her light on countless stars for countless aeons.... and one of these worlds is the world of Atlantis, Atlantis Echelon.
A small blue green planet in the middle reaches of the constellation of Shimron, where the staff of Niga was smote by Katoor who some call Nakoor is Atlantis. The seven stars of light fell from Shimron who has ever mourned their loss – and searches the sky by day... but their reflection can only be seen at night when the seven stars are seen once again in the heavens and the mortals call them Gods. The stars fell onto the world marking it with magickal gates in the shape of echelon, and thus the world is known as Atlantis Echelon. It is now the third age of magic and powerful kingdoms hold sway over most of Atlantis and many powerful mages study and battle thereupon. This is not a tale of these nations, nor the great and wise who rule them and live there - but this is a tale of the second age of magic that shaped the land and the birth of the merchant nations.
One mortal who slept under the light of Nakoor and walked by the light of Shimron was Dunbain the wise, whose knowledge birthed a thousand mages in the later times but whose lineage died with him. (Though many take his name).
In those latter years of his, after the Lady of the broken river had failed him and he knew the second age of magic drew to a close he lived alone in the high mountains of the North - a land called Selmek that is no longer sought out by men but still known by the dwarves for mithril was once found there. Dunbain set himself to study the lore of Isuur, but not the dark lore of dragons fire and demons - who even then was called on as Ashnar - but the true light of Isuur whose light first forged Atlantis and warmed her as she spun on the axis of Gibrech (truly the line of the poles but so named after another mage who held the staff of Gibrech, who was a rival to Niga who walked in the heavens - and the line of their staves was said to hold the world in place - but such tales only the elves now teach to their babes).
This study of Isuur was called the path of the flaming sword by Dunbain who hoped even to peer into the mysteries of the fallen stars and had seen the true shape of echelon - which only six mortals before have seen and none since. He toiled long and alone but expected still to live many years, for such was the lot of men in this the second age of magic. It came about then that an elf sought him out, the elfs name is not recorded but it is of some note for this was the second age of magic and the men and dwarves and elves did not consort with each other and tribes were come and the peoples scattered. For an elf to visit the mountains of the north to find a man was unheard of, even amongst the wise.
'In the name of Badar the lesser I greet thee, o wise one' was the greeting of the elf, 'and in the name of Nakoor the shining I receive thee' was his reply. 'Dark times have come and gone' said the elf as they shared such sustenance as Dunbain had and such as the elf had brought as gift. 'As is their habit and doubtless shall remain' was the response. 'Tis rare that man and elf should share tongue even in these days' continued the traveller, 'not so amongst the learned' Dunbain was patient in his reply 'but rare the chance to use it'. 'The elders of the tribe of Isa, who honour Nakoor unto Badar bade me find you. And many years has it taken. But Badar the silent and the lesser is moving and Nakoor cannot hold in such times - we would know the meaning of such portend'. The elf was breathless but noble. His face and body bore the marks of time and journey that lent truth to his words. His grey cloak was woven many years ago by female elven hands and in its worn folds the marks of grey and tender care spoke to Dunbain of broken memories. The air was cold, even in summer months the chill held this land in its palm and all the woods and rocky spur bowed beneath its rule. Dunbain did not speak and the elf could feel the miles and the mud and shale of the faint track that had led him through the pine trees, young in the years of elves, and so far from home.
The elves of Isa had watched the stars and the heavens and tried to discern the intentions of the Gods from the movements there. But the Gods dance amongst the stars and the elves of Isa had lost the skill to know the minds of the Gods. But Nakoor was still honoured amongst them and as Badar the lesser moved they remembered the name of Dunbain and his fame and sent one of their number to find him. Dunbain gathered his scrolls, pressed from the reeds of a silver stream far below in the summer months. 'And what of the elders of Isa, what say they and the seven Gods they speak with' said Dunbain. 'The Gods are silent, else they speak not to the elves of Isa, yet Badar has moved and so must we lest all magic and hope be lost amongst us' replied the elf. He said not more for he was a young mage himself and knew that the fate of his people rested with this recluse, upon whom the years rested like a shroud.
Now at that time the young tribes of men of Umin, in the land that would bring forth Vermark were taught the worship of Ashnar by others who knew the darkness and sought to destroy them through it. The mages of Umin gave themselves to Ashnar and great was the darkness they consumed for the secrets of its power. They spread across their lands in the plains but their children lived in fear and they say that Badaar the lesser (whom some call the lesser beast) was troubled and she moved in the heavens.
But though the tribes of the south distrusted each other and chose different Gods for themselves and would not countenance the images of the Gods of their neighbours - yet they lived in peace with each other and prospered. Few great deeds were done amngst them and mages were held in less honour than merchants of pearls and spices and so the end of the second age of magic was hastened.
Under the sea dwelt the beast Asartu wno is truly the lesser beast and few men and no dwarves have heard rumour of it. But those who know the lore of the balrog may have heard tell for the magick of the balrog is not their own but is of the numbers 888 and 333 but also the line of Ratu who is one of the seven and called Lord of the seas. Now Asartu sought a mate, and none was to be found by it under all the earth - but the mages of the land of Kitra in the east honoured Ratu and greatest amongst them was the dwarf woman Gytsr and her magick drew Asartu.
The beast could not rise without the help of the foolish mages of Umin who assisted by opening a gate to the underworld and releasing the force of Ashnar - the ruler of all beasts, they did this unknowingst. (When the dragons twisted the light of Isruu, Ashnar rose, and the underworld where they dwelt was separated from the world and the dragons banished - although some can still be seen upon the land of Atlantis). The beast travelled the land wrapped in the mists of Ashnar unto the east. As it went it trampled upon many lands even unto those of the peaceful tribes of the south. Enraged upon discovering a dwarf magess instead of a mate and vents its fury on the land and the sea rose and the great land gorge of Mkirt formed.
From that times mages were reviled in the east and the worship of Ratu held as the worship of Ashnar truly though all the seven hold the light of the one, and are themselves one - as echelon, of whom Ashnar is only the twisted image - yet the people see only the reflection and seek not the truth. Oft times the mages who remain, who are not without power, know not the truth themselves but follow the paths that others have walked. And so also the end of the second age of magic was brought nearer.
Now the dark dwarves and elves of the west, the secret clans of Cymnn and Deol used this darkness to pursue their ancient enemy the tribes of the south. Led by a dark mage called Trinmor they had taught the nomad people of Umin (under the foolish leader who called himself king - Drek Niga) the dark ways of Ashnar and passages to the Underworld were opened and the elder demons came forth. And the Cymm marched against the south.
Gytsr escaped from the beast that still ravaged Kitar and led a great army from the south, including the tribe of Asir and the diverse mercenaries of the merchant peoples of the south, the spice traders and horsemen of the plains. It came to pass that three noble elves of the woodlands, among whom the ancient magic dwelt but did not call themselves mages, came from this army to the nomads of the Umin - who cowered in great fear under the darkness and smokes they did raise and turned the peoples there against there foolish leaders and the dark peoples who had turned them to Ashnar. And the Umin did join the battle but it seemed as if the dark clans and the elder demons would prevail.
Dunbain and his elf meandered slowly down the mountainside. The call of the giant Roc echoed from cavern to canyon and the red scree tricled underfoot, forcing them to lean against the sloped ground as they went. Little had changed for millenia here and doubtless it is much the same to this day. The rocky vista would support none but the hardiest of inhabitants - a few scrawny goats, clinging heather and the tall evergreen pines reaching up and out to the stark and unforgiving blue of the sky. This land was without mercy - here the weak petished, but Dunbain who was gnarled and tough, like the heathers and red grinweed he gathered against the winter chill, had found his lonely niche. In silent regret he left.
Lexicon of Legends of Atlantis Echelon
The Seven Katoor
Ratu Frim Arket
Badar the Lesser Niga
Shimron Dunbain the Wise
The Dragon Gytsr
Strange and Noble Foresters
The Gods and Heroes of Ancient Atlantis Echelon
Of the first and second ages of magic in Atlantis Echelon
Isruu - source of primal light, when worshipped in the negative aspect though is twisted towards Ashnar the dark. This is the light that forged the planet of Atlantis that became Echelon. It is also the light that is breathed by the great Dragon that chases its tail upon which rides Badar the lesser (falsely called the lesser beast) and in turn she spills her light upon many - even unto the whole of the constellation of Shimron who spilt her stars upon her tiniest daughter Atlantis who thus became Echelon. The light of Isruu is veiled and many who have sought it have been turned to Ashnar and now the name is almost wholly lost. The mage Dunbain the wise who sought the light in the second age of magic (but who was lost at its close) called its study and practise 'the path of the flaming sword' for in it are all the secrets of the Seven and there they are made one.
Ashnar - lord of beasts, first among demons, the twisted light of the dragons. Ruler of the underworld where most of the dragons were banished in the first age of magic when they turned to darkness and Ashnar himself rose. This ended the first age of magic and what followed is sometimes called the grey age.
Heralding the arrival of the first age of magic - seven stars, the crown of Shimron, fell to Atlantis in the shape of Echelon. Where they fell the first magical gates opened and the scars of entry can still be seen by those who know the signs. The seven themselves are felt reflected in the heavens and it is this reflection that the mortals worship as the seven Gods of Atlantis. The knowledge of the existence of the stars and the meaning of Echelon may even be completely lost to the peoples of Atlantis.
Also called Nakoor is the first of the seven and is heralded as the prince of wisdom and muse of the mage and those who seek knowledge and learning. Known to some as Nakoor the shining.
Lord of the seas. Knower of times, tides and seasons. Prince of the weather and sometimes vengeful bringer of misfortune and disaster. In this form honoured by the dwarves.
Prince of trade and commerce. Often jokingly called Prince of deceit and God of thieves. Rarely worshipped by elves.
Princess of courage and valour. The Goddess of the warrior. Brute strength and ignorance are sometimes honoured in her place - but only amongst the ignoble.
Prince of compassion and peace. The healer and friends of the creatures. Frequently worshipped by the elven races and some schools of mages.
Lord of music and creative light. Playful deity of the elves and some men. Sometimes honoured in the aspect of Goddess of change and time - a far more tricky deity altogether.
Playfully known as lord of the underworld for his associations with mining but more a dwarven God of mountains and hard labour.
Badar the lesser - often falsely called the lesser beast she is a small but influential constellation. She rides the breath of the Dragon and is the light of Shimron. Allied to Nakoor, movements in Badar portend great changes in the realms of magic.
Asartu the lesser beast - the huge beast who dwelt under the earth in sea of Atlantis. It rose, called by the magic of the dwarf magess Gytsr and aided by servants of Ashnar at the end of the second age, and caused much destruction. It was defeated by Dunbain and either killed or banished to the underworld.
Niga & the Bearer of the staff of Gibrech - both these are ancient mortal mages from the first age of magic. Niga learnt to walk in the heavens and was the enemy of the bearer of the staff of Gibrech. Niga was eventually overcome by Nakoor. The line that joined the staff of Niga to the staff of Gibrech is known as the axis of Gibrech and is the axis upon which the world turns - although this is only legend.
Shimron - the constellation containing Atlantis. It was the crown of Shimron that fell to Atlantis as the Seven stars. This is how Atlantis became Atlantis Echelon - yet this is lost in the mists of time.
Dunbain the wise - ancient and great wizard of the second age of magic, who defeated Asartu and drove back the demons of Ashnar at the close of the second age. Widely held to be the greatest mage amongst the mortals and though he left no descendants many have taken his name.
The dragon - The great creature in the heavens which endlessly chases its own tail and through which the light of Isruu is manifest.
Gytsr - dwarf magess and contemporary of Dunbain the wise. Unfortunately most remembered for accidentally summoning Asartu in its search for a mate but she was a skilled politician and brave warrior who raised an army from the tribes of the south against the beast and the demons of Ashnar. One of the last great heroes of Atlantis as the third age of magic is not yet renowned for great displays of individual heroism or nobility.....
The Ancient Order of the Strange and Noble Foresters - An odd sect reputed to have formed in the first age of magic amongst the semi-immortal wood dwellers. Seems to be making a resurgence in the third age as a trading alliance with grasp of its history and magical tradition.