May 27, 2014

Atlantis Fallen: Legend and (Pseudo) History

I’m thinking of developing the Atlantis Fallen concept some more as a follow-up offering after Hari Ragat, again using Vivid, since the latter seems to work very well for pulp-style sword and sorcery play. Today I put together some notes on the history for the setting:

maya atlantis

In legend, the sinking of Atlantis is blamed on the moral corruption of the Atlanteans. The truth is the legend has cause and effect reversed.

When Atlantis first began to experience the increase in vulcanism that heralded its decline, the Atlantean demands on the continents sharply increased. More slaves were needed to repair the cities and temples, and replace those lost in the disasters. More captives were also required for the intensification of human sacrificial rites to appease the gods. More tribute was demanded, to replace the wealth that was lost.

These increased demands also led to the expansion of the Slave Legions, thus handing the balance of military power to the Legions as the Legions increased and the number of combat-trained and willing Atlantean warriors decreased.

Worse yet, the earthquakes also motivated no few Atlanteans to move to the mainlands, and whether their intentions were good or evil, their very presence weakened the Atlantean position vis a vis the natives of Uropa, Ophir and Azatlan. Many taught, or leaked, Atlantean technology such as bronze and military tactics. No few were corrupt sorcerers, whose evils quickly taught even the remoter tribes to hate and fear Atlanteans. And all of them, eventually, reinforced the heretical notion that Atlanteans weren't gods after all.

As the volcanic eruptions and earthquakes grew more frequent, so did these demands also increase. Atlanteans also began to fear the Legions, leading the Atlantean generals to get even tighter on disicipline. Dissatisfaction began to grow in the Legions' ranks. This was heightened even more after a civil war over the succession.

By the time the penultimate eruption was about to occur, Atlantis was a pressure cooker ready to blow its valve. Only one more incident was needed to trigger chaos. It was the eruption itself that brought it about, when one Atlantean general ordered his Legionnaires away from their galley to free it up for Atlantean evacuees. The general's own troops killed him, and this sparked the fighting, which quickly spread from city to city. The survivors of Atlantis would flee in confusion, hounded by marching rivers of lava, flying debris, blood-mad rebel Legionnaires, and a tsunami ...

You may note that I’m going for a less gonzo, grittier feel for this version Atlantis. While the Atlanteans will have some weird science and black magic, it won’t be too extreme. Solar concentrating lenses a la Archimedes. Gigantic horns playing harmonic tones that can shatter stone. That’s the flavor of weird science I’m planning to introduce.

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