Story

A city once divine

The year 1820. Tarion, a young man is struggling with his everyday life, never seeming to fit in anywhere. Haunted by recurring dreams he starts questioning the meaning of his existence, beginning to realise that maybe he had lived a different life in the past. Eager to find out more about this theory, he leaves his home village and starts travelling through the land.

While trying to cross a sea passage, a storm wrecks his self-made boat and he is washed ashore on a beach in front of the city of Utornia. Curiously he enters the city but because of his unwealthy appearance he is immediately arrested as a possible thief and thrown into a prison cave together with some other people. They tell him that Mortheon, the ruler of the city has kept them there since weeks for no possible reason and there would be no chance to escape. Desperately, Tarion is looking out to the sea through the prison bars. Just in this moment, something appears on the horizon, coming closer. He can not believe his eyes as he realizes it’s a ship that’s obviously flying through the air. The guards at the city’s gate also watch in disbelief as the ship’s bowsprit is piercing right through the wall, high above their heads. Several men now are jumping from the deck and start to fight their way to the prison cave, freeing everyone inside. Amazed by this powerful liberation action, Tarion decides to just come along with them as they make their escape. Already in the air, the ship is suddenly being attacked from behind. Mortheon is coming after them in his own flying vessel made of iron and the two ships go into battle. With the help of Tarion, they manage to destroy the controls of the iron vessel and Mortheon is going down while the other ship is heading towards the setting sun, it’s name written on the bow glistening in the last rays of light: ‘Avenging Narwhal’.

During the journey through the night, Tarion learns that the people on board come from a secret place called ‘Atlantica’. A city that had once been cursed by the ancient gods of Olympus to spend over eleven thousand years at the bottom of the sea due to their avarice. They tell him about the time they were dwelling underneath the waves, unable to die but also unable to live, searching for the gates of Hades to find salvation at last. Unable to find those gates, it fell upon the mercy of the god Poseidon to finally release the city from it’s doom and bring it back to the surface, more powerful than ever before.

Having arrived at Atlantica, Tarion heads to the city archives to find out more about the past of this place. It turns out that in the 746. year of the world, the first king of the city was Atlas, a son of Poseidon himself, the city being therefore called ‘Atlantis’. Being blessed with infinite wealth and the power of elemental forces, they conquered vast regions of the world, such as Europe and northern Africa.

Having spent more and more time in Atlantica, Tarion’s strong connection to the sea starts to make sense to him for it comes clear that in his former life he was an inhabitant of Atlantis himself. But what happened in that fateful night when the whole city was swallowed by the sea? All he knows is that one day the gods were so enraged that they decided to drown all the Atlanteans in a giant tide. Tarion seeks the dwelling of an old hermit who puts him in a trance to relive the last episodes of his past life. Now he finds himself in ancient Atlantis of 9600 B.C. where he was a warrior, destined to participate in the planned conquest of Greece, one of the last kingdoms daring to stand in rivalry to the realm. Having seen the city become more and more greedy, much to the disapproval of the gods, he starts to question their former divinity and how far they will be able to gon on. So when spending one last night with his girlfriend Layane, he seriously wonders if he will ever return from this quest.

On the next day, the Atlantean fleet sets out to attack Athens under the command of the warlord Acronis. They will attack in the night, unexpected and unseen like they successfully did so many times before. Already sure of their forthcoming victory they cross the Mediterranean Sea and approach the port of Piraeus where everyone seems to be sleeping, as expected.

Suddenly Tarion is having a vision in which he sees himself bemourning his fallen brothers. The gods had denied them their patronage and the war had been lost. The growing avarice and arrogance of the Atlanteans had caused the wrath of the gods, especially Poseidon, who is known for is uncontrollable rage. This had been the death sentence for the realm of Atlantis.

As Tarion awakes from his vision it is already too late. The fleet has fallen into an ambush by the Greek, who had been warned by the gods of the upcoming attack. All around him ships are burning and men are dying. Seeing the impending defeat, he turns his ship around and heads back to Atlantis as fast as he can to at least warn them of the upcoming tide. As he arrives, the sky is already darkened and the sea is beginning to rage. He runs to the temple of the elders, trying to persuade them to rearrange an ancient rite that should calm the gods but they won’t listen to him. At this moment the stars in the sky begin to collide. Poseidon has commanded the Squidlords of Judgement to ride on seven deadly waves towards the city. The last one being so mighty it breaks the final dam. The end has begun. The walls of Atlantis are falling and the towers of light are collapsing. Tarion is being pulled into the emerging vortex and drowns in the devastating flood.

Age of Steam

Twilight falls upon the crystal shores. The sun is setting once again in the mysterious lands far from life and death, where Tarion and the other Atlanteans have been stranded since various eternities. But tonight, an ancient rite of transcendence is about to commence. By the divine power of knowledge, the elders of Atlantis have revealed the mysteries of time and developed the theory that if a vessel were to touch the horizon at the same time as the sun, it would be possible to pierce through the very substance of time and travel back through the vortex. This is of course only possible with a ship that travels at hypersonic speed, which happens to be in the Atlanteans’ possession: the Avenging Narwhal. And so it comes to pass that a group of Atlanteans, Tarion among them, is chosen to find out if the theory transfers to reality. At the same moment the sun touches the edge of the sea, their ship is blasting towards the horizon and in an emerging storm of emerald flames it simply disappears. The ship is now sailing through the vortex of time, encountering very strong turbulences, one of them so intense that Tarion falls overboard. The other crew members can only watch helplessly as he disappears in the vortex.

For the first time in the history of mankind, someone has managed to cross the sea of time. This catches the attention of the gods and they decide to give the people of Atlantis, who had been cursed by them a long time ago, a second chance. By the force of his trident, Poseidon raises the sunken city back to the surface of the sea, where it resumes to shine in its ancient glory. To wipe out the shadows of the past, the city is also given a new name and is from now on called Atlantica. Because of the journey through the vortex, they find themselves in a different period of time though. The year is now 1815.

In this time, the British Empire is on the rise, controlling all of the seven seas with their unchallenged armada of powerful battleships. The Atlanteans decide not to engage in world politics this time and to focus on the development of new technologies instead. This decision is shared by all, except for one man by the name of Mortheon. He thinks that Atlantica should use its superior technology to overpower the rest of the world. Angered by the decision of the council, he breaks into the engineers’ research facility and steals the blueprints of their latest, game changing invention: the steam engine.

Five years have passed. The year is 1820. Tarion and the other Atlanteans, who had been held captive in the prison cells of Utornia, a city under the reign of Mortheon, are returning on board the Avenging Narwhal. As soon as they arrive in Atlantica, they spread the news of what they have witnessed on the mainland. Mortheon has joined forces with the British Empire and is supplying them with the technologies he once stole. The Empire, eager to maintain their dominance over the seas, is afraid that the Atlanteans might become a threat and therefore seek to purge them. The city is safe for now though, because it is hidden in a cloud of eternal haze and nobody will be able to find it. The haze is the result of a magic spell, performed by a Mermaid by the name of Layane, who used to be an ordinary girl but was chosen by Poseidon to protect the city and therefore was transformed and gifted with magical powers.

As fate wills, this young girl just happens to be the girl that Tarion has fallen in love with before, so when he hears about what happened to her, he immediately sets out for the mysterious Mermaids’ Isle, where Layane is bound to perform her magic spell. Blind with love, Tarion ignores the warnings of the others, telling him that whoever sets foot on the island is cursed to spend the rest of his life on the bottom of the sea. This is a sacrifice he is willing to take just to spend one more night with his loved one. However, when they finally meet again, the power of their love is stronger than the power of the curse and so they are able to spend the night together, with the effect that the magic spell generating the eternal haze is broken for that night.

This is the moment Mortheon has been waiting for. With the haze gone, he is able to locate the city’s position in the Atlantic Ocean and instantly races there with a team of warriors on his flying iron vessel of smoke and fire. They break into the ancient temple on Mermaids’ Isle and capture Layane, leaving the city unprotected. Mortheon’s plan to invoke a war between the British Empire and Atlantica is under way.

Shocked by this surprise attack, the people of Atlantica are calling out for Poseidon to come to their aid, but the calls are not answered. Instead, messengers riding on mighty seahorses arrive from the great Atlantic Hall where Poseidon used to reside. By a dark evil curse, the lord of the waters has been turned to stone by his brother Hades, who has been holding a grudge on Poseidon for ages. This is of course part of Mortheons plan, having made a deal with the lord of the underworld, promising him control over the realms of the sea after the war is won.

The only hope for the Atlanteans is to go after Mortheon, free Layane and thereby bring the light back home to the city. The quest will be hard because Mortheon has brought her into the underworld of Hades, also known as the Netherrealm. The only way to get there is either by death or by entering it’s only gate, which happens to be located somewhere in the ice desert of the Antarctic. A crew of four, including Tarion is chosen to go on the quest, taking the Avenging Narwhal, being the fastest ship of the fleet with the ability to fly. Moments later they lift off on course to the frozen Antarctic shores. Meanwhile the Atlanteans are calling all the forces of the oceans, including every creature of the sea, to fight against the approaching British armada in the epic battle that is about to come.

As the Avenging Narwhal arrives in the Antarctic, unexpectedly the hypersonic sails begin to fail due to the freezing temperatures and the ship crashes in the ice desert. The ship’s mechanic is sure he can find a solution for the problem, but it will take time. Time they don’t have. So Tarion decides to search for the gate on foot, leaving the others,who are calling it madness, behind. Alone in the icy wind on the fields of snow he slowly loses his hope and is about to collapse, when he recalls his memories of the time together with Layane and it gives him new strength. Miraculously, the gates of the Netherrealm suddenly arise before him and he enters.

The underworld is cold and dark and the constant pain of lost souls can be felt everywhere.Tarion travels in a small barge he stole from the underworld’s ferryman on the river Styx, which leads into the inner circle, where Layane is held captive. What he doesn’t know is that the inner circle is on a lower level, which can only be reached through the fall of Cocytus, a huge waterfall, plunging down into the last river of Hades, the Acheron. Too late he recognizes the fall and it is too late to stop. The barge falls deep down into the darkness and is completely wrecked. Tarion is knocked unconscious and is in danger of drowning, when suddenly he is lifted from the floods by many hands. It was the help of some of the lost souls of ancient Atlantis, which saved him from certain death. With this action, the souls sacrificed themselves, for they are not allowed to enter the Acheron, resulting in them vanishing for all eternity.

Tarion now stands before the final barrier: Cerberus, the hellhound, who can only be tamed by soothing him with music. Having heard several tales and legends of this mystical beast, Tarion had prepared for this situation and brought his guitar along on the quest, which he now uses to play a beautiful melody, causing Cerberus to fall asleep. The last gate opens up and he walks into Layane’s prison cell. Meanwhile back at Atlantica, the horizon is filled with ten thousand sails. The British armada has arrived and the battle is about to commence. But not only the armada stands against Atlantica, also an army of demons sent by Hades is joining the British forces. The Atlanteans are sending their steamboats into the fight, superior in technology, but heavily outnumbered, while the creatures of the sea are trying to deal with the demons. They can hold them up but it doesn’t look good for them.

But then, in the hour of need, the Avenging Narwhal returns and joins in the fight after dropping Tarion and Layane off at the ancient temple. There Layane performs a spell to revive Poseidon from his prison of stone. The lord of the waters awakes and with a mighty rage he seeks for revenge. He raises up tidal waves and brings down lightning from the sky, wrecking the British armada completely, leading to an Atlantean victory at the last minute. Mortheon seems to have disappeared from the battleground though.

In the end, Atlantica is safely disguised in the eternal haze again. Layane returns to the Mermaids’ Isle to fulfill her destiny as protectress of the city. By Poseidon’s grace, Tarion is granted the privilege to visit her there from time to time, so they can finally be together again.

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