The Anger of the Gods

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In 32615 BC Atlantis experienced a tragedy far worse than anything in her history. A major trade and diplomatic expedition to Tellat set out from Thermiom, but in their haste to make the tide the priests accompanying the expedition skimped many of the necessary sacrifices and rites, including some to Poseidon himself, and performed others badly. Fury filled Mt. Oeranos, and the gods proceeded to demonstrate their displeasure in ways the Atlanteans would never, ever forget. First they raised a terrible storm that destroyed the expedition and ravaged the southern coasts of Atlantis… but that was just the beginning.

For the next twenty-five years Atlantis suffered the gods’ wrath. Magical powers and weapons were weakened, leaving Atlanteans around the world vulnerable to their enemies. Crops failed, and widespread famine was only narrowly averted through clever use of what magics remained to Atlantean wizards. Plague stalked the land, leaving lucky Atlanteans bedridden for a week and putting the unlucky and weak ones in their graves. Earthquakes, landslides, and tidal waves were frequent.

In 32590 BC a young hero named Rihardos, who’d lost both his parents and nearly all of his siblings to the plague and other woes, visited the Vasaran Oracle to seek a way to appease the gods. Many had tried this before, and all had failed, so great was the gods’ anger. But the goddess Erestaia was at last moved to take pity on men, and she sent a vision to the priestesses. “Seek ye the chest of the captain who led the ships to Tellat, and take it to the Deathbringer’s Bed.”

Taking with him only the enchanted sword, spear, and armour forged for him by his father, Rihardos set out on his quest. He could find no vessel willing to take him in search of the lost ships, for everyone believed them cursed, so he swam for many days, untiring and unafraid. When at last he came to the spot where he believed the ships went down, he dove and dove, searching great spans of the sea floor for his prize. At long last he found it… but it was not unguarded. A terrible sea-monster, like unto a gigantic serpent with the legs of a lizard and claws so large and sharp they could effortlessly slice through a ship’s hull, lived among the cursed wreckage. Long they fought, and hard, and the monster battered and clawed Rihardos badly. But he persevered as all true heroes will, and in time the monster faltered and left itself exposed. Rihardos drove his sword up through the sea-serpent’s lower jaw and into its brain, killing it.

With the chest in hand, Rihardos returned to Atlantis. But now his path was not so clear — who was the Deathbringer, and where was his bed? He thought and he pondered — where would the creator of all of death and despair Atlantis had suffered sleep? He finally realized the prophecy referred to the god Ares, whose sobriquet was Thanofer, or “Bringer of Death.” Atlantean legends claimed that Ares often bathed and slept in a small, isolated glade deep in the Kaladorian Forest. Rihardos took the unopened chest there, left it in the centre of the glade, and departed. Their mysterious mandate fulfilled, the gods forgave the Atlanteans, and prosperity and power returned once more to the Great Island.

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The Anger of the Gods

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