The Pirates Of Atlantis
Occupying the lands between the Lividian Mountains and Poseidon’s Well, Zanthinus is mostly elevated. The eastern half of the country is a sort of plateau that eventually slopes down sharply to the river. As a result the eastern half tends to be cooler and wetter, with the rains turning into streams and rivers that become tributaries of the Well and water the western farmlands nicely. Forests are primarily evergreen; the largest is the great Aranikos Forest that fills much of the eastern plateau.
The royal seat, Castania, overlooks Poseidon’s Well, but not for any reason of commerce (though it’s well-situated for that). King Ampheres chose the site for its appearance, and had the city designed and built to complement the natural attractiveness of the region. It is a city of leisure, where a large upper class of powerful, handsome nobles are served by countless slaves. Art, gossip, games, and all sorts of idle diversions keep the nobles occupied. Many Atlanteans consider the place at least slightly decadent and don’t like going there.
Ironically, the kingdom known for its sybaritic capital also has one of the most sacred places in all of Atlantis. Built on the rocky coastline near the northern end of the Livadian Mountains, the Petanaos (“Place of the Stone”) was built where the priest Anstiss saw an enormous stone fall from the heavens in a shower of flame. He believed it to be a gift from the gods, and that they wanted him to build a temple where it fell. And so he did, after persuading the priesthood in Atlan’elos of the veracity of his vision.
Despite its isolated (and often rainy) location, the Petanaos has become second only to the Temple of the Ten Flames in importance as a site of the worship of all the gods. The skygod Astranar receives special attention, since it was he who sent the star-stone, but all of his godly kin are propitiated at the Petanaos. Kings and nobles journey from all over Atlantis to pray there and bring gifts to the priests. The star-stone has become an important resource for the Petanaos.
Smiths use it to make holy relics for the temple, but many a wizard comes to the temple to bargain for some of it, since it’s the perfect (and sometimes required) metal for forging enchanted weapons and other objects. The stone is about half the size it was when it fell, and the priests have become increasingly careful (or some would say greedy) about who they’ll give some of the metal to, and why.
THE ORACLE OF VASARAS
At the southern end of the Livadian Mountains, at the headwaters of the Trobas River, a strange cleft splits earth and stone. So deep that no one has ever found its bottom, the cleft from time to time emits strange-smelling vapors. Most people simply find them unpleasant, but in some people they induce prophetic visions. It was in one of these visions that the name of the place, Vasaras, was learned; it’s a word that has no meaning in any language known to any scholar of Atlantis.
Over the years an order of priests has built a small temple complex next to the cleft. These priests (and priestesses) are all people who receive visions from the vapors. Some only receive visions of certain things — warfare, crops, love, trade — while some can foresee almost anything about anyone. The wealthy, powerful, and simply desperate come to the oracle of Vasaras and petition the priests for aid, usually bringing lavish gifts to “persuade” them to help. If the chief priests look favorably on the request, they choose the priest or priestess who seems most suited to answer the petitioner’s question. That priest(ess) exposes himself to the vapors at the next opportunity… and, if the gods are willing, the petitioner soon has his answer. Unfortunately the priests’ visions are rarely as clear as the petitioners would like; they’re usually delivered in strange rhyming couplets that are often difficult to interpret except in hindsight.
Ampheres, king of Zanthinus, is the third eldest of the Ten Brothers. From his earliest days exploring the island he found the region to his liking and was quick to choose it when the Ten divided Atlantis among themselves. A strikingly handsome blonde, short-bearded man who looks like he’s in his early thirties, he’s a great lover of wine, women, and song and has more wives (and children!) than any of his other brothers. But he’s no soft sybarite; his greatest pleasure is hunting, and he spends many a day by himself in the fields and forests of Zanthinus stalking dangerous wild game singlehandedly. Back when he could leave Atlantis he was known as a great slayer of monsters; his feasting-hall in Castania is lined with the heads of many of them, including the Amorian Boar, the Four Truscoran Hinds, the Pelasgian Kraken, and the Karshemish Horror (which is covered up during feasts to prevent sensitive people from fainting).
|Everyman Skill Addition||Rating|
|AK: Atlantis||8 -|
|L: Atlantean (No Literacy)||Rank 4|
|L: (Pick One) (No Literacy)||Rank 3|
|PS: (Artist, Servant – Pick one)||11 –|
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