Atlantis

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The Story Of Atlantis

Atlantis is a crucial component of the established canon of Maelstrom: Earth. The rise and fall of Atlantis signifies not just the first civilization on Earth, but the powerful forces and figures who have shaped the history of all humanity.

44 thousand years ago, the mighty civilization of Oa was losing a brutal, bloody war with the warlike Kryptonian Empire. Searching for a weapon that could harm beings of such staggering power, Oa found a proto-sapient energy being in the far reaches of the Milky Way galaxy. Called ‘The Demiurge’, Oa used their immense technological powers to force the Demiurge into a true sentience. The resulting tidal wave of magical power rippled through dozens of star systems with a force unequalled since the first days of the Universe. From the Demiurge sprang up demesnes and sub-dimensions. Entities on par with the Old Gods and even the First Gods of ancient, forgotten myth sprang up from the nothingness. The Realms of Asgard, the Fourth Worlds, New Genesis and Apokalips were but a few of dozens of such subdimensional realms.

On Earth, all magical power condensed in the hands of a few hundred crude humans. Civilization overnight went from meager pottery and crude bronze weapons to having incredible power to shape the world around them through magic. The most powerful of these homo magi were concentrated on one island. They forged a mighty nation and called it ‘Atlantis’.

Dangerous monsters and crude, primitive men ruled the mainland. On Atlantis, however, rose a civilization greater than any currently on Earth. Hunger, disease, poverty—Atlantis cured them all. What was once a small series of villages in the Atlantic grew and expanded. They raised mountains from the ocean beds and built cities atop them, far removed from the crude primitives on the mainlands.

Seven kingdoms of Atlantis rose. Poseidonus was the oldest, in the Atlantic. Triton became by far the largest, hopping archipelagos across the Pacific Ocean. Mauritianus became a hub of research and science in the Indian Ocean, while Antillus was the heart of wealth and culture in the Carribbean. Borea became a military facility in the Antarctic Circle, and the Asgardians gave the name for the warlike cities in the Arctic Oceans: Jokulaegir.

While the Deities of myth laid claim to ancient lands and bent people to worship them, Atlantis flourished as a technocracy. For fifteen thousand years, Atlantis grew in power and stature until they rivalled the gods of the other realms. Atlantean magi conversed with the gods of Olympus, Wakanda, and Egypt: not as supplicants, but as peers.

Merlyn the Magician was born in Atlantis at the height of the Demiurge’s manifestation, and was one of The Few who were exposed to the Terrigen Gasses hoarded by Vandal Savage. Now ‘The Eternal Man’, Merlyn was as eternal as the gods. Instead of embracing Vandal Savage as a brother, Merlyn turned his immortality to the benefit of mankind. Sensing that the Demiurge had left an injury in spacetime, Merlyn contacted the ancient and powerful First Gods known as the Vishanti. His first act as Sorceror Supreme was to use himself as anchor point, binding all Merlyns and all Vishanti from all the Multiverses, to ‘seal’ the wound in spacetime. To protect the entire multiverse, he laid claim to the dimension known as Otherworld and created the Starlight Citadel—and later, the Captain Britain Corps—to guard it.

Some two millennia later, a woman named Morgana was born in Atlantis. Vandal Savage inducted her into ‘The Few’ and took her as his consort. Like many Atlanteans, once exposed to the Terrigen Gasses, her magical powers grew by orders of magnitude and immortality was hers. However, the corrupting nature of the gasses made her power hungry. She was revealed to be attempting to meddle with the fabric of reality around the Fourth Worlds to control them. Such an action did not just threaten Atlantis, but would potentially destroy the Demiurge, Otherworld, and possibly all life beyond it.

Betrayed by Vandal Savage, Morgana fled Atlantis. In a twist of ironic fate she found herself falling through the cracks in reality to Otherworld, and was found by Merlyn. After explaining to her the perils of her previous actions, Merlyn adopted her as his apprentice. With their combined magic Morgana and Merlyn forged the Unseelie Courts, sworn for all eternity to guard the Outer Gates of the Multiverse from creatures that might attempt to destroy all creation.

Morgana’s pride would be Merlyn’s downfall. She ousted him from Otherworld and claimed it as her own. Now styled Morgana la Fay, Morgana found herself in a trap of her own making, as she was now ruler of Otherworld and its defender. The Unseelie Fae could only guard the Outer Gates; they were not legion enough to protect Otherworld from invaders.

For fifteen thousand years, the Nine Realms of the Demiurge fought alongside the Gods of the Fourth Worlds. Asgard defeated the Kryptonians and the Kree, but was in turn attacked by Thanagar. The Young Gods joined the Deities and pushed back against not just Thanagar, but even Oa and their mighty Lantern Corps. The ‘experiment’ now threatened to grow beyond Oan control, so Oa triggered their failsafe protocol: Ragnarok.

The Fourth Worlds were closed off, the Gods scattered and separated from their worshippers. Magic waned and threatened to flicker out. The Seven Kingdoms rallied their greatest minds and were on the verge of a solution, a way to ensure Atlantean civilization persisted through the apocalypse. It was when they were most vulnerable, most exposed, that Morgana played her last card. Striking from Avalon, she attacked the Babel Towers which unified all Atlantean magic and thought into harmony. In her attempt to tap into the power of Atlantis and take control of the Atlantean magical gestalt, she destabilized all of Atlantis at the most crucial of junctures. Instead of enduring Ragnarok, Atlantis was obliterated. The mountains slid under the sea, the tides rolled over the islands. Millions perished. Some fled to the mainlands, the progenitors of Homo Magi. A last-ditch effort by the greatest of Atlantean mages granted undersea adaptations to many remaining survivors. Some cities, like Mauritania, disappeared under protective domes.

But the Babel Network was severed and the Atlantean civilization dealt a death blow from which it would never fully recover.


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