Leg Post 90 marks the ascension of Hippothoon to kingship of Atlantis. He opens a meeting in Antediluvia aimed against the Atlantean Council of Atlantis. Though someone finds some positives in the reign of Atlantis, ultimately the people are swayed as he points out how much less developed Antediluvia is compared to Atlantis. He holds meetings across Antediluvia until he is able to form a Liberation Army. Many Atlantean soldiers betray Atlantis and join the rebellion, along with many soldiers from Lemuria and some naacal from the distant Kingdom of Mu. They initially take over Antediluvia and then proceed to Atlantis, where Hippothoon, Adai Theos and his followers march on Basilica Numenades to confront the Atlantean Council. Only eight of the councillors have remained there, the rest fled. Importantly, Cercyon's wife and Cercyon himself had fled, to the disappointment of Hippothoon. He is made Chancellor of the Atlantean Empire, when he changes his name to Atlas, before he is later recognised as King of Atlantis. He constructs the Edras Magnaulam and, as a symbol of equality with Antediluvia, the Atlantean Golden Gate Bridge, which is made of orichalcum. In his later years he receives a letter from his grandfather, which weakly apologises and begs to see him before he dies. Atlas gets his revenge, finally, by ignoring the dying man. Cercyon's wife ditched him and had gone into Lemuria, keeping her identity a secret. She lived with her writing but was careful never to become too famous - until her death. She became a renowned writer by the name Fayd.
King of Atlantis
Hippothoon: “Cercyon—Lord and Master Cercyon – he takes everything from you. He takes your money. He takes your food. He takes your children to serve. And who does all of it go to? To Atlantis! Your money becomes Atlantean money! Your food becomes Atlantean food! Your children serve the Atlantean military machine! And what do we, Antediluvians, get in return for our sacrifices? Nothing. We gain nothing. What have the Atlanteans ever done for us!?”
There was a moment of silence as people actually thought about this rhetorical question.
Random Guy: “Aqueducts!”
Random Guy: “They gave us aqueducts.”
Hippothoon: “Right, well, except for aqueducts, what have the Atlanteans ever done for us!?”
Random Guy: “The sanitation!”
Hippothoon: “Alright, yes. They built the sewers too. Aqueducts and sanitation are the two things the Atlanteans have done.”
Random Guy: “Roads!”
Hippothoon: “Well, okay! Yes. But the roads go without saying!”
Random Guy: “Irrigation!”
Random Guy: “Medicine!”
Random Guy: “Education!”
Drunk Random Guy: “The wine!”
Random Guy: “Aye!!”
Hippothoon: “Wine… right…”
Random Guy: “Public bathhouses!”
Random Guy: “And it’s safe to walk the streets at night!”
Hippothoon: “Good grief! Okay, fine! Except for the aqueducts, the sanitation, the roads, the irrigation, the medicine, the education, the wine, the bathhouses and order on the streets… what have the Atlanteans ever done for us!?”
Random Guy: “Brought peace?”
Hippothoon: “Oh fuck off!”
Some of the Antediluvians shove the know-it-all.
Hippothoon: “My grandfather, Cercyon, has abused his position. He takes wealth and power without providing for the people. How many of you have lost, or know of loss, for petty crimes? You talk of the benefits from Atlantis, but have you seen Atlantis? Antediluvia is a wasteland by comparison. Yet they still take from us! If they are so rich and powerful and want us to follow them and make us their subjects, then they have the responsibility of provision!”
There were a lot of consenting murmurs. A lot of people agreed they had heard of the wealth and beauty of the capital city. What they had given to Antediluvia was merely the scraps from their plate.
Hippothoon: “As a member state of the Atlantean Empire, aren’t we entitled to the same lifestyle and privileges as Atlantis itself? Why are Antediluvians to be treated as peasants?”
And so ran Hippothoon’s rhetoric. He travelled Antediluvian cities, where the people were most oppressed by regulations and corrupt officials and stirred up the sentiment of the desperate. It wasn’t long before they flocked to his cause. A rightful heir to Antediluvia that actually cared for its people. A powerful sentiment that Hippothoon used to gain himself followers. He and his inner cadre were constantly avoiding the authorities and their rallies were often ended in bloodshed as police would descend upon them in anger.
But the momentum couldn’t be stopped, and before long Hippothoon was the leader of the Liberation Army. Addai Theos became an official commander of the army and trained Antediluvians to harness their physical strength. At this time, it was rare for an Atlantean to join as the issue was largely presented as an Antediluvian rebellion, but those that did, recognised the cause to unsettle the political establishment that abused their authority over the common people.
The ragtag army began to ‘free’ various, small settlements throughout Antediluvia. Only when their territory claimed half of the total landmass of the nation, did Atlantis begin a greater effort of retaliation. Cercyon was humiliated before the Atlantean Council for his inability to contain the situation and was, eventually, demoted. His wife retained her position, though she, too, was embarrassed and the Atlantean elite openly criticised her and even questioned the wisdom of magistrates being wed to councillors.
This, Hippothoon understood, was his true victory. The cracks were showing. The establishment was under question.
Their victories drew interest from outside parties. Soldiers from the Lemurian nations signed up, mostly because their own wars had dried up for a time. A small group of nacaal people, from the distant and ancient Kingdom of Mu, arrived. They refused to take part in combat unless absolutely necessary, but they worked on providing health and agricultural benefits – the likes of which outstripped even the Atlanteans. The Kingdom of Mu was a massive land filled with magical marvels and their populous revolved their ideology around nature and being a part of the natural world, rather than subduing it. Their innate power of nature magic, which didn’t rely on the abundance of aether, meant that their lands were rich with life and their ability to help and nurture life was insurmountable.
The true victory came when several military officials deserted their stations within the Atlantean military and sided with the liberation. Bolstered by these forces, holding the moral high ground and the Atlantean forces in disarray, Antediluvia was declared independent.
Hippothoon, however, still did not have his vengeance. Cercyon had fled to his wife’s side, and she still held power within the Atlantean Council.
He made promises of great riches to any of the Lemurian nobles that aided him and so large armies from across the world came to join him in his conquest of Atlantis. Their combined forced swept over Atlantis with ease. The great city was underdefended and underprepared. Never did the Atlanteans expect that their own, beloved, city would be attacked directly. Wars were such a distant thing to the population of Atlantis. Hippothoon, backed up by Addai Theos and several other leaders of the liberation, marched into the Basilica Numenades to confront the Atlantean Council.
Within the meeting chamber, eight of them stood. The rest had fled before the city was even under siege. They were placed in gaol, but still Hippothoon did not have his revenge. Cercyon and his wife were not there.
Hippothoon was originally declared Chancellor of Atlantis and he began to format the political system. His supporters were all granted great roles within the government and many nobles lost their titles and wealth. Only the most corrupt of them were executed, the majority were imprisoned. The eight were all doomed to gaol for life, though none were deemed evil enough to be slain. All executions were to be as ‘humane’ as possible – instead death without pain or suffering. Many within his government argued against the death penalty under any circumstance, but Hippothoon knew some changes would take longer to enact and many wanted to ‘see justice’.
In time, several of the missing twelve were hunted down. For their cowardice, they were executed. And yet, still, Cercyon and his wife remained elusive.
Years went by. Hippothoon was so popular that the people made him king of Atlantis and he donned the ceremonial title of ‘Atlas’. He commissioned the construction of a new palace that was dubbed Edras Magnaulam. It doubled up as a political residence for visiting ambassadors or leaders from across the world. To commemorate the contribution of Antediluvia, a great golden gate was constructed along the eastern shore of the Atlantean Continent. A massive bridge was extended from the shore to the Antediluvian Continent, where a second golden gate stood. This Golden Gate Bridge became a means for people of the Atlantean Empire to travel between lands quickly and efficiently and celebrated the unified empire under its new monarchy.
Decades later, news reached the king. He received the letter from his wife, who he had met many years ago and bore children together. She had once been a shop clerk when he happened to meet her, and they fell in love. Atlas was determined not to be bound by regulations or popular opinion on who he could marry. Their eldest child was set to become queen after the death of Atlas, while the younger children were partially prepared for the throne, should the worst occur, but they were expected to join the labour force in whatever role they desired.
The letter was signed – Cercyon.
Atlas felt a darkness wall up around him and his wife exited the room, seeing this was a private moment.
I admire everything you have achieved, and there is much praise to be lavished upon you. Had I even known of your existence when you were a boy, I may have raised you in my own household. –”
Atlas: “Or killed me.”
“You were right to blame me for your mother’s death. I acted rashly. I couldn’t accept that she would engage in incest.”
“If I could take back what I did, I would. And any other crimes I may have committed, I would repent. I am old and I am dying. I am alone. If you would find it in your heart to visit me one time, it would give this dying man some degree of happiness.
Atlas hesitated. He was not a cruel man by nature and the plea struck him to the quick.
But now, he could finally have some vengeance.
He dropped the letter onto the open fire and watched it burn.
He never did, however, find the woman responsible for Cercyon’s power. The woman who betrayed her step-daughter and wallowed in the corruption of the council.
She had ditched Cercyon as soon as they left Atlantis. She plied her way into Lemuria, where she became a writer. She remarried, bore more children, but she never admitted to anyone, even her new family, who she had once been. She never published her work on a grand scale, ensuring her name was only famous enough to live comfortably. Only after her death did she become a celebrated Lemurian writer, as many creative types were, and her name was stamped on the books taught in schools – Fayd.