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Prologue

 

  "Thrylos Atlantis"

  Fabled. Mystical. Golden. Mysterious. Glorious and magical.

  There are those who claim that it never was.

  But then there are also those who think they are safe in this modern world of technology and weapons. Safe from all the ancient evils. They even believe that wizards, warriors, and dragons are long dead.

  They are fools clinging to their science and logic while thinking it will save them. They can never be free or safe, not so long as they refuse to see what is right before their very eyes.

  Because all ancient myths and legends are rooted in truth, and sometimes truth doesn't make us free. Sometimes it enslaves us more.

  But come, fair ones, and listen to me tell a tale about the history of the most perfect paradise that ever existed. Beyond the mythical Pillars of Heracles, out in the great Aegean, was a once proud land that nourished a race of people far more advanced than any who came before or since.

  Founded in the ancient mists of time by the primordial god Archon, Atlantis took her name from Archon's eldest sister, Atlantia, whose name meant "graceful beauty. " Archon conjured the isle with the help of his uncle, the ocean god Ydor, and his sister Eda (earth) to give the land to his wife Apollymi so that they could populate the continent with their divine children, who would have all the room they needed to romp and grow.

  Apollymi wept with such joy at her gift that her tears flooded the land and made Atlantis a city within a city. Twin islands ringed by five channels of water.

  Here she would birth her immortal children.

  But it was soon discovered that the great Destroyer, Apollymi, was barren. At the request of Archon, Ydor spoke to Eda and together they created a race of Atlanteans to populate the islands and to bring joy again to Apollymi's heart.

  It worked.

  Golden and fair in honor of the god-queen, the Atlanteans were far superior to any other race of man. They alone gave Apollymi pleasure and made the great Destroyer smile.

  Peace-loving and just, like their ancient gods, the Atlantean people knew no war. No poverty. They used their psychic minds and their magicks to live harmoniously within the balance of nature. They welcomed all foreigners who came to their shores and shared with them their gifts of healing and prosperity.

  But as time passed and other pantheons and peoples arose to challenge them, the Atlanteans were forced to fight for their homeland.

  To protect their people, the Atlantean gods came into constant conflict with the upstart Greek pantheon. To them, the Greeks were children fighting for possession of things they could never understand. The Atlanteans tried to deal with them as any parent would an angry toddler. Fairly. Patiently.

  But the Greeks wouldn't listen to their ancient wisdom. Zeus and Poseidon, among others, were jealous of the Atlantean riches and serenity.

  Yet it was Apollo who coveted their island the most.

  A ruthless, cunning god, Apollo set into motion a means to take over Atlantis from the older gods. Unlike his father and uncle, he knew the Greeks could never defeat the Atlanteans in open warfare. It was only from within that one could conquer the ancient advanced civilization.

  So when Zeus banned Apollo's warring race, the Apollites, from their native Greece, Apollo gathered his children together and led them across the sea to the shores of Atlantis.

  The Atlanteans sympathized with the psychic, godlike Apollite race that had been persecuted by the Greeks. They looked to the Apollites as cousins and welcomed them so long as they abided by Atlantean law and caused no strife.

  Publicly the Apollites did as they were told. They made sacrifices to the Atlantean gods while never breaking their covenant with their father, Apollo. Every year they picked the most beautiful virgin among them and sent her to Delphi as an offering to Apollo for his kindness in giving them a new home where they would one day reign as gods.

  In the year 10,500 B. C. the beautiful aristocrat Clieto was sent to Delphi. Apollo fell instantly in love and sired five sets of twins on her.

  It was through his lover and her children that he foresaw his destiny. At long last, they would lead him to the throne of Atlantis.

  He sent his mistress and children back to Atlantis where they married into the Atlantean royal family. As Apollo's older children had intermarried with the native Atlanteans and blended the two races together, making his children even stronger, so would they. Only he would keep the royal bloodline pure to ensure the strength and loyalty of the Atlantean crown to him.

  He had plans for Atlantis and his children. Through them, Apollo would rule the entire earth and cast down his father as his father had cast down the old god Cronus before him.

  It was said that Apollo himself would visit the queen of every generation and father the male Atlantean heir on her.

  As every eldest son was born, Apollo would then go to his oracles to find out if this son would be the one to overthrow the Atlantean gods.

  Every year he was told no.

  Until 9548 b. c.

  As was his custom, Apollo visited the Atlantean queen whose king had died more than a year before. He came to her as a phantom and fathered his son on her while she slept dreaming of her dead husband.

  It was also that year that the Atlantean gods became aware of their own destinies. For the queen of the Atlantean gods, Apollymi, found herself pregnant with Archon's child.

  After all the centuries of aching for a child of her own, the Destroyer at long last had her desires granted. It was said the island of Atlantis flourished that day and knew more prosperity than ever before. The god-queen celebrated joyously as she told all the other gods of her news.

  As soon as the Fates heard her announcement, they looked at Apollymi and Archon and proclaimed that Apollymi's unborn son would bring about the death of them all.

  One by one, the three Fates each spoke a single line of prophecy.

  "The world as we know it will end. "

  "All our fates will rest in his hands. "

  "As a god, his every whim will reign supreme. "

  Terrified of their prediction, Archon ordered his wife to slay the unborn infant.

  Apollymi refused. She had waited too long to have her child to see him needlessly dead over the words of the jealous Fates. With the help of her sister, she birthed her son prematurely and hid him away in the mortal world. To Archon, she delivered a stone baby.

  "I've had enough of your infidelities and lies, Archon. From this day forward you have hardened my heart toward you. A stone baby is all you will ever have from me. "

  Enraged, Archon trapped her in Kalosis, a nether realm between this world and theirs. "There you will stay until your son is dead. "

  And so the Atlantean gods turned on Apollymi's sister until they forced a confession from her.

  "He will be born when the moon swallows the sun and Atlantis is bathed in total darkness. His queenly mother will weep in fear of his birth. "

  The gods went to the Atlantean queen whose son's birth was imminent. As predicted, the moon eclipsed the sun as she struggled to give birth, and when her son was born, Archon demanded the baby be slain.

  The queen wept and begged for Apollo to aid her. Surely her lover wouldn't see his own son killed by the older gods.

  But Apollo ignored her and she watched helplessly as her newborn son was slain before her eyes.

  What the queen didn't know was that Apollo had already been told what was going to happen and it wasn't his son she bore, but another child he had switched in her womb to save his own.

  With the help of his sister, Artemis, Apollo had taken his son home to Delphi where the boy was raised a