Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How Hades won Atlantis

There was a time, in the beginning days of the Gods, that Terra experienced an age of ice. It had come from the north, trying to smother the land. It had also pushed the Northmen southward. This age was one of the few times that the Divine united to stand against the Ice Gaints of the North from swallowing the world. It was a hard war for all sides. When the ice and snow receded, the landscape had changed. The Northmen returned home and all was well for a short time. It was Hades who noticed that the land was changed into his favor.

Atlantis! It was the Jewel of the Sea and Poseidon's Eye. The city was placed on a large island connected to the mainland by a long and wide, sandy stretch of land. When the tide was in, the land bridge was covered by seawater. When the tide was out, it was a bridge that men used to bring the labors of land to the city. The people revered Poseidon there. But they also revered Hades and Zeus in equal measure. The city was well known to harbor a great fishing industry. It was common to find treasures of the sea in the marketplace. There was an abundance of food provided by the sea but also pearls, coral, and precious metals that washed up on the coastline. A great salt industry could also be found there. These goods were traded out into the world and made Atlantis one of the most wealthy city states of Greece.

As the world warmed and the ice of the north faded, the level of the sea began to rise. The people of Atlantis soon faced a great choice. Do something to hold back the sea or risk losing their wonderful city. The most wealthy and noble families of Atlantis gathered together. The summit ended with a plan to build walls to hold back the rise of the sea. They spent vast amounts of time and wealth. At the end of the project, they had extended and built walls to protect the city like no other before it. Atlantis became the brightest jewel of the Greek cities.

During the end of the season, twelve night feast of the Gods on Olympus, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus sat together drinking. They spent most of the evening retelling the Tales of the Great Ice War. The tales turned into boasting. As the drink and the night wore on, the talk turned from boasting in battle to boasting about the wealth of their city states. Very soon, the talk switched to Atlantis and the fantastic wealth the city had to offer.

And in one season, to thank me for the favor I have shown them from the bounty of my realm, they sacrificed twenty bulls! Twenty!” said Poseidon.

I also saw twenty bulls sacrificed in my Temple there,” said Zeus. “They also built a new statue to me and placed it in front of the courthouse. In its right hand, a solid silver lightening bolt. It gleems in the sun.”

They carved out a new cavern in my Temple, under the city,” said Hades. “The walls are hewn with marble and paintings of great beauty. On the day it was finished, I also saw twenty sacrificed bulls, one of them white. It was pleasing.”

Poseidon nodded. “That sounds very pleasing indeed brother. But I have to say, that Atlantis likes me best of all.”

Why would you say that?” asked Hades. “They do not love you best.” He took another drink. “The city isn't even yours. It's mine.”

The city is surrounded by water, the city does not belong to you, it belongs to me,” argued Poseidon.

No, they built the walls to hold back the water. That city is under sea level yet on land, according to the treaty and by definition that city belongs to me.” said Hades.

Zeus and Poseidon looked at Hades. “What?”

Look at the treaty! It speaks for itself. That city is on land, not in the sea and not at ground level. Nor is it on a hilltop or mountain. The ice changed what it was before. Now, the city belongs to me according to the treaty definition of who gets what,” said Hades coolly. “One good shake and that island will collapse on itself anyway. I could bury that island and make it completely underground if I wanted. Then there would be no doubt about its ownership.”

You speak without thought, brother,” spouted Poseidon. His face was getting redder by the second. “Atlantis wouldn't even be what it is if I had not blessed the harbors....”

Harbors?” objected Hades back. “It has a land bridge. It wouldn't be anything without that bridge to trade that fish with the mainland.”

And that bridge is underwater half the time! I can just as easily take the sand and move it away!” yelled Poseidon.

That would violate the treaty and you know it! The alteration of land masses by the Gods is strictly forbidden and you know why!Atlantis was not altered by the Gods, it was altered by the Ice Giants of the North!”

Poseidon stood up, knocking over his cup, the wine jug, and the table it sat on. “Who are, in fact, offspring of Titans and mankind! Making them, Godlike in Nature. So, the treaty doesn't apply in this case! Atlantis remains as a seaport and under my patronage!”

If that is the case, then Atlantis is mine!” yelled Zeus. “Because the island started out on a hill, well above sea level. I am the King, I get what I want, so it's mine!”

You cannot have everything you want,” the two brothers yelled at Zeus.

You will find that I do,” said Zeus.

You didn't get Demeter's maidenhood, like you wanted,” responded Hades. “I ended up with that.” Zeus's hair stood up on end and little electric shocks passed around the tips. Hades just grinned at Zeus, showing as many teeth as possible.

Hera, Demeter, and Hestia stood up from across the room. “Mine is bigger than yours?” yelled Hestia. “Really? Do you have to be such children?”

They started it!” yelled Zeus, pointing at his brothers.

Demeter facepalmed. Hestia's eyes widened and she shook her head. Hera glared at her husband.

What?” said all three together.

We justended a war and you three want to start another!” yelled Hera. The three men went silent. “I suggest you find another way to settle your argument other than fighting it out! Or so help you Zeus, I will make sure you won't see another cycle!” The three ladies stared the drunk men down.

Athene stood up. “Father, would you consider a game to settle the argument?” The room looked at Athene. “ A vow to honor the outcome, no matter who wins. Vow, not to go to war, no matter the outcome. And a vow to leave it alone, once complete.” Athene turned to the Goddesses. “You three should be witness.”

What game?” asked Zeus.

Bocce Ball,” said Athene. “Ten frames, winner take all.”

That sounds good!” said Poseidon. “I am going to win!”

All three Gods made vows to honor Athene suggestion. The Three Goddess handed out the balls. Zeus held silver balls, Poseidon held golden balls, Hades took onyx balls. Hestia threw out the point ball and the gods began their games.

Of course, at the end of the ninth frame, it was all tied up. Each god had three points. At the final frame, Hades had one ball left. Poseidon was the closest to the point ball. Hades took a deep breath, took aim, and let loose. The onyx ball hit the ground and rolled. It made a sharp curve and pulled right up next to Poseidon's ball, millimeters to the front. Before anyone could speak, Poseidon let out a roar of rage. Hades ball shifted slightly by the enormous quake of the ground. Poseidon's golden ball moved slightly forward, while pushing Hades Onyx ball slightly back.

You cheated!” yelled Hades, making a dive for Poseidon. “You temperamental diaper baby!” Hades didn't get very far in his anger for Poseidon. The Goddesses stepped in and held him back.

Poseidon just laughed at Hades. “Looks like the diaper baby won the match! And there isn't a damn thing you can do about it, either!” Poseidon roared with laughter. Hades tried to get at Poseidon but the Goddesses held him back and the quaking earth prevented it from happening.

Hades stopped trying. The goddesses let him him go. “Fine. It's Fine. I am not a cheater. So I will have my honor intact! But you, Poseidon, are a cheater, just like your brother!”

Your taunt means nothing, Hades! I win and that is all that matters!” yelled Poseidon. “Now, Let's have a look at my prize!” Poseidon went to the scry pool in the center of the courtyard. He looked in. His went went limp and turned pale.

What's wrong? Have you lost the ability to make more lame remarks?” asked Hades.

Poseidon just shook his head head. “But...but...but..I won.”

The Gods gathered around the scrying pool. The image was horrible. The entire island of Atlantis had collapsed. The thunderous earthquake that Poseidon has used to win, had caused a Tsunami that swallowed the island. The weight of the water and the city, caused the surface to collapse into the caverns of Hades Temple, under the city. Then, the city collapsed again under the ocean floor, into a rift that opened only for a split second, then closed up again.

Hades slowly looked up at Poseidon. He pointed and began to laugh at the Sea-God. “You didn't win anything!” said Hades. “You cheated and Fate decided! It's mine!” He laughed harder. “Your pride destroyed Atlantis! You are the biggest baboon of them all!”