(I hate that I have to say this, but this is a fictional account of the history of a fictional world. I do not believe these things, nor should you, as I am making them up. If I receive any comments that I did not do my research into these events, you will be mocked.)
In the Agent of Argyre series of books, there is an organization called the Alter Control Task Force. Though ostensibly an organization for policing activities of the Alter race, an attempt to prevent an eventual race war, they are actually representatives of a city-state on the ocean: The Republic of Argyre.
The Republic of Argyre, an artificial island anchored to an oceanic ridge in the pacific, is a city-state established by Alters for the sake of harboring their kind and establishing a relationship with the mainstream human population. Despite being an artificial island and attached to no primary landmass, the city’s structure is capable of potentially supporting all 12 to 15 million active Alters on the planet.
How did a race of people who’ve lived in hiding for centuries manage to construct such a city? Why would they build their city in the middle of the ocean? Where did they get the resources for such a task? In the Alterpedia Historia, we will answer these questions and discover the history of the Alters. Today we address…
As the city state of Atlantis fell due to internal strife after the loss of their leader, Horus, the people who had once lived under Atlantis’ rule found themselves in a period of migration. Colonies that had once been connected through the Atlantean trade routes were now completely isolated from each other and left with minimal resources. Atlantis, at that time, was the most advanced civilization in the world and the colonies were at a loss of what to do without the infrastructure that it had provided them. Because of this, the Atlanteans became semi-nomadic as they attempted to find suitable lands to live independently.
It was not an easy task, as many human settlements were distrustful of the Atlanteans after their recent military incursions and it was difficult for some Atlanteans to blend in. While the majority of Atlanteans were primarily human in appearance, it was not difficult by this point to identify the ones who were not. The migration period lasted for several generations, spreading Alters of all kinds across the world as they attempted to find new places to live. It was during this time The result of the generations long migration, along with the rapidly changing physiology of the newer Alters, started to diversify the appearance of these people more as they traveled, eventually settling on the established races that we see today.
However, due to the issues with their appearance and reputation, some Atlanteans chose to remain in their ancestral homelands in the areas along the eastern Mediterannean – particularly regions within the Fertile Crescent. The choice wasn’t taken lightly, their reputation being the most severe north of the Mediterannean amongst the ancient Greeks, but it was believed that the leadership of the Mes Horii would allow them to at least regain some of the former glory of their fallen nation. With their experience from living in Atlantis, the foundations of modern civilization began to form in the ancient settlements in those regions. Though it would not match Atlantis for many centuries, the people of the fallen nation had begun to heal from their ordeal.
This was not a welcome development for all. In fact, while the Greeks north of the Mediterannean were distrustful of Atlanteans on the whole, the true opposition to this reconstruction was found in the ranks of the former Atlantean military. Embarrassed by the collapse of the empire and the mass exodus that followed, the Atlantean military became obsessed with three things: re-establish the empire, obtain the abilities of the Mes Horii, and get revenge on the leaders of the exodus. With their city in ruins, supply lines cut, and the majority of Mes Horii relocated to Egypt, the surviving military became motivated to move their forces to a position closer to their enemies: Greece.
The Greeks were initially wary of the very military they feared relocating to their lands, but the leaders of the “New Atlantis Empire” (a name rarely used, as there was no Empire to speak of) convinced the locals that the Mes Horii were responsible for everything that had happened in recent centuries. The leaders of the New Atlantis Empire utilized local religion and lore to weave a story that the Greeks would believe, establishing themselves as the opposition of the sinister Atlantis that had besieged them in recent years and eventually starting to align themselves with figures from the Greek lore itself. Before long, the leaders of the Empire had not just established themselves as kings but as gods.
By the time the people of the region were aware of what was happening it was already too late. The New Atlanteans were superhuman and nearly impossible to resist once they began to tighten their grip on the area. Establishing a stronghold on the tallest mountain in the region, Mount Olympus, they exploited the surrounding territory for all it was worth. Stories of their assaults on the people in the land became legendary with their greatest leaders being well known to take petty revenge on locals and take whatever they wished by force. The more savvy leaders on Olympus never let it become an issue, however, using propaganda whenever possible to spin their actions in a positive light or make any actions appear to be the “folly” of their victims. With their superior abilities and knowledge, Olympus soon became the dominant force in the Greek lands and were quickly preparing for a war of reunification with the countries south of the sea.
The Mes Horii were not ignorant of these developments. The Olympians, in their arrogance, were not quiet about their movements once they established their stronghold. Gathering what military forces they had established since the exodus, they hoped to be able to put a preemptive end to the war the Olympians were preparing for. Assembling a modest but powerful force, the Mes Horii deployed what military forces they could to face the Olympians in their own territory. The hope was that they would be able to take the Olympians by surprise and put an end to the military regime that had ruined their civilization.
Unfortunately, the Mes Horii had misjudged the depths of the Olympians’ manipulation of the locals and their capability of watching the environment. Oracles, a relatively young race of Alters, were established throughout the region to keep watch on the lands. Meanwhile the locals, believing the Olympians to be their gods, were more than eager to report any strange movements in the area. With the element of surprise stripped from them, the invading force came face to face with a fully prepared and waiting military.
The two forces met on a plain in a region today known as Thessaly. The battle was fierce, with both sides relying heavily on Alters which had evolved superior physical traits, and several key figures rose to prominence in the encounter – further adding to the Olympian propaganda now fully establishing as a religion. Despite their best efforts, with their tactical advantage lost, the invading force was unable to overcome the superior experience of their fallen homeland’s military. The army of the Mes Horii was defeated on the Plains of Thessaly, many of their greatest warriors imprisoned for the remainder of their incredibly long lives.
The Olympians quickly spun the event and weaved it into the lore of the cult they had established. These invaders, being dubbed “Titenes” or Titans, were soon marked as being closer to the old order that had ruled the known world previously (invoking not only primordial gods, but the military regime of Atlantis). More skirmishes followed, however, and war between the two forces continued for ten years before victory was firmly established in the Olympians’ favor. The Mes Horii considered surrender and the Olympians were nearly ready to establish the New Atlantean Empire they had always hoped for.
However, one of the leaders of the Titan forces managed to elude capture and, seeing previous tactics had failed, began to consider another route. Though the locals believed the Olympians to be gods, it was clear that their rule and the religion around it was enforced through fear more than adoration. This surviving leader soon realized the only way to prevent the regime’s win would be to establish a resistance within their very followers by giving them a chance to fight these “gods” on equal grounds.
Calling himself “Prometheus” to avoid being identified by authorities, the rogue commander began to train the Greeks in methods and technologies developed by the Atlanteans. This use of knowledge to empower the people would eventually establish the academic culture that took hold in ancient Greece centuries later. With knowledge from his homeland he effectively armed the people with weapons comparable to the Olympians and taught them some of the inherent weaknesses within the Alter races which had previously been unknown to the people. Among his contributions were advancements in metallurgy, textiles, and combat tactics.
But two contributions, in particular, were lost to history while being forever tied to his reputation as the infamous “fire stolen from the gods”.
The first of these was a strange stone developed by Atlantis during its waning days known by Alters as Aurorastin. Used primarily for lighting at night in the fallen city-state, the stone was found to have negative impact on several of the strongest breeds of Alters as the light from it was too close to the light of the sun itself. By fixing these stones into weapons (particularly weapons of silver), it was believed these stones could actually kill the “gods” with proper use. This knowledge was eventually lost to humanity as time went on, the need for it diminishing in the following eras. However, his other contribution would be lost and rediscovered time and time again for centuries to follow, going by many names before its final discovery by the Byzantines in the 7th century AD – Greek Fire.
A primitive relative to the modern concept of Napalm, Greek Fire was a sticky substance which would create a flame that could not be extinguished through conventional means. With many Alters having the ability to heal rapidly even from severe burns, it was necessary to be able to set some of these individuals on fire without allowing them time to heal. In theory, if the fire could not be extinguished, these supposedly immortal foes would be engulfed by the flames and consumed before their ability to heal could mend their wounds. Despite not giving the Greeks the actual formula, to prevent it from being used against his allies to the south in the future, this action was condemned by all sides of the conflict for the danger the substance possessed.
Having armed the mortals with weapons they were not meant to have, the war quickly changed and the supposedly primitive people of the mainland were soon on equal footing with the Atlanteans and the Alters that led them. However, while the Olympians’ hold on the region was damaged, things did not work out in Prometheus’ favor.
Having armed these people with both Aurorastin and Greek Fire, both the Olympians and Mes Horii saw “Prometheus” actions as dangerous to all. As the Olympians’ power waned and the Greeks began to become independent, it was decided that Prometheus needed to be captured to prevent giving any more information to the mainstream humans. No one is sure which side captured and imprisoned the rogue commander, with both the Mes Horii and Olympians having something to gain. But stories of his imprisonment and torture echoed through the lands from then on.
The “fire” was soon stripped from the people and hidden again from time. To this day we do not know the exact formula or creator of the Greek Fire itself, despite its rediscovery in the 7th century by the Byzantines. Two races of Alter in particular lay claim to the creation of the substance, Elves and Dwarves, but neither has been able to recreate it in the centuries since the Byzantines used it last. Some believe the formula has been destroyed to prevent it ever coming to use again, others believing that it simply became obsolete among the Alters as Aurorastin became a superior weapon. But, whatever the reason for this technology to become lost, “Prometheus” will forever be remembered as the one who gave fire to mankind…
Even if the details get a little muddled over time.
(I write novels and I have a twitter account. If you want to see more of the world of the Alter Facts, check out both!)