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[page 38] Alas Atlantis {Title Art: The title is handwritten in a stylized script that accentuates serifs.} In the year of the Third Age, Three thousand twenty, the great year of plenty throughout Middle-Earth and one of the early years of the reign of the new king in the South, there lived a marshall @marshal@ of undisputed fame in the navy of Cimmeria. It came to pass in the second month of that year, that Karkindon conceived of a plan dared once before by Ar-Pharazon. He craved the everlasting life banned to mortal man. The legend of Ar-Pharazon and his fleet had become a mere wives' tale, told on a stormy night by a crackling fireplace. The man of Cimmeria had hardened their hearts against the warning experience of Ar-Pharazon. And it became known throughout the land that the king approved of his favourite marshall's quest. So it was on a midsummer's day that we set sail into the sunset in search of everlasting life. We were at sea for some days when the weather began to darken and a great steam began to form to our starboard side. As the great black clouds continued to build into pyramids of towering masses, fear struck the hearts of the men so that even the strongest among us began to quake. And as the angry sky rumbled over us, the storm took its toll in men's lives. The ships were tossed and turned like feathers in a gale, helpless to every whim and tantrum of the angry sea. After three days of fear and horror, the storm began to blow itself out. The following day dawned upon a foggy, dismal, gray expanse. Sight was such that a man looking down at his feet could [page 40] see no further than his waist. That night was miserable. All skins and furs became immediately soaked when brought into the heavy night air. And so it was as I tossed and turned under dank, wet furs that a dream came upon me that cannot go untold. In this vision I awoke, and, feeling the weight of such high humidity, I stepped out to the railing where it was only a little more comfortable, for a breeze, though slight, had finally come out of the South. As I stared westward. my thoughts on Valinor. I was suddenly startled to see the mists part like the River Longwater [referring to the War of the Ring in Cimmeria. The Cimmerian Army led by the Jon the Intrepid had forced a band of wag riders back from the shore until his men were deep in the woods. There they were halted by orc reinforcements and put to rout. As they came again to the River Longwater their hearts fell for they saw no way for further retreat. However, Orthilion the Blue saved them by parting the waters, thereby allowing them to cross on dry land. The orcs and those who rode the wargs, although at first frightened, soon pursued the retreating forces across the dusty river bed. As the last Cimmerian climbed the bank, Orthilion the Blue relinquashed @relinquished@ his hold on the waters and allowed them to return to their proper bed, drowning all the enemy that had ventured forth. The parting of the mist recalled this incident from the Mariner's memory]. I stood amazed but I was soon to see many more strange things. Not more than mile from my ship lay an island, more beautiful than any I had seen before. I stared at the green hillocks that rose ever higher, up to the snowy crest at the approximate center of the island. As I gazed, something within told me that this was none other than Mount Everwhite, Elentári who pointed her white gnarled finger at the sky. [page 39] Yes, it must be so for as my eyes grew more accustomed to proper sight, I recognized, sprawling over the slopes, the legendary domes and halls of Varda herself. Surely these were deceiving me for as I peered more intensely at the sparkling sight, I saw the windows, the doors, yes even some of the larger jewels that studded the cerulean wall. One huge jewel in particular held our gaze. It occupied the center of a large double door that faced in my general direction. It was shaped somewhat like an egg and must have been a full three feet long and two high. I tried to name a colour that would describe it, but the attempt was futile. It seemed to be related to the colours yellow and purple, but there were definite hints of green and red throughout the stone. As I attempted to analyze the gem, the doors were suddenly thrown back and I found myself within Calecirya. Inside was a long hall. The walls and floor were made of fantastic marble--one stone ran the entire length of the hall for the floor and two of its brothers formed the wall on either side. It was impossible to tell the height of the ceiling for the sparkling g old @gold@ and prism chandeliers which provided light for the hall made the far reaches above appear dark and gloomy. The hall opened into a vast vault of oliphaunt-like dimensions. The folk who meandered through this vault looked like pygmies in comparison to the colossal dimensions of the chamber. These occupants were curiously garbed. Long, flowing robes of some light-weight material were draped around each fellow and a thin band of some precious metal was clasped around the chest. About ninety percent of the folk were clothed in brilliant blue silk, bound by a silver hand. The sappharine colour was brighter than any blue known to man or elf. But a few others wore a robe of emerald green, fresh as the grass on a dewy spring morning. These few were girt in a band of solid gold. [page 41] The vault itself was of a singular decor. The floor was made of vast slabs of green emerald, like jade, with veins of copper shot through them. Stands of bronze and gold held pots of burning incense, emitting a scent of divine nature. It was the smell of a rose, a whiff of a spring breeze, and the scent of pine needles that wafted throughout the room. To add to the effect, palm and pine trees, vinse @vines@, and flowers of every species and hue, grew from the floor and lodges around the wall. A cool breeze blew across the room but where it came from and where it went was hard to tell. In the center was a beautiful fountain, sparkling like a thousand falling stars as it reflected the light from a hundred scented candles. Benches and seats were set around the fountain and against the wall. Several were occupied by persons playing the harp or flute or just thinking. Groups of people laughed and talked together and their voices rang out in a language like bubbling water. In various places around the chamber were arched doorways. Each was followed by a hall, similar to the one leading from the entrance. I chose a corridor and followed it to another huge vault. It was identical to the one I had just vacated. It had several exits leading to more vaults, and these, in turn, were connected to others. I wandered through one after another, all basically alike. [page 42] Perhaps the marble would be a different colour or the scents would vary slightly, but generally they were the same. However, in one hall I encountered a person with a different garb. His robe was scarlet and the band around his chest was mithril. (to be continued, Aran Celeborn)