Spring 1221: Underwater Diplomacy

"First of all, most Atlanteans are, in a word, fish. Only a few such as I have the ability to shapechange into something which can breathe air. Secondly the question of pollution is one which can vary, most atlanteans capable of breathing air will still avoid land or human settlement. Even ruined cities which remain above the waves can be considered corruption by many. Where I have suggested allowing the use of the temples is by any who have had the misfortune to become "polluted" such as myself. When I speak of increasing the risk with this sea wall, it is that there is a much greater chance of being caught in nets and hauled to the surface, by men, which any would consider to be corrupting."

"Unfortunately, then," Magnus notes, "the Atlanteans in general will not be tempted by an offer to use the temple, if doing so would taint them. We'll have to deal with them some other way."

"As to the risk of being hauled up by a net, I trust that in an area as wide as the Straits of Gibraltar, with all the hours of the day to choose from, a smart Atlantean would be able to avoid a few fishing nets. True, the risk may still be there. But if they do intend to go to war with us, they'll be willing to accept a certain amount of risk to gain their revenge."

"It would not stop them, but it would certainly be an impediment, and allow us to establish a firm boundry, the same way mountain ranges often border human kingdoms."

Atolycus shakes his head. "While I applaud you for coming up with a potential solution, as Magnus mentioned, it is too easily bypassed. That is to say nothing of the fact that charges of interfering with mundanes would be quick to follow. You are after all, proposing that we build an island in the middle of a very valuable stretch of water. It just seems like too much of a risk to take, to say nothing of the expense, for too poor of a result."

"Lets continue, were you able to find out where the Atlanteans are?"

"In general they are in vicinity of Greece, I have known this since the beginning, with kingdoms stretching outwards and thinning out from there. Local dolphins do not know of any settlements within their normal range, which suggests that coming to this site must be something of a long pilgrimage for the Atlanteans. We may be standing in what is that sects equivalent of the Holy Land. We know it took a year for the turtle to arrive with a message after we raised the island, which also implies a very great distance. Of course" he smiles a bit "Assuming they are all nobles who can come on land, one tactic would be to make the island appear abandoned and then ambushing them when they came to worship. We wouldn't even need to fight, the fact of contact with us would be an effective loss for them."

That's an intriguing idea," Magnus replies. "Though really, the island is mostly abandoned as it stands. All we have is a little over a hundred people on the whole island, and most of those are miles inland. If we wanted to make the place look abandoned, we'd have to shut down the docks and stop receiving supplies from the mainland. We could do that. Thanks to Meliai's spells we have plenty to eat; we don't need food supplies. But eventually we'd start to run out of other supplies - iron to work, lab materials, and the like. And we'd be doing that with no assurance that the Atlanteans would try and come to the temple."

"I'm curious, though. What can we expect in the way of forces arrayed against us? At present we have very little in the way of resources to fight them with."

"The atlanteans cannot fight for themselves, to do so would taint them, and b the same as defeat. They can direct weather, as can I and as can many magi, and they will be able to call and bargain with sea creatures. If they expect to draw on local creatures the nearest is 4 hours away, and most cannot leave the seas. Our best approach though is going to be to deal with the people of Atlantis if we can manage communication. I would also see about doing what we can to recruit any other exiled Atlanteans to take a stand with us. The people who oppose us are primarily the ones responsible for our exile. If we can show the people of Atlantis, old Atlantis, that following this path may bring them ruin they may well abandon it. Who knows, then maybe we can send the priest down to convert them. I jest, of course. I doubt he would survive a day."

"Hmm," Says Duncan from a corner of the room where it looked like he was dozing. "There are some stories of people such as yourself, exiles from Atlantis living among men or just on the fringes. Once I discovered that they were exiles from a different Atlantis than I was searching for, I turned my attentions elsewhere. But I still have my notes. We might be able to find some of them if we set to looking."

Aquarian, for his part, is aware of a few fellow exiles who live in the Mediterranean.

Duncan: Magic Lore + Int check: Magic Lore + Int check: 1D10+6 = [8]+6 = 14; success
Aquarian: AL: Mediterranean + Int check: AL: Mediterranean + Int check: 1D10+3 = [10]+3 = 13; success

"I too have met a few fellow exiles over the years, if I recruit the ones I know and you gather your, the exiled Atlanteans could become one of the first people to settle new Atantis!"

"We can give them a place on the island, in Bonisagus Bay, or in the waters near the island, as they prefer," Magnus replies. "I can't help but think that we would do well by having more of your fellow Atlanteans among our population."

"Agreed, I should make a voyage towards the mainland, see where the closest Atlantean settlement is, and what creatures lie between us and them, as well as setting out to recruit more of the Exiled. Do you wish to travel with me or take your own route?"

"I suspect that your ways of travel will involve quite a bit so swimming," Duncan replies. "And your contacts may well be underwater. The stories I have are of members of your kind who have found some kind of life with the surface world, or near it. We'd probably be best splitting our efforts to cover more ground."

"I have spent more time on land than in water, and mot of that was with Meliai and Magnus region routes providing swift transportation, but the intelligence I gather underwater will be a great asset as well, and I can certainly begin with the exiles I have known under the seas."

OOC: silveroak, do you want to play out an exemplary recruitment? I figure a season of going hither and thon will suit for recruiting all the Atlanteans that Aquarian is aware of. (Same for Duncan.)

I'm fine with summary unless there is a point requiring further roleplay. However in addition to finding out where the nearest Atlantean settlement is he will probably want to find out how invested the religiously oriented are in it, so that may require some roleplaying...

There are two separate groups, and I want to clarify who they are. There are the Atlantean colonists and the exiles.

The Atlantean colonists live in small settlements outside of Atlantis, doing jobs that need doing outside the city - exploration, herding fish, guarding important sites, that sort of thing. They are not exiles and can return to Atlantis anytime that they want. Their makeup as far as religiosity varies by settlement. Some are more religious than others. Some outpost are religious settlements, essentially monasteries where Atlantean monks of the old religion live an ascetic life. Others are frontier outposts that draw the most adventurous sorts.

The exiles, in contrast, tend to live alone in very out-of-the-way places. They cannot return to Atlantis, and would even be shunned by Atlanteans in the outer settlements. (Though it's certainly possible that some of the far removed settlements have some limited commerce with exiles.)

Aquarian would not generally be able to approach the regular Atlantean settlements, since he is an exile. He might try to visit some, but the results would not be guaranteed. There's also the fact that he doesn't have a big 'E' tattooed on his forehead. So he might be able to get away with a little conversation before anyone realized what he was.

But in general I've assumed that Aquarian knows where a few exiled Atlanteans live. Mostly they're solo, though there are a few families that followed exiles out of Atlantis.

He wants to visit the closest settlement (colonists) to find out distance, location, and its nature, and depending on those factors set up conversation, even if it is outside the city with some form of representative.

Just so you know, visiting a colony would be a violation of your exile. If you were identified as an exile (possible, though not guaranteed), things might go badly.

Aquarian is aware of three main outposts in the Atlantic that were there when he was exiled. (His recent knowledge of Atlanteans isn't that great.)

One was near the Straits of Gibraltar and served as a listening post for events going on in the Atlantic. It went by the name Sentinel Point

One was a monastery, Still Waters, far off the coast of North Africa, for religious ascetics who liked to live a life of quiet solitude.

One was a fishing village named Orion's Depths, near the Azores, that hunted fish that aren't available in the Mediterranean. Aquarian is also aware that there were multiple groups of Atlantean fishers who operated out of Orion's Depths, often ranging quite far, and even setting up semi-permanent settlements during migration seasons. But it's hard to know exactly where those fishers would be.

He will head towards the one near the Azores, asking local sea life along the way for any news of a closer settlement. He will stop once the settlement (or a closer one if he discovers such) is in sight, and call and send a dolphin as messenger, telling the dolphin that he seeks audience to discuss with a representative of the pure atlanteans issues of great importance to the continued tranquility of the Atlantean civilization.