© 2019 by JERRY GIVENS

Atlantean Legends: Queen Azmela and the Dark Pool

October 16, 2015

 

Atlantean Legends: Queen Azmela of Atlantis and the Dark Pool

 

Shortly after the disappearance of the Atlantean Queen Azmela in the Ampheres Mountains of Northern Atlantis, the Arch Priest of Poseidon made a voyage to Athens to consult Nikedemos, the Arch Priest of Zeus, about the matter. The thought of seeking advice had only occurred to him upon hearing the confession of the Queen’s daughter, Alexia, who had been with the Queen at the time of her vanishing. Truly, the girl was young, but her tale expanded beyond the confines of an adolescent imagination. Too much truth hid just beneath the surface, which he sought to uncover.

 

In a quiet antechamber in the Temple of Zeus, the priest sat with Nikedemos in hushed conversation. Only speculation had surrounded the Queen’s disappearance and it was not the priest’s intention to fuel any rumors.

 

“You have travelled far, my dear friend,” spoke Nikedemos. Even then, the priest was old, yet still vital. “Though it is with great pleasure that I embrace you in our reunion, I cannot help but wonder at the catalyst for such a journey. What has brought you to the house of our father?”

 

The Arch Priest of Poseidon, only slightly younger, yet less energetic than Nikedemos, took a deep breath and then addressed the question. “You have no doubt heard of the disappearance of Queen Azmela.”

 

Nikedemos nodded. “The last messenger from Atlantis brought these tidings of misfortune. She was with her daughter, I believe.”

 

“Yes, she was, and these are her strange words that I bring to you. Her account of the loss of her mother is too auspicious to be false, yet to fantastic to be completely believed.”

 

“I shall have to hear it then and form my own conclusion,” said Nikedemos.

 

“It was the night of Princess Alexia’s hundredth full moon and King Hesperos sent her mother and her on a journey into the Ampheres Mountains, just north of our great city of Atlantis. As you know it is a custom in our country that every pureblood woman is to make the journey into the mountains to become one with the land and in hopes of contacting the spirit of our mother, Clieto.”

 

“Indeed,” spoke Nikedemos. “I’m not a historian of Atlantean lore, but is that not the same mountain range where the great Poseidon took Clieto to be his own?”

 

“You remember our history well,” affirmed the priest. “And it was on the second night of their journey, according to Alexia, that she and her mother came upon a hollow in the mountain side. She said that they were drawn to it and entered. The hollow led to a tunnel that twisted deep into the mountain. As if the hollow sensed their fatigue, a narrow stair appeared that led down into a pool of water. The young girl, so parched from the strain of their journey, ran to the pool and began to drink from it. Azmela watched her daughter and waited for her turn.”

 

Nikedemos looked pensively at the priest as he continued.

 

“A few drinks into her indulgence, Alexia said that she became stiff as a corpse and collapsed backward into the water.

This is one of the more peculiar parts to her story. The girl said that the sensation was as if she had become paralyzed. She was completely conscious of everything going on around her, yet her body was held in limbo. Azmela rushed to her at this point and tried to pull her out of the pool, but the girl’s body was as lead and could not be moved. The Queen began to weep for Alexia and prayed aloud to every God that she could think of for help.

 

“As if summoned, a naked woman appeared in the water, not far from where Alexia lay motionless. Azmela, not caring where the woman had come from, pleaded for her to help Alexia, but the mysterious woman remained silent and stoic. In one movement, the woman moved toward Azmela and placed her pale hands on either side of the Queen’s head and forced eye contact. The Queen began to hear a hollow voice. Alexia said that the voice echoed inside of her body.

 

“The voice told her mother to be calm and the Queen became calm. The voice told her not to worry, and the Queen no longer cared about her daughter’s current well being.”

 

“How can you be sure what the Queen felt,” asked Nikedemos. “You clearly were not there.”

 

“Again, dear priest, these are tidings of a child. Alexia said that she could tell, even in her paralyzed state, that her personal safety was no longer her mother’s concern.”

 

“Ah, what then did the voice say to Azmela?”

 

“She said, ‘Your daughter has drunk from the Dark Pool; a gateway to Hades’ fortress in the Underworld. There is only one way to save her soul. You must take your daughter’s place in the netherworld until the day that Alexia joins the dead. If you choose life for your daughter’ the voice continued, ‘she will not live the same for she will be haunted by visions that have not yet come. She will be overcome by emotions that were not fostered. She will enter the minds of men and will go to great lengths to save her people. This is her destiny. Will you take your daughter’s place until she again sails the Styx?’

 

“Azmela was still in a trance, but she nodded without hesitation. Clearly, she still held some concern for her daughter. The woman then went over to Alexia and moved her to the water’s edge. There she kissed the girl’s forehead; leaving a faint purple hue on her skin. As if nothing happened, the girl said that she was able to move.

 

“Azmela then was told to bid farewell to her child, saying ‘Alexia, be strong. I will always be with you.’”

 

"Did the woman say anything to the child to comfort her?” asked Nikedemos.

 

“Indeed, she said ‘Do not fear. I am your mother and will never leave your side. I will come before the end.’ The woman then took Azmela by the arm and led her into the deeper water, until both were submerged and not in sight. That was the last Alexia saw of her mother.”

 

"Who do you suppose the spirit was, for a spirit is clearly what she was?” asked Nikedemos.

 

“It is my belief, and Alexia has also expressed this notion, that the woman was the spirit of the Atlantean mother Clieto,” replied the priest.

 

“That very well may be. I have heard of these gateways to the Underworld, but have not heard of anyone actually finding one.” Nikedemos paused, turning over the story in his mind. “You say that the girl was bestowed some power over the minds of men. Has this been demonstrated in any capacity that you have personally witnessed?”

 

“Strangely enough, she has shown some influence over the men in her life, beyond that of a charming young girl. Hesperos wept for his lost wife for many days. Alexia must have felt sorry for her father and in comforting him, she asked him to be calm and he became calm. From that moment, the King has yet to again weep for the loss of his Queen. Indeed, the child will never again be the same.”

 

“Like you,” said Nikedemos, “I too believe this story to contain elements of truth. If the spirit truly was Clieto, she must have transferred some of her power over to the child, Alexia. She said that Alexia will go to great lengths to save her people. Perhaps a storm may be brewing in the distant future, and like an hourglass, you may be able to watch the girl to determine when the storm may strike. Study the girl, priest. Keep a close eye on her as she grows, for she may be the key to the future of Atlantis.”

---

 

Copyright Jerry Givens 2015 | All rights reserved

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