November 25, 2011

Atlantis 4

The main problem was that not all regions had benefited equally. Some regions and especially Atlantis were more prosperous than others and this created a feeding ground for hate and jealousy. Atlantis had now become by far the most prosperous region in the world. Travelers who visited Atlantis brought back stories of its enormous wealth and their extravagant lifestyle. People outside of Atlantis, who heard these stories, quickly became envious and demanded that they too have such a lavish lifestyle. This was especially true for the Southern Kingdom. Of all the different realms, they were the least developed. Although it did posses extensive valuable mineral deposits, the region was for the most part, poor and underdeveloped. The reason for their backwardness was the local soil, which was dry and lacked fertility. Over the years, its population had increased substantially and the land simply could not sustain it. As a result, widespread famine became a normal part of life for these people.

Further aggravating the problem was the lack of freedom for the people. Although Atlantis had developed into a democratic society, the other regions had not. The common people had absolutely nothing to say. The four outer realms each had a harsh and autocratic ruler, who ruled by iron hand. These rulers would rather serve their own interests than that of the people. Instead of shouldering the blame and looking to correct urgent problems, they would look for a scapegoat. Well aware of the resentment among people of the wealth of Atlantis, they told the frustrated people that the Atlanteans were the ones to blame. Not only had the Atlanteans failed to lend a helping hand in their hour of need in the form of food aid, but also refused to share their knowledge with them. They said that the Gods favored the Atlanteans, because they were the “children of the Gods”. According to them, the Gods had given the Atlanteans advanced knowledge, which is why the Atlanteans had become so prosperous and they themselves had not. To illustrate their claims, they pointed to the “Stone of the Gods”.

The “Stone of the Gods” was a strange mineral given to the Atlanteans as a gift by the Gods and was said to posses unlimited energy. The Atlanteans had harnessed its energy for a wide range of applications, like powering the pumps that supplied water to their crops. The four outer realms wanted the Atlanteans to share this mineral with the rest of the world, so that everyone could benefit and use it to solve the many problems, like making the land more hospitable. However, the Atlanteans flatly refused to cooperate. They said that the Gods had given the mineral to them, and them alone, and therefore they alone should have this mineral. Unfortunately, their refusal strengthened the already widespread belief among people that the Atlanteans did not want them to become as prosperous as they were.

The Gods had watched with growing displeasure and concern at how the people were quibbling with each other. This is not what they had envisioned when they had descended from the skies. They had thought that their knowledge would make things better for the people. Arguing was supposed to be a thing of the past. The turn of events had shattered this belief . They were concerned that all the arguing would once again bring back the old demon of war. Wotan, the leader of the Gods, had personally gone to each of the five regions and expressed his concerns about the way things were going. He vigorously tried to persuade them to stop the war of words before it turned into a real war and start holding constructive talks to remedy the problems. All of them reacted in similar fashion. They all said that they were well aware of the problems they were facing and promised to do their best to work things out. But to Wotan’s agony, these words did not translate into actions and the situation continued to worsen. Wotan left in disgust, dismayed at his failure to convince them of the potentially destructive outcome of the path they had chosen. It looked as if the volatile situation was heading for a great confrontation. The world had become like a powderkeg. All that was needed was the spark to light the fuse.


 Click on Part 5 for what happens next in this series.

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