So what’s it actually like in the Empire? I’ve talked about the layout here and there, but this post will pull it all together.
“Atlantis” is the English/human term for the undersea empire, whose native name hasn’t been revealed. As with the legend, the Empire primarily occupies the Atlantic Ocean. However, it does extend into the Pacific as well.
Atlantis plays host to the following types of creatures:
- True Atlanteans are a highly evolved squid, with consciousness and high intelligence. They have extraordinarily long lifespans, due to a crossover mutation with certain types of jellyfish.
- The Blood are hybrids of human and True Atlantean, created through a genetic engineering process. They are a numerical minority and are treated as a lower social class.
- nyth’drn are various servitor species, with some intelligence but no consciousness.
- uh’enah are protoplasmic entities used as living vehicles and tools.
- dolphins are intelligent mammals that sometimes interact with Atlanteans. There is no true dolphin society, only individual packs.
- human captives, rescued from shipwrecks or floods, are also kept in certain Atlantean cities. They are prevented from returning to the surface by Atlantean state security policy.
Atlantean politics are dominated by two factions:
- The Reformists, such as Fuko, Gun, and Doctor Zap. These individuals wish to enact peaceful relations with the surface world.
- The New Imperial regime, such as Saito, wish to keep Atlantis’ existence a secret, until such time as they can attack the surface world in retaliation for pollution, overfishing, and other acts of perceived aggression. They are currently in power.
Atlantean cities and outposts are built under the sea floor, inside underwater caves (whether natural or artificial). They are heated and were originally powered by hydrothermal vents, and all their cities are built around concentrations of these vents. Atlanteans use an advanced understanding of hydrodynamics to hold off the immense sea pressure from the ocean above, and use the difference in pressure as a power source.
The oldest cities are strictly underwater affairs. However, many cities - including the capitol - have been retrofitted to have an “air layer” at the top of the cavern system. This air-filled area has a solid floor separating it from the water-filled cavern below. It is used by humans, Blood, and other beings. Air-filled zones are typically 10% the size of the rest of the city.
Within these air layers, many buildings are built with two halves. The top half is primarily for air-breathers, and the bottom half is submerged, on the “roof” of the underwater city below. Passages and air bladders allow connections between these two regimes.
Air layers have many signs and indicators for the convenience of Blood and human captives. These are written in Atlantean, plus several surface languages such as English. The architecture and aesthetics are strongly influenced by surface-dwellers’ tastes, as such places are built to cater to their needs.
Whether air or water, Atlantean cities are lit by bioluminescent fungi and other kinds of bio-engineered creations. Despite this, they are dimly lit compared to human cities. Human captives must take vitamin supplements, supplied by the Atlanteans, to stay healthy in the absence of sunlight.
Cities and other habitats are connected via long-distance travel tubes. Atlantean engineering uses water pressure to propel capsules through these tubes at high, but well-regulated, speeds.
- ahogog uh’enyth - a “mega-squid”, a large hunting animal used for perimeter security by the Empire
- anti-colane - a concoction that neutralizes one’s scent underwater, used to avoid being tracked
- bthnk sll’ha’drnn - an Atlantean medical technology that uses stem cell cloning to regenerate lost or damaged tissue very quickly, in almost any kind of living creature
- cthaiobhalb - a rank within the Atlantean state security apparatus, rendered as “senior commander” in English
- Mgepnnn Ah’lloigshogg - Saito’s Atlantean name
- Nw Uh’eagl ot Nilgh’ri - the Atlantean name for the capitol city of the Empire
- or’azath ooboshu - a term meaning “wild goose chase”
- wgah’nagl llll uh’e Y’ kadishtu - aka Whitewater Outpost, where Fuko’s cousin Gun works
- Yactadrelbh - Fuko’s Atlantean name
- Zpa’kadishtuor - Doctor Zap’s Atlantean name