Excerpt from Of Sun & Moon
“Hey, that looks like the good luck charm that your Mom gave me before the showdown with Bov.” Colby examined it, “But this one’s a little different.”
“It’s called an Atlantis token.”
“Oh, so it’s magically lucky?”
She laughed. It felt good to laugh, but she felt it most prudent to continue. “Well, you’ve heard of Atlantis, right?”
“Sure, the lost city of Atlantis. The city was, I think, swallowed up by the sea, or something like that.”
“The version that I was told goes a little differently, but it starts the same as any other bedtime story…”
Once upon a time…
A band of explorers were returning home after a long journey. Their expedition had taken more than two decades to complete. They now were making their way through Greece. Once they reached Athens, it would only be a few days more by ship to reach their homeland. When they, at last, reached the city, the weary travelers sought supplies and a night’s refuge before embarking on the final leg of their journey.
They found the city of Athens to be glorious and progressive. The citizens welcomed the strangers with open arms, even though they were creatures, like none they had ever seen before. Mogdoc was the name they grunted. The guttural name bubbled up from the primordial mud out of which they crawled. Of course, that’s not how they made their first impression.
They looked like monsters, but they were not judged on appearance. The kind-hearted people embraced their differences and took them in. They gave them warm food, cold drink, and soft beds. The mogdocs, no longer thinking of home, found excuses to stay first one night, then another, and another.
On the third night, the mogdocs were the special guests of a general in the Athenian army. The youngest female mogdoc, equivalent to a human of 6-years-old, had become fast friends with the general’s daughter. They spent every waking moment together. They skipped arm-in-arm, shared toys, and even played tea party with sweet drink and cake. On that night, the third night, the young mogdoc snuck out of bed for a midnight snack. She crept down the stairs, stole an apple from the kitchen, and slipped into the rose garden. To her astonishment, her friend, the general’s daughter was already there. The young girl was seated on a concrete bench at the garden’s edge. As the mogdoc got closer, she could see that the girl was crying. A rose thorn had pierced her finger. The tiny mogdoc took her finger, pulled out the thorn, and sniffed the blood.
In those days, mogdocs carried pouches of healing herbs. The elder mogdocs still carry them today as a reminder of this story. This young mogdoc had one and immediately delved into it. She pulled out some sweet smelling herbs and wrapped them around her friend’s finger. This made the young girl feel better. She hugged her mogdoc friend before returning to bed.
The next morning, the girl told her father of how the curious stranger had nursed her finger. The general was delighted and in gratitude invited the mogdoc clan to extend their stay. So, over the next few days, the mogdocs continued to stay at the general’s home. The children’s midnight meeting in the garden became a nightly occurrence. On the sixth night, the mogdoc was the first to arrive in the garden. The human girl skipped to the bench. The young mogdoc smiled at her friend and offered her a bite of her midnight snack. The general’s daughter screamed in horror. There was no apple. That night’s midnight snack was a human infant, blue and drained of blood. The young mogdoc took delight in the girl’s fear. She slashed the girl’s neck and fed from her friend until she was no more.
This story has been handed down from generation to generation as a testament to the manipulative nature of the mogdocs and the evil found in even the youngest of their kind. The mogdoc child had befriended the human girl to gain access. She had played tea party to sweeten the blood. She had healed her a few nights before out of greed, in order to save every drop of blood until the time was right.
The next morning, there was no way to cover up the sins of the young mogdoc. The creatures were expelled from the city and fled into the sea. However, the mogdocs were not humbled by their punishment. When they reached their home port, their story only fanned a flame of contempt. Mogdoc hatred for humans and lust for human blood soon grew out of control. A great naval power, the mogdoc city of Atlantis amassed their fleet on a mission to destroy humankind, starting with the city of Athens.
Thankfully, the Athenians won the battle and successfully defended their home, but at great cost. The beautiful city was left in ruin. Many died that day and it was certain that the beasts would try again. The few survivors gathered at a fountain near the heart of the city. That is when the surviving guardians made the drastic decision to stop the spread of the mogdoc scourge and protect the human race at all cost. It was a decision that would change the world forever. They cast a spell. It was magic so epic that it had never been performed successfully before or since. With the spell, they banished Atlantis and the entire continent upon which it stood; effectively sealing off humans from the Mogdoc Empire. Only the guardians could walk on both sides of the barrier that separated the two.
Keira held the coin up to the light.
As the last word of the spell was spoken, the city of Atlantis shook and the waters of the Atlantic swirled above the highest tower. Fear rocked the citizens for an entire day and into the night. By midnight, it was over and Atlantis was gone. Knowing that the empire was forever banished from the Earth into its own realm, the Athenians took a cleansing breath of relief. But it didn’t last.
The strongest magic is based in passion, so the survivors cast their spell in haste while emotions were still running high. They did not immediately foresee the consequences of their actions.
As they began to assess the damage done during the great battle; they quickly realized that there was more missing than dead. The mogdocs had taken prisoners. These humans were now trapped by the magic intended to save them. The survivors were lucky that the banishment spell worked the first time. There was no guarantee that they could do it again. Knowing that it would be too dangerous to re-introduce the Mogdoc Empire back into the world, the survivors cast a second spell. This time they used the only thing that had not been destroyed by the attack. It was the only thing they had in abundant supply, the coins from the fountain at the city’s center. They charmed the coins; allowing any human who holds one to pass through the barrier between this world and Atlantis.