Second bout of questions, based on recent feedback.
Q3: Why “Atlantis”? Isn’t that overdone?
Q4: Why are the creatures and monsters of the Beyond so much like legends from our world?
A4: (Which also ties into Atlantis.) Usually, they’re not. The monsters and creatures of the Beyond are not exactly identical to our Earth legends and myths. Neither is Atlantis.
There are a great many Beyonder creatures that are completely novel (which I’ll get to sooner or later), and many Earth legends which don’t (yet) have Beyonder equivalents. So it’s not a 1-for-1 correspondence.
But mostly, it comes down to names. Names like “Atlantis”, “vampire”, or “dragon” are not Beyonder words, they’re English. These are not Beyonder names, not what Beyonders call that island, that monster, that nearly-unkillable, genius-level, dinosaur-sized, armored flying death machine.
They’re English names. When we saw something from the Beyond, we called it by a familiar name. Vampires, dragons, basilisks: if their monsters loosely resembled ours, we used our names. They’re not exactly like our legends, but were close enough.
The same holds for Atlantis. A strange continent that appears in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean will be called Atlantis, no matter what. It’s inevitable.
Last is the Previous Contact theory, currently in vogue among the more disreputable fringe mages. They claim there have been several prior contacts between the Earth and the Beyond, so many of our legends come from those prior contacts. There is no verifiable evidence such contact occurred (save for Beyonder claims that humans used to live on Atlantis), but the theory is romantic and appealing, and many people assume it’s true.
A3: Atlantis may be overdone, but there are good reasons for its inclusion.
- It’s a great adventuring venue, offering adventure opportunities found nowhere else in the setting.
- It hints at deeper aspects of the world, such as Previous Contact theory.
- I needed something that would hint at an ancient link between the worlds, and an island continent convenient to North America (the main campaign setting) was a better solution than a hidden valley or lost city like Shangri-La.
As it stands, Atlantis is a key part of the setting, a dread and ominous place filled with empty buildings, treasure beyond imagining, and malign entities that chill the blood. It may be overdone, but I like it and I think it’s gonna stay.
(After all, everything’s overdone. Magic? Been there, done that. Sci-fi? Overplayed. Love stories? Blogger, please. We’ve seen all of that before, time and again, and Atlantis is no better. What matters is how well something’s done, not whether it’s been done. In my opinion, at least.)