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The Lost City of Heracleion (Hare-a-see-lon)

The lost city of Heracleion

by Midjourney
Over two thousand years ago, the city of Heracleion was a bustling trade city, connecting the red sea with the river Strix by way of paved road. merchants and ships would come to Heracleion with wonders from around the world. Many of the great structures would be built from rare woods and beautiful marble that rival Elephantine itself. Into the surrounding cliffs, the city carved grand statues of The Pharaoh of the time. while it served to appease the Pharaoh, it also marked the importance of the city to all the vessels who traveled the sea.
On the road to the City, just outside the ivory-colored walls, were grand homes and villas. home to the merchant council, whom had influence over the city, more than the Vizier or council of elders could have. Then one day, a great quake split the land and Heracleion slid into the ocean. the Pharaoh's soldiers found the road now ends at a cliff's edge and then the sea. no one survived the Heracleion quake.
On the far side, what would have been the west side of the city became a lone island, pushed away from Khemit by the quake, but didn't fully sink beneath the waves. it's ruins attract the occasional ignorant thief who doesn't heed the tales
It became one of those children’s stories as told centuries later, where avarice and greed took over men's hearts in that city. so dark was the stain of wickedness, that the gods sundered the land, dropping the city into an abyss, allowing the ocean to wash away the evil from Khemit.
If you stay longer to listen to this story, you'll find that the tale continues down a darker path.

The Drowned

by Midjourney
By all accounts, it is true, that there were no survivors of the quake at Heracleion, but the reason why is much more disturbing. From the neighboring villages who witnessed the destruction, there were people fleeing out the gate by foot or wagon. there were also several ships set loose and rowing away from any falling debris.
At the height of the collapse, black chains were set loose from the water. shadowy manacles that grabbed every man and woman who thought they could flee. ships and horses were not spared being dragged down with the city. Somehow the citizens of Heracleion were cursed along with the city. After death, the curse did not give them peace. it is rumored that the The Drowned as they are called are still moving within the ruins of the city, waiting for any newcomers. Local fishermen and tradesmen steer clear of the, now Strait of Heraceion, even if it means a safe harbor from storms. And no one dares camp near the shore at night.  

The Relic

Vanity and Jealousy. While it started as a friendly rivalry between the governors of Elephantine and Heracleion on the amenities and decor displayed within their cities, the merchants of Heracleion began to invest in opulent construction and luxuries in order to lure more visitors and even perhaps the Pharaoh himself to move the palace of Middle Khemit to Heracleion. The competition became fierce with many construction projects going on as they fought over the same resources. The Vizier finally put both governors in their place as the competition interfered with the Pharaoh's own plans and requested materials.
They then switched to something smaller, yet equally as valuable, treasures from the old Pharaohs. This was still the time where the Pharaohs forbid the looting of the tombs, but the various dynasties, helped themselves to the "family treasury" in order to finance their own succession to the throne. One rumored prized artifact was the Chalise of Jude, thought to be buried in the Tomb of the Green Pharaoh.
If the stories are true, in a deal made with some of the other families of the Pharaoh dynasty, the governor of Heracleion commissioned a group to raid the tomb and return with the chalice. While there were few survivors, the group did return with the Chalise.
Unbeknownst to either the merchants or the dynasty members were that the Black Tapestry had infiltrated the group who retrieved the chalice. the Chalise was corrupted, awakening the lingering wrath of primordial god Nu.

The Curse

Heracleion pre curse
Heracleion pre curse by midjourney
The Black Tapestry has been trying to destroy the dynasty of the pharaohs, sewing discord. the Chalice of Jude was going to be a trap for the family members who contracted the retrieval from the Green Pharaoh's tomb, but fate has other unexpected plans. The governor did not give the chalice to the family dynasty and instead kept it for the merchant guild. The Dynastic family could not protest, as they would otherwise reveal their unlawful access to Khemitian tombs. So they quietly brooded. A great fountain was being built in Heracleion's town square,. It was a marvel in engineering with piped in fresh water and powered by the tides. In the opening ceremony, the chalice was presented to the people of the city with great fan faire. With limited knowledge of the power of the Jude chalice, the governor performed the health ritual, filled the chalice with water, and poured it into the fountain as it was turned on. That act triggered Nu's Possession. The waters first softly glowed as it spread through the fountain and then into the pipes beneath the city. Light turned to dark as the malevolence multiplied. The city trembled and a shadow was cast across it. the rest is history. Thus is the true fate of Heracleion.

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Cover image: by Midjourney


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