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Legends of Atlantis: Sae (ch. 5) by Acton Bell
Sae fled to the Eastern lands where the yoke of Atlantis's rule rests lightly. He took with him his cloak, his horse, and his bow and arrows.
He rode through the lands of Avullu and Ngan, which border the great inland sea. He served there for a time with a ship builder, and with his hands helped build the great war ship Green-Eyed Lady that was given to the Emperor of Atlantis by the king of Ankara.
He came to Exani, where the kings of Ankara hunt the chi-lins. There Sae harvested the Trees with no Heart, and a box of that wood found its way to the chambers of Prince Tiryn and he loved it without knowing why.
Sae passed through the Wilderness of Sarju, which is the Desert of Souls. He was in the Desert of Sarju for three days and there was no water. Then with the head of an arrow, Sae opened the vein of his horse, and drank of its blood. By this act, he survived.
In the night watches the Wilderness of Sarju is as ice, and Sae walked through the night that he might not freeze. When he stumbled a voice commanded him to rise and continue. And Sae said, "Mother?" For he thought his mother Ceto had come to the Desert of Souls to watch over him.
But it was the spirit of Cleito within him that pushed Sae forward, for she had no wish to die in the wilderness with her revenge incomplete.
Then Sae passed out of the Wilderness of Sarju and came to Eguilal, which is the end of the world. And Eguilal is ruled by three queens and is part of no kingdom, though both Ptah and Ys say it is theirs.
The women of Eguilal are tall and beautiful and alike in all ways. One is no different than another. They are great warriors and prophets. And there is no man born in Eguilal.
When a woman desires the company of a man, she goes forth into another country and buys him as she does a goat or a spear. Eguilal is a rich land and the women have much wealth. When the woman tires of the man, he is sent from Eguilal to return to his home land. Most men die upon leaving Eguilal, for it is a paradise and to leave it breaks their hearts.
Sae was brought to this land by a patrol who found him on the edge of the Wilderness of Sarju.
He was taken before the three queens and questioned.
"I am Sae," he answered, "a poor merchant from Avullu. I was separated from my caravan in the Wilderness of Sarju and wandered there lost for many days."
"You lie," said the Queen. (The Queens of Eguilal have no names. Each is the Queen.) "You are Sae, Prince of Atlantis, destroyer of Eguilal and Atlantis. We have seen this is in our dreams."
"You are wrong," said Sae. "I see I can not hide the truth from such wise women. I am a Prince of Atlantis, but I am not a destroyer. I fled the wrath of the law of Atlantis, but I do not seek to destroy Atlantis."
"You were born to destroy," said the Queen. "You carry an evil spirit within your heart and it seeks to destroy all that you love. It will do so. This is your destiny."
"Take the youth to the dungeon," said the Queen. And Sae was taken to the dungeons of the royal palace of Eguilal.
"By doing this we have sealed our fate," said the Queen.