Chapter Two

The Sport of Gods and Titans
[page back]

The ground still trembled beneath Faunos’s bare feet, but the violent shaking had stopped. The earth was not at peace, it was wounded, like a stag that had been hunted to the brink of death and left to expire of exhaustion. The sky was dark as night, though he knew the sun was still up. Helios had turned away from those who prayed for mercy, hidden his face and abandoned the world to Hurucan and Peseden, and perhaps to the Titans who lived deep in the earth. Their fury shook the very foundations of Zeheft, and the old city lost the battle.

Lightning forked from horizon to horizon, chasing the thunder with a second to spare. The storm was directly overhead, and the rain pummeled his back and shoulders. Faunos stood in the open between the tumbled wreckage of the temple of Nut and the edge of the cliff. When the sun rose that morning, the temple had stood on the landward edge of the marketplace, and now there was no marketplace, no rank of fisherfolk’s cottages, no quay.

The sea smashed against the cliff face, as if Peseden were trying to batter his way into the heart of the island. To the west, Kush and Nefti lay so deep beneath the waves, their towers did not even break the surface now. Another storm like this one, another beating by the gods and Titans, and Zeheft would follow.

Like pearls on a broken strand, the outer islands were vanishing. When Faunos was a boy it had seemed they had lived forever and would live on into a future that was without end. In those days, he had thought the whole world was water. From his room above the net maker’s workshop, he could see the whole way to the end of the quay, and he would watch the fishing boats make their way out with the rising tide. On hot nights he climbed out of the window and sat on the roof in the breeze, watching the lanterns bob, out in the blue darkness.

It was all gone now. Zeheft was ruins and the fishing fleet had vanished over the horizon, thirty fragile boats fleeing the fury of the storm. Every vessel was dangerously overloaded. The people of Zeheft placed the tattered remnants of their faith in the gods, and fled before the thunder began to shout over the dragon’s spine ridge of the mountains.

Rain curtained the ocean, and Faunos turned his back on it. He was cold, naked save for a scrap of linen about his hips that was sodden, and the first priority on his mind was shelter. No place in Zeheft had been safe when the ground shook, but the tremors he still felt through tee soles of his feet were mild now, and Galen believed it should be safe. The buildings which were going to fall had already come down; those which had endured this long would stand.

Until the next storm, or the next time the earth heaved like the ocean, Faunos thought bleakly. And then nothing would be left of Zeheft save rubble and tears. The rain was so heavy, it almost seemed that his back was being beaten, and so cold, his limbs had begun to shudder. The narrow little streets that had led up the hillside above the marketplace were a maze of fallen walls and roofs, and waterfalls had begun to gush from every crevice.

Swearing by any god he could recall, he turned away from them too, and cast out along the cliff. If the city was ruined and would soon be flooded, could the contagion be far behind? Mariners had tied up in the harbor of Zeheft just days before, with stories of the sickness in Ilios. It was said that even the warships would not berth there, and that the wells were tainted. All eyes turned, now, to Vayal, as if the people fleeing the islands expected the great priest-king himself to speak some mighty word, bend Helios to his will, and fetch back the great days of old.

Such hopes were just dreams, Faunos thought, and yet people must cling to dreams when they had no other solace. For himself, he would have fled Zeheft with the others, if there had been space on the boats; but every place was saved for the young, the physicians, teachers, priests, those who would preserve the heart and soul of Zeheft, though the homeland itself was gone.

The cold struck to his marrow, and he began to run, in a vain effort to kindle warmth. He struck out east, away from the shattered bones of the city, and in the dazzling flashes of lightning he picked out the shapes of buildings which still huddled like forlorn sheep or goats to the crags facing the sea.

The animals had fled hours ago. Long before the earth began to shake, not a sheep was to be seen, nor a bird in the trees. The shepherds had recognized the omen and fled with them, and they must be in the high hills, finding shelter where they could.

As Faunos came around the broken headland, he saw the shallow valley where the old city had been -- the poor people’s houses, clustered around the ancient wells and strung out along the beach. It was all gone. Here and there a rooftop showed above the crashing waves, but under the onslaught of the ocean, nothing would survive for long.

Go to Part Two of The Sport of Gods and Titans...

About Legends...

This story has its roots in the 1980s. About the time I signed with GMP, I was kicking around the idea for a massive novel -- the problem being, I had no time to develop it. At the time, one of my "literary friends" was Lane Ingram, who passed away some years ago. When Lane volunteered to develop the narrative from my storyline, I was surprised and very agreeable; and a version of it was circulated on a small scale, to a very appreciative audience!

Lane had no aspirations to be a professional novelist, which meant writing was fun, and remained fun, while I did battle with "style" and "technique." And then one day Lane was gone, without leaving much of anything to mark the place in the world which had once bee occupied by an individual who was large in every sense of the word.

Let's change that. I'm bringing LEGENDS "to the screen" in a form which preserves as much of Lane's input as I possibly can, while at the same time properly developing it, bringing it up to full professional standard ... cutting and trimming, correcting the errant, though enthusiastic, amateur ... polishing it to the professional sparkle you've come to expect from Mel Keegan.

LEGENDS will be Lane's memorial. Here's to you, kiddo, wherever you are: enjoy.

Ebook screenreaders:

Downloading LEGENDS and reading from the computer screen? Join the club! Most people are stuck in the same situation ... and it's a right-royal pain. At this time, MK also is still trying to make the transition to one of the ebook screenreaders. The price of most of them is still high, but in the course of shopping around, Mel has found two that are coming under extremely close scrutiny. The Bebook and the Sony look like being the best deals at this time. In due course, we'll be reviewing them right here. Mel Keegan has decided it's going to be one of these two -- but they're very comparable, so ... take your pick. Either one would be perfect for reading LEGENDS, or other digital novels.

Aricia's Gay Book Shoppe

Aricia's Gay Book Shoppe
Every title hand picked, many of them already reviewed AG's Gay Book Blog -- hundreds of books and movies spanning a couple of decades, celebrating gay publishing and filmmaking!


The art appearing on this site, illustrating elements of this novel, is by Jade, my cover artist from DreamCraft.

Soon you'll be able to order prints, treeshirts, mugs, mousepads and a lot more, featuring this artwork and manufactured in the US by

The portfolio is still growing, and a gallery is online. Return to this page now and then to see new addition...

The commercial break:

The NARC novels are now at Amazon!

Research Tales

A great deal of research for this novel was done, and subjects Atlantean most often begun with a study of the Trojan wars.

Why? Because the iLiad is one of the very oldest bodies of writing which is also extensive enough to be useful. The problem with the iLiad is -- unless you're fluent in Ancient Green (and who is?) you'll be working from the translations ... and the "disagreement" between them is counfounding for one who's not a Homerian scholar!

The solution? Track down a book that translates the translations -- gets them out of the rich, ripe, flowery language of poetry and into a solid historical context. And in this, MK lucked out. Such a book exists: The Trojan War by Barry Strauss. It reads like a novel, and if you wanted something to get your teeth into ... perhaps after watching the movie, Troy, or after reading Legends -- this is the book you've been looking for.

There's another very scholarly work, The Flood From Heaven by Eberhard Zanger, which "deciphers the evidence" and places Atlantis at Troy! Now, Legends is about five thousand miles from Zanger's work (literally -- due west!) but having said that, Zanger is to Plato what Strauss is to Homer, and the work was extremely helpful.

Now, working even further back through time, you want a "scholar" (and note the quotation marks on that word) who spent a lifetime researching (ouch!) Atlantis. And again, MK lucked out, because there is such a man. A very brilliant man by the name of Ignatius Donnelly, whose "pop-science" book, dating from 1882, is still in print today, in several editions! It's thorough, it's astonishing, and it makes ... quite a case for Atlantis. Not that anyone believes in such things. Right?

There are also some good documentaries on DVD, if this is altogether far too much reading!

And of course, if you want to get into the spirit of the thing (!) you can always put on Troy and let Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana and company provide the inspiration! Speaking of which, have you seen the director's cut? Highly recommended.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: Legends is copyright 2009 by Mel Keegan. Please do download the whole novel, which is in HTML format, compatible with your screenreader, PC or Mac. However ... please don't gift it to your friends. Instead, give them the url of this page and recommend that they download it for themselves. The reason is simple: author's income is earned via the adverting on these pages. If they're not loaded, nothing is earned. MK has bills to pay too, and for your cooperation ... thank you kindly!

Note that Legends is NOT covered by the "Creative Commons." This work is the intellectual property of Mel Keegan. If you would like to use parts of it elsewhere, please contact MK via this blog.

Locations of visitors to this page