Calas Teref

Calas Teref (2854-2693 PCE) was a seafarer and architect. He is best known as the founder of pre-Sansel Atlantis.

Born on the island of Nyaminate, Calas Teref was a precocious child educated in the T'mathian fashion. His tutors found him overly dreamy, and recommended he be sent to sea to clear his head. And so at age fifteen he boarded the Silken Stone to sail the waters from Lemuria to the Horn.

Living on the ship in cramped quarters, Calas became obsessed with the idea of harmonious living through correct habitation design. Using sailcloth and charcoal, he drew up many designs for ships which would house sailors in comfort and ease, while still allowing them to do their work. His shipmates were highly impressed with these plans. When he brought them to the captain, however, he rejected them out of hand, pointing out that his ships were made from impractical materials in ridiculous shapes and would be unwieldy to sail. Many of these early designs were burned in the captain's attempts to discipline Calas. Instead the young architect merely became more furtive, drawing on the inside of his own clothing or tattooing plans on sailors' trunks.

It is said that Calas Teref slept very little, though the number of designs he credits to his dreams may give lie to this belief. His fanciful designs typically incorporated a utopian vision where nobles and commoners lived together, and baths were taken twice daily.

The Silken Stone ran aground on the island of Koste in 2829 PCE, and could not be repaired owing to the very limited quantities of wood on the island. (Atlantis' famous Blue Orosi, widely believed to be a native cultivar, is in fact a transplant originating in Lemuria.) Calas quickly began constructing a settlement which would meet the needs of the sailors until they could be rescued. His early dwellings, constructed out of native scrub and vines, became the rounded, egg-like forms of Atlantean architecture.

It was at this time that the captain of Calas' ship perished in an unfortunate accident: his house caught fire while he was inside and rolled off a cliff into the sea, onto some sharp rocks. Teref made note of this design flaw and made sure the other sailors' houses were firmly secured to the ground and made from fireproof materials.

Three years later, the brothel-ship Aketha's Blessing sighted the signal tower Calas had constructed and docked to rescue the castaways. Finding that they were living in ease and comfort, however, the whores elected to remain on Koste, with trips out only to distribute maps of the island to surrounding ports. Within four years, the island was a stopover point for any ships passing through the Kypseltic Sea, and with new migrants arriving on every ship Calas deemed it proper to create a more permanent settlement on the island.

Quarrying blue and black stone from the east side of Koste, Calas constructed the new city over the aquifer in the island's center. Though Koste's population at this time was barely eight thousand, the city was built to house and administer more than three times that number, with all the amenities of rich living. The surrounding land was given over to cultivating taro, amaranth, and gomphotheres to feed the population, which grew rapidly.

Calas Teref died in 2693 PCE without ever marrying, though it is believed he sired some eighty children. His legend became rhetorical fodder to justify the conquests of Atlantean leaders, who disregarded Calas' notorious seasickness and eulogized the city planner as a global explorer. For a time, it was fashionable for sea captains to take the honor-name Teref, though this was soon replaced by the single-name convention. Many of Atlantis' newer buildings were named after Calas Teref, though he would have bemoaned their shoddy construction and inelegant placement. His name continues on the lips of those who desire peace and stability between neighbors.

Edited by Augene Ts

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