Ceibel The Younger

We no longer know anything of Ceibel the Older, except through the one brief mention of her in the Northern Book of Judges, wherein she was contrasted to Ceibel the Younger as "more wise, less hasty, and certain to be remembered long after her namesake's deeds have blown away in the wind with other sparkling ephemera of the year." Thus melts the ice of history.

Whatever the fame of Ceibel the Older that led Ceibel the Younger to be referred to as such in all the contemporary writings of her exploits, we must now consider it irrelevant. Ceibel the Younger, however, not only captured the interest of an entire generation, but left a permanent mark on the history of her nation. Whatever one might think about the Silver Age of Atlantis, it must be acknowledged that Ceibel the Younger's contributions to its culture and dramatic literature were invaluable sources of stories that will last for ages yet to come.

Ceibel the Younger shines as a figure of Atlantean civic pride in most of the stories of her life, yet the source documents, when compared to the popular renditions of her deeds, portray a far more ambiguous figure. A warrior, scholar, and poet, true, and there is modest evidence supporting the claims that she was also an exceptionally clever engineer when not distracted by other interests she found more convivial, but there are also records of her speaking out against the government of her day. Rather than seeing her position in the Atlantean fleets as necessitating her silence in political matters, Ceibel the Younger by all accounts believed her military title gave her more authority from which to criticize what she saw as degenerative influences within the city.

Unsurprisingly, the stage plays, dramatic readings, and novelettes of her adventures gloss over this entirely, and on at least one occasion, in the classic tale of Six Bears and Their Madness, put her critique of the particularly brutal quelling of the Jailhouse Siege in her mouth to describe a disgust of the slaughter of the Bear King's family. In fictionalized accounts of her life, she is the fire-eyed defender of her people and those of noble nature in all lands, the forefront of every battle, the first to solve the riddles posed by the gods. When she does display anything which might be charitably termed a dramatic flaw, it is that she is too quick to rush ahead before her compatriots, too ready to give her word in an honorable yet inconvenient manner, or in the most comic plays, too easily flattered by those who express admiration for her poetry.

None of the poetry of Ceibel the Younger has survived to us. It is probably just as well.

Edited by Dame Helwin Helwindotter
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