|First Appearance:|| Atlantis Chronicles #1|
|Created by:|| Peter David|
Shalako was brother of Orin the First.
Shalako lived nearly ten-thousand years ago in Atlantis in the years preceding the "Great Deluge". He was the brother of Orin, ruler of Atlantis' capital city, Poseidonis. Shalako and Orin were close to one another, but differed greatly in terms of philosophy and ideology. While Orin was a technocrat, Shalako was a mystic, who followed in the traditions of the great Atlantean sorcerers like Arion. Shalako worshiped Suula, goddess of the sky.
When King Orin initiated a plan to erect a protective dome around Poseidonis, Shalako protested, citing that to cut the city off from the sky was an affront to Suula, and that by doing so, all Atlantis would suffer Suula's wrath. Orin felt that practicality took priority over superstition, and completed construction of the dome in order to ward off invading tribes. Shalako warned that Suula would curse Atlantis for such a blight to her glory.
Shalako's predictions of Suula's wrath did in fact come to pass. Whether Suula herself orchestrated the coming disaster is unclear, but only a short time later, a massive meteor struck the Earth, causing worldwide geological upheaval. Shalako prayed to Suula for salvation, but when the goddess failed to respond to his prayers, he turned his attention towards the dark gods. Poseidonis survived due to Orin's near-impregnable dome, but thousands of Atlanteans were killed. Atlantis sunk beneath the waves of the sea, nestled atop the remains of the very meteor which caused its destruction.
As years passed, the surviving Atlanteans attempted to eke out an existence within the domed city. Those who were desperate for spiritual guidance flocked to Shalako's side and pledged themselves faithfully to his leadership. These followers became known as the Shalakites.
Shalako and his followers deemed that Poseidonis was an "unclean" city, and decided to leave, to forge a new destiny for themselves. They discovered a series of subterranean tunnels linking all of the old cities together, and they embarked upon a mass exodus to establish a new Atlantean legacy. They settled in the ruins of Tritonis one of Atlantis' more prominent cities, named for Triton, god of the tides. Shalako called upon his dark magic to create a hard-water dome to cover the city, so that his people could survive. Such an extravagant use of power came with a high price however. To appease the dark gods, Shalako was forced to offer them sacrifice. He murdered his beloved wife, Loma, and gave up her blood to satisfy the gods. What he didn't realize at the time, was that his young son, Dardanus, had witnessed the murder of his mother. This would later lead to Shalako's downfall.
Three years later, a scientist from Poseidonis named Thorne developed a serum that would allow all Atlanteans to breathe underwater. Orin was the first to test the serum and was elated to discover that it had worked. The Atlanteans were no longer confined to the constricting corridors of domed Poseidonis. Orin and his entourage traveled to Tritonis to share the news with his brother. Shalako scoffed at the Poseidonians technological accomplishments, and inwardly, he felt that Orin was trying to unseat him as ruler of Tritonis. Orin offered the miracle serum to any who would accept it, and to Shalako's surprise, the Shalakites accepted. This infuriated the mad Shalako beyond measure, and so he called upon the dark gods to curse the Tritonians whom he felt had betrayed him. After taking the serum, the Shalakites were now amphibious, but Shalako's curse horribly mutated their bodies, giving them scaly, green legs and webbed feet. These people would later evolve into the modern Mer-People of Tritonis. The Shalakites believed that Orin's serum had failed them. Shalako's son, Dardanus, appeared before them, and revealed that his father had cursed his followers for abandoning him, and that he was also responsible for the death of his mother. The Mer-people turned on Shalako and destroyed everything they could find even remotely related to him. They tracked Shalako down and ran him through with a spear, killing him.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Atlantean Biological Adaptation