In the beginning of all records of time, all land was connected and one. In those long content years the skies were thick and a deep azure green, a deep aquamarine shimmering with darker hues, beautiful beyond all words, even these brief ones. In those years the summers were long, and the winters too; but the bite of each was lesser, and there was no need for clothes in Atlantis, no use for houses in Mu; no place for modesty in Lemuria.
Then came the dark years of the folly and division of the Atlanteans, and they became hostile and scornful, and shut themselves away from the world, save raiders and reavers that came from Kadatheron and Ilarnek, killing and enslaving: and so round the lonesome husk of Atlantis rose the Atlantean Empire, with Arkios the Cruel as its first emperor; and those that were not slain, became its slaves; but they were not permitted to pass to Atlantis itself, nor to come within sight of the walls of Kadatheron.
Vengeful gods struck Atlantis down with fire, and the empire round it died as dies a man without his head; and in the skies over the fiery sinking ruin of Atlantis a great eye gaped, a hole in the sweet skies of eternal clouds of azure and aquamarine; and as Tze the Goat said, "from that eye wept in Atlantis a grief neverending"; and the death of Atlantis leeched the clouds, and they rained down; and by their raining all the seas of the world were much raised. What of Atlantis had not been struck down by divine fire was drowned by the rain, as the shores crept over the lands; and elsewhere, on the other side of the world, two for this blameless realms were drowned by the consequences of Atlantean pride.
These two realms were those of Lemuria and Mu; and of these, Lemuria was the older, and south of where now India is; and its people were giants; and Mu was the younger, and peopled by artificers and makers of machines, and sat where the Pacific Ocean now rolls. But in truth the fall of Atlantis did not break the peace of these places; for they had known war for a hundred centuries; for the people of Lemuria and the people of Mu could not stand the sight of each other. Why this was so is not known: but the first giants to crawl out of the sludge of the pond of Muurtha, where vultures came to die, told their children of the small, pale, hateful men of Mu, and their liking for metal and bone and all cold dead things; and with each generation the hatred grew older and stronger, until it was as deep as the ocean-trench round the Antarctic, and as cold in its merciless ferocity, as deadly in its disregard for all but the utter extinction of the Other. And as the people of Lemuria were consumed by hatred, so were the people of Mu. The small pale people of Mu built no houses, nor shelters, and did their work by the light of the white sun and the pale wavery moon, but they had one single temple of warped gold-flecked granite. Round that temple they had raised, since time beyond memory, a forest of stakes: and each was reserved for, and usually occupied by, those that were foolish enough to speak against the Ancestral War, or so craven they did not give their blood to support the troops.
This then was the arrangement of Mu: the heart of the realm was round that temple older than man, where their God and Satan slept, both in the same monstrous form and character: and from there Mu and its inhabited parts extended in west to where the Indonesian islands now turn, and to the narrow gulf whose other shore was the north coast of Australia; and in north the islands of Taiwan and Okinawa and Kyushu were mountains crouching over a sea where the Chinese coastal plain now spreads. East of the temple, the land of Mu snaked south and east so that most Pacific islands are peaks of the old mountains of the range of Kibal-Mu, which used to be the highest in the world. Some say that the barren island that now is called Easter Island was the range's highest peak, the uttermost extremity of Earth, equal of Everest and half again as much; and the peak of Kibal-Kibal-Mu was always shrouded with mist and snow, which mercifully hid certain accursed obelisks that were not the work of man, and which later figures on that island have fearfully and imperfectly recalled. The chief city of Mu was round the temple; but for the lack of houses it was more a camp, with endless enclosures for the work of smiths, smelters, scrapers, hammerers, drillers, joiners, engineers and the others, the chief class of Mu that drew its power and pride from the manufacture of elegant and useful things. That was the only "city" of Mu; over the rest of the land the people wandered, doing their work as they went, or fleeing or advancing by the ebb and flow of the endless war.
This then was the arrangement of Lemuria, before it fell: it was as if a star of five points, like that which is supposed to keep away Nur-Yah-Nur-We, the demon of the six-pointed star and the scourge of the children of Egypt. One of the points of the continent of Lemuria pointed straight south: but the center of that star cannot be expressed, for Lemuria is destroyed, every extremity of it, more horribly wasted than either Atlantis or Mu; and of Lemuria and its giant people nothing remains save bones and tears turned to pearls on the ocean floor.
Between Lemuria and Mu were many lands, and they all were laid to waste a thousand times. The stomp of bones, flung stones and steel hooves reverberated over the dusty plains of Australia, and was met by a wall of flame driven by giants clad in red robes that would not burn; that was the land that was, and the poisons and the malice of war so strangled the land that to this day that which remains of the Australian continent is red, barren, and mostly dead. A narrow sea divided the two contestants further north: and it is said that one day a luckless diver may find a mountain half a mile high, and push through the sand and clay: if so, he will find Tagash Dagorath, the Hill of Memory, which was built of the skulls of the dead, piled into a lake and then over the overflown lake to remind the people of Lemuria and the people of Mu that their ancestors watched them, and would never rest until the enemy or their own party was dead to the last. Some believe Ganges a river that can heal; be that as it may, it is better than the poisoned rivers of death that used to originate where it now meets the sea. There is a reason why the Bangladeshi cower in fear when a storm rides from the Bay of Bengal; they know sometimes it drives out of the sea things that are best unseen, and soldiers that are best forgotten.
With the passing of millennia, the people of Lemuria came to call the endless enmity the War of the Dust Snake, because whenever a column departed, or the enemy arrived, it did so over a land barren and stinking of death, the dust rising in the soldiers' wake to the skies in a twisting slow column like a snake crawling with steely teeth close to the ground.
Now, in the late days of the Atlantean Empire there came a reversal in the war, and the people of Mu lost Australia, and Indonesia, and the deserts of India and Manchuria; and a great battle came to be fought in what is now the island of Honshu, but then was known as Aslangsoh, a garden of steel-insects and flowers of bone-paper, a place beautiful according to the way of Mu.
As the battle was fought, fist against mail, and claw against helm, the people of Mu quaked, for they knew if they lost once more, they would be utterly lost, and their kin ended, and their bodies fed to cats and dogs. Then great many people, thirty thousand at first, then half a million, then more, came to howl and pray at the great temple in the center of the only city of Mu, the temple with walls that seemed to fall on themselves as equally as they were as if ready to fall over the worshippers; the temple whose gold-flecked sea-green granite was always cold to touch, the temple with twisted columns of translucent jade, and with bas-reliefs showing scenes so abstracted and obscured that though they made the one that beheld them cry, no-one could say if she cried tears of horror, or of joy.
And as the people of Mu asked for their hearts' desire, it was given to them beyond their ability to divine its name: for the temple opened, as a lotus opens to sunlight, as a veil is torn from the face of a blushing bride: and the God and Satan that the people of Mu had found in the old aeons when their realm was made, was awakened and made free.
Half a million of the people of Mu died in an eyeblink; half a million more in a second. A cloud of noiseless death and unseen touch flew from the temple's opened ruin; and in its wake all was madness, and blindness, and death. In the valleys of Aslangsoh the battle went on, and was lost by the people of Mu; but the nameless shadow grew and flew to the lands of Lemuria, to the lands of the giants made hard by hatred and war; and the giants of Lemuria, seeing the approaching shadow, vomited and cried and voided themselves and laid down and waited for death.
Soon a great rain began to fall; Atlantis had fallen, and the waters of the upper airs were punctured, and held up no more; and they slowly fell down to raise the seas and to drown the land. Over Lemuria they fell; but no-one was there to fear their falling; for in the span of seven days of terrible splendor Lemuria was laid waste, and not one that had been within its borders lived to tell how. The houses of Lemuria fell, as if eroded by the passage of a million sudden and hateful centuries; the waters of Lemuria became black with slime and the corruption of life too old and weary to rise above brack and ooze; the mountains of Lemuria were cracked like rotten eggs, and effluvia of the earth oozed out, viscous and foul. The land itself was cleft, and broken, like a clay riverbed breaks when the water is gone; and the cracks swallowed the maddened animals and quake-rolling trinkets of Lemuria, and drank the waters that were falling; and became mud, then swamp, and then dissolved tracelessly into a sea, and Lemuria was no more. Atlantis had been claimed by a doom; but to Lemuria had come a Death.
After that, Mu did not rise again; for her people were defeated and broken, and those that remained wandered the land witless and insane; and the temple that had been the heart of Mu was broken open, and empty; and its God and Satan had fled. The rains came over Mu, and wept it into a bottom of the sea.
It is said that not one of the Lemurians survived who were within the borders of their land; but from the battle of Aslangsoh came a column of soldiers and wizards, homeless and hopeless and grey, and as their land and the land of their enemy were broken, they went to the mountains of Arthag, which had been in a distant way holy to them; and there they burrowed down into the stone like worms, giants waiting for the other endings of the world; and their fortress under those Himalayan mountains, dug while the ground still quaked and groaned and cried, was called Agartha, which is in the ancient language of Lemuria, the Place of Grief. Their lord was a former general called Jeti Sasuatch. But the site of the temple of Mu, lost to the sea, and presumably free of its occupant, yet still a magnet to all manner of cold and cruel things, they called by a word that in their language means the Place of the Skull, the death of their world: and the word was A'rlyeh.