The Victorian Hawk Dragon has currently reviewed the following:
Thonis-Heracleion - Lost City of the Egyptians
For twelve hundred years did Cleopatra's Spell last - a Spell to Lock her Egyptian City, within the Sands of the Mediterranean Sea. It was a Spell that Cleopatra cast - to Hide her Secrets, from the Scorpions, of these Ancient Lands. Yet upon the Temple of Amun - does Cleopatra still sit, Lost in her Memories, of what Once had been:
It was with an Ancient Enemy, that Cleopatra, sought to Fight. It was with the Goddess Wadjet, that the Pact had first been made - an Army of Lava Serpents, so that Cleopatra could Harvest, the Crystal-Gold (from the Depths of the Earth). Yet, Cleopatra could not have Foreseen, the price that she would pay, for Thonis-Heracleion's Streets of Gold: the Tide of the Hyksos - and of their Scorpion King. For countless years had Thonis-Heracleion served her well, as a Port, to unload Crystal-Gold, from the Lavas of Vesuvius, and of Thera. Yet, throughout those years, had Cleopatra, underestimated, the Cunning of the Scorpion. Countless Battles had proven them to be Formidable Warriors, with even their human-kin (the Hyksos) over-running several of her Temples! Yet, with her Wisdom, had she found a solution to the Threat of the Scorpion: by Killing Two Birds with One Stone - have her Lava Serpents erupt the Volcanoes, to free the Crystal-Gold, and bury the Scorpions in Ash! At last, could she concentrate on the building of Thonis-Heracleion ... Yet, in doing so, did she set-upon a Path, from which there was no return. For it was, as she strove for more Crystal-Gold, that her Lava Serpents dug deeper, within the Magma of the Earth, and Awoke that which would cause her Demise: a Scorpion God King - the like of which she had not seen before! It was upon the Island of Santorini, that he, first made himself known: in a Titanic Eruption, that destroyed the settlements of Thera - her precious Crystal-Gold (from there) was lost. Upon the Temple of Amun, had she stood, Energies Flowing from the Tips of her Fingers - even a Tsunami was no match for her, the Waters abated, from her Circle of Power. Then did she Grow Complacent - as she knew that she still had Vesuvius, and that her Egyptian Galleons, still ruled the Seas of the Mediterranean. For sometime still, did Thonis-Heracleion flourish ... The Crystal-Gold built her Temples strong. The Crystal-Gold built her Sarcophagus, to withstand the Sands of Time. The Crystal-Gold built her Statues, for others to marvel at, on the Streets of her City: an Egyptian Minx, an Egyptian Sphinx, an Egyptian Lion - an Egyptian Empire! Her Lava Serpents were winning - the Wars of the Sands: each Time the Scorpions advanced, did her Lava Serpents shift, the Sands undulating, in a Never Ending Earthquake, did the Scorpions Demise! She could Foresee it all - within her Pyramid of Conflict! Powerful indeed had Cleopatra become. Yet it was, from within the Earth, that her Demise would be ... Soon enough, did the Earth start to Tremble! First at Vesuvius: the Volcano began to Erupt - by itself ... It drew her Eyes, just for the Shortest of Time. Yet it was enough! As the Lava Serpents battled, to turn the Tide - Cleopatra found that Wadjet had gone quite ... Yet, upon her last meeting (with Wadjet), was it not Foretold that her Lava Serpents would be Triumphant! Second at Vesuvius: the Lava's continued to Flow. Her Lava Serpents continued to Battle. She stood upon the Temple of Amun, seeing her Galleons of War, she knew that she would be Victorious! Her Eyes fixed on the Mediterranean, the Waters calmed (at Once) - her Fleet sailed for Vesuvius. The Tide would be turned ... Third at Thonis-Heracleion: Did the Earth Start to Shake? Her Eyes in Surprise! What Magic was this? Thonis-Heracleion began to Sink! To Wadjet she called ... Yet, came an answer from the Deep: the Scorpion God King! What Treachery is this? The Cunning of a Scorpion! But it was too late ... A Plate of Earth had he Eaten through - as she Screamed: No, you will Not take My City! Energies Rushed Forth from the Tips of her Fingers ... Thonis-Heracleion locked in Time - Under the Sea, did Cleopatra, turn to Stone.
Warriors of the Sands, and Guardians of the Egyptians, Lava Serpents bring Vengeance to the Earth:
In the Foundries of Vesuvius, in the Bedrock of the Mountains - with the Persistence of the Endless, does a Lava Serpent sleep. In the Chambers of Thera, in the Magma of the Vents, with the Slumber of the Dormant, does a Lava Serpent lie. In the Enemies of Egypt, in the Pyramids of Conflict - with the Wisdoms of the Pharaoh, does a Lava Serpent wake. In the Eruptions of Primeval, in the Rush of the Lava - with the Movement of a Quake, does the Lava Serpent strike. In the Abyss of the Desolate, in the Carnage of the Crust - with the Aftermath of Onslaught, does a Lava Serpent revel. It's mission complete: a relic is born! I like the fact that this artwork captures the idea of a serpent that lives underground: as the serpent has been positioned between both Stalagmites and Stalactites - which in doing so, helps to suggest the presence of an Underground Cavern. The Cavern is not disjoint from the Lava Serpent (as you would expect), but has instead, been used to enhance the appeal of the serpent (through numerous artistic effects). First: the Stalagmites and Stalactites are used to pull you into the scene (by thought of their opposing directions - you tend to focus on the Lava Serpent). Second: the Stalagmites and Stalactites have been used as a way to add layering to the scene (as the Lava Serpent loops both under and over them - you tend to gain a perception of depth). Third: the rock ceiling/roof appears as though it's being held in place by the Golden Pillar (suggesting that the Cavern roof could collapse - as it is with the Wrath of the Earth). When these three effects/features are combined with the darker rock (towards the bottom-left of the artwork), I fall-under the impression that the Lava Serpent is sheltering (perhaps from the Storms of the Lava). I also approve of the use of colour within this artwork, especially the way in-which the Lava Serpents skin, appears to be connected with both the Element of Fire (the reds and yellows) and the Element of Earth (the greens). I also feel that the choice of colours was made (by the artist) to convey two further important concepts. First: there is the concept of size - as you realise that the Lava Serpents skin is repeated towards the top of the artwork (making me think of the existence of gigantic Lava Serpents). Second: there is the concept of belonging - as the Golden Pillar appears to be out of place (making me think of the Ancient Egyptians and their Engineering/Architecture Skills). I suspect that this artwork was painted in oils - as there's a fair amount of blending/transparency (on the Lava Serpents skin) and several raised/contrasting edges (especially around the black and red fans/frills). As such, it appears that the artist decided to break-up several uniform tones/areas, by employing the pointillism technique (in two places). The first: pointillism has been used on the darker rock (to suggest some-kind of underground algae). The second: pointillism has been used on the background (to suggest the concept of Inner Space - perhaps within the Centre of the Earth, where the Cavern is nothing but a Portal). Overall: I love the Conflict that occurs within this artwork. On the one side, there is the Elemental Powers of the Volcano (the reds of the serpent) together with the Savageness of the Earth (the Stalagmite and Stalactite teeth). Yet on the other side, there is the suggestion of such Powers being Tamed (by a Pillar of Egypt) and a connection with the Roots of the Trees (the greens of the serpent - and surrounding rock). I was also impressed by the variation of the pointillism technique, that's been used to paint/colour the Lava Serpents skin (as this is more akin to transparent dashes - as opposed to solid dots). Lava may be the primordial force of the Ancient Egyptians, yet when it comes to the control of their underground domains, Lava Serpents remain their weapon of choice!