One of the premises of the world of Forever Avalon is that people have been coming to the island for centuries through a portal in the Bermuda Triangle. When you think about all the ships that crossed the Atlantic over hundreds of years, the story of La Amistad brought to mind what would have happened if an African slave ship crashed on Avalon. What type of society would come from former slaves coming into their own on an island of magic. From that, I created Togo, a small island sitting off the eastern coast of Avalon.
It is here that these former slaves have created their home, seperate from the medieval world of Avalon. Like the real world today, the years have not quelled the old hatreds and feelings. It was Bryan MoonDrake that tried to bridge that gap of distrust to bring the two cultures together. Here is an exceprt from The Dark Tides that shows their first meeting:
Bryan stood in the Gathering Mount, awaiting his fate at the hands of these outcasts of Avalon. He watched closely as T’Ronga spoke with Chief B’Rrak; their conversation heated and quite vocal at times. T’Ronga seemed to plead for the Gil-Gamesh to speak. Bryan hoped
he found an ally in this Togo warrior. Finally, Chief B’Rrak relented and returned to his throne. T’Ronga signaled his men to bring the Gil-Gamesh forward.
Th e Togo warriors nudged Bryan toward the throne, still surrounded as he approached the Skull Th rone. Chief B’Rrak waved them off as they stepped back behind Bryan. The throngs of people who lined the streets started to file into the Gathering Mount. Their curiosity had brought them inside to see what Chief B’Rrak will do with the stranger.
“Gil-Gamesh, you stand in the presence of B’Rrak, Great Chieftain of Togo,” T’Ronga proclaimed. “Step forward and be heard.”
Bryan bowed to the Chieft ain. “I am honored Chief B’Rrak. I am Bryan MoonDrake, the Gil-Gamesh of Avalon. I humbled to be able to speak with you.”
“Do not thank me Gil-Gamesh, thank T’Ronga,” B’Rrak denoted. “Th e only reason you are still alive is because he says you are a man of honor. You asked for an opportunity to speak, so speak!”
Bryan collected his thoughts, carefully putting together his words so as not to off end B’Rrak or the people of Togo. “I have been overwhelmed by everything I have seen since I arrived on Avalon and Togo is no exception. You have truly built a wonderful life for yourself here.
“I will not pretend to understand the hardships you or your ancestors went through when they arrived on Avalon. I have read stories about the slave trade at that time in our history. It was barbaric and unforgiving; but while you have lived here with the hate and contempt for the white man for hundreds of years, slavery of your people ended in the real world. You see, I am not from Avalon, I am an Outlander.
“So much has changed since your ancestors survived their journey and arrived on the shores of Togo. Africans now live, work and worship side-by-side with the white man. In fact, the barriers between the diff erent races are practically non-existent. It happened in the real world and it can happen here. As the Gil-Gamesh, I can help bridge the gap between Avalon and Togo and build a new and lasting relationship.”
“Togo has prospered without the help of you, Gil-Gamesh, or anyone in Avalon,” B’Rrak shouted from atop his throne. “We will not bow down and pay tribute to the white king.” The large gathering of people cheered loudly, encouraged by the Chief’s words.
“And no one is asking you to Chief B’Rrak,” Bryan continued. “All I have heard since my arrival on Avalon is praise and respect for Togo. You have the fi ercest warriors equal to any knight and powerful shaman on par with the great wizards on Avalon. We would love the opportunity
to learn more from each other. Th e potential is unlimited.
“I didn’t have to come to Togo as part of my Grand Tour of Avalon, but I wanted too. I wanted to reach out to you, to all of you. Th e time to open relations between Avalon and Togo is now. All I ask is that you give us a chance.”
“A chance? A chance for what? To stab us in the back and return my people to a life of slavery? Th at’s all the white man has ever wanted!” B’Rrak condemned.
“With all due respect Great Chief, you’re wrong!” Bryan interrupted. A hush fell over the audience. No one had ever spoken to the Great Chieft ain before. “This is the time for us to prove you wrong about the people of Avalon, to show you that we are not like the people who
enslaved your ancestors.
“A wise man once spoke of a world where his children would be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. He said, ‘Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.’ His name was Martin Luther King, a son of African slaves, who believed that all people of all races could live together in peace. It was a dream he was willing to die for. Don’t let that dream die here too. You cannot live in hate when there is an opportunity for peace.”
T’Ronga was moved by the Gil-Gamesh’s words, as were some of the people in the audience. Never before had they heard anything like this from anyone from Avalon.
“Your words touch many here Gil-Gamesh and though your heart may be true, there are many on Avalon who are not as willing as you,” Chief B’Rrak said. “Maybe someday there can be peace with Avalon, but I do not think this is such a time.”
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak with you Great Chief. May I have your permission to leave Togo in peace?” Bryan said as he bowed to Chief B’Rak.
Chief B’Rrak sat in silence then motioned to T’Ronga. “You may go Gil-Gamesh. May the Gods smile upon you through the rest of your journey,” B’Rrak blessed as T’Ronga led Bryan out. The crowd parted as they moved through, allowing them to leave the Gathering Mount. Some of the people bowed their heads in respect to the Gil-Gamesh, something never done before on Togo. Chief B’Rrak watched his people as he considered what the Gil-Gamesh said.