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Adamastor: The Titan Under the Mountain

Readers of Kat Drummond will be familiar with the ominous and powerful Titan Under the Mountain. In the books, the titan Adamastor is a dreadful force of nature that almost destroyed Hope City during the start of the Cataclysm. Now, he is kept asleep by an army of skilled mages. A cult has formed that reveres the titan and prays that he will never awake.

It may surprise some readers to learn that Adamastor is real. Okay, not real, but he is based on mythology from real life.

Adamastor is a character from the Portuguese poet Luís de Camões‘s epic poem Os Lusíadas. In it, Adamastor is portrayed as a titan of Greek myth, who was banished to the Cape of Good Hope by the sea goddess Doris as punishment for falling in love with her daughter Tethis.

Early explorers to the Cape were wracked by sea storms, granting the Cape it’s other name: the Cape of Storms. Camões explains this by personifying the storms as Adamastor, who claims the Cape and Indian Ocean as his domains, destroying anyone attempting to cross it with terrible storms.

“Even as I spoke, an immense shape
Materialised in the night air,
Grotesque and enormous stature
With heavy jowls, and an unkempt beard
Scowling from shrunken, hollow eyes
Its complexion earthy and pale,
Its hair grizzled and matted with clay,
Its mouth coal black, teeth yellow with decay.”

— Camões, The Lusiads Book V

While Adamastor is a force of primordial power and rage in the books, he does have a sense of reason in the poem. The Portuguese sailors are eventually able to convince him to let them pass, and Adamastor agrees to open the way to India.

“I am that vast, secret promontory
you Portuguese call the Cape of Storms
which neither Ptolemy, Pompey or Strabo,
Pliny, nor any authors knew of.
Here Africa ends. Here its coast
Concludes in this, my vast inviolate
Plateau, extending southwards towards the Pole
And, by your daring, struck to my very soul.”

— Camões, The Lusiads Book V

Adamastor has become a strong allegory for the dangers Portuguese sailors had to face around the Cape of Storms, but also on their journey in general. It is a fascinating myth and story and one that has become a big part of the Kat Drummond Universe.

Published inKat Drummond

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