Shattered World

October 20, 2010
By Tiberius_D_Maximus BRONZE, Herndon, Virginia
Tiberius_D_Maximus BRONZE, Herndon, Virginia
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The year is… well, the year hasn’t been recorded since the End War, millennia ago. The world has changed much, oh so much, since the End War concluded. It started in 1939 AD; whatever that might mean, when the Gods of the Iron Cross decided they should rule the World. Riding atop steel beasts, and wielding tubular weapons that spread death where ever they were directed; God Killers, as they are known. However; many of the great pantheons of the Gods apposed them; normally bickering amongst themselves, they united against the Iron Cross pantheon under the banner of the Triple Circle. The Iron Cross had allies as well, however; the Triple Fasces, and, from what we hear from nomads across the great steppes, the pantheon of the Rising Sun.

Initially the war went well for the Iron Cross and their allies; the gods of Republic and Revolution collectively known as the ‘Popular Front’, fell to their steel beasts and iron birds. The God of the Sea, Churchill, however opposed the Iron Cross atop the land fortress he created from the sands on the bottom of the ocean. The alliance of the Iron Cross attacked again and again; but they could not send the fortress to the bottom. Increasingly frustrated, the God of War, Adolf, turned to the East; to the lands of the Hammer and Sickle Pantheon; the dreaming gods.

A great battle then raged across the East; thousands of the steel beasts clashed, shooting flames of death at each other. Lesser gods and men, the God’s servants, died in the millions, but eventually the pantheon of the Hammer and Sickle was defeated; their three seats of power; Stalingrad, the capital of industry, Leningrad, the capital of agriculture, and Moscow, the capital of revolution, were all captured in three decisive, bloody battles. But victory was not achieved; the pantheons of the Triple Circle still stood, and with the Iron Cross distracted the East, they launched their counter attack, striking down the gods of the Triple Fasces.

The territory of the Triple Fasces was taken over by their former allies, who pumped thousands and thousands of the steel beasts through the Great Peninsula, driving back the Triple Circle all the way across the sea, unto the burning seas of Sand. They were purged from the Sea of Sand, just as they had been purged from the Great Peninsula. The Triple Circle’s counter-attack defeated, the Iron Cross crossed the sea on metal whales, striking at the Triple Circle coalition’s home territory, hoping to catch them off guard. The Iron Cross regrouped their forces, and launched the next offensive; the last offensive. The Triple Circle was waiting. What resulted was some bloodiest battles in the war; the steel offensive was shuttered to a halt after millions of casualties. Frustrated by lack of success on the Sea God’s island fortress, the war spread to continent after outlying continent, flooding the world into one great battlefield. First, thousands died, then millions, then billions.
Then the great God that presided over the world, omnipotent, all powerful, said enough. And with a clap of his hands, the stars fell on the world, bathing the battlefields with fire and blinding light. Then the war was silent; the steel beasts fell silent, the iron birds tumbled to the ground, the God Killers rendered useless. And then all who were left were men: the Gods were dead. The war for which they had sacrificed so much was over. The Gods were gone, and with them, men’s purpose in the world. We fell into a deep depression, and locked ourselves in concrete caves beneath the Earth. While we slept underneath the world, Nature returned, eventually covering the world in lush forests and jungles. But while the trees remained unchanged, the beasts did not.

The world still warped and stained by the fallen stars, the animals that remained were… changed. Deformed. By the time we reemerged from the caves, they had been misshapen beyond recognition. And they had grown vicious, driven mad by the blinding light that had cleansed the world of the End War. Without the guidance of the Gods, these perverted beasts soon began to hunt men, the last descendants of the long gone deities.

We now try and rebuild, with the ruins of the past, and the forests of the present all around us. We are children of a War fought millennia ago, in a world that has greatly moved on without us. The old technology has been forgotten, our cities ruined, but if we are to survive we must carry on without them. However, our culture has not been completely forgotten. Each concrete cave was made by the old Gods, hollowed out of the Earth as they raced to protect their own creations and ideals. And with their dying breath they closed the great iron gates, engraved with the symbols of their pantheon. For many, many years we hid in the great concrete caves, our knowledge of the old sciences fading like the ink in the great codex’s of civilization. And as we wasted away in the deep, we weakened, our faith faltered in the Gods. We became more accustomed to the dark than to the light. But elements of our culture remain. Every cave is protected by one of the old Pantheons; Hammer and Sickle, Iron Cross, Three Fasces, Triple Circle, and Rising Sun. The people within in return worship them as their rightful gods and supreme rulers; besides the Chief, the priests of the Pantheons are the most powerful members of the tribes. And despite the fading of the codex’s, we still have parts of the words of the gods to follow; Never waste food, conserve metal, never talk to followers of the other Pantheons, work brings victory, and enlist to further the cause of the Gods.
However, when the great iron doors opened after countless millennia underground, we were unprepared. Our eyes were more adjusted to the dark then to the light. Our limbs were weak, our reflexes slow. And the predators waited outside the great iron gates, watching as we filed out of the caves in the thousands, blinking under the light of the Great Star, waiting for us to submerge in the depths of the jungle to strike. And to further complicate our problems, our wits had slowed from under-use in the depths. Few speak the old tongue now, and literacy is almost non-existent, for there is no written language in the new tongue. Only the Priests, and the select few who they choose to teach, know how to read and interpret the words of the Gods, which are printed on the great illustrated sheets that adorn our caves, and now, as we emerge from the darkness, rest atop our staffs as banners. Though the Priests and the Chieftains refuse to see it, we cannot survive in this world without help. In the depths of the Jungle reside a people who the leaders even refuse to acknowledge; Those Who Came Before.
They are dangerous men, who left their caves before their allotted time, as deemed by the Gods. They had rejected the Pantheons, an act of highest heresy, and adapted to life in the Jungle. The Priests will have nothing to do with them; they denounce them as blasphemous mad men who consort with the Beasts; the servants of the Deep Dark One. These denouncements have soured the newcomers relations with Those Who Came Before, who denounce those who would practice the Old Beliefs, and banish any who would aid the Newcomers. But what many Newcomers refuse to see is if they do not accept aid from Those Who Came Before, they will all die in the jaws of the Beasts. They must either accept the pity of the outcast, or fall. For now they can never turn back; as soon as the Newcomers stepped out of the Darkness and into the Light, there was no return. They must learn to swim or drown in this hostile world.

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