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[D&D 4e] The End of the World (IC)
Tiger BurningDig if you will, the pictureRegistered User, SolidSaints Tuberegular
Armageddon was coming. Everybody knew it. Every sign, every star portended it. Every psychic foresaw it. Every experiment verified it. The gods above and the spirits of the dead below confirmed it. It was coming, and soon. Within two years, some said. Some scoffed at that. “Maybe someday, but never so soon.”, they said. Others denied it entirely, denied it with a mad fervor born of desperation. Some accepted it as part of a great, natural cycle. Others accepted it as a righteous judgment on a fallen world. Madness was everywhere, and spreading. Most, though, just wanted to know how to survive it.
The dwarves began sealing themselves in their great underground fortresses, each warded by a million million interlocking runes. Proof against anything, they believed. The Grand Coven of Pel sacrificed a thousand children to conjure a great gleaming dome over their city. Rumors say the childrens’ parents offered them willingly. Ester, the fey city, tore itself from the ground and floated into the clouds, while the island of Gnosis, home of the Grand Temple of Ioun, sank beneath the waves. Bodies washed ashore on the nearby coast for days. Whether something went wrong, who can say?
Strange, terrible rumors are everywhere. A village disappeared, or just its inhabitants. A distant town is overrun by cannibals, or else turned cannibal itself. A vast herd of steppe elk invaded a city in the south, goring and trampling everyone in sight before stampeding en masse into the river to drown. A sudden peace developed between two Houses that had been feuding for generations, each suddenly concerned with other things. War broke out between ancient allies over a dusty, forgotten relic rumored to command protective powers.
The Circle Wood fossilized overnight, every branch, every leaf turned hard as stone. The Palace of the Bey of Niidur was engulfed in an opaque mist, with just the Bey, his viziers, and his thousand wives inside. Those brave few who venture into the mist invariably stumble out days later, having encountered nothing at all within the dense fog. The Council of Minds announced a grand stratagem for saving their city of Nouia, but what it was will remain a mystery. The Cult of Rebirth seized the council and burned them on a great pyre as enemies of the Holy Apocalypse.
Here, in the vast human city of Tobruk, skepticism reigns. The Congress of Merchants issues regular proclamations that even if some great “disturbance” is coming, it’s not imminent and there are plans in place to ensure that the city’s inhabitants are protected in any case. The dwarves to the north are paying for grain with nearly its weight in silver, and the Congress is thrilled to accommodate them. Ships heavy with wheat and oats set out nearly every hour. The Midsummer Festival is entering its sixth week now, the Congress having announced its continuation yet again. Food and drink are free and abundant, and games with prizes of gold and silver are held nearly every night. Even the Cult seems to join in, singing songs of jubilation around their bonfires each dusk. Every night the city is consumed in a desperate frenzy of feasting and music and debauchery.