Friday, November 7, 2014

History is just really old rumors

There is a wide, hexagonal altar of some kind in the center of this room, with six outer panels, and one upwards-facing middle panel. One panel has a slot on the left side that looks like it's the right size to insert one of those shiny discs you found elsewhere in the ruins.

Once you insert a disc, the middle panel of the altar lights up as the rest of the room seems to go dark. Moving images that look as solid as the altar itself appear in the air above the panel, and you hear a voice with an unfamiliar accent in your head. With accompanying imagery, the voice tells you three things before the altar breaks apart in a flash of sparks and a cloud of smoke.

1) The beings that designed this place referred to themselves as the ascended. They grew servitors in thick glass vats, in the image of their own primitive ancestry.

2) The Ascended Age followed the Heroic Age, which began with the Time War that ended a thousand years of darkness and enslavement to beings from another world.

3) The ascended created a worldwide awareness dampening system, which hides the entrances to their underground structures from the notice of most non-ascended humanoids. Consequentially, no record of them exists on the surface, and only a few secretive explorers have even heard of the species.

4) Hybrid animals of every description were created both to perform specialized tasks and for the ascended's amusement. Many have special abilities, and most are at least as intelligent as a human child.

5) The worm is another creation of the ascended, who once used it for instant worldwide communication. It's still capable of this, even though it hasn't been activated in centuries.

6) The worm has been here since the beginning. It guided the initial evolution of early humans and has been monitoring divergent and convergent cultural patterns since then. As a result, the worm knows about pretty much everything that's ever occurred on the planet. 

7) The history of the modern world parallels that of the Innocent Era, before the Dark Millennium. This is the result of interference by the ascended and/or the worm, and humanity can only be made free through the destruction of its secret puppeteers.

8) The Future Gods, heroes of the Time War, were the greatest champions that humanity has ever seen. Unfortunately, they were feared tyrants in the peace that followed. They were slain and entombed at the center of the Earth, reflecting both the honor and the terror that they inspired.

9) The beginning of the Ascended Age was marked by the development of the Lazarus Serum, which granted immortality to those deemed worthy by the creators of the serum. The ascended migrated underground, while those deemed useless were left to struggle on the surface. These eventually evolved into the various humanoid species known today.

10) The "Lazarus Serum" was a genome that was introduced to the entire human race. Unlimited lifespans allowed great thinkers to discover entirely new fields of science, while pushing development in existing fields to the point of convergence. The personal libraries of ascended researchers contain esoteric knowledge centuries beyond that of modern humans.

11) The worldwide Servitor Rebellion was the end of ascended civilization. The surviving ascended formed secretive island enclaves and are now known as high elves.

12) All of the ascended are long dead and all humanoid races are the descendants of the servitors.

13) Humanoids evolved from servitors while the ascended fled underground to escape the rebellion. They are waiting until their population recovers to reclaim the surface world.

14) Many devices of impressive power first appeared during the Heroic Age. Rings that grant their bearers unimaginable speed or control over light made solid, suits of armor that made humans into flying juggernauts, and weapons with powers as varied as their physical forms.

15) Although there is evidence that some forms of primitive shamanic magic was practiced during the Innocent Era, magic's essential nature was not seriously studied or understood until the Ascended Age. That primitive magic often resulted in demonic entities that probably still exist deep underground.

16) The Space Gods that enslaved humanity during the Dark Millennium were unaware of the existence of worlds other than their own until it was discovered by human explorers. The vessel used by these explorers was launched from a secret underground base that the Space Gods never learned of.

17) The Space Gods were aware of human development throughout the Innocent Era, while they watched and waited for their ancient prison to deteriorate. No one knows who or what built their prison, but their magic and/or technology must have been impressive indeed.

18) The supply of the elements used to create the Lazarus Serum was extremely limited. Another war broke out when those deemed less than worthy attempted to take it by force. This conflict made the planet's surface uninhabitable by humans and ascended alike for centuries, though severely mutated versions of many species were able to adapt and survive.

19) During the Dark Millennium, the Space Gods maintained strict control over human reproduction, and harvested energy from human bodies for sustenance. Some of the factories where this occurred are believed to still exist deep underground.

20) The Dark Millennium saw the construction of hundreds of temples and artifacts by human slaves, for the purpose of eventually summoning the beings that were worshipped by humanity's Space God masters.

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