Convinced that the triumph of humanity justified any sin, and willing to sacrifice his own salvation so that Man could reign once more over Beast, he launched war after war against the other clans. His methods were brutal, his soldiers disciplined and unflagging. First he claimed the Builders, and set them to supplying his growing Legion of Man with weapons unmatched by those of his enemies.
Even as it seemed impossible that the ever-divided, sometimes warring clans would ever unite, there arose on the plains a leader of unmatched valor and genius, Maliken Grimm.
Grimm, in defiance of the most basic of the Prophet’s teaching, set all his will to finding a way to crush his brother Man. Alone among those who had arisen since the fall of the Ancients, Grimm conceived of the possibility of uniting by strength of arms the scattered children of Sol.
In the end, however, as mortals must, the Prophet met his end, ensnared by a woman whose husband the Five had slain in a long-forgotten battle against a petty tyrant. With the Prophet’s death, the Five recorded his teachings and went their separate ways. Shining with the reflected light of their fallen teacher, the Five became beacons for Man in the troubled hour. To each flocked those fearful of the Beasts and those with courage to strive for more than mere subsistence.
Disciples of the disciples, these refugees took on the character of their chosen leaders.
One clan turned in reverence to studying the sacred text, the Codex Solaris, and eschewed worldly ways. (Martyrs & Prophets & Disciples)
Another, led by a warrior driven nigh-mad by the Prophet’s murder, roved the fringes of human lands, holding back the onslaught of the Beasts. (Savages)
A third traveled to the mountains and began, with stern will and a strong arm, to rebuild Man’s lost cities and reclaim the forgotten arts. (Builders)
Yet another clan vowed silence and left behind their brethren, condemning them for the death of the Prophet. They journeyed into the heart of the Beasts’ realm, stalking the creatures that for so long had preyed on Man. (Scouts)
The fifth and final disciple, a man of commanding stature and great wisdom, set his standard on the central plains of the human lands and vowed to build from his followers an army that would reclaim Newerth for Man and spread the worship of Sol to all corners of the world. (Legion)
As is the way of things, the brotherhood of the five disciples lasted only so long as their lives. As the generations passed, and the threat of the Beasts was kept at bay by the men who had dedicated their lives to the endless battle, mankind once more fell to squabbling. Each of the five clans viewed the others with a suspicious eye. As time passed, the clans became more and more committed to their distinct paths, and the distance between them grew only greater.
Each race unable to gather itself for total war, a stalemate endured between Man and Beast.
As proudly as Man fought, as bitterly as each village defended its wooden palisade, still defeat followed defeat. For humanity was still scattered, and suspicion reigned even in the hour of tribulation. Across the world, a dozens languages were spoken, two dozen gods were worshipped, and two thousand slights were remembered even as the greatness of Man’s past was forgotten. Senseless feuding, base opportunism, and craven betrayal shattered any nascent bonds of fellowship.
It was in these times that the Blind Prophet came. His vision seared away from staring too long into the sun, the Prophet was repaid with the sight of Sol’s truth. Across Newerth he traveled, guided and protected by a band of five warrior-disciples, recalling his brethren to the teachings of God. With a mighty voice and gentle hand he purged the infirm of sickness, stirred the failing courage in men’s hearts, and even called back innocents from beyond the veil of death.
His journeys were fraught with peril. For though the many loved him, those few whose hands were red with blood and souls were black with sin sought his demise. Clinging to power even as a fool drowning at sea grasps his comrade and thus dooms them both, these wicked men lay ambushes, poisoned meals, even drew their own blades against the Prophet. At every turn, the Five guarded him, killing sinful Man and ravenous Beast alike. And so the word of Sol spread, and everywhere the light of reason began to shine once more in Man.
In unison, though in separate packs or as solitary predators, the Beasts fell upon Man. Across the world a second human harvest was reaped, though in this war Man fought back with savagery the daemons had not faced. Pushed once to the brink of destruction, to the depth of despair, Man no longer would cede his world to invaders.
Humanity had long since sunk to the farthest depths of barbarism; his waning ended; a new cycle began. Rock turned to tool, stick to spear; from caves he came back to the air to build simple huts and crude altars. He clothed his nakedness in the skins of his prey. Mates became husband and wife. Families grew, and gathered to tribes. Man’s tongue remembered speech, and from speech came plans.
The madness ended, but in its grip Man had fallen into darkness that did not lift. Less than the creatures over which he had once been lord, the shadow of the shadow of his former glory, Man eked out a grim existence. And in this state, he long endured.
Whatever the cause, from brute instinct and the predator cunning came the seeds of a terrible intelligence. Not one, not once, but many, and many times over, were such creatures born, a new race to fill the empty places of the New Earth. Their bodies changed; they rose to stand like men, their paws, in mockery of Man’s grasping, grew thumbs. These new Beasts seemed the half-breed spawn of Man and animal.
At first, these inheritors carried on Man’s legacy of self-destruction, predator and prey in the same violent cycle despite newfound intelligence. Oblivious to their potential, heedless of their quickened wit, for a time the Beasts behaved no differently than they had before. In the plains they did battle, fang against tusk, horn against claw; so too in the forests, in the dark marshes and darker jungles.
Man, housed in his rude caves and clutching at his meager fare, paid little care to the newcomers. Greater horror had he seen, and what matter for him was it that of all the creatures he hunted and that hunted him, some now were different? Much had changed, and much had been forgotten.
So Man, hapless and helpless, left the Beasts to breed, to war, to thrive, and to learn. In time, they formed the rudiments of their own civilization. More bound to look to Earth than Heaven, their ways were those of nature. From living trees and weather-worn rock they made their homes, and silent glade and grove were, for the Beasts, as churches. Here they gathered in reverent convocations, worshipping their Mother Earth, studying the powers that had shaped them and still coursed through the world.
For each death another was demanded. Sin grew upon sin, murder outdid murder in atrocity, until sickened by Man’s suffering the earth split and sundered. Mountains rose and fell, rivers turned their course, the oceans raced to new lands. Across the world, great ruptures arose, like sores upon the land. Those left to quiver in the darkness called them gates to Hell. Continue reading The First Corruption 3073-3080
Humanity chose to fall from the light. Not content with mastery of all lesser beings, men sought mastery over each other. In violation of God’s will, they turned on their kindred. War such as never had been came to the land, and everywhere there was suffering. The manslayers forgot not only their bonds of kinship but also their bonds of obedience to Sol the Creator. They carved false idols whose burning light mocked His benevolence and cast these idols into the heavens.
The Seizure – The Collapse – The Time of Ash
In the ancient days of the Lost Civilization, Man alone ruled over the world, and all creatures, fish, and fowl paid him homage. Enlightened by their Creator with the gift of Science, there was nothing the Ancients could not do. This is known to all who have seen the sprawling empty cities deep in the jungles, defying the creeping vines and slow rot to remain a testament to Man’s birthright.