- Stumbling in the dark
The sky became a picture of perfect darkness, a motionless frame of infinity. Stars had disappeared behind a veil of malevolence, obscured by the overwhelming shade of an invisible sun. Like terrified, they fled to hide away from all that. In such an horrible, yet morbidly beautiful scenery, the sun was an eye drawn from its orbit. Where light once dominated, there was but an empty space. Left for questions, terrible dread, and immeasurable cold. Without its beacon, the whole world remained silent and lost: people gathered to discuss how to survive, where to go, what to do next. No one was able to understand, not even the shamans that smoked their strange pipes under dirty leather coats. For once, they had no answer. They stumbled in obscurity like everyone else. Soon their status of spiritual guides would have been ripped off, cut down by some angry and hungry blade. By that time, humankind would have been lost behind restoration.
The leaders of every great nations forecasted that peril, and to prevent such deprivation, they took counsel in a hidden valley protected by mountains. They preferred the safety of mother earth to the false holiness of a lost sun-god. Underground, they discussed, fought, wounded each other with the weapons of idealism and selfishness. After a long time, those great individuals eventually emerged from the depths of the world. Tired from all the debates and all the arguments, they announced there was only a solution: humans had to replace the gone sun with another source of power, light, and sainthood.
Soon after that day, a quest began for many courageous and proud men. An army of heroes raised to save the world from self-destruction. An horde of desperate souls, seeking for absolution.
- A shadow upon the stars
An unceasing sound echoed among the worlds, carrying madness and fear. It was a dirge well known by those who dreamt of chaos, the soaring chant of an unnameable threat. At first it jangled in the distance: a little bell in flames, somewhere behind the veil of darkness that was the sky itself. Susceptible souls began to shiver and scream in their sleep. Helpless mothers prayed the so-long gods to make it stop, unanswered. Unheard. Unseen.
Madmen accused each other of treachery, felony, and witchcraft. Their screams were loud and fragile, as they tried to overcome the eternal lament with their mortal voices. Mere heretics, whom eyes were covered in bloody tears; preachers of doom, more afraid than others of what was about to come. For they knew, but and no one wanted to believe such nightmarish prophecy. Not until a shadow covered all that was beautiful and good, cruelly gnawing the few lights left, simulacra of a bygone star.
Mankind asked for a new god, but was awarded an ancient abomination. It emerged from the hole that was once known as a sun: grand beyond comprehension, an indistinct shape of obscurity incarnating some stranger terror. Lunatics and poets worshiped his unspoken name, whereas a lone scholar suggested to hide. To wait while he plunged in farther skies. The poor man was hanged by his own guts at once. That was no time for reason: It was an apotheosis of collective insanity. Yet, while men fought over trivial matters, It grew hungrier and hungrier. Its thousands legs grappled celestial bodies for millennia. Nurturing, phagocyting. A timeless dweller, It haunted dead worlds.
Bringer of ruin, came to put mankind out of their misery.
- Shining where there’s no path
A slow and insidious killer, the eternal millipede god-demon became familiar very soon: It was a Sword of Damocles pending upon existence. Generations of unyielding pioneers crawled under the shadow of such a monstrous omen. They were afraid, scared even. By that time, terror was a fuel that inspired some to greatness, forcing heroism as long as cowardice at all the ends of the world. For there can be no courage without fear.
Cold winds howled between mountains, the desperate roar of a dying beast. Answering the call, proud men and women flocked together once again. Under the guidance of the best among them, they started to construct a sanctuary: built in the middle of a certain valley, it rose high beyond measure. A tower, tall and thin, darker than black. An accusatory finger pointed to the starry vault, where something went missing long time before. On the top of such marvelous feat, some wise men crafted an odd machinery. Those charlatans were sons of a forgotten era, well trained in the hidden arts of occultism. They knew what many preferred to neglect, and with their combined efforts they forged a new light in order to force the world-eater to flee. A frail imitation of the past – and yet, a glimmer of hope for any lost soul that wandered in the never ending darkness.
But instead of blinding a monster away, that cracking sphere of light attracted more dangers. Like moths to a flame, stranded tribes rushed towards the black altar.
Swarming; craving; wallowing in egoism and greed.
Humans never change, after all.
Neither does war.
- Rubbing out question marks
Decades of conflict reduced the globe to ashes, setting the stage for desolation. The tower collapsed in a short while alongside its fraudulent star. Civilization became a faded memory painted on the walls of a cave. No one had answers anymore for the growing shadow that blotted out the sky.
The age of heroes was long over, as they resigned to decay and agony as well. Sentient beings rediscovered bestiality, hunting to feed nothing but their stomachs. Light was gone from their minds too; there was no sun left to save them. No alchemist with a scheme. No leader with a plan. Just a shadow over the darkness, growing thicker every day. Where some saw a promise of painless death, others, frightened, recognized the menace of an eternal torture. Whether they spoke the truth or not, unrelenting doom was upon all of them.
Savagery would have been prevented, if only men had worked together instead of falling in the old trap of selfishness. The endless night would have led to the brightest dawn, not to the verge of extinction.
Now, as days pass, the deadly chant has become a lullaby of defeat. Here, the earth trembles. The seas growl rough. Abject creatures look upwards, with empty eyes. Hypnotized. Lost forever.
The end is nigh, and the world as we knew it is done for.