Age of the Apocalypse
History of the World
100 Years Ago
The Heavens Cry Out
From out of the dark and forbidding heavens hurtles a great meteor, black as night itself. Carving through Abaddon’s atmosphere, it calves into massive sections and rains down upon the world in great shards, obliterating cities and shattering the living rock. Tidal waves swamp over islands and drown the coasts; volcanoes ignite; the ground quakes.
More than eight in ten of the sentient beings of Abaddon die in moments. No sorcery, no prayer, no force of arms, no cunning with the builder’s craft can stand against the destruction.
Those who survive find themselves in the ruins of civilization, surrounded by corpses, overwhelmed by death, and living beneath a soot-black sky. Their suffering does not end there. The meteor was a black, hellish thing, turgid with necrotic energy. The survivors witness in horror as the fragments and dust of the meteor wake the dead. Few of the remaining cities survive the onslaught of their own deceased.
Pandemic of Ash
A great ash fall comes down upon Abaddon, made of particles of the obliterated meteor, combined with volcanic ash, vaporized water, and the miasma rising from the charnel piles of the deceased. Nowhere is spared from this blanket of greasy soot. It brings with it necromantic plagues, infused with horrible pestilence and beyond all the healing magics yet known. These diseases cut a swathe through the surviving plants, animals, and people; what they do not kill are often changed, made strange and suited to this dark, death-ruled world.
Cold Black Winter
The Pandemic of Ash fills the sky with dust and smoke that persists to this day. It looms as black as night, and the warmth of Abaddon’s sun can barely penetrate it. In its wake, the Cold Black Winter falls. The glaciers march from the poles, swallowing up lands that have now passed into legend, and reducing the great forests and jungles to frozen rot. Crops do not grow, animals cannot graze, and only magic and alchemy keep the huddled survivors alive in their ruins and caves. A century later, the cold is abating, though with terrible slowness.
The sky is now a perpetual twilight, a dim gloaming, a gray-black cloud that blocks out sun and stars and moon.
The Nightwall Falls
For the first time, the necromantic and hellish energies suspended in Abaddon’s atmosphere blend and create a storm of energy known as a Nightwall. Grounding out onto Abaddon’s surface like a necrotic aurora borealis, the Nightwall empowers those caught within and charges them with negative energy, all while strengthening the undead that stand within its unearthly glow. Though few if any comprehend them, Nightwall events continue today, but less often and with less intensity than just after the Cataclysm. Survivors recall that the Nightwall was all but permanent over much of the land, creating a golden age for the undead.