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I swear I’ll get to the post about the two islands soon. But just before I do, I think I should do a quick explanation about this event: the Cataclysm. I’ve mentioned it a few times, and from the name it definitely suggests a terrible event with dire consequences. But just what was the Cataclysm?
Around 2000 years after creation (remember, the people were created with knowledge and culture ready to advance) the people began to advance their technology. Prior to this, the world went through a few different cultural awakenings – from what would be the equivalent of classic Greek and Roman periods, to the early Medieval, to the Renaissance and Exploratory phase of the world, and up to about the early Technological Revolution. Science, industry, and technology began to boom, and the people advanced far beyond their previous cultures. It was a technological goldmine. Though Cathemega – due to the influence of the magic around it – retained a lot of the Renaissance-like atmosphere, it still had some technological awakenings of its own.
All throughout the vast majority of the world, people were using tech to a greater level than they ever used to. They became advanced in science to know the genome, to know about methods to exploit the land for all it was worth. Though they never developed much past electric engines, they were manipulating genetics to actually create new beings. They were on the cusp of developing internal combustion engines when all went wrong.
Magic, as I’ve mentioned, is an energy source. It’s able to be tapped into, able to be used. When one doesn’t use energy, it backs up – it has nowhere to go. While people were enjoying a technological revolution the likes of which had never been seen before, magic was not being used (except very sparingly in Cathemega and places around it.) One morning in the capital of the Freeworld, there was a loud crack, and the earth split apart along the ley line of life.
All along its length, people were hit by terrifying magical effects – icy storms, electrical explosions, bursts of light, and unnatural darkness. Other effects manifested throughout the entirety of the rest of the world (except Cathemega, which remained safe.) Cities began to crumble, destroyed by the effects of the magics around them. Many hundreds of thousands of people died, and even more were stranded with nowhere to go. The earth itself began to split and pull apart, fracturing the Freeworld into many large islands rather than the cohesive continent of its past.
Then, the plumes appeared. When all quieted down, the populous thought they were safe. Rebuilding efforts began as scientists tried to determine what had gone wrong. The missing were being counted, people were trying to get back to their homes, others were trying to get to the port cities to escape. Late in the evening on the third day after the beginning of the terror, the earth began to rumble again. The central capital shook and quivered like never before, and as people fled from their homes and the towers, the earth ripped open and a great hole opened in the ground. Gouts of magical energy pulsed out of the ground, filling the air with the thickest, blackest night they’d ever seen. A few minutes later – and a few hundred miles north – a similar energy pulsed, covering the earth with light that blinded and burned. This continued along every major trunk, at every single point where the magical energies ceased.
With that last burst, that last shudder, the planet calmed. The few survivors of the Cataclysm tried to leave, to go to Cathemega to make a new home, but they were stopped by a great wall of rocky reefs. They ran out of food on these ships, and eventually storms, waves, or the reefs claimed their lives. The ones who didn’t flee found a similar fate, as their food stores ran out and riots began. Farming was impossible, as the world had changed dramatically. Outside of Cathemega, there were only a few tiny settlements that popped up again, but soon died out.
The world had ripped itself apart, sparing only the heart of magic.