The First Age

We all know something sleeps within humanity.  We eat up the legends: vampires, werewolves, superheroes.  We seek in dark theaters and we pour through boring tomes; and we secretly wonder if some sliver of the stories is real.  Legends are based on myth after all, and we don’t realize their origins have faded into time.

But time is not a black wasteland of questions. 

Time is a wheel

Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival... a survival of a hugely remote period when... consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity... forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds...
— Algernon Blackwood

A new power map

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By the end of the twentieth century, governments around the globe push initiatives to develop alternative sources of fuel so that dependence upon a few mega suppliers, such as those in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, could diminish.  They moved toward a system in which most countries had some domestic resources to meet their needs, and this seemed to go well. Costs of energy decreased and economies flourished, but resources were delicate when uncertainty hung in the balance.  

Then it seemed all at once natural disasters shook every corner of the world: earthquakes rattled urban populations, volcanoes long dormant woke from their slumber, tsunamis flooded coast lines and the formerly prosperous world was turned into a difficult place to thrive.  The costs of repair, the toll of human life, and the destruction of power grids, transports, refineries, and trade sparked inflation never before seen.  Soon, first world powers did all they could to recover loss of life and property, but prosperity dwindled and the lesser affluent suffered most.

In the earliest stages of these events, a new president of the Russian Federation won the world stage.  This was the man responsible for discovering an untapped oil and viable shale deposit in Siberia and escalated the country into economic reform, resurgent nationalism, and social pride.   A capitalist at heart, he was initially viewed as a reformer by the west and as a savior to his adopted nation.  President Brandon's first objective was to ensure Russian interests were met peaceably with the rest of the world.  Thus, he embarked upon a world political tour to demonstrate this reformed, modern Russia.  As disasters rattled his competitors, Russia practically became the world's sole supplier of energy.
 

It was during this tour that the first disaster struck, more quickly followed.  Earthquakes destroyed nuclear plants in the Indies, decimated infrastructure in the Middle East, and hurled destructive tsunamis across the Pacific Ocean.  The coastlines of the Far East, California, and everything in between disappeared.  Platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Alaskan coast crumbled with sudden shifts in the seabed, and crushed fleets trafficking crude oil to and from refineries rendered Venezuela's market uninhabitable.  In a few short years, demand soared out of control and inflation skyrocketed as a result.  Meanwhile, Russia’s mediocre economy experienced fantastic growth and their currency quickly surpassed the Euro in value.  The President easily consolidated the nations of the old USSR, and renamed the empire the Ascendant Soviet Union.  Their leader, the President which discovered this miraculous Siberan oil and was the world's salvation, titled himself “Ascendancy“.  For his supply, and the cost to build lines across an unforgiving Siberian desert, he charged astronomical fees.

In the face of enormous inflation, and the subsequent increase in costs of food, trade and water purification, a number of small wars were sparked among the Far East and Indian subcontinent.  When approached by the ASU, promising stability, wealth, and order, these nations were all annexed without violent conquest despite the minor detail of lacking democracy.  While the ASU became a beacon of hope on the world stage, local governments were largely controlled by a newly appointed, if corrupt, aristocracy – anyone and everyone risen to sudden power as the world shifted: drugs, piracy, crime, executives, oil lords, anyone, and all of them extremely loyal to the Ascendancy.  

Threatened by the growing empire around them, China quickly realized the need to build their defenses, strengthen their army, and modernize the entire country.  They imply the intention of calling in the debts other nations owe them or else instigate hostile measures.  Political tension heightens.

Europe became the next bastion to be collected by the ASU.  They were too vulnerable to resist the temptation for long, not with so many smaller nations declaring bankruptcy.  Following the riots in Berlin, Athens, Amsterdam and Stockholm, the civil population welcomed the attendant protection of the ASU.  Even if it meant stripping themselves of national identity, which they barely realized was happening.  To accommodate this massive annexation, the Ascendancy restructured the ASU into the Central Custody of Dominion and named himself its authoritative ruler.  Within an astonishing period of time, much in this part of the world where borders and regimes changed frequently - identity, language, and culture - blurred into the uniformity of the CCD.

Ascendancy's symbol and mark of the CCD empire.

Ascendancy's symbol and mark of the CCD empire.

While Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Indies transitioned wholeheartedly into the CCD, the rest of the world fell further into chaos.  Not only has the Americas suffered from disasters on an enormous scale, but trade ground to a crawl.  Governments turn to building nuclear reactors as a replacements for what was lost but the projects will take decades to complete.  Meanwhile, the Americas, as the Chinese largest debtor, immediately realized they cannot repay their massive debts should they be called in.  In anticipation of the future chaos, most of South America erupted into a string of civil wars: the powerful scrambling over one another.  The continent was quickly reduced to anarchy.  The United States turned to the CCD for aid: food, economic, and civil, but the Ascendancy does not rule a charity.  The CCD will not offer sanctuary to a nation unless that nation agrees to join the Custody.  He offered the USA a chance at annexation, and therefore hope, but he was refused.  The United States will remain independent.

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But over the last five years a strange new disease emerged.  The WHO upgraded the mysterious deaths striking the worldwide young adult population to pandemic level phase 5: indicating a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and thus the time has arrived to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of mitigation measures. The Ascendancy, the sole and absolute ruler of the CCD, finally begins to consider this outbreak.  His realm is no less afflicted than anywhere else after all.  He dares to wonder whether he knows the “cure” and makes arrangements for individuals to be collected at a secure experimental Facility, soon to open in an undisclosed location. 

 

Timeline of events

 

1984, first channeler is born.

Dec 31, 2002, first channeler wields the Power at the age of 18.  He is driven into hiding by the Atharim.

2013, shale and oil reservoirs discovered in Siberia by the first channeler; he’s shoved into the world stage. 

2013, channelers begin to be born across the world.  Female Wilders will emerge between the ages of 14-18 (2027-current), male Wilders will emerge between the ages of 20-30 (2033-current): many of them will die from the channeling sickness.

2020, The Russian Federation elects Nikolai Brandon as President.  During his diplomatic world tour, unexpected natural disasters strike the globe.

2023,  Ascendant Soviet Union, the ASU forms from the nations of the former USSR.  President Brandon elevates his title to 'Ascendancy'.

2024, ASU annexes nations of the Far East, Mongolia, and Indian subcontinent.  China refuses.

2025, The Middle east and Europe follow with annexation, after which, the ASU restructures itself into the Central Custody of Dominances or the CCD.  

2025 - 2035, massive inflation and economic recession wrecks havoc on the world's continually failing infrastructure.  Strangely, only the CCD remains unaffected.   China ceases lending money, and national defaults ensue.

2035, first death is reported due to a strange, new outbreak, a 16 year old girl.  It is thought to be a new strain of flu. It is said she died screaming.

2035 - 2040, more deaths are reported among teenagers.  A disproportionate amount of them have been female.  Considered to be new disease, the World Health Organization searches for the agent.

2045, a 'cold war-era' level of political tension spreads across the world, most of it instigated by the USA which views the CCD as a dictatorship; representing a new axis of evil.