The War of Ascension: Chronicle Primer.   Posted by DeityX.Group: 0
 GM, 3 posts
 To challenge a god...
 Such is your reward.
Fri 27 Jul 2007
at 04:16
The War of Ascension

The War of Ascension

It was the height of man's civilization, the pinnacle of an age of reason and might, where kings sat upon thrones of supple leather in castles of steel and glass. It was an age of decadence and glory, where survival meant yielding to the oppressive hand of the rich and to thrive meant yielding to a cycle of human exploitation. It was a world that spun on the axis of greed, propelled by the hunger of the powerful, and was, at its last, rocked by their wars. It was a world of impotent, fading dreams, woven as nets to catch the wind. It was a world that spurned the ideal and embraced the material, forsaking wisdom for hubris, creation for destruction.

It was a world that spread its collective soul apart as the great harlot, making love to its manifold iniquities and sinking fast into an Abyss of its own whoredoms.

Then, there came the vision.
A great tower that pierced the heavens called to us and showed us the way-- the lost truths, the power Superna, the keys by which we could unlock the doors to a new destiny and save our world. We had awakened to a new existence. We could again recall the wisdom of Solomon, the magick of Merlin, the fall of Icarus. We suddenly remembered that nothing is finite, that no fate is absolute. We remembered that we are masters of our fates. We remembered our souls. We remembered our power.

With it, we took back that which was stolen.

Thus began the War of Ascension.

--Damocles, War Magus, Order of Hermes

According to the self proclaimed "Ascendants" there has always been magick, practitioners of the art walking unseen in sleeper society, consorting in hidden chantry houses and shadowed orders throughout the history of mankind. Still others insist that the first religions were based upon the teachings of great wizards, the rightful keepers of supernal wisdom. Be that as it may, the rise of the Church in the Middle Ages followed by the Age of Reason all but put an end to the practice of magick, true magick. And as the popular concensus of disbelief grew, so too did the power to shape our world through perception and will. Mankind had embraced a banal, materialistic existence. Where once the wisdom of the heavens equated power, earthly wealth became the measure of the same. The twentieth century has since been coined the "Age of the Faithless" for its blindness toward anything that dealt with the human soul.

The state of the world grew worse during the first decades of the twenty-first century, as the dominant powers of the world nearly destroyed earth with what was sure to be the war to end all wars; missiles scorched the skies, streets ran red with blood, and innocent civilians suffered from the effects of man-made plagues. It was a dark hour in the age of mankind. It was World War III, and many thought the end of the world was at hand.

They had no idea how right they were.

As the Age of the Faithless marched onward in its path to destruction, a glimmer of hope appeared in the form of a "vision" seen by a small few. All across the world there came a dream of a mysterious watchtower that reached the sky, piercing the very heavens. At first none knew what to make of this vision, only that it occurred very rarely and mostly to the young, no matter what race, religion or creed. The old magi, cloistered in their hidden sanctums for centuries, breathed heavily as they saw it for the sign that it was. The awakening, the rapture, the second coming, the hour that had been foretold of in a hundred prophecies in a hundred faiths was upon them. The age of wisdom was upon them. In ancient times, it was the wizards, the wise ones who ruled the nations. It was they who steered the course of civilization through creative and enlightened thinking. The vision was a clear sign of what was to come--there would be a new heaven and a new earth. They had but to supplicate themselves before "God" anew, and come forth and create them.

No matter the cost.

And so the world would soon witness the resurrection of the dread force known as "magick," when the new mages of Europe united and took control of the British government. It had happened almost overnight; first the visions, then the communications... Chinese sorcerers made contact with the old practitioners of Europe, who in turn tracked down what wizards and cult leaders they could in the Americas. Africa soon followed, descendants of long dead witch-kings surfacing to join in the "Wizard's March." Their numbers were few but their power and influence were great, and on October 13, 2012, they staged their attack on the world's financial epicenter: London. At first, there was no fighting involved. The wizards simply stated their displeasure, demanded the government step down, and threatened to attack every major city in the world until their demands were met, much as any terrorist organization. When their threats were challenged, they were fully prepared to unleash their arcane fury upon the globe. That is, until one among their number stepped forward and took over negotiations. He called himself the "Witchlord." There, as he and his comrades stood before parliament, he used his power to bewitch the minds of the ruling body of an entire nation and, before anyone could possibly know what happened, proceeded to seize control of Great Britain. One country had fallen before the wizards' might and no one would know about it until days later, when the Witchlord, speaking for mages everywhere, directed his threat toward the United States. Compliance was refused, however. On that day, a mighty earthquake took place somewhere in the middle Atlantic Ocean.

When the United States decided to go in and "re-establish English sovereignty" they had very little notion of what they were fighting. They were expecting to deal with violent, skilled terrorists who were holding parliament hostage, or at worst, a highly sophisticated militia organized under corporate patronage. What they found was that the whole of the United Kingdom was surrounded by a chasm that stretched for miles into the earth--seawater poured in from all sides in a waterfall so deep that it hit magma. Lightning flashed from clouds of steam that filled the skies of the British Isles, and London... London did not register on any radar, but floated in midair amidst the terrible elemental fury, a fortress city in the clouds. Any plane that dared approach soon discovered that its systems would not function properly within the mysterious energy field surrounding London. An entire air strike force lost their lives that day. By the year 2065, World War III was over. The War of Ascension, the war between man and magus, had officially begun.

Europe fell quickly to the wizards' might. As the United States stood back to assess the power of this new enemy and take defensive measures, the Witchlord took China. All of Asia soon followed. It seemed that nothing could stand against the power of this man, and what was even stranger, wherever the Witchlord went, magick seemed to flourish. Sleepers would awaken and become mages themselves, especially children, whose innocent minds embraced magick so much more readily than their adult counterparts. And as the weeks rolled into months, the months into years, the world found itself changing. Creatures of myth and legend began to surface. Tales of faeries flitting about the deepest forests and dragons lurking within remote mountain caverns passed from lip to ear across the land. All the while, the Witchlord spread the teachings of magick across what would soon become the Magocractic Union of Thule, or simply, the "Magocracy."

As the United States watched on in horror as the world fell before what seemed like one man, they began to plot their counterstrike. They poured all their resources into devising ways to combat these "terrorists," still not able to grasp the fact that this was magick they were fighting. Weapons of untold destructive power were constructed and deployed in hopes of obliterating the enemy once and for all. An army of machines was mobilized. The most brilliant men and women of science came together and led this new technocratic force against the Magocracy, and the War raged like never before. Missiles soared across the skies seemingly around the clock. Whole cities were obliterated. Bombs that could level small countries were released on the Magocracy, and countless innocents lost their lives. By 2075, half of the world's population would die, and the future of the new Magocracy was in serious peril. The wizards boasted otherwordly might, but the power of scientific innovation had the upper hand. Not only that, but during the fighting, they realized that their more powerful magicks did not function properly in the presence of Sleepers. It was as though the Sleepers' disbelief in the ability to alter reality through perception impeded the mages' own ability to shape it. It was the Magocracy's turn to go on the defensive. And so they waited, gathering their power.

The world would experience an uneasy standstill for the next 80 years. The wizards that were already within the borders of the U.S. were encouraged to keep a low profile, to remain hidden while their brethren planned their next move. For the moment, popular consensus of disbelief would favor the hiding mages, but for some, hiding would not be enough. That is when the wizards of a more militant mind took the fight into their own hands and began staging attacks against the U.S. from within. When in April of 2159 a supernatural assassination attempt on the President succeeded, the sleeper populace was finally faced with incontestable evidence of forces unexplainable by modern science. They were at war with magick.

Days later the wizards of Europe, encouraged by the successful assassination of the President, once more went on the offensive. They cast a mighty spell that called forth an asteroid large enough to block out the sun for much of the northern hemisphere, to orbit the earth in a permanent state of eclipse. These mages had hoped to force their opposition into retreat by showing the immense power at their disposal, and the effects of the summoning of "Luna Secundus" were great: World-wide weather patterns and ocean tides were altered by the gravitational shift, and what followed was the onset of an ice age that began in Europe and is gradually beginning to make its way throughout Asia and North America.

Meanwhile, the mystical terrorist attacks in the U.S. continued, only their methods grew more and more insidious, their creed more and more diabolical. Important sleepers went missing only to turn up weeks later as walking corpses. There were several instances of a strange "plague of nightmares" in which whole communities suffered from weeks of disturbing hallucinations, driving many individuals insane and many more to commit suicide. Paranormal activity was on the rise--reports of "ghost" sightings and demonic possession increased dramatically in the U.S. heartlands. And the residents of many inner city areas, already suffering from abysmal economic conditions and crime, would know true horror as monstrous beings from the darkness rose up and descended upon their helpless prey.

However, just as enmity against sleepers was growing, so too was sympathy for their plight. There were benevolent mages out there who saw how their unawakened cousins were suffering at the hands of magick and who understood how disastrous the end result could be if the war continued on its current course. The great "Ascension" was not supposed to be this way. And so, these sympathetic wizards, many from the Sorcery Collegium, banded together and sided with the U.S. government. The Order of Hermes was formed, a small coalition of mages whose mission was to aid the remnants of the United States in the fight against the Magocracy.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that corporate interest and magick had effectively brought the world to its knees, the Magocracy continued to lose the war. At the devastating firepower of this new army of machines bolstered by its alliance with the Order of Hermes, and led by High Commander Odin Qual-Vandel (who had risen to power during the unstable years following the President's assassination), the Magocracy was forced to cease attacks on the U.S.. New innovations in cerebral scanning allowed the machine soldiers to track mages down and slaughter them. It was only a matter of time before they were able to fight their way deep into Magocracy territory and, in the year 2291, finally track down the Witchlord. He was said to have been holed up in the ruins of a small church in Prague. But much to their surprise, this supposed terrorist leader was little more than a solitary teen boy. All this time, it appeared that they were hunting a child.

And yet ultimately, the attack failed. The Witchlord, though just a boy, was surrounded by powerful protectors. The strike force that found him was decimated, and he would go on to lead a devastating counter-attack that took out most of the European resistance. This highly successful campaign directly led to the formation of the mighty Rosicrucian Imperium...

All shall be revealed... in time.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:24, Sat 15 Mar 2014.