The Story at Midnight
This Epoch covers what will later be called the “Great Dark Ages”. A period during which most of humanity is reduced to scraping by for survival. New threats emerge almost daily from the Rifts and the Earth’s ecosystems were still struggling to recover from the Shattering
2111: The Shattering. No one knows what happened to cause such a catastrophe. Regardless of what caused it, the damage was done. The Shattering resulted in the Ley Lines. These cracks in fundamental reality have allowed magic, the raw energy that fills the void between realities, to seep into the world. In addition, wherever two or more of these cracks intersect, called a Nexus Point, a Rift can open. These Rifts often act as portals. These portals can open to anywhere, many even open to other times. The raw amount of arcane power pouring out of these cracks results in the death of billions of people as storms, earthquakes, and other super-natural disasters level cities. Two super volcanoes blew, releasing enough ash into the atmosphere to reduce the sunlight reaching the surface by up to 20% worldwide. On top of that, monsters begin pouring out of the Rifts- demons and aliens and creatures from the darkest myths of men.
2113: Within the first 3 years, 9/10 of the world’s population is dead. Those that have survived are either in incredibly advantageous locations, or better prepared to survive than the average joe. The two main groups that fall into the latter category are the Tarot Decks and the Roanoke Enclaves. The Roanoke Enclaves are so well equipped that, if they survived the initial wave of destruction of the Shattering. They stand a decent chance of survival (about 50%). The Tarot Decks are familiar with the supernatural and thus know how to fight it effectively, even without the advanced equipment of Roanoke Enclaves.
2114: The Roanoke Colony is founded straddling the border of Oklahoma and Texas under the leadership of Deborah Libran. Roanoke Industries is essentially shattered, so while the core of this community are former Hyperion and Roanoke employees, it is not affiliated with the company. This is simply a group of like-minded people banding together to survive.
2115: The Major Arcana, the top leaders of the Tarot, successfully gather just north of the flooded ruins of New Orleans, on the far side of the expanded Lake Pontchartrain. Though they meet in secret, this gathering is momentous, marking the beginnings of the Empire of Arcana.
2118: The Demon plagues. Up until this point, the creatures that have been pouring out of the rifts have been unorganized. This marks the first of many organized invasion by DBs (Dimensional Beings). Thousands of demonic creatures poured from several Rifts near the ruins of St. Louis. Though relatively few in number, an individual was capable of going toe-to-toe with a tank. This sends thousands of refugees fleeing to the fledgling cities of New(er) Orleans and the Roanoke Colony, strengthening the positions of both considerably.
2134: The end of the Demon plagues
2148: Skyfall. In the Midsummer months of this year, a storm spread to cover most of the United States from the Mississippi River all the way to the Western coast a good deal past that lasted almost 3 weeks. A storm of this magnitude had not been seen since the months immediately following the Shattering. It flooded much of the earthquake-wracked Californian coast, creating the flooded network of canyons and caverns that would eventually come to be known as The Labyrinth. However, the reason that this storm was remembered throughout history was because of what happened when the skies cleared. It took many years for news of it to spread across the continent, but at some point during the storm the Skyland appeared. A cluster of islands floating about a mile above sea level. The eastern most tip of this cluster is above Puget Sound while the rest of it extends north and west a fair bit (the exact amount is a bit hard to define, since the islands move constantly). There are, as of yet, still an undefined number of islands, though there are 6 “major” islands (50 or more miles across) which are populated, plus an additional 2 which are barren and lifeless.
2165: The first slavers from returned Atlantis appear.
2225: 60 years pass and see no dramatic events unfold on the global scale. This allows the Skylands, Arcana Empire, and Roanoke Colony to grow and develop beyond scraping by for survival.
2227: The Roanoke Colony discovers the Lone Star Complex. This massive and, mostly secret, Roanoke Enclave is a massive structure built mostly underground roughly midway between Houston and Dallas and houses some of the best of RI’s labs and factories. Up until this point the Colony had been making do with what technology its settlers had brought with them and what they had been able to keep repaired. With the addition of the Lone Star Complex, however, all of that changed. The Colony could now begin developing and producing its own advanced equipment.
2230: The Arcana Empire successfully captures a massive cache of Atlantean Bio-tech devices. When combined with what they’ve learned from Skylander Artifice devices acquired via trade, they are able to begin producing unique and amazing devices all their own, called “techno-wizardry”.
These two events mark the end of the “Great Dark Ages”. Two empires have sprung up on American soil (and one above it), and it is only a matter time before they come to conflict.