Once Upon a Nightmare
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[br]In the year 2018, in Luxor, Egypt—just outside the Valley of the Kings—archeologists discovered an ancient tomb. Remarkably well-preserved, but otherwise unremarkable, they were pleasantly surprised when they stumbled across thin blocks of gold. Buried among broken clay pots and faded statues of what looked to be guinea pigs and ferrets, it took several years to translate the hieroglyphics engraved on the gold blocks into modern language.
They called it ‘The Book of Night and Day.’
Once translated, what happened next was both terrible and terrific.
The translator was the first to receive the gifts, of course. Upon uttering the incantation, he was granted powers beyond his wildest dreams—and then his team, and so on, and so forth. Word spread. Countries became interested. The incantation was sold to the highest bidder and suddenly the whole of the US military was a fleet of super-humans. Others wanted in, other people needed to know—the secret got leaked, again, and again; bought, sold, and transported until eventually every military had their own little bit of something special to combat the others.
Eventually, though, the lucky soldiers went home—they told their families, despite sworn oaths. They couldn’t help themselves. They couldn’t stand the thought of seeing their loved ones die all around them while they themselves would live on forever. Such knowledge spread like a disease, rapid and out of control; it could have gone well, so well! Had they known how to handle it, had they known any measure of self-control—
People simply ceased to die of natural causes; more, and more, and more came into the world as time wore on, each of them stronger and more powerful than the last.
Resources became stretched too thin, the earth started to die.
Tensions between nations arose. War broke out.
With each army equally matched, desperation took hold and the unthinkable happened: The first bomb was dropped on Los Angeles at exactly 9:10am, January 12th, 2055.
The response was quick, merciless, and vicious from every inch of the globe—they blew eachother apart until there was nothing left except the two that had started it all.
Tago sighed, bits of radioactive ash falling from the sky like flakes of dirty-gray snow. He strode across that great big expanse of nothing, towards his brother who stood calmly in the middle of nowhere and then took a long, long look at what had once been something. There were traces of road beneath his feet; the black asphalt stuck out from under the ash, its painted yellow lines seemed to glare up at him—the only bit of actual color left behind by a world that no longer existed.
He slapped a hand to his brother’s back and grinned sheepishly. “Oops?”
“Oops indeed,” Nokto replied.
Raj’da is the new world created by the Gods, Tago and Nokto. Set one thousand years after the war that wiped-out humanity, no one remembers what the world was like before The Great War—of course, the oral history lives on. The accounts of what happened vary and none of the facts are exactly clear to anyone surviving in the here and now, though traces of the Old World remain and crop up from time to time.
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