Night of the Shattered Moon

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Prologue to a New Age

The world you knew when the sun last set is gone. Today the sun rose on a harsher world with an actinic glare that burns away all your preconceptions of the world and how it works.

Last night, you went to sleep under a full moon, secure in your knowledge of the world, blissfully and mistakenly sure that you were one of the most powerful beings to walk the planet. You were wrong.

The first hint of the troubles to come came in your sleep. It started as a low murmur in the background of your dream that quickly turns into a shout of alarm and a clarion call to battle. Your eyes snap open and you feel yourself pulled to the window by the sure knowledge that something is terribly wrong.

As you reach the window, you look up through a clear sky to the heavens and your breath is taken away by the horror before your eyes. Half the sky is covered by a pale writhing mass of glowing organic matter that blots out the stars. It takes you a moment to realize that this vomitous cosmic spew is rapidly descending to the surface from beyond the orbit of the moon.

Panicking, you draw your weapon or prepare your most powerful spell, but you know in your heart that there is nothing you can do against thousands of cubic miles of meteoric putrescence. As your mind races, searching for something to do, you realize that your companions, your neighbors, your subjects, your rulers, everyone on the planet is also looking up in horror, also wondering what they can possibly do to fend off their inevitable destruction. As it draws closer, you realize that the mass is not one object as you formerly thought, but millions of smaller, writhing living things, descending to devour your world.

Suddenly, your hearts fill with hope. Rising from the surface, you see bright lights ascending to avert disaster. They resolve into individual, gigantic figures. The gods have come to defend their world. A bright warrior dressed in shining mail and bearing a platinum blade charges forth astride a golden stallion, followed by his five warriors of gold, silver, ruby, emerald and sapphire. A green woman transforms into a phoenix and rains fire on her foes, burning them from the sky in the hundreds. A dark lord, glowing red, wields his fist-shaped morningstar wildly, reveling in his bloodlust. Twin brothers, estranged for millennia, ride together again, a nomad on a black horse and a king riding a white. The Master of Battle and the Lord of Light fight back to back, trusting each other for the very first time. Most impressive of all is the old man in dark robes edged with fire. His staff of black metal glows with incredible energy, when he lets loose the blast clears entire sections of sky, vaporizing thousands of the vile meteors.

All the gods, from the mightiest to the most obscure, join the battle. It appears as if the tide has turned, the alien presence is growing smaller, when suddenly immense forms in the shape of insanity move into view from within the boiling mass. Their blows land on the deities, obviously causing them harm. The largest of the abominations converge on the old man in dark robes, attempting to snuff out his light. An improbable duo intercepts the Progenitor’s would-be-assassins, a man in red robes with a burning staff and a withered, misshapen deity wielding a spiked chain. They dive into the mass of alien madness, giving the old man enough time to escape. For their efforts, the two deities are rewarded with agonizing deaths as their bodies are hurled to earth in flames and thunder. With their deaths, you feel a tearing in your soul, as if a part of the world was gone. You understand that every living thing in the world also feels the same sensation. The body of the Corruptor falls to the east while the Burning Sage’s corpse falls closer to you, in the north.

With their attack on the planet itself blunted, the invaders refocus their efforts. Several of the largest abominations explode into streams of thick, viscous liquid that the gods are unable to prevent from falling to the surface. The rest of the invaders seek out another target. They rush towards the moon.

Taken by surprise the gods are unable to prevent this new assault, the gods can only watch in stunned surprise as the Silver Lady stands against the invaders alone. She is quickly overwhelmed and you feel the tearing in your soul again as the lady dies. Her husband, the Lord of Light, cries out in agony, straining against the other gods who hold him back from a suicidal plunge into revenge. Her body is swept along with the tide of putrescent alien flesh as it splashes against the moon’s surface, enveloping it, transforming it from the familiar sentinel of the night into a pulsing gray-green heart of madness beating in the night sky.

The first phase of the battle is over. The gods fade away as the morning comes, but they leave behind new stars in the sky, guardians to stand between the moon and Erathia, to protect it from the new menace that the moon has become.

The sun climbs into the sky. It burns hotter than you remember. It burns for revenge.

The world you knew when the sun last set is gone. Today the sun rose on a harsher world with an actinic glare that burns away all your preconceptions of the world and how it works.

Note from the DM: The first person to post a comment on this with a constructive plan of attack gets a 5,000 xp bonus. The second person gets 2,500 xp. The third person gets 1,250.


Articles under Night of the Shattered Moon



Cover image: World of Wizard's Peak World Header by Gillian Galang

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