I forgot most of the details, but I remember back then coming up with a way to put present day Earth, Dark Ages and Loom in the same universe. I never wrote about it because it would obviously not win any in-game contest. Not that any of this is relevant now, of course. I had to change some key views presented in the game’s lore to fit it into our universe.
The history of Dark Ages states that Danaan arrived on Temuair with her Tuatha (fairies?) and brought light and the other gods or something like that. (Funny how it all seemed so very important at the time, and now I barely recall it.) Before she arrived, there was the civilization called Aosda. I remember Aosda was supposed to not dwell in magic, but in technology – not sure if canon (from the original site) or semi-canon (from a Chaos or Atavism Aisling contest-winning entry – while infinitely less glorious than we think it was, we did build that world).
Aosda is us, Western-Judeo-Christian Civilization. At some point something went wrong and our civilization collapsed into such a terrible state that no record remained – or at least anything that remained was lost during the Danaan Era, which spawned some three thousand years and began when Danaan “arrived”. The official lore mentioned something like thirty-two thousand years between the dawn of civilization and the end of this first phase, with a complete collapse somewhere in the middle. That is just what was left of the records starting from Ancient Egypt, Greece, China, Mayans, into the Middle Ages and possibly some greater collapse somewhere, perhaps 2012 (haha). But we got better and civilization prospered again until the next big thing that went wrong big time and put an end to it all.
Danaan is what went wrong. Aosda was thriving but relied heavily on technology. A huge spaceship filled with faeries showed up looking for a place to colonize because their own world had been decimated by something. “Hey, look, Class-M planet, land there!”, and the huge warp field from that ship (accidentally) acted as the worst possible solar flare and/or EMP ever imagined. It wiped all digital data, stopped all devices and machinery that required anything electronic – at the time it happened, Earth was entirely dependent on it. Some knowledge remained in non-digital format, but the extraction and use of most resources relied too much on what was lost. No energy or food was being produced anymore, no water was being treated or distributed, no communication was possible beyond shouting distance. What little military or government resources had been saved from the explosive arrival of Danaan was meaningless when everything else in the world had been fried. Immediately, millions dead in plane crashes, train wrecks, car crashes, hospital failures; soon, more millions would be dead from famine, disease, conflicts for resources. That, and a huge spaceship filled the sky with light. The age of Danaan began in a standard post-apocalyptic scenario.
But before that, there was Chadul. The god of darkness was a huge living mass created from genetic manipulation. No “perhaps they cried too loud”, it was a monster created in a laboratory, perhaps for military ends, perhaps by accident. (At the time, I was reading “Bastard!!” and found the idea of the goddess Anthrasax, created by humans, would fit well enough for Chadul.) But it was not “magical”, of course; it could adapt around change easily, even biologically, its body a terrible mixture of cancer cells and stem cells that continually consumed and rebuilt itself. When Aosda realized that thing was out of human control, they “put it to sleep”, made it hibernate, so it would stop mutating. After all, although horrendous, its cells opened doors unimagined up to that point, and far more research needed to be done before they wiped it from existence. But Danaan’s arrival broke the locks. For a couple thousand years, it just sat forgotten in its lab, a huge immortal mass of cells slowly evolving from random mutation.
But first things first. The tuatha arrived in their huge spaceship, nearly destroyed the world, and figured they had no better option in the short-term: they landed and walked out of the Danaan into the warring humankind. They wanted little to do with the starving primates we had become. They built their Hy-brasyl and started reshaping what was left of mankind into something more to their liking, until “Aosda” disappeared and they could reforge our past as they saw fit.
The tuatha’s limited numbers, however, prevented full control of the Earth. Those they could not have under their eyes and fists were dubbed “worshippers of Kadath” or some other nonsense – “worship the wrong god and everything will go wrong in the world”, as we have today, so everything was the fault of these people. They were merely humans who managed to survive the Danaan-made Apocalypse and the decades of turmoil that followed, and began to rebuilt their civilization away from the aliens. War often broke out between the groups and inside them, as was to be expected.
Hy-brasyl eventually “split” and “drowned”, probably a coincidence of a petty internal struggle followed by a natural disaster. The broken spaceship Danaan remained somewhere, independent of the city, perhaps serving as a stationary overseer, populated by the tuatha aristocracy. Maybe Hy-brasyl were just the outcasts, a group who wanted to have closer contact with the natives. Maybe Hy-brasyl was a zoo created by the tuatha to study the behavior of the natives when they were not fighting each other for food and water – and when they had enough of each specimen, they made it to “slip beneath the waves”, “with no regrets”. Whatever the place was, they altered the records to seem like it was paradise and an external power caused its demise. But they did get somewhere before the city collapsed.
The things that eventually became wizards and deities and Aislings in general were the result of the tuatha having fun with our genetics – perhaps in an attempt to make both species compatible, fearing their reduced numbers could lead to their extinction, perhaps to create more practical servants. Ainmeal and six of the eight deities were eventual consequences of this.
One thing the Grinneal/Kadath group eventually did was uncover the remains of an ancient lab where a creature had been enjoying random mutation and uncontrolled growth for almost two thousand years. But they did not find the creature right away; instead, they encountered horrible distorted things that had been contaminated by the creature’s cells and had their bodies completely taken over by it – the Dubhaimid. Some humans were also touched by it, but the constant mutation of the cells made it so not all had similar fate – most merely died as their bodies tried in vain to fight the most violent infection to ever exist.
It so happened that one human exploring the lab survived just long enough for his genetic material and the invading cells to reach a balance. The process of reaching said balance, however, was enough to cripple him and keep him stuck inside the lab. He crawled forward just enough to come into contact with the original creature from where the cells had come. His body was assimilated back into the mass, the genetic information added to the thing’s pool. From that, soon the thing developed a form of nervous system, and with that, thought, conscience – so Chadul was born.
Aware, Chadul grew now with a purpose, entrenched itself deeper into the earth and spread wide. Dubhaim Castle, Cthonic Remais, Kasmanium Mines, Chaos – all places that went deep enough to reach Chadul, and the creatures who survived formed each place’s twisted ecosystem. Humans who walked close enough to what remained of the lab believed to have walked into a different dimension, perhaps hell itself – it was as if the place was part of Chadul. Most died from contamination. A few survived. Over the decades and centuries, Chadul learned to communicate with them. One of them became Sgrios. Others pledged loyalty to it and were given specialized cells that made them stronger. Tenes and the League of Darkness were among these.
The tuatha lose importance around this time. Perhaps Earth’s atmosphere or the nutritional values of what they could produce here was not fully at par with their homeland and they slowly devolved, became smaller and lost abilities. By the era of Aislings, they were little more than glorified fireflies, assuming those winged things in the Woodlands that people called faeries were indeed tuatha. And eventually all the things they had created with their genetic tampering started being called tuatha.
With them mostly out of the picture, humans were free to wage their own wars, and no better war than the mutants of Chadul versus the mutants of Danaan. This dominated the era, but it was easier for Chadul to infect hundreds and see who survived than for the few remaining actual tuatha capable of producing more genetic-altered warriors. Then one of Chadul’s guys, a traitor called Deoch, thought tuatha were cuter than Dubhaimid and gave away the location of Chadul itself. The tuatha went for what was left of the Danaan spaceship, or what little they still knew how to operate, and prepared the biggest terrorist attack since some forgotten year of Grinneal somewhen, on a Tuesday. They rigged the ship to explode and launched it against what once was Anaman Labs, and now housed most of Chadul’s nervous system (and was probably under Loures somewhere). And they called it “the sacrifice of Danaan”.
With the explosion, Chadul lost its thought capacity and reverted to a huge mass of organic stuff. After thousands of years, it probably lost the ability to mutate and reform itself so quickly, so it naturally went into hibernation while its nervous system is being reformed. This stabilized the environments it touched, which is why Aislings could walk safely into the deepest levels of the Cthonic Remains et al, and the creatures in there were always the same. It is unknown if Chadul’s eventual, if at all possible, reformed nervous system will have any of its memories. It is also unknown if the tuatha salvaged anything from the starship Danaan before launching her; some believe they kept the knowledge of how it was built, so they could eventually build a new one (and either escape the planet again or throw it against Chadul again, hoping for complete destruction this time).
Meanwhile, “Aislings”, the leftovers of the manipulation that created Ainmeal and the deities, go around thinking Deoch gave them “his spark” and they now own the world. Nonsense. The real warriors are just letting they play for a while – while Chadul recovers, and while the new ship is being built.
And the lamps all around Temuair, which use “a drop of the sixth element”, “Light”, are actually made of radioactive material extracted from the wreck of the Danaan. Every light casts a shadow.
* * *
This looks a lot bigger now that I actually wrote it than it did in my mind. It actually matches most of the events in Seanchas Temuair as it is, so I will save the linking to Loom for later. Barely anybody played Loom, anyway. And I know how much editing and proofreading and rewriting this needs, but really, would it give me even a Kingdom level award? I will spare myself the trouble, then.