Ascension War

A Storm Unleashed

An age ago, the Archmage Voormas, the Grand Harvester of Souls, planted a dark seed in the very idea of necromancy twisting it from merely mastering the Underworld towards his own goals: tearing down the Shroud that divided it from the lands of the living. So many necromancers, unknowingly acting towards the same goal, finally succeeded. The Shroud fell. With the Avatar Storm released, shards of avatars flooded over the world, seeking suitable hosts. Many mages were torn apart by the shards, while sleepers awakened en-masse.

Tradition mages celebrated the mass awakening as a bittersweet victory over the Technocracy, but one outweighed by the deaths of their comrades and the sudden attacks by the armies of the dead. With the horrors emerging into the world, many mages fell to madness or their own darker impulses, reveling in newfound power and a weakening consensus. Marauders and Nephandi grew overwhelmingly in number. For the Technocratic Union, their worst nightmares had come to pass. The dam broke and their careful control was shattered. Wraiths waged war through the tattered shroud. Vampires engaged in an orgy of blood and death beneath the black sun, shifters raged across the land. Recently awakened mages could not control their sudden power. They escalated the Pogrom in a vain effort to contain the sudden explosion of reality deviants, but global governments and economy collapsed, leaving the Union in dire straits. Off-world, in the deepest Umbra, the Void Engineers continued their duty. As the walls between worlds fell, they held back unspeakable things from beyond reality. Few survived, and few on Earth were aware of what they had done.

Situation Six

It became obvious, to both tradition mages and technocratic agents, that the situation demanded drastic action. However, neither could bring themselves to trust the other. Agents could not ignore the abuses at the hands of deviants and fallen mages, and mages could not ignore the technocratic pogrom. In a final, desperate act, a handful of mages and open-minded agents arranged a meeting on neutral ground to strike an alliance for the first time since WWII, and Situation Six was reinstated. The allied cabal fought to save as many sleepers and uncorrupted will-workers as possible, even as their own overzealous factions continued to wage the Ascension War.

The Death & Rebirth of Magic

Three years after the fall of the shroud, dreams vanished and hope and wonder with them. Sleepers became incapable of believing in magic, and enlightened science had all but collapsed with the downfall of infrastructure to support it. Even sanctums were no respite, as they lacked the drive necessary to shape the universe to their will. Over the next few years, the Ascension War dwindled to a few individuals with grudges and mundane weapons. Most considered the war over, that the Technocracy had finally succeeded in stamping out all magic. During this time, many on both sides were lost to Paradox, but more fell victim to the despair and malaise that accompanied the absence of dreams.

Then, all at once, dreams returned with greater magic and wonder than ever before. Tradition mages refer to this as a second awakening, Technocrats refer to this as a death knell. Already fragmented and reeling from a lack of resources, the Union finally concedes it's loss of the Ascension War and the conventions disband into disparate groups. Even fractured, the conventions did their best to protect humans from the depredations of the supernatural. Allying themselves with the Unification, they were able to preserve a few dwindling pockets of humanity. Without the opposition of the Technocracy to keep them together, the Traditions too began to fracture into disparate groups.