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. He twisted it towards his own vision of tearing down the Shroud that divided the Shadowlands 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. The Avatar Storm tore apart many mages, while awakening sleepers en-masse.

Tradition mages celebrated the mass awakening as a bittersweet victory over the Technocracy. But the deaths of their comrades and the sudden attacks by the armies of the dead overshadowed it. With the horrors emerging into the world, many mages fell to madness or their own darker impulses. They reveled in newfound power and a weakening consensus. Marauders and Nephandi grew to overwhelming numbers. For the Technocratic Union, their worst nightmares had come to pass. The dam broke and their careful control shattered. Wraiths waged war through the tattered shroud. Vampires engaged in an orgy of blood and death beneath the black sun. 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

Both tradition mages and technocratic agents realized the situation demanded drastic action. Yet, neither could bring themselves to trust the other. Agents could not ignore the abuses at the hands of deviants and fallen mages. Mages could not ignore the technocratic pogrom. In a final, desperate act, a handful of mages and open-minded agents met on neutral ground. They struck an alliance for the first time since WWII, reinstating Situation Six. While their overzealous factions waged war, the cabal fought to save sleepers and awakened alike.

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. Many on both sides fell to Paradox, but more fell to the despair that accompanied the absence of dreams. Even sanctums were no respite, as they lacked the Will necessary to shape the universe. The Ascension War dwindled to a few individuals with grudges and mundane weapons. Most considered the war over, the Technocracy had finally stamped out all magic... but they, too suffered during this time. Enlightened science all but collapsed with the downfall of infrastructure to support it.

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 it as the death knell. Already fragmented and reeling from a lack of resources, the Union finally conceded it's loss of the Ascension War. The conventions disbanded into disparate groups. Even fractured, the conventions did their best to protect humanity from the supernatural. Most allied themselves with the Unification, to preserve a few dwindling pockets of humanity.