The Dread Winter Physical / Metaphysical Law in Age of Defiance | World Anvil
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The Dread Winter

Thangor's Revenge...   One of the most catastrophic natural disasters to have ever occurred in recorded history, the recent Solar Swap occuring over 8000 years ago resulted in a system-wide event collectively referred to as the "Dread Winter" by all sapient races of Thuruk. While the jarring shift in temperature affected all outer-most worlds, the ancient Freelanders of Planet Thanged popularized the event as being caused by the Celestial Brothers Thangor and Thuruk as they grappled for supremacy. The sickening of the great river and the proliferation of the Weeping Death forced survivors to flee north, seeking refuge in the great ice cliffs found there. The ensuing period of bitter cold lasting for nearly 400 years very well could have snuffed out primitive humans before they gained their footing.

Manifestation

According to recent paleontological studies, the Solar Swap occurs in intervals of fifty million years, so thankfully the system isn't due for another one for quite some time, but the Dread Winter had quite the traumatic effect on developing races. Ironically enough, the Thunthen weathered the recent episode far better than the Thangiens due to their rudimentary technology.  
"The Fendahu do not speak of the Dread Winter, though I imagine they fared just fine with those fabulous fur coats of theirs. The Kikua are likewise mum about its effects save that they 'dove deeper than ever before'. Sadly very little of Bangukian texts survived the Burning, and Almethea certainly isn't old enough to remember..."
— Sarah Ann Goode, xenohistorian
 
DreadWinterb.jpg
The Brother's Celestial Duel by Mardrena
Made in BlackInk
  The Dread Winter seems to act something like an evolutionary reset button, snuffing out any life forms unable to adapt or weather the storm. The Thunthen have the ancestral memory of suffering a previous Dread Winter in their distant past as primitive ankylodons, and the recent episode spurred great technological innovation in their civilization.  
"For those that wonder how the early Thangiens avoided devolving, quite simply put, the younger members got quite stir crazy. With food supplies stretched thin as they were, this had the rather unpleasant benefit of culling the weak. The more adventurous youths ranged far and wide to hunt with only the most successful returning with food while bringing back news of the world abroad. This would reinforce the spirit of hardiness and exploration that came to define Freelanders."
— Sarah Ann Goode, xenohistorian

Localization

Planet Thanged

  At that point in history the early humans had created a rather complex hunter-gatherer society along the banks of the Winding White. Freelanders noticed something amiss when the little sttanavoseni began appearing in greater numbers, venturing out of their burrows in broad daylight and scurring northward. The villagers scoffed and remained content in their dwellings while the Freelanders began some stockpiling of their own. The Dread Winter did not necessarily envelop the entire planet, but the preceding events forced the early peoples to abandon their villages. Hunting parties returned from the south with warnings that the great marshes suffered the same contamination as the river. Left with little choice, the Freelanders had to bunker down in the Northern Ring, finding the caves within curiously warm and comfortable.   While bereft of the ramshackle hydroponics of the Thunthen, the humans were able to maintain troughs of hardy roots and mushrooms to feed their livestock. Not until thousands of years later would Deres discover the Basek de Rhakka supervolcano past the Northern Ring, the source of life-saving warmth for the Freelanders. He discovered assorted paintings on the cave walls, and deducing the further in from the entrance, the newer the images, he managed to piece together a crude history of the ancient people. One of the last drawings before the people proclaimed it safe to return to the plain depicted an object like an arrow streaking across the sky, with excited figures pointing at it. Deres assumed this depicted a defeated Thangor plunging toward the ground. It is believed the Dread Winter spurred the subtle genetic shift from homo sapiens to homo bellator.  

Spoiler Warning: Upcoming Content!

  Spacequake Ch. 11]
Shainie paused in her chatter when she heard a sound like a distant rumbling whistle and raised an eyebrow. Aurora and Australa likewise paused and looked behind them, tilting their gaze skyward. Other people along the thouroughfare paused and pointed at something in the sky that streaked over the city at a low angle. It gleamed with metal and looked almost like an arrowhead, vanishing past the walls and leaving a trail of exhaust in the air. A cry rippled throughout the crowd when they could hear a distant boom and excited civilians flooded towards the southern gate.   Aurora and Australa strode down the path, trying to shoulder their way through the crowds. "Make way! Make way for the First House! Make way for the First House!" Aurora bellowed with lungs accustomed to dealing with unruly twin sons.   "Yeah, you heard her! First House coming through!" Shainie shouted and held her arm up, pulling her bracer cuff down and brandishing her Pairing scar like a badge. The crowd eventually parted and the three made their way up front to the South gate to see the metallic object buried halfway into one of the distant lonesteads. It had four sides to it like a pyramid with the corners narrowing into wings. Tube-like protrusions from the wide end glowed briefly before dimming.
 

Planet Thunthen

  The dragon-men felt the warnings in their blood, an evolutionary holdover from their past lives when they munched on algae in deep caves. Briefly wondering if this was punishment from the departed Four Queens of old, they hastily made preparations and set up facilities deep underground using the fibrous algae that had proved so versatile in the past. Putting aside the animosity among the three races, Nobeyls, Khamen, and Pesak learned to co-operate to endure the bitter dry cold that ravaged the surface. Unwilling to simply settle for fruits and vegetables, the dragon-men maintained herds of subterreanean beasts for meat protein, making subtle tweaks to their hydroponics to keep up with the demand. In this way the cunning Thunthen were able to live far more comfortably, delving deeper and shaping stone rather than risk venturing to the surface.   Unlike Thanged's snow-clogged skies, the air appeared crisp and clear on Thunthen, and while they did not know of the Celestial Brothers or have any creative myths of their own, the glittering stars kindled a desire to venture forth someday, and perhaps find where the Four Queens had gone off to...  

Events of Foes From Another World

  Mal Daggur kicked off his campaign of aggression ironically by using the same fibrous algae that had saved the Thunthen in the past to cause a re-emergence of the mold bloom that nearly ravaged the ancient Freelanders. He had been aware of the Thangiens' new allies for some time having already dispatched agents to Earth, but had yet to oberve their powers in action. The "Ronin Warriors" used their powers to actually recreate the conditions of the Dread Winter, using the Armors of Corruption, Typhoon, and a temporarily empowered Armor of Torrent to kill off the mold bloom. Despite thwarting his plan to inflict mass casualties-at least greater than those already sustained-the event provided Mal Daggur with crucial intel regarding these "mystically-armored individuals".  

Spoiler Warning: Upcoming Content!

  Spacequake Ch. 11
"On a more serious note...some people showed up in town the other day...and they're not from around here. And when I say 'not from around here' I'm not talking Bainshaebo or Kundain or even the entire planet. I'm talking-like-the entire system 'around here'," Shainie rambled, her brow wrinkling and her gaze averted, as if her mind struggled to put to words what she wanted to tell those gathered. "Aurora says something like this hasn't happened in literally thousands of years. The entire city's in an uproar. Whatever's going on has even the Four Queens on edge..."
Freelanders trudging through the snow
Flight to the North by Mardrena
"So much of early Thangien history existed only in oral traditions passed down through the Freelanders, and it wasn't until Deres made his great trek that he gleaned more details from his sojurn into the Northern Ring. With the sky in disarray, is it any wonder the ancient people percieved these two titans wrestling with one another?"
— Sarah Ann Goode, Xenohistorian
Type
Natural
Artistic impression of Thuruk battling his vengeful brother.
Thuruk the Warrior by Mardrena
Thangor attempting to wrestle with his belligerent brother.
Thangor the Tactician by Mardrena

Articles under The Dread Winter



Cover image: Dread Winter Header by Mardrena

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