Last Days War
The Last Days War was a fierce force of destruction the likes of which the world had never seen before. Nor since. And while it could be argued the war had many intricacies that lead to it, that it was a “complicated issue”. But the cold truth of the matter is it had a very simple reason for happening. The world wasn’t ready. The world wasn’t ready for the Archano-Tech revolution. The peoples of the world were not ready for the rapid change in every aspect of their life, from the simplest to the profound. They were not ready for the upheaval of every day life caused by such rapid advancement. And, worst of all, they were not ready to ask the questions they should have. For they never stopped to ask “Should we?” as they were too busy asking “Can we?” and doing everything they could to prove they could. The lead up to the Last Days war was actually rather peaceful by most standards. As the Archano-Tech revolution raged across the allied states, one development after another was thought up, fine tuned, and produced. The earliest of examples of applications of Spell Keys, and other Archano-Tech, were all focused on increasing quality of life. To make life easier for all involved. Even the first automatons that were successfully created were simply used for labor intensive work. Mining. Hauling. Woodcutting. Plowing fields. All things that had, for centuries, taken a lot out of an individual in order to accomplish. And, in many instances, had risks of injury or death. But, now they had magically directed automatons to do their worst tasks. Which left individuals with little more to do than simply create. Research. Plan. Doing things the automatons simply couldn’t. And, as a result, they had plenty of time for testing and simply letting their ingenuity run wild. The more research was done, and refinement of task instructions, along with massive amount of experimentation, the more Automotons were able to complete. Eventually they were able to do complicated tasks without any real supervision. Even able to troubleshoot and repair themselves if the need arises. Food production. Manufacturing. Building. All of these tasks were able to be passed off to the automatons. And, with a tireless workforce, the allied races began experiencing a golden age of plenty. Where resources were coming in at a steady pace, and research was able to continue optimizing both gathering and manufacture techniques. Great cities sprung up all over as new building techniques were incorporated with the new materials that were being created and harvested. Where once smaller towns and provinces had been the norm, large metropolises began to spring up in areas. All centered around the research hubs. For the first time they had the ability to build structures hundreds of feet tall. And they did. Reaching for the sky both metaphorically and physically. The God twins, unlike how many would perceive as mortals encroaching in their territory, were exceedingly pleased. Their little creations were doing well. And working together, as they had requested. The God twins actually looked forward to see where their little ones would be able to take themselves. But then things started souring. While they had a large supply of nearly everything, the ones involved in the highest levels of research realized they were starting to have a problem getting some very critical components for their research. Among them, and most concerning, were Soul Gems. Even though they had discovered enough to be able to power their creations through a variety of other means. Their manufacture, and the research to progress further, required higher quality materials. And in mass quantities. The problem is, Soul Gems were a poorly understood material that, even at the end of the war, they were never able to figure out exactly how to locate them reliably. They even made attempts to synthesis them. But all of them failed. The trading that took place, along with their sharing of items and technology, allowed the allied races a massive edge on a global scale. Both economically and politically. They had what everyone else wanted, and others were more than happy to trade the precious, but little used, items for the life altering advancements the Elves and Dwarves were churning out. That was until they realized they needed the same Soul Gems to maintain the lifestyle that the allied races introduced them to. The catch twenty-two had been revealed. Rapidly the steady supply from other countries began to dry up. Although the tribes of man were the first to entirely cut off the allied races. Because of the way their god had set things in motion, they were always conservative towards opening themselves up to threats or dangers. They already had many struggles to deal with, and, unlike the allied races, they had to combat such hardships with nothing more than the sweat from their brow and their wits. The humans were unwilling to give up literally life saving resources once they realized their dilemma. In retaliation, the allied races began cutting the humans off from any form of trade. Starting with their highly prized Archano-Technology items. They began levying sanctions against them so strict, that they threatened to do the same to anyone else that tried to bypass it. Thus rapidly cutting the trade humans were able to do in general. A couple countries ignored the sanctions, and did little more than prove the allied races weren’t bluffing as they found themselves cut off as well. Tensions began rising among the variety of nations as the allied nations, from the view points of many, were acting like spoiled children hearing the word ‘no’ for the first time. Which, given the run away golden age they were experiencing previously, is an apt analogy. Disagreements and tensions over trade quickly lead to a variety of skirmishes between both sides It was around this time that the god twins urgently tried to get the races to work together again. To remain calm and return to their peaceful ways. They tried to encourage their creations to do as they had already proven they could: find solutions to difficult problems by working together. But their pleas fell on mostly deaf ears. For once, and despite what many would have expected given the world’s previous history, the war that began to grow was not because of the gods. It was no holy war. They didn’t fight for the honor of their deities. Or to protect themselves from others trying to impose the rule of their own deities. No, this war came about purely from the will of the mortal races. Especially the allied races. As they were, if honestly critiqued, completely terrified of stagnating and falling back into their old ways. The view was, quite simply, that they had to keep pushing forward. Or they would fall into darkness again. Progress is forward. Not in the past. And the masses were terrified of what it would mean otherwise. Most of their life had become dependant on their current level of technology, and they were uncertain if they could even survive being reduced to what was considered normal just a generation before. Out of fear for their livelihoods, and very lives, and nothing more, they began switching over. Instead of trying to find new methods of doing the same thing. Instead of trying to find other solutions that would allow them to live comfortably. They sought progress. They sought advancement. So they turned their skills, and ability for rapid advancement, elsewhere. Towards war. Gunpowder weapons had been a tinkerers toy of the Dwarves for some time. An oddity to be played with and watched. It had little real purpose. Although, the fireworks they were able to produce with their larger versions were quite beautiful and impressive. Though, as a weapon, they were lacking in their ability to really do any harm. Accuracy, damage output, reload speed, reliability, etc. It was lacking across the board. Until the need arrived for improvements. A powerful need. And, like with everything else in the country, the Dwarves started collaborating with the Elves on improving their oddity into something formidable. Magic based weapons were well enough for the Elves. But they required Elves for their manufacture. And the armies of the allied nations needed to be armed more rapidly than what their magic would allow them to do. So manufacture hubs were dedicated to the manufacture of firearms. Projectile weapons that even those with zero magical ability could utilize. Blunderbusses were refined to be smaller. More portable. The powder steadily tweaked to burn more efficiently, while being more stable. Loading device added to make it load faster. Then load itself after being fired. Then upgraded to self contained cartridges that simply had to be put in place to fire. Mechanical ingenuity was brought in to allow this new self contained ammo to be rapidly brought in and put in place, before the spent shells were ejected. A massive variety of them spun off and were being utilized. Each time they were made, and sent off for use and testing, they took feedback from those at the proving grounds, and the battlefield as well, and made improvements based on that. Within short order they took the mechanical oddity, that was only be able to hit the broadside of a barn reliably at relatively short distance, and if you made the fragments it belched out small enough to pack in a lot more per burst, to becoming a horrifyingly effective instrument of death. While the start of the war began with melee weapons, in martial combat, things quickly shifted as advances in warfare technology arrived. No longer was it groups fighting each other with close range weapons, or long range spells in the case of elves. Though the usage of swords and other melee weapons mostly fell to the wayside in favor of more lethal distance weapons, they were still used. And, in fact, were still used in one capacity or another as they were regularly upgraded with newer, more lethal, enchantments and materials. Instead of spending resources on finding a solution to their real problem, they squandered them on new research to make tools of war even deadlier. This included their automatons. Laborer automatons were outfitted with a variety of weaponry, and their outer shells reinforced with armor to allow them to last longer on the battlefield. Later developments allowed them to repair themselves, magically, while still being in the middle of a battle. Causing them to be able to withstand far more punishment before truly being put down. One of the standard monstrosities was known as a Centurian. Built in the image of the Dwarves, who were the ones that lead the charge in their manufacture, they were worrisome opponents. With advanced programming by this point, they were not only able to use their own inbuilt weapon systems, which were robust on their own, but they had the ability to use standard weaponry to great effect. If a Dwarf could use it, a Centurian could use it. Spherical assistants, that had retractable tendrils capable of fine manipulation, had been used for a variety of chores from tending to and harvesting crops, to medical assistants, to even building maintenance and cleaning. The most domesticated of all automatons. Even they started being improved for usages of war. Light based magical weaponry built into their frame. Some of them hardened with superior quality shells to make them hard to even damage. And enhanced programming to allow them to use new ‘tools’. Resulting in them now able to using firearms as easily as they had previously used repair welders. As the war continued on, more got involved. They could see where it was heading and they wanted it to stop before it got out of hand. Some provided mercenaries to one side or another. Some provided mercenaries to both sides. Others provided other aid. Still others simply remained neutral in the entire thing and just waited for it to play out on its own. And, though the tribes of humans were at a distinct disadvantage, magically speaking, they were far from being completely helpless. Their long existence of getting by on their own wit and strength had led them to martial skills of terrifying efficiency. In close quarters combat, they could entirely make up for their magical deficiency. Human tactics revolved mainly around elements of surprise, stealth, and subterfuge. They had, to their advantage, managed to steal a variety of the technological advances that the allied races had come up with. It usually didn’t take too long after the items were developed and produced, for the same type of item to show up on the opposing side of the battle field. Including robots. The humans, upon discovering the wondrousness of the automatons the Dwarves had made, started doing the same thing. And they started producing them in mass. They could send entire swarms of the lethal bots at the allied lines, and not have to risk any of their own. All the while using the rampaging bots as a distraction so they could deploy their troops for flanking maneuvers or allow them to attack from new positions. Then they could send in teams to recover any vital components from the robots, like Spell Keys, in order to build new ones. Most of these were also automatons: spherical assistants repurposed for stealth salvage to continue the war effort. As the war went on, the humans displayed their own tenacity, and wit. They started using potions created in such a way to harness primordial magics. They could enhance their own attributes for a short time. Ranging from strength boosts to speed increases. There were even rumors of transmorphic potions that allowed them to visually mimic other races. Including wings. Their tactics of trying to take the fight out of the allied races lead to individuals being deep behind enemy lines. Where they would gather information and cause various forms of espionage on their tribe’s behalf. And they were able to do so, by using one such transmorphic potion. For it was a relatively simply matter for them to cast off their god’s markings that covered their body by imbibing the potion. And, in some cases, tint their skin so they would blend in with the more chromatic races easier. Their body shape was similar enough that they could walk among Dwarven crowds thus disguised, and not raise a single eyebrow. Though learning to speak properly to avoid suspicion was hard enough that only the most highly trained were able to effectively do it. As the war raged on, the twin gods were increasingly more distraught at what their creations were doing. At how they were no longer listening. And, a few years before The Last Day, the gods showed their displeasure with their creations, by cutting off all contact. Their hope was that they would see the error of their ways and stop when the gods protested their actions so strongly. But, the allied peoples were too busy running towards a rapidly approaching cliff to listen to the warnings being screamed at them from behind. Warfare continued to advance right up to the Last Day. With some experiments being halted, literally, only by the blasts that destroyed their facilities. Having suffered heavy casualties, and beginning to run out of effective counter measures to the allied warmachine, the tribes of man banded together and unleashed one final attack upon the allied races. It was an all or nothing bid to bring the war to a close and, hopefully, safe their homeland. Though the exact reason why they suddenly had such a drastic change in heart and tactics, the reason for their terror of being wiped out, is still unclear. Something happened. Something that convinced them, all of them which was no small feat, that they were facing nothing short of total annihilation. So they struck first. They used every trick they had at their disposal. Every contact. And snuck in forces that were deployed throughout the allied races’ country. And, simultaneously, weapons were unleashed upon the allied races from both within their own country, and from outside. Massive explosions rocked various outposts and defensive structures as infiltrators did their best to weaken the country’s defenses for the oncoming onslaught. Most of them knowing full well that they were going to die and, most likely, at the hands of their own people. For the humans unleashed a long range bombardment of primordially enchanted archano-tech weaponry. Each one capable of massive devastation, and the lingering effects afterwards would continue to hamper, harm, and kill any caught within the blast radius for long periods afterwards. All across the allied races’ kingdom, bombs of terrible power fell, and detonated. But, some were detonated from within their very walls. As infiltrators managed to sneak in, and detonate them exactly where they needed them. Helping to allow the incoming primary bombardment to have an even larger impact on the country by taking out key defensive positions. But, the allied races did not take it lying down. They had some expectations of such actions for quite some time. In fact their own propaganda used to rally the populace for the war effort trumped up that fact all over. In some cases it was literally ‘writing on the wall’ with posters declaring the danger. So, the moment the attacks were detected, the allied races began their own counter attacks. Firing off everything they already had aimed and loaded. For nearly an hour weapons of death soared in every direction as they tried to attack the other side quickly enough that they themselves would survive. That at least some of them would make it. But it was a tactic both sides were using and, thus, only ensured both sides burned in the archano-tech fires of war. Other countries even felt the wrath of the war, as some of them harbored one side or another, or both in a few cases, and some of those facilities were also targeted in the rapid fire onslaught. Archano-tech weaponry obliterated both sides. And, even with the elves adding to both defensive and offensive capabilities with their own magics, even jointly, it wasn’t enough to prevent the total devastation that was wrought across the land. The end result was burning cities reduced mostly to rubble, and a landscape of corpses and tainted inhospitable earth. With very few survivors capable of lasting long enough to help prevent their own races’ extinctions. And all of it was because they became too accustomed to looking and moving forward for solutions, instead of glancing back for relevant opportunities.
30 years before Last Day
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