The Apocalypse Prevention Party

We're drunk, heavily armed, and we're here to save the world.
  One part Burning Man, one part vigil, the Apocalypse Prevention Party is an irregularly held festival deep within the Shadow of Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland. At every total lunar eclipse, an ancient structure called the Gates of Tomorrow opens a path to the shadow of the moon, and doom hangs over the world like a sword of Damocles.   Combining fun with function, party-goers flock here to bar the Gate, preventing anyone from going up there and doing something stupid with sheer number and drunken enthusiasm.  

Party at the End of the World

If there's one thing we agree on, and probably never more than that - we don't want the world to end. It's where we keep all our stuff.
  Once a somber affair known as the Vigil at the World's End, the Apocalypse Prevention Party is the latest incarnation of an ancient tradition. For as long as there has been a moon up there, eager to kill everyone, there have been people around looking to stop it. When keeping the gate secret was no longer an option, its guardians took the opposite approach and crowd-sourced preventing the apocalypse. People, not keen to see everything die, took to the idea and the name stuck.  
The rules are simple; don't hurt anyone and don't mess with the Gates of Tomorrow.
 
jaroslav-devia-xfYiIpHnvhs-unsplash.jpg
by Unsplash (Jaroslav Devia)
Every total lunar eclipse, the Gates of Tomorrow opens a black void to the shadow of the moon, and the party starts. These days, eclipses are predicted years in advance, and people begin to flock towards the Lauterbrunnen Valley in anticipation of a good time and a good deed. From there, Magi trickle in up until the party ends or arrive on request to solve some issue.   Most of the Apocalypse Prevention Party is an ad-hoc affair. Musically inclined magicians put on shows, alcohol flow in rivers, drugs and sex are pursued with abandon. It is considered common courtesy to remain sober long enough to watch the Gate for at least a few hours each and let others have their piece of the fun. Most comply, since any disruptive elements typically face a crowd of rowdy wizards itching to put them in their place.
 
Once open, the Gates of Tomorrow remains open for around 12 to 24 hours, though the party can last longer.
  On the more practical side, the party often brings powerful spellslingers together in one place and with one purpose. Before getting started on the festivities, magic is worked to keep the Gates safe from tampering - great wards are placed around the stone, old enchantments replaced, and pacts forged with guardian spirits.   There's a certain element of one-upmanship to the whole party that makes the Gates of Tomorrow perhaps one of the most secure places in the world, magic or mundane.  
And the first ward of all is to sober up anyone who gets too close to the standing stones.
  Though infrequent, the Apocalypse Prevention Party sometimes becomes a battleground when some megalomaniac wizard thinks he can breach the gates and find true ultimate power or something equivalent. In the face of so much combined magical might, unfettered from any restraint by a sense of righteous cause and plenty of alcohol, it has never gone well for any would-be world-conquerer.  

The Breach

Once more, into the Breach - whoever gets closest drinks free for the rest of the party!
  One of the few regularly organized events during the Apocalypse party, the Breach is a trial of the gate's defenses. Wit, cunning, and subtle magic is put to the test under the watchful eyes of sober judges and their twitchy assistants.  
Though risky and often criticized, many consider it a vital part of the party - something that keeps people from getting complacent. Others enjoy pitting their minds and spells against the most formidable defenses anywhere, and there's always some smart-alec who thinks he can outwit everyone and use the Breach to ascend through the Gates.  
Always. Every damn time.
  Participation is opened at a certain time, and competitors are free to strike at any point during the open hours. Brute force, harming defenders, or otherwise making a mess results in the offender being immediately ejected from the party and sometimes the land of the living.
  Those who display cunning, great skill, or try unexpected routes are rewarded, and the defenses sharpened for next time the world needs to be saved. At the end of the day, people clean up and go back home, satisfied that there's still a home to back to.
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by Pixabay
 

Murderous Moon

Though few know the details, the moon has always been trouble. When it is full, the wall between worlds weaken, monsters awaken, and trouble brews. Magic itself shifts, depending on the magical tradition.   It might be a prison, it might be a great magic focus, it might even be a god. Whatever it is, it's the kind of thing it's better if no one goes poking around on.  
The Moon Wants To Murder You: Fact or Fiction?
Myth | Jul 10, 2021

The moon; innocent turner of tides, or malicious bastard just waiting for a chance to stab us all in the back?

Very rarely, something emerges from the Gates of Tomorrow, usually with enough malice to sober up everyone present.
 

Shadow of the Moon

The Shadow lies atop the mortal world, like a veil of oil on water. It's where things that go bump in the night hide when the sun goes up, where magic dwells, and where wizards and witches live away from prying eyes.   It's a plane of existence that mirrors the world. From here, people in the Prime are like insubstantial shades. It isn't quite a 1-to-1 translation of the real world, but close - and the shadow of the moon is a forbidding, dangerous place, even for the most powerful warlock.  
The Shadow
Geographic Location | Apr 9, 2021

Like an oily stain across reality, the Shadow co-exists with the real world and hides monsters of magic.

Fortunately, magi can still build their own places, independent of the mirror cast by Prime.   The stage for the Apocalypse Prevention Party, for instance.
 

Pacts

Pacts are contracts signed with entities of power, usually from the Beyond, where a Magi makes a promise in exchange for some boon. These range from small and fleeting, such as safe passage through a part of the Beyond or the Key to a particular Gate, all the way to immortality and forbidden, blasphemous powers. The price paid rises accordingly, and only fools make such promises lightly.  
Pacts
Condition | Jul 8, 2021

Making a deal with a devil, and its consequences.

ganapathy-kumar-ve_uN9V8xqU-unsplash.jpg
by Unsplash (Ganapathy Kumar)


Cover image: by Unsplash

Comments

Author's Notes

Shout out to my boi Stormbril and a link to one of his excellent articles. Go check it out :D


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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
6 Jul, 2021 09:55

Amazing! I love the moon being a bastard XD those quotes are great and it really makes a lot of sense to have people know about the event and gather in an as big as possible number. All of those people being drunk only makes it more fun :p

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
6 Jul, 2021 09:59

The except you have on the moon article is just amazing XD

6 Jul, 2021 12:08

Ahahaha thank you :D Yeah, the moon is gonna be a fun article to write too... Mwhahah!   And now I'm definitely going to have to make some sort of drunken kung-fu equivelent of magic...

6 Jul, 2021 11:49

*must remember... never drink when reading the leading quote on a Q article...*   Seriously, seriously GREAT work, Q!   I love the whole idea around the moon being an angry bastard that just wants to mess everyone up, and it takes massive party to drive the jerk off. Just love it! :D

— The wolf of Tales of Justice, Creator of Legends of Elohey, Star Wars: Shards, Fiven Chronicles and more!
6 Jul, 2021 12:07

Thank you <3 :D   Almost - the party is to keep any damn fool from going up there to the moon and maybe causing the apocalypse in some hairbrained scheme! We can't have that - we still got booze left!

7 Jul, 2021 00:04

*squints suspiciously at the moon*   I actually love this idea. The fact someone always tries to *actually* breach the gate makes it more fun.

7 Jul, 2021 06:53

ALWAYS. There's always that one guy

7 Jul, 2021 01:38

This party sounds fun! Sign me up to watch it from a safe distance :P

Am I writing or procrastinating? Take a guess and visit Hanzelot
8 Jul, 2021 14:18

The next mountain over, with binoculars? ;)

7 Jul, 2021 08:00

Wonderful! Partying hard while saving the world - what more could anyone ask for? ^^ I love the overall atmosphere you describe here, and all the reasonable precautions taken to ensure that this works as intended. And of course, some would try to exploit that. I like that the defenders are either too passionate about their duty or too drunk to go easy on those troublemakers.

creator of the Kaleidoscope System, an alien star system shaped by a colorful radiation source   My entry for the Shipwright Challenge: Ycalla
8 Jul, 2021 14:19

And it's hard to tell which of those two groups are most hazardous to the health of any would-be moon-goer :D   Thank you <3

8 Jul, 2021 19:17

"... we don't want the world to end. It's where we keep all our stuff." Just that and I instantly loved this not to mention that it's the latest iteration of an irregularly held tradition and this whole thing's got that Good Omens vibe almost! It's hard to describe but I can tell you that this was such a fun read! :D


Seek out Fate in the world of Auriga!   Also, feel free to check out my Progress Report for this year's Summer Camp... AND if you want to see what I'm working on, you can check up on my Prompt Workshop space!
10 Jul, 2021 09:52

Ahahah, thank you very much :D I'm glad to hear that!

15 Jul, 2021 05:10

I absolutely love this. I love the Breach, I love the party, I love the drunken enthusiasm :D And I love the shoutout to He'an <3 :D   The Breach is hilarious and perfect, and especially stands out. It reminds me of the ways companies invite hackers to test their defenses, in order to teach them where the weaknesses in their system are. Just absolutely fantastic!


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
15 Jul, 2021 07:10

I'm sure the breach will never go horribly wrong and be the inciting incident of some plot or something, though. It's all safe. We're all going to be fine. :')