The End That Never Was
The end is neigh! And has been for a while now.For about as long as humanity has been around, we've been gleefully anticipating the end. Nothing seems to stir the mortal imagination quite like the thought of an ultimate end, a closed chapter on all of existence, and this fevered, sometimes wishful, thinking has giving rise to a living myth. The End That Never Was is a thought-plague, a sentient and memetic virus that spreads mad thoughts about the end of the world. It feasts on belief and fear, waxing strong as people whip themselves into a frenzy, waning again when people start to think that, hey, maybe everything's going to be okay. It never lasts. In the end, it always comes back, infecting fearful minds and spreading with every whispered conspiracy or hysterical tweet. It's the end of the world, and some people just can't wait.
Anatomy of An Apocalypse Prediction
I guarantee by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on this world, followed by seven nightmare years of suffering.The End That Never Was spreads through fear, lingering over the world like a shroud. It can strike anywhere, at any time, but prefers to work its way into particularly susceptible minds. It starts as a whisper, a nagging thought, anxiety that just won't go away.
Cults are especially prone to infection - in many, the doomsday is baked right into the foundation of the organization.Eventually, it solidifies into a prediction, working the infected up into a froth as the date comes close, then leaves to take another form when that comes and goes. People, still alive and unarmageddoned, have to pick up the pieces and figure out what to do now.
Most infected are prone to relapse, the fear (or glee) once experienced leaving deep scars.Some magi call the whole thing an omnipresent memetic virus - a sickness always waiting to surface, using the terror it causes to sustain its own existence. It is a disease of ideas, and it has found an ideal home in the 21st century. It can spread faster than a speeding tweet, so adept at exploiting the technological web that some magi believe it to be a sentient being. As much as they might like to pretend otherwise, warlocks can fall prey to the sickness just as anyone else if they aren't careful.
The end is here, but for the low tithe of $9.99, you can be saved. Rejoice in the apocalypse, for salvation is at hand - just sign the dotted line.While the End That Never Was sows despair and feasts on the broken lives left in its wake, it isn't the only one to benefit. Doomsday cults have never had it easier, spreading across the world like rot on a corpse, with varying degrees of sincerity. More than a few cult leaders leave in luxury at the expense of their followers' existential dread.
At its most benign, everyone has thought about what they'd do in case of a zombie apocalypse.Monsters crawl out of the dark to use the chaos, too. Some outbreaks become so bad that the Veil cloaks the truth, masking the feeding binge of some abomination like a cult's mass suicide. More oftan than not, human cruelty needs no helping hand, however.
For some who are taken for a ride, getting off is fatal.More than anything, the End That Never Was makes people feel important. If it is truly the end, then they live in the most critical time of human history - perhaps all history. This is it, there's no sequel after this, and everything they say or do carries the finality of the grave with it. To some, that thought is intoxicating. It's an escape from an otherwise mundane life, filled with meaningless chaos, where bad things happen to good people for no reason. With the apocalypse, there is a purpose to it all.
The Murderous MoonThere's a difference between a prophecy and a threat. Though the End That Never Was occasionally dabbles in things imminently possible, even it knows to stay the hell away from the 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?
The moon; innocent turner of tides, or malicious bastard just waiting for a chance to stab us all in the back?
Apocalypse Prevention PartyOne part Burning Man, one part vigil, the Apocalypse Prevention Party is an irregularly held festival deep within the Shadow. Here, party-goers bar the Gate to the Sea of Tranquility on the moon in the rare times when the gate opens, preventing anyone from going up there and doing something stupid.
Some people think it is just another manifestation of the End thought-plague, but most know better.
The VeilA supernatural law of secrecy, the Veil drowns all memories of the arcane in a fog of forgetfulness and strangles the life out of the truth. While wizards and witches are immune to its embrace, mundane minds are kept mankind ignorant... Or safe. The End That Never Was hides behind it. Any patterns of a hand at play in the spread of doomsday conspiracy become muddled, or blamed on whatever scapegoat is convenient at the time.
In a world of omnipresent cameras, cellphones, and ever-more intrusive surveillance, the Veil still keeps things secret.