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.  
— Pat Robertson, a wanker
  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.  
by Rawpixel.com (Freepik)
The world seems more precarious than it did before, teetering at the edge of disaster, and every news cycle just screams that whisper louder and louder. Once it's taken root, all it takes is for someone to start voicing their fears. Maybe the Hadron collider will open a black hole, or the earth's core is an egg that's going to crack soon, and off it goes.  
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.  

Apocalypse Enthusiasts

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.  
Unscrupulous wizards aren't above taking advantage of those awaiting the apocalypse, either. The fearful make for easy dupes, squeezed for money and material goods, or exploited for magical power. Fear can be a potent source of energy, for those willing to exploit the vulnerable. Every time the End blooms, someone's world is certain to cease.  
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.
by Rawpixel.com (Freepik)
 
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.
by Pixabay
 

The Murderous Moon

There'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?
Myth | Jan 5, 2022

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

 

Apocalypse Prevention Party

One 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 Veil

A 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.  
The Veil
Physical / Metaphysical Law | May 2, 2021

In a world of omnipresent cameras, cellphones, and ever-more intrusive surveillance, the Veil still keeps things secret.

 

End of the Line

Any day now.  
— Doomsday Cultist
  Today, the End that Never Was is at the zenith of its power. Never before has fear gripped humanity so tightly and never has terror traveled quite so quickly. And that is a problem for the disease - people become enraptured in its illusions, obsessing over 5G vaccine-implants, rogue planets, and other fantasies, ignoring the very real issues facing the world. There are signs that the End is trying to reel back its own influence, but once fear is unleashed, it's hard to contain.  
Magi who have researched the matter describe something like panic coming from the End That Never Was, as it seems like it actually might.
 
by Unsplash


Cover image: by Unsplash

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
7 Jul, 2021 09:34

For the lowly price of x I can avoid the apocalypse! XD And the poor moon in all of that, completely forgotten :( I'm sad for it..   It's a fun concept, virus ideas :p though I'd find the idea that all life would be destroyed soon to make everything we do completely meaningless, not something that gives it more meaning. People are strange...

To see what I am up to:WE pledge and article list.
7 Jul, 2021 09:38

Yeah... I think people just don't think that far ahead. They see the concert, not the janitor who has to clean up all the vomit afterwards.   And the moon is in the side panel! :D (and blamed for one of the ways the world can end - never forget that wicked moon...)


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
7 Jul, 2021 13:18

Just as the moon is always watching, she should be omnipresent in our thoughts!

To see what I am up to:WE pledge and article list.
10 Jul, 2021 17:10

I, I don't know what to say. Should I be in fear of what is to come or what am I to do? But great article! I like the concept, although I had a bit of a hard time understanding it first since it sounds so much like a meta article. Then again, I am not used to reading your articles, might be your touch and voice on it that makes me think twice? Perhaps it is the way of storytelling? I don't know, but I like it!

Worldkeymaster, also known as A of Worldkeymaster.
You are welcome to explore Nimenra, a world in conflict between Humans and Demons.
My summer camp articles and half-finished pledge document: Summer Camp 2022
16 Jul, 2021 06:09

Hahah thank you!   But if it was hard to understand, then I might need to revisit it! Thanks for letting me know :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
16 Jul, 2021 19:03

" - Pat Robertson - Wanker"   I teared up laughing...

Kahuna the Elder aka Leo - www.kahunatheelder.com Creator of Arnathia
17 Jul, 2021 06:38

The truth can be very funny when stated plainly. :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
17 Jul, 2021 23:10

Like the moon!
You made me laugh with that hidden quote! The moon is innocent, I swear :P

18 Jul, 2021 07:04

Suuuuuure, that's what it would like you to believe, but I know the truth about it's moony menace :O


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.