Tarred Stars

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At one time, New Cargill was a human colony, a beautiful forested planet in the goldylocks zone of their sun Serus.   History has forgotten the chaos of the rest of the empire spread throughout the traverse, symbology and tradition is all that remains since the Shattering smashed New Cargill through the dimensional membrane and turning our beloved green jewel into a sun scorched wasteland. Some forest still remains deep into the highlands where water is still affluent and the infinite sands fail to grasp.   Stories of the Shattered Kings and their 'end game' are now all but forgotten. The stories of souls whipped from our ancestors are distant stories to their descendants that now fight to survive New Cargill, refusing to be wiped from our home by the beasts and aberrations that we now share it with.   It is unknown if our old home survives, the stars are different now and initial attempts to connect to anyone, anything by our forefathers were fruitless, even the Meta'ai that came to our aid still walk among us, guiding our efforts to bring out home back from the dead. They too have yet to find anything but static we presume, they have walked amoung us now for four hundred years, and any questions are filled with the same response about what lies beyond 'we are alone'.   The Tohl, our old friends, still survive, but only just. Our gene therapies were useless to their unique biology, and so where we changed, they died. Through brutal natural selection and fateful untouched mountain refuges, the Tohl stubbornly live on. Without them and their water purifying aphids, perhaps the beasts would have won.   I'm worried about our current progress, the nobility and their reach grows each year, we finally found a viable fuel source and it took no time for those with power to exploit those without, but we have walls, machines, safety now from the beasts outside.   Every year they push further out, pioneers venturing back into the wilds, the trains follow, carrying the building blocks of the next machine city, they'll push too far into the wastes one day, and those walls won't stop a Huskworm, they barely hold out against a Skethic swarm as it is.   Trains, pioneers, trade, such elegant functions of society. Just takes one part of the chain to break, and it all falls out, self sufficiency is a must out beyond the safety of the mountains, one never knows if the train line will be working the next day, if your food from valleys will arrive before the winter, when the world outside hungers it takes another type of person to willingly walk into the wilds and live there. Things don't make sense here, the world is tainted, like a black phlemb gripping at the throat, a horror just past the horrison... entire vallies wiped out, zones in the city mysteriously out of bounds.   This new fuel, it's had a side effect, a drug. Weird shit is happening, once abilities granted by the agents of the Meta'ai are now throughout our society, mastery of the eldritch arts they call it... but they're all addicted, we're addicted, it's in everything. The rich live longer on the pure stuff, the poor get wasted on the toxic, kids spontaneously combusting, unable to contain the power within them... maybe the convenience is worth it, and now we have the power to defend ourselves but... are the super soldiers on our walls enough to balance the living terrors in our streets?

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