When the Mother of the World - the moon herself - fell from her perch in the sky, it was thought that all was lost. Raging hellfire and boulders the size of towns came crashing onto the earth, wiping entire civilisations from existence. Empires collapsed. Continents shattered. The southerners fled from their mountains, deserts, and sprawling metropolises, and sought refuge with their neighbours amid the tundra.
For decades - centuries, even - the once-great civilisations of Varen squatted in the snow like vermin, waiting for something to bring this exile to an end - one way or another; and after all this time, and more than enough prayers, the clouds parted.
The people of this world were able to rejoin the land once again, putting out their fires and dragging their old civilisation from beneath the dirt. But they were not without their losses. People, land and technology were all subject to the whim of the Cataclysm.
Over time, the rubble was pulled together, and the ancient technologies of an age gone-by were torm asunder - for the good of all to come in this reanimated world.
Today, society chugs along anew, with more and more advancements with every passing day. Some find hope in this - others see history repeating itself, and plead for such "progress" to stop. Others still hide their heads in the sand, and enjoy however much life has been afforded them by the mercy of the Mother.
Aggressive academia, justified fear and blissful ignorance. All are part and parcel of life on this new, broken world.