whip_poor_will: (murder me in ostia)
2017-02-05 05:00 pm
Entry tags:

✖ History of the Sacraments


The Sacraments

The Entities’ powers are not infinite. They require a certain level of insurance to maintain their vigor.

In this case, they need a sacrifice.

The Sacraments were a series of rituals carried out by a cursed bloodline. Ritualistically, they become victims of the Entities, in which they are carried into Limbo: A spiritual edge between life, death, time, and space. There, they are hung on a cross, where a Psychopomp would usually commence tearing out their eyes and disemboweling them. It is part of the ritual to keep the victim alive during all of this, until their blood is fed into the Tree of Limbo. It’s until their blood is spilled into the tree when the ritual is over, killing the victim, and feeding them to the Entity after experiencing great suffering.

However, Ravine is capable of carrying out the sacrifice without having to perform a ceremony. She can also absorb the curse, so that the sacrifice does not need to be taken as victim to the ritual. She did not realize this, however, until the death of Naomi Spijker.

A cursed victim will develop a mark at one point in their life, representing the Tree of Limbo. Most of the time, it develops as a faint spot on their left shoulder, and darkens the closer it is time for them to be sacrificed. Toward the end, the scar grants the victim great pain and a number of hallucinations.

The Sacrifices

The Wolfgang Family: Descendants of a German lineage way back in the Medieval Era. The earliest known sacrifice happened in the late Fourteenth Century, but sacrifices have been going on for much longer than that. While those in the past considered the sacrificial ceremony an honor, the Wolfgangs see it as a family curse.

The Moss Family: Descendants of an Irish lineage. After the Wolfgangs settled on the Colonies, their bloodied fate coalesced with the Mosses, solidifying a type of bond with the curse. After this, the two families resorted to incest in order to avoid the curse from spreading to other families by arranging marriages of cousins and second cousins.

  • Yseult Arnwolf (late 1300s): First known sacrifice in the Wolfgang family. Was also a serf serving a British duke during the Medieval times (any family before that didn’t really have a recorded name, assuming that they were mere servants of the estate’s feudal lord). She was killed at the age of twenty. Said to have been tending the fields at her master’s estate in southern Germany when one day she mysteriously vanished.
  • Helene Arnwolf-Wolfgang (early 1400s): Youngest daughter of Yseult, and married a wealthy duke of the Wolfgang family to escape the lower class lifestyle. From here on out, the Wolfgangs were known to have both power and money. Despite this, Helene was haunted by her mother’s disappearance and believed she had been murdered. She often had delusions and in her final days was known to be a bit crazy. At times she was mistaken to have been possessed by demons. Regardless, Helene gave birth to many children before her eventual disappearance.
    • Unlike Yseult, however, Helene’s body was found in the forest, cut with holes in her hands and feet and her eyes torn out. Her husband did not remarry, and died shortly after her undoubted murder, leaving their eldest son and daughter to care for the family assets.
  • Adele Wolfgang (middle 1500s): Had a very caring older brother who tried sparing her from the curse that fell upon their two great-grandmothers. Because her brother was a skilled hunter, the Memitim decided to cut a deal with him and claimed that if he killed a Psychopomp, they may be able to skip Adele.
    • Although she was temporarily spared by the Memitim, her dear older brother failed to carry out his task to kill the Psychopomp. Ultimately, Adele was sacrificed by the Memitim. The Psychopomp took no part in this ceremony.
    • At the same time she and her brother had been suffering in southern Germany’s peasant uprising, which had involved one-hundred-fifty years of religious conflict. After Adele died, her brother went missing and became a victim of the Sacraments.
  • Unknown Sacrifice (middle 1600s): Having their estate ruined in the central Europe’s Thirty Years War, the Wolfgang family moved from their homeland in Germany to hide out, and eventually ended up in a developing colony in New Hampshire, while some of their family split off into Connecticut. There, they unite with a Native American tribe, and later converged with an Irish family, the Mosses. It was after this that the blood between the Wolfgang family and the Moss were combined with the curse, but because they did not know whether or not if the curse would spread to this family, it wasn’t yet a concern.
    • The sacrifice during this time was a little girl who fell off the boat while the Wolfgangs were heading over to the Colonies, where she was abducted by the Memitim and later a victim of the Sacraments, and was found dead in the river by some townsmen. She was mutilated beyond recognition.
  • Alice Moss (early 1700s): Next generations of Wolfgangs and Mosses are considered people of the Colonies by this time. This would-be sacrifice was a woman who was suspected of being a witch, and was forced to flee her hometown of Windbridge, Connecticut. However, she was later met with a Psychopomp, who ferried Alice into Limbo, where she was sacrificed.
    • Because the suspected witchcraft was believed to have something to do with the curse, incest was involved between the two families in order to avoid the curse from expanding beyond their family bloodline.
    • During this time, Vincent woke up and was housed in an late 1600 village, during the Connecticut witch hunts.
  • Elizabeth Moss-Wolfgang (middle 1800s): Befriended the Psychopomp, Ravine. However, she eventually died of tuberculosis by the young age of eighteen. Ravine stayed by her side until her last breath, but refused to carry out the Sacraments when the girl died. The soul of Elizabeth was ripped away by a Psychopomp named Maia, who fed the human to the Memitim. Ravine, however, would never participate in another sacrifice again.
    • Elizabeth once lived on the newly established Wolfgang Family Estate, built by her father in Larkspur, Louisiana. Her mother, a Moss, had died during the birth of her daughter. Elizabeth’s father, a Wolfgang, remarried to his second cousin and continued the kinship on his side of the family, and was later killed in the Civil War.
  • Naomi Spijker (1995): A distant cousin of the Wolfgang and Moss family, whose bloodline got mixed somewhere among the years. Naomi was chosen to be the next sacrifice. Coincidentally, Vincent -- the closest and only relation to the Psychopomp by bond -- had shared a friendship with Naomi before discovering her ancestry. Distraught, Ravine tried to protect Naomi for her brother’s sake, but failed once again thanks to a being serving another Entity, Grayson Ambrosi. Grayson’s actions led to the downfall of the Memitim and the rise of the Aegror.
    • Though at the expense of her brother’s friend, this incident allowed Ravine to realize that she could absorb the curses and make the sacrifices obsolete. This caused the Aegror many problems, as they struggled against the reapers and required souls to thrive.
    • Naomi Spijker is considered to be the last of the known sacrifices.


whip_poor_will: (god's gonna cut you down)
2017-01-30 06:38 pm
Entry tags:

✖ Church of Irkalia

What is the Church of Irkalia?
A cult that worships the Psychopomps and are aware of the dying world. They are known for having “suicide rituals” in hopes of summoning a Psychopomp into their presence, and even have a long history of sacrificial rites that lead into murder. Some of the Wolfgang family have had a history with the Church of Irkalia, especially after the church started noticing a trend of a member of the family becoming “spirited away” every fifty years. As time passed, the Wolfgang family has some issues with the church, trying to sever their connections.

The cult was founded in France during the Crusades by a “prophet” named Madelgarde, a serf who had befriended a noblewoman. The noblewoman, Alodie Blanc, helped found the church after finding Madelgarde’s prophecies to be true. She became known as Madelgarde of Salomon, which is a title of the highest rank in the church.

Before the church, Madelgarde met a Psychopomp named Roux, and wanted to become like the Psychopomps. Madelgarde was actually a gifted human with a sixth sense, possessing the ability to see Psychopomps and had actually befriended Roux. After finding out that only the Memitim choose who gets to become a Psychopomp, Madelgarde became deeply upset over the reality that she would die and Roux would have to eventually pass her over to the next life himself. She had collected a following, including Alodie Blanc, who witnessed her abilities herself and helped to influence their secret church. With the aid of her husband, Jehan Blanc, they were able to find a places to practice and learn more about the Zones thanks to Madelgarde’s guidance and prophecies.

Due to the time period and the conflicts that revolved around the Crusades, the church was forced to practice their beliefs in total secrecy.

Fevered with a deathly sickness, Madelgarde managed to kill a Psychopomp named Sartre, who had come to her when she attempted suicide. Roux appeared. Since the two had become close, Roux did not want Sartre to take Madelgarde , and killed Sartre with his bone scythe. This was considered a heinous crime by the Memitim, but they allowed Roux to pass his Psychopomp status to Madelgarde. Since then, Madelgarde was allowed to live on as a Psychopomp, never to see Roux who was trapped in Limbo, while she was never allowed to go to Limbo to see her friend. Furthermore, the Memitim has warped Madelgarde’s mind, to forget Roux at her own request so she would not seek to try and release him from Limbo, and continue her role as a Psychopomp. She is no longer Madelgarde. Now, she is Maia.

Since the Psychopomp now known as Maia had garnered a following prior to her suicide attempt, Alodie Blanc was able to continue Madelgarde’s work using the information they had learned.

The Memitim had also manipulated Madelgarde’s memories, forcing her to forget her human life and devote herself entirely to the Psychopomps. As a gifted human herself, Alodie Blanc had recognized Maia as Madelgarde and continued to preach her story to other disciples. Over time, they were able to establish a religion known as the “Church of Irkalia”, a cult with the knowledge of the Psychopomps and who are entirely devoted to them. 

There are now several Church of Irkalia establishments throughout the world, all of them revering Madelgarde as a “prophet” who had transcended her human vessel and had become a Psychopomp herself. They believe that by following a list of rules, they can be rewarded by the Memitim and become Psychopomps as well. However, the Memitim generally disapprove of this cult of humans, and many of them are not even Psychopomp candidates. More often than not they are desperate people trying to be special.

The Church of Irkalia adopts the belief that by following a strict guideline and dedicating their lives to the Psychopomps, they can become gifted humans as well. They have even developed a dangerous program that can either open up an ability or kill them. Over several decades, they have actually made progress, but these “gifted humans” are not by any means candidates to become Psychopomps.

Due to the church’s controversial views regarding suicide and sacrifice, practicing Irkalia has been banned throughout most of the world. However, over time they have been allowed to fade into obscurity, allowing them to practice without the government scrutiny. With the end of the world, they are even able to continue their “work” more freely than they ever had before.

During Days be Done, the church is being run by a woman named Ibbie Mullins. She is a gifted human who can see Psychopomps, and can interact and even harm them if she so wanted to. She is known as Ibbie of Salomon.

As the world dies, so does the influence the Memitim had on Maia, as she starts to recall Madelgarde and the Psychopomp she fell in love with. This event results in her becoming the primary antagonist that emerges after Ravine’s conflict with Grayson, as she discovers that Grayson wasn’t the last Psychopomp to close up the world when it ends.

Additionally, the church was able to survive the Collapse (the plague that killed the world and set everything back to 0) inside a vault.

For nearly two millennia, records of the Wolfgang Psychopomps have been reported by members of the church. Their lineage date back to the Tenth Century, where they may have been related to Saint Wolfgang of Regensburg. With a woman being spirited away as a Psychopomp every fifty years, there have been an estimate of nearly forty Wolfgang Psychopomps in existence. Where they have gone now is unknown. Some may passed on to Limbo, killed, or became Shedim.

Hunter Wolfgang, a human-to-shade-to-Revenant (the latter is thanks to Ravine), now devotes his life to tracking down the remains of the Church of Irkalia, as well as avoiding them. To some sects of the church, he is revered in an almost saint-like status, being the one Wolfgang immortal with knowledge of the family’s history. Other sects regard him as an abomination, and seek to destroy him. However, he is protected by the Psychopomp Ravine. In the end, he accompanies her to other worlds, promising as a lifelong friend never to leave her alone.
whip_poor_will: (street spirit)
2017-01-08 12:51 pm
Entry tags:

✘ the other side


Dead souls who never made it passed Limbo. Most of the time, shades are warped into insidious, indescribable creatures and shapes that barely resemble their former selves. They can take on the roles of either benevolent or malignant spirits for the living in Tebel.

Some shades can even become what people call "poltergeists", but in reality they are all just different types of shades. Shades cannot directly kill the living, but they can terrorize them to the point of harming themselves.

Shades can generally be characterized by the
Mark of the Shade.

Shades are also sometimes the result of what happens when a Psychopomp kills a person who wasn't meant to die; other times they are just very furious spirits. There are several consequences to a shade's creation, which usually leads to the downfall of the Psychopomp, so these actions must be taken account accordingly. Many Psychopomp in the past went crazy because of the shades haunted and stalked them, and had to be destroyed by the Memitim. If a Psychopomp loses themselves to the shades they've created, then they must face the penalties afterwards, which have always been harsh.

Normally, shades take shape in the Psychopomp's shadow as spirits. In the early stages they are kept confined in their captor's shadow, where they are unable to escape. Over time, if they are somehow able to break free of their binds, then they become a serious hazard -- not only to the Psychopomp, but to everyone else as well. They are confined in a place known as Scheol. If they break free from Point Blank, they enter Scheol as spirits and are capable of taking over a human.

A shade can also be a vengeful spirit that holds a strong hatred for the Psychopomp that killed them as well, and refuses to move on. Instead, they stay behind, antagonizing the one they blame for taking them away. Once in the Dead Zone, shades can also provoke the living as well, even interact with them (i.e. One managed to throw Alexander out a window, nearly killing him), though they are always unseen by the living. Only some immortals and the Psychopomp can see them.

Shades are sometimes referred to as things such as evil spirits or grudges, mainly by those who don't fully understand their true nature.

Although rare, some shades can be returned to their old selves and become corporeal using the abilities of a Shedim (or, on extremely rare occasions, a Psychopomp), using a process called "ameliorating". These shades are called...

A shade brought back as an immortal through ameliorating. They are often at the mercy of the Shedim who ameliorated them, meaning that they can be reverted back into a shade or eliminated from existence at the whim of the Shedim who controls them. Revenants can retain their old personality and/or memories of their mortal lives, so long as the Shedim allows it. Psychopomps are also capable of ameliorating a shade into a Revenant, but at a high cost.

The Mark of the Revenant usually takes the shape of a green or blue snake ouroboros somewhere on their bodies.


Mutilated remains of the Psychopomps, who reside within the Dead Zone. They are normally thoughtless, incapable of the old emotions they once possessed as mortals, simply because they don't remember what it means to be human at all. They are more monstrous than the shades are, more threatening and dangerous. Some people of the mortal realm have taken to calling them "demons", or variations of the same malignant spirits capable of bringing death to the living, unlike the shades.

Shedim can generally be characterized by the
Mark of the Shedim.

However, some Shedim are able to recall their old selves. Some Shedim can even assume control over themselves, rather than giving in to the insanity, capable of summoning back their old bodies. Given the nature of the Shedim, they are able to interact with Tebel. But in order to become part of that reality again, they are able to make the choice to become a...

Some Shedim, though rare, can become a Visitant for a short while. This allows them to assume a mortal form, taking on the shape of a baby that grows and becomes something like-human. The reason all Shedim don't choose to become Visitants is because they are vulnerable, and are constantly in danger. They are weak, can be seen as mad for being able to catch glimpses of the Zones and hear the voices of the dead. They are vulnerable to mental and physical illnesses. A Visitant who once possessed a power as a mortal may not be able to control their gifts, which can be especially precarious as they are unaware of their old life. For this reason, a Shedim becoming a Visitant is considered taboo, as there are too many risks involved with a Visitant in Tebel.

The Mark of the Visitant usually takes the shape of a circular shaped ouroboros-esque birthmark somewhere on their bodies...

Also known as Psychos.

Like Revenants and Visitants, Psychopomps are also tattooed. Unlike the previous two, only gifted humans can see it on their own power. Otherwise, Psychopomps can hide this symbol from most humans. It is called the Mark of the Whippoorwill, and it usually manifests in a split mark from the lower lip to the chin.

Psychopomps do not use weapons, neither do they need to. They are armed only with bone scythes, which they use primarily on shades and Shedim, as well as human souls. The bone scythes manifest from the Psychopomp's body, ripping out from their spine for its user to take hold of. Seeing that bone scythes materialize out of the physical manifestation of the Psychopomp's form, it is not possible for anyone other than the Psychopomp to utilize it as a weapon. It especially cannot be used against the living, as the blade will only cut through a mortal body without harming it.

It is not known entirely as to where they came from, or why it is they are what they are. Not even the Memitim, who are partially responsible for the existence of the Psychopomps, fully understand their nature. They are seemingly manifested souls from a tree in a place called Limbo.

The responsibility of carrying out the dead is tasking and stressful; a chore that not even the Memitim were capable of carrying out. Thus, they designed the Psychopomps. As such, they are able to exist between the world of the living, and the Zones.

What the Memitim had in mind, was the idea that to truly be able to handle being death, you had to have died yourself, and experience the same amount of pain the souls you carry do. Because of this the Psychopomps carry out a heavy burden, although come off as aloof and cold.

Not only are they technically indomitable and never-changing, but they express certain feats to an extent, such as phasing and telepathy. Normally, they're also empaths, and being spirits they can make themselves seen by the living whenever they want to. Unfortunately, they have a more difficult time avoiding the dead than the living.

Gradually as a Psychopomp grows weaker, they begin to be unable to express these feats, and slowly become insane. This is where the problem they are most concerned about:

The Psychopomps not only carry out the souls of the dead, but they also must handle vengeful ones as well. Some of these are commonly known as shades and shedim. When they reach a certain state of weakness, the shedim become able to control and influence the Psychopomps, even being able to possess them towards the end. And this is why the Memitim worry so much. If they cannot control the Psychopomps, and they commit damages on their own part, then they risk disturbing a balance. They do not know the outcome of what would happen should a Psychopomps lose control of themselves to the dead, since most of the predecessors had been terminated before this ever happened.

Currently, the last of the Psychopomps would be Ravine, Babajide, Mute, and (unknowingly) Maia...

A servant of the entity known as the Aegror. As human, they become plagued by the Wight, first coming to them in the form of reoccurring nightmares in which the spirit kills the dreamer. On their deathbed or until the day they die, that human merges with the Wight, their souls becoming one.

While Psychopomps bear a bone scythe, the Wight wields a sickle, and are not bound by the laws that hold the Psychopomps back from interfering with the living. The Wight is shameless and cruel when reaping souls, either consuming and devouring them or turning them into shades, even possessing similar abilities in reality manipulation among the Zones like the Psychopomps are capable of. This is why the reapers are often combating the Wight.

The only current known Wight to exist is Grayson Ambrosi, who has held his role for over 830 years.

The Memitim is the entity of Limbo, who resides within the gateways to both where souls go as well as the multiverse. They are responsible for the creation of the Psychopomps.

The Libra is a withering, unknown entity that oversees the balance of the Zones. With every action there is reaction. With every choice, there is consequence. It is the Libra who oversees this.

The Abaddon is the entity of the Dead Zone and Scheol, and is ultimately responsible for the amelioration of Revenants and Visitants, making sure that debts are paid for the price of bringing a dead thing back to the corporeal zone. This entity thrives off of destruction and conflict.

The Aegror is an entity that might have been behind the Dead Cell plagues that nearly wiped out the human population, as well as the cause of the time reset to zero (figuratively, not literally). It is an insidious entity that infects dead souls and, on rare occasions, the living. This entity is also capable of feeding off the other entities, as well as Psychopomps. Its only ally is the Wight.

Entities do not have faces or shapes, only genderless voices that speak within the Zones they assume control over.


Tebel: Living World
Supposedly the first zone, but they don't have any specific numbering or anything like that. This zone holds the world of the living. It's pretty much a reflection of our world.

While in the Tebel, a Psychopomp can appear almost human in appearance. Outside of the living realm, however, the Psychopomp tends to take on a new form. They are a black entity with glowing gold eyes, and long shadowy hair that stretches out, almost like dark wings.

Point Blank: Spectral World
The zone where a soul goes after they die. Think of it as Limbo, or a waiting room you're not supposed to walk out of.

If a Psychopomp cannot open the door to the next life, they are alone to wander here, until they deteriorate and are eventually ripped into Scheol. It's the the Psychopomp's responsibility to make sure that the dead are properly escorted from Point Blank to Limbo.

Scheol: Dark World
The shades reside in this zone. Insidious souls turned into monstrous forms. Only Psychopomps can open and close the rips in Scheol, occasionally caused by shades trying to escape. Shades in Scheol are capable of channeling negative energy into the realm of Tebel, afflicting the living.

Limbo: After World
All souls pass through here, where the Psychopomps guide them to meet Memitim -- death. From there, they move on to the next life.

Limbo is also the crossroads between worlds, where it's possible to find other places where life continues on. The Memitim, however, prevents this from happening.

The Dead Zone: Another World
Not much is known about this place, except that it's an abyss. It's unknown whether something lives here or if those that fall through the Dead Zone simply cease to be. In truth, the Shedim -- what is left of a Psychopomp who has gone mad -- resides in the Dead Zone.

There is no such thing as gravity in the Dead Zone, as it's just a weightless space that goes on and on. It's an empty plane, distorted and sphere-like. The the Psychopomp is able to travel through the physical world by passing through the Dead Zone, but in doing so they are also in danger of being hunted by the Shedim.

The Door
Not really a Zone. It's the only way a Psychopomp can pass through Limbo without causing the worlds to collapse. Unfortunately for them, there are fewer Doors than there used to be, and the threat of Psychopomps turning into Shedim become more real..

A warp is a phenomena that inhabits a spot where reality is distorted, often due to a weakening in the Zones. It's possible that warps are created as a byproduct of the Door's movement throughout the worlds.

One example of a warp is the forbidden Hedge Maze on the Wolfgang family estate.
whip_poor_will: (murder me in ostia)
2017-01-08 12:31 pm

✘ abilities

As a human, Ravine was a prophet. Back then her visions were vague and usually came in the form of vivid dreams and nightmares. Now they come whenever, though not really reliable. She can see the future and past, but also individual possibilities of a past and future, which makes it difficult to discern what road one should take or how to properly guide someone through their current path. She can look at a person and see the various different versions of themselves. Perceiving not only the worlds on top of worlds, but the people who have and will and could have been residing inside it.

These paths usually come in the form of thin, iridescent lights that can be perceived differently. It can be something as mundane as stopping before a door flies in your face to a life-saving incident like being hit by a train or walking into a store that’s about to get robbed. This is really the only way Ravine can discern which path is more favorable than the other, when she can see a certain light and know that something good or something bad will come of it. The only downside is that she can also see the repercussions that taking a certain action can make, resulting in a butterfly effect. Sometimes, doing nothing is the only option.

Another ability that she possessed as a prophet, only weaker back then. She couldn’t read people’s thoughts, but she could share dreams with them when she slept, which often came in the form of her psychic visions. This was how people during her time knew for certain that she was a woman with a gift of “prophecy”. The only time her telepathy really amplified was during a state of emotional duress, in which she had then afflicted the King of Babylon with temporary madness.

Now Ravine’s telepathy extends much further than as a human. She is able to hear people’s thoughts, as well as mentally transport her consciousness into their mind. Her abilities can allow her to join a person’s dreams or simply spectate, or even trap them inside their own personal prison, resulting in a forced coma or psychosis.

Thanks to her abilities as a Psychopomp, she can not only make a person see what she wants them to, but also warp their perception of time and space. This can go as far as granting a normal human a glimpse of the zones, but only for a short time as their mental fortitude cannot always handle it, revealing symptoms of cerebral hemorrhaging and, eventually, death.

✖ Immortality
As one can expect from a reaper, it is not possible to “kill” her. Not by conventional means, anyway. Any slices or bullets that go through her will leave a mark, but she’ll rapidly pull herself back together again in a form of what appears to be black smoke.

Bone Scythe
The only weapons Psychopomps are armed with.
Bone scythes are primarily used on shades and Shedim, as well as souls. These weapons manifest from the Psychopomp’s body, ripping out from their spine for its user to take hold of. Since bone scythes materialize out of the physical manifestation of the Psychopomp’s spinal cord, it is not possible for anyone other than the Psychopomp to utilize it as a weapon. It especially cannot be used against the living, as the blade is unable to physically exist in the living realm and thus has no corporeal elements.

Additionally, bone scythes are the only things capable of actually destroying a Psychopomp. The weapon would have to be already evoked, however, and it would take only a certain kind of person to actually be able to use it. Perhaps someone who is neither quite dead nor alive...

Or a god, even.

Head Liberation
The choker on Ravine’s neck isn’t just for show. It’s literally keeping her head on her shoulders. Remove that, she can actually take off her own head. This can more or less help her play possum to get the jump on people... or just freak them out because headless jokes are hilarious.

Just as the name implies, Psychopomps harvest the souls of the living and send them to the afterlife, which resides somewhere beyond a zone called Limbo. Ravine is able to not only see how or when a person will die, but be a direct cause of it as well. The only caveat is that she is not able to make a person die on her own accord, as that would result in serious consequences by the Memitim that can cause a ripple effect of many more deaths as well. She can only “kill” a person when it’s their time to die, but she can never be the direct cause of it.

At the risk of driving a person mad with paranoia, Ravine does not, neither has she ever, share in her knowledge of when or how a person will die.

Similarly, Psychopomps are unable to figure out the life expectancy for immortals. Their visions are scrambled in that department. This allows her to be able to tell who is an immortal and who is not.

Spatial-Temporal Lock
Psychopomps exist outside of time and space. She can appear when she wants to be seen, and disappear when she doesn’t. This also allows her to “erase” herself from existence, so that she can interact with the living for a time and then remove herself from their memories as though they never met. She remembers — or she will damn well try to — but the other person may not.

To put it simply, she can make herself invisible.

Similar to above, Psychopomps are able to exist wherever they want to. They can even be in many places at once, in order to get their job done. However, they are not able to do this while in the living realm of Tebel, only within the other various zones so that they may escort the many dead souls to Limbo.

Due to this ability, Ravine typically knows more about people than she’s willing to let on. She also understands them, perhaps better than she understands her own self. She has this knowledge and much more, but is usually more inclined to keep the information to herself rather than sprouting a person’s darkest secrets and fears willy nilly.

In addition to this ability, Ravine is unique in her
Fourth Wall Awareness, due to knowing that she is a fictional character and is conscious of her presence in the universe.

Being omnipresent also includes a Psychopomp being able to walk through walls, as well as exist wherever they feel like. Think of it as something like a form of short-ranged teleportation as well as a direct violation of your personal space.

Gravity Defiance
A Psychopomp is not only capable of walking through walls, they can walk on walls and hang out on a person’s ceiling.

Water, air, earth, fire... the possibilities for where Ravine can physically and spiritually end up is literally limitless.

The language a Psychopomp spoke upon their mortal death is not the language that they speak during their role as a Psychopomp. If a person is multilingual, they may hear the Psychopomp speak in whatever language they feel most comfortable with. For instance, if two or more people who speak different languages are in the same room with Ravine, they will be able to understand her in their native tongue.

Incidentally, a deaf person may be able to hear a Psychopomp’s voice.

Psychopomps have a particular association with the whippoorwill. Not only are the usually invisible tattoos under their lower lip and chin called the “Mark of the Whippoorwill”, these birds also sometimes manifest when a Psychopomp is near, only to disappear shortly after. This has earned them a reputation as a death omen.

Note that these are only manifestations, as the birds tend to materialize in areas where whippoorwills are not native.

whip_poor_will: (murder me in ostia)
2017-01-06 08:11 pm
Entry tags:

✘ a brand new world

As the old poem says, the world did not end with a bang but a whimper.

And then it just kept shuffling on, and on, and on...

The time and reality that Ravine comes from is a despairing one. In the year 2320, a group of researchers had discovered a cure for a seemingly incurable disease. Except that, as it turned out, said cure mutated into a major airborne virus that spread throughout the world, killing the living cells in the human body. 5% of the world’s population died within the year.

Over the course of six months, the world population was slowly being annihilated. Mass suicides and murder and looting werent unheard of, neither were they uncommon. In spite of this, the global powers banded together to create a humanity conservation program, allowing a small number of the world’s population to be preserved in an ocean reserve. The lottery for secretly selecting families to be taken to the ocean reservations began shortly after, and the project itself was nothing more than a rumor to those not involved or invited.

Eight OASIS reservations were divided to ensure a racial and intellectual balance for when the world ended. Conveniently, OASIS reservations had been in progress for about 50 years prior. Originally intended for a different purpose (creating underwater cities and exploration), they had been repurposed for humanity’s survival. They have not yet been dropped into the ocean ridges, where they remained stable among the underwater mountain system.

Within a year, 20% of the world’s population has been eradicated by the Plagues. Quarantine Zones had been placed for those who have been selected for the lottery, but they had not been told that they are part of a conservation project. They were, instead, told that they were riding out the global infection. However, it was estimated that it would take at least 200 years for the virus to die. Maybe more.

By 2326, over 80% of the world’s population had perished, while the surviving 1% remained in quarantine cities, on standby to enter the stasis reserves. One year later, the conservation program was a success, but may have had some anticipated side effects. With most of the world’s population dead, the remaining 9% worked on either making peace with their final days, or volunteer in the effort to try and preserve humanity via the OASIS reservations in a final act of philanthropy. There have been incidents of some of the researchers killing one of the lottery candidates in order to take their place for themselves or a family member. Due to the urgency of the situation, many turned a blind eye in order to continue their progress, rather than waste time with trials and justice.
2328 was the year the world ended. Humans were in stasis for 153 years. Of the 1% who have survived, .0009% of the people actually remember the Forgotten World (which became that aforementioned anticipated side effect).

The year of the Collapse was 2481, when the 1% woke from their stasis with the system set back to 0.

298 years have passed since then, making the current year 2779.

However, due to the Collapse and no one knowing how long the original humans were in stasis, the official year is unknown. Even a few functional robots that remain had issues calculating the dates since the Collapse. This makes the known year 298AC (After Collapse).

Those that do remember the Forgotten World have no idea what started the Plagues, but the Dead Cell Theory insists that it was the result of research for a terminal disease. Questions about what disease the cure was supposed to be intended for is unknown.

Underneath this dying world are other worlds. Worlds that do belong to the dead and the suffering. These are the Zones, governed by the wretched souls from the Plagues and the wretched New World the Collapse had bred.

And of the reapers, known as

whip_poor_will: (murder me in ostia)
2009-08-14 12:45 am
Entry tags:

✘ stats

“There was no solace for Death,
for she is a lonely island...”

character basics.
TRUE NAME.יְהוּדִית (Yehudit)
NICKNAMES.The foreigner

SPECIES.Psychopomp (also known as “Psycho”)
AGE.3,386 (died at 32)
DATE OF BIRTH.September 30, 607 B.C.
PLACE OF BIRTH.Jerusalem, Kingdom of Judah


FAMILY.Shira (mother)
Lemuel (father)
Elimelech/Vincent Spiker (brother)

HAIR.Long, black, with a widow’s peak formed at the left side

days be done.
Days be done, away the sun
From the desert streets and sky
In the end, bones will rest
Allow the restless souls to lie

Dusken days lies in sight
Heaven’s full, dead birds in flight
Dying earth, await the end
Here comes the night

Days are dulled, as the crows are culled
How the belly of that beast did churn
His skin will flay, and soon turn gray
Unable to escape the Return

The day is done, to sleep everyone
You’re tired now, so far we’ve come
Bleeding sons, just shut your eyes
Take no heed to the lyrebird’s lies

Dead days bring, the sparrow sings
While perched above the suffering
Dying brood, unrest and unruly
Has cracked the veil so cruelly

Days be dead, the blackbird said
His word sends the ghosts to bed
In the end, his love forgotten
Her Revenant skin is rotten

Our time is done, goodbye white sun
Last whippoorwill across that sky
Do not fret, the dead will rest
And those who live may never die

Days are gone by the dead bird’s dawn
The world will stop but spin once slain
Beyond the pale is the shadow’s thin veil
Where the dead no longer feel pain

And the dead will meet again
All will meet again
out of character. Revu • citygrit (plurk) • ReverieWulfram (aim) • Pacific Timezone
whip_poor_will: (street spirit)
2009-08-14 12:43 am
Entry tags:

✘ the story

Extended History

Before Death ▸
Ravine hadn’t been born a Psychopomp.

Her story, instead, begins during the time of Neo Babylon, in 607 B.C., where she was born in the Kingdom of Judah under the name of Yehudit.

As Yehudit, she had been born with a unique gift of prophecy. Weak in her childhood as it was not yet fully developed, she would over time pick up on things here and there that she shouldn’t have known. Things people did that they told no one. Secrets that were kept from her ears. Later, she started hearing voices, only to realize that she was afflicted with the thoughts of others around her. This had caught the interest of a young man named Mordokhay, who Yehudit shared some of her visions with.

When she was nine-years-old, Yehudit’s parents, Lemuel and Shira, had a son named Elimelech. Yehudit was immediately taken with her baby brother, but her time with him and the rest of her family would be cut short just one year later.

For three months, King Nebuchadnezzar II sieged Jerusalem. This was due to the Judean king, Jehoiakim, allying with Egypt, and refusing to pay tribute to the Kingdom of Babylon. After dealing with the many rebellions across the Levant, Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah as the new king and took the late Jehoiakim’s son, Jeconiah, captive.

Also taken as prisoners were thousands of Jews, and were deported to Babylon on March of 597. Her father, Lemuel, did not survive the journey, and it wasn’t long after their arrival to Babylon that Yehudit was separated from her mother and brother. Due to Mordokhay, who had let slip to some Babylonian nobles of Yehudit’s gift of prophecy, the young girl was spared a slave’s life. In order to live as a free citizen, she helped in advising Nebuchadnezzar and his counsel, and was treated quite fairly by the people of Babylon. There, for the rest of her life, she was to serve at the court, and became acquainted with a former Jewish nobleman named Belteshazzar. News of Mordokhay faded away and the boy left forgotten, as she grew more accustomed to her role.
Her services, however, came at a price, as Yehudit’s abilities only grew as she got older. Not only could she see events of the past, future, and possible outcomes, but she could look into the minds of those around her, going so far as to reach into their heads and drive them into madness.
Still, Yehudit was an invaluable advisor for her talents by many within the Babylonian dynasty. Having seen into the minds of so many deranged and sickly people, that experience had driven her into near madness. At some point, she would secretly project her madness onto others of lower class, unintentionally inciting murder within the city.
As time went on, Yehudit’s state of mind already began to deteriorate by the age of twenty-seven. She started having intense delusions, and difficulty telling what was real and what were visions. Somehow, she managed to find it in her to keep up the illusion of sanity over the next five years, but she started making questionable choices. Like sometimes she would flub up a prophecy, seeing only a possible outcome as opposed to the actual future. Furthermore, the barrage of thoughts invading her head became impossible to ignore.
For the first time in two decades, she was approached by Mordokhay, who had been working for some of the Babylonian noblemen of the court. Because of his position, he overheard many things unnoticed, and word had gone around of a gifted boy named “Shadrach”, who was to be sent to the court to take her place. Yehudit’s unstable condition had labeled her as a liability, and she was wearing out her welcome in Babylon. There were even rumors of a plan to assassinate her, and Yehudit’s gifts had only supported her fears and paranoia.
As it was still difficult to discern which would be the actual future and which was only a possibility, she confirmed with Belteshazzar and his connections at the court: The boy’s original name was said to be Elimelech. And he was of the age that Yehudit’s brother would be, had she not left the remains of her family behind. As it turned out that Shira, who was married to a merchant man, had sold her son to the Babylonians to serve the court, as Elimelech had begun to develop gifts of his own at an early age. Gifts that could supposedly benefit the king.
In order to avoid her inevitable assassination and the reunion of her brother, Yehudit fled under the cloak of a lunar eclipse, which she had foreseen. The locals, on the other hand, did not. While the people of Babylon were in hysterics, Yehudit made it to the city outskirts before having a vision of Mordokhay’s arrest and immediate execution, as well as her own death. Yehudit was caught by the king’s soldiers at the recently constructed Ishtar Gate, where her abilities became unstable and she suffered the psychic equivalent of a meltdown. The soldiers, seemingly intending to make advances on the prophet, were now deranged. Yehudit had seized the minds of one, now weakened, and prompted him to turn his blade, forcing him to behead her.
Nebuchadnezzar, disheartened by the loss of a valuable advisor, had given Yehudit a proper burial. Though, not long after, Yehudit’s body disappeared from the crypts, and was never seen again.

After Death ▸
During this transition, the woman had been split into two, because they were twins who were, naturally, connected: A male and a female entity. The female became Ravine, and the male, who was once Shadrach, became Vincent. However, when she was first reborn and found herself in Edom, a place between life and death, she saw that Shadrach was nowhere to be found, despite the deal she had with the Memitim and having a glimpse of him before her death. She demanded that she see him, but They refused, telling her then what she had to do and who she had to be — in a way it was her bridge to atonement.

While Ravine took on the role as a Psychopomp, Vincent fell into a coma and didn’t wake up until almost a millennia later, sometime during or after the Salem Witch Trials. At some point after his awakening, Ravine approached Vincent. One of the many gifts that she had developed as a Psychopomp also included the ability to be seen and unseen, so in a way, she removed herself from Vincent’s perception if she so willed it; however, due to Vincent’s gift when he was Shadrach, his ability to be attuned with his surroundings allowed him to “sense” Ravine when she was present, like a lingering ghost. Later, she returned on the day Vincent was hanged by the people of Ashtown. As he had been dangling from a tree, Ravine for the first time interfered with her brother’s affairs, and she cut him down from the tree he hanged from. In spite of her efforts, the tragic thing about this encounter was that Vincent, having no memory of his life as Shadrach, also had no memory of his sister in any sort of previous life. Although emotionally hardened as a Psychopomp, this hurt Ravine deeply, and forced her to sink deeper into solitude, accepting the fact that she was doomed to be alone and unloved.

Vincent had become the thing that Ravine could not: He expresses himself with emotions that Ravine was forced to bury as a mean of survival. His ability to feel for the people around him allowed him far more emotion than Ravine could ever accomplish (however, while she does have feelings for others, she expresses them through actions rather than emotions and words. This wasn’t that much different than how she lived her life as Yehudit when she became known as Ereshkigal). Ravine, in contrast, is more composed and in control, which is something Vincent lacks. She has neither a need nor a drive to eat nor live as a human, whereas Vincent does. She looks after him because she sees him as frail. It is possible that, like Ravine’s memories of being Yehudit is all but a blur, Vincent could never recover his memories of ever being Shadrach whereas Ravine’s are just fragments.

Ravine also became known as “the foreigner” — a title she had adopted from the sentinels because of her ability to wander between worlds. Not only could she travel between the boundaries of life and death, but she was also one with every other realm of possibility that ever existed, including several multiverses that exist beyond her own world. While many of the sentinels (the Memitim included) live with certain restrictions, Psychopomps alone have the power to be everywhere and anywhere. This is both a blessing and a curse, as Ravine is as connected with all of these worlds in a way that it would drive even a sentinel mad. She is bonded with the very nature of death in that she has become the very embodiment of the concept, leaving the prospect of what she had once been completely behind. That said, “foreigner” is the best way to describe her, as someone who doesn’t fit in, and never will — an immortal outcast.

It is almost safe to say that, unlike the sentinels, Ravine is more of a spirit — if even that. She isn’t really alive, but she isn’t really dead, either. Because of this, not even the sentinels can exactly grasp why she is the way she is. Ravine can shift between being physical, and being unseen. Because of her spirit-like nature as Death, she is also able to make herself seen by whoever she wants, and invisible to everyone else. This is exceptional when she claims the dead and the dying.

Throughout the eons, Ravine spent collecting and gathering dead souls. As Death, she also manages the Styx. Sometimes souls are allowed to pass through it, others don’t, and become wraiths: If Ravine, for whatever reason, kills a person, that soul becomes a wraith, and continues to haunt her.

For a long while, she went about her way of existing, gathering the souls of the dead and sending them to where they needed to be. In a way, this was her release — it brought her some solace, even to the people who didn’t want to die. But it wasn’t always like that. Few were consoled by her being there, waiting with them as they died. Ravine made a habit out of always being there for everyone, even if they never knew her name. However, her empathy for these people were often clouded by her evident apathy and her lack of caring. If anything, she appears goaded most when people rely on her too much, yet it’s just that that brings her most security.

Existing was all at the costing of the Sacraments — an act she hated committing most and yet had no choice but to partake in, lest the Sentinel divide and she, herself, were to die..

Ravine first met a man named Vincent the day a colony of people (who had once taken him in and sheltered him since he had first woken up in a field: Lost, alone, and with no sense of identity) betrayed him. They spat accusations and convicted him of using craft during the Witch Hunts that carried out from the late 1600s. So they hanged him. Ravine came to him, at first in the form of a snake, and then revealed herself as she was, and cut him down from the tree he hanged from. Vincent learned from Ravine that they were both one and the same person — twins, so to speak. But Ravine chose not to interfere with his life very much, especially after the trauma of “dying”, and just watched him as though from a distance. She knew that he would despise her for the things she had done anyway.

Ravine ▸
Shortly after her death, the prophet’s soul had promptly been appropriated by an Entity known as the Memitim, from whom she learned of her brother’s fate. As a result of his inherit abilities as an empath, he had died the same time she had been decapitated, leaving the Memitim to steal away both souls of the sister and her younger brother.

But while Elimelech’s soul would remain in limbo, tortured and unable to move on, the Memitim allowed him only peace unless Yehudit agreed to become a Psychopomp. If she didn’t, they would erase Elimelech from existence, as if he never existed at all.

For the brother she never got to know, she became the Psychopomp, Ravine.

Fast forward to a few thousands of years. Over the course of history, “Ravine” has been only one of many Psychos to reap the souls of the dead. She had come to appreciate what she does, accepting her fate and even getting to meet many people. Many times, she gets to see the worst of humanity, but sometimes she is able to see the best in a person during their final moments.

As a Psychopomp, she even had better control over the abilities that had attracted the Memitim to her in the first place, in addition to newer ones that came with being a ghostly immortal being. She learned a lot about people over the millennia, becoming quite personable with those that she sends over after their lives end. But not once has she ever been able to answer the simple, most obvious question:

What comes next?

The sad truth is that she doesn’t really know, because she has never been to where souls go after they’ve been reaped. Whether or not if they end up anywhere at all is a question she would rather not know the answer to. Instead, she just prefers to assist in the troublesome transition, wanting to spare the more distraught and despondent ones from the experience she had received when she died.

And every so often, the only option she has to ease one’s transition after their death is to cajole them with a sweet lie. Ravine is not above telling one what they want to hear in order to get her job done, no matter how hurtful the actual reality may be. No one is ever perfect.

In the autumn of 1684, the unexpected happened.
Whether it had been malice, intent, or incompetence, the Memitim lost the soul of Yehudit’s brother it had been keeping. Elimelech’s corpse manifested in a field outside a small Connecticut town called Windbridg. But before Ravine could get to him, two children of Dutch immigrants found him. The young brother and sister had grown curious of the dead man who was coming back to life, and helped him to their small settlement.
Rather than asserting herself back into her own brother’s life, Ravine refrained and kept her distance, only watching him. She found that he had no memory of what had transpired over two thousand years ago, and she decided that that was for the best. He would have no memory of the trauma of his death, or of the time he had lost all those years of being in Limbo. Surprisingly, he managed to integrate fairly well into his new life with his gifts.
On the other hand, his gifts also led to his ruin. One decade later, Ravine returned to that sleepy settlement to find her brother hanged at a tree, left to rot and unable to revive in his current state. Despite her resolve not to meddle with the affairs of the living, her brother wasn’t necessarily alive. So she cut him down and sat with him until he was able to resurrect himself, learning over time that he has turned out to be a true immortal and thus, unable to die.
Once again, she had to make a choice. She let her brother go, allowing him to live his life by wandering the earth, finding himself under the new identity of a man named “Vincent Spiker”. All the while she did her work, existing in many places at the same time. Throughout the millennia, the role had become her. She even dutifully tracked down candidates for the Sacraments for the Memitim, a process that results in the Entity feeding off a particular, unfortunate soul on the brink of life and death.
It wasn’t until she met a young girl in the 1850s, bearing the birthmark of a sacrifice, that Ravine had begun to question her role in this many-layered world. Though she had sent many of their lineage to the Memitim, Elizabeth Moss was the first to have ever made her feel human. Because Elizabeth turned out to be pretty gifted herself, capable of seeing reapers whether they wanted to be seen or not. Because of this, Ravine looked after Elizabeth, rather than sending her to the Memitim.
As fate would have it, though, the girl was afflicted with tuberculosis at the young age of eighteen, where Ravine had stayed by her side until her dying breath. However, Elizabeth had been ripped from her by a fellow Psychopomp, where both her body and soul were sacrificed, defiled, and fed to the Memitim.
After Elizabeth, Ravine decided that she didn’t want to help the Memitim any longer by sating them with such sacrifices, seeing the Entity as unnecessary and greedy. Her trust in the Entities in general had faded, and Ravine promised herself that she would help the souls of the dead, bring them peace in any way she could, but she would never allow another sacrifice to suffer.

Even Death May Die ▸
More than a century and a half after Elizabeth’s demise, the Memitim had found a new sacrifice. This one was a woman named Naomi Spijker, a distant cousin of the sacrificial lineage and a descendant of the family who had once adopted her brother, now still going by “Vincent”. What more, Vincent had befriended Naomi after being drawn to her by her ancestry, which further complicated matters.

Ultimately, the Sacraments came to an end when Grayson, serving another Entity, had claimed Naomi’s soul. As a result, this fed the power of his Entity while nulling its effects for the Memitim, weakening them. Grayson, Ravine learned, was a Wight, a unique creation exclusive to an Entity called the Aegror.

While the Memitim was an Entity for the dead, the Aegror served a different purpose: To spread sickness and disease. As it grew from the strength of Naomi’s soul, and the souls of others that its Wight sent them, they were able to overpower the Memitim. The other remaining two Entities, as a result, did not interfere with the Aegror for the next three hundred years.

New World Timeline

2320 A.C. ▸
A cure for a highly contagious disease at the time was discovered. Except that, as it turned out, said cure bred into a major airborne virus that spread throughout the world, killing the living cells in the human body. 5% of the world’s population died within the year.

2321 A.C. ▸
Within six months, the world population was slowly being annihilated. Mass suicides and murder and looting was rampant. The governments all around the world had banded together to repurpose an ocean reservation project into a humanity conservation program. Thanks to the organization known as OASIS (the Oceanic Agency for Subaquatic Inhabitation and Stasis), they offered a solution to the imminent extinction of humanity. The lottery for secretly selecting families to be taken to the five ocean reserves began.

There are eight Ocean Reservations divided to ensure a racial and intellectual balance when the world ends. These are the proximate numbers of the populations preserved by the OASIS technology:
  • Arctic (ArcOR): 10,000
  • Austral (AusOR): 10,000
  • Indian (IOR-1): 9,750
  • Indian (IOR-2): 9,300
  • Atlantic (AltOR-1): 10,500
  • Atlantic (AltOR-2): 10,000
  • Pacific (POR-1): 15,000
  • Pacific (POR-2): 15,000
ArcOR: Canada, Greenland, Russia, Norway, Arctica
AusOR: Australia and Oceanica
IOR: Asia
AltOR: Africa (+ Middle East), Europe
POR: North and South America, Asia

OASIS had been developing the Ocean Reservations for about 50 years, hence the large numbers they were able to save. Originally intended for a different purpose (creating underwater cities and deep sea exploration), they have since been repurposed for humanity’s survival. They had not yet been dropped into the ocean ridges, where they will be stable among the underwater mountain system. It was unknown whether or not the reserves would survive the ocean submersion or not, but people were willing to make that gamble.

20% of the world’s population were eradicated by the Plagues. Quarantine Zones had been placed for those selected for the lottery, but they were not yet told that they are part of a conservation project. They were, instead, told that they are simply riding out the global infection. However, it was estimated that it would take at least 200 years for the virus to die and humanity to inherit the earth once again.

2326 A.C. ▸
Over the course of the last few years, 80% of the world’s population perished. The 1% remains in quarantine cities, on standby to enter the OASIS reservations.

2327 A.C. ▸
The conservation program was a success, but may have had some unanticipated side effects. People in the quarantine zones were informed that they would be in stasis for a short period, not telling any of them that they were scheduled to wake over two centuries later when the world as they know it is long since gone. Due to the sheer numbers, it takes years for people to properly be sent into the reserves.

90% of the world’s population is dead. The remaining 9% work on either making peace with their final days, or part of programs to try and preserve humanity in the Ocean Stasis Reserves. There have been incidents of some of the researchers killing one of the lotteries in order to make their place or a family member’s into the stasis program, but due to the urgency of the situation, many turn a blind eye and continue their progress.

Of the 7.3 billion people in the world, only 1% of that population survived approximately 589 years ago. That makes 73,000,000 people saved from dying of the disease.

2328 ▸
The year the world has officially “ended”.

Collapse ▸
People were in stasis for 153 years.

Of the 1% who have survived, .0009% (657) people actually remember the Forgotten World.

The year of the Collapse is 2481, when the 1% woke from their stasis, setting everything back to 0.

An Incident ▸
In the year 2500, due to the Collapse, there was an error in one of the private preserves created by a group of wealthy businessmen, hiring independent contractors to work on preserving more than just the 1% of the population. Since the lottery was based on aptitude rather than wealth and social status, these people tried to create an ocean reserve for their own. Rather than creating a stasis system, they simply made an underwater city. However, time passed and they would run out of supplies, as would any others attempting to survive via underground bunkers and such. Most would either die of starvation, resort to cannibalism, or attempt to leave and be killed by the virus. Some independent contractors were able to create stasis systems, which preserved the individuals inside. However, many of them experienced blips which caused the reserves to open too soon, messing up the dates. People exited the independent reserves and were killed by the disease.

After Collapse ▸
298 years have passed since then, making the current year of Culling the Crows 2779. However, due to the Collapse and no one knowing how long it’s been since they were in stasis, the official year is unknown. Even the robots had issues calculating the dates since the Collapse. Think of it as an actual y2k that happened sometime after the fall of humanity.

This makes the known year 298AC (After Collapse).

Current world population: 56,000,000 (due to predators, civil wars, disease, and exposure)

Those that do remember the Forgotten World have no idea what started the Plagues, but the Dead Cell Theory insists that it was the result of research for a terminal disease. Questions about what disease the cure was supposed to be intended for is unknown.

Vehicles run on alt fuel, a type of fossil energy that was synthesized at some point during stasis. It comes from a type of clay that can be condensed and recreated for energy purposes.