Trigger Warnings: Nuclear War. Middle East Eradication. The downfall of three whole religions who supposedly worshiped the same God. Faerunian Deities thinking that they got off easy. And Sexy Jesus.
I thought about going ahead and posting the current scenario right now, and decided to go ahead, knowing that I can always change it later as I get feedback. It’s an important part of the fall of the present day world that began the transformation into Æthercoil’s world. With the sheer variety of cataclysms that befell this world, it should be a small favor that the Nuclear War was so short and so small scoped. But it’s location and manner of this war affected the world more than anyone would guess.
Because it not only destroyed most of the Middle East, but caused three religions to fall because of it.
Whoever threw the first stone is lost to history, and it’s still in debate to this day, but everyone agreed on when all hell officially broke loose. Whoever threw that first stone, it was aimed at Israel. And Israel threw the second. And the third. And the fourth, and the next fifty, and then fifty after that, and then the remaining available nukes. Available in the world.
They call it the Samson Option, a nightmare level version of Mutual Assured Destruction. Named after the biblical judge who, chained and blinded as a spectacle for his enemies, destroyed the entire temple he was chained in, taking every enemy inside with him to the hereafter.
As a nation that has been faced with its own extinction long before they were recognized as a country, the Israelites knew the value of making sure that such a demise will prove the most pyrrhic victory known to man. What would serve the Judean-hating world, and all those tut-tutting European statesmen and peace activists, better in response for thousands of years of massacres but a Nuclear Winter? That is the Samson Option. That is Israel in ‘Bolivian Ending’ mode. For the first and I pray to God the only time in history, a people facing extermination while the world either cackles or looks away has the power to destroy the world.
Some call it the Ultimate Justice. Others call it the Ultimate Deterrent. Most people call it “The Shit Hitting the Fan”
And the shit did hit the fan, just hours after the Cubs winning the World Series (0-1 WR) A radicalized nation in the Middle East finally launched a Nuclear Weapon and struck Israel. In the final moments before the bomb struck, Israel not only launched its own nukes, but also hacked into every Nuclear Power on the planet, including both the United States and Russia, and launched every ICBM they can commandeer and sent them into the Middle Eastern region. All of the Nukes. Every one. Set to land in Carpet Bomb fashion.
By the time the fallout took its course (2 WR), three quarters of the Middle Eastern Region, including Israel, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, half of Iran, half of Saudi Arabia, and parts of Turkey and Egypt have vanished from the map. They were nuked out of existence, reclaimed by the sea.
Everybody else just stood there in shock, not wishing to even budge, not wanting to flinch, not willing to do anything outside of finding a shelter to hide, not wanting to do anything to provoke Round Two of World War III. The resulting electromagnetic pulse disrupted the networks and power grids of over 70% of the Old World, and created glitches in the New World as well, and everyone feared the coming nuclear winter that accompanied the many other upheavals that visited their own countries. Scientists feared that the sheer amount of nukes in a concentrated space would push the earth out of its orbit around the sun.
There was a silver lining though. The nuclear fallout counteracted with the carbon in the atmosphere, reversing the damage to the environment that causes Global Climate Change. Also, the water displacement created by the oceans reclaiming the lost land mass the Samson Option caused counteracted the melting icecaps, reversing the trend for the longer term. However, instead of a global nuclear winter, the combination of fallout and carbon created rifts between this world and both the Feywild and the Shadowfell, bringing with it the reverting of this world to a Middle Earth-style Fantasy Setting.
All that happened in the first 100 years of the Wrigley Reckoning.
By this time, all three related religions that had an origin in the now-erased region, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, were devastated. Most if not all of their scriptures are now referring to cities that no longer exists. It would be impossible for prophesies to come true in a Jerusalem that has vanished. And you can’t pray toward a Mecca that isn’t there anymore. The majority fell from their faith, and backlash against their religions grew intolerable in some parts of the world after the event. By 25 WR, with the exception of some variations of their religions (The most prevalent being Mormonism, sequestered in Utah) all three religions became all but extinct. By 300 WR, these religions are little more than cautionary tales on the horrors of war, where more often than not nobody wins. No part of these three religions would have any influence in all in Æthercoil.
All discarded on the ash heap of history, except for one.
With surprising regularity, reports of a strange man in a cloak and middle eastern garb appears to people who are in dire need, someone who was listening when someone cried out in the night. A moral body with pierced wrists and an immortal spark inside him, who appears when he’s needed the most. In his wake, the lame walk, the blind see, the dead rise, and people who were once despairing and powerless are now fill of hope and power, wishing to bring light and life into the world around them. He wished no followers, takes in no disciples, and requests no worship, but everyone knows of this Israeli. His name comes from an ancient forgotten language. It’s a name of Anonymity, but all know him: Yeshu.
I’ll expand on Yeshu’s presence and impact in the Æthercoil world as I go.