When Wormwood fell, humanity was extinguished with it. A burning star that would force the final embers of our shattered species into the void.
Our home is now a distant memory, so many eons after the Fall. Terra was lost. Our people slept for millennia, carried by the winds of the void and the hopes of their ancestors. This is now the story of Apsyntion, the world we found at the end of our exodus.
Apsyntion – the Eden we sought for so long among the stars. Emerald cloud banks hid acres of fungal mats, overflowing with life. Terran astronomers could not have predicted the density of native forms, or the hostility. When the Ark impacted the surface, something broke inside her. When the first men set foot upon this planet, most slumbered within the womb of the great ship.
These first we call the Windwalkers, and it was generations before the Ark would release its remaining sleepers. The Windwalkers lived among these beasts of Apsyntion, these Lilin, learning the ways of Eden and forgetting their history. They are lost to us.
Century after century the Ark would spill the sleepers onto the soil of this alien world, and they each made a home for their ideology. Warriors were born into conflict. Peacemakers sought to end it. Cities rose, and fell. The children of men were fruitful, and multiplied.
Seven tribes would be awakened this way – seven variations on the embers of the human race. The eighth tribe was born from the remnants of the Ark itself, and combined the living mind with the body of a machine. These abominations lurk in the shadows of Apsyntion, and we would be wise to eradicate their kind before they turn upon their progenitors. We will never again be slaves to machine Gods.
These eight factions now seek the greatest glory – to return to the Ark and rebuild her in their image. She is twisted and ancient, but the wreckage still hums with the power of a forgotten sun. Each tribe carries hereditary secrets – these Echoes of the Ark. Each of us carries a piece of the key to our ancestral home. And this prodigal instinct will drive us to a terrible war.
Perhaps Wormwood was a blessing in the end, for those who served in Heaven never saw their children reign in Hell.
–Bishop Malachi Renquist, ‘Recollections of Genesis’