Cities of Ash
This world was once as any other - quiet and small, churning away in the greater magic cycle of the entire Timeline. It would have remained as such - overlooked and simple - were it not for the invention of a terrible weapon: the Heavensunder. Utilizing its power, mere mortals could kill a god with a single strike; such swift and utter annihilation had never been heard of before. Organizations squabbled over the use and ownership of such a device, while still others employed what became known as god-hunters to harvest ascension-levels of magic for the rich.
It was not to last. With the death of the Harmonics and Chaotics, the world's magic cycle destabilized completely - unable to uphold itself through the enormous amount of saturation in the air - and everything collapsed. Landmasses into landmasses, oceans into the sky, rot and death, life and misery, all warped beyond recognition. In the shadow of the apocalypse, small bands of survivors struggle to survive, barely able to care for themselves - let alone dream of reestablishing society.
And what of the god-hunters, the harbingers of this world's end? Cast out, hated, blamed - rejected from most remaining settlements and tossed aside for their hand in it all, whether or not they were willing murderers. One such god-hunter has concealed his identity out of great guilt, and seeks to prove he is a better person than he was - leading his three recent friends towards the last beacon of hope, the Standing City.
In the aftermath of the end of everything, Artemis has found himself complacent and rotted - a shell of a person, obeying his superior's orders without hesitation or thought. Watching the world collapse, knowing his part in it, has riddled him with fresh emotions from his deadened psyche - regret, guilt, fear, desperation, and a burning desire for salvation. As he crosses the shattered continents, he finds himself with a small band of survivors, and has pledged to help them cross the perilious journey to the Standing City... a place he both fears and anticipates as a place of cleansing judgement.
The dangers of the road and warped world pale to the storm within his mind, however. Delusions of grandeur haunt him as he comes to realize that, of the survivors, he alone bears the mantle of true godhood - having ascended to Gladarhood, capable of miracles as he pleases. Power tempts him like a poisonous snake, whispering to him all the ways he could harness his stolen magic. Caught between self-aggrandization and heart-searing agony for his hand in the collapse of the world, Artemis spends his precious time tending to his party and keeping his previous identity mum - a difficult task, when temptations of his old self are around every corner.
And, what of the secrets of his companions, whose pasts are shrouded in just as much mystery?
The End of the World - how unchecked ambition untethered the fabric of reality
Heavensunder - miraculous material with murderous purpose
God-Hunters - (wip)
The Felled Gods - (wip)
The Standing City - the beacon of hope, a ray of light in the corpse of the world