Under the Fifth Sun
The World Is Not What Once It Was…
It’s been two, maybe three or even four generations since the predictions of the Mayans came true. Or was it the Aztecs? We’ve lost track of so much history since, maybe it doesn’t even matter. At any rate, it’s been forty-four years since the change started, and thirty two or so since it finished. At least we think it finished.
Nowadays, magic works, at least in some areas. And it does something to much of the technology of the world before. Computers and most electronics are spotty and unreliable where magic exists, and sometimes don’t work at all. Even some basic chemical stuff doesn’t work as well – Smokeless powder is unreliable, while old-fashioned black powder works most of the time. Gasoline burns, but cars that use it sputter and die after a few hours time, and can rarely be started again. Medicines are rare, and famines and disease cost us dearly in the first two generations after it all started, before the rest of us figured out how we could survive.
High-tech enclaves have formed where magic does not hold dominion, since those are the only places where what we thought the laws of science were still hold sway without interruption or hesitation… Or mercy.
And the creatures… Things of legend have sprung up in the realms of magic, some of which are merely startling, but a few of dire danger have come to light as well – we are lucky that the really dangerous ones seem to depend on very high concentrations of magic just to survive.
The simpler, perhaps brute-force approaches of steam and lightning, of wind and fire, power much of what remains of our society. They, at least, are not hindered by the presence of magic or its absence.
If the stories we hear are true, the Rocky Mountain Commonwealth used to be most of Wyoming and Colorado and parts of Montana and New Mexico in what once was the United States of America. The year, we think, is 2057, in the old calendar. Here in the Golden Republic, we balance on the edge of the deep, sometimes dark magic of the mountains and the Auraria Enclave. On moonless nights, when the magic is low and it’s much safer outside, we can see the stars, and wonder if there are any of us still up there.