The Manifestation

When people talk of the Manifestation, they speak as though it were a single, catastrophic event, a great cataclysm that changed the world of Sena forever. In truth it was more complex than that, a series of events that led to a steady decline, though in historical terms it was indeed rapid. Evidence from history has been put forward to claim that the first signs of the Manifestation occurred hundreds of years before it was considered to have begun, though such evidence is shaky.

The first signs of change were observations of a bizarre phenomenon, some might say an entity of its own. Portals, tears in the world, began to open up, often in wild, remote areas, but sometimes in cities and towns. In the area around these portals, the temperature plummeted, regardless of whether they opened into a frozen forest or a burning desert. Ice that refused to melt crystallised on stone and buildings alike.

What lay beyond these portals, nobody could say. Those who ventured too deep into the frozen lands did return, but most lapsed into unconsciousness and died without waking. Those who did wake became incoherent, paranoid, self destructive beings, unable to recognise even their closest family, and none could describe their encounters. Fragmented tales arose of a being that lay beyond the portals, and some stories arose of people who had encountered this being with their minds intact, but none could be verified.

As the portals spread, a world that had been on the brink of industrialisation began to unravel.

In the wake of all this upheaval, nature itself began to change. From the shunned wilds came creatures that had never been seen before. Some resembled strange forms of already living beasts, and some were like nothing that anyone could recognise. From all across the world they emerged and when those individuals curious enough to investigate the new creatures ventured into the wilds, they found themselves bonded to them, slowly losing themselves as animal instincts arose within. Even more powerful creatures, beasts of legend, roamed the wilds and tore apart cities. To the people of Sena, it was a sign that nothing, not even nature, could be trusted.

The world as a whole, of course, carried on, diminished but not defeated. Though neither the cold portals nor their strange children showed any signs of leaving, humanity would still hang on and attempt to rebuild. Now, two hundred years after the first confirmed events of the Manifestation, the two sons of a northern beast-hunter must confront the world they have inherited and discover the secrets it still conceals.