Nine generations ago the Azure Flames washed over and burned away the Old World. While the creations of the Old World burned away in those blue-white wrathful waves, Man himself endured- and having endured, Man lived on. Scattered, isolated and increasingly in danger those isolated pockets of Mankind reacted as best they could with the resources—intellectual, moral and physical—that they had; many pockets found themselves wanting in one or another and collapsed under the pressures put upon them by the monsters and other mutations erupted out of the ruins of the Old World. For reasons fair and foul alike, these ruined redoubts would serve as silent servants to posterity as to the necessities of survival in life.
These messages would reach those islands of Man that endured the aftermath, but the lessons learned varied significantly amongst the people of these isolated communities of survivors. We know so well now of the Empire of Man, but there were others that emerged from that chaotic era. One of those others arose at the very center of the North American continent, a centrality unacknowledged by all but a few and noticed by only a slightly larger group. While the Empire of Man was the greatest of the Old World resurrected from the corpse of its sole surviving city, this place arose from the opportunity of the survivors to embrace the new and create a community following a radical vision of what Man is and how he relates to the universe.
This place centered itself on a society of engineers, scientists and scholars who already had a significant interest in and pursuit of what was then called “occult” or “arcane”. When the Old World burned, they survived due to prior preparation and sequestered themselves in a redoubt of their own creation. They did quite well, hiding with effectiveness from the Necromancer, but an encounter with an alien group is what sparked their transformation into the power that built the Sky-Blue Republic.
This group claimed to be an advanced party from a long-gone, and heretofore unknown, line of Men who (after conferring with the founders) had disappeared from acknowledged history well before its acknowledged beginning. They were a small party of about 20 men, all equal in stature to the locals’ greatest, equally in skill at arms and mastery of science- and possessed of far superior mastery of magic. They combined, and the Chronicles acknowledges this group as the nucleus of the successful resistance against the Necromancer that would later result in the Necromancer’s annihilation by those powers then emerging into the world- the Empire of Man being most famous amongst them.
The synthesis of local and alien Men became the foundation of a new community and with it a new society wherein the aforementioned synthesis of science and sorcery originated. The implication of sorcery, of magic, stripped of its religious and superstitious trappings was that the use of supernatural power now came under the skeptical inquiry and experimental practice of highly-educated and highly-motivated people. These Men took great risks in their experiments, but the rewards are now artifacts of history and today we still benefit from the breakthroughs that this cabal—these esoteric engineers—put down all those years ago.
To illustrate the importance of this change, I shall recount the tale of a hero of this people, one of the early heroes of the Sky-Blue Republic that this association of sorcerer-savants built by through their strength of their wills and the employment of their knowledge. This is the story of the one remembered as Nala Prime, and how Nala’s paradigm-smashing breakthroughs allowed the Sky-Blue Republic to establish its place in our new age of the world- the Age of Flowing Waters.