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The Avalon Archives - File 0: The Crimson Dawn by Prostapheresys

You most certainly read or heard about some myths or legends in your life at some point: every culture has his owns and while some are very different from the rest and others share various common elements, almost all of them have connections with the supernatural: monsters, spirits, magic… you name it.
“Why?” then you probably wondered. “Is it because back then we lacked the knowledge or the tools to explain all the natural phenomena of Earth?”
Maybe… but even in recent times, now that we achieved the scientific knowledge to debunk such myths and legends, they are always being retold nonetheless.
“Is it because we just can’t help but enjoy stories of fantasy?” Sure, people like to be amazed and a lot of entertainment comes from works of fiction. But that’s not the point.
“Is it because they are metaphors meant to warn and educate the new generations?” True, most of them have deeper meaning, but you’re still missing the point.
Out of ideas? Hint: they were never intended to be myths or legends.

You read it right.
All those stories originated from real events and witnesses of an ancient past. A past full of struggle and fighting for survival, a past quickly forgotten with the advent of technology, which helped protecting the human race and eventually driving out those creatures of magic and wonder. But THEY… they did not forget. And when they eventually came back, they were understandably furious and vengeful after all the centuries spent living in secret and in fear of extinction…

Collectively known as the “Enchanted”, they had waited for their resurgence, spying on humanity, which continued to thrive so oblivious of their existence that it divided and started waging war against itself for power. When the time came, everything was ready: as we were already weakened by the aftermaths of the Great War, they used dark magic to summon a plague deadly to humans but otherwise harmless to the Enchanted.
Thus, they didn’t encounter much resistance in their advance since we were still struggling for a cure to the so-called “Spanish flu” pandemic; additionally, humanity had forgotten how to fight such creatures or how to protect itself against magic. It didn’t help the fact that the few who could were ridiculed and called crazy for believing such a menace could exist… By the time mankind accepted this new reality and recognized the threat, it was already too late. Entire nations had fallen and by 1922 the world was under the rule of creatures we didn’t even know had existed all along.
A new “dark age” began for mankind; still furious, vengeful and sometimes even hungry human flesh, the Enchanted began repressing, enslaving and exterminating us. They also sought to confiscate or destroy any technological equipment we had created in order to prevent any chance of rebellion from mankind. But, for however weak or powerless mankind could be, hope never ceased to be by its side: in 1939, after retrieving and rebuilding more of the so feared technology and having learnt about magic, it was humanity’s turn for resurgence and another great, World War started.

In the following years both sides fought with extreme intensity for the annihilation of the opponent, resulting in many casualties and sacrifices as neither of them managed to triumph over the other. In a desperate attempt to end it once and for all, mankind used all its remaining resources to the fullest for developing a new, ultimate weapon; due to practical purposes and need, it was unanimously decided to experiment it directly in battle, where the main military forces of the Enchanted resided at the time.
It was an enormous and intricate obsidian castle, a true marvel of architecture and military engineering set on the promontory of a long rocky coast, whose walls were believed to be impenetrable; inside the castle the most intelligent and cunning creatures coordinated all the war efforts while the strongest and fastest of them constantly guarded its surrounding waters and land. Finally, the rest of them gathered useful resources for the expenses of war from the bowels of earth beneath it, under the protection of the shiny, magical dome that secured the castle from above.
And yet all of this wasn’t enough against that new, terrible weapon of unpredicted and unprecedented power: any living or inanimate object was mercilessly vaporized in an instant, any trace of their presence was destroyed as if even the memory of their existence was killed. Where the castle resided a large bay appeared, where there was a rocky coast a beach was formed and where there was land the sea submerged it. The Enchanted called it “the Crimson Dawn”; mankind knows it with much less poetry as the Atomic Bomb.

Despite the huge accomplishment, the war had already claimed so many lives that no man had the courage or strength to step forth victorious. In fact, everybody lost, for all beings on Earth were fed up with the conflict and saw that event as a warning: if there still was something worth saving in the world, war would have taken it away. Only peace could be the solution and therefore, by the end of 1945, the hostilities officially ceased; the people of all races rejoiced and started rebuilding the world, together.
It was definitely much more fun than destroying it; plus, mankind and the other creatures had the opportunity to rediscover each other and overcome their differences once and for all. After the initial difficulties, the still remaining contrasts were eventually solved and an international agency, later known as the Avalon Agency, was founded with the purpose of ensuring peace and unity in the world and preventing other conflicts.

Meanwhile, back where the obsidian castle once resided, decades passed and as radioactive levels lowered, life started to flourish again. The newly formed bay offered a nice spot of calm waters amidst the great waves and currents of the ocean, so it attracted a lot of marine wildlife. Some fishermen took notice and thus settled in the bay; later the population increased and eventually realized it was a perfect place for creating a new city since the large surrounding bay would shelter it from the elements, giving it its own perfect microclimate. It also had a nice beach for tourists and an easy access from the ocean to welcome any merchant ship.
And so a place once representing the death and destruction brought by war, slowly became a thriving town that attracted people of all cultures and races, as well as the symbol of this new peace and integration. Its inhabitants chose to name it Memory Bay to homage all the victims of the war.
And it is right here, in the early 2000s, where this story begins…

The Avalon Archives - File 0: The Crimson Dawn


It's "File 0" because it is meant to be a prologue to the whole series. All episodes will be named as "Files"

Submission Information

Literary / Story