Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Idea: Eldritch horrors reshape humanity and leave

When They came They reshaped us, and They did so with no grand purpose behind it. They stayed for a hundred years and then They left, either departing for good or simply waiting a season to observe how Their experiments would Turn out. Left behind were tens of thousands of varieties of human, modified as far as Their science would allow and in some cases only barely recognizable as having been human, if at all so. Human culture was blasted by Their presence but the fragments are still recognizable- one of the few uniform effects of Their tampering was a resistance to the large-scale changes that normally develop in societies. What little survived Them generally survives to this day, three thousand years later.

The scope of human diversity is enormous even after many varieties died out: the North American plains are stalked by fast runners with long folding blades extending from- forming, one could argue- their fingers like wing bones, and the ocean depths are the domain of sharp-toothed swimmers who trail dozens of tentacles behind them and maintain a near-hivemind in their schools through a stream of sound, who are born without eyes and will never rise high enough to feel the warmth of the sun. Perhaps Their favorite- they are the only variety common to every continent- was one that of all of them most resembles the now-extinct baseline human species, but which feeds by draining living organisms of some sort of vital energy without which one quickly sickens and dies.

Also left behind by Them were places where the physical laws are warped and even time does not flow at the proper speed, sometimes not even the proper direction. These are the places where They based Themselves, from which raiding parties flew and kidnapped Their victims while human civilization, helpless to stop it, gradually fell apart. That They simply could not be beaten, or even harassed in any meaningful way, and the consequent spiritual defeat, probably did more to destroy humanity than the infighting did. They did not even bother to retaliate in response to our ineffectual attacks.

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