“They had lived there between the mountains and the Wastes since time before memory. Survived more than lived, but who was doing more than that After? They clung to the slopes of the Range like the growths that often appeared on the newborns before whatever decided such things took them. They survived and watched the mountains for trouble. Storms, mutated monsters, and Reavers always came from the Mountains when they came. Even then it took getting lost to come across their little village, and so Reaver problems were minimal and usually weak and malnourished by the time they ended up on their side of the Range. With the exception of the occasional dust or rad storm, nothing ever came from the Wastes; its devastation was so complete. So they watched the mountains and the slopes for trouble and they survived.
That is why they were not prepared when it came out of the Wastes. By the time they saw the clouds and understood what it was, it was too late. Too big to be Reavers, the cloud rose from the hard pan of the scorched earth announcing that it was coming. As the cloud grew they started to realize how many there were and how fast they were moving. Many thought it was impossible. That it was a storm, some fast moving cyclone from the Dead Wastes. Everyone knew that no one could survive out there.
Ferrin knew. He knew and tried to tell them to run, to flee into the mountains. His hunters were out and they could find them and hide in the hills they knew so well until it passed. But you didn’t survive easily After, and you certainly didn’t survive at all, if you weren’t able to hold onto what you have. So they stayed to face the thing that came on them out of the wastes.”
In a small village tucked away in the steppes of the Range a new threat to the villagers emerges. From the Wastes comes an army of men. These men are more than just a ravaging horde though. They are a new fire upon the world. One they claim is a cleansing fire to remake the world in a better way. A way of choice.
Dathan is the spark of their fire, and his intent is to burn away what is left from Before, and give those left After the choice to be what they want.
But is he a savior? A Messiah?
Or a Devil?
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