Viridian blooms torment the sky. The world has been forever changed. October 1st, 2022 Spoiler ** Surly clouds overhead stretch across the sky and blanket it in gray. The canvas they inhabit, while blue and brilliant sometimes, is cracked with gray-tones and teeming with swirling, congested movement. The overcast continues to float across the sky, eventually meeting the mountainous Carpathian crags in the distance. For now the skies remain quiet, but they look like they'll begin to weep at any moment. ** ** Near the distant mountain peaks, at the crown of the earth where it meets the sky, a dense storm-cell begins to form. It's of a dark gray, even blacker than the overcast surrounding it. This strange thunder-cell planes out as it meets the highest part of the atmosphere, like the anvil of Hephaestus. The echoed, rumbling cracks of thunder begin to slowly roll in. The sky continues to grow darker. ** ** Resounding arcs of what could only be described as lightning are seen eminating from the heart of the distant storm-cell out to the extremities of the phenomenom. Brief but powerful flashes of a blue-green hue light up the cracks in the clouds and betray the depth of the swirling, far-off storm. Packs of airborne Xenians fly, silhouetting against the sky in escape from the violent storm on the horizon. Despite the noise, alll is peaceful in the city, but lights occasionally flicker. ** ** The thunder and lightning of the terrestrial storm cell continue to co-mingle, in both sight and sound, with the blue-green flashes of the obsfuscated portal storm. The flanged, warped equivalent of thunder sounds. A symphony of natures' blind strength and mans' folly continues to play out on the far horizon. For those old enough to remember the early days of the Portal Storms, it's a resonant echo of those times. ** ** The anemic portal storm remains a bright, hot scar against the overcast sky not for much longer. Only a few minutes pass while it swirls and churns the sky around it. One finds it hard to look straight into the crest of the storm without discomfort. At the borders, where the familiar phenomenom meets the clouds it rests in, the light wavers and contorts, many possibilities converge into one body of swirling chaos. After a few more moments of the skies' rumbling, it begins to fade. ** ** Lights stop flickering in the city and flying Xenian creatures start to dot the sky again. Things start to return to a state of normalcy, or at least, what it was like moments before the storm opened its' maw. ** October 4th, 2022 Spoiler ** A far-away portion of the sky begins to shutter and coil on itself. A jagged scar of resonant energy begins to manifest on the horizon. Borderless but unmistakable in nature, it contrasts against the drab hues of the night sky. As the white scar in the atmosphere twists and convolutes, it builds in magnitude and grows in diameter. A portal storm seems imminent. ** ** Bright flashes of green and blue arc from the storms' blinding epicenter. The forks of cosmic energy tears clouds asunder and can even be seen starting fires on the side of mountains on the far horizon. Regardless of affiliation, one might be glad they're inside the city, as opposed to the howling wastes outside the walls. But the storm continues to grow in strength, the arcs of Xenian lightning reach farther and farther with each strike. ** ** As clouds part and forests burn, the eldritch storm finally reaches the "whistling point". A distinct, other-wordly hum of resonating frequencies can be heard all throughout the city. As if the threads of reality themselves had been plucked, or perhaps this is just an echo of such an event. ** ** The howling, resonant tones fade in and out. Lulls and crests in a cosmic symphony. As the harmonic whistle grows to a crescendo, the visual aspect of the storm has matched it. The skies' scar has become a gouging wound, the world they inhabit has been cut open. Silhouettes are seen pouring into existance, large winged Xenian creatures fly from the epicenter of the storm, birthed into a strange world unknown to them. ** ** The stitching in the fabric of time and space is undeniably torn, it has been for over 20 years. These aftershocks of the resonance cascade only serve as a reminder. The white fire in the sky begins to shrink again, twisting and folding back onto itself. The whistling tones fall into frequencies outside human perception. The localized storm begins to subside, now all that remains is the diminished, wavering section of sky. A patchwork of broken clouds and green light remains in its' place. ** October 8th, 2022 Spoiler ** The air is heavy with industrial smog and pollution. It sifts down from the looming smoke stacks on the horizon, settling in the cramped alleys and brickwork of the inner city. Factories hum, workers move to and from their shifts. ** ** Amid the hazy clouds that are light enough to escape the city and drift into the atmosphere, a distortion is seen in the western sky. A familiar sight. A gradually intensifying, borderless scar of white light. The air starts to feel heavier, the hair on the backs of necks stands up. ** ** A flock of crows is seen in silhouette against the sky with their tails to the developing portal storm on the horizon. As they pass overhead, they cast a momentary shadow over district 24. Soon after, the first rumbles of flanged thunder can be heard emanating from the heart of the storm. The scar in the sky continues to grow and twist, taking a definite form only in brief moments, only to then shift into an obscured borderless disc of light the next moment. ** ** Even though the heart of the storm sits on the horizon, it's effects are still palpable in the city. Lights begin to flicker, comms equipment acts up and other electronics start to act strangely. The firts arcs of xenian lightning light up the sky. The blues and green arc across the sky, scattering through the clouds and lighting the crevices up in a display just as beautiful as it is deadly and foreboding. ** ** What can only be described as thunder and lightning continue to radiate out from the heart of the storm. Their only resemblance to terrestrial storms being the flashes of light, and the ensuing sonic booms that follow. They diverge entirely upon closer inspection. The flashes of light are bright hues of greenish-blue, the thunder sounds as if put through a flanger. As the storm begins to pick up in intensity, the skies become alive with more flocks of birds and Xenian creatures fleeing. ** ** The eldritch lightning continues to arc; it radiates further and further away from the white-hot scar of an epicenter. The arcs finally free themselves from the clouds and start to strike the nearby mountain. An orange glow can be seen on the side of the Carpathian crags as forest fires are lit. ** ** As clouds part and forests burn, the eldritch storm finally reaches the "whistling point". A distinct, other-worldly hum of resonating frequencies can be heard all throughout the city. As if the threads of reality themselves had been plucked, or perhaps this is just an echo of such an event. A resonant echo of blind folly of man. ** ** A singular, large pod can be seen disembarking from the Citadel. After it jetisons, the silhouette takes a sharp west-bound approach. Flying directly towards the heart of the storm, it becomes smaller and smaller. The resonant whistling continues, falling in and out of harmonic. The storm rages on. ** ** The eye of the portal storm remains a brilliantly bright, swirling scar in the fabric of reality. It's hard to look at directly, much less understand. The cracks of xenian lightning continue to sporadically light up the district. As much as it defies human comprehension, it must be a part of the natural order. ** ** The pod that disembarked from the Citadel now careens through the sky, now flanked by two of similar design. Their hulls pristine, as if just arrived. The tight formation careens through the air on an eastern approach before the trio disappear into the citadel. It would of easily been missed due to the spectacle unfolding on the horizon, but those attentive enough may of noticed it. ** ** The stitching in the fabric of time and space is undeniably torn, it has been for over 20 years. These aftershocks of the resonance cascade only serve as a reminder. The white fire in the sky begins to shrink again, twisting and folding back onto itself. The whistling tones fall into frequencies outside human perception. The localized storm begins to subside, now all that remains is the diminished, wavering section of sky. A patchwork of broken clouds and green light remains in it's place. ** October 10th, 2022 Spoiler A tired stillness hangs in the air. The air is thick and hard to breathe. Despite this, the tides of change still churn. The fires still burn on a broken world, but the pieces have fallen apart. Loyal sentinels patrol the streets, trying to keep the pieces that remain in place. Under the surface of the sprawling metropolis, desperate men and women toil to uncover the fragments lost to time. The city is a patchwork of fragmented ecosystems all teetering on the edge of oblivion in one way or another. The stability of the systems rest in a frayed web of relations and connections. Hope: the wish to see the light of tomorrow, it drives those who toil, and seeks to undo them. The Citadel, with it's roots transplanted into the Earth, looms overhead. Monoliths are no new sight to the eyes of man, but the sheer scale of the construct on the horizon is unprecedented. An entire world unto itself, it pulses and glows with electrical activity. A lightning rod for the resonant energies that tormented the planet for a decade before the arrival. There's a ripple felt in the precarious equilibrium. The same patch of sky that had opened up in the days past threatens to again. Light shimmers and contorts on the horizon, distorted by the atmosphere. The night sky has come alive. The aurora continues to grow and undulate. The lack of light around the phenomena make it's border visible. A blindingly bright pinprick of light stabs into the sky. It then scabs over with an aura of blue and green light. The pinprick of light starts to widen into a disc, still flanked by less distinct flashes of blue and green. A portal storm comes. The breach starts to spew silhouettes into the sky: Xenian life resilliant to the hell-realms they've just left. Electronics throughout the city start to malfunction and act up. Communications channels are encountered by ghostly, resonant frequencies that fall in and out of pitches audible to the human ear. Dark clouds throughout the sky begin to draw inward towards the epicenter of the storm. The clouds are plied into spiraled, phantom-like arms. The flashes and green and blue still radiate through them. The crags in the sky oddly mirror the crags of the mountains below. Jagged strikes of lightning intersect and diverge. The forks of green lightning arc in a powerful, beautiful but deadly dance. With each strike, they march further and further across the sky. The first of them snap overhead finally. The top of the Citadel finds itself connected to the eye of the storm by the eldritch ray for an instant. More follow it, striking with increasing frequency in the coming minutes. Something shifts within the towering monolith. It's felt in the earth underfoot. The construct remains firm. Undaunted by the almost constant strikes of lightning against the crowned peak above the clouds it cuts through. A resonant harmonic starts to build, growing to a crescendo. The whistling point of the storm is upon them. The strings of reality that exist behind the walls have been plucked by the hand of something unseen, they sing a haunting tone. The chaotic orchestra of harmonic frequencies and thunder continue. The eldritch chorus is punctuated by the flashes of light in the sky. The storms' white-hot epicenter remains a still scar, like the eye of an enucleated god. The storm rages on, neither showing signs of attenuation or growth for a time. A new, jarring equilibrium casts over the world momentarily. The cacophony of sight and sound fills the senses for those who can bear witness. After a while, things start to cool down. The first sign of the storms' subsidence is bookmarked by a noticable shift in the harmonics that sing from the night. It starts to waver into a falling action, and finally dies out into a dull, chirping whistle. The arms of lightning keep arcing against the Citadel for a time, but the frequency of them starts to diminish. They to begin to retreat further and further back into the clouds. With each arc, the storm appears to be losing energy. Or perhaps it was absorbed. All that remains strong is the white scar of light in the sky now. Striated whisps of clouds still clammer around it, spiraling in toward the heart of the dying storm. The last muted spears of lightning transgress against the vivid tapestry. They become rare, lost within the clouds until they are no more. The eye of the storm stays in the sky, the lifeless phenomenon watches over the city, staring back at the onlookers if it could. It serves as reminder to man's blind folly and the murderous descent they launched themselves into. A brave new world waits for them, regardless of what else the future holds. October 14th/15th 2022 Spoiler There's a distinct feeling of static electricity in the air. From the horizon, hollow thunder echoes. A pinprick of wavering light can be seen, above a patch of sky over the mountains. The distant, hollow sound grows louder in the coming minutes. It's only vaguely comparable to terrestrial thunder. It's higher pitched, and sounds like put through a flanger. Just like the light, the sounds cuts in and out at a wavering, high frequency. Electronics in the area start to act strangely. Radios are encountered by a dull white-noise at first, that developes slowly into a maelstrom of digitalized scratching. Technology built to withstand the portal interference weathers the storm. Devices attuned to gather readings from other worldly storms find their sensors occupied. The readings come in strong. Rays of green light finally break through the heavenly stratus wisps. Arcs of viridian lightning detonate across the sky. Bodies of water outside start to steam and send vapor into the sky. Areas outside and exposed are bombarded by various wavelengths, some of which coming from beyond the portal itself. Clouds from all directions migrate towards the developing storm. They twist and striate, stretched into shape like shreds from a pasta cutter. The long trails blur towards the center, drawing inwards to a single point in the sky. They move surprisingly fast. The breach between the two worlds suddenly expands into a portal shaped disk. It gives birth to myriad of silhouettes on the horizon. Some fly off, some dive-bomb into a favored aquatic environment, others fall to their deaths. A scar in the sky. A white-hot scar, painful to the eyes, it sits right at the center of the portal. The jagged wound that won't heal shutters, phasing in and out of reality. The eye of the storm spews rays of lightning from the epicenter. The rays an ultra-violent violet at the origin point, towards the extremedies a bright green snake-tounge of many ends. Marching walls of emerald light begin to scatter in all directions from the scar. Massive tidal waves of resonance cascade. They stampede for a time before attenuating before reaching the city walls The archetecture in the metropolis stays firm, save for some broken windows. It's nothing like the early days, here in inside City 17. Areas outside the walls aren't so removed from the effects. A distant radio tower can be seen collapsing into ruin far beyond the walls. The marching walls of light continue for a while, always breaking up before reaching the crawling walls that contain the sprawling city. The ground shutters, generators can be heard coming online underfoot. The effects of the storm continue to attenuate on the horizon. Life marches (or drags) on behind the walls, the factories continue to run. Those inside are certainly aware of the storms' happening, but safe from it. Cascades of ephemeral cliffs continue to break up on the shores of the metropolis, like rogue tidal waves quelled by the hand of God. None reach the inner districts where they reside, but the effects are far from unnoticed. Pockets of magnetism and static electricity build up in various random hot-spots all around the city The citizens occupy a lonely, battered island in a vast sea of uncontrolled chaos. The Citadel's crown is fully visible, stripped of it's usual cloud cover. An artificial light scintillates at the top, it's pulses coincide with the frequency of the raging storm. Otherwise dormant veins etched across the monolith glow with viridian energy. The monolith draws from the storms power. More generators come online underfoot, a great substructure comes alive. As the portal storms' activity finally begins to subside, so does the Citadel's reciprocation. Power-carrying exterior veins cool, the emerald maze slowly fades away. Eventually the trails disappear against the obsidian mega-stucture. The citadel returns to the expected patchwork of grays, and so does the sky along with it. November 9th, 2022 Spoiler Static electricity hangs in the air like a rearing cobra, ready to snap. Fog slowly rolls in, shrouding the arterial that bisects the busy district under a thick, obscuring blanket. Above the fog, from high vantage points in the sprawling metropolis, the jeweled night sky stretches from hip to hip across the horizon. Stars and constellations distantly illuminate the heavens, frozen in their cosmic dance. Humanities' dreams were once firmly nested in the stars. Instead they stumbled across a nightmare. Icarus is falling. Only two decades ago it was that Humanity were the kings of Earth. Not by divine mandate or happenstance, this peculiar thinking ape rose from the mud with fire in it's hand and language on it's tounge. Things fall apart. In those 20 years since the skies tore open, few things have remained as they were. Ecosystems have collapsed, weather patterns are sporadic: the world is not dying, but violently changing. Life clings by a thread in this unending winter. Obsidian monoliths now dominate the horizon. Some are distant, some tower overhead. Casting long shadows over the earth, they serve as ever-lasting monuments to the blind folly of man. The spire overhead peaks far above the clouds but the mega-structure remains undaunted by the abuses of mother nature. On occasion it is touched by lightning or rocked by thunder from the storm cells that frequent the area. The first signs of extradimensional interference can be heard as wailing, resonant tones which (when graphed) geometrically fall in and out of harmonic with one another. This persistent noise, which continues bleeding through all sorts of radio equipment, is other-worldly. The tambre of the alien noise shifts between two extremes for a while, lurching back and forth between two distint sets of indecipherable cacophony. With growing frequency, listeners of the phenomenom start to hear a clear, hauntingly beautiful resonant frequency which stands out in a sea of chaos. It is the sort of sound that makes your hair stand up. One you've probably never heard in your life. Something in the back of your mind wonders if it's a signal embedded within the noise. The interval between this resonant tone's appearence becomes less and less, diminishing with each instance. As the pattern becomes near constant, the first signs of a storm can be seen by the naked eye. A patch of scintillating light over the Carpathian mountains reveals itself. It shifts and distorts, scattering starlight through the night sky. Visual distortion in the sky wavers and stretches the stars behind it. They cast a long slit of light rather than their usual defined point. Surrounding the corona of this distortion is a retreating halo of undisturbed sky which soon gets engulfed as the portal continues to take shape. A pin-prick of light can now be seen dead center, in the heart of the localized event. It's no star, it's a white-hot scar gouged into reality. The smaller distortions in the sky are eclipsed by the blindingly bright umbilical cord of the eldritch storm for an instant as it pierces the breach. The portal, now fully formed, sits over the far horizon as an imposter sun in the night sky. Where it's borders meet the dark sky around it, rays of viridian lightning arc outwards, kissing the vaporous clouds that now race towards the heart of the storm. These dark clouds all around the phenomenon are drawn into the locus and, on close inspection, simply dissappear at the border between portal and sky. Fog still hangs heavy over the entire river, the air is thick with moisture. It drips off the tip of your nose when you walk outside. Lights in the sky shimmer in the moist air away from the fog. With a bright, almost painful flash, a jagged arm of pure energy reaches out from the storm and touches down in a dead forest far outside the city walls. It holds it's grip into the earth, twisting trees from their roots. Shortly after, the first ephemeral tidal waves start to pour out from the twisting, kilometric stake. The first of the ephemeral tidal waves spill over the cold countryside outside the city walls. Just like the early days. The rogue, emerald waves, and the storm raging behind them dwarf the creeping walls of the city they race towards. Two spires stand against the horizon. One is unrestrainable, the other is a symbolf of that which can restrain anything. One of blinding brightness, the other of a dark gunmetal devoid of all life. A twisting tower of uncertain change lights up the west, the Citadel sitting at the center of City 17 stands to oppose it. The emerald waves stampede closer to the city, on an unyielding, blind path out from their origin point. Visible through them, portal remains agape in the sky. It's like the still eye of an enucleated god watching them from above. Watching over what it has wrought. Runaway tidal waves of light and sound finally and violently crash against the outer creeping walls of the City. The waves buckle at the trough and collapse into nothing. The citadel's upper beacon can be seen glowing the same viridian hue as the dead waves. They continue to rack the shore of metal and mechanics, the creeping wall. Outside the city, a sprawling wasteland of dereliction stretches out in every direction, pieces of it are seen carried into the air occasionally by the stampeding ephemeral waves. Though the interior districts of the City are mostly untouched by the destructive energies beyond the walls, strange phenomena are reported all across the city. Pockets of static electricity build up seek ground in hot-spots all across the city. Strange beings made of pure light are seen zipping around momentarily, moving nearly the speed of light too. Radio channels are still haunted by the whailing noise from before, but there are no more harmonics, just unrestrained release. Among the garbled digitalized noise, snippets of radio signals sent into space dating as far back as the 60s' can be heard being inbetween shouts of static. Old, glowing lights can be seen in the river bisecting District 24, through the heavy fog which blankets it. The water parts and wakes like a large vessel drifts down the channel, but nothing is there save for the rows of lights that drift through the fog. Distant voices are heard by those the phenomena drifts past. It's hard to make out what they're saying, but the preserved musings are paniced and urgent. The voices echo across the bay, desperate to escape. The implied ship passes impossibly and effortless through the bridge, and keeps on drifting down the channel, it's only outline in the water and the formation of lights around through the fog. The only proof it ever existed are those that remember it happen. Storms continue to rage beyond the walls. Regardless of affiliation, you probably feel a sense of avoided but avoidable doom to of found refuge behind the creeping walls. They stand firm, but the world beyond them lies in ruin. There is nowhere left to run. A mazework of exterior cooling veigns that run down the side of the citadel now glow green, leading down from the primary broadcast beacon at the top of the mega-structure. One wonders if the Citadel not only breaks apart the storms on the shores of the city, but absorbs their energy too. December 9th, 2022 Spoiler The sky is gray and craggy like the mountains it obscures. Warped anvils of giants drift through thre sky. At their voloptuous folds, the combining storms churn and twist against one another. As the storm cells grind against one another, faint thunder rumbles. Lightning lights up the sky. Thunder deafens the ears. It's like a hammer against the anvil of your senses, and you're the fragile metal being molded. Snow and sleet continue to whip against the face, pound down against your head. Through blinding walls of white, the horizon is barely visible. From it echoes a hollow, flanged boom that rings through the hills. Crows fly from their perch and scatter into the deadly blizzard rather than weather the storm that's coming. Snow, sleet, hail and overcast sky can't hide a violently bright green eye that's opened in the sky, behind the clouds. It yawns it's maw, the force of nature behind it. Something has snapped, broken under the surface and pierced through. Rays of emerald light descend upon the valley. They cut and scatter through falling snow and pelting hail. The light's casted in all directions, visible to everything caught within a storm of frozen prisms. Crystallized, frozen prisms of water send the light bounding in all directions. Despite the ugly overcast of the sky, the intense light thrown from the portal's mouth makes the sensation of snowblindness exceptionally painful to the eyes with each strike of eldritch lightning Under the portal's influence, this lightning begin to arc and fork in myriad endings, like the roots of a burning hot tree. Maybe they are underground, that's where hell is. Things begin to shift and warp, pieces of space scintillate before their eyes. They're on the knife's edge. The towering monolith waiting for them behind the walls remains dormant, showing no signs of cancelling the growing portal activity. They're truly beyond the gates of Rome. Distinct green flashes of light glow through through the white-out conditions all around them. Some are faint, others burn bright with relative proximity. Alien howls echo through the valley. The cries are muffled by the freshly fallen snow, they're closer than they sound.