The Mourning Period
In the aftermath of the Carnal Period, a desolate landscape spread its gnarled fingers across the realm of New Gaslight, giving birth to an epoch of mourning known as "The Mourning Period." Like a tapestry woven with threads of sorrow and remembrance, this period marked the solemn recognition of lives lost in the great centuries war and the devastating Martian invasion. It was an era where the boundaries of time blurred, where the Carnal Period intertwined with the Mourning Period, casting a shadow of collective grief upon the fragmented souls of the city.
As the land lay barren and desiccated, the vestiges of a once-thriving biosphere were stripped away by the ravages of unfettered warfare and the insatiable hunger of industrial machines. The scorched earth, devoid of greenery, bore witness to centuries of destruction and the callous disregard for the delicate balance of life. Sandstorms, savage and unrelenting, became as commonplace as the acidic raindrops that pelted the polluted ecosphere. The climate, twisted and mutilated by the ceaseless tumult of conflict, suffered a permanent degradation, veiling the sunlit skies in an eternal shroud of ash and dust.
The weather in New Gaslight stood as a paradox, much like the city itself. It shifted without warning, oscillating between moments of scorching, steamy acid rain and whipping sandstorms that stripped the flesh from the bones of buildings. The weather became a capricious entity, defying prediction and wreaking havoc with its unpredictable temperament. The atmosphere bore witness to the scars of the Martian war—a thick, green fog known as the Maelstrom. It blanketed the world beyond the city's confines, irradiated and ethereal, concealing the horrors that lay within its enigmatic embrace.
It was during this Mourning Period that Morrigan, the goddess of the Maelstrom, emerged as a phantom queen shrouded in the veils of mystery and chaos. Her presence was an embodiment of the unpredictable nature of existence, an ethereal force that defied comprehension. Ravens and crows, one of the few creatures to thrive in the human pig-sty that is this broken Earth, became the harbingers of her arrival, their onyx feathers shimmering like shards of midnight. The people of New Gaslight, seeking to appease Morrigan and ensure the fog remained subdued, held these corvid creatures in reverent regard. They fed and befriended them, believing that by keeping the ravens and crows content, they could maintain the delicate balance between the known terrors of the city and the enigmatic perils that lurked beyond the nevermore void world—the Maelstrom
Amidst this bleak backdrop, Anubis, the ancient Egyptian god of death and guardian of the underworld, emerged as a specter of solace and guidance. Born anew in the hearts of humanity, his presence permeated the scorched no man's land, resonating with the fragile spirits of the mourners. Anubis, the death dealer, the deity of the sands, became a harbinger of the ever-shifting weather patterns, a testament to the tempestuous nature of existence. He watched over the city, his eyes gleaming like obsidian, as sandstorms and acid rain lightning whipped through the streets, their frenzied dance mirroring the tumultuous emotions within the hearts of the grieving. He became a manifestation of Death, of humanity's crimes against nature, and under the jackal-headed God's watchful grasp he commanded Charon.
Charon, the ferryman of souls, also ascended to a position of reverence during this melancholic era. His queue full, his boat transformed into a symbol of passage between life and death, ferrying the departed to their final resting place. It was during the Mourning Period, fueled by the residual energy of the Carnal Period, that a strange phenomenon occurred—an inexplicable resurgence of the deceased. Reanimated bodies, known by a variety of slang terms such as Barkers, Jackals, Hyenas, and Snarlers, roamed the desolate streets of New Gaslight. These terms pay a grim homage to Anubis, as well as a harrowing echo of the distorted sounds these creatures emit. Their once human voices have been mangled by death's cruel grasp, producing a chilling, guttural bark. This terrifying cacophony, warped by the clutches of decay and rigor mortis, reverberates through the city's darkened alleyways, a dire prelude to an impending confrontation with the undead. To guard against this unpredictable resurrection, mausoleums rose like sentinels, caged coffins became commonplace, and other precautions were taken to contain the unsettling return of the once lifeless. It remains one of the many necrotic mysteries of this dystopia why these beings rise from their graves, it is said by the gravekeepers tasked with preventing their shambling escape that "when hell is full, the dead will walk the Earth."
During this somber epoch, the denizens of New Gaslight engaged in mourning rituals that echoed through the labyrinthine streets, their purpose twofold—to honor the departed and to find solace amidst the remnants of a ravaged world. Self-flagellation, a morose rite of catharsis, became a haunting melody of agony and penance. The sound of leather striking flesh reverberated through the cold night air, mingling with the whispers of sorrow that hung like an ethereal mist. The flagellants, their bodies etched with scars both physical and emotional, sought solace in the exquisite pain, believing it to be a path to redemption.
In the heart of the city, the focal point of mourning rituals stood as a testament to the collective sorrow—the magnificent fountain dedicated to Hathor. Rising from the ground like a monolithic sculpture, its architecture intertwined with symbols of grief and transcendence. The central fountain, a defiant monument amidst the dilapidated landscape, stood as a testament to the devotion of the people to their celestial patroness. Brick by brick, the fountain had been painstakingly built by hand, each stone a labor of love and reverence. The hands of artisans and laborers, calloused and worn, brought forth a structure that transcended its material form. Each intricately carved detail exuded an aura of profound mourning—a visual lament etched into stone. Cascades of water, like cascading tears, spilled from the intricate basins, forming ethereal pools that mirrored the somber faces of those who gathered in its sacred presence. It was the blood of these rituals that maintained this fountain's crimson hue, an offering manifest, the human psyche shattered from the torment of an unending epoch of strife and unspeakable horrors. The sharp crack of the whip against flesh mingled with mournful moans—creating a throbbing cacophony of anguish and release. This pain had become a conduit between the earthly realm and the ethereal domain of the Goddess Hathor.
Hathor, the celestial beacon associated with the brightest star in the smoggy skies of New Gaslight—Hathor's Star—stood as a watchful yet distant mother goddess. Her eyes, polished sapphire orbs, pierced through the shroud of darkness, offering a radiant presence amidst the suffocating weight of corruption and decay. The denizens of New Gaslight sought solace in Hathor's luminous embrace, finding respite in her ethereal glow. At the heart of the city, Hathor's fountain stood as a testament to supreme Goddess' presence, its grandeur mirroring the celestial alignment with Hathor's star each night. This celestial dance between the earthly realm and the heavens was viewed as a flickering hope—a transient moment when the Maelstrom, that unending fog which veiled the world beyond, might be held at bay, if only for a fleeting breath.
But it was the grand spectacle of the Mass Danse Macabre that held the hearts of the mourners captive. In the moonlit hours, when the veil between the living and the departed seemed thinnest, the streets of New Gaslight would come alive with an eerie procession. Masked figures, their faces hidden behind black and white paint, or adorned with the haunting visage of the plague doctor, danced with naked abandon. Their movements, both graceful and macabre, embodied the fragile nature of life and the inevitability of death. In their swirling waltz, the specters of lost loved ones seemed to materialize, joining the living in a surreal communion of grief and acceptance. It is in these rituals that it becomes impossible to truly seperate the Mourning Period with the Carnal Period, each danse a merging of sin and somber.
Months would pass in this collective state of mourning, the city draped in an petrified melancholy that clung to its every corner. And throughout this time, the fountain of Hathor stood as a silent witness, its crimson waters flowing ceaselessly, reflecting the shimmering from the Goddess' starlight above. The denizens of New Gaslight, their hearts heavy with loss, found solace in the radiant presence of Hathor, each sado-masochistic tribute, each drop of blood spilled, the pain of one hundred generations lost, echoing as repentence to the stoic Goddess of the night sky. Each ritual, festival and practice attempting to sway this new pantheon that lie deep with the collective unconsciousness of mankind.
Within the intricate tapestry of the Mourning Period, the denizens of New Gaslight danced upon the precipice of sorrow and resilience. They embraced the paradox of their existence, navigating the unpredictable weather, mourning their fallen kin, and seeking solace in the ethereal realms of Dionsyus, Hoo-Ahkoo, Anubis, Charon, Morrigan, and Hathor. In the depths of their collective sorrow, they found the strength to endure, their spirits intertwined like threads in a cosmic loom, weaving a fragile tapestry of hope amidst the desolation.