Saturday Seed ~34 (Desolation)

This week’s seed is being set in the stony soil of Greymalkin’s Desolation RPG. The idea has been on my mind for a while; I hope you can make good use of it.

The seed:

In the wake of apocalypse comes hope for a new beginning, but first our intrepid band of survivors must overcome the 5 stages of apocalyptic grief.

Denial:

Even though the fires stopped burning, the ash began to settle, and the new routes to all the old places are starting to sort themselves out, there are still those who seem to think that a way back can be found. Still those that think that it is all some kind of dream. Almost two years on from the Night of Fire, these people are few and far between, but they exist. Their dangerous delusions shift the focus away from where it needs to be, stalling progress and instilling false hope in the weak-minded or exhausted who fall prey to their spurious logic and refusal to see the facts of the situation.

Anger:

Many more rage and rant against the new and cold darkness of their new existence, and prowl the shattered contours of their up-ended world looking for someone on whom the blame will stick, and from whom revenge can be extracted. Their poisonous belief that someone, somewhere is responsible, and their fool-hardy focus on finding this foe for retribution turns whole communities into fortresses of suspicion and paranoid exclusion. Fixated on the losses of the past, their rage blinds them to the needs of the present and the fresh promise of the future.

Bargaining:

Not content with survival, too tired for anger, too impassioned for the downward spiral, there are those who after working through their blind anger seek to appease the forces that ended life as they knew it. They beg and plead to empty skies and dust bowl farms for understanding, a little rain, a handful of seeds, and that the drake which took one son will not come for the next. Leaderless, and still without vision, they fumble in the darkness seeking direction, but asking instead to be saved, spared, or otherwise granted special favours from a universe that has already demonstrated plainly that is simply does not care that babies starve, families are torn asunder, and survival seems more curse than blessing.

Depression:

It is in this stage that I think the seed I intend to plant is most likely to grow, although to be fair, it may get planted in Anger, but twist into dark life in Depression. In this stage, the formless and feckless bargaining, once anger has burned out, comes to an end having fallen on deaf or absent ears. In the cold weakness of depression, with defenses stripped and a certitude that nothing good will come again, a dark faith may come to grow. For those who fall too deep too fast, a brooding sense of fear may spring to life, twisting the possibility of future acceptance into a false and destructive belief that guides them into madness, and the belief that the end has just begun, more pain lies in the path ahead, and that steps must be taken to appease the dark god behind the desolate designs that have doomed their world. No bargains struck, just simple sacrifice, and the sick, hopeless hope of the victim. In small communities, all manner of practices may be springing up, wrapped in a new religion, and the trappings of desperation, with each passing day of survival seen not as a prize won, but as an inevitable end, delayed for one more day.

Our characters, entering such a community, may witness bizarre lotteries with a cost paid in blood, the expulsion or  execution of any seen as strange, or the full-blown insanity of apocalyptic cults.

What will they do? Will they guide the community toward acceptance, and the dream of a new, unwritten future, or will they kill ’em all and turn their meagre holdings toward less destructive pursuits?

Speak your piece~

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