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Worlds of the Nether: Mesonyx

13 Feb

Mesonyx-nohelmet-100A long time ago, our world, Mesonyx was a lush, verdant world. We had plains, forests and oceans. Live thrived everywhere on the surface and many different races called it home, including dwarves and gnomes left behind by the Titans. We had many beautiful, large cities everywhere across the planet, from the spires of Thyle to the sprawling parks of Electris, to the famous dome of Ophyr. We had many monuments, including great pyramids which housed the greatest wonders of our technology. Most of our world shunned magic for being a harsh and unpredictable mistress and abandoned all gods to strive for independence from their whims. That was the Golden Age of Mesonyx, thousands of years ago, before the great Kalimdor was shattered. We were the most important world in our solar system, regardless of what the Titans thought. But it had to come to an end.

It was a golden era for our science, but our intellects grew faster than our conscience. There were two greatest empires on the surface of Mesonyx at that era, Tharsis and Thyle. Both had vastly different political systems and both were armed with devastating weapons that everyone feared. Most lesser nations would never dare to threaten the two powers because of these weapons, including the Tripods and their death rays, the horrifying Black Smoke and the Cobolt bombs. Both countries had vast arsenals that could completely obliterate each other and that fear of mutually assured destruction kept the two powers in check for a very long time. But one day, something changed. We’re not sure what, as records from that period are sketchy. Someone on one end or the other pressed the button. It doesn’t matter who started it. We lost. Everyone lost. The entire planet.

The Cobolt bombs turned entire cities to a red, corrosive dust that suffocated everyone who didn’t die in the initial blast. Our best technological discoveries were devoured by rust in minutes. The Black Smoke spread across the surface and choked every living man, animal or plant. All the dust and smoke went into the atmosphere and choked the very oxygen from our air, turning it into a rusty sky under which nothing could live. The very oceans were devoured by this holocaust, slowly evaporating into the cloudless sky, with no magnetic force to keep the water tied to the planet. What little water remained was bound in ice caps and underground springs and ice deposits. Almost everything on the surface died. Only very few survivors hid in time in shelters deep underground. We are all descended from those survivors. In the face of this devastation, it did not matter if we were from Tharsis or Thyle, or any other place. We united in one Collective that worked its best to make our people survive.

Few races survived the holocaust. I am a Thorak, member of one of the most populous race of Mesonyx. Even in the Golden Age, we were dominant, and we were the main cause of the war. Even now, millennia after the event, there is only 5% of the pre-war population. We are warm-blooded reptiles and we give birth to live young. Unlike some races that lived on Mesonyx before the war, both genders of our race look nearly the same and recognizing someone’s gender was part of a cultural rite. Now, the Collective assigns everyone the genetically best possible mate. Trying to avoid breeding when you’re capable of it is considered treason. Due to our still superior numbers, we have three seats in the Cabinet. We used to be proud warriors but ever since our pride led us to destruction, we reached for peace… with varying results.

One of the races that used to be far less populous but are now among the few survivors are the Hothaks. They are short, humanoid, grey-skinned creatures with large, bulbous heads and large, almond-shaped, black eyes. They were always the best scientists on Mesonyx. They always shunned most emotions, but were passionate for science and progress. Some people criticized their lack of morals in their pursuit of progress, but nobody questioned the results. If it wasn’t for Hothaks, we doubt we would have been able to reach the Golden Age, or that we’d climb out of the dark age without them. They do not fit into any of Azerothian categories of animals. They’re warm-blooded, they have bony skeletons and reproduce asexually. Before the war, they’d always lay one egg in a lifetime without the aid of a mate. Now, they modified their own genome to be able to lay eggs as often as their bodies can produce them. They are also the most skilled users of psionics out of all surviving races, although we Thoraks were the close second.

The third major race of the Collective are the Khoraks. They are our close relatives and they didn’t exist before the war. Their ancestors used to be Thoraks, but they remained on the surface when the devastation of the war kicked in. Those few who were in distant enough pockets to survive the environmental change and the radiation were irrevocably changed by it. They became large, brutish creatures with limited intellect and almost non-existent psionic abilities. They even began laying eggs, activating some long-dormant gene of our race. For the longest time, it was thought Khoraks were a lost cause but centuries ago we found a way to incorporate them into our society. Although there are few branches of society they can reliably support, they are very good at them. Khoraks are also one of the few races who can survive on the surface of Mesonyx without a breathing apparatus.

There is one major surviving race that isn’t part of the Collective, nor was it ever part of our greater civilization. The foul scorpar are vicious creatures that look like a monstrous scorpion, with a human-like body attached to the top of it. They live in hives and are aggressive scavengers and hunters. Before the war, they were at best a nuisance because they lived underground. Now, when most of our civilization has moved there, they are our greatest enemy. Rumors abound about how intelligent the scorpar really are, but given the vast psionic abilities some of their leaders showed, it’s undoubtedly above average (although the drones are probably closer to Khoraks in intellect). Some say the scorpar worship a dark god from beyond the stars and seek to summon it to Mesonyx, but such stories were common tales told by bards in the Golden Age and as such are not taken seriously.

A sketch of a map of Mesonyx from the Visitor's telepathic disk

A sketch made by Frlngath, of a map of Mesonyx from the Visitor’s telepathic disk

Life on Mesonyx is harsh. We have no choice over who we mate with, or where we work. The Collective assigns us to various castes from birth, by taking a biological test of one’s aptitudes. Those with fitting traits are arranged to marry one another when they grow up and reproduce to give the society more of what it needs. Everyone has to give his fair share of work for the Collective, or he will be punished by lowering the daily allowance of water and food. Cuisine or drinks are unheard of, since our planet cannot give us complex agriculture to produce various crops or beasts. Art is not encouraged, and is allowed only if the worker did his share of work for the day. Those few works of art that are produced often speak of the Golden Age, or at least how the artist sees it – an era of a blooming world with freedom and prosperity. Some say the Collective is holding out on us and we are already capable of returning to that Golden Age, but such talk is considered treason. Despite that, an underground movement has sprung up… but even admitting it exists is inadvisable.

I was sent to Azeroth with a mission to obtain an energy source that could let us use some of our greatest surviving designs. Designs that would let us revitalize our planet. We could control the world’s magnetic fields to keep the water within the atmosphere. We could manufacture crops that would first clear the air and then grow into consumable plants. With all of this, our world would bloom again and we would be allowed freedom again. But when I brought the power cell I acquired, the Collective decided it wasn’t enough. They wanted to fight Azeroth for more power, and instead of using the power to bring Mesonyx to life, they decided to power the Tripods and manufacture more armored suits. I was foolish to believe the Collective would have our best interests in mind… and I will do something to bring Mesonyx back to life, or to prepare Azeroth for their coming.

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Posted by on 13.02.2015 in IC, Worlds of the Nether

 

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