Once there were cities of shining lights
Once there were ways up to the stars
Once there was hope.
But now we know, all things Burn
The Great Burn; destruction and death on a scale undreamt. The great civilisation of mankind reduced to ashes and despair. The just and the unjust; the kind and the cruel; the compassionate and the vicious... There was no distinction, no mercy. All that we were, burned.
In ones and twos, in small groups, our ancestors emerged from the ruins of the old world and sought each other out. In pain and loss and grief were new foundations laid. New ways of being human were born into the echoes of a world forever lost.
The Burn is the name given to the event that ended the vast and advanced civilisation that preceded the current state of the world. It is not known what caused the Burn, or how such a level of destruction was achieved. What is generally agreed upon is that the human race came very close to becoming extinct. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the Burn is how much did survive, not in terms of people or knowledge, but in terms of artefacts. The earliest Post-Burn records, mostly preserved through the oral histories of the Falket tribes, speak of cities - mostly intact - but empty of all but the dead. Yet in other places are tales of ruins that stretch as far as the eye can see, and all who enter these places grow sick and die.
What is certain, however, is that the Pre-Burn ancients built things to last. Even now, those willing to brave the wild places of the world can find things from before the Burn, some useless, some mundane, but occasionally something wonderful or terrible... or both. Fortunes have been made from these things, but for every story of great success there are hundreds of would be treasure hunters who are never heard from again.