- 2016 -
The Year of the Violet Dawn
In the year 2016,
the sunrise on New Year's Morning came accompanied by a flash of purplish light, travelling the world as the sun appeared for the first time of the year, meeting the eyes and minds of each human being as and when their New Year began. No person, whether they were awake or asleep, blind or sighted, above or under ground, missed it; the light - present one moment and absent the next - touched even the most remote of dreams. It was not visible on camera, not recorded by light sensors, and no wildlife reacted to it.
For forty seven hours the media tried to suppress this, under orders from the governments of the planet Earth to prevent public disturbance while intelligence agencies and research departments conducted an investigation - but rumours have a life all their own, and do not die easily.
In the 48th hour, these rumours bore fruit; the First Wave
of magicians were born, created, or awoken. The silence broke like glass. These firstmade of the new age, all of them ordinary people with ordinary lives, some of them still children... were chaotic. Magic tore most of their minds or bodies asunder, dismembering one or the other in extremely violent and terrifying displays of frequently public power. Most of them died either at the hands of their own uncontrollable powers, burning up like motes of magnesium in the dark of the world, or at the hands of the police response. The few that survived are either in the captivity of the state with their citizenships revoked and their rights nonexistent, or frantically fleeing persecution and extermination. It is estimated that only a handful could possibly be left in the wild, less than half of them still sane.
The states of almost every sovereign nation in the world launched their counteroffensive almost immediately, rounding up suspected magicians and either interning them permanently or disappearing them entirely, as the first World Wide Witchhunt began. Geopolitics began to shift dramatically as the responses of different governments drove old alliances apart and bitter enemies together - the European Union saw motions for the creation of an EU-wide military wing almost immediately in their parliament, the United Kingdom's ambitions of brexit were utterly abandoned in favour the safety provided by European intelligence cooperation; the USA became more divided than ever, and the Middle Eastern countries began calling for unity. Russia didn't change a whole lot apart from the expansion of the role of the FSB
and further reductions of privacy rights for civilians.
Then, just when people were confident that normality might still be restored, just when the police were standing down, it happened again.
On the very next New Year’s Morning, another wave of Violet
, washing the land and kissing the sky with its unseemly affect… and another wave of mages, all exactly one year after the first.
The second wave
were more stable, but not by a lot. The government was more ready for it this time, having created special investigative task forces in advance – the forefathers of the Federal Occult Enforcement
agency and other such organisations. When people began randomly manifesting their powers, they were still chaotic and dangerous, and the sheer weight of magic upon a person’s mind did indeed crush some of them… but they were more stable. There are more survivors from this generation, as a result, even if they are still rare creatures.
The Third Generation
of mages, once again accompanied by a Violet Dawn
on New Year’s morning, were something like a failed experiment - but in a slightly different way. They generally did not fall victim to the mentally crushing influence of the colours of magic, nor did they find their powers totally uncontrollable – instead, many of these magicians began to hallucinate in the weeks after their awakening. Some of them started holding séance-like conversations with invisible beings outside of normal perception, some of them started obsessively documenting events in the past that had never happened, but whose effects could still be felt, and some of them retreated into the wilderness more or less permanently. Their prime unifying factor is the potentially delusional belief that their abilities make them a part of something larger, some greater purpose – a trait that 90% of all 3rd Wave mages captured by the government shared, at least before they expired in captivity.
It was at this point that the national governments of the world made the decision to formalise their anti-magic agencies and outlaw the practice of magic. These bills were passed by parliaments and congresses almost unanimously in almost every sovereign nation of the world, and led to the formation of the F.O.E.
in America, the European Magical Defence Agency
for the EU, and several less well known agencies world over. For the most part, these organisations are willing to share intelligence on suspected magic users, and have worked together to identify families or bloodlines where magic has been noted as particularly strong. Their cooperation allowed them to develop mundane means of detecting magic, and identify particular countermeasures, which all in all really should have meant that they were more prepared for the Fourth Wave
than they actually were.
When the Fourth Wave
happened in 2019 martial law was declared in major cities worldwide as a means of preparing, and squads of FOE
troops went roving the country equipped with the primitive arcane detection equipment their quartermaster divisions had developed – but it seemed like nothing was going to happen. Instead of raving lunatics and violent psychopaths, the magicians of the fourth generation were normal people who remained largely psychologically unaffected, and were able to hide their condition long enough to make it past the initial days of the inquisition against them. Some of them were still caught and killed – or worse – but for the first time, the majority of mages went free, even if they had to leave their lives behind to do so.
It was in the months following the Fourth Wave
that the Violet Underground
With the government floundering to round up the suddenly invisible magician population, one of the rare, at least broadly sane Third Generation
magicians decided that if Mages were going to keep appearing and the state was going to keep murdering them, something ought to exist to prevent it. After painstaking research and a good deal of stalking, the magician known as Cam was able to put themselves in contact with four other Fourth Generation
mages, and form an organisation dedicated to ensuring the survival of their kind. To reflect the colour of their breed’s first dawn, it was named – informally – the Violet Underground