1876-10-03: 1876 - The Year Without A Summer
1876 - The Year Without A Summer
IC Date: 3 Octobre, 1876 IE
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In early Juin of the year 1876, as various sides angled to take advantage of the summer campaigning seasons in Aequor and beyond, the sun dimmed. The Church of the One proclaimed this due to the embrace of sorcery abhorrent to the One, while the New Faith proclaimed it due to the corruption of the Church and its persecution of innocents. Alchemists declared varied reasons, such as those involving the obscure movements of celestial bodies or of experiments gone wrong. Astute scholars at the University of Fiorello noted that the eruption of the volcano Tharsis in 1872 also caused a dimming of the sun, though a much lesser one.

Whatever the causes of the dimming, more important have been its effects. With an insufficient amount of sunlight, many crops were not able to properly grow, and either came out stunted or completely failed. There were exceptions to this – barley in particular, and some beans and pulses. However, regardless of the case, many went hungry over the summer, usually a time of abundance.

The rampant hunger manifested a wave of illness that began in the biggest, most dynamic city in the world – Four Corners, likely aided by the filthy conditions, crowded nature and weakness from general lack of food. Illnesses spread outside of Four Corners to touch all Domains of the West, and while it was not the primary criss of the day, it weakened and killed many other able bodied souls. The Churches threw themselves into care of the ill, and a terrible toll was incurred especially on religious brothers and sisters. Eventually, once it was determined that one could not catch these diseases a second time, recovered religious have become the primary caregivers.

With failing crops and illnesses abound, it was only natural that other things would follow. The Domains of the world were largely forced to open their emergency granaries to their subjects, which in some cases were not filled, after years of wars and plundering. In areas of high population or where food stores were not sufficient, banditry increased immediately. Any plans of grand campaigns or battle manoeuvres were put aside as military forces, whether banner, militia or mercenary were used to combat local unrest.

As if drawn out by human misery, in isolated rural areas the incidence of supernatural sightings has increased enormously, and encounters with not only goblins, but other fantastical and heretofore unknown beasts has been reported too far across the lands to simply be the product of overactive imagination.

As autumn moved into full swing, the veil lifted at first slowly, and then suddenly. The sun has returned its rays to Tirth, and the illnesses seem to have retreated. Many have died from hunger and illness and the upcoming winter is being greeted with trepidation. Bandits and desperate criminals stalk the land, and the wilds are alight with danger. And yet, though uncertain, all are hopeful that this was simply a temporary condition.

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