The Dark Ages: the first conflict between Terrans (above) and the Methuselah (below).
|Date||2210 AD–2401 AD|
The Dark Ages (2210–2401 AD), also referred to as the Middle Ages, was the first conflict between Terrans and the Methuselah. The label emphasizes the dark period of history in which humanity was pushed to the brink of annihilation by the apocalyptic war of 2124 AD, known as Armageddon, and the return of the Mars colonists—who developed symptoms of vampirism after infecting themselves with the Kudlak Bacillus virus—in the early 2200s AD. Marked by mass deaths of humans, the total number of Terran fatalities was estimated in the millions. In spite of the catastrophic reduction to the human population, mankind ultimately prevailed against the vampires, claiming victory under the leadership of the Vatican Papal State by 2401 AD.
The Terran victory did not bring an end to the threat that vampires posed to the human race, however. Most of the surviving Methuselah established their own state, the New Human Empire, in opposition to the Vatican and the other Terran nations. By the mid-31st century AD, roughly 800 years after the Dark Ages, an intense cold war existed between the Vatican and the Empire. Both sides struggled to avoid direct military action, but hatred and distrust remained high between Terrans and the Methuselah.
The Dark Ages is a term applied originally to the Middle Ages, which emphasizes the cultural and economic decline that supposedly occurred in Western Europe as a result of the decline of the Roman Empire.
- Main article: Armageddon
In the early 22nd century AD, the governments of the Earth fell into a state of total war over the Ark, an ancient vessel of unknown origin with highly advanced technology, discovered by the Mars colonists in 2122 AD. The global conflict escalated into a full-scale nuclear war in 2124 AD, rendering most of the planet uninhabitable due to the nuclear winter that followed, and consequently reducing the human population by a significant percent.
The former members of the Mars Colonization Program returned to the Earth in the early 2200s AD, only to find their homeworld in a state of utter ruin. Despite their initial intention to assist the Terrans—the Earth-born descendants of humans who never lived on Mars—in the reconstruction of human civilization, the "Returners" succumbed to the vampiric side effects of the Bacillus virus, causing them to develop into a new race known as the Methuselah. In addition to heightened strength and sensitivity to sunlight, the Methuselah developed a craving for human blood.
Start of the warEdit
By 2210 AD, Terrans and the Methuselah were at war with each other. The war went exceptionally well for the Methuselah during the first five years of the conflict. Their Bacillus-enhanced abilities and supply of lost technology gave them a distinct advantage against the Terrans. An additional advantage that the Methuselah possessed was superior leadership; three out of the four genetically-engineered leaders of the Mars Colonization Program—Cain Knightlord, Abel Nightroad and Seth Nightlord—entered the war on the side of the former colonists after infusing the Crusnik nanomachines with their own bodies.
With powers that far surpassed those of the Methuselah, the three Crusniks waged a genocidal war against humanity, killing millions of Terrans in the process. The fourth leader of the Mars Colonization Program, a prototype named Lilith Sahl, was repulsed by the atrocities committed by the Methuselah and their Crusnik leaders. Sympathizing with mankind's plight, Sahl also became a Crusnik, but ultimately sided with the Terrans against the Returners. Without Sahl, the New Ark—the colonists' return ship, based on the original Ark—was rendered useless as it required four Crusniks to operate it. Adding to their problems, Sahl formed an alliance with Pope Gregorio XX, the leader of the Vatican Papal State, and supplied the Terrans with lost technology and electricity to places including Budapest and István.
Sahl's contributions to the Terran cause turned the war around in humanity's favor. Under her leadership, the Terran army achieved a major victory against the Methuselah and other Crusniks in the Battle of Paris. Now faced with the prospect of defeat, Knightlord lured Sahl back to the New Ark under the pretense of establishing a truce between the two races. Sahl fought back when Knightlord attempted to assassinate her and even managed to severely wound him in the process, but ultimately died nonetheless. Her death enraged Nightroad and, with Nightlord's help, he cast Knightlord from the New Ark and into the Earth's atmosphere. Sahl's remains were later entombed beneath Rome where Nightroad mourned her for 900 years before continuing her legacy.
Despite the loss of Sahl, the Terrans persevered throughout the rest of the war and managed to drive many Methuselah out of Western Europe by 2220 AD. Around thirty years later, the Methuselah in Eastern Europe formed the New Human Empire with Nightlord as their empress. Over the next few centuries, the Terrans concentrated their efforts on purging the west of its few remaining Methuselah nations. This geopolitical goal culminated in the destruction of the Kingdom of Granada in 2401 AD. With the west now under human dominance, the Terran nations claimed victory in the war. By the proclamation of the Vatican, the year 2401 AD was marked as the start of the Holy Era, effectively ending the Dark Ages.
The conclusion of the Dark Ages divided the western and eastern halves of Europe into two political and cultural zones: the Terran West and the Methuselah East, respectively. Despite the hatred and distrust that still exist between Terrans and the Methuselah, there is a Terran population in the east and a number of Methuselah in the west. Most "eastern" Terrans live in servitude under the Empire; the "western" Methuselah live in hiding within several Terran nations, including the Four City-State Alliance, the Kingdom of Germanicus, and even the Vatican. A large number of Methuselah secretly reside in the Ghetto, an underground city located beneath the streets of Londinium.
The New Ark remained in orbit above Earth's atmosphere. The knowledge of its origin was eventually lost over the centuries, resulting in the renaming of the vessel as the "Vampire's Moon."
By the mid-31st century AD, the world was divided in a cold war between two major political and military forces: the Vatican and the Empire. A third power, the Kingdom of Albion, had established itself as one of the few Terran nations that existed outside of the Vatican's control. In light of Albion's abundant supply of lost technology, the Vatican made efforts to strengthen the diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Albion government. Additionally, the Vatican also came to believe that a more peaceful relationship with the Empire was in the Church's interests. Likewise, the Empire also avoided a direct conflict with the Vatican, although there were factions among both races that desired another war between the two powers.