The History of the End of the World by the League of Researchers

by Marco Mañalac

League of Human Researchers Official Journal, Entry #27, Day 2 of the Age of Wyrms, by Thanakros Zyus

They literally came from the skies. One might think of me as stating the obvious with that, but what I exactly mean by saying that is that they are definitely not of this world. 

Now, our human race is no stranger to the wonders of creation, and in fact, we may have gotten quite used to the surprises of the unknown. Too many times have we seen magic that can freeze seas, burn the skies, or conjure new life. We have seen beasts evolve into beings wiser and smarter than ourselves. We have also seen humans mutate into mindless demons. We have seen angels descend from the skies, and witnessed devils emerge from the ground. And it has all been recorded by this proud lineage of researchers. 

We continue to ensure this tradition of recording and transcribing is passed on from generation to generation. Every researcher, as part of their sworn oath, must choose a successor from their own family, whether it be a son, a daughter, a nephew, or a niece. They may pass it on to a sibling, or to a wife, anybody really, as long as they carry the researcher’s blood. As we all know, storytelling is magic in itself.

But this story I am telling may take a dark turn, soon.

Over the past two hundred years, we have already learned to live peacefully on our own. We mind our own business, keep to our region agreed upon at the Treaty of Light, and quietly coexist with the dwarves, the elves, the orcs, and the other races in this giant earth of ours. To each their own, as they like to say. 

After the first two Great Realm Wars, it was agreed upon by all leaders of the respective clans and races that the best, most practical option moving forward would be peace, if only just on the surface. One cannot deny that the color of a being’s skin, or eyes, still tends to create some tension, or fear, in extreme cases. But all believed that as long as violence can be avoided, then the world would be even just a bit better off than before.

But these colossal Wyrms, numbering in the hundreds, were different from any other race. Yesterday, when they arrived, with thunder and lightning announcing their coming to the entire planet, one could immediately feel their alien nature, and sense their otherworldly presence. 

They were first detected by our own human scientists, who sensed unnatural disturbances in the weather patterns, based on their instruments. But the actual sightings came from the Cloud Cities, inhabited by the descendants of angels who chose to spread their seed with mortals. These Angelites sent us messages from their sky-castles. They saw gigantic creatures, bigger than they have ever seen before, coming down, soaring straight through the clouds. They could feel the rumbling created by just the impact of the creatures on the wind. There was the clear stench of blood on these enormous beings that made their own blood feel like it was boiling and freezing at the same time. These beings were not just dragons. They could easily be believed to be the Gods of dragons.

They seem content to have a new home, silently invading our planet, flying high above all, and soaring above us like gods. I can only pray that they remain peaceful for many more years, but I fear that they may stay with us, given that they have not once flown back into the outer stratospheres. I doubt anybody, human or otherwise, is willing to try to kick them out of our homeworld, because of their scale and frightening, majestic aura. We can only stand still and stare up helplessly at the skies for now.

But honestly, though their uninvited presence is unsettling, the ever-curious scientist in me cannot help but be somewhat intrigued by their visit. I will continue to monitor the situation religiously, and perhaps my insights into the matter can gain me favor with the community.

League of Human Researchers Official Journal, Entry #756, Year 172 of the Age of Wyrms, by Rekulda Vaska

Although researchers are told to keep their composure, and be as calm as possible at all times, I cannot help but panic deep inside. 

Peace among all races has been completely abandoned. Because of this, any semblance of peace in my mind, heart, and soul has also dissipated into the air. The Wyrms have not posed any direct threat to the lives of the original Earthers. They do, unfortunately, feed on our crops and animals, take our land as their own, and consume much water. The creatures swoop down whenever they desire and partake of our resources as they wish, with no remorse at all. They have made our home their home, without consent. And we all suffer for it. 

Everybody is starving in every possible way. The terrible hunger feeds the distress and anxiety. My stomach yearns for a full meal, a distant memory now, and my head grows weary and dizzy worrying about sustenance for the following day. I have a difficult time remembering details to write down in my notebook, as I am constantly looking over my shoulder for any possible threat to my life. My hands constantly shake from dread and weakness just trying to write down simple sentences nowadays. And everybody I know is experiencing this kind of trepidation, in one way or another. Can you truly blame us, given all these horrors?

We have no food to give us strength. We have no water to give us courage. We have no hope to keep us going. The Treaty of Light means nothing anymore, since all races are now fighting to the death for every last resource, every last piece of land, every last possible hope to live better and longer. Every tomorrow feels like it will be the last.

Nobody dares to fight off these alien invaders, and with good reason. Even just coming close to these creatures can literally blow you away, either by their breath or wings. Any kind of close and physical contact harms the victim because of the sharp scales. The corpses I have seen in the aftermath of a Wyrm encounter have marked my soul for eternity. No human body should ever be made to look so fragile, wrecked, and disfigured as the ones I have been unfortunate enough to come across. 

At night, I wake up violently, either from a terrible nightmare about the cursed creatures and images of their spikes perforating my chest, or because I think I can hear them flying mockingly, above my ceiling, ready to swoop down and consume me, unsuspectingly, in the morning.

The best path to a peaceful life is to stay as far away as possible and let them do whatever they want to do. But the result is that resources are dwindling, and now, humans are competing, violently, against the others for these last few shreds of sustenance. We are now forced to drink from the rain, hunt rodents, and risk consuming poisonous fruits and plants, simply out of necessity and hunger.

Casualties are in the thousands right now, but our fortune-tellers are predicting millions of human lives will be lost in the next few years. More and more diseases are breaking out because of the rotting cities and bodies within. If it’s not hunger and thirst, the sickness will get you. If you survive the sickness, you will have to deal with a sword being swung upon you, a dagger being thrown at you, or an arrow aimed right between your eyes. 

I fear that I may have to get my own hands dirty very soon, despite having signed up for the League of Researchers precisely because I did not want to be enlisted in the military. All citizens may very soon be forced to go to the frontlines and wage war.

But alas, this is my biggest fear right now. I worry that my peaceful position in life will be shattered. Researchers, as we have all come from the same bloodlines dating years past, are regarded as somewhat special, as royalty, even. The training is intense, the tests are grueling, but once you pass and get certified, you are able to make good money without being forced to take on duty on the field. The respect and prestige are usually always there, with less risk to one’s body.

And the true tragedy for somebody as frail, small, and weak as I is that while humans are very skilled with magic and the dark arts, physically we cannot even compare to the other races. We can wield the various elements and manipulate matter and energy, but the growing size of our enemies’ forces is much too large, I concede, and their troops are much too ferocious. Unfortunately, the orcs’ aggression is rubbing off on everybody else. The elves and the angels continue to plot and connive against us. The dwarves continue to block off important resources like minerals and metals.

Our towns find themselves cornered from every side, and our thinning and untrained defenses feel like they are swinging blindly, with no real strategy, aside from retreating when the situation becomes too dire. 

But we need to find a way to fight back and protect our homeland from all these other races who appear to be bullying us into submission or death before brutally turning on each other. I feel like we are the low-hanging fruit that they wish to remove so that they can move on to their more difficult opponents. Our towns are burning. Our castles are crumbling. We have to resist and make a stand in order to save our families. These are truly desperate times, as children are being slain daily and wives are being made widows by the hour.

League of Human Researchers Official Journal, Entry #2983, Year 201 of the Age of Wyrms, by Santiew Drunging

I grow weary of any and all conflict, and my heart is just not into this anymore. I write these logs as habit, as ritual, out of compliance rather than out of passion. I feel like a ghost who has left his body before it has even died. The seconds go slower by the minute.

The various wars among the races refuse to lose any steam, as the fire of violence only spreads further throughout our forest. Peace has totally been abandoned for bloody war over food, water, and land. 

The only hint of hope is that it seems our world is only providing temporary sustenance to the Wyrms. They appear to be weakening naturally. It is happening at a sluggish pace but with growing certainty, from our observations. They seem lifeless at points, resting for longer periods at a time on the ground. This can reach even days. Our world’s resources are dwindling, not only for us, but for them as well. Scientists have noticed that they are flying lower, slower, and becoming less aggressive. They have also been letting out cries recently, as if they were gasping for breath. Sometimes, they give out wails, as if they are hungry, or in pain.

They have failed at reproduction, though we have witnessed what we assume have been many attempts. Usually, a couple unites and they wrap each other in their own wings, rolling in the air, or even tumbling to the ground, with rocking, back-and-forth motions. They look like they are planting their seed, but it always ends up as if they are fighting amongst themselves. This inability to conceive and procreate is stirring all sorts of emotions in these creatures, ranging from frustration, to sadness, to anger, ending in hostility toward one another. 

It took a while, but now we are observing that perhaps our world is not the perfect home that we thought it to be for the Wyrms. They tend to rest more, and struggle to move at times. It also looks like it is increasingly difficult for them to fly. Whereas, before, they would glide over us like our new rulers, they have lost their aura. They no longer strike me as dragon-gods. They are not even kings or queens anymore. And now, they don’t even seem like they have it in them to simply fly off and find another place to call their own, like what they did to our planet. I have seen them attempt to shoot up into space, only to fail miserably and fall back to the ground.

In fact, yesterday, we recorded the first ever Wyrm death. Like I just mentioned, it seemed like it wanted to fly away. It shot up, straight past the clouds, then gave a loud cry, as if it lost all hope of ever leaving our world. The creature fell straight down, and none of the other Wyrms even tried to catch it. It crashed into one of the King’s provincial castles, a straight tower boasting thirty floors, surrounded by various barracks and estates. Many lives were lost, as the creature laid waste to everything its dead body touched, and so many homes were destroyed, but this may all be worth it.

Our mages who could manipulate water and blood, and our sorcerers who had power over the energy of life, quickly collected as much blood as they could. Their research of the Wyrm’s energy, combined with the endless studies of historians based on ostensible features and biology, hints at the possibility of fusing human blood with that of the Wyrms, in order to create a super-soldier army. 

This may be our only chance against those damn orcs. And it’s about damn time, if you ask me. The orcs have basically bullied every other race into submission with an exponentially growing military force and firepower. Now we may have discovered a way to win these wars.

League of Human Researchers Official Journal, Entry #5087, Year 26 of the New Earth Era, by Goltias Hen

Rejoice! All the Wyrms are finally dead! It is a new age for our world!

And the humans have had the upper hand for years, as we were able to successfully create super-soldiers powered by the blood of Wyrms, through the combination of science and magic. The biological codes of the creatures in their blood, captured by our magic, and implanted into our soldiers through medical equipment made of angelic crystal have been our most effective weapon yet. Now we are a threat. Now, we pose great danger to all our enemies. 

Who can dare challenge our new mandate of power? Nobody, I tell you!

Strength, speed, resistance, and a ferociousness even worse than an orc’s. Pure, controlled violence on our side and our side alone.

We were able to secure most of the alien corpses and extract blood from these creatures, who died a slow, painful, but natural death. Their death cycles were very consistent. Researchers would note that a day would come where the creature would no longer lift off from the ground. From that day of immobility, it would take a week or two for the Wyrm to fade away. 

Whereas humans usually struggle during their last days and weaken toward their last breath, these monsters are peaceful in their slumber until the days pass, then they start to scream and wail in pain. And as their shouts finally grow so strong that the ground below our feet begins to shake, it is then, soon after, that these beasts give off their final breath and close their eyes for good.

A dead Wyrm laying on the ground can easily be as big as one of the King’s castles, even bigger perhaps. For those that landed clearly in enemy territory, we did not even attempt to retrieve. We just hoped and prayed that the other races could not do what we did. 

To our delight, either they could not conceive of such an idea of fusing blood, or they did think about it and actually tried, but perhaps their DNA was not compatible. Or their magic was not as strong as ours. Human magic did always have an advantage since we had the more extensive knowledge about the world, its energies, and forces. 

Whatever the case, it appears that we are winning this war. With the Wyrms gone, crops are increasing a thousandfold, the bodies of water are filling up with rainwater, and nature is once again blossoming.

League of Human Researchers Official Journal, Entry #7001, Year 34 of the New Earth Era, by Jenzosaz Mandareek

The war has stretched on much longer than we expected. Our enemy races, led by the Orcs, have united against a common cause: us. 

Although powered by the blood of Wyrms, the alliance that the other races have with one another has grown far superior to any kind of coalition of human armies. Our super-soldiers are succumbing to their growing forces. With no more Wyrms alive to provide fresh blood, the days ahead grow darker, and a shared sense of inevitable defeat persists among us. I can only pray for a miracle, or some godly intervention. I was never a man of faith, but this long-drawn war has brought out the believer in me, whether by the divine, or by pure necessity.

There are rumblings here and there of mages performing the banned Dark Art of Necromancy to resurrect a Wyrm. With this, humans may find an infinite source of power to fight and win this war and any other war to come for ages. 

But I am wary of the consequences. Older scriptures tell tales of dark portals being opened, and corruption of flesh and souls resulting from such practices. Risky, indeed.

League of Human Researchers Official Journal, Entry #7010, Year 34 of the New Earth Era, by Sadakim Mandareek

Yes, we opened a portal using Dark Life energy, venturing where evil souls get trapped for an eternity of torture. We were able to bring one soul to the dead Wyrm. And its body is now possessed by a dark spirit from the Black Realm. But more have found a way into our reality. Humans, animals, and even other dead Wyrms are being resurrected and possessed. We have been so arrogant, and so reckless.

As I am writing this, the first resurrected monster is already burning everything down. It is traveling from town to town, soaring high in the sky, then swooping down quickly, breathing black flame unto us all without mercy, killing all in its way, regardless of race. Sometimes, it just purposely crashes into our homes, or our castles, almost mockingly. It does not discriminate.

It is one form of pain to see your loved ones scattered all around the floor, and stray dogs and cats feasting on them as free meals. It is another kind of suffering to not know at all where your family or friends have ended up, or what fate has met them in this living hell of a world. 

Wherever I turn to, I continue to witness brutal fatalities, wishing in my heart of hearts that perhaps, mercifully, it can be me next. I hope for a quick, painless, death when my time comes. How can a man have faith if his gods have so obviously abandoned him? I have been praying for mercy, or death, and even that refuses to come.

But as long as I am cursed with life, I have to carry on, recording all that happens, because that is my job. My greatest fear is that after all this, even my research will be rendered meaningless and useless by a simple stomp of an undead Wyrm. Everything I have ever worked for, everything that my father has fought for, and everything that my proud lineage has produced may be all for nothing in the end. Yes, “humbling” is the word for it. 

No, I cannot fathom life without my father, my guiding light, my pillar. His once glorious robes are mere shreds of paper, burning in the air as they float downward–  

It bit my father’s head off, sliced his body in half using its wings. There is burning, black blood pouring out of every hole, pore, and opening of its body. The thought of these undead creatures freezes me and makes me soil myself. 

How can I sleep? My father, Jenzosaz, is dead. I simply must keep on working. And, thus, I am writing this log in his place. 

We are lost. It is only a matter of time.

About the Author: Marco Mañalac is a lover of fantasy and science fiction, a fanboy of combat sports and professional wrestling, and a self-diagnosed stranger to the real world. With more than ten years of corporate experience in Marketing and Public Relations, he is now trying to resurrect his long-gone creative juices by playing video games, reviewing comic books, and starting his own Dungeons & Dragons campaign. When he needs to clear his mind, he is usually boxing or sidelining as a Ring Announcer for fights. He also cosplays every now and then when he’s in a particularly good mood. “The History of the End of the World by the League of Researchers” is his first published short story.

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