If you can read these words, congratulate yourself. You have made it to Grandia, the last city of the starlands. The last safe place for life.
The first time the world ended, it came from the stars. The first word of disaster came from Elrich, where a mad king had sent every legion he possessed to devastate his neighbors. The mad gardener slaughtered every living man, woman, and child, pillaging and burning their lands as they attacked. The heavens above cast their judgement. First the invading armies, and then Elrich itself were destroyed by starlight and fury.
We closed our city gates, and watched the rest of the world.
We didn't have to wait long. Suva, which had already endured years of war, collapsed. The governing bodies scattered in the wind, leaving enclaves of vicious, war-torn mercenaries to rule small fiefdoms. Fighting and scavenging, they managed to eke out survival for a small time. But, like their conquerors, they could not live forever, and died out when no more warriors were left to lift their standards.
The King ordered isolation. Every gate, doorway, and window was bolted shut. From behind locked barricades, we prepared for the end.
Soon, word came of armies of Empria and Oltonia resuming their wars. It seemed as though every man who had seen the devastation decided that the best course of action would be to have an even bigger war. So they did, and they predictably suffered for it. Empria, unable to keep itself together, split the same way Suva did, becoming a quagmire of miserable fiefdoms. Oltonia was overrun by famine and disease, and perished a sick man.
More and more states would fall, either by their own hand or the hand of others. They all made the same mistakes, and the same failures. When the end came to them, they laid prostrate before it and accepted their fates. None of them, not one, had the drive to preserve themselves, to keep going in the face of monumental horror. Except for us. We knew what was coming.
While they were fighting last grievances, we were unifying and organizing. They would purge their own, sending men, mystics, vegetables and furniture alike to be sacrificed, hoping that it would spare them.
When they sent their armies to the field, we kept the peace at home.
Instead of spending the last gold we had on fighting through to the end, we saved and acted with thrift.
As one door was thrown open, we shut ourselves from the world. Refugees swarmed to our gates, but they did so in vain, because we knew opening the doors would snuff the weak candle of humanity. It became a quieter time, when you could ignore the screaming. Communities could bond, and we could get to know each other. As years rolled by, marriage and familial laws were quietly abolished, and we kept the Grandian line pure.
Now, we are the last city standing. As long as we can be united, and remember why the others have fallen, we will persevere. Know that one day another end will come. When it does, we will be ready.