A Brief History Of The Winterlands

Winterborn: noun - those native to The Winterlands.

The rise of the Information Brokers Guild (IBG) almost saw The Winterlands thrust into a civil war. Previously believed to be nothing more than an underground movement, it soon became apparent that they were an extremely well organised unit that had links stretching from one end of the continent to the other. By controlling the flow of information within The Winterlands, they were able to ensure all attempts to block their rise to power were halted before they could truly begin.

Once established as the ruling power, the IBG immediately set about restoring order to the now restless cities and residential gatherings. It was agreed that all areas would retain their own governing body and law making powers but would be required to ensure the newly introduced standard trading rates were followed. Each government would also need to make monthly reports to a locally stationed Guild representative (who would also act a single point of contact for the public should specialist information be requested). The initial unrest caused by the takeover dispersed quickly once the positives of the new system became apparent and disputes were resolved quicker than in any previous era. With public relations appearing positive, the IBG quickly established Capital as their main base of operations and built their main offices in the centre of the city (which itself sat at the centre of The Winterlands). Within a year, a new sense of peace seemed to have spread across the land.

To differentiate this period from previous eras, the dating system was reset and years were marked with the initials GLE (Guild Led Era), with 1 GLE being the year the IBG ascended to power. By 30 GLE, the IBG had begun to use Wormhole Generator Drives to store data (this became known as the WHG electronic filing system). The initial plan in 28 GLE had been to use WHGs to allow the IBG to travel back in time and collect historic data from before the currently held records. Tests showed it to be impossible to open a hole large and stable enough for a human to travel through. The research and development team behind the technology theorised that (although not the original intent), the WHGs may provide a solution for the growing data storage problems the IBG were experiencing. The system would allow the data for a day to be stored in one large electronic storage system. The contents of this system would be logged on a separate file and the data then wiped at the end of the day. The WHG would allow a user to open a wormhole to the data storage of a specific day and retrieve files as required. The team were so confident in this system that they used live date for the early tests, accidentally destroying the majority of pre-GLE files, causing the loss of almost all documentation relating to The Winterlands prior to the IBG assuming control. Now perfected, small WHGs are placed in the personal computers of IBG staff so that they can recall files as and when required, dependent on security clearance.

The first earthquake in recorded history occurred in 127 GLE. Hitting only Capital, the event was seemingly caused by the emergence of what would become known as The Central Anomaly: a large plant-like structure that had sprouted through the centre of the city, tearing through the IBG HQ in the process. Three days later, the first Fluctuation occurred: a blinding flash of light rose from the tip of The Central Anomaly and quickly spread through-out The Winterlands. Although there were no visible effects, it is widely believed that this acted as a primer for what was to come.

Within months, various cities began reporting sightings of Scribes (strange statues of hooded figures carrying parchment). After three days, the Scribes would disappear and the area would face another Fluctuation, this time causing major physical changes wherever they hit. Thus far, these have ranged from a permanent change in the climate of a city to the emergence of various new species.

In an attempt to subdue the panic that had quickly spread, the IBG sent eight high ranking members from their Security Team to the basement level of their main offices with orders to destroy The Central Anomaly. Although no information file has been made public regarding the events of this mission, it is known that only two unnamed members returned alive. Unable to risk the lives of further members, the IBG announced that they intended to observe The Central Anomaly until a secondary course of action could be formulated.
Feeling that his employer was not dealing with matters in an adequate manner, Security Team Leader Richard O’Kei quit his job and (using links made while with the IBG) spread the word that he would provide a safe haven for those who “refused to sit back and see their land destroyed”. Taking only those whose city had not yet been hit with a second Fluctuation, this anti-Anomaly group took up residence in the cave system of Volverache and bean referring to themselves as ‘The Last’ (a reference to their belief that they are the last pure blood Winterborn). Their self-imposed segregation from the general population has seen them labeled as an extremist group but does appear to have thus far succeeded in allowing them to avoid suffering further Fluctuations.

The IBG observation of The Central Anomaly is still continuing today and most Winterborn have adapted to accept the Fluctuations as part of normal life.