Consecrated to Cataclysm: The Story of Steel Horse Crossing’s Great Tree
The animals and undead became exponentially more hostile and toxic the longer that they were exposed to the sickness over time. The disease spread a little more every day, affecting the water table and every living thing that needs water to exist. A few people took samples of the soil and plants to research what was happening with the environment, but the lack of prior examples in the limited libraries available to them kept their knowledge too limited to find any kind of permanent solution.
At the same time, the raider threat started to increase significantly. The sheer volume of raiders that attacked Steel Horse Crossing was immense, causing its people to close off parts of town so that the denizens could stay better protected. At first, it was just large numbers of the Cheesehead raiders. Then, Bada’s forces moved in with the assistance of several clans of Pitstops, leaving the local citizens caught in the middle. Eventually, the situation became bad enough that the Iron Works intervened and the resulting shelling of sizeable and irradiated explosives between the raiders and the Iron Works was substantial. The Raider War eventually ended with the citizens of Steel Horse Crossing mostly surviving, but the damage to the land itself was irreparable. (S3, 2018)
The irradiated, diseased zone became more virulent and widespread than ever before with its exposure to the immense amounts of radioactive shelling done during the Raider War. Locals from the outskirts of Steel Horse Crossing had started coming into town with a new, more-intensified version of the sickness the land itself had, manifesting itself as growths of irradiated fungus on the face and body. The people of Steel Horse Crossing continued having to move around to different parts of the town to keep from growing sick from radiation and disease. At this point, a few townspeople took samples of the glowing mushrooms, the fungus from the diseased settlers’ faces, the soil, and other items to more vigilantly research what was causing this catastrophic environmental disaster. They finally are starting to discover that this sickness in the land is so incredibly widespread, so vast, that it is impossible to cure except through diligent, expensive means over a very long period of time.
During this time, the townspeople haven’t noticed the subtle, silent mutations that have been taking place within their cells, their DNA, while being exposed to this diseased, irradiated land for such an extensive amount of time. Some of their knowledge is starting to fade from their mind and be replaced with different intuitions and skills. Key aspects of their strain are starting to fall away and be replaced by different attributes and mutations. The changes are so subtle, so gradual, that people probably have just started to notice that the way they’ve existed for their entire lives is now beginning to be slightly different… (S4, 2019, 2.0 Finale)