“In The Days When there Was Night,” Arthur started, “there was no peace.”
Zach leaned in so he could hear Arthur’s words.
“No peace. Neighbor argued with neighbor. Leaders fought and lied and stole from people and nations alike. Darkness filled the hearts of the people just like it covered their land each Night.
“Children learned words like War, Famine. Genocide.
“People fought the fighting. Hurt others in the name of Love. Killed in the name of peace. Darkness filled their hearts for many generations.”
Arthur paused as Zach thought about the word “generations.” The implications. Zach took a breath, but Arthur continued before he could ask.
“The City was attacked.
“Waves of invaders. Fires lit the sky. Burning flesh filled the noses of all who remained.
“Women raped. Treasure stolen. Prisoners enslaved. Day after day, night after night, the attack continued.”
Zach tried to make sense of this. Sure, he knew that people fought each other–usually people with brain rot–but everyone? Everywhere? The more Arthur spoke, the more confused Zach became.
The other Storytellers never said anything like this.
“The City lay in ruins. Half its people had been taken slave by invaders, taken to foreign lands, worked like animals. Those that remained threw lifeless bodies onto the burning heaps every night.
“Then the ground shook.
“It began as a tremor, a twitch in the earth. Barely noticeable through all the explosions and bombs and fighting machines. But it grew. For days, it slowly grew stronger until all the people of the city felt the ground trembling.
“Weeks. It became difficult to walk. It became impossible to fight. The people stopped their war. They sat down and waited.
“Then, as the Sun appeared after the Last Night, they watched as it tore through the mountain and broke its stones into gravel.
“The people of the City knew this would be the end. They huddled together with what was left of their families. Neighbor held neighbor. Tribe sat with tribe. The ground continued to shake, but the walls of the City did not fall.
“The sun rose high into the sky as the earth shook and the mountain fell.
“Then the shaking stopped.”