The World of Storm Oracle
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Imagine real human history with different geography, and as few countries as your favorite fantasy world.
That’s the world of Storm Oracle. Or at least it was, until twelve years ago.
That was when the entity commonly known as Sammael briefly appeared over the ocean and everything changed. All over the world, a small minority of humanity developed patterned tattoo-like marks on their bodies—commonly called Warps—along with “elemental” psychic sensitivities that caused them to (it is claimed) involuntarily understand the moods and desires of classes of living things, categories of inanimate objects and local manifestations of more traditional elements.
(A microscopic percentage of the Warped can also provably influence their element.)
Although winged, angelic Sammael appeared only once and hasn’t been seen since, that was when the godstorms began too. They’re awful, windy thunderstorms that hail hallucinogens, have lightning only the Warped can see, and unleash the monsters known as stormhounds. They come with every godstorm: nightmarish semi-intangible beasts that stalk and slaughter any human they can find for the duration of the storm.
Normal buildings do not stop stormhounds, who have been witnessed walking through walls in pursuit of prey. However, it is possible to build wards against the stormhounds using crystals harvested from the storm; it is also, with great difficulty and risk, possible to kill stormhounds, and claim the storm crystals at their hearts.
Now, many Warped have trouble finding and keeping jobs, since it’s commonly believed that having too many Warped in your life can lead to a shorter lifespan —an urban legend that comes with varying actual numbers. Many of them are extremely sensitive to godstorms, and believed to be twitchy and strange even in normal weather. Discrimination is currently legal and common.
Partially in response to this, the SDF (Storm Defense Force) preferentially hires those with Warps to battle stormhounds. Their ability to see godstorm lightning aids them in finding enemies without mechanical aid. The government also maintains warded public storm shelters that are most people’s only legal guarantee of surviving the storm.
However, because it has been statistically proven that stormhounds are attracted to the Warped, and storm crystal wards are consumed when triggered, the government limits how many Warped can be in a General Public Shelter. That law passed as part of a separate but equal doctrine, promising to build sufficient dedicated warded shelters for the Warped.
They never, ever build enough. It’s cheaper to do it the way they actually do: pay unemployed, desperate Warped per stormhound slain and let the two problems kill each other off.
There’s more than one country in the world of Storm Oracle—but you can accept the above as representative of the general dominant cultural attitudes.
Nobody knows where godstorms come from. They form apparently out of nowhere, in every condition. Nobody really knows how the storm hounds come from the godstorms, either.
Well, almost nobody.
Come discover answers with Piper Jones as she is recruited into the secret organization that knows the truth.