Through the Crucible
A Brief Timeline
Near the end of World War II, the scientists of the Third Reich develop an experimental device know as the Fuererprob, or Crucible, that utilized new theories of quantum physics combined with occult ritualistic practices. It was intended to channel trace energies known as Krieg particles to speed human evolution and aid the rise of the master race, pushing human beings to the pinnacle of their evolution. Trails caused death and horrid mutations, and it was abandoned.
British scientists rediscover the research behind the Crucible and Krieg particles and begin to apply current scientific knowledge to fix the flawed design aspects. The intent is to eliminate genetic diseases and weaknesses inherent in the human genetic structure. Initial trials are hugely successful, many diseases are entirely eradicated.
The Crucible technology is declared a complete success, touted as the end of death and pain caused by disease. Crucibles are constructed around the world, larger countries build several dozen. Crucible treatments are made free and compulsory by many governments, and are encouraged by the vast majority of world religions. Those treated experience greatly improved health, endurance, and longevity. The only side effect seems to be a slightly higher chance of miscarriage during pregnancy.
Many subjects of the initial Crucible trials begin to experience bizarre side effects. In many cases, the subjects die.
Crucible related side effects are rampant, large portions of the human population are afflicted with horrible, usually fatal cellular mutations. A small portion of the survivors manifest strange abilities and highly enhanced strength, stamina, or intelligence. Crucible treatments are universally banned, though 85% of the world’s population has already been exposed. 50% of human pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth. Govenment treatment facilities housing Crucibles around the world are destroyed in a global riot following the announcement of the link between the mutations and decreased birthrate with Crucible treatment. In many places, Crucibles themselves are bombed or destroyed, detonating in a massive release of Krieg particles, obliterating everything within several hundred miles, leaving behind vast blasted craters literally smoking with energy, called Crucible-rifts. The mutation and death rate in the surrounding areas increases to 99.8%.
World superpowers begin to pass blame to one another in desperate bids to find a scapegoat for the worldwide catastrophe, large-scale wars break out, nuclear weapons are unleashed on the already dwindling population centers. Society experiences a general and total breakdown, governments crumble and reform, only to crumble again. Roving gangs pillage, rape, and murder at will. The combination of nuclear fallout and high concentrations of Crucible-rift energy twist flora and fauna into grotesque mockeries of themselves, evolving, de-evolving, and merging with one another. There are reports of the dead rising from their mass graves and wandering the deserted streets of the annihilated cities. Enormous monsters emerge from the Crucible-rifts, lending credence to the claims of religous fanatics that the world has entered the end-times and demons now roam the face of the earth.
Small communities manage to survive in the blasted landscape by gathering around a few powerful figures in fortified positions. Technology undergoes a dramatic regression, based on fear and guilt, encouraged by the remaining cells of the major world religions – blaming man’s arrogance for their downfall. The battle for survival is daily and constant – the world completely overrun with monsters, mutants, and murderous gangs.