At the beginning of time, the Clockmaker came upon a formless void, a primordial nothingness we have since named the Pontus. From chaos, He crafted our beautiful world. Now we, the inhabitants of this magnificently designed Clockwork, must live to maintain the orderly intentions of our Maker.
However, from the beginning people have turned against the will of the Clockmaker and against each other. Adam and Eve ate of the apple. Cain killed Abel. Humanity sinned and fell, and the angels themselves thereafter. Now, history is rife with the result of these transgressions: wars, slavery, injustice, suffering, and chaos. Each strain and crack in the Clockwork allows the primordial chaos to seep in, further eroding the stability of the world. The Pontus emanates both from the depths of the Earth and from the hearts of men, slowly reclaiming the Clockwork and unmaking creation itself. The Pontus is only now becoming a recognized force at work throughout history – perhaps too late to be stopped. Those who study its effects have found a dramatic increase in the scope and severity of Pontus events in recent generations. There is a rot in the foundation of the world, but too little concern as to when this corrosion will cause the whole of reality to collapse.
For all the stability the Empire brings, it only seems to slow this process. It is simply not the panacea it claims to be. Its far-flung territories are restless, and chafe under British rule. It is becoming apparent that the wonders and achievements of science and technology call for people of brilliance, rather than those of particular birth, to lead. The veneer of safety and calm has lulled the politicians and the indolent rich into a drowsy complacency, leaving them unconcerned with the casual suffering endured by common people. Other global powers, jealous of the Empire’s reach, increasingly contest with it for territory and control. The great bulwark against the Pontus is failing, and as the Empire falls, the Pontus rises.
Humanity looks on as the very fabric of reality frays and tears. Across the globe, the skies rain down frogs or blood. Fish swim through the morning mists. Freakish occurrences remind humanity that chaos is taking hold in the world.
Those in powers argue desperately in support of their own visions of perfection, in the hope that they can bring about the culmination of the Clockwork before all descends into ruin. Yet, in truth, we do not even know what the Clockwork was meant to become. Although the Clockwork was built to fulfill the divine plan, the Maker is silent as to how His plan was meant to unfold. Humanity is left to discern both the will of the Maker and how to bring it to fruition before we all are destroyed.
Perhaps we are doomed. Perhaps civilization itself is a product of the fall from grace. After man was exiled from the Garden, what were we to do but build a Clockwork of our own? It seemed the only thing humanity could do to protect itself from the Pontus. Yet today, the same society that allows the righteous to acquire great wealth and power to nurture and protect also allows the wicked to exploit those under their authority. The same traditions that define orderly society, and inform each person of their role within it, restrict the free will instilled in man by his Maker. In some ways, the dominion of man is as much the problem as it is the solution.
Only one thing is certain: unless something is done, the Pontus will devour us all.