Sundered Grove — Unity Is Purpose

Dusktopia
2 min readJul 5, 2022

A Gathering was in progress.

Mystical fires blazed, esoteric chants muttered, vibrant music filling the air… all representative of the one part of the Dusktopian world that had truly survived the seismic impact of the Cataclysm.

By a stroke of divine fortune, the fallout from the Cabal’s nuclear attack had largely spared what was previously the Amazonian rainforests of Earth, and they also considered the region not to be worth any time or investment.

This was a huge oversight on the Cabal’s part; the Sundered Grove was actually home to the world’s purest Aurium reserves, and the straggler group of scientists that had made their way here after the nuclear attack had used the ultra-dense foliage to hide their newly rebuilding society from prying eyes.

They believed they were blessed — to have survived, and to have a place in the world to perform their work in earnest. Each Gathering served as a tribute to Gaia the Earth Mother, and a celebration of the group’s continued survival.

Priestess Selene stepped forward. “In the world, we trust,” she intoned.

A murmur of agreement rang out across the gathered attendees.

“For this world, we sacrifice,” she continued. “And may Gaia show us what our future holds!” she exclaimed, tossing a shimmering blue powder into the bonfire.

All of a sudden, the Gathering’s participants fell into a minor trance. Shadowy figures swirled around them menacingly, indicating that all was not well. A figure in a white lab coat appeared, looking around shiftily as if afraid to be caught. He sidled up to a dark figure in a suit, and handed him what appeared to be a map. The dark figure looked over the map and nodded approvingly, and dropped a large brown envelope on the floor, from which some banknotes spilled out.

The bonfire abruptly extinguished, and the participants came out of their trance.

“We have been betrayed. Greed has taken ahold of one of us, and he has sold us out to the Cabal!” Priestess Selene exclaimed.

This was a damning development: the entirety of the Sundered Grove’s survival was predicated on secrecy. If the Cabal managed to bribe its way into discovering just how resource rich the Grove was… it could signal the beginning of mercenary armies marching in and seizing control by force.

Or was something more covert afoot? Human nature was mainly about personal greed. It could very well be that a rogue element from one of the other continents was simply smuggling — a problem, to be sure, but not one that was insurmountable.

They would just have to weed the traitor out… and take appropriate measures. Unity was purpose.

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《团结是基础》

一场聚会正在如火如荼进行中。

神秘的火焰熊熊燃烧,深奥晦涩的圣歌低吟,充满活力的音乐响彻在空气中,这些都是夜幕城邦被大灾变肆虐后幸存的标志。

幸运的是,前身是地球亚马逊森林的地方并没有遭受柯保发动的核攻击太大的余波,他们也觉得在科技世代这里并不值得任何的关注或投资。

这是柯保难得的巨大疏忽。分裂丛林实际上拥有着世界上最纯净的Aurium(欧里能源)储备,而在核攻击后来到这里避世的科学家利用浓密的丛林隐藏他们重建的社会,防止外界的窥探。

他们坚信他们是受到眷顾的 — 劫后余生,能够完成他们的使命。每一次的集会都是对大地之母 — 盖亚的致敬,也是对教团能够持续生存的庆祝。

女祭司塞勒涅漫步向前,吟诵道:“对于这个世界,我们始终坚信。”

与会者中响起了一致的低语。

“为了这个世界,我们可以牺牲。”她继续说道。 “愿盖亚向我们展示我们的未来!”她的语气逐渐激动,将手里闪烁的蓝色粉末扔进了篝火。

突然间,圣会的参与者陷入了轻微的恍惚。阴暗的人影在他们周围不怀好意的盘旋着,预示着一切的不顺。一个身穿白大褂的身影出现了,生怕被抓到似的,鬼鬼祟祟地四处张望。他侧身走到一个穿着西装的黑影身边,递给他一张看似地图的东西。黑影看了看地图,赞许地点了点头,将一个棕色的大信封丢在了地板上,几张钞票从里面洒了出来。

篝火突然熄灭,参与者瞬间从迷离恍惚的状态恢复。

“我们被背叛了。我们当中有人贪欲作祟,把我们出卖给了柯保!”女祭司塞勒涅惊呼道。

这消息犹如晴天霹雳 — 分裂丛林的生存之道正是它的保密性。如果柯保通过贿赂内部人员发现了丛林的资源丰富程度……它们的武装雇佣兵可能已经在来这里的路上了。

或者这只是隐蔽的独立事件?自私贪婪是人的天性的一大部分。这起事故和别的区域的流氓分子走私一样,是个问题,但不是一个难以克服的问题。

他们只需要清除叛徒……并采取适当的措施。

团结是基础。

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