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.
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。
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。