[An excerpt from the journals of Adam Roche, the Second Founder. Age: 62.]
How’d it all come to an end?
I guess it all kind of started coming to a head about five years before the Fall of the Masters. I know history’s recorded that the Fall got its beginnings in the three years leading to my saving the world, but I can assure you, there was more to it than that.
I found them back then. Huddled in a bunker that had been abandoned for ages, holding on for dear life against the combined forces of starvation, dehydration, and loss of hope. I came looking for shelter from the people that had been pursuing me for, at that point, going on twenty years. Most of my adult life spent on the run. But, I digress. Their names were Mary Becker, Saul Peterson, and Steven Schwarz.
I couldn’t just leave them to die. Maybe it was their pathetic faces, looking up at me…no, that wasn’t it. There was something in their eyes. Something I thought I’d lost when my teacher died trying to save me: hope. I was their hope. Their saviour. My conjuration scared them, at first. Nobody had seen a chromamancer in action in generations, most didn’t even know we’d ever existed. But, I managed to convince them I wasn’t trying to poison them or turn them in to the Masters.
They were free, and so was I. As the weeks passed, down there, we talked. I laughed for the first time in years. Seriously, genuinely laughed. I had to protect that. Allies were precious, but friends, which was what we had become, were irreplaceable. That’s how the rebellion really got started. A group of friends, bonding over food with the taste and texture of cardboard, conjured water, and a shared freedom. The first of many people that pushed me into the foreground. Taught me that it was worth it to fight for freedom. That I had it in me to lead, to win.
That was how the End of Days began for the Masters. No matter what the history books say, that’s how it started.