The Fourth Fansus
Author's Note: Nothing on this page is set in stone yet, it's all just my personal ideas free to be edited by anyone.
The Fourth Fansus used to be two different Mansi, independent of one another, each inhabited by a different group of Gods-from-Stone and each with their own Glory. These Gods-from-Stone warred among each other, in a war whose ending has been lost to time. The twin Mansi were desolate, war-torn wrecks when the first Hours of Humankind awoke, as were the Gods-from-Stone who inhabited them. The new Hours either killed them or in other ways usurped the Gods-from-Stone (Perhaps different approaches in each Mansus) and sent them to Nowhere. Everything seemed cool and good and the new Hours rebuilt the two Mansi but remained on separate terms most likely due to disagreements of some sort (maybe about the war and its ending). Eventually, though, something super fucked up happened. The 2 Mansi crashed into each other, and nobody knew who was responsible. Did the Gods-from-Stone do it all the way from Nowhere? Did someone from within the Houses do it? Or something else entirely? Who the hell knows.
What is known is that this was a horrific event for humans and Hours alike, with the 2 Glories colliding and breaking apart. This, combined with the damage the Hours suffered, temporarily broke down the barrier between realities and released the power the Hours bled into the waking world, where it caused unspeakable devastation. Most of what occurred in that devastating time when all hell broke loose has been forgotten but what is known has been recorded below:
Areas flooded by Lantern-influence were subject to perhaps the most alien of devastations, though they generally have suffered little physical damage. Strange lights appeared in the sky, eerie writing appeared on the walls, surfaces were rendered transparent or reflective, and so forth. People witnessed unspeakable things, saw visions, went mad, and so forth. Lantern is an unmerciful principle, perhaps the one that does the most harm to the mind. It also provides great revelations, however, and many affected by it are now known as oracles or soothsayers. People touched by the unmerciful light have a tendency to hoard knowledge, and to obsessively study it, yearning for the same sort of revelations they saw during the apocalypse. When traveling through terrain touched by Lantern-light, it is important to remember not to look at the lights in the sky, not to read the writing on the walls, not to fall asleep. If one must sleep, one should not record their dreams, nor really think about them too clearly.
Forge is one of the aspects that caused the greatest physical devastation. Grand explosions, earthquakes, and wildfires, some of which burn unquenchable to this very day. All areas of such devastation are searingly hot. Forge changes the mind too, and those affected by such change were granted an obsessive need to disassemble and reassemble various things. Thus, areas afflicted by Forge Influence are full of strange and often dangerous creations: stories spread among settlements by travellers inevitably end up talking about self-perpetuating and eternal-motion machines.
One thing is certain: Forge-influenced areas are often reliable sources of advanced, complex technology, whether it's made by the tinkerers who dwell there or from ancient relics that predate the Collision. In case of the later, their original function is probably twisted by constant exposure to Forge energies.
The areas affected by Edge went through great physical devastation, being cut, torn, or flung apart by supernatural means. People in these areas were stricken by jelousy and ambition, and many murdered those close to them in cold blood. After the influence faded, many came to regret or forget these acts. Edge is one of the fastest-fading influences, and most of those affected by it mentally can now live mostly stable, normal lives (Besides the trauma of remembering what they may have done) though its effects may run deep, and the inhabitants of these zones could be more aggresive and prone to react with violence to tense situations: mercenary groups and bandits tend to come from areas influenced by this aspect. Wildlife is not exempt from these effects, either; what elsewhere may be a docile animal will be considerably more dangerous and aggresive within these regions. Creatures influenced by Edge also tend to develop incredibly sharp claws, spines or fangs, that can be crafted into charms with a high Edge aspect.
Despite all this, Edge-affected areas are also one of the safer areas to travel, as few of the cutting-forces that once ravaged them remain, and most of those that do are noticeable. One does need to watch out for objects which appear blunt or flat but which are in truth unexpectedly sharp, as well as for zones where everything entering them is cut apart or in other ways destroyed.
Winter-affected areas are some of the more dangerous areas, as they can appear perfectly normal to the untrained eye. They can however be identified by a persistent cold that chills you all the way to the bone. The true danger of these areas, however, is not the bitter cold but the areas where time itself has slowed down or stopped. These areas do not move as frequently as similar things in other areas, but are very big and very hard to notice. How long it takes for someone to escape from one of these areas varies greatly, but the fact that they have a tendency to slowly grow, the fact that they are hard to identify from within and the bitter cold means that many careless explorers have been abandoned inside them. To make things worse, Winter-influenced areas tend to be absolutely crawling with various kinds of Dead. Those with more sanity remaining tend to commemorate the power known as the Legion Lamentful, and therefore can in some cases be bargained with or deceived. Those with less sanity remaining tend to be purely animalistic and hostile, hungering for the warmth of the living. The Dead in these areas can usually bypass the temporal anomalies, but cannot bring people out of them. Those mentally affected by the Winter-influence released during the apocalypse tend to be depressive, apathetic and mournful. These effects last long, very long.
Communities established within Winter-influenced areas either learn to coexist with the Dead(usually by establishing some kind of bargain or covenant) or disappear, so people who hail from these areas may have a reputation(deserved or not) of being mediums and mystics, experienced in the different ways of communing and warding off the Dead.
Another peculiarity is that cities or settlements affected by potent Winter influences may be mistaken by those of Heart in the eyes of inexperienced areas, due to the quiet and stillness that seeps into every nook of the place. However, several visits through a long period of time will reveal the slow, creeping decay that blights these places.
The areas affected by Heart influence tend to be the best-preserved of the areas, as rampant Heart influence caused grand storms, earthquakes, floods, and other such weather phenomena that many areas were already at least partially prepared for. These same intense Heart influences gave tremendous vitality to the life to be found on these areas, and eventually led to a riotous growth and abundance of wildlife, specially when compared to the relative scarcity found on other areas; all this life hows uncanny resilience, something that has hampered attempts to settle these areas. The high Heart influences that imbue these places mean what Pre-Colission buildings are found there are unusually well-preserved, but treasure hunters beware: that means the wards and defensive mechanism that protect the old sacred sites of the faithful also survived the Colission in good conditions.
Those affected by Heart influence tend to be restless and optimistic, with endless determination. These are useful traits to have in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, but can also lead one into danger.
Areas afflicted by Grail are perhaps the ones where the most influence still remains, and also some of the more populous. During the apocalypse much of them were flooded, not just with water, but with blood or honey or stranger fluids still. These areas are ones where strange vines grow and strange fruit grows, of the kind that cannot be eaten only once. The people affected by Grail influence tend to be reckless and hedonistic, and the influence released during the apocalypse caused many of them to use it as an opportunity to commit acts that they usually did not do, or indulge in desires they had repressed, leading to a societal collapse in the places so affected.
Many are now addicted to a variety of substances or pleasures, both mundane and unique to Grail-tarnished land. A vast majority of the Long who were in these areas during the apocalypse are now Alukites, as the urge to commit the Crime of the Sky became irresistible during the hours when the border between the real and the surreal were blurred. Most of these Long tend to avoid contact with others out of shame, feigned or real.
The areas affected by Moth are the ones of which is known the least, and most of them differ significantly from each other. Common themes include the breakdown of perception and knowledge, and the forgetting of things and words, rampant growth of plants, spatial anomalies of various kinds, distances being much shorter or longer than they appear or objects being much closer or farther away than they appear, and aggressiveness on the part of animals. Humans remaining in these areas gradually lose their senses and return to their base animal state, filthy and unclothed.
Areas affected by Knock influence experienced grand turmoil during the apocalypse, and are today the ones from which the fewest return. During the apocalypse structures leveled themselves, old wounds opened and people bled to death, and portals and spatial anomalies appeared everywhere. Space is inconsistent, and doors and windows do not open into where they should, and frequently moving fissures in reality take people from one place to another, often unexpectedly. Knock did not affect the minds of people much, though it remains inadvisable to sleep in a Knock-influenced area.
Secret Histories anomalies are the rarest and usually smallest kind, and tend to appear around sites where the scar of history is apparent. Things can become hard to remember properly as contradictory memories appear, origins of things can become paradoxical as people find themselves wearing rings indicating that they were married to one person and tattoos contradicting them while themselves becoming confused over which one is true. Most of these anomalies are much more minor and harmless than those influenced by other aspects. Secret Histories does not mentally influence people much aside from the false memories.
One must remember that it is very rare to find an area where only one aspect deluged during the apocalypse, and that these effects can often be found alongside other, weaker ones of different aspects. One must also remember that the above are merely general themes and not hard rules, and that areas influenced by one aspect tend to differ significantly from one another.
There are also some anomalies that are common to all areas, and can even be found in areas not hit as much by the apocalypse. These include: Places where pure Mansus-energy has flowed through, causing reality to feel more dreamlike, most common in Knock, Lantern, and Moth areas. Strange and dangerous dreams, most common in Knock and Lantern areas, though sleep in Winter areas can be dangerous for different reasons. People who appear to be asleep but nonetheless remain in perfect physical health, merely catatonic, but who release grand and dangerous influences if killed, most common in Lantern or Winter areas. They are suspected to be connected to the Hour known as the Legion Lamentful. Stray Mansus-beings are also common in all areas, and usually yearn to return to the Mansus and the Hours who created them. They are in most cases very dangerous, and should not be approached alone.