Toonaria is home to countless magical creatures—some created by powerful beings, while others became magical due to the GodStorm (today’s mystery!) No one knows where the GodStorm came from, or why it sometimes strikes the same areas multiple times and skips over others completely. On occasion it almost seems sentient. Most of the time, it appears to act completely random. Worst of all, it’s spreading like wildfire across the realms, affecting both magic and technology in unusual ways.
Both Toonaria and the Cosmoverse are host to this epic, extremely dangerous and completely unpredictable phenomenon. Whether it started in the Cosmoverse and passed through a rift into Toonaria or started in Toonaria, is anyone’s guess.
Below, I’ll provide some fun examples of what it’s like and what it’s capable of. The excerpts were all taken from our Cosmoverse Campaign Setting fiction, but it’s the same GodStorm raging across Toonaria (I’ll give some Toonarian examples down the road – that work hasn’t been professionally edited—yet, unlike my Cosmoverse fiction.)
Okay, since you asked so nicely, here’s a quick Toonarian example before launching into the Cosmoverse ones . . .
In Toonaria, there is a region called Gubland that was hit by the GodStorm. Over night, several sections of Gubland were morphed into candy, including a river and forest (the river was turned into liquid white chocolate and the forest, into candy cane trees with gumdrop flowers —just two bizarre, but tasty examples. More serious consequences have occurred in Toonaria as well. Here’s some more from around the Cosmoverse . . .
The GodStorm took nearly everyone by surprise, sweeping away both gods and entire dimensions in its wake, and absorbing their energy. The storm has raged for over four hundred years, sometimes slipping between dimensions and then resurfacing without notice. Rather than diminishing over time, the storm continues to spread, changing and tainting everything it touches.
In many cases, the GodStorm’s passing resulted in merely bizarre, yet relatively harmless effects, but in others the damage has been great. At times the GodStorm leaves behind an abscess that warps a region into a nightmarish version of itself, fracturing galactic kingdoms and cutting off worlds, leaving them to fend for themselves against the coming darkness.
— excerpted from Arcane Synthesis: A Blended-Genre Anthology
Eight stories about the vast Cosmoverse were included in Arcane Synthesis. The GodStorm was mentioned several times because of the impact it has had on life everywhere. While the Cosmoverse, like Toonaria, is connected by series of gates (both technological gates and magical ones), enabling information to spread quickly, the GodStorm is called other names in certain realms. For example . . .
Her previous studies as an artificer held few answers for what she had become in the wake of the Cascadence, or the GodStorm as most called it.
Temporal travel, unlike spatial distance, could be manipulated and slowed as desired, now that she’d mastered her augmented abilities after scores of uncontrolled jaunts. She needed corroboration with others on her multiplying theorems, but that seemed unlikely, as her rebirth had been anomalous. The Cascadence had transformed her into an augment—a freak of nature, granting her the power to bend time, though the process was more art than science.
— excerpted from Steven E. Schend’s Emeraldeaths (Arcane Synthesis)
As you can see from these two examples, the GodStorm is a powerful, uncontrollable force that changes everything it touches. It affects things in different ways, transforming animals, geography, and even magic itself, which thanks to the GodStorm, is even more dangerous than ever to spellcasters.
Some teleport and dimensional gates were changed forever, becoming tainted, and tainting those who use them. More than one gate in Toonaria has become tainted and transforms those who pass through it into zombies of a most unusual kind. Most gates, fortunately, work entirely, as intended. The Cosmoverse has their own problem with tainted gates, all thanks to the GodStorm.
The only constant regarding the GodStorm is that it’s always unpredicable. It is a magical phenomenon, one that even the gods are not immune to, as evidenced from the above excerpt. In fact, it seems attracted to powerful beings and great magic, and it has indeed taken the lives of gods, who become one with it, their consciousnesses being carried along everywhere it goes, which explains why sometimes victims claim to have heard a voice in the wind.
Some have suggested that when the GodStorm has changed things in a way that resembles something that a particular god might do—a sliver of divine consciousness might have managed to bubble to the surface briefly and manipulated the storm for its own purposes (hence the storm’s name.) But because of the diverse effects of the storm, it’s clear that if that does happen, it is indeed for only a brief period.
Much of the time, the effects are temporary, as long as the storm abated quickly. Such flash storms appearing suddenly and then vanishing are often relatively harmless, at least for most who are exposed to them, but such events are still odd and memorable, as in these scenes from my upcoming novel, The Shadow Reaper:
Tangible aberrations were not uncommon during GodStorm manifestations. One ship might report the sudden appearance of flowers or butterflies on board, another, feathers or even snowfall. The Dauntilus had been filled with motes of light that danced and changed colors as they drifted about the ship for hours. The motes were all gone now, but more than a few of them had exploded into harmless, but annoying clouds of confetti.
Another . . .
Overnight, the orc’s eyebrow hairs had grown down past his chin, his nose and ear hairs farther still. Through a curtain of wavy black locks, he stared at himself in the mirror, shaking his head in disgust. “Dreadlocks are one thing, but this? I look like a girl—a human girl with this head of hair!” he said through gritted teeth. “How is this even possible?” He shuddered when he thought back over the past forty-eight hours. “The GodStorm . . . it did this to me,” he whispered, as if to speak of it louder might summon the magical anomaly. He recalled the stories he’d been told in his youth of Deamond, Ariam, Lorel, Vomix and other gods who were swept up in the storm, lost forever, their spirits becoming one with the storm. He shuddered again.
And another . . .
The magic-spawned GodStorm first appeared in the Audrysi system more than two centuries ago. Since then, it had resurfaced numerous times across the Pantara Galaxy. Hundreds of ships and humanus space mechs had been disabled by the arcane storm. Dozens had gone missing and some of them had still not been found.
— excerpted from The Shadow Reaper
As for The Shadow Reaper, in that blended-genre (fantasy/sci-fi/horror) novel some of the GodStorm’s effects are not only far more serious than confetti, they are permanent, and even scary. But you’ll have to wait a few months to read that book to find out. Fun, scary, cool stuff, I promise! It has also been edited to death (In addition to the 14 drafts I went through—more than any other story I’ve ever written, and I think you’re gonna love it!)
I think you’ll be pretty fond of Toonaria, too, when I start publishing that line of books and games. Anyway, that’s all for today. I’m sure you’ll hear more about the GodStorm and Toonaria before long (If you can’t wait for more on the GodStorm, start with Arcane Synthesis!)
Comments? Questions? I’m all ears. Till next week, remember that every day’s a gift! Have an awesome weekend, friends—cheers!