Beyond the Cataclysm

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Not many people know to this day that the second Null, the event that once more reshaped and irreparably changed our universe, was brought about by a single mortal man. That man's name was originally Zarkand Alistaire.

A minor psionic individual, whose level of strength could hardly be considered comparable to the powered heroes of the world, Zarkand was primarily a scientist. While not able to compete on par with the other powered denizens of the world, Alistaire had a deep understanding of his psionic ability, and possessed many cunning and useful skills. His primary skill, one that allowed him to live on throughout the ages and enact his plans, was that of transferring his consciousness from body to body.

Fascinated by the Null necklaces that some select people wore, Alistaire appropriated several of them throughout the ages. With enough of the crystals, the scientist was able to discern what once was. Incensed with becoming a god. Alistaire hatched his master plan.

The Machine Apotheosis

The Cathedral of Gears had once been the center of political power of the desolate continent and country of Alaris. However, after the events of the Sundering, the politically central dome lost its power and its symbolic status. Ever since then, rival dome cities -- such as Arsineh and Ralesk -- had fought for control of such an important site. However, it was not until the awakening of the sentient and incredibly powerful God Gear, Mother, that things took a turn for the worst. Not many knew this, but Zarkand Alistaire's genius was what spawned the awakening of Mother.

The sentient machine quickly spread its influence across Alaris, opening up various channels of communication, suddenly sparking transmissions from Alaris all throughout the world. The dome councils of each city were hard pressed to put down what had once been an all-encompassing iron silence, as machine cults, resistance fighters, and black marketers reached out to every available corner of the planet. These transmissions, coupled with Mother's influence leading to an attack on East City by transformed mechanical horrors, sparked an interest in Alaris as a whole.

Many heroes from Cardinal decided to join with the largest rebel group in the nation, Shatterstorm, to investigate the cause of the attack on East City. Throughout their exploits, they made enemies and allies, and discovered the truth behind Mother. After a titanic battle in the Cathedral of Gears, Mother was thought to have been obliterated... when in truth her true consciousness had escaped.

Prison Island No More

In an effort to distract the more powerful heroes of Cardinal, as well as to strain the friendly relations between such a nation and the homeworld of the Shen'Ihr, Alistaire ordered Mother to stage a massive breakout from Prison Island. Being an installation much powered by technology, especially Alaran technology, it was not too difficult for the powerful God Gear to wear down its defenses and allow the superpowered criminals to escape.

Many of the island's denizens united under the banner of one of their criminal comrades, a God Gear planted by Mother herself. Cardinal was thrown into a total state of disarray, as the God Gear led the powered criminals on a bloody and violent spree across the five cities. They eventually managed to appropriate themselves of several of the spaceships from Cardinal's budding space fleet, going into orbit and threatening to bombard the five cities of Cardinal should their demands not be met.

Through a daring counteroffensive staged by Cardinal's heroes, the ships were boarded and disabled, and the surviving criminals were taken into custody.

The D'hennexian Wars

While Cardinal was besieged by the escapees, D'hennex faced its own perils.

Amidst the ruins of Fel Nobel, a terrible coalition between Alaran technology and necromantic energies was being formed. A single city born of an alliance between Mother and a Kalar, named the Iron Hand, was constructed at the very center of Fel Nobel. The city was protected by a powerful cloaking device, and possessed two other devises which spelled doom for the people of the southern continent.

The first was a waveform emitter, capable of broadcasting a single yet powerful mental impulse to several key points across the continent. The impulse was war. Instantly, countries in D'hennex turned on each other, sparking an all out continental war between the human lands. Westphalia, the Demosthene Ascendancy, and An-Yneaith finally banded together to summarily burn down the Jungles of Ka. The rest of the human lands were shocked by such an act, and hastily banded together to launch their own counteroffensives. However, the precarious alliance soon shattered as well, until a free for all between all of the human territories began.

The second device within the walls of the Iron Hand was active all throughout the war. A device that collected all of the latent energies expended by said war, stored within the Iron Hand's central palace. Eventually this energy was traced, and a hasty siege against the magical/technological city began. The Kalar's forces, bolstered by Mother's technology, offered a stubborn and nearly impenetrable defense. Eventually, however, the undead fell. Mother and the stored energy were once more able to escape.

The Return of Oujakuma

Finally, Alistaire's pieces were set. Mother gathered all of her available forces at the Devil's Throne, where Alistaire built his power base. Using the massive energy gathered from the D'hennexian wars, the human pierced the veil of space/time, until finally he located that which he sought: Oujakuma's corpse. Bringing it to our reality, he then revealed his master plan: that of using the reality eater's corpse as a tuning instrument, to trigger a new Null. To create his perfect universe with himself as its god. To create such a perfect universe, Mother's omniscient calculations were necessary, thus achieving her true purpose by her father's side.

This discovery almost came too late, as Earth's heroes staged a desperate attack against Alistaire and Mother's forces. The Null was suddenly triggered, just as Alistaire was slain and Mother destroyed, altering their plans at the last moment. The universe was saved from the whims of the madman, though it had also been changed...