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Below is the epilogue of The Fog LARP’s 2023 installment – Defiance.

This is a short recap of the player decisions made during the game’s main questlines followed some of their consequences and will from now on be a part of The Fog’s canon.

Additional information on the states’ standing in the success rate ranking list will be published on the Economic Game subpage.

Тwo years ago, The Tenebran Empire – an ancient remnant of the old Emperor Jarn’s millennial state – conquered all the nations of our world in a blitzkrieg. Tenebria was revived by the last members of the original Imperial Order of the Seventh Path – known as “the Black Masks” – elite soldiers who traded their humanity for anti-magic powers.

The first appearance of Tenebrans in our lands dates back to 2019 when а small vanguard unit completed a reconnaissance mission as preparation for future invasion. The plans for the latter were put on hold due to the cataclysm caused by the meteorite. However, the Tenebran empire recovered much faster and became ready to strike.

The Tenebran forces consisted of highly motivated, well trained, and perfectly organised “normal” soldiers, led by relentless superhuman Black Mask officers. Their invasion plan was executed swiftly and efficiently and in less than a month all nations in our lands fell. Numerous acts of heroism were committed by the defenders, later sung in songs. Acts that saved many civilian lives, as well as the lives of the former nation leaders, and sowed the seeds of the Resistance. 

The core pillar of Tenebran ideology and main principle of rule was efficiency. Thus the Tenebran oppression was not characterised by mindless cruelty, pillaging and terror, but in a sense was even more terrifying with its dehumanising, result oriented approach prioritising meeting quotas as the highest goal. Initial decimation of surrendered armed forces, further civil curfews, prohibition, division of labour and strict working regime, combined with disproportionately  severe punishments for minor offences, made for a better economy and unhappier people. In two years the Resistance movement managed to rally, unite and start organising an insurrection. 

In 2025 A.E. representatives of all conquered nations gathered in Belitsa under the false pretext of honouring the memory of the fallen in local wars before the invasion. The event was sanctioned by the authorities as it was regarded as an opportunity to demonstrate the many advantages of the new regime. The true purpose of the Resistance was to finalise the preparations for the rebellion, elect a leader to coordinate it, and assemble a new weapon that could kill permanently while penetrating the protective force fields all the Tenebran Governors and other high officials had.

The gathering was a success in spite of the Tenebran forces’ supervision. The local Governor was a retired veteran cast away to rule with limited resources over a generally docile province – whether as a reward or as a punishment was hard to tell in the context of the indecipherable plots within the Tenebran imperial court. And in general it would seem that Tenebria made a fatal mistake by underestimating the conquered nations’ capacity to unite for a cause. 

As it was a time of change. Previously disinclined to cooperate, if not unappeasable enemies, the conquered nations showed an unprecedented motivation and ability to compromise. The election was held and a single leader nation wаs chosen as the most suitable to lead the entire rebellion effort. It was unexpected but well-founded and earned that the small, independent, and generally well received nation of the Sea Wolves managed to win general overwhelming support. 

The weapon was also successfully made. It was a leap of faith to follow the steps of an ancient legend telling the story of a Master Craftsman who wanted to create an all-powerful weapon to end all wars. A weapon that could penetrate anything and cause irreversible death by small lead projectiles cast with great energy produced in a small explosion. Reenacting the Master’s experiences with the challenges posed to him by the God of Death himself the Resistance fighters managed to recreate the weapon.

The Governor of Belitsa was killed. The rebellion was launched.

The new weapon was given to a special international group that became known as the “Flying Squad”. It successfully took down about a dozen governors, throwing the regular Tenebran forces into disarray. The Resistance radical wing was given general command of the rebel militias and launched a coordinated battle effort to drive out the invaders.

The Empire sent reinforcements. The allied forces shoulder to shoulder made a stand and this time managed to push them back. They did it with good old-fashioned steel, as the attempts to replicate the new weapon proved unsuccessful, temporarily alleviating fears of mass production. There was no reaction from any gods either.

After the victory, in all major cities and small towns, among which Plovdiv, Vidin, Sofia, Pyrgos, Novigrak, Dobrich, and even Razgrad, people organised festivals and reenactments of the Belitsa commemoration. There, a distinguished youth would be carried on a shield by their peers yelling  “Down with the empire!” and “People love me!”, whilst the rest would run around shouting the names of various towns – though mostly of their own. It was a reign of sheer mayhem and utmost inefficiency that always went together with freedom.

If someone would go and ask people around about their opinion on what changed the tide against the Tenebran Empire, the universal answer would be that it was the weapon. In reality, it was the shared thirst for freedom that was the actual game changer.