Disaster befalls the Great Library.
Sprawling utopias! An active community! A library with the most comprehensive, high-quality books sentient beings could provide! These were the things the people that called themselves Userpedians had once desired to have.
...And they still did, as its inhabitants sat in their tents-and-campfires affair, sitting in the shadows of the humongous Grand Mario Wiki Library, the most, well... ‘grand’ city for many miles around. The air was clean, the creatures of the region didn't harm the environment, and it showed; the region of Mikea was lush and green with foliage, a living wonder as no place looked quite as ‘perfect’ as its members thought it to be.
In a way, the people there were there because they were fed up with the Great Library’s policy: “No Fiction”. At the time of the Userpedians’ striking out on their own, it had gotten to such extremes that anyone circulating handwritten stories or information on their games were punished and the offending materials seized, for fear they “might get mixed up with the factual information”.
And so they had gone their separate ways, though it was not without sadness, friends separated, some not thinking they were ready for the outside world. But it was through perseverance that led them this far.
It is on a warm summer night, the last day of sheltered life that our story begins, the Userpedians taking the opportunity to sit back and relax, watch the stars, smell the roses... And separate from them, up on a nearby hill, were the Defenders, those who protected the community and its own collection of material from the animalistic, brutal creatures that sometimes preyed upon them. Sometimes, the Heroes of Userpedia would sit among them, relaying details of their guard shift, discussing fiction ideas.
It was only rarely that an attack would come upon the group, but the Defenders and Heroes operated well to dispatch them. But they had not had an attack for many weeks. Had the creatures that terrorized them finally left?
A party was thrown that night, and as many of the citizens danced and ate, some of them were in a separate group, sparring, training to become Defenders, while the Heroes and their leader watched nearby, taking interest. Wooden swords and shields clashed as warriors learned both the basics of offense and defense; Those wishing to defend from afar practiced with their bows and arrows, trying to hit practice targets; the resident monk showed those following his teachings about the arcane healing powers accessible to them; some, unmonitored, worked on their elemental abilities... Those who wished to defend their community, selflessly and with honor, did so among the eyes of existing Defenders, judging them silently.
While it was ironic that the Userpedians’ world would be shattered on a day of great celebration, it also turned out to be their saving; as without warning, the first meteors and flaming rocks of the Great Virus soon began to rain down upon the precious lands, sending dirt and debris into the air.
It was through the direction of the leader of the community, and his Heroes and Defenders, that saved them all. Though there was of course some panic, but while the devastation started around them, setting the grass and trees aflame, the Userpedians quickly packed up their tents and their things, glad they had seen well enough to bring a backpack each from the Great Library.
While some carried the tents, the Defenders held the area as best they could while the last two trainees, two of the stronger ones in their group, took up the task of carrying the heavy Fiction Vault, the heavy chest seemingly made of mahogany and enchanted with some ancient magics that kept the community’s output safe.
And as they left the area, the final people to leave their old site, still populated with things they had to leave behind, saw the unthinkable happen.
It was as if it happened in slow motion. A bright, massive light seemed to emanate from the clouds, a pure bright orange glow that came from the heavens.
And then it appeared, bursting through the clouds. It was a large flaming meteor, so bright the last Userpedians couldn't look at it directly.
One moment the Great Library was standing tall. The next it was unrecognisable, as the meteor had shattered and crushed the building like a tin can, quickly becoming buried under broken rock and flames.
The Userpedians just stood there, mouths agape. But they realized that they had to get out of here, lest they meet the same grisly fate. And so they quickly left their old home, carrying the chest with all their strength.
The group travelled for hours, as they tried to search for shelter with the firestorm erupting all about them. It seemed hopeless, as everything they had seen was burning, or crumbled or destroyed in some other fashion.
In desperation, an emergency council was called, with the refugees huddled in a cave they encountered as the sky began to fade (plumes of ash and smoke were quickly enveloping the sky, turning it an eerie red), away from the burning foliage, where eventually it was decided that they would have to seek new land, away from the dead wasteland their land would become.
But where? There was a nearby province, with people that could supply them with the materials to rebuild their homes, but it would require passing through to the snowy mountains separating Scribbalon from it. The trainees, and the expert Defenders and Heroes would need to take up their weapons and fight for the right to settle.
And so, that cave became their temporary base of operations while they took shelter and plotted for their escape, hoping for the hell to cease...