The forces of good and evil fought over ownership of the humans in secret. Free will was the currency they bled for. Temptations and feelings were the tools they employed. Sin and salvation was their goal. But having finished another ‘final battle’ in another demoralising draw, both parties agreed it was time their conflict should be brought into the open. Humans were too fickle and changeable to pick a side with only nudges this way and that way like leaves in the wind. So the invisible forces had to press the issue by giving up their invisibility.
Everywhere on planet earth, the heavens opened in a flash of light and hell tore its way up from the darkness below. Life as it had been would never return again. The century long ‘adjustment period’ which followed could only be described as pandemonium. Science was shunned in favour of religion, despite science working the same as ever before. Crusades became the new fashionable pastime as each individual sought to save their soul in the face of the apocalypse.
However, it wasn’t just God and his legion of angels, nor Satan with his army of pain. Thor was also riding across the sky, Shiva was sweeping away mountains and the nature spirits were reclaiming much of what humanity had taken with no small amount of glee.
The world’s old governments were long gone, washed away in the chaos. Instead each individual had to be won over by agents and representatives of the many recruiting factions of purity and depravity and everything in-between. These agents made offers to children as soon as they could speak for trivial things like candy. An adult who’s managed to hold onto neutrality was remarkably rare. Although frowned upon, sometimes parents would even pledge the allegiance of their children for the right price.
Many rallied themselves behind the forces of ‘good’ but a surprising amount were persuaded by the offers of the more dubious. Even hell. Hell made some very tempting offers and rarely asked for souls like in the stories. Their member count only ever seemed to be on a steady incline as they promised wealth and fame and good-looks only for your name on a dotted line. An unchanged human was also a rarity. Wings, talent, love and more where all planted artificially into the bodies of mortals. The price varied but there was little you couldn’t have if you were careful and shopped around.
The different otherworldly powers lost their zeal for war as they instead settled into a slow race to accumulate followers. Some would say insidious. Most would say normal.