The Sundered Front:

The Sundered World During World War II

The source material (the Inklings) establishes the period of around World War II as a momentous time for the Sundered world. The Leaguer of the Moon was broken (1938), the Oyeresu appeared directly on Earth (1942), so that the downfall of Perelandra was thwarted (1943), a long-term scheme of aspiring Antichrist Simon le Clerk was thwarted (1945), as was the conquest of Earth, starting with Britain, by the N.I.C.E. (1948).

To these, we add the following lesser events, involving Cryptic Nations and other Sundered societies:

Cryptic nations are generally conservative and dependent on their host nations, so generally they took the hosts' parts in WWII. This meant trying to join forces with the Sunder Guards of their host nations. But since Sunder Guards have a strong tendency to be antagonistic to cryptics or to want to absorb them, this meant being very mysterious, using Sundered assets to spy on their own "allies." To a great extent, the members of Orders and Cryptics acted just like unSundered citizens of their host countries, though making use of their secret Sundered assets when possible.

Orders almost always backed the Allies; Cabals almost always backed the Axis; because, if it wasn't black vs. white, it was certainly dark gray vs. much lighter gray.

It should be noted that Old Christendom, cryptic survival of the Holy Roman Empire, did not back Nazi Germany, but joined Geroldseck, the German Order, against der Ahnenerbe, the German Cabal of the time.

For the Solaires of le Pays du Soliel, having France held by Germany is even less to their liking than the unsatisfactory status ante bellum. They spent the war negotiating with Grand Normandy to open the Fairveil passage so they can come help, but without success. They did slip a thin trickle of agents through to help the Allied effort and make fleeting alliances with various Sundered parties.

In the Western Theater, der Ahnenerbe had several Mad Science projects going, especially the Übersoldaten, Übermench soldiers constructed Frankenstein-wise using the best bits of the best men, with a head containing a well-washed brain. They had to be deployed quickly, so they were pretty much a combination of point-and-shoot and shellshock to the Nth. They needed to be managed by someone more normal, equipped with coercive powers, so "normal" meant wizards and could include some vampires and dark fays.

Der Ahnenerbe tried to insert the Übersoldaten into the mundane forces as special ops teams. In practice, they tended to be deployed alone because they didn't work well with normal people. This meant they were easier for Grand Normandy and allies to target.

Der Ahnenerbe then began upgrading the Übersoldaten by enchanting them, then giving them to demons to ride. A troop of such Unmen took out Modi son of Thor.

The Frankensteinian nature of the Übersoldaten together with the appearance of the new Grand Norman centaurs led to a rumor that Grand Normandy (or other parties) created centaurs by physically splicing men and horses.

There was also a eugenics program. The last products of this were born in 1944 and so are in their middle to late seventies by the 2020s. Most of them are pretty messed up, one way and another. The majority of them are Sundered and mages, enchanted, cursed, or both.

Many Allied Sundered groups worked to move Jews, Romany, and other endangered populations into hiding behind the Sundering or out of zone, but the nature of the Sundering meant such rescues could not be on a massive scale.

Outside the human sphere, most fays and other non-mortals lay low, but a few took an active role:

Western fays and old gods, led by Allfather Baldr, the Dagda, and Russia's Perrun (dubbed "the Three Kings of the Occident" by a contemporary Kerdean) fought the Frost Giants in long-running Wild Hunts for control of low-pressure zones. The Frost Giants, acting on old grudges and on mercenary payment from German occultists, sought to crowd cold and stormy weather over France and Britain. The Three Kings sought to keep the freeze over Russia, as a defense against German invasion. The Three Kings had the best of it overall, but the winter of 1941-1942 was still the coldest of the 20th century for Europe.

In Germany and nearby territories, the Erlking, leader of the Unseelie faction, did not actively side with the Nazis but was more than usually belligerent and territorial toward foreign supernaturals, especially Seelie, and took the opportunity of the war to expand his effective territory. Old Christendom tried to mitigate his effects with cautious diplomacy and espionage, but were only successful in the Dreaming.

Grand Normandy, the cryptic superpower, owes much of its success to good relations with its fay allies, and this came to the fore now. The Grand Norman Gremlin Brigade was formed and worked in close cooperation with Grand Normandy's Vanguard and Magery to throw the weight of technological luck the right way.

In the Eastern Theater, P'o-lu played with kaiju—kraken and urschleim—to take out Allied subs and ships. They were opposed by the Nine Auspicious Orders, with covert aid from the lung, the nagas, the Jade Emperor Yu Huang, and Amaterasu. National Sunder Guards and most Asian cryptics aligned with their host nations.

The aftermath of the War saw relations among cryptics and fay courts return to an approximation of ante bellum conditions, though the threat of nuclear war and the rise of mundane travel and communications, which tightened the Sundering, led to an increase in emigration out of zone.

The Order of Logres was hors de combat throughout the War, except for the individual efforts of Col. Michael Fisher-King, the surviving Pendragon. But after the War, Logres revived, played a key role in the destruction of the British Cabal, the N.I.C.E., and went on to lead an unprecedented period of international communication and cooperation between Orders.

The greatest change in the post-War Sundered world is the founding of the Sunset Empire, growing rapidly, now larger in population than Grand Normandy and trying to overtake it in power.

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Copyright © Earl Wajenberg, 2021