The Gift, Part 4

Steven Bergom

An excerpt from Being a History of the World After the Gifting.

It should not as a surprise to anyone that the racial climate after the Gifting became far more complex. Where before we had only to contend with skin color and minor racial types we must now embrace whole new species of sentient beings. They are creatures of myth and legend, nightmare and fantasy. They bring a whole new texture to the fabric of life and they help to define who we are today.

While there are many more creatures that came into existence at the time of the Gifting this text cannot detail them all. See the appendix for a list of recommended bestiaries.


Though not an actual species mages, sorcerers and other magic-workers are rare enough to warrant a special section. They are ranked in three tiers, both of skill needed for their position and in the relative numbers they provide. They are listed here in order of least common to most numerous.

Sorcerers have little facility with actually using magic. Like their theoretical physicist progenitors they seek to understand the workings of magic and provide more insight into how the magical forces of the universe play to make us who we are today.

The second tier of magic workers are the mages. Before being granted their abilities they were engineers and master craftsmen. Master gardeners, for example, became life mages. Geologists and vulcanologists found new expertise with working the earth. Aeronautical engineers became weather mages and a small group of computer researchers and technicians became what are now know as technomages, working electrons and such to a far greater degree than any other manufacturing process could hope to compete with.

Finally there are the common magic-worker. They make wards and repellents. They bless buildings and provide healing. They do the almost mundane tasks but they should never be taken for granted because they have becom as indispensible to the community as the grocer and blacksmiths of yore.


Trollocs are small-statured creatures standing between four and six feet in height. They have humanoid bodies and fierce-looking faces resembling those of vultures, boars jackals and snakes. While having no discernable intelligence they attack settlements with blind viciousness and a brutal ruthlessness that has kept scholars and tacticions wondering at who controls them.

Their name comes from a series of fiction novels written in the latter half of the twentieth century by an author name Robert Jordan. While his mythical 'trollocs' bear some resemblances to these mindless creatures we cannot say for certain who it was that named them, and Mr. Jordan has never been found to give comment.

After the change it was discovered that more than half of the Earth's population had disappeared. These were, for the most part, beaurocrats, papparazi, Microsoft employees and other assorted hangers-on that did little to advance the general welfare of the world. While no positive correlation exists between the disappearance of this population segment and the continued appearance of trollocs, myth and rumor still persists.


The elders are ghost-like beings who at one time were normal craftsmen and artisans. The Gifting bestowed upon them such ethereal qualities as wisdom, prescience and translusence. Indeed, it is usually one's initial reaction to treat an elder as a ghost, but they eat and interact with the general population as normal.

Following the Gifting it was usually an informal grouping of elders that provided leadership when the populace knew only to panic. Afterwards no one saw reason to dispute their continued rule as they ruled justly and serenely. Their numbers are few and are proportional to the size of the communities they inhabit but they are, so far, impervious to physical harm.


The most common of changes to happen after the Gifting have been the weres. Humans from all walks of life were chosen to become idealized versions of themseleves — healthier, stronger and smarter — and also given the ability to change into an anthropomorphic version of a totem animal including wolf, tiger and horse. Transformation is usually triggered by adrenaline or extreme emotions.

Because of their general strength and imperviousness they are often employed by the cities in which they live to defend from trolloc attacks. Paired with a vortex they can and do protect communities of sometimes hundereds of square miles.


Of the many costs of the Gifting it is agreed upon far and wide that the most debilitating was the loss of petroleum-based combustion. While inroads had been made with alternative fuels, the loss of gasoline brought industry almost to a halt. This was offset, however, by the appearance of Transportation Vortexes.

Transportation Vortexes are human-like creatures who carrying with them a section of folded space known as a vortex. One only need enter the vortex through his torso; there they are held in stasis until the vortex has moved to their final destination and released them. This is an excellent form of long-distance travel, but a vortex can only go where they have previously visited and their capacity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance that they travel.

The genesis of the vortexes is still unknown. While they maintain a human head, hands and feet, their torso is completely replaced with the phenomenon that lends them their name. They normally cover themselves from neck to foot with robes only opening them when they have passengers to carry. They cannot remember their pasts from before the Gifting and no one can recall knowing them, though they are sure that their existence extends beyond the boundaries of the dragon's death.


The un-named dragon who bestowed upon us the Gift was the only dragon.