...the year 2000 has passed

A string of events which has had any potential to shatter the Tellurian was prevented from completion just in time, by the right combination of forces and sheer coincidence alone...

Looking back on it with fresh memories makes it seem like the inevitable has only been delayed.
One thing is clear to all: The balance has been shifted towards an even more precarious condition.
Some have emerged more powerful than before.
Others were thrust even deeper into their hubris or their corruption

When the millennium drew nearer, all factions in the Ascension War prepared for the event: Cultists of Extasy were gathering people for millennium raves and eclipse parties; the Dreamspeakers allied with them drawing the more mystically inclined to the sacred places of the Spirits like Ayer's Rock or the Apache Mountains.
Meanwhile, the Chantries of the Celestial Chorus reverberated with the voices of their choirs praising the 2000th year after the last incarnation of the One.
The Euthanatos, however, knew that dates with such significance are often portents of the passing on of relatives, friends or loved ones. In the wake of the eclipse - so it was said - the Euthanathos death mages would have a harvest of souls to send back into the wheel that would be greater than everything the world has known before in times of peace.
While the Order of Hermes recognized the immense power of a celestial phenomenon like a solar eclipse and would not let the opportunity pass to evoke the most powerful effects from such an occurence, the Verbena saw the sun hide her light to remind the people on earth of her power over all their lives. Most of the Akashic Brotherhood remained calm and composed in the face of such events, many went on pilgrimages into the deeper and uncharted regions of the Himalaya for obscure reasons, though.
The Sons of Ether almost destroyed themselves in a bitter scientfic argument over the claim made by the young talent Jonah Fennymore. This prodigious young man had said that the solar eclipse was his work alone, but he had intended for it to occur exactly at 12:00 GMT on New Years Day. Most of those supporting the obviously preposterous claim by Fennymore were doing it for the sake of crossing the Void Engineers' plan to enforce their version of space and the universe even more by gathering "important scientific facts" from the eclipse phenomenon. What nobody - not even most within the Technocracy itself - realized, was that the Void Engineers were actually facing another threat: Up to this day it is rumoured that the Nephandi had somehow found a way to create a global eclipse. The vulgarity would result in a backlash that could have seriously damaged everything the Void Engineers had been working on - and not only that: With Eschatologists and Death Cults as an army of tempters and corruptors, mass suicide, insane killing rampages and a whole spectrum of other obscenities would have been the fate of the masses.
Speaking of insanity. Never before has there been a record of so many Marauders appearing and newly awakening.
It was as if for some the limit was reached. Random Marauder awakenings among the masses ocurred. During the minutes of the eclipse, reality seemed to become malleable all of a sudden and the gauntlet was more like a thin veil during those historical moments. All attempts of the Ivory Tower Scientists to write the spread of madness off as irrational behaviour due to the disturbing psychological effects of the eclipse didn't help much. Confluxes appeared out of nowhere and began rending the tapestry everywhere. With their almost obsessive efficiency the rest of the NWO managed to prevent the worst though. Together with the Syndicate they covered up what they could, lulled the masses, diverted attention and recklessly hunted down every reality criminal they could locate. During the few days around the eclipse, the Pogrom was at full force and the shock troops of Iteration-X moved out to enter the battle for reality once again.
Of all Technocracy Conventions, Iteration-X came out worst. Their Ciphers, HIT-Marks and Armatures had to bear the brunt of the fight. Not only in this reality, also in the neon reaches of the Digital Web. There a fanatic battle was fought between the minions of the Computer and the Virtual Adepts who were blamed for the insiduous Y2K bug. The fact that their Trinary Computers where immune was all the incriminating evidence the Clockwork Convention needed. The Syndicate supported them with a massive software- and hardware-marketing campaign , and Iteration-X moved out, determined to drive the Virtual Adepts off the Web once an for all ... they had to find out that they were outmatched. With an unexpected level of skill and effectiveness the Virtual Adepts fought off Iteration-X attacks.
The battle grew more and more fervent, and then the Whiteout struck. Nobody really knows what caused it.
Some say the battles and skirmishes fought with powerful Procedures and the heaviest Iron were just too much for the Web to sustain. Others think that the large number of networks going offline for security reasons caused a momentary weakness in the Digital Web's structure. There are even some people who believe that the Syndicate and the NWO intentionally created the Y2K bug to give their Iteration-X collegues something to fight and die for.
Whatever the reason was, the three seconds offline time was the single most catastrophic event ever happening on the Web. After that the war ended, many of the Clockwork Convention were left dead or with severe braindamage. Outside the Digital Web, Iteration-X - with it's infamously blatant methods - ran into many Nephandi and Marauder warparties. The death toll was staggering on both sides, yet the masses were shielded from the worst. Still, massive 'terrorist strikes' and 'retaliative peacekeeping interventions' were on the news constantly.

Over the first years after the millennium people grew more and more disenchanted with the blessings of modern technology. Even when they still accepted the new developments that flooded them at breakneck pace, many people saw that oppression and alienation comes with them. Many have looked to science for answers and found it incapable of giving them. Elitism and exploitation seemed to be the only things that came from what everyone called 'progress'.
Feeling insecure and uprooted in a cold scientific world that cannot provide them with the answers they were looking for, many people begin to turn back to ancient wisdom and lost traditions. The Council shattered during the hidden cataclysm that tore through the Horizon Realms and the covert circles of Mage society, many of the greatest masters were dead or gone after the destruction of Doissetep and the siege of Concordia, others were lost in the Whiteout. The wayward Traditions however found more followers than in a long time. Destroyed as a unified force, the Traditions are reborn from within themselves and expand into various directions with their own Paradigms. Thus stretching thin across the world in a mystical diaspora, the Traditions can no longer oppose the Technocracy and the Ascension war comes to a grinding stop ... or does it?

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and so the Technocracy has to face it's nemesis now that it's traditional enemy is beaten : Corruption within it's own ranks.
With the viciousness of wounded animals, some Iteration-X Comptrollers seek to eradicate every opponent and become the unwitting pawns of Nephandi feeding on the death and destruction they cause. Progenitors declare themselves detached from humanity and begin to think of themselves as final masters over health and sickness, life and death, until they become ensnared in the trap of their pride. The NWO and the Syndicate step out of line and act as if they wanted to intimidate, brainwash, disinform, condition and buy everyone into complete submission to their ways and protocols. Meanwhile the buerocrats in the NWO continued their slow erosion of efficiency and reason within the supposedly enlightened meritocracy and the ugly spectre of Wyrm tainted Pentex business is seeping through the cracks in the Syndicate's clean designer veneer.
Whether it was careful planning from unknown plotters, coincidence, luck or fate, nobody knows ... fact is, that the last massive battle in the Ascension war claimed the lives of many high ranking Technocrats ... some are rumoured not to have died though. Reports course around that tell of whole colonies succumbing to insanity or complete Constructs becoming dystopian prisons of technological horror that soon vanish from the Technocratic landscape.
A purge has begun, but is far from being completed. Every day it becomes more and more apparent that the forces of corruption have gained a strong foothold in this world as petty struggles were fought between the Technocracy and the Tradition Council
A new generation of Scientists, Operatives and Citizens steps up to take over what is left after the chaos.
Now the Technocracy is even more wary and cautious than ever before.
Syndicate and New World Order look like the winners of this round. The NWO still holds the most influential positions in the Union and set Protocol and the Paradigm. The Syndicate comes in a close second rank. Never before has the world revolved so much around markets and the economy, some say it's only a question of time before money is more important than protocol, and that the days of the NWO as the head of the Union are numbered. The Ivory Tower usually scoffs at such assumptions and individuals propagating such believes tend to vanish without explanation.
Yet, the Union as a whole seems to have become more idealistic again. With the direct threat of the supernatural more present than ever before, and many extreme propagators of the Pogrom out of the way, the long term goal - Ascension for the masses and protection from the supernatural forces - came into focus again. Still, corruption is eroding the ranks of the Syndicate and madness has taken many NWO field agents. The Void Engineers have become even more distanced and self-absorbed. Nobody really knows what exactly happened out there when 1999 turned into 2000 and throughout the years that followed. Incidentially most observers sent by the NWO have never returned from many of the more questionable missions and the Void Engineers themselves release only a few inconclusive figures on their losses. During all those times of struggle, they seem to have come up with a few startling new developments though, the most impressive being the new X2000 Qui La Machina that is capable of Deep Universe travel.
Rumours of Void-Engineers joining with Virtual Adepts during the War for Reality 2.0 are still whispered among both Technocrats and Traditions. Neither trust their respective collegues very much any more.

Many rents in the Gauntlet have been created by the Marauders and the Nephandi during the few days of heated skirmish, and the Pan Dimesional Corps has yet to locate them all. A host of strange apparitions has migrated into our world through those cracks in the walls of reality.
The Tradition Council is gone and so the Traditions are more discordant than before.
The forces of Corruption and Entropy seem to have gathered strength.
Yet the pace at which new technology is introduced into static reality is still increasing exponentially every day - very soon the world might wake up to a landscape of gittering glass spires patrolled by levitating vehicles and Iteration-X troopers in power armour.

The millenium is here, the board is cleared ...

OOC Background information

The background for this site deviates from the "official" WhiteWolf storyline where the turn of the century brought the awakening of an Antedeluvian Vampire. The Avatar Storm didn't happen (yet?), the Giovanni didn't shatter the barrier between this world and the Lower Umbra and there are no Imbued around (see Hunter:The Reckoning). Rather than that, the Gauntlet has been weakened in some ways, Marauders are now crossing the Gauntlet quite freely and Nephandi activity has increased considerably. For once the Technocracy is not so much occupied with the hunting of less dangerous Tradition Mages, but rather dedicates itself to the renewed necessity of banishing the Nephandi and the Marauders. The Project Invictus (See Technocracy: Syndicate and Guide to the Technocracy) is proceeding with fervor. All around the world, covert action plans unfold, pawns move into place and internal struggles are happening.
The events detailed in the Horizon War Trilogy did happen just like they are described in the story. The tipping of the scales of power caused by the Pattern Clone made the Technocracy review the way it is organizing itself. With an organization as large as that, this is a long and arduous task, and progress is slow. Everywhere power players are tightly holding on to their positions, and corrupted or just plain devious Technocrats feel a need to act in expectation of possibly being uncovered.
The I23 Construct portrayed here is designed to be a staging ground for Technocracy Chronicles or a location where the enemy has a center of activities if you're playing a Tradition Chronicle. Since every Convention has at least a detachment of personnel present at I23, all kinds of characters can be based there.