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 Ascension: Interrupted
During this era, the Nod suffers a catastrophic defeat at the hands of the Templar, and a method to reverse the growth of Tiberium is discovered.
During the mission to retreive the second fragment of the Tacitus, the Knights' Templar, an army for the god of retribution, took its revenge for alleged murders at the Genesis Pit, and for the assassinations after KT-NW 1. Once they had killed the Nod members, the knights then fought their way through the jungles of Madagai. The knights discovered the natives of Madagai had begun worshipping the Tacitus shard and Tiberium. The knights killed many of the heretics, and they barely managed to flee with the Tacitus shard. However, the trip through the jungle took months, during which other major events took place.
 Firestorm Crisis
Closed-Circuit Magical Containment Devices had been in use before 1420, but the devices were revolutionized when Empire scientists had finally discovered the technique of adding Permanency to the devices, without the use of exorbitant personal power (experience). Enchanting CCMCDs with permanence, while incredibly costly, finally convinced many to create a wide range of spells for the devices. The most common CCMCD was the Recieve/Send, which allowed users to send and recieve messages, despite any intervening Tiberium radiation. The Knights' Templar and Brotherhood of Nod also developed weaponized CCMCDs, despite promises to the contrary.
The Nod, however, had put most of their research into something altogether unheard of on Vasuda. In the desert temple of Firestorm, they combined Permanency, Awaken, and a variety of spells developed to increase mental abilities, and activated the CCMCD. The result was a self-aware, intelligent construct. Dubbed "Cabal" (pronounced "KUH-ball"), this construct was kept a secret from the rest of the world, for fear the knights' would deem the groundbreaking discovery as heresy, usurping the power only the gods should have. The Nod also created a series of automatons, which were controlled by the sedentary Cabal.
Cabal proved incredibly competent at military strategy and Tiberium research. Only a few researchers ever noticed the construct's growing apathy towards organic, sentient beings, considering itself superior to them. Brotherhood scientists were surprised when Cabal had begun asking for live human specimens to experiment with. While they were concerned, the brothers had no idea of the hatred Cabal harbored for "sentients". It veiwed the scientists as holding it back, preventing it from achieving truly revolutionary work. In 1421, nearing the aniversary of its creation, Cabal had begun planning to eliminate the inferior creatures which held it back. Cabal requested permission to redesign the defenses of the Temple, and to increase the numbers of his automatons. The Brotherhood's Inner Circle personally considered the request, and were delighted with Cabal's initiative, and willingness to help, and granted its request.
On the anniversary of Cabal's creation, in August 1421 KTR, it began its war against humanity. The automatons, armed with advanced Pital and experimental CCMCD weaponry, made short work of the outpost's organic inhabitants. The Nod tried to keep the situation quiet, and deal with it themselves. However, the Brotherhood's attempts to stop Cabal were thwarted, and the strike team barely managed to escape. Seeing no other option, the Brotherhood reluctantly approached the Templar, asking for help to stop Cabal. The Church, as expected, was furious that the Brotherhood had been trying usurp power they felt belonged solely to the gods. The Church was convinced that Cabal had been turned against the Nod by divine influence, as punishment. The Church debated whether or not the Nod deserved any help.
As the upper echelons decided on their course of action, Cabal began spreading out. It struck out at Rome, and was barely held back, then sent forces into other Nod outposts of the Nod desert, acquiring important bases and resources. Finally, Cabal began attacking churches of Saint Cuthbert. This convinced the Church to deal destroy the monstrosity. The Templar began arming soldiers, and manuevered to attack Cabal's core at the Firestorm base.
The Templar was faced with another proof of Cabal's "demonic" depravity: it had begun turning corpses into constructs under its command. The Templar took incredible losses, and was forced to retreat. Together, the Templar and Nod began synchronizing attacks, drawing Cabal's monstrosities and automatons into more precarious defensive positions. The Black Hand sent Shadow teams to sabatoge Cabal's construction sites, while the Steel Talons rescued hostages and defended areas which were hard to reach. All the while, Cabal developed more types of automatons.
After two months of near stale-mate, the Templar and Nod began receding from the areas near Rome. The plan was to lure Cabal into a hasty assault of Rome, the source of most Vasudan's food. Cabal took the bait, and sent a massive invasion to the city. The Steel Talons and most of the Templar defended Rome, while the Nod's forces protected most other areas. As Cabal's forces were engaged in Rome, the Black Hand's Shadow Teams snuck towards the Firestorm base. While many sucumbed to the core's defenders, a small team mananged to disable Cabal, stopping its reign of terror. Unbeknownst to the Templar, the team salvaged the core CCMCD of Cabal, rather than destroying it. The Nod began reworking Cabal, trying to learn why it turned on them.
Over the course of the Firestorm Crisis, thousands of lives were lost, and millions of gold pieces worth of damage was done. In the meantime, Tiberium had made gains in areas the Templar had been defending.
 Knights' Templar - Nod War 2
Days after the end of the Firestorm Crisis, the Knights who had been sent to retrieve the Tacitus emerged from the jungles of Madagai. The Church took the Tacitus over the Brotherhood's protests. Tensions finally reached the breaking point, with Knights and Brothers fighting throughout Vasuda. Over the next two years, the Templar and Nod fought a vicious war, neither side showing mercy. The Nod were outmatched by the Templar's superior numbers (the Nod had been heavily targeted during the Firestorm Crisis), and while their CCMCD technology was better, it wasn't enough. Slowly but surely, the Templar was gaining ground. The Inner Circle saw the writing on the wall, and went into hiding in Czechoslovakia, along with their closest subordinates. However, the Order of the Stars was able to divine the plot, and stopped what they believed was the entire circle. They had only killed several of the lowest ranking members, while the most important (Anton Slavik, Abbot Costello and others) escaped unnoticed by another route.
At the end of the war, the Brotherhood of Nod was in ruins and the Empire of Lenin was in tatters. The Church of Saint Cuthbert remained as the only organized group, and people flocked to it.
 DM's Notes
1. Corpses turned into constructs?
- Think "Cyborgs". I did this to help increase the enmity between the Nod and Church, show that Cabal cared nothing at all for sentients and to give the players a new challenge.
2. Shadow Teams?
- Extremely specialized members of the Black Hand, these saboteurs silently inflitrate bases to demolish or steal important documents.
3. Wait! The Templar was the popular group!?!? Not the Nod?
- Yes. Remember, the Church was around long before the Brotherhood revealed itself. Furthermore, anyone who used magic (sorcerers, wizards, clerics, etc.) had a vested interest in the destruction of Tiberium.
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