Sometime after the origins of The Compact, an unknown but powerful force created a barrier against the influence of evil and entropy. The most likely candidate would seem to be Unagilis. However he did it, the effect was not only subtle enough to escape a major retaliatory Wyrm offensive against the city previous to the End Days, it was also powerful enough to nearly drive such contamination out completely after the Battle of Phoenix. Since 2003, Victoria has been virtually part of the Pure Lands again.
While surely the agents of the Wyrm would love to infiltrate this island of purity, in the years after their still-recent defeat, no major in-roads are visible. The waters surrounding Vancouver Island are deeply contaminated, and writhe with absurd and ineffectual malevolence. Other than the faintest hints from the darkest and cruelest of Victoria’s natives, within the margins of the coast, the island is clean.
Since that time, there has been a gradually rising pitch of Wyldness in the city. For some years, psychologists and epidemiologists have noted that the incidence of mental illness is disproportionately high within the city. While suicide rates are significantly below the national average, the rate of those experiencing schizophrenia-type delusions and full visual and auditory hallucinations is extraordinarily high – presently estimated at 1 in 20. While a majority of these individuals continue to work, go to school, and raise families, an awfully visible minority have taken permanently to the streets to witness what they claim is a never-ending procession of supernatural wonders.
Those “in-the-know” suspect that many of their visions are on some level real – not delusional. Strange things do walk the streets of Victoria.
In the past twelve months, there has been a striking rise in human fertility rates. Initially this was believed to be something akin to a post-war “baby boom,” in response to the horror to be seen elsewhere on earth. With each passing month that has seemed less likely. Since mid-summer 2010, well-substantiated reports have been disseminated via city media that women are giving birth in a fraction of the time expected (weeks or days, not months), and that some of them had not experienced sexual intercourse to begin the pregnancy – even a few virgin births. Finally, some of the births have been monstrous – a common example being children born with glowing eyes, the stubs of antlers, and layers of fine, soft leaves.
That being said, the infant mortality rate has dropped to zero. The city’s inhabitants report a fierce and nearly constant joy rather than despair or horror.
Although few people in these times have taken the time to hike, a few adventurous souls report that Gowlland Tod Park is teeming with life as no one has seen before. Sightings of a giant Mushroom Forest have been made. Herds of caribou and deer have wandered out of the part and into the city, and thousands of birds teem in the skies. Shoal Harbor Bird Sanctuary’s population has swollen to insupportable numbers. Inhuman things like the Horned Man and the The Murmuration have shambled into the community… only to be welcomed.