The Broken Apotheosis
Summary: The last free city faces extermination at the hands of an enslaving empire, but this is only the beginning of the war. The scions of a broken god descend upon the nations of the world and beyond, calling forth fantastic machines, forgotten magic, and eldritch beings to seize godhood.
On Waves of Grass
Pyreweed grew on the steppes of a distant land, using fire to protect and propagate itself. It was a small grassy plant at first glance, with several wooden stalks in the center of it. The nomad grassland tribes learned it symbolized rich soil, and soon saw why. Pyreweed was enough to capture the imagination of an entire generation of mythmakers and shamans, who'd domesticate it in the centuries that followed.
Pyreweed generates reactive compounds in the base of each of its wooden stalks. While it looks dry, it is actually very resistant to fire. When it spreads out seeds, each of those stalks becomes a biological rocket. In the dry season, it launches its seed pods, often starting massive conflagrations across the prairies. These fires scour clean the rival grasses and scrub brush, giving pyreweed's seeds a nutrient, ash-filled soil to grow in. Their own resistance to fire is a given, ecological necessity.
By studying pyreweed, steppe shamans and early hunter-gatherers developed gunpowder and rocketry. While the Empire of Beinan was first to develop firearms, the proliferation of maggot-weave armor made such weapons largely impractical for war. Instead, warfare in Beinan developed along a vastly divert line to my own homeland and its forebears. The Protectorate, however, would soon receive a lesson as to which was superior.