After the disastrous flooding of Zeeland and the ensuing evacuations in 2012, survivor and support groups started popping up like mushrooms after rain. One of the oldest surviving groups, and one of the most conservative ones, is the Zeeland Survivor Community or Zeeland Community, also known as Zee-C. It is a community that draws its strength from close neighbourly contact and a strict Christian faith.
The Zeeland Community describes itself as a community of men and women of God, displaced from their homes and seeking only peace and a place to live and all that is right in the world. Unfortunately, this does not include the acceptance of those who do not agree with their ways of thinking.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that from the Zeeland Community spring the highly illegal Troll Hunting Club. It is an open secret within the Community, and a hushed-up secret outside. As trolls are seen as perversions of nature, and thus in leage with the devil, the general consensus within the Community is that they deserve to be treated like animals and abominations. After all, they surely must have done something awful for the protection of God to be withheld from them.
A slightly more legal, although recently once again hotly debated, offshoot of the Zeeland Community is the Emergis centre for de-troglodysation and rehabilitation. Formerly a mental health institute, following the Awakening and emergence of the highly racist and religious Zeeland Community, it turned its attention towards those affected physically by the changing world, especially that new race which resembled most closely the Christian ideal of evil; trolls. The Emergis centre specialises on “returning the purity of creation” to those affected by their troll genetics, although they have always refused to make their success rates public. The Zeeland Community, vouches for their good work, but given their association with the hunting and lynching of those who do not remain true to their standards, this is dubious at best.
Location: Nagele is east of Urk, in the Zuiderzee
The Zuiderzee in the middle ages was a different creature than it is now, or was even a hundred yearrs ago. Changing water levels turned long, large islands into a string of smaller ones, including Urk, Nagele and Schokland. In more recent years, extensive reclaiming of land has turned these areas into polders, and more recent still disastrous flooding has reclaimed this land again, to the sea.
Nagele was a seperate and inhabited island roughly between the fifth century and the thirteenth century. Beyond the thirteenth century the only reference to Nagele (until it was turned into polderland) is of “de Nagel”, a stony shallows where nets were reported shredded and strange things were fished up, including a church altar. The area was also called the graveyard of Urk.
Nagele was a good and god-fearing community, tough, like all those that lived so close to the unpredictable sea. They built in stone, including their church, which the citizens of Nagele consecrated to the Virgin Mary. One day, a white stone statue washed ashore. Recognising it as Mary, they placed it in their church. For a while it seemed a blessed island. The worst storms would blow over, and while there was always flooding, it never reached the buildings around the church, where the land was highest.
Some people, however, felt envy. Especially those who lived farther from the church, who were perhaps not quite so loyal to the faith of the Virgin. These people disliked the statue, and called the other islanders blind, for the Virgin was not praying, she was weeping. They were tempted by the dark powers of the seas, and in the dark of night, they made their plans to unseat Nagele’s silent queen.
When the moon was dark, they crept up the island and to the church. Like the sea, however, they could not climb the slope. Every step they took landed in mud, sliding them back in their tracks. Every step forward was a step into a wall of freezing fog, heavy on the shoulders and blinding to the eyes.
It was then that a young man called down from the top of the hill. He asked the conspirators what they were doing and they said; “We are freeing this island from its evil influence, to give it back to its rightful master.” The man asked them who their master was and they answered: “Our master is that which lies beneath.” The man asked them what their reward would be and, as one, they answered: “Nothing at all but the light of knowledge in our eyes and our darkest desires. And this will be yours if you help us.”
The young man was tempted. He opened the doors of the church and as the light came streaming down from the altar, the conspirators were freed from the mists. They ran up the hill and torn down the statue. Immediately, a violent storm rose on all sides, and rain poured down on Nagele.
The island was drowned in a single night, but some of its inhabitants survived. Where the village and the church had been, nothing remained but rocks and steeples, sharps points tearing the nets of fishermen who dares sail the cursed water.
But that, of course, is only a legend.
Around the events of the awakening, what has been predicted by many has finally come true. The Netherlands were hit by successive flooding, leading to the current state of the country where almost a fifth of what was land at the start of the 21st century is submerged, partly submerged or flooded with pollution.
An overview of the major flooding events of the 21st century:
Flash Floodings of 2003
A series of flash floods washed the first major wave of pollutants onto the Dutch shores. In terms of casualties and property damage, this was the mildest episode of floods.
The Black Tide, February 2011
In the first week of February 2011, an abnormally powerful hurricane struck the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Part of the Dutch annd Belgian coastline was flooded. Although the Deltawerken held, it was only barely. They were damaged extensively and the Afsluitdijk in the north was even worse off.
It took months to regain some form of order, and it soon became obvious that in many places the water would not be retreating without drastic measures. This uncluded much of Flevoland , Friesland and part of Noord-Holland. Wherever the water had gone, it had left behind a devastating amount of toxic black sludge. Efforts to purify these areas, especially in the north, are still running, with moderate to disappointing results.
The White Tide or Storm Tide, January 2012
On the heels of the Black Tide, not even a year after the disaster and before any serious efforts of rebuilding had even begun, a second flood hit the Netherlands. This storm surge in combination with a spring tide, comparable to the disaster in 1953, hit Netherland’s already damaged defenses with devastating results.
The Deltawerken finally succumbed and Zeeland was surrendered to the water. In the north, parts of Friesland were hit again and despite the struggle to reclaim Flevoland after the Black Tide, the White Tide finally reclaimed all the land, apart from some isolated islands and the village of Urk, which had been reinforced by its rather paranoid inhabitants.
After evacuations following the toxic Black Tide, casualties were relatively low, but property damage was significant, and the successive floodings were a hard blow to the economy. The one advantage the White Tide had over the Black Tide was the relative cleanness of the water this time around. Although it did not clean away earlier pollution, it did not add much either.
Name: Witte Wieven
Species: Astral beings bound to the land
Area: Former Drenthe and Overrijssel, now Triënte
The Witte Wieven (white women) have long been myth in the Netherlands, but with the Awakening and the ensuing changes to the world, they have returned.
The first sightings in 2012 concerned wraithly white apparitions over the local Hunebedden, the ancient stone tombs of the Netherlands. Sightings increased as the land changed, cultivated land irrevocably regressing into marsh and bog, trees growing at abnormal rates, in several cases through concrete walls or houses. As people grew increasingly uncomfortable with what many felt were ghosts, the region slowly emptied out.
In december 2014 and january 2015, the area which is now roughly Triënte experienced an extremely cold winter. This, and the contonious failing of electricity, drove even more people from their homes. Mid-february of that year, the Wieven announced their claim on the land. All negotiations were denied, and after a failed attack on what was now a stretch of forested marshland failed to have any effect, as many of its human and metahuman inhabitants were evacuated, and the region was declared a semi-autonomous zone, unfit for inhabitation.
Those remaining in what was now Triënte past March second 2015, when the borders were closed, were never seen again and are presumed dead. The incident has officially cost the lives of nearly 900 people.
Today, the region is completely off-limits, and only inhabited by spirits, animals, and the rejuvinated forests and bogs. Although there are persistent rumours of mysterious figures who are in some ways sworn to the Wieven and are able to pass freely through their territory, this remains unproven.
Species: Dragon (water)
Area: Usually spotted in the Waddenzee, Northsea and other watery areas in and around the Netherlands that provide enough depth for a creature this size.
Ghouke is by some considered a myth, dreamed up by the notoriously vague shaman communes that inhabit the Waddeneilanden. It has not made an official appearance, but the number of sightings would suggest it really is there, somewhere, beneath the waves.
It is a dragon, though its specific size, age, and any other specific information is unclear. It is quite big enough, however, and seems to possess an impressive variety of fins instead of wings. Ghouke is usually reported as being blue, green or purple in colour.