Sprawl was and is the phenomenon of chaos that followed in the wake of the Great Whump that brought about the restart of time. However many years or moon cycles were lost in the black tide of sprawl remains uncertain, though much of civilization as was known in the past became swallowed by death and disorder. Though many forms of newly regenerated or recently created societies and structures took form on Ava in recent history, there remains many afflicted areas suffering from the scourge of sprawl.
Sprawl is thought to be the first form of life after the cooling of Winter during the Long Cold of one season, which froze the morals and sense of what living being survived their mutations and endured the cryogenic slumber induced by the cold as the world itself seemed to lie dormant in a coma.
When heat returned and life awakened, it reverted to the animalic state with only one thing on their frost-bitten minds: survival.
With a majority of lands being deserted or populated with newfound ideologies and settlements, the waves of sprawl have receded. Pockets of uncontained sprawl still exist, though they are only found in more remote locations and have been well documented by locals. There is a certain tinge to the air when you enter an area still affected by the chaotic death and ramblings associated with sprawl, and most living creatures have learned avoid it with the level of a new instinct.
In the settled regions, there are still badlands, wastepits, and pockets of lawlessness that pose danger of varying degrees to those not capable of defending themselves against the dismoraled and desperate. It would, however, be a misnomer to claim such quandrants are still infected with sprawl, though it is often done in exaggeration (e.g. a mother who tells off her young son for having his room "sick with sprawl"). The terminology of sprawl refers specifically to the far-reaching affects of Winter following the end of known previous civilizations, leaving in its place living things with no regard for life. In these zones there can be neither good or bad. Even calling staying alive in sprawl may be too light a term. Areas infected with sprawl know only chaos and death, and all within it shall be consumed in time, though the violence and abhorrence somehow never ceases to mutiply itself, and even now many moon cycles after the Whump known pockets of sprawl have yet to be contained.
At one time, all of Ava was covered in sprawl. There are many theories as to where and how the initial ceasing of sprawl occurred, with no current proof or agreement. Some say it was the event of the Peace Wind. Some point to the moral enlightenment of paragons like Goggles and the New Homage movement, others say it was a coinky-dink bound to happen with time.
Repurposing the SprawlEdit
A common practice used by mounting industry with the wealth to invest is to capture and reconstitute the sprawl into laborscum to turn them into (mostly) docile workers that can be cared for cheaply or not at all, with lives not worth more than the investment capital they cost to maintain. A beast of sprawl brainwashed in this way is known as a washed sprawl while one still wild in the cloud is known as unwashed sprawl.
Early settling of tribal society during the reformation of the human state took great endurance and perseverance. After a relative peace settled, however, some tribesmen who could no longer prove their abilities in constant battle sought to do so by entering in areas still sick with sprawl, challenging survival and sanity to come back alive as a test of strength and will. These are the earliest known uses of sprawl as a proving ground or rite of passage.
On this primal foundation, even in some modern socities there are events staged around entering and enduring sprawl as proof of courage and strength. With the lack of available entertainment, this has seen a new level of antics evolve, with the use of sprawl infected areas being preserved for contests. Tournaments and survival games that base in pockets of sprawl have been well documented throughout different regions of Ava, with glory and prizes being awarded to those who can emerge victorious, creating a teeming fanbase that pushes these competitions forward.
Regulators speak out against the preservation of sprawl for sport, citing the danger it still poses should it get out of hand an re-consume the world it once held in its black belly, but the voice of reason is not often heeded where there is still money to be made.
To be a champion of sprawl one must slay one-thousand deranged blood feeders and come back with as many preserved tongues to prove their victory.
To gain notoriety, some homeless from the List of Homeless challenge the sprawl in hopes of proving their worth and being taken in, most likely by a bandit clan.
Champions of SprawlEdit
Many perish in the planned events staged using sprawl as competing ground. A very few have come out victorious so consistently that their efforts have been recognized with far reaching reputations outside of the areas they compete for their skills of combat and survival. Often exaggerated the farther rumors spread, some deigned heroes by certain people and wicked beasts by other cannot deny a place of notoriety. Some of these include the names of the following: