Prelude to Crisis: The Decline and fall of the Foundation
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History is written by the survivors.

My name is Jacob Conwell, and I did not experience most of the events which I am attempting to describe. I was present for some of it, and knew a few of the principal players, but my only real role is to have collected as much material about the Crisis as possible.

I've compiled it into dozens of volumes, covering what I believe are the distinct movements in the period. The Stagnation, Crack-Up, Directory, Year of the Four Administrators, Anarchy and Reclamation.

I've not put them in any particular order, beyond omitting sections which may tell of what comes later. It's important for us to experience the events in the same order as those who lived and died through it.

We would never have experienced the betrayals of Hourdoon, the horrors of the Crater, or the desertification of North America. The endless uncertainty and despair. Hope. I'm getting into listification again.

Every death here is a tragedy. So were all of the others. While I have included mostly notables here, we can never forget how much we lost. I know I never will.

Jacob Conwell
April 12th, 2021

The Overseer Council was an institution predating the Foundation. From our earliest days, it operated under a shroud of secrecy. Membership is a closely guarded secret, afforded to those in the room and their Red Right Hand.

Seen variably as chess-masters from on high commanding the anomalous by the sheer force of their will; Old and doddering bureaucrats from the right families who sit in their immortal chamber; Whispering the secrets of the universe to each other; Perhaps the best people chased from the pages of history and into a smoke-filled room where the fate of every person, past and future, can be decided again?

The Overseer Council was never going to save us. Only the people could.

The scientists who orchestrate this refined madness. Fighting and give their lives for a veil they have never seen. Creators of the greatest innovations in scientific history, such as the Scranton Reality Anchor, Enigmagraphs, or the discovery of Humes. Without their innovation, the Foundation would have already been relegated to the dustbin of history.

Agents who delve into the places eyes cannot follow, a meat grinder that can leave the slaughtered still living. Sacrificing not only their lives but their souls and their dignity in order to take the fight to hell itself, they have earned this right more than anybody, paid in blood.

Is the Foundation an idea, protecting the innocents from the tainted knowledge of immortality pills and extraterrestrial life?

Was the Foundation not omnipotent or immortal?

No group is a magical gathering of the best and brightest to keep a mission going in perpetuity. It is an institution and, like all others, its success is not guaranteed.

Change comes from within. No eyes can see the increments of progress, or the hollowing-out of rot.

Not until the walls start caving in. But by then it's already too late.

1.1 - Mann and Severus and West Virginia all over.

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