The Talisman Prophecy is a prophecy uttered by a Plainfolk wordsmith and seer named Cincinatti Red in the first half of the 24th Century. The prophecy's utterance was so powerful that it was repeated and spread amongst the Plainfolk and the Southern Mutes over the following decades.
The prophecy fortells the coming of a saviour figure, a messiah-like being known as Talisman (sometimes rendered as 'the' Talisman), who will unite all the clans and bloodlines of the Plainfolk and destroy the 'dark cities of the sand-burrowers'. At the time this latter description didn't make any sense, but one hundred years later the Break-Out took place and the Amtrak Federation began its expansion across the overground, coming into contact with the Southern Mutes for the first time. As the Federation's expansion continued, it deployed wagon-trains and Skyhawk aircraft, the coming of both of which was described in the prophecy.
- When the great mountain in the west speaks
- with a tongue of fire that burns the sky
- and the earth drowns in its own tears
- then shall a child of the Plainfolk
- become the Thrice-Gifted One who
- shall be Wordsmith, Summoner and Seer.
- Man-child or Woman-child the One may be.
- Whoever is chosen shall grow straight
- and strong as the Heroes of the Old Time
- The morning dew shall be his eyes,
- the blades of grass shall be his ears,
- and the name of the One shall be Talisman.
- The eagles shall be his golden arrows,
- the stones of the earth his hammer,
- and a nation shall be forged
- from the fires of war.
- The Plainfolk shall be as a bright sword
- in the hands of Talisman, their Saviour.
- Then shall the cloud-warriors fall like rain.
- The iron snake shall devour its masters.
- The desert shall rise up and crush
- the dark cities of the sand-burrowers,
- for heaven and earth have yielded
- their secret powers to Talisman.
- Thus shall perish the enemies of the Plainfolk,
- for the Thrice-Gifted One is Master of All.
- Death shall be driven from the air
- the blood shall be drained from the earth.
- Soul-sister shall join hands with soul-brother
- and the land shall sing of Talisman.
The 'great mountain in the west' was believed to be a mountain peak in the west of the North American continent, probably in the Rocky or Cascade ranges.
'Cloud-warriors' is believed to be a reference to the Federation Skyhawk wingmen. The iron snakes are probably its wagon-trains. The dark cities are likely the divisional bases.
'Death driven from the air' suggests that Talisman will somehow remove the remaining radiation from the atmosphere. Similarly, 'blood shall be drained from the earth' is believed to be a reference that Talisman will restore the blood-red grasses to their original green state.
On 15 December 2991, Mount Saint Helens exploded with tremendous force, the 'great mountain in the west' speaking with a 'tongue of fire that burns the sky'. The force of this eruption, considerably more violent even than the 1980 eruption, disrupted weather patterns over the continent and resulted in enormous flooding on the Great Plains, resulting in damage to the Federation bases near the Mississippi. Thus, 'the earth drowns in its own tears'.
At the precise moment of the eruption, Lucas Brickman was born to Steve Brickman and Clearwater within the Federation's Life Institute, leading the First Family to believe that Lucas was the Talisman and was thus in their power. However, unbeknown to the First Family, at precisely this moment Cadillac and Roz conceived their own child, Snow-Raven, who was born eight months later.
Snow-Raven grew straight and tall, as prophecised, and just short of her second birthday she touched a blade of red grass and turned it green, marking the fulfilment of the prophecy.