This is one of the oldest apocalypses, though the most recent that had signs of deliberate and divine intervention. This is at least thirty apocalypses ago, and there’s precious little record of it. Still, no matter how true it is, it’s quite popular, especially on this side of the Uncanny Valley, where the government isn’t so popular.
It came about because of a construction job. They were one of the first empires in the history of the world, maybe the very first. A little club of warlords, of gremlins and satyrs and humans, the most pernicious critters in the west, got their peoples together. No two tribes spoke the same tongue, and no dissidents were permitted within their tribes, so they didn’t know what they were doing until they showed up.
High in the Cloud Hills, the tallest mountains anyone’s ever climbed, they carried stone slabs. Some were so huge we still can’t figure how they got them up there, but there they still stand. They enslaved the nine-legs and dorads and centaurs, and the vampires to labor at night. They spread the infection so as to have a more active nocturnal construction crew, which soon outpaced the daytime one.
No laborer knew anymore than where he was putting his block. They couldn’t discuss it, and so it was weeks before they realized their slabs were coalescing into the shape of tower. And though the peoples were ignorant and hungry, they took pride in their grand structure, for every day it stretched taller than any person had ever been. It pierced the clouds, and laborers perished walking through thunderstorms. Others froze from the ethereal climate. There seemed to be sudden and wicked weather up there, as though the sky was fighting back. The stairs grew increasingly narrow and soon slick, such that centaurs could no longer navigate them, and new diseases brewed at those terrifying heights, traveling down the tower and out into the world.
But it wasn’t a plague that ended this tower-building reign. It was a miracle, or a metaphor, depending on your bend. One morning all the species of the world awoke speaking the same language. Centaurs awoke beside slave-satyrs to find they fully comprehended each other, and their human overlords, and their gremlin architects. Our sources attribute the one language to serpentine gods, which hints at which species wrote the sources.
The first news was the common language, a tongue reporting on itself. But the second story to shoot down the tower were details of what was being constructed, at its base, and at the top, and what for. This tower was a conduit to control the sky, from which their rulers could lob lightning across the entire continent, or deny rain to anyone’s crops, and otherwise ensure expansion of the empire. Plans ran down the tower faster than any pair of feet, such as those to annihilate unruly tribes, many folk of which had come to help build this as a peace offering.
An informed public can be hazardous to tyrants. When that informed public grossly outnumbers you and is already inside your monstrous tower, they are potentially more hazardous. That morning workers at the foundation looked up to see it raining politicians.