Deep under the world is Hans, who first made sense of things. Hans, who built the world from chaos. Hans the smith; Hans the farmer; Hans the dwarf.
He was born into the numinous chaos; fell, as it were, into the sea of unformed impressions that was surging then and rising, falling, giving rise to constant abominations; he emerged therefrom, rose from that sea, and stomped the chaos into form.
That is why we have a world today. That—
. . . and because he is working still.
He is working still, day in, day out, to keep the monsters bound; to fence off Hell; to keep such threats as world-devouring wolves, world-cracking snakes, and the pike-goats sealed away.
He is long-lived, he is terribly long-lived, but he is not immortal.
He cannot live forever; he cannot protect us forever; he will die, and when he dies, most likely, the world begin relapsing towards its former, lower-energy state.
When he dies, the Devil will break free; an antichrist will be claimed; scissors will fall, right out of space, and the world begin speeding towards its end. Institutions such as the Agency, the Lethal Corporation, and the Joint U.S. Government/Papacy Anti-Antichrist Squad will go to great lengths to stop it from dying, but can they succeed? And four children, each with a (largely incompatible) destiny to destroy the world, will come together in the house on Doom Lane and take up the motto:
“You don’t have to die just because some people think your existence is evil.”
Later, presumably, everything ends.
Book 1 of the “Enemies Endure” trilogy, continued in “The Storm That Saw Itself” and concluded in “Vidar’s Boot”