East of West is set in a dystopian future of the present day United States. In this timeline, the civil-war never ended and there was almost eternal strife between the Union, the Confederacy, African slaves, Native Americans, Chinese exiles, and Texan separatists. This strife comes to a sudden halt when a comet hits present day Kansas on November 9, 1908. The six warring parties meet at Armistice- the location of the comet's impact- and make a truce, thereby forming "the Seven Nations of America": Armistice, The Union, The Confederacy, the Kingdom, the Endless Nation, the Republic of Texas, and the PRA of Mao. On the same day as the comet impact and the signing of the treaty, there were two simultaneous yet independent prophecies: 1. Elijah Longstreet was a soldier in the Confederate Army under Stonewall Jackson, he wrote his part of the prophecy down and then collapsed and died. 2. Red Cloud had become the chief of chiefs to the Endless Indian Nation by defeating the many Indian chiefs and uniting all of the Indian tribes under himself; he transmitted his portion of the prophecy orally and then he too collapsed and died.
For fifty years, these prophecies, referred to by believers as "the Message", remained incomplete. In 1958, Chairman Mao Zedong of the PRA wrote an addendum to his Little Red Book; this addendum was the third piece of the prophecy and completed the Message. It now became clear that The Message was a prophecy of the End of Times.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Death, War, Famine, and Conquest) seek to fulfill the prophecy by following the Message. Believers in the Message make pilgrimage to the site of the comet impact but are always killed by the Four Horsemen. One year, Conquest spares the infant child of one of the pilgrims and takes him as her own. She names him Ezra Orion and raises him to be the carrier of the Message. The Horsemen build a structure over Armistice to prevent any further pilgrimages and they train Ezra to become "what the Message demands"; Ezra is the first member of "the Chosen" and his job is to be the Keeper of the Message. The Horsemen gather 6 other members for the Chosen, each Chosen being a high ranking members of one of the respective nations. The Chosen are tasked with the goal of bringing about the Apocalypse.
Now, on their path to the Apocalypse, the Horsemen get derailed when Death falls in love with Xiaoling, one of the two daughters of Mao III. Death and Xia have a son together and Death loses interest in the mission of the Horsemen. Death and Xia leave their previous lives to go live together and raise their son. However, this coupling was foretold by the prophecy and Ezra interprets their offspring to be "the Beast" that will bring about the apocalypse. Xia's sister, Hu, is a believer in the Message and a member of the Chosen. She betrays her sister to the three remaining Horsemen and they take away her son. Xia is taken prisoner by her own father, who agrees to cut a deal with the three Horsemen: Mao will keep Xia's existence a secret from Death and in exchange, Mao can maintain control of the PRA and Xia can keep her life. Xia is told that her son was killed but in fact Ezra begins raising him to become the Beast.
After Xia is imprisoned and her son is taken from her, something happens that kills the Horsemen; the series is still unclear about what exactly happened. During this event, Death was also presumed to have been killed  but he survives due to two witches of the Endless Nation: Crow and Wolf. 10 years later, War, Famine, and Conquest are resurrected at Armistice as 10 year old children; but they realize that Death was not resurrected as a child because he was not killed when they were. They feel abandoned by Death and are determined to accomplish the mission without their fourth compatriot. Death on the other hand seeks revenge for the presumed murders of his son and wife. Here begins the story of East of West #1.
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