"And so it came to pass that in the 500th year of the Alliance the children of Earth did war, one upon another with missiles and terrible weapons. And they burned the Earth and the air and the cities and the sea."
- – From the Holy Books (post Great Burn)
The Great Burn was the name given to the terrible war that consumed much of the Earth as a result of the Second Earth Alliance Civil War. Most of the planet's major settlements were destroyed in the conflict, which may have involved nuclear weapons. The civil war that caused this great devastation began when Prole Sector attacked Politdivision Central in 2762.
As a result of the Great Burn, Earth was reduced to a pre-industrial state, similar to that of the Dark Ages, with much of its population becoming technophobes. However, stories and records of individuals like "Blessed Sheridan," "Ivanova the Strong," and Lorien remained in the form of myths and prophecies. The Anla'shok infiltrated societal institutions, including the Roman Catholic church, in order to slowly reintroduce advanced technology and take the people of Earth back to the stars, eventually succeeding.