Monday, July 2, 2018

Lore : Nations of the World

When the Doorways appeared in 2029 and produced the first of the Superhumans, the course of human history diverged radically from what we would know. Over the next decade, several cataclysmic events would reduce the world’s population by nearly two-thirds, and reshape the very surface of the planet.

As of 2040, there are only four major political factions remaining, each mostly concerned with keeping their citizens alive, and quelling any conflicts that will further endanger what remains of the human race.

Range: All nations of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean

Formation: Being the first nation to obtain a Doorway, the United States had a brief monopoly on the presence of superhumans, and in that time, intended to lock down the Doorway to prevent its further use.

However, when other nations obtained Doorways of their own, and showed no compunction in taking advantage of them to bolster their armed forces and obtain new resources, America found itself more or less forced to participate in the new arms race. In the interest of not missing out, Canada formed special agreements of alliance to allow their citizens to use America’s Doorways.

Mexico was another matter, as the Yucatan Doorway was besieged by thousands desperate for a chance at power, and the Mexican military’s hold was far less secure. Among those who emerged were a group of freedom fighters and revolutionaries who dubbed themselves the Fantasmas de Medianoches, or Midnight Ghosts. In 2034, under the leadership of Ghostwalker, they enacted a campaign of vengeance upon the cartels that had plagued Mexico and Central America for decades.

Despite their professed intentions to liberate Latin America from the criminal empires, their methods were so destructive that entire towns and sections of cities were being wiped out, and their wide-spread tampering with drug and human trafficking supply lines lead to increased gang violence and criminal activity throughout North America, as surviving cartels struggled to keep control over the market.

Eventually, the Super Fem Force, America’s premiere public superhero team, were sent to defeat the Fantasmas, but were overpowered. The Stiletto, America’s secret strike force, was sent in to back the SFF up. The scale of their battle was so large, that the Fantasmas were able to publicly out the Stiletto as America’s black ops team, responsible for a number of international crimes. The United States, and Canada by association, were kicked from the United Nations and considered an enemy nation by all foreign powers. It was only the growing tensions between the Russian, Chinese, and Arabian Empires against India and the European Union that prevented the outright declaration of war against the U.S.

Canada, with little choice but to maintain their alliance due to compromising deals, had to follow the United States’ lead. Mexico, on the verge of collapse, had little choice but to accept the US’s assistance in recovery and protection, in exchange for surrendering control of their Doorway.

However, with the formation of New Gondwana in 2035, and the still-growing power of their Asian and European rivals, the United States and Canada agreed that a united front against a possible superhuman war would be necessary. With Mexico having already become practically a Territory of the US, the three countries combined their military forces, and agreed to a continental union. Fearing for their own fates, the Central American and Caribbean nations followed suit. By the end of the year, the American States and Provinces had officially become a new nation covering the entirety of the North American continent.

Current Status: Following the Extinction Wave, the ASP is the most powerful nation in the world in terms of military and economy, and the second-most populous nation, after New Gondwana. Unemployment is nearly non-existent, as there are now more jobs than ever to go around, thanks to the ASP becoming the world’s foremost manufacturer once again, and becoming a largely self-sufficient union in terms of resource control.

Currently, the ASP is in the grips of the Supervillain Epidemic, and with the eradication of the Super Fem Force, and the Stiletto no longer active, the country must depend on super powered bounty hunters to contain the growing threat.

Range: Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Papau New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, eastern most remnants of Russia and China

Formation: Formed in the wake of the Extinction Wave (see below), Japan was the first to jump to action in rallying the surviving nations of the Pacific region to band together in the recovery efforts. The remaining nations somewhat reluctantly followed suit, but most had already been in talks of a military alliance with India in the event of China or Russia attempting to expand their growing empires into the Pacific region.

Current Status: While officially a union of independent nations, Japan is the real seat of power in this Alliance. The Japanese military controls access to the Chinese Doorway and is responsible for blocking off the Russian Doorway. Japan regulates the economy and trade routes throughout the Alliance, and has overseen most of the re-colonization of China and Korea. Australia and Singapore have the next strongest influence, but are content to follow Japan’s lead for now.

Most Russian and Chinese survivors attempt to maintain their own autonomy, but with over 95% of their nations wiped out, they are effectively under territory status within the Alliance.

Assisting in the cohesion of the Alliance’s disparate cultures is the spread of Common, a “contagious language” created by a superhuman named Babel, which downloads from person to person via mouth-to-mouth contact. This does not overwrite any knowledge, but enables everyone who obtains it to perfectly understand one another.

The Alliance is currently the second most powerful nation economically, and are quickly taking advantage of the freed up space of Southeast Asia to form “reconstruction colonies” and take advantage of all the resources left behind. They have also made efforts to locate and bring together many superhumans throughout Asia, whom survived the Extinction Wave.

Range: Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Madagascar, northernmost slivers of Britain, Finland, Sweden, and Norway

Formation: Formed in the wake of the Extinction Wave (see below), the surviving nations had already been part of the European Union, and had been likewise gearing up for potential conflict with the growing empires of Arabia and Russia.

Current Status: Officially a union of independent island nations, the remnant nations of Europe now effectively operate as a single nation, with the headquarters of the Alliance stationed in Scotland. Nearly all survivors from the Scandinavian Peninsula have been brought into England to help repopulate the British Isles.

Efforts have also been made to help the inhabitants of Madagascar and superhuman survivors of the Extinction Wave migrate into central Europe, primarily throughout France and Germany, in order to help reclaim the resources left behind, maintain control of the German Doorway, and hopefully restart a self-sufficient economy between the AIE nations. As a precaution, they have also blocked off access to the Arabian Doorway.

The island of Madagascar has largely become a military outpost and ocean-based trading station with the Pacific Alliance. Although under control of Europe, both the AIE and the PA have soldiers stationed here to keep tabs on New Gondwana.

Range: The entirety of the African and South American continents.

Formation: In January of 2035, the continents of Africa and South America were suddenly shifted from their old location, fused together, and readjusted to sit in the middle of the southern Atlantic.

Prior to this, the Doorways of Africa and South America had been fought over in a series of vicious conflicts between rival nations, with numerous criminal and revolutionary factions also vying for control. While the other nations dealt with their own problems, these two continents were largely left to their own devices. As superhumans began to emerge, many joined up with those factions whom they had either already been a part of, or sold out to those which gave them better options of privileges.

After two years of bloody conflict, eventually, most of the surviving superhumans decided to club together and seize control of the Doorways. With their superhuman might, no one could challenge them, and soon, nations and factions were offering tribute in exchange for allowing their people access to the Doorways.

A coalition of some of the most powerful superhumans concocted a plan to capitalize fully on this newfound influence. Dubbing themselves the Ten Queens, they claimed total dominion over both continents. When the nations refused to acknowledge their authority, several of the Queens combined their powers, and forced the two continents to shift, forming the supercontinent of New Gondwana. Next, they created the Great Barrier, an immensely powerful force field the surrounds the coast of their nation, blocking out any who attempt to reach the new continent. Human weapons and vehicles cannot penetrate, superhuman powers cannot break through, and even attempts at communication have failed. Likewise, no one seems able to escape the barrier either.

Current Status: The outside world knows essentially nothing of New Gondwana. Due to the immense powers displayed by the Ten Queens, they are believed to also be behind the Extinction Wave, but no one has been able to confirm this. Many rumors abound about the continent,

Confidential: An anonymous source has revealed the following information about the continent, but of course, these claims have not been confirmed:

-New Gondwana is ostensibly a continent-wide empire, but its territory has been divided into ten Queendoms, each ruled by one of the Ten Queens.

-The Queendoms exists in a near-feudal society, with ordinary humans living as peasants, and superhumans living as the nobility.

-Very little modern technology still functions, save in certain key cities where superhumans and their favored human servants live.

-The Queens have propagandized themselves as blessed figures, and are deified by their citizens as divinely appointed rulers and priestesses. How much of this belief is authentic versus the citizens simply being too afraid to contradict them is up for debate.

-Despite their status as states within a single nation, the Ten Queens engage in petty rivalries and feuds, sometimes prompting military skirmishes along their borders.

-The Queens do not go unchallenged. Other superhumans within the nobility have their own agendas, and  may attempt to depose or outright assassinate a Queen to take her place.

-The Queens allow anyone who wishes to enter the Doorways. In fact, the Queens claim that the Doorways lead to a paradise realm. Those who have been sent back are intended to act as guides for lowly humanity and use their powers to help remake the Earth into a second paradise.

-Despite this claim, many people are still wary of the Doorways, having seen the chaos that has been unleashed due to superhuman power. As each year passes, however, more and more are convinced to give it a try. As of the time this report was given (2039), at least three hundred million people have gone through.

-With this, it can be concluded that tens of thousands of superhumans currently exist on the continent, making it effectively the most powerful nation on Earth.

Range: The entirety of the Eurasian supercontinent, save the northern most sliver of the Scandinavian Peninsula, the north-easternmost sliver of China, and the easternmost fraction of Russia.

Prior to the Wave: While the first Doorway appeared in 2029, twelve others appeared throughout the rest of the world in 2030. Each country hosting a Doorway attempted to lock them down, but as new ones were discovered, people surged towards them for the promise of power or the desire to solve their mystery. At this time, most people were not aware of how long the odds were of coming back out.

Russia, China, India, and Saudi Arabia ordered a significant number of their military forces into their Doorways, in the hopes of amassing a superhuman army. Other nations were forced to make compromising deals in order for their own people to have access. Realizing how much influence this gave them, Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia began manipulate neighboring nations to cede more and more power to them.

By 2032, these nations were effectively becoming new empires in all but name. The European Union and the United States, initially hesitant to allow mass use of the Doorways, opt to allow contingents of soldiers and vetted civilians to enter, in the hopes of increasing their own superhuman might. India likewise follows suit, making alliances with the European Union, Australia, and Japan, the latter two nations having made arrangements for use of the Indonesian Doorway.

For the next several years, tensions remained high, as the new superhuman arms race brought fears of a devastating new world war. America’s lost status and New Gondwana’s formation brought this tension to a fever pitch.

In the spring of 2035, however, just two months after the formation of New Gondwana, the Extinction Wave occurred. Believed to have originated from the Russian Doorway in Ostyatsk, this burst of exotic energy swept across the continent at light speed, and disintegrated all mammalian life within its range. The only survivors were superhumans.

Current Status: Attempts are being made to establish “repopulation colonies” and scavenge resources throughout western Europe (by the Allied Islands of Europe) and southeast Asia and China (by the Pacific Alliance).

The Russian and Arabian Doorways have been blasted with nuclear weapons, irradiating the surrounding land, while the Chinese and German Doorways have been secured for use by the nations nearest to them.

The Indian Doorway is currently submerged in a lake of perpetually burning magma, and is protected by an independent settlement superhumans who have rejected offers of citizenship by the AIE and PA.

Presently, the continent is suffering widespread ecological devastation from the loss of many keystone species. Wildlife across the supercontinent is struggling to rebalance itself as some species undergo population explosion from the loss of predators, other species die off from the loss of prey, and many plant species suffer as a result of rampant consumption and loss of propagation. It may take decades for the ecosystem to rebalance itself.

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