For now, this is a placeholder. Here is the old info.
The History of the Wastelands
Much has been lost about the specifics of the Old World and The Fall, much of what is known has been passed on through oral tradition and is subject to some degree of inaccuracy and corruption. This work is (to the best of the authors abilities) an accurate retelling and collection of knowledge as it is understood by the new world.
A note on terminology: As has been said, a great deal of information about the old world was lost during the fall and suitable methods of describing past events in relation to our current world have had to be coined. The following are a few terms that will be used throughout this work.
"mutant" and "Mutant": as has been said in other writings, a distinction must be made between the modern race of "Mutants" and simple genetic aberrations, or "mutants". The specific differences will be discussed here and have been covered in more detail elsewhere in the Encyclopedia.
"Old World": The world prior to and including The Fall.
"New World": All events after The Fall
"The Fall": A series of events that led to the worlds current state. The Fall refers, generically to a period of sequential downfalls as opposed to a single catastrophic event. Individual periods within The Fall are referred to specifically as Ages "The Age of Conflict" as an example. This is necessary as there was no one single event that caused the apocalypse.
"Age": Prior to The Fall, the old world had a precise method of measuring the passage of time. Although we also can generally count days, it would appear that our days are significantly different in length from that of the Old World, and thus any references to Old World time mean very little to us now. Instead society has generally adopted the Mutant tradition of separating time into "ages". The Old World tended to refer to events according to their place in time, we however differentiate time according to events. The period between dramatic changes are referred to as an "age" there is no finite amount of time for an age, though generally it seems to be about one to three average human lifetimes at most. Ages can also fall inside ages, Indeed one could refer to The Fall as "The Age of the Fall", which would contain several "ages" within it.
The Old World
The old world was apparently divided into at least ten smaller "nations" that were in contest for control of the world. Separated by geography and cultural differences these nations wielded tremendous resources and power against one another, often violent, sometimes merely economically or socially.
A great many relics exist from the old world even today. We understand the significance of many but not all of these remains. Stories persist of tremendous cities and villages populated by almost uncountable numbers of inhabitants, buildings so tall that they supposedly "scraped the clouds" were apparently common while there is some evidence to support these claims, the truth may never be known.
Within a nation it would appear that resources were rarely hoarded or squandered as they are today. It is unclear whether this was due to an abundance of resources or merely a cultural practice that differs from our own. Raw materials and simple necessities of survival apparently had little value to inhabitants of the old world again it is unclear whether this was due to abundance or cultural difference. Old world inhabitants instead seem to have taken great pride in objects of decoration and luxury as symbols of individual status within ones nation. Although we in the New World also value these objects, how this could possibly be true in a nation of "uncountable numbers" is completely confounding to this writer as individual status would seem almost irrelevant. The technology of the time was unparalleled and indeed almost entirely alien to our current understanding in the new world. Mutant kind believes that the old world possessed a great command of magic that they forged into their technology to achieve these wondrous inventions. As there is no evidence directly to the contrary today, no argument will be made against that belief.
Although the nations of the world seemed to be in varying states of conflict and peace, it would appear that the earliest ages of the old world were mostly peaceful, harmonious and comfortable for many many ages. Nothing lasts forever....
The Age of Withering and the beginning of The Fall
Changes occurred in the environment that began to strip the world of its resources and abundance. There is a great deal of debate among new world historians as to what caused the beginning of the age of withering. Some claim that it was an ecological disaster of significant magnitude, suddenly plunging the planet into catastrophic climatic change, others insist it was a gradual process, a "slow death". Yet others argue the cause was nothing natural at all and indeed was brought on by the tremendous drain that "uncountable numbers" of people had on the environment of the old world. The answer is unclear, however what is clear is that the natural resources began to dwindle and the comfort and luxury of the old world came to an end accompanied by dramatic and dangerous alterations to the climate. Some say the airs and waters turned poisonous, some claim that they simply changed location in a way that people who previously lived in areas of abundance were thrust into areas of extreme poverty. However they began, it is believed by most that these changes forced the nations of the world into a much higher degree of competition for survival. As resources dwindled and dissipated, the nations of the world became increasingly hostile towards each other and envious of one anothers' resources.
The Age of Conflict
Inevitably the competitive nations of the world were thrown into full blown conflict and disputes over ownership of resources. It is generally agreed that the Age of Conflict began when two of the most powerful of the nations declared open war for ownership of each others land and resources. The tremendous power of the old worlds technology begins to make itself apparent during this age. According to ancient accounts tremendous war machines were common, crushing entire cities or villages in their passing, flying "ships" had the power to cause the sky to rain fire and metal. Again it is unclear whether these abilities were technological magical, or both. Either way it is apparent that one nation claimed destructive victory over the other, and having seen its foe crushed, set its eyes upon the other nations of the world and their resources. During the war of the two nations, the other nations of the world began to stockpile and build up their own forces and technology in case of further conflict. They were correct and it would become apparent that the Age of Conflict served only as an initial warning of things to come.
The Age of Destruction
The Age of Destruction was a time of total global war. Nations allied and betrayed one another constantly. The planet shook and cracked as tremendous engines of destruction unleashed waves of death on all the nations of the world. No nation was neutral, no nation was safe. All was war. The most terrible and deadly creations of the old world dominated this age. However as is nature, strife builds ingenuity and much of the rugged and powerful technology from this period survived The Fall and can still be found today. This was most likely the age that gave birth to a great number of elements that we take for granted in our new world. Mutants, Rust men, Assemblers, Ghouls, all of these saw their first days during this age as each nation sought every available way to best their rivals. Unfortunately due to the nature of the time very few concrete accounts of the period exist. The majority of accounts of this time are from terrified survivors and incomplete military records. What is clear is that the destruction and warfare reached levels never seen before or since. That anyone survived this period seems in itself miraculous. However the inhabitants of the old world could have had no idea that The Fall would only continue to plunge the world into apocalypse long after the smoke of the Age of Destruction had cleared.
The Age of Silence
The Age of Silence was the longest age on record if estimates of Old World time are correct and consistent. It is unclear whether the Age of Silence began as a result of the Age of Destruction and ended it, or was caused by some external force. However the point is generally considered irrelevant. The Age of Silence began with a cataclysmic and completely unexplained shift in the way that the technology of the Old World functioned. More accurately, it ceased to function at all. All of the communication methods of the Old World went silent, a great majority of the technology that the Old World required for survival simply went dead and failed to operate. The survivors of the Age of Destruction were left in a world without technology and without safety, without nations to protect them and without the rudimentary survival skills we possess today. Many of the survivors found refuge in underground complexes or in remote areas of the planet less harmed by the The Fall. Mutants were coming into their own during the age of silence and rose to claim the planet as their own. Ghouls and mutated aberrations from the Age of Destruction roamed free, the foundations for the New World began to take shape. Scattered written and oral reports claim that the world at the time was darkened from the smoking ruins of civilization. Fields of ash as deep as a mutants knee covered the land, the sky was red the air was lethal, the waters were poison. All was silent and dead or dieing. The scattered remains of human survivors did what they could to survive replacing and repairing the technology they could. This Age went on for several generations.
The Age of Fire and the end of The Fall
The majority of accounts of this strange age can only be presented with a certain degree of mysticism and myth. Many of the human survivors above ground did not survive the Age of Fire and The Mutant tribes speak only in a superstitious context. What can be verified through both sides descriptions of the age is that over a period of days an incredible "second sun" or "King of Fire" appeared through the haze and smoke of the Age of Silence. There are reports of incredible floods, earthquakes and natural disasters. A strange sickness swept the population, even amongst the Mutant tribes. The mutants claim that "The King of Fire blotted out the sky, consuming the stars and the moon. The King of Fire called out to the earth and the water and the air to cleanse the planet with their fury". Immediately following this strange and mystical series of events the "King of Fire" could no longer be seen and the world became hot, very very hot. Human accounts state that many died from heat exposure, even the sturdy and powerful Mutants struggled with the effects of the strange illness and the heat combined. These climate changes continued to increase in severity over the next handful of generations until the temperature stabilized, leaving a scorched and burnt world behind. The Mutant tribes claim that this was an act of great spirits in an attempt to purge the weakest from the world and create an ideal environment for the strong. To this day many Mutant tribes still worship the Fire King or some incarnation with a mixture of fear and respect that he will return one day and purge the world again should it become weak or negligent.
The Age of Awakening and the beginning of the New World
With the ashes and smoke of the Age of Silence lifted, humanity began taking its first steps back out into exploring the world. Many of the survivors exploring this new world had never been above ground or out of the safety of their isolated villages. Resources were scarce, their position on the food chain was uncomfortable, the climate was harsh and unforgiving. Humanity began tentatively forging small settlements and attempting to find their place in the new world. Early conflicts with Mutant tribes were fierce. The Mutant tribes of the world had been raised with stories of these people and were skeptical and unwelcoming of their return. Wavering borders began to form, and eventually dissolve as Mutants and Humans were forced to live in closer proximity, trading and cooperating for survival. Relations to this day are strained but tolerable in some areas. Laws are very localized as are cultural trends which tend towards the primitive and simple. Xenophobia tends to mark all of them however and wanderers are generally distrusted when they come upon an established community. Although we have been in the Age of Awakening for the last few generations. Many mutant and Human elders have commented that they feel a shift coming and suspect that it is only a matter of time before the age once again shifts. We would seem to be coming to the end of the Age of Awakening and the future of the world is unknown.
The Salvager War
About seven years ago, people had begun to fully understand the scope of the relics called the 'salvagers'. Naturally, desire for exclusive control of the powerful machines was inevitable. People, tribes, groups, began to fight each other, each wanting dominance of the region - and perhaps beyond - by exclusive control of these mighty artifacts. It was in this time that a strange creature appeared - a mechanical man who spoke nothing but strange gibberish. He began to tend to and care for the salvagers, which had been damaged in the fighting, and lashed out with shocking violence at those who fought near the machines. Eventually, people accepted that they could not make a sole claim upon the salvagers, and tenuous peace returned.
Common Knowledge History
Obviously, being a post-apocalyptic setting, there is a great deal of history to the Wastelands. However, most of this has been lost to time. There is little physically recorded history in existence, and the few electrical or digital records discovered to date have been useless, as few understand/are equipped to access them, and none have been in working order. Even books seem to be, for the most part, mysteriously rare and often even then are hard to read armed with only the basic literacy of the average Wastelander. We have only oral history, and even this is obscured as the struggle for survival focuses eyes on the present rather than the past. In general, no knowledge is concrete further back than the last couple of generations, or about forty years. Most estimate it has been hundreds since the apocalypse. Though due to the inability to accurately measure time, this is anyones guess.
There are many legends of the time before, and even more of what ended that, ushering in this desolate era. Nobody can be sure just how true (or false) any one person's story is. Although in rare cases some have grown almost fanatically obsessed with understanding the past, in general, people are more concerned about their future than what lead them to here - essentially few people care who is right or who is wrong. More valuable than speculations on the distant past is an awareness of recent history. Few know more than what happened in their parents' lifetime, and many do not know even that. However, herein are some of the events generally accepted as truth in the area:
It was almost forty years ago that this area was originally settled. At first, this settlement was very small, as people gathered to scavenge what they could from the wreckage of the area. Many simply passed through, while some chose to hole up in the few standing structures or begin constructing new ones as best they could, curious about the relics of the past. It was around this time that the first salvager was discovered, however, its function was not understood for some time to come. Few of those original settlers still live, though their children may still populate the area.
By our own modern standards, the society of the Wastelands could be described as ignorant and barbaric. People spend much of their time struggling to find food and water, sorting through trash, or locked in violent disputes. At the same time, however, it is a society of the fittest, where those who are weak generally just die. It has been argued that civilization in the Wastelands should be described best as tribalism, and while evidence of this exists, the chaotic nature of day to day life seems to argue the absence of any governmental system.
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