So how did we end up in this mess anyways? Megacorps tracking our every step, providing the only food there is, governments scrabbling for their dwindling power, dragons, wheeling and dealing their endless spinning games that span not lifetimes, but entire ages of the world.
It all started in about 2008, when the disasters really began kicking off. Earthquakes, tsunamis, drought, plague, volcanos, you name it. Virally Induced Toxic Allergy Syndrome, VITAS knocks out 25% of the world’s population in 2010, starting in New Dheli, and ripping through the third world like fire through brush. Then the “Unexplained Genetic Expression” hit, hundreds of thousands of children being born mutant, too short and thick, or inhumanly long and slender with long ears. Of course the Tolkien geeks knew what was going down, but everyone else was wondering what the fuck was going on.
That is until December 24th 2011, when the Mayan’s calendar passed us into the Sixth World, and hundreds of Japanese wageslaves on their way to work on the bullet train were suddenly witness to a huge red dragon screaming it’s huge airborne way over Mt. Fuji. The same day, Daniel Howling Coyote led a violent escape from the Abilene Re-Education Center, (a concentration camp for Amerindians.) Witnesses and survivors claimed that no bullet could touch Coyote, and that some sort of “glow” halted the very lead in the air.
Meanwhile, Irish forests started to crow at a ridiculous rate, “mana storms” swept the aussie outback, killing hundreds. Stone circles and standing stones were suddenly returned along known ley lines in Britain. Essentially, the end of 2011 and a good portion of 2012 were complete chaos.
On January 27th, the great western blue dragon Dunkelzahn made an appearance at Cherry Creek Lane in Denver. The media swarmed like sharks, but the dragon handled it amazingly, giving a young reporter named Holly Brighton an exclusive interview that lasted twelve hours and sixteen minutes in which he explained much of the turmoil that our little earth was experiencing as magic crashed back into it.
Now, we’re sitting here November 15th, 2059, some 47 years after Dunk’s first interview of the show that would become Wyrm-Talk. The world hasn’t stopped changing. The Mana surging through the world continues to cause natural disasters, and when mana’s not fucking shit up, we are, spilling oil, dumping trash and waste. Our very own Manhattan is so polluted that Trans-Orbital has to seed the air every night to make it rain, just to keep the air breathable.
Now Manhattan itself is it’s own special mess. After the 2015 earthquake that pretty much leveled Manhattan to the ground, it was bought up by a coalition of 13 Megacorporations, clean out of the hands of the US, soon to be UCAS (United Canadian American States.) Now these 13 megacorps, (Ares Macrotechnology, Aztechnology, Citigroup, Horizon Corporation, Neonet, NYPD Inc. Prometheus Engineering, Renraku Computer Systems, Saeder-Krupp, Shiawase, Sony Corp, Spinrad Industries, and Trans-Orbital) made a joint organization called the Manhattan Development Consortium, and together they started to rebuild Manhattan anew.
But this was not your daddy’s Manhattan. This Manhattan was part idyllic re-creation, part paradise for the rich, part corporate stronghold. A two tiered city, the workforce living in a tightly packed underbelly, shipping up every day in massive elevators to the overcity, a chrome and ferro-crete recreation of Manhattan as it was with a few little additions and embellishments. This project took years to accomplish, and was only finished in 2040.
The construction was tumultuous, a massive security risk for years, wars were played out within Manhattan’s ascending walls, neo-anarchist terrorism was carried out against the increasingly fascistic NYPD Inc. which of course only made them crack down harder. Gangs started to gain more and more power in the under city, and the Triad worked a strong trade in virtual drugs for the entire construction. In 2039, the world-wide hate riot, the Night of Rage hit Manhattan, and the primarily Homo-Sapiens-Sapiens (straight human,) population took to the streets, rounding up every Metahuman they could find, and lynching them throughout central park, leaving a gory parade of hanging corpses, some of which still haven’t been removed. As they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to find more victims, a group of forward thinking Dwarves and Orcs (strange allies, I know,) rigged the bridge, and blew its supports, sending hundreds of racists crashing into the sea, mostly in pieces.
A rat plague caused by an insane toxic shaman, and a terrorist campaign later, the Night Watchmen moved into the mostly flooded and derelict subway system, and began to repair it. This slowly led to an influx of metahumanity onto the island, so that by 2045, the underbelly of the city was 75% metahuman.
Up above, the Manhattan that you see in the Trids lives and breathes. Shipping work force in from the surrounding Boroughs, and from below, and the richest of the rich living on the island. Home of the Corporate Court, and after a brief stint in Boston, the East Coast Stock Exchange, has returned to its home in NY. Up above, the neighborhoods are all mostly the same as they were back in the early part of the century, except for the constant presence of the city-wide operating system that monitors everything that happens through a hundred million drone eyeballs, and the now pitch black combat gear of NYPD Inc.’s beat cops.
Down below, everything’s a little different. South of East 4th St is pretty much flooded, turning the city there into a Venice-like canal city filled with pirates that prey on small shipments coming and going and submersible taxies. China town’s kinda the same, except the 1st floor’s been eaten by water, and they all use little rafts to get around. Same goes for up north, probably half of Harlem, sunk and occupied by colonies of mermaids (not what you’re thinking,) and other nasty creatures. Hell’s Kitchen is now an Elvish subculture spot, where the highlifers come down to from up above to slum and club. Central park is a wasteland of dead trees and angry ghosts, the Upper East is a hub of less-than-legal activities, full of black market hubs like Hypermart, and more than a couple runner and cyber-cowboy bars.
That’s Manhattan, that’s a taste of the 6th world. Down South, Aztechnology’s fighting a war with the Eco-state Amazonia, Out west in the UCAS’ last western bastion, Seattle, the Renraku Arc just shut down, and no one knows why, the corps fight their wars, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and, Dunkelzahn the Dragon has just announced his candidacy for president. So, careful Chummers, it’s cold out there.
Watch your back,
And never, ever, cut a deal with a Dragon.