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Imperium Offtopicum IV: Third's the Charm?

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by Thorvald of Lym, May 16, 2010.

  1. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    Indeed. This one has been the best one I've played yet. Good job, mang.
     
  2. Reiser

    Reiser Young Christian

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    Oh right. I'll try to make the development thread after the Epilogue, for I'm sure because of school it'll take some weeks to bring it all together.

    All is classified now, though. Just for the fun of it. :p
     
  3. civplayah

    civplayah fronter

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    :)

    Thanks a lot, Thorvald! This was a really great game!
     
  4. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    War. It starts with bravado, like the Saturday night ball game, or a date taken on a dare. But war isn’t real until your battle buddy dies in your arms, and you’re glad it wasn’t you.

    The perpetual conflicts of Asia were a portent of things to come. ANTIEDO led by the Marians tried to bring the entire world to its knees by cutting off the flow of goods. American generals eager to restore their pre-Cataclysm power and influence were quick to take advantage of the situation.

    As in Operation Amazon Storm, it looked like the situation would lead to another world war. But that’s not the way it worked out.

    People were convinced that like before, nothing would happen. They gravely underestimated Secret Service reports about New England terrorists in Europe, coups in India, and the military buildup in the Asian countries.

    But now, the time had come.

    The war started with unparalleled destruction in dimensions never before experienced in the history of the human race. The conflict was immense, and unleashed such suffering that the Second World War suddenly looked like a harmless border skirmish.

    This was a war without victors, and just one loser: the human race.



    ONE WOULD THINK MENTION of peace to be a sign of good fortune, a beacon of hope after months of devastation. But the war only ended because the nations could no longer afford to fight. An army marches on its stomach, and with their homelands burning in atomic flame legions across the globe began to starve.

    Even the most battle-hardened empires conceded that so long as their troops were abroad, they would never recover. A hasty peace was reached; no concessions, no reparations, and no assurances it wouldn’t happen again. Victory and defeat didn’t even enter the media jargon. Unsure of what they had accomplished, the soldiers sailed home.

    GUN IS NO MORE. Even before the endgame, the Marians’ ambitious new world order was already crumbling from within. Ally turned on ally. Defence agreements were squandered. The organization’s moral idealism gave way to realist convenience. Those who survived the internal strife sought to distance themselves from their tarnished reputation, and the alliance quietly disbanded.

    WHAT LITTLE REMAINED OF the Commonwealth of Nations could not rise to fill GUN’s niche. The Scots-Canadian war had claimed two of its key players. Britain, seething from lack of help in repelling the Kingdom of New England, left the Commonwealth soon after its “civil war” was concluded. With the distant signatories incapable of supporting each other in armed conflict with anything more than individual threat of force, it was in practical terms reduced to a trade pact; albeit one relatively unhampered by the nuclear holocaust.

    THE STRATEGIC DEFENCE INITIATIVE was a bust. Lab tests all but proved the design to be feasible, but with Europe’s industry decimated by atomic bombing, the global economy stalled and continued development became prohibitively expensive. Even had it been made operational, it would have been too little, too late. The planet had already been poisoned far beyond any hope of recovery; Pacifistani scientists now scrambled to develop a means of saving what little was left.

    THE BALTIC EMPIRE’S BOUT of regional supremacy earned it a painful defeat. Had its war with Germany not turned nuclear, it would have only been rapped on the knuckles and sent home to its pre-war borders. While enough of the country was left standing to pick up the slack after the nuking of Sweden, it only just managed to get its affairs in order. With the overthrow of the monarchy and its populace in crisis, Baltica retreated from the world stage in shame.

    CHINA HAD LOST THE battle for Asian supremacy. Most of its homeland was occupied by Japan, and Petrograd continued its relentless push from the West. The government barely managed to curb the rebellion, but at a tremendous strain on already-taxed resources. The counterinsurgency was unable to subdue the rebels in the Russian Far East, and as China simply lost interest in the region the “Kamchatka Republic” was founded. In reaction, the Chinese government stubbornly refused to abandon its two distant exclaves, arguably the most desirable territories. The nation could never aspire to such grandiose politics again; backed into a corner and with most of its population living in dangerous proximity to irradiated zones, it only remained alive because its enemies were unwilling to march any further.

    MIRACULOUSLY, DEMOCRATIC ARABIA EMERGED unharmed from the war. Occupying the unenviable gateway into the heart of Europe, it was immensely fortunate the conflict never spilled across its borders. The country’s relative economic isolation played to its advantage when the bombs fell and world trade ground to a halt: with few obligations, its flow of capital remained self-contained, and Arabia’s rich energy resources allowed for business as usual. What had for decades been derided as the point of perpetual chaos had returned again to its era of Enlightenment.

    THE DOMINION OF CANADA was only partly in shambles. Atomic bombings had turned the homeland into a patchwork of stable communities, but it had lost its main industrial sector with the destruction of Ontario. Whether or not Captain2 was ever killed was never decisively determined; Scotland’s invasion was halted when it reached the irradiated zones and could continue no further. The government and what survivors could afford the trip migrated to South Africa, the nation’s prosperous second half. The less fortunate had the chance to flee to the Caribbean, where opportunity was not as bright, but still healthier.

    THE EASTERN FEDERATION QUIT while it was ahead. Wearied but not broken, nuked but not ailing, of all the direct combatants in the World War it emerged the strongest. Having experienced something of an epiphany, it severed its pact with Japan and focused its foreign policy on humanitarianism and political stabilization in the many less fortunate regions of the world.

    THE ONCE-MIGHTY EMPIRE of the Rising Sun was disgraced. Mainland Japan was a radioactive wasteland, and its war with China had eroded whatever prosperity its conquered provinces could have contributed. With the threat of popular uprising at home, the expeditionary forces were recalled, and its Mediterranean conquests abandoned. In a deliberate snub to the Marians, Japan turned over its brief acquisitions to the United Nations, the same international body it had derided months before.

    GREECE WAS DESTROYED. IT was not completely defunct as a nation, but it barely operated as a cohesive body. The Greek homeland held the unenviable distinction of complete radiological contamination, and its periphery territories were under constant threat of internal revolt. Indiana was ceded to the Great Plains Federation in exchange for a moderate emergency aid fee. Seeking to prevent a relapse of the Soviet terrorism, Greece decommissioned its standing warheads.

    A CHANGE OF HEART occurred within the Kingdom of Great Britain in the aftermath of the World War. Convinced it had been betrayed by the Commonwealth, it developed a policy labelled “Self-Determination”, more aptly described as “None shall have dominion over me”. While it did not shy away from international politics, Britain became adverse to any diplomatic agreement where it was not in full control. The Marian expeditionary force stationed in West Papua was evicted, allegedly with force. The government relocated to Australia, and settlement in Africa accelerated. The British seemed the only people to have become more aggressive after the war.

    KOSOVO REMAINED THE MUTE, before and after. Lack of news from within, lack of trade, lack of any consequential diplomatic agreement fostered an air of suspicion, discomfort and wild speculation as to the status of the nation’s citizens. The Marians repeatedly voiced interest in “assessing the situation”, and each time the Hetmanate blasted them for “meddling” and threatened war should they cross Kosovar borders.

    THE LIBERAL REPUBLIC OF Pacifistan suffered the economic fallout of the war. As countries turned introspective and the industrial sector failed, Pacifistan’s exports dwindled. It remained the technological capital of the world, but without outside investment its research stagnated. Even so, its standard of living, unscathed by war and fairly isolated from the atomic damage, remained one of the highest in both the pre-war and post-war world.

    THE MARIAN FEDERATION, LIKE its rival Japan, had little to celebrate at war’s end. Italy was scarred beyond recovery and its South American lands bordered one of the heaviest concentrations of nuclear damage in the world. As with Japan in Asia and New England in America, the Marians were burdened with Europe’s blame for the world situation. It tried to reboot its world vision of peace, unity and brotherhood, but everyone had stopped listening. Though it had contributed significantly in shaping the future, it would not be one of its majority shareholders.

    THE NEW CONFEDERATE STATES of America also emerged mostly unharmed. With a comfortable life, solid budget and few, if any, enemies, it began an aggressive campaign of unconditional relief aid across the world. Although it had sought to cede its Spanish territories to a regional power, it now felt compelled to nurture them through the global recovery.

    THE NEW HETMANATE WAS an unexpected beneficiary of the war. Its goal of a unified Kazakhstan was realized through back-door negotiations with Petrograd. Hetman Yosyp Defakchenko was bitter and disillusioned by the war, having long blamed the leaders of the Marians, Japanese and New Englanders for precipitating it. “Never Again” became the mantra of the nation, and the Hetmanate endeavoured to keep the peace through force of arms. Deeming itself the only nation responsible enough to handle atomic weapons, it announced a policy of pre-emptive intervention against nuclear proliferation. Nuclear Liability Legacy Programme outposts expanded into full-fledged military bases. Supported by its long-standing ally Petrograd, the Hetmanate adopted the role of world police.

    THE NORTH AFRICAN TRADING Alliance, the Republic, much like Arabia, survived the war relatively intact, although its easternmost territories and fisheries were threatened by radioactive fallout. With stable domestic politics and a secure route into the heart of the African continent, NATAR became a popular hub for merchant ships, and later, European refugees.

    PETROGRAD’S CONQUEST OF CHINA finally halted outside Mongolia. The nuclear dead zone was deemed too hazardous to a continued campaign, and a grudging peace was made. Its war machine still intact and much of its industry having survived the nuclear crossfire, Petrograd became an eager accomplice in the Hetmanate’s vision for the world.

    THE REPUBLIC OF KASHMIR, true to its intent, remained neutral throughout the tribulations. Acting as negotiator for its many neighbours, it became the diplomatic nexus of the Soviet successors and fostered the first cohesive international confederation since the war; although Kashmir itself never took sides.

    IT WAS A LONG and bloody battle before the Republic of Patagonia finally put down the rebels. The civil war left the nation fatigued and forced to ask for international aid. With its homeland distanced from the devastation of the Brazilian war, the country had the opportunity to ascend to the leading South American economy... if it still had the strength to harness its natural resources.

    THE REPUBLIC OF SCOTLAND became an empire in exile. Annexation of Eastern Canada had failed to root out Captain2, but the conquered land became vital for the very survival of the people. Its homeland destroyed, Norway endangered by nuclear fallout and its surviving islands unfit for refugees, the Scots founded a new capital in the aptly-fitting province of Nova Scotia.

    THE THIRD REPUBLIC OF Germany had its golden age snatched away with three simple flashes. Its French and German industrial heartlands were laid waste; Poland was still smarting from the Baltic war. Unable to maintain their overseas administrations, Singapore and Costa Rica were abandoned to local governments. Germany’s African colonies, maintained out of costly stubbornness, became refuges for citizens fleeing Europe’s contaminated mainland.

    THE FUTURE OF VERMONT was anybody’s guess. Hanging on to its survival by its toes during the war, now it faced the threat of the apocalyptic environment. Gambia remained its only unspoiled region, but without the resources or manpower to facilitate a mass migration.

    FOR THE NATIONS OF the Democratic People's Republic of Somaliland , Malagasy Union, New Zealand, Paradise Islands, United Gold Coast Confederation and Zulu Confederation of African Self-deliberation, the war might never have happened. Far away from the ravages of nuclear warfare, economically self-sufficient and relatively uninvolved with world politics, these countries were well-shielded from all but the environmental aftermath.
     
  5. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    THE NUCLEAR LIABILITY LEGACY Programme yielded nothing but bad news. Each monthly report was less hopeful than the previous as the effects of prolonged nuclear warfare were made apparent. The World Radiological Index, the NLLP’s “strategic map”, divided the world into three zones based on the average level of radioactive contamination. The red zones were the areas around the original strike locations, where the surface was so polluted that human habitation was impossible. The yellow zones were variably contaminated regions where humanity stubbornly eked out an existence. The blue zones were the precious corners of the world as-yet unmarred by the power of the atom, but in only a few exceptions were they developed enough to support the lifestyle to which their immigrants were accustomed. With each publication of the World Radiological Index, the yellow zones grew at the expense of the blue zones, and the red never dissipated.


    But radioactivity was only the tip of the menacing iceberg. Erratic weather patterns suggested a climate shift, but in which direction nobody could tell. Temperatures fluctuated wildly. Storms intensified. Droughts and floods were rampant. One half feared an ice age; the other, a global melt. Sub-Saharan Africa was shielded from the nuclear fallout by the desert, but even the blue zones felt its meteorological consequences. People finally realized there was no escape from what had been unleashed.

    For those living in the yellow zones, the consequences were readily apparent. The landscape developed a sickly pallor. The trees grew bare. Few dared venture outside without a respirator. Billions of species of flora and fauna had been eradicated in the blink of an eye, and those that survived suffered debilitating mutations. Scientists, typically acting under the auspices of the NLLP, were the only persons who ever ventured outdoors for more than a day.


    Those who had money, or influence, or some combination of the two fought to escape the hellish landscape. Most eyes turned to Africa, regarded as the borderless frontier and the single largest blue zone on the planet. But the indigenous nations were less than eager to harbour the perpetrators of the global catastrophe, and they showed it. The irony of bedraggled Europeans fleeing to the safety and security of the “Dark Continent” was not lost on anyone. Embassies were overwhelmed. One was lucky to be accepted in one’s own port; the disenfranchised immigrants without a friendly customs office were subjected to the Africans’ terms.

    THE MARIANS UNWITTINGLY ADDED a further complication to the catastrophe, one that would be remembered for as long as someone remained alive to recount it. Unbeknownst to anyone, even members of its own government, the Marian Federation had continued the Neo Incans’ experimentation with gene splicing, pushing it farther than even their predecessors dared. The nuclear strike on Peru released into the atmosphere highly unstable genetic mutagens that began to take effect months after the end of the war. What had once been dubbed the “Marian problem” soon became a global phenomenon as sentient animals embodied with human-like characteristics sprung up all over the world.


    For the first time in the history of civilization, humanity had to contend with an entirely separate species equally matched in intelligence, rationale, communication... and ambition. To say that public reaction was mixed would be to grossly oversimplify the issue. Racism and xenophobia grew to unparalleled proportions; likewise, civil rights philosophers debated subjects never before imaginable. Some nations treated these new creatures as an underclass, subservient to the will of man. Even in countries where they were officially afforded equal rights, there were strong undercurrents of resentment. The creatures gained a multitude of names, many derogatory, the most common being “Kaetif”; ironically, a reference to fantasy work uncannily similar to what was transpiring.

    The tensions between the Kaetif and their detractors led to civil unrest, violent protests, and in some cases virtual civil war. It became a landmine for political discussion and ushered in a new era of class struggle. Genocide quickly returned to the media frontline, and a nation’s approach to the question often led to diplomatic consequences. But one single fact could not be disputed: this was an issue that would not go quietly away.

    THE NIGHTMARE YET CONTINUED. Radiological analyses provided evidence of freak, survivable real-time mutations that up until then were the stuff of populist science fiction. Fringe minorities called it “evolution”. Pessimists called it a “threat”. Researchers agreed that it complicated the already catastrophic world situation. They were all, in their own way, correct.

    The Marian “gene bomb” yielded much less desirable offspring. Mistaken at first for the “failed” experiments of the Neo Incans, they were soon determined to be another bastard child of the atomic wastes. Superficially, they resembled the Kaetif; but while the Kaetif could be reasoned with, these things were not nearly so cultured. They were less than animals, yet retained the capacity for one human trait: malice. They barely felt pain and killed for sport, abducting and torturing humans for their twisted pleasure.

    The “Abhorrents”, as they came to be called, were universally despised by all; even the Kaetif held no shred of sympathy. They prowled the yellow zones in packs and were believed to inhabit the red zones. Raids reportedly ventured as far as the blue zones, and armed watches became a necessity. The proposed origins of the Abhorrents varied wildly; popular speculation typically faulted either the Marians for providing the preconditions or the Kaetif for presumed biological similarity. For those sheltered deep within the blue zone communities, they gained almost mythical status as the most iconic embodiments of everything wrong with the world, harbringers of nuclear decay.


    There was peace, yes, but it was superficial. Cross-border conflict had become internal strife. Most of the world’s populace lived in areas deemed unsafe for continued survival. Millions had perished in the war, and now billions fought flood, fire, monsters, even the air itself each and every day. Humanity had survived through dumb luck; but it would take much more than luck if it was to persevere.

    I lived through this hell. But if I had the chance to turn back the clock, maybe I could have changed the course of history.
     
  6. SonicTH

    SonicTH Gentleman Thief

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    Well, Operarius would've turned out to be quite an evil bastard anyway, so the fact he had a "last strike" in the form of these mutations is actually quite fitting. I like how the ending is a bit like the Tiberium series(I assume that's the inspiration for the red/yellow/blue zones?), spliced with all the wonders of furrydom. Even if I became inactive, I can at least wear a badge of shameless pride of having a) helped bring the world to a catastrophe and b) leaving a huge mark on the post-war world with these new beings.

    Excellent epilogue Thor! It was good while it lasted...

    Now if you all excuse me... I must plot IOT II's apocalypse. ;)
     
  7. Cull

    Cull Big Daddy

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    Great stuff. And I still have a little blue left. :D
     
  8. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Challenge accepted

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    Great epilogue, Thorvald. And fantastic drawings to boot. :goodjob:

    One last jab at RP before I leave...

    ================================================​

    Muzaffabad, Kashmir.

    Elder Statesman Iskandar Mirza is trying to enjoy his first day of retirement.

    Reclining in the courtyard garden of his heavily-fortified Muzaffabad home, surrounded by bodyguards, sipping tea carefully prepared and tasted for poison by trusted servants, the old man tries to relax. He has lived through a lot; the consolidation of the Subcontinent into the United States of India, the radicalization of society, the Soviet revolution, the nuclear firestorms of the early days of the world war, the bloody collapse of the Soviet Union. As its President, he had shepherd the young Republic of Kashmir through the nuclear apocalypse and its aftermath. As the world descended into the abyss, neutral Kashmir protected and cared for millions of its people and millions more refugees from around the world, and emerged from the nightmare intact, its mountains and valleys pristine, standing as a beacon of freedom and hope in an ocean of death and despair. Perhaps, he thought, this country is even prospering.

    It had been very difficult, to forge a nation out of nuclear ruins, to hold together disparate, often antagonistic peoples, to survive. He knew he couldn't, and didn't, save everybody. Many were left dissatisfied or disillusioned by his policies. At other times, political, racial and religious conflicts threatened to destroy the Republic. But he did it; no, we did it, the former President corrected himself. The Kashmiri people, his comrades, his colleagues who have supported him and who have supported each other. But there are many challenges ahead.

    Iskandar Mirza's final act as Kashmiri President was to sign into law an act which grants the so-called Kaetif equal rights as humans. As a Blue Zone, Kashmir does not have many Kaetif, but the issue was highly contentious nevertheless, to put it mildly. The nation was deeply-divided. Many simply refused to see the Kaetif as anything more than the "spawns of Hell", as one Imam Abolhassan of Srinagar infamously proclaimed. The act barely passed Parliament, and that was after its proponents agreed to a wide range of concessions. The next day, one of Mirza's Consuls was shot dead in broad daylight in Srinigar's Central Bazaar, with the murderers cheering "Die, Kaetifs' dog!".

    Hence the bodyguards.

    It's now five in the evening, and Iskandar Mirza gets ready for to leave for a dinner hosted by a friend in his honor. He limps out the front door; he had tripped and hurt his leg a few days ago. Two bodyguards follows him closely. His driver gives him a salute, as he always does for the last ten years he had been working for him. This time, however, the salute is not meant as a greeting. At the signal the bodyguards lift their rifles to the back of the Elder Stateman's head and fire.
     
  9. Virote_Considon

    Virote_Considon The Great Dictator

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    Very good! Very, very good! :D
     
  10. ZeletDude

    ZeletDude The Lion

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    The actual area of Patagonia still has blue as does my capital Yay! :D
    Great epilogue, :)
     
  11. DroopyTofu

    DroopyTofu Double Bass Double Bass

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    That was a very good epilougue, Thor! I'm glad you finally got around to that! But did everything I own really have to be red and yellow? I tried my best not to get into the nuclear war and still got screwed over. :( Still, good ending. :goodjob:
     
  12. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    :hatsoff:

    I just hope I didn't scare Reiser off. Almost two weeks now he's been MIA.

    I must admit it was a parallel I couldn't afford to pass up.

    Blame my shoddy attempt at climatology. I tried to plot a realistic fallout pattern using whatever I could think of: ocean currents, prevailing winds, topography, river flow... the only variable I couldn't satisfy was rainfall. The map is probably the most conservative estimate.


    I'm happy you all found the conclusion fulfilling. Coincidentally, the day I announced this chapter would finally close, a friend of mine gave me a facsimile Soviet naval decoration. As much as the whole experience heightened my blood pressure... at the end of the day, even I found myself saying, "Heck of a job".

    You guys were a blast. May we meet again in the sequel. :salute:
     
  13. Link

    Link Scarves

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    Its a good thing you posted because I unsubscribed to this thread a long time ago and if you hadn't I never would have seen the epilouge.
     
  14. e350tb

    e350tb Stupendously Illogical Englishman

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    Sorry for losing interest, but I must say, I am proud to know that my country's remained complete a-holes at the end of the world. :D
     
  15. Omega124

    Omega124 Challenging Fate

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    What happened to the NEA succesor states? I want to see the legacy of /my/ nations.
     
  16. Mathalamus

    Mathalamus Emperor of Mathalia

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    who cares? they sucked. so did guiana. stupid Guiana leadership.
     

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