World of 2048

Explore the World of 2048

We know Earth in 2048 is a very different place. But HOW different? Peruse the below map to see just how much North America – and certain other spots – have changed.
  • Alabama
    In the years that followed the Votans’ arrival, Alabama became a center of research as scientists attempted to reverse engineer the advanced alien technology “acquired” by the Earth Military Coalition.  The location of these secret labs made sense, since Huntsville had long been home to a number of prominent aerospace companies.  In fact, famed astronaut Gordon McClintock, commander of the ill-fated Space Station Bravery mission which claimed the lives of all nine crewmembers, made his home there.  A statue of Gordon and the rest of the “Bravery Nine” is still standing at the University of Alabama.  Though many of Alabama’s larger cities were destroyed in the terraforming that followed Arkfall, much of the surrounding countryside remains largely untouched.  You can still find lush, picturesque fields that appear much like they did before the war.  The residents are fiercely protective of the “own little patch of heaven,” and try to live quiet lives out of the spotlight of the new world’s politics.
  • Canada
    In the wake of Arkfall, travel across North America was severely hampered by the chaotic micro-climates that engulfed the middle of the continent.  Rather than attempt to cross the deadly Storm Divide, some people opted to go north, hoping that travel across the once picturesque Canadian landscape would prove more pleasant.  What they found there was even worse.  An improbable alliance of former Biomen and Gulanee soldiers have overrun the city of Vancouver and declared British Columbia to be their own personal empire.  The ravaged provinces of Ontario and Quebec are a lawless frontier where raiders and highwaymen prowl the broken roads between fortress towns too proud to bend the knee to the Earth Republic.  And explorers quickly learned to avoid the Northwest Territories, where giant mutated beasts stalk the terraformed landscape. Central Canada is also home to one of the most pristine recreations of a Votan ecosystem outside of the Sulos colony.  A region of Indogene crystal-rock formations stretches from Alberta to Saskatchewan – dubbed the Canadian Desert.  No animal can survive in this brittle and desolate region, save for a few dangerous species of aliencreatures indigenous to the planet Daribo in the Votanis System.  Upon hearing about these wonders, Indogene scientists made a pilgrimage to see it for themselves.  They discovered a crashed Ark near the ruins of Edmonton, and went in to explore.  No one knows what they found inside that ship, but the Indogenes immediately erected a barrier around it, threatening to kill anyone who came within miles of their find.  These rogue Indogenes have been working around the clock on the ship ever since.  For what purpose, no one knows.
  • Cedars
    Cedars is a small industrial city roughly 150 miles from Defiance.  Its major source of income is the Gulanite refinery that converts the raw ore into a clean burning fuel called Petrohol.  Unfortunately, the byproducts of this process are far from clean, turning this once picturesque city into a Dickensian nightmare.  Dense clouds of smoke hang in the air, blotting out the sun.  A thick layer of soot covers everything.  As the locals are fond of saying, “There ain't no cedars in Cedars anymore.”  The town is an independent city-state, much like Defiance.  Unlike Defiance, they’re far more dependent on the food and resources they import from the Earth Republic.  The population is primarily human, who tend to be cold and wary of any outsiders.  Many of them are indentured servants, slaves to the refinery.  Cedars is a stark contrast to Defiance.  It’s a place that hope itself seems to have abandoned.
  • Columbia (The Earth Republic)
    Columbia covers a large portion of the eastern seaboard, and is home to the Earth Republic.  They welcome all immigrants, espousing a "liberty and justice for all" attitude.  In the wake of Arkfall, and the global terraforming that occurred in 2030, most civilians fled to the surviving major cities.  This has placed enormous pressure on the Earth Republic to feed, clothe and house the millions who live within their borders.  The E-Rep depends on smaller towns across the country to provide them with necessary resources such as Gulanite (a powerful raw fuel source).  To that end, the Earth Republic has begun construction on a high speed maglev train that will run all the way from coast to coast.  Some conspiracy theorists believe the maglev is nothing more than an attempt to form a defensive lineacross the country, in anticipation of a northward push by the Votanis Collective. 
  • Defiance
    Defiance is an independent frontier town, built over the ruins of what was once St. Louis.  It was founded several years after the Pale Wars, when large deposits of Gulanite – a valuable raw ore – were discovered, leading to a massive influx of prospective miners.  The town itself is nestled in a valley created by terraforming, the mountains forming a natural shield from the dangerous Badlands that lie outside them.  Portions of Old St. Louis still exist in a cavern deep below the surface.   Though Defiance has grown to a population of over 6000, it’s still a rugged and dangerous place.  Almost half of that population is Votan – mainly Castithan, Indogene, Sensoth and Liberata. Defiance has strategic value as well, being a natural stop along the proposed maglev route being built by the Earth Republic.  The E-Rep has made overtures to Defiance in an effort to bring them into their fold, but each time the town has refused, the people priding themselves on their freedom.
  • Florida
    Florida played host to some of the worst atrocities of the Pale Wars.  It was here that humans first used their tactical nukes, and where Votans deployed chemical and biological weapons on a grand scale.  As a result, huge portions of the state became irradiated and deadly to all but the most resilient forms of life.  Post-Arkfall terraforming devastated the coast, permanently submerging the cities of Miami and Tampa.  To make matters worse, biological samples released by the terraformers fused with the already ravaged ecosystem to create new and deadly plant and animal life.  These natural dangers, coupled with the radioactive atmosphere, have turnedthe entire state of Florida into a quarantine zone
  • Key Diego
    Key Diego is the name of an archipelago which is all that remains of Southern California.  It extends from the Los Angeles Islands in the west to Yuma in the east.  When terraforming ripped away a large portion of California and Arizona, most sane people fled for good.  In the years that followed, a less savory brand of resident moved in – the businessman.  Los Angeles and Yuma are sister cities and have a symbiotic relationship.  Los Angeles is a free port and trade hub, run by the nine Great Trading Houses.  Some are legitimate, some nothing more than criminal cartels.  Business reigns supreme, and humans and Votans alike are welcome.  Yuma is the gateway to the east, situated on the Colorado River delta – a point of origin for many land and river based trade routes through North America.  From here, passage can be booked east by land coach across the Storm Divide, or north by river to Vegas Prison.  Yuma is a natural endpoint for the Earth Republic's proposed maglev, giving it incredible strategic value.  Because of this, many Votanis Collective and Earth Republic spies are working here in secret, trying to curry favor with the Greater Houses.  Of course, the Houses care little for their politics... all they care about is the color of your scrip.
  • Proposed Maglev Route
    The Earth Republic has begun construction on a new magnetically levitated rail system known as the maglev.  It’s a post-modern bullet train that could one day reconnect the coasts.  Once completed, it will run all the way from Manhattan to Yuma, connecting the west coast’s busiest trade hub to the E-Rep’s seat of power in the east.  But a project of this scale requires colossal resources, which is why the E-Rep is putting pressure on every small town along the maglev’s path, trying to sign “mutual securities pacts” which will guarantee the Earth Republic the resources and manpower required to finish the job.  A project of this scale has major financial and political ramifications, and it’s drawn interest from just about every powerful entity in the western hemisphere.  But there’s one major entity who opposes their grand designs – The Votanis Collective.  The VC believes the whole maglev project is simply an attempt to form a blockade across North America, preventing the Votanis Collective from expanding northward, which the Collective believes to be their manifest destiny.  To combat this alien threat, the MagLev Corporation has created its own private security force, like the Pinkertons of the old west.  This “gentleman’s militia” travels in secret, posing as businessmen and traders.  But they are well armed and even better trained, and will silently dispatch any Votanis Collective spies they find working against the Corporation’s interests.
  • The Bay Area
    In recent years, the Bay Area has become a hotbed of violent activity.  Arkfalls are so frequent that an entire outlaw industry has cropped up around them – Ark Hunting.  Every mercenary worth their salt has come to San Francisco willing to risk everything for that one big payday. Mayor Ara Shondu struggles to keep the peace, while criminals such as Varus Soleptor and weapons manufacturers like Karl Von Bach seek to reap the windfall.  And Nim Shondu, Ara's brother, works in secret to advance his own shadowy goals.  Once the crown jewel of Northern California, Marin County has now become a dangerous and chaotic new world.  A few old world monuments such as Coit Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge remain standing.  Also still intact is the Palace of Fine Arts, now known as Fort Defiance – site of the famous battle that spawned the Defiance movement.  This movement offers hope for the future – hope that humans and Votans may one day be able to work together.
  • The Storm Divide
    The Storm Divide is a broad term for the huge swath of land between the Rockies and the Mississippi River – the center of what was once the United States of America thatterraforming has altered beyond all recognition.  These changes have resulted in perpetually nasty weather patterns – everything from freak storms and blizzards to earthquakes and razor rain.  Pockets of civilization still exist, but the harsh conditions forced most sane people to flee, leaving a sparse collection of criminals and hermits.  Bizarre and horrific creatures stalk the land.  Many areas remain unexplored.  Those brave enough to venture here (or who are forced to by circumstance) will find ghost towns populated by the strange and often deadly byproducts of Arkfall.  It’s a warning to the survivors of the Pale Wars of what their hubris actually cost.
  • Vegas Prison
    Vegas Island Prison is the largest private penitentiary in North America.  It's home to the worst of the worst, everything from hardened criminals to political prisoners.  Vegas Prison was founded by an enterprising EMC Colonel named Lance Mashiko, head of the infamous Black Watch, and his right hand lieutenant, Jonah Keller.  Mashiko's battalion used the hotels along the Las Vegas Strip as a garrison during the Pale Wars.  Following the armistice, Mashiko and Keller opted not to join the newly formed Earth Republic.  Instead, they converted the Mandalay Bay casino complex into a for-profit facility, accepting prisoners from any government or independent territory,assuming they could pay the admittedly steep rates.  Vegas Prison has outposts in Yuma and Sacramento, where they shuttle prisoners back to their own facility, never to be heard from again... or at least until the payments run out.  The complex is guarded not only by Mashiko's men, but by the environment itself.  Terraforming flooded the Las Vegas basin, creating a swamp-like environment that's nearly impossible to traverse.  Even if one could get past the armed guards, fifty foot walls and automated turrets, they'd be faced with miles of mine-infested swampland and a ring of active volcanoes that loom over the valley like fiery wardens.
  • Yosemite Valley
    Yosemite Valley was the site of one of the worst atrocities of the Pale Wars.  In the waning years of the war, several hundred human and alien deserters laid down their arms and settled here.  These pacifists built homes and started families.  They were caught completely off guard when two armies converged on the valley – one human, one Votan.  Both sides assumed that these civilians were collaborating with the enemy, and in one bloody night went house to house murdering everyman, woman and child.  In a cruel twist of fate, the terraforming that followed the war left Yosemite Valley virtually untouched.  Though several varieties of alien wildflowers have taken root among the sequoias, the great mountain called Halfdome still looms over the valley like a tombstone – a haunting tribute to those who died here.

Outside North America

  • Antarctica
    Some people say Antarctica is a tropical paradise.  They say that terraforming has transformed the polar ice caps into white sandy beaches.  That palm trees and coconuts have replaced snowfalls and ice floes.  That parrots and peacocks roam about instead of penguins and polar bears.  Of course, people say a lot of things these days.
  • France
    When Arkfall ended the Pale Wars, thousands of ships in orbit crashed to the surface, transforming the planet forever.  One of the largest crashed in the Rhone valley, unleashing its cryogenic energy across France and portions of Italy and Switzerland.  In mere days, most of the country was transformed into a frozen tundra.  But it was far from a wasteland – many of the country's greatest landmarks remain, perfectly preserved in crystalline ice.  Notre Dame cathedral, Mont Saint-Michel, countless vineyards and villages.  The survivors faced a bleak and difficult struggle, but it was nothing compared to the danger that emerged from that downed Ark.  An army of Scrappers rose up: intelligent robots cobbled together from the remnants of the crashed ship, who built hordes of allies from the bits of technology they found buried in the ice.  They are controlled by the AI from the fallen Ark, a malevolent force whose programming has gone badly awry. Pragmatic to a fault, the Scrappers have kept the civilian population alive – to work as slaves, carrying out the ark-brain’s wishes.  In recent years, a resistance has formed – brave men and women intent on driving out these aggressors and returning their country to its former beauty.
  • Germany
    When the Pale Wars broke out in Europe, many hoped that humans would put aside their differences andband together for a common cause.  But as history has taught us, this is not often the case.  The countries of the European Union fractured, creating a multitude of factions, each with their own agenda.  When terraforming swept through the continent, Germany saw some of the most radical changes.  The Arks that crashed here carried samples of some of the most bizarre and rare Votan plant life, transforming Germany into an alien rain forest, improbably dotted with castles as well as modern skyscrapers.  Worse, some of the plants are predatory, and stalk those who wander into their home.  Despite these Lovecraftian horrors, the old factions remain.  Human warlords continue to fight for their causes – some good, some bad, some long forgotten.  Travelers are advised to avoid the country entirely.  Here, it’s as if the Pale Wars never ended.
  • Sulos Colony
    Sulos was the original patch of land granted to the Votans several years after their arrival.  This was their promised land – the first true plot of soil that they could call their own.  It was hard going at first, as the new immigrants frequently clashed with the indigenous people.  Cultural misunderstandings between humans and aliens made peaceful assimilation difficult.  The Votans used their terraforming technology to convert the region into a near-perfect replica of their homeworlds.  They invited the local humans to come and see this wonder, and many of those lucky enough to be invited came away with a better understanding of their neighbors.  Sulos was the first true example of what could happen when humans and Votans made a real effort to understand one another.  That is, until the Pale Wars broke out, and the Sulos Colony – afraid that humans would destroy everything they’d built – closed their borders to all but their most trusted human allies. Named for one of the twin stars of the Votanis system, Sulos is a Votan paradise – an example of terraforming gone right.  There are immaculate recreations of Irathient savannahs, Sensoth forests, and Indogene crystal caverns.  Little is known about the current state of the Sulos colony since they closed their borders, which is just how the Votanis Collective likes it.  They consider themselves the last bastion of pure Votan culture on Earth.  Still, it's possible that one day the rest of the world might see this beauty for itself.  It's rumored that the Votanis Collective has plans for massive expansion.  Every year, their borders push further and further north, suggesting some truth to the rumors.
  • United Kingdom
    The Pale Wars took aterrible toll on Europe, ravaging the mainland and introducing a host of horrors.  But even after years of fighting and the sweeping changes brought on by terraforming, the UK remained largely unscathed.  However, all communications were severed – phone lines, internet, even radio… blocked by radiation in the atmosphere.  Some saw this as a blessing.  Being a series of islands, these countries were easier to defend from outside threats.  Walls, guard towers, and automated artillery were installed all along the borders of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.  The United Kingdom is relatively safe from the outside world.  Of course, they’re also cut off from friends and loved ones.  Some citizens believe ignorance is bliss, and are content to live under martial law, carrying out their lives much as their parents did.  Of course, not everyone is happy with this isolationist stance.  There are those within the UK who want to launch an attack to take back Europe.  But the war to sway the ruling party is a cold one.  The ruling party will not tolerate dissent, and quells these dissidents with an iron fist.  And so the rebels work in secret – launching raids to the mainland, smuggling supplies, and currying favor in the halls of power, greasing the wheels of the political machine in hopes that one day it will be forced to take a stand. There is one strange anomaly that makes residents of the U.K. wary.  In 2035, a giant energy bubble appeared in Scotland overnight, covering a sixteen mile radius centered over Stirling Castle.  No one knows who created this barrier or why, but that isn’t the question that keeps everyone up at night.  The real question is – was the barrier erected to keep them out, or to keep something else in?