OOC Apocalypse World: The Past Is Never Gone

QuZi

Libido Cattle Prod
Validated User
Dora the Red, what is the most dangerous thing to those wandering the flats? What is the thing you're most worried about heading from the flats into the community?
In her few years as Recon moving meanderingly west, Dora has learned that every settlement has its stories of monsters. The boogeymen and baba yaga in the wilderness kidnapping children, the demon-run hostels in the wilderness that serve human flesh before grabbing you for the next meal, the great predators that roam the wastes and whose coming is foretold by earthquakes, and so on.

In her actual experience, though, it is humanity that poses the greatest danger to civilization. The Lorekeepers in the eastern bases recite the tales that humanity had once controlled this world, bending fauna and flora to its will and trading goods across the entire surface. It was humanity's base desires and penchant for barbarity that brought down its own dominion of the world.

The raiding clans that strike caravans heading across the flats are what she feels are the greatest danger in the flats. They break down communication among peoples already too tense, increase the division between civilizations that should work together to survive and become greater, steal goods that are meant for the hands of others. They break down what needs to be strengthened.

Dora is somewhat worried about the influx from the Babylon, though mainly because she rather likes Ehrenschild. To her knowledge, the Division cares little about what kind of civilization they protect, as long as it ensures "basic human dignity". Though that is a relatively fuzzy term, she feels that Ehrenschild's rules suffice and is a little more wary of the Babylon people's promises.

Her primary concern, though, is reserved for those that would come in to break Ehrenschild's peace. Dora allows herself little access to Ehrenschild's part of the community ("Do no violence or intentional harm" being a sticking point for her, as a relatively self-aware and honest person of extreme violence) and is concerned about those that would intentionally seek to break her rules to diminish or overthrow her power.
 

TemerousNox

Member
Validated User
H'okay - yesterday was crazy. Answers incoming as soon as I clear some of the drifts of paperwork off my desk.
 

Nobby

Story spinner
Validated User
Desire, what is believed about the southern ocean in the community and what did you learn about it in that secret place? Who in the community tries to win your attention with distant things?
I started a huge response already but it'll take me all day so I'll give the tl;dr first.

It is believed that an ancient holy* city, with people living like they did in ancient days, exists under the waves. The books in the grotto talked about "climate change" irreversibly causing oceans to rise by 30 meters by 2200 and that many cities would sink. Desire thinks that any under water city is probably a ruin filled only with corpses.

Jay and Justice both try to bring trinkets to Desire. Desire thinks they compete intentionally. Sadly neither one brings books or art. That Kincaid** dinner dish that Jay found doesn't count, damn it!

*Real world location speculation, non-canon:
Spoiler: Show

I'm imaging New Orleans as the "holy city" and our story takes place in the future Appalachian mountains because New Orleans as a holy city is awesome.


**Nothing against Kincaid but I had to make that joke.
 

The Tim

God-Machinist
Validated User
I wouldn't worry about the previous geography too much at this point, but do feel free to speculate / etc.
 

Nobby

Story spinner
Validated User
Funny, I was thinking Germany.
Germany would be cool but since automobiles are easily available I thought an area where a common language spread over a large geographic range made things easier. Australia, China, parts of Russia, or Canada would also work...

Now I hope it is Australia...
 

TemerousNox

Member
Validated User
*Real world location speculation, non-canon:

Spoiler: Show
I'm imaging New Orleans as the "holy city" and our story takes place in the future Appalachian mountains because New Orleans as a holy city is awesome.
I had been thinking the southern Rockies/northern AZ, but I'm totally on board with this instead - I just wanted/needed some mountains somewhere - so I'm happy to leave it vague.

For Ehrenschild, how remote is the Source from the community that looks to it? Remoteness can be from raw distance, difficult terrain, or anything else that determines how long it takes to go from regular life in the community to where the laws of the Source hold.
The Source is in a valley at the western edge of a great mountain range, backed on three sides by mountains and at the end of a little-used road. There had been a fenced compound in the valley, abandoned before the collapse of civilization- the steel mesh marking the boundaries long raided for other uses. The compound is large enough to house the whole of the local population - at least, if all the buildings were repaired - but not everyone chooses to live inside the boundaries where the Source's law holds full sway (though in practice, the provisions that all are provided for and against slavery are in effect for the whole area, someone committing excessive and/or senseless violence is going to be called to account, and an exiled person must leave the valley entire). In fact, I would say that only 30% choose to live at the Source, though most residents will find themselves at the Source at least once a week.

The remainder of the locals live in a town strung out along both sides of the valley road, the nearest of which are perhaps a 10 minute walk from the gates to the source, with the furthest point that Ehrenschild's formal authority reaches being the defensive wall at the mouth of the valley - perhaps an hour or two's walk from the Source.

Plumbing provides water to all the buildings within the compound around the Source, and in the few years since Ehren discovered the Source, efforts have been made to provide piped-in water to critical town buildings, though buildings receiving this access are still expected to pay the water tithe to the Source. Everyone else must walk to the Source and offer the sacrifice of blood, labor or precious things. At the moment, the most common labor tithe for receiving water from the source is carrying stones to repair the compound's walls and buildings, in at least equal weight to amount of water being requested. For those who are unable or unwilling to carry stones from lower in the valley, other arrangements will be made. No one acting in good faith will be assigned a water tithe beyond their ability to pay. Other requests made to Ehrenschild may have steeper costs, of course.

Ehrenschild, why does the local area refuse Babylon's laws? Who in the community would like to see the community accept Babylon's laws?
Ehrenschild has been uneasy as both Babylon and the Division seem to be making plays to gain influence in her territory, and she fears that even choosing a side will do nothing more than put the settlement in the middle of a nasty war. While she certainly appreciates the structures that law brings (and many of them are enforced within the larger community), she has no interest in being a pawn or prize for either side. Maintaining independence and a cordial relationship with both powers is the preferred outcome.

More pragmatically, she knows that the way of life the settlement around the Source enjoys does not easily expand to significantly larger populations. Certainly the Source provides enough water to care for the needs of a few thousand, but could it supply tens of thousands? A hundred thousand? More? Ehrenschild is not sure, but she's not willing to risk the well being of 'her' people to find out. The tithes from the periodic outsider that comes seeking healing at the Source help maintain the settlement, but Babylon and the Division would expect control of access to the Source to be put in their hands.

Ehrenschild is pretty sure that the Source would not like that.

As far as who would like Ehrenschild to accept Babylon's laws? Shin keeps the peace in the settlement at large, and his deputy Mercer came down from Babylon-way not even a year ago. I think she's been on a one-woman crusade to convince the town of the benefits of alliance with Babylon, but until she crosses the line and breaks one of the laws of the Source, Ehrenschild really doesn't have much latitude to act against her. Also, the members of the town council are largely split on the issue of whether to ally with one of the groups - if that ever solidifies one way or another she would have to take their guidance under consideration.


A note on power: Ehrenschild's leadership is absolute within the Source, but while she is highly respected and nominally in charge of the whole settlement, outside the Source and surrounding compound, her ability to lead depends on her good relations and mutual respect with other people in the town: the keeper of peace, the council, and other more informal command structures. Much like the Queen of England, a lot of her power in the settlement exists only so long as she doesn't attempt to make use of it against the general consensus of the other loci of power in the settlement (though she is far more involved in the decision making than that implies)
 
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The Lore Bear

T(ime) L B(omb)
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Justice, what have you heard is on the other side of the Division's patrols, that they stand guard against? What signs of what they guard against have you seen in your travels?
I've heard all sorts. Massive bands of raiders, something bigger than anything on this side of the Divide. Weird experimental beasts made for war. Another bigger force, just like them, fighting over who gets to be the big badasses of the New World. Some people even think it's some sort of disease that they've got scientists working on. You hear a lot of things, and it's hard figuring out which one's right.

Whatever's over there, though, it gives birth to some big motherfuckers. Was driving by some sort of radio tower or whatever that the Division was holding onto, keeping decent distance but using them as a bit of cover from the raiders. All of a sudden, a pair of.. I'd call 'em men but I'm not even sure. Walked upright but definitely bigger than the average person. Mobile stacks of meat and muscle tearing through their defenses. I didn't stick around to help, because no one asked for it, but they definitely left an impression. The Division still has the tower, but I couldn't tell you how many they lost.

------

Also, I imagine that Justice is just being herself towards Desire and there's just all sorts of mixed messages. Justice sees them as friends.
 
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Dirty Chai

Flamen Solis et Lunae
Validated User
Still haven't come up with an answer that I like to the question posed to Aspen. I don't mean to hold things up though.

I don't really like any of the implications provided by the ideas I've come across so far.
 

BlackSheep

Wise and Insightful
Validated User
Jay, what illness or injury do you encounter in the community that you didn't as a field medic? Is it wholly new or something you only read about in the texts but never thought you'd encounter?
Jay has dubbed it Galatea Syndrome; most people call it the marble plague, although she insists that it doesn't meet the definition of a plague. It starts with stiffness of joints, lumps or hardened areas under the skin that slowly spread through the body. Eventually those afflicted are unable to move, a living statue wrapped in skin and struggling for breath. Dissection of victims has shown growths of bone replacing the soft tissues of their bodies. The ligaments and tendons are the most prone, then muscles. Injuries accelerate the onset, with bone growing in place of new tissue as the injury 'heals'.

Thus far the waters of the Source are the only thing that can slow the spread of the growth. Since the bone forms more quickly when injuries heal, not even amputation helps. It's not something Jay ever read about or has encountered elsewhere.

(OOC: This is actually a real but incredibly rare disease caused by a genetic mutation, although not by that name. We don't have a cure for it either.)
 
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