170 A.I./2190 A.D.
Many decades ago, a meteor hit Earth—a meteor housing the means to remake the world. As crops failed, society crumbled, and mankind’s beloved technology began to die, chaos became the new normal, and the global population plummeted as disease ran rampant. Some say new viral strains arrived on the meteor, strains unlike anything we knew how to handle. The sick began to mutate, and the Scourge were born. No organisms were safe from its touch, and millions became monsters as the aggressive disease invaded their DNA. The Scourge population erupted, and they desolated what little remained of human civilization in a ravenous search for food.
We rebuilt our cities into strongholds and waged a bloody war against the Scourge until we could feel safe once again.
Yet we were not done suffering.
A supervolcano, long thought dormant by the greatest scientific minds of our time, finally erupted. It shattered the earth, blackened the sky, and coated the ground deep in ash for hundreds of miles. The Rockies became a hellish wasteland of magma and toxic gas. Any who survived fled the mountains and foothills to the Great Plains.
The eruption triggered a chain of earthquakes and other eruptions of similar magnitude. The seas surged, and land fell as the Central Sea swelled out of the Mississippi River and swallowed hundreds of miles of land from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
Sandwiched between the Rocky Mountains and the Central Sea, the Central States were entrenched. We were in an ideal position for rebuilding and defending. And rebuild we did.
What follows are the stories of the Central Region and the societies that have since emerged in the new world. In the north, the Northern Plains Confederation and the Northern Lakes Alliance have developed stable populations and trade ties with each other. New Wisconsin has a large population and access to the Central Sea, and independent towns stretch south into a no-man’s land marred by roaming bandits and dense pockets of Scourge. Farther down the coast, the Free State of Northern Missouri and a region calling itself Razorback wage war over resources and population. What was once the area of Texas is now home to several major groups, including the Central Republic, the Sons of Texas, and the Rangers. There are rumors of other populations, trade centers, mysterious cults, and fortified city-states. There is even talk of a twisted community in the western mountains that manipulate Scourge for their own sinister purposes.
In this collection, we have compiled interviews, memoirs, and other firsthand accounts to create a picture of what life was like in the Central Region from Impact to about 170 A.I. Due to the lack of communication between societies, the great distances involved, and the warlike attitude of many new governments, this is a necessarily incomplete, even spotty, compilation. We can only hope that this collection sheds light on the state of our world and serves the generations to come as a guide—and a warning.
This may be the only—and last—history of the Central Region.
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